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http://www.lastwordonnothing.com/2012/02/09/better-living-th...

...in the course of investigating a story (in this week’s New Scientist) about how researchers are using neurofeedback and electrical brain stimulation to accelerate learning. What I found was that electricity might be the most powerful drug I’ve ever used in my life.

...To make you understand, I am going to tell you how it felt. The experience wasn’t simply about the easy pleasure of undeserved expertise. For me, it was a near-spiritual experience. When the nice neuroscientists put the electrodes on me, what defined the experience was not feeling smarter or learning faster: The thing that made the earth drop out from under my feet was that for the first time in my life, everything in my head finally shut the f*** up...


Another nice science blog to add to my lists, too...
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interesting, but I don't see the (implied?) inconsistency with having a soul. The affect of the current was to improve concentration, right?

I wonder what people decide when faced with ethical dilemmas while wearing the electrodes? In other words, how it affects their conscience?
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interesting, but I don't see the (implied?) inconsistency with having a soul. The affect of the current was to improve concentration, right?


Did you read the article or only my short summary?

In the article, she says the effect on her was to shut off a lot of her internal commentary. Of course, since I still don't understand what the soul is supposed to be doing that the brain is not (and that therefore wouldn't be changed by physical influences on the brain)...

What do you think would imply inconsistency with having a soul?



I wonder what people decide when faced with ethical dilemmas while wearing the electrodes? In other words, how it affects their conscience?

Me too.
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Did you read the article or only my short summary?

I scanned it

In the article, she says the effect on her was to shut off a lot of her internal commentary.

Right, which I characterized as increasing her ability to focus on the task.

I heard JP Moreland address this issue recently. He described us as a soul attached to a brain, with inherent limitations as long as we are connected that way. He gave an analogy of a driver strapped and locked to a car seat, being limited in many ways by the function of the car/engine. Say the fuel injectors were clogged. It would affect our ability to move.

What do you think would imply inconsistency with having a soul?

heh, I knew you'd ask that. I don't know off-hand. Seems like one of those unproveable things that if you didn't have one, you'd never find out :-) It's part of the baggage of Christianity.

But evidence for something non-material that makes you "you" could come from Jesus' resurrection. What made the continuity possible from his pre-death self to his post-death self? If true that Jesus rose from the dead, I'd say that suggests something like the soul is plausible.
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I heard JP Moreland address this issue recently. He described us as a soul attached to a brain, with inherent limitations as long as we are connected that way. He gave an analogy of a driver strapped and locked to a car seat, being limited in many ways by the function of the car/engine. Say the fuel injectors were clogged. It would affect our ability to move.

I would bet a skilled experimenter could tease out things that the driver could do that would be unaffected by damaging the car. Yelling words, for example. No matter what you did to the car the driver could still yell words, demonstrating a capability that the driver alone possesses. (Apparently even I, a very poor experimenter, can come up with one. :) )



But evidence for something non-material that makes you "you" could come from Jesus' resurrection. What made the continuity possible from his pre-death self to his post-death self? If true that Jesus rose from the dead, I'd say that suggests something like the soul is plausible.

Conversely, the billions of non-resurrections since (and very poor documentation of that one) suggest that something like the soul is implausible. :)
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I heard JP Moreland address this issue recently. He described us as a soul attached to a brain, with inherent limitations as long as we are connected that way. He gave an analogy of a driver strapped and locked to a car seat, being limited in many ways by the function of the car/engine. Say the fuel injectors were clogged. It would affect our ability to move.
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I would bet a skilled experimenter could tease out things that the driver could do that would be unaffected by damaging the car. Yelling words, for example. No matter what you did to the car the driver could still yell words, demonstrating a capability that the driver alone possesses. (Apparently even I, a very poor experimenter, can come up with one. :) )


You're not taking the analogy far enough. Your voice is connected to the car's radio. You are integrated into it such that while connected to it, you can't move or communicate except through it. But when it completely breaks down, you can be released from it.

Of course if the car goes over a cliff and burst into flames, you're screwed :)
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You're not taking the analogy far enough. Your voice is connected to the car's radio. You are integrated into it such that while connected to it, you can't move or communicate except through it. But when it completely breaks down, you can be released from it.

The more integrated they are, the more it's an argument against dualism instead of for it. The driver becomes just another material component. :)
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The more integrated they are, the more it's an argument against dualism instead of for it. The driver becomes just another material component. :)

true, but the question is whether they are separate entities in us, one being non-material. Analogies using two material things can only go so far.
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