Consciousness: Egnor on dualism: another example (General)

by dhw, Friday, August 31, 2018, 13:49 (758 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: The problem is how does electricity in the brain become words in my head.

dhw: If you believe in a soul that thinks in words, the problem doesn’t arise. You have a problem because despite your dualistic belief in your thinking, English-speaking soul, you doggedly stick to the materialistic idea that thoughts are formed by electricity in the brain, but you can’t see the contradiction.

DAVID: I see no contradiction, since I don't accept your approach. I fully accept the idea that I/soul think by using my brain and its electricity. I see the soul as having a translation mechanism so I hear the words in my head. I will not change.

Nothing to do with my approach. We agree that the soul uses the brain and its electricity, and we agree that we hear the words in our head. The illogicality (I’ll switch here from “contradiction”) lies in your claim that the soul initiates thought but does not think in words until the brain translates the thought into electric waves which the soul translates into words. If the soul knows the words, it can initiate thought in words (just as it does in the afterlife you believe in)! It doesn’t need electric waves before it can translate its own thoughts into words it already knows!

Here is a contradiction:

DAVID: I'm simply accepting the materialist observation that the brain thinks in electric waves and explaining words in my head by the mechanism of soul.

dhw: So now you “accept” that it’s the brain and not the soul that thinks, but the brain’s thoughts are gibberish until the soul translates them into words. Slightly different from the soul’s gibberish thoughts being translated into waves so that it can translate them back again into the words it knew in the first place. But just as muddled.

DAVID: Twisting me again. I/soul initiate and use the brain to create thought. The brain is simply a mechanism I/soul use.

Yes, that is conventional dualism. “The brain thinks in electric waves” is conventional materialism. I am not twisting you.

DAVID: When the soul leaves the body in death it joins God's universal consciousness and thinks through that mechanism.

dhw: And according to NDEs does it think in electric waves or in words?

DAVID: By using the universal consciousness of God it thinks in words.

dhw: If the dead person’s soul thinks in words, why can’t the live person’s soul (which you say is part of your God’s universal consciousness) think in words? […]

DAVID: […] You have no idea if your type of soul mechanism is true.

I have no idea if the soul even exists, but you have not answered the above question, bearing in mind that your translation theory means the soul KNOWS the words.

DAVID: Theories are not proofs. We each have preferences. You will stick with yours, and I with mine.

dhw: I’ll be happy to have you pick holes in mine, but I do wish you wouldn’t keep falling down the holes in yours!

DAVID: Why can't you think originally as I do? You simply will not accept that I/soul use the brain as a mechanism to think? We might as well move on…

If the soul exists, I accept that the soul uses the brain. I simply cannot see any logic in the idea that the soul doesn’t think in words until its thoughts have been translated into brain waves which it then translates back into the words it already knows. However, if you think this is logical, we shall indeed have to move on.


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