Dualism (Identity)

by dhw, Thursday, May 07, 2020, 12:02 (24 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw […]I have explained […] 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).

DAVID: It makes perfect sense if you accept God expands and complexifies the more advanced brain, which the soul can then use to think and design.

dhw: Please let’s clarify this once and for all. The soul uses the brain to gather information and to design and produce the artefact (and you added access to memory). Yes or no? If no, please tell us what else it uses the brain for. If yes, and the soul is the source of thought, why can’t it think new thoughts using existing information and without the brain expanding/complexifying? That is at the core of my theory - original thought: “kill from distance”, IMPLEMENTATION causes expansion.

DAVID: Again exactly backward with a misdirected thought about the timing and cause of expansion. I repeat, The brain/soul complex can only reach a level of complex thought allowed by the new brain's complexity of neuronal networks.

Why do you refuse to answer a straight question? And why do you simply repeat a convoluted formula which cries out for definition? Forget your complex, your level, your complexity of neural networks, and stick to basics. If the soul can only think what the brain allows it to think, you have the brain controlling the soul. But we have both agreed that the soul uses the brain – hence the above question which you refuse to answer until the very end of your post. (I am now cutting the passages in between, as they are dealt with under “Brain expansion”):

DAVID: […] a brain/soul can only think of advanced thought if the networks are sufficiently advanced to allow creation of those thoughts.

dhw: [...] Why do you say “brain/soul can only think…”? As a dualist, do you believe that the brain thinks, or the soul uses the brain in the manner I have bolded above?

DAVID: Back to your same niggling. The soul uses the brain during life to gather info and have thoughts.

It’s not a niggle – it’s at the heart of our disagreement. Thank you for this semi-agreement, but why have you left out implementation of a new thought (= development - I’ll add this to my previous definition - design and production) – to which you had added memory? These are the uses the soul makes of the brain when it thinks. And so, if the soul is the source of thought and there is nothing else it uses the brain for, why can’t it think new thoughts using existing information and without the brain expanding/complexifying?

Under "Dualism: materialist philosopher finds it a problem"

DAVID: I'm very happy with my form of dualism. Papineau is in the same boat as Dan Dennett. Call it an illusion and problem is solved. Horsefeathers!

You may be surprised to hear that I agree with you completely. I am – as usual – torn between materialism and dualism, but if I were a materialist, I would squirm at the silliness of Papineau’s arguments.

Just to save space, I can only nod in agreement with the article under "Intelligent Design Scientists". And I’ll repeat that for me the design argument and the realm of psychic experience present the strongest possible case for theism. I shan’t repeat the equally powerful arguments that keep me on my agnostic fence!

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