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Christianity &Islam Thomas on 15 Dec 2009 12:33 am

Understanding Dualism

When people talk about non-physical substances like souls, they are participating in dualism. The idea that the soul can survive the body as its own object creates a new kind of object. This is nonsense, as this video will help you understand:

Since ancient times, many attempts have been made to account for the relationship between mind and body. This video examines the inherent flaws in the philosophy of substance dualism, along with some of the fallacious reasoning often put forward to support it.

76 Responses to “Understanding Dualism”

  1. on 15 Dec 2009 at 3:31 am 1.Xenon said …

    If dualism is not true, the mind is limited to the physical brain. Assuming this scenario, what kind of a mind would we expect? We certainly would not expect to have consciousness strictly from materials. Perhaps we could expect to see a mechanical mind similar to a computer that is run by a program. We would not expect things like consciousness, sensations, thoughts, emotions, desires, beliefs, and free choice. Such a mind would behave in a deterministic way based upon the laws of matter. Many scientists and philosophers are now concluding that the laws of chemistry and physics cannot explain the experience of consciousness in human beings.

    We would not expect people with such a mind to be responsible for their behavior because everything they do is determined by the attributes of matter. We all know that is absurd. Also, we could not trust our minds since they are just a random collection of materials not produced by an intelligent mind. No the conclusions in the video are too elementary and falls way sort in supporting the argument.

  2. on 16 Dec 2009 at 9:38 am 2.TheGreatHairyOne said …

    Xenon #1,

    What? Why? Upon what evidence do you base your argument? What makes you think that the physical brain can not produce emotions, etc.?

  3. on 16 Dec 2009 at 12:02 pm 3.Xenon said …

    TGHO in order to believe the physical brain can produce emotions, consciousness and the such one would be challenges to prove that the brain can produce such abstract traits. If the physical realm can produce consciousness then why is it we cannot reproduce consciousness in a lab?

  4. on 16 Dec 2009 at 3:25 pm 4.Severin said …

    “We certainly would not expect to have consciousness strictly from materials.”
    I certainly would!

    “We all know that is absurd.”
    No, we don’t. We think this is the truth.

    “Also, we could not trust our minds since they are just a random collection of materials not produced by an intelligent mind.”
    Yes, we could. Our mind is an intelligent mind, made of material substances and run by laws of physics and chemistry.

    “If the physical realm can produce consciousness then why is it we cannot reproduce consciousness in a lab?”
    Just wait long enough! We are closer to construct artificial conciousness than you dream.

    How many things were assumed as “impossible”, “beyond our knwledge”, “illogical” some time ago? And they are all here today!

    Who would ever say earth is a globe centuries ago?

  5. on 16 Dec 2009 at 4:29 pm 5.Scott said …

    Severin sounds like a Christian now! He can’t prove a single assertion he just made but he believes it all and tells us to just wait. For what or who? The Lord to come back?

  6. on 16 Dec 2009 at 8:42 pm 6.Severin said …

    “Severin sounds like a Christian now!…”

    Please look carefully and tell me what assertion I made to be necessary to prove them:

    “I certainly would (…expect to have conciousness strictly from materials). What is here to prove? I DO think so, and do not know how to prove that I think so, but to say it.

    Somebody who claims that conciousness is impossible without unnatural causes, has to prove his claim.
    That means that he has to prove existance of god, or some other sort of extranatural being who makes us concious.
    I do not have to prove my counter opinion, there are enough evidences in science.

    ” No we don’t, (…all know that is absurd),we think it is the truth.
    How to prove to you what I/we think, but to say it. I put here “we”, in name of severa others who think the same as I do.
    What to prove?

    “Just wait long enough! (…to see wether artificial cnciousness could be made in lab)”
    I can not prove it, of course, but I expect on rational basis that it will happen. I do not know how soon, but IT WILL HAPPEN.
    Would an ancient Greek believe if you told him that man will visit the moon? He would say with “absolute certainty”: it is impossible. Prove it!

    Too many “prove it!” seemed to be unprovable once, and appeared reality sooner or later after it was negated as possible.
    I did not claim anything impossible, at least. I let other gentlemen to prove existance of god, but it goes with some difficulties, doesn’t it?

  7. on 16 Dec 2009 at 8:48 pm 7.Severin said …

    “Severin sounds like a Christian now!”

    It is nice to hear that christians can not prove a single assertion they make.
    I do think the same, do I have to prove it …(that I think that chiristians and other religious people are incapable to prove existance of unnatural creatures)?

  8. on 16 Dec 2009 at 10:00 pm 8.Xenon said …

    Its like CS Lewis once observed Scott. Everyone has faith is something even if they deny everything. Severin has proven that point pretty well.

    When Roger Sperry and his team studied the differences between the brain’s right and left hemispheres, they discovered the mind has a causal power independent of the brain’s activities. This led Sperry to conclude that materialism was false.

    Our thoughts can be true or false. However, brain states cannot be true or false.

    Nobody can tell what we are thinking by measuring brain waves. We must be asked what we are thinking.

    When empirical information is used to as a basis for validating dualism, we can come to a consensus that it is true. However, dualism vs. materialism is tied to the creation vs. evolution debate. Consequently, evolutionists need to take unrealistic positions against dualism to defend evolution. If dualism is true, we are created by God and macroevolution is false.

    In a similar way, if only the objective scientific empirical facts are considered, evolution has no support and creation is true by default.

  9. on 16 Dec 2009 at 11:10 pm 9.Severin said …

    “Everyone has faith is something even if they deny everything. Severin has proven that point pretty well.”

    I am not aware what “everything” did I deny.
    The ONLY thing I am denying all the time is existanc ofsupernatural creatures. I claim that development of EVERYTHING, including life, ocured in natural way.
    Too many evidences for such statement, and none in favour of creatioists.

    “In a similar way, if only the objective scientific empirical facts are considered, evolution has no support and creation is true by default.”

    I could not (and I doubt anyone could) find any logical way to come to such a conclusion, from your debate.

    What I could find there is nonsenseous “logic”.
    “Shoe is made of leather, man has skin (leather), so man is a shoe”

    Evolution IS based only on objective empirical facts, supported by some clear logic.Creationists have nothing to offer, but false and/or twisted evidences for their “theories”.

    “When empirical information is used to as a basis for validating dualism, we can come to a consensus that it is true.”
    It should be so because you say so, or what?
    On the basis of a FACT that no soul was ever proved, I/we can come to consensus only that there is no soul.

    “This led Sperry to conclude that materialism was false.”
    I think you have noticed that red light on a computor is frequently irregularry blinking when you are doing something, and when you just wait (or read something from the screen).
    So, if a machine is “doing something” without exterior influence, it must be that it has a soul.
    For two halfs of a brain, take 2 computors, please.

  10. on 16 Dec 2009 at 11:29 pm 10.Severin said …

    “Everyone has faith is something…”

    I do not have faith. Faith includes believing without evidences, criticism, logic, common sense, and without doubts.

    Such a “state of mind” is incompatible with funcioning of my brain. My brain is curious one, and suspicious by its nature.

    In my “beliefs” I can be wrong, and based on new evidences, I will immediatelly abandon some of them, and make corrections to other ones.

    No religious man will abandon his faith, no matter how ridiculous the story sounds, how illogical it is, and how much it deviates from obvious.

  11. on 16 Dec 2009 at 11:32 pm 11.Severin said …

    “No religious man will abandon his faith..”

    Sorry. I was wrong here. More and more of them are getting “sober”, on my great pleasure.

  12. on 17 Dec 2009 at 1:57 am 12.TheGreatHairyOne said …

    Xenon #3,

    You’re actually asking how come we can’t reproduce consciousness in a laboratory? Seriously? Are you actually asking that? You may want to reconsider your question, it’s absolutely puerile.

  13. on 17 Dec 2009 at 2:51 am 13.TheGreatHairyOne said …

    Xenon #8,

    You are utterly incorrect.

    Refer:
    http://people.uncw.edu/puente/sperry/sperrypapers/80s-90s/220-1981.pdf
    from Neuroscience 5, 1980 pg 195 – 206.

    Quote:
    “I have always favored monism, and still do. Sir John tells me that I am a dualist and I respond, ‘Only if the term is redefined to take on a new meaning quite different from what it traditionally has stood for in philosophy” – R. W. Sperry

  14. on 17 Dec 2009 at 8:59 am 14.Severin said …

    “…it’s absolutely puerile.”

    I would not call it puerile! Reality, with its inventions and development of science, made “puerile” most of science fiction ever written. What was fiction, became reality. Maybe reproducing of consciousness in the lab is not too far from reality. It does not mean in any way that such a consciousness shoud necessaryly be similar to the human one. Consciousness does not necessaryly include either bad or good feelings, and certainly not a faith!
    The first sign of consciousness is self-defending reflex! Even some plants have it.
    Stones don’t!

  15. on 17 Dec 2009 at 11:23 am 15.TheGreatHairyOne said …

    Severin #14m

    I think you misconstrued my comment there. Xenon’s *question* is puerile because it exposes his complete lack of biological and computing knowledge.

    The reason we can’t create consciousness within a lab is many-fold, but the core reason right now is that we simply don’t understand how consciousness works. Once we resolve that biological question, then we can move onto the computing questions of how to reproduce a consciousness, which will basically require for us to build an AI.

    This does not mean it is not possible, just that it is *currently* not possible. I’m sure science will overcome those hurdles, but it will take time. I would not expect any breakthroughs in this area until about 2050-ish.

  16. on 17 Dec 2009 at 1:36 pm 16.Severin said …

    “I think you misconstrued my comment there.”

    I did, sorry.

  17. on 17 Dec 2009 at 3:01 pm 17.Xenon said …

    Well guys I never felt the need to prove vocabulary prowess so you may feel free to use the word child-like if you must. I also feel no need to toot my own horn is order to bolster my position. I do offer my thankfulness for your acknowledgement of my position on entry 15 since it will save me valuable time allowing me to move on to the next point.
    The study of Dualism is quite fascinating and is quite the task for science in any field. Science is incapable of dealing with anything that may be outside the physical realm and therefore can only pursue an avenue of study that is within the physical realm. If dualism (I use the term loosely) is true, science will be incapable of recognizing the fact.
    TGHO you have taken a, may I borrow the word, puerile, since I am speaking with a highly evolved individual, view of what Sperry means by his position in monism. Sperry adopted a third position not rooted in materialism or in dualism he coined as mentalist monism. My original post never ascribes a position to Sperry as you seem to imply. I used his results to make a point. Sperry was a man who was quite capable of thinking outside the box and a scientist not oblivious to reaching beyond the perceived physical. I’m sure science will overcome these hurdles as well. The hurdles if and when they are recognized and surmounted will revolutionize science.

  18. on 17 Dec 2009 at 10:28 pm 18.VeridicusX said …

    It can’t be said that consciousness has not been produced in a lab because consciousness remains undefined.

    What has been clearly shown is that proposing that consciousness in “non-physical” is incoherent. So debating a dualist in light of the fact that the idea is untenable, is to debate someone who has abandoned rationality for the purposes of the conversation.

    The simplest approach to consciousness is that there is no such “thing”. What we’re calling consciousness is simply what information (processing) is like from the inside (given an adequate and sophisticated enough working memory).

    Xenon said: “… We would not expect people with such a mind to be responsible for their behavior because everything they do is determined by the attributes of matter. We all know that is absurd.”

    Xenon seems to be implying that someone is the “first cause” of their behaviors and not subject to the laws of logic and physics. This idea has no logical or metaphysical basis and has been shown by experiment to be false.

  19. on 18 Dec 2009 at 12:12 am 19.Scott said …

    Can’t speak for V, but I experience consciousness everyday, it is quite coherent and definable. The fact that science (as V claims no proof) cannot define it is inconsequential.

    V then claims there is no such thing as consciousness. I’m not sure how to even respond to such a ridiculous claim. Are you a zombie V?

  20. on 18 Dec 2009 at 8:13 am 20.VeridicusX said …

    @Scott #19

    Scott,

    Bring me some “consciousness” in a box and I’ll absolutely reject the idea that consciousness is a process.

    If you can prove that it’s a thing, please invite me to your Nobel Prize Award Ceremony.

    “Are you a zombie V?”

    Unless you can do the “Consciousness in a Box” trick you’ll probably never know.

  21. on 18 Dec 2009 at 9:15 am 21.TheGreatHairyOne said …

    Xenon #17,

    I’m not going to apologise for having a wider vocabulary than you. If you can’t handle it, quit, or go back to school and improve yourself. I’d suggest picking an institution which employs teachers rather than preachers this time around.

    You implied that Sperry, based on his work, concluded that dualism was a viable position. If you had honestly intended to introduce monism to the discussion, you should have outlined your position more clearly in comment #8. We can see, from his own comments, that Sperry does not believe that dualism is a viable explanation for the workings of the mind.

    Further, your comments in #8 come to a dubious conclusion not supported by logic. Attempting to claim that if dualism is true means that evolution is false is the wishful thinking of the creationist. It’s a very long step from dualism to the christian creation myth, and there’s a lot of individual components along the way you have to prove before you can reach that end point. On top of that, disproving evolution does not implicitly prove creationism; rather another scientific theory which fits the evidence would have to take the place of evolution. At the moment, with the evidence we have, creationism simply doesn’t fit.

  22. on 18 Dec 2009 at 9:55 am 22.Severin said …

    Conciousness is nothing more than processing of actual information, combined with memory.

    I would say that conciousness is in the first place a defending and surviving mechanism, and is present inside any living organism to an extent.
    As everything in nature, conciousness is graded from most primitive to the most complex.

    Why would a mouse run away from a cat, if he is not, in a way, “concious” that he has to defend his body. Mice feel their “I” certainly not the same way as humans do, but they feel FEAR, at least, and I would call it a sort of primitive conciousness: “I” am endangerd, and “I” have to run to save my life, this is the level of mouse’s conciousness.
    Gorilas have conciousness on a much higher level. They are aware of their surroundment, and of themselves. They immediatelly recognize themselves in a mirror. They have feelings, “political” order within a group, mutual communication very similar to human, even a primitive sense of humor.
    Human’s conciousness is nothing very special inside the living world, it is only on higher level. Unlike mice and gorilas, humans are not only aware of themselves and of their surroundment, but are able to think ahaed, to plan, to assume.

    Human brain is a “box of conciousness”. Mouse’s is too, just smaller.

    And maybe most important, as an evidence that conciousness is strictly connected to matter: when you die, there is no more conciousness. Chemistry supporting conciousness stops.
    So, if one day we make a primitive organism in a lab, or construct a computer able for self defending, we will have conciousness too.

  23. on 18 Dec 2009 at 12:36 pm 23.Xenon said …

    TGHO the only thing you have proven with the delightful usage of you Microsoft thesaurus is you are pretentious or maybe you have a bit of an inferiority complex.

    Contrary to your asinine accusations my comments on Sperry was to introduce the fact that Dualism is very much viable using the work of a man who is not a supporter of monism. I’m not going to apologize (with a z) for having a greater grasp on this subject matter than you. Try to keep up the best you can or just don’t make participate. Now, if Dualism is indeed not a viable option provide the evidence that conclusively provides the grand conclusion we all anticipate and we can put the whole debate to rest.

    But please I ask one favor. Don’t come back with consciousness doesn’t exist like your other counterpart.

    Veridicious I broke wind in a box. Would you like me to bring you that? Crude, yes but about as sensible as your request.

  24. on 18 Dec 2009 at 3:22 pm 24.Severin said …

    “Crude, yes but about as sensible as your request.”

    I would not say crude. Dangerous for you, yes. You have lost your conciousness/soul now.

    Why are you people taking this debate so personal?

  25. on 18 Dec 2009 at 7:14 pm 25.VeridicusX said …

    Xenon,

    If I understand you correctly, you think or tend to the idea that dualism is viable and that “consciousness” is a thing or a substance distinct from the physical.

    You didn’t see the video, I suppose, or read what Sperry had to say? (Yes, I do understand that you think that Sperry’s questioning or rejection of certain ideas, even while affirming monism, leaves open the possibility of dualism).

    Well, I’m pleased to tell you that I have a bottle containing some highly sought after Quintessence of Square Circles, which I can let you have cheap. How does $2000 sound? With sufficient faith you can use it to heal your beloved pets and those of your friends, family and customers.
    (Or we can do a straight swap, I’ll take a couple of barrels of market ready consciousness).

  26. on 18 Dec 2009 at 8:02 pm 26.Scott said …

    So you are also a black hole and a gravity denier as well V? I mean you are one incapable of rationalizing there is something fundamentally different about consciousness, something that can’t be described by the mere interactions of matter and energy then I can only believe you deny the existence of black holes and gravity.

    Your box remains empty as well as any rationale understanding of the world.

  27. on 18 Dec 2009 at 9:16 pm 27.TheGreatHairyOne said …

    Xenon #23,

    Ah, you make me chuckle. If you want to prove dualism is viable, you’re the one that has to make the argument. You may have heard that “you can’t prove a negative”, so asking me to disprove dualism is a futile exercise, one not logically possible.

    So hop too it – let’s hear your best. So far all you’ve given us is special pleading and poorly worded arguments.

    Severin #24,

    The reason they are taking this debate so personally is that if dualism is false, then their concept of a soul does not exist. From their point of view, that means the entirety of christianity is false. Pretty devastating to their world-view. Thus they fight tooth and nail for dualism.

  28. on 18 Dec 2009 at 10:01 pm 28.Xenon said …

    “So hop too it – let’s hear your best”

    I’m glad you got to chuckle! Bravo! If you cannot prove a negative why the thread TGHO? Well moving on….

    Getting to the heart of the matter if you have actually read the original post you and yours are attempting to prove dualism is not viable or as Thomas labels it “Nonsense” rather that everything boils down to the material world. Essentially, you must prove monism unless you subscribe to Sperry.
    You have not sold it. You must prove this to be true and you cannot take the V-X approach of claiming there is no such thing as consciousness. LOL!……… if it is all you got let us know.

    Now if you want a genuine “CASE” for Dualism and not kust blogger duels “The Immaterial Self: A Defence of the Cartesian Dualist Conception of the Mind” by John Foster is a great book to read and bring you up to speed.

    I am waiting with great anticipation to see if V-X brings us a black hole in a little box.

  29. on 18 Dec 2009 at 10:22 pm 29.Severin said …

    TGHO 27
    I know it. I am always ready to change my opinion under a flood of facts/evidences/logic, but I admit it does not always go easy. They are rarely ready for it, but in lack of arguments, they often use either a pile of citations from Bible, or personal attack. It is a normal helpless anger. But I do not complain. I think it is in human nature to resist changes.
    I understand that it is not easy for them to admit they were wrong, as probably their brainwashing started in their early childhood. But I always hope that most of them, if intelligent (not necessaryly educated), will see, sooner or later, how ridiculous and superstitious their „concept“ sounds.
    I thought a bit of humor would help.
    P.S. Them = religious people

  30. on 18 Dec 2009 at 10:48 pm 30.Severin said …

    Xenon 28
    “…you cannot take the V-X approach of claiming there is no such thing as consciousness.”

    Some of us do not think that there is no conciousness, but ONLY as a chemistry in our brains.
    So, at least to some of us, there is no need to prove there is a conciousness (pls. see #22). It is evident that it exists, everybody feels his „I“. even mice, in their way.
    However, it would be nice to give us some arguments in favour of its „divinity“ and its connection to so called „soul“.
    What happens with conciousness when the brain chemistry stops, after a person dies?
    I claim it ends for ever and ever, no more “I”!

  31. on 18 Dec 2009 at 11:50 pm 31.TheGreatHairyOne said …

    Xenon #28,

    Uh, *you* started the thread, not me. I asked you in my comment #2 to back up your assertion that the physical brain can not produce emotions (which, I note, you’re yet to do so).

    Are you completely new to debating? I ask because you’re all over the place. You’ve not yet provided any evidence for your earlier arguments, you’ve ducked answering my questions and you’re generally not following through on providing evidence to back up your assertions. Further, you don’t appear to be aware of basic logical fallibilities – you should be aware that proving a negative in a logical argument is simply not possible.

    I am not attempting to prove anything. I am asking *you* to provide evidence to back up *your* claims. This you are yet to do. Start with the basics, and go back and answer my question in #2.

  32. on 19 Dec 2009 at 4:04 am 32.Xenon said …

    uh, no Thomas the blogmaster started the thread. You really believe I am the webmaster. LOL……See his claims above.

    “back up your assertion that the physical brain can not produce emotions”

    Um, cannot prove a negative. See your post above for more detailed analysis. Prove the physical brain can produce emotions. consciousness merely in the physical. You made the claim and I’m willing to hear your proof. You now only must endeavor in proving a positive :)

    I now point you back to #28 to back the assertions of the original post.

    PS: Have you ordered the book?

  33. on 19 Dec 2009 at 4:23 am 33.TheGreatHairyOne said …

    Xenon #32,

    *blink blink*

    Wow. Just… wow.

    I’m sorry, I thought I was debating with someone who actually had a modicum of intelligence, I see now I was wrong.

    Let’s see here… Firstly, you – no one else – you made the first post in the comments section. You have Comment #1. Thus you – as in you, Xenon – started this thread. Replying to Thomas’s blog post.

    In Comment #1 you – again, you yourself Xenon – made the assertion:

    Quote
    “We would not expect things like consciousness, sensations, thoughts, emotions, desires, beliefs, and free choice”

    from a biological organ, viz the brain. That’s what you claimed.

    In comment #2, I asked you to back this claim up with evidence. Due to your current prevarication, it’s obvious that you have no evidence to offer.

    PS: I have no intention of buying the book. :)

  34. on 19 Dec 2009 at 7:51 am 34.Severin said …

    Xenon #1
    „Such a mind would behave in a deterministic way based upon the laws of matter.“

    And it is exactly the way a brain does function!
    Its function is determined by:
    a) Memory transfered by genes (breathe, run away from danger or fight it, depending on circumstances, eat, have sex to transfer genes further, raise your temperature in case of illness to kill microbes/viruses…)
    b) Memory acquired from surroundment during life, by senses (learning)
    c) Current situation in surroundment
    As brain + nerve system, with their enormeous storing capacity = „mind“, or „consciousness“, it depends only on the degree of development of a creature what magnitude of „mind“ will be present.

    Most probably a „mind“/“conciousness“ of a virus includes only the elementary data from a), and a virus is not capable to feel “love” or to read Bible. I doubt it has „personality“, and even doubt it has sense of fear or sense of pain. But it DOES have some defending tools, and is reacting in case of danger, by, for example, making a protective shell.

    Gorilas have, no doubt, their „mind“ detrmined by all 3 factors, very similar to humans.
    They are able for additional learning with astonishing capacity, about things which they never meet in their natural surroundment. They feel fear, pain, symphaty, sorrow, and I do not doubt that they have a good sense of their „I“.

    So, why would this sort of „mind“/“conciousness“ be less worthy than human’s one?
    Because humans are able to read Bible?

    In case dualism is right, gorilas should have a „soul“ as well.

  35. on 19 Dec 2009 at 8:49 am 35.Severin said …

    Xenon #1
    “We would not expect things like consciousness, sensations, thoughts, emotions, desires, beliefs, and free choice.“

    You are mixing concepts here:
    „Conciousness“/“mind“ = sensations+thoughts+emotions+desires+beliefs+free choice+2 types of memory: genetic one and experianced/learned one.

    Maybe we could not expect such things from an artificial „mind“ (not yet), but do you doubt gorilas have all those atributes?
    Gorilas even have free choice: They can freely make a choice between 2 bananas, between running away and staying to fight, between 2 gorila ladies…, and they DO so.
    They obviously have feelings, sensations, desires, and of course thoughts. If they would not have thoughts (which are nothing more but short-termed memory), they could not solve complicated situations in both their lives and in a lab.
    They have very different individulities and characters within a group. Each of them has his personal „I“ which he/she clearly exposes.

    By definition, gorilas must have much more beliefs than humans! Beacause they are not able to explain things rationally (just as no human believer is able, when trying to explain his beliefs), they take them for granted.
    Isn’t it a definition of belief?

    Some extent of „counciousness“ is naturally built-in every living creature as the most important defending tool. If virus/mouse/gorila/human would not have a „sense of being alive“, a sense of existing (like a stone has not), they would be not able to survive. That is all!
    A „sense of being alive“ (=”conciousness”), as all other things (hearts, lungs…), is primitive by primitive organisms, and more complex by more developed ones, nothing more, nothing less.

    So, why would we apply dualism to humans, and not to gorilas?

    And following steps more and more down, why not ot mice or viruses as well?

  36. on 19 Dec 2009 at 11:25 am 36.Severin said …

    Xenon 1
    (and I conclude this debate from my side, I hope)
    “Perhaps we could expect to see a mechanical mind similar to a computer that is run by a program.“

    Human „mind“ (brain) is nothing more than a very complicated computer, run by a program. Great difference between such a computor and machines is in filling data period.
    „Computers“ of living beings are filled with data for some 3.5 billion years, and a very, very big part of those data are transfered from generation to generation by genes.
    Virus’es „mind“ is the same thing. The difference between human and virus’es „mind“ is less than difference between pocket calculator and the mightiest existing computer (US Army? NASA?).

    If you define „mind“ or „conciousness“ as „awareness of being alive“, why is it so difficult to accept that it is nothing but chemistry?

    Have you ever been unconcious?
    I had 2 operations, and was TOTALLY unconcious for 2×2,5-3 hours. I did not feel, think, had dreems, no sense of time, I had absolutely not awareness of myself, my body functioned as an automatic device.
    When I woke up, I had absolutely no memories from the time I was unconcious. If somebody told me I was unconcious for 2 years, I would believe, as I lost any sense of time.
    What made me unconcious? Chemicals! They blocked my conciousness, and there was no more „me“! But I did not die!

    So, if simple chemicals are able to totally block somebody’s conciousness, what is conciousness but chemical activity of brain?

    Simple chemicals (drugs, narcotics) are able to change/twist your mind/counciousness in many ways.
    If conciousness (awareness of being alive) has anything to do with divinity, why simple chemicals have so big influence to them?
    The same happens when you die: no chemistry, no mind! This time for ever!

    Where was my „soul“ when I was unconcious?

  37. on 19 Dec 2009 at 12:39 pm 37.VeridicusX said …

    I certainly don’t think that we don’t have consciousness, I simply see no logical basis to assert that “it” is a “thing”.

    I was drawing out the distinction between a substance and a process. And it looks as if I was right to do so, because it seems that some contributors here think that consciousness is a non-physical substance!

    Scott and Xenon have implicitly made a good point though. They’ve said, “What do you infer from your experience and observations?”.

    “The Immaterial Self: A Defence of the Cartesian Dualist Conception of the Mind” by John Foster.

    This John Foster would be someone (like Scott and Xenon?) who infers false dichotomies and magic from his experience and observations.

    What does it mean for something to be “immaterial” or “non-physical”?

    It means that it has no energy, information, force or effect. No reactivity and no dimensionality.

    No dimensionality means that it has zero spacetime dimensions – it doesn’t exist anywhere in any dimension or at any time, past, present or future.

    This means that Scott, Xenon and John Foster have no basis whatsoever for even suggesting the possibility of mind-body dualism.

  38. on 19 Dec 2009 at 1:12 pm 38.Xenon said …

    “This means that Scott, Xenon and John Foster have no basis whatsoever for even suggesting the possibility of mind-body dualism.”

    Sure we do. I experience consciousness every day. Much like the black hole as stated earlier, we witness the effects of consciousness although we cannot put our hand on it. You have demonstrated no proof the physical can produce consciousness and their exist no valid reasons to believe it can. The same is true for black holes. You don’t see black holes but you witness their effect. Now if you can back the blogmasters argument then I would be willing to entertain other theories. TGHO failed but maybe you could fair better. He doesn’t understand how a thread gets started so I doubt he can formulate a cohesive argument :)

    I take it you haven’t read Foster’s book, only googled about it. Sigh, you guys are all the same. You ask for a valid argument then refuse to read it when given.

    You could also read “The Spiritual Brain” authored by neuroscientist Mario Beauregard if you are not a fan of Fosters. It is a good read as well.

  39. on 19 Dec 2009 at 3:47 pm 39.Severin said …

    ‘What does it mean for something to be “immaterial” or “non-physical”?”

    Nothing!

  40. on 19 Dec 2009 at 4:39 pm 40.VeridicusX said …

    Xenon #38,

    Yes, I totally agree that we use evidence to lead us to reasoned theories and occasionally to conclusions.

    Yet I think that you miss the point. No amount of inference can lead to “non-physical” substance because the idea is incoherent. That means it is self-contradictory and/or fallacious and therefore invalid.

    “You have demonstrated no proof the physical can produce consciousness and their exist no valid reasons to believe it can.”

    I think that you have this back-to-front. You have demonstrated no proof that there even is a “non-physical” and that it can produce consciousness. And there exist no possible reasons to even suggest that “it” can (with it being square-circlish and all).

    Just because you’re a neuroscientist doesn’t mean that you can abandon reason. No amount of appeal to authority can make square circles real.

    Unless you can give some coherent (non-contradictory) idea of what “non-physical”, “spiritual” or “immaterial” might be, I will have to assume, in light of the video and the foregoing discussion, that you have abandoned rationality.

  41. on 19 Dec 2009 at 5:20 pm 41.Severin said …

    Xenon 1 -38
    „Sigh, you guys are all the same. You ask for a valid argument then refuse to read it when given.“

    Let’s see your „arguments“:
    „We certainly would not expect to…“
    „Perhaps we could expect to see….“
    „We would not expect things…“
    „Many scientists and philosophers are now concluding that…“
    „We all know that is absurd.“, etc, etc….

    Is THAT what you call arguments?
    Leave writers alone, offer us some arguments of yours!

    I gave you some arguments, but you NEVER replied them. I understand, it would call for some intelectual effort.
    It is easier to use „arguments“ as the quoted ones (see above).
    And to lie:

    „Everyone has faith is something even if they deny everything. Severin has proven that point pretty well.“
    Everybody could clearly see that I was not denying „everithing“, but you only tried to make me ridiculous by such an untrue and „attention diverting“ statement. I was NOT denying science, logic, facts surrounding me (and you), etc., but only superstitious stupidities you defend. I did not deny sky is (sometimes) blue.
    Typical for, for example, Gebels’s way of spreading “the truth”.
    Give me a lie,a and I will make it a truth in a month.

    What to say but: „Sigh, you guys are all the same.“

  42. on 19 Dec 2009 at 5:29 pm 42.Severin said …

    Irresistible!
    “Science is incapable of dealing with anything that may be outside the physical realm”

    Finally a glamurous statement, which is completely true.

    What, then, qualifies YOU, to deal things outside the physical world, and to make statements about them?
    Are you a witch? A sorcerer? A black magic practicant?

  43. on 19 Dec 2009 at 8:57 pm 43.TheGreatHairyOne said …

    Xenon #38,

    LOL. Simply LOL.

    I’ve not put forward any arguments in this discussion. I’m asking *you* to put forward your arguments to support your assertion in your comment #1.

    You are claiming that the physical brain can’t experience:

    Quote
    “We would not expect things like consciousness, sensations, thoughts, emotions, desires, beliefs, and free choice”

    and so I am asking you to provide actual, scientific evidence of this. Can you do that please?

  44. on 19 Dec 2009 at 11:48 pm 44.Scott said …

    TGHO

    Do you even understand how dualism is defined? If you do you should realize how ridiculous your question is based on the very definition of dualism. Dualism is the term used precisely due to the fact that the conscious DOES NOT follow predetermined scientific laws. You question is not pertinent and moot.

  45. on 20 Dec 2009 at 9:38 am 45.VeridicusX said …

    Scott,

    You should realize that your post reads like the quiet rantings of a madman.

    “Dualism is the term used precisely due to the fact that the conscious DOES NOT follow predetermined scientific laws.”

    … which is simply a straightforward falsehood.

    You had better hope that consciousness follows predetermined scientific laws should you ever go into hospital for any serious operation.

    “You question is not pertinent and moot.”

    You are saying that no reasonable questions can be applied to consciousness and no reasonable answers can be expected because it is not bound by the laws of physics and logic. So to you it doesn’t matter that concept of dualism is self-contradictory and fallacious.

    Your position is what’s known as “an abandonment of rationality”.

  46. on 20 Dec 2009 at 12:56 pm 46.Severin said …

    Thanks V!

    I was just writing a comment to Scott 44, when yours appeared. I have nothing to add.

  47. on 20 Dec 2009 at 1:56 pm 47.Scott said …

    “Dualism is the term used precisely due to the fact that the conscious DOES NOT follow predetermined scientific laws.”

    … which is simply a straightforward falsehood.
    ____________________________________________________

    Really V-X? Tell me, how so? How does consciousness follow predetermined scientific laws?

  48. on 20 Dec 2009 at 5:07 pm 48.Severin said …

    It would be nice to hear your definition of consciosness!
    But, maybe I can help:
    Consciousness is subjective experience or awareness or wakefulness or the executive control system of the mind.

    Fro further information please refer to Severin #22, #34 and #35.

    I was fair enought not just to claim something, but to try to expalin it.
    Try us with your defnition/explanation.

  49. on 20 Dec 2009 at 5:45 pm 49.Severin said …

    V-x was polite. I would say that your explanation of the term “consciousness” was a nonsense.
    There is NOTHING that does not „fit“ natural laws.

    However, if somthing is not explained yet, it does not mean at all it is inexplicable!
    Not all natural laws are cleared yet, but they will be, sooner or later.

    Just because you can not understand consciousness, you are putting yourself in position of a man from 16th century who had no idea about microorganisms, and claimed diseases were unnatural phenomenons. How else could a primitive man explain this phenomenon?
    You are now in exactly the same position, but it is not 16th, but 21st century! People with average education know so much more than those from 16th century, that it is shame to put yourself voluntaryly in the same position.

    I think I offered some very acceptable „undivine“ explanations for counsciouness in Severin #22, #35 and #36.

    So please, if you find my explanaitons of counsciousness wrong, offer some of yours, but do not bother us with „evidences“ like those listed in Severin #41. Leave such “evidences” to Xenon and try yourself!

  50. on 20 Dec 2009 at 6:43 pm 50.Xenon said …

    Well I presented some good sources on dualism which not doubt was foolishness on my part. It is amusing to see how those who argue against dualism so vehemently attempt to define it with physical properties completely missing the point of what dualism contends.

    Don’t hold your breath Scott. :)

  51. on 20 Dec 2009 at 8:24 pm 51.Severin said …

    So you are immune to logic.
    E=mC2 for you is E=mC2+god, but Einstein did not count with god, and his equation is right, not yours. If you put ANYTHING additional in his equation, it does not work! And, please DO NOT DOUBT it works just the way Einstein wrote it! Some 25% of electricity you use is made by nuclear power stations working exactlu by this equotion.
    Of course, it works again if you put “god=0”, then E=mC2+0, but what is god then?

  52. on 20 Dec 2009 at 8:59 pm 52.VeridicusX said …

    Severin,

    You’re wasting your time.

    They have no intention of being honest or bringing light to their statements.

    They perhaps hope that by not directly addressing the questions they can throw in just enough confusion and uncertainty to keep themselves and other deluded passer-byes in never-never land.

    “It is amusing to see how those who argue against dualism so vehemently attempt to define it with physical properties completely missing the point of what dualism contends.”

    So Xenon, what specifically are the non-physical properties that dualism contends?

  53. on 20 Dec 2009 at 9:24 pm 53.Scott said …

    Dualism is the term used precisely due to the fact that the conscious DOES NOT follow predetermined scientific laws.”
    … which is simply a straightforward falsehood.
    ____________________________________________________

    Will you be enlightening us to this falsehood VeridicusX? I am very much intrigued on your thoughts.

  54. on 20 Dec 2009 at 9:49 pm 54.VeridicusX said …

    Scott #53,

    I will indeed (again), Scott, just as soon as you justify the statement that, “… conscious DOES NOT follow predetermined scientific laws.”

    (Bearing in mind also that Severin has shown that consciousness is subject to scientific laws).

  55. on 20 Dec 2009 at 10:27 pm 55.Severin said …

    “Severin,You’re wasting your time.”

    I know I am wasting it to Scott and Xenon. I hope, however, that somebody else takes part in this debate by reading it only, and that, if he/she has some doubts, will clerly see on which side are logic and facts. For example a young lady (13 or 14 y.) who took part in a debate in “About this Blog”. It would be worthy to save he, or someone like her, from religious terror.

  56. on 21 Dec 2009 at 12:22 am 56.Severin said …

    I clearly see the fraud, I see it all the time, but now I want everybody to see it:

    1. Claim (Scott #44)): „Dualism is the term used precisely due to the fact that the conscious DOES NOT follow predetermined scientific laws.”
    2. Claim (VeridicusX #45): … after repeating Scott’s „definition“ of dualism claims: „… which is simply a straightforward falsehood.“
    3. Question (Scott #47): ..after repeating of complete answer Veridictus #45 poses a question: „Really V-X? Tell me, how so? How does consciousness follow predetermined scientific laws?“
    4. Claim (Xenon #50): „It is amusing to see how those who argue against dualism so vehemently attempt to define it with physical properties completely missing the point of what dualism contends.”
    5. Question (VeridictusX #52): „So Xenon, what specifically are the non-physical properties that dualism contends?“
    6. Question: (Scott #53): „Will you be enlightening us to this falsehood VeridicusX?“

    Recognizable method of a prahsemonger!
    1. „Somebody“ makes a contradictory claim without any evidences/arguments.
    2. You call such a claim „a straightforward falsehood“. Normally, if the claim itself is contradictory, and has no supporting arguments!
    3. „Somebody“ attacks! He does does not offer anything new, does not offer arguments, but HE request from you to explain YOUR standpoint!!!
    4. Another one is pouring oil in fire, just to additionally spread some fog around, aggressively saying nothing with many words.
    5. You insist to hear some arguments, you request for explanations
    6. „Somebody“ REPEATS his first claim/“definition“, without any additional explanations, AND AGGRESSIVELY ASKS FOR EXPLANATIONS FROM YOU!!!
    Moreover, „somebody“ in his false answers/definitions DO NOT touch the problem itself! It is too dangerous!
    For example, to clear request to define dualism, he replies „Dualism is THE TERM…“
    Of course, if you would dare to claim „god is the term…“ instead „…god is an allmighty creator…“ they would probably get mad.

    The king is naked.

  57. on 21 Dec 2009 at 12:33 am 57.Severin said …

    Irresistible!

    Imagine a “definition” like this one:
    “A match is a TERM used precisely due to the fact it makes fire”

    instead of

    “A match is a peace of wood, with some phosphorus on top, which after friction with small sharp glass particles containing surface initiates heat and flame.”

  58. on 21 Dec 2009 at 2:09 am 58.Scott said …

    “conscious DOES NOT follow predetermined scientific laws”

    Well V-X, consciousness is not a “thing” right? Didn’t you in #18 claim it is not a thing therefore how can something that is not a “thing” follow predetermined scientific laws?

    You have also claimed it is not defined. If it is not defined, how can we determine the scientific laws.

    You once again move the goal post by refusing to back your assertions way back in #18. I must conclude you are not equipped to indulge in such a debate since you seem to be greatly confused to the possibility you are conscious. If you care to back you position I will be glad to listen. If not, well I understand.

  59. on 21 Dec 2009 at 8:14 am 59.Severin said …

    I still can not understand are those people adult demagogues, or just children with adequately developed (childish) minds. Or udults with unadequately developed minds.

    Would you call light “a thing”? Electicity in a wire? Radiation?

    Physically, consciousness is continous flow of trillions of electrical impulses among trillions of neurons in our brain.

    A part of them is going to “screen” which is our conscious awareness of ourself and of our surroundment.

    Another, much bigger part, serves our vital functions, and is “flowing” through the nerv system to other parts of our body to bring orders from “computor brain” to organs, and to bring feed-back information back to brain, to enable it to make further decisions.

    “Aware” part is “switched off” by carefully chosen chemicals, which selectively block some links when we have operation, to avoid sense of pain.
    Other part, important to support life (functioning of organs) is still working during operation, we just are not aware of it. Only the “screen” is “switched off”.
    Of course, if for any reason (destroying of cells and links = oldness, physical injury…) all links stop, you are dead. Both you and your “screen” (consciousness).

    How do you know what computor is doing when you switch off only the screen?
    And how do you know it is not aware of itself? Just because it does not say so?
    Honestly, I do not think computers on this stage of complexity could be “conscious”, but you never know!

  60. on 21 Dec 2009 at 8:18 am 60.Severin said …

    Ad of couse, light, electricity, raiation ARE “things”!
    It is energy, which is, by Einstein’s equation, equal physical matter. This sign “=” does not say anything about CONDITIONS of transfering matter to energy and v.v. It only says that under adequate conditions matter = energy. We have learnt about conditions, and make electricity (and kill people, see Hiroshima) transfering matter to energy.

  61. on 22 Dec 2009 at 10:00 am 61.TheGreatHairyOne said …

    Xenon #50,

    Mate, you’ve not presented a single thing as yet.

    Scott #44,

    Does not follow scientific law? .

    Severin/VX – you guys can stomach this better than me.

  62. on 22 Dec 2009 at 7:14 pm 62.VeridicusX said …

    Tue 2009-12-22 18:26

    Scott,

    “Really V-X? Tell me, how so? How does consciousness follow predetermined scientific laws?”

    Have you ever heard of alcohol or drugs or anaesthetics?

    “Well V-X, consciousness is not a “thing” right? Didn’t you in #18 claim it is not a thing therefore how can something that is not a “thing” follow predetermined scientific laws?”

    Ever heard of a process? (Again)!

    “You have also claimed it is not defined. If it is not defined, how can we determine the scientific laws.”

    Consciousness is not defined only in the sense of people having different ideas of what what to include in any final definition.

    Even if we were to contend that we can’t determine the principles of consciousness, we already know that it must be physical and therefore obey the laws of physics. [See #37]

    You don’t need to know the ins-and-outs of a nanny goat’s asshole to know that it goes where the goat goes.

  63. on 22 Dec 2009 at 7:19 pm 63.VeridicusX said …

    Xenon or Scott,

    “It is amusing to see how those who argue against dualism so vehemently attempt to define it with physical properties completely missing the point of what dualism contends.”

    Feel free, whenever you’re ready, to explain the non-physical properties of dualism. (Did you see the video at the top of the page)?

    ——————————————————–
    Scott,

    You once again move the goal post by refusing to back your assertions way back in #18. I must conclude you are not equipped to indulge in such a debate since you seem to be greatly confused to the possibility you are conscious. If you care to back you position I will be glad to listen. If not, well I understand.”

    What is your profession? Professional Liar?

  64. on 22 Dec 2009 at 9:10 pm 64.Xenon said …

    “Have you ever heard of alcohol or drugs or anesthetics?”

    Yes I have. SO you arguing that the CNS is consciousness? That is what these drugs impact. You must prove this is the source of our consciousness. I have been under a dissociative and my dream sleep was quite active. You need proof here.

    “Ever heard of a process?”

    Quite familiar, but you offer no proof that our consciousness is a mere process.

    I have offered a great case for my position in a book. Somethings just can be put together in a couple paragraphs.

    Let me simplify. There are arguments on both sides of this issue and bottom line neither can be proven. I find Dualism to be more likely given what we know. I’ll just leave it there for you.

  65. on 22 Dec 2009 at 10:13 pm 65.VeridicusX said …

    “SO you arguing that the CNS is consciousness? That is what these drugs impact. You must prove this is the source of our consciousness.”

    You’re really trying to say that the Central Nervous System is not the source of consciousness?

    No, you must prove that the obvious explanation that fits all the known facts, (not baseless and impossible conjecture about square circles), is wrong. You can do that by offering a single fact that does not fit the theory that consciousness is what the brain does.

    Presumably you think that someone is really conscious when they’re unconscious through drugs or trauma?

    “… but you offer no proof that our consciousness is a mere process.”

    Have you ever heard of alcohol or drugs or anesthetics? Are you going to lie and say that they don’t affect someone’s consciousness? Are you going to lie and say that consciousness doesn’t have on and off states and varying states in between?

    “There are arguments on both sides of this issue and bottom line neither can be proven.”

    Which is a straightforward falsehood. Dualism is self-contradictory and therefore impossible. There are no square circles.

    “I find Dualism to be more likely given what we know.”

    It has been explained in this thread (and in the video) that dualism is impossible.

    If it contradicts itself and/or the facts it is false. Therefore you can’t “… find Dualism to be more likely given what we know.” You’re either lying or you’ve abandoned rationality.

    Your being honestly mistaken is not an option here, because it has been explained all the way down the page that your position is untenable.

    “I’ll just leave it there for you.”

  66. on 22 Dec 2009 at 11:18 pm 66.Xenon said …

    “No, you must prove that the obvious explanation that fits all the known facts, (not baseless and impossible conjecture about square circles), is wrong. You can do that by offering a single fact that does not fit the theory that consciousness is what the brain does”

    No, you made the assertion now you must support it. I don’ have to prove you position no more than I have to prove Neptune has a cheese ball at its core. You can argue the CNS supports consciousness and all that it entails but not that it is the source. Proof?

    First you claim its not defined and then you try to force a definition, Give up V-X, you are in an impossible position.

    Read a book and stop relying on a You Tube video for your facts. Thats so sad.

    Have a Merry Christmas

  67. on 24 Dec 2009 at 8:48 pm 67.Severin said …

    Xenon/Scott,

    Why don’t you just simply (and finally) explain how is it that a simple man-made chemicas, such as alcohol, drugs,… influence so much such a divine thing as counciousness. Please do not play like children(whose is bigger), but EXPLAINT it to me/us.
    Some of such simple chemicals can twist counsciousness enormeously. Other ones (made by man by purpose!) are so sofisticated, that they “switch off” awareness, but leave the part of your mind to keep the life running.
    How is it that such a “divine” thing, given by god, can be so mucuh and so purposely influenced by chemicals made by man (not by god, he did not invent narcosys drugs).

    I tried to explain what I claimed (that counsciousness is a ntural process, which can easyly be explained by elkectrical activity). Ever heard for electro encephalografy, which clearly shaws different ELECTRICAL activities of our brain under different conditions? You all the time claim and claim, but leave only unexplained claims behind you. Explain it! It should not be so complicated. Or, should it?

  68. on 26 Dec 2009 at 9:18 pm 68.VeridicusX said …

    Have you noticed how Xenon had to resort to outright lying in the end?

    “… you made the assertion now you must support it.”

    I made no such assertion about the CNS, Xenon did – he then said that it was me!

    “I don’ have to prove you position no more than I have to prove Neptune has a cheese ball at its core.”

    He then falsely thinks that he has to prove my position, (incidentally the position of all reputable neuroscientists).

    He also thinks that people have to “prove” things outside of mathematics and logic, thereby showing his ignorance of science and epistemology.

    “First you claim its not defined and then you try to force a definition, Give up V-X, you are in an impossible position.”

    Which once again is an outright lie. (Which he probably won’t admit, being the liar that he is). Anyone can read the discussion on this page.

    “Read a book and stop relying on a You Tube video for your facts. Thats so sad.”

    Xenon, stop beating your wife and molesting children you disgusting theist. That’s so sad. (Ooh look! I’m learning how to make baseless, faith-based assertions like Xenon).

    Seasons Greetings and a Happy New Year.

  69. on 27 Dec 2009 at 9:49 am 69.Severin said …

    What counsciousness really is?
    Consciousness = awareness of your environment + awareness of yourself.
    It is in no way an “entity” separated from matter: if there is nothing or nobody to be aware, there is no awareness!
    If a creature is not aware of itself, the second part of equation is zero. For such creatures we can say that their “consciousness” is limited to “awareness” of their environment.

    First “semi alive” molecules spontaniously synthesized in “warm solty puddles” (during a “moment” of several billions of years), were able to reproduce themselves by “eating” whatever they had luck to meet, moved around randomly by movements of surrounding water, resinthesizing their “food” (chemicals) to build them into their “bodies”, and finally by division.
    If such a “semicreature” met the “food” poisonous for them, it died.

    During a next “moment” (100, 500 million years?) during development of such creatures they have sinthesized some molecules able to recognize “eddible food” from poisonous “food”.
    That was the firs “consciousness” on this earth! Now, when the creatures could recognize danger, they could find a way to avoid contact, or to use some other defending tool. When they recognized benefit, they could use it with more efficiency.
    Maybe the first consequence of appearance of such a primitive “consciousness” was development of mechanisms enabling crature to move! To move to areas richer in food or to move away from danger, not randomly, but by their own “will”.

    It is so obvious that “counsciousness” developed just the same way as organisms did! The higher the complexness of an organism, the higher its “counsciousness” and v.v.
    It is also obvious that the more complex the “computor” became, its complexity influenced development of creature’s body.

    I can not be sure if a frog is self-conscious in a sense it can “think”, but awarenes of frogs of their environment, their ability to recognize benefits and danger, and mechanisms they use to exploit benefits and to fight danger, are far more sofisticated than those of microorganisms. Microorganism is not able to jump away, or to recognize a “sweet” insect by eyes or by sense of smell!

    The 2nd part of the equation, the SELF-COUNSCIOUSNESS, probably happened with the first “personal” feeeling of FEAR.
    I doubt a spider feels a fear, but I do not doubt a mause do!

    Wasn’t the first creature that felt fear, as a form of self-defending mechanism, in a way slefconscious? It is obvious! No matter how its (his/her) feeling of “I” was rudimentary, it existed: “I” am endangered, and “I” have to run or fight. At least as an alarming feeling, not as a thought.

  70. on 27 Dec 2009 at 9:53 am 70.Severin said …

    Consciousness, continued

    Thoughts, as still higher level of consciousness, appeared later.

    Highly developed brain of primates found a way to use its own capacities and stored data, to enable them to create strategies for both using enviromental benefits and for avoiding/fighting dangers.

    It was inevitable, beacause of complexity of their nerv system, that “thoughts” appeared as a current “screen content” of processing data to make decision, but also as a response to all information coming from environment.

    Even human thoughts are highly influenced by information we get from outside of our “I”. They are very random, and we can “direct” them to a create a “sensible content” (a letter, a speech) only by some efort.
    In lack of our will (sleeping), our thoughts are “playing games” with us.
    Humans even invented ways to exclude thoughts and sensations, when usefull.
    However, human counsciousness is still full of inherited, unnecessary “contents”, such as fear of darkness, fear of thunder, sudden movements, etc.

    So, from several electrochemical reactions which enabled the first microorganism to recogize eddible food and to avoid poisonous one, to complex nerv system with billions of connections and impulses “working” non-stop, counsciousness developed through evolution in EXACTLY the same way and rate as organisms did.

    No “divinity” in cousciousness!

  71. on 15 Jul 2010 at 4:04 pm 71.TruthSeeker said …

    8 Xenon “Nobody can tell what we are thinking by measuring brain waves. We must be asked what we are thinking.”

    Not true. Computers are being ‘trained’ to learn which waves go for certain thoughts. Prostetics are improving in leaps and bounds thru this process. What uses to be: ‘relax your arm muscle’ for open hand and ‘tense muscle’ for close hand (or vice versa) will one day soon be full articulation, simply by thinking it.

    They’re doing it for video games and one day, maybe sooner than later, Stephen Hawkins will be able to have actual conversation and write books much faster than he is now.

    Just like in 1900 we couldn’t fly, and you’re taking the position, “Humans will never fly.” Just because we cannot do it now, does not mean, “It will never happen.”

  72. on 15 Jul 2010 at 9:24 pm 72.Burebista said …

    So TS, you claim Xenon’s comment is not true about reading thoughts then at the end you admit we cannot read the thoughts of individuals. Any rationale person would see the SERIOUS contradiction in you argument.

    The claim “we will in the future” is nothing more than speculation. It is the atheist equivalent of “God did it”. We couldn’t send a man to Jupiter in 1900, and guess what? We still can’t! When you can read the thoughts of Hawkins, you can come back with something worth claiming.

  73. on 16 Jul 2010 at 3:47 am 73.A real-ist said …

    Lie detectors read people’s thoughts by knowing if the person is lying or not. Doesn’t that count?

  74. on 16 Jul 2010 at 4:40 am 74.Severin said …

    72 Burebista
    “We couldn’t send a man to Jupiter in 1900, and guess what? We still can’t!”

    Oh, Burebista, how clever you are!
    Who on earth has so clear thoughts, so logical conclusions?!

    Just IMAGINE: we still can’t send a man to Jupiter!!!

    Yes, yes, in 1900 we couldn’t send a man to Moon, and guess what?

    In 2010 some people still believe in god.
    Guess what?

  75. on 16 Jul 2010 at 5:06 am 75.3D said …

    73.A real-ist said …

    Lie detectors read people’s thoughts by knowing if the person is lying or not. Doesn’t that count?

    No. I am on your side in this debate, but this is a bad example. Lie detectors don’t read thoughts, they just read bodily reactions to questions like heart rate, sweat, etc., which an operator can use to make an educated guess as to whether the person is lying.

    The best example IMO was put forth in the original video. People who remain alive, but cease to have brain activity (brain-death), do not have consciousness. If souls were real, and souls were the source of consciousness, then they should still have functioning consciousness despite the brain death, because they would still have souls. But they don’t.

  76. on 22 Oct 2012 at 4:13 pm 76.delta4ce1 said …

    Would you mind letting us see the video? I’d like to see the whole argument. It’s clear to me based on what we can observe that Dualism is false and that there is no actual or legitimate evidence to support it but I’d like to see your explanation and defense of your stand on the topic. The supposed evidence for Dualism is being misinterpreted by means of fallacious reasoning.
    Thanks in advance.

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