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JoY
05-19-2006, 07:09 AM
it's an old old question to ask & an old discussion to start, but it'd be helpful if you've thought about this matter before, know a tiny bit about philosophy & gave actual arguments for your stance on the matter.

our language is cultural defined. but also our culture is defined by our language. there simply are two words for body & mind, which makes us automatically somewhat dualistic to a certain extend. we think in our language (or our second language, which often stands close to our own culture), which is why the existence of the words "body" & "mind" makes it impossible to fully think of them as one. we can't possibly fuse them together completely in our minds (there you go). not as long as we define them & refer to them in a different way, with different words.

where I'm from, it used to be rather popular to be dualistic.
especially when I was young, I never wanted to rule out the possibility of a God, the concept of religion, which leaves you with little choice but to be dualistic. monism & religion can go hand in hand, however. these days, having learned more about the brain & it's function(s), I'm starting to lean more towards monism.
it's a complicated matter & a religion (belief) in itself.

-but how dualistic/monistic are you? & why?

-do you think that when your body dies, your mind will somehow live on?

-do you think that when you die, both of them will solve into nothing?

-do you think "mind" & "spirit" are two seperated things?

-where does the mind find it's origin & it's habitat? in the brains?

-if so, then why does every expression about countless emotions include the word "heart" & not the word "brain"? examples:
with heart & soul, with my whole heart, wholeheartly, from the (bottom of my) heart, punker at heart, broken heart, learning by heart, eating your heart out, a heart of gold, in his heart he knew, setting your heart on something.....

-do your theories back up unexplainable experiences? (out of body-experiences, mind connecting-experiences, ghost-like experiences, etc)

-do you think it works the same for us as for animals?

-how should medicine look at/treat this matter in treating patients?

-when someone suffers from 'mental' problems, is it just as much a 'body-problem' as a flu, which would mean the patient him-/herself is responsible in some way to some extend?

-if your 'mind' seems to do/want something that doesn't match with your 'body', does that automatically free you from responsibility?

you don't have to answer every one of these questions - just think about it & say whatever you want to say on the subject.

Rinoa
05-19-2006, 08:01 AM
First of all, I am not religious. I believe that when you die, you do exactly that - die. I don't believe anything happens. You just switch off, you're defunct.

However, there is only one theory that I am a little open to. It could be because I'm just stupidly obsessed with Final Fantasy VII. But it's still a good theory.

In the game, the Earth has energy just like every living organism. When someone dies the energy returns to the Earth. The Earth then uses that energy to produce new life.

So if that was to be the case, then "mind" and "spirit" would only be one thing - energy.

JoY
05-19-2006, 08:07 AM
but that doesn't exactly answer any questions on the seperation of body & mind. if life would purely be a form of energy, would the mind & the body just run on it like it's fuel? or are the body & the mind a form of energy? (in which case we can just forget every single theory on material)

T-6005
05-19-2006, 08:09 AM
I'd love to answer, Bella - I've thought a lot about the subject, but I doubt leads me to be unable to cement my beliefs.

I could give you my hopes on the subject, but that probably wouldn't be helpful either.

Betty
05-19-2006, 08:14 AM
In the game, the Earth has energy just like every living organism. When someone dies the energy returns to the Earth. The Earth then uses that energy to produce new life.


This is super snotty, but yeah, it's called the first law of thermodynamics: conservation of energy. Even if you want to give it some sort of "spiritual" spin, it amounts to the same thing.

Bella, it's a really interesting topic, but I fear I'm not sure if I'm willing to give it the time it deserves. I will say that I like to believe that humans have a certain something that elevates them above the laws of quantum physics, and that they have a "freedom of will," if you will. Thus this would require something, a "mind" or a "soul" or a certain mind-body connection, I don't know. When it comes to death, this could easily continue to exist or cease to exist.

Rinoa
05-19-2006, 08:16 AM
Well, the body is just an object. It cannot work without the mind to control it consciously and subconsciously.

Think of it this way - you create a robot (the body). That robot won't work unless you give it some sort of artificial intelligence (the mind) to operate.

JoY
05-19-2006, 08:18 AM
Thi: just tell me your thoughts on the subject. it doesn't necessarily have to lead to anything or anywhere. I'm not asking you to actually solve the body-mind problem. =)

Edit: wait, hold on.. it seems to me this topic is.. intimidating somehow. I don't see why, but seriously, I'm not expecting ubermuch of your time, or some brilliant answer. just a backed up opinion.

Rinoa
05-19-2006, 08:20 AM
This is super snotty, but yeah, it's called the first law of thermodynamics: conservation of energy. Even if you want to give it some sort of "spiritual" spin, it amounts to the same thing.

It was just my opinion really. No one can really prove anything yet. I have only ever thought about the subject (and this is a really a good topic too), but I've never bothered looking it up in detail. So my side of the argument is bound to be weak.

T-6005
05-19-2006, 08:22 AM
Thi: just tell me your thoughts on the subject. it doesn't necessarily have to lead to anything or anywhere. I'm not asking you to actually solve the body-mind problem. =)
But that's exactly it - I have hopes that shatter my ability to think properly about it. Hell, I don't want to die. I have an overpowering desire to live, and live on. Of course I'm going to want to believe that body and mind are seperate entities, and that the body is a machine, temporarily taken over by something that exists seperately - a machine that works on it's own, fixes its own problems to an extent, but ultimately is not in any powered by the spirit/soul/whatever, merely guided. Attempting to think otherwise, for me, seems to lead to a rather dead, bleak end.

Preocupado
05-19-2006, 08:23 AM
Yeah, it's definetly an old argue, but still yummy. I think about this alot, but never put it into paper. Damn me.

I'll answer my favourites:

-do you think that when your body dies, your mind will somehow live on?

Opposing shapes of simbiotic portions of our mental structure will live in every human being we've interacted with. "Opposing shapes", because other's simbiotic structures cannot occupy the same space as ours do and because others cannot have our actual structure in them, but only representations of it; representations that are shaped by interaction and structured throught lenguage.

But our actual mind, no, i can't see how it could live after the body dies.

-do you think that when you die, both of them will solve into nothing?

The primary meaning of our lives will be forever lost, but the substance will remain, transformed.


-do you think "mind" & "spirit" are two seperated things?

I think spirit is simply in our imaginary.

-where does the mind find it's origin & it's habitat? in the brains?
-if so, then why does every expression about countless emotions include the word "heart" & not the word "brain"? examples:
with heart & soul, with my whole heart, wholeheartly, from the (bottom of my) heart, punker at heart, broken heart, learning by heart, eating your heart out, a heart of gold, in his heart he knew, setting your heart on something.....

In the entire body. Precisely, in every living cell. The non simbiotic portion of our mind is the body.

-do you think it works the same for us as for animals?

No. Like you said, we are structured throught lenguage, and lenguage comes from the process of attributing meanings. Animals don't attribute meanings. They behave by acting and reacting toward stimuli according to theyr genetic programming. A cow may smell an apple and move to eat it, but the cow doesn't know that the apple is an apple.

-how should medicine look at/treat this matter in treating patients?
-when someone suffers from 'mental' problems, is it just as much a 'body-problem' as a flu, which would mean the patient him-/herself is responsible in some way to some extend?

Medicine must comprehend that there's always a history within every illness. A history that relates to the totality of the patient's condition.

There's the illness and, just as important, there's what that illness means to the patient. Medics don't have the obligation to investigate that meaning, but they must be prepared to work with other professionals when it looks relevant and seems to be getting in the way of the treatment.

-if your 'mind' seems to do/want something that doesn't match with your 'body', does that automatically free you from responsibility?

If the reason why the mind/body duality can't be beaten is our simbiotic limitation of understanding the body, then to want something that the body can't support is a subjective incoherence. To imagine, to phantasise or to think that there's no responsibility is a choice.

JoY
05-19-2006, 08:37 AM
But that's exactly it - I have hopes that shatter my ability to think properly about it. Hell, I don't want to die. I have an overpowering desire to live, and live on. Of course I'm going to want to believe that body and mind are seperate entities, and that the body is a machine, temporarily taken over by something that exists seperately - a machine that works on it's own, fixes its own problems to an extent, but ultimately is not in any powered by the spirit/soul/whatever, merely guided. Attempting to think otherwise, for me, seems to lead to a rather dead, bleak end.
now that's what I wanted to hear. ;] thank you.

Preocupado: thanks for your input. I have to get myself ready for a birthday dinner right now, so I might respond later.

no_way
05-19-2006, 08:55 AM
-do you think that when your body dies, your mind will somehow live on?
I only know I don't know anything. Have anyone who died told us that? I don't think so, and if someone did, people wouldn't have taken it seriously. So I think we should live THIS life, if when you die your soul's still alive good for you, if not good for you too, everything NEEDS to get to an ending.
-do you think "mind" & "spirit" are two seperated things?
They are two separated things, but one came from the other. We got what we call "spirit" from out thoughts. Not only because you sit and think about life, but also because you are totally influenced by a lot of factors like your family, culture, media, school religion etc. Anyway, everything you've been threw, and of course how you translate it to your brain, makes you who you are now.
-Why does every expression about countless emotions include the word "heart" & not the word "brain"?
Because language was invented long long long long time ago, some expressions stay how they are, though language changes all the time.

Nicole
05-19-2006, 09:17 AM
Interesting.

-but how dualistic/monistic are you? & why?

I'm terrible with those kinds of questions because I have arguments for and against and can never make up my mind.

-do you think that when your body dies, your mind will somehow live on?

Seen, felt and heard some weird stuff but i don't know if that's conciousness or just something that was left behind.

-do you think that when you die, both of them will solve into nothing?

Eventually.

-do you think "mind" & "spirit" are two seperated things?

No.

-where does the mind find it's origin & it's habitat? in the brains?

Definately.

-if so, then why does every expression about countless emotions include the word "heart" & not the word "brain"? examples:
with heart & soul, with my whole heart, wholeheartly, from the (bottom of my) heart, punker at heart, broken heart, learning by heart, eating your heart out, a heart of gold, in his heart he knew, setting your heart on something.....

Because the heart responds to emotions. The brain itself has no internal sensors that we can feel, but you know your pulse races in some circumstances. It's probably a hangover from the days of knowing little about how people function.

-do your theories back up unexplainable experiences? (out of body-experiences, mind connecting-experiences, ghost-like experiences, etc)

I usually am skeptical about something until I've seen it for myself and it really depends on the source. I'm more likely to take something like out of body experiences more seriously from somebody who was at deaths door than a new age fanatic who really wants to believe in such things. Ghosts however I do believe in, there's one in the house I'm at now and I've heard footsteps in the hallway when nobody is home, seen it in the kitchen, felt it's presence and oh god I can't wait to be out of here.

-do you think it works the same for us as for animals?

I don't see why not.

-how should medicine look at/treat this matter in treating patients?

Run with people's spiritual beliefs, it's a part of who they are and accepting and incorporating it where necessary can benefit the patient (apparently "patient" is going out the window, reminicent of parsons sick role. weird but PC people need stuff to whinge about).

-when someone suffers from 'mental' problems, is it just as much a 'body-problem' as a flu, which would mean the patient him-/herself is responsible in some way to some extend?

Oh god that's such a broad question. Was it self induced such as losing too many brain cells from alcohol? Is it caused by a biological fuck up or environmental causes that the person can control? Does the person want to get better and do they even have a problem? *shrugs*

-if your 'mind' seems to do/want something that doesn't match with your 'body', does that automatically free you from responsibility?

JoY
05-19-2006, 10:08 AM
I knew I could count on you, Nicky. I'll most certainly respond to your reply.
<3

Vera
05-19-2006, 11:15 AM
I wrote an essay on metaphysical materialistic monism in today's world since science is so popular nowadays and if there is a philosophically credible alternative to it. This may be slightly off-tangent but I'll ramble anyway.

My basic conclusion - you can believe that there is something non-material, something spiritual but that's about as far as it'll go, belief. It's impossible to prove that a "soul" exists, now that science is finding out everything about everything in existence and even such a spiritual, non-material thing as "a thought" can be tracked down to a series of nerve impulses in the brain or something material like that.

Then again I suppose you could say that something non-material, such as a belief or an ideology, behind it there are a million material things - books, actions , people - so the ideology isn't really a thing that exists, it's more like a category for things that exist.

I think it's philosophically and even scientifically credible to believe in a soul and use such words and expressions that refer to spiritual things because hey, that's language. Science is solving all our mysteries.

In Psychology class I think they taught us that behind every "mental" thing there is a physical thing. I suppose all the mental happenings could be just causes of the physical thing.. But can you heal all mental things with drugs? Probably not, not even in hte future.

Vera
05-24-2006, 01:51 AM
WTF, am I a topic killer or what?

I scored full points on that essay, too. Give a girl some respect.

JoY
05-24-2006, 04:35 AM
there are definitely completely unexplainable experiences told all over the world that make our belief in science somewhat shaky. in philosophy I remember I used to say I definitely thought there was such a thing as a mind & a body - connected & depending on each other, but still two different things. because if I'd thought they were one & the same, that'd rule out the possibility to live on in whatever way after death. yeah well, slightly too final for my liking. plus, how else to explain the unexplainable?

I knew most non-physical things can be tracked down in the brain with a physical cause. my knowledge on this area has somewhat expanded. like memories (hipocampus & more), emotions (amygdala, & more), cognitive behaviour, expression of personality, emotioncontrol & decisionmaking (prefrontal cortex), the connection between all of these & it just goes on & on & on...

they form you. as in *you*. what else is their left to call a soul, or a mind, or a spirit, whatever, if EVERYTHING we do is based on the activity of one single organ? & that organ might be in our head, but in this case, would we by definition seperate head from body? quite unlogical, if extremities are included in your term of the word "body".

the fact that basically everything we do is based on neurotransmission doesn't mean we're 'machines' & all just the same. we all had different experiences, that form our memory & shape our brain. growing up is an individual process. we all are put together differently with different DNA, so yeah, there's not one brain that functions exactly the same as another. there isn't even another body that functions like another body & generally we consider the body to be less complex.

when we call someone "braindead", that generally means the end of everything to us. without brains no life, right? I mean, you wouldn't exactly call someone that's decapitated alive, no? still, it's very well possible that someone who's braindead still has a circulation for a good while & even breathes. the other way around is possible too; when someone doesn't breathe & doesn't have a circulation, the brain can still be active. from what point do you decide someone is dead? it's an extremely complicated matter. we think rather lightly about it, but the definition of death isn't clear at all. we just made one. this also complicates the matter of organdonation, but I won't even go into that.

I guess it's the most vital source of life we make the home of our mind/soul. the brain you can't live without, but the same goes for the heart. like I said before; if there's zero brainfunction, the heart can still be beating in it's chest & the same goes the other way around. but take a liver, or the lungs out of a human body & I guarantee you it'll die just as much as without a brain, or a heart.

it's mostly the fear of ceasing to exist that feeds religion. people (even non-religious) say "I'll join you in death", when it appears you're born alone (unless you're siamese twin) & you die alone. we know that from the age of thirty the body starts to slowly fall apart & that it won't stop degenerating untill there's nothing visible left of it. nothing visible. because human remains can still be tracked long time after they become invisible to the naked eye.

the problem in this discussion is, if someone addicted is responsible, when behaviour, behaviourcontrol & emotioncontrol is found in the brain. if there's a malfunction that causes you to have immense fears without sedation for instance, then to what level are you responsible for your own doings? we don't consider people with ADHD, dyslexia, obsessive compulsive disorder, lalala responsible, but someone with suicidal thoughts, an addiction, depression, or anything like that, is in our eyes selfish & out to get attention. only because one has been proved to have a physical cause, when the other just as much has a physical basis (maybe not a direct cause, but still).

this can work two ways; you're responsible for any sicknesses to the body - like a flu (should've worn a coat), emphysema (should've stayed away from tobacco), livercirrosis (should've stayed away from alcohol), high bloodpressure (not directly a disease, but you should've exercised more) - because you KNOW these form risks to your health. this would also mean that mental diseases are just as real & physical & thus also your own responsibility. if you fall mentally ill, you haven't treated your brain with enough care.

if you consider them to be two different things, you can easily say about depression for instance, that it's the mind that's torturing you. you can't trace it, but it's there, because there is such a thing as a mind. if the body is sick, the mind isn't responsible, because they're two different things.

Nicky, I fully agree on how medicine should treat this matter in their practice. & also on the question about animals. "I don't see why not".

enough rambling. too.fucking.long.

Little_Miss_1565
05-24-2006, 04:41 AM
I have a chronic pain condition that is most effectively treated through means that treat the mental as well as the physical--yoga, relaxation, etc. Which feels odd for me, because due to circumstances beyond my control in high school, I became very detatched from my body, like it and me were two different things. I'm trying to find how to reunite them again.

JoY
05-24-2006, 04:49 AM
Sanni: I was typing. ;p might explain - you know me, my indirect way of saying things & my essay-posts.

1565: have you read the story about "the woman without a body" by Oliver Sacks? it's about a woman, who lost propriocepsis & basically can't move a muscle without doing it extremely consciously, looking at the limb (or whatever) that she wants to move. for her this proves the theory of dualism, but basically it doesn't prove a fucking thing. it's still a physical problem & the fact that her mind can still function perfectly fine, only means that certain areas that were damaged.

the fact that it helps to treat the mind to treat the body would only confirm that they are one, though the existence of different treatments would immediately seperate them in theory again.