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The brain is everything, literally

Posted: January 26th, 2019, 9:55 pm
by Tosen
Neuroscience have observed brain activity for years and have correlated these brain states(Observed with instruments) to our first person experience of reality. How we perceive, how we rationalize, how our cognition works and so on. The mind or brain seems awfully mechanistic in nature, and seemingly almost all neurological activity is autonomously done by our central nervous system. This notion of the brain being mechanistic has some drastic implications in how we even experience reality, but they are slyly hidden out of sight.

Let's start with the obvious bit:
1)We have a sense of self, a sense of free will almost intuitively. I don't have to question if I can think or move by my own volition.
2) We are here, right now, presumably existing inside of a body. Here's the thing, this body functions by itself. It is biologically mechanistic.
3) We can say that the brain and body are both physical and also mechanistic. So, at least in regards to our body and brain, they are both physical entities composed of matter which function by themselves(mechanistic).
4) We cannot intervene in these mechanisms. I cannot cause by cells to not absorb nutrients for example. These facts seem obvious.

Now we move on to the less obvious bit:
1) Knowing that my brain is inside this body, and the body is mechanistic in nature, isn't the brain mechanistic in nature too?
2) Do I have control over all the neurological activity that is happening in the brain? All the cognitive activity that enables us to think, feel, perceive and live? The plain answer is no, and I will showcase this.

Emotions can be neurologically explained:
Let's say that I went to watch a funny compilations video on YouTube. I watch it and I laugh uncontrollably. For me to be able to feel this emotion of "funny" and to laugh, my brain has to produces certain chemicals(Dopamine in this case). Otherwise, if my brain never produced the chemicals, I would not feel that sensation of laughter in my body. We, with this sense of self or ego, cannot intervene in these mechanisms. So what if my brain just doesn't produce the chemicals? Then I just don't laugh, as simple as that. Now, the question is, did I cause the emotion or did my brain cause the emotion? It is the latter, the brain who causes this.

Therefore, we have no control of our emotions whatsoever. But the way we experience reality is that we naively think that we are the owner of our emotions. If it were so, did some of you cause yourself to feel love-struck for a person? What about our sexuality, which is a sensual emotion. What if I told an heterosexual to cause him/herself to feel sexually attracted to his/her same sex? This is not the order of things. What about happiness? A lot of humans say that happiness is something that we look for in life. But in looking for happiness, aren't we looking for a joyous, fulfilling emotion? Do you guys understand this observation? Without the brain producing these chemicals, there is no meaning to life. Because anything that we consider valuable or meaningful precisely comes from emotions. Why care for an event like someones death? Because it causes sorrow within you . But what if it didn't cause sadness for you? Then simply you don't care, hence it is meaningless and not a valuable event. But remember always, the brain is producing the chemicals, not you.
I just skimmed through this, but I can keep writing the implications of this.

In order to get this you have to raise your awareness and notice that emotions just "appear".

I have tons of other things I can talk about, but I will end the subject raising an issue of moral responsibility, or with morality as a whole. Emotions like guilt, remorse, moral responsibility, are emotions. You feel them in the body(For example: Guilt might make you feel ashamed, frustrated, etc) and your mind goes rampant with negative thoughts. But what about psychopaths? Psychopaths, especially the severe ones, are cold blooded. They feel no moral responsibility nor remorse if they kill someone . But did they willingly choose to not feel those emotions? They just don't care, because their brains don't care(The brain doesn't produce the necessary chemicals to feel this) What about in the case of some serial killers that they blissfully bathe in their victims death? They feel joy or some kind of fulfillment when doing this, but why? What is morality if you don't feel anything at all and have no control over that? Morality is just a human construct created by brains that release too much of these highly emotive chemicals then(Yes it may sound absurd).\

In conclusion, the brain is everything, literally.

Re: The brain is everything, literally

Posted: January 27th, 2019, 4:45 pm
by Hereandnow
Such confidence in the power of the brain to conceive of what a brain is. Don't forget, Tosen, that the 'brain" is a derivative concept, as are all empirical concepts, as are all concepts whatever.

Re: The brain is everything, literally

Posted: January 27th, 2019, 5:10 pm
by Fdesilva
Tosen wrote:
January 26th, 2019, 9:55 pm
Let's start with the obvious bit:
1)We have a sense of self, a sense of free will almost intuitively. I don't have to question if I can think or move by my own volition.
2) We are here, right now, presumably existing inside of a body. Here's the thing, this body functions by itself. It is biologically mechanistic.
3) We can say that the brain and body are both physical and also mechanistic. So, at least in regards to our body and brain, they are both physical entities composed of matter which function by themselves(mechanistic).
4) We cannot intervene in these mechanisms. I cannot cause by cells to not absorb nutrients for example. These facts seem obvious.

Now we move on to the less obvious bit:
1) Knowing that my brain is inside this body, and the body is mechanistic in nature, isn't the brain mechanistic in nature too?
2) Do I have control over all the neurological activity that is happening in the brain? All the cognitive activity that enables us to think, feel, perceive and live? The plain answer is no, and I will showcase this.

Emotions can be neurologically explained:
Let's say that I went to watch a funny compilations video on YouTube. I watch it and I laugh uncontrollably. For me to be able to feel this emotion of "funny" and to laugh, my brain has to produces certain chemicals(Dopamine in this case). Otherwise, if my brain never produced the chemicals, I would not feel that sensation of laughter in my body. We, with this sense of self or ego, cannot intervene in these mechanisms. So what if my brain just doesn't produce the chemicals? Then I just don't laugh, as simple as that. Now, the question is, did I cause the emotion or did my brain cause the emotion? It is the latter, the brain who causes this.
In the above you identify the chemical Dopamine. You also say it caused the "I" to laugh. Is the "I" one and the same as the chemical droplets or something else?

Re: The brain is everything, literally

Posted: January 27th, 2019, 7:34 pm
by Jklint
Everything we are, think and feel is simply a matter of chemistry or more accurately a derivative of very complex chemistry. If there's more to the story, then I'd like to know where that derives from which at best can only devolve to theory compared to processes already known and generally understood .

Re: The brain is everything, literally

Posted: January 27th, 2019, 10:53 pm
by Fdesilva
Jklint wrote:
January 27th, 2019, 7:34 pm
Everything we are, think and feel is simply a matter of chemistry or more accurately a derivative of very complex chemistry. If there's more to the story, then I'd like to know where that derives from which at best can only devolve to theory compared to processes already known and generally understood .
How would you describe the experience of watching something on TV? Do you have a sense of self? Would you describe the TV as something other than your self? Do you experience a self that exist (sense of I exist)in the context of this experience? If so is you experience of self continuous over time? Is it this experience that you believe can be explained via chemistry?

Re: The brain is everything, literally

Posted: January 27th, 2019, 11:41 pm
by Jklint
Fdesilva wrote:
January 27th, 2019, 10:53 pm
Jklint wrote:
January 27th, 2019, 7:34 pm
Everything we are, think and feel is simply a matter of chemistry or more accurately a derivative of very complex chemistry. If there's more to the story, then I'd like to know where that derives from which at best can only devolve to theory compared to processes already known and generally understood .
How would you describe the experience of watching something on TV?
Frustrating especially with all the commercials!

Re: The brain is everything, literally

Posted: January 27th, 2019, 11:47 pm
by Jklint
Everything can be explained by brain chemistry since there's no other way to explain it. Even out-of-body experiences are derivatives of brain functions. Do we know everything about how it functions! NO! but we do know it's all centered in the brain.

Re: The brain is everything, literally

Posted: January 28th, 2019, 12:02 am
by Wmhoerr
Tosen, I agree that you cannot stop your body absorbing nutrients. Nor can you control the making of red blood cells, growth of bones, and so on. So in this sense all the body maintenance, controlled by genes, is mechanistic. But the mind is not a blank state and so things like hunger, jealousy, desire to socialize, sense of beauty and so on is also provided to us by the genes. We all vary in our inheritance of these and these we can control. “Growing up” means learning to control these mental attributes. The laws societies make force control. So while the body is mechanistic it is not clear that the brain is mechanistic. There is also meant to be a random element in thought (so the quantum people tell us) so this would also mean the brain is not completely mechanistic.

Re: The brain is everything, literally

Posted: January 28th, 2019, 12:09 am
by Consul
Wmhoerr wrote:
January 28th, 2019, 12:02 am
There is also meant to be a random element in thought (so the quantum people tell us) so this would also mean the brain is not completely mechanistic.
If your thoughts pop up randomly in your mind/brain, you have no voluntary control over them either.

Re: The brain is everything, literally

Posted: January 28th, 2019, 12:17 am
by Consul
By the way, according to the New Mechanical Philosophy (to quote the title of a book written by Stuart Glennan)…

"Mechanisms are not necessarily deterministic. Mechanisms might be stochastic if, for example, they are composed of stochastic activities (Bogen 2005, 2008a), or, in a more mundane sense (i.e., one consistent with determinism), because it is always possible for one or more factors to interfere with the working of a mechanism; one of the parts might be broken, or an unexpected preventer might interfere with the operation of a mechanism. The truth or falsity of determinism, and its relevance to understanding the special sciences, is an independent issue from the question of whether something is a mechanism."

Mechanisms in Science: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/science-mechanisms/

Re: The brain is everything, literally

Posted: January 28th, 2019, 3:20 am
by Fdesilva
Jklint wrote:
January 27th, 2019, 11:47 pm
Everything can be explained by brain chemistry since there's no other way to explain it. Even out-of-body experiences are derivatives of brain functions. Do we know everything about how it functions! NO! but we do know it's all centered in the brain.
It is impossible to explain the ability to see simultaneous events and Free will from the functional capability of the brain alone. Unless you can explain a conscious experience using chemistry and physics what you say remains a claim with no evidence.

Re: The brain is everything, literally

Posted: January 28th, 2019, 4:45 am
by Jklint
Fdesilva wrote:
January 28th, 2019, 3:20 am
Jklint wrote:
January 27th, 2019, 11:47 pm
Everything can be explained by brain chemistry since there's no other way to explain it. Even out-of-body experiences are derivatives of brain functions. Do we know everything about how it functions! NO! but we do know it's all centered in the brain.
It is impossible to explain the ability to see simultaneous events and Free will from the functional capability of the brain alone. Unless you can explain a conscious experience using chemistry and physics what you say remains a claim with no evidence.
The evidence is that without a brain there can be no conscious experience. If you know of someone who had one without that indispendable utensil, please advise!

Re: The brain is everything, literally

Posted: January 28th, 2019, 7:08 am
by Eduk
In conclusion, the brain is everything, literally.
I literally have fingers.

Re: The brain is everything, literally

Posted: January 28th, 2019, 9:03 am
by Fdesilva
Jklint wrote:
January 28th, 2019, 4:45 am
Fdesilva wrote:
January 28th, 2019, 3:20 am

It is impossible to explain the ability to see simultaneous events and Free will from the functional capability of the brain alone. Unless you can explain a conscious experience using chemistry and physics what you say remains a claim with no evidence.
The evidence is that without a brain there can be no conscious experience. If you know of someone who had one without that indispendable utensil, please advise!
I am not disputing the claim that the brain is necessary for consciousness. Your claim is that it is also sufficient. It is not sufficient as it has no capacity to create a single self that can see simultaneous events. The brain can create the events but not the self that see’s it. The self because of its ability to see simultaneous events can only be out side the space-time continuum.

Re: The brain is everything, literally

Posted: January 28th, 2019, 9:19 am
by chewybrian
Jklint wrote:
January 28th, 2019, 4:45 am
The evidence is that without a brain there can be no conscious experience. If you know of someone who had one without that indispendable utensil, please advise!
Does a brain have conscious experiences after death? Don't the physical, material elements of the brain still exist after death? What has been lost or removed, if not the mysterious 'other thing' which you wish to dismiss? What's missing is YOU, or the only bit of you that has any real meaning.

Clearly anything animate has something very special and important added over anything not animate. The difference can not be explained away by the laws of physics. What makes something alive when it would otherwise be dead? It is self-evident that it is not 'nothing', yet it also seems clear that the difference is not on the periodic table.

I would give the added element for all living things the label of free will, and define free will as the ability to form desires and actively pursue them. Even a reflex, as a plant bending toward the light, transcends the rules of cause and effect that apply to inanimate stuff (it moves without a push, unlike a coffee mug or a block of cheese). At the high end, we can analyze and alter our environment and delay gratification, display altruism and such. But, hydrogen atoms don't 'want' to find oxygen. A reaction might take place when they are pushed into contact, but there is a critical difference between these reactions and life actively pursuing its desires. Free will is 'everything', figuratively.