Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Reply to comment

Anna G.'s picture

There is a difference in

There is a difference in something being absolutely true and being "proven accurate" as you say. In the first part of class, a lot of us began to realize we must question the assumptions we have. However, this doesn't mean we can go all ape-crazy and throw out the useful assumptions we live by. I don't know exactly how airplanes work, and I'm sure that even the engineers who designer them don't understand them down to the last electron. However, I will be getting on one in a week and trusting it to fly me over an ocean. This is because I believe that engineers have done accurate sums, which can manufacture this marvel.


In the same way, scientists have been working for years and years to discover the details behind our nervous system. And while it is still a work in progress, and will probably continue to be forever, that doesn't mean that they haven’t come up with some accurate conclusions. I think why people lean more towards science is because it offers an opportunity to explain something by discovering more about it, while in most cases, spirituality just explains it away.


We are all just the fabrication of our mind, but obviously our mind has constructed a pretty useful fabricated reality, because we're here...we've all passed natural selection test. I don't think it's throwing in the towel to believe that we run on chemicals, since this only demands more from us; more observations to collect, more theories to put forward, etc. But I would argue that it is throwing in the towel to explain away the complicated parts of ourselves using spirituality.


I'd agree with you when you question if our neurotransmitters are that clever; they're not. But we are. So where do our morals come from? I believe they're emergent properties of our nervous system. If you take apart a computer, you wouldn’t say that the transistors from the CPU had any special ability or talent, but when in the context in the whole CPU unit, they can do miraculous things. Things we can't see when on the user interface. In a similar way to our brains, they work behind the scenes.


While I understand the reluctance to let go of a hope for meaning in the brain, I don't understand exactly what you’re holding on to. If it isn't chemicals and physical things that make us, are you saying its things we can't see? Doesn't this just leave our uniqueness in an even vaguer spot? To me, not understanding something doesn't make it "better" and "more important", it just makes it vaguer, and seems like way to stop inquiry just by being scared of our fragility and the miracle that it truly is for us to be alive.



To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
13 + 0 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.