Last year I took a philosophy class, and when we began talking about the mind-body problem I immediately thought about sleep paralysis. I feel like it's a pretty good support for the idea of the mind being separate from the body because although the mind is awake and working, the body fails to respond for extended periods of time. Basically, I'm asking for you guys to counter my argument so that I can dive a bit deeper into this. Any ideas?
Your argument seems to be...
- The mind can only be part of the body if it can control the body
- During sleep paralysis the mind cannot control the body
- Therefore, the mind is not part of the body
Premise (1) is false. That alone causes the argument to fall apart.
Premise (2) is false. I've had numerous instances of sleep "paralysis" and it is possible to control the body; it's just very difficult. If you really focus hard and try to lift a finger or toe, you will do so and will snap out of it. You might as well argue that the mind cannot be part of the body because it's hard to move your limbs when you are tired.
To look at your argument another way, take the analogy of a car. Your steering wheel, gas and brake control the car, and they are a part of it. Yet if the connections from these components to the wheels, engine, etc... are severed, they will fail to control the car. Do you then argue that these are not part of the car because they could be severed?
Also, to beat this mind-body dualism dead horse, what about what happens to the mind when the body is damaged? For instance, if one were hit hard on the head, one would lose consciousness. How do you claim mind body dualism when the mind ceases upon damage to the body? Do you claim that the mind is separate, yet dependent upon the body? Is such a position even coherent?