by dhw, Tuesday, June 19, 2018, 12:55 (781 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: “Uses to think” is the expression that causes so many problems. I equate consciousness with the ability to think, i.e. I don’t know how we can be conscious without being able to think. Do you disagree?

DAVID: I disagree insofar as you confuse being conscious and consciousness. We came from conscious animals, but we can be introspective about every decision we make. They can't. The difference is the presence of our big brain. That creates the difference. There is no other explanation.

I asked you several times to explain the difference between being conscious and having consciousness, and it now turns out that by consciousness you mean human introspection! As I keep saying, there are degrees of consciousness, and the highest degree we know of is human self-awareness. If you attribute this to our big brain, you are a materialist. Nothing wrong with that, except that you claim to be a dualist. If you wish to confine this part of the discussion to humans, do you agree that we cannot be conscious without being able to think? My next comment follows on from your answer.

dhw: If the ability to think is a “SEPARATE consciousness mechanism” (your expression), and survives the death of the brain (your belief), then clearly it does not NEED the brain to think.
DAVID: I have said it requires a different mechanism and gains that by rejoining the universal consciousness. How do you know the soul is only one rigid form? You've never answered that point.

I don’t even “know” if there is such a thing as a soul that survives death, let alone what form it has. In the context of dualism, I am asking why you think an already “SEPARATE consciousness mechanism” (soul) NEEDS to have two different forms, if we simply accept your analogy that the software soul does the thinking and the hardware brain does the expressing/implementing. You’ve never answered that point.

dhw: Yes, your soul uses your brain to give material form to its thoughts. And if the thoughts are NOT generated by the computer (brain), they must be generated by the software (soul) that sits inside the brain. And so if the soul survives, it only needs a hardware equivalent for observation and expression.

DAVID: And where does that hardware equivalent come from? I have given my explanation.

I’m delighted to see that you are now accepting your own example, which vividly illustrates the point that the software soul provides the thought and the hardware brain implements/expresses it. If I were a dualist, I would say that the immaterial equivalent for hardware material observation and expression is already present in the soul we have in life, and is manifested by the long history of psychic phenomena in which living people undergo experiences that appear to defy material explanation. If I were a dualist, I would say that in death, these already existing psychic powers take over completely as our means of observation and expression. They do not NEED an additional mechanism to observe/express, any more than the separate consciousness mechanism of the soul in life NEEDS a new separate consciousness mechanism in death to be able to think.

dhw: Last Thursday yet again you agreed that it was the SAME separate consciousness mechanism in life and in death (you bolded the statements you accepted). Over and over again, you have agreed that if the soul survives, its identity remains the same,

DAVID: I've always said the soul has two forms for thought. The personality structure within it remains the same in life and death, uniting the two different mechanisms. I view the soul as itself dual: a thought software and a personality structure, its core.

WHAT two different mechanisms? One day you agree that it is the SAME separate consciousness mechanism, and the next it is different because it has to be “hardened”. But congratulations on your new trialism: now instead of soul and body, we have two souls and body.

dhw: ...if bigger brains produce more complex thoughts, this means the brain is the producer of thought, and that is the materialistic opposite of dualism, in which it is the soul that produces thought. A divine dabble can explain the expansion. So can the process of new thoughts requiring new cells and connections for their implementation. My reconciliation theory allows for the brain to produce thought, to expand itself, and to produce a form of energy (soul) that might possibly survive the death of the brain; it also allows for your God as the possible inventor of the whole system, and even for him to do a dabble. I am still waiting for you to find a flaw in it.

DAVID: What I agree with ONLY, is God produces the big brain or dabbles to give the brain the ability to do it. The soul is the software that enables introspection and conceptualization.

You last comment is the essence of dualism: the soul does the thinking. And in that case, the hardware brain does the implementing. I have not asked you to agree with my theory. A few days ago you accepted that it was possible, and you have not yet offered a single argument to explain why it is not possible.

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