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Brain and heart

  1. Jun 14, 2003 #1
    just wondering...(by the way i didn't know where to put this so i put it here)...
    lets say we have a criminal in jail.he has a heart problem so he got a heart transplant.he is still he so he stays in jail.
    lets say another prisoner has a brain problem.lets say we have the technology and rights to transplant a new brain in him.so he has the brain of a good man but the body of a criminal.should he stay in jail?
    lets say we have another criminal.he changes his fingerprints by doing a transplant which we assume is technologically possible.he has the finger prints of a good man, the dna of a crimial and the body of a criminal. should he stay in jail?
    i been thinking for a while and would like to hear your views..
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 14, 2003 #2

    Another God

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    This is philosophy more than Science, and relates to the conception of self.

    As a rule though, the mind seems to reside in one way or another in the brain, and so the seat of the 'self' would reside in the brain. Actions come from the brain, so guilt would be a result of the brain.
    So wherever the brain is, is where that person is. If someone has a brain problem, then 'They' have an irreversible problem. (unless you can just change that aspect of their brain where the problem is located, without actually cahnging anything else.

    But in the case of the brain transplant, i would think of that rather as a body trasnplant. If you remove the brain of the criminal, then the body is not the body of a criminal anymore.

    Fingerprints are meaningless in the determination of anything (it is just a way of identifying people) (Ie, identifies bodies, which at the moment, are unequivacobly attached to the brains within them...)

    And the heart is meaningless too. Just a part of the body, which doesn't mean much in the determination of 'self'.
  4. Jun 15, 2003 #3
    Nice response, AG. I'd like to point out one thing though: you are refering to "ghost in the machine" reasoning - though all of what you said still holds true, without the "ghost in the machine" connotation.

    You see, consciousness is inevitably linked to the brain, however, it is one thing to state this, and another thing to say that the "mind resides in the brain", because that implies a non-physical mind (again, Descartes' "ghost in the machine" reasoning).

    But this is a Philosophical matter...
  5. Jun 15, 2003 #4

    Another God

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    My words don't have to be taken in a Ghost in the Machine context. I just use them because it is the most vague reference to an unexplained phenomenon. We defiantely have a mind, and it is definately related to the brain in some way, and while I believe the mind simply arises from brain processes, I don't really know. So, i will refer to the 'mind' as its own identity until I can sort out exactly how it should be refered to.
  6. Jun 15, 2003 #5
    Fair enough.
  7. Jun 21, 2003 #6
    ok...so the mind rest ina the brain. the brain itself is a complex chemical soup of biochemical reactions rite? so is a brain still considered as a original brain when u inject foreign substances into the brain?by altering the brain u change the mind so will the person still be considered as the same person?
  8. Jun 22, 2003 #7


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    Now that's a far tougher question. I say no, because I believe that crimes are due to the who pattern of the brain-mind, and responsibility cannot be divided from personality. However, parts of the justice system disagree. I heard they are executing a man after drugging him so he couldn't plead insanity.
  9. Jun 22, 2003 #8
    but wont that be unfair to the criminal?
  10. Jun 23, 2003 #9


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    That's what I think too.

    But I wasn't on the jury...
  11. Jun 23, 2003 #10
    i wish u was...
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