Via this reddedit thread via Pharyngula I was made aware of this article: How to Think About the Mind and I found it very thought-provoking.
I think the atheist viewpoint is that the mind and the brain are the same thing. There is no ghost in the machine. I don’t find that idea disturbing in the slightest. I obviously feel my personhood and my free will and my me-ness. I really don’t think we understand consciousness very well and the notion that it can be explained through neurology is not surprising to me at all.
I do not discount the possibility that there is more going on here than we can measure. It’s a fanciful idea, but not beyond the realm of possibility. Maybe it’s true that we are beings greater than our mortal coil and return to our true nature, somehow, when we die. That would be fun. It would probably be more fun than being nothing. But, as I said, it’s fanciful without the slightest basis in fact and I would feel silly believing such a thing is true.
We know that the earth won’t last forever, the sun won’t last forever, the galaxy won’t last forever and even the universe itself will become a cold and empty place in the end. If nothing lasts forever, why would we think we last forever? It makes no sense.
The evolution of the mind as served us well. The brain is an amazing thing within an amazing universe.