Dualism versus materialism (Identity)

by David Turell @, Monday, July 17, 2017, 18:51 (35 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: But now you have your material self in charge of running your immaterial self (your “soul”)! And yet you see no contradiction!

This was my statement: As long as my soul/me is in charge of this seamless mechanism, I'm OK with your statement. I view me, in life, as material with my soul onboard in my brain as immaterial.

This is a perfect dualistic statement that you have trouble accepting. I am, as I live, occupying a material body with a material brain, but that is working with an immaterial self/consciousness that is seamlessly interconnected, and the self/consciousness will disconnect at death and rejoin the universal consciousness.

dhw: 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.

Of course, my body/brain responded in my earlier life to fright (adrenalin), pretty women (testosterone directed to my male parts with lust), etc. My material body is directly connected to my brain responses, but my thoughts, my intentions, etc. always appeared as immaterial concepts.

dhw: 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.

Dualism means two parts. I see the two parts clearly. You don't. In life I have a wet material brain which I (immaterial) control, using the mechanism of immaterial consciousness which was received by my brain. That advanced degree of use in my sapiens brain is possible because of the advanced complexity of that brain which allows that degree of use, something not possible for the larger less complex Neanderthal brain. The use of consciousness is related to both size and complexity. My theory about the sapiens brain is that it appeared 300,000 years ago, 'complexer' than all the previous iterations, but it required attempted use to stimulate the plasticity to create enough increased complexity to reach the level of use we have today.

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