What is the best evidence for mind/body dualism? Where can I find such evidence?


The “mind” is a metaphysical idea, which I am convinced does have a physical component in the brain.  When we think or when we decide, neurons fire and neurochemicals are released in the brain.   However, “mind” is not a physical thing.  It is more of a philosophical, or perhaps theological construct/word to explain to ourselves what is clearly a non-physical thing.  For this reason, there will not be physical evidence for mind.  Or if there is such evidence, it will be indirect at best.  There will not be scientific evidence for mind.  This discussion will have to remain more in the metaphysical realm than the physical realm.  Besides, Christians debate how complete the mind/body distinction is.  Many Christian philosophers very strongly downplay mind/body dualism.  One of my professors in my recent Masters program reminded us that we are not brains on sticks.  Our body is part of who we actually are.  Others, such as DesCartes, strongly emphasize mind/body dualism.

This question will remain in the unproved realm, probably indefinitely.  I do not have direct (scientific, physical) evidence for mind, and I do not think that I ever will.  The idea of mind was created by humans to explain the nature of the observed reality related to the nature of human beings.  It certainly appears that we have what we call a mind.  “I” am a thing apart from my body.  We have a body (as opposed to we are a body).  However, even Christians will debate how thoroughly this mind/body distinction can be made.  I do believe that I will continue to exist when the body I occupy now dies and rots. But, on the other hand, I believe that the new resurrection body I will have will be a physical body.  I am a mind/body dualist personally, but I do not go so far so as to embrace the full dualism of DesCartes who said, “I think, therefore I am.”

Sorry for what may seem a somewhat unsatisfactory answer, but that is the best I can do.

John Oakes






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