Many people believe that a computer is like a human mind. However, in reality it is much more like a potato sorter than a mind.
A popular world view is that material reality is all that exists. If something cannot be proven to exist in the physical world, then it isn’t real.
However, we all encounter many non-material realities every day. Even people who claim to believe that the physical world is all that exists, act like there are non-material realities.
For example, let’s examine meaning. If there is nothing non-material, then the very idea of meaning is meaningless. There is only function, not meaning. These letters: Bcetumv eodyrg wsvpb vpxuv, are as significant as these letters: You are a winner. The only difference between those sets of letters is something non-material — the meaning that we give to them.
Some people claim that the assignment of meaning is a mere physiological process that occurs much like the flow of electrons in a computer. However, human data processing is much different than a computer.
Indeed, a computer deals with only material reality. It receives and stores patterns of electrons and gives them back on command. For a computer to distinguish between electron patterns, it must be programmed (set up) by an intelligent being, a person.
However, the human mind is not only able to store information electronically. It comprehends information. For example, as you read this, your mind is not just receiving a flow of electron patterns, it is also receiving meaning. You are not just recording and storing written symbols, you are understanding them.
A computer appears to understand your commands, but in reality it understands no more than a water faucet when you turn the handle and it allows water to flow. There is no exchange of knowledge in either case, only a flow of either electrons or water. The difference is that the electrons have been caused by man to flow in patterns that symbolize human meaning, while the water molecules are allowed to flow randomly.
Therefore a computer’s ability to process information is not a part of the computer, but something installed by human intelligence. A computer does electronically what a potato sorter does mechanically. Both are dependent on human intelligence and are unable to understand what they are doing.
Some people claim that the human mind is nothing but a material information sorter. If that is the case, then our sense of meaning isn’t meaningful. It is only a result of the material working of our brain.
However, no one lives like the human concept of meaning is meaningless. We all live like what we say and do is more than mechanical information processing. We all know that our conscious thinking is not like potato or electron sorting. We know that meaning is real, even though it is non-material.
So where did the human sense of meaning come from? It did not arise from random evolution. Evolution is a mere physical process. No amount of time and chance can make material reality turn itself into something non-material.
Meaning can only come from an intelligent, non-material source. That source is God.