Dualism (Identity)

by dhw, Saturday, May 02, 2020, 11:09 (25 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: According to your belief, it should be the soul that works out the immaterial design, using information supplied by the neuronal network, and the soul will then go on to use the neuronal network to give material form to the immaterial design.

DAVID: Not my theory: The soul must use the existing brain neuronal network to think. More complex larger network more advanced conceptualization by the soul. If you want to use my theory, please get it correctly!

dhw: If the “use” is not the provision of information and the means of implementing the concept, what is it? I agree with you that the more information the larger network provides, the more complex will be the thoughts of the soul. But how does that come to mean that the soul can’t think without the brain?

DAVID: My view of the soul is that it must use the brain it owns to think. The more complex the brain neuronal network, the more complex the concepts.

But you refuse to tell us HOW the soul uses the brain! Do you disagree that it uses the brain to acquire information and to give material form to its thoughts? In what other way does it use the brain?

dhw: Crucial to your belief in dualism is the subject of NDEs, when the brain is supposed to be dead but the soul not only observes but also enters a new world, perceives, communicates, remembers, reacts, and THINKS.

DAVID: Don't confuse death with life. In life the soul fuses with the brain and uses it. In death the soul is free of the body and can as you say: " perceives, communicates, remembers, reacts, and THINKS". As I use my theory in dualism, the soul changes roles in life and death.

Same problem for you as a dualist. In life it needs the brain to gather information about the material world and to give material expression to its thoughts. What other uses does the soul make of the brain in life? Of course it would change roles if it didn’t have a body and a material world to deal with. That doesn’t alter the fact that it doesn’t need the brain to do its thinking.

DAVID: The soul must use the brain to think, just as I use my brain to think.

dhw: An added complication. What is the “I” that thinks? For a materialist the “I” is all that emerges from the interplay between the materials of the body (including heredity) plus the influences of upbringing, environment, experience, chance etc. For the dualist, it is all of these plus an immaterial component called the soul, which is responsible for all mental activity (and may even live on after bodily death). So “I” the soul uses “I” the brain to gather information and to give physical expression to its thoughts. Same question as above: what else does it use the brain for?

DAVID: Why must you impose your confusion about dualism on my theory?

An extraordinary question. You keep accidentally telling us that the brain does the thinking when you mean the soul does the thinking, and when I correct you, you come up with the nebulous proposal that the soul “uses the brain to think”. I agree, and have explained how it does so. You disagree, but you won’t answer the question HOW ELSE it uses the brain. The confusion is hardly resolved by telling us that the soul can’t think without the brain except when the brain is dead. You then confused the issue still further by bringing in “I” as if it were separate from both the soul and the brain. I have tried to remove that source of confusion as well.

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