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Virtuoso avatar

Mind-Body Dualism

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Debate details
Publication date
Last update
Category
Philosophy
Time for argument
Three days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two months
Point system
Four points
Characters per argument
10,000
Contender
Type1 avatar
Description
Resolved: Mind-Body Dulaism is true
Definitions
Mind–body dualism, or mind–body duality, is a view in the philosophy of mind that mental phenomena are, in some respects, non-physical,[1] or that the mind and body are distinct and separable.[2] Thus, it encompasses a set of views about the relationship between mind and matter, and between subject and object, and is contrasted with other positions, such as physicalism and enactivism, in the mind–body problem
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind%E2%80%93body_dualism
It is my burden to prove that mind body dualism is true and it is my opponent's burden to prove that mind-body dualism is false. The burden of proof is shared. Con has to do more than refute my arguments, con needs to present arguments against mind-body dualism.
Rules
1. No forfeits
2. Citations must be provided in the text of the debate
3. No new arguments in the final speeches
4. Observe good sportsmanship and maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
5. No trolling
6. No "kritiks" of the topic (challenging assumptions in the resolution)
7. For all resolutional terms, individuals should use commonplace understandings that fit within the logical context of the resolution, the reality of the US political landscape, and this debate
8. The BOP is evenly shared
9. Pro must post their arguments in R1 and waive in R4
10. Rebuttals of new points raised in an adversary's immediately preceding speech may be permissible at the judges' discretion even in the final round (debaters may debate their appropriateness)
11. Violation of any of these rules, or of any of the R1 set-up, merits a loss
Round 1
Published:
I want to thank type1 for accepting this debate. I am looking forward to debating you on this topic.
 
C1: Conjoined Twins
 
In my opinion, this is one of the stronger arguments for mind-body dualism and I don’t think anyone has really discussed this before. What happens if there are
cojoint
twins that are connected at the brain? They both share the same brain, but are they one person with two bodies or are they two people with one material brain and two immaterial minds?
 
There is, in fact, a set of twins that I think can answer this question. Krista and Tatiana Hogan are twins that are connected at the brain. They can read each other’s minds, can move each other’s limbs, can feel what the other is feeling, and can even see out of each other’s eyes! However, their personalities are very different. One is talkative while the other is laid back. They think differently and have different abstract thoughts.[1]If the mind is equivalent of the material brain, then we should expect them to be exactly the same. It is clear that these are two different people who share one material brain.
 
C2: Argument from free will and reason
 
P1) If humans have free will, then dualism is true
P2) Humans have free will
C1) Therefore, humans have free will
 
Free will is defined as the ability to make choices without external coercion. If all
what we
are is a bunch of chemical reactions, then we cannot have any free choice. Indeed, under strict physicalism, I had no choice in starting this debate or writing these arguments. I was pre-programmed to do so, and my opponent was preprogrammed to accept this debate.
 
There are good reasons to believe the second premise to be true. In order to hold someone accountable, they must have had free choice. Our sense of moral duty is strongly indicative of having free will. If there is no free will, then there is no morality.
 
 
Conclusion
 
All-in-all the following is clear: (1) conjoined twins prove that the physical minds cannot be the self; (2) physicalism fails to account for the laws of logic, reason, and free will.
Published:
The structure of the twins’ brains makes them unique in the world. Their brains are connected by a thalamic bridge, connecting the thalamus of one with that of the other. The thalamus acts like a switchboard relaying sensory and motor signals and regulating consciousness.
This excerpt is from the article that Pro posted. While the case of the Hogan twins is absolutely amazing, it is still clearly caused by a physical mutation that caused their physical brains to be physically linked. If anything, this proves mind-body dualism wrong. Because while they have distinct personalities, their consciousness/mind is largely shared all because of a physical abnormality, all because the matter in their brains was linked in an unlikely but clearly physical way. If the line between two supposedly metaphysical minds can be blurred by a mere "thalamic bridge"  than what basis is there to assume the mind is metaphysical?

There are good reasons to believe the second premise to be true. In order to hold someone accountable, they must have had free choice. Our sense of moral duty is strongly indicative of having free will. If there is no free will, then there is no morality.
Holding people accountable for their actions is something that we as humans feel the need to do, the universe/reality itself shows no sign that it cares. There is no reason to assume that we have free will just because our ideas of law and justice would be undermined otherwise. To argue that we must have free will for the above reasons is similar to arguing that there must be an afterlife because I don't want to die. Also morality is subjective and it is also largely determined by ones experiences and cultural influences. The simple fact that we have moral values, which are massively dependent upon our experiences and environment, does not prove that we have free will.

Round 2
Published:
I'm posting with less than 10 minutes to spare so my arguments aren't gonna be that good. I'll expand in the next round. First off, note that my opponent has failed to meet his burden of proof. The burden of proof is shared. Con has to do more than refute my arguments, con needs to present arguments against mind-body dualism. That being said, let's dive right in. 

1. Conjoined twins

Con fails to grasp this argument and answer the questions these twins pose. If materialism monism is true, then we would expect a set of twins who share a physical mind to be exactly the same, but we do not see that. These are two distinct people who share one physical brain.

2. Free will

I have 3 minutes left so I'll address this in the next round! 

Published:
Con fails to grasp this argument and answer the questions these twins pose. If materialism monism is true, then we would expect a set of twins who share a physical mind to be exactly the same, but we do not see that. These are two distinct people who share one physical brain.
That's like saying since there are two hemispheres in the brain you would expect them to be the same. The human brain  has many types of compartmentalized functionalities, different sections of the brain all doing different things to compile the elements of the human mind. In this case two minds are compartmentalized in one brain, and this in no way requires some metaphysical explanation anymore than the mere existence of consciousness does. There is clearly a physical reason for this difference in personality. It probably comes down to one of them being the dominant side of the brain and the other being the more passive side, which is observable in how one has a more shy personality and the other both controls more limbs and has a more "Type A" kind of personality. I am not aware of the exact structure of the brain they share, But I would place my bets on the fact that there is a neurological reason for their personalities rather than it being due to one brain having two souls or something like that.

If the mind is not a physical phenomenon then why can someone literally "lose their mind" if the brain is damaged? When someone is turned into a vegetable due to brain damage, and is technically still sentient but has lost most of the faculties of the mind, does that mean a portion of their metaphysical essence has left them in accordance with the physical brain damage? Does God put half their soul to rest and leave the other half inside them or something?
Round 3
Forfeited
Forfeited
Round 4
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Death23 avatar
Added:
--> @Virtuoso
When the brain is split, the mind is also split. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Split-brain How can mind-body dualism be reconciled with this?
#2
Type1 avatar
Added:
--> @Virtuoso
Don't worry I will add an argument tomorrow.
Contender
#1
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