Free Will: Egnor shows neurological proof (Introduction)

by dhw, Saturday, November 21, 2020, 07:21 (10 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: In Grand Mal seizure the person becomes unconscious from the wave of electricity that covers the brain.

dhw: Egnor refers to patients who are conscious, can experience all kinds of thoughts, but: “There are no seizures that invoke abstract thought or abstract decisions—there are no free will seizures.” My question is why are there no abstract thoughts and abstract decisions if the soul and not the incapacitated brain is the source of abstract thought and abstract decisions?

DAVID: That would be petit mal. and remember I believe while the brain is alive the soul MUST USE the brain to form thoughts.

How many more times? You agreed: the soul uses the brain to gather information and to implement its thoughts, and look at this:
dhw: dualism, the mind = the soul, and does all the thinking. Matter does not think. Yes or no?


dhw: So do you see my point now? If the soul does the thinking, it should still be able to think abstract thoughts and take decisions (even if it can’t implement them physically). If it can’t, the malfunctioning of the brain indicates that the brain is the source of abstract thoughts and decisions. This, of course, is contradicted by NDEs, in which the unconscious patient is still able to think and even to take decisions (usually overturned, because the patient’s soul is told to go back into the body).

DAVID: Exactly. In my view of dualism, the living soul and the living brain must work together to form/create thoughts.

Same as above. Why are you repeating this and ignoring the point that if the soul does the thinking, and the brain does not think, then the soul should be able to think its abstract thoughts when the brain is incapacitated. But according to Egnor it doesn’t! That can only mean that the capacity for abstract thought and decisions comes from the brain.

dhw: I don’t know how you can claim that 40% of you is inbuilt but it doesn’t influence your decisions. However, we are going round in circles, as usual. The determinist says we are never free from influences beyond our control, so we don’t have free will. You disagree. Your basic argument is that those influences do not change the fact that it is our unique self that makes the decisions, so we do have free will. That is the second option, and I’m sure you will agree that your concept frees us from all constraints other than those of the situation and our own limitations. I really can’t see any disagreement between us.

DAVID: You and I remain apart. The almost 92-year-old me is not the newborn which received a 40% hereditary input, a 40% parental input. Over all those years I have changed my thinking about how to do things, how to decide things. My construction of my current personality is very different than in my childhood. In fact at this point none of my cells except brain neurons are the same and they work with some new additions. Like I view evolution m y life is a continuum of change.

And well done you! I’ll bet there aren’t many 92-year-olds as bright or as active as you. Maybe you were born with a high IQ. And as for being so active, there’s an old saying you may have heard of: “It’s all in the genes.” The stepdaughter of a friend of mine is very intelligent, and was once both bright and cheerful. Then she was raped. She is now a semi-recluse and suicidal. All of us change as life goes on, because life is a continual gathering of experiences, some of which can change us completely. Why do we respond as we do? I am by nature a worrier. If something is wrong, I can't rest till it's put right (you may have noticed). This has its good side and its bad side, but I can't make myself not care. It's as if there's a force inside me over which I have no control. A determinist will argue that every effect has a cause, and what seem like free decisions are governed by causes over which we have no control. But you don’t need to explain to me the opposite view (I am "me" and I make my own decisions), which I have already explained to you and which I accept as equally valid. It all depends on what you think free will is free from. I still don't know why you disagree.

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