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Martin's picture

Immaterial Mental Life

Genes code for the macromolecules that make up our brains and the functioning of those molecules in our brains proceeds just like a domino chain. If the gene codes properly the molecule will have the right shape and interact in the right way hitting the next domino in the chain. So far we have been working under the assumption that our mental life is simply the result of  the complex interrelationships of these macromolecules and we have comforted ourselves with the thought that since there are so many dominos/macromolecules and there are so many different ways for each domino to connect/hit another domino  that we will have an infinite amount of variety in behaviors and mental lives which makes each person unique. This is an attempt to dispel the notion that our lives are not merely the predetermined unfolding of our chemical structure. I think it is right that we try to dispel that notion because we certainly don't experience ourselves to be completely determined, we do experience choice. But, if our mental life is solely the result of our physical brains and the interactions between the neurons/dominoes inside of them then I don't see how we can continue to believe that we have "free-will." 

    This is the start of a story which allows for an immaterial aspect of our mental life. I certainly don't think this story is conclusive but I do think that it explains our experience better than a story which says that all of our mental life is the result of neurons interacting in different ways. Experiencing an infinite number of possible arrangements of neurons is not the same as experiencing a choice in how those neurons are arranged. 

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