chadrucf wrote:Why do you assume that thoughts must have a physical existence?
I don't. In fact, I specifically think that they have a metaphysical existence as their primary identity.
You are saying that because we cannot physically locate or define thoughts (they are just variations in electrical charge in the brain) that there must be a supernatural force that allows them to happen.
No, rather what I'm saying is that thoughts and ideas of the mind are not physical things, and thus couldn't ever be located, found, or studied with the tools of the physical universe (for us, sight, touch, hearing, etc). As for supernatural, I don't really believe Supernatural has an effective meaning. I mean, I believe in God, but to me there is nothing about God that is an anomaly of nature, because what we perceive as the natural universe is all a production of God, thus neither God nor anything else can be "supernatural" in the way that I think people mean when they use the term.
Let's use a metaphor: You take apart your computer looking for the physical place where a file is stored. Upon finding that the file is not physically there (just subtle variations in magnetic field), you must by the same logic conclude that a supernatural force is the source for the files on your computer.
Why do you assume thoughts are more than merely electrical current through our brains?
My argument is that, while they may or may not conceptualize it this way, I believe that when people perceive thoughts to potentially be physically identifiable, they are essentially saying that there is no such thing as a thought, that thoughts do not exist. As I said, I think this is a quite reasonable conclusion and I first entertained it many years ago but haven't agreed with it for almost a decade. Basically, IF the mind and the brain are one and the same, there is no such thing as an "idea" or thought distinct from the idea of the (corresponding) current flowing through an arbitrary neuron in the brain. In your analogy, I would say that there is no such thing as a file. The "file" is nothing more than an arbitrary electron response to a given stimulus, and is not, in fact, an otherwise potentially identifiable entity.
To your last question, we are evidently "present" amidst the collection of currents flowing through our brains. Essentially, our minds/experience/consciousness seem to exist in a different dimension that we are fundamentally unable to explore, but can use to explore the 4th dimensional universe in which all of our perceptions are rooted. If I'm wrong, what is a "file"? Files don't exist in 4 dimensional space (3D + time). Files are ideas of our minds. Math doesn't exist in 4 dimensional space - all that exists is the physical universe, which, as far we can tell (by tell, I mean "echo" because without a mind I don't think we have coherent identities), is just a bunch of particles flying around subject to arbitrary tendencies.