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Defending the Christian Worlview, Creationism, and Intelligent Design » Philosophy and God » Dualism: The Mind is Not The Brain

Dualism: The Mind is Not The Brain

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1Dualism: The Mind is Not The Brain  Empty Dualism: The Mind is Not The Brain Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:46 pm

Otangelo


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Idealism, dualism, or materialism? The Mind is Not The Brain

https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t1662-dualism-the-mind-is-not-the-brain

Penfield: Mystery of the mind,  Critical Study of  Consciousness and the Human Brain, page 62: The mind may be a distinct and different essence.
I reconsider the present-day neurophysiological evidence on the basis of two hypotheses: (a) that man's being consists of one fundamental element and (b) that it consists of two.
Penfield: I conclude that there is no good evidence, in spite of new methods, such as the employment of stimulating electrodes, the study of conscious patients, and the  analysis of epileptic attacks, that the brain alone can
carry out the work that the mind does.

HANGED CONCEPTS OF BRAIN AND  CONSCIOUSNESS: SOME VALUE IMPLICATIONS  by Roger Sperry
Aditional reductive materialist interpretations emphasizing causal control from below upward are replaced by revised concepts that emphasize the reciprocal control exerted by higher emergent forces from above downward.
Conventional focus in  science on the role of material, mass-energy components in determining the nature of man and the universe is countered by an increased  emphasis on the crucial causal role played by the nonmaterial space-time, pattern, or form factors.
The molecules and atoms of our world are seen to be moved (their  space-time trajectories determined) not so much by atomic and molecular forces, as long predicated in science, nor by quantum mechanics,  but rather by higher-level forces that are not reducible in principle to the fundamental forces of physics
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-9744.1985.tb00577.x

Near death experiences in cardiac arrest: visions of a dying brain or visions of a new science of consciousness 2002 Jan
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11801343/
Interestingly, there are a small proportion of cardiac arrest survivors who have reported being conscious and aware of events during resuscitation and have recalled ‘seeing’ specific details that would not have been known to them. These experiences have been recalled, while cerebral function has, through many studies, been shown to be severely compromised and electrical activity in both the cerebral cortex and the deeper structures of the brain have been shown to be absent. From a scientific point of view, the occurrence of these experiences would therefore seem highly improbable and paradoxical. However, the fact that they do occur, raises some questions regarding our current views on the nature of human consciousness and its relationship with the brain. Editorials in recent years, including some in ‘Scientific American’ and ‘Nature Neuroscience’, have highlighted the difficulties faced by cognitive neuroscience in attempting to answer questions regarding the nature and the mechanism by which subjective experiences and sense of consciousness may arise through cellular processes. Traditionally, it has been argued that thoughts or consciousness; are produced by the interaction of large groups of neurons or neural networks. Evidence for this view has come from the clinical observation that specific changes in function such as personality or memory are associated with specific cerebral lesions such as those that occur after head injury. This is further supported by the results of cerebral localization studies using functional MRI and PET scanning, in which specific areas of the brain have been shown to become metabolically active in response to a thought or feeling. However, those studies, although providing evidence for the role of neuronal networks as an intermediary for the manifestation of thoughts, do not necessarily imply that those cells also produce the thoughts. Although, undoubtedly complex these networks nevertheless are composed of individual neurons connected via synapses and various neurotransmitters that lead to the generation of action potentials across the cell membrane. With our current scientific understanding a neurobiological mechanism to explain how cerebral chemical and electrical processes may lead to subjective experiences has yet to be discovered. Direct evidence of how neurons or neural circuits can produce the subjective essence of the mind and thoughts is currently lacking and provides one of the biggest challenges to neuroscience. Alternative scientific views for the causation of consciousness and subjective phenomenon have, therefore, been proposed. These range from the view that consciousness may arise from ‘quantum’ processes within neuronal microtubule, to consciousness being a form of ‘morphic resonance’ or the possibility that the mind or consciousness may actually be a fundamental scientific entity in its own right irreducible to anything more basic. This concept has been proposed to be similar to the discovery of electromagnetic phenomenon in the 19th century, or quantum mechanics in the 20th century, both of which were inexplicable in terms of previously known principles and were introduced as fundamental entities in their own right. An extension of this has been the view that contrary to popular perception, what has traditionally been perceived as spirituality, is therefore also an objective branch of knowledge with its own laws, theorems and axioms. If the occurrence of NDEs during a cardiac arrest, when the mind (the collection of all our thoughts, feelings, and emotions) and consciousness (self-awareness) appear to continue at a time when the brain is non-functional and clinical criteria of death have been reached, can be proven objectively through large studies, then this will lend some support to this view. Although at present, this remains a mere possibility, if investigated through appropriate studies it may have significant implications not only for medicine but also for society as a whole. Such studies are currently possible, and it has been proposed to test the claims of ‘consciousness’ and being able to ‘see’ during cardiac arrest objectively by use of hidden targets that are only visible from a vantage point above. Although, at first these suggestions may sound rather unconventional. the study of consciousness has itself for many years been thought of as unconventional but has now become a significant point of debate in neuroscience. Therefore, a new way of thinking may be needed to provide an insight into understanding this intriguing, yet largely undiscovered area of science.

It will never suddenly start to think about calculus

1. Minds are composed of intentional states
2. Intentional states are normative states that create the possibilities of failure
3. Good or bad are not natural states

Argument from consciousness 
1. Consciousness englobes the mind, "qualia", intellectual activity, calculating, thinking, forming abstract ideas, imagination, introspection, cognition, memories, awareness, experiencing, intentions, free volition, free creation, invention, generation of  information. It classifies, recognizes and judges behavior, good and evil. It is aware of beauty, and feels sensations and emotions.
2.  Hard objects are never observed spontaneously to transform themselves into abstract ideas.  To ascribe to the electrons in our brain the property to generate consciousness, and not to ascribe the same property to the electrons moving in a bulb, is in contradiction with quantum physics, which establishes that all electrons are equal and indistinguishable, that is they have all exactly the same properties. The mind is to the brain what a pianist is to a piano. The former (the pianist) is not reducible to the latter (the piano).
3. Those are all fundamental discrete indivisible non-quantifiable qualities of substance, which has a different identity from hard physical objects, matter and space. It is immaterial   Perception, understanding, and evaluation of things adds a quality beyond and absent from natural physical matter and states, and can, therefore, not be reduced to known physical principles.The mind cannot be an emergent property of the brain. Existing fundamentals—space, time, mass, charge can’t explain consciousness, which itself is something fundamental, and essentially different than physical things.Therefore, dualism is true, and since the universe had a beginning, the mind precedes and exists beyond the universe. That mind is God.

Paul Davies: THE MIND OF GOD The Scientific Basis for a Rational Word: I have come to the point of view that mind conscious awareness of the world is not a meaningless and accidental quirk of nature, but an absolutely fundamental facet of reality.

Consciousness is a fundamental feature of reality.

An atom, a group of atoms, a chemical element, a rock, a molecule, a biomolecule, left on its own, will act and behave according to the forces, and laws of nature. A cell will act based on the genetic and epigenetic program it was encoded for. It has sensitivity and responds to the environment, reproduces, grows and develops, regulates itself, and generates and processes energy. A single neuron processes information like a computer. A group of neurons can interact with each other and process more information. But it will never start doing something fundamentally different, which is to become self-conscious, rational, starting to have volition, foresight, memories, imagination, pain, and happiness. Claiming that a single neuron cannot be conscious, but a group of neurons can suddenly start being so, is a fallacy of composition. Consciousness is itself is something fundamental, and essentially different than physical things. The Self is unique, singular, irreducible, fundamental, indivisible, not bound to physical laws, a supernatural spiritual creation.

John C. Eccles: “Since materialist solutions fail to account for our experienced uniqueness, I am constrained to attribute the uniqueness of the Self or Soul to a supernatural spiritual creation.”(Eccles 1989).

The idea that matter, somehow, by evolutionary processes, can become conscious, is absurd.

If you convert the idea to a sentence to communicate (as I do here) or to remember it, that sentence may be physical, yet is dependent upon the non-physical idea, which is in no way dependent upon it.

Mind is a set of Cognitive faculties including consciousness, perception, thinking, judgment, and memory. The mind is the faculty of a human being's reasoning and thoughts. It holds the power of imaginationrecognition, and appreciation, and is responsible for processing feelings and emotions, resulting in attitudes and actions. Signals.

Either my intelligence is the product of far higher intelligence or no intelligence at all. If my intelligence came from no intelligence, but by evolution, then why should I trust my thoughts? 

Non-logic produce logic?
Non-intelligence produce intelligence?
Non-language produce language?
Non-consciousness produce consciousness?
Non-imagination produce imagination?
Non-thinking create thinking?
No thoughts create thoughts?
No feelings create feelings?
No awareness of beauty create awareness of beauty?
No emotions create emotions?

If the mind and consciousness are a product of the brain and neurons, then why is the heart, which has its own 'little brain', called the intracardiac nervous system (ICN), which monitors and corrects any local disturbances in communication, not conscious as well?
https://phys.org/news/2020-05-d-heart-neurons.html
 
Living in a universe without god reduces the mind to mere electric discharges in the tissue of the brain. Molecules in motion, so to speak. Molecules act exclusively in a lawful cause-and-effect- relation. So, humans must be input-reaction-automaton. Thinking, therefore, is just the result of physical behavior. Molecules in motion also do not generate or identify truth, so everything one could possibly express is just one's opinion dictated by molecules in motion.

If the entire universe is bound to the laws of physics, and all that is physical behaves according to these laws - and so our brain, which is made of physical stuff, and the mind is a product of the brain, then:  to what physical law is the mind bound? what law does it obey?


If consciousness arises from the brain, why do people whose brains have been split in half (due to otherwise untreatable epilepsy) function surprisingly well, as do people with only half a brain?
https://mindmatters.ai/2020/10/human-mouse-and-fly-brains-all-use-the-same-basic-mechanisms/?fbclid=IwAR2G87dgR4M-KG6pYiCQRAIqdc1O8BT4EMT81E7TJtNI0o0ADHFHUSz1LdU

The Mind is Not The Brain 

The Law of identity states that each thing is identical to itself. Every neuron processes and transmits information to other cells through electrical and chemical signals. Animal brains perform the same algorithms like humans but require no consciousness, memory, will, intentions, thinking, judgment, thoughts, imagination, recognition, and appreciation, resulting in attitudes and actions.

It is nothing but sets of electrons, protons, and neutrons, in a given spatial arrangement; the electromagnetic interaction may, in fact, be attractive so that particles may attract one another and form certain geometrical arrangements in the space. Fundamental properties do not generate new properties emerging from the interaction between them. That's a fallacy of composition. The addition of more neurons does not cause them to start interacting by valuing things creating intentions and will, nor philosophical societies. Its a category error. It does not matter if there are a few, or billions of neurons interacting with each other. The human heart possesses a heart-brain composed of about 40,000 neurons. Why is our heart not conscious? 

When one tries to limit mental activity to the physical processes that I believe produce the mental activity but isn't the mental activity itself, it is the same as trying to say that a movie is merely the shining of a light through a celluloid strip. You can't capture the movie at all by looking at light shining through celluloid, which shows that a physicalistic explanation of what a movie amounts to falls far short of what the movie really is. The perception, understanding, and evaluation of the story adds a quality beyond, which is more than just the physical projection of the movie. 

Neurons perform physical functions resulting in behavior and reactions, but those physical functions are accompanied by consciousness for that we need something accompanied by an extra ingredient in the picture. Consciousness or qualia, this amazing inner movie which is another substance or entity, is fundamental. 

How should and could the inanimate convert into the animate? How can consciousness come from mindless swirling electrons and atoms? These are impossibilities, pure and simple. The origin of consciousness is only understood and makes sense as soon as it’s accepted that the foundation and cause of the universe, in its most basic aspect, is a conscious eternal living intelligent spirit, and not dead matter, minded, and not mindless. The ontology goes from a conscious eternal mind, to use mathematics, to create the physical laws governing the universe, physics, chemistry, biology, and as a crown of all creation: us.

Marco Biagini Ph.D. in Solid State Physics
The claim that the electric impulses in our brain are or generate sensations and thoughts, is in contradiction with the laws of physics that consider equivalent all-electric impulses, inside or outside our brain. In fact, an electric impulse is formed only by some electrons moving in a certain direction; according to the laws of physics, electrons are all equal and indistinguishable, and they are always moving in every material or electric circuits. To ascribe to the electrons in our brain the property to generate consciousness, and not to ascribe the same property to the electrons moving in a bulb, is in contradiction with quantum physics, which establishes that all electrons are equal and indistinguishable, that is they have all exactly the same properties.

Every electron is identical to every other electron. They all have the same mass, the same electric charge, and the same spin.

Now we know that our brain is only a set of particles, such as electrons and protons, interacting through the electromagnetic field. Every biological process is due only to the chemical reactions, which in their turn, are due only to the electromagnetic interaction among the electrons and the protons of the atoms forming our organism. Every neuron and every cell are nothing but sets of electrons, protons and neutrons, in a given spatial arrangement; the electromagnetic interaction may, in fact, be attractive so that particles may attract one another and form certain geometrical arrangements in the space. The properties of every (including also DNA molecules) and every biological process are due only to the laws of physics; more precisely, since in our organism no nuclear reactions occur and gravitational forces are too weak to interfere with molecular processes, every biological process is due uniquely to the laws of quantum electrodynamics. Science has proved that all chemical, biological and cerebral processes consist only in some successions of elementary physical processes, determined in their turn only by the laws of quantum mechanics. Such a view of biological processes does not allow to account for the existence of consciousness; so, materialism is incompatible with science.

Paul Davies: From Matter to Life
Our phenomenal experiences are the only aspect of consciousness that cannot, even in principle, be reduced to known physical principles. This is the “hard problem of consciousness.” Consciousness is an irreducible, fundamental property of mind, with its own laws and principles.

What about the analogy of the brain as an antenna? If you modify, manipulate, or damage a receiver, like a TV antenna, for example, you change the reception. But the signal, in this case, exists independently and externally from the antenna. Receiving a signal is what a healthy antenna does, but only when there is an independent, external signal to be received. The fact that changing the antenna changes how well the signal is received does not imply that antennae are responsible for the signals they detect.

https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t1662-dualism-the-mind-is-not-the-brain


MICHAEL EGNOR, “SCIENCE AND THE SOUL” AT THE PLOUGH
The brain can be cut in half, but the intellect and will cannot. The intellect and will are metaphysically simple.
https://mindmatters.ai/2019/07/four-researchers-whose-work-sheds-light-on-the-reality-of-the-mind/#1

"It’s sobering to note that neuroscience has utterly failed to explain how the brain and mind relate. It is as if cosmology had failed to tell us anything meaningful about the universe; or medical science failed to tell us anything about health and disease; or geology failed to tell us anything about rocks. Neuroscience has told us nothing— nothing—about how the brain gives rise to the mind. The Hard Problem (of consciousness), after two centuries of neuroscience and a vast trove of data, remains utterly unsolved."
- Michael R. Egnor, MD, Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics at State University of New York, Stony Brook
https://mindmatters.ai/2020/05/neuroscience-cant-dismiss-near-death-experiences/?fbclid=IwAR1JQ_qld8RC5hOLx6Zli2mfYIiIQ0Yk4TeUyqJysNIElZ9D2UDT-LjMY88

Mental is involving the mind or an intellectual processBehavior - Psychology.


Why should merely changing the position of physical objects like electrons cause the emergence of an apparently completely unconnected phenomenon: the feeling of consciousness?

Flowering plants of the genus Musa will always only generate Bananas. Citrus species will always only produce citrus fruits like Orange, lemon etc.
Only an intelligent mind, capable of logical reasoning, is an adequate cause to create other minds able to reason. If we as humans possess the capability to intellectually understand and to know, then the cause must have the same or better capabilities of the same sort.
Arguing that matter can produce a mind, consciousness, intelligence, and the capability of logical reasoning is special pleading.

Read and repeat in your mind: " Saying that matter produces thoughts is as saying that the color blue produces the smell of perfume channel ".  That thought of yours is not in its essence of material causation, but mental. It's not because some electrons fired in some special way in your neurons, that you had this thought. That's an error of category. It's actually the contrary. Your thoughts had a material consequence in your neurons.  Therefore, the supernatural realm exists. And is right amongst us. Our mind and thoughts are in their essence not a manifestation of matter, but of a supernatural realm.

The Mind is Not The Brain
https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t1662-the-mind-is-not-the-brain

Near Death experience , evidence of dualism
https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t1284-near-death-experience-evidence-of-dualism

Mind and brain: A scientific discussion leading to the existence of the soul
https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t2798-mind-and-brain-a-scientific-discussion-leading-to-the-existence-of-the-soul

The universe: Caused by a Conscient creator, information and energy
https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t2061p100-my-articles#6037

In the past, atheists suggested that the mind is nothing more than a function of the brain, which is matter; thus the mind and the brain are the same, and matter is all that exists. However, that viewpoint no longer is credible scientifically, due in large part to the experiments of the renowned Australian physiologist Sir John Eccles. Dr. Eccles, who won the Nobel Prize for his discoveries regarding how certain portions (known as “neural synapses”) of the brain work, documented that the mind is more than merely physical. He showed that the supplementary motor area of the brain may be fired by mere intention to do something, without the motor cortex (which controls muscle movements) operating. In effect, the mind is to the brain what a librarian is to a library. The former (the librarian) is not reducible to the latter (the library). Eccles explained his scientific methodology and his conclusions in The Self and Its Brain, a book he co-authored with the eminent British philosopher of science, Sir Karl Popper.
http://apologeticspress.org/pdfs/courses_pdf/hsc0102.pdf

Einstein's Gulf: Can Evolution cross it? by John Oller, Ph.d
https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t1283-einstein-s-gulf

The mind cannot emerge from matter

Albert Einstein, undoubtedly one of the greatest scientists of all time, described the "gulf' that logically separates the concrete world of hard objects on the one hand from the abstract world of ideas on the other. He wrote: We have the habit of combining certain concepts and conceptual relations (propositions) so definitely with certain sense experiences that we do not become conscious of the gulf-logically unbridgeable which separates the world of sensory experiences from the world of concepts and propositions

On the one side, we find the real world of objects, events, and tensional spacetime relations. On the other side, we find fully abstract representations that contain information about the material world. That articulate information is abstracted first by our senses, secondarily by our bodily actions, and tertiarily by our ability to use one or more particular languages . Between the two realms we find what appears to be an uncrossable gulf.

A small part of the materialists problem is that hard objects are never observed spontaneously to transform themselves (on their own recognizance) into abstract ideas.

Albert Einstein, “Remarks on Bertrand Russell’s Theory of Knowledge,” The Philosophy of Bertrand Russell, Vol. 5 of The Library of Living Philosophers, editor Paul Arthur Schilpp (LaSalle, Illinois, Open Court, 1944), p. 289.

I am convinced that ... the concepts which arise in our thought and in our linguistic expressions are all—when viewed logically—the free creations of thought which cannot inductively be gained from sense experiences. ... we have the habit of combining certain concepts and conceptual relations (propositions) so definitely with certain sense experiences that we do not become conscious of the gulf—logically unbridgeable—which separates the world of sensory experiences from the world of concepts and propositions




You can know for sure just with a moment's reflection that your brain is not your soul.

The headline in the article says, "A memory is nothing more than a few thousand brain cells firing in a particular pattern." In other words, they are saying that a memory is identical with brain cells firing in a pattern. It is not correlated with a mind state such that the brain cells firing causes your mind or soul to have a memory. It is saying that that's all it is.

That's like saying that a movie is nothing more than light shining through a piece of celluloid. A movie requires light shining through a piece of celluloid and then you can see it projected on the screen. But to say that it is nothing more than that misses something very obvious. Did you ever go upstairs in a movie theater and look through the window of the projection room? There is a big giant disc spinning, the celluloid goes through an apparatus, and there is hot light.

Now, what if I were to tell you that that is the movie right there. The movie is the physical action that I can see happening. You'd think that was ridiculous. A movie is much more than the physical mechanism, the machinery with the celluloid passing through it with a sharp, bright light behind it. Rather, the movie is the image that is being projected on the screen, and it's even more than just an image. There is a story, dialogue, characterization. There are all these other things that go beyond just the physical representation.

When one tries to limit mental activity to the physical processes that I believe produce the mental activity, but isn't the mental activity itself, it is the same as trying to say that a movie is merely the shining of a light through a celluloid strip. You can't capture the movie at all by looking at light shining through celluloid, which shows that a physicalistic explanation of what a movie amounts to falls far short of what the movie really is. What's more, if you look at the light on the celluloid, you will never, ever even see the movie.

11-year-old conjoined twins have a connected brain, see through each others’ eyes, but have separate minds - November 6, 2017
Excerpt: Krista and Tatiana Hogan share the senses of touch and taste and even control one another’s limbs. Tatiana can see out of both of Krista’s eyes, while Krista can only see out of one of Tatiana’s.
Tatiana controls three arms and a leg, while Krista controls three legs and an arm. They can also switch to self-control of their limbs.
(But their personalities are not conjoined; indeed, they are typical for twins):
The girls have very different personalities. Tatiana is outgoing, talkative and high strung while Krista is quieter, more relaxed and loves to tell jokes.
https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/11-year-old-conjoined-twins-have-a-connected-brain-see-through-each-others-eyes-but-have-separate-minds/


Blue Brain Project – Brain Waves Simulation – video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qTuZlMvFgY

Although, as the preceding video shows, descriptions of what is happening in the brain can be quite elaborate, in regards to consciousness, the ‘hard problem’ of consciousness is never honestly addressed in these elaborate models of brain activity. This following neuroscientist agrees that the 'how' of consciousness is never properly addressed:

Consciousness: What are some concise ways to convince people that consciousness is not an emergent property?
Excerpt: First off, “emergent property” is one of those hand-wavey terms people like to throw around without much substance behind it. A basic definition is something like complex properties that results from the interaction of simple behaviors.
That doesn’t actually answer the how of consciousness particularly well by itself.,,,
How do you explain the subjective experience of “redness”, let’s say. Saying simply that it’s the correlate of the neurophysiological response to certain rods and cones sensitive to certain light waves does not answer the question of why there is a gestalt qualitative experience of red.
- Marc Ettlinger, Research Neuroscientist, Department of Veterans Affairs
http://www.quora.com/Consciousness/What-are-some-concise-ways-to-convince-people-that-consciousness-is-not-an-emergent-property/answer/Marc-Ettlinger?srid=4tp&share=1

In other words, materialists/atheists, with their elaborate descriptions of what is happening in the brain, never really ever honestly address the 'hard' question(s) being asked about the brain:

Fallacies of Contemporary Neuroscience: “A Vast Collection of Answers, with No Memory of the Questions” – Michael Egnor – February 20, 2014
Excerpt: [Scruton:] Neuroenvy… consist[s] of a vast collection of answers, with no memory of the questions. And the answers are encased in neurononsense of the following kind:
‘The brains of social animals are wired to feel pleasure in the exercise of social dispositions such as grooming and co-operation, and to feel pain when shunned, scolded, or excluded. Neurochemicals such as vasopressin and oxytocin mediate pair-bonding, parent-offspring bonding, and probably also bonding to kith and kin…’ (Patricia Churchland).
As though we didn’t know already that people feel pleasure in grooming and co-operating, and as though it adds anything to say that their brains are ‘wired’ to this effect, or that ‘neurochemicals’ might possibly be involved in producing it. This is pseudoscience of the first order, and owes what scant plausibility it possesses to the fact that it simply repeats the matter that it fails to explain. It perfectly illustrates the prevailing academic disorder, which is the loss of questions.
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/02/fallacies_of_co082351.html

David Chalmers is semi-famous for getting the ‘hard problem’ of consciousness across to lay people in a very easy to understand manner:

David Chalmers on Consciousness (Philosophical Zombies and the Hard Problem) – video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK1Yo6VbRoo

a bit more in-depth look at the ‘hard problem’ is here:

The impossible Problem of Consciousness – video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FglKcWBKEu8

Here are a few more comments, from atheists, that agree with Chalmers on the insolubility of ‘hard problem’ of consciousness,,

Darwinian Psychologist David Barash Admits the Seeming Insolubility of Science’s “Hardest Problem”
Excerpt: ‘But the hard problem of consciousness is so hard that I can’t even imagine what kind of empirical findings would satisfactorily solve it. In fact, I don’t even know what kind of discovery would get us to first base, not to mention a home run.’
David Barash – Materialist/Atheist Darwinian Psychologist
- per UD News

“We have so much confidence in our materialist assumptions (which are assumptions, not facts) that something like free will is denied in principle. Maybe it doesn’t exist, but I don’t really know that. Either way, it doesn’t matter because if free will and consciousness are just an illusion, they are the most seamless illusions ever created. Film maker James Cameron wishes he had special effects that good.”
Matthew D. Lieberman – neuroscientist – materialist – UCLA professor

Mind and Cosmos – Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False – Thomas Nagel
Excerpt: If materialism cannot accommodate consciousness and other mind-related aspects of reality, then we must abandon a purely materialist understanding of nature in general, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology. Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history.
http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199919758.do

Here a Harvard neurosurgeon, who is now a former atheist who had a life changing Near Death Experience, comments on the ‘hard' problem:

The Science of Heaven by Dr. Eben Alexander – Nov. 18, 2012
Can consciousness exist when the body fails? One neurosurgeon says he has seen it firsthand—and takes on critics who vehemently disagree.
Excerpt: Many scientists who study consciousness would agree with me that, in fact, the hard problem of consciousness is probably the one question facing modern science that is arguably forever beyond our knowing, at least in terms of a physicalist model of how the brain might create consciousness. In fact, they would agree that the problem is so profound that we don’t even know how to phrase a scientific question addressing it. But if we must decide which produces which, modern physics is pushing us in precisely the opposite direction, suggesting that it is consciousness that is primary and matter secondary.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/11/18/the-science-of-heaven.html

Basically, Materialists/Atheists, when they proclaim that consciousness is merely an ‘emergent property’ of the brain, are, in essence, saying that consciousness is merely an illusion. But as Chalmers pointed out in his video via Rene Decartes (i.e. ‘I think therefore I am’), the fact that we are conscious is the most concrete thing we can know about reality. And as Decartes first elucidated, we can reasonably doubt everything else we perceive about reality, but the fact that we ourselves are conscious, within this reality we are trying to describe, is the one thing that we can doubt least about reality. In fact, if consciousness is held to be merely an illusion (merely ‘an emergent property’ of the brain), as atheists hold, then our ability to know anything else is real/true about reality is undermined from within by that presupposition (see Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism and Bruce Gordon on Boltzmann’s Brain). This ‘undermined from within’ epistemological failure inherent within the atheist’s materialistic worldview is reveled in a rather humorous fashion here:

The Confidence of Jerry Coyne – January 2014
Excerpt: Well and good. But then halfway through this peroration, we have as an aside the confession that yes, okay, it’s quite possible given materialist premises that “our sense of self is a neuronal illusion.” At which point the entire edifice suddenly looks terribly wobbly — because who, exactly, is doing all of this forging and shaping and purpose-creating if Jerry Coyne, as I understand him (and I assume he understands himself) quite possibly does not actually exist at all? The theme of his argument is the crucial importance of human agency under eliminative materialism, but if under materialist premises the actual agent is quite possibly a fiction, then who exactly is this I who “reads” and “learns” and “teaches,” and why in the universe’s name should my illusory self believe Coyne’s bold proclamation that his illusory self’s purposes are somehow “real” and worthy of devotion and pursuit? (Let alone that they’re morally significant: But more on that below.)
http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/06/the-confidence-of-jerry-coyne/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

William J Murray gets the basic point of the necessity of the ‘primacy of consciousness’ across more clearly than anyone else I’ve ever read:

“In any philosophy of reality that is not ultimately self-defeating or internally contradictory, mind – unlabeled as anything else, matter or spiritual – must be primary. What is “matter” and what is “conceptual” and what is “spiritual” can only be organized from mind. Mind controls what is perceived, how it is perceived, and how those percepts are labeled and organized. Mind must be postulated as the unobserved observer, the uncaused cause simply to avoid a self-negating, self-conflicting worldview. It is the necessary postulate of all necessary postulates, because nothing else can come first. To say anything else comes first requires mind to consider and argue that case and then believe it to be true, demonstrating that without mind, you could not believe that mind is not primary in the first place.”
- William J. Murray

William J Murray is in VERY good company in his reasoning:

“No, I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”
Max Planck (1858–1947), the originator of quantum theory, The Observer, London, January 25, 1931

“Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.”
(Schroedinger, Erwin. 1984. “General Scientific and Popular Papers,” in Collected Papers, Vol. 4. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences. Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden. p. 334.)

“It will remain remarkable, in whatever way our future concepts may develop, that the very study of the external world led to the scientific conclusion that the content of the consciousness is the ultimate universal reality” -
Eugene Wigner – (Remarks on the Mind-Body Question, Eugene Wigner, in Wheeler and Zurek, p.169) 1961 – received Nobel Prize in 1963 for ‘Quantum Symmetries’

Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007 (Leggett’s Inequality: Verified to 80 orders of magnitude)
http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/aspect.html

Although atheists have the impossible task of trying to ‘explain away’ the hard problem of consciousness, the Theist has a much easier task at hand. The Theist merely has to show that the mind is not the same thing as the brain. Here are a few simple ways to prove that the mind is not the same thing as the brain.

One simple way of demonstrating that the mind is not the brain comes from utilizing the ‘Law Of Identity’ to separate properties of mind from properties of brain:

Six reasons why you should believe in non-physical minds – podcast and summary (Law of Identity: 6 properties of mind that are not identical to properties of the brain, thus the mind is not the brain)
http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/six-reasons-why-you-should-believe-in-non-physical-minds/

The Mind and Materialist Superstition – Six “conditions of mind” that are irreconcilable with materialism: Michael Egnor, professor of neurosurgery at SUNY, Stony Brook
Excerpt: Intentionality,,, Qualia,,, Persistence of Self-Identity,,, Restricted Access,,, Incorrigibility,,, Free Will,,,
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2008/11/the_mind_and_materialist_super.html

Alvin Plantinga has a humorous way of getting this ‘Law of Identity’ point across:

Alvin Plantinga and the Modal Argument (for the existence of the mind/soul) – video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOTn_wRwDE0

Another simple way of proving the mind is not the brain is by utilizing Godel’s incompleteness theorem.

Alan Turing, who invented computers, infamously thought that his brain was merely a ‘Turing Machine’. This following poem teases the ‘merely a machine’ notion of Turing

Alan’s brain tells his mind, “Don’t you blow it.”
Listen up! (Even though it’s inchoate.)
“My claim’s neat and clean.
I’m a Turing Machine!”
… ‘Tis somewhat curious how he could know it.

Yet, in spite of Turing’s irrational belief, and although I don’t believe Turing ever actually admitted it, Alan Turing actually succeeded in extending Godel’s incompleteness to material computers, and thus undermining his own materialistic belief that he was merely a machine in the process. This point is illustrated in the following videos and quotes:

Alan Turing & Kurt Godel – Incompleteness Theorem and Human Intuition – video (with Gregory Chaitin)
http://www.metacafe.com/w/8516356
Quote from video: Turing recast incompleteness in terms of computers and showed that since they are logic machines, there would always be some problems they would never solve. A machine fed one of these problems would never stop (halting problem). And worse, Turing proved there was no way of telling beforehand which these problems were.”

The Limits Of Reason – Gregory Chaitin – 2006
Excerpt: “an infinite number of true mathematical theorems exist that cannot be proved from any finite system of axioms.”,,,
http://www.umcs.maine.edu/~chaitin/sciamer3.pdf

“Either mathematics is too big for the human mind or the human mind is more than a machine”
~ Kurt Godel

Gödel’s philosophical challenge (to Turing) – Wilfried Sieg – lecture video
(“The human mind infinitely surpasses any finite machine.”)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=je9ksvZ9Av4

It is also interesting to note that even though, as was shown in the Godel-Turing video, Alan Turing believed humans were merely machines, much like the computers he had envisioned, Turing failed to realize that his entire idea for computers came to him suddenly, ‘in a vision’ as he put it, thus confirming, in fairly dramatic fashion, Godel’s contention that humans had access to the ‘divine spark of intuition’. A divine spark which enables humans to transcend the limits he, and Godel, had found in the incompleteness theorem for computers, mathematics, (and even for all of material reality in general (Jaki)).

Of related note, the following paper gives the ‘secret’ away for defeating the infamous ‘Turing test’:

Algorithmic Information Theory, Free Will and the Turing Test – Douglas G. Robertson – 1999
Excerpt: Chaitin’s Algorithmic Information Theory shows that information is conserved under formal mathematical operations and, equivalently, under computer operations. This conservation law puts a new perspective on many familiar problems related to artificial intelligence. For example, the famous “Turing test” for artificial intelligence could be defeated by simply asking for a new axiom in mathematics. Human mathematicians are able to create axioms, but a computer program cannot do this without violating information conservation. Creating new axioms and free will are shown to be different aspects of the same phenomenon: the creation of new information.
“… no operation performed by a computer can create new information.”
http://cires.colorado.edu/~doug/philosophy/info8.pdf

I consider the preceding proofs (Law of Identity and Incompleteness) to be a pretty simple and solid 'logical' proofs for demonstrating that the mind is not the brain. On the emotional side, here is a touching proof that the mind is not the same thing as the brain

This following video, although the girl in the video was written off as hopelessly retarded by everyone who saw her, reveals that there was/is indeed a gentle intelligence, a “me”, a “soul’, within the girl that was/is trapped within her body. And that that “me” was/is unable to express herself properly to others because of her neurological disorder. Here is a short teaser for her book telling the struggle of her ‘miracle’ breakthrough to be enable her to communicate with the outside world:

Carly’s Café – Experience Autism Through Carly’s Eyes – video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmDGvquzn2k

Here is another 'touching' proof that the mind is not the brain.

Miracle Of Mind-Brain Recovery Following Hemispherectomies – Dr. Ben Carson – video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zBrY77mBNg

In other words, if the mind of a person were merely the brain, as materialists hold, then if half of a brain were removed then a ‘person’ should only be ‘half the person’, or at least somewhat less of a ‘person’, as they were before, but that is not the case. The ‘whole person’ stays intact even though the brain suffers severe impairment during a hemispherectomy:

Removing Half of Brain Improves Young Epileptics’ Lives:
Excerpt: “We are awed by the apparent retention of memory and by the retention of the child’s personality and sense of humor,” Dr. Eileen P. G. Vining; In further comment from the neuro-surgeons in the John Hopkins study: “Despite removal of one hemisphere, the intellect of all but one of the children seems either unchanged or improved. Intellect was only affected in the one child who had remained in a coma, vigil-like state, attributable to peri-operative complications.”
http://www.nytimes.com/1997/08/19/science/removing-half-of-brain-improves-young-epileptics-lives.html

Strange but True: When Half a Brain Is Better than a Whole One – May 2007
Excerpt: Most Hopkins hemispherectomy patients are five to 10 years old. Neurosurgeons have performed the operation on children as young as three months old. Astonishingly, memory and personality develop normally. ,,,
Another study found that children that underwent hemispherectomies often improved academically once their seizures stopped. “One was champion bowler of her class, one was chess champion of his state, and others are in college doing very nicely,” Freeman says.
Of course, the operation has its downside: “You can walk, run—some dance or skip—but you lose use of the hand opposite of the hemisphere that was removed. You have little function in that arm and vision on that side is lost,” Freeman says. Remarkably, few other impacts are seen. ,,,
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=strange-but-true-when-half-brain-better-than-whole

The preceding evidence from hemispherectomies is a rather dramatic, and convincing, confirmation for the ‘argument from divisibility’ for the soul:

Case for the Existence of the Soul – (Argument from Divisibility at 38:20 minute mark) – JP Moreland – video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWjkbNkMiMo&feature=player_detailpage#t=2299

Another rather dramatic proof that the mind is not the same thing as the brain has been from the studies of people who were born blind who have had Near Death Experience (NDE). Blind people who could see for the first time in their lives during their NDE. There simply is no rational explanation within the materialistic/atheistic framework for why this should happen, whereas, in the theistic framework, this is result expected:

Blind Woman Can See During Near Death Experience (NDE) – Pim von Lommel – video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKyQJDZuMHE

Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper (1997) conducted a study of 31 blind people, many of who reported vision during their Near Death Experiences (NDEs). 21 of these people had had an NDE while the remaining 10 had had an out-of-body experience (OBE), but no NDE. It was found that in the NDE sample, about half had been blind from birth. (of note: This ‘anomaly’ is also found for deaf people who can hear sound during their Near Death Experiences(NDEs).)
http://www.newdualism.org/nde-papers/Ring/Ring-Journal%20of%20Near-Death%20Studies_1997-16-101-147-1.pdf

“I was in a body, and the only way that I can describe it was a body of energy, or of light. And this body had a form. It had a head, it had arms and it had legs. And it was like it was made out of light. And it was everything that was me. All of my memories, my consciousness, everything.”,,, “And then this vehicle formed itself around me. Vehicle is the only thing, or tube, or something, but it was a mode of transportation that’s for sure! And it formed around me. And there was no one in it with me. I was in it alone. But I knew there were other people ahead of me and behind me. What they were doing I don’t know, but there were people ahead of me and people behind me, but I was alone in my particular conveyance. And I could see out of it. And it went at a tremendously, horrifically, rapid rate of speed. But it wasn’t unpleasant. It was beautiful in fact. I was reclining in this thing, I wasn’t sitting straight up, but I wasn’t lying down either. I was sitting back. And it was just so fast. I can’t even begin to tell you where it went or whatever it was just fast!” –
Vicky Noratuk’s NDE – Blind since birth – quote taken from the following video
Coast to Coast – Vicki’s Near Death Experience (Blind From Birth) part 1 of 3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e65KhcCS5-Y

Here are some ‘simple’ ways to empirically demonstrate, at home or school, that the mind is not the same thing as the brain:

Rupert Sheldrake invites you to participate in his ongoing research. No previous experience is necessary, and the online tests can be done immediately. Most of these experiments are suitable for use in schools and colleges, and some make an excellent basis for student projects.
http://www.sheldrake.org/Onlineexp/portal/index.html

Telephone Telepathy – video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDhhOT7SuD8

The Mind Is Not The Brain – Scientific Evidence – Rupert Sheldrake – video
https://vimeo.com/33479544/

Here is another way, though not quite as simple, to show that the mind is not the same thing as the brain.

An absolutely astonishing fact that seems to be completely lost on hard core Darwinists is that a single human brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth. Yet supercomputers with many switches have a huge problem dissipating heat,,,

Supercomputer architecture
Excerpt: Throughout the decades, the management of heat density has remained a key issue for most centralized supercomputers.[4][5][6] The large amount of heat generated by a system may also have other effects, such as reducing the lifetime of other system components.[7] There have been diverse approaches to heat management, from pumping Fluorinert through the system, to a hybrid liquid-air cooling system or air cooling with normal air conditioning temperatures.
per wikipedia

But the brain, though having more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth, does not have such a problem dissipating heat,,,

Appraising the brain’s energy budget:
Excerpt: In the average adult human, the brain represents about 2% of the body weight. Remarkably, despite its relatively small size, the brain accounts for about 20% of the oxygen and, hence, calories consumed by the body. This high rate of metabolism is remarkably constant despite widely varying mental and motoric activity. The metabolic activity of the brain is remarkably constant over time.
http://www.pnas.org/content/99/16/10237.full

THE EFFECT OF MENTAL ARITHMETIC ON CEREBRAL CIRCULATION AND METABOLISM
Excerpt: Although Lennox considered the performance of mental arithmetic as “mental work”, it is not immediately apparent what the nature of that work in the physical sense might be if, indeed, there be any. If no work or energy transformation is involved in the process of thought, then it is not surprising that cerebral oxygen consumption is unaltered during mental arithmetic.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC438861/pdf/jcinvest00624-0127.pdf

Does Thinking Really Hard Burn More Calories? – By Ferris Jabr – July 2012
Excerpt: So a typical adult human brain runs on around 12 watts—a fifth of the power required by a standard 60 watt lightbulb. Compared with most other organs, the brain is greedy; pitted against man-made electronics, it is astoundingly efficient.
-per Scientific American


And then, though not simple, there is the argument for God from consciousness in quantum mechanics. i.e. due to advances in quantum mechanics, the argument for God from consciousness can now be framed like this:

1. Consciousness either preceded all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

Four intersecting lines of experimental evidence from quantum mechanics that shows that consciousness precedes material reality (Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect):

The Galileo Affair and Life/Consciousness as the true “Center of the Universe”
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BHAcvrc913SgnPcDohwkPnN4kMJ9EDX-JJSkjc4AXmA/edit

Verse and Music:

Colossians 1:17
And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Evanescence – The Other Side (Lyric Video)
http://www.vevo.com/watch/evanescence/the-other-side-lyric-video/USWV41200024?source=instantsearch

https://web.facebook.com/not



Last edited by Otangelo on Tue Mar 16, 2021 3:46 pm; edited 67 times in total

https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com

2Dualism: The Mind is Not The Brain  Empty Re: Dualism: The Mind is Not The Brain Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:18 pm

Otangelo


Admin
Moreover, one source for the heat generated by computers, that is of primary concern for us, is caused by the erasure of information from the computer in logical operations,,,

Landauer’s principle
Of Note: “any logically irreversible manipulation of information, such as the erasure of a bit or the merging of two computation paths, must be accompanied by a corresponding entropy increase ,,, Specifically, each bit of lost information will lead to the release of an (specific) amount (at least kT ln 2) of heat.,,, Landauer’s Principle has also been used as the foundation for a new theory of dark energy, proposed by Gough (2008).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landauer%27s_principle

And any computer that has anything close to as many switches as the brain has, then this source of heat will become prohibitive for the computer:

Quantum physics behind computer temperature
Excerpt: It was the physicist Rolf Landauer who first worked out in 1961 that when data is deleted it is inevitable that energy will be released in the form of heat. This principle implies that when a certain number of arithmetical operations per second have been exceeded, the computer will produce so much heat that the heat is impossible to dissipate.,,,
,, the team believes that the critical threshold where Landauer’s erasure heat becomes important may be reached within the next 10 to 20 years.
http://cordis.europa.eu/search/index.cfm?fuseaction=news.document&N_RCN=33479

Thus the brain is either operating on reversible computation principles no computer can come close to emulating (Charles Bennett) (and memory would be ‘consumed’ in the process of reversible computation), or, as is much more likely, the brain is not erasing information from its memory as material computers are required to do because our memories are stored on a ‘spiritual’ level rather than on a material level,,, Extensive research lends support to this conclusion,,,

A Reply to Shermer Medical Evidence for NDEs (Near Death Experiences) – Pim van Lommel
Excerpt: For decades, extensive research has been done to localize memories (information) inside the brain, so far without success.,,,,So we need a functioning brain to receive our consciousness into our waking consciousness. And as soon as the function of brain has been lost, like in clinical death or in brain death, with iso-electricity on the EEG, memories and consciousness do still exist, but the reception ability is lost. People can experience their consciousness outside their body, with the possibility of perception out and above their body, with identity, and with heightened awareness, attention, well-structured thought processes, memories and emotions. And they also can experience their consciousness in a dimension where past, present and future exist at the same moment, without time and space, and can be experienced as soon as attention has been directed to it (life review and preview), and even sometimes they come in contact with the “fields of consciousness” of deceased relatives. And later they can experience their conscious return into their body.
http://www.nderf.org/NDERF/Research/vonlommel_skeptic_response.htm

The Mystery of Perception During Near Death Experiences – Pim van Lommel – video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avyUsPgIuQ0

To add more support to this view that ‘memory/information’ is not stored in the material brain, but on a higher ‘spiritual’ level, one of the most common features of extremely deep near death experiences is the ‘life review’ of a person where every minute detail of a person’s life is reviewed in the presence of God:

Life After Life – Raymond Moody – Near Death Experience – The Tunnel, The Light, The Life Review – video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z56u4wMxNlg


All Brain, No Mind

http://www.str.org/articles/all-brain-no-mind#.U8b1-PldXA0

i am not going to go into all the reasons right now why that is self- evident, but I am going to count on the fact that you have a self-conscious awareness of your own consciousness as something different from your physical body. I am going to give you some evidence why I think that that is true. But I guess I just want to say that that is just the most common sense approach to reality with regards to human beings. We just seem to know that to be the case.

Indeed, for those who believe differently, they have to be talked out of the obvious witness of their own self-reflection and their own experience. That is why I think that, as one philosopher put it, "the prevailing opinions in the science of mind are obviously false." You don't need to be a philosopher to figure this out. A few moments of reflection will do that. You don't need to be a scientist because you know something that a scientist couldn't possibly know.

Before I go any further, I want to make a recommendation to you. You really need to take about three hours of your time and read a book. It is not out of your reach, but you are going to have to go slowly and pay attention to what is being said. But once you do, you will never be up-ended about these kinds of articles again with regards to your faith and the nature of the soul and the brain. The book is entitled Immortality, The Other Side of Death , published by Thomas Nelson. The authors are J.P. Moreland and Gary Habermas. J.P. Moreland gives his defense of what is known in philosophy as substance dualism. It is the idea that not only do you have a substantial body, but you have a substantial soul. The two work together, but they are separate. You cannot reduce the soul and all mental activity to mere activity of the brain.

The rest of the book is excellent, as well.

If you feel intimidated in dealing with this issue because you are not a neurologist, I want to put your fears to rest because you know something that the scientists do not know. What the scientists know has to do with the brain. But my discussion now is not principally about the brain, it is about the mind. There is only one person who has access to your mind. You. No one else knows your thoughts. No one else knows your feelings. No one else knows what it is like to be you. Technically, it is called de se knowledge. In other words, you have entirely private, first-person access to your own consciousness.

If I develop that a little further, that in itself would be a good defense for the idea that the soul is not the body, that the mind is not the brain because the brain and all other physical objects have no first-person priority or privileged access. They all have third-person access. Anybody can look at any physical thing and have the same kind of access to it as anyone else. It's a different argument. I'm not going to go into it now.

The main point that I want to make is that you know some things about your own consciousness because you have first-person access. Just what you know, the limited amount that you happen to know, is enough to let you know that you are not the same as your brain.

I think Paul is even on to this in 1 Corinthians 2:11. He mentions essentially the same thing: "For who among men knows the thoughts of a man e is talking about spirit in the context of the soul. He is using it synonymously with the inner man.

An important distinction to understand is between identity and constant correlation. I mentioned earlier that I think the article makes a very powerful point. Certain physical states of the brain certainly influence the soul.

But in identifying this fact, the neurologists have drawn the mistaken conclusion that since certain states are correlated, certain brain states are correlated with your soulish functions--memory, thinking, choices, feelings-- and that means there is no self, there is no soul, there is just a brain state. That is a big mistake. I know that they are not the same thing.

You can know for sure just with a moment's reflection that your brain is not your soul.

The headline in the article says, "A memory is nothing more than a few thousand brain cells firing in a particular pattern." In other words, they are saying that a memory is identical with brain cells firing in a pattern. It is not correlated with a mind state such that the brain cells firing causes your mind or soul to have a memory. It is saying that that's all it is.

That's like saying that a movie is nothing more than light shining through a piece of celluloid. A movie requires light shining through a piece of celluloid and then you can see it projected on the screen. But to say that it is nothing more than that misses something very obvious. Did you ever go upstairs in a movie theater and look through the window of the projection room? There is a big giant disc spinning, the celluloid goes through an apparatus, and there is hot light.

Now, what if I were to tell you that that is the movie right there. The movie is the physical action that I can see happening. You'd think that was ridiculous. A movie is much more than the physical mechanism, the machinery with the celluloid passing through it with a sharp, bright light behind it. Rather, the movie is the image that is being projected on the screen, and it's even more than just an image. There is a story, dialogue, characterization. There are all these other things that go beyond just the physical representation.

When one tries to limit mental activity to the physical processes that I believe produce the mental activity, but isn't the mental activity itself, it is the same as trying to say that a movie is merely the shining of a light through a celluloid strip. You can't capture the movie at all by looking at light shining through celluloid, which shows that a physicalistic explanation of what a movie amounts to falls far short of what the movie really is. What's more, if you look at the light on the celluloid, you will never, ever even see the movie.

This is a very apt metaphor because of a statement made in the article. "Using sensitive electrodes inserted deep into the gray matter of test animals, researchers have watched vision as it percolates inward from the eye's retina to the inner brain." See what it says there? It says that the researchers have watched vision. It goes on to say, "Scientists watch a thought taking place. They can see the red glow of fear erupting from the structure known as the amygdala or note the tell-tale firing of neurons as a long-buried memory is reconstructed."

They say they can watch the thought, they can watch vision, but what are they actually seeing when they are watching that physical activity? They are watching the retina and the inner brain respond, but they are not seeing what the test animal sees? They are not watching vision. In other words, they are not watching the movie, they are watching the celluloid go past the light.

When they say they watch a thought taking place because they can see the red glow of fear erupting from a structure known as the amygdala, are they seeing a thought? No, they are seeing a part of the brain. When the doctors look at the brain, they can't see the thoughts, just like looking at the film in the celluloid, you can't see the movie. The scientists apparently can turn the projector on, but they can't see your movie no matter how many electrodes they have in your brain. Even in these scientific tests, you must have a viewer to know what the memory is. Can they put electrodes in my brain, stimulate a memory, and tell me what the memory is? No. Why? They cannot see the projection on the screen. Only I can see that on the inside.

If it was all physical, they should be able to see all the physical stuff, including the memory. But they can't see the memory. They can't see the projection. They can't see the movie. Why? The movie is not physical. It's these physical things that they watch that produces an image that occurs in my mind--an image that no one else can see. Why? All they can see are physical things and your mind is not physical.

There is a caption under a picture that says, "Mind probe. The pet scan. A key tool of brain research lets scientists watch mental processes as they happen." But what does it watch? It watches physical changes. It can't see your thoughts. It can't see your images, nor can it feel your feelings.

Think about your feelings for just a moment. A feeling is not just a chemical reaction. How do I know? Chemical reactions don't hurt, but feelings do. Feelings have a quality about them. What could be more obvious? As a matter of fact, it is so obvious that I feel silly even talking about it because you know this as well as I know this. Feelings have a particular texture to them that can't be captured in a chemical description. But someone in a white coat wants to tell you that you are not having a feeling, you're having a chemical reaction. And this one person told me, if it is just a chemical reaction, then why does it hurt so much?

C.S. Lewis wrote in God in the Dock , "It is disastrous when instead of merely attending to a rose, we are forced to think of ourselves looking at the rose with a certain type of mind and a certain type of eyes. It is disastrous because if you are not careful, the color of the rose gets attributed to our optic nerves and its scent to our noses and in the end, there is no rose left." Lewis is on to something here because if you follow this article to its logical conclusion, in the end there is no feeling left. There is no love, no pain, no compassion, no comfort, no beauty. There are no roses, no Mona Lisas, no Beethoven sonatas, no teenage puppy love. All that's left is chemical reactions, light waves and vibrating molecules. You know better, ladies and gentlemen, you know better.

The article is basically an assessment of the physical capabilities of the brain, which is fine. I think it is great to map out the brain. I think it is great to look at what the brain can do, and I think it is very helpful in many cases to see the correlation between brain activity and mental activity. My deep concern, though, is that this work on the brain by scientists and by science has an additional agenda behind it, much like the agenda that evolutionary science in its birth and subsequent development has had also. It wasn't just science that it was interested in. There were theological, philosophical, metaphysical aspects to it.

Darwin's attempt was to get God out of the picture with regards to the issues of origins, and I suspect that much of what is going on in neurology is an attempt to get rid of the mind so that all you have left is the brain. That's why even though all of this assessment is interesting and I think contributes greatly to our understanding of the relationship of the brain to the mind, there is certainly a tenor in this magazine article that is trying to give you the scientific explanation in order to argue that our belief that we exist as a center of consciousness, as a rational soul, is just simply mistaken.

Here's my final point on this issue. If the mind is reduced to the brain, pretty soon everything is lost. Feelings become chemical reactions, beautiful objects become light waves, beautiful music is reduced to vibrating molecules. Where did the music go? Where did the beauty go? Where did the feeling go? It's all gone. It ought to be obvious to us that this reduction is insane. It can't be made. It isn't valid. It's misleading.

Of course I think you know better than to accept this, but you may be intimidated by scientists in white coats telling you that you aren't really feeling love, you're just having a chemical reaction. You're not really seeing something beautiful, this is just light of various wave lengths. You're not really hearing something wonderful, it is just vibrating molecules.

But there is a deeper problem. If consciousness is just a property created by the brain, then when you make a decision who or what does the deciding? If consciousness is a mere effect of chemical reactions in the brain, then your conscious act of deciding is not a free will act of your own, it is a result of some physical process that came before it. Your choices are controlled by physical events outside of your will. To put it more bluntly, you have no will at all. Not really. Why not? According to this view, physical states produce particular mental states, which produce particular physical states all following one after another in a determined pattern just like railroad cars following an engine. guess what? You have not only lost the rose and Beethoven and your teenage puppy love, you've lost you, too. And by the way, that is exactly what this article says.

Let me read it to you: "Despite our every instinct to the contrary, [which is a tacit admission we already know what is right here and we have to deny] there is one thing that consciousness is not. Some entity deep inside the brain that corresponds to the self. Some kernel of awareness that runs the show as the man behind the curtain manipulating the illusion of a powerful magician in the Wizard of Oz. After more than a century of looking for it, brain researchers have long since concluded that there is no conceivable place for such a self to be located in the physical brain and that it simply doesn't exist."

That is the most bizarre statement I have heard in a long time. It's like the man looking for the invisible rabbit. He said, I have looked high and low and I can't find it, therefore it doesn't exist. If there are invisible rabbits, you are not going to find them anywhere. Why not? They are invisible. That doesn't prove they do exist, it just simply points out that you can't disqualify the existence of something by looking for it in a way that won't turn it up. You don't look for the mind in the brain and try to find a location for it because the mind is not something physical by definition . You can't conclude that it doesn't exist because you haven't found it after a century of looking. You don't find it that way. You infer it from other things, and we have inferred it very directly and very successfully with a couple of very simple arguments. There are more in Moreland's book on immortality.

Lewis put it this way and he really captured it: "I see no reason for believing that one accident should be able to give me a correct account of all other accidents. It's like expecting that the accidental shape taken by the splash when you upset a milk jug should give you a correct account of how the jug was made and why it was upset."

Do you see the price that you have to pay to buy this point of view? Everything gets lost. Even you. Even the scientists that think they're thinking these conclusions. They're gone, too. So, why trust the conclusions?



Last edited by Otangelo on Tue Mar 16, 2021 3:31 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Mind and brain: A scientific discussion leading to the existence of the soul

Introduction
Certainly the problem of consciousness has been widely discussed in philosophy. Since the aim of this article is to discuss the subject of consciousness from a scientific point of view, I will not dwell upon the different definitions and conceptions adopted by philosophers. I limit myself to define consciousness or psychical life as our capacity to feel sensations, emotions, thoughts etc. I will use the word "intelligence" because today this word is often combined to the concept of artificial intelligence, which does not imply and kind of consciousness. Science, contrary to philosophy, is always based on the observation of phenomena; the possibility of an experimental check is basically what distinguishes a scientific theory from a philosophical idea. Consciousness is a directly observable phenomenon, of which we have then a full experimental evidence (indeed, it represents the foundations of every other experimental observation, since if we were not conscious, we could observe no phenomena); the phenomenon "consciousness" deserves then to be analysed from a scientific viewpoint.

What is the brain?
Now we know that our brain is only a set of particles, such as electrons and protons, interacting through the electromagnetic field. Every biological process is due only to the chemical reactions, which in their turn, are due only to the electromagnetic interaction among the electrons and the protons of the atoms forming our organism. Every neuron and every cell are nothing but sets of electrons, protons and neutrons, in a given spatial arrangement; the electromagnetic interaction may in fact be attractive so that particles may attract one another and form certain geometrical arrangements in the space. The properties of every (including also DNA molecules) and every biological process are due only to the laws of physics; more precisely, since in our organism no nuclear reactions occur and gravitational forces are too weak to interfere with molecular processes, every biological process is due uniquely to the laws of quantum electrodynamics.
   Science has proved that all chemical, biological and cerebral processes consist only in some successions of elementary physical processes, determined in their turn only by the laws of quantum mechanics. Such a view of biological processes does not allow to account for the existence of consciousness; so, materialism is incompatible with science. On the other hand, every materialistic attempt to explain the existence of consciousness implies that what suffers, loves, desires, feels etc. in us are objects such as electrons or electromagnetic fields. The point is that objects can feel nothing at all; objects cannot feel happiness, sadness, love, anger,self-awareness, etc. Science has proved that the equations of the electromagnetic field are universal; they describe the electromagnetic field within our brain as well as within a copper wire or an atom. There is no trace of consciousness, sensations, emotions, etc. in the equations of physics. These equations do not explain the existence of consciousness and our capacity to feel. If one hypothesizes that the electromagnetic fields are responsible of our sensations, emotions and thoughts, the only logical conclusion would be that also our television, our washing machine, etc. sometimes would be happy or depressed. In fact, from a scientific point of view there is no difference between the electromagnetic fields present in our brain and the ones present in those objects.
  The claim that the electric impulses in our brain are or generate sensations and thoughts, is in contradiction with the laws of physics that consider equivalent all electric impulses, inside or outside our brain. In fact, an electric impulse is formed only by some electrons moving in a certain direction; according to the laws of physics, electrons are all equal and indistinguishable, and they are always moving in every material or electric circuits. To ascribe to the electrons in our brain the property to generate consciousness, and not to ascribe the same property to the electrons moving in a bulb, is in contradiction with quantum physics, which establishes that all electrons are equal and indistinguishable, that is they have all exactly the same properties.
  Besides, the laws of physics establish that electric impulses generate only electromagnetic fields; so the materialistic hypothesis that the electric impulses in the brain generate sensations, emotions and thoughts is in striking contradiction with the laws of physics. The electromagnetic waves generated by the electric impulses in our brain are absolutely equivalent to the ones generated by any other electric impulses; such waves go out of our brain and travel in the external space at the velocity of light, as every electromagnetic wave.
  The laws of physics establish which kind of processes occur in the physical reality; excluding nuclear and subnuclear reactions, that do not occur in biological systems, the only possible processes are the movement of particles and the exchange of energy among particles (collisions) or between a particle and the electromagnetic field (absorption and emission of photons). The only possible physical processes are determined by a mathematical operator called "Hamiltonian", which determines also the only possible kind of energy of the physical reality; in fact, the Hamiltonian is formed by the sum of a few terms, each determining a specific kind of energy, such as the kinetic energy of the electron or the energy of the photon. In order to have new processes or other kind of energy it is necessary to add some new term to the Hamiltonian; however, this would modify the equations of physics, and consequently it would change all their solutions (see the paragraph entitled "The laws of physics and History").
   In conclusion, the laws of physics deny the basic hypothesis of materialism, according to which consciousness would be generated by cerebral processes. The laws of physics do not allow us to explain (neither conceptually ), the existence of consciousness; they allow to explain neither the existence of the most banal sensation.

Biological life does not imply consciousness
Science has proved that our brain is only a set of particles (that is an object), and that biological life consists uniquely in a succession of chemical reactions, which, in their turn, consist uniquely in physical processes (more precisely, in quantum-electromagnetic processes). On the other hand, consciousness transcends the laws of physics and cannot then be considered the product of biological and cerebral processes. This implies that our mind and our brain are not the same entity, but two different yet interacting entities. I use the word "psyche" to indicate this non-physical/non-biological element, necessarily present in man, that is man's component responsible of the existence of our consciousness and psychical life. Of course, other words could be used, such as mind, spirit or soul.
  At this point, we should try to understand whether there is a scientific evidence of the existence of some sort of consciousness also in animals. Now we know that it is possible to simulate with a computer every feature of the behavior of animals, including their capacity to learn and their apparent capacity to recognize their image in a mirror. An adequate software can allow the computer to record input data, analyze them and give specific outputs; all these operations occur automatically, without any consciousness, any sensations, any emotions, any thoughts. For example a computer, connected to a camera, can analyse the external images; this occur automatically through some mathematical algorithms, and the computer has no visual sensations. This proves that the fact that a dog can distinguish a bone from a stick, does not imply that the dog has a visual sensation.
  Therefore it is not possible to exclude from a scientific and rational point of view, that the life of animals is only a purely biological/chemical process without any kind of consciousness (neither sensations or emotions). In other words, science cannot exclude the possibility that the animal is only a biological robot, feeling nothing at all, which actions and reactions are uniquely determined by a chemical software implanted in its brain. It is also possible to explain those behaviors of animals, which are usually considered as an indication of emotions. For example, the dogs which, because of some genetic mutations, presented some affectionate behaviors, had a greater probability to be adopted by man, and consequently, to survive. It was sufficient that the animal presented those behaviors also towards only a member of the family (even not the one who gave it food) to be accepted by the family. It would be only a case of natural selection, even if unawares induced by man, who has programmed the behavior and the reactions of the dog. Since we have no way to observe directly the existence of any kind of consciousness in animals, and the hypothesis of existence of consciousness in animals is not necessary to explain the observable phenomena in animals, we can conclude that there is no experimental or scientific evidence of the existence of any kind of consciousness in animals, neither sensations or emotions.
  The idea that animals have sensations and emotions is then only an arbitrary hypothesis, without any scientific or rational foundations. Such an hypothesis can be considered only a reminiscence of childhood, since all children tend to ascribe to animals thoughts, sensations and emotions. Besides, primitive peoples were used to anthropomorphize many natural elements; the sun, the moon, the mountains, animals, etc. During history man has then understood that natural phenomena occur automatically because of specific natural laws: man has understood that nature is only an object and not a person. The anthropomorfic concept of animals is then only the last residue of this inclination to anthropomorphize natural processes. Now the technological and scientific progress allow us to explain the behavior of animals without ascribing them any anthropomorphic features.

Cerebral activity and consciousness
I would like to point out that the fact that brain damages or drugs induce changes in our mental capacities simply proves the existence of an interaction between the brain and the psyche. By no means this can be considered a proof that the brain is the origin of consciousness and the capacity to feel sensations, emotions, thoughts, etc. If you have a problem in your eyes, your visual capacities would be altered, but this certainly does not mean that it is your eye which has the visual sensation; this simply proves that your eye has a preliminary role in the process of generation of the visual sensation. The eye is only an instrument used by the psyche to see, but the eye can see nothing at all and has no visual sensations. In the same way, the brain has only a preliminary role in the process of generation of sensations or emotions, and it can be considered an instrument used by the psyche. All neurological studies on brain only prove the existence of an interaction between psyche and brain. But the existence of this interaction is obvious; in fact, without this interaction, our psyche would be completely isolated from the external reality, and we could not interact with the external reality.
  It must be stressed that the physical stimulus and the sensation we feel are two completely different phenomena. For example, the vibrations of the molecules of the air are not the sensation "sound" we feel; the molecules of the air hear nothing, and it would be absurd to say that the molecules of the air are an auditory sensation. The sensation "sound" exist only in the psychical reality, and not in the physical reality; the auditory sensation is generated only by the psyche and is the psychical elaboration of a physical stimulus. In the same way, the chemical reactions and the electric impulses which occur in our brain are not emotions, feelings, awareness; they are only physical stimuli. It is the our psyche who elaborates and translates these ordinary physical processes into emotions, feelings, etc.

The laws of physics and the other natural sciences
Now I would like to give some considerations about the reliability of our scientific knowledges. First of all I would like to explain the difference between a phenomenological theory and a first-principle theory. A phenomenological theory is only an approximated and simplified version of a first-principle theory, that represents the exact explanation of natural phenomena. Biology and neurology are examples of phenomenological theories, while physics is the only first-principle theory, from which all the other natural sciences derive. Of course, since first principle calculations are very lengthy and arduous, we need also simplified theories in order to treat more easily systems formed by many atoms.
  The laws of physics have a general validity, but in their application to specific systems, it is possible to use simpler rules, specific for that kind of system; these rules are neither extraneous, nor independent from the laws of physics, but they are a direct consequence of the law of physics. A result of these phenomenological theories cannot be accepted if it results to be in contradiction with the laws of physics, which are the only true principles at the origin of the phenomenological theory. Only the laws of physics represent the first-principle explanation of the material reality, both inorganic and organic matter. Obviously, an approximated theory (such as biology and neurology) cannot be used to deny the exact theory from which the approximated theory derives.
  All natural sciences are then subordinate to physics. We can also point out that all natural sciences (biology, neurology, etc.) use in their studies and in their microscopic analysis only instruments that have been designed uniquely on the basis of the laws of physics. The data studied and analysed by these natural sciences have sense only because the laws of physics assure the correct working of their instruments. If the laws of physics are questioned, all other natural sciences would immediately fall down to pieces, because all the microscopic data used by these sciences to support their theories, would lose any meaning. Therefore , no natural sciences can elaborate theories in contradiction with the laws of physics. This would mean to make all data to lose sense, data on which the phenomenological theories have been built; it is an obvious logical contradiction. The laws of physics are then the foundations of all natural sciences.
  To understand better the relationship between Physics and the other natural sciences, consider the following example: to open a combination lock, we need know the combination. Even if we do not know the combination, and therefore we cannot open the lock, we already know what kind of process will occur when we find the combination. The laws of mechanics establish that the only kind of process we will get is the opening of the lock; the laws of mechanics establish that the combination will not make the lock begin to think, feel pain or pleasure, feel sadness or joy. Similarly, Quantum Electrodynamics establish that every biological process consists only in some successions of chemical reactions, which, in their turn, consist in successions of kinetic and electromagnetic processes, that is movement of particles, emission and absorption of photons. We do not know yet the exact successions of chemical reactions occurring in all biological processes, and biology has the task to discover these successions; however, exactly as in the case of the combination lock, the laws of physics establish that no successions of chemical reactions can generate consciousness, sensations, emotions or thoughts. Hence, a non-physical element (the soul) must exist as the source of our consciousness and our psychical life.

The laws of physics and history
  The laws generating all chemical, biological, neurological processes are now perfectly known. Never before in history, science has been able to explain the principles by which all biological processes are originated. This represents a true turn in history. All that physics will discover in the future will have nothing to do with the biological processes in our organism, or any other organism. Even if there are still some things not perfectly known in astrophysics, these astrophysical process do not affect biological processes, which are due uniquely to the laws of quantum electrodynamics. There is then no reason to question the validity of the laws of physics in the explanation of biological or neurological processes.
  The laws of physics consists of a system of mathematical equations. Their mathematical structure exclude the possibility that these equations can be modified; in fact, even a slight change in a mathematical equation would generates radical changes in all its solutions. We have already found billions and billions of correct solutions from the laws of physics; if we changed them, we would suddenly cast away all these correct solutions. On the other hand, every day we find a systematic experimental confirmation of the laws of physics on ever new systems. To hypothesize that the laws of physics are wrong would be equivalent to say that all these billions and billions of systematic and quantitative experimental confirmations are only a lucky coincidence. In these last decades, we have done many more experiments than in all history, but the laws of quantum electrodynamics, discovered in the beginning of last century, have never been changed. On the basis of the number of experimental tests, we can say that quantum electrodynamics is the oldest scientific theory in history.

First principle Calculations
  Today we are able to do first-principle calculations for molecular systems formed by many atoms; this means that we can calculate the solutions of the equations of quantum physics also for macroscopic systems. The point is that we already know what KIND of information we can get from a first-principle calculation for every possible molecular system. In fact from the solution of the Schroedinger equation for a molecular system we know that we can obtain information such as charge distributions or energy spectra. By no means we can obtain consciousness, emotions, feelings, etc. These are not possible outputs of a first-principle calculation. Even if we had a supercomputer with the capacity to find the wave function for our brain, we could find from the wave function only properties such as charge density or energy spectra. We could not find consciousness from the wave function calculated with the super computer. In fact we already know what KIND of properties can be obtained from every possible wave function. We are already able to do first-principle calculations for many different molecular systems, but the kind of properties we can find from their wave functions does not depend on which molecular system we have studied, because they are general outputs of every first-principle calculation, and it is independent from the kind of atoms or the number of atoms of the system. If the psyche did not exist as a non-physical component of man, according to our scientific knowledges we should be only a sort of biological robots, without any consciousness and without feeling anything, which actions and reactions were due only to chemical reactions . All the neurological studies prove only the existence of an interaction between psyche and brain, but they reveal nothing about the nature of the psyche.

Conclusions
   Materialism is incompatible with the scientific view of biological processes. Science has in fact proved that all chemical, biological and cerebral processes consist only in some successions of elementary physical processes, determined in their turn only by the laws of quantum mechanics. This view of biological processes does not allow (neither conceptually) to account for the existence of consciousness;nor it allows to account for the existence of the most banal sensation. This result acquires a very deep meaning if we analyse the state of our present scientific knowledges. First of all, all natural sciences are subordinate to the laws of physics, which represent the principles from which they derive and of which they are only approximative versions. Today in fact we know the laws which determine all molecular, electromagnetic, chemical, biological and neurological processes: they are the laws of Quantum Electrodynamics, the scientific laws which have received the most wide, general, systematic, numerous and precise experimental confirmations in all history. The laws of quantum electrodynamics are confirmed by such a huge number of experimental results that it would be absurd to question their validity in the explanation of molecular systems, and in particular, of biological systems.
    On the other hand, the rigidity of the mathematical structure of quantum electrodynamics, makes absolutely unreasonable the hypothesis of a possible change of such laws, since this would have dramatic consequences on all the correct solutions we have presently obtained. This means that quantum electrodynamics can be considered the ultimate theory for the explanation of molecular processes, and, consequently, for the explanation of biological processes.
    The laws of quantum electrodynamics can be considered the first principles which determine all molecular and biological processes. The point is that such principles give (at least conceptually) a mechanicistic explanation of all molecular and biological processes, but they do not allow to explain (neither conceptually ) the existence of consciousness. The laws of physics deny the basic hypothesis of materialism, according to which consciousness would be generated by biological or cerebral processes. Consciousness transcends the laws of physics, and therefore, the cause of the existence of consciousness cannot be identified with the brain; consciousness is necessarily originated by a non-physical/non-biological (that is, a supernatural) component: the psyche or soul. There are then two distinct realities; the physical reality, that is the universe, which has an intrinsic mathematical structure (the laws of physics) determining every physical, chemical and biological process; the psychical reality, which transcends such laws, and consequently, transcends the physical reality.
  At this point we must consider the question: where does our psyche come from? The phenomenon of consciousness proves that, at a certain time, our psyche certainly begins to exist in us. The laws of physics prove that the psyche cannot be the product of physical, chemical or biological processes. Therefore, the origin of our psyche is transcendent to the physical reality. We can then identify with God the necessary Cause of the existence of the psyche, being such Cause transcendent. This represents a scientific confirmation of the christian doctrine according to which each man has a soul, created directly by God. I think that it is correct to say that today the existence of the soul and the existence of a transcendent God are scientifically proved.

A note about the theory of evolution
  I would like to add a brief consideration about the theory of evolution. The theory of evolution can be applied only to biological organisms. We do not have sufficient elements to establish whether the human biological organism is the result of an evolution process; neither we have sufficient elements to exclude this possibility. However, the point is that consciousness is transcendent to the physical/biological reality and requires the existence in man of a transcendent component (the psyche or soul).
  Since no fossils of psyche exist, the theory of evolution can say nothing about the origin of consciousness and human psychical life. So, even if our organism derived from a previous animal organism, we could have no conscious psychical life if God had not created in each of us a soul. Without a soul, we would be only biological robots, able to act and react, but without any consciousness and incapable of feeling any sensations, emotions, thoughts, etc.

Materialists deny the existence of the psyche as an entity transcendent to physical reality and claim that sensations, emotions and thoughts are generated by cerebral processes, that is by matter. In my previous article I have explained how these ideas are denied by modern science, but here I will analyze in detail the logical and scientific inconsistencies of materialistic arguments.
In materialism, consciousness is considered a complex, emergent or macroscopic property of matter, but this definition is inconsistent from a logical point of view; in fact, science has proved that the so-called macroscopic properties are only concepts used by man to describe in an approximated way real physical processes, which consist uniquely of successions of microscopic elementary processes. An example of macroscopic property often used by materialists is roughness; the materialist claims that quantum particles have o roughness, and therefore roughness is a new property, emerging only at the macroscopic level. This is completely wrong; in fact, roughness is only a concept used to describe a certain kind of geometrical distribution of the molecules in a surface. The laws of physics establish that there is an infinity of possible geometrical distributions of particles, and we can classify such possible distributions with different names, and elaborate the concepts of roughness or smoothness, etc. However these are only arbitrary and subjective concepts and classifications,used to describe how an external object appear to our conscious mind, and not how it is .
Also the concept of a macroscopic rigid and compact object is only an optical illusion, and not a physical entity. The image of the object we see is in fact only an approximate representation of the real physical object. No object exist in nature as we see it; solid objects appear to us as if they were uniformly filled with motionless matter, while they are only sets of rapidly moving particles; matter is concentrated in a very small fraction of the space occupied by the solid object, mostly in the atomic nuclea, and it has no uniform distribution as it appears to us. The laws of physics establish that the possible properties of every particle or molecule are the same, that is the property of exchange energy with other particles or photons, and the property of movement; these are the properties of every quantum particle, and no aggregate of quantum particles can have new properties. Therefore, no real macroscopic properties exist. The macroscopic properties quoted by materialists, are not objective properties of the physical reality, but they are only abstractions or concepts used to describe our sensorial experiences; in other words, they are ideas conceived to describe or classify, according to arbitrary criteria, a given succession of microscopic processes, and these ideas exist only in a conscious and intelligent mind. Therefore, the macroscopic property, being only an abstraction, presupposes the existence of consciousness. It is obvious that consciousness cannot be considered a macroscopic property of the physical reality, because the macroscopic property itself presupposes the existence of consciousness. We have then a logical contradiction. No entities which existence presupposes the existence of consciousness can be considered as the cause of the existence of consciousness.
Another argument used by materialists is the hypothesis that psychical life could be generated by the fact that in the brain there are many exchanges of information. Also this is a case of logical contradiction, because the concept itself of information presupposes the existence of consciousness, and so this concept cannot be used to explain the existence of consciousness. Materialists often say that also in computers there are many informations, but this is an improper language. In fact, in computers there are only electric impulses. It is the human mind who has established a conventional code that allows to identify specific successions of electric impulses as pieces of information. It is the same for the Morse alphabet: a succession of points and lines is not by itself an information; it becomes an information only if a conscious and intelligent mind has established a conventional code to attribute a given meaning to that succession of points and lines. So, every information is always the product of conscious psychical life, which proves that the concept of information cannot be used to explain the existence of consciousness.
I would like to add a comment on a typical argument used by materialists: the psychical life exists in the brain because of its complexity. The invalidity of this argument can be easily proved with the following considerations. First of all, the concept of complexity refers to a problem; but a problem exists only as a question which someone is trying to answer. It is then man who, being conscious and intelligent, puts a problem and tries to solve it; the man then decides to classify such problem as easy or complex. So, consciousness is a preliminary necessary condition for the existence of any problems and complexity; in absence of consciousness, no problems and no complexity would exist, which proves that complexity cannot generate consciousness. Besides, the concept of complexity is an arbitrary and subjective; a given problem may be considered complex by a person and simple by another person. Since subjectivity presupposes the existence of consciousness, no subjective concept (such as the concept of complexity) can be used to try to explain the existence of consciousness. Also this is sufficient to prove the invalidity of the argument of complexity from a logical point of view. In mathematics some definitions of complexity are used, but, as every mathematical definition, they are only arbitrary definitions, without any scientific value. In mathematics, in fact, it is possible to invent infinite definitions, equations, properties, and give them any kind of name, but they are only abstract concepts which existence presupposes the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. The equations of physics are the only mathematical equations which have a scientific value because they are the only ones which have been attested by experiments. A common definition of complexity is the following: "a complex system is a set where the evolution of the single elements is predictable while it is not possible (or it is very difficult) to predict the evolution of the system". From the above definition we can clearly see how complexity has an intrinsic conceptual nature, and therefore it cannot exist independently from an intelligent mind. If fact complexity is defined in relation to the capacity to predict the evolution of a system. Only an intelligent mind can try to predict the evolution of a system. Therefore, the existence of the psychical life is a necessary preliminary condition for the existence of complexity. Hence complexity cannot generate psychical life. We can also observe that typical examples of complex systems are ecosystems, meteorologic phenomena, the Earth Crust in relation to the possibility to predict earthquakes. If by absurd we hypothesized that complexity is the cause of existence of psychical life, then also the Earth Crust or every ecosystem would have a psychical life. The concept of complexity does not exist in the laws of physics, where only concepts such as charge, mass, velocity, etc. are present. The laws of physics are the foundations of all modern science and every natural process is determined uniquely by the laws of physics; in the laws of physics there is no law of complexity and no law establishing that complexity generates consciousness! The concept of complexity is necessary to explain no chemical, biological or cerebral processes, being all these natural processes explainable by the only laws of physics.
Let us analyse some typical examples quoted by materialists in the attempt to prove that the properties of the whole are not reducible to the properties of the parts. The first example is the electric conductor, where the electrons are free to move along all the crystal; in quantum terms, one says that their wave function is delocalized. The materialist claims that this delocalization is a new property, not-reducible to the ones of the components. This is clearly false. In fact, also the wave function of a single free electron can be delocalized, and therefore the delocalization is by no means related to the complexity of the system.
The materialist usually claims that the whirling motion of fluids is not reducible to the properties of the components, which is clearly false. In fact the motion of fluids is nothing but the motion of the particles making up the fluid. Since the calculation of the motion of all the particles would be too difficult, one usually make use of some simplified models to describe the fluid from a macroscopic point of view. However the properties of these models are not real properties, existing in nature, but they are only approximate descriptions of the real phenomena, which consist only in the motion of the particles, forming the fluid.
Another typical argument is the existence of some energy gaps in the electronic structures of crystals. By no means this property is related to the complexity of the system, since also in the hydrogen atom, which is made of two particles only, the possible values of energy are separated by gaps. Actually, the existence of permitted and forbidden values of energy is a typical feature of all quantum systems. The materialist usually claims that the bicycle is not only the sum of its components, which is clearly false; the bicycle is in fact only the set of its components in a given geometrical arrangement. Obviously, consciousness is not a geometrical figure, and cannot be explained as a geometrical arrangement of mechanical pieces.
In general, one can observe that the definition of every set is arbitrary, as well as it is arbitrary to establish which element is to be considered as a part of the set and which not. The holistic or collective properties, i.e. the properties of the whole set, are necessarily subjective and arbitrary, because they depend on the definition of the set. Since consciousness is a preliminary necessary condition for the existence of arbitrariness (and consequently of every arbitrary property), it follows that consciousness cannot be considered an holistic or collective property.
The incapacity to give any valid example of real properties, not-reducible to the properties of particles and the laws of quantum physics, proves the failure of the holistic (that is, antireductionist) philosophies. The laws of physics always allow to explain directly all the properties of atomic and molecular systems; both in macroscopic and microscopic systems, there are no properties which are not directly reducible either to ordinary geometrical properties (since matter is placed in the space) or to the properties of elementary particles and to the laws of quantum physics. The only observable phenomenon, not-reducible to the laws of physics is consciousness.
Man can establish arbitrary criteria to classify natural phenomena, but these criteria exist only in human mind, and not in the physical reality, which is determined only by the laws of physics. All processes occurring in our brain are uniquely determined by the laws of physics, and it is not possible to use concepts extraneous to such laws (the concept of complexity or information etc.) to try to explain consciousness as a product of some cerebral processes. Such concepts presuppose the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind, transcendent to the physical reality; therefore, such concepts cannot be used to deny the existence of a reality transcendent to the physical reality. Let me give an example: if we put some bricks one over another, we will get always a heap of bricks, regardless of the fact that we can call it "house", "bridge" or "tower". The concepts of "house", "bridge" or "tower" exist only in the human mind; what exists in the physical reality are only quantum particles, such as electrons. These particles may occupy different positions in the space, so we may obtain sets of particles with different geometrical shapes. Since the electromagnetic interaction may be attractive, these particles may attract one another, and remain close to one another, forming some solid macroscopic objects. We may then choose to call a set of particles with a given shape "chair" and another set of particles with a different shape "table", etc. However these names and concepts are only abstract ideas which do not exist in the physical reality; these names and concepts presuppose the existence of consciousness, that is the existence of a conscious and intelligent person who analyses the external reality and conceives arbitrary concepts to classify it.
The fact itself that to try to explain consciousness, materialists need resort to such concepts, extraneous to the laws of physics, is a further evidence of the transcendent nature of consciousness. No concept extraneous to the laws of physics is in fact necessary to explain chemical, biological, neurological or cerebral processes; all these processes are perfectly explained by the laws of physics. It is correct to say that the laws of physics are the cause of every physical, chemical and biological process. If the explanation of consciousness requires the introduction of some new principle, extraneous to the laws of physics, this means that consciousness transcends the laws of physics; this is equivalent to say that consciousness is not a physical phenomenon, unless we changed the laws of physics. As I have already explained, any change in the equations of physics implies the radical change of all their solutions, and then the lost of all those billions and billions of correct solutions obtained in this last century by the law of physics. Since the laws of physics are the foundations of all modern science, to change the laws of physics would imply the lost of all modern science and new start from zero. To hypothesize a change in the laws of quantum electrodynamics means to get out of science and get into purely speculative philosophy.
The logical process of materialism is the same of idolatry; in fact, the idolater thinks that the object (idol) under certain circumstances has a psychical life, regardless of the fact that it is made with ordinary material; this is exactly what the materialist thinks, because he thinks that the object (brain) has a psychical life under certain circumstances, regardless of the fact that it is made with ordinary material (electrons, electromagnetic fields, etc.)
A last typical contradiction in materialism is the claim that the electric impulse in the brain generate consciousness, sensations, emotions, etc. Such a claim is incompatible with the laws of physics which establish that electric impulses in our brain are equivalent to all the other electric impulses out of our brain (electric impulses are formed uniquely by some moving electrons), and that all electric impulses generate only electromagnetic fields. You must change the laws of physics if you want to claim that electric impulses generate something else beyond electromagnetic fields. Actually, materialists simply take some key words from the language of physics, such as "electric impulse", "energy", etc. and then attribute to these words new properties incompatible with the laws of physics; this is a clear abuse of scientific language.

http://xoomer.virgilio.it/fedeescienza/brainandmind.html

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4Dualism: The Mind is Not The Brain  Empty Mathematics as Supernatural Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:00 am

Otangelo


Admin
Perhaps the best example of the astonishing accuracy that a mathematical theory can achieve is provided by quantum electrodynamics (QED), the theory that describes all phenomena involving electrically charged particles and light. In 2006 a group of physicists at Harvard University determined the magnetic moment of the electron (which measures how strongly the electron interacts with a magnetic field) to a precision of eight parts in a trillion. This is an incredible experimental feat in its own right. But when you add to that the fact that the most recent theoretical calculations based on QED reach a similar precision and that the two results agree, the accuracy becomes almost unbelievable. When he heard about the continuing success of QED, one of QED’s originators, the physicist Freeman Dyson, reacted: “I’m amazed at how precisely Nature dances to the tune we scribbled so carelessly fifty-seven years ago, and at how the experimenters and the theorists can measure and calculate her dance to a part in a trillion.” 

James Clerk Maxwell, who formulated the classical theory of electromagnetism, showed in 1864 that the theory predicted that varying electric or magnetic fields should generate propagating waves. These waves— the familiar electromagnetic waves (e.g., radio)—were first detected by the German physicist Heinrich Hertz (1857–94) in a series of experiments conducted in the late 1880s. In the late 1960s, physicists Steven Weinberg, Sheldon Glashow, and Abdus Salam developed a theory that treats the electromagnetic force and weak nuclear force in a unified manner. This theory, now known as the electroweak theory, predicted the existence of three particles (called the W, W– , and Z bosons) that had never before been observed. The particles were unambiguously detected in 1983 in accelerator experiments (which smash one subatomic particle into another at very high energies) led by physicists Carlo Rubbia and Simon van der Meer. 

The physicist Eugene Wigner, who coined the phrase “the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics,” proposed to call all of these unexpected achievements of mathematical theories the “empirical law of epistemology” (epistemology is the discipline that investigates the origin and limits of knowledge). If this “law” were not correct, he argued, scientists would have lacked the encouragement and reassurance that are absolutely necessary for a thorough exploration of the laws of nature. Wigner, however, did not offer any explanation for the empirical law of epistemology. Rather, he regarded it as a “wonderful gift” for which we should be grateful even though we do not understand its origin. Indeed, to Wigner, this “gift” captured the essence of the question about the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics. At this point, I believe that we have gathered enough clues that we should at least be able to try answering the questions we started with: Why is mathematics so effective and productive in explaining the world around us that it even yields new knowledge? And, is mathematics ultimately invented or discovered?

The role of the consciousness of the physicist as an observer thus becomes part of the reality of the subatomic natural world. This takes us far from the mechanistic understanding of an objective physical reality existing outside ourselves that had long dominated physics, and still informs the common sense thinking of most people. As Bohr would later put it in a 1957 essay (he died in 1962), “the inadequacy of the mechanical concept of nature for the description of man’s situation [in the world] is particularly evident in the primitive distinction between soul and body” that had reemerged as a large issue in light of the discoveries of twentieth-century physics. A new focus on the soul—historically meaning the domain of human consciousness outside any material reality—has resulted from our search for the true workings of nature. According to twentieth-century physics, it has turned out that physical nature, objective natural reality, physical causation, etc., are all parts of a set of illusions that flickered for much of modern existence, as Plato once described the human circumstance in the cave. Physicists, as one might say, have
now finally shone a true light, thereby necessitating a large revision in our understanding of the circumstances of our own human existence.

The leading physicists of the late 1920s and 1930s typically spent part of their times together discussing the radical metaphysical—indeed theological, even if few of them were devout religious believers themselves—implications of their remarkable recent discoveries. Bohr, for example, frequently sparred at these meetings with Einstein, who famously complained about quantum mechanics that “god does not play dice.” A number of these leading physicists in later years would themselves write books and essays exploring the radical philosophical and religious implications raised. If a minority, other leading physicists since then have also entered into such discussions. In this chapter, I will rely heavily on the writings of such leading physicists of the twentieth century (and their mathematician compatriots)— and also a few from the twenty-first century—to examine the “theological” consequences, including the
effects of their discoveries on the question of a god, even if they did not normally address this subject explicitly in their own writings.

Mathematics as Supernatural
There is no real need for a working physicist today to consider the question of why the natural world seemingly always and everywhere exhibits a mathematical order. It is simply a matter of an (often implicit) faith of the physicist that has been amply rewarded in the past with an astonishing array of scientific discoveries by earlier physicists. It was not a main subject of the 1920s and 1930s discussions among physicists but Einstein in this respect—as in others—was an important exception. As he considered, “a priori” one would expect that the world would be “chaotic”; in the absence of some outside agency with the power to “impose an order,” why would the world exhibit the lawfulness and “comprehensibility” that has been revealed by modern science? Einstein had no good answer but could only marvel at “the ‘miracle’ which becomes more evident as our knowledge develops” through scientific discovery of the order underlying the functioning of the universe. More recently, a few other leading physicists have on occasion wondered why the mathematical methods of physics “work” so well in understanding the natural world. As noted in the Introduction, although he is not of the stature of an Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg, or Schrodinger, Princeton professor Eugene Wigner ranks among the important physicists of the twentieth century, winning the Nobel prize in 1963. Besides his many scientific contributions, he was another one of those physicists who ventured to explore from time to time the deeper human implications and meaning of physics. One of these contributions was a frequently noted 1960 article on “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences.” 

Speaking more bluntly and candidly than most of his fellow physicists, Wigner acknowledged that the mathematical foundations of the natural world are a true “miracle” that lies outside any scientific understanding itself. Indeed, as he further explained, it seemed to him that there are actually “two miracles,” first the very “existence of [mathematical] laws of nature” and a second miracle “of the human mind’s capacity to divine them.” Wigner thus considered as implausible any suggestion that the electrical and chemical workings of the physical brains of human beings could have created the complex abstractions—themselves lacking any physical reality—of higher mathematics of the kind routinely used by physicists.

For him, it was also remarkable how “the mathematical formulation of the physicist’s often crude experiences leads in an uncanny number of cases to an amazingly accurate description of a large class of phenomena” in the natural world. Full candor required acknowledging “that the enormous usefulness of mathematics in the natural sciences is something bordering on the mysterious and there is no rational explanation for it” in the methods of physics itself. Indeed, there was no way to avoid the fact that “mathematics plays an unreasonably important role in physics.” Moreover, it was not a case of mathematicians drawing on the physical world as the inspiration for their development of mathematical ideas. Rather, as Wigner wrote, “whereas it is unquestionable true that the concepts of elementary mathematics and particularly elementary geometry were formulated to describe entities which are directly suggested by the actual world, the same does not seem to be true of the more advanced concepts [in mathematics], in particular the concepts that play such an important role in physics” at its most advanced levels today.

The typical mathematician, Wigner observes, is motivated by a desire to explore abstractions that “demonstrate his ingenuity and sense of formal beauty.” Despite its miraculous character, the workings of mathematics and physics are products of rational thought. At present, “the great mathematician fully, almost ruthlessly, exploits the domain of permissible reasoning and skirts the impermissible. That his recklessness does not lead him into a morass of contradictions is . . . [yet another] miracle in itself.” Admitting almost to a modern heresy, Wigner then confesses his strong sense that “certainly, it is hard to believe that our reasoning power [in areas such as higher level physics and mathematics] was brought, by Darwin’s process of natural selection, to the perfection which it seems to possess.” Wigner, simply put, finds it impossible to believe in biological evolutionary accounts of the development of human consciousness with its amazing mathematical and other high level rational facilities. Indeed, a physical explanation such as evolutionary biology is inherently incapable of explaining an outcome such as the worlds of mathematics and the laws of physics—both existing as elements of human consciousness and thus outside measurable time and space. Wigner does not say this explicitly himself but he is coming close to the idea of a preexisting supernatural intelligence shared in surprisingly large degree by human beings—or, as it would more traditionally have been put in religious language, human beings are made “in the image of God” who is himself rational and they also participate at least to some degree with him in the exercise of shared rational faculties.

God as Mathematician
Maxwell’s theory of electromagneticism shared with Newton’s theory of gravity the fact that it could not be given any plausible physical interpretation beyond the mathematics itself. Electrical and magnetic fields did not have any physical existence or mechanical explanation—like gravity, they simply exist. Thus, for those who persisted in believing in the existence of matter as the foundation of an ultimate physical and mechanical reality, in both the cases of Newton and of Maxwell their manner of practice of physics must appear as relying on a form of magic. 

Even such a distinguished British physicist as Sir William Thompson (Lord Kelvin) charged that “in his departure from a mechanical model of thought he [Maxwell] had lapsed into mysticism.”

As Einstein would remark, in Maxwell’s theory “the equations alone appeared as the essential thing and the field strengths as the ultimate entities, not to be reduced to anything else.” As a result, serious scientists had to give up “belief in the justification, or the possibility [as with Newton and gravity], of a mechanical explanation of Maxwell’s equations.” As a result, as Einstein wrote, of the “changes wrought by him in our conception of the nature of physical reality, we may say this: before Maxwell people conceived of physical reality -- in so far as it is supposed to represent events in nature -- as material points … After Maxwell, they conceived physical reality as represented by continuous fields, not mechanically explicable, which are subject to partial differential equations,” the mathematics having become the ultimate reality for post-Newton—and now post-Maxwell physicists—however magical this might seem to be. For any kind of rational answer, it would be necessary to turn to theology—to invoke the actions of a supernatural being, a god of some kind. Rational thought could thus lead to a conclusion of a strong existing likelihood of there being a god that guides the “material” world, if in a mysterious manner outside of any material explanation.

God, very probably: VERY PROBABLY Five Rational Ways to Think about the Question of a God ROBERT H. NELSON page 51

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5Dualism: The Mind is Not The Brain  Empty Re: Dualism: The Mind is Not The Brain Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:03 am

Otangelo


Admin
Idealism, dualism, or materialism? 

Read and repeat in your mind: " Saying that matter produces thoughts is as saying that the colour blue produces the smell of perfume channel ".  That thought of yours is not in its essence of material causation, but mental. It's not because some electrons fired in some special way in your neurons, that you had this thought. That's an error of category. It's actually the contrary. Your thoughts had a material consequence in your neurons.  Therefore, the supernatural realm exists. And is right amongst us. Our mind and thoughts are in their essence not a manifestation of matter, but of a supernatural realm.

The Mind is Not The Brain
https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t1662-the-mind-is-not-the-brain

Near Death experience , evidence of dualism
https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t1284-near-death-experience-evidence-of-dualism

Mind and brain: A scientific discussion leading to the existence of the soul
https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t2798-mind-and-brain-a-scientific-discussion-leading-to-the-existence-of-the-soul

The universe: Caused by a Conscient creator, information and energy
https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t2061p100-my-articles#6037

https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com

6Dualism: The Mind is Not The Brain  Empty Re: Dualism: The Mind is Not The Brain Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:51 am

Otangelo


Admin
Only a non-thinker and wilful ignorant asks for proofs and to demonstrate that absolutely nothing has no causal powers.

Only a non-thinker and wilful ignorant asks for proofs that intelligence comes only from intelligence.

Flowering plants of the genus Musa will always only generate Bananas. Citrus species will always only produce citrus fruits like Orange, lemon etc.
Only an intelligent mind, capable of logical reasoning, is an adequate cause to create other minds able to reason. If we as humans possess the capability to intellectually understand and to know, then the cause must have the same or better capabilities of the same sort.
Questioning and doubting that matter can not produce a mind, consciousness, intelligence, and the capability of logical reasoning is the expression of stupid skepticism to the extreme.

Only a non-thinker and wilful ignorant claims that the laws are not descriptive. Obviously the laws are laws because a law-giver did set them up to be laws, and so the order upon which the universe works.

Are the laws of physics evidence of God's existence ?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8VYZwzLbk8

The physical universe and the laws of physics are interdependent and irreducible. There would not be one without the other. Origins make only sense in face of Intelligent Design.

"The naive view implies that the universe suddenly came into existence and found a complete system of physical laws waiting to be obeyed. Actually, it seems more natural to suppose that the physical universe and the laws of physics are interdependent." —*WH. McCrea, "Cosmology after Half a Century," Science, Vol. 160, June 1968, p. 1297.

Only a non-thinker and wilful ignorant asks for 15 years for evidence of Gods existence.

Something that is self-evident, and the Bible does not even question, but clarifies in Genesis 1:1 with exceptional information content, and the highest semantic weight in worlds literature.

In information theory, semantics can be defined as the weight of the meanings” per sentence or per paragraph. There are literally thousands of books about origins, the beginning of the universe, life, and biodiversity, but none provide genuine answers. Max they can say is; " probably, most likely, we suggest, it seems, it appears " etc. That extends through ALL evolutionary biology. Nobody provides clear certain answers. The Bible, on the other hand, describes the origin of the physical universe in one remarkable sentence:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

(Gen 2:7). And the origin of man: “And the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being” (Gen 2:7). These few words comprise a remarkable information content, since they provide answers to many questions. A well-known scientist named Herbert Spencer died in 1903. He discovered that all reality, all reality, all that exists in the universe can be contained in five categories...time, force, action, space and matter. Herbert Spencer said everything that exists, exists in one of those categories...time, force, action, space, and matter.

Now think about that. Time, force, action, space and matter. That is a logical sequence. And then with that in your mind, listen to Genesis 1:1. "In the beginning," that's time..."God," that's force, "created," that's action, "the heavens," that's space, "and the earth," that's matter. Everything that could be said about everything that exists is said in that first verse.

The sentence can be divided in two categories: the physical universe: time, matter, and space
And the second:
God = the cause
action = the creation event.

Everything that BEGINS TO EXIST ( action ), has a cause. ( God ).

Once this is compared with the scientific evidence, and philosophical considerations, it provides an intellectually SATISFACTORY explanation of our origins. An epistemological sound triple team in action: science, philosophy, and theology.

In order to understand our place in the cosmos, and the reason of our existence, we need to know about our origins. The Bible gives that answer in an epic, remarkable, unique sentence in Genesis 1. The highest weight of meaning in one sentence.

There is a dictum: “Truth does not require many words, but a lie cannot use enough words”,

What we have here represents the highest possible semantic information density. Other passages in the Bible also exhibit superlative semantic densities (e. g. John 3:16 contains all the information necessary for man’s salvation).

Here you can download one of my favored authors and sources of sound scientific information: Dr.Werner Gitt's excellent book for free:

In the Beginning was Information:

https://bruderhand.de/download/Werner_Gitt/Englisch-Am_Anfang_war_die_Info.pdf

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Otangelo


Admin
The mind is not the brain - The Hard Problem

What is the Hard Problem? The question is how do protons, electrons, and neutrons - hard physical things - which have no internal, personal experiences, give rise to mental images and qualia which are internal, personal experiences? Mental images appear to share no properties in common with the neurological activity to which they reliably correlate.

My favorite way to demonstrate the Hard Problem is as follows. Take a moment to do an experiment. Visualize an apple in front of you.

Red apple.
Brown stem.
Green leaf.

If you do not like apples, then choose your favorite fruit and use that instead. Take a few moments to really observe this apple in your mind. After about 30 seconds, when it’s relatively clear in your mind, continue to the next experiment.

Now, take some time to inspect this apple. If you reach out and touch the apple mentally, it is firm. If you flick it, it makes a sound. When you smell it, it has a smell. Take a bite mentally, and it has a taste. Take a moment to perform these actions with your visualized apple before continuing.

Now, physically, where is this apple located?

The image itself cannot be located anywhere in the physical universe. It has no location. You might be thinking, ‘You’re wrong. That apple is in your head.’

Certainly, we can hook you up to an fMRI, MEG, or EEG measure the movement of glucose or electrons in your head, and then map the mental apple-image to this movement of particles. These two things correlate in terms of time. However, the apple itself - that image - is not made of electrons, neutrons, protons, and so forth. If we were performing brain surgery on a person, there would be no virtual image of an apple inside their skull.

If you still object to this, then take me to a lab and show me the protons, electrons, and neurons making up a red apple, with a brown stem, and a green leaf. If that image itself were physical, then this apple in front of you - the one which you can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell - would have various physical properties:

Relative location in space.
Relative extension in space.
Relative Mass.
Relative Velocity.
Relative Energy.
Interactive capability with other physical objects extended in space.
A causal chain of events in physical reality which brought it into being: an apple tree, an apple seed, a previous apple, and so forth.

So, where is this apple in physical space?

Where does it extend?

How much does that apple-image weigh?

What is its velocity?

What other objects is it moving relative to?

What is its total relative energy?

What photons are bouncing off that apple and lighting it up?

Where are those photons coming from?

What eye are those photons being absorbed into?

Finally, if you were going to book a plane to the orchard where a progressive causal chain of physical events gives rise to this apple - to what location would book that flight?

So, this apple-image is not locatable anywhere in the physical universe, has no mass, no velocity, and no energy. It is not lit up by photons and not seen through the absorption of light in an eye organ. It is not heard through the compression of air being absorbed by an ear organ, etc, and yet this apple image can be seen, smelled, tasted, heard, and touched.

Now say “apple” in your mind. Take a moment and say “apple” mentally for 10 seconds.

Now, which lungs did you fill up with air? What air did those lungs breathe in? Which vocal chords, throat, tongue, teeth, and lips did you use to vocalize the sound? What air carried the vibrations or compressions of sound, and which eardrum detected those vibrations or compressions of sound?

This internal world is not composed of the same things as the physical universe, nor does it obey the same laws and rules. So, you have to ignore at least 50% of your direct personal experience to believe that mind and mental images are composed of physical particles. Therefore, the position that the physical world is all that exists runs contrary to direct observable evidence.

This remains one of the most enduring and directly accessible methods for all people to conclude that the mind is non-physical.



https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KAJIglKfU1Tx7xhpVMbdZrGw2KGckt7d2rNn2VcqoyM/edit?fbclid=IwAR2jpj6QqG8Dv_Z0GK_CwPOrjidnbjjgqO7F_-jZXHQ-g6kkpBsYZtv9tuU

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8Dualism: The Mind is Not The Brain  Empty Re: Dualism: The Mind is Not The Brain Sat Oct 03, 2020 11:44 am

Otangelo


Admin
There is no scientific evidence that supports the claim that consciousness is emergent from the brain

Virtually all cognitive scientists today assume that consciousness and all subjectively experienced mental processes are functions of the brain, and are therefore emergent properties or functions of matter. This is the mainstream scientific view of consciousness, and those who reject this hypothesis are commonly viewed by many scientists as being in the grip of a metaphysical bias or religious faith.

To evaluate this scientific perspective, let’s first review some simple, uncontested facts: Scientists have (1) no consensual definition of consciousness, (2) no means of measuring it or its neural correlates, and (3) an incomplete knowledge of the necessary and sufficient causes of consciousness. The fact that no state of consciousness – in fact, no subjectively experienced mental phenomenon of any kind – is detectable using the instruments of science means that, strictly speaking, there is no scientific, empirical evidence for the existence of consciousness or the mind. The only experiential evidence we have for the existence of mental phenomena consists of reports based on first-person, introspective observations of one’s own mental states. But such first-person accounts are not objective, they are not subject to third-person corroboration, and they are generally presented by people with no formal training in observing or reporting on their own mental processes. Yet without such anecdotal evidence for the existence of mental phenomena, scientists would have no knowledge of the mental correlates of the neural and behavioral processes that they study with such precision and sophistication. In other words, the whole edifice of scientific knowledge of mental processes that arise in dependence upon brain functions is based on evidence that is anecdotal and unscientific.

https://fpmt.org/mandala/archives/mandala-issues-for-2006/december/materialism-of-the-gaps/

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Otangelo


Admin
Neuroscientists discover a molecular mechanism that allows the formation of memories

When the brain forms a memory for a new experience, neurons called engrams cells encode the details of the memory and are reactivated later whenever we remember it. A new study from MIT reveals that this process is controlled by the large-scale remodeling of cell chromatin.

This remodeling, which allows specific genes involved in memory storage to become more active, occurs in several stages spread over several days.

Changes in the density and arrangement of chromatin, a highly compressed structure consisting of DNA and proteins called histones, can control how active specific genes are within a given cell.

"This article is the first to really reveal this very mysterious process of how different waves of genes are activated and what is the epigenetic mechanism underlying these different waves of gene expression," said Li-Huei Tsai, director of the Picower Institute at MIT for Learning and memory and the senior author of the study.

Asaf Marco, a postdoctoral fellow at MIT, is the lead author of the article, which emerged today in Nature Neuroscience.

Epigenomic control

Engram cells are found in the hippocampus, as well as in other parts of the brain. Many recent studies have shown that these cells form networks that are associated with specific memories, and these networks are activated when that memory is recovered. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the coding and retrieval of these memories are not well understood.

Neuroscientists know that, in the first stage of memory formation, the genes known as immediate starting genes are activated in the starved cells, but these genes soon return to normal levels of activity. The MIT team wanted to explore what happens later in the process to coordinate the storage of long-term memories.

“The formation and preservation of memory is a very delicate and coordinated event that spans hours and days, and can last for months - we are not sure”, says Marco. "During this process, there are some waves of gene expression and protein synthesis that make the connections between neurons stronger and faster."

Tsai and Marco raised the hypothesis that these waves could be controlled by epigenomic changes, which are chemical changes in chromatin that control whether a particular gene is accessible or not. Previous studies from Tsai's laboratory have shown that when the enzymes that make chromatin inaccessible are very active, they can interfere with the ability to form new memories.

To study the epigenomic changes that occur in individual engrams cells over time, the researchers used genetically modified mice in which they can permanently label engrams in the hippocampus with a fluorescent protein when a memory is formed. These rats received a light shock on their paws, which they learned to associate with the cage in which they received the shock.

When that memory forms, the cells of the hippocampus that encode the memory begin to produce a yellow fluorescent protein marker.

"So, we can track these neurons forever and we can separate them and ask what happens to them an hour after the foot shock, what happens five days later and what happens when these neurons are reactivated during memory recovery" says Marco.

In the first stage, right after the formation of memory, the researchers found that many regions of DNA undergo changes in chromatin.

In these regions, chromatin becomes looser, allowing DNA to become more accessible. To the researchers' surprise, almost all of these regions were in stretches of DNA where no genes were found. These regions contain non-coding sequences called enhancers, which interact with genes to help activate them. The researchers also found that, at this early stage, changes in chromatin had no effect on gene expression.

The researchers then analyzed engram cells five days after memory formation. They found that as the memories were consolidated, or strengthened, over those five days, the 3-D structure of chromatin around the enhancers changed, bringing the enhancers closer to their target genes. This does not yet activate these genes, but prepares them to be expressed when memory is recovered.

Then the researchers put some of the rats back in the chamber where they received the shock in their paws, reactivating the memory of fear. In the cells of these mice, the researchers found that the prepared stimulators often interacted with their target genes, leading to an increase in the expression of these genes.

Many of the genes activated during memory recovery are involved in promoting protein synthesis at synapses, helping neurons to strengthen their connections with other neurons. The researchers also found that neuron dendrites - branched extensions that receive information from other neurons - developed more spines, offering more evidence that their connections were strengthened.

Ready for expression

The study is the first to show that memory formation is driven by epigenomically primary enhancers to stimulate gene expression when a memory is recalled, says Marco.

“This is the first work that shows at the molecular level how the epigenome can be prepared to gain accessibility. First, you make intensifiers more accessible, but accessibility alone is not enough. You need these regions to physically interact with the genes, which is the second phase ”, he says. "We are now realizing that the architecture of the 3-D genome plays a very significant role in orchestrating the expression of the gene."

The researchers have not explored how long these epigenomic changes last, but Marco says he believes they can last for weeks or even months. He now hopes to study how the chromatin of the engram cells is affected by Alzheimer's disease. Previous work by Tsai's lab has shown that treating a mouse model with Alzheimer's with an HDAC inhibitor, a drug that helps reopen inaccessible chromatin, can help restore lost memories.

Mapping the epigenomic and transcriptomic interplay during memory formation and recall in the hippocampal engram ensemble
https://sci-hub.st/https://www.nature.com/articles/s41593-020-00717-0

https://jephmeuspensamentos.wordpress.com/2020/10/06/neurocientistas-descobrem-um-mecanismo-molecular-que-permite-a-formacao-de-memorias/?fbclid=IwAR1rz8yk5fsg_iR6ds9ry7Aq8wZW3WPiX4ttj97QUx8igt3wgsa4DcCcGkk

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10Dualism: The Mind is Not The Brain  Empty The Explanatory gap of consciousness Sun Nov 29, 2020 8:26 am

Otangelo


Admin
The Explanatory gap of consciousness

In a now classic paper, Joseph Levine (1983) introduced the so-called “explanatory gap” in order to name the difficulties materialist metaphysics like physicalism encounter when facing the qualitative aspect of mental states. 

In the case of consciousness—more specifically in the case of subjective experience (phenomenal consciousness, primary consciousness, raw “feelings” or irreducible “qualia”) – there appears to be what philosopher Levine (1983) called an “explanatory gap” between the subjective experiences and the physical brain. It is the subjective, personal nature of consciousness that makes it so perplexing and mysterious. So how can the personal subjective nature of consciousness be explained by objective neurobiological science?   5

The thing that made his paper the more important is that Levine himself was a materialist. Levine’s highly problematic epistemological argument leads to an unhappy consequence: the physicalist can either eliminate qualia (i.e. intrinsically qualitative ineffable mental states) altogether or face defeat (Levine, 1983).

It is natural to ask whether or not some progresses have been made in respect to this highly problematic issue. The blunt and short answer, I think, is definitely “no”. The explanatory gap, slowly transformed in what David Chalmers called the “hard problem of consciousness” and it is here to stay with us, as no current physical or biological theory can even attempt to solve it.

It is hard to think of quarks and leptons as having minds or even experiences. And still, naturalism asks us to consider that our minds are natural processes which appeared in the course of evolution. The question here is how far down the phylogenetic tree we have to go in order to find qualia and, possibly more important, how we could know if an organism has phenomenal experiences. Looking at molecules, cytoskeletons, microtubules and other fine-grained structures of the cell does not tell us anything about how that cell “experiences” the world.

The mind body problem is at its core a problem of identifying an empirically adequate meeting point between the physical extensions of our brains and bodies and the apparently non-physical mind. 6 There seems to be an irreconcilable.  The conflict between the Manifest Image of colors, sounds, smells, desires and beliefs and the world of atoms, molecules and fields described by modern physical science. Indeed, while we frequently think of the world in terms of intrinsic qualitative experiences, viz. the ineffable “what is like” quality of “phenomenal consciousness”, science tells us that the fundamental ontological bricks of the universe are quarks, leptons and their antiparticles, along with force carriers, all trapped together in the “cement” of causality. Needless to say, in such a world, there is no room for mental properties, as everything ultimately depends on the micro physical structures and dynamics of purely material entities.

Science lists 27 different kinds of expressions of feelings and emotions: admiration, adoration, aesthetic appreciation, amusement, anger, anxiety, awe, awkwardness, boredom, calmness, confusion, craving, disgust, empathic pain, entrancement, excitement, fear, horror, interest, joy, nostalgia, relief, romance, sadness, satisfaction, sexual desire, surprise. 2
Emotions can be combined to form different feelings, much like colors can be mixed to create other shades. There are smooth gradients of emotion between, say, awe and peacefulness, horror and sadness, and amusement and adoration. Emotions are rich and nuanced.
Intelligence is intertwined with Emotion. Intelligence, feelings, emotions are intertwined and connected with the human body which responds to the way we think, feel, and act.

Question: Not only emotional states, but also the facial and physiological expression of emotions, how did they emerge? What emerged first: The WILL to express these emotions and actually to have them, or the physical facial capability to do so ????

That question has entertained Darwin and colleagues, and they published a book on the topic:

Darwin, C. R. 1872. The expression of the emotions in man and animals. London: John Murray.
http://darwin-online.org.uk/content/frameset?itemID=F1142&viewtype=text&pageseq=1

There is not only an interdependence and irreducible complexity in biological and biochemical systems, but the Body-mind is interwoven,  they form a unity, but are separated entities at the same time. That includes consciousness, emotions, and the physical expression of them.   

Antonio Damasio, professor of neuroscience:
Feelings are mental experiences of body states, which arise as the brain interprets emotions, themselves physical states arising from the body’s responses to external stimuli. (The order of such events is: I am threatened, experience fear, and feel horror.)

Dr.Sarah Mckay, neuroscientist:
Emotions play out in the theater of the body. Feelings play out in the theater of the mind.

During every waking moment of life, a human mind consists of a variety of mental states. These mental states are typically named in commonsense terms, such as emotions (e.g., fear, disgust, love) 3

Question: Could emotions be emerging properties of the brain? 
Since the beginning of psychological science, researchers have assumed that each of these words refers to a separate and distinct kind of mental category or “faculty”. Accordingly, scientists have searched for the physical correlates of these mental categories for over a century—in behavior, in peripheral physiology, and most recently, in a functioning brain. For example, cognitive neuroscientists have attempted to identify the unified neural basis of fear, disgust, love, the self, episodic memory, semantic memory, working memory, face perception and so on. Twenty years of neuroimaging research is revealing, however, that the brain does not respect faculty psychology categories 3

Professor Joseph LeDoux and Richard Brown, a professor at the City University of New York:
Emotions are not innately programmed into our brains. Emotions are "higher-order states" embedded in cortical circuits. Therefore, unlike present theories, they see emotional states as similar to other states of consciousness. 4

Feelings arise as a result of introspective awareness of internal information. higher-order representations (HORs) higher-order theory (HOT), arguing that self-centered higher-order states are essential for emotional experiences.

The natural solution, would be to consider conscious experience as a brute fact of our universe. The supernatural, that a conscious intelligent creator is beyond and above the Universe, and instantiated both, the physical, and conscious, contingent beings.  

Dualism: The Mind is Not The Brain  Feelin10

Biological evolutionary pressures

Dualism: The Mind is Not The Brain  F1_lar10

1. https://www.pnas.org/content/114/38/E7900
2. https://news.berkeley.edu/2017/09/06/27-emotions/#:~:text=The%2027%20emotions%3A%20admiration%2C%20adoration,%2C%20satisfaction%2C%20sexual%20desire%2C%20surprise
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3453527/#:~:text=These%20mental%20states%20are%20typically,perception)%2C%20and%20so%20on.
4. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170215121100.htm#:~:text=Summary%3A,gathering%20of%20information%2C%20researchers%20conclude.
5. https://www.pnas.org/content/114/10/E2016
6. The Explanatory Gap - ScienceDirect.com

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11Dualism: The Mind is Not The Brain  Empty Re: Dualism: The Mind is Not The Brain Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:25 am

Otangelo


Admin
CONSCIOUSNESS:

Neither physics, chemistry, neurology, or biology explains, accommodates, acknowledges, accounts, enables, or permits consciousness. There is no mathematical description of consciousness. No textbook adequately explains consciousness in detail. Consciousness is objectively unfalsifiable, untestable and unprovable.

Consciousness eludes physics and other natural sciences. There is nothing in the laws of physics that permits consciousness. To physics, consciousness doesn't exist. Physics doesn't acknowledge consciousness. Physics is indifferent to consciousness. There is no law of consciousness in physics or chemistry.

Consciousness is a third wheel to the physical world. It doesn't belong in materialism. It’s an extra puzzle piece to the puzzle. Consciousness doesn't fit into reality with materialism. You can’t predict consciousness existing in physics. Consciousness is nonessential in materialism, consciousness in dualism is fundamental. Consciousness in materialism violates the law of parsimony.

Physics, chemistry, or neurology cannot prove that consciousness can exist in a material world without using dualism. Consciousness would have to be squeezed into materialism because it does not belong there.

Consciousness is beyond the realm of physics, it defies physics. Consciousness shouldn’t exist in materialism, as materialism is just blind matter in motion following physics.

If physics doesn't acknowledge consciousness, materialism has a problem. Materialism doesn’t account for consciousness, dualism does. 

EXPLORING THE POSSIBLE SOURCES OF CONSCIOUSNESS:

What law of physics enables brain activity to invoke consciousness? Why can’t a brain function normally without the added element of consciousness?
Claiming that brain activity is consciousness, is as to claim the TV screen playing a movie is consciousness. Without a mechanistic explanation, that is just an unsubstantiated claims.
To say that brain activity is consciousness, is as to saying the lens is the viewer.

Are  consciousness and brain activity synonymous? 

If consciousness is a computation or a process, do all processes or computations have consciousness? And what law of physics dictates processes can have consciousness? Does a computer have consciousness? Does a process magically conjure up a mind? If consciousness is a brain wave, do all waves have consciousness? Is consciousness is a wave? Why do waves need to have consciousness? Does physics permit waves to be conscious?

If  consciousness is an emergent property of the brain, prove that claim with an explanation using physics. Like a car mechanic can explain how transportation is an emergent property of car parts and fuel, but if you can’t, then there is no reason to accept your claim. Also, I can equally say the brain (and all material reality) is an emergent property of consciousness. Brain activity is an emergent property of the brain, but the same can’t be said about consciousness being an emergent property of the brain. You can’t find consciousness in a brain.

If  consciousness is an emergent property of the brain, prove that claim with an actual explanation, not an analogy. Analogies are for visualization, they are not a substitute for actual explanations, they shouldn’t be used as a cop-out. The reason why analogies are not enough to prove a point is because analogies and be used on either side of an argument, for example, I could say the brain acts as a lens interfacing consciousness to the material world, while you could say that consciousness is the result of trillions of individually conscious neurons that are not very conscious by themselves, but when in high numbers makes for a more conscious brain. How can one prove this analogy is valid? If you say A=B therefore X=Y, you must show your work to demonstrate that claim is a true analogy and not a false analogy. Analogies do not stand on their own.

If  "consciousness is an abstract noun, therefore, cannot be proven to exist,” then you cannot force something into existence by calling it an abstract noun without accounting for it with physical/natural science. Abstract nouns do exist, but how can we determine if consciousness, as an abstract noun, exist? Without consciousness, we can’t be sure to say anything exist at all. This is why it is true that consciousness is indeed unprovable. This is the elusive nature of consciousness. Even as an abstract noun, consciousness cannot be said to be a product of the brain or even exist at all.

If  consciousness is a quantum function, or having to do with microtubules, prove it in coherent detail; or even string theory.If  consciousness is an emergent property of a complex information network, why and how? Does the internet have consciousness? What law of physics allow this? How does an information network magically conjure up consciousness?

If you claim consciousness is an emergent field like polarized iron is to its magnetic field, is consciousness is a field? Why would a field have consciousness? With a field, you can detect it, you can’t detect consciousness unless you say it’s a brain wave. What physical law allows a field to have consciousness?

If you claim consciousness is in brain cells or neurons, can you find consciousness in them? Can you isolate or extract consciousness from neurons? Which nerve cell organelle makes consciousness?

Are you saying the claustrum is responsible for producing consciousness? How and why? Is it not just made of cells like everything else? Maybe the claustrum just acts as a lens to interface consciousness with the material world.

Are you saying the brain makes consciousness because that is where it seems like it is coming from? Well, it can be said the brain simply acts as container for consciousness; but that doesn’t mean it makes it, it just contains it. I mean “acts” like a container because even the brain itself is thought to be an illusion playing a role in idealism.

It is plausible consciousness and/or energy is its own source, since it seems something ought to be an irreducible constant.

SEEING CONSCIOUSNESS IN BRAIN SCANS:

One cannot find consciousness in brain scans, just a brain made of cells made of chemicals interacting.

The lights are on, but you can’t prove anyone is home. I could be in a virtual reality simulation observing someone else's brain activity and there be no actual consciousness in that brain, just a simulated brain and body of an NPC.
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Consciousness cannot be found in a dead body for the same reason it can’t be found in alive one, due to the law of solipsism.
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Brain activity is just proof of brain activity, it follows physics just fine, but incorporating consciousness into brain activity is adding an extra step. You are then defining consciousness into existence. If you believe consciousness is the result of brain activity, then explain how it is going the extra mile to make consciousness, and not just simply blindly following the laws physics. Why does brain activity result in consciousness? What is observing this brain activity if not the soul?
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You can test for brain activity, but you cannot prove there’s actual consciousness in it, maybe just the appearance of a conscious mind, but not an actual conscious inner experience, it is only assumed there is someone home.
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If materialism can conflate brain activity with actual consciousness, then dualism can conflate consciousness with the soul.
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How do brain cells see, hear, and smell? Or have memory? What cell organelle is responsible for consciousness, sensory perceptions, and memory. What is observing the brains interpretation of sensory data?
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Dualism does not owe anyone a naturalistic explanation of consciousness, materialism does. Demanding that supernatural consciousness requires a naturalistic explanation is like demanding eternity have a start time.
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What's stopping a brain from operating normally without a conscious inner experience? What’s preventing brain activity from existing without consciousness in it? Why does brain activity result in consciousness?
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Brain damage or anything that alters the brain’s experience is not proof of materialism nor does it falsify dualism. Damaging, altering, or manipulating the brain is not evidence that the brain makes
consciousness as it can be equally said that the brain acts more like a medium, a lens, an interface that links consciousness to the material world like a video game avatar is to the human playing it.
Damaging, manipulating, or altering the brain does not alter consciousness, it alters the experience of consciousness, (by altering the lens you alter the view) however, in idealism, reality is just a continuous data dream stream (which source is thought to be unknown), and with this said, we cannot be certain that the brain itself is even relevant at all as the movie of reality carries on like a script or a film projection while consciousness just watches reality stream on. The brain can be just playing a role in the reality like everything else.
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Consciousness is immutable (unchanging), you can only (seemingly) change the degree of wakefulness and change the experience of consciousness, but it’s always the same consciousness at the receiving end. It is plausible every being with consciousness has the same consciousness plugged in; just another you in another body.
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Neural activities are correlations, not explanation. There must be something there to perceive and interpret these neural correlates.
“CAN YOU FIND CONSCIOUSNESS OUTSIDE A BRAIN?”
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When was this idea ever claimed?
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Also, consciousness inhabiting a brain doesn’t mean the brain produces it, that’s like saying a toilet makes water because it holds and refills water. Further investigation might reveal more information.
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It maybe consciousness always occupies a physical form through immediate reincarnations, however, I see no reason consciousness can’t be disembodied in the bardo (the realm of disincarnated souls). Mystical experiences give us glimpses of this beautiful and powerful realm.
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Can you demonstrate consciousness IN a brain? Can you demonstrate consciousness even exist?
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Consciousness is immaterial, I wouldn’t expect to isolate it in a jar, nor could I prove there is any consciousness in existence besides my own. Consciousness is invisible, undetectable, and has no weight, mass, or physical dimension. The law of solipsism shows consciousness can only be demonstrated subjectively as the self.
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You cannot find consciousness in neuron(s). At what point does consciousness come into play in materialism? How many neurons does consciousness need in order to emerge?
A UNIVERSAL SUBSTANCE:

Some “substance” in the universe ought to be: Irreducible. Raw. Central. Constant. Primordial. Home base. Rock bottom. The ultimate receiver… Why not consciousness? What is the explanation to the explanation to the explanation? What is primary? It must be hidden in plain sight.
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Consciousness is the apparent center of all creation (reality). It’s not implausible to hypothesize dualism in this way, as it readily accounts for consciousness by making it fundamental.
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Something ought to be eternal and its own source, why not consciousness and energy? Some materialist claim matter and energy are eternal, but why not postulate consciousness and energy are eternal? Because an absolute nothing hasn't been shown to exist.
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In materialism, matter is fundamental, but where did it come from? Is it eternal or did it come from absolute nothing? This the limitations of materialism (in materialism, everything is assumed to have and must have a naturalistic explanation). In dualism, consciousness is eternal and does not require a start time or an explanation. It is the constant of all constants. It is supernatural that is exempt from naturalistic explanation. I cannot even imagine a “universe” without consciousness.
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Brahman dreams realities, all is an eternal ocean of pure, vibrant, conscious, intelligent energy.
Energy constructs the material world (reality) by the imagination of Brahman called maya. It’s all a naturally occurring, continuous hallucination. A continuous dream. A production of mind. A tour. A mental simulation; all in the present moment of the eternal now. Reality is a production; we are incarnated souls playing make believe. We are merely spectaculars of the show called life. Life is a wakeful dream. The present “now” is the same as the now as it ever was, just a different situation, even during and after death.
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Consciousness observes, you can’t change that, you can only change what is observed.
Consciousness is immutable, like a projector screen, only the projection changes.
Perceptions change, consciousness does not. You can affect the view, but not the viewer.
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Consciousness itself doesn’t even seem to know where it came from as it seems Brahman has amnesia.
THE DOGMA OF MATERIALISM:

a) Dualism hypothesizes consciousness is the soul.
b) Materialism hypothesizes consciousness is a generated by brain activity.
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Which interpretation of consciousness is most coherent, fits what we see, and has explanatory power while remaining realistic?
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Does materialism neglect and ignore consciousness? Does dualism foster consciousness?
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Materialism carries conundrums and assumptions regarding our origins:
1) the creation from nothing claim (the mysterious exploding singularity dot of energy).
2) the big bang claim.
3) the suspicious life from nonlife claim.
4) common descent claim.
5) the suspicious brain produces consciousness claim.
6) and the objective reality claim.
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Materialism makes assertions regarding our origins and promote their big bang-to-brain creation story. Dualism doesn’t have these conundrums. Materialism of the gaps is not a good assumption, by assuming only dumb matter and energy exist you are then limiting science. Why should science favor materialism over dualism? Science can embrace dualism just a as well. Don’t confuse or conflate materialism with science. Materialism is a philosophy, not a science in of itself. Science is the pursuit of truth and knowledge.
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So, the scientific community resorts to making unsubstantiated naturalistic hypotheses, then claims ignorance on the subject at hand to hide supernatural aspects by saying: “We don’t know.” This is forever moving the goal post, a double standard, and special pleading. This causes limitations on progress. Materialism in this way is unfalsifiable, and it’s claims regarding our origins are compromised. While superficially naturalism looks good, its creation story is fallacious.
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Supernatural is any event, thing, or being that cannot or has not yet been explained with materialism or within the scope of physics, chemistry, or any other naturalistic branch of physical science:
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a) Can naturalism explain something from nothing? Or an eternal something? No.
b) Can physics or chemistry explain or show life from nonlife? No.
c) Can physics, chemistry, or naturalism explain or even observe consciousness? No.
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Anything that eludes naturalism is considered supernatural until natural/physical science can show otherwise; therefore, consciousness falls under the supernatural.
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Naturalism works off the laws in nature, but doesn’t necessarily question where these laws came from; hence, the difference between philosophical naturalism, and methodical naturalism. Or metaphysics and natural physics.
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If you don’t have a coherent, naturalistic explanation that natural/physical science can handle, you are in no position to dogmatically assert that your paradigm is the true one. Dualism accounts for the missing variables of consciousness and creation (that materialism has failed to do), by incorporating consciousness as the soul and considering idealism; idealism complements dualism.
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Brahman is about comprehension, not faith. You need not believe in it on faith, only knowledge, logic, reason, and critical thinking.
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There is an immaterial being behind your eyes and other senses, it’s the soul hiding in plain sight; otherwise, you would be a mindless, biological robot actively living as a human without realizing it.
Premise 1: consciousness exists.
Premise 2: consciousness and soul are synonymous.
Conclusion: consciousness exists; therefore, the soul exists.
(Consciousness existing is the one true axiom.)
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Is consciousness supernatural?
Premise 1: supernatural things are beyond the scope of natural/physical explanation.
Premise 2: consciousness is not explained by physics, chemistry, nor neurology.
Conclusion: therefore, consciousness is supernatural.
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Even in modern times, with all our technology, scientist, and mathematics; consciousness remains supernatural. At what point do you decide something is outside the reach of naturalism? We know the brain is made of cells; consciousness should have been explained by natural/physical science by now.
Perhaps the reason that consciousness hasn’t been solved yet is due to the naturalistic paradigm being applied.
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The reason why the evidence for materialism is not actual evidence: you could be the only conscious being in a virtual reality and still make the same arguments, rendering them invalid. All the same predictions and data can be satisfied with dualism over materialism just as well if not better.
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Materialism’s so-called evidence doesn’t falsify dualism nor does the data favor materialism. You’d have to prove materialism (consciousness made by brain cells) in order to falsify dualism, and compare the two to see which philosophy is more coherent and realistic.
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Also, the odds of being in a virtual reality simulation (indistinguishable from base reality) is 50:50, and it is a realistic plausibility. We have VR now, who’s to say we are no in one right now and we have no way to distinguish it from a said base reality.
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Materialism has it that the dream makes the dreamer. Idealism has it that the dreamer makes the dream, or even co-exist.
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My consciousness could be in an entirely different reality, like a dream or virtual reality, in an entirely different body. Even outer space could be a fake backdrop of a dream sky.
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Whether or not you agree with consciousness being labeled as supernatural or not, doesn’t change the fact that naturalism has yet to explain consciousness. At what point do we decide consciousness is beyond naturalism and label consciousness as supernatural?
DUALISM AND IDEALISM:

Dualism and idealism are essentially the same thing, but idealism postulates that material reality dissolves when not perceived, that things are only rendered in the lens of perception, whether it be a sensation or a view. Idealism works like a dream or a virtual reality video game. Dualism doesn’t specifically make this argument or even addresses it, but it doesn’t deny it.
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Dualism and idealism both maintain the hypothesis that consciousness, or the soul, is independent of the reality it’s immersed in, like a virtual reality or a dream.
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Idealism postulates that reality is all a data dream stream from womb-to-tomb. Reality started at the first perception of it, like a story book. Even your parents and the photographs before you were born are just stage props to your data streamed reality.
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Even the idea of the brain is but data rendered to consciousness from the nervous system. In idealism, the concept of the brain is nothing more than a data stream to the soul. A material illusion. Even the nervous system and the brain is a product of the material world that may just be part of the dream stream.
Whether you see a brain, or affect a brain, or have knowledge about the brain, it is still just data to consciousness altogether.
If you think the brain is solely responsible for thought and sensory perception, explain how without incorporating a soul into it. The brain is the lens to the material world, or at least that’s one interpretation on the subject. The brain-in-a-vat idea is somewhat true, seeing how that vat is the skull. We only ever encounter data through the nervous system, and the external world is actually unknown.
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Considering idealism, we cannot identify the actual source of our data dream stream. We don’t know what’s “out there” beyond our senses (nervous system).
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The outer limits in which one can travel is called the firmament of the mind, just like in a video game or dream, we are restricted to go beyond what is permitted. We cannot reach an edge.
THE LAW OF SOLIPSISM:

Solipsism is the fact that consciousness cannot be proven to exist objectively “out there,” and that consciousness can only be experienced subjectively (anecdotally).
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Consciousness is the self. We cannot know if there are other conscious “selves” out there living out an experience.
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Solipsism is the fact that objective reality is unprovable, and a subjective reality is all that can be known. Solipsism is the lack of belief in objective reality, but solipsism doesn’t deny objective reality, it just acknowledges that it cannot prove objective reality.
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Solipsism is not a claim or a belief, it's a thought experiment on a fact, the fact that the one’s own self is all that can be known; like a dream is to the dreamer. The dreamer can only know its own self over the people inside the dream.
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Solipsism is not the belief one’s self is all that exist, it's the stance that one’s self is all that can be known to exist. Like a video game where the other characters in the game can’t be shown to have actual human players behind them.
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Solipsism is useful when analyzing reality, it is not a worldview in of itself, just a tidbit that comes in handy when thinking and discussing about consciousness and reality.
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The only argument against solipsism is a misrepresentation.
CONSCIOUSNESS AS AN IMMOVABLE ENTITY:

Think about consciousness as something you are: a fixed constant that's permanent, perched, static, confined, base, core, and immutable. Like a TV that plays movies, but the TV itself never moves, just the picture moves. Ever saw it that way? You can’t get behind consciousness!
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You've been the same consciousness since as long as you can remember. It has always been there, and you haven’t noticed it in this way.
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We have been watching reality like a movie for a very long time. Idealism postulates we are in an eternal dream steam, a never-ending stream of stories. Although, whether it is eternal or not is actually unknown, there is no known reason that prohibits the notion.
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If reality were a virtual reality, the materialist scientists in it would only be concerned with the reality it can see, not the coding that makes the reality and the natural laws.
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Be mindful when analyzing clues in the environment regarding our origins, as the reality may be masquerading as something it’s not, like the big bang-to-brain creation story (storyline).
Take evidence skeptically as the simulation in question may be just displaying, a front, a façade, a fake, an imitation, a narrative, a cover story, a scenario.
Even the existence of outer space should be questioned in a virtual reality simulation, and earth may be the only material reality.
Even with the evidence of red shift and cosmic microwave background, tides, and the so-called common descent evidence. The truth is: the creation story of materialism (big bang, outer space, abiogenesis, common descent, consciousness produced by the brain, and the earth’s past) didn’t have to have happened for reality to exist as it does. Reality could have literally started when you first perceived it like opening a book to chapter 1.
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In dualism, idealism, and solipsism, reality revolves around consciousness despite what the simulation is pretending to be.

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12Dualism: The Mind is Not The Brain  Empty Re: Dualism: The Mind is Not The Brain Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:20 pm

Otangelo


Admin
Dualism and its place in a philosophical structure for psychiatry
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11019-018-9841-2

It is often claimed in parts of the psychiatric literature that neuroscientific research into the biological basis of mental disorder undermines dualism in the philosophy of mind. This paper shows that such a claim does not apply to all forms of dualism. Focusing on Kenneth Kendler’s discussion of the mind–body problem in biological psychiatry, I argue that such criticism of dualism often conflates the psychological and phenomenal concepts of the mental. Moreover, it fails to acknowledge that there are different varieties of dualism, and so overlooks the important metaphysical insights of contemporary dualist philosophers. I argue that while the neuroscientific research underpinning biological psychiatry challenges the traditional dualism of René Descartes, it does not pose any problem for the more modern dualism of David Chalmers. It is possible to take seriously the scientific claims of biological psychiatry while holding that this latter form of dualism is true. This has implications for the positioning of the mind–body problem in psychiatry. While the “easy” problem of explaining psychological processes is relevant to the aims of biological psychiatry, psychiatrists need not worry about the “hard” problem of consciousness.

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13Dualism: The Mind is Not The Brain  Empty Re: Dualism: The Mind is Not The Brain Mon Dec 21, 2020 6:03 am

Otangelo


Admin
Quantum Physics Meets the Philosophy of Mind page 14
The belief of most contemporary neuroscientists, and philosophers of mind, is that we lie on the physical side: and that our conscious experiences must therefore be built out of the material stuff of our bodies, and, more specifically, of our brains or nervous systems. That conclusion draws its scientific support from the principles of classical mechanics, which claimed that the behavior of our bodies could be completely explained without ever mentioning or considering our conscious thoughts, ideas, and feelings. Huge efforts have been made to understand, rationally, how “man as subject” can arise from the material stuff of classical mechanics—how something like the motions of bouncing billiard balls could be or produce, a conscious thought. But many scientists and philosophers now agree that no progress at all has been made in resolving that classical-physics-based mystery. Sir Karl Popper described the current mainline view in neuroscience as “promissory materialism”: with the “promise” being that dogged adherence to the principles of classical mechanics will eventually lead to an understanding of consciousness. Classical mechanics was, however, found during the twentieth century to be incompatible with a growing host of empirical findings, and was replaced at the fundamental level by quantum mechanics. A key innovation of the new theory was to bring our conscious thoughts into the theory as logically essential parts of the basic underlying dynamics. This quantum approach leads, via the “orthodox” formulation of John von Neumann (1955), to a clean ontological separation between our mental and physical aspects, which, however, become tied together by a dynamical connection. John Tyndall’s nineteenth-century “impassable gulf” has thus been bridged, during the twentieth century, by replacing an empirically invalid classical physics with empirically valid quantum physics!

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14Dualism: The Mind is Not The Brain  Empty Re: Dualism: The Mind is Not The Brain Wed Dec 23, 2020 11:24 am

Otangelo


Admin
Argument from consciousness
1. Existing fundamentals—space, time, and matter, nor evolution can explain consciousness, which itself is something fundamental, and different from physical things.
2. Consciousness is of immaterial substance, a different identity from hard physical objects, matter and space. Perception, understanding, and evaluation of things adds a quality beyond and absent from natural physical matter and states, and can, therefore, not be reduced to known physical principles.
3.  Hard objects are never observed spontaneously to transform themselves into abstract ideas. The mind cannot be an emergent property of the brain. To ascribe to the electrons in our brain the property to generate consciousness, and not to ascribe the same property to the electrons moving in a bulb, is in contradiction with quantum physics, which establishes that all electrons are equal and indistinguishable, that is they have all exactly the same properties. 
4. Therefore, dualism is true, and since the universe had a beginning, the mind precedes and exists beyond the universe. That mind is God.

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