Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New Debate With A Materialist

Well I ain't going to copy the wrong debate it's way to long. He mentions in the debate which is about the mind/body problem that dualists used to believe that all conscious actions such as vision, hearing, tasting things etc.]. That they were all attributed to a non physical soul. But now we know that all those things that caused by brain processes. Now it's true that the mind is dependent on the brain. He acknowledges that the mind also affects the brain. He thinks that fits well with physicalist theories of mind/brain. This however argues for downward causation. Hmm, he says he has read up on neuroscience. By the way this user's name is Deathmonkey and he is a physicist.

For example

A new book, Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain, by Sharon Begley) goes on to discuss, there is growing evidence that the mind can influence the physical characteristics of the brain — the brain can change in reaction to the mind, and the causation is not always “one way.” Experiments on humans (some of the Buddhist monks under the Dalai Lama’s direction) seem to demonstrate that the physical organ of the brain can be shaped and transformed by choices made by the mind.

He also says that neuroplasticity can be explained in a physicalist context. But all of this phenomenon argues for downward causation which physicalist's say is impossible.


Andrea Runyan said...

Have you read The Spiritual Brain (Beauregard and O'Leary)? They talk about this sort of thing.

Leo MacDonald said...

Nope not yet, the problem I have is with the title I mean it should be called the spiritual mind. Because I am a dualist and by the sound of the title it is kind of falling for the materialist.

Also the journalist O Leary is a christian which means any mainstream scientist will think hmm creationist.

Andrea Runyan said...

Yep, at least one of them writing that book is creationist. There is a lot of mention of intelligent design. But they do a good job of questioning supposed "evidence" that spiritual experiences are only brain events (e.g. Persinger's 'God helmet'). They know at least something about how science and science reporting should work.

Mindstorm1 said...

Very interesting post . It makes you wonder just how powerful the mind is and just how far we should push this debate . Can the mind really influence the physical at the 'Atomic' level e.g. Is the world physical because we make it so , or do we just make changes so small that they manifest as coincidences in the real world ! . It also begs the question are we 'Evolving' or 'Devolving' . A case in point 'Pyramids' and the 'Mayan Calender' . I like what you write ! .