Out of mind 20 replies

Please wait...

Karst

I chose an eternity of this

50 XP

6th January 2005

0 Uploads

4,505 Posts

0 Threads

#1 11 years ago

The idea for this thread dates back to high school last year and with it philosophy class. In a rare moment, we were discussing our own opinions instead of studying what old philosophers though before us. The topic was the mind. Commonly, most people have an opinion that follows one of these basic patterns:

- The mind is not part of the body. Our thoughts happen in a different realm entirely. Our "souls", so to speak, is a seperate entity that acts through our bodies.

- Our brain is where the thinking takes place, but our will is not bound to our mind completely. It is not simply determined by brain functions.

- The brain controls what we do. Everything we think is determined solely by electrochemical reactions in our brains. There is no seperate "free will" that acts independantly, so to speak. All that we do and think can be explained by brain functions.

Our teacher suggested that most people will think that there is at least some difference between the body and the mind.

I spoke out saying that i did not think so at all. I believe that everything i do, everything that goes on in my mind, even my thoughts and inspirations behind writing this post, are purely reactions in my brain.

The class immediatly dismissed my claim, stating that i had no way of knowing such a thing, and that it was obvious that our thoughts are something seperate. Understandably, most people do not like the idea of themselves as people being determined by physics. And to most it seems obvious that such an unimaginably complex thing can be merely reactions in a pinkish blob.

So i turn to ask this question here (albeit with several months of delay).

Is there some kind of fundamental difference in the way our minds work that sets us apart from computers, aside from the complexity?

Are our thoughts really determined only by brain functions, or is our will behind it somehow seperate?

On a last note: this thread may have the potential to turn into another evolution and God thread. Please don't let it go that way. Keep the topic on minds and brains.




Guest

I didn't make it!

0 XP

 
#2 11 years ago

I highly doubt a series of chemical reactions is what causes all of our thoughts, dreams, aspirations, and emotions. I think there is likely some sort of "disconnected" portion of the mind which ultimately controls our thoughts an beliefs. This mind then tells the brain what chemical reactions to go through to move certain parts of the body.

Think about how you move for a second, really think about it. We know that an electrical pulse in the brain travels through the nervous system, moving a muscle. But why does that pulse start in the first place? What causes it to say to itself "I think I'll move the arm now." That is the basis for my belief in mind that exists outside of our body, likely in some other plane of existence.




Karst

I chose an eternity of this

50 XP

6th January 2005

0 Uploads

4,505 Posts

0 Threads

#3 11 years ago

I completely understand your point. And of course i don't really have any proof to tell you otherwise. It is completely understandable.

But i think that has a lot to do with the fact we take a lot of things for granted. For example, thinking: we take for granted that we think. It just seems such a unimaginably complex thing it is hard to believe it is simply "caused" and doesn't have some more complicated background.

Of course, "unimaginable" describes the mind best. We simply cannot imagine such a thing. I mean, imagining itself happens in the mind! It's very strange.




Guest

I didn't make it!

0 XP

 
#4 11 years ago

I agree that for the most part we can't really truly understand what goes on in the mind, and that really the thing right there isn't it? This question has no doubt been pondered for centuries, and it will likely remain a question without an answer for as long as humans exist.

To think requires the mind, and to understand the mind we must think. So where does the thought process begin? Do we think so these chemicals fire, or do the chemicals fire and then we think.




Karst

I chose an eternity of this

50 XP

6th January 2005

0 Uploads

4,505 Posts

0 Threads

#5 11 years ago

The answer i think is remarkably similar to the chicken and the egg: they are the same. The reactions in our brain are what we experience as thought. So who are we then? What am i describing when i speak of myself?

There is no easy answer.




Reno

The professional.

50 XP

22nd March 2006

0 Uploads

1,312 Posts

0 Threads

#6 11 years ago

http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/synapse.html

Well i believe that since we have millions of millions of neurons in our brains all firing off and responding to those firing off nearby that free thought is a very complex process of trial and error. I don't believe there's anything behind the curtains that manipulates the biology of our brain to control us like a puppet with strings. Our brain is what it is. It is a piece of our biology that has undergone millions of years of evolution. Scientists are even starting to model super computers after the human brain. By doing this they hope to develop a way of having a random element and therefore more creativity and adaptability for the next generation of A.I.




LIGHTNING [NL]

FH2 Developer

50 XP

30th May 2003

0 Uploads

9,811 Posts

0 Threads

#7 11 years ago
Afterburner;3428019Think about how you move for a second, really think about it. We know that an electrical pulse in the brain travels through the nervous system, moving a muscle. But why does that pulse start in the first place? What causes it to say to itself "I think I'll move the arm now." That is the basis for my belief in mind that exists outside of our body, likely in some other plane of existence.

That's a very unscientific way of thinking. Just because you (or we) don't know how it happens, doesn't mean there is something supernatural involved.




DavetheFo

RogueDevil / Rogue Angel

50 XP

29th May 2003

0 Uploads

8,689 Posts

0 Threads

#8 11 years ago

I'm unsure about this one - its a very involved and sticky subject, and one we just dont have an answer to.

I dont believe that all we do is merely chemical responses, I think theres something there on a deeper level.

I think its also this that sets a brain apart from a computer - (as far as I know), computers do not have any autonomy, they have to follow the code they have been written, and cannot exceed it. Whilst mine computer seems to by routinely destroying itself, thats merely coincidental.

The brain however has an unlimited amount of parameters - we still dont know what they all are.




Karst

I chose an eternity of this

50 XP

6th January 2005

0 Uploads

4,505 Posts

0 Threads

#9 11 years ago

DavetheFo;3428244I'm unsure about this one - its a very involved and sticky subject, and one we just dont have an answer to.

I dont believe that all we do is merely chemical responses, I think theres something there on a deeper level.

I think its also this that sets a brain apart from a computer - (as far as I know), computers do not have any autonomy, they have to follow the code they have been written, and cannot exceed it.

But how do we know the mind doesn't have limits? How can we really be sure everything we think isn't really just a reaction....so complicated that it is inexplicable by our current means?

Whilst mine computer seems to by routinely destroying itself, thats merely coincidental.

:lol: Not just yours, buddy!




DavetheFo

RogueDevil / Rogue Angel

50 XP

29th May 2003

0 Uploads

8,689 Posts

0 Threads

#10 11 years ago
Karst;3428249But how do we know the mind doesn't have limits? How can we really be sure everything we think isn't really just a reaction....so complicated that it is inexplicable by our current means?

I suppose theres only really one answer there - We just cant be sure.

Maybe we've reached the limits of our mind, yet we just think we havent, and keep inventing new ways to assuade ourselves that our brain is more than the sum of its parts.