Nov 01, 2021
4 mins read
2. (a) Explain in detail and defend the mind-brain identity argument. Why would one think that this position might be a better account of the mind than the dualist one?
(b) Explain an objection to this theory.
(c) How successful is the objection at refuting the identity theory?
The theory of the brain as mind, called the “Mind-Brain” is an interesting position to take. Presumably, Atheists must follow this line of reasoning. There is no “self” only the ‘I’ you can see and touch, therefore the “mind” is just the coded in personality created by my parents, society, and my so-called beliefs (thoughts and ideas, etc.). All my thoughts are simply extensions of my previous thoughts as seen through the filter of various filters or stimuli, such as a philosophy question from an interesting teacher. In the direct question above you ask (loosely translated/ paraphrased) why might one believe this more likely true? Why would a “mind as brain” philosopher think themselves more correct than a dualist with the self and being and as the machine that houses being? Well, as I understand it humans tend to prefer a simple answer to all things (which is part of how ‘god’ became so darn popular). To a religious human, there are two selves, but they take that on faith, the same way they took it on faith that it was a god that caused the volcanic eruption that leveled Sodom… The modern thinker and more specifically the atheist claim they do not “believe” (do not mention that that is also a belief…) in nontangible. I do not believe in ghosts or spirits so there can be no soul (funny how many people believe in the soul but not ghosts or vice-versa…). Modern science is making great strides towards is making that argument. The brain is a recording of everything experienced. Input causes stimulus that recalls previous experiences, hashes out the math, and fires off a few hundred neurons forcing the machine to “think” and to “act” in the best possible (personal perception even if flawed) way to avoid pain or gain reward, etc.
I object to this completely rational theory because I know better. Personally. You see, I, like thousands of others (probably in Washington alone) have experienced existence outside of my body. I was watching a wonderful show the other night about a group of scientists that were trying to learn more about the phenomenon of people, like my 8-year-old self, that experience their deaths from an observers perspective during surgery as well as that of those that simply “fell out” of their bodies and watched their operations as they occurred. I watched as two different nurses ran, one for a crash-cart, the other for 3 pints of blood. The doctor struggled to find and close the artery he inadvertently cut while separating my abscessed upper kidney from the normal and functional lower on my left side. That was not the first nor the last time I found myself outside of the machine. The first time I can recall was watching my 3- or 4-year-old self sleeping, the second was when I had folded my left leg 100 percent the opposite way it was intended to go (dislocated, toes toughing my waist in front) and woke up standing by the emergency room door (1978) where I watched the doctor, with my mothers help, put it back then bandage it up so it could heal. I believe that I know the moment my Kidney failed because I watched myself fall out (unconscious for 4 hours, no reason ever discovered) when I was 4 and a half, that same age they say I “must have been” when it failed. There is another experience, one greater than any other that I have had but I was 19 and had just taken a large dose of LSD, so… I will tell you about it if you want to know.
To the last part of this question “how successful is the objection to this theory”, I say this. There is no answer, this question is subjective and therefore can only garner an opinion. I can tell you what I believe or think, an answer requires facts. I only have experiences, which to me are facts but to you could easily be naught but heresy. In the end, I know what I know. I know I can exist without my vehicle; I know that the brain is a computer and that I live in the machine. I know that without the machine “logical” thinking ends and pure being is all that is left.