Now let us emphasise this key point: the contemporary reductionist view is that, fundamentally, there is only matter. Their definition of matter exactly corresponds to Berkeley's definition, namely that it is devoid of consciousness. By their definition, consciousness is 'derived from it'. Let us ponder this in the light of the distinction between percipere [the active verb to perceive] and percipi [the passive verb to be perceived]. If according to reductionists, consciousness must be a product of the mechanical processes of unconscious matter, that is seeing can be causally and logically derived form being seen, then according to them, seeing is not primary. Being seen is primary. Intuitively, one feels there is something wrong here. How can reality be derived from a passive verb? (From: Does It Matter? The Unsustainable World of the Materialists (2005), page 49.)
This book was a gift in September 2008. It confirmed so many of my own suspicions, I cannot resist returning to it over and again. I have already written a sequence of posts about it in my other blog. The point is not that Martin clinches some argument against atheism, it is rather that he shows there are rational arguments on both sides. There is no clinching argument about God because this debate about the existence of God poses the wrong question .
If consciousness is primary, then the whole universe is in a great conversation . Things happen because there are other things. So, where can God be found in the universe? Somehow the intervention or incarnation of God in the world seems more credible, when we picture the creator in conversation with the created. It is worth pondering what that conversation between the material world and God might be.