Dualism (Identity)

by dhw, Tuesday, May 05, 2020, 11:09 (22 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: 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.)

DAVID: We do differ. You totally dismiss or ignore my major point. At each stage of hominin or homo the organisms soul in life can only think up to a complexity level the existing complex form of brain allows.

In the same post (adopting the dualist’s viewpoint), I wrote: “The only remaining difference is your insistence that the dualist’s brain has to be changed [i.e. by God] 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.” In other words, it is new thought that complexifies or expanded the brain, not the complexified or expanded brain that gives/gave rise to new thoughts. You have merely repeated that in different words.

DAVID: Since the soul must use the brain circuits to think, it can produce complex artifacts only to the level the brain complexity allows.

"To think" is too vague. I thought we agreed that the soul uses the brain for information and for implementation (= design and production), to which you added memory. The rest of your sentence is exactly right according to my theory: if the existing brain complexity did not allow the production of the complex artefact, it had to expand in order to design and produce the artefact. (In the modern brain, it would complexify instead of expanding).

DAVID: Our brain has helped the soul to produce our current complex civilization. The bolded portion of your statement, always forgets what I have just written. THE SOUL ALWAYS USES THE LIVING BRAIN'S NETWORKS TO DEVELOP THOUGHTS, JUST AS I DO. My version of dualism: soul immaterial, brain material. In death, purely immaterial soul remembers, thinks as NDE's demonstrate. Over the years this has never changed, but you keep pouncing every time I don't mention all of it. WHY?

No disagreement on any of this, especially your block capitals. Yes, the soul needs the brain to “DEVELOP” thoughts. But the difference between us is that the soul’s initial thoughts (e.g. kill from a distance) come before there is any brain change. It is the DEVELOPMENT that changes the brain, i.e. the effort to implement the thought. I have explained above (first paragraph) why I “pounce” on "Only an advanced brain can have advanced thoughts." Your theory of expansion preceding new thoughts makes perfect sense if the brain is the source of thought (materialism)! It does not make sense if the soul is the source of thought (dualism).

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