On 01.06.2012 20:48 meekerdb said the following:
On 6/1/2012 8:59 AM, John Clark wrote:

Believers in 'contra causal free will' suppose that it did not,
my 'soul' or 'spirit' initiated the physical process without any
determinative physical antecedent.

A belief that was enormously popular during the dark ages and led
to a thousand years of philosophical dead ends; not surprising
really, confusion is inevitable if you insist on trying to make
sense out of gibberish.

So you think the existence of soul or spirit is not just false but
incomprehensible. I disagree since there are experiments (e.g.
healing prayer, NDE tests) that could have provided evidence for
these extra-physical phenomena. By their null result they provide
evidence against them. But on your view there cannot be evidence for
or against because the concept cannot be given any meaning, much less
an operational meaning that can be tested.

From Understanding Consciousness by Max Velmans:

p. 300 "To make matters worse, there are four distinct ways in which body/brain and mind/consciousness might in principle, enter into casual relationship. There might be physical causes of physical states, physical causes of mental states, mental causes of mental states, and mental causes of physical states. Establishing which forms of causation are effective in practice has clear implication for understanding the aetiology and proper treatment of illness and disease.

Within conventional medicine, physical -> physical is taken for granted. Consequently, the proper treatment for physical disorders is assumed to be some from of physical intervention. Psychiatry takes the efficacy of physical -> mental causation for granted, along with the assumption that the proper treatment for psychological disorders may involve psychoactive drugs, neurosurgery and so on. Many forms of psychotherapy take mental -> mental causation for granted, and assume that psychological disorders can be alleviated by means of 'talking cures', guided imagery, hypnosis and other form of mental intervention. Psychosomatic medicine assumes that mental -> physical causation can be effective ('psychogenesis'). Consequently, under some circumstances, a physical disorder (for example, hysterical paralysis) may require a mental (psychotherapeutic) intervention. Given the extensive evidence for all these causal interactions (cf. Velmans, 1996a), how we to make sense of them?"

Velmans, M. 1996a: The Science of Consciousness: Psychological, Neuropsychological and Clinical Reviews, London: Routledge.


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