Introducing the brain (Introduction)

by dhw, Monday, June 11, 2018, 10:18 (191 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: You don't seem to realize that in life you imagine a separate soul entity dictating to various parts of the frontal lobe of the brain without using it to create thought. I am my soul, and I can reach it only through my brain networks and I (soul) create my own thoughts at will with those networks. In death my soul survives and operates by the different methods you enumerate above.

dhw: On Saturday 9 June you don’t seem to realize that dualism entails TWO entities that work together in making “you”: your mind (soul) and your body (brain). On Wednesday June 6, however, you wrote: “I view dualism as requiring a separate consciousness mechanism which is malleable and operates by a different form in life and death.” And on Friday June 8 you confirmed: “Of course it is a separate quantum mechanism interlocked with the brain…”

DAVID: The point I am making is the consciousness mechanism is interlocked with the brain and through the brain I use it to develop thoughts and concepts.

If you have a "separate consciousness mechanism" which continues to think after the death of the brain, then clearly your consciousness does not use the brain for thinking: it uses your brain to gather the information it thinks about, and then to express or implement the thoughts and concepts it has developed. Hence “DUALism”, as described below.

dhw: Dualists like yourself normally believe that the two entities perform different FUNCTIONS in life, the soul being a “separate consciousness mechanism” which works with your body (brain), using the information your body supplies, and using the body (brain) to express or implement your thoughts. In death this same “separate consciousness mechanism” – your soul which has created the thoughts – survives and continues to create its thoughts, but now uses different methods (“operates by a different form”) to acquire information and to express/implement those thoughts. In life and in death the dualist’s soul remains the same “you”, performing the same function of thinking, feeling, remembering etc. That is the “static” element – you remain you.

DAVID: I can accept this.

Then why do you keep rejecting it? (See above and below).

dhw: However, I should repeat that our disagreement here concerns the nature of what we might call “pure” dualism. I am not defending or attacking this concept. The theory I have proposed is an attempt to reconcile the two apparently contradictory approaches of materialism and dualism. It was all sparked off by your insistence that new THOUGHTS depend on the enlargement of the brain (materialism), which is a direct contradiction of your dualistic belief in an immaterial soul which continues to think even when there is no brain.

DAVID: You agree to two mechanisms in life and death and then disagree!

The two mechanisms concern the mode of observing and of expressing/implementing, not of THINKING!

DAVID: The larger brain allows a much higher level of conceptualization and shown by the artifacts produced by each level of homo in evolution. There is no denying the relationship. Put another way a more complex network of neurons allows a much deeper level of mental development.

And back you go from the dualism you have accepted to the materialism you have rejected – though materialism may very well be true. Above, you agree that in dualism the immaterial soul and material brain interlock (= the relationship, which I do not deny) but perform different functions – respectively thinking, and supplying information plus expressing/implementing the thoughts – and now you say that if the material brain doesn’t get larger, the “consciousness mechanism” (soul) can’t think new thoughts. If your form of dualism is true, the larger brain “allows” the implementation of the soul’s new thoughts, as shown by the artefacts produced by pre-sapiens. You believe your God reaches down to enlarge everyone’s brain so that it can think deeper thoughts, although the brain doesn’t do the thinking, and yet you refuse to consider the possibility (theistic version) that he might have designed a “separate consciousness mechanism” called the brain to generate a form of immaterial consciousness like his own.


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