Mind, Matter and Immortality were discussed in a lecture last Wednesday by instructor Andrew Dzida, who was invited to speak by the Psychology Club and Psi Beta.
Dzida is an associate instructor in the philosophy department, who received his Ph. D in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame
The main point of the lecture according to Dzida is the question: Am I a material thing, or an immaterial thing? Is their a soul that comes with us, or are we gone when our bodies a dust.
Dzida started the discussion, talking about the physiology of the brain and how it interprets the environment.
Dzida focused on describing the olfactory epithelium in the nose to show how humans can smell and how it can affect the consciousness.
“How do we smell gasoline at a gas station? How do we smell flowers? And how do we identify babies poo in a diaper,” Dzida said. “How do we sense the outside stimuli and how does it affect our consciousness?”
Dzida went on to explain that the consciousness can’t be explained in how it works with the physiology of the brain.
How mind in one school of thought is not one thing or substance. But according to Dzida, it is a property of matter.
“There is a problem however, how does matter generate mind?” Dzida said. Matter can’t be created or destroyed, only changed from one state to another.
Another thought that Dzida elaborated on is the idea that the mind and consciousness are in fact immaterial things. This would make more sense Dzida said because of the fact that all objects that have matter must also have mass and take up space.
There is another problem to this school of thought as well, the body itself is made of matter because it takes up space and has mass.
“However how can one ‘immaterial’ thing such as the mind interact with another ‘material’ thing such as the body,” he said.
The theory is that if humans have immaterial minds and consciousnesses, than that means there must be a soul.
“Why I care about the mind and body is that I want to know what happens when I die and my body is no more,” Dezida said. “Do I cease to exist?”
After the discussion, many students asked questions about the theory, some brought up the idea of reincarnation and how if it is true, then the consciousness can survive albeit with no memories.
“I have noticed that when people get older and older they want to believe in something after their death,” said Shelby Avila, 19, undecided. “But for younger people like us they are more open to different concepts because they don’t necessarily have that fear of dying.”v