Split-brain patients and the dire implications for the soul, continued

It’s time to start a continuation thread for Split-brain patients and the dire implications for the soul, because the original thread is being affected by a software bug. Only the final page of comments is affected.

Moderators, could one of you move all of the comments (except for the metacomments) from the final page to here? Also, could you inform Sriskandarajah by email about this new thread, in case he has bookmarked the old one? Thanks.

76 thoughts on “Split-brain patients and the dire implications for the soul, continued

  1. Sriskandarajah,

    You’re losing the thread of the discussion. I am not here to answer questions such as

    (4)What is the reality of matter? How matter came into existence?

    I’m here to discuss whether the immaterial soul exists, and what the split-brain evidence says about that.

    You have said that every person has, or is, a soul. As I said in my last comment:

    You came here claiming that the hemispheres of a split-brain patient are not separate persons. Yet when asked, you were unable to give a reason why those hemispheres should not be considered to be separate persons. In the end, the only reason you offered was “one body, one person”, which is obviously false.

    If you can’t tell us why the hemispheres of a split-brain person aren’t separate persons, then why do you believe that they aren’t separate persons? I know you want to believe that, but do you have any other reason(s) for believing it?

  2. Keiths,
    My reasons will not make you understand anything because you use the term person without knowing what it means.
    You talk about material soul and immaterial soul. When I asked about matter you say that you are not here to answer such questions.
    You talk about brain. When I asked about brain you didn’t answer anything. Then why do you want any other reasons.

    Again I repeat one reason. The evidences come from a defective and disturbed brain. So scientifically cannot be reliable and acceptable. You also don’t know the meaning of person and your real identity. So I can’t accept what you say. I don’t believe anything. I have clear understanding. I don’t blindly accept what others say.

    You wrote:
    “You have said that every person has, or is, a soul.
    I have never said that every person has or is a soul. Use of terms is very important.

    Please show my comment in which I said “every person has, or is, a soul”.

    The main thing is you didn’t understand what I said.

  3. keiths:
    Robert,

    If the soul is capable of “independent total thinking”, then why would God cripple it by tying it to an unreliable brain that wastes 20% of our energy and is subject to Alzheimer’s, intoxication, concussions, tumors, etc.?What is the point?

    Think of how many people have starved to death because they couldn’t obtain enough food to maintain both their bodies and their energy-hungry brains.If God wants to cripple our souls for some bizarre reason, couldn’t he have found a more energy-efficient way to do it?

    Your position makes no sense, Robert.

    Its not about why but about what it is.
    We must in the natural world touch the natural world. So the soul being meshed to the natural world , just by the memory connection, is the way we control our bodies.
    Do you have a better idea?
    Thats the idea.
    Its great and would of worked perfect in a sinless world before the fall.
    The heat loss thing is irrelevant to the issue.
    The soul is using the memory as a tool as otherwise it knows nothing. yet its free in its thinking ability.

  4. Sriskandarajah:

    Please show my comment in which I said “every person has, or is, a soul”.

    Good grief, Sriskandarajah, you just said so a few minutes ago in the other thread:

    I also say that soul is only a name for the identification of the real you. There is no such thing as soul other than you, your physical body and mind.

    When I use the name soul please think of you.

  5. Robert,

    We must in the natural world touch the natural world. So the soul being meshed to the natural world , just by the memory connection, is the way we control our bodies.
    Do you have a better idea?

    Yes, I have a much better idea. If we don’t need brains, because our souls can do all the thinking and remembering, then why have brains at all? Why doesn’t God bypass the brain altogether, saving 20% of our energy budget, and connect the soul directly to the body?

    In reality, of course, we don’t have souls to do our thinking and remembering. We need our brains to do that for us, and it’s worth the huge investment of energy.

    Its great and would of worked perfect in a sinless world before the fall.

    The idea that the Fall has anything to do with Alzheimer’s is bizarre to begin with, but even if it were true, why doesn’t the omnipotent God fix things? Why does he want people to get Alzheimer’s disease?

    The heat loss thing is irrelevant to the issue.

    We’re talking about energy consumption, not heat loss. And if you think energy consumption is irrelevant, then you won’t mind if we take all your food and give it to other people, right?

    The soul is using the memory as a tool as otherwise it knows nothing. yet its free in its thinking ability.

    You told us that the soul can remember without help from the brain. Try to keep your story straight, Robert.

  6. Sriskandarajah,

    The evidences come from a defective and disturbed brain. So scientifically cannot be reliable and acceptable.

    Actually, the opposite is true. Much of what we learned about the brain, prior to the invention of modern imaging technologies like CAT scans and MRI, came from studying people with disordered or damaged brains and comparing them to normal individuals.

    You are uncomfortable with what the split-brain evidence is telling you, but that’s no reason to dismiss it.

  7. Sriskandarajah,

    In the original OP, I explained exactly what I was claiming:

    Many of our readers – especially among the regulars at Uncommon Descent – are substance dualists. That is, they believe that each of us has an immaterial mind or soul that constitutes our true self, and that the body, including the brain, is merely a vehicle “inhabited” and controlled by the mind or soul.

    There are many problems with this idea, which is why it is rejected by most neuroscientists and philosophers. One of the most striking is the problem posed by the strange characteristics of split-brain patients…

    You came here to challenge my claim, but your responses have been all over the map. For example, at one point you were describing the soul as the ‘inner being’:

    The inner being which uses one part of the brain may be aware of what he believes and what he talks. Other part of the brain without a inner being or soul if you want to use the term may talk unconsciously like a robot which has no sense of awareness.

    Now you’re saying that soul is the entire person, including the body:

    There is no such thing as soul other than you, your physical body and mind.

    Yet in all the shifts and reversals, you haven’t addressed the core issue, as I explained above:

    You came here claiming that the hemispheres of a split-brain patient are not separate persons. Yet when asked, you were unable to give a reason why those hemispheres should not be considered to be separate persons. In the end, the only reason you offered was “one body, one person”, which is obviously false.

    If you can’t tell us why the hemispheres of a split-brain person aren’t separate persons, then why do you believe that they aren’t separate persons? I know you want to believe that, but do you have any other reason(s) for believing it?

  8. keiths,

    It is straight.
    its a equation. its the soul must use the memory to read the world and control the body. So we are trapped by this arrangement/
    to read the memory so intametly means the soul is no longer separate and alone. its become almost one with the memory.
    so the unnaturalness of death separates our soul from the body.
    BANG. it ripps away with it things that the soul did memorize.
    so the soul seemly can memorize by itself but not while connected to the memory material organ.
    our souls do remember but while attached to our body its a relationship that doesn’t allow our soul to alone live in its memory.
    Its just as likely a complex thing as physics of the body or the universe.
    Yet the soul and the memory organ are separate.
    We are joined. at death we can take whats been remembered. Before however its a free flow that doesn’t allow our soul to remember. Its a tag team effort to allow the soul to touch a material universe.

  9. Keiths,
    I will respond to your last comments little later. Before that I need your explanation to your comments which were made by you earlier. There are some important points which made me so curious.
    You wrote:
    “I actually like the word ‘soul’, but I usually put the word ‘material’ in front of it to prevent confusion and to emphasize that there is nothing ghostly about it. It’s a physical phenomenon, and all indications are that it comes to an end when the body dies.”
    My response:

    You say that there is no ghost in the machine. Also say that there is nothing ghostly about it. So why do you introduce another ghost which is material soul? You don’t accept the existence of an immaterial soul. So why do you need another existence which is material soul? This is also a ghost in the machine. Think of you. Find out what you are. My original question is “what are you”? You observe everything in this limitless marvelous universe. Universe has no power to see you. You see the universe. How wonderful you are.

    Material soul is a worst idea than the idea of immaterial soul. If it is a physical phenomenon definitely material scientists can easily separate it and put it in a test tube. Further material things never come to an end when the body dies. If the material soul comes to an end when the body dies definitely it should have existed permanently before the body dies. But nothing exists permanently in this physical body. Oxygen and sugar release energy and energy don’t exist permanently in the body. Material soul must be the result of brain process. So ending of material souls already being happened before death.
    Any material substance never comes to an end according to the existing scientific theories. Material substance may undergo changes. But never dies. You are a naturalist, don’t you know that? Really if you study materialism completely you will come to know that materialism prove immortality.

    If material soul is a physical phenomenon why can’t the Scientists take it out when the body dies?

    Do you say that you are the material soul? (Please answer this question without fail since this question is very important)
    You asked:
    “Seriously, Steve?
    You’re arguing that every time a person’s corpus callosum is cut, a spirit swoops in and takes possession of one of the brain’s hemispheres?
    How does that work? And can you explain how an intact corpus callosum protects its owner from being possessed by spirits?”
    It is a very good term which you have used.

    What do you mean by owner?
    Which is the owner? Who is the owner?
    Why do you need the use of the term “owner” since there are neurons only which are responsible for all functions?
    So how corpus callosum protects its owner when it is split? What will happen to the original owner after the brain is split?

    Is there any ownership in this physical body which contains only material molecules?

    Do you say that you are the owner? (Please answer this question without fail since this question is very important)

    According to materialistic point of view atheist can’t use the terms mind, self, consciousness, person, material soul and owner because body is the whole show to them. Body contains material molecules. So they can talk about molecules, cells, neurons and energy. They also can’t talk about death. Because these material things never die. Only the form changes. So, there is no death according to materialism.

    Materialism has very clear and apparent evidences for immortality. What is there to come to an end? What is there to die? What comes new and what goes nothing? Everything exists safely but in different forms.

    A Neuroscientist says that you are nothing but pack of neurons. What are neurons? It contains indestructible substance. He proves immortality other way around.

    Births and deaths of consciousness, mind, person, self and material soul are being taken place before the end of this body. Because all these things are the result of brain process. Materialistic Neurologists say these things are emergent property of brain. So what is death at the end of this body? What exist there permanently to come to an end? Do you see anything permanently in this body?

    Please answer each and every question specifically.

    A.Sriskandarajah

  10. Sriskandarajah,

    I will respond to your last comments little later.

    You keep saying that, but you never get around to answering the key question.

    You say that there is no ghost in the machine. Also say that there is nothing ghostly about it. So why do you introduce another ghost which is material soul?

    The topic of this thread is the immaterial soul, not the material soul. And the whole point of using the term ‘material soul’ is to emphasize that it isn’t a ghost in the machine. It doesn’t have an existence separate from the body. When the body dies, the material soul dies.

    We think of the soul as the site of our personalilty, our morality, our knowledge, our will, etc. That’s all fine, and it is a legitimate use of the word ‘soul’ as long as we remember that it is the brain that carries out these functions, not some ethereal entity that inhabits and “drives” the body. The only real soul is a material soul. The immaterial soul is a fiction.

    Material soul is a worst idea than the idea of immaterial soul. If it is a physical phenomenon definitely material scientists can easily separate it and put it in a test tube.

    That’s silly. It’s like saying that if weight is a physical phenomenon, then scientists should be able to separate the weight from the object and place it in a test tube by itself.

    Further material things never come to an end when the body dies.

    The matter making up the body does not vanish, but it no longer functions as a living body. Its organization has changed. Put your computer in a blast furnace. The matter will still be there, but it will no longer function as a computer.

    Any material substance never comes to an end according to the existing scientific theories. Material substance may undergo changes. But never dies. You are a naturalist, don’t you know that? Really if you study materialism completely you will come to know that materialism prove immortality.

    You think that when a person has been cremated, the pile of ashes that remains proves their immortality?

    Do you say that you are the material soul?

    No, because I consider my entire body to be part of me, while the ‘material soul’ is mostly just my brain and nervous system.

    In response to Steve’s “spirit possession” comment, I wrote:

    Seriously, Steve?

    You’re arguing that every time a person’s corpus callosum is cut, a spirit swoops in and takes possession of one of the brain’s hemispheres?

    How does that work? And can you explain how an intact corpus callosum protects its owner from being possessed by spirits?

    Sriskandarajah:

    It is a very good term which you have used.

    What do you mean by owner?
    Which is the owner? Who is the owner?
    Why do you need the use of the term “owner” since there are neurons only which are responsible for all functions?

    I don’t need to use the term “owner”. It’s just a convenience.

    When I talk about “my car’s engine” or “my car’s bumper” I am not implying that my car is somehow separate from its parts. Likewise, if I talk about “my arm” or “my brain” it doesn’t mean that I am separate from my body.

    So how corpus callosum protects its owner when it is split? What will happen to the original owner after the brain is split?

    The “owner” gets split. There are now two persons where before there was only one. That makes sense to a materialist, but it makes no sense at all if you believe in an immaterial soul. Why should splitting the brain split the soul if the two are separate entities?

    Which gets us back to the key question:

    You came here claiming that the hemispheres of a split-brain patient are not separate persons. Yet when asked, you were unable to give a reason why those hemispheres should not be considered to be separate persons. In the end, the only reason you offered was “one body, one person”, which is obviously false.

    If you can’t tell us why the hemispheres of a split-brain person aren’t separate persons, then why do you believe that they aren’t separate persons? I know you want to believe that, but do you have any other reason(s) for believing it?

  11. Robert,

    You haven’t provided a shred of evidence for any of that.

    It’s an ad hoc story concocted for no other reason than to allow you to continue believing in the soul despite all the evidence to the contrary.

    There is no reason to accept any of your ad hoc assumptions.

  12. Keiths:
    You say:
    “You keep saying that, but you never get around to answering the key question.”

    Please wait. I will answer your key question.
    You wrote
    “The topic of this thread is the immaterial soul, not the material soul. And the whole point of using the term ‘material soul’ is to emphasize that it isn’t a ghost in the machine.”
    My answer:
    The topic is immaterial soul. Ok. But in the discussion you have introduced an existence of “material soul”. So you should explain what it is. May be we don’t know the entire anatomy and physiology of a body. But we are aware of the existence of our body. When you say material soul I don’t know what it is. I don’t aware of it. So please make me understand what it is.
    What ideas you have about an immaterial soul which made you to reject it? There are many stories and concepts about ghosts and spirits. I think that you have the mental images of those things. So you are not in a position to accept the existence of immaterial soul. So, for the safe side you want to introduce another soul scientifically which you call material soul. I say that there is no such thing as immaterial soul as in your mind and also I say that there is no such thing as material soul. Only material body exists. It is also your another mental image. You think there is ghost in our body. That is why you want to emphasize that it isn’t a ghost in the machine. There is no ghost. But some sages say that there is a divine existence in our body.
    You wrote:
    “It doesn’t have an existence separate from the body. When the body dies, the material soul dies.”
    My response:
    What happens to the material soul when we are in deep sleep and under anesthesia? Will it die and come again? How it disappears and appears again? Why does the material soul wait to die till the end of body? In form it exists now?
    If material soul exists definitely it should be result of brain process. So the created material soul never continues to exist. Due to the series of brain process death and birth of material souls should happen before the body dies.
    Do you say that the material soul continue to exist as a single form of existence and die at last with the death of physical body?
    Do you continue to exist till your body come to an end? If so, in what form you continue to exist?
    You can’t continue to exist as a material soul since it should be the result brain process. Brain process can’t keep anything stable.
    Does the material soul continue to exist as a permanent existence before the death of the body?
    You wrote:
    “We think of the soul as the site of our personalilty, our morality, our knowledge, our will, etc. That’s all fine, and it is a legitimate use of the word ‘soul’ as long as we remember that it is the brain that carries out these functions, not some ethereal entity that inhabits and “drives” the body. The only real soul is a material soul. The immaterial soul is a fiction.”
    My response:
    Really material world is also a fiction. I have already explained that personality, morality, knowledge, our will etc are all changing factors. If you think of the soul as the site of these things then that soul can’t have any permanent existence to continue to exist and to die with the death of body. Many souls should be born and die during the life time of a physical body. So no point of saying material soul come to an end when body dies .Death and birth already taken place before the body dies.
    What you think as material soul is your imagination. So it is a fiction. Material soul is your another imagination which is illusion. There is no such thing as material soul.
    I wrote:
    Material soul is a worst idea than the idea of immaterial soul. If it is a physical phenomenon definitely material scientists can easily separate it and put it in a test tube.
    Further material things never come to an end when the body dies.
    Your reply:
    “That’s silly. It’s like saying that if weight is a physical phenomenon, then scientists should be able to separate the weight from the object and place it in a test tube by itself.”
    My answer:
    Weight is a physical phenomenon. Ok. Is material soul also a same phenomenon like weight? But you have said in your comments that brain and nervous system is the material soul.
    You wrote:
    “The matter making up the body does not vanish, but it no longer functions as a living body. Its organization has changed. Put your computer in a blast furnace. The matter will still be there, but it will no longer function as a computer.”
    My explanation:
    No problem. Since all the material substance are available without vanishing we can make new and more efficient computers and keep the function continually. No loss in materialism. This is material immortality. The matter making up the body does not vanish. That is the important point. According to materialists matter is the only real existence. Physical body is not the important aspect for immortality. The everlasting material substance is the factor for immortality. It no longer functions as a living body is not a problem. Don’t we dispose the old things? Likewise let the body go. Let the organization change. Body is a temporary assembling of molecules. But the molecules again and again assemble and make new living bodies and the functions start again. What is death? What is lost? This is the continuity of life through matter. This is the material immortality if matter really exists.
    I wrote:
    Any material substance never comes to an end according to the existing scientific theories. Material substance may undergo changes. But never dies. You are a naturalist, don’t you know that? Really if you study materialism completely you will come to know that materialism prove immortality.
    Your question:
    “You think that when a person has been cremated, the pile of ashes that remains proves their immortality?’
    My answer:
    Definitely. It proves that material substance always exist in different forms like ash. So whatever we do like cremation we can’t destroy any thing to nothing. So from the available material substance new physical bodies are born and life continues. I have already explained this in the above comments. You accept the material existence only. So this is the material immortality. You don’t know all these things. You are only aware of the ashes. You don’t know the significant of this change.
    My question:
    Do you say that you are the material soul?
    Your answer:
    “No, because I consider my entire body to be part of me, while the ‘material soul’ is mostly just my brain and nervous system.”
    My explanation:
    Your answer: No. Very good answer! You are not a material soul. You say that brain and nervous system is the material soul. So it is clearly understood that you are not the brain. So what are you?
    I came to know from your answer that you use the term “material soul” for the purpose of argument against the existence of an immaterial soul. You don’t have any meaning or understanding about the term material soul. You consider your entire body to be part of you. So the entire body includes the brain and nervous system. Subsequently you say that material soul is mostly your brain and nervous system. So according to you, brain and nervous system is the material soul. Other thing there is already a name “brain”. Then why do you give another name to brain as “material soul”?
    You say it’s like saying that that if weight is a physical phenomenon, then scientists should be able to separate the weight from the object and place it in a test tube by itself. Here you treat the material soul as a physical phenomenon like weight. You express contradictory statements. You are not clear what material soul is. So how can you talk about an immaterial soul?
    You denied that you are not material soul, but says your entire body is part of you and material soul is your brain and nervous system. So what are you?
    Now you say that brain is the material soul. Brain is a material substance.
    You wrote:
    “I don’t need to use the term “owner”. It’s just a convenience.
    When I talk about “my car’s engine” or “my car’s bumper” I am not implying that my car is somehow separate from its parts. Likewise, if I talk about “my arm” or “my brain” it doesn’t mean that I am separate from my body.”
    My answer:
    We are talking something very serious. There is no room to accommodate any terms for convenience.
    It is not a good example. When you say “my car” it is understood that you and car are separate existence. So when you say my brain it means that you are separate from the brain. Find out what you are. Then the mystery will be revealed.
    My question:
    So how corpus callosum protects its owner when it is split? What will happen to the original owner after the brain is split?
    Your answer:
    “The “owner” gets split. There are now two persons where before there was only one. That makes sense to a materialist, but it makes no sense at all if you believe in an immaterial soul. Why should splitting the brain split the soul if the two are separate entities?”
    My explanation:
    When I asked about the meaning of the owner you said that you don’t need to use the term “owner” and it’s just a convenience. Now you say the owner gets split.
    So definitely the owner is a material compound and not such a thing like weight. So Material Scientists can separate it and put in a test tube or insert into a computer and create machine lives and they will start to write books saying that there is no God and they can create life. If the material body with a brain is the whole show why do you talk about owner, persons, material souls and entities? There is no one person in a single brain and there are no two persons in a split brain. These are all your mental imaginations. You think so. What you mean as person is really illusion. There are many such personalities even in a single brain.
    Materialist is an illusion. Because they call them materialists but they don’t know the reality of matter. They can’t explain what matter is. Such divisions are really senseless. So senseless things make sense to senseless identities. That is true.
    A.Sriskandarajah

  13. Sriskandarajah:

    I will respond to your last comments little later.

    keiths:

    You keep saying that, but you never get around to answering the key question.

    Sriskandarajah:

    Please wait. I will answer your key question.

    When? Why are you avoiding that question?

    There is no one person in a single brain and there are no two persons in a split brain. These are all your mental imaginations. You think so. What you mean as person is really illusion.

    Now you are contradicting yourself. Earlier you agreed that you and I are separate persons:

    You and I are separate persons because there is separate awareness in both of us.

    Hence the importance of my question:

    You came here claiming that the hemispheres of a split-brain patient are not separate persons. Yet when asked, you were unable to give a reason why those hemispheres should not be considered to be separate persons. In the end, the only reason you offered was “one body, one person”, which is obviously false.

    If you can’t tell us why the hemispheres of a split-brain person aren’t separate persons, then why do you believe that they aren’t separate persons? I know you want to believe that, but do you have any other reason(s) for believing it?

    What is your answer?

  14. Keiths,
    My statement No 1:
    There is no one person in a single brain and there are no two persons in a split brain. These are all your mental imaginations. You think so. What you mean as person is really illusion.
    You wrote:
    Now you are contradicting yourself. Earlier you agreed that you and I are separate persons:
    My statement No2:
    You and I are separate persons because there is separate awareness in both of us.

    My answer:

    In my above statement No1, I refer to the person which is illusion. I said therein that these are all your mental imaginations. Here I refer to the name person as what you mean.

    In my above statement No 2, I mean the real person which is you.

    There are two kinds of persons. One is the person which people use in common for identification. Other is the real person which is your real identity.

    I am very clear in my explanation and my understanding about the question “What am I?” Please read my explanations from the inception. You don’t understand what I say. In my first comment I asked you what you mean my person. You didn’t give the answer. I have explained to you very clearly what I mean by person. There is a real person or real self or inner being or atman in each physical existence which is not ghost or spirit. The real person is you. Not the brain. That is why I always ask you “what you are”.

    I will answer your key question next time.

    A.Sriskandarajah

  15. Keiths:
    You wrote:
    “Actually, the opposite is true. Much of what we learned about the brain, prior to the invention of modern imaging technologies like CAT scans and MRI, came from studying people with disordered or damaged brains and comparing them to normal individuals.
    You are uncomfortable with what the split-brain evidence is telling you, but that’s no reason to dismiss it.”

    My answer:

    Scientific concepts and theories are good only to fulfill our needs. They have failed to solve the problem of human sufferings which arise due to lack of understanding of our real identity. Here I mean the suffering of sorrow of death. By studying the damaged brains Scientists are able to detect the areas which are responsible for different sensations and different functions. Even though they are still unable to cure many serious brain diseases. But by studying the damaged brain they all write plenty of books on brain and self without knowing the reality of self. They can’t detect the identity of our real existence by studying the damaged brains or by the technique of CAT scans and MRI. Good Scientists declare that consciousness is a mystery. But the sad thing is other scientists who make wrong concepts about our real identity still do not know how to heal a damaged brain and still do not know how do all sensations arise from the molecules and do not know how to solve the problem of sorrow of death.

    You are correct. Really I am uncomfortable with such meaningless evidences which make me to think that there are superstitions even among some scientific people. I feel uncomfortable with any superstition in the scientific world. I don’t bother if any one says that there is no soul. It is not a problem to me. When they give wrong evidences for a non existence it seems to be superstition. It is not my intention to prove that soul exists. It is to explain why their evidences are irrelevant.

    What you think as soul and person are really your own thought creations and mental imaginations. Really you can’t imagine the inner being or God.

    What you think as soul really doesn’t exist. However, what will happen if there is no soul as you think?

    Will any one lose anything?

    You posit the existence of person in addition to this physical body. Are you a dualist?
    If our body is the whole show why do you introduce another thing material soul? Why do we need a material soul? So, are you also not a dualist?

    Are person and material soul one and the same thing?

    It is very difficult to make you understand what I want to say. I say that soul exists and at same time I say that there is no such thing as soul. Why?

    What you think as soul doesn’t exist. What I understand as soul exists. Because it is you. It is your real identity. Don’t you exist?

    I say that soul exist when I refer to the name soul to our real identity. I say that there is no soul when I refer to the image of a soul projected in a mind which wants to see what it is. Indian sages gave the name “ Atman” (soul) to our real identity for the purpose of explaining what you are. This name is used to point out the real identity of a human existence. If you can focus to your real identity then there is no need to think of soul. If you want to see it as a separate existence other than you then what you see is only images which are the projections of your mind. Those images are not real so the images make you to think that there is no soul. The term soul has different interpretations by different people. It created the atheists who come with their evidences to disprove a thing which is non existence. I don’t have any such interpretations. I only say that you exist and it is a name to your real identity. Its all. You may ignore the name.
    You wrote:
    “You came here to challenge my claim, but your responses have been all over the map. For example, at one point you were describing the soul as the ‘inner being’:
    You came here claiming that the hemispheres of a split-brain patient are not separate persons. Yet when asked, you were unable to give a reason why those hemispheres should not be considered to be separate persons. In the end, the only reason you offered was “one body, one person”, which is obviously false.”
    My response:

    No claim! No challenge! Only questions for your answers .I thought you know something deep as you are talking about a serious subject. Dire implications! I thought you may be in a position to make me understand the reality of our existence. So I asked you questions. But you have failed to answer my questions

    I do not gain anything by claiming or challenging. But if you or anyone answers my questions then definitely I gain something worth and useful.

    All my questions are about you and me and about the brain. You are unable to answer my questions scientifically. So I said what you say cannot be accepted. Is it a challenge? The people who call them atheist, naturalist, dualist, materialist are engaged in challenges and arguments with their limited knowledge. I don’t do that.

    This is my answer to your key question:

    I didn’t come claiming anything. That is not my business. Really I am searching scientific answers to many questions for many years to understand what I am. See my First comments. I came asking first the question “What is the real identity of a person? What it means by the terms consciousness, person, self and mind?”You did not answer my questions. So I understood that you are talking about the existence of two persons in a split brain without knowing the meaning of person. Knowing that I said that there cannot be two persons in a split brain. This is my first reason. So you got a chance to turn on me to ask question and started to ask a question. It is you who should explain me everything what I ask since it is your post “Split- brain patients and the dire implications for the soul”. You know the dire implications! So, it is not my part to answer any of your questions. Even though I have explained the reason why I can’t accept what you say. There are many reasons but no point of writing all of them because you don’t know the basic things in your subject. What reason you want any more?

    You say that you and I are separate persons since we have separate wills and beliefs and so when the hemispheres are separated by an operation there also two separate persons as exists in both of us. This is your evidence and argument.

    Other reasons:

    (1)You ask me why the hemispheres of a split-brain person aren’t separate persons, then why do you believe that they aren’t separate persons. I don’t believe that they are separate persons or they aren’t separate persons. It is a wrong question. Because a hemisphere cannot be treated as a person since it contains only material molecules. Under anesthesia or in deep sleep the same hemisphere exists without a conscious existence. So, where is your person when we are in deep sleep or under anesthesia?

    (2)The evidences come from a disturbed brain.

    (3) If you are not aware of the existence of a real self, then the self which you aware of is an illusion.
    Because you identify the wills and emotions as a person. Wills and emotions always change. They don’t exist permanently. We may have many such impermanent persons in a single brain as well as in a split brain. So we can’t fix as one or two persons anywhere unless we understand the existence of the real self.

    (4)Your conclusion that there two persons is determined on the evidences of verbal and non verbal expressions of the split brain person. There is no confirmation that all those expressions are associated with conscious awareness. Even a single brain does many unconscious functions. There is also no confirmation that the expressions of the physical existence are reliable.

    (5) You say that you and I are separate persons. Can you find anything stable or permanent in each of our existence? There is a series of reactions going on. Nothing exists permanently in this physical structure. No fixed existence. You cannot pin point anything physically as person. So where is the person in each existence?

    So I can’t accept the conclusion that there are two persons in a split brain person. This is my explanation why those hemispheres should not be considered to be separate persons.
    I never said the reason one body, so one person. That is your own interpretation.

    I wrote: There is no such thing as soul other than you, your physical body and mind.
    Your response:

    Now you’re saying that soul is the entire person, including the body:

    My explanation:
    What is meaning of entire person? There is no such thing as entire person except the entire body or entire mind. Are there any parts in a person except this physical body? I think you are very clever in interpreting what I say on your own.

    Soul is a name to our real identity. You can call the real identity by many names. I have never said that soul is the entire person including the body. I never use the name soul first. I always say that you are the soul and soul is a name. I have never said that soul is you. My name is Sriskandarajah. I never say Srikandarajah is I. I always say I am Sriskandarajah. It is my name. Name comes after me. You are unable to differentiate the realty with its name. You can’t see an extra existence as Sriskandarah in me. If you try to see that then you will see nothing. That is why you say there is no immaterial soul. Now I don’t want to call the real identity by the name soul. That is why I used the name inner being which doesn’t mean someone is sitting inside. I don’t want to use the term inner being also.

    Now I say to you that there is no immaterial soul as in your mind. But I ask you what you are? How you are linked to your brain? If you are the result of brain process which part of the brain makes you? What are the chemical reactions in the brain that make you? How does the brain produce a material soul? Many persons or material souls should be produced by the brain if brain produces material soul by a series of reactions. But the reactions always create you who is one . How is it possible? Science explains how pancreas produces insulin. Why science is unable to explain as to how brain produce sensations and how brain produces “you”? Material soul is a material compound. So what is the difficulty for the science to explain that? There are so many questions. These are all dire implications for the science.

    A.Sriskandarajah

  16. Sriskandarajah,

    You are contradicting yourself right and left.

    1. Earlier you said:

    You and I are separate persons because there is separate awareness in both of us.

    Now you say:

    You say that you and I are separate persons. Can you find anything stable or permanent in each of our existence? There is a series of reactions going on. Nothing exists permanently in this physical structure. No fixed existence. You cannot pin point anything physically as person. So where is the person in each existence?

    2. Earlier you spoke of the soul as the “inner being”:

    The inner being which uses one part of the brain may be aware of what he believes and what he talks. Other part of the brain without a inner being or soul if you want to use the term may talk unconsciously like a robot which has no sense of awareness.

    Now you say:

    There is no such thing as soul other than you, your physical body and mind.

    3. Earlier you said:

    A car is designed for the occupation of one driver. Likewise our physical body is evolved for millions of years for the function of one person or one self. There is no provision for two minds or two persons.

    Now you say:

    I never said the reason one body, so one person. That is your own interpretation.

    It’s fine to change your mind, but please let us know when you’re doing so. Otherwise it’s impossible to keep track of what you’re arguing.

    You seem pretty confused right now. Perhaps you should take a break, think things over, and come back when you’ve worked out the contradictions in your story.

  17. Keiths,

    You wrote:
    You are contradicting yourself right and left.

    My response:

    I am very clear in my explanation and my understanding of the question what am I? You are unable to answer any of my questions and you don’t understand what I say. So it appears to you that I am contradicting myself left and right. Without knowing the meaning of person you are using this term. So you contradict yourself. Not I am. I am aware of the false identities of a person which is in common use. I am also aware of a real person, real self which refers to my real identity. I am that. I am not any physical substance which is in the form of atoms and energy coming and going. But I need them to have different sense of experiences including the worldly experiences. I am aware of the both persons. I am very clear in understanding the both kind of persons. To make you understand I explained you in many ways and asked different questions. There are many deep explanations and questions which you will never understand since you are living in a narrow area of atheism. So I don’t want to write those explanations and questions.

    I have a meaning of soul and person. You have a different meaning of soul and person. I have to use both in my explanation. So you think I am contradicting.

    You wrote the following:
    Earlier you said:
    You and I are separate persons because there is separate awareness in both of us.
    My response:
    Here I mean the real identity, real you, real person. When a person is good we say that he is a good person. Suddenly due to any circumstances he may become a bad person. Here the emotions reflect a person. Such changing emotions do not refer to the real identity of a person. There is a real existence other than the emotions. In the above statement I mean the real existence which has conscious awareness. What contradiction you find here?

    You wrote the following:
    You say that you and I are separate persons. Can you find anything stable or permanent in each of our existence? There is a series of reactions going on. Nothing exists permanently in this physical structure. No fixed existence. You cannot pin point anything physically as person. So where is the person in each existence?

    My response:
    You don’t accept anything other than this physical body. But in the physical body nothing exists permanently. Please read my above explanation very carefully. I said that nothing exists permanently in this physical structure. Note the underlined words. Note the other sentence. You cannot pin point anything physically as person. There is a series of reactions going on. So I asked you where the person in each existence is. Here I want to know from you whether there is any fixed physical existence which refer to person. Why can’t you answer this question?

    You wrote the following 2 paragraphs:
    1 Earlier you spoke of the soul as the “inner being”:
    The inner being which uses one part of the brain may be aware of what he believes and what he talks. Other part of the brain without a inner being or soul if you want to use the term may talk unconsciously like a robot which has no sense of awareness.
    2Now you say:
    There is no such thing as soul other than you, your physical body and mind.
    My response:
    I used the term inner being to make you understand your real identity. You said that there is no inner being. I told you several times that inner being and soul are only names of your real identity. You didn’t understand that the names are not real. But you repeat that there is no immaterial soul. That is why I said there is no such thing as soul in your term, other than you. I didn’t ask you first what soul is. I asked you first what you are.

    You wrote the following 2 Paragraphs:
    1 Earlier you said:
    A car is designed for the occupation of one driver. Likewise our physical body is evolved for millions of years for the function of one person or one self. There is no provision for two minds or two persons.
    2 Now you say:
    I never said the reason one body, so one person. That is your own interpretation.
    My response:

    I have already explained what is mind. Since you use the term mind and person with the same meaning I said there is no provision for two minds or two persons in your terms. Here I mean the real identity.

    If you understand the significant of my question what you are then I don’t need to tell such example. I said what nature has done. Our physical body is designed by the nature in such a way. There are exceptions. But in most situations the anatomy and functions of a physical existence is in a perfect order. This is something biological. Each organ has a specific purpose. Why do the material molecules join together to make this physical body? Do you know the purpose of the entire body? I never said the same sentence one body, one person.

    You wrote:
    You seem pretty confused right now. Perhaps you should take a break, think things over, and come back when you’ve worked out the contradictions in your story.
    My response:

    I don’t need to take a break. I have started to search the truth of myself very long ago without a break. I don’t need to tell everything in details. I have 23 questions. I don’t want put all the questions to you. I don’t worry myself when you say that you seem pretty confused right now. I don’t need to think things over. I need the answers. If you saw that I am confused, why you are unable to clear my confusion by answering all my questions?

    Your mind is deeply conditioned to atheism. You are filled with the ideas of atheism. So you will never understand what I say unless you have a free vacant mind.

    I think you are dealing with some religious beliefs so I wish to leave you with your atheism which is another imagination which curtails free observation. Your answers always come from the background of atheism. My search is not relevant to you. I came with questions. I go without answers. No problem. No contradiction. No confusion. I myself very clear since I am searching the truth without carrying any false identity labels.

    Finally I tell you to leave everything like soul, inner being, person etc. You exist without any evidence. So look at you only without any names because all those names are used to make you aware of your own existence. But you make them a problem. So, it is no use to you.

    I don’t want to use the name soul or anything anymore. Now I talk about you. You need a heart to pump the blood to all the body cells. So you need a heart to exist in this world. But you don’t need the same heart. If the heart is damaged you may replace with another one and be able to continue to exist. So you are not the heart. You need a brain to have sense of experiences. Without sense of experiences there is no life. The brain provides you sensations. So you need a brain to exist in this world. But you are not the brain. Similarly there are many more things to understand that you are not anything whether physical or non physical or material or immaterial. But the “you” cannot be separated from the physical body or from the sense of experiences. You never need any same single atom to exist. You may replace it with another one. So ending of all these things cannot make you too end with them. Everything come and goes during our life time. Nothing will make me disappear when they go. End of anything cannot put an end to my existence. When the brain is anesthetized or when I am deep sleep where I go. If I am ended I cannot come back again. I disappear but I come back again. I may in a state of unconsciousness without experiencing anything. If I am the brain process I can’t come again. If brain process creates me I can’t exist long. Brain process will create another conscious being when the effect of anesthesia is over. You do not need a soul to exist. I have already said it is a name which I used to take you to your own real self. But you stagnated with the name and you only see contradiction and confusion in me. Now I say that you exist without the burden of soul. I and you exist. That is obvious. That is my important thing. You have failed to understand that. Find out what you are and not the soul.

    A.Sriskandarajah.

  18. Sriskandarajah,

    I don’t need to take a break. I have started to search the truth of myself very long ago without a break. I don’t need to tell everything in details. I have 23 questions. I don’t want put all the questions to you. I don’t worry myself when you say that you seem pretty confused right now. I don’t need to think things over. I need the answers. If you saw that I am confused, why you are unable to clear my confusion by answering all my questions?

    You have a lot of questions, and I’m sure you’d like answers for them, but we need to keep the focus on the actual topic of this thread: the implications of the split-brain evidence for the (non)existence of the immaterial soul.

    We already have all the information we need to render judgment on the soul’s existence.

    We agree that you and I are separate persons, with separate awareness, beliefs, desires, wills, memories, etc. I have presented evidence that the hemispheres in a split brain also have separate awareness, beliefs, desires, wills, memories, etc.

    If you and I qualify as separate persons, why don’t the hemispheres in a split brain also qualify as separate persons? As far as I can tell, you’ve offered only two reasons, both faulty:

    1) you claim that one of the hemispheres is a “robot”, with no consciousness. However, you’ve given absolutely no evidence for that claim.

    2) you make the “one body, one person” argument, but that is obviously wrong, for reasons given earlier.

    If the hemispheres have separate awareness, knowledge, beliefs, etc., then what is your basis for denying personhood to them?

    And if splitting the brain splits the person, what does that say about the immaterial soul? Either it splits when the brain splits, which is a bizarre and ad hoc assumption, or — and this is far more likely — the immaterial soul doesn’t exist at all.

  19. Sriskandarajah,

    In reply to your comments on the other thread:

    Atheists talk about big subjects without knowing the basic things. You cite evidences from the brain. So you should know all about the brain.

    We have all the information we need. See my comment above.

    If you find the answers to my lot of questions then you will come to know whether immaterial soul exists or not.

    We don’t need to answer all your questions. We already have all the information we need to decide that the immaterial soul does not exist.

    It is true that neurons give rise to subjective experiences. I didn’t deny that. But my question is how the neurons give rise to the subjective experiences.

    We don’t know the answer yet, and we don’t need to. We already have enough information to answer the question at the heart of this thread, as I pointed out above.

    I’m still waiting for you to explain why you deny personhood to one of the two hemispheres of a split-brain patient if both of them have awareness, desires, beliefs, wills, etc.

  20. Keiths,

    Really immaterial soul exists in the form of imagination in your mind. You can see that very clearly. It doesn’t exist anywhere outside. So it is a vain either to prove or disprove its existence. If you are aware of yourself then you will not bother whether it exists or not.

    Your problem is immaterial soul. My problem is what I am. Immaterial is soul is unreal. We may exist in any form. Doesn’t matter. But you and I are real existence. Some people say there is soul. Some people say there is no soul. But nobody will say there is no you or I.

    Soul is a name. I don’t want to say immaterial or material soul. That is meaningless. You want to prove that there is no soul. How to prove a name to be a non existence? So it is a unnecessary vein.

    I know that you have a picture about the immaterial soul in your mind which is your imagination. There is no immaterial soul. But there is a real existence other than brain and immaterial soul.(1) Are you aware of any real existence?

    (2)If you prove that there is no immaterial soul what will happen? Will anyone lose anything?

    There are two questions.

    A.Sriskandarajah

  21. Sriskandarajah,

    I’m still waiting for your answer to this question:

    Specifically, how can you say that you and I are separate persons while denying that the hemispheres of a split-brain patient are also separate persons? What criterion do you use to make that judgment?

  22. Keiths:

    I need a brain. I use the brain indirectly. But I am not the brain. I clearly see that in my existence. I am the real person. So by splitting the brain “I” also cannot be split. I may find it difficult to use the brain properly.

  23. Sriskandarajah,

    I need a brain. I use the brain indirectly. But I am not the brain. I clearly see that in my existence. I am the real person. So by splitting the brain “I” also cannot be split. I may find it difficult to use the brain properly.

    There are a lot of assertions there, but no evidence or argument. How do you know that “the real person” cannot be split?

    Before the operation, a split brain patient is one person. After the operation, each hemisphere is capable of forming independent beliefs, desires, memories, emotions, etc.

    How can you argue that the hemispheres are not separate persons? I’m looking for something more persuasive than “because I say so”.

  24. Keiths:
    If I say in your terms after splitting the brain if the hemispheres can act with separate conscious awareness they should have acted in the same manner before splitting the brain. But that didn’t happen. So they can’t behave in a separate manner after splitting since they didn’t have such ability before splitting.

    The oral evidences and the functional evidences of a split brain cannot be genuine and reliable. There are also many unconscious functions of the brain. So we can’t come to any conclusion in a scientific manner with regard to separate conscious awareness in a split brain person.

    A.Sriskandarajah

  25. Sriskandarajah,

    If I say in your terms after splitting the brain if the hemispheres can act with separate conscious awareness they should have acted in the same manner before splitting the brain. But that didn’t happen. So they can’t behave in a separate manner after splitting since they didn’t have such ability before splitting.

    Not true. Before the operation the hemispheres are able to influence each other with millions of connections running in each direction. After the operation, those connections are gone.

    Two computers on a network can coordinate their actions and operate as a unit. Sever the network, and the coordination vanishes. It’s the same with the brain, except there isn’t just a single network connection — there are hundreds of millions of them!

    The oral evidences and the functional evidences of a split brain cannot be genuine and reliable. There are also many unconscious functions of the brain. So we can’t come to any conclusion in a scientific manner with regard to separate conscious awareness in a split brain person.

    By the same logic, we can’t conclude that you and I are separate conscious awarenesses, which seems absurd. You need to come up with a set of criteria that will show that you and I are separate consciousnesses while showing that the hemispheres in a split brain are not.

    Good luck.

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