Dualism versus materialism again (Humans)

by dhw, Wednesday, July 07, 2021, 11:44 (22 days ago)

The entries under “Big brain evolution” and “Deep brain stimulation” overlap, and perhaps the sheer repetition under this more appropriate heading will help to clear up the recurrent misunderstanding not only of my position but of the problem as a whole.

Big brain evolution
dhw: How can non-conscious cells misinterpret anything?

DAVID: Your question does not fit my example. Neurons receive consciousness. So they receive a signal and if sick, garble it. Pure dualism.

dhw: You mean my question does not fit your theory, the alternative to which is that neurons create consciousness. So they not only receive information from outside themselves, but if sick they also misinterpret (garble) it and produce false thoughts. Pure materialism.

DAVID: You object by representing your materialism theory. Your neurons make consciousness, mine receive it. Answer my proposal as a strong possibility based on NDE studies.

You keep stating that neurons receive consciousness. That is not a fact. It is your belief as a dualist. Neurons create consciousness is not a fact either. It is the belief of the materialist. I regard NDEs as possible evidence for dualism. I regard the influence of disease and drugs on people’s behaviour as possible evidence for materialism. I remain neutral.

Problem repeated:

dhw: [...] the question remains: why would material drugs and diseases have any effect on an immaterial soul, which is supposed to do all the thinking? (I'm putting the case for materialism because David ignores it – not because I'm committed to either of the –isms.)

DAVID: as usual dhw doesn't understand the concept of a neuron as a receiver. See the entry today of deep brain stimulation curing OCD.

I understand it. I also understand the concept of neurons as a generator. What you do not seem to understand is that there are two different theories, and you should not present your theory as if it were an established fact.


Deep brain stimulation
QUOTES: The patients being treated in our hospital, for instance, receive stimulation of brain areas located in the ventral striatum, leading to changes in the large-scale connections that form between the striatum, the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala, brain areas that play a role in decision-making, memory and thinking. One might hypothesise that the transformation following DBS can be explained by changes to this once-dysfunctional neural network. (DAVID's bold)

"But this cannot be the whole answer. The changes the patient experiences following DBS go far beyond a decrease in their obsessions and compulsions. They include a wholesale change in the person, including an increase in self-confidence; yet loss of self-confidence is not among the symptoms currently used to diagnose OCD."

Problem repeated:

DAVID: My view as a dualist is the network, described in the bold, is sick and misinterprets thoughts received from the consciousness, and the electric stimulation corrects the reception ability of the sick neuron network. dhw will claim this is pure materialism=. It isn't. Malfunctioning neurons are material and misfiring receivers of an immaterial consciousness. Thus two-part dualism. Neurons don't create consciousness as dhw seems to imply.

You quite rightly begin by telling us this is your view (i.e. your opinion), and you finish by yet again repeating your opinion as if it were a fact. It’s not. It remains an opinion. I do not “seem to imply” – I state categorically that any instance in which materials or material actions affect someone’s character and consequent behaviour - either negatively (the sickness) or positively (the cure) - can be taken as evidence for materialism. Conversely, I would argue that many psychic experiences, including NDEs, can be taken as evidence for dualism. You simply refuse to recognize that in nearly all our discussions, there are opinions which are just as understandable as your own.


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