Introducing the brain: where the spiritual happens (Introduction)

by dhw, Saturday, June 09, 2018, 10:34 (185 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: If God's consciousness pervades the universe, (like your panpsychism) the human baby picks consciousness up from the universal consciousness as its complex frontal cortex develops, which fits the development of consciousness, just as babies have been shown in studies.

dhw:If the development of consciousness depends on the development of the frontal cortex, that “fits” the theory that the brain is the source of consciousness. Your version of “picking it up” makes it sound as if the frontal cortex becomes conscious of consciousness!

DAVID: I state like most others that animals are conscious, but don't have consciousness, aware that they are aware in simple terms. Your 'consciousness' is too broad. A complex frontal lobe is capable of receiving consciousness is all I've proposed.

I have specified elsewhere that there are degrees of consciousness, and human self-awareness is the highest degree known to us. Are you now claiming that only humans “pick up” your God’s consciousness, whereas animal/bird/insect consciousness is the product of their brains. (Actually, I thought you shared the Jewish belief that animals have souls.) Your comment does not change the fact that if the development of consciousness depends on the development of the frontal cortex, this fits in perfectly with the theory that the frontal cortex is the source of consciousness.

DAVID: Of course animals think and initiate their thoughts.

dhw: With my theist hat on, I can’t help feeling that if your God designed materials to generate all the other attributes that we associate with the different species, it would also "fit the theory" if he designed materials that enable them all to “think and initiate thoughts” rather than engage in some nebulous process of “picking up” the ability from the universe.

DAVID: Does your woolly theist hat recognize the universe is conscious? you are back to pure materialism for consciousness.

If I wear my theist’s hat, of course that entails a universal consciousness. And I then propose that your God assembled the materials that produced consciousness. If I wear my atheist hat, I will propose that chance or bottom-up panpsychism assembled the materials. And I will find all three proposals beyond my personal credulity. That makes no difference whatsoever to the theory. I keep emphasizing that the reconciliation between materialism and dualism lies (theistic version) in your God creating consciousness out of materials, and consciousness as a form of energy surviving independently of its source, just as images survive their sources. Whether this “soul” continues to think etc. after death is a matter of faith. You keep picking on ONE aspect of my “theory” and totally ignoring the rest.


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