The way I see it, the brain is the hardware and the mind is the software. The brain and body specifications are in the DNA within each cell. The mind grows out of thebrain/body's experience of the environment. The brain/body is the experience machine. The mind is the sum total remembered experiences. The environment determines which molecules the DNA will synthesize to bring about experience.
I agree. We only know reality through our senses. And our senses only communicate information that is important for our survival. Thus, we don't see a gorilla on the basketball court, because we have learned that gorillas do not appear during basketball games. Our senses observe only what they have been taught to observe; stuff that impacts us. So what we see is not necessarily what is out there. How can we know reality when we are locked in bone boxes, without any windows, detecting reality only via electro-chemical impulses in the brain, from sensor cells?
Brain is the substrate of mind. Although there is no proof that thoughts emanate from brains, numerous correlates of consciousness have been detected. They can tell that increased blood flow to the amygdala indicates a person is feeling fear. For me, these correlates of consciousness are too numerous and have been witnessed too many times in relation to feelings, that it might as well be considered as a fact, even though we can not know for sure if things like amygdala cells produce this or that cascade of molecule synthesis, that react with other cells and other memories to produce fear.
Double slit experiment, quantum entanglement, electron cloud, quantum jumps in electron energy levels; all kinds of strange **** happens when we describe the world with our physics models. With our math, infinities of numbers exist between any two numbers, and we say that anything multiplied by itself zero times is equal to 1, and a point is a location without dimension. All kinds of crazy stuff come out of our models, which are accurate to an extent, but become silly at some point (just how long is the coast of england? Do we measure from space, or do we measure with a microscope, and is a measurement at any level truly accurate?) When you look at Chaos Theory, it is always an iterative setup; the output from one loop feeds in as input to the next iteration of the loop. When you have a setup like this minuscule differences in the initial conditions lead to totally different outcomes (Einstein said that the compounding of interest was his greatest discovery). We can not be 100% accurate on any measurement, so we can not set the initial conditions for a specified outcome accurately; and no matter the how microscopic error, it will become manifest with enough iterations of the cycle.
True. The best we can do is our best hypothesis, based on our best knowledge at any given time. These guesses seem to work in the limited circumstances we encounter in doing the job our DNA was meant to do; to sample the environment and accommodate ourselves to it. We will never know everything, even if we lived forever and had optimum brain power and eons of experience. It's like we're bowling in the dark. Roll the ball down the dark alley and listen to see if we hit anything, and judge from the sound how many pins fell.
"Hardware and software" is a model of the brain/mind connection. It's still dividing mind from matter and opposing them, and as long as you have that division you're going to have the mind/matter paradox. There is no division between physical matter and consciousness. There can't
be, because reality has to be whole and undivided. The division exists only
in our thinking. Separating them is like separating John Smith the doctor from John Smith the father.
"Mind" is a concept, a collection of certain observed phenomena (conscious states) and "matter" is a concept, a collection of other observed phenomena. There will always be physical correlates for every mental phenomenon because you can't have mind without matter; but you also can't have matter without mind. There is always
a mental correlate to every physical phenomenon -- the appearance of the physical object to consciousness. The appearance of the object to consciousness is an indivisible experience. If you remove the consciousness, you remove the object; if you remove the object, you remove the consciousness (of the object).
We've taken this unitary phenomenon and created an artificial intellectual distinction between them which doesn't exist anywhere in reality; just like the division between John Smith the doctor and John Smith the father doesn't exist. The paradox arises from an error introduced by the way we think about experience.
No matter what conscious experience you go after, you will be able to find (eventually) the physical basis in the brain -- the complex electrochemical sequences in neural architecture -- but it's arbitrary that we say that these physical states cause
the mental state. The causal direction: physical brain state -> conscious experience, is a conclusion drawn from our existing model. It's as accurate (or inaccurate) to say: conscious experience -> physical brain state because they occur simultaneously
. If two things occur simultaneously, it's incorrect to say that one causes the other. That's like saying John Smith the doctor causes John Smith the father.
In certain cases, of course, it will be more practical to think in one way (eg. medicating mental illness) and in other cases it will be more practical to think in another way (eg. CBT). The reason why both forms of therapy can be effective (or ineffective) is because every phenomenon is both mental and physical. If you want to change something, you can grab one end of the stick or the other. The mind/body paradox is created by the delusion that mind and body are two separate sticks running parallel. In fact, there's a single stick. You can't pull one end without moving the other.
No matter where you look in your experience, whether it's "outside" in nature, or "inside" in consciousness, you will never find anything that isn't both mental and physical. Mental and physical aren't separate things; they're positions on unitary phenomena, like the top and bottom of a ball, or the left and right end of a stick.