Why Dualism Just Makes Sense

I’ve been reading The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy. It is a collection of essays from philosophy scholars about the Harry Potter series. There’s an essay by Scott Sehon called “The Soul in Harry Potter.” It attempts to figure out which philosophical theory about the soul is happening in the books.

Because souls seem to exist outside the body in the series (ghosts, horcruxes, etc.), Sehon concludes that materialism is not the correct philosophical theory in the series. I definitely agree with this conclusion, but not in just the series but in real life.

One of my greatest fears as a tbi survivor is whether, once I’m completely recovered, I will be everything I was before the accident. Time and time again, I prove to myself that I don’t have anything to worry about. I am the same person. Since my brain was injured, you would expect that I would be different if you are a materialist.

I know that all tbi’s are different, and doctors warned me that I might have personality changes. So that kinda throws an obstacle into dualism. I’m alright with conceding that personality is based on physical things (the brain of course). But is a personality all there is to a soul? I don’t think so. My personality is all the same, but I know I shouldn’t universalize my experience with a tbi to all other tbi-survivors.

You would never say that two people who have the same passions have the same personalities. You could, of course, but it wouldn’t always be true.

Dualism, then, is the way to go.

The Importance of Listening

I’m a much better listener now than I was before the accident. Not only am I working on my memory, but I’m also bored thinking about/talking about myself. I ask more questions when someone is visiting me because I’ve missed two-three months of his/her life.

Before the accident, I remember coming up with what I was going to say next while the other person was talking. I thought that I was going to fall on that again because memory is a thing I’m working on, but I’ve never found myself doing it.

When someone was talking to me, I often did something else like thinking about whatever was on my mind. I don’t do that anymore because I never knew how difficult it is, how much effort it requires, to actually listen to someone. I get all of that now. I get that my attention should be focused on the person with whom I’m having a conversation.

I’ve found that being a better listener has allowed me to think more critically than I did before the accident. I was a critical person before the accident but not at the level I am now.

On Heroes

2/21/2018 Update: I have been reading The Individual, Society, and Education: A History of American Educational Ideas by Clarence J. Karier and in the 11th chapter of that book, he wrote about how MLK was targeted to discredit him by the FBI during his career and part of that targeting involved “female plants” to tempt him in order for him to make mistakes precisely so that blog posts like this would be written. I thought that was a necessary addendum to add to this post. Excuse me for my naivete in 2012.


The world needs heroes, but the world doesn’t want them.

Martin Luther King, Jr. had affairs.

Does that mean that everything else he did was worthless?

We demand perfection from our heroes. We want divinity. We want our politicians to appeal to every interest group, our preachers to never sin, our journalists to never plagiarize, our celebrities to be role models, and our intellectuals to always be right.

But we allow politicians to win elections with less than 50% of the vote. We talk of doctrine where everyone, the greatest of the great and the least of the least, sins. We put our writers in high-stress jobs where they are expected to know everything about everything. We make celebrities of sixteen-year-old kids. And we put our intellectuals in a culture of democracy, in which anyone has the right to criticize.

The world needs heroes, but the world doesn’t want them.

I cannot promise perfection. I cannot promise a life lived without mistakes.

All that I can promise is that the mistakes I make will either be a result of great intentions or personal weakness.

I think we should reverse it.

We should want heroes but not need them. We should be thrilled when ordinary, awful people do extraordinary, amazing things. We should understand MLK, Jr. not as a great man who fell but as a fallen man who was great.