quote:As regards "spirit" and "mind." I say that mind is a synonym for spirit because if not, there is no evidence of spirit. In order for religious belief to make any sense, we have to be able to imagine minds without bodies.
Not necessarily; at least not human ones. The Christian doctrine has always been that we will be resurrected into new physical bodies. If mind/soul is an emergent property of the brain, then this would make perfect sense.
quote:Well, at least we know we have a mind, but to have this other category called "sprit" which is supposed to be something different from mind requires an additional leap of faith.
If it's quite seperate from any human soul/mind, as I've suggested, then it's not science's concern. It may take a leap of faith, but religion is about faith.
quote:We want to take as few leaps as possible.
Why? Nothing wrong with well supported leaps. We need to decide whether this is well supported. That may be a subjective judgement.
quote:If mind created matter, that means there's a God.
Or some other mind.
quote:If matter created mind, I suppose that means there's no God unless God is something "emergent."
Not at all. You're assuming that if our minds are emergent, God's has to be. Why do you assume that? What if God decreed that our minds would be the emergent property of a naturally occuring brain?
quote:Originally posted by robinrohan: John, traditionally, there are 3 different beliefs you can have about the nature of reality (and only 3): You can believe that nature consists of one type of reality, the mental (or spiritual)--that is idealism. You can believe that reality consists of two kinds, the mental and the physical (that is dualism). Or you can believe that reality is totally physical (that is materialism).
The problem with dualism is that, if there are 2 types of reality, what is the relationship between these two types? Did matter create mind or did mind create matter?
I think you've simplified this to the point of absurdity. I've already suggested that there is more than one type of mind, and that one may create matter that creates mind.
[b][quote]The problem with materialism is that there does seem to be a mental world that is quite different from the physical and we are all aware of it. It is in this world that we have a sense of self-identity. A computer, being purely physical, presumably has no self-awareness.[/B][/QUOTE]
What we don't know is whether that's because it's purely physical, or because it is not complex enough. Is a platyhelminth self-aware? What about a fish? A monkey? At some point you're going to say yes, and we can look back and note that it's the less complex organisms that are not self-aware. Could Commander Data exist in theory? We don't know.
[b][quote]To tell you the truth, I think quantum physics has struck a blow for idealism with its weird interaction between perceiver and perceived.
As far as there being a difference between the physical and the mental, I can't conceive of an electrical impulse in the brain being the same thing as a thought, even though without the electrical impulse there would be no thought. Light bulbs have no thoughts.[/B][/QUOTE]
Again, they have only very simple electrical impulses. A thought is not a simple electrical impulse; it is an interaction of any number of synaptic circuits.