New page: Split Brain Studies: One Mind per Hemisphere: Popular 'soul' theories are too simplistic.
The page looks at the experiments and conclusions of psychologists R.W. Sperry and R.E. Myers, R. Gross, Ornstein and others, who have concluded: "each of the separated hemispheres has its own private sensations, perceptions, thoughts, feelings and memories - in short, that they constitute two separate minds, two separate spheres of consciousness." [Gross 1996]
The conclusion on my page reads:
Split-brain studies show that in some situations, it is clear that our brain can contain two minds, two personalities, "two separate spheres of consciousness". Cases of multiple-personality can also result in very different personalities existing in the same brain. And some more extreme conclusions can be drawn: it is possible that all people have two consciousnesses but that each is only aware of itself. I will, however, only discuss here the fact that sometimes, the same brain contains two minds. This clearly has implications for studies of souls.
If 'souls' exist, it must be true that a soul can encompass two consciousnesses, with two different personalities, memories and skills. And if souls survive bodily death... which consciousness is it that survives? In Christian mythology, a bodily resurrection will occur, and the saved will ascend to heaven... in the case of split-brain patients, how are two separate consciousnesses reborn in the same heavenly body, which cannot contain the same biopsychical dysfunctions as the imperfect Earthly body did? It makes a nonsense of the simplistic theologies of the afterlife if we hold that 'souls' survive death, given the evidence of split-brain cases. This doesn't show that souls don't exist, merely that popular opinions about souls simply cannot account for all the possibilities that the biology of consciousness provides. It is probably closer to the truth, and certainly a correct implementation of occam's razor, to conclude that consciousness is a result of purely biological factors, and that no such thing as 'souls' exist, rather than try to reconcile them with split-brain and multiple-personality studies.
Woefully, I have left Sam's masterful book, "Abnormal Psychology" by Davison and Neale, at work and won't get it back for 2 weeks. At that point, this page will be updated with more material.
Tags: consciousness, life, multiple personality disorder, psychology, psychosurgery, souls
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