The mind is an immaterial reality and is different from the brain showing that the immaterial world exists.

One of the most important arguments for theism comes down to the existence of the mind. If we as humans have minds – different than the material brain – then there is evidence of an immaterial reality. Naturalists have worked around this problem by saying that the mind doesn’t exist and that we only have brains. However, a case can be made that the mind and the brain are different, and that the mind does exist. J. Warner Wallace lists six pieces of evidence that explain how our mind is different than the brain. One of the pieces of evidence is that our minds are privately accessed whereas our brains can be publicly accessed. You can use technology to see how a brain is functioning, but you cannot know what is in a person’s mind. Another is that the brain is measurable and our mind is measureless. You can’t put your mind on a scale to see how much it weighs.

There is a difference between the brain and mind, so, does this show that an immaterial world exists? A naturalist would say “no.” One argument proposed is that our mental states are merely brain states. This means that everything you are feeling like love, anger, pain, and embarrassment, as well as every thought is only chemical reactions in your brain. This means that you are not in control over what you are thinking and feeling. Instead, chemical reactions are determining every decision and feeling for you.

Another proposed explanation is called behaviorism. This view says that a person is angry not because of what they are thinking but instead because of their behaviors. But again, this seems to ignore what all of us experience every day; our thoughts control our behavior rather than it just being a behavior. Also, if this view is true, you would not be able to know what you think about something until you reacted in a certain way. We know this is not the case based on our ability to know our own thoughts. Our brain is different than our mind, and the existence of our mind cannot be explained by natural causes. Only an immaterial being could have created our immaterial minds.

The existence of the mind seems to be one of the most telling arguments for the naturalist. This chapter provided great evidence for the existence of the mind and its inability to be explained by natural causes. This is confirmed even further when discussing the mind with a naturalist. In order to hold to their naturalistic worldview, they have to deny one of the most obvious parts of reality—our own thoughts! By looking at how each naturalistic argument fails, it became even clearer how this view is self-refuting. In order to deny the existence of the mind, one has to use their mind to think clearly and make an argument against the existence of their mind.


The following blog series comes from a paper I wrote for J. Warner Wallace on his book, God’s Crime Scene. He has given me permission to post my summary of each chapter for this series. This is a short summary of the fifth chapter, not an exhaustive look at all of the possibilities. If you would like more information, you can purchase God’s Crime Scene here, visit his website, or email me and I will provide further resources.