Consciousness

Consciousness
Looking for God? Get Reasonable!

We are aware that we are made of lifeless chemical elements. These elements, even when they become molecules, amino acids or proteins, are not conscious of themselves. Nor, in the ultimate analysis, is the DNA which replicates life conscious of what it does. It simply has the genetic code, and the gene strand does what it is coded to do. Independently, the cell is also not conscious of itself. But a body made of 100 trillion of the same cells becomes conscious of itself. It knows its identity as a person and what relationship he or she has with other humans, it can recognize in others love and hatred, is aware of what kind of behavioral attitude is expected by others, has a deep sense of self-respect, can recognize beauty, is aware of time, and can express profound thoughts in prose and poetry.

“A man evolves from a tiny cell in a drop of fluid and then begins to dispute as to whether there is a creator behind his creation or not”

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Consciousness involves not merely awareness but self-awareness. Where does this consciousness come from? Who introduces self-awareness into a lump of unconscious, unaware, uncomprehending matter? The Qur’an turns our attention to the miracle of consciousness, saying:

“Does man not consider that We created him from a drop of semen, and at once he is a clear disputant” (36:97)

That is, do you not see that this drop of liquid is in no way self-conscious, having no idea of what it is or what it contains, but once it develops into a human being it becomes conscious of itself? A man evolves from a tiny cell in a drop of fluid and then begins to dispute as to whether there is a creator behind his creation or not. In this verse the Qur’an omits the time factor, showing the absurdity of a creature who, emanating from a lowly drop of semen, has the audacity to stand up in denial of his all-powerful Creator. How can self-awareness and the ability to dispute be explained?

Author : Syed Iqbal Zaheer

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