Dualism versus materialism (Identity)

by David Turell @, Thursday, July 27, 2017, 18:33 (138 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I keep telling you my self/soul/consciousness uses my brain like you and I use our computers. I can only get to my consciousness through the functions of my brain.

dhw: What do you mean by “get to”? If you/your consciousness USES your brain, how can you/your consciousness only “get to” you/your consciousness through the functions of your brain? I thought you agreed that you/your consciousness use your brain to acquire information and to give material form to your ideas. The “soul” does not need the big brain to imagine – it needs the big brain to implement its imaginings.

I believe the brain receives the mechanism of consciousness. Therefore I 'get to' (have to use) my brain to run my consciousness. But at the same time I am my self/soul/consciousness


dhw: I am the one who keeps telling you that for a dualist ideas are the product of the self/soul/consciousness, but you keep insisting that the ideas only come into being when the brain has been enlarged! Habilis does not imagine ideas into a larger brain. He imagines ideas, but in order to implement them, he needs to get his brain and body to do things they have never done before. And just as exercise expands the muscles, the exercise of doing something new would have expanded the brain and thus led to erectus.

In my view the brain as a receiver of consciousness can only use consciousness to the degree that it is enlarged and more complex. Therefore habilis is incapable of imagining or inventing what erectus can. This is what the facts show based on the artifacts each species produced.

dhw: “Allows” is one of your weasel words (“use” is another) which disguise the dichotomy in your own thinking. If you believe the “soul” is the source of our thoughts, ideas, imaginings, concepts, will etc., then initially the size and subsequently the rewiring of the brain "allows" for the gathering of information and the implementation of ideas. It is not the cause of our level of thinking. (Eventually, I hope to discuss materialism, and perhaps return to my attempt at finding a compromise between the two schools of thought .)

DAVID: 'Allows' and 'use' are not weasels. Our concepts about how we relate to our brain are in discussion. The complexity of our brain's wiring allows for advanced thinking by our self/soul/consciousness mechanism. We are talking about the immaterial in material terms.

dhw: If the “soul” is the source of ideas, the complexity of our brain’s wiring “allows for” the IMPLEMENTATION of those ideas. It does not “allow for” the ideas themselves (our advanced thinking), which you claim is the product of the “soul”. We are talking about immaterial ideas (product of the “soul”) and the material implementation of those ideas (product of the brain).

As I interpret this I agree.


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