Immortality and creation on Neutral Monism

1.) My suspicion is that the debate over consciousness will end up gathering consensus for Neutral Monism. As the debate is presently framed, both eliminativism and dualism are the extremes, and no coherent account of supervenience appears possible.

2.) Neutral Monism will end up looking a lot more like “dualism” than materialism since it will require both personal immortality and strict creation of the material world and of each new consciousness. Here’s the first argument:

Whatever is sufficiently fundamental (matter, energy, momentum, etc.) is conserved.

But, according to Neutral Monism, consciousness is just as fundamental as things like matter, energy, momentum, etc.

Therefore, consciousness must be conserved.

Just as matter does not cease to exist, neither does consciousness. Neutral Monism thus concludes immediately to the immortality of the soul as the analogue to the conservation of matter. But though matter is only conserved by becoming diverse individual things over time, a consciousness just is this individual.  Matter is therefore conserved, but not as a self; consciousness is conserved as a self.

3.) Here’s the other argument:

What comes to be from matter is material

According to neutral monism consciousness is not material (matter is the other track or manifestation of the one thing at the bottom of things).

Consciousness comes to be.

Therefore, consciousness comes to be from something other than the material.

This amounts to what St. Thomas would have called creation in the strict sense. In fact, there are two sorts of creation in neutral monism, one to explain how a new consciousness can arise, and another that would be necessary to account for how matter can arise from something other than itself.

 

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