by David Turell @, Thursday, May 03, 2018, 00:12 (826 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: We don't know about the initiation of thought.

dhw: 100% agreed. One theory is that is initiated by an immaterial soul, and the other says it’s done by the material brain. That is the problem we are discussing.

Thought is initiated by the mechanism of the s/s/c using the networks in the brain during life. The brain dies not create thought unless the s/s/c mechanism is present. That is my theory.

dhw: Previously you had your s/s/c thinking normally, and the sick brain unable to express the s/s/c’s normal thoughts, i.e. garbling them. Now you have the sick brain confusing the s/s/c so that its thoughts are not “normal”. The sick brain as the cause of sick thought is a fundamental element of materialism.

DAVID: You are so confused. You agree that the s/s/c interfaces with a brain it must use in life, and then are surprised by the idea that a sick brain cannot start with a clear s/s/c thought before expressing it.

dhw: I don’t understand the last part of your sentence. I understood you when you said the s/s/c thought normally but the sick brain garbled the thought, and also when you said the sick brain confused the s/s/c and made it think sick thoughts. Perhaps you can explain more clearly how you reconcile these two contradictory statements. (My bold)

More reflection and explanation on my part. The s/s/c uses the brain to produce thought, but there are two parts to this process: first the s/s/c introduces a thought into the brain network. Second, the brain, if sick, or drugged will garble the entry of the thought so it is distorted from the beginning. Not the s/s/c's fault, but clear thought never appeared from the beginning; thus third stage thought is expressed in a gargled way.

DAVID: The s/s/c can only be as intelligent as the networks in the brain allow. We've discussed IQ before and the brain is the reason for the difference. Yes, I'm saying the s/s/c is limited by the brain it is given.

dhw: QUOTES (from the addendum): The study provides the first evidence that human intelligence could be shaped by the properties of individual brain cells – a finding that is likely to be controversial, says Koch. “Some people will say intelligence is so elusive and complex that the idea it can be tied to individual neurons is implausible,” he says.
"It remains unclear why some people have bigger brain cells than others, and whether this is a cause or a consequence of high IQ.

Your comment: I recognize the problems in this study but it appears to show you can only think with the brain you are given, although we know the brain will modify to a degree as it is used. […]

This is the problem in a nutshell. Those who say that the brain cells cause intelligence are materialists; those who say the bigger brain cells are the consequence of greater intelligence are dualists. There is evidence for both sides, which creates the dichotomy which I am trying to resolve.

It is resolved if my theory of s/s/c brain relationship is used.

dhw: So what logical flaws can you find in my hypothesis?
DAVID: You admit in 5 January that science shows us how the material brain works. I agree, so science does not explain consciousness. You want the brain to generate the 'materials' of consciousness rather than God giving us a piece of His consciousness.

dhw: I don’t “want” anything. I am offering you a hypothesis which removes the dichotomy, and have asked you to point out the logical flaws. Instead, the rest of your post tells us we don’t know the answers and repeats what is meant by dualism, so let me summarize the hypothesis again, confining it to the brain: this consists of different cell communities that have different, though interacting FUNCTIONS. Our thoughts have their source in the intelligence of the cell communities, which direct other differently functioning sections to express and implement those thoughts. (You also say the intelligence lives in the cells.) The conscious self as the product of materials can interact with and influence other materials: thought changes the brain. But materials can also influence the thought-producing sections of the cell communities (the effects of drugs and diseases). The dichotomy disappears. Materialism as the source is right, but materials produce our immaterial attributes which in turn can change materials, so dualism is also right. However, you rightly raise the issue of the immortal “soul”, which is an important element of most dualistic approaches:

DAVID: A separate form of the s/s/c enters the afterlife, but contains the same conscious memories and personality structure.

dhw: This is possible if the energy engendered by the cells takes on a lasting form of its own, as discussed in my post of 5 January under “Reconciling dualism and materialism”. All of this allows for a God who designed the whole mechanism. Now please tell me the logical flaws in my hypothesis.

I have presented my view. Your approach comes across to me as if you want the brain and the s/s/c at arm's length as I have explained how I think here and in the Neanderthal thread. There is obviously no way thought can occur in life without input/work by the brain. It burns 20% of our daily energy calories.

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