The image is tw.
I thought the days of people being immolated for having the wrong ideas about the soul were over before 9/11. People have been controlled by a fear that their immortality could be in danger if they did not obey certain spiritual authorities. Brains are more than just for eating.
Brains are not chains. The chain is going to break one of these mornings.
There is overwhelming evidence that brains are what make our bodies into people, people who speak, think, adapt, and cope with life on the planet. Brains collect and integrate sensory information from the environment. The more precise we can measure brain activity, the more detailed we can find correlations with human conscious experiences. Belief in a soul is still pretty common despite the fact that many of us have lost our chains. If more of us were aware of its stunning inconsistency with reality, it might be less so.
The private nature of consciousness is part of an argument that something is not causing consciousness. Why does the brain seem involved if that is true? It is not just humans. When we look at the nervous systems of animals, we can see that brains operate bodies to enable their survival.
The analogy of the brain being a radio receiver has been used to answer this question. One fairly typical source puts it this way: Can you hear me?
Proponents realize this comes with an issue. It is a question of whether a soul is an individual or a world soul. They think the world soul has knots in it that correspond to individual people. It would also be knots for individual monkeys, mice, molds, and even molecule. It is possible that we are off the hook for eternal damnation if it is just knots. I hope that is the case. The brain doesn’t produce consciousness, but it does pick up the fundamental consciousness that is all around us, and then transfers it into our own being.
The selection of genetic changes that contributed to survival and reproduction has been shown to be massive and detailed. The better for the organisms to deal with the physical world, the better brains evolved. The brain is a receiver of information from outside the physical world. That is similar to having a bicycle that is also a TV, but with the same parts. A dual-function brain seems to be awkward.
By the modern account of soul-ism, all the messy networks in the brains seem to be responding to the outside world. The show is run by some outside spirit. This is a dualistic position and subject to more issues. What is left for the brain to do? Why does it use more energy than a marathon runner?
Our physical person lives in this world. If all that we experience comes, then we should go to the work and not think about it. If the soul was part of that mundane world, and subject to the world’s laws, it could know this, but it couldn’t be eternal.
We can dig a little deeper. What is the purpose of the brain and the organisms in which it resides? Why would such a small, space- and time- limited thing need to exist when the important, eternal stuff of consciousness is not there?
That cannot be what is happening. A perfect watcher would be the alternative. Dr. Seuss could only contrive things that were contrived. The soul uses an inter-dimensional portal to watch our body moving in our mundane world. The soul makes decisions by instant and deduces what needs to happen in our consciousness. The watcher is a person.
Why would a perfect watcher ever happen in any universe? Why use a brain at all? The meat puppet should be told what it thinks by the soul.
The soul pokes our brain, making it move, when it’s based on a previous thought about wanting to look at something. After the first few hundredths of a degree of movement, the soul looks through the portal at our physical environment to deduce what our visual field should now look like, and then sends that new picture to our brain. This cycle of controlling every tiny mental change for billions of instants the rest of our life is repeated. All the activity in the brain, including the eyes and the spine, has no purpose. It seems like a waste.
Why would we have a remote controller controlling our reality from a place outside of our realm, the one where we actually have to live? The controller is more like a god than an individual agent. It has complete control over our experience of reality. A godlike soul doesn’t need a body. It does not need any other reality than its own. Maybe it is just playing a virtual reality game in which we, the bodies with brains, are the pieces on the board.
The soul gets rid of the need for a brain. The body and the whole world it lives in. Maybe that is not necessary.
Why does the game being played by my soul seem to be consistent with the game being played by your soul, in the sense that they seem to be in one world, with consistent laws of physics, configurations of biology, timelines, and so forth? Who is coordinating the souls to create this illusion? How many levels would there be for a coordinators? I admit, this is where a world soul would have an easier time keeping things consistent. It is a team player.
If souls are actually in charge, then there is a coordination issue again. Some of us would never see the experiences that others would never see if souls that did not coordinate well had differences in their recipes. I think that people who believe in unusual things should find the concept of souls sensible. There is a strong case that each of us uses our brains to model and live in a kind of personal virtual reality called an Ego Tunnel. We are all doing our own take on a base reality that contains all of us.
The brain receiver idea seems to solve a conceptual problem of connecting the physical world with consciousness, which seems askew from the physical. I hope that the concept has problems. It seems that consciousness is just a refined way of using nervous tissue to do a better job of adapting to the non-supernatural world that we perceive as our conscious reality. Give brains a chance.
Reducing the brain to a sort of side effect doesn’t make sense. Some people think that the brain is involved in rarer conscious states, like near-death or out-of-body experiences, that need a soul. They are too involved to address here. Some readers might remind us of them.