bag of bones, sack of flesh

If I am just a bag of bones, a sack of flesh and blood
then what are thoughts, feelings, memories and where do they come from and where do they reside?

[Now this is not an area where no-one has boldly gone before: many have, eg Descartes. So I am walking well-trodden paths, and I hope you don't mind or think any less of me.]

What then, is belief? Knowledge? Planning? Goal-seeking? Visualisation? And where do they all reside?

[Ah, the frailty of telos--grasp it gently, for it shatters easily, crumbling to dust, which then crumbles to nothingness in a (to date unobserved) process called proton decay.]

If then we grant the existence of non-material, non-physical realms, what's to stop us sliding down the slippery slope and grudgingly consider the hypothetically possible existence in those non-material realms of other strange and wonderful denizens, eg reincarnation, ghosts, 'psychic powers', and even---dare I utter one of zer names---God.

[But let's move away from a discussion involving the term, name or concept of God. It's too sensitive, too controversial, it prevents people from thinking clearly. We'll talk about this in great detail somewhen else.]

But for now let's just settle for the grudging admittance that non-material things exist, and that they can and do impact upon or affect physical things in material/physical realities. For example, a recipe in the mind of a chef can result in a delicious material meal in a material world (no Maddona jokes please) yet recipes and minds are non-material. A piece of software produces outputs which human beings use to produce effects in the material and other worlds.

Now here is an interesting (to me anyway) question: can a thought have a thought? Preliminary answer: software (non-material) can produce or cause to be or bring into being outputs (data) that are non-material. So yes, I would tentatively say that thoughts can have thoughts.

Copyright © S R Schwarz 2007. All rights reserved.

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