Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Quirky Little Things: Wake Up! You Have No Soul

Posted by Jesse Bering, Ph.D. in Quirky Little Things:

If you’re a fan of folk music, you may have stumbled upon the twangy, sweetly discordant vocals of Iris Dement. One of her songs, “Let the Mystery Be”, is a humble paean about the hereafter. Some of the lyrics go like this:
Everybody’s wonderin’ what and where they all came from.
Everybody’s worryin’ ‘bout where they’re gonna go when the whole thing’s done.
But no one knows for certain and so it’s all the same to me.
I think I’ll just let the mystery be.

What should strike us as odd, as we’re playing the role of
psychological scientists, is the fact that we’re so inclined to
nod our heads in agreement along with the singer. One doesn’t
have to be a cognitive neuroscientist, after all, to realize that our
brains are responsible for our subjective, conscious experiences. When
our brains aren’t functioning normally, our psychology is somehow
affected; and when our brains aren’t functioning at all, as in
death—voila!—there similarly go our minds.

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