Home Discussion Forum Do chemical reactions sufficiently explain consciousness, or merely an observable facet of...

Do chemical reactions sufficiently explain consciousness, or merely an observable facet of a larger phenomenon?

(e.g. Perhaps hormones and neurotransmittors chemicals merely play functional roles in switching physical relays for pathways of spiritual energy frequencies)
What is your perspective of why such strange mechanisms would emerge through naturalistic means?


  1. Considering drugs made with chemicals that change and also effect chemical receptors, which change thoughts and thought patterns, yes it explains consciousness no spiritual things required. Now if it ever turns out the drugs are really made with little ghosts or ghost busters in them, then there might be something more going on.

  2. There’s nothing strange about evolution encouraging a central nervous system which, when complex enough evolved into a brain. The evolutionary advantages of such an organ are staggering.
    As for your “spiritual neurotransmittors”, I officially nominate it for the ‘most ridiculous concept of the day’ -award.

  3. There is no evidence of any “spiritual energy frequencies.” In fact, the very idea violates known physical laws.
    You considering them “strange” is entirely your own perspective, based largely on ignorance and incredulity. There’s a simple answer: they evolved through natural selection because they provided a survival and reproductive benefit in particular environments to particular organisms. That you find them strange or amazing doesn’t change that. Personally, I find it amazing that we evolved to have endoskeletons instead of exoskeletons…but evolution by natural selection still explains that quite well.

  4. Based on the fact that we can suppress and enhance emotional and “spiritual” parts of the brain with drugs and wave patterns… That shows EXACTLY what is going on… And it’s not supernatural!!

  5. Examine the process more closely.
    Neurotransmitter are released from a nerve cell across a synapse to another nerve cell. Different neurotransmittes work in different ways, so let’s focus on one that changes the cell membrane permeability (that’s the easiest to explain). The permeability shifts due to known chemical processes, and the voltage and pressure differential allows electrolyte (helpful ions of things like potassium and sodium) leak into the cell. The neurotransmitter then breaks down, and the molecules that formed it are taken back by the original cell in a process called reuptake.
    The cell has processes for removing these ions, but if enough crossed into the cell, they’ll reach a part of the cell known as the axon hillock. The positive ions depolarize the hillock, causing an electrical voltage to travel down a long, thin part of the cell known as the axon. Voltage-controlled gates support the electrical charge until reaching the terminal, where neurotransmitters are held in vasocules. The vasocules break from the charge, releasing their contents to the next cell. The action is repeated.
    This is a bit oversimplified, but it makes it clear that the process, while complex, is not strange. It is more pre-eminently understandable. It also suffices for a simple question: where do the “spiritual energy frequencies” (whatever that means) come into play? When the neurotransmitter is released? When the hillock is excited? When the voltage-controlled gates of the axon open and close? During the reuptake process (which I didn’t take the time to explain, but I can explain how it works as a purely physical process if you’d like)? At what point is the material explanation insufficient?
    What I think you’re doing is assuming that the physical brain is somehow divorced from the non-physical mind, but if that was the case, how could drugs or brain trauma, both of which affect the physical processes, affect our memories, personalities, attitudes, and reactions? It doesn’t really make sense unless you assume that the physical “pathways” are all that’s really there, and that “big” problems of consciousness are really just a series of “small” problems that we’re well on the path to solving.

  6. yes chemicals are making you do everything that you do!…it makes you become conscious and suddenly you go unconscious!…but observing in real how all this happens…how the brain works can perhaps make a man become absolute conscious of everything around!…this whole process can be witnessed only through meditation!

  7. if consciousness is the result of a few chemical reactions, does that mean you could “brew” it in a test tube?
    heck, the world’s greatest scientists haven’t even been able to make synthetic photosynthesis.
    when you can contrive consciousness independent of a biological “vehicle” (body) then i may consider doubting the existence of souls and spirits, but for now, that’s the best answer anyone has.


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