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Old 4th May 2018, 09:04 AM   #1
Dancing David
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The whole duality thing, mind/body

Good day all,
It seems to me that the mind/body duality is a totally made up concept.
No matter how venerable and ancient it's roots may be.

The 'two' are part and parcel, there is no actual division between them.
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Old 4th May 2018, 09:22 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
Good day all,
It seems to me that the mind/body duality is a totally made up concept.
No matter how venerable and ancient it's roots may be.

The 'two' are part and parcel, there is no actual division between them.
Thanks. To me duality is simply a sophistic attempt to clad a pig in a tuxedo.

ETA: Somebody had to say it eventually.
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Old 4th May 2018, 10:36 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
Good day all,
It seems to me that the mind/body duality is a totally made up concept.
No matter how venerable and ancient it's roots may be.

The 'two' are part and parcel, there is no actual division between them.
Well, yes for mind/body. No for objective and subjective.
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Old 4th May 2018, 10:41 AM   #4
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Dualism is reinforced by our language - I see the tree - I ate the apple - etc Most people are dualists, though they may think they believe something else.
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Old 4th May 2018, 10:45 AM   #5
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Have any of you atheists ever done meditation ? It strikes me you have missed out on a deeper experience of mind that might make you realize thought cannot be caused by nothing but the bowl of porridge we call a brain. Here is a spiritual lesson from the Upanishads which are thousands of years old.

Bright but hidden, the self dwells in the heart.
Everything that moves, breaths, opens, and closes
Lives in the self, He is the source of love
And may be known through love but not through thought.
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Old 4th May 2018, 10:52 AM   #6
Dancing David
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Have any of you atheists ever done meditation ? It strikes me you have missed out on a deeper experience of mind that might make you realize thought cannot be caused by nothing but the bowl of porridge we call a brain. Here is a spiritual lesson from the Upanishads which are thousands of years old.

Bright but hidden, the self dwells in the heart.
Everything that moves, breaths, opens, and closes
Lives in the self, He is the source of love
And may be known through love but not through thought.
What evidence do you have of thoughts absent a brain/porridge?

You know what they say about assumptions

I don't know, you tell me? These are all around the forum

When did I start meditating?
When did I become a ceremonial magickian?
When did I become a shaman?
When did I become a witch high priest?
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Old 4th May 2018, 11:05 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
What evidence do you have of thoughts absent a brain/porridge?

You know what they say about assumptions
This cuts both ways - there being no evidence that thoughts come from a brain / porridge There isn't even any evidence of any such thing as a thought. But this is outside of this thread . . .
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Old 4th May 2018, 11:17 AM   #8
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Yeah whenever I blow a candle out I suffer a crisis of faith as to where the fire went.
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Old 4th May 2018, 12:15 PM   #9
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The reason dualism keeps popping up is materialism/physicalism fails in three areas:

1. The failure of any progress answering the question how matter gives rise to consciousness.

2. If everything is material/physical, then knowledge of brain states should entail knowledge of mental states, but this seems patently false: a person blind from birth who learns all the facts about the brain states involved in seeing still won't have the slightest clue what the mental state "seeing" is. This doesn't require 100% knowledge on the part of the blind person, either. If brain states are mental states, then acquiring any knowledge about brain states involved in seeing should correspond to some knowledge of the mental state of seeing, but of course that doesn't happen. No matter how much the blind person learns about brain states, their ignorance of the corresponding mental state remains absolute, until they experience seeing for the first time.

3. If the brain and the mind are the same, then talk of brain states is the same as talk of mental states, and vice versa. But imagine two Greeks thousands of years ago talking about their mental states. Meaningful information is being exchanged. Yet both Greeks think the brain cools the blood, so no meaningful information about the brain is being exchanged- they're just as clueless about their brains after the conversation. If minds and brains are the same, that shouldn't be possible.

And vice-versa. Imagine two scientists discussing the brain of a bat. Meaningful information is being conveyed about the bat's brain, but not about the bat's mental states. Again, if brains and minds are the same, the scientists should be exchanging information about what it's like to be a bat (thank you Thomas Nagel), but they're not.
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Old 4th May 2018, 12:19 PM   #10
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Oh good god........why do we keep doing this to ourselves? Why give the cranks a platform with this sort of thread?
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Old 4th May 2018, 12:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Oh good god........why do we keep doing this to ourselves? Why give the cranks a platform with this sort of thread?
Well.said.
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Old 4th May 2018, 01:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
This cuts both ways - there being no evidence that thoughts come from a brain / porridge There isn't even any evidence of any such thing as a thought. But this is outside of this thread . . .
Hmm, that is even more nihilist than I am, I take the stance of the alleged historic Buddha, there appears to be a body, it appears to have thoughts, emotions, sensations, perceptions and habits
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Old 4th May 2018, 01:25 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
The reason dualism keeps popping up is materialism/physicalism fails in three areas:
That is funny, I am not aware of modern materialists espousing the mind/body duality. I am likely lacking in knowledge
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Old 4th May 2018, 01:36 PM   #14
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Woo Slingers and Woo Apologists have made a concentrated effort to turn "Reality exists and therefore knowledge is dependent on concept like evidence, objectivity, falsifiablility, and such" to be some sort of crazy fringe opinion.

There's no such thing as a materialist or a dualist in the same way there's no such fish as a Chilean Sea Bass. They are just euphemistic marketing terms trying to make "I think reality exists" a statement that has to be defended against "No it isn't and I get to make stuff up."
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Old 4th May 2018, 01:49 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
That is funny, I am not aware of modern materialists espousing the mind/body duality. I am likely lacking in knowledge
I don't know of any names, off hand, but one can be a materialist and believe in predicate dualism.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind%E...dicate_dualism
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philos...ve_physicalism
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Old 4th May 2018, 02:11 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Oh good god........why do we keep doing this to ourselves? Why give the cranks a platform with this sort of thread?
We don't have free will, so we can't help it.
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Old 4th May 2018, 02:17 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
We don't have free will, so we can't help it.
Don't look at me I'm just a shadow of a butterfly dreaming I'm a P-zombie on the Walls of a Plato's cave inside a Matrix all being imagined by a brain in a vat.
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Old 4th May 2018, 05:13 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
Hmm, that is even more nihilist than I am, I take the stance of the alleged historic Buddha, there appears to be a body, it appears to have thoughts, emotions, sensations, perceptions and habits
Not implying thoughts and etc don’t exist or aren’t real, only there’s no evidence of them
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Old 5th May 2018, 12:26 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
Dualism is reinforced by our language - I see the tree - I ate the apple - etc Most people are dualists, though they may think they believe something else.
Agreed. Intuitions that provoke beliefs in dualism are deeply related to linguistic intuitions concerning the semantic distinction between abstract objects and concrete particulars.

Any meaningful discussion of dualism should focus on our applications of the abstract/concrete distinction.
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Old 5th May 2018, 12:49 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by 8Sime8 View Post
Agreed. Intuitions that provoke beliefs in dualism are deeply related to linguistic intuitions concerning the semantic distinction between abstract objects and concrete particulars.

Any meaningful discussion of dualism should focus on our applications of the abstract/concrete distinction.
Well, yes. But also the ability to do, how reality works in practice and the relationship between abstract/concrete and subjective/objective.
Don't ask how the words work, ask what we do, how we do it and how many different categories of doing you can find.

With regard
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Old 5th May 2018, 12:55 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
The reason dualism keeps popping up is materialism/physicalism fails in three areas:

1. The failure of any progress answering the question how matter gives rise to consciousness.
Factually untrue.
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
2. If everything is material/physical, then knowledge of brain states should entail knowledge of mental states, but this seems patently false: a person blind from birth who learns all the facts about the brain states involved in seeing still won't have the slightest clue what the mental state "seeing" is. This doesn't require 100% knowledge on the part of the blind person, either. If brain states are mental states, then acquiring any knowledge about brain states involved in seeing should correspond to some knowledge of the mental state of seeing, but of course that doesn't happen. No matter how much the blind person learns about brain states, their ignorance of the corresponding mental state remains absolute, until they experience seeing for the first time.
Non-sequitur

Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
3. If the brain and the mind are the same, then talk of brain states is the same as talk of mental states, and vice versa. But imagine two Greeks thousands of years ago talking about their mental states. Meaningful information is being exchanged. Yet both Greeks think the brain cools the blood, so no meaningful information about the brain is being exchanged- they're just as clueless about their brains after the conversation. If minds and brains are the same, that shouldn't be possible.#
Non-sequitur
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post

And vice-versa. Imagine two scientists discussing the brain of a bat. Meaningful information is being conveyed about the bat's brain, but not about the bat's mental states. Again, if brains and minds are the same, the scientists should be exchanging information about what it's like to be a bat (thank you Thomas Nagel), but they're not.
Non-sequitur
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Old 5th May 2018, 12:58 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Have any of you atheists ever done meditation ? It strikes me you have missed out on a deeper experience of mind that might make you realize thought cannot be caused by nothing but the bowl of porridge we call a brain. Here is a spiritual lesson from the Upanishads which are thousands of years old.

Bright but hidden, the self dwells in the heart.
Everything that moves, breaths, opens, and closes
Lives in the self, He is the source of love
And may be known through love but not through thought.
One can be an atheist and a dualist.
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Old 5th May 2018, 06:15 AM   #23
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Has always seemed to me that dualism exists to provide for the existence of some sort of soul, which is a human invention... A hedge against death.

Somewhere in our prehistoric past, when the notion of Animism popped into the heads of our ancestors, it was but a short leap from “everything has an animating spirit” to “so do we”.... And since spirits existed without bodies well then ours must too.

Viola... Death is not so frightening. Many primitives not only still believe in Animism but also practice ancestor worship as well. If the ancestors are still around...

All religions feature some sort of way to cheat death, whether that be a boring, drab existence in Sheol or playing drinking games with Odin and his crew in Valhalla or reincarnating as...Something.

This whole idea is so appealing that even well-educated contemporary folks are unwilling to abandon it and thus we have “something” (often completely undescribed) that is responsible for consciousness and thought in addition to the “3-pound universe” that is the human brain.
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Old 5th May 2018, 08:53 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
Has always seemed to me that dualism exists to provide for the existence of some sort of soul, which is a human invention... A hedge against death.

Somewhere in our prehistoric past, when the notion of Animism popped into the heads of our ancestors, it was but a short leap from “everything has an animating spirit” to “so do we”.... And since spirits existed without bodies well then ours must too.

Viola... Death is not so frightening. Many primitives not only still believe in Animism but also practice ancestor worship as well. If the ancestors are still around...

All religions feature some sort of way to cheat death, whether that be a boring, drab existence in Sheol or playing drinking games with Odin and his crew in Valhalla or reincarnating as...Something.

This whole idea is so appealing that even well-educated contemporary folks are unwilling to abandon it and thus we have “something” (often completely undescribed) that is responsible for consciousness and thought in addition to the “3-pound universe” that is the human brain.
Dualism pops up in math, of all places: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/p...m-mathematics/
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Old 5th May 2018, 08:57 AM   #25
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No it doesn't.
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
Dualism pops up in math, of all places: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/p...m-mathematics/
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Old 5th May 2018, 08:58 PM   #26
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As former Sooner football coach Barry Switzer said to QB Steve Davis when he was being booed by some Sooner fans during his only loss in 32 starts:

"Pay them no mind. They're just molecules in the universe."

Switzer was right. Not only are we not separate from our bodies, we aren't even separate from the rest of the universe. We're all just some molecules in it.
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Old 7th May 2018, 08:20 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by LarryS View Post
Not implying thoughts and etc don’t exist or aren’t real, only there’s no evidence of them
That is still nihilism.
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Old 11th May 2018, 10:56 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
1. The failure of any progress answering the question how matter gives rise to consciousness.
I've been at it for 4 1/2 years. I can't explain yet how consciousness works, but it would be untrue to say that I've made no progress.

Quote:
2.No matter how much the blind person learns about brain states, their ignorance of the corresponding mental state remains absolute, until they experience seeing for the first time.
Mary's Room. I deconstructed this some time ago.

Quote:
3. If the brain and the mind are the same, then talk of brain states is the same as talk of mental states
Computers have machine states. Brains don't.

Quote:
Imagine two scientists discussing the brain of a bat. Meaningful information is being conveyed about the bat's brain, but not about the bat's mental states.
I would imagine that police officers talk about, study, and hear stories about shooting in addition to practicing at a gun range. Yet, larger municipalities require police officers to take a break from duty and attend therapy sessions. Presumably this is because talking about shooting someone isn't the same as actually doing it. Jump schools also do dual jumps now because talking about skydiving is not the same as actually doing it. Both of these examples are considerably less complex than brain description. And, the examples we do have such as tank combat simulation and airline flight simulation where it does provide experience for the real thing don't involve just talking.
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Old 12th May 2018, 08:45 AM   #29
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You know what makes this duality thing stonking stupid? The fact that we have a pretty good idea by now what kind of brain damage or mediator imbalance does what to that consciousness and thought. There is a whole industry just in medicine that proves that, yes, changing stuff in the brains changes how you think. From depression to anxiety to schizophrenia to creutzfeld-jakob to MS to whatever, it turns out that yes, there is a direct causality between what happens to the brain to what happens to your thought. And that yes, it's only in one direction.

Basically still insisting that, no, see, there's a totally separate entity there is as stonking stupid as someone looking at a clock and insisting that there's a duality between the mechanism and some mysterious The Ticking entity, or that talking about the state of the cogs is TOTALLY not the same as the shown time. Even if you don't know how to design a working clock yourself, or even if you can't see the connection between the cogs and the arms (e.g., they're moved by magnets), the simple fact that you can prove that doing this or that change to the mechanism also changes how it works, is enough to show that one is the effect of the other to anyone who isn't pencils-up-the-nose underpants-on-head stupid.

And hell, that was stupid even before modern medicine. We had proof like lobotomy for more than a century, and even before that there was evidence that trauma to the head can have lasting effects on how that consciousness works from then on. More than one language has expressions like "were you dropped on your head?" or "he was beaten on the head" as basically a kenning for someone being stupid. So the evidence was there all along that there is a causal connection between changes to the brain and changes in behaviour.

And then here comes the big stonking stupidity: you know that if you damage this lever, the clock starts going faster, and if you damage the bearings, it starts going slow, and so on. But you somehow believe that if you destroy that clock completely, e.g., throw it into a volcano, somehow the Ticking not only is a separate entity that keeps going even without those parts that made it happen, but it's made whole and perfect again. Basically past a point, damage actually somehow repairs it.

Because that's what believing in consciousness surviving is about.

And that brings me again to what I have against religion: it makes people stupid. Even people who should be smarter, even by virtue of their being able to use a computer or tie their shoe laces, will gleefully dumb themselves down and argue idiotic stuff when they want really hard to believe in some religious nonsense.
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Old 12th May 2018, 09:05 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
You know what makes this duality thing stonking stupid? The fact that we have a pretty good idea by now what kind of brain damage or mediator imbalance does what to that consciousness and thought. There is a whole industry just in medicine that proves that, yes, changing stuff in the brains changes how you think. From depression to anxiety to schizophrenia to creutzfeld-jakob to MS to whatever, it turns out that yes, there is a direct causality between what happens to the brain to what happens to your thought. And that yes, it's only in one direction......
Que the "Brain is a radio..."
any minute now....
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Old 12th May 2018, 09:12 AM   #31
HansMustermann
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Yeah, I heard that one before, but it's still stonking stupid. Because there ain't no radio in the world that you can damage in such a way, as to hear the news anchor say that pink flying elephants have invaded New Jersey.
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Old 12th May 2018, 09:19 AM   #32
The Sparrow
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Yeah, I heard that one before, but it's still stonking stupid. Because there ain't no radio in the world that you can damage in such a way, as to hear the news anchor say that pink flying elephants have invaded New Jersey.
[Woo]
Nope, the soul is intact, it is just its expression into the material world via the brain that is broken.
[/Woo]
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Old 12th May 2018, 09:24 AM   #33
Darat
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Originally Posted by The Sparrow View Post
Que the "Brain is a radio..."
any minute now....
Whilst we don't know everything (yet or perhaps never will) we do know there is no room for any particle/wave that could transmit information, we would be seeing its effect even if we couldn't detect it - like gravity and the Higgs particle. Therefore the old idea of the brain being a transceiver has been ruled out.
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Old 12th May 2018, 10:28 AM   #34
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by The Sparrow View Post
[Woo]
Nope, the soul is intact, it is just its expression into the material world via the brain that is broken.
[/Woo]
Right. So the soul of my ex-gf wasn't the one who thought ghosts are trying to steal her soul through her nose, wasn't the one who thought I was a powerful mage who can defend her from the ghosts, and presumably not the one taking the decision to go out of her way to court me because of my being such a mighty wizard

(To be entirely fair, I kinda am also to blame. I never actually claimed to be a wizard, but I assumed her talking of magic was just about historical religious beliefs. And ancient magical beliefs was as nerdy a topic as any for a history geek like me, so I was down with talking about that all evening. Hell, I even thought it was awesome to find a mate with the same nerdy historical interests. Plus, when you're a male nerd and a pretty girl opens with "come over to have sex", lemme tell you, your own radio... err... brain goes *fzzt* and shuts off)

Her soul totally wasn't paranoid schizophrenic, right?

Presumably that all was just the broken radio in her head, right?

Well, that's a lot of thinking done by the radio, wouldn't you say? We're talking about actual decision making done by the broken radio. So why would anyone need anything else to explain it, if the radio CAN do it?
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Which part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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Old 13th May 2018, 12:12 AM   #35
MikeG
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Right. So the soul of my ex-gf wasn't the one who thought ghosts are trying to steal her soul through her nose, wasn't the one who thought I was a powerful mage who can defend her from the ghosts, and presumably not the one taking the decision to go out of her way to court me because of my being such a mighty wizard

(To be entirely fair, I kinda am also to blame. I never actually claimed to be a wizard, but I assumed her talking of magic was just about historical religious beliefs. And ancient magical beliefs was as nerdy a topic as any for a history geek like me, so I was down with talking about that all evening. Hell, I even thought it was awesome to find a mate with the same nerdy historical interests. Plus, when you're a male nerd and a pretty girl opens with "come over to have sex", lemme tell you, your own radio... err... brain goes *fzzt* and shuts off)..........
You were more interested in the shape of the radio, the configuration of the dials, its ergonomics and its aesthetics, than what it was transmitting, I'm guessing.
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Old 13th May 2018, 12:38 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Oh good god........why do we keep doing this to ourselves? Why give the cranks a platform with this sort of thread?
Because the forum would be very boring if we all agreed with one another all the time.
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Old 13th May 2018, 04:31 AM   #37
HansMustermann
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
You were more interested in the shape of the radio, the configuration of the dials, its ergonomics and its aesthetics, than what it was transmitting, I'm guessing.
Well, that and it beat spending the evening polishing my wizard's staff
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Old 13th May 2018, 09:16 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
You know what makes this duality thing stonking stupid? The fact that we have a pretty good idea by now what kind of brain damage or mediator imbalance does what to that consciousness and thought. There is a whole industry just in medicine that proves that, yes, changing stuff in the brains changes how you think. From depression to anxiety to schizophrenia to creutzfeld-jakob to MS to whatever, it turns out that yes, there is a direct causality between what happens to the brain to what happens to your thought. And that yes, it's only in one direction.

Basically still insisting that, no, see, there's a totally separate entity there is as stonking stupid as someone looking at a clock and insisting that there's a duality between the mechanism and some mysterious The Ticking entity, or that talking about the state of the cogs is TOTALLY not the same as the shown time. Even if you don't know how to design a working clock yourself, or even if you can't see the connection between the cogs and the arms (e.g., they're moved by magnets), the simple fact that you can prove that doing this or that change to the mechanism also changes how it works, is enough to show that one is the effect of the other to anyone who isn't pencils-up-the-nose underpants-on-head stupid.

And hell, that was stupid even before modern medicine. We had proof like lobotomy for more than a century, and even before that there was evidence that trauma to the head can have lasting effects on how that consciousness works from then on. More than one language has expressions like "were you dropped on your head?" or "he was beaten on the head" as basically a kenning for someone being stupid. So the evidence was there all along that there is a causal connection between changes to the brain and changes in behaviour.

And then here comes the big stonking stupidity: you know that if you damage this lever, the clock starts going faster, and if you damage the bearings, it starts going slow, and so on. But you somehow believe that if you destroy that clock completely, e.g., throw it into a volcano, somehow the Ticking not only is a separate entity that keeps going even without those parts that made it happen, but it's made whole and perfect again. Basically past a point, damage actually somehow repairs it.

Because that's what believing in consciousness surviving is about.

And that brings me again to what I have against religion: it makes people stupid. Even people who should be smarter, even by virtue of their being able to use a computer or tie their shoe laces, will gleefully dumb themselves down and argue idiotic stuff when they want really hard to believe in some religious nonsense.
Thought ultimately remains under control of the thinker. Chemical imbalance and brain damage can influence changes in our behaviour. But the brain does not have the last word, we do.

It is my consistent view that I am the thinker, not my brain, and I retain spiritual beliefs precisely because I have battled with schizophrenia for fifty years.
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Old 13th May 2018, 09:36 AM   #39
P.J. Denyer
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
You know what makes this duality thing stonking stupid? [...].

This was a truly great post, the people who could really benefit from reading it will ignore it of course, but the internet is a bit smarter for having it out there.






.....wish I'd written it.
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Old 13th May 2018, 09:41 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
This was a truly great post, the people who could really benefit from reading it will ignore it of course, but the internet is a bit smarter for having it out there.






.....wish I'd written it.


Or claim they know better while having nothing to support the claim.
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