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Software Souls

lesterzick at earthlink.net lesterzick at earthlink.net
Wed Feb 10 13:43:04 EST 1999

The idea of a soul is an amorphous concept usually relegated to philosophy
or religion in the hope that it will go away, and a mechanistic brain is
substituted with the idea that the mind can understand a machine even if
it cannot understand itself.

The brain is simply a mechanical foundation for the mind. Whatever the
mind may be, it must be superimposed on some mechanism. This does not
suggest that it can be imposed on any mechanism. But it does require some
mechanical foundation.

Given the appropriate foundation, however, the mind then becomes a form
unto itself. This does not mean the mind ceases to utilize a mechanical
foundation. What it means is that the mind becomes its own cause, using
the brain for its own purposes in being and not necessarily for the brain's
purpose in mechanical terms.

The analogy is to software. The computer is a determinate, mechanistic
environment, at least in terms of contemporary implementations. The
software run on a computer requires a mechanical foundation but then uses
the machine for its own purposes.

There is no suggestion that computer software is a mind in conscious terms.
The so-called mind, soul, or spirit implicit in consciousness simply
realizes itself through the mechanism of the brain and its facilities.

And just because the brain happens to be a determinate mechanical environment
does not necessarily imply that the mind superimposed on the brain has to
be as well. We understand that the rules of logic supposedly employed by
the brain can routinely be ignored by the mind because the mind has other
purposes in mind.

Regards - Lester

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