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"So you're really faking it?!"

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Are we just a product of the parts that make up our physical body with no free choice as to how to act?
A person is the sum of the parts which make up their body and has the choice to act according to the constraints and capabilities of those parts.

Capabilities which may include denying all of the preceding.
 

Nielk

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What i find fascinating is reading books on reports of near death experiences.
It has been found that there is a universal commonality to what people describe who have been in that state.
They all seem to see a light and then some people who they have known who have passed and a tremendous feeling of love.
This is coming from all different countries and nationalities.
In addition, they seem to be able to hover over their own bodies and see what people-doctors-nurses are doing and sying and will repeat it when they are back.

How does science explain this?
 

lucy

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They say that when the brain is severely deprived of oxygen, all the electrochemical processes produce the effect of the person perceiving the white light coming from a concentrated source. Recent studies say it is CO2 excess with is producing this effect, not the lack of oxygen. Interesting or not, when a person is under the snow in an avalanche, it is the carbon dioxide too which is the killer, so in order to lengthen the survival time it is advised not to inhale the exhaled air (no idea where to put the exhaled air though).
 

Esther12

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Yeah, there are all sorts of crazy neurological processes which tend to occur arround death.

I can get a sense of being outside my own body through meditation. Apparently they can induce this sensation through the electrical stimulation of different parts of the brain (not sure I fancy that).

Recreational narcotics can create an overwhelming sense of universal love.

There are different types of consiousness, some of which will allow you to be intensely aware of your surrounding environment without being aware of your own body.

These things are interesting, but I don't think that they show our minds can float free, independent of the chemical processes of our brains.
 
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Although I've always believed that we have "souls"-- that there is more to a person than just a body and a brain-- having this illness seems evidence that I am more than my body. When I identify with my body, I'm in trouble; I start feeling less-than, flawed, broken, without worth ..... I would feel incredible despair if I thought this feeble physical vehicle was all that there is.
I"m amused when scientists try to disprove near-death experiences or any other "mysterious" phenomena. I also think it's perhaps a little foolish trying to prove the existence of God or souls or an afterlife. "Proof" belongs to the illusionary physical world and the tyranical, Napoleonic ego. I don't need it. I know what I know, I believe what I believe and I find great comfort in my beliefs and my relationship with my God. If it's all a delusion-- that I'm just fooling myself and it's all just synapses firing in my brain or whatever ... I don't care. Really. It works for me. (And if there's no "afterlife"-- well, it won't matter one way or another. I won't be embarrassed. I'll just be dust. But my life will have been better for my foolish beliefs ... It's all good! ;)
 

Nielk

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If all we are is only our physical make up where does conscience fit in?
Is conscience, morals, decision making just an outcome of our physical brain - our neurons -brain chemistry?

If that's the case, we should not be responsible for our actions. There should not be punishment for criminals or
praising heroes. They can't help the decisions that their brain compels them to take. Blame it on the neurons!

Whatever you call "it" there is something outside of our physical being that is "you" and only "you".
This "it" has a conscience, maybe not a great one, nevertheless it's there.

What do you call this "it"?
 

Esther12

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If all we are is only our physical make up where does conscience fit in?
Is conscience, morals, decision making just an outcome of our physical brain - our neurons -brain chemistry?

If that's the case, we should not be responsible for our actions. There should not be punishment for criminals or
praising heroes. They can't help the decisions that their brain compels them to take. Blame it on the neurons!

Whatever you call "it" there is something outside of our physical being that is "you" and only "you".
This "it" has a conscience, maybe not a great one, nevertheless it's there.

What do you call this "it"?
But you're applying dualist morality to a materialist conception of consciousness. That's why it doesn't work.

If it's accepted that we are our brains and there is no seperate 'it', then it makes no sense to try the excuse "Don't blame me, it was my brain that did it!"

Just because the decisions we make and the moral judgements we hold are the results of neurons firing doesn't mean that they are any less 'real' than if they were the result of magical ectoplasm. We should still be held accountable for our actions and the decisions we make because we are the bodies and brains whose chemistry has resulted in those decisions and actions.
 

Nielk

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But you're applying dualist morality to a materialist conception of consciousness. That's why it doesn't work.

If it's accepted that we are our brains and there is no seperate 'it', then it makes no sense to try the excuse "Don't blame me, it was my brain that did it!"

Just because the decisions we make and the moral judgements we hold are the results of neurons firing doesn't mean that they are any less 'real' than if they were the result of magical ectoplasm. We should still be held accountable for our actions and the decisions we make because we are the bodies and brains whose chemistry has resulted in those decisions and actions.
I'm trying to understand your point of view Esther.
The way I see it, the difference between the chemical in the brain and "magical ectoplasm" being the cause of action
is a matter of control.
If I accept your principle that we are just all physical beings and our brains are making our decisions then I would have to accept the fact that anyone else who would have my brain would act in the exact same fashion as I do. Like a robot, we are then programmed given our physical make up to act a certain way.
You would say so what we are still accountable for our actions and decisions but, why? If this is the way we were built,
how can we help but make the decisions that our brains were programmed to make.

If I was born into Hitler's body with his brain, would I have made the decisions he made? If not - why not? According to you it's all in the make up of the brain.

Who is controlling our brain? Why has science not been able to replicate a brain? They have computers but computers
can only go as far as the programmer's data allows it to. It can't come up with decisions or ideas of it's own. It doesn't have feelings.
 

Esther12

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I'm trying to understand your point of view Esther.
Trying to explain it might help me clarify my own thoughts. Does anyone else mind us taking the thread OT? We've moved it from one emotional topic to another, which is a little rude. Sorry.

The way I see it, the difference between the chemical in the brain and "magical ectoplasm" being the cause of action
is a matter of control.

If I accept your principle that we are just all physical beings and our brains are making our decisions then I would have to accept the fact that anyone else who would have my brain would act in the exact same fashion as I do. Like a robot, we are then programmed given our physical make up to act a certain way.

You would say so what we are still accountable for our actions and decisions but, why? If this is the way we were built,
how can we help but make the decisions that our brains were programmed to make.
But what exactly is it about something 'magical' that would give you more control? Is it just that we cannot imagine any mechanism by which the sort of free will we want can occur, so it needs to be something inexplicable?

I think that the way our minds work is the result of the operation of our brains. But if we did have free floating souls instead, we would still have the same problems with determinism, free will, etc. Instead of it being 'just the way our brains are built' it would be 'just the way our souls are built'... why does one give more real freedom than the other?

If I was born into Hitler's body with his brain, would I have made the decisions he made? If not - why not? According to you it's all in the make up of the brain.
If you were born with Hitlers body, brain and soul, would you have made the same decisions he made? If you were Hitler, in the same situation as Hitler, then there's no reason to believe you would behave differently to Hitler. I don't think this is a problem though.

Who is controlling our brain? Why has science not been able to replicate a brain? They have computers but computers
can only go as far as the programmer's data allows it to. It can't come up with decisions or ideas of it's own. It doesn't have feelings.
Our brains are massively more complicated than any computers we've yet been able to design... and work in quite a different way. We're a long way from being able to have computers as sophisticated as our own minds... (never mind the difficulty of coming up with a suitable program!)

With tasks that follow clear limited rules, like Chess, computers have now overtaken us. I think that we'll have computers that can create a good impression of being human within a generation. I think it is hypothetically possible to create systems with the sort of stimuli and reactions we describe as emotions, but we're far from being able to do so now and I'm not sure if we'd ever want to.

ta.
 

Nielk

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I'm sorry too that somehow we got on this tangent.

(started with River wanting someone else's body who had a lot of energy but was lazy and she said if she had his
body she would run marathons. JamesK answered that this wouldn't happen because if she would take over his body
she would be him and act just like him)

I think that we can agree to disagree. Obviously, you sound very intelligent and knowledgeable.
You make a lot of sense.

I guess to really explain my side, I would have to get into religion and i don't want to do that on this forum.

Thanks for the intelligent debate!

I'm thinking about the far out future when computers will start having feelings. Maybe they will cry or be in a bad mood and not want to function on a specific day. Maybe two computers will fall in love and give to each other, only wanting to spend their time together. If one computer is down, the other will cheer him up. then again if a computer turns evil, he can start
destroying other computers. Maybe one brand of computers will despise the other brand. They will start to feel jealous and
hate. Maybe they will all destroy each other with no computers left.

Just in jest.
 
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Reminds me of the movie Blade Runner and the whole idea of what makes us human. Would a robot or clone have a soul? Would they be the same person emotionally that they were cloned from? Interesting to think about. Thanks for the mind-food!
 

Nielk

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Emmanuelle,
*bows* thank you! :)

well this is my real voice, from my site's intro ;)
http://www.silverblades-suitcase.com/welcome.wav

It's only one second! I want to hear more!

Nielk
folk living in deprived areas around Glasgow have the shortest life expectancy in Europe, and since I also live next to one of the most polluted sites in Europe...
sigh
I would try to move away from there!
 
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I recently found out that my sister told a coworker that I didn't do anything all day and just free-loaded off of my mother. My daughter also works there. When this woman hinted about me just being a lazy good for nothing....my daughter set her straight. So we not only get the smirk and smart remarks from friends, we also get them from some family members. I just usually say "You're right! I would much rather feel like I'm coming down with something, be nauseous from my meds, have daily pain when you touch me, have glands that swell because I have.a rash that is so bad they're going haywire....I would much rather do all of this than go to work every day like I did before, have normal friendships, be able to shop, enjoy my daughter, and now my granddaughter. Cancelling plans at the last minute is always so much fun and makes me feel so good. You're right. I think everybody should be able to free-load off their parent."
 

Nielk

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I recently found out that my sister told a coworker that I didn't do anything all day and just free-loaded off of my mother. My daughter also works there. When this woman hinted about me just being a lazy good for nothing....my daughter set her straight. So we not only get the smirk and smart remarks from friends, we also get them from some family members. I just usually say "You're right! I would much rather feel like I'm coming down with something, be nauseous from my meds, have daily pain when you touch me, have glands that swell because I have.a rash that is so bad they're going haywire....I would much rather do all of this than go to work every day like I did before, have normal friendships, be able to shop, enjoy my daughter, and now my granddaughter. Cancelling plans at the last minute is always so much fun and makes me feel so good. You're right. I think everybody should be able to free-load off their parent."
Good point Blazes!

Like we are having so much fun being totally isolated, being in constant pain, trying every method possible to improve our health and thereby becoming broke. It's a wonder that the rest of the population doesn't chose to fake this illness too!!
 
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Good point Blazes!

Like we are having so much fun being totally isolated, being in constant pain, trying every method possible to improve our health and thereby becoming broke. It's a wonder that the rest of the population doesn't chose to fake this illness too!!
This is precisely why I have never been able to wrap my head around the whole "false illness beliefs" theory (or whatever they're calling it these days). I would never never never choose this illness, for myself or anyone else.

The only explanation that I can come up with, is that such accusers must really hate their jobs!!
 
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I just went to a wedding. We drove about 2 1/2 hours there, stayed 2 nights, drove home. I felt lousy the entire time, but....got dressed, did the hair and make up....looked "normal." So, most people, when I go out, see me looking pretty good, on good days, but the other 6 days, in my sweats, hair pulled up, no make up...not so good, they don't see that.

Years ago when I was first sick we had to travel on a business "vacation" with my husband's distributor that his company delt with. I was sick the whole time, rarely went out of the room for 3 days. Coming home off the plane the idiot boss (president or whatever he was) said, "boy do you look like you had a rough night." In other words, partying, drinking like the rest of them. I could have hit him, he thought it was funny...ha, ha, no.