A THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE chemical problems (Identity)

by dhw, Sunday, August 12, 2018, 10:16 (402 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: More confused interpretation of what I write. Free will decisions are made by me/soul using the brain to think.

dhw: The confusion arises from your constant changes of mind. Here is the exchange:

DAVID: I am in charge.
dhw: In charge means free will, and if I believed in dualism I’d say that free will is an attribute of the immaterial soul, not of the material body. Do you agree?
DAVID: I think my material body/brain has free will.

DAVID: In my statements I am describing me within the material side of life, and I do not accept the premise that only the soul provides free will. In life I know I have choice in decision-making, and my soul as me does also. I/soul make choices all the time. We have identified a differences in our concepts of soul.

Now you are separating your soul from me! You’re saying “I” make choices and so does my soul! I didn’t ask you to choose between yourself and your soul as the source of free will. I proposed that it was the soul and not the body/brain that made the choices, and you opted for the body/brain.

dhw: The problem is straightforward! Dualism divides us into soul and body/brain, with the soul comprising all our immaterial attributes (including consciousness and the ability to think), and for those who believe in an afterlife, the soul lives on with all those attributes.

DAVID: Again a difference in concept. My soul does not give me the ability to think. Soul/I use the brain to create thought in the electricity and the soul gives me consciousness to interpret the electricity.

Once again separating me from soul. “You” are your soul and your body/brain. Now you have your soul giving your soul and your brain consciousness. How does the soul give your soul and brain consciousness if it isn’t conscious? And how can your soul be conscious if it can’t think? (Electricity is dealt with under “Egnor”.) And omitted from all these convolutions is your belief that the soul is conscious and thoughtful when the brain is dead.

dhw: But against this are the findings of materialists who seize on the indisputable influence of the body/brain on those immaterial attributes and believe that eventually they will be able to prove that the body/brain are responsible for all those attributes. I don’t know why you refuse to consider the possibility that the materialists are right, but the material mechanisms may be (it is only a hypothesis) capable of producing the immaterial self that dualists believe in. This hypothesis allows for whatever faith you wish to embrace.[

DAVID: I am not a materialist. I do not believe the soul is created by the material brain. It comes from God.

A material brain that creates a soul could also come from your God. But if you wish to go back to your theory that the soul is a piece of God’s consciousness, then may I suggest that it makes sense for a piece of God’s consciousness to be conscious.

DAVID: I see no dichotomy in the way I view the material side and try to explain consciousness as a property of the soul.

Again, how can consciousness be a property of the soul if it doesn’t have the ability to think? Instead of it thinking, you have it interpreting the electric waves from the brain, although somehow it initiates the waves that are supposed to contain the thought which requires interpretation by a soul that can't think the thought it is interpreting! The weaverbird's knots are child's play compared to all this!

DAVID: You seem to separate the soul from the functions of the brain by having the soul separately create thought and then tell the brain what to think so I recognize what I am thinking! I/soul think as one using the brain as a processor of thought.

If the soul is the immaterial thinking self that survives the death of the brain, then of course it creates thought! And so it uses the brain for information and material expression, not for the actual process of thinking (just as in your afterlife it thinks without the brain). The “I” that recognizes what “I” am thinking is the dualist’s soul. It doesn’t tell the brain what to think; the soul does the thinking, and the brain responds. The brain doesn’t “process” thought – that is the work of the soul – but it implements thought (e.g. the illiterate women). But all this is countered by the fact that drugs and diseases change the brain and hence our behaviour (see the section of the Egnor post which you ignored), thus creating the dichotomy which you refuse to recognize, even though it is the cause of your own struggle in trying to reconcile the two conflicting sets of evidence.

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