Consciousness: and brain damage (General)

by dhw, Thursday, January 11, 2018, 15:02 (6 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: […] the brains suddenly enlarged in each new stage and then the products of that new-sized brain appeared. That sequence tells us the new cortex could produce new thoughts and concepts, whereas the smaller brain could not.
dhw: But according to you, the cortex does NOT produce thoughts and concepts! You keep forgetting that you are a dualist!
DAVID: I never forget I am a dualist as I sit in front of my computer, from which I am totally separate. I view ( and you refuse to do so) my brain as a wet biologic computer which I (s/s/c) use within my body, but the s/s/c is a separate software as shown by NDE's.

You keep desperately trying to hide the contradictions by reverting to your convoluted computer analogy. Do you, the dualist, believe that the cortex produces your thoughts, or is it your dualist “soul” that produces your thoughts?

dhw: […] just as the illiterate women’s brains rewired themselves IN RESPONSE to new concepts, the pre-sapiens brain expanded IN RESPONSE to the need for new abilities, i.e. the implementation of the concept was the cause of the expansion.
DAVID: Twisted thought, backwards. An existing large cortex shrinks with use! These is no evidence that new desired uses forces expansion, but it is a neat theory to avoid God.

The existing large cortex shrinks because the brain and skull have reached their optimum size, and so expansion has been replaced by complexification. This has proved so efficient that some cells and connections are no longer needed. The hypothesis that brain expansion was caused by the need for new abilities to implement new concepts does not avoid God – it merely avoids your theory that God preprogrammed or engineered expansion before hominins were able to come up with new concepts. If God exists, he would have set up the whole mechanism of cellular intelligence on which my hypothesis depends.

DAVID: The mental processes are biochemical processes at the base of consciousness functioning. But they are the living wet hardware!
dhw: Once again, you the dualist are telling us that mental processes are biochemical!
DAVID: Of course they are! Read above.

I have read above, and you simply refuse to answer the simple question: Do you, the dualist, believe that the material cortex produces your immaterial thoughts, or is it your immaterial soul that produces your immaterial thoughts? (Not to be conflated with the material processes of perception and implementation.)

DAVID: You keep refusing to accept my analogy that the brain is used as a computer by the s/s/c and for the living person, the brain is the access to the s/s/c. After death that connection is not required.
dhw: The computer analogy leads to nothing but confusion. What is your dualistic self/soul/consciousness if it’s not the living person?
DAVID: My s/s/c is immaterially existing within me and can separate from me. NDE's!

THAT is indeed dualism, and you do not need a computer analogy to muddy the waters with incomprehensible convolutions like the brain/computer being “the access to the s/s/c”.

dhw: If the s/s/c is NOT confined to biochemical processes (your dualism), then mental processes are NOT biochemical processes, and no amount of obfuscation with computer analogies can disguise this contradiction!
DAVID: Just try to imagine what I clearly see. Our personalities cannot be seen or felt. I know your personality but I can't see it or touch it. But I can see your face in my memory and recognize it, all immaterial. All of us are wet biology with functional immaterial s/s/c's existing in us to run the brain.

At last a clear and meaningful account of your dualistic beliefs, mercifully freed from the messy computer analogy, and specifying that it is the immaterial s/s/c that runs the material brain. If it is true, it is a complete rebuttal of your statements that the cortex PRODUCES the thoughts and concepts, and that mental processes are biochemical.


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