[ExI] Does the computational theory of mind imply a "soul"?
jasonresch at gmail.com
Mon Apr 3 15:56:45 UTC 2023
On Mon, Apr 3, 2023, 3:58 AM Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> Personally, I avoid using the term 'soul', it has too much religious
> But if someone asked me to define the word, I would say 'Soul' = 'Mind'.
> And 'Mind' is what brains do. It's the result of the functioning of a
> A lot of our language implies dualism. For example "I changed my mind".
> This implies a distinction between 'I' and 'My Mind'. I don't think
> there is any distinction. I don't 'have' a mind, I /am/ one. Otherwise,
> there would have to be to something else to 'have' the mind, and the
> question "what could that be?" has haunted us for far too long. I think
> this is why the religious concept of a soul is so pervasive and so
> persistent. It's constantly reinforced by the language we use, so
> magical thinking is baked-in. It takes a lot of 'soul-searching' to free
> yourself of it.
> So the question 'Does the computational theory of mind imply a "soul"?'
> is meaningless really, as it's equivalent to "Does the computational
> theory of mind imply a mind?".
> Anyone who disagrees needs to define the 'soul' in a way that
> differentiates it from a 'mind'. I don't think this can be done without
> abandoning materialism.
The reason I asked:
does the computational theory of mind imply a "soul", is that the kind of
mind implied by the computational theory of mind is one that can
reincarnate, resurrect, travel to other universes and realms, is in a
sense, as an abstract pattern of information, is fundamentally immaterial,
non-physically bound (not limited to any particular physical laws) and
indestructible. These are all properties that have traditionally be
associated with souls, and less so with minds. Hence my questions use of
the word soul.
You may choose to avoid the word and controversy entirely and instead focus
on the related question: "does the computational theory of mind imply that
minds can reincarnate, resurrect, travel to other universes and realms, and
that minds are in a sense, as an abstract pattern of information,
fundamentally immaterial, non-physically bound (not limited to any
particular physical laws) and indestructible?
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