The human brain is an amazingly complex organ. But can a naturalistic worldview account for the nature of consciousness? And if we live in a physically determined universe, can we speak of free will?
Daniel C Dennett is Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University, USA and a leading naturalist voice in the philosophy of mind. His books include Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon and From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds. Dennett has been counted among the four so-called ‘horsemen of the new atheism’. He believes that brains, mind and consciousness can be explained in purely material terms.
Keith Ward is a British philosopher and former Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford University as well as being an ordained priest in the Church of England. His books include Why There Almost certainly is a God and More than Matter. Ward holds to an idealist view of the mind, believing that consciousness is the primary reality upon which the material world is dependent and that our existence as conscious self-aware creatures is dependent on an ultimate mind – God.