Enlightened self-interest is wisdom. Everything has a cost and you will have to pay in one way or another. If you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t, I feel it’s better to do what you will and accept the consequences.
Can we say that ‘mind’ is just another word for ‘brain‘? I would debate that myself. I would say mind would be more akin to the morphogenetic field, and the body including the brain more of a mechanism and memory storage device. This is perhaps why the mind-body connection seems so mysterious. If you must anchor it to organic function then it is perhaps a hyper function, because most try to see it in the organic function as a product of the quantum mechanism that lets humans exist anyway.
How can I subscribe to a Cartesian view of the world, to the mind-body problem, to the belief that non-physical substances exist? How am I to experience these substances and know they exist? I haven’t supported the notion of non physical. I see the world as one world, and data seems to be preserved by the very force it’s encoded on. Thus the speculation that we could encode a mind on a machine. By what mechanism, what organic function do you form an opinion? In what way are opinions even relevant to the mechanistic existence? It could be that any paranormal experience is merely the by-product of an elaborate chain of stimulus and response. In that way then, why is it even remotely coherent?
There is no part of me that makes an opinion or judgment? Then this ‘no part’ is immaterial? Obviously there is some ordered process, and neuro-chemical messages don’t seem to explain it. Then what? If any behaviour is as Skinner advanced; An elaborate system of stimulus and response, and the brain a meaningless black box to contain these, unlinked in any way to external reality in any meaningful sense… Then where in understanding this box do we account for variances in behaviour that are counter indicated in that persons experience? Teleology is no longer in vogue.
Simply put, if everything can be explained in a material sense, then how can we draw conclusions that lead to new scientific theories? How could someone behave in a non behaviouristic way? Why is abstract computation possible at all? Some say that if those theories conform to our ideas of the universe in the “material sense” then it shouldn’t be a problem. Our material theories have holes, big ones that are just dismissed.
The use of numbers to explain existence for example. Much of science is language that doesn’t explain direct experience thus deviating from their own paradigm. They disparage any metaphysics all the while creating their own metaphysics. Wave particle duality, quantum mechanics, bio-chemical medicine, genetic theory, even Newtonian physics is rather full of holes. If Newton was right a superconductor should be impossible.
Let’s take a step back. Forget the theories, forget numbers, let’s talk about what we’re certain of, and what it means to be certain of anything. We are certain of personal experience, yet a materialistic view denies it. We can’t pursue science unless you can trust observation, and if that’s a completely subjective realm then how did it arise at all? How is it that we don’t dictate whether we have eyes to see?
I assume you have all seen the movie ‘The Matrix‘? Consider this then, you say that you are certain of your personal experiences. Can you be certain that you are not simply a brain in a vat, hooked up to a supercomputer which tells you that you are certain of your experiences? Function doesn’t deviate. The brain in the vat is still functioning according to its nature (save sustaining too much damage), but what is it we are certain of? No matter what the supercomputer tells us to “experience” we do know that we exist, even if the experiences are not real ones. You can go ahead and accept the fact that you are a brain in a vat, but that just reinforces your existence. As a matter of fact this reinforces my theme. The brain operates according to its nature, which isn’t wholly heuristic. The reality we experience is part and parcel of our own natures. Much as ‘The Matrix’ illustrated, the brain can be deceived and we do that to ourselves routinely.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.