A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two (Identity)

by dhw, Friday, June 08, 2018, 13:02 (192 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Problem: there is no image until a consciousness sees it. It is all a potential image before that, photons which carry information.

dhw: This of course is your quantum theory. I believe the photons carrying the image, just like the sun and stars, are there, but we are not aware of them until we are aware of them. […]

DAVID: This is why we have consciousness. We can review facts and decide on theories to explain them. I don't have to see God to understand that He is the best explanation for our reality.

The question is whether things exist independently of our consciousness. Your quantum theory maintains that they do not. If the image doesn’t exist without my seeing it, then your God, you and the bus don’t exist either without my seeing them. And conversely, if Mary Jane sees fairies at the bottom of her garden, the fairies exist – though only because she sees them.

DAVID: […] I view dualism as requiring a separate consciousness mechanism which is malleable and operates by a different form in life and death.

dhw: You now see consciousness as a separate mechanism, whereas previously you have insisted that it is NOT separate, because you say the soul in life is incapable of thinking without the brain. […]

DAVID: What I have always said is the brain receives consciousness from the universal consciousness of God. Of course it is a separate quantum mechanism interlocked with the brain but it is a separate quantum entity that works on its own in death as it rejoins the universal consciousness.

Yes, the dualist’s soul is the conscious, thinking part of the self, which works together with the information-gathering, implementing brain in life, and then continues to be the same conscious, thinking self in death. We seem to be in agreement.

dhw: Meanwhile, you are still stuck with your contradictory belief that the soul depends on the brain for its active, operative ability to think, feel, learn, remember etc., but the same active, operative soul does not depend on the brain for the same ability when there is no brain. […]

DAVID: You are still wedded to a static unchanging consciousness in life and in death. The soul receives observations, sensations, facts; it then must analyze and order responses. This is the thinking part of the process in life which uses the brain circuits. In death the soul does all of that without the brain circuits. In life it is dual: material brain and immaterial soul. Why won't you let me have that theory? We can only theorize. I have mine, you have yours.

That is precisely the theory of dualism that I have been trying to put across to you! The dualist’s soul is the THINKING part of the duality in life. It receives information from the brain, processes (analyzes) it, and “uses the brain circuits” to express or implement its thoughts materially (“order responses”). And it continues to be the same thinking self (“does all of that”) when the brain dies. It does not depend on the brain for its ability to THINK (to “analyze and order responses”). Consequently, to go back to the starting point of this whole discussion, the claim that pre-sapiens’ THINKING soul was unable to THINK new thoughts until your God had expanded his brain only makes sense if you accept the idea that the thinking soul is produced by the cooperating cell communities of the brain (materialism) which create a form of energy (dualism) that survives its material source, just as images survive theirs. (Discussion continued under “Introducing the brain”.) NB This theory does not in any way exclude the possibility that your God invented the means of production!

DAVID: Your 'autonomous intelligence' is just as nebulous a concept as your view of my faith that God supplies the intelligent information is nebulous. Both of your feet are in midair split by the fence you sit on. You have invented auto-intel as your God.

dhw: I have not invented auto-intel as my God! Do you regard your own auto-intel (free will) as your God? I even recognize the possibility that your God may have been the inventor of “auto-intel”.

DAVID: How do you explain the appearance 'autonomous intelligence' appearing in an inorganic universe? How do you explain life appearing? There must be an initiating force to create them.

Your question does not in any way invalidate the theory that organisms have autonomous intelligence. How often do you want me to repeat the three alternative explanations for the origin of life and consciousness: 1) top-down God, 2) chance, 3) atheistic, bottom-up panpsychism – all of which I find equally difficult to believe in.


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