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

by David Turell @, Thursday, May 25, 2017, 19:06 (2466 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: “Our use" once again separates identity from consciousness, which is not possible if you believe in an afterlife that preserves your conscious self. One level? Is your consciousness on the same level as your dog’s? What happened to self-awareness? And when you call your God a universal consciousness, do you mean his consciousness is on a level with yours and your dog’s?

Your confusion about my concepts is due to the fact that I have had no philosophic training in dualism or any other approach to consciousness. I am my consciousness, I'm not separate, but I view consciousness as a mechanism I use while I am within it.

dhw: If you think the cause of our enhanced ability to use the information is the complexity of our brains, that’s fine, but then you are a materialist. If you think it is due to our enhanced consciousness, you are a dualist. This is highlighted by your next comment.

My concept is that it is the complexity of our brain that allows us to receive a complex consciousness for our use:

DAVID: The ability to use consciousness is what advances as the brain becomes more complex. You missed the point about hunter-gatherers. Cultural advancement plays a huge role. Newton and Leibniz had to invent calculus to get to where we are now in math. For the h-g's the capacity was always there. It is a matter of accumulating discoveries in thought and concepts. I am a dualist. See my entry for today regarding the brain's ability to change helping illiterate women to read. Thursday, May 25, 2017, 18:53.

dhw: I agree with all of this. But in terms of “use” and “ability”, Newton, Leibniz and the hunter-gatherers may well have had the same complex providers of information and obeyers of instructions (brains), but – according to dualists and afterlifers – it is the different consciousness mind/intelligence that has the ability to use the information to create the new thoughts and concepts, which in turn contribute to the identity of the conscious mind which you believe survives the death of the brain.

This whole discussion, however, is riddled with problems which I tried to resolve some time ago by reconciling dualism and materialism. I may return to that later.

I don't know if you understand my view or not? My consciousness is me, but it is loaned to me until the afterlife when it leaves my body and returns to be part of the universal consciousness and I am 'me' as part of what I return to.

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