Evolution and humans: big brain size or use (Evolution)

by dhw, Friday, June 23, 2017, 14:23 (946 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: When I am unconscious I am not connected to my consciousness. NDE's tell me that consciousness can survive death. Therefore it takes me into the afterlife, brain no longer necessary.

The NDEs you believe in tell you that you/your consciousness do not depend on the brain for identity or for the power to think. During NDEs “you” are NOT unconscious – you are consciously experiencing the afterlife. You then return to your resuscitated brain and use it to recount your experiences.

DAVID: I think there is a material me operating my brain and an immaterial me/consciousness I reach through my brain.
dhw: So now you have your body (material me) operating your brain. And yet you replied with an emphatic “Yes!”” when I said your conscious mind (the immaterial you) used the brain to make the body translate thought into action.
DAVID: The yes is obvious. I control my body and my thoughts through my brain and I can run the motor areas of my brain to move, to talk, etc. Yes I use my brain to think immaterial thoughts. That is all the yes means. What underlying meaning are you implying?

You are intermingling two different processes. Yes, you control your body through your brain, but according to your beliefs, no, you do not control your thoughts through your brain: the inseparable entity of you/your consciousness controls your thoughts, and these are given material expression through your brain. Yes, you/your consciousness run the motor areas of your brain, but no, you do not use your brain to think immaterial thoughts. Your dualistic belief in a bodiless, brainless afterlife means that you think your immaterial thoughts without a brain. You only need a brain to translate your thoughts into material action and expression in this material world.

dhw: So there is indeed a two-way process, but at all times – according to your dualistic beliefs - you/your consciousness are an entity which does all the thinking, operates the brain, processes the information, takes the decisions, and constitutes the conscious self which survives the death of the brain.
DAVID: This is missing one point. I view the brain as equivalent to a computer and the consciousness mechanism it receives is the software. I run my computer. As a newborn I don't know how to control any of this, but with time I learn to use my consciousness.

Is the “I” that runs the computer brain your material body or your immaterial conscious mind?

DAVID: I view myself, my consciousness and my brain as a seamless arrangement. The only separation is at death, or in an NDE. Dualism: my brain and I are the material side; My consciousness and I are the immaterial side, joined together by the function of the brain.

I agree, since of course your body is part of you while you are alive. But in your dualism, thought is immaterial and its source is not the brain. The starting point of this discussion was your insistence that the large brain is essential for the thoughts or concepts that have led from “primitive” hominins to “civilized” homo sapiens. If you believe that mind and body are separate entities (no matter how closely they work together during earthly life), and that the mind survives the death of the body, you cannot at the same time argue that thought or increased complexity of thought is dependent on the brain or the increased size of the brain. It is the materialization of thought (action, expression, movement etc.) that depends on the brain.

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