the liver and the brain

Lester Zick lesterDELzick at
Wed Sep 1 10:58:52 EST 2004

On 1 Sep 2004 06:29:29 -0700, rscanlon at (ray scanlon) in wrote:

[. . .]

>I would point out that when we speak of a scientific explanation of
>brain action, we risk not only being accused of political
>incorrectness, but also of metaphysical and religious impropriety.
>If we explain the brain and find no use of soul, then materialism is
>idle, for men without souls (zombies) could not understand.

Without necessarily agreeing or disagreeing, I would like to point out
that no metaphysical or religious stigma attaches to any scientific
explanation for brain action that I can see. What people seem to be
afraid of are scientific explanations for the soul, spirit, free will,
self consciousness, etc. that have historically relied on religious
justification. One can examine brain function all day long and never
suffer the slings and arrows of metaphysical or religious stigma. But
try to lend any degree of analytical rigor and mechanical significance
to the latter concepts as the result of brain function, and the wrath
of the gods will bring forth nothing but denunciations of heresy. Of
course, the liver doesn't offer much potential that way although I
believe the Romans once considered its power lay along such lines.

Regards - Lester

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