Consciousness: Egnor on dualism: another example (General)

by dhw, Tuesday, September 11, 2018, 13:19 (695 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: … what did you mean by the ‘possible’ soul being dragged along? Do you think the soul instructs the brain, or the brain instructs the soul?

DAVID: The soul/I use the brain to think. the soul and I instruct the brain which is our tool for thought.

So what did you mean by the ‘possible’ soul being dragged along?

DAVID: All the while, the thoughts are created in electric waves which require translation to be heard as words in our heads.

dhw: Why have you ignored this latest illogicality? If the brain creates thoughts and speaks English (with its memory bank of words), why can’t it think in English?

DAVID: The brain does not initiate/create thought. I/soul do. The Brain's thoughts are seen in the brain's representation of thought in electricity waves over circuits of networks of neurons.

dhw: If the soul creates thoughts, then the thoughts are the soul’s, so what are “the brain’s thoughts”? Same unanswered question: Why must your English-speaking soul’s thoughts be “represented” by the brain in electric waves which the soul then has to translate back into the English in which it initiated/created its thoughts?

DAVID: The brain is a tool to create thoughts in electricity. we know the brain works by producing electricity. For creation of thought, dredging up memories, it is all electricity.

If, as you have just said, your English-speaking soul and not your brain creates thought, then the brain’s electricity cannot be the creator of thought! The soul uses the brain’s electricity to acquire information, but not to think about the information it has acquired. It doesn’t need to translate its own thoughts into the English in which it created its own thoughts!

dhw: It is the soul that processes the information it receives from the brain’s electric waves (bus coming), it THINKS (quickly) about it, then it draws conclusions (I’m in trouble), makes decisions (I need to move) , and sends its instructions electrically to the brain (get us out of here!). The brain does not send these thoughts to the soul for translation; these thoughts are the work of the soul. Gathering information and giving expression are the two electric processes which, if the soul survives into an afterlife, require psychic substitution, while the soul continues to do the thinking.

DAVID: You have again agreed that the I/soul understands the brain's electricity, which means it translates the electricity into words in my head, whether it is retrieved information from memory or new observations in thought.

dhw: I am the one who keeps telling you that the soul uses the brain’s electricity to acquire the information it thinks about and to give material expression to its thoughts. Now you come up with “new observations in thought”? What does that mean? (Memory is a problem for dualism, which we can discuss separately.) Observation and thinking about what is observed are two different processes. When I walk round the garden thinking about the meaning of life, I observe the trees (otherwise I would bump into them), but I don’t think about them. Observing the bus is not verbal. Interpreting the observation and its implications is a verbal process, and that is the province of the dualist’s soul (if it exists). What is your objection to the bus example I have given above, and to the link with the afterlife (if it exists)?

DAVID; I can only answer as above. The brain is a tool for thought, observation, memory that the soul/I use. Like your biceps which you use in your arm to lift as as tool, you and I use our brains as tools for thought. The EEG shows only electric waves as the brain works.

Yes, in dualism your soul uses your brain as a tool. And yes, there are electric waves in the brain. And I understand perfectly well why these non-answers are the only answers you can offer to the above. I think we should end this discussion for now.


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