by David Turell @, Thursday, May 10, 2018, 18:39 (825 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: I have incorporated your comments into other threads, as I would like to confine this one to my theory. Sadly, it may prove to be a dead end, but I’ll summarize it once more, in the hope that you (or maybe someone else) will point out any flaws.

In conjunction with my post on “Reconciling materialism and dualism” (5th January 2018; 17:33), I have proposed that the cell communities of the brain produce the thinking self/consciousness (= materialism). This explains the dichotomy in which materials (e.g. drugs, diseases) directly influence immaterial thought, but immaterial thought also directly influences the material brain (which changes when implementing new concepts, and also does so when responding to other immaterial factors such as emotion and stress). Different cells/cell communities have different functions which are tightly interwoven; the thinking cells may change the implementing cells, and vice versa. However, on the analogy of light preserving the products of materials (theoretically, we could watch the crucifixion of Christ from a planet billions of miles away), one can envisage the possibility that the immaterial energy (call it “soul”) produced by the brain may also survive the disappearance of the materials. Whether it can lead a new life is open to conjecture, but this would explain psychic phenomena such as ghosts and déjà vu. And a theist can argue that his God has created this material mechanism to produce a form of conscious energy like his own, which will live on and may even lead a new life. What I am proposing does not solve the mystery of consciousness itself, but it removes the dichotomy between materialism and dualism, incorporates all the evidence for the two approaches, and still allows for all beliefs, both theistic and atheistic. Once more, I would welcome any post that points to flaws in this proposal.

This does not fit my view of dualism in which the soul mechanism is immaterial but must use the networks of the material brain during life in order to think. This also fits your examples of brain damage or drugs affecting the ability to think clearly.

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