Consciousness: Egnor on dualism: another example (General)

by David Turell @, Saturday, August 11, 2018, 19:04 (227 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: I think the desire to think initiates thought as new original electrical activity in the brain. The electricity does not spark the thought, it appears as a representation of thought.

dhw: I don’t understand any of this. You make it sound as if your soul (if it exists) has no idea what it wants to think about! What is a “representation” of thought? Once again, either the brain’s electricity creates the thought (materialism), or the thought sparks the electricity (dualism).

It might help us to go back to concrete examples. The illiterate women wanted to learn how to read and write. As a consequence of their fulfilling this “desire”, the brain itself underwent changes. Here we have concrete evidence that thought engenders changes in the brain, which I presume are implemented by electricity. This can be taken as evidence for dualism. On the other hand, drugs and diseases have devastating effects on brain and behaviour, which can be taken as evidence for materialism. Hence the dichotomy you refuse to recognize.

We have two totally different concept of soul. Unless we can agree on a definition, we will never reach an agreement. I start from the material side of the issue, and every time I discuss what we know about material brain function, you scream I am a materialist. Not so, as I constantly state. When I/soul attempt to think my frontal cortex lights up. The electricity must contain the thought! How it translates out of the electricity so I can recognize the thought in full expression to me (I feel/'hear' the words in my head) I believe is the function of my soul. Perfectly clear if you accept my concept of soul, but you won't, as evidenced from your past responses.

DAVID: The point is to answer this question: in the presence of any thought why is there a new wave of electricity? For my view the soul/I are initiators of the electricity and the soul provides the conscious interpretation of the electricity as it appears in the brain. A longer version of I/soul think by using my brain.

dhw: Now you are back to your translation theory, which I’d hoped we’d seen the back of. If the soul sparks gibberish electricity in the brain and then translates the gibberish electricity (“consciously interprets it”) into meaningful thoughts, why on earth can’t it come up with its meaningful thoughts in the first place?

Because when I think I use my brain. that is obvious. If 'I' am also my soul, which 'I' am, my soul does what the living 'I' does.

Under "brain complexity":

DAVID: A changed brain can change thought expression by altering the thought producing electric impulses.

dhw: If the electric impulses from the brain produce thought, then it’s not the expression of thought but the thought itself that is changed by changes in the brain. Pure materialism.

I am simply describing what we know about the material actions of the brain, with which we think. Any attempt at thought produces electricity, an obvious well-recognized scientific finding. The thought is created in the electricity as I/soul initiate thought.

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