Introducing the brain (Introduction)

by dhw, Monday, May 21, 2018, 13:37 (209 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: In NDEs there is no brain, and yet the “soul” learns, remembers, feels, thinks, takes decisions etc. So why would it not have the same function in life?

DAVID: How do you know the afterlife soul does all those things? We have no evidence other Than NDE's descriptions.

You use NDEs as evidence that you will still survive as your own good self after death. Now you want to discount the evidence of NDEs!

DAVID: The episodes describe seeing and observing. "I'd like to stay, no, you have to go back", indicates no soul controls of activity. Afterlife can be nothing like living. Two very different states for the soul.

Various episodes describe feelings of joy, fear, recognizing (= remembering) people, being in the presence of God (part of a remembered earthly culture), remembering earthly life and not wanting to go back to it – doesn’t all that represent the “thinking” soul having a new experience? Yes, different states for the SAME thinking, feeling soul the patient had in his/her lifetime. What will the new state consist of? No idea. I find the idea of immaterial life without end vastly less imaginable than material life with a dead end.

DAVID: Same person different functions. Afterlife does not require the same functions as in life, only thought and observation although no sensory organs are available.

You are now repeating what I keep saying to you: that the soul is the same thinking self, but has to function differently (e.g. by using telepathy).

dhw: If the “soul” is a piece of God’s consciousness, as you believe, and if there are TWO parts of the self, is not reasonable to assume that the role of God’s consciousness is to be the conscious part of the self, which then retains its consciousness when the material part dies?

DAVID: Those are your 'ifs'. The material brain is not part of the soul.

They are YOUR ifs! You claim to be a dualist, which = having a material self and an immaterial self, and you claim that the “soul” is a piece of God’s consciousness which separates from the body at material death. And yet you keep saying that in life the brain and soul are inseparable, because the soul can’t think without the brain. Now apparently the brain is NOT part of the soul, which can only mean they ARE separate entities (as in dualism – though of course they work together in life). And so to complete the confusion, your “soul” can’t think without a material brain, but it can think when there is no material brain. Or maybe it can’t (see above and welcome to zombie heaven) because NDEs are the only evidence we have that it CAN.

dhw: The “soul”, according to NDEs, is still the same thinking person. That is why it is illogical to claim that the soul depends on the brain for its ability to think, UNLESS you accept that the brain is the source of thought and might produce a form of energy that can survive its own death (again, see “Reconciling materialism and dualism”).

DAVID: You refuse to accept that there are two logical possibilities for brain soul relationship to start a logical discussion. Your 'unless' sentence is pure materialism.

The two possible relationships are that your God inserted the “soul” (his consciousness), which uses the brain/body to gather information and to implement its thoughts, or that the “soul” is generated by the cells of the brain/body. My theory is a materialism which might lead to dualism (a form of energy that may exist independently of materials), and that is how we can reconcile the two schools of thought. You have acknowledged the logical split in your own thinking, and you have not yet found any logical flaws in mine.

DAVID: I repeat: it is more likely to me that God supplies a software to the brain which must use the hardware to think. I've simply made a logical choice of two possibilities. And you say that is my dualism.

dhw: You also believe that the software can do its thinking without the hardware when there isn’t any hardware. You have acknowledged this logical split in your thinking, but you call your choice logical.

DAVID: I've explained it by stating the soul mechanism is different in life and in death.

See below on your vagueness concerning “mechanisms”.

DAVID: Immaterial in both states. Same person, your point to say the soul is unchanged is dealing with wholly immaterial concepts: 'personage' and soul. I believe they are at a quantum level and couterintuitive, with changing mechanism forms. Again the reason why I present quantum mechanics as the basis for the universe. Same personage does not require the same quantum substrate.

I have asked you what mechanisms you mean, other than those of observation and communication, in which material means will have to be replaced by immaterial (e.g. telepathy) and you have not responded. If you wish to call the new means of observation and communication “quantum substrates”, feel free. That still doesn’t change the fact that if the same piece of your God’s consciousness CAN’T think without a brain but CAN think without a brain (see above), you have a contradiction which I suggest can only be resolved by the theory I have proposed.


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