Dualism versus materialism (Identity)

by dhw, Monday, July 17, 2017, 08:36 (95 days ago) @ dhw

Dhw (under “big brain or concept first”): If your material self uses your immaterial self, then it is your material self that is in charge, the exact opposite of what you have agreed under “dualism versus materialism”.
DAVID: Yes, my material self in life is currently in charge of running my immaterial self/consciousness. (dhw's bold)

I offered you a dualistic proposal: “our ideas…are the product of our immaterial soul. This interacts with our material brain, which provides the immaterial soul with information and which enables the immaterial soul to give material form to its ideas…” You responded: “As long as my soul/me is in charge of this seamless mechanism, I’m OK with your statement.” (dhw's bold) But now you have your material self in charge of running your immaterial self (your “soul”)! And yet you see no contradiction!

This is the nub of our dispute. The material self is the body including the brain. Your latest statement means that you now think your body/brain runs what you call the immaterial self (the “soul”), which puts “you” at the mercy of your neurons and chemicals. It ties in perfectly with your insistence that our ancestors were incapable of coming up with new concepts until their brains had grown bigger. If ideas (as opposed to their implementation) depend on the brain, then the human “soul” is the product of the body/brain. That, of course, is one reason why some materialists question the existence of free will. I am not taking sides in the dualism versus materialism debate. However, I remain bewildered not only by your constant switches (the immaterial self is in charge one day, and the material self is in charge the next day) but also by the fact that somehow you think there is a complete reversal of this process when your body dies and suddenly your immaterial self (“soul”) takes on a life of its own and maintains its identity, which until death depended on and was governed by your neurons and chemicals.


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