Introducing the brain: where the spiritual happens (Introduction)

by dhw, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, 12:25 (313 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: No animal has the ability to develop the concept of self-awareness. They may look in a mirror and recognize themselves, but have no concept of self. We disagree on the definition of 'consciousness' and it is an important disagreement. Animals are conscious, no more than that, and it requires a brain to have that much awareness.

dhw: I did not say that animals were self-aware. I said “there are degrees of consciousness, ranging from rudimentary to human self-awareness.” Since you agree that animals are conscious (able to perceive and think, but in their case not to the degree of self-awareness), there is no disagreement between us on the definition of consciousness. You have not explained the difference between being conscious and having consciousness, and since animals have brains, I presume you believe that they too must have received their “mechanism for consciousness” from your God. But you have not explained what you mean by a “mechanism for consciousness”, which I have suggested might be called “brain”. You have ignored my post and set up a straw man of your own invention. Ts ts! :-(

DAVID: From my theory about universal consciousness, I can accept your comment: all brains receive a conscious state related to the universal consciousness.

That is not my comment. A mechanism is not a state but, as I said earlier, a structure or system that performs a particular function, and my proposal is that the “mechanism for consciousness” is a structure that GENERATES (not receives) consciousness and is called a brain.

DAVID: I have said the mechanism is at a quantum level in its organization and uses the brain for thought and in humans for introspection at a higher level of function.

Since neither you nor I nor anyone else has a clue about organization “at a quantum level”, the phrase really isn’t very helpful. You keep saying that the soul or “separate consciousness mechanism” uses the brain for thought. So yet again: Does this mean that in dualism the separate mechanism cannot think without the brain (although it does when there is no brain), or does it mean that in life it processes the information provided by the brain, and uses the brain to express/implement its thoughts? In the past, you have sometimes said it’s the latter, but you change from day to day. What is today’s answer?

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