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Is the mind separate from the brain?

Discussion in 'House of Politics Lounge' started by palerider, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    Is your mind a separate entity from your brain or is everything you know, think, feel, and believe no more than a series of biochemical and electrochemical reactions?
     
  2. dahermit

    dahermit New Member

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    Science or religion? Biologists would say they are one and the same. Persons of a religious bent are certainly going to evoke existence of a "soul"...I don't have one of those because it cannot be seen, weighed, or detected by any scientific means.

    Nevertheless, there is some scientific theory about genes passing on instinct/memory to the next generation. Consider how a spider will spin a web exactly the same as previous generations of that species even though it has never seen a web.
     
  3. steveox

    steveox Well-Known Member

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    Should this be in Health?
     
  4. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    I didn't intend to talk about souls but if that is the direction one wishes to move then so be it.

    Would you say that it is true that everything is identical to itself? That in order for a thing to be "one in the same" that the properties of each would have to be identical? I find that I can't describe my mind using language that I would use to describe the properties of my brain and I can't describe my brain using the language that I would use to describe the properties of my mind.

    Do spiders have minds? I am sure that they sense things and have sensations, but does that constitute mind?
     
  5. Coyote

    Coyote Active Member

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    Is "mind" the same as "self awareness"?
     
  6. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    Is it?
     
  7. Pidgey

    Pidgey Well-Known Member

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    You're way outside of QED here. If I know Coyote, the debate will have to allow that other animals on the planet share the quality of "mind", whatever it is. How about this one, Coyote:

    "We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth."

    THE OUTERMOST HOUSE, p. 25, Henry Beston
     
  8. dahermit

    dahermit New Member

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    not my point.

    Most likely not. However, I used that example as a simple illustration of an action (spinning a particular type of web) which cannot be described as a function of the brain, might be something passed in genes. Which complicates the mind/brain function discussion. We as humans consider everything we do as being learned by the brain. We do not know how much of what we do may be instinct; memory passed by genes.
     
  9. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't argue that certain animals are aware but I believe that in order to have "mind" one would have to be aware that one's self is aware. I don't really think animals are aware that they are aware.
     
  10. Pidgey

    Pidgey Well-Known Member

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    To be fair, it's kinda' hard for us to be aware of whether they're aware of whether they're aware as most wouldn't or don't care, dare or share enough to stare into their lair that deeply.

    Perhaps we really do need Peyote or Coyote to solve this dilemma.
     
  11. Coyote

    Coyote Active Member

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    I don't know if I'm the Coyote you know...but I like that...a lot:)
     
  12. Coyote

    Coyote Active Member

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    I don't think there is any way to really know because the only way we measure them is with a human yardstick. I think many other species are self-aware.
     
  13. r0beph

    r0beph New Member

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    This discussion is one I cannot possibly debate with any amount of credence, nor can I support EITHER side adequately to myself.

    This question hurts me like trying to conceptualize why "anything" exists. I mean removing religious ideology out of the mix. There is no reason for a universe. However this is given our limited ability of observation, 100 years ago we knew so much less than now, new discoveries about the functions of everything are discovered daily and at an increasing rate, but I digress... What I suggest is a hypothetical situation that's always left me confused and is related to this integrally . In star trek they have transporters. These supposedly disintegrate the molecules of the person / object transported, keep the order of the molecules for reintegration in a computer memory. The matter is converted to energy, sent to the receipt point, and is reintegrated.
    Now this is where the relation to this thread comes in. Once the person is reintegrated, the transferred person would be self aware (since it is a perfect copy/reintegration of molecules) however, since at the point of inception the body is by all technicalities destroyed converted to energy and transferred, is the "mind" still me? It would be me by all outward observations, but what of my (what I like to refer to as focal point, what I consider me, myself, the fact that I am the same body who woke up yesterday, who snuck out of my crib as a toddler, who spends way to much time on the internet, simply it's the focal point of what I consider myself) focal point, would I "personally" cease to exist, recreated with a "new" mind, or would I be to myself, simply transferred across a spatial distance. While the latter seems sort of feasible, what destroys this possibility is that if the molecular make up of me was contained in a computer for reintegration from energy, then some energy could be used to create a second copy. If the primary transferrance does not effect my focal point of conciousness, then the problem arises of focal duality if a copy was made. The argument that arises from the hypothesis is that while the self/mind/awareness is perhaps biological, something else must exist that creates my local focal point. hope this made sense. It's something I'd love to see discussed.
     
  14. Pidgey

    Pidgey Well-Known Member

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    I wrote what I wrote about knowing you because I'd read a few of your posts. That's the sum of that. I feel that you're more attuned to the spiritual side of life where palerider is somewhat more mathematical, some would perhaps say cold. A subject like this must draw from both experiences, methinks.
     
  15. Coyote

    Coyote Active Member

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    Ah, well thank you, and especially for that beautiful quote:)
     
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