A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Three (Identity)

by dhw, Friday, May 25, 2018, 11:10 (205 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Life and living matter are pure materialism. Consciousness is not material in any way as I stated above, and is related to the conscious universe or part of universal consciousness.

dhw: If consciousness is not material in any way, why do you keep insisting that the soul cannot think without the brain (except when it hasn’t got a brain to think with)?

DAVID: Because that arrangement is entirely possible, based on what we know how the soul must interlock with definitive areas of the brain. The two possibilities, yours and mine exist. You insist an independent soul dictates to the brain, and what is seen in brain research doesn't show that. Yours is pure theory which you want to like as it seems to challenge my thought about God enlarging the brain. I view my interlocking thoughts As entirely logical from my starting point.

The arrangement that the soul interlocks with definitive areas is entirely logical. What is not logical is your hypothesis that consciousness is not material in any way and yet is incapable of thinking unless it has a material brain, except when it does not have a material brain. The concept of an independent thinking soul giving instructions to the implementing brain (which could be called “interlocking” with the brain, since they work together) is not mine – it is that of dualism. The concept of the brain producing the ability to think is that of materialism. Both concepts are “pure theory”, as is my own reconciliation proposal, because nobody knows the truth. What is seen in brain research is that thought changes the brain (musicians, taxi drivers, illiterates learning to read and to write), thereby supporting dualism, and that the brain changes thought (diseases, drugs, alcohol, accidents), thereby supporting materialism. My attempt at reconciliation encompasses both approaches, removes all the contradictions arising out of your own illogical theory summarized above, and is compatible with theism and with atheism. I would still like to know if there are any flaws in its logic.

dhw: I thought it was integral to your form of dualism that although the body dies, “you” live on and, more relevant to this context, “you” think on. And so if your God made immaterial life emerge from materials, would you not agree that he might also have made immaterial consciousness emerge from materials? That doesn’t stop it from being “related to the conscious universe”, and if you believe in theistic panpsychism it will also be part of universal consciousness.

DAVID: You are invoking God's unlimited powers to do anything He wants. That could be. I just view it differently. I feel God's consciousness pervades the universe but I doubt the strict tenets of panpsychism.

I do not see why a God who can create life out of materials should be incapable of creating consciousness out of materials. Nor do I see how this means his consciousness does NOT pervade the universe. Nor do I know what you mean by the “strict tenets” of panpsychism. Theistic panpsychism means that God’s consciousness pervades the universe.


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