Re:virus: brain, soul, the err of neuroscience

From: rhinoceros (
Date: Fri Jun 07 2002 - 11:23:13 MDT

It seems, rather, that the situation has been oversimplified. Complicating the situation is necessary to fully understand it, if the situation is more complicated then we are perceiving. Perhaps these entities are superfluous, and I acknowledge the application of Occam's razor in this instance. Yet, if it is obvious that our currently accepted reasoning has no factual basis and is inherently flawed then it must be conceded that there is a great deal missing from the current hypothesis. Therefore, to administer potent chemicals to individuals altering their brain chemistry on the pretense that we have sufficient understanding of the mind is an extremely dangerous practice with, as of yet, completely unknown consequences.

I am also against the use of mind regulating drugs in 99 percent of the cases, but this is just because they usually make society less diverse, less interesting, and less potent.

To quote old Albert once more, "I like to keep things as simple as possible, but not simpler." But did we really oversimplify? Let's see.

First viewpoint: Mind (thought, consciousness, will, whatever) is a product of the brain. We know several things about it and we are searching for more.

Second viewpoint: Brain is the medium in which a non-material entity called soul is manifest, producing mind. Brain is the soul's window to the real world.

Is there a way to put these viewpoints to a test? I am not sure, but here are some sugestions: Before trying anything, we would need to define the concept of soul more precisely, or else it would be a moving target. Then, we could try to see whether we could alter a *defining* attribute of the soul -- not a manifestation -- by altering the brain.

For example: Would you consider "will" as a defining attribute of the soul. If so, altering a person's will by using drugs on the brain would be an argument against the concept of a soul. What about a person's identity? If identity is a defining attribute of the soul, then a mental disorder making someone believe that he is "Alexander the Great" would mean that either a second soul was imposed on him or a brain disorder made the brain behave like a competing soul substitute.

I realize that these suggestions may seem like jokes to you, but can you suggest anything testable?

This message was posted by rhinoceros to the Virus 2002 board on Church of Virus BBS.

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