Book Review: Conscious

Book Review

This is a very powerful book. It doesn’t provide answers, rather it assists the reader to understand where the conversation is today and what the various threads of thought are based around.

Sitting at a little over 100 pages and taking just over 2 hours to listen to on Audible, this book is very accessible and is easily read within a single sitting. I managed to get through it in one day and found it extremely clear and articulate.

On researching the book, before I bought it, I found a lot of people complaining that it just seems to be panpsychism wrapped in modern langue. Having read the book itself, I now find these reviews extremely disingenuous. This book talks about panpsychism and the author does indeed reflect on her thoughts about it, but this book doesn’t just portray panpsychism as the only viable explanation to the phenomenon that is conscious.

The book asks some hard questions. It pushes the reader to reflect on their initial responses and in doing so exposes how deep our intuitions run, for better and worse.

‘The moment matter becomes conscious seems at least as mysterious as the moment matter and energy sprang into existence in the first place.’ Harris, Annaka. Conscious (p. 7). Harper. Kindle Edition. Mrs Harris doesn’t shy away from the position we are in when reflecting on when/how/why consciousness comes into existence.

The topic of free will and determinism is a central thread to this book, which is helpful as we need to reflect on the level of free will and determinism that we believe are in play within the universe to even begin a real conversation about how the conscious can come into existence. ‘Did I decide to write this book? In some sense, the answer is yes, but the “I” in question is not my conscious experience. In actuality, my brain, in conjunction with its history and the outside world, decided. I (my consciousness) simply witness decisions unfolding.’ Harris, Annaka. Conscious (p. 34). Harper. Kindle Edition.

As any reader of this blog knows, I find the whole free will and determinism conversation very interesting. As with all things, I think there is a spectrum, and I can’t help but experience things on the end towards no free will and fully determined end.

_End of Blog Blurb_

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. It has taken me a few years to get to a place where I am able to share my loss of faith and to start writing about the journey that I am still on for you all. I hope you find it useful.

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Podcast: If you like what you read then you could always check out the podcast ‘When Belief Dies’, it is available on all major podcasting platforms or you can listen/watch via YouTube. I upload and publish via Anchor FM each Wednesday at 7 am. For early access, support me on Patreon.

Grammar, spelling, capitalisation and punctuation: I am massively dyslexic. It has taken me years to get to the level I am currently at with writing and I have done this mainly through reading. I want to be better and ask you, reader, to please forgive any errors in my writing. I hope you notice improvement upon improvement over the coming years.

Time Frame: This blog is roughly twelve to twenty-four months behind where I currently am in my journey out of religion. It’s important to remember that when reading and commenting.

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I’ll see you back here at the same time next week 🙂


When Belief Dies #86 – 'Burner Accounts' with Daniel Kelly When Belief Dies

This week Sam and Daniel sit down as laypeople to talk about the nature of social online communication and how it is or isn't affecting the discord within the religious vs none religious space. Grab a bottle of your favourite whisky, create a burner account, and follow along 😉 The video version of this conversation can be found here on our YouTube channel 12 hours after the audio version goes live. You can find/follow Daniel here:  Twitter The video version of this conversation can be found here on our YouTube channel 12 hours after the audio version goes live. We hope you enjoy our show. When Belief Dies aims to honestly reflect on faith, religion and life. Your support via Patreon enables us to cover the costs of running this show and look to the future to make things even better as we build upon what we already have in the works. Please take a look and consider giving. Alternatively, you can support the show with a one-off gift via PayPal or Bitcoin. Use the following link to navigate to the website, to find us on social media and anywhere else we might be present online. #Podcast #Deconstruction #God #Agnostic #Christian   #Atheism #Apologetics #Audio #Question #Exvangelical #Deconversion   #SecularGrace #Exchristian
  1. When Belief Dies #86 – 'Burner Accounts' with Daniel Kelly
  2. When Belief Dies #85 – 'Digital Hammurabi' with Megan Lewis
  3. When Belief Dies #84 – 'Paddling Pools & Oceans' with Roger Bretherton
  4. When Belief Dies #83 – 'Pottery Shards and Lemsip' with Daniel Kelly
  5. When Belief Dies #82- 'Diving Boards & Arm Bands' with Benjamin Watkins

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