Dualism (Identity)

by dhw, Monday, May 04, 2020, 10:41 (452 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: [The soul] obviously uses the brain neuronal networks to access memory, develop thought during life, but thinks on its own after death.

dhw: “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: In the bold you can't seem to leave your teachings about dualism to accept my own theory. You have skipped over my explanation once again. One final time: my soul in life is my essence, and as I use my brain to think, my soul does. In death, as shown by NDE's the soul is separated and doesn't need the brain.

There is absolutely nothing here that contradicts what I wrote! We agree that the dualist’s soul is his essence, and we agree that the soul uses the brain to think, and unless you now disagree that the soul’s use of the brain consists in acquiring information and implementing thought (to which you added memory), where do we differ? Obviously if there is an afterlife, the soul doesn’t need the brain. No disagreement there either. The disagreement lies in what I wrote below:

dhw: 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.[…] .

DAVID: Just another version of 'hard thought' enlarges ancient brains. Doesn't fly with my view of evolution by God.

It’s not “just another version”! It IS the disagreement between us! And when you make statements like “Only an advanced brain can have advanced thoughts”, you are confirming the materialist view of thought, and of course if the brain IS the source of thought, what you are saying makes perfect sense! What does not make sense is the claim that the soul which uses the brain cannot have new thoughts unless the (non-thinking) brain undergoes changes beforehand. Hence my constant references to the known fact that hard thinking changes the brain through the effort to implement the thought. (Once more I shall refrain from going into my reconciliation between dualism and materialism, as it is irrelevant to this particular aspect of our discussion.)

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