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Dualism on the chopping block

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  • Dualism on the chopping block

    How do we defend dualism if brain trauma can affect who the person is?

    Isn't who the person is, the Soul? Or put more simply, the person = the Soul.

    I'm still in favor of of dualism btw. Just doubting a little after reading this article:

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/b...give-the-ghost

    Here's a quick snippet:

    If our essence is separate from our body, chemicals that affect the body should not affect our essence. Yet certain mushrooms, LSD, and my mother’s meatloaf all produce life-changing hallucinations. Acetaminophen has been shown to decrease empathy. Taking drugs for Parkinson’s disease can lead to compulsive gambling or hypersexuality. Statins can cause significant mood changes. Nutrient deficiency, dehydration, and fatigue can also have a dramatic impact on how we think and act. If the soul is immaterial, it should be immune to physical substances that alter the body. And yet these substances change our behavior and personality.


  • #2
    Originally posted by Machinist View Post
    How do we defend dualism if brain trauma can affect who the person is?

    Isn't who the person is, the Soul? Or put more simply, the person = the Soul.

    I'm still in favor of of dualism btw. Just doubting a little after reading this article:

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/b...give-the-ghost

    Here's a quick snippet:

    If our essence is separate from our body, chemicals that affect the body should not affect our essence. Yet certain mushrooms, LSD, and my mother’s meatloaf all produce life-changing hallucinations. Acetaminophen has been shown to decrease empathy. Taking drugs for Parkinson’s disease can lead to compulsive gambling or hypersexuality. Statins can cause significant mood changes. Nutrient deficiency, dehydration, and fatigue can also have a dramatic impact on how we think and act. If the soul is immaterial, it should be immune to physical substances that alter the body. And yet these substances change our behavior and personality.
    It can be argued that the soul is connected to the world through the brain, so that anything that affects the brain can interfere with that connection.

    I don't believe that, but it can be argued.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Stoic View Post

      It can be argued that the soul is connected to the world through the brain, so that anything that affects the brain can interfere with that connection.

      I don't believe that, but it can be argued.
      Yes, I believe that is the argument.

      Another paragraph from the article that I found thought provoking:


      Practical questions also emerge when you contemplate the idea of an eternal soul. We change as we age, sometimes dramatically. So which version of our soul lives on? Young you or old you? Who sings “Jailhouse Rock” in Heaven—young Elvis or old Elvis? What about people with severe mental disabilities? Would they still have the disability in the afterlife? If not, wouldn’t that fundamentally change who they are?

      Comment


      • #4
        Best analogy would be a modern car. Everything is great until the computer goes haywire. Driver's intent be darned - you can turn any direction you want as long as it is left.

        As people decline in mental capability they share an apparently universal reaction: frustration. If the brain is the seat of all consciousness this should not be the case. Most people wouldn't be aware of a loss in capability yet almost all do show such awareness.

        It's less obvious as decline continues to the observer but it's not obvious that a house is unoccupied when casually observed, either. Is someone peeking out of the window unable to come out? If they the soul's knowledge of its circumstances are coming from the malfunctioning body might the person become less willing to ''come out ' in an ever more confusing and frustrating world?

        Adults in decline become more dependent and childlike but they are never truly children. They get all the confusion and frustration with none of the learning and accomplishment of childhood. That seems to be evidence of the adult still aware on some level that they already have had these things. Such awareness is far more indicative of a soul than materially explainable consciousness.
        "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

        "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Machinist View Post

          Yes, I believe that is the argument.

          Another paragraph from the article that I found thought provoking:


          Practical questions also emerge when you contemplate the idea of an eternal soul. We change as we age, sometimes dramatically. So which version of our soul lives on? Young you or old you? Who sings “Jailhouse Rock” in Heaven—young Elvis or old Elvis? What about people with severe mental disabilities? Would they still have the disability in the afterlife? If not, wouldn’t that fundamentally change who they are?
          This sounds like more of a problem than it is. Following this logic, who married your wife and who earned the money that you will be paid this week? Obviously not you because of the passage of time and the changes you've made in that time.

          But then you are self made - the baby God knit together in your mother's womb has nothing to do with you. You become an imposter in your own life.

          Unless we are something more than a collection of cells and experiences. Maybe it's why so many of us have trouble figuring out who we are - the soul instinctively knows it is more than the sum of its apparent parts.
          "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

          "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

          My Personal Blog

          My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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          • #6
            Thank you Teallaura! That response is quite refreshing.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
              As people decline in mental capability they share an apparently universal reaction: frustration. If the brain is the seat of all consciousness this should not be the case. Most people wouldn't be aware of a loss in capability yet almost all do show such awareness.
              Depends on the capability. When my father-in-law had a stroke, he lost the left side of his field of vision, but he didn't see a blank area. What he could see (the right side of his field of view) appeared to cover the whole field of view. So it took a while to figure out that his vision was affected.

              But, barring dramatic memory loss, most people would be able to remember the days when they could easily make themselves understood to others, and the loss of that would be very obvious, and would cause great frustration.

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              • #8


                A real simple argument would be that God can re-create what He remembers of that person/soul. Why not? He's omniscient and omnipotent and He's really good at speaking things into existence. So in this view ( just exploring ideas here), it's more like everything is recorded in the Mind of God and then re-created in the hereafter, for judgement. That may or may not have a little spice of idealism in it, but that's ok. Maybe everything is as bleak and nihilistic as what the author of that article describes, and it's all without hope. That is, without God, there is no chance of any resurrection of any life. Monism, physicalism, could be the thing, could be the truth of this universe, yes. That could be the way it works. Dualism does not have to be true for God to see all and know all and then re-instantiate that person after they die.

                I'm kind of ranting here a bit, a little brainstorming.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Is dualism eternal? Can it be said that the Godhead, which is all that is said to exist prior to the creation of the universe, dualistic? I understand that in one sense that the Godhead is triune, but in some respect, is it also dualistic? This idea that there are two fundamental substances in existence: the mental and the physical...did this dualism exist before creation, and in what sense did it exist? Is dualism a property of the Godhead? Did dualism only exist in the Mind of God?

                  Eternal dualism would not be compatible with creation ex nihilo. Agree/disagree? Are two fundamental substances eternal? or could we say that the eternal Godhead was monistic, and that dualism began with the creation of the first organic creature?

                  When we say that God created everything ex nihilo, out of nothing, are we referring to both the mental and the physical substances? What I gather from many of these conversations, is that only the physical substance was created out of nothing. The mental, that is consciousness, was already there, an eternal property of God.

                  Would you agree that the state of all that existed prior to creation (God being the only thing that existed prior to creation) could be referred to as Monistic? And that a dualistic universe came into existence only through the creative act of God?

                  I think what I am groping at here, ultimately, is that dualism is not a necessary for there to be an afterlife, for consciousness, the mental self image of an individual. Seer has said before that dualism is necessary for there to be free will. I'm also taking a closer look at that as well.

                  Obviously, there is a dualism of sorts that we experience. Whether it's fundamentally two distinct substances (substance dualism) or 2 properties (property dualism), it's difficult to conclude. From my understanding, property dualism is simply monism that gives rise to 2 different properties.

                  Any thoughts? Anyone care to delve into some philosophy this morning? I would greatly appreciate anyone's thoughts here.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Stoic View Post
                    Depends on the capability. When my father-in-law had a stroke, he lost the left side of his field of vision, but he didn't see a blank area. What he could see (the right side of his field of view) appeared to cover the whole field of view. So it took a while to figure out that his vision was affected.
                    Sort of like when you close one eye. Your field of vision doesn't become a blank spot on the side you closed your eye on, instead that now becomes your entire field of vision.

                    I'm always still in trouble again

                    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                    "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                      Sort of like when you close one eye. Your field of vision doesn't become a blank spot on the side you closed your eye on, instead that now becomes your entire field of vision.
                      Sort of. Except that you can tell when you have one eye closed. In his case, the effect was the same in both eyes, and he couldn't tell that anything was wrong until he started bumping into things on his left side.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Stoic View Post
                        Depends on the capability. When my father-in-law had a stroke, he lost the left side of his field of vision, but he didn't see a blank area. What he could see (the right side of his field of view) appeared to cover the whole field of view. So it took a while to figure out that his vision was affected.

                        But, barring dramatic memory loss, most people would be able to remember the days when they could easily make themselves understood to others, and the loss of that would be very obvious, and would cause great frustration.
                        We're talking about different things. A person who is in mental (cognitive) decline shouldn't be aware of it but they consistently show signs that they are, at least for a while. This differs from brain disfunction where memory and cognition are unaffected.
                        "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

                        "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                        My Personal Blog

                        My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

                        Quill Sword

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Machinist View Post
                          Is dualism eternal? Can it be said that the Godhead, which is all that is said to exist prior to the creation of the universe, dualistic? I understand that in one sense that the Godhead is triune, but in some respect, is it also dualistic? This idea that there are two fundamental substances in existence: the mental and the physical...did this dualism exist before creation, and in what sense did it exist? Is dualism a property of the Godhead? Did dualism only exist in the Mind of God?

                          Eternal dualism would not be compatible with creation ex nihilo. Agree/disagree? Are two fundamental substances eternal? or could we say that the eternal Godhead was monistic, and that dualism began with the creation of the first organic creature?

                          When we say that God created everything ex nihilo, out of nothing, are we referring to both the mental and the physical substances? What I gather from many of these conversations, is that only the physical substance was created out of nothing. The mental, that is consciousness, was already there, an eternal property of God.

                          Would you agree that the state of all that existed prior to creation (God being the only thing that existed prior to creation) could be referred to as Monistic? And that a dualistic universe came into existence only through the creative act of God?

                          I think what I am groping at here, ultimately, is that dualism is not a necessary for there to be an afterlife, for consciousness, the mental self image of an individual. Seer has said before that dualism is necessary for there to be free will. I'm also taking a closer look at that as well.

                          Obviously, there is a dualism of sorts that we experience. Whether it's fundamentally two distinct substances (substance dualism) or 2 properties (property dualism), it's difficult to conclude. From my understanding, property dualism is simply monism that gives rise to 2 different properties.

                          Any thoughts? Anyone care to delve into some philosophy this morning? I would greatly appreciate anyone's thoughts here.
                          If the physical is created then it's not eternal. That God used it in the Incarnation doesn't make the physical an intrinsic part of the Godhead.

                          Given the New Creation, I expect dualism is continual for us. That doesn't make it eternal since the physical wasn't eternal to begin with.

                          Also, you have got to stop philosophizing on no sleep!
                          "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

                          "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                          My Personal Blog

                          My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

                          Quill Sword

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Teallaura View Post

                            We're talking about different things. A person who is in mental (cognitive) decline shouldn't be aware of it but they consistently show signs that they are, at least for a while. This differs from brain disfunction where memory and cognition are unaffected.
                            Again, it depends. It's easy to imagine losing your mental acuity faster than you lose your memory of having had better mental acuity.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Stoic View Post

                              Again, it depends. It's easy to imagine losing your mental acuity faster than you lose your memory of having had better mental acuity.
                              No, it really isn't. Remembering something that you no longer have the mental capacity for and finding that frustrating indicates a greater comprehension but without the capacity. It's not enough to remember - the person has to be able to comprehend the loss.
                              "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

                              "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                              My Personal Blog

                              My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

                              Quill Sword

                              Comment

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