Reconciling materialism and dualism (Endings)

by dhw, Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 11:10 (773 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: I am making two points here. One, that materialism and dualism are not incompatible. But two, we are no nearer to solving the question of whether there is such a thing as a consciousness which can live on as a functioning, communicating, observing “I” after the death of its material source. That would require the purest possible form of dualism, with consciousness preceding materials – a concept that lies at the very heart of most religions and inevitably leads to God. I am not arguing against it, or against the possibility of an immortal, observing and thinking soul, as seems to be suggested by NDEs. I am simply saying that none of the hypotheses (quantum information, morphic field, everlasting energy) are of any help in settling the issue, and I would suggest that science is incapable of doing so, since it is restricted to a materialist approach to the whole subject. That’s why I like Penrose’s caution: “It’s possible,..can exist…perhaps indefinitely, as a soul” We shall just have to wait and see – or not see!

BACK TO THE PRESENT: The only thing I would add to this is that it would explain a number of psychic events that relate to the past: ghosts, deja vu etc. But it would not, of course, explain those relating to the future or the unknown present (e.g. NDEs in which patients are given information they could not have known).

DAVID: An admirable effort to recapitulate, but still we have no definitive answers. NDE's are prime evidence the s/s/c can act independently of the brain. Can one despute them? Evan Alexander was convinced by his own, and he is an academic neurosurgeon.

In the passages you have quoted above, I have emphasized that there are no definitive answers! And NDEs are one reason why. There is no disagreement between us on this point.

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