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Is Our Brain All We Are?

Philosophical and metaphysical/spiritual discussions non specific to religion.
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Karlysymon

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Re: Who ruled heaven on this day. God or Satan?

PostMon Feb 06, 2017 9:14 am

Loki wrote:in the meantime I ran across
this interview on Reddit and
found it very interesting and
thought you might as well, even if you likely wouldn't agree with it of course. And anyone else who is interested feel free to offer your thoughts on it, or don't, but I just thought I would share, even though it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the OP. I'm an Admin, so it's fine
The Benefits of Realizing You
Are Just a Brain https://
http://www.newscientist.com/article/
mg ... t-a-brain/ Contrary to the title, I don't think they really discuss much of the "benefits" of embracing this realization, more so it is just a Q&A with neurophilosopher
Patricia Churchland (ironic last name) and her thoughts and explanations of why she feels it is fine, or perhaps important in some ways, to come to such a realization. It is actually a realization I came to and came to terms with years ago but then shifted more towards belief in the soul existing and the brain being the home of the soul. In the interview she does state that of course they can't completely rule out the idea of the soul and the afterlife, just that the likelihood of it is not worth putting all your eggs in that basket, which is a sentiment I have shared since shifting my beliefs to the conjoined brain & soul "theory".


Thanx alot for sharing. I've wondered in the past where it all begins, the heart or the brain. I go with the heart. Before words are words, they are thoughts. And before thoughts are thoughts, they are desires. The brain processes those desires and the next thing you know, one says something. Even the bible speaks more about the heart than the mind/brain in this light. Things like: the heart is deceitful above all things; out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks; guard your heart, it is the wellspring of life; a heart that devises wicked schemes.
And because words are thoughts, in Genesis, God spoke all creation except man into existance. So i love how the Psalmist exclaimed:
How precious to me are your thoughts O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were i to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand~Psalm 139:17-18


Patricia also said
but on the other, they think, ‘Gosh, the love that I feel for my child is really just neural chemistry?’ Well, actually, yes, it is. But that doesn’t bother me.



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Is Our Brain All We Are?

PostMon Feb 06, 2017 1:36 pm

Copy-paste of a post I made in another thread:

The Benefits of Realizing You Are Just a Brain
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg ... t-a-brain/

Contrary to the title, I don't think they really discuss much of the "benefits" of embracing this realization, more so it is just a Q&A with neurophilosopher Patricia Churchland (ironic last name) and her thoughts and explanations of why she feels it is fine, or perhaps important in some ways, to come to such a realization. It is actually a realization I came to and came to terms with years ago but then shifted more towards belief in the soul existing and the brain being the home of the soul. In the interview she does state that of course they can't completely rule out the idea of the soul and the afterlife, just that the likelihood of it is not worth putting all your eggs in that basket, which is a sentiment I have shared since shifting my beliefs to the conjoined brain & soul "theory".

"Quick" Edit: A comment on the Reddit post reminded me of something I heard a while ago that actually did sort of connect this article to some of what we've been discussing here. The comment was: "We are the universe experiencing itself." Previously I talked about how in my personal beliefs system I think that our "Creator" (the universe essentially) put the blueprint for us into the primordial ooze we came from but I didn't really know exactly why our existence would be necessary. It could very well be that there would be no real point to the universe's existence without eventually resulting in intelligent beings that can experience and appreciate what has been created in the first place. Of course without us there would still be animals, and they would likely be better off without us at this point, but their existence is different from our own, they exist until they don't and that is good enough for them, they don't think about it (at least, not that we are able to discern). Perhaps the universe wanted to create something that could appreciate all of creation, both past, future, and present and it provided us with the genetic material and environmental catalysts to do just that.

Some other fun comments that contributed to my little rambling thought process:

That's been sort of my thought for a while. What is the Universe without conciousness? This concept would be more complicated should we encounter "intelligent" beings from somewhere else in the Universe. Although I don't think it would completely discount it. As they would have been experiencing a different part of the Universe.


The Universe, without consciousness, is a field of dead stars spinning, groaning planets twitching and shrugging with volcanism, and black holes rippling towards a final end. Without consciousness, the Universe is exactly what it is, minus a few particularly complicated chemical reactions sloshing around on the surface of one planet - maybe more. It's marvelous, and we're very small. I guess that's how I feel, anyway.


I wonder if the Indians were onto something with the 'Great Spirit' talk...as in we are not the only things that are conscious / aware. The universe is as aware of us as we are of it, and that's why phrases like 'Karmas a bitch' exist and it's not karma but disciplining from a conscious universe.


I think that assumes the universe is concious, moral, capable of directed action, and cares enough about us bags of chemical life to discipline us. As much as I'd love to be that important, that's a lot of things to posit about a universe without any proof. I think it's much more likely that life is chaotic verging on random, and we make up narratives full of people getting their just deserts and ironic punishments because really, truly believing that life is not somehow fair makes it very hard to cooperate as a society.
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"We all are to some extent [agnostic]... So yes, I'm an 'agnostic', in as much as I don't actually know what happens when I die. I choose to operate under the assumption that God does not exist. I have no need for God in my life, the concept of a 'God' feels incredibly made up to me. It is not requisite for my every day living. For some people it is. They are 'theistic agnostics,' I am an 'atheistic agnostic.'" - Cara Santa Maria
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Re: Is Our Brain All We Are?

PostMon Feb 06, 2017 1:49 pm

Okay, the posts are out of order because the order is based on the time of the post, not sure I can fix that, but oh well.

Thanx alot for sharing. I've wondered in the past where it all begins, the heart or the brain. I go with the heart. Before words are words, they are thoughts. And before thoughts are thoughts, they are desires. The brain processes those desires and the next thing you know, one says something. Even the bible speaks more about the heart than the mind/brain in this light. Things like: the heart is deceitful above all things; out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks; guard your heart, it is the wellspring of life; a heart that devises wicked schemes.


See, I've never been able to get behind the idea that our heart plays any part in our decision making, our personality, or has anything to do with our soul, personally. It just doesn't make sense to me because we can remove our heart and get a new one and as far as I'm aware we don't become new people. I mean obviously the heart is important for us to live but it doesn't house our consciousness. I get why people use metaphors involving the heart and what it feels and wants, because when we see a pretty girl (or handsome guy), or get nervous about a job interview, or whatever, our pulse can race and our heart can flutter, so our emotions feel more visceral in our heart because of the way our body works, as opposed to the brain, which we are barely ever aware of unless we have a headache and immediately think it is a brain tumor (that's normal right?). To me, the reason we never think much about our brain is because that's where our consciousness rests, and the rest of our body is it's vehicle for experiencing and interacting with the world around it.

For me, personally, it makes the most sense that if we do have something akin to a soul or spirit, and that is our consciousness, then it likely rests in our pineal gland.
This message brought to you by My Brain, courtesy of My Fingers.

"We all are to some extent [agnostic]... So yes, I'm an 'agnostic', in as much as I don't actually know what happens when I die. I choose to operate under the assumption that God does not exist. I have no need for God in my life, the concept of a 'God' feels incredibly made up to me. It is not requisite for my every day living. For some people it is. They are 'theistic agnostics,' I am an 'atheistic agnostic.'" - Cara Santa Maria
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Re: Is Our Brain All We Are?

PostMon Feb 06, 2017 3:03 pm

Loki wrote:
See, I've never been able to get behind the idea that our heart plays any part in our decision making, our personality, or has anything to do with our soul, personally. It just doesn't make sense to me because we can remove our heart and get a new one and as far as I'm aware we don't become new people. I mean obviously the heart is important for us to live but it doesn't house our consciousness. I get why people use metaphors involving the heart and what it feels and wants, because when we see a pretty girl (or handsome guy), or get nervous about a job interview, or whatever, our pulse can race and our heart can flutter, so our emotions feel more visceral in our heart because of the way our body works, as opposed to the brain, which we are barely ever aware of unless we have a headache and immediately think it is a brain tumor (that's normal right?). To me, the reason we never think much about our brain is because that's where our consciousness rests, and the rest of our body is it's vehicle for experiencing and interacting with the world around it.

For me, personally, it makes the most sense that if we do have something akin to a soul or spirit, and that is our consciousness, then it likely rests in our pineal gland.


Peace Loki,

Do people act normal when they are having panic attacks (heart palpitations) ??? or do they act panicky?

And is this decided by the mind on its own or due to the heart beating at some insane rate?

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Re: Is Our Brain All We Are?

PostMon Feb 06, 2017 3:17 pm

Some people do manage to act normal during times of extreme stress, but most of us would act odd, to say the least.

I mean, I'm no neurologist or cardiologist, but when having a panic attack your heart pounds/palpitates sporadically because it is reacting to what your brain is perceiving, consciously or subconsciously, as an uncomfortable or alarming situation. My understanding would be that it is pumping blood faster in preparation for your fight or flight reaction, but again, not a scientist/doctor so I'm just guessing.
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"We all are to some extent [agnostic]... So yes, I'm an 'agnostic', in as much as I don't actually know what happens when I die. I choose to operate under the assumption that God does not exist. I have no need for God in my life, the concept of a 'God' feels incredibly made up to me. It is not requisite for my every day living. For some people it is. They are 'theistic agnostics,' I am an 'atheistic agnostic.'" - Cara Santa Maria
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Re: Is Our Brain All We Are?

PostMon Feb 06, 2017 3:24 pm

That's what I used to think, the brain is sending signals to the heart and that's why the panic attack happens - but I believe I am wrong about that.

Panic attacks can happen randomly with no sign of danger or stress. This rules out the brain sending messages to the heart after sensing danger... also, there is adrenalin.

Another question, is involuntary action, for example, your leg jerking while you're falling asleep - also neurological? or spasmodic?

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Re: Is Our Brain All We Are?

PostMon Feb 06, 2017 3:33 pm

I don't mind trying to continue your line of questioning, but unfortunately it won't mean much to me because I'm not informed enough on the science of how our brain and body work to have any definitive answer as to whether my leg jerking is neurological or spasmodic. I barely know that there is a difference between those two things haha.

But to answer anyway, I would say that it is neurological. Typically when I jerk or twitch while falling asleep or in my sleep it is a reaction to something I am dreaming/experiencing in my head.
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"We all are to some extent [agnostic]... So yes, I'm an 'agnostic', in as much as I don't actually know what happens when I die. I choose to operate under the assumption that God does not exist. I have no need for God in my life, the concept of a 'God' feels incredibly made up to me. It is not requisite for my every day living. For some people it is. They are 'theistic agnostics,' I am an 'atheistic agnostic.'" - Cara Santa Maria
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Re: Is Our Brain All We Are?

PostMon Feb 06, 2017 3:51 pm

Loki wrote:I don't mind trying to continue your line of questioning, but unfortunately it won't mean much to me because I'm not informed enough on the science of how our brain and body work to have any definitive answer as to whether my leg jerking is neurological or spasmodic. I barely know that there is a difference between those two things haha.

But to answer anyway, I would say that it is neurological. Typically when I jerk or twitch while falling asleep or in my sleep it is a reaction to something I am dreaming/experiencing in my head.


Interesting. Involuntary movement in bodies can happen due to dream states, which are neurological. But there are also spasmodic movements which happen randomly and without any sign or tell.

Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is a neurological condition.

Tremors are rhythmic movements of a particular body part. They’re due to sporadic muscle contractions.

So both.

Point i'm making is that the heart is a muscle, and one which never stops beating until you die. If it suffers a panic attack, it could be spasmodical - or neurological.

So we cannot say, that thought begins with the brain, because the heart will often set your brain to understand "oh dang, i'm having a panic attack, I better sit down" - it's not the other way round, for example - "Oh heart, why don't you have a panic attack?" because it doesn't serve the host. It only heightens his or her awareness in a moment of perceived danger - or - in the case of spasm, tries to regulate the heart via the panic attack.

Staying calm, is better. That's what brains try to do when one suffers panic attacks - calm down.

It would be counter productive for the brain to send a panic attack message to the heart, and then try to calm that panic attack down lol.

If anything, I would argue that one has a panic attack, one tries to rationalise it with the brain while suffering it - not before the panic attack, but during and after.

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Re: Is Our Brain All We Are?

PostMon Feb 06, 2017 4:00 pm

That's a fair analysis, but it still doesn't make sense to me purely based on the fact that we can remove our heart and put in a fake one or another person's and still be ourselves. Of course we don't yet have the technology to successfully transplant a brain, so we can' really test whether our consciousness would travel with the brain, but just from everything I know about my own body and mind as well as my intuition and all that, it seems likely that this will be the case if it is ever possible. Though, of course, we can't say for certain until we are able to do it.

It would definitely be interesting to find out that our consciousness is separate entirely from our brain and heart, which would give much more credence in the scientific community to the idea of a soul, but I really do think that ultimately we will find that that consciousness is housed in our brain, though again, I don't think this necessarily discredits the concept of a soul, it just simply doesn't rely on that concept.
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"We all are to some extent [agnostic]... So yes, I'm an 'agnostic', in as much as I don't actually know what happens when I die. I choose to operate under the assumption that God does not exist. I have no need for God in my life, the concept of a 'God' feels incredibly made up to me. It is not requisite for my every day living. For some people it is. They are 'theistic agnostics,' I am an 'atheistic agnostic.'" - Cara Santa Maria
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Re: Is Our Brain All We Are?

PostMon Feb 06, 2017 4:09 pm

It's good to see your advocacy skills are still on point, mashaAllah :)

Loki wrote:That's a fair analysis, but it still doesn't make sense to me purely based on the fact that we can remove our heart and put in a fake one or another person's and still be ourselves.


This got me thinking about computers.

Heart - Energy/Electricity.
Brain - Memory and Processor.

The heart has to beat for the brain to be alive, not the other way round.

The PC needs electricity/energy for the processor to start working.

What turned on first in the baby? It's heart? Or - it's brain?

We know from biology that the heart of a baby is beating while the brain is still developing in the womb.

Loki wrote:Of course we don't yet have the technology to successfully transplant a brain, so we can' really test whether our consciousness would travel with the brain, but just from everything I know about my own body and mind as well as my intuition and all that, it seems likely that this will be the case if it is ever possible. Though, of course, we can't say for certain until we are able to do it.


Brain transplant would be unethical due to the idea that our brains carry "memories". If successful, the host would not be "Himself" anymore, according to neurologists. I'm not sure I agree, but their propagation has merit.

Loki wrote:It would definitely be interesting to find out that our consciousness is separate entirely from our brain and heart, which would give much more credence in the scientific community to the idea of a soul, but I really do think that ultimately we will find that that consciousness is housed in our brain, though again, I don't think this necessarily discredits the concept of a soul, it just simply doesn't rely on that concept.


Do you separate consciousness from your soul? Or do you believe they are one and the same?

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I have nothing to do with any recommendations to join any war on any person , race or community. I do not support ISIS nor any other movement, I seek opportunities to unite mankind, I seek to look at common ground and choose to ignore differences. I do not support violence, I condemn it. I have no affiliations with any promoting of violence be it political, racial or religious.
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