The second objection to the mind-brain identity theory stems from the fact that it has a serious implication for the doctrine of afterlife and immortality held by many religious people around the world. The mind which the materialists identified with the brain is often regarded as the soul by theistic persons. For instance, Descartes uses the word “mind” to refer to the soul. He used the mind interchangeably with the soul and the soul for him, is capable of immortality. He believes that with this kind of consideration, it is possible to show that the destruction of the mind does not follow from the corruption of the body, and thus to afford men the hope of a life after death. This Cartesian presumption is similar to what we find in many theistic metaphysics nowadays. The Traditional Yoruba African Religion provides us with a good insight here. The Yoruba believe that there is a state of existence, attainable by human beings, beyond the limits of our present mortal life spans. That there can be some kind of continuation in existence after death is attested to by the actions and practices of living people such as veneration of the ancestors, ancestral festivals, and concept of the ‘living-dead’, belief in spiritual superintendents of family affairs and punishment of moral offenders. In this case, the soul or spirit is believed to have the capacity to transcend death, and enjoy eternal life or eternal doom after death, depending on whether that soul was good or evil during its sojourn on earth. In fact, it is further believed within this system that one’s fore-bears can become ancestors and serve as mediators the supernatural world and the physical world, providing access to spiritual guidance and power. Thus, within this kind of belief system and such religio-cultural framework, the mind-brain identity theory cannot hold because it reduces man to a purely material being who cannot transcend death. This is a shortcoming of their scientific vision. It suffices to note that scientifically speaking, human beings may not know what happens after death, but many are adamant that there is life after death.
Theoriginators of the theory say you may speculate about the physical constitutionof a particular substance, for example, lightening. You discover it is to electrical discharge. They figure we will eventually find the 'identity' in the brain; there is nothing about the mind being the same as the brain - ; it is - a one-way identity. We have two different ways oftalking about something. In realitythere is only one set of entities. Theidea here is that the identity is reductive. What can be said about brain states, can also be said about mindstates. E.g. "I am thirsty"can be replaced by 'mind state 504'. Wehave a vocabulary that is inclusive about our brain states. We say 'I am thirsty', we do not say 'I havemind state 504'. But eventually we willdiscover how to identify and make these connections about what is going on inour brain.
All that the Mind-Brain Identity theorist need do ..
He says "A man is a vast arrangement of physical particles, but there are not, over and above this, sensations or states of consciousness." () Smart wrote the 2007 article on mind-body identity theory for the , in which he says:
Some philosophers hold that though experiences are brain processes they nevertheless have fundamentally non-physical, psychical, properties, sometimes called ‘qualia’...
then pain cannot be identical to a specific brain state
Although Place wrote copiously to defend his views, J.J.C. attempted a reformulation of his arguments by reasoning that to ascribe both immaterial and material qualities to man will be to commit Occam’s razor fallacy because there are no philosophical arguments which compels us to be dualists. He also granted the fact, unlike Place that there are certain undeniable facts about this vast mechanism called man. But he reduced such behaviours to dispositions and such dispositions are mentally derived, if this is the case, it follows that dispositions are brain processes. Smart unwittingly stressed the thesis of the mind-brain identity theory as follows; in his words:
What follows is my essay on this ..
This theory which came to prominence in the early 1950s and 60s and was advocated by philosophers such as U.T. Place, J.J.C. Smart, Herbert Feigl, and D.M. Armstrong, to mention a few. Although, there are slight variations in the position of these scholars, they generally hold the view that there is no existent immaterial substance called mind existing independent of matter. The mind-brain identity theory essentially holds that the mind is identical with and not ‘above’ or ‘over’ the human brain and that mental events are just brain activities. It also claims that there are no ghostly immaterial substances or events to constitute our minds. The arguments offered by proponents of this view are very instructive and compelling given the fact of recent developments in science which seeks to understand the human person from a purely scientific viewpoint.