Dualism (Identity)

by David Turell @, Saturday, May 09, 2020, 19:19 (92 days ago) @ dhw

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.

dhw: 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:

The brain provides much more than just information. How about the ability to conceptualize? You refuse to accept my concept that complexity of thought is limited by complexity and size of neuronal networks available for use by the soul/human essence. Erectus at 1,000 cc is basically our immediate predecessor and never could have had our thinking ability. The brain provides much more than just information as you keep trying to imply. As below:


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.

dhw: 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.

You're off on a tangent we left and had agreed. In life the soul must use the living brain networks to not only gain info but to develop new concepts and immaterial thoughts. In NDE's and death the soul does this all on its own. This is my dualism. The discussion about enlargement has no business in this thread. In the bold I don't understand the use of the word 'coincide'. The larger brain allowed the development of our very advanced concepts, such as grammatical language 50-70,000 years ago, while erectus had very simple communication skills, and we didn't come out of erectus' stone age until 10-12,000 years ago. I view the stasis as proof we were given a brain we didn't know how use and had to learn to use it.


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