by dhw, Saturday, April 28, 2018, 11:26 (830 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: How can material diseases and drugs change an immaterial soul? Do the souls of the dementia victim, drug addict and drunkard still think “normally”, but their receiver brains don’t get the message?
DAVID: If the brain expresses the s/s/c thoughts as it does, if diseased it does it in garbled fashion, obviously.

So when the addict or drunkard bashes his beloved wife’s brains out, is his s/s/c telling him to kiss her but the message gets garbled? And when the demented mother asks: “Who is that man?” is her soul saying: “There’s my son”?

dhw: Once we accept the existence of “intelligence”, we have to accept dualism in so far as we are composed of material and immaterial attributes. The dichotomy concerns the source of the immaterial attributes. If it is immaterial, it should not be changed by material influences (e.g. diseases and drugs), and indeed modern scientific research is based largely on the premise that materials are the source. But if so, how can immaterial thought change its own source – as is also proven by modern scientific research? The dichotomy is resolved if the cells are in sub-communities which provide the thought as well as its expression/implementation but which, being material, can also be changed by outside factors (diseases and drugs).
DAVID: You miss the point that the s/s/c is firmly welded to the brain and cannot operate properly if the brain is sick or non-functional. […]

Not a good image - you can’t “firmly weld” something immaterial! The material and immaterial interact and are interdependent. You say that the immaterial thinking s/s/c has its “home” in the material brain, and the latter cannot express the thoughts of the s/s/c properly if it is sick. So the s/s/c IS operating properly, but its thoughts get “garbled”. See above for the implications.

dhw: You have ignored the ant analogy, demonstrating how intelligences subdivide into different functions which interact to form a community of communities.
DAVID: Of course I have. Ants, as individuals, act automatically as shown in the entry on ant bridges. Individual neurons in networks are also automatic. […]

Once again you focus on automaticity instead of on the significance of communities combining. I trust you will not deny that the brain is a community of cell communities which interact. That is the point of my analogy. Even you agree that those cell communities are the home of an intelligence (the s/s/c) which directs the materials of the brain. Yes, the implementing materials respond automatically to the instructions – but the instructions also come from within the material cells (their “home”). See below on how this resolves the dichotomy that is the starting point of this thread.

DAVID: My point always is that automaticity in single cells is from implanted intelligent information, and one cannot tell from the outside if the opposite point that the cell has ITS OWN intelligence is true. Only one position is correct.

My “theory” is not to prove that bacteria are autonomously intelligent, but to use that 50/50 possibility in order to resolve the apparent dichotomy between dualism and materialism, in which our brain changes our “soul” (through drugs, diseases) but our “soul” changes our brain (complexification, enlargement). If we accept that our thoughts and the implementation of our thoughts all stem from the same material source, the dichotomy disappears: the cell community is divided up to perform different functions – just like ants. Diseases and drugs may change the thinking part as well as the implementing part of the material community. I do not see why diseases and drugs should change an immaterial segment of your God’s consciousness. (But see my post of 5 January on “Reconciling materialism and dualism” concerning the immaterial “soul” that may or may not emerge from the materials.)

dhw: My hypothesis resolves the above dichotomy, allows for the existence of your God and even for a soul that lives on […]. Theistically, it amounts to your God doing what humans have tried to do for centuries: invent a mechanism that can think for itself. So apart from the fact that it doesn’t fit in with your fixed beliefs, please tell me what flaws you can find in its logic.

DAVID: I don't see a solution at all. You are faced with explaining the arrival of the human brain, which is totally unnecessary for survival. You cannot separate the issue of consciousness from the arrival of consciousness, which you have just tried to do. The whole issue is a constellation of facts and factors. There are the issues of both how and why it all happened that must be considered. Your tentative accepting God solves nothing. Nor does isolating it from all we do know. It is logical only if confined by your limits.

My limit here is to resolve the apparent dichotomy between dualism and materialism. When we discuss how evolution works, our limit is the discussion about how evolution works. In both cases, purely for the sake of argument, I am quite happy to say “God did it”, because the matter under discussion is “WHAT was done?” In this case, did your God inject a bit of his s/s/c into each of us, or did he invent a material machine which could produce its own s/s/c? Now please tell me what flaws you find in the logic of the latter proposal.

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