Back Goldfinch looking backwards

Argument 2 Mind exists apart from matter. (People)

I can see three ways in which mind may be said to exist apart from matter.

First, there would be the weak case, in which a person or other entity with mind manifests his, her or its mind in another person or entity at such a remove that no causal connection can link the two. Mind in matter manifests apart from its own matter. (“Deepak, call me!”)

Second, there would be the strong case, in which mind manifests in a non-material person or other entity. (Hamlet’s Ghost)

Third, there would be a mixed case, in which mind manifests in a material entity without there being anything in the entity that we can associate with the manifesting mind, and without there being any external body that we can associate the mind with either. (Bridey Murphy)

Discussion of the weak case.

  1. By “that no causal connection can link the two,” I mean that qualified scientists specialized in the appropriate fields of study will be unable to discover any causal links within the limits of their science as currently understood. The typical skeptic will then say that the instance is a deception or is inaccurately reported. Or he may say these events are coincidences, or they may be disregarded as simply unexplained anomalies. The problem for both the skeptic and the scientist with these events is that if they accepted them as real and not mistaken or hoaxed, then they would need to revise their current understanding of the laws or operations of the universe. And their evidence for the solidity and reliability and predictive success of the laws is so strong that they prefer not to pay serious attention to the anomalous data.

I do not mean that there in fact exists no causal connection. Only that what are called the “laws” of nature need to be revised to account for these results. Science should simply incorporate the paranormal. We might label this “science-p.”

  1. This case is weak in the sense that the mind manifesting is associated with a body. However, it is manifesting apart from its body without material means.

Discussion of the strong case.

  1. By “non-material person or other entity” I mean something that behaves contrary to the so-called laws of nature as understood by qualified scientists specialized in the appropriate fields of study. An example would be a ghost or alien that floats and passes through walls unobstructed. Remarks in (1) above about scientists and skeptics would apply here too.
  2. This case is strong in the sense of mind manifesting without body or matter of the sort currently admitted by science.

Discussion of the mixed case.

An example is required to make this clear — a twig begins to write words or make pictures in the sand, absent any controlling hand or machine that science can see or find. Mind is manifesting in the twig, but the mind is not in the twig and no known-to-science mind outside of the twig either.

Discussion of argument in the three cases.

Asking a scientist or any person strongly attuned to modern science and its methods to accept any argument for this proposition as persuasive is asking them to accede to what is nowadays called a paradigm shift. By the very meaning of paradigm shift, we know that it is unreasonable to expect accession.

Therefore I present my arguments mainly in hopes of receiving objections and criticism that will lead me to sharpen and clarify my own thinking. Already, the challenge of actually writing out my thinking has benefited my own understanding of my ideas.

My arguments are given for the three cases in the following pages as linked by the orange arrows or the navigation bars.

Mind-Matter Argument 2-1

For specifics and argument for the weak case, click the arrow.

Mind-Matter Argument 2-2

For specifics and argument for the strong case, click the arrow.

Mind-Matter Argument 2-3

For specifics and argument for the mixed case, click the arrow.

I have received rather extensive criticism from one good, old friend. Very useful. See How the Real World Thinks. Her arguments are also looked at in a couple of other places as appropriate in context.