Let Me Ask You A Question – 10/7/17

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Let me ask you a question:

What is a person?  Is it the mind?  Or the body?  

45 thoughts on “Let Me Ask You A Question – 10/7/17

  1. All our memories, our loves, hates, friendships are tied up in our brain which is, in my view the place in which the mind resides. If the brain is so severely impacted by dementia that we are unable to remember our families we lose something very precious. The brain is, obviously an integral part of our body and without the brain we would lack a mind.

    I have a dear friend who argues that the mind is separate from the individual. While this is an interesting theory, it is not one to which I give credence.

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  2. I believe and have read that the personality of a human being is a combination of the mind and the heart. Newly discovered evidence in the science world when they investigated personality changes in heart transplant patients is that some of the traits of the organ/heart donor were unexpectedly showing up in the donor. The Book I am referring to is RESILIENCE from the HEART by Gregg Braden.

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  3. On one level, the question is a false choice. The mind is a feature of the body, an emergent property of, not just the brain, but the whole organism. On the other hand, I have seen the hollowing out of dementia in my father, but even though he got to the point of not remembering me or recognizing me, I still knew him and saw what remained as still him. A person is more than the mind and/or body of that individual. A person is a social event too, a node in a web of relationships and interactions and shared history.

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    • My experience has been much different. I watched two people close to me die following years of dementia. There was a point when the people I knew were no longer there. Someone was there, but it was not the people I had once known.

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  4. Both. Our mind is the intellectual part but the body and our state of health, injuries, frailties, perhaps deformities, dictates how we can live and in that way what we do and who we can become.

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  5. I believe it is the soul and spirit which lives inside a body until their last breath. Then the spirit and soul is released and is everlasting. I watched my fathers last breath and instantly when his soul left his body everything changed before my eyes, my father had gone and all what was left was an empty shell.

    I could not believe it when the funeral director asked my mother and I if we would like our husband/father to be cremated with his false teeth in! 🤐😬

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  6. If I had to choose one over the other, I would say the mind. i submit Stephen Hawking as an example. His body is basically a vessel for his incredible brain.He stopped functioning physically years ago, but his mind is sharp and he has written several brilliant books using amazing technology.

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  7. Well, that is a complicated philosophical question. I believe that in this sense when you say “person” you mean “individual” so I will give my, likely, overly complicated answer to that interpretation of the question. I believe that an individual is defined by mind, body & spirit. Let me elaborate, so you can see that it’s not really just that simple, lol. I believe in transmigration of the soul, but don’t believe that it relates to chronology as we see it (the time thing is extraneous & has absolutely nothing to do with my answer, the other part is important). I personally believe that the mind itself is something like an OS as it serves as an interface between the spirit [user], the body [hardware] & the physical world. This interface can be flawed by physical issues (chemical imbalances, disease process, etc) & psychological disorders (not including the ones that can later be traced to anatomical or physiological phenomena) that limits the true spirit from shining through. Now the reincarnation thing comes in, as I believe (I keep saying that, but when you go into metaphysical questions there really isn’t any empirical evidence to point to, so yeah, we’re stuck with that phrase) the point of transmigration of the soul is to learn & we cannot do that if we are exactly the same person in every life so the operating system & the hardware have profound effects on the perception of information consumed & outward behaviors throughout that life. Hmmm, maybe I’ll offer a summary for clarification, I believe an individual is defined by the sum of their parts both tangible & intangible, with all of those components trying to exist to the best of their limited abilities in the circumstances in which they come together, if those circumstances were changed the whole person would similarly be changed, which leads to the variety of experiences gained throughout a multitude of lifetimes. Maybe I didn’t just babble incoherently, but you can decide that for yourself.

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      • In the instance of a person/individual I would say that the inability to interact at all would be basically the same as their death (don’t get me wrong, we’re discussing brain death, which is not the same thing as a coma or locked in syndrome, I refuse to define those individuals as basically dead with the current advances in medicine, we used to believe Lou Gehrig’s Disease took the mind too, until Hawking). From a biological standpoint, defining what constitutes life vs what is not alive is not well understood, though our textbooks list several aspects of what is basically considered alive – just as one known example of a rule breaker, a virus has DNA or RNA, it does not consume energy, does not create waste, can propulse itself as if it has energy & must have a specific target cell type to reproduce, by the basic format of what we’re taught is alive, that virus is not among the living, but I can’t think of a single thing other than a virus that has DNA or RNA similarly considered non-living. It does really make one question the validity of our current working definition, while it is useful it is not adaptable to oddities & so far we only really have life on Earth to look at. What preconceived rules will be broken when we find life elsewhere?

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