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Switch to Forum Live View The error of mind-body dualism
5 years ago  ::  May 18, 2010 - 3:22PM #351
williejhonlo
Posts: 3,882

May 17, 2010 -- 10:19PM, Blü wrote:


Willy


Lets say it is generated in the brain that doesn't mean the brain is actually the cause. The mind could be the cause and the brain just its instrument.


Unfortunately, 'mind' (in that sense) presently has no defintion useful to reasoned enquiry - that's to say, it's meaningless except as an indication of an emotional construct rather than something with objective existence.  Emotional constructs are formed in the brain.


 


 



I would say it is objective, just not in an empirical way. We know the quality of our thoughts be they lustful or pure. We know the quality of our intentions, be they motivated by greed for our own welfare or if we actually care for the welfare of others. My mind might be susceptible to vices in the form of the seven deadly sins, ( lust, pride, greed, sloth, gluttony, wrath, envy. ) and we might be able to overcome these vices by self-discipline. We know the quality of our mind just not in an empirical way. When you come to think about it though you can't see a thought or feeling but we experience them.

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5 years ago  ::  May 18, 2010 - 9:13PM #352
Blü
Posts: 25,176

Willie


We know the quality of our thoughts be they lustful or pure.


As I said, the brain's made up of modules.  In one part lustful thoughts are generated (under the influence, often enough, of testosterone, which is associated with libido in males and females).  In another part, the forebrain, your words and conduct are edited for social appropriateness and personal standards.  Nothing external to the brain is involved.


 


We know the quality of our mind  just not in an empirical way.


We have empirical evidence of which parts of the brain do what.  For example, people with traumatic head injuries may experience shearing of the forebrain (unfortunately not uncommon due to the interior structure of the skull around the eye sockets) and become disinhibited as a result ie permanently lose some of their ability to self-edit.  Other kinds of injuries give us similar information.


And a great deal of modern research into brain function is done by observing which parts of the brain can be seen on MRI scans to be active during certain mental processes and involving certain categories of thought.  And in future we'll doubtless have more and better empirical methods of monitoring brain function.


 

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5 years ago  ::  May 19, 2010 - 7:18PM #353
williejhonlo
Posts: 3,882

May 18, 2010 -- 9:13PM, Blü wrote:


Willie


We know the quality of our thoughts be they lustful or pure.


As I said, the brain's made up of modules.  In one part lustful thoughts are generated (under the influence, often enough, of testosterone, which is associated with libido in males and females).  In another part, the forebrain, your words and conduct are edited for social appropriateness and personal standards.  Nothing external to the brain is involved.


 


We know the quality of our mind just not in an empirical way.


We have empirical evidence of which parts of the brain do what.  For example, people with traumatic head injuries may experience shearing of the forebrain (unfortunately not uncommon due to the interior structure of the skull around the eye sockets) and become disinhibited as a result ie permanently lose some of their ability to self-edit.  Other kinds of injuries give us similar information.


And a great deal of modern research into brain function is done by observing which parts of the brain can be seen on MRI scans to be active during certain mental processes and involving certain categories of thought.  And in future we'll doubtless have more and better empirical methods of monitoring brain function.


 



I appreciate that blu about the mri scanning and all, but i just don't think my brain defines me. So you think of something and some light gets triggered off, but no light show can define our character. No light show can measure how brave a man is, how honest he is, how truthful he is, how greedy he is, what his beliefs are, how charitable he is. Can we say that our brains even give us a sense of humor. I remember reading how one author commented that some memories last a lifetime but our neurons don't so he wondered if they actually carried information. Every cell in our body dies through a 7 year period that includes neurons, but yet some fears are persistent, some beliefs are persistent. Why doesn't our character go through a complete wash as our cells do in this 7 year process? People do change but i doubt if it is because of neurons, events in people lives make them develop a higher perspective about life sometimes. People who have nearly died sometimes develop a greater value for spirituality within their lives. All in all blu i just don't believe that we are automated beings.

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5 years ago  ::  May 19, 2010 - 9:25PM #354
Blü
Posts: 25,176

Willie


So you think of something and some light gets triggered off, but no light show can define our character. No light show can measure how brave a man is, how honest he is, how truthful he is, how greedy he is, what his beliefs are, how cheritable he is.


Sorry, Willie, that hasn't been true for fifty years.  We have questionnaire techniques, analyses of body language, examinations of the relationship between conscious and non-conscious needs and desires, and a great deal more that address those questions.



Can we say that our brains even give us a sense of humor.


Very confidently.  Have you noticed that conservatives tend to be less insightful, less humorous, than liberals, for example?  The difference between conservatives and liberals is a genetic instinct towards being less (conservatives) or more (liberals) open to new experiences.



People do change but i doubt if it is because of neurons


The way one's neurons interact can change.  They can form new paths, new patterns, and so on.  The brain's somewhat flexible like that.



All in all blu i just don't believe that we are automated beings.


How do you say this extra ingredient works other than by cause&effect?  How exactly can it free you from being 'automated'?


The answer is, either it'll be random and arbitrary, which is one kind of freedom, though not an admirable one, or it'll be cause&effect just like your brain.  There's no third way.


 

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5 years ago  ::  May 22, 2010 - 11:51PM #355
williejhonlo
Posts: 3,882

May 19, 2010 -- 9:25PM, Blü wrote:


Willie


So you think of something and some light gets triggered off, but no light show can define our character. No light show can measure how brave a man is, how honest he is, how truthful he is, how greedy he is, what his beliefs are, how cheritable he is.


Sorry, Willie, that hasn't been true for fifty years.  We have questionnaire techniques, analyses of body language, examinations of the relationship between conscious and non-conscious needs and desires, and a great deal more that address those questions. This just confirms that a brain scan is inadequate to explain everything about you.



Can we say that our brains even give us a sense of humor.


Very confidently.  Have you noticed that conservatives tend to be less insightful, less humorous, than liberals, for example?  The difference between conservatives and liberals is a genetic instinct towards being less (conservatives) or more (liberals) open to new experiences. I think these new experiences don't end up in the experience of more bliss, but rather the experience of more misery.



People do change but i doubt if it is because of neurons


The way one's neurons interact can change.  They can form new paths, new patterns, and so on.  The brain's somewhat flexible like that. The brain may be flexible like that but we tend to grow from lifes bitter experiences.



All in all blu i just don't believe that we are automated beings.


How do you say this extra ingredient works other than by cause&effect?  How exactly can it free you from being 'automated'?


The answer is, either it'll be random and arbitrary, which is one kind of freedom, though not an admirable one, or it'll be cause&effect just like your brain.  There's no third way. I'll take random and arbitrary, men have been trying to understand women for centries and we still don't have a clue.


 





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5 years ago  ::  May 23, 2010 - 1:20AM #356
Blü
Posts: 25,176

Willie


This just confirms that a brain scan is inadequate to explain everything about you.


MRI imaging is recent technology.  It adds to our data on brain function.  The more we learn, the less we see any sign of a supernatural ingredient in humans.  In future our technology will be still better, and our descriptions and explanations of brain function will be much more extensive than at present.



The brain may be flexible like that but we tend to grow from lifes bitter experiences.


You think so?  I learn from my mistakes.  Trial and error is the history of mankind.

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5 years ago  ::  May 23, 2010 - 5:05PM #357
Jcarlinbn
Posts: 7,078

 The third way is the interplay of the interpretations of stimuli by the brain, including the creation of symbolic representations of stimuli that can be further processed by the brain independently from the stimuli that generated them.  I might see an Aomori Fuji apple on the table.  At one level this causes salivation in anticipation of enjoying the food.  At another level I might think of inviting others to share as is the custom in Aomori.  At a still more abstract level I might want to make some skewered chicken on the hibachi to make the party more authentic.  


At what point does the cause, seeing the apple, lose contact with the effect of a Japanese party.  And why do very few people seeing an Aomori Fuji on a table end up at a Japanese party if all is cause and effect?


May 19, 2010 -- 9:25PM, Blü wrote:

How do you say this extra ingredient works other than by cause&effect?  How exactly can it free you from being 'automated'?


The answer is, either it'll be random and arbitrary, which is one kind of freedom, though not an admirable one, or it'll be cause&effect just like your brain.  There's no third way.


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5 years ago  ::  May 23, 2010 - 6:43PM #358
williejhonlo
Posts: 3,882

May 23, 2010 -- 1:20AM, Blü wrote:


Willie


This just confirms that a brain scan is inadequate to explain everything about you.


MRI imaging is recent technology.  It adds to our data on brain function.  The more we learn, the less we see any sign of a supernatural ingredient in humans.  In future our technology will be still better, and our descriptions and explanations of brain function will be much more extensive than at present. I understand this, but still somethings about us can only be known if we let it known. There's a level of deception in us all.



The brain may be flexible like that but we tend to grow from lifes bitter experiences.


You think so?  I learn from my mistakes.  Trial and error is the history of mankind. Yes, this is exactly what i mean when i said we tend to grow from lifes bitter experiences. Wisdom comes from experience, it doesn't come from genes or neurons. Wisdom can't be expressed in mathematical language.





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5 years ago  ::  May 23, 2010 - 9:59PM #359
Blü
Posts: 25,176

Willie


somethings about us can only be known if we let it known. There's a level of deception in us all.


That's hardly relevant to the question of dualism.



Wisdom comes from experience, it doesn't come from genes or neurons. Wisdom can't be expressed in mathematical language.


Wisdom is emotional.  That's why there are many different wisdoms, and why X rejects Y's guru and finds his own.

However, research is identifying genetic tendencies in humans that give further insights into our nature and the way our needs and expectations give rise to certain kinds of wisdom.


 

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5 years ago  ::  May 23, 2010 - 10:06PM #360
Blü
Posts: 25,176

J'Carlin


The third way is the interplay  of the interpretations of stimuli by the brain, including the creation  of symbolic representations of stimuli that can be further processed by  the brain independently from the stimuli that generated them.


No, that's not a third way, because it's made up of purely physical ingredients, and they're either cause&effect or random.


 


At what point does the cause, seeing the  apple, lose contact with the effect of a Japanese party.  And why do  very few people seeing an Aomori Fuji on a table end up at a Japanese  party if all is cause and effect?


This is a macro view of causes and effects, the interaction of modules and processes of the brain, including those that resolve conflicting priorities.  Those interactions will continue to be investigated for a long time.  Meanwhile, like a computer but more complex because analog, the brain's operations, including those processes, are either cause&effect or random.



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