by dhw, Saturday, May 05, 2018, 12:31 (226 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: … if the brain network is sick, the thought will be garbled. The s/s/c itself may not be sick, but unable to produce thought properly.

1st sentence: the proper thought will be improperly expressed. 2nd sentence: if it produces improper thought, there must be something wrong with it!

dhw:.... In your theory, at one moment you have the s/s/c producing normal thoughts and the brain messing them up (no, it does not work with the brain to produce initial thought), and the next moment you have the brain forcing the s/s/c to think abnormal thoughts (yes, it does work with the brain to produce initial thought). Shall we move on from this blatant contradiction?.
DAVID: No, you are not following my developing thought. I stand by the statement above.

Which of your statements do you now stand by? That the s/s/c’s thought is proper, but the diseased brain does not express it properly (garbles it), or the diseased brain causes the s/s/c to think improperly?

DAVID: The s/s/c is required to use the networks in the brain to create the formation of the thought. Step 1. The s/s/c is an initiator and brain responds, then implements.
dhw: If the s/s/c is the initiator, what does it initiate if not the thought? How can you possibly have a thought that has no form? […] Yes, if you want any consistency in your definition of dualism, the dualist’s brain responds to the thoughts of the dualist’s s/s/c; it does not create the formation of the thought.
DAVID: This is the quote where you turned the view of the brain//s/s/c into your view of the relationship:
"The soul does the thinking and the brain does the expressing and implementing, as in your dualistic analogy of software and hardware."
My view is that the s/s/c must use the networks of the brain to produce thought as in a computer. Thought is immaterial and has no material form, only grammatical form. Nice twist.

Then your use of the word “formation” above is another obfuscation. The s/s/c uses the brain to give the thought MATERIAL form. The thought itself, however, can hardly be a meaningless blob when it is initiated by the s/s/c, and if it has meaning it is already “formed” when it uses the networks. “To produce thought” is another obfuscation. The thought has already been produced (software), but the material production takes place through the brain (hardware).

dhw: I have asked you to point out any logical flaws in my proposal, and your answer is that it conflicts with what you believe. This is like an atheist rejecting your design arguments because they conflict with his belief in chance.
DAVID: I can make my claims based on NDE evidence, which you have recognized in the past.

I keep repeating that both materialism and dualism can call upon evidence to support their claims. That is the basis of the dichotomy.

DAVID: Logic depends on how you initiate your series of arguments. I disagree with your initial presumptions and have the right to do so.

Our initial presumptions are exactly the same: we think, but nobody “knows” the source of our thought. We also agree that there are two different viewpoints: materialism and dualism. From that point on there are no “presumptions”, only hypothetical explanations. But even here we agree that the immaterial self is contained within the material self (you have not answered my point that no one can tell the difference between an emergent “soul” and a God-given “soul”). And for the sake of argument I have even accepted your initial presumption that God exists and is responsible for enabling us to think. So please identify the “initial presumption” you disagree with.

DAVID: In this current discussion you have come across as a pure materialist.

In this discussion I am offering an explanation which reconciles materialism and dualism, and I do wish you would read the 5 Jan post I keep referring to under that thread. The basic argument is that the materials produce a form of energy which may continue to exist independently – just as light waves survive and we can see what happened in the past. You yourself believe in conscious energy which has an existence of its own, and you call it God. So why do you dismiss the possibility of your God creating materials which can produce conscious energy? That is the point where materialism can link up with dualism.

Under “Evolution of consciousness
QUOTE: “Awareness is not the “special sauce” that brings dumb biological processes to subjective life but an emergent property of immensely complex neurological processes. This does not so much eliminate the mystery of consciousness as make it no more or less mysterious than the ultimately inexplicable existence of the universe itself."

DAVID’s comment: This book is a materialist view which invokes the uncertainty of of quantum uncertainty and completely ignores the evidence from NDE's. But he certainly emphasizes the enormous complexity of the brain.

The “emergent property” neatly summarizes the materialist argument I have tried to describe on this thread. But it does not consider any of the points I raise in my post of 5 Jan. under “Reconciling materialism and dualism”. The reconciliation I have attempted is no more than that, and of course it doesn’t eliminate the mystery of consciousness. But it does take NDEs into account, and it leaves open the possibility of an immortal soul.

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