Introducing the brain (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 19:03 (93 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: 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?

Why can't it be an entity? The software in a computer is not part of the hardware of the computer, but interprets through use of the network of computing chips.

dhw: 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 NDE's do not describe the afterlife as zombieism. I do not view the soul as one rigid form. It obviously must be different in the afterlife and you have previously agreed.

dhw: 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,

No wonder you are confused. I have said the brain receives the soul at birth, but I do not view it as a radio receiving signals thereafter. You obviously do. The soul and brain must work intimately together to produce thought in life. All the evidence I've read and been trained in supports that in my view.

dhw: 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.

No software operates on its own. It is firmly attached to the hardware.


dhw: 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.

You refuse to accept that our brain, with all its complexity, is the best brain every produced as shown by its artifacts. I'm not discussing the cause of enlargement. Just pointing out what our brain can do as a material computer for a soul to engage with. Of course the brain is material and the immaterial soul MUST use it to have thought produced.

dhw: 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).

Of course there is a immaterial soul which must use the material brain to produce thought. What confuses you about my so-called materialism, is my training, from which I have described where the brain does its work for the soul.

dhw: 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.

Not illogical. The immaterial soul must use a material brain to produce thought. A sick or damaged brain does not produce normal thought. The two possibilities must exist that either the soul can clearly think without the brain networks and the brain is what produces the garbled thought; or the soul is required to use the brain networks in life and cannot produce correct thought. Either is possible.


dhw: 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?

All is not lost. You view of the soul is that it is entirely a separate entity which somehow transmits to a separate brain while it obviously resides in the brain during life. I dispute your idea of a separation. With this difference, your logic is not my logic. We start at two very different points. Dualism does not require complete separation, as in my computer analogy.


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