Let’s talk about software and our own minds

in philosophy •  3 months ago

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In the last few decades there have been a lot of fiction works, were the producers try to approach the complex subject about the separation between our mind, the perception we have of our reality thanks to it, and our own bodies.

I will share a brief summary about 2 of the most famous examples of these fiction works in case someone doesn’t know these stories:

The Matrix

It depicts a dystopian future in which reality as perceived by most humans is actually a simulated reality called "the Matrix", created by sentient machines to subdue the human population, while their bodies' heat and electrical activity are used as an energy source. Cybercriminal and computer programmer Neo learns this truth and is drawn into a rebellion against the machines, which involves other people who have been freed from the "dream world." | Source

Ghost in the Shell

In this post-cyberpunk iteration of a possible future, computer technology has advanced to the point that many members of the public possess cyberbrains, technology that allows them to interface their biological brain with various networks… This high level of cyberization, however, opens the brain up to attacks from highly skilled hackers, with the most dangerous being those who will hack a person to bend to their whims. | Source

As we can see, in the end, all these works are really about the same subject (our minds and our bodies). This obviously is not something that only belongs to science fiction and philosophy, but it is also something that is present in most of the religions around the world, where there are concepts such as the soul or the spirit.

I think it is fair to say that what religions call soul, science simply calls it mind. The big difference happens when we try to explain what is that thing we call mind, or soul, or spirit.

In religions, the soul or spirit is something people cannot really see, only believe it is there. In science the mind is nothing more than the result of the neural patterns in our brain. The first version, the supernatural, was created before the scientific one, and it is easy to understand why this happened, due to lack of knowledge.

Thousands of years ago no person had the necessary knowledge to know the origin of a lightning, or what were those bright spots in sky, let alone understand that the Sun was indeed one of those little spots with the only difference of being much closer to us, and that even our planet was similar to some of those other points in sky. They didn’t have much understanding about anything.

So people did the best they could with what thy had back then, their own imagination. They invented all kinds of theories, some kind of crazy and others maybe not too crazy, and in the process they invented concepts like the different types of Gods as well as different theories about our existence. And in a similar way, they had to look for an explanation to something very difficult, which is the concept of death.

It is clear the majority of the people don’t want to day, and therefore it is very comforting to think that when we die what happened is that we “ascend to another level” or that "we reincarnate in order to experience another life". But for that belief to be true people had to add something else, since it was obvious that when people died they ended up being eaten by worms and the body decomposing itself. Therefore, the concept of a soul separated from the body was created.

Today thanks to modern science, people can know without a doubt, that everything that defines us as individuals, from our personality and the things we like, to the things that make us sad and all our memories, as well as our wishes and emotions, are simply the product of our brains.

There are people who suffered damage in certain parts of their brains and this caused them the lost of some mental functionality, or it can also make them perceive everything in a completely different way, up to the point that their personalities can change, as well as their memories.

Obviously, if the mind were something operating on its own then a hit to the head should not cause any change in the personality, but the truth is that the change happens because who we are is determined by the countless connections that we have in our brains, and if those physical connections are changed by force, then we will also go through a sudden change.

Something similar happens with the software that we install on our modern devices. Any smartphone when they are manufactured, they all have the same configuration, they are all identical to each other, like clones of each other.

But when these devices arrive at the hands of the consumers, what happens is that people begin to customize them, add new apps, songs, video games, among many other things, and after a short time, each smartphone has kind of like a different personality, being virtually different to all the other models that came out from the factory.

Or in other words, the software can be seen as the smartphone’s mind. It is what makes it unique, which causes it to store in its memory a list of contacts different from those of other smartphones, and different pictures, and songs, and so on.

Something very similar happens to our minds, it is what happens after we start to gain life experiences that shape how we really are, our childhood memories, the lessons we learn from our parents and other people, these are the things that condition our development. We are what we are because of our experiences, mistakes, our sad as well as our happy moments, the accumulation of all that results in our current personality.

And our current personality is not something that remains the same forever. Today we are quite different from how we were 10 or 20 years ago. Maybe we have the same happy or quiet personality, but it is possible that our values, and way of seeing the world ended up evolving.

Therefore, taking into account everything mentioned so far, the concept of a soul could be seen as nothing more than the software of our brains (a physical process in our brains as a result of our experiences).


What do you think about this topic? Feel free to share your thoughts.



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Your article is a work of art, which I dare to compare it with a painting by Da Vinci or a sculpture by Michelangelo.

I have been deeply captivated by the wonderful analogy that you use to compare software with the human mind, it is really brilliant and very artistic.

Your content is light and interesting, it is simply charming, I give you follow and my vote, I love what you post.
Hopefully soon I will have my Internet connection to interact with you with much more time, I write these lines from a cyber cafe.

Greetings and I hope to read other beautiful pieces of art like the one you have published.

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Thanks mate I really appreciate your support.

As a follower of @followforupvotes this post has been randomly selected and upvoted! Enjoy your upvote and have a great day!

Nothing that I could say really ut to be grateful that I still have a working brain and see and feel the world around as majestic and beautifully interesting.

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to be grateful that I still have a working brain and see and feel the world around as majestic and beautifully interesting.

Hey there @cryptopie! Having a positive mindset and appreciating the positive things in our lives is always a good thing to do!

hi buddy

while their bodies' heat and electrical activity are used as an energy source

I liked matrix but I always found this part silly. It would cost more resources to keep us alive than we could produce energy from our bodies.

I can imagine that our life is not real and it's only simulation. But it would not be cheap to maintain this simulation. Why would we need 7 billion people to be part of it? I think this kind of "reality" would be available only for rich ones. They could plug themself in and live amazing life without knowing that it's not real.

ps.
Interesting view on soul and mind. Thx for sharing

Yours
Piotr

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It would cost more resources to keep us alive than we could produce energy from our bodies.

That's probably true, although what made The Matrix a great trilogy was everything related to the virtual world, not the economics behind using humans as batteries :P

But it would not be cheap to maintain this simulation.

The simulation theory is something very intriguing, it would be expensive from our point of view, but notice we already run simulations in order to discover things. What I mean is that doing our bests to simulate anything we find interesting is a common trend.

I have been thinking about writing some articles about the simulation theory, I might do it soon.

Cheers!

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hi @dedicatedguy

I have been thinking about writing some articles about the simulation theory, I might do it soon.

let me know if you do! :)

Yours
Piotr

Software and our soul massive if you have me ask. if I understand you correctly the software is the soul of the smart device.

Follow me closely I as I birth a few question.....
maybe you might help me with a solution on this one
Is the Machine learning protocol the brain of AI?

In a case where there is an integeration of AI with blockchain (we observed in @machnbirdsparo NOIA review).
What then with you liken blockchain to be in that situation?

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Is the Machine learning protocol the brain of AI?

That is a great analogy @maxiemoses-eu! I think it could be considered as the brain.

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The brain..............hehehe.... may be your are right................
thank you for your response

This post gat me thinking hmm.

But i think the state of the soul is purely depend in the mind, but the soul influence the action of the mind, so if the mind is faulty, the soul is also.

But can this really be?

Great post @dedicatedguy

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But can this really be?

Well, everything is possible isn't it?

Really interesting article @dedicatedguy

Or in other words, the software can be seen as the smartphone’s mind.

I especially liked your comparison to smartphones, it really helped in understanding of the theme :)

Greetings, Jan

A fascinating subject @dedicatedguy

I love the Matrix and as a concept it is pretty mind blowing. What has come out of it for me is the amount of references that are made to it based on the metaphors within the story. It seems more relevant now than ever.

The brain is a complex and delicate thing and I find it particularly sad when someone has had an issue that impacts their functions and memories. It must be devastating to know someone very close that has lost all recollection of you.

My daughter was working on a project at school in her psychology lesson about the soul having mass and whether it could be proved or not. Their findings reported that it did have a small mass but it has since been questioned and not universally accepted. Interesting and amazing stuff though.

Thanks for posting and sharing.

Gaz

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Their findings reported that it did have a small mass but it has since been questioned and not universally accepted

I would like to check that report if you don't mind.

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No problem. It's the 21 grams experiment. Duncan MacDougall.

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Yeah, that experiment is unreliable.

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I guess he explained that himself but what he did was show that it is possible and maybe alter people's thinking.

Very fascinating topics you are adressing here, and i like your philosophic approach. Yet i dont agree with your conclusion. The brain's structure and software code (in the common sense) differ quite heavily. As you say, if a human brain is altered, it is able to organise itself new, and even without it its constantyl changing BY ITSELF. on the other hand a software application is transformed only by being used by humans, it doesn't evolve or adapt by itself, but it's humans that adapt, not the machines (yet).
As you mention the advance of science at the cost of religion, don't forget that for the past 30-40 years we have seen a worldwide resurgence of religious faith, despite science continuosly advancing. This has certainly happened, because people realise or lets say feel, that science and a mere logical approach doesn't answer the questions of what concerns the human mind at its very core.

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I haven't seen any statistic about religions increasing in popularity, in fact, I believe they are for the most part decreasing.

Let's say, for the sake of the argument, there is both a soul and a mind. And that the soul has a layer of its own, but needs the mind as an interface.

If the mind (or parts of it) is damaged, the interface is damaged, and, although the soul may be intact, its' route to the surface level is damaged.

Well... just a theory. Probably not acceptable by either sides, lol. :)

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its' route to the surface level is damaged.

So you are saying a "broken" mind wouldn't be able to properly represent how the soul is?

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Yes, that's what I was trying to say.

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Let's say, for the sake of the argument, there is both a soul and a mind. And that the soul has a layer of its own, but needs the mind as an interface.

@gadrian, I like where you went with this. Resonates with me <333 and Ty @dedicatedguy for taking the time to share a deeply soul stirring & thought provoking post :)

This comment was made from https://ulogs.org

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Thank you @thereikiforest, it isn't something I gave much thought at. But sometimes I forget I have an active imagination.

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Thanks for your kind words mate.

The two concepts of software and our mind (brain) match perfectly like you presented. I have actually had this thinking too and a lot similar ones.

Great write up bro, all the comparison were explained in simple way :)

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waaaoooo a very controversial subject. I am a faithful believer of God, I am a Christian. And although I support science faithfully, I believe that our brain is not yet fully studied, I think it is too complex an organ for man to ever fully understand.

I believe that the Soul and the Spiritu is something even more relevant than the brain. Although our actions and thoughts program our brain, it is the soul and the spirit that create feelings and emotions, which in the end is what counts in this life.

I liked reading you, from now on I follow you.

2do-Pie-de-pagina-Steemit.png

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I think it is too complex an organ for man to ever fully understand.

I disagree, we are fully capable of understanding every one of our organs.

create feelings and emotions, which in the end is what counts in this life.

Those are important, but prosperity cannot be achieved if we only focus on those 2. Reason, logic and knowledge are also necessary.

Thanks for stopping by.

Great article @dedicatedguy.

I love the way that how you compared "Matrix" with body/brain/soul.

Therefore, taking into account everything mentioned so far, the concept of a soul could be seen as nothing more than the software of our brains (a physical process in our brains as a result of our experiences).

We can say that for sure.

@dedicatedguy.... I must say that you've actually nailed this article. I got more interested to read this post after reading one of your article about understanding shyness and I must say it is one of the best write up I have read so far.

As we can see, in the end, all these works are really about the same subject (our minds and our bodies). This obviously is not something that only belongs to science fiction and philosophy, but it is also something that is present in most of the religions around the world, where there are concepts such as the soul or the spirit.
I think it is fair to say that what religions call soul, science simply calls it mind. The big difference happens when we try to explain what is that thing we call mind, or soul, or spirit.

I strongly corroborate with the analogy you adopted about "Matrix" and "Ghost in a shell". It really explains more about the cyber world.

I will just want to make a little comment about mind, soul and spirit. Just as you've said earlier, soul is related to the mind when we consider the concept of religion. Most religious scholars believe that the soul is the essence of the body and our mission is to purify our soul because that is what is needed by God. This implies that the body is used to purify the soul or mind even though the body ends up turning to waste. But when it comes to spirit, I think spirit has to do with another supernatural creation which conforms with the metaphysical world. This means spirit can't be felt or touched or seen. These three terms are very related and sometimes used interwoven.

They invented all kinds of theories, some kind of crazy and others maybe not too crazy, and in the process they invented concepts like the different types of Gods as well as different theories about our existence.

This actually got me smiling because it made me remember some things I was taught in school then like the "Big Bang Theory", "Biological Revolution", and many others. Most of the scientists/philosophers then always proposed their views about this. The view of Atistolean school of thought was different from that of Plato. Some even believed we developed from Apes and many other views.

Obviously, if the mind were something operating on its own then a hit to the head should not cause any change in the personality, but the truth is that the change happens because who we are is determined by the countless connections that we have in our brains, and if those physical connections are changed by force, then we will also go through a sudden change.

Does this means that any individual can change his state of situation just by making use of his brain?
I will like you to shed more light on this.

Thanks for sharing this great post with love from@hardaeborla in courtesy of @crypto.piotr 💗😀🙌

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Does this means that any individual can change his state of situation just by making use of his brain?
I will like you to shed more light on this.

I was talking about cases like these ones:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2262379/Bicycle-accident-A-knock-head-changed-personality-The-good-news-nicer.html

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/professor-cromer-learns-read/201203/after-brain-injury-the-dark-side-personality-change-part-i

Thanks for your kind words!

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You are very welcome... I now understand what you meant

A very interesting and thought provoking topic but I think we're light years away from ever having the kind of intermission between reality and virtual simulation but I can't help but wonder what that kind of emission means for us. I saw a movie series recently, "Reverie" that depicted this same theory of transmitting between reality and a virtual world simulated to our brain's satisfaction. The matrix is a promising one and I'll read more about it. Great job @dedicatedguy.

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but I think we're light years away from ever having the kind of intermission between reality and virtual simulation

Remember people from 200 years ago would never think something like a modern smartphone with all of its apps could be possible. It's very hard to see how things are going to be a few decades down the road.

I didn't know the movie Reverie, but I will be checking it out.

Cheers.

I find this article quite fascinating to say the least ! . Not sure I've heard of the simulated reality called "the matrix" or humans trying to integrate their brains with some network. I particularly like the analogy of human mind and soul . Great piece all in all ! @dedicatedguy

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Thank you @danielwrites!

Not sure I've heard of the simulated reality called "the matrix"

The Matrix is a very famous trilogy, if you haven't watch it you will enjoy it for sure :).

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Ohh I'll surely check it out, thanks !