Consciousness: Egnor on dualism: another example (General)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, August 14, 2018, 19:37 (39 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: You never deal with the contradictions. You merely repeat your mantra that the soul thinks with the brain or uses the brain to think.

I repeat my mantra and you repeat yours. Both are unprovable theories based on the facts we both know. Even Stephen.


dhw: As for a common description, what is your objection to my proposal that the soul (IF it exists) comprises all the immaterial attributes of the self which believers think will survive the death of the body, e.g. consciousness, the ability to think, emotion, the will, memory, etc.?

Because in life I see different circumstances as you know.

dhw: You are struggling because you insist that the electricity from the brain is the CAUSE of consciousness, and that is the essence of materialism. You refuse to contemplate the possibility that the soul itself – IF it exists – is the source of consciousness (in spite of the fact that you believe it is conscious in an afterlife) and that the electricity is the RESULT of conscious thought. And yet you say yourself that the soul controls the brain: “I/soul control the brain's activity. Doesn't yours?” How can it control the brain if it is not conscious?

You still have a weird view of what I propose. The electricity is a representation of thought, not its cause! I believe the soul IS the cause of consciousness by translating the electricity so I can 'hear' my thoughts in my mind. Your last bolded sentence again separates the I from my soul. I am my soul at all times until death or NDE. If I am my soul and I think with my brain so does my soul. As my immaterial essence, it acts exactly as I do in life.


DAVID: We know electricity is activated in the frontal cortex of the brain when I think. My solution to consciousness is the soul provides an interpretive mechanism for the material electricity that we know exists during thought. I hear my thoughts in words, not electrical buzzing.

dhw: Again you have identified the dualistic process, but then tried to reverse it. Yes, in dualism there is electricity when “I” (= the soul) think. The soul thinks. Full stop. You don’t need all the confusion of “the brain produces thought because I/soul drive it to produce thought”, as if the soul can’t think a coherent thought of its own but mysteriously has to initiate gibberish which makes the brain come up with electrical waves that are also gibberish and have to be translated into words by the soul.

Why is there electricity to explain? Can you tell me why it exists? You tell me below it is expression of thought. How is that translated into my mind?

dhw: If the soul knows words for the purpose of translation, it can think in words, so it can initiate thoughts in words! Its use of the brain to acquire information and to give material expression to its thoughts involves electrical activity in both cases.

Remember the soul is me, never separate from me in life! I know words because I learned them from infancy on. At birth my soul was as much a blank slate as I was, and it took development of neurons and connections to have clear memory and thought. Do you remember anything before 2 1/2 years old. You can't. The circuits aren't there. Did my soul come aboard my newborn body knowing everything about English words or did it have to learn as I did with the development of my brain and passage of time? I am my soul and it and I developed together as my brain developed. This means my soul is dependent in life on my brain to produce thought. The soul and I produce thought by use of the brain. The brain never creates thought on its own, although you constantly try to tell me I that is what I am writing.

dhw: On the subject of NDEs you wrote:
"The soul in death is totally disconnected from the soul in life. You are trying to subscribe to some sort of continuity in realms."

What on earth or in heaven would be the point of a soul and an afterlife if there was no continuity? If you are not the same person with the same attributes, you might as well stay dead. Once again, why do you reject the definition of the soul that I have proposed?

Because the circumstances of life and death are totally different.


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