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Religion-Science Philosophy articles series

Materialists claim that there is no soul, since the doctors have not located in between the pancreas and the long testicle. They also claim that electrons and molecules in the brain actually produce consciousness, like  I suppose a clock “produces” time or like printed letters on a paper “produce” ideas. Materialists cannot “find” human “self” inside the (void and full of lifeless atoms) Universe, even though we everyday feel it. Materialists feel bad when they or some close to them dies, even though according to their philosophy we are nothing more than “complicated rocks”.

Materialists talk about the brain using the analogy of a computer. They speak of the brain’s processing speed, its storage capacity, its parallel circuits, inputs and outputs. The metaphor fails at pretty much every level: the brain doesn’t have a set memory capacity that is waiting to be filled up; it doesn’t perform computations in the way a computer does; and even basic visual perception isn’t a passive receiving of inputs because we actively interpret, anticipate and pay attention to different elements of the visual world. Quantum mechanics has proved that the observing brain actually takes active participation in forming the “reality” which we see.

Changing the brain. Closing the TV…

And it should be noted that there’s a long history of likening the brain to whatever technology is the most advanced, impressive and vaguely mysterious. Descartes compared the brain to a hydraulic machine. Freud likened emotions to pressure building up in a steam engine. As materialism gained more and more influence on the degrading modern society, the brain later resembled a telephone switchboard and then an electrical circuit before evolving into a computer; lately it’s turning into a Web browser or the Internet. These metaphors linger in clichés and materialists are good at using them (see http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/Top-Ten-Myths-About-the-Brain.html).

Materialists even deny the existence of the notion of “free will”, since all we are is a set of atoms nteracting with each other based on specific set of rules. No room for what we everyday personally feel, no room for “freedom of choice” there.

What value can a philosophical dogma like materialism have, if it is to deny all things we feel in our lives?

Not seeing what is in front of you is the most easy thing of all.

Staring at the abyss in front of you is the hard part. And not many people have the courage to go there…