Humans have always attempted to explain every aspect of life in concrete terms. In order for something to be real to us, we must make it at least somewhat tangible, and we do this by subscribing abstract ideas to physical realities. Humans have done this,specifically with the whole idea of the mind and soul and the brain. We attempt to make sense of the mind and soul in terms of the brain. It's not that I think that this is a bad idea, but I simply believe that problems arise when we try to attach these abstract things to something physical like the brain.

One idea that troubles me is that I don't understand how one can describe how something like hate is created within the brain. What could possibly cause one person to hate another? I can almost see how love could be described in terms of cranial activities, like dopamine giving the person pleasure while they are in love. Hate, therefore, could possibly be created by substances that inhibit the production of dopamine, but would the lack of dopamine create such an intense feeling as hate? Ambivalence, maybe, but I don't see how someone would feel hate just because they are receiving enough dopamine.

I also don't understand how the intense mother-child bond could be created by the functions of the brain. Does the child become trained, like in Pavlovian conditioning, to respond directly to its mother? Because it would become dependent upon its mother, does this strong attachment then lead to the mother-child bond. I somehow feel that more must be behind this bond to make it so intense.

However, I don't have the answers either. I guess that it's better to be able to understand some of the behaviors caused by the brain than to not understand any. We have come a long way from the days when people believed that seizures were caused by possessions, and maybe someday I will better understand the brain and thus understand other behaviors. As of now I now that I still have a lot to learn, and can't wait to find out whatever more I can. The brain enthralls me, because it is so complex and there is still so much that it unknown about it. We only use a small percentage of our brains, who knows what the rest of our brain controls? Maybe someday we will even discover that what we now accept as truth is way off base. How exciting.

I'm with you. Exciting indeed, PARTICULARLY if discover way off base. And do agree with you that trying to find explanation in material things is itself a strategy whose usefulness will always be subject to further testing. On the other hand, your start on accounting for abstractions in terms of material things is pretty strong, and I can see some obvious hypotheses as extensions (hate as active release of something rather than reduction in dopamine release?, mother/infant bonds developing from something other than Pavlovian conditioning?). So maybe ... ? We'll see (of course). PG