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Author Topic:   Materialism
Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 765 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 54 of 114 (738274)
10-07-2014 8:30 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by Dr Adequate
10-07-2014 8:18 PM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
Yeah, well when you can reproduce by material means Einstein's thought pattern that led to E=MC2 or all Plato's arguments, or a great piece of music of some famous composer, or great painting by some famous artist etc., or an idea for a viable invention, or even just your own thoughts about what to have for lunch, then I'll take seriously that mind is reduceable to matter.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Dr Adequate, posted 10-07-2014 8:18 PM Dr Adequate has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 55 by Dr Adequate, posted 10-07-2014 8:46 PM Faith has replied

  
Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 765 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 56 of 114 (738276)
10-07-2014 8:54 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by Dr Adequate
10-07-2014 8:46 PM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
Like I said, when you can reproduce the actual contents of mind by material means, rather than merely asserting that such means caused it to happen, then I'll consider that mind can be reduced to matter.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 55 by Dr Adequate, posted 10-07-2014 8:46 PM Dr Adequate has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 57 by Dr Adequate, posted 10-07-2014 11:54 PM Faith has replied

  
Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 765 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 59 of 114 (738280)
10-08-2014 2:12 AM
Reply to: Message 57 by Dr Adequate
10-07-2014 11:54 PM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
I can't even show you a mind WITH matter, that's the whole point, and all the brains you can study can't do that either. You can see the brain activity, you can no doubt measure it, put a bunch of electrodes here and there and see the result, but you'll never ever see the mind itself or anything the mind itself is doing.

Of course mind is dependent on the brain but the contents of mind, what mind is, the thoughts people think, there's just no way to impute that to the material substrate, there is no way to account for it at all. It clearly is a thing unto itself despite its connection with brain.


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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 765 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 60 of 114 (738281)
10-08-2014 2:16 AM
Reply to: Message 58 by PaulK
10-08-2014 1:40 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
The thing is there is a *you* that is using your brain and your body, your fingers etc. to think the thoughts and convey the thoughts you are writing here. This would not be possible without the brain of course, and if the brain is damaged you wouldn't be able to do this, but that still doesn't speak to the fact that the brain isn't initiating what you are writing, YOU are, it's just a tool for YOU. Isn't that what needs to be accounted for?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by PaulK, posted 10-08-2014 1:40 AM PaulK has replied

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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 765 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 61 of 114 (738282)
10-08-2014 2:31 AM
Reply to: Message 58 by PaulK
10-08-2014 1:40 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
Another shot at it:

The idea that the mind is a thing apart, operating the brain is pretty much untenable and has been for some time. We know that memory is dependent on the physical brain That brain damage can cause profound changes of personality. And that even the unity of the mind is dependent on physical connections in the brain.

Say you're lost at sea or your plane went down on an uninhabited island and your radio is broken, it only occasionally works a little and mostly dissolves into static and the voices that occasionally come through only occasionally seem to be responding to anything you are saying if at all. Seems to me that's sort of the situation with a damaged brain. YOU are still there, or you may be, there's no way to say you aren't for sure, YOU are still having thoughts and wanting to communicate but the apparatus that conveys those thoughts isn't working well enough to do the job for you. You are absolutely dependent on this apparatus for that job, you can't do without it, but that doesn't change the fact that IT isn't initiating the communications, YOU are, IT is only the means for conveying them which it normally does well enough, only in this situation it can't, it's garbling the message, garbling memory, garbling personality.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by PaulK, posted 10-08-2014 1:40 AM PaulK has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 63 by PaulK, posted 10-08-2014 2:50 AM Faith has replied
 Message 81 by Dr Adequate, posted 10-08-2014 5:00 PM Faith has replied

  
Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 765 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 64 of 114 (738285)
10-08-2014 3:24 AM
Reply to: Message 63 by PaulK
10-08-2014 2:50 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
Well, the idea was that what comes through the radio to those on the other end is a garbled communication though presumably the person himself is intact. That was the idea but I don't like it any more, I think we are more of a mind-body unity than that example suggests, so I'd suppose that the person does suffer memory loss when the brain is damaged.

But I still iike my original point that it is the person who is initiating the communication, the thoughts you write down for instance, not the brain, which is simply the necessary apparatus for conveying them. Or for their existence at all in a material body perhaps.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by PaulK, posted 10-08-2014 2:50 AM PaulK has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by Faith, posted 10-08-2014 3:41 AM Faith has not replied
 Message 66 by PaulK, posted 10-08-2014 3:43 AM Faith has replied
 Message 76 by NoNukes, posted 10-08-2014 10:24 AM Faith has replied

  
Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 765 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 65 of 114 (738286)
10-08-2014 3:41 AM
Reply to: Message 64 by Faith
10-08-2014 3:24 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
I was just signing off for the night when I ran across Google headlines about a study of consciousness during cardiac arrest, and opened up this article on the subject. Only two percent of those studied had experiences of actual events during the time their heart was stopped, but that small percentage was taken seriously by the study:

One case was validated and timed using auditory stimuli during cardiac arrest. Dr Parnia concluded: "This is significant, since it has often been assumed that experiences in relation to death are likely hallucinations or illusions, occurring either before the heart stops or after the heart has been successfully restarted, but not an experience corresponding with 'real' events when the heart isn't beating. In this case, consciousness and awareness appeared to occur during a three-minute period when there was no heartbeat. This is paradoxical, since the brain typically ceases functioning within 20-30 seconds of the heart stopping and doesn't resume again until the heart has been restarted. Furthermore, the detailed recollections of visual awareness in this case were consistent with verified events.

"Thus, while it was not possible to absolutely prove the reality or meaning of patients' experiences and claims of awareness, (due to the very low incidence (2 per cent) of explicit recall of visual awareness or so called OBE's), it was impossible to disclaim them either and more work is needed in this area. Clearly, the recalled experience surrounding death now merits further genuine investigation without prejudice."


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 Message 64 by Faith, posted 10-08-2014 3:24 AM Faith has not replied

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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 765 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 67 of 114 (738288)
10-08-2014 3:46 AM
Reply to: Message 66 by PaulK
10-08-2014 3:43 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
In everything you've said you've failed continually to address the point that the brain does not originate thoughts, but the personality does, or the mind or soul or whatever, and that is obvious.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by PaulK, posted 10-08-2014 3:43 AM PaulK has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 69 by PaulK, posted 10-08-2014 4:08 AM Faith has replied

  
Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 765 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 70 of 114 (738292)
10-08-2014 5:38 AM
Reply to: Message 69 by PaulK
10-08-2014 4:08 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
Your showing that brain damage interferes with mental function proves nothing about the point I made, that the mind initiates thoughts and ideas, for which the brain is the vehicle or tool. The connection may be simultaneous but clearly the mind and brain are entirely different things. You'll never discover the content of thoughts by studying the brain.

When I step on the accelerator the car moves. The action is simultaneous but the car doesn't move unless I step on the accelerator, and the car also won't go anywhere when I step on the accelerator if it is out of gas or the battery is dead or I haven't turned on the ignition. I'm the driver, the car is the tool, the action is simultaneous but I am the originator. The car does what I want it to do unless it is ailing in some way. Same with the brain.

My point is an observation that any rational person ought to be able to recognize, not an assumption.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 69 by PaulK, posted 10-08-2014 4:08 AM PaulK has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 71 by PaulK, posted 10-08-2014 5:55 AM Faith has replied

  
Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 765 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 72 of 114 (738294)
10-08-2014 6:00 AM
Reply to: Message 71 by PaulK
10-08-2014 5:55 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
I do believe mind and brain are separate and separable, but my argument here is more in terms of their being entirely different things and that you cannot discover the qualities of either by knowing something about the other.

Mind is simply not material and that is absolutely obvious to any rational person, and mind is also the originator of thoughts, and that is also absolutely obvious to any rational person. See my car analogy in case you missed it. And you will never be able to grasp a person's thoughts by studying the person's brain and that too is obvious. They are two entirely different things, separate in that sense at least, and different in the sense that one is the driver and the other the vehicle.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by PaulK, posted 10-08-2014 5:55 AM PaulK has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 73 by PaulK, posted 10-08-2014 6:30 AM Faith has replied

  
Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 765 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 74 of 114 (738296)
10-08-2014 7:13 AM
Reply to: Message 73 by PaulK
10-08-2014 6:30 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
We can know things about the mind by inspecting the brain and brain activity.

You cannot know a person's thoughts by studying the brain. Stick to the point.

Whatever you are saying about slicing things into two drivers is totally incomprehensible.

I'm not talking about physically separating mind and brain, I'm saying they are two different kinds of things and you can NOT know anything about the qualities of one from knowing about the other, and really, Paul, that is quite obvious. Calling an obvious observation an "opinion" is just a cheap way of trying to win the argument. It's an observation that any rational person should be able to make.

Mind and brain operate simultaneously but mind produces thoughts and brain does not, it is merely the physical means by which thoughts exist and are conveyed and THAT IS OBVIOUS.

And the analogy of the car does serve to make the point clearer. Brain does not think thoughts, mind does and mind uses the brain for the purpose. That's obvious.


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 Message 73 by PaulK, posted 10-08-2014 6:30 AM PaulK has replied

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 Message 75 by PaulK, posted 10-08-2014 7:57 AM Faith has not replied
 Message 83 by Modulous, posted 10-08-2014 7:39 PM Faith has replied

  
Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 765 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 77 of 114 (738303)
10-08-2014 11:19 AM
Reply to: Message 76 by NoNukes
10-08-2014 10:24 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
The "assertions" are observations that any rational person ought to be able to confirm with half a minute's consideration. Guess it isn't going to happen here but it should. Have a great day.

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 765 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 82 of 114 (738319)
10-08-2014 7:04 PM
Reply to: Message 81 by Dr Adequate
10-08-2014 5:00 PM


Re: Amnesiac Homunculus
I'm not sure how much of what you say here I agree with, but I did give up on my own post that you are responding to, because I realized I really don't believe the mind remains intact when the brain is damaged; we are a mind-body unity as long as we are in the body. Although I do think some of the experiences of accurate perception during temporary cessation of heart action are probably real. It can occur even without the near-death experience. A person I know, in a normal state of mind, not through any special experiences, trauma or meditations or that sort of thing that might provoke it, described hovering above her body and looking down at her feet on the bed during what might have been a dreamlike state, but that's an unusual dream if it was a dream. I don't have any reason to doubt people when they describe such things myself, although you may feel you do. I've also had people describe to me seeing angels and demons during ordinary waking states, and have no reason to doubt them either.

For it would seem that when we combine this model with what we know about brain damage, my mind doesn't actually know anything. It has no memories, it can't understand English, let alone read or write, it cannot identify commonplace household objects or their uses, it can't recognize faces or remember names ...

But, you say, if someone has a normal brain, then the mind has access to these faculties as it chooses. But what's puzzling me is on what basis could it possibly choose?

I don't think that's quite what I said. I assume stored experience and the person/mind/soul is always limited by what it knows, has learned or experienced, but to whatever degree it has been acquired, all that is available to the normal mind with a normal brain, however that occurs in normal experience. I was only trying to say something about the relation between mind and brain without reference to any particular history, just "normal" history whatever it might be for a particular person.

The point remains that mind is nonmaterial and brain is material, entirely different things though intimately connected, and simultaneously active, and connected I believe as driver is to vehicle. How all this comes about or how much experience is involved in any particular case, is another subject,

Now consider the analogous behavior of the mind in your model. Suppose the sofa in the corner of the room catches fire. What my mind needs to do is look up in my brain certain important facts about fire, how it spreads, what happens if I get some on me. But it doesn't know that these are the important facts before it looks them up. For all my mind knows, it might as well look up the history of sofas or the Italian word for "haddock" or the lyrics to Does Your Chewing-Gum Lose Its Flavor On The Bedpost Overnight. This would be impractical --- and also it is clearly not what's going on.

I'm really not at all sure what you are trying to say here or how it relates to what I was saying. I might quibble with your statement that your mind looks things up in your brain, though, since if it can be said to go through an action describable as looking something up which I think is doubtful anyway, it looks things up in memory which is a function of mind, the brain, again, acting merely as material housing that makes it possible in a material world. As far as the incident you describe goes, whatever knowledge the person already has about fires should be readily available to the mind through memory. One might have to stop and think a bit about the best method for escaping it or putting it out of course, or in most cases the mind will just say "run" anyway, and that should do it, a body with normal ability to run having no problem translating the message from the mind for the purpose. Through the brain, no doubt, but it's the mind that creates the message.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 81 by Dr Adequate, posted 10-08-2014 5:00 PM Dr Adequate has not replied

Replies to this message:
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 Message 114 by shalamabobbi, posted 10-26-2014 3:58 PM Faith has not replied

  
Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 765 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 84 of 114 (738322)
10-08-2014 7:48 PM
Reply to: Message 83 by Modulous
10-08-2014 7:39 PM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
The paltry things that can supposedly be known about mind through study of the brain aren't even worth mentioning. Mind is far more than trivial voluntary actions, and the far more is what I'm talking about. When you are talking about actions you are always involving the body anyway, and that says nothing in answer to my point that it is always mind that initiates them.

Also I've tried to make it clear that I'm not arguing at this point for physical separation of mind and brain, all I'm arguing is that they are entirely different things though intimately connected. You agree that mind is nonmaterial, hooray. Brain is of course material. So far so good. In fact that's all I really care to say here.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 85 by NoNukes, posted 10-08-2014 8:37 PM Faith has replied
 Message 86 by PaulK, posted 10-09-2014 12:56 AM Faith has not replied

  
Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 765 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 87 of 114 (738333)
10-09-2014 1:50 AM
Reply to: Message 85 by NoNukes
10-08-2014 8:37 PM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
Also I've tried to make it clear that I'm not arguing at this point for physical separation of mind and brain, all I'm arguing is that they are entirely different things though intimately connected.

I doubt that any of the participants would disagree with this statement. I certainly don't.

Glad to hear it, that's two now. And you two treat it as something that you can just observe and assess as I do too.

But read the next post. PaulK disagrees and if you go back up thread, so does Dr. A. I've given my view, I'm glad you and Mod agree with me, though of course you could yet change your minds I suppose, but in any case I've said all I want to say on the subject.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by NoNukes, posted 10-08-2014 8:37 PM NoNukes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 88 by NoNukes, posted 10-09-2014 3:44 AM Faith has replied

  
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