by dhw, Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 12:20 (686 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

TONY: Don't misinterpret me. I do not believe in an immortal soul, as such, but there is something driving the machine for sure.
As far as the limitations that apply to the amount of control over personality, perhaps a perspective shift is in order.
Often when a person buys a car, they pick based on self-image. There car reflects some aspect of their latent personality and needs.

You go on to discuss how the car reflects the personality, but also imposes limitations. This applies to all our experiences. What we do and choose reflects our personality, but our personality also imposes limitations, as do the circumstances in which we find ourselves. What we are is an ever changing mixture of what we are born with and what our experiences do to us.

If there is no soul, i.e. what David calls a “piece of God’s consciousness” – an immaterial “separate consciousness mechanism” – what we are is a mass of materials. I really don’t see how you can escape from that alternative. But perhaps “a perspective shift is in order” here too. Perhaps the “something driving the machine for sure” may be something that emerges from those materials. Instead of an immortal consciousness mechanism inserted by an unknown power called God, a consciousness mechanism actually made by the materials themselves, just as humans are constantly striving to put materials together to create an ever more sophisticated “artificial intelligence”. These materialistic options might be as follows:

1) Since you believe in God, you can say he created a thinking machine (nothing but materials) before we did. And intelligence will die when the machine dies.
2) Take that back as far as the very first cells: these are intelligent machines which your God built to evolve through ever more complex combinations, from rudimentary intelligence (e.g. bacteria) right through to our sophisticated selves.
3) Chance created the first combination of materials to do the work we have just attributed to your God. The rest follows as in 2).
4) Intelligence is already present in all materials, but only in the most rudimentary form (panpsychism). In an infinite, eternal and ever changing universe, it was inevitable that one fine day all the conditions would be right for those crudely intelligent materials to form themselves into the living organisms that became us. Then evolution did the rest, as in 2). Both this and 3) demand no less credulity than the belief that there is a supreme, unknown, hidden form of intelligence that had no source and did all the designing from scratch.

We might get onto other parts of my “theory” as set out in Parts One, Two and Three, but the starting point of the four options above is your materialist’s machine without a soul. Do any of them fit in with your concept?

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