10 October 2016: Book ‘Matter and What Matters’ by Lionel Sharman introduction – led by Ron

Lionel identifies 6 features which encourage him to attend church – we couldn’t disagree with any. He poses some searching questions – are events in the universe all determined by cause and effect?  Are our bodies also subject to the same laws as the rest of the universe?  What is the nature of ‘free will’, do humans really have it or are our ‘decisions’ just a predicable consequence of cause and effect?

Lionel then proposes a number of physical laws: observation trumps theory, all events are physical and can be observed, everything observable has a cause – a material explanation, nature (and hence science) is coherent ie behaves consistently.  We wondered where nurture and emotion fit into this picture?  The physical world may be predicable, mathematical but does this always apply to sentient beings?

Ian Harris