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Passions in Poetry

Is the brain the seat of the mind?

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Kitherion
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0 posted 05-03-2007 04:10 AM       View Profile for Kitherion   Email Kitherion   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kitherion


Sorry to be a bother again, but, I had the most interesting discussion with an evolutionist: he believed that the brain is the seat of the mind... I agree with him in some respects, however, is it possible that the soul too plays an important part? or is it just the influx of neurotransmitters that make uo the concious mind???

P.S : Love Me
Drauntz
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1 posted 05-03-2007 10:34 AM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

very good question.
and I love you.

yes the brain is programmed for the thinking an d judgement and memory function.
those neurons and other cells and many other.
Essorant
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2 posted 05-03-2007 03:26 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Poetically speaking, it may be said to be the "seat"  But literally the brain really is the brain of the mind.
Local Rebel
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3 posted 05-03-2007 11:34 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

If you've ever watched someone die, slowly, as thier brain is being affected by a pathogen -- and recognize that they are no longer the person that you knew -- I think you'd have the answer to that question.

Considering the fact that I could 'hear' a woman's blouse and that it 'tasted' sort of like white chocolate when I looked at it -- you might expand the question to the entire central nervous system -- there are, after all, several brains and a system of sensory devices that make up 'ourselves'.
Stephanos
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4 posted 05-04-2007 01:09 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

I think Kith might be asking whether the brain is all there is to our sentient existence ... not whether it plays a significant role in the here and now.  I for one am not ready to say that my profoundest thoughts feelings and loves are due only to molecular configurations.  


If you look at it from a strictly human perspective, no one no one can know either positively or negatively.  If you are willing to accept certain reports of history as true, and also divine testimony, and also respect the granted insight of the majority of our race (who have tenaciously believed in some kind of 'soul') then I think you might be able to get beyond the agnosticism, or the more faith-like claim of mechanics = you.


Stephen.  

"The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid. - G.K. Chesterton
Essorant
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5 posted 05-04-2007 01:34 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Isn't that to say there are spiritual mechanics too?  
Drauntz
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6 posted 05-04-2007 12:39 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

after a bottle of Vodka, the brain it there. The mind is gone or confused... The disconnection from its control center. Soul's work on a cunfused mind would bring tragic event.


Dream...the brain is there. The mind is there, only the mind is disconnected with all the tools.
Local Rebel
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7 posted 05-04-2007 04:41 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

What ya got against molecules Stephen?  I happen to be made of them.  

That which exists exists.  I'm perfectly willing to entertain the possibility that 'self' or personality, and 'brain' are not necessarily equavalent, since some brains can harbor multiple personalities -- in the same way that we looked at an AI program that yields multiple personalities based on differences in the sums of learned databases -- which can all be stored on one computer.

I'll even entertain that a brain may possibly be merely some sort of bio-chemical link to some source of intelligence that may lay outside of the space-time continuum that is within our realm of perception.

Now.  Proove it.
Stephanos
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8 posted 05-04-2007 10:25 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
Isn't that to say there are spiritual mechanics too?


Essorant,

I have no problem with saying that, only that there has to be something more than mere mechanics to qualify it as spiritual.  That's why any mechanics, even what is considered the most mundane, may be spiritual.


I still have a concern that while some may be willing to identify "self" beyond the brain, it will be a lateral move only ... amounting to only more variations of mechanism without teleology.  That's probably why AI can either convince someone that a machine may have a soul, or that he himself may not.  Either way, the result is the same.


Stephen.    
Drauntz
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9 posted 05-05-2007 12:44 AM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

what is mind?
Local Rebel
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10 posted 05-05-2007 05:46 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

What is the reason for 'brain' and 'soul' to be divorced?  How is it that mere molecules can affect the 'soul' of a person if the soul is an extrinsic entity?  If I drink a bottle of Jack Daniels does my soul get drunk?  

Why does the non-natural soul need the natural habitat of the human species?  Why can't it dwell equally in a two-by-four or a door-stop?  And, if it can -- then why have the species at all?  
Huan Yi
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11 posted 05-05-2007 07:06 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


I have a mind
in that I can imagine God
rolling his eyes


.
Stephanos
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12 posted 05-06-2007 03:36 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

LR:
quote:
What is the reason for 'brain' and 'soul' to be divorced?


More like married than divorced.  And yet despite its oneness or harmony, marriage still requires functional separateness.  

And yes, we're talking figuratively, and all metaphors are limited, even if helpful.

quote:
How is it that mere molecules can affect the 'soul' of a person if the soul is an extrinsic entity?


What do you mean by extrinsic?  Who ever said the soul was hermetically sealed or completely separate from our physical organism?  Not I.  

Distinction and Union coexisting is not that difficult to imagine, especially seeing that there are instances of it all around us.  Just think of the relationship between human body parts which affect each other, and yet maintain a kind of separation.  

Again, metaphors ... limited but helpful.


quote:
If I drink a bottle of Jack Daniels does my soul get drunk?


I'm not sure what you mean.  I suspect you're just attempting a reductio ad absurdum.  But if we have a soul and a brain, there's no need to assume that their nature is identical.  The opposite error is to assume that they have no relationship at all.


If you put gasoline in your car, do your wheels catch on fire?  


Separate, yet intimately related.


quote:
Why does the non-natural soul need the natural habitat of the human species?  Why can't it dwell equally in a two-by-four or a door-stop?  And, if it can -- then why have the species at all?


You are asking questions which involve teleology.  Such conditions defy logical necessity by their "Is-ness".  The relationship between a natural body, and a spiritual soul, is not one born out of need, but of design.  And if you think about it, many things fall under this category.  Why did my son think blue goes so well with yellow in his picture hanging on our fridge?  Why is the sky blue?  Why Why Why?


Or you may think of it this way.  Yes there is necessity, but it follows and is subservient to design.  In the design itself is an element of pure arbitrariness that can't be escaped.  (That much is true whether you believe in God, or atheistic evolution).  


G.K. Chesterton put it this way:


"There are certain sequences or developments (cases of one word following another), which are, in the true sense of the word reasonable. They are, in the true sense of the word, necessary. Such are mathematical and merely logical sequences. We in fairyland (who are the most reasonable of all creatures) admit that reason and that necessity. For example, if the Ugly Sisters are older than Cinderella, it is (in an iron and awful sense) necessary that Cinderella is younger than the Ugly Sisters. there is no getting out of it. Haeckel may talk as much fatalism about the fact as he pleases: it really must be. If Jack is the son of a miller, a miller is the father of Jack. Cold reason decrees it from her awful throne: and we in fairy land submit. If the three brothers all ride horses, there are six animals and eighteen legs involved: that is true rationalism, and faryland is full of it. But as I put my head over the hedge of the elves and began to take notice of the natural world, I observed an extraordinary thing. I observed that learned men in spectacles were talking of the actual things that happened- dawn and death and so on, as if they were rational and inevitable." (From "The Ethics of Elfland", Orthodoxy)


So, no there's no logical necessity of God conjoining a soul with a human body in creating someone who is more like himself than anything else in nature ... but there is a kind of artistic necessity involved in that he chose to do so.  Only after that fact, does it become an ontological necessity.


Stephen
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13 posted 05-07-2007 01:15 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

again

because you say...

Essorant
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14 posted 05-07-2007 10:38 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

No offence, but I find it a bit annoying when people respond like that, and rather contrary to philosophy and debate. Just like saying "it is just your opinion" " it is just your definition" etc.  I think it is a "cop out"

It doesn't argue anything about the rightness or wrongness, the virtue or vice, the truth or lie but just avoids adressing the point, by personalizing it to the other person saying or suggesting it as " only your.." "only what you..." meanwhile not being offered with any insight or argument for that point either.

Essorant
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15 posted 05-07-2007 10:39 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Sorry,  Please delete this if you can.  It posted my post twice.
oceanvu2
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16 posted 05-07-2007 08:10 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi!  Questions:  

1.  How is atheism related to Darwinism?

2.  Was Darwin an atheist or a reporter?  I thought he was a member of the Church of England....

3.  If you took "intelligent design" away from Darwin, what difference would it make?

4.  Is "intelligent design" a Western notion, not debated elsewhere?
oceanvu2
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17 posted 05-07-2007 08:14 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi Kitherion!  Re: "is it just the influx of neurotransmitters that make up the concious mind???"

Yes.

PS:  I really think you are a delight!

Jim
Drauntz
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18 posted 05-07-2007 09:06 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

oceanvu2 the questions

two different thing. one is a faith in spirit.
one is theory in nature.

two different things!
two different things!
oceanvu2
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19 posted 05-07-2007 09:19 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi Drauntz!  What is the difference between "faith in spirit and theory in nature."  Faith and theory both seem to be a tad abstruse.  

Jim

Stephanos
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20 posted 05-07-2007 09:38 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
1.  How is atheism related to Darwinism?

2.  Was Darwin an atheist or a reporter?  I thought he was a member of the Church of England....

3.  If you took "intelligent design" away from Darwin, what difference would it make?

4.  Is "intelligent design" a Western notion, not debated elsewhere?



Why not post these in a separate thread?  I think they would make for an interesting discussion.  It is however quite a bit off topic (though not unrelated) from the present one.  

Just a suggestion.


Stephen.
Drauntz
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21 posted 05-07-2007 09:45 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

yes, oceanvu2, why not a new topic?
I agree with Stephanos.
Kitherion
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22 posted 05-08-2007 12:37 AM       View Profile for Kitherion   Email Kitherion   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kitherion

Ocean... you should say that... (giggles coyly, and blushes.)

So, then, since we've had the debate on biological processes, and we've had the debate on conciousness, then: what about the brain controlling the mind, but, the mind being (if you'll excuse the pun ) a separate entity?

Love me

"Our Father who art in Heaven... Hallowed be thy name..."

Drauntz
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23 posted 05-08-2007 01:21 AM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Kitherion..
"what about the brain controlling the mind"

You see, the brain is the physical part of the car, the mind is the function of the car. Then here is the question for you, who is the driver?

as soon as a neuron forms, it starts automatic spiking...voltage forming and then discharge. out of control of ourselves.

mind, if we have one. are we have the same thing? or different? if there are the same, then what it the sameness...if they are different then how we group them( based on what, poetic or non-poetic? romantic or non-romantic? there are many ...probably based on the wiring....the wring of power line.

i lost my mind...need transmission oil or oil change.

Can we format our memory?
Local Rebel
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24 posted 05-08-2007 09:05 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Am I not entitled to my opinion Ess?  Everybody gets one but me?

Stephen is perfectly entitled to his opinions.  But without observable, testable, reproducable evidence -- it's only as good as anybody else's opinion -- therefore, merely because he says so.

He can appeal to antiquity -- but there is historically as much support for the position that the moon is made of green cheese.  

If he wants to say that 'soul' is to brain as hand is to foot -- then he's making a pretty strong argument that when you die your soul dies too.
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