Argument of dualism
In my mind, dualism is a more attractive view to take when considering the mind-brain issue. The idea that the mind is a separate entity and that it is independent of the physical body is the central point of dualism. One reason it appeals to me is because of my religion, my Catholic upbringing. Introspection is another good reason why dualism is a little more logical to me than materialism.. It logically explains why the mind and brain are separate. Also, the divisibility argument raises good points to allow dualism to appear to be the more attractive idea in my eyes.
Dualism claims that the mind is a distinct nonphysical thing, a complete entity that is independent of any physical body to which it is temporarily attached. Any mental states and activities, as well as physical ones, originate from this unique entity. Dualism states that the real essence of a person has nothing to do with his physical body, but rather from the distinct nonphysical entity of the mind. The mind is in constant interaction with the body. The body’s sense organs create experiences in the mind. The desires and decisions of the mind cause the body to act in certain ways. This is what makes each mind’s body its own.
One major reason I can agree with dualism is because of my upbringing as a Catholic. The soul, or mind, depending on ones level of belief, is a complete and separate entity and is the center of a human being. The body is a device which the soul directs. This idea that the mind is a separate entity and that it is independent of the physical body is the central point of dualism, and fits well with the beliefs of the Catholic religion. With what I have been taught about God and my soul and other things of that nature, I find it hard to believe that the mind and brain are one. The mind has too much of a mystical quality to it, a quality which goes beyond physical aspects. Sure the brain has the actual chemical processes and functions, but the mind holds the reasoning behinds actions, and the complex feelings a person has. It is basically what makes a person who he is, and controls his actions as a person. The brain only tells the body to carry out these actions.
I think that introspection is another good explanation for dualism being more attractive to me. Introspection was explained to be a sort of mental state, like when you know you have a desire for something to eat. If this occurs, ones mind will tell his brain to make the body get up and get food to eat. I do not think that the brain is capable of having that feeling of hunger, there might be a reaction in the brain to the stomach being empty, but I believe the actual feeling is in the brain. A person has no way of knowing the actual brain process, it can not be felt. That is an act that can only take place in ones mind. The actual wanting of food is going to be happening in the mind, not the brain. I think my mind is the focal point of desires and other feelings, the brain is just a device which the mind uses to carry out its wishes.
A third argument for dualism is paranormal phenomena. Mental powers such as telepathy, precognition, telekinesis, and clairvoyance are all near impossible to explain within the boundaries of the physical brain. These phenomena reflect the nonphysical and supernatural nature that dualism gives to the mind. Due to the fact that I believe these phenomena are real occurrences, it seems logical to me that parapsychology is an excellent argument for dualism. The brain has no processes which can explain these events; the ability to do any one of these is not something which can be detected by sensors. Therefore, they go beyond the physical capabilities of the body, the only place they can originate is the mind.
The divisibility argument is also a reasonable argument which makes me think that that mind and brain are separate. According to this argument, the brain is divisible into separate, physical parts. This is obviously true, seeing how one can separate it into lobes, or cerebrum and cerebellum, or whatever. There are many different physical groups the brain can be separated into. The mind however, can not be divided into physical groups. It is not like the brain, the mind being nonphysical and the brain being a tangible object. Now along with this divisibility argument goes Leibnizs Law. This states that if an object x, has the same properties as an object y, then the two objects are identical. Using this principle, it is clear that the mind and brain are not the same thing. If they were, then the two would not have any contradicting qualities. The mind is not divisible, but the brain is. Therefore, the two have a characteristic that is different, which makes them not identical.
I do not think that the mind and body are the same thing. Both from arguments relating to my own beliefs, and with supporting arguments I hope to have thoroughly explained why I feel this way. I just dont see how something as unique as the mind, with so much nonphysical substance to it, can be a part of the brain, an object which is so definitively physical. Although I feel the two are separate, this does not mean that I think they have no connections at all. The mind and brain are, without a doubt, a team. They interact together and run the body, however, they just are not the same thing.