A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE Part Two; addendum (Identity)

by dhw, Saturday, July 21, 2018, 11:38 (146 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: […] you have the soul incapable of thinking without the brain, and so we have the various convolutions in which the soul thinks its thought in English, the thought becomes ions, and the ions become thought, which the soul translates into the English in which it started.

DAVID: All I've added is an answer to the hard problem of consciousness in how immaterial thought becomes electricity and then again becomes thought.

dhw: It is not an answer to the hard problem of consciousness (see above), and there is no need for thought to become electricity and then become thought again. Thought can use electricity so that it can be communicated to others. In death, it doesn’t use electricity, but telepathy. However, if electrical activity in the brain is the source of thought, we are back to materialism […]

dhw: So you reject the proposal that the dualist’s English-speaking soul uses information from the brain, initiates thoughts in English, and sends messages to the brain to give its thoughts material expression.

DAVID: All correct except you persist in not noting the whole process has to enter neurons, be represented as electricity and come out at the other end to be recognizable thought. I'm simply noting that the soul provides the translation mechanism into and from ions to recognizable English.

dhw: Which means the soul thinks in English, translates its thoughts into electricity, and then translates the electricity back into English. So why does it bother to translate its thoughts into electricity?

DAVID: You and I think with our brains.

dhw: Welcome to materialism.

DAVID: Our souls are the immaterial partner in the process.

dhw: According to your latest theory, all they do is translate the brain’s thoughts ("wet ions produce intelligible thought") into English. In the good old days, a week or two ago, the English-speaking soul was the initiator of thought and the brain did not contribute.

DAVID: That is your interpretation of my thoughts, totally twisted as usual.

I have left the original exchanges, in which I repeat your ideas and challenge their logic. I don’t know where you find the “twists”, but the process is repeated below.

DAVID: In your view the soul seems to be a separate mechanism from you or me.

I keep repeating that in dualism the self consists of two parts: mind/soul and body/brain. In life they are inseparable, but they have different functions.

DAVID: This has always been my theory: My soul is an exact immaterial image of me.

Your soul IS you!

DAVID: It works just like I do. I think with my brain in material life, and the soul think right along with me ( because it is me!) using the brain…

So why do you keep distinguishing between your soul and you? You keep agreeing that the soul part of “you” initiates thought. You keep saying it uses the brain, and I keep repeating that it uses the brain to acquire information and give thought material expression. You have never found any other functions it performs, except for this new “translation” idea, as below.

DAVID: ….except in my view the soul solves the problem of translating thought into electrical pulses over networks of neurons from thought into electricity and back to thought, and it does this because it is part of universal consciousness.

What problem? If the English-speaking soul is the initiator of thought, and thinks its thought in English, why must it translate it into neurons, and then translate the neurons back into the English of the thought it initiated “because it is part of universal consciousness”? Why can’t the part of universal consciousness simply think in English (as it does in death), and use the neurons for material expression (which it can't do in death)?

DAVID: My soul contains my immaterial memories, my knowledge, my ego defense mechanisms in exactly the way that in my material life those attributes of consciousness exist as immaterial yet in words material descriptions of who I am.

Yes, your soul contains all those attributes of consciousness, and you agree that it thinks in English. The material expression is what it uses the brain for.

DAVID: In death the soul is more connected to the universal consciousness, and can now observe and think and telepathically transmit thought.

In dualistic life it is the body and brain that observe and pass the information to the soul, which initiates and develops thought and which uses the brain to express thought materially. In death there is no dualism, and the soul uses psychic means to observe and communicate. You have agreed to all of this in the past.

DAVID: This theory recognizes the duality of the problem. And it is not a change in belief; it is a deeper recognition of the consciousness problem in attempting to debate the issue where you keep separating me/soul from my brain.

They are not separated. If the soul exists, it resides within the brain, and the two work together exercising their different functions. Nobody has ever solved the “consciousness problem”. Hence the continued debate between materialism and dualism, and my attempt to reconcile the two approaches. I can find no logic in your repeated acknowledgement that the soul initiates thoughts in English and yet has to translate them into wet ions so that it can translate them back again into English.


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