The Hub of Being (16-1) Matterism


Our own consciousness is a product of our brains. ~ Canadian cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker

The now-conventional explanation for mental activity – matterism – is that the mind is a mirage. Instead, the mind is construed as an ongoing illusion fabricated by molecular interactions within the brain. The disproof that cells and organisms without brains intelligently function is ignored.

Consciousness is an elaborate creation. Self-awareness, thoughts, feelings and intentions are simply broadcasts of unconscious brain outputs. ~ English psychologists Peter Halligan & David Oakley

Matterism is the overwhelming consensus of Western science, which attributes psychological processes to neural activity in the brain. Texts talking about the brain bustling with cognition are ubiquitous.

Even most psychologists today are matterists. The herd instinct is strong among the apes called Homo sapiens.

Under matterism, the mind is euphemism. Thoughts are continuously concocted from molecular maneuvers which mystically take character into account, thus creating semi-consistent behaviors.

Personality and mental feats, such as epiphany and mind over matter, are merely electrochemical arrangements. There is no such thing as mental health; only “brain health.”

Matterism feebly confuses correlation with causality. Under matterism, the brain is a cognitive Wizard of Oz: pay no attention to the mind behind the curtain.

Along with a gullible naïveté in blithely taking that which appears to be as reality, feeling a need for empirical certainty is the reason matterism predominates. The tangible is measurable, testable, and therefore comfortably scientific. In stark contrast, the mental is intangible, leaving nowhere to stick a probe.

The mind-body problem having proven intractable, it is infinitely easier to dispense with duality and root everything in the brain, paying lip service to the mind when plowing into the weeds of mental feats for which brain science has no answer. Matterists may refer to the mind as an organ, but it is a circumlocution for incomprehension.

The mind has to be built out of specialized parts because it has to solve specialized problems… Our mental organs owe their basic design to our genetic program… Our organs of computation are a product of natural selection… We don’t understand how the mind works. ~ Steven Pinker

The primary evidence base for matterism lies in measurements of electrical patterns around the cortex. Such waves are evident during all states of consciousness. Brain waves only cite activity. They do not explain how patterns of mental activity arise or interrelate.

There is undoubtedly a connection between the absolute size of the brain and the intellectual powers and functions of the mind. ~ Friedrich Tiedemann in 1836

If matterism were true, one would reasonably expect a correlation between brain size and intelligence, as German physiologist Friedrich Tiedemann so boldly proclaimed, without so much as a whit of evidence to back his assertion. Other naturalists went along with Tiedemann, from Darwin to neurobiologists in the 21st century. Instead, the relation is tenuous at best.

Positive associations between human intelligence and brain size have been suspected for more than 150 years. But brain volume appears to be of little practical relevance in explaining IQ test performance in humans. ~ Austrian psychologist Jakob Pietschnig in 2015, upon review of a meta-analysis of research on the subject

Matterism has no credible explanation for almost all of what is known about mental functioning, including, for example, any account of personality.

Matterists would have you believe in some mystical synaptic jiggery-pokery among neurons constantly conjures character. Under matterism, despite all the study and technology applied, how cognition arises remains as much a mystery now as it was to Aristotle over 2 millennia ago. The mind-body problem confounding dualism is minor league compared to accounting for mentation under matterism.

Brains and neurons obviously have everything to do with consciousness, but how such mere objects can give rise to the eerily phenomena of subjective experience seems utterly incomprehensible. ~ American biologist Allen Orr

Hypothesizing causality with only evidence of correlation makes matterism mere wishful thinking, based upon faulty logic; brain science as a bogus religion. Such is the Church of Neuroscience, which will never find the answer of how consciousness arises by studying the brain.

The brain is not an organ of thinking but an organ of survival, like claws and fangs. ~ Hungarian physiologist Albert Szent-Györgyi

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Nobody has the slightest idea how anything material could be conscious. Nobody even knows what it would be like to have the slightest idea how anything material could be conscious. ~ American cognitive scientist and philosopher Jerry Fodor

Matterism has no explanation for how organisms without identifiable brains could possibly behave intelligently, from viruses on up. The savvy of plants is indisputable, yet they have no physical system for it.

Most damningly, matterism utter fails to provide any account of how the mind can powerfully affect the body, down to the cellular level: a phenomenon for which there is oodles of evidence.