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Allan's Philosophy Podcast

Monday, February 22, 2010

Philosophy on Facebook # 20 - The Power of the Brain

Hey guys! So this is a pretty exciting time where I'm getting a lot of stuff going up. Soon I'm gonna have podcasts up on my blogs and on iTunes. I still need a name for it but I'm thinking "Philosophy is Phun!" lol It's the best I could come up with. If you have any ideas for the show (like a better name) just message me. I sort of got the premise around just having like 2-4 people at once talking about a certain topic or multiple topics within the duration of about 10 min. I want to keep it kinda short and sweet because everybody's got important stuff to do and I cant dedicate a whole lot of time to it but I'm trying my best. Who knows, if it gets popular enough maybe I'll make it longer.

Ok so this post I wanted to talk about the brain. If you notice some of my notes can relate to each other and have similar aspects that tie them together. If you remember a while ago I wrote a post about the heart vs. the brain and how I feel that you need a healthy balance of the two. I do feel however that the brain is more important in respect to our capabilities. The brain is a very powerful manipulator that is basically the most important aspect of the human anatomy. It is where you are "you" and it dictates basically all of who you are besides your physical features. Your brain can't make you taller but it most certainly can dictate what you do with those extra inches. Your brain is the command center of your body and where your whole mental makeup and personality originate from.

Basically all of what you do is dependent upon your brain. You use your body to interact with the environment but all of that information that you absorb from your surroundings through your senses is processed by your brain. As I said in my last post, information is useless without knowledge and it is in your brain where you combine what you are receiving from your senses and your prior knowledge in order to formulate thoughts, decisions, responses, etc. Your values and opinions are also attributed to your brain and your brain is very mold-able. It is amazing how much the information out there can affect and change our views regardless of their validity. Your brain takes in the different propaganda that is out there like courtesy of the media and has to sort through what you actually are willing to believe and what you're going to do after hearing certain information. Your beliefs are very dependent upon your upbringing. This is attributed to the fact that when you are younger you have less experience so it is easier to refute your previous beliefs because you haven't gotten a firm grasp on much of anything. This is to the same effect of the saying that you cant teach an old dog new tricks. Well it isn't quite true as you can it just requires much more work and effort compared to the persuasion it takes to change the mind of a little kids. A child brain basically takes all the words that their parents say to them as the truth. It is kind of disheartening growing up and finding out that what your parents had told you when you were a kid were false but you were too young or immature enough to comprehend the reality of things. This made it so they were basically forced to lie to you or create fantasies in order to hide the real reasons behind things in order to not create worries or further confusion in an already confusing and complex world. When I read the book "animal farm" originally I had found out that the author, George Orwell, was concerned by the fact that most of the public's perspective can be swayed with relative ease. His concern is evident in his book where the farm animals were easily dissuaded by the pigs that any notions of conspiracy theories were completely false and unverifiable.

While the brain can be easily manipulated, it also possesses this ability internally over your body. One obvious example is hypochondriacs and how their brains can basically make their bodies fall ill to sicknesses caused only by psychological effects. Its amazing how the brain can cause you to get sick not based off viruses or bacteria but because of your own beliefs. It is also cool about how much your brain can affect your habits. When you see a food that looks visually unappealing your brain then sends a signal to your stomach telling it that the food is unappetizing regardless of its actual taste. It is also kind of cool and discouraging simultaneously about how easily it can be tricked and deceived. Illusions and magicians exploit these weaknesses in the brain to help produce cool tricks that appear impossible to your brain. Your brain is what connects you to this world by taking in the stimulus provided by your environment, dissect it through a combination of your prior knowledge and instincts, and compute a logical response carried out by your body. Very cool little organ that helps make everything we do possible.

-Allan Nicholas

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