Dualism versus materialism (Identity)

by dhw, Friday, August 11, 2017, 10:48 (10 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID’s comment under “Brain complexity”: The human brain is more plastic than a mouse brain, based on those findings. Not surprising. Considering the functional capacities of our brain, as we develop new conceptual ways of using our brain, the plasticity ability is of prime importance. Compare us to Heidelbergus: they had shelter clothing, and stone tools, not much more. The Neanderthals added art, ceremonies, but nothing like sapiens accomplishments even 50-70,000 years ago. Size first, use second.

And under “Migration to SE Asia”:
QUOTE: “Successful exploitation of rainforest environments requires the capacity for complex planning and technological innovations: the behavioural hallmark of our species.” (David’s bold)

DAVID’s comment: H. sapiens wandered all over the globe. Note my bold. Our brain's special capacity is the cause. Our closest cousins, the Neanderthals, did not wander. Their brains were bigger but less complex (it is assumed). Size and complexity of brain dictates what a species will develop. Size and complexity first, use second. It is so obvious.

I thought we had settled this under “Dualism versus materialism”, to which I am reassigning these posts. I’m pleased to see you now adding complexification to size.This is of prime importance (see below). During our last discussion you accepted the dualistic concept of we/the soul/consciousness as the source or “cause” of thought, and the brain as the provider of information and the means of implementing thought, which is the soul’s “use” of the brain. It is simply illogical to believe that “you”/your soul can survive the death of the brain if the brain is the source of the thoughts that make the immaterial “you”. (Once again I should emphasize that I am not taking sides, but only trying to unravel the knots in your own dualistic arguments.)

Yes of course the brain has to be plastic in order to implement the new concepts. (Pre-) Heidelbergus and (pre-)Neanderthals also had plastic brains, and these would have expanded or complexified in order to implement the new ideas, but (pre-)Sapiens had bigger and better ideas, and therefore they needed bigger and better or more complex brains to implement them. So please make up your mind: are you a materialist (the brain is the source of thought) or a dualist (the “soul” is the source of thought)? If the "soul" is the source, it needs brain expansion or complexification to implement its ideas, and as is proven by the case of the illiterate women, complexification results from the effort to read. The complexification does not precede the implementation, and so apparently your God did not rewire the women’s brains beforehand so that they could read. There is therefore a clear sequence: idea, effort to implement idea, resulting in expansion/complexification.

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