First Cause is sentient

You should stick to it. You get found out discussing science.

And I thought you were gone? If you need the last word, be my guest.

Actually, that is not quite correct. The idea of a simple subsistent soul/mind is one of the greatest ideas ever suggested. That is true because a thing must be simple if it has free will, otherwise, it is made of parts which this brings this question that which part is really free, all of them, one? The problem with this world view is that simple subsistent thing cannot be created (I have an argument for that). The worst idea ever is materialistic view on this subject which suggests that blind matter has the capacity to create consciousness and can decide. This is what you call it a derivative reality. You suggest that matter is a created thing and this created thing can create another reality in which there is a created entity there, so-called self, which self has the ability to decide and think. Other Christian suggest that the soul that is created and is simple has the ability to decide and think and needs a body to perceive and move around. So you are basically saying the same thing with the exception that what you call the self is created out of the material activity and in their case it is created by God. Their mistake is that they assign intellect which is a complex faculty to the soul. They however rightfully assign the ability to decide to soul since the soul is simple. What materialist gets correct is that they assign intellect to the brain but their mistake is that the brain has parts and cannot possibly decide unless one argues that the brain can create an entity so-called self which self can decide. Regardless, what is missing from both points of view is that they take for granted that something which is created can decide and think.

How do you know that matter is not conscious?

That is not correct. The mind can experience and be aware of options so it can decide based on something and be simple at the same time. Simplicity is, in fact, crucial for decision making. A system made of parts either cannot decide or only one part decide which this part has to be simple otherwise we face with regress.

That is not correct. In fact the opposite view, a created thing with many part can decide, is wrong.

God doesn’t decide instead of you.

Matter/chemicals have no consciousness and no properties to make them so.

No. There are neurologists who believe that free will is an illusion since matter behaves determinisitically. You will have difficult time to explain where decision and thinking come from matter which is completely blind.

@Bradskii and @o_mlly, is this debate regarding the soul as the animating principle of a living thing? I missed the start of this exchange.

And what is the mechanism behind this? I mean, how decision can be caused by something which is intrinsically deterministic.

Think vitalism and you won’t be far wrong.

In post #155, I used the “s” word which, of course, riles up our friendly atheists who patrol this forum.

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