Are we, or our minds, more than just physical?

Into statistics? Curious what everyone else thinks? Then start a poll here.

Do you believe humans (or our minds) have an immaterial/metaphysical component?

Yes (i'm an atheist or similar)
1
5%
Yes (I'm a believer in something [please see explanation])
7
33%
No (I'm an atheist or similar)
13
62%
No (I'm a believer in something)
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 21

Are we, or our minds, more than just physical?

Postby Razor » Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:55 pm

I have come up against those who believe we as humans have an extra dimension, that our minds have an immaterial or metaphysical element, that we have 'souls', or that we are somehow more than psychical beings. I see no reason to believe this and see no evidence to support it. I think this belief is borne out of a desire to think we are special, different in some way.

I am curious as to the split between atheist (or agnostic or generally don't believe) and believer (in any god-like thing; believer here is a catch all for people who do not 'not believe')[sorry for the clumsy wording] in relation to this as well as a general idea of how many are for and against, if you will.

I think this is almost more fundamental to belief in God that anything else; the willingness to believe we are more than evidence suggests predisposes you and sends you down the path of belief in a God, and specifically one who actively cares about us and what we do.

Thanks in advance for anyone who responds; I'm really interested in the result.

PS - Please take the question in the spirit intended and don't quibble too much about the exact wording, I hope you understand what I am asking even if I have struggled to find a particularity elegant way or expressing myself.
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Re: Are we, or our minds, more than just physical?

Postby Rian » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:04 pm

I voted - I'm a Christian and I think there is something in our make-up that is beyond the purely physical. I think your pseudo-psychological explanation is a fairly common strawman, though. In my case, you are incorrect.

I can come up with lots of pseudo-psychological reasons why a person might become an atheist.
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Re: Are we, or our minds, more than just physical?

Postby humanguy » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:23 pm

I see no reason to view life that way. It's only over-complicating things and it serves no purpose at all.

I think a person must have a desire for that, must really want there to be an invisible dimension where supreme intelligences dwell and life is better and even people have a better part that won't get sick or corrupt or die like their bodies will. Wanting such things seems childish to me. Sooner or later we all have to face life as it really is and just deal with it. How you deal with this life just as it is is what determines what kind of a person you are, not how well you believe some made-up religious story.
Most of us, just about all of us, have the capacity to be rock and rolled by a feeling of pure ecstatic raw joy. You do, don't you? We should respect each other for that.
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Re: Are we, or our minds, more than just physical?

Postby Dr Mundo » Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:19 am

No evidence to support that belief. Also not even a valid and sound argument in favor of it.
The question [Do you believe in God?] has a peculiar structure. If I say no, do I mean I'm convinced God doesn't exist, or do I mean I'm not convinced he does exist? Those are two very different questions. [Dr. Arroway]
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Re: Are we, or our minds, more than just physical?

Postby spongebob » Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:43 am

I'm an atheist so of course I voted No, there is nothing else. However, I'll probably surprise a lot of people here when I say that I'm no more certain of this than I am that there is no god/creator. At present humans have no ability to perceive or observe the extra dimensionality of a soul or spirit. I think some of us have the imagination to develop a concept but even that is very difficult for many of us to comprehend. I commend Mitch for describing in pretty good detail how he perceives this and even though I can sort of get my head around it, the idea still leaves me shaking my head in confusion. It's just not intuitive at all and that makes it difficult. But the real surprise is that I do believe that science offers hope for a true understanding of this, although it might not come for many more generations. I know this probably sounds like a gap argument but hear me out. The imagination of our best thinkers is profound and they are often far ahead of our ability to apply those ideas in a real universe. So the thinking part of it is already pointing to answers that we cannot even hope to evaluate at this point. But whatever it might one day reveal, I don't believe the answers will resemble what we know as religion in any real way. I think the answers will surprise everyone and it will require a change in beliefs for both the religious and the non-religious. But it's easy to say such things because all this is really just speculation, isn't it?
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
~Bertrand Russell

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Re: Are we, or our minds, more than just physical?

Postby darkumbra » Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:32 am

I voted no obviously.

Here's the thing though, it think it would be a great thing if there was more to us.
The problem is that I seen NO evidence to support such a notion. None.
The "god experience"? I have no idea what you are talking about. This sounds like COMPLETE BULLSHIT that you are just making up. How do you define "god experience" in objective scientific terms?-Mitch - a Christian beyond compare.
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Re: Are we, or our minds, more than just physical?

Postby Razor » Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:42 pm

Rian wrote:I voted - I'm a Christian and I think there is something in our make-up that is beyond the purely physical. I think your pseudo-psychological explanation is a fairly common strawman, though. In my case, you are incorrect.

I can come up with lots of pseudo-psychological reasons why a person might become an atheist.


OK, when I said "I think this is almost more fundamental to belief in God that anything else; the willingness to believe we are more than evidence suggests predisposes you and sends you down the path of belief in a God, and specifically one who actively cares about us and what we do." I wasn't trying to either be 'pseudo-psychological' or to set up a strawman. I said "predisposes you" - makes it more likely. Not that is compels you or anything. On a very fundamental level, someone's willingness to believe in one thing without evidence would make them more likely to do so again with another concept. That is what I'm saying, with the additional that a willingness to believe this specific evidence-less thing will give a more specific predisposition - to believe in God.

I don't have any studies to reference or anything like that, but this concept makes sense to me. From my personal experience of people these two beliefs are commonly both held, by rarely is one held without the other. I am open to evidence to the contrary, ideas to the contrary, constructive discussion.
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Re: Are we, or our minds, more than just physical?

Postby mitchellmckain » Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:07 am

My belief is not only that we are more than physical but that we aren't physical at all. Our real identity and being is not our physical circumstances but what we choose to value and dedicate our lives to, nor is it what we manage to accomplish because a lot of that is circumstances again which we have no control over.

Our mind is demonstrably no less a construct of physical forces and relationships than our body is, and is thus just as subject to forces which have nothing to do with us anywhere on a spectrum of bending it from what we choose to erasing it all from existence at any time.

But that physical body and mind provides the crucial context in which we can make our choices and thus it provides the fertile ground and seeds out of which our true being obtains shape, substance and reality.
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Re: Are we, or our minds, more than just physical?

Postby darkumbra » Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:40 am

mitchellmckain wrote:My belief is not only that we are more than physical but that we aren't physical at all. Our real identity and being is not our physical circumstances but what we choose to value and dedicate our lives to, nor is it what we manage to accomplish because a lot of that is circumstances again which we have no control over.

Our mind is demonstrably no less a construct of physical forces and relationships than our body is, and is thus just as subject to forces which have nothing to do with us anywhere on a spectrum of bending it from what we choose to erasing it all from existence at any time.

But that physical body and mind provides the crucial context in which we can make our choices and thus it provides the fertile ground and seeds out of which our true being obtains shape, substance and reality.



And yet? When there is physical damage to the brain - personality changes ie, who we physically represent ourselves to be to the world.

I find it difficult to ignore the fact that who we are is so drastically (I would say completely) dependent on a well functioning brain. My perspective? There is no such thing as 'mind' or 'self' out side of the brain.
The "god experience"? I have no idea what you are talking about. This sounds like COMPLETE BULLSHIT that you are just making up. How do you define "god experience" in objective scientific terms?-Mitch - a Christian beyond compare.
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Re: Are we, or our minds, more than just physical?

Postby mitchellmckain » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:04 pm

Correction...

My belief is not only that I am more than physical but that I am not physical at all. My real identity and being is not my physical circumstances but what I choose to value and dedicate my life to, nor is it what I manage to accomplish because a lot of that is circumstances again which I have no control over.

Our mind is demonstrably no less a construct of physical forces and relationships than our body is, and is thus just as subject to forces which have nothing to do with us anywhere on a spectrum of bending it from what we choose to erasing it all from existence at any time.

But that physical body and mind provides the crucial context in which we can make our choices and thus it provides the fertile ground and seeds out of which My true being obtains shape, substance and reality.


darkumbra wrote:And yet? When there is physical damage to the brain - personality changes ie, who we physically represent ourselves to be to the world.

Like I said...
mitchellmckain wrote:Our mind is demonstrably no less a construct of physical forces and relationships than our body is, and is thus just as subject to forces which have nothing to do with us anywhere on a spectrum of bending it from what we choose to erasing it all from existence at any time.


darkumbra wrote:I find it difficult to ignore the fact that who we are is so drastically (I would say completely) dependent on a well functioning brain.

So I ignore nothing. But the implied argument is not valid. We are dependent on the sun, on the air and on many many other things but that does not lend any validity to the claim that we are those things.

darkumbra wrote:There is no such thing as 'mind' or 'self' out side of the brain.

I grant that you may indeed speak accurately in the case of yourself.
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Re: Are we, or our minds, more than just physical?

Postby darkumbra » Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:19 pm

On second thought. I'll pass
The "god experience"? I have no idea what you are talking about. This sounds like COMPLETE BULLSHIT that you are just making up. How do you define "god experience" in objective scientific terms?-Mitch - a Christian beyond compare.
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Re: Are we, or our minds, more than just physical?

Postby Chado2423!! » Sat Jan 10, 2015 7:42 pm

I am a Christian and I do believe in an immaterial particle of man, the image of God inside of each person. If you would like me to elaborate you may email me at chad@bornagain.com

Thank you,

Chad

P.S. I do not personally like the terminology of the poll: I believe in Someone, namely the God of Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham and the powers He has made to be...
If you would like me to elaborate you may email me at: chad@bornagain.com
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Re: Are we, or our minds, more than just physical?

Postby spongebob » Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:24 am

Chado2423!! wrote:I am a Christian and I do believe in an immaterial particle of man, the image of God inside of each person. If you would like me to elaborate you may email me at xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thank you,

Chad

P.S. I do not personally like the terminology of the poll: I believe in Someone, namely the God of Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham and the powers He has made to be...


Posting your personal email on a forum is an EXTREMELY bad idea.

What don't you like about the poll terminology? It just asked if you were a believer and to desribe your belief, which you did. What's the problem?
Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
~Bertrand Russell

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Re: Are we, or our minds, more than just physical?

Postby Keep The Reason » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:51 pm

I'm always irritated by that whole "the god of <insert old or new testament desert nomads here>". It's pomposity. As if we're thinking, "Ah, a Christian. He must mean the god of leprechauns, unicorns and tidal winks."

But Chad here posted this back in January and then slipped away, never to be heard from again. I doubt he'll answer either of us.
To cut some folks off at the pass, I don't advocate for violence, oppression, genocide, war, hatred or intolerance. Instead, I advocate for education, organization, activism, and the democratic process. ~~ KtR
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