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Thread: Is your soul in the "cloud"?

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    Re: Is your soul in the "cloud"?

    The brain and mind are both involved in consciousness and the terms are often used interchangeably but the brain and the mind are not the same. The brain is a tangible organ in the body that controls all vital human function. Conversely, the mind permeates every cell of the human body[1] and consults with non-human cells such as the gut bacteria, which comprise nine tenths of the cells in our bodies.[2] More importantly, the mind ultimately has dominion over the brain.[3-5]

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/b...r-brain-thinks

    Traditionally, scientists have tried to define the mind as the product of brain activity: The brain is the physical substance, and the mind is the conscious product of those firing neurons, according to the classic argument. But growing evidence shows that the mind goes far beyond the physical workings of your brain.

    No doubt, the brain plays an incredibly important role. But our mind cannot be confined to what’s inside our skull, or even our body, according to a definition first put forward by Dan Siegel, a professor of psychiatry at UCLA School of Medicine and the author of a recently published book, Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human.

    He first came up with the definition more than two decades ago, at a meeting of 40 scientists across disciplines, including neuroscientists, physicists, sociologists, and anthropologists. The aim was to come to an understanding of the mind that would appeal to common ground and satisfy those wrestling with the question across these fields.

    After much discussion, they decided that a key component of the mind is: “the emergent self-organizing process, both embodied and relational, that regulates energy and information flow within and among us.” It’s not catchy. But it is interesting, and with meaningful implications.

    The most immediately shocking element of this definition is that our mind extends beyond our physical selves. In other words, our mind is not simply our perception of experiences, but those experiences themselves. Siegel argues that it’s impossible to completely disentangle our subjective view of the world from our interactions.

    I realized if someone asked me to define the shoreline but insisted, is it the water or the sand, I would have to say the shore is both sand and sea,” says Siegel. “You can’t limit our understanding of the coastline to insist it’s one or the other. I started thinking, maybe the mind is like the coastline—some inner and inter process. Mental life for an anthropologist or sociologist is profoundly social. Your thoughts, feelings, memories, attention, what you experience in this subjective world is part of mind.”

    The definition has since been supported by research across the sciences, but much of the original idea came from mathematics. Siegel realized the mind meets the mathematical definition of a complex system in that it’s open (can influence things outside itself), chaos capable (which simply means it’s roughly randomly distributed), and non-linear (which means a small input leads to large and difficult to predict result).

    In math, complex systems are self-organizing, and Siegel believes this idea is the foundation to mental health. Again borrowing from the mathematics, optimal self-organization is: flexible, adaptive, coherent, energized, and stable. This means that without optimal self-organization, you arrive at either chaos or rigidity—a notion that, Siegel says, fits the range of symptoms of mental health disorders.

    Finally, self-organization demands linking together differentiated ideas or, essentially, integration. And Siegel says integration—whether that’s within the brain or within society—is the foundation of a healthy mind.

    Siegel says he wrote his book now because he sees so much misery in society, and he believes this is partly shaped by how we perceive our own minds. He talks of doing research in Namibia, where people he spoke to attributed their happiness to a sense of belonging.

    When Siegel was asked in return whether he belonged in America, his answer was less upbeat: “I thought how isolated we all are and how disconnected we feel,” he says. “In our modern society we have this belief that mind is brain activity and this means the self, which comes from the mind, is separate and we don’t really belong. But we’re all part of each others’ lives. The mind is not just brain activity. When we realize it’s this relational process, there’s this huge shift in this sense of belonging.”

    In other words, even perceiving our mind as simply a product of our brain, rather than relations, can make us feel more isolated. And to appreciate the benefits of interrelations, you simply have to open your mind.



    https://qz.com/866352/scientists-say...ven-your-body/
    "Now there is no mediator when just one person is involved, but God is only one." Galatians 3:20

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    Re: Is your soul in the "cloud"?

    Quote Originally Posted by VINLO View Post
    This is an incorrect application of naturalism and an inadequate knowledge of neuroscience.

    Consciousness is a product of the brain. It is deeply interwoven with the brain and nervous system, but it is not, itself, a brain. If brain size and neuron count were the total sum of consciousness, then neanderthals should have surpassed us in culture and driven us to extinction 200,000 years ago. Their brains were bigger than ours.

    The relationship between consciousness and the brain is still very much a mystery of neuroscience. Brains produce consciousness. How and where remains inaccessible for now.
    YOu are making some errors of reasoning. You are assuming that intelligence is the only thing that drives culture. For one thing, environment is a highly important issue. At the time the neanderthals were at their peak, an ice age was gripping the planet. If you notice, agriculture and 'culture' did not start developing until right after the ice age ended, and we had a stable environment to be able to grow things.


    Interesting fact: One gene that has spread to 90% of the European population came from Neanderthal. That gene is a gene that is responsible for brain development. For a gene variation that was reintroduced into the population from an archaic form of humans to be so prevalent, there has to be a very strong positive survival reason for it.
    Last edited by RAMOSS; 10-11-18 at 12:51 PM.
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    Re: Is your soul in the "cloud"?

    Quote Originally Posted by zyzygy View Post
    Where is obvious. In the brain.
    I mean where precisely in the brain various aspects of consciousness are tied to, and exactly how they are connected, is a mystery.

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    Re: Is your soul in the "cloud"?

    Quote Originally Posted by VINLO View Post
    I mean where precisely in the brain various aspects of consciousness are tied to, and exactly how they are connected, is a mystery.
    I don't like the word 'mystery' for something like that. It is not fully understood, to be sure, but we know more and more about the function of the brain, what parts of the brain and the structure of the brain that causes such things as emotions and consciousness. "Mystery" is a word that cuts out investigation. "A puzzle" or 'unknown' encourages trying to find out.
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    Re: Is your soul in the "cloud"?

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMOSS View Post
    I don't like the word 'mystery' for something like that. It is not fully understood, to be sure, but we know more and more about the function of the brain, what parts of the brain and the structure of the brain that causes such things as emotions and consciousness. "Mystery" is a word that cuts out investigation. "A puzzle" or 'unknown' encourages trying to find out.
    If you want to split hairs over that word, that's fine. "Mystery" or "puzzle" or "dark spot" or "The Hard Problem", they all effectively mean the same thing.

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    Re: Is your soul in the "cloud"?

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMOSS View Post
    YOu are making some errors of reasoning. You are assuming that intelligence is the only thing that drives culture. For one thing, environment is a highly important issue. At the time the neanderthals were at their peak, an ice age was gripping the planet. If you notice, agriculture and 'culture' did not start developing until right after the ice age ended, and we had a stable environment to be able to grow things.


    Interesting fact: One gene that has spread to 90% of the European population came from Neanderthal. That gene is a gene that is responsible for brain development. For a gene variation that was reintroduced into the population from an archaic form of humans to be so prevalent, there has to be a very strong positive survival reason for it.
    This is a great point. You're right, the neanderthal brain is a bad example for my argument.

    Nevertheless, I think the distinction between consciousness and brain is a real one. One produces the other, or at least that seems to be the current conclusion of neuroscience.

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    Re: Is your soul in the "cloud"?

    Quote Originally Posted by VINLO View Post
    This is a great point. You're right, the neanderthal brain is a bad example for my argument.

    Nevertheless, I think the distinction between consciousness and brain is a real one. One produces the other, or at least that seems to be the current conclusion of neuroscience.
    I think a good analogy is the consciousness is the result of the action of the brain, just like walking is a result of the action of the movement of legs. I believe the term a lot of people use is 'an emergent property'.
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    Re: Is your soul in the "cloud"?

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMOSS View Post
    I think a good analogy is the consciousness is the result of the action of the brain, just like walking is a result of the action of the movement of legs. I believe the term a lot of people use is 'an emergent property'.
    Correct. Consciousness is an emergent property of the brain. An emergent property is a product of a complex system that cannot be independently found in any individual member of the system. The system has to persist for the emergent property to exist, so it's not a product in the way that books are a product of writing. Products in that sense persist independent of whatever system they came from. Consciousness being emergent means it is a product, but permanently linked to the system it originates from and dependent on that system's continued existence in order to remain an emergent property.

    Consciousness is not the same as a brain. Consciousness, or any expression of it we can understand, emerges from a brain, and dies with a brain.

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    Re: Is your soul in the "cloud"?

    Quote Originally Posted by VINLO View Post
    This is an incorrect application of naturalism and an inadequate knowledge of neuroscience.

    Consciousness is a product of the brain. It is deeply interwoven with the brain and nervous system, but it is not, itself, a brain. If brain size and neuron count were the total sum of consciousness, then neanderthals should have surpassed us in culture and driven us to extinction 200,000 years ago. Their brains were bigger than ours.

    The relationship between consciousness and the brain is still very much a mystery of neuroscience. Brains produce consciousness. How and where remains inaccessible for now.
    Consciousness is not a "product" of the brain. Like mind, it is just a word to describe the entirety of the workings of the brain and nervous system.

    The only mystery is how the brain and nervous system does what it does. What parts control what sensations.
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    Re: Is your soul in the "cloud"?

    Quote Originally Posted by devildavid View Post
    Consciousness is not a "product" of the brain. Like mind, it is just a word to describe the entirety of the workings of the brain and nervous system.

    The only mystery is how the brain and nervous system does what it does. What parts control what sensations.
    Do you know what an emergent property is?

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