Introducing the brain (Introduction)

by dhw, Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 13:38 (8 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I repeat, I am not trained in philosophic dualism theory. You appear to be following definitions I know nothing about. I am following my own logic
I don't recognize your form of 'pure materialism'. The soul must work through the brain to produce thoughts we recognize. We do not connect with the soul without the brain. I accept the soul as the source of thought, but not separate from brain circuits. The soul using the brain circuits to generate its thoughts is the immaterial using the material. That is my dualism, from my logical thought.

I am not a trained philosopher either, but the differences between us have nothing to do with definitions and everything to do with logic. You keep agreeing that your own form of dualism means that your soul and body are entities which work together in life but then separate at death, whereupon your soul continues to be you, independently of the brain. But then your soul cannot THINK in life without the brain. So how can it be an entity? You can't "recognize" your thoughts without the brain, so how will the same you “recognize” your thoughts in your afterlife? Will you turn into a zombie? The sick brain causes sick thoughts (materialism), but then the soul uses the (sick) brain to generate its (sick) thoughts, and sometimes the soul produces “proper” thoughts which the sick brain turns into sick thoughts, though you prefer the materialistic version. The brain is a receiver, but then it becomes a generator (as in the sick brain generating sick thoughts). Your favourite analogy of software/hardware illustrates the difference between the thinking soul and the implementing brain, but then apparently the software soul can't think up its programmes without the hardware brain.

This whole discussion began when you, the dualist, insisted that your God expanded the brain of pre-sapiens to enable him to think new thoughts. That means thought depends on the brain, and that is materialism. All the above convolutions and contradictions have grown out of this single contention, but we don’t need any of them. Either the brain is the source of thought (materialism), or there is an immaterial “soul” which is the source of thought (dualism). There is evidence for both hypotheses. What is illogical is your belief in the latter and your constant advocacy of the former, as exemplified by your insistence that only an expanded brain could think new thoughts and a sick brain causes sick thoughts.

But all is not lost! We can unravel these tangled threads and refashion them into a coherent pattern, the logic of which even you have so far been unable to challenge. We can reconcile materialism and dualism with a theory of intelligence that also dovetails into all beliefs, religious and non-religious. And now that you have opened your mind to its logical feasibility, perhaps we can put all of the above behind us?

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