Evolution and humans: big brain size or use (Evolution)

by dhw, Monday, May 22, 2017, 13:01 (757 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: You keep harping on about the return. Do you or do you not believe that after your actual physical death, you/your consciousness will survive with identity intact as David Turell? See below for the implications of your reply.
DAVID: In the afterlife, yes.
dhw: …if you believe that consciousness survives the death of the brain, and you do not believe that the brain is the source of thought (= materialism), then it can only be that consciousness uses the brain to acquire information and to translate thought into action.
DAVID: I am the source of thought using my brain through my consciousness. Why do you separate everything? [dhw's bold]

It is you who are separating your “self” from your consciousness, although you believe that there is an afterlife in which your “self” is nothing but your consciousness. The whole point of dualism is the separation of mind and body: mind goes with consciousness and brain goes with body. According to you, the mind survives the death of the body, so “you” are your mind/consciousness and yes, yes, yes, you/your mind/your consciousness are “the source of thought, using your brain”. The brain does not use you/your mind/ your consciousness.

dhw: If brainless consciousness cannot think, then you will have to abandon your belief in an afterlife as yourself.
DAVID: Once again you separate everything as if they don't interlock. Brainless consciousness does think in NDE's and the memories are brought back.

As above. If you believe that the brain and consciousness are interlocked, i.e. consciousness cannot exist without the brain, out goes your afterlife, and in comes materialism.

DAVID: There are two sides: consciousness as a mechanism and consciousness=my self image which I develop from childhood.
dhw: Precisely. According to you (I remain neutral), consciousness is both the (immaterial) mechanism that generates thought (including concepts) and the “self” (containing all the thoughts and concepts it has generated) which develops and ultimately survives. It is consciousness as mechanism and self that uses the brain, which RECEIVES concepts and instructions. According to you, then, does the receiver brain say to you/consciousness, “Here are the tools, so now talk a new language”, or do you/your consciousness say to the receiver brain, “I want to talk a new language, so give me the tools”? In other words, which comes first – the tools or the concept?
DAVID: As a newborn I'm given the tools as my brain develops and accepts the receipt of consciousness which it then uses, creating my personality, my concept of self.

The discussion concerns the enlargement of the brain. You say the brain got bigger, which gave rise to new concepts. I say that if you believe in dualism, it has to be the new concepts that triggered the enlargement of the brain. By the time you arrived on Planet Earth, the brain had already been enlarged. However, if you are convinced that your identity or self depends on how your mortal brain uses your consciousness then, alas, goodbye to mortal brain = goodbye to David.

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