Introducing the brain: where the spiritual happens (Introduction)

by dhw, Thursday, June 14, 2018, 18:25 (11 days ago) @ David Turell

I am combining this thread with “Introducing the brain”, as we continue to go round in the same circles. I shall cherry pick quotes in order to avoid excessive repetition. When we talk of “consciousness”, I equate the term with the ability to perceive and think, but not with human self-awareness. On Sunday 10 June I summarized my understanding of dualism as follows:

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.

However, in your very next post you took back your acceptance and wrote that the only thing you accepted was “operates by a different form”. And yet on 9 June, under “A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE”, you wrote a precise repetition of the description you keep accepting and then rejecting [my comments in square brackets]: “The soul receives observations, sensations, facts [= information supplied by the brain]; it then must analyze and order responses [= the soul does the thinking]. This is the thinking part of the process in life which uses the brain circuits [uses the brain circuits for what, if the soul does the analyzing and orders the responses? It uses the brain circuits to provide the information and to carry out its instructions.] In death the soul does all of that without the brain circuits.”
Exactly. We have agreed over and over again that in death it must change its manner of observing and communicating, but if this “separate consciousness mechanism” (soul) now does its analyzing and responding (= thinking) without the brain circuits, and its “soul personality structure remains the same” (your words), what else changes? Why does anything else NEED to change, if the soul is already a “separate consciousness structure” which in both worlds uses and processes the information provided?

DAVID: In my theory the soul is an immaterial software working with the brain as hardware. I'm stating two parts, a true dualism.

Yes indeed: two separate entities working together, the immaterial software soul providing the programmes/thoughts and the material hardware brain implementing them. And in your latest post you offer a new analogy, which also illustrates precisely the description of dualism I have outlined above:

DAVID: […] I view me sitting at my computer to produce written thought in the same way as I visualize me using my brain to create thought. […]

This time you (= your soul) think the thoughts, and you (your soul) use your computer (your brain) to produce the WRITTEN thought, i.e. to give material expression to your thoughts. You do not use the computer to “create” your thoughts – you use it to write them down.

DAVID: I keep saying the soul has the ability to change its functional mechanism between life and death. It requires/uses the brain in life to generate thought, but works on its own in death.

So when you sit at the computer to write down your thoughts, you (your soul) has not yet generated any thoughts for the computer to write down. Your soul (you) “uses the computer to generate” the thoughts. And your soul (you) is only able to generate its own thoughts when you haven’t got a computer. I'll let you into a secret: I really and truly believe, David, that you are able to generate thoughts without a computer. And I'll go even further. If there's an afterlife, I reckon it'll be the same immaterial "you" thinking, remembering, feeling etc. as the immaterial "you" in life. No new "separate consciousness mechanism" required.

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