Is there any mind?


#21

Experiences do not teach feelings and emotions. If this were so battered women would not remain in their abusive relationships and once free from them they would not take back the abuser nor get involved with the same type of men as their abusers.

How do you think or read internally… do you use a physical mind?

Ever heard of intuition? Have you noticed how we are automatically drawn to or reject people that we have not previously known or heard about? There’s no physical stimuli or information (experience) that would allow for such extreme conclusions… but it happens–I do not know of others but what I find extremely marvelous is when, after getting to know that individual, my instincts were proven right!

You cannot learn that!

Maran atha!

Angel


#22

If the mind is only physical, that means that our thoughts are only certain patterns of the firing of neurons in our brains, based on our experiences and memories. This also means that we cannot trust our thoughts to be true, since natural processes are not necessarily aimed at truth but at survival - and sometimes lies encourage survival. Take, for example, a mountain climber who has just run out of supplies. He is on top of a cold mountain, and he sees a large chasm in front of him. He doesn’t know if there is more rock on the other side or if he would fall to his death if he jumped. So, if the climber is able to tell himself “there is more rock on the other side,” he can at least encourage himself to jump, meaning that there is at least a chance for his survival if he ends up by chance being right. However, if he tells himself that there is no rock on the other side, he will not even risk taking the jump, ensuring certain death. Regardless of whether or not there is rock on the other side, the only hope for survival is if the climber believes that there is rock on the other side. So you can see how it is sometimes necessary to ignore truth for survival. If our minds are only physical, then we cannot trust our minds to lead us to ultimate truth for that very reason. It’s almost like a paradox. If our minds are only physical, we cannot trust them to lead us to truth, so why would we trust when our minds tell us that the brain is only physical?

Of course, this doesn’t prove that the mind isn’t purely physical, it only demonstrates how, if it is, we cannot trust our own judgment.

From the evidence I see, the mind is AT LEAST very closely related to the brain - and that is how God made us. When we have brain damage, our minds can change. When we sleep, we lose consciousness. Our mind and our brain work together. And that is how God made us. As human persons, we are a combination of body and soul, and that can only be separated by death. That is why the physical condition of our bodies/brains in particular can affect our minds.

I think that the existence of a separate mind is one of the things that would have to be taken purely on faith alone. Although that makes me a bit uncomfortable, I don’t think there are any scientific or logical proofs that lead to the existence of a mind separate from the physical brain.

Peace be with you,
Brittany


#23

Hi, Niko!

…and we would not be caught in loops ('do I like/want…).

Maran atha!

Angel


#24

I don’t pretend that much with my observation. It is enough for the moment if you admit that you are an “experiencer”. It is something quite simple to see, but I am ready to accept if you declare again that you are unable to understand how is it that if you know for sure that experience exists it is because you are an “experiencer”.


#25

That is the question. Perhaps experience is all. Then there is no external to something like mind.

The very fact that the experience is attached to the body means that it is physical and generated by brain.

Why?

How mind which is immaterial and has no location could possibly have an outside?

Interesting.


#26

That is in fact is true. The truth is we are blindly following our instinct.

I am afraid that you need to provide a reason to why consciousness could change if it is nonphysical. It seems very reasonable to say that the experience is the result of brain activity because it changes according to how brain activity changes.

That I cannot disagree more. We are rational being and able to find the truth.


#27

Let’s say that the experience of experience is also physical. We know that it is attached to matter. How experiencing of experience could be local if mind is nonphysical, having to location?


#28

This sounds very much like the minimalism philosophy from Renee DeCarte.

He said, “I think, therefore I am”

We, catholic philosophers, wonder how he made such a big jump from “thought” to “existence”

We correct DeCarte by saying, “I think, therefore I think I have a thought”

So, lesson is that if we minimize everything into necessary compartments, there is nothing necessary! Oh my, what a revelation, the existence of the universe is not necessary, interesting!

(sarcasm for … duh, the existence of the universe is not needed, it is simply willed by God)


#29

That is correct. How you could argue against it?

That is I am afraid is off topic.


#30

#31

Is this the way you have to mean “yes, I admit I am an “experiencer”” or another way to say “I don’t understand how that follows!”?

Please respond candidly, otherwise no intelligent discussion is feasible.


#32

No. We consider existence of experience as a fact because experience of experience is possible too. There is no need for mind.

Could you please now answer my question: How experiencing of experience could be local if mind is nonphysical, having no location?


#33

Hi!

Do you realize what you are suggesting?

Basically you are suggesting that everything is everything; you are denying the factors of life: individuality, diversity, complexity, simplicity, form, substance…

No. What I’ve lived is not what you have lived. Your experiences cannot dictate how I act or react to any given stimuli or incident. Events and experiences do not make the mind; conversely, physiology alone does not make the individual.

What you suggest (experience exists–mind does not) necessitates that everyone under the same causality respond exactly in the same way to everything: 'person “A” thru person “Z” would develop exactly the same since person “A” through person “Z” are just an amalgam of experiences (did you noticed the use of the term thru/through–choices, my friend, choices).

That’s the Beauty of Creation. Why does a tree not uproot itself and transplant itself to a different location, a rock just roll about to get to the choicest sceneries, a dog (not an unattractive girl–an actual canine) run for prom queen, a monkey compete at NASCAR?

There are limits built into sentient life. A human child can be equaled by some of the more advanced animals that have been exposed to the human experience; yet, the smartest of them are not as cognizant as human babies about self and their immediate nucleus family.

The best example, if you wish to follow it, I can give you is the various animals which man has trained and anthropomorphized–remember some time ago in the news… that lady that was mulled by the chimp which was made into a humanoid copy? Something triggered the chimp’s consciousness to rebel against the forced experiences and his mind exploded with brute force–in Spanish we have a saying: ‘la mona, aunque se vista de seda mona se queda.’ (a monkey, though you dress it in silk, stays a monkey). We can train any mind to do tricks or learn skills; yet we cannot create a mind/self-cognition.

A few weeks ago–robots trained to replace humans; the experiment was stopped because these two entities began to communicate through some sort of repetitious value–the humans seemed afraid that these may gain a conscious separate language that the humans might not be able to decipher. Now, if all that makes up the human mind (or any mind for that matter) is experience, then all that the programmers have to do is compile the traits that they want to project/construct into a mind and these “robot as human beings” would be the best sales/scientists/artists/explorers, ever.

Maran atha!

Angel


#34

“Experience of experience”! Yes, experience is a conscious process. That is what you prefer to call “the experience of experience”, though not necessarily because you are very rigorous,

Well, you did not respond to my question. Nevertheless, I will try to respond to yours, step by step. I will tell you what do I understand when someone pronounces the word “mind”, and why the invention of it makes sense to me.

So, first step: ”Matter" is a a word with which we denote a complex set of phenomena. I would say one of the most important is space. Material objects are spacial. We compare their sizes, saying that one is bigger than the other or that they are the same size.

Local movement is another material phenomenon. To be aware of it we need memory. And we compare movements saying that one is faster than the other or that they have the same speed. Or that one is accelerated and the other is not, or that it is decelerated. Or that it is rectilinear or curvilinear.

Another material phenomenon is “mass” understood in the sense of “inertia”. And when we see material objects colliding with one another we manage to talk about momentum and kinetic energy; and we can say that momentum is conserved in a system of bodies that interact. Nor momentum nor kinetic energy are objects, but the result of arithmetic computations that we perform combining “mass” and “velocity”. We can manage as well to say if a body is more or less massive than another, or if they have the same “mass”.

This for the first step. And for the moment we can say that those objects that we call ideas, or concepts, or notions, or -as you say- “experiences”, do not share any of these peculiarities.

You do not need to talk about other material phenomena trying to refute me. I will cover them in the next steps.


#35

Then how did you formulate this query?


#36

I meant. Perhaps there is no mind and there is only experience. Of course the experience is personal and attached to matter, where the person is.

I agree that experience is personal. It is in fact attached to matter. It has a location.

What I am arguing is that something that does not have a location cannot have an outside. That is incoherent.


#37

Experience , such as solidity, liquidity, etc. could give rise from matter under specific condition. What are your next steps by the way?


#38

From processing information.


#39

Without a mind. Had no idea that computers were generating queries here.


#40

I think it just happened, somehow, somewhere…


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.