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February 20, 2013

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My heart goes out to this person. It's easy to get into this spot, and difficult to get out of it. (Especially when you're having healthy issues like he was having.)

There is wise counsel.

our physical bodies affect so much of how we think and feel

You said it!

Suppose you were to wake up tomorrow as a brain in a vat hooked to a computer.

What would the computer need to simulate to make things seem right?

Just the outside world?

Would that be enough?

Certainly not. It would need to simulate much of the rest of your body as well. In particular, it would need to simulate the endocrine system. Otherwise you would not feel emotions - at least not in the same way that you do now.

You would not feel yourself.

You would not feel yourself.

You would not be yourself.

I suspect it would not feel horrible.

Just flat.

Of course, we are not, by introspection (no matter how careful), aware of the various parts of our body - besides our brain - that give color and depth to our internal life and contribute to who we are and what it's like to be us by the individual way they do their jobs. There's no reason and no way for us to be aware such things.

These parts of our bodies allow us to perceive other things - not themselves. Think of how the lenses in a telescope allow us to observe a distant object - not the lenses themselves.


I think the tendency of some people is to get so involved in Apologetics, that they start to forget Who it is they are defending. To some, it becomes more of a game and atheists become marks on their debating scorecard. One definitely has to balance out the Apologetical side of their research with Biblical and devotional time with God. There is absolutely no point in going full steam ahead in defending God if you have no emotional connection. God is relational, He wants fellowship with us. If we just focus merely on Apologetics, then we run the risk of becoming something akin to an indifferent defense attorney, whose primary concern is merely winning their case, not the person they are defending.

RonH

"You would not feel yourself."

I often wake up not quite feeling myself. ;)
I don't know if you could call that feeling flat. But then, feelings are not what define me. I am so much more than my feelings or even how I feel about myself or, for that matter, how others feel about me. I would have to quote Mr. Spock "Feelings are not much to go on."

Louis,

I wrote

You would not feel yourself.
You would not feel yourself.

The first means just that, whatever it was like to be you before, it wouldn't be like that anymore.

The second gives the reason and means: part of you would be gone.

If it is 'like something' to be a human being, then it would not be like that if you were a brain in a vat - unless much of your body was simulated. Simulating the 'outside world' would not be enough.

For the dualist, it's worse than he thought: he not only needs his brain to be himself he needs much of the rest of his body too.

RonH

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