by dhw, Monday, June 25, 2018, 14:22 (701 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: (under “how plasticity works”): In my view the soul is a software, immaterial mechanism that interfaces with the brain's hardware networks and uses those networks to produce original thought. True dualism.

Agreed, except that “uses those networks to produce original thought” requires clarification, as below:

dhw: […] what exactly do you mean by the formation of the thought being completed by the soul’s "use" of the frontal cortex? Of course the concept will develop as the soul processes new information from the brain and gives further instructions in its efforts to give the concept material form, and that is the conventional interactive duality which you yourself have illustrated with your references to the soul enabling introspection and conceptualization and instructing the brain to use your fingers and computer. But you seem to be saying that as well as helping 50/50 to initiate the concept (statement one) the brain also helps out 50/50 in deciding what to do next (“to complete the formation of the THOUGHT”).

DAVID: I am not saying what you seem to want to interpret. The soul drives the initiation of the thought and uses the brain networks to complete it. The brain does not initiate or contribute. The brain is a recipient of the working soul's output. This what I feel as I (soul) think and receive the thought.

(Presumably you mean that in your dualistic self your soul thinks and your brain receives.) You are at last saying what I have said for many months, and I shall keep this paragraph in a safe place for future reference. You have withdrawn your earlier statement that “TWO parts, hardware and software are required for the thought to be originated”, and stand by your later statement that the soul initiates the process of thought. And now the hardware brain does not contribute thought but is “used” by the software soul for information and material implementation. That indeed is “true dualism”.

dhw: [Your original theory] leaves us with the soul AND the brain as two separate consciousness mechanisms that must work together to initiate and develop thought, and so when the brain dies, the soul has to find another separate consciousness mechanism because…and this gets really confusing…although it initiates the thought process (statement two), it can’t think of any new thoughts (= initiating the thought process) unless it is coupled with a brain that also thinks (statement one).

DAVID: You are repeating my idea that in the afterlife, the soul is connected with the universal consciousness in order to originate thought.

I am repeating your original theory, which I find illogical. You have told us that the “separate consciousness mechanism” is ALREADY a piece of God’s consciousness, and you now agree that this is what originates thought in life. Why, then, would it not continue to originate thought in the afterlife? It wouldn’t need a new “separate consciousness mechanism” – only a different (psychic) mechanism for observation and communication (which may already be present, according to the vast number of psychic experiences undergone by live humans).

dhw: Once more, what is your objection to the clear dualistic split into thinking soul (initiating and developing thought) and information-supplying, materially expressing/implementing body/brain?

DAVID: And I add that the process involves the soul using the brain networks initiates and completes the thought.

You have now agreed that in dualism the brain plays no part in initiating thought (other than providing information), and I hope you will also agree that in dualism the soul “uses” information provided by the brain to develop its thoughts in the ongoing process described in the first quote above. The thinking soul therefore does not require the recipient brain in order to think its new thoughts (= initiate), but only to provide information and to give its thoughts material implementation. (NB all this concerns the nature of dualism – it is not an expression of my beliefs!)

dhw: And I still await objections to my reconciliation theory.

DAVID: And my objection is still the same. You have the soul arising from the material brain through God's work, and I've agreed that it is possible God did it that way, but it becomes a material source of the soul and I don't view it as dualism but an extended form of materialism.

No problem. I remain neutral in the materialism v dualism debate, and my theory is simply an attempt to reconcile the two approaches. I am pleased that you can find no flaw in the reasoning, and am doubly pleased that we seem to be approaching agreement on a logical version of dualism.

To sum it up: Until now you have insisted that the dualist’s “separate consciousness mechanism” cannot think separately from the brain. You have now agreed that the soul alone initiates thought; I hope you will also agree that thought is an ongoing process in which the thinking soul uses the information provided by the brain to develop its thoughts and give them their material form as described above. The soul or piece of God’s consciousness does not depend on the brain for its ability to think, and therefore there is no reason why it should not remain the same “separate consciousness mechanism” in an afterlife, except that it now observes and communicates through its psychic powers. What could be clearer?

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