How can I prove to my friend that personality and consciousness exist? He says it is all chemical.?

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It is all chemical. But they do exist. Because of the chemicals.


Perhaps it’s all chemical. Consider his point of view first.


Your friend is right. Good luck.


You are both right. They do exist; they are brain chemistry. MIT professor Marvin Minsky proposed an interesting experiment many years ago, which I’ll paraphrase: how do you know that this message came from a human being, as opposed to a cleverly programmed computer? Short answer: you don’t.


Good twin/Evil twin?


This is not an argument that you will win, for the personality and consciousness that we have is manifest through the body and the body is largely chemical in nature, including the brain. This is clearly evident in people who have a chemical inbalance that leads to clinical drepression, and other disorders of the mind.
I believe that everyone has a unique personality that they bring with them in the world, but I have seen people undergo termendous changes due to physical damage that effect the brain.

Science Geek

Consciousness is the result of the electrical and chemical activity of the brain. Personality is mostly governed by the frontal lobe. We know this because people who damage their frontal lobe always have a change in personality.


it exists AND it is all chemical – each nerve contains an ionic gradient that discharges allowing nerves to “fire” after the nerve fires, ion pumps (protiens) use ATP to pump the ions back across a membrane – forming a new gradient that can “fire” again – neurotransmitters pass the signal to other neurons allowing them to fire. In this way personality and consciousness is little more than billions of well organized on/off switches (neurons).

Panda WafflesZilla

they exist and they are chemical.

St. Preachy

Why does there have to be a dichotomy here? Of course personality and consciousness exist. Just because there is some underlying chemical reaction doesn’t mean that they are somehow devoid of spiritual meaning.

Molly S

If it were merely chemical, wouldn’t everybody be the same, personality and consiousness-wise?.
Everybody has basically the same chemicals in their brain.


1) your friend’s criteria for proof must be assessed and properly identified. apparently your friend doesn’t think that chemicals exist? 2) having come to understand what he will accept as evidence and proof of existence, you will need to demonstrate to him that personality and consciousness has the level of existence which you maintain that it does. 3) if it doesn’t have that level of existence (for example, if it is in fact mediated by or facilitated by chemicals but exists as a composite), then you might try a long-shot of asking him to reflect upon his own consciousness and his awareness of his personality such that he could confirm that he percieved it but not the chemicals which made it possible.


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