Dualism (Identity)

by dhw, Saturday, May 09, 2020, 11:11 (445 days ago) @ David Turell

For some reason - absent-minded brain or soul? - I forgot to post this yesterday!

Parts of this post are more “brain expansion” than “dualism”, but that is why we got onto dualism in the first place. The subjects overlap.

Dhw: The soul uses the brain to gather information and to design and produce the artefact (and you added access to memory). Yes or no?

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.

dhw: 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…

DAVID: Crazy bold. Why are you so confused? I'm not. The soul uses the brain networks to think and those thoughts when they appear are now independent of the brain and are immaterial.

Agreed, but HOW does it use the brain? You refuse to commit yourself to a yes or no to my list. Instead you hide behind vague generalities:

DAVID: What the various-sized brains control is the level of thought complexity, based on their individual construction, the soul can reach. At each level the soul is freely thinking to whatever limit is imposed.

How does their construction control the level at which your dualist’s soul can think? The brain provides information, so you can rightly argue that the soul’s thinking is limited to the information given by the senses. And so, using our example of the first spear: small-brained homo thinks: “me want kill from distance”. He is using EXISTING information. But now he needs more information – and so he has to do some hard thinking, and hard thinking is what changes the brain. That is what we mean by developing, designing and finally manufacturing the artefact. The rest follows:

DAVID: Our final very complex brain allows our souls to reach concepts the erectus folks could never achieve using their much less complex brain. The issue is both size and neuron networks complexity, as well as synapse changeable complexity.

No, the issue is what causes the brain to change. How has our final brain reached this level of complexity? My proposal (again!): each successive expansion was caused by “hard thinking”, leading to increased knowledge and skills. Erectus was more advanced than australopithecus. We are more advanced than erectus. And so of course the increased knowledge and skills coincide with the bigger or vastly more complex brain (complexification having replaced expansion). The dualist’s soul learns more and more, as it uses the brain to gather more and more information and to implement its thoughts. But it is always the soul that does the thinking, as is apparently demonstrated by NDEs, in which the soul thinks and retains its knowledge (and memories) when the brain is dead.

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