Brain vs soul.
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28-01-2017, 03:05 AM
RE: Brain vs soul.
The soul is simply religion's flailing attempt to explain the human mind. The mind is the software running on the brain's hardware and utterly dependant upon it. It is patterns of synapses and neurochemical firings, no more immaterial than Angry Birds or any other app you might download. The soul is a testament to the monumental scientific illiteracy and magical thinking of its adherents.

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Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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28-01-2017, 06:17 AM
RE: Brain vs soul.
(27-01-2017 11:24 AM)sneroul the thinker Wrote:  Greetings I was thinking of what the soul actually is and what functions does it have.
from what I researched it seems that our soul is made of tine biological robots and is probably material like it or not. even if it exist it is certainly located in our brains since it is the only organ that we will not be able to survive without. ,also if you think your soul is imaterial why can a simple knock to the head completly change your personallity. in short a brain transplant is the only operation where is is better do be the donor that the receiver. so to sum it up it it would seem that we are our brain. now I read recently that some people have nde's even when all brain function stop. it could possibly be formed while recovering. never the less i want to see what your opinion is.

The souls is the homunculus, we're like big robots driven by tiny little humans.

[Image: wallpaper-592891.jpg]

As bizarre and problematic as that idea is, (infinite regression for one) it actually has better explanatory power than the soul idea in terms of where consciousness comes from.

But they are both primitive attempts to explain the brain's function.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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28-01-2017, 07:27 AM
RE: Brain vs soul.
(28-01-2017 06:17 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  The souls is the homunculus, we're like big robots driven by tiny little humans.

There was a show I liked called Farscape where a giant star whale leviathan was "driven" by a little Jim Henson puppet pilot. I thought, yeah that's pretty much got it.

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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20-02-2017, 12:07 PM
RE: Brain vs soul.
(27-01-2017 11:45 AM)yakherder Wrote:  Everything that makes us who we are is a physical component within the brain. The concept of the soul is as misguided as the concept of the heart as something more than a pump.

So there is no immaterial aspect to our being? What evidence do you have for this claim?

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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20-02-2017, 12:19 PM
RE: Brain vs soul.
(20-02-2017 12:07 PM)Naielis Wrote:  So there is no immaterial aspect to our being? What evidence do you have for this claim?
Wrong question.
What evidence is there that there is an immaterial side to our being?

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20-02-2017, 12:41 PM
RE: Brain vs soul.
(20-02-2017 12:19 PM)LostLocke Wrote:  
(20-02-2017 12:07 PM)Naielis Wrote:  So there is no immaterial aspect to our being? What evidence do you have for this claim?
Wrong question.
What evidence is there that there is an immaterial side to our being?

Intentionality, experience of consciousness, Kripke's arguments from modality. Also I asked the right question. The claim was that all of our being was material. That claim needs justification.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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20-02-2017, 01:30 PM (This post was last modified: 20-02-2017 01:34 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Brain vs soul.
(20-02-2017 12:41 PM)Naielis Wrote:  
(20-02-2017 12:19 PM)LostLocke Wrote:  Wrong question.
What evidence is there that there is an immaterial side to our being?

Intentionality, experience of consciousness, Kripke's arguments from modality. Also I asked the right question. The claim was that all of our being was material. That claim needs justification.

It's obvious immaterial things exist. The concept of "concept" itself is immaterial. All sorts of mathematical creatures and algorithms exist immaterially. If we're gonna masturbate our metaphysics, a more interesting question is there any part of our being which is not immaterial? The mere act of talking about it, whatever it is, is assigning it immaterial status. It becomes immaterial as soon as it is discussed. The immaterial is easily discussed, "material" seems to be the harder discussion limited to professionals (physicists, chemists, biologists, astronomers, lawyers) with specialized languages. I think there was some dude I read decades ago now named Wittgenstein who was saying something like this if memory serves.

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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21-02-2017, 03:14 AM
RE: Brain vs soul.
(20-02-2017 12:41 PM)Naielis Wrote:  
(20-02-2017 12:19 PM)LostLocke Wrote:  What evidence is there that there is an immaterial side to our being?

Intentionality

Unsupported.

(20-02-2017 12:41 PM)Naielis Wrote:  experience of consciousness

Immateriality does not follow.

(20-02-2017 12:41 PM)Naielis Wrote:  Kripke's arguments from modality.

Incoherent.

(20-02-2017 12:41 PM)Naielis Wrote:  Also I asked the right question. The claim was that all of our being was material. That claim needs justification.

It is justified.

That is why it is the null hypothesis.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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21-02-2017, 05:19 AM
RE: Brain vs soul.
(27-01-2017 11:56 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  ...
Where did you read that our souls are made of "biological robots". I'm interested to see this.
...

Exhibit A:

[Image: 152118_strip_sunday.gif]

Case closed.

Wink

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21-02-2017, 05:54 AM
RE: Brain vs soul.
DelJoy (yep, I'm calling you thus from now on, get used to it Yes ), Scott Adams? The creep who said he'd start killing if wimmin didn't provide enough hugsies, sammiches and naughty times? The idiot who said this? No

[Image: adams3-660x330.jpg]

Here's a nice little article I read some time ago. And no, I don't expect it to convince those who need the security blanket of the soul as the miraculous means of the post-portem preservation of their precious and irreplaceable identity. To paraphrase a bit, the mind bowed down by weight of abject fear to weakest hope will cling.

In the 1960s, Nobel laureate Roger Sperry showed that the mind and our consciousness are divisible, therefore disproving that aspect of Descartes’ theory.

Sperry studied patients whose corpus callosum, the superhighway connecting the right and left hemispheres, had been severed by surgery aiming to control the spread of epileptic seizures. The surgery blocked or reduced the transfer of perceptual, sensory, motor and cognitive information between the two hemispheres.

Sperry showed each hemisphere could be trained to perform a task, but this experience was not available to the untrained hemisphere. That is, each hemisphere could process information outside the awareness of the other. In essence, this meant the operation produced a double consciousness.

The brain is the organ with a map of our body, the outside world and our experience. Damage to the brain, as in accidents, dementias or congenital malformations, produces a commensurate damage to personality.

Consider one of the functions supposedly – if we listen to Plato – carried out by the soul: memory. A major knock on the head can make you lose your memories of the past several years. If the soul is an immaterial substance separate from our physical being, it should not be injured by the knock. If memory were stored in the soul, it should not have been lost.

The neuronal activity in the brain is responsible for the cognitive and emotional dysfunctions in people with autism; it would be cruel and unethical to blame their hypothetical souls.

Manipulation of the brain is sufficient to alter emotion and mood. The soul is totally superfluous to this process.

The ability of psychotherapeutic drugs to alter mood provides another line of evidence against the presence of the soul. If you produce a chemical imbalance in the brain, such as by depleting dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin with tetrabenazine, you can induce depression in some people.

Correspondingly, many depressed people can be helped by drugs that increase the function of these neurotransmitters in the brain.

If the soul is where emotion and motivation reside, where mental activity occurs, sensations are perceived, memories are stored, reasoning takes place and decisions are taken, then there is no need to hypothesise its existence. There is an organ that already performs these functions: the brain.

And speaking of homunculi, here's the brilliant Ted Chiang (again) with a story about a world where preformationism really *is* how the world works. Fascinating thought experiment. As usual.

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