Introducing the brain (Introduction)

by dhw, Tuesday, May 29, 2018, 12:42 (195 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: The dualist’s “you” in this earthly life is supposed be a combination of mind and body, or soul and brain if you prefer. Your soul and brain do not use your soul through your brain: the two parts of “you” work together to compose the living “you”, but they have different functions, as exemplified by your analogy of the thinking software and the implementing hardware. Otherwise your analogy for dualism (= TWO components) makes no sense, especially when you argue that the soul CANNOT think without the brain, but the soul CAN think without the brain when there isn’t a brain.

DAVID: You refuse to recognize my theory that the soul has two mechanisms of action in life and death. Your theories about soul are not the only ones available.

Under THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE I asked you yet again, as follows, to explain the differences between the “two mechanisms” of thought/action:
dhw: No, I don’t understand your theory. I keep asking you what is the difference between an immaterial thinking soul (or piece of your God’s consciousness) in life and an immaterial thinking soul in death, apart from the fact that in life it uses the material brain to provide information and to express/implement its immaterial thoughts materially, whereas in death (a different world) it will have to observe and communicate by different (psychic) means. Please explain what other form of “thought mechanism” you are referring to.

DAVID: What not to understand? I propose the soul has two operating mechanisms, one in life, one in death. Alternative software. In leaving the body it joins God's universal consciousness and changes its operative mode. You want a static soul mechanism in life and death. I let God in, you don't. My soul in theory remains the same personality just as yours does.

All you have done is repeat that it has two mechanisms, and changes its mode of operation. I have described two mechanisms – one material, one psychic. I have also accepted the obvious fact that if there is an afterlife, it will be different from material life, while you have accepted that the soul will remain the same personality. I don’t have a problem with “letting God in” if there is an afterlife. None of this tells me the differences in “operative modes” or “mechanisms of action”, so please explain what other forms you are referring to besides those I have covered.

dhw: Complexification and limited expansion are also known facts in the sapiens brain, and expansion is a known fact in the pre-sapiens brain. There is no evidence of shrinkage in the pre-sapiens brain. What is your objection to the explanation for shrinkage that I keep offering? (Continued overall expansion would have given us elephant-sized heads. Enhanced complexification resulted in some cells becoming superfluous, and so the brain shrunk. The existing capacity still allows for the expansion of individual sections of the brain.)

DAVID: And you blithely skip over 150 cc of brain volume loss since sapiens appeared. Sure areas are seen to have enlarged, but overall you skip the 150 cc loss.

I have offered you an explanation of the loss (see above), and instead of telling us why you object, you say I’ve ignored it!I have also pointed out that there is no evidence of shrinkage in pre-sapiens, but we know that his brain expanded.

DAVID: I'm simply repeating the only facts we know about a thinking brain. And a brain with obviously lots more thinking capacity than those previously evolved.

They are not “the only facts we know”, as I have specified above.

dhw: The “thinking brain” is the province of the materialist; the thinking soul is the province of the dualist. I do not doubt that our “thinking capacity” is greater than that of pre-sapiens. If you think that is because of our larger brains, you are a materialist. Nothing wrong with that at all, except that you claim to be a dualist.

DAVID: When I discuss a brain thinking, it is under the control of the software soul.

So do you believe that the software soul and the hardware brain BOTH think, but the soul/software makes the final decision, or do you believe that the software soul does the thinking and gives instructions to the hardware brain?


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