Dualism (Identity)

by dhw, Sunday, May 03, 2020, 13:02 (30 days ago) @ David Turell

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.

dhw: 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?

DAVID: I don't refuse. I've told you. It obviously uses the brain neuronal networks to access memory, develop thought during life, but thinks on its own after death.

“Develop thought” comes about through the gathering of information and implementation (= design, production and, after “erectus”, I should include expression) to thought. I’m not sure about memory. The soul has its own memory if there is such a thing as an afterlife as suggested by NDEs. But it seems that basically, you agree that the soul uses the brain exactly as I have said. Your belief that it thinks on its own after death should reinforce the idea that it does not depend on the complexity of the brain for its thoughts but only for information and implementation.

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

dhw: 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.

DAVID: You just don't think clearly about what I have written. You explanation of what I mean are your theory, not mine. My 'accidentally' is my mental shorthand. You have the capacity to remember my shorthand for my theory.

Your accidents are what cause confusion, as repeated yet again on the erectus thread. I can’t see any difference between your theory and mine as regards the way the soul uses the brain. The only remaining difference is your insistence that the dualist’s brain has to be changed before the dualist’s soul can come up with any new thoughts, whereas I propose that it is the thoughts of the soul that change the brain. This is the fundamental difference underlying the discussion under “brain expansion” and now the article on erectus and our speech mechanism.

dhw: 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.

DAVID: Once again your confusion. My soul uses my brain networks to access memory, develop new information, and create immaterial complex concepts and designs.

Again, I think we more or less agree on this, though your terminology is slightly different from mine and you’ve left out material production as part of what I call the implementation of concepts. Not important.

DAVID: When I am alive I conceive of my soul as my essence, and using my brain as I feel myself do. My soul/essence, after my death, will do all of that on its own, no physical brain needed. What have I left out?

Nothing. You had written: “The soul must use the brain to think, just as I use my brain to think” – which distinguished between the soul and “I”. I found this confusing, and tried to clarify the relationship. Mission accomplished between us.


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