Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
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30-08-2015, 07:56 PM
Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
What leads people today to believe in substance dualism? Ancient Egyptians had no clue about the function of the brain and thought the center of emotion was the heart and the receptacle of the life energy named ka, the very first concept of soul in written history. All civilisations and human cultures seemed to explain their intellect and their consciousness on a nebulous form of spiritual energy that transcend the body and ultimately allowed afterlife. Now, with the fast development of neuro-science, the need for that energy to explain our ability to think, feel and experiment our universe, to be conscious, has been reduced to nothing. While the complex interaction and function of our brain still holds great mysteries, we are breaking them at good speed. So why is there still so much people believing in the concept of soul or mystic energy like ki?
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30-08-2015, 08:17 PM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(30-08-2015 07:56 PM)epronovost Wrote:  What leads people today to believe in substance dualism? Ancient Egyptians had no clue about the function of the brain and thought the center of emotion was the heart and the receptacle of the life energy named ka, the very first concept of soul in written history. All civilisations and human cultures seemed to explain their intellect and their consciousness on a nebulous form of spiritual energy that transcend the body and ultimately allowed afterlife. Now, with the fast development of neuro-science, the need for that energy to explain our ability to think, feel and experiment our universe, to be conscious, has been reduced to nothing. While the complex interaction and function of our brain still holds great mysteries, we are breaking them at good speed. So why is there still so much people believing in the concept of soul or mystic energy like ki?

One of the causes is a flawed theory of concepts.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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30-08-2015, 08:22 PM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(30-08-2015 07:56 PM)epronovost Wrote:  So why is there still so much people believing in the concept of soul or mystic energy like ki?

Because the alternative frightens them.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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30-08-2015, 08:25 PM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(30-08-2015 08:17 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  One of the causes is a flawed theory of concepts.

You mean the primacy of consciousness? A consciousness without anything to analyse is by definition unconscious. It's a reactive and interactive process. It's not just flawed; in my opinion it's self-defeating unless you define consciousness in a very different way than usual.
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30-08-2015, 08:30 PM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
Neuroscience and for that matter neurophilosophy are areas where many believers and even those who'd call themselves "spiritual but not religious" attempt to formulate a god of the gaps theory.

The most prevalent fear I come across, is from those who feel disillusioned by the thought of a soul being nothing more than our consciousness grasping for comfort.

What I personally feel some are missing in discussions of this nature, is that we're not losing anything by understanding the brain better, we're gaining a whole new perspective of how truly marvelous our existence is.

The landscape for us to explore is vast, and I for one am excited to see where the science (neurology, psychology) is able to take us in the journey of discovery.
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30-08-2015, 09:00 PM
Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(30-08-2015 07:56 PM)epronovost Wrote:  So why is there still so much people believing in the concept of soul or mystic energy like ki?

For the same reason people think there's some sort of clear sense of thinking, referred to as rational thinking. A belief that we're able think in a state free of certain neurochemical responses that exist for those that we deem as not thinking clearly.

For the same reason folks are not inclined to believe we're not moist robots. That we're composed of stuff that makes us more than that.

Dualism has some deep intuitive qualities, that keep us from rejecting it fully, and accepting the scientific image.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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30-08-2015, 10:03 PM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
I have this problem with my brain.

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Bad brain, bad. Big Grin

I think visually, I reason emotionally, I consider the inconceivable. What if it ain't a matter of mind or body but rather that all is mind? That we do not interact with a disembodied mind for the simple reason that our mind is embodied? Why?

Because it is not testable, not provable, and essentially indistinguishable from its converse. Usually I reject it out of hand but my head's full of Gwynnies and my bed is full of hot and yuk. Blush

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30-08-2015, 11:04 PM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(30-08-2015 09:00 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(30-08-2015 07:56 PM)epronovost Wrote:  So why is there still so much people believing in the concept of soul or mystic energy like ki?

For the same reason people think there's some sort of clear sense of thinking, referred to as rational thinking. A belief that we're able think in a state free of certain neurochemical responses that exist for those that we deem as not thinking clearly.

For the same reason folks are not inclined to believe we're not moist robots. That we're composed of stuff that makes us more than that.

Dualism has some deep intuitive qualities, that keep us from rejecting it fully, and accepting the scientific image.

Who is this 'us' of whom you speak?

Many of us here entirely and utterly reject substance dualism as incoherent.

And, yes, of course we are greater than the sum of our parts. Look up 'emergent properties'. Drinking Beverage

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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30-08-2015, 11:44 PM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(30-08-2015 08:25 PM)epronovost Wrote:  
(30-08-2015 08:17 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  One of the causes is a flawed theory of concepts.

You mean the primacy of consciousness? A consciousness without anything to analyse is by definition unconscious. It's a reactive and interactive process. It's not just flawed; in my opinion it's self-defeating unless you define consciousness in a very different way than usual.

No I wasn't talking about that. Many thinkers hold that concepts exist somewhere in another dimension apart from consciousness and that consciousness is also an entity in its own right rather than an attribute of certain entities, namely biological organisms. They treat concepts as metaphysical in nature rather than epistemological. These fundamental errors lead to the mind/ body dichotomy and many more problems. Concepts are how our particular form of consciousness condenses and integrates the things which we perceive. They are a product of the mind and don't exist apart from it. So many of the so called problems of philosophy are a result of a flawed theory of concepts. The problem of universals, the analytic/ synthetic dichotomy, and Humean skepticism to name a few.

Oh and I agree with you that a consciousness without objects is a contradiction in terms. That's just one more nail in the coffin of theism as far as I'm concerned. I would define consciousness as the faculty which perceives that which exists.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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31-08-2015, 06:20 AM (This post was last modified: 31-08-2015 06:25 AM by epronovost.)
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(30-08-2015 09:00 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(30-08-2015 07:56 PM)epronovost Wrote:  So why is there still so much people believing in the concept of soul or mystic energy like ki?

For the same reason people think there's some sort of clear sense of thinking, referred to as rational thinking. A belief that we're able think in a state free of certain neurochemical responses that exist for those that we deem as not thinking clearly.

For the same reason folks are not inclined to believe we're not moist robots. That we're composed of stuff that makes us more than that.

Dualism has some deep intuitive qualities, that keep us from rejecting it fully, and accepting the scientific image.

I would ask you to go in greater detail on those point. Your pick-up lines on dualism failed to make me understand your strain of thought (I assume you believe in substance dualism).

Rational thinking was amongst the easiest brain process to understand. We know what area of the brain controls it and even fight disease like dementia that affect it and discovered the case of individual that saw that particular portion of their brain damaged/destroyed yet survived, but now have no capacity for impulse control and insight.

Maybe people should reconsider what robots are. When they describe people has moist robot, they most likely think to science-fiction robot not actual modern day robot. I guess they should watch or read the bicentennial man. I personally just watch the movie. It's a bit tacky but good and ask a pertinent question on what it is that makes us so human.

From your last line, I would be tempted to resume that belief in substance dualism hold itself entirely on a little bit of ignorance and a lot of make-believe.
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