Big brain evolution: brakes on thought found (Evolution)

by dhw, Monday, April 16, 2018, 11:17 (1006 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: What is thought but evidence of an s/s/c at work?

dhw: I’m afraid we will have to break our s/s/c down to its components: self/soul/consciousness. Thought is evidence of self and consciousness, but materialists argue that the source of thought and consciousness is material (the brain), whereas dualists argue that the source is an immaterial soul. Nice try, though!

DAVID: I think about it differently. Surprise! I view the study as indicating how intimately the brain and s/s/c are interfaced. The origin of thought is the soul, but part of the soul may not like an unwanted thought that appears, and uses a section of the brain to counter it. This implies the soul doesn't exert complete control on thinking if an unpleasant thought appears, but that is exactly what we experience in life.

I really don’t know how the soul can “use” the brain to argue with itself and to ensure that it loses the argument. However, you have raised a challenging issue. In most cases, the dualist’s division is clear: a thought (originating in the soul) needs expressing or implementing (done by the brain). But what happens when the soul has conflicting thoughts, e.g. I want to do this, but I know I shouldn’t? (The same applies during NDEs, when the brainless patient doesn’t want to go back but is told to do so.) The dualistic inference of this particular study seems to be that in life, every thought triggers chemical responses in the brain; the materialistic inference seems to be that every thought is caused by chemical actions in the brain. Once again we have an apparently irreconcilable dichotomy, with evidence for and against both schools of thought.

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