I got an MRI and I have pictures of my brain!
THAT is MY BRAIN!
At least that’s what the office told me when they gave me the disk of pictures. I have no other pictures of my brain with which to compare, and I’ve never seen my brain in person so as to recognize it from these hazy black and white pictures which I’m told came from a big magnet. It remains entirely possible that the pictures on that disk are pictures of somebody else’s brain.
Or that this is a Xerox image of something made entirely of playdough. I can’t prove that it’s not.
It may not be my brain on the disk, and in fact may not be pictures of anybody’s head at all but may be computer-generated. It’s not impossible. If I were asked to prove that the pictures were real I could not do it. I have to take it on faith that the office told me the truth. I don’t have the means or the understanding of the technology to prove a counterfeit MRI from a real one let alone the ability to prove that the pictures came are of my brain and not of someone else’s.
But why do I assume that I have to have a brain in my head in the first place? We are told by science books and biology teachers that every human being, and in fact every mammal, has a brain in their head, but how many heads have we actually seen opened up before us? It’s fairly certain that none of us has ever seen our actual brain with our own eyes and in fact it’s doubtful that most of us will ever have our brain seen by anyone at all. In modern America VERY few people have even seen the inside of ANY mammal skull so as to see that there is a brain inside, let alone any human heads.
Naturally you might think to ask the doctors and nurses in offices which make the kind of scans that resulted in these pictures of my brain. If you were to ask them how many human heads they have scanned that have brains in them, they would undoubtedly say ALL human heads. But then, they are getting paid a lot of money to have people like me walk away with what I believe is a picture of my own brain. They have great financial incentive to lie, especially if they know those pictures are fakes to begin with. Brain surgeons can make more than $2,000,000 every YEAR, so this is an industry with a LOT of money going around. People lie for money. However, if they’re selling fake pictures of people’s brains, they’ve never seen inside ANYONE’s head, and so they wouldn’t even be able to answer the question.
The number of medical and scientific personnel who claim to have seen inside a human head is a VAST minority of the total. Most scientists wouldn’t even claim to have seen inside a human head. The number of heads they’ve looked into is a tiny percentage of the total human population. Even if every single person examined has a brain, that doesn’t mean every single human has one. Maybe the symptoms which necessitate a brain scan only occur in people with brains. Maybe people without brains never need to get an MRI. Can you prove this NOT to be true? By default, there would be no data to the contrary.
So how is it you choose to believe the minority of scientist who have seen into the minority of heads when they have incentive to lie? Even if they are telling the truth, the percentage of heads they have looked into is a vastly small sample, and yet they have extrapolated into the vast majority of heads to claim that they all must contain a brain! This is far more FAITH than it is EVIDENCE!
Speaking of evidence, I hear from “skeptics” all of the time who tell me that they think themselves rational to reject the existence of God because they haven’t seen enough EVIDENCE. They tell me that they are SKEPTICS! And they remind me that THEY have never seen God and they know that I haven’t seen God either! But I guarantee these same skeptics accept the existence of their own brains having NEVER seen it. They believe electrons exist, having never seen one. They believe the wind exists having never seen it. They believe gravity exists having never seen it. They believe in all kinds of things they have never seen. You know why? Because they’re not really skeptics. There are just some things they don’t want to believe, so they pretend that they are skeptics, when in fact, they are just rebellious sinners.
There is a reasonable faith. All of us live every day of our lives on the rational foundation of reasonable faith. We have to. There is no way to live as a skeptic. More times every day than you can track, you take a leap of faith and choose to believe what you can’t see, and act on what you cannot prove. You sit in a chair without testing it’s strength. You eat a food without checking it for pathogens. You take medication without testing it on lab rats or chemical analysis. All day, every day, you embrace reasonable faith and set skepticism aside so you can do what makes sense, even if it is not something for which you have an air tight, unquestionable argument. Sometimes you even do something completely ridiculous, like love another person. But if it’s the right person, your faith in them is a reasonable faith.
I think I have shown how many things must be taken on faith in order for me to claim that I have pictures of my brain. I have also shown that there are a lot of alternatives to the mainstream narrative that every person has a brain in his head- brains which NO ONE has ever seen. Based on the arguments I have made above, a consistent skeptic would have to doubt that he has a brain in his head. And having talked to some Skeptics, I doubt it as well.