Be carefull what you aks for…
Mason Kelsey and I continue at mind hacks (no more for now, I have shit to answer for from two earlier threads) when I am asked to explain myself.
Always a bad idea, I end up writing another chapter for my book I didn’t realize I am writing. Well, we are writing.
(Okay, I hope this appears in the correct place)
In this recent post, you insist that all decisions are made at the conscious level but I see no testable hypothesis from you or a test that could verify that is true. I have seem good evidence to the contrary
When you are asleep, you cannot decide to go to the store.
When you are in a coma, you cannot decide to do anything at all.
We only ‘consciously’ evaluate and decide, when we are conscious.
I have seem good evidence to the contrary.
Okay, what evidence? Sleepwalking? Talk to someone sleepwalking, and have an intellectual conversation with them. It doesn’t happen, and in fact, I cannot conceive of any possible evidence, let alone good evidence, for your claim
You believe it to be true, so for you it must be true? Please grant me the license to question the validity of your method of belief in determining what is reality, especially since you never move beyond stating your beliefs.
I wouldn’t have it any other way. That is how we test our beliefs to see if they are true. If we make predictions based upon our beliefs, and they obtain, then that indicates that they are valid in those situations. If you question my beliefs, you must state why they are invalid, you cannot just go ahead and insist they are false or inapplicable, until which time I prove them 100%.
For that matter, you cannot back up your belief of determinism, for you propose no way in which to test its own veracity, so as far as I, and every major philosopher I’ve read, has seen.
You only propose the ontological argument that determinism is always true, but it is shown to be false sometimes, and indeterminable, at other times.
A quote: “Bertrand Russell famously argued against the notion of cause along these lines (and others) in 1912, and the situation has not changed. By trying to define causal determination in terms of a set of prior sufficient conditions, we inevitably fall into the mess of an open-ended list of negative conditions required to achieve the desired sufficiency.”
And this also shows the unprovability of determinism:
“Generally, as John Earman quipped (1986), to go this route is to “… seek to explain a vague concept—determinism—in terms of a truly obscure one—causation.” More specifically, neither philosophers’ nor laymen’s conceptions of events have any correlate in any modern physical theory.”
So, you expect me to propose a test, yet your position is dubious, scientifically and philosophically, from the outset. You have no empirical evidence at all, and I have not only my own observations, but the billions of observations made every day, and in fact, it is impossible NOT to perceive our behaviors as anything other then voluntary and intentional.
I have empirical evidence galore, defined at wikipedia:
So far, I cannot see justification for the assertion that your beliefs are true. You have to show how causal determinism applies to our conscious awareness, and you can start by describing our consciousness, qualia, and abstract thoughts, as being ordinary states of matter and energy that behave in ways that can be manipulated like objectively real ‘things’, such as gases, liquids, and solids, and/or quantifiable and measurable, including fields and forces.
How do you propose to do that?
You assert that our minds are determined like ordinary, everyday events, and also like ordinary, common, 3 dimensional objects and substances in objective space, and yet, our minds are clearly not the same.
There is no conceivable way to propose how our conscious minds arise, or obtain, physically.
There are examples of other situations in reality that are not understandable to us classically, including but not limited to: virtual particles; the lower limits to units of size, time, and forces, and the fact that they are not arbitrarily divisible infinitely close to zero; quantum effects, like liquid helium (which has zero viscosity) being spun in a container the size of a small(perhaps one ounce/30 ml) cup, actually, in a small cup, that displays quantum states, ie. the spinning liquid is perfectly flat and level in the cup as the rotational speed is increased, and it does not start to get higher against the edges of the container AT ALL.
Then, as the speed continues to increase, it instantly assumes the shape we would expect spinning water would take at a certain point, with liquid piling up against the edges and creating a depression in the center.
The liquid helium ‘advances’ by discrete, instantaneous steps, with zero intermediate transition between the next advancing states of centrifugal displacement.
Now, dark matter is 75% of the mass of our universe, and it either spills out from empty space, due to expansion, or it ‘pushes’ out from absolutely nothing, and causes empty space/time to be created along with its emergence.
I could easily keep goinghere as there are many more even more bizarre conceptual situations that we cannot, even in principle, understand classically. One of these is the presence of qualia, and the awareness of our experiences, and the complexity of the physical brain.
For instance, there are 100 trillion connections between neurons in our physical brain. I am not saying our minds are anything but physical, they must be, but only in ways we do not, and can not, understand and conceptualize classically. Back to the physiology:
There are millions of billions of obtainable states in our brain, layers upon layers of 3 dimensional networks of 100’s to millions and even billions of nodes that fluctuate and change size and active state on millisecond time scales.
So, I challenge you to define the one instant, the one transitional state, that also includes in its description the physical properties of the ongoing thoughts and awarenesses of the simultaneous ‘qualia events’ that are also transpiring.
If you can even come within a couple of orders of magnitude of defining this state, which would be only one of an innumerable number of states that exist microsecond by microsecond as the event known as a decision transpires, I will have to check myself into a psychiatric emergency treatment center (as if I maybe shouldn’t be considering that right now, already, LOL).
I will wait, it is your turn to propose a plausible explanation for how this is a physically describable situation and somehow creates a classical evolution of events while also explaining how our perception of free will would be an illusion, when this ‘illusion’ maps perfectly to objective reality, just as all our other perceptions and thoughts do, virtually all of the time.
But, more than that, you must explain what exactly that illusion is, how it can be exactly correlated to physical brain states, like the rest of our thoughts, that allow us to understand and relate to physical reality deeply enough in which that we can build a 27 kilometer diameter particle accelerator and collider to understand and study exotic states of matter, at energies approaching those when the universe was dominated by radiation. That is the precision, and overwhelmingly powerful mastery over reality and matter, that we achieve only by being tightly exact in our perceptions of, and therefore our ability to interact exactly with, physical reality
That is how well our perceptions map to reality, exquisitely and sublimely, yet our most powerful perception, the one that defines who we are, you say, is an illusion.
That, my friend, seems to me, to be a non sequitor.
Every step and movement we make, every plan of action that we conceive of and execute successfully, every time we maneuver a car through traffic and then speed around corners and navigate obstacles safely and productively, it is a testament to how exacting our perceptions of reality have become. Those very same perceptions are intrinsically intertwined and inextricably included as part of the process of making accurate decisions in response to rapidly changing, or highly abstractedly conceived, scenarios with many various options for action and behavior, or opportune time, to employ the appropriate alternative.
It doesn’t make sense that two intermingled parts of a seemingly critically important process, are wildly at odds with each other and the nature of the situation they actually both participate together as one process in.