Livestream: Am I Just My Brain? with Dr. Sharon Dirckx

Am I Just My Brain? with Dr. Sharon Dirckx Livestream:

During the event, please feel free to add your questions and comments as a reply to this Topic. We expect all comments to meet our Terms of Service.

Self-study material

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Event Overview

On September 10, the Zacharias Institute will host the event “Am I Just My Brain?” as part of its #TrendingQuestions series.

What exactly are human beings? Are we advanced primates? Are we souls confined to a body? Are we just our brains? Or is there more to it? Human identity is a key matter of discussion today and is relevant to topics ranging from how we care for the elderly to how we respond to developments in artificial intelligence. Former brain imaging scientist Dr. Sharon Dirckx will show how the nature of human consciousness is key to this conversation and will discuss how neuroscience, philosophy, and medicine point to the reality that we are far more than simply our brains.

Date and Time:

7:30-9:30pm EST
Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Additional Information:


We are pleased you are here. We will be live-streaming #TrendingQuestions live from the Zacharias Institute in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Sharon Dirckx @Sharon_Dirckx who is based in our Oxford office is coming to do a variety of events in the US. She is a writer, and a tutor at the Oxford Centre For Christian Apologetics, our elite training in evangelism and apologetics in Oxford. Sharon is excited to come and address this topic. Her book is already available if you would like to purchase it from all good book stores.


Hi RZIM Connect family, @Interested_in_TrendingQ,

We are about to start watching (and discussing!) Sharon’s talk on Am I Just My Brain? We’d love to have you join us!

Please feel free to ask any questions and share your thoughts throughout the livestream, right here in Connect!


Hello glad to be here. Looking forward to it.


Welcome @Kelly1 and all those watching! I’m looking forward to discussing the talk and our questions together tonight.

Thank you, I am unable to get the Livestream to start. Is anyone else having problems?

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Hi, I’m watching it directly on this page. Perhaps reload the page? Then just hit the play button on the YouTube video.

I like to think of RZIM Connect as a 24/7 “Grill A Christian” environment. A friendly place to ask any question and get a respectful, thoughtful, even a prayerful response.


I wasnt able to get it working on the RZIM Connect site - but I just punched it in on youtube site

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I’m online…after a short delay


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Great, I’m glad you got it to work! Feel free to discuss here while you watch on YouTube.

Thanks, will do!

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Quite a quote!

Colin Blakemore:

The human brain is a machine which alone accounts for all our actions, our most private thoughts, our beliefs. All our actions are the products of the activity of our brains.

Blakemore’s quote can actually still be compatible with a mind-brain dualism. It could be the case that our thoughts and actions are dependent on the brain, in that they would not occur apart from it, but this does not mean that they are our brain. There can be dependence without identity equivalence.


For example, the fact that I can know the intentions of a person, P, without knowing anything of their brain states is evidence that intentions and brain states are not identical.

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I think these are psychological and relevant experiences of having our identity defined from different sources. Still reflecting on Sharon’s thoughts here:

Fashion - You are your body

Financial - You are your income

Politicians - You are your influence

Academy - You are what you publish

Neuroscientists - You are your brain

I wonder which ones ‘hit home’ the most for others? I often feel the pressure of, ‘you are what you buy’.


If we are just are brains, by what standard or criteria do we measure healthy mental (brain) behavior? Is there any way to do a qualitative analysis of what are “healthy” brain states and “unhealthy” ones? How would we do that?

It seems we have to measure “healthy” brains from “non-healthy” ones by evaluating qualia, which, as SD has pointed out, is non-physical.


Hey, Chalmers finally got a haircut! :smile:

Christians - You are your denomination/church/theology? (instead of “one body in Christ, individually members of one another” - the Church - Rom. 12:5)

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