Introducing the brain: where the spiritual happens (Introduction)

by dhw, Saturday, June 16, 2018, 11:25 (181 days ago) @ David Turell

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: What I accepted is primarily in bold. You have stated that 'the brain implements' but you don't interpret that as I do. My implementation involves the soul interlocked with the brain to produce new thought. In death you state the soul uses 'a different form' to express...thoughts'. But you don't mean what I mean.

Thinking of something and implementing the thought are two different things! The concept of the spear is the immaterial thought, and the material production of the spear is the implementation of the immaterial thought. See your own finger image below for an equally vivid example. You agree above that the same SEPARATE consciousness mechanism which creates thought in life continues to create thought in death. So how can it be a SEPARATE consciousness mechanism if it isn’t able to think on its own? Yes, the SEPARATE conscious mechanism is interlocked with the brain in life to express and implement thought materially, but if it survives death, it must observe and communicate by different (psychic) methods. If I don’t mean what you mean by a different form, we are left with the following question:
dhw: […] 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: Because the living brain is run by me, and we know where, if not how, thought is manufactured, it seems obvious to me a soul interlocked with brain circuits, then uses those circuits to initiate/produce thought. since it can't do that in death it changes its mechanism to operate a a solo thought processor.

Back you go to separating “me” from your soul! Your soul IS you. That is the identity supposed by dualists to survive the death of the body. If it does, I have agreed that it is housed in the body/brain, and of course they interlock. But if the soul, a SEPARATE consciousness mechanism, does the analyzing and the responding in life, as you made clear on 9 June, and if the same SEPARATE consciousness mechanism – the thinking, remembering, feeling soul – lives on in death, what other role does the brain play in “generating” the thoughts for which it has provided information and which it implements under the soul's directions as illustrated by your finger image below?

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. […]

dhw 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: It is just the same as me using my brain to produce thought which I 'hear' in my head.

Once more: you ARE your soul. And you use your brain/computer to give material expression to your thoughts, as you explain below with three exclamation marks:
dhw: 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.

DAVID: In material form!!! But my soul has to use my brain to direct my fingers to respond appropriately as the thoughts in my brain appear!! […]

Precisely! Your soul uses your brain to give material form (implementation/expression) to the thoughts provided by the soul, which is housed in the brain. (What do you think the soul is doing, if the thoughts only “appear”?) You keep confirming my description of dualism, which you then keep rejecting.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: How do you know that so assuredly when we do not know how consciousness arises? Especially when you state taht without a brain the soul must operate by a different mechanism.

I don’t “know” or believe any of this. I am simply trying to explain what dualism means and entails. And I keep emphasizing that the “different mechanism” is that of observation and communication, because if the dualist’s “separate consciousness mechanism” or soul survives the death of the brain, clearly both processes will have to be psychic since there are no material means of observing and communicating. But the same SEPARATE consciousness mechanism will continue to analyze and respond etc. as it did in life, and as you keep agreeing and then disagreeing.


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