windaelicker

WTF!

Stunning technology: Sixth Sense Computing

Watch this, it will blow your mind

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.[1]”

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:

The word empirical denotes information acquired by means of observation or experimentation.[1] Empirical data are data produced by an observation or experiment.

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.

More questions about the viability of ‘it’s an illusion’

At mindhacks, a discussion from months ago that I just revisited and started dribbling my opinion, as usual – this one today:

Belief is so verifiable, what are you talking about?
How well our conceptualizations map to objective reality and promote our well being, I wonder if that is a reality check that happens every single time we ‘decide’ to move, or act?

Exactly how simple and accidentally obtainable to bloody think the process of consciousness is, anyways?
You act so aloof about the most complex assembly in the universe, by effing far, and absentmindedly brush away the product of that ‘machine+awareness/thinking/qualia’ as a mere illusion, a virtually mistake of happenstance?

Yeah, it’s an illusion, an illusion that gives us the brute power to eliminate every species in existence with the flick of a switch.

Pretty fucking fortunate illusion, I’d say.

Continued from free will redux

We last left off at Sunday free will: “pseudo-dualism” at whyevolutionistrue:

Jeff Johnson

Posted February 9, 2012 at 2:12 am | Permalink

That’s not what I was talking about. What I described is deterministic.

To make it more concrete: the options are chocolate and vanilla. There are possible states in the brain that result in the choice of vanilla, and possible states the result in the choice of chocolate. Which of these states I reach will depend on the initial state and the inputs.

When the brain is presented with the choice, it has criteria that will be used to select either of the two options. It chooses the option deterministically based on some algorithm that maximizes the satisfaction of the subjective criteria for “what will taste best right now” or something like that.

The choice is made from the two options, it was done using a deterministic algorithm, and the choice could not have been otherwise given the initial state of the brain.

This description emphasizes the incompatibilist view, which is based on materialism and physical laws of determinism.

Here is an additional way to look at the situation that emphasizes what I think compatibilists often try to point out, which connects determinism with some notion of human subjective freedom:

Imagine I were to enter an empty room with a chair and a table and two bowls of ice cream, one chocolate and one vanilla, and I were told to sit down and wait until I hear a command on a speaker telling me to pick up and eat the bowl I want.

After time t1 I hear the command and I choose chocolate. I could not have chosen otherwise because the state of my brain determined it. (But interestingly the state of my brain can change while waiting, so if the command had come at time t2 I might really have chosen differently than I did at time t1).

Now I leave the room, and the set up is restored to the original state, and I re-enter the room and repeat the experiment.

This time after t2 I choose vanilla. This is a deterministic choice that could not have been otherwise.

It is still important to people that on the second iteration I really could choose something different than I chose on the first iteration.

So on each choice I could not have chosen differently, but in the whole process involving two iterations of the experiment, I really could choose differently between t1 and t2. This is consistent with determinism because the brain changes states between t1 and t2. It is this flexibility of the brain to learn, remember, and readjust priorities for making selections that allows it to choose differently when faced with two different but highly similar situation. This is the basis for compatibilist freedom, which clearly is not dualistic free-will, and is clearly consistent with determinism.

None of this changes the importance for compatibilist to drop the phrase “free-will” and to realize they really are incompatibilists who emphasize human subjective experience and human subject/object interactions.

I think that incompatibilists seem to emphasize the actual physical structure and operation of the brain over how that plays out in every day human contexts.

Both are determinists, and both should avoid using the obsolute formulation “free-will”.

I replied:

tushcloots

Posted February 9, 2012 at 9:26 am | Permalink

Jeff Johnson
Posted February 9, 2012 at 2:12 am | Permalink

That’s not what I was talking about. What I described is deterministic.

To make it more concrete: the options are chocolate and vanilla. There are possible states in the brain that result in the choice of vanilla, and possible states the result in the choice of chocolate. Which of these states I reach will depend on the initial state and the inputs.
What initial state do you mean, exactly? You must be very precise; is it 5 minutes before, 5 secdonds, what?
When the brain is presented with the choice, it has criteria that will be used to select either of the two options. It chooses the option deterministically based on some algorithm that maximizes the satisfaction of the subjective criteria for “what will taste best right now” or something like that.
Or something like that? How would you know what it is like? I also see that you have included ‘subjective criteria’

FAIL!
FAIL!

You just undermined your whole argument, because you cannot decide which of your subjective values are most important, will produce the most appropriate emotional response, until you think about it.

YOU HAVE TO THINK ABOUT YOUR POSSIBLE SELECTIONS AND GAUGE WHAT MAKES YOU MOST HAPPY OR LIKELY TO SATISFY YOUR NEED, OR WANT, TO SELECT SOMETHING IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Then you make your decision to speak, “Choco chip, my man,” or “I would prefer the vanilla iced cream, ya peasant. Snnnnnffff!”

You select the words which will convey your selection most appropriately, and trhis also entails cogitation and weighing possibilities emotionaly before you speak.

That’s what you said.

FAIL

The choice is made from the two options, it was done using a deterministic algorithm, and the choice could not have been otherwise given the initial state of the brain.

What deterministic algorithm? Pray, tell.
You just said,
“algorithm that maximizes the satisfaction of the subjective criteria for “what will taste best’”
How is this supposed to work, exactly, seeing you know it is an algorithm, what type of algorithm? In fact, I specifically am refering to NON DETERMINISTIC algorithms, from wikipedia:
Starting from an initial state and initial input (perhaps empty),[4] the instructions describe a computation that, when executed, will proceed through a finite [5] number of well-defined successive states, eventually producing “output”[6] and terminating at a final ending state. The transition from one state to the next is not necessarily deterministic; some algorithms, known as randomized algorithms, incorporate random input.
FAIL!

This description emphasizes the incompatibilist view, which is based on materialism and physical laws of determinism.
No, the compatibilist view is materialist and physical, incompatablists say that the free will is not compatable with physical laws of determinism + material.
[Not batting 1.000, are you?]

Here is an additional way to look at the situation that emphasizes what I think compatibilists often try to point out, which connects determinism with some notion of human subjective freedom:
You do realize that including subjectivity in the equation nullifies it as deterministic, don’t you?


Subjective = thinking about it.
FAIL
Imagine I were to enter an empty room with a chair and a table and two bowls of ice cream, one chocolate and one vanilla, and I were told to sit down and wait until I hear a command on a speaker telling me to pick up and eat the bowl I want.

After time t1 I hear the command yes? and I choose chocolate. That’s you. I might still be unsure, and withing fractions of a second I can consider both and then pick one. It might not be the best decision, in hindsight, but then I could just choose to take a little longer and then choose.

Most obviously, however, I have already thought is through in the ample time before ‘the command’ is issued.
FAIL
Your scenario is already meaningless, and you have only just described one possible instance of it!!

I could not have chosen otherwise because the state of my brain determined it. (But interestingly the state of my brain can change while waiting, so if the command had come at time t2 I might really have chosen differently than I did at time t1).
WTF?!? So what!!??!! no one in thier right mind, or in the real world, let’s someone else tell them, ahead of time no less, that they must make a final decision at a specific, but arbitrary, instant. It is bizarre to use this as representative of anything do to with our real life behavior. It is so far removed from the situations in which we DO make selections as to become inconsiswtent with any realistic scenario whatsoever. Fail

Now I leave the room, and the set up is restored to the original state, and I re-enter the room and repeat the experiment.

This time after t2 I choose vanilla. This is a deterministic choice that could not have been otherwise.
NON SEQUITOR DELUXE. Sorry, big time fail, again.

It is still important to people that on the second iteration I really could choose something different than I chose on the first iteration.
It is evenj more important that you can pick your own time to issue the command to make a selection, so in actuality, you could pick either t1 or t2 in the same situation, and you really could choose different at the same ‘time’, say the time dfference being 2 milliseconds, or 300, it is absolutely bizarre that because we can only MAKE one choice at any specific instant, we can voluntarily wait for .3 seconds, or whatever time frame you fancy, .00001 picosecond if you desire, the two situations are different physically, and the decision WHEN to decide is your own – subjectively, based on reaching some subjectively, consciously chosen and relative to the other available choices (not an absolute) threshold of emotional response.


Fail, this like shooting fish in a barrel, Jeff, I am not the slightest bit impressed

So on each choice I could not have chosen differently, but in the whole process involving two iterations of the experiment, I really could choose differently between t1 and t2. This is consistent with determinism because the brain changes states between t1 and t2. It is this flexibility of the brain to learn, remember, and readjust priorities for making selections that allows it to choose differently when faced with two different but highly similar situation.
Seperated by milliseconds This is the basis for compatibilist freedom, which clearly is not dualistic free-will, and is clearly consistent with determinism.
You nailed it. That is free will in a nutshell. The instant you include subjectivity, you include conscious evaluation, and that conscious evaluation is free will. It is not an ‘illusion’, that is what happens, you just described it to a ‘T’
You are a free-willist, a deterministic, materialistic, compatabilist free will believer
(According to the definition I have been using all along, and so how you could bring ‘traditional, millenia old basic concepts’ into your opinion of how we form our explanation for free will is even further beyond my understanding of why you don’t call what you described as free will.

Now do you understand what is meant by ‘voluntary’? We, subjectively, inside our heads, inside our imaginations, at our own subjective discretion, decide when to terminate the process and pick. Of course we only pick the only one possible, because we select the time when the only one possible matches our desire.
Furthermore, we might suddenly decide that we want Black Cherry, now that we think about it, and walk out and over to the Ice Milk Emporium in the Student Unionh building across the quad. Not only ‘when,’ but even ‘if’ we make a decision is subject to our conscious evaluation of the predetermined situation.

None of this changes the importance for compatibilist to drop the phrase “free-will” and to realize they really are incompatibilists who emphasize human subjective experience and human subject/object interactions.
Wa – WHAT? SAY AGAIN???
Jeff, that is such a huge non sequitor and use of unfounded assumption that I don’t know where to start.
You just said, “None of this changes the importance for compatibilist to drop the phrase “free-will” ”
How would you have a clue what anyone is thinking, let alone a specific person, or subjectively biased class of people you create?

None of this changes… for the … is a pronouncement of something you can not know, but just so you ‘officially’ know, I will tell you my thoughts, and yes, when you get right down to it, none of this changes my ‘importance’ on dropping the term, for it is zero to begin with, and it is still zero, because you don’t have a valid point or argument anywhere in that wreck of an argument for dropping the term in the first place.
I interpret your usage of “none of this changes the importance of the people who are now proven to be wrong, using my flawless deployment of nano-sharp logic so clinicaly, so obviously they are being obstinant.
That is what is seems to me you are implying.

I think that incompatibilists seem to emphasize the actual physical structure and operation of the brain over how that plays out in every day human contexts.
That’s nice ;p
Actually, I do appreciate you including the “I think” predicate(?) for I think it should automatically be stated before every single thing we say, in order render truthfulness of our statements, and keep things in perspective. I really do appreciate what you said, the way you said it here.

Both are determinists, and both should avoid using the obsolute formulation “free-will”.
I think it isn’t obsolete, in any sense of the word, except that you seem to imply that it is obvious that free will doesn’t mean what we all, or mostly all, agree what it means.

Using the term ‘gay’ when describing someone as happy and carefree(lol, ‘free’) is obsolete, because we all agree that the primary meaning of the word has changed.


I don’t think there is really any doubt what most people mean when they say “free will’, it means “free to decide among any possible alternatives available at this time, say, in the next 3 weeks, or perhaps three seconds, or perhaps I won’t decide anything after all because no one can make me!

Your turn, I’m sure I have interpreted things incorrectly, it is highly probable(for me) at some point, anyways LMAO! ;)

Next:

  • whyevolutionistrue

    Posted February 9, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    You guys are dominating this thread now, which seems to have become largely a dialogue, with tushcloot’s comments being essays rather than comments. I think it’s time for both of you to take this conversation offline, either on your own websites, if you have them, or via private email.

    Thanks.

Finally:

  • Steve

    Posted February 9, 2012 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    YOU HAVE TO THINK ABOUT YOUR POSSIBLE SELECTIONS AND GAUGE WHAT MAKES YOU MOST HAPPY OR LIKELY TO SATISFY YOUR NEED, OR WANT, TO SELECT SOMETHING IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    Yes, but nothing says he has to use conscious thought to think about it. So this does not necessitate consciousness as the seat of control.

  • Well, I thank Jerry Coyne for acknowledging me!

    The blog post is at Why Evolution Is True, called Sunday free will: “pseudo-dualism”
    I got there late, and made this reply, so far:

    Posted February 5, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Jerry, my argument is that: our *cognition and qualia and weighing alternatives and finally making a choice, is not based on complexity, it is based on the reality of all of the above.

    My reasoning is:
    1.Physical brain -> qualia+all of the above
    therefore our qualia+ are an effect.
    2. This effect, our minds, are part of the causal sequence, they are real.
    3. If they are part of the causal sequence, ie. cause and effect, then they can also be a cause.
    4. The result of the mind process(in this example) is a decision.
    5. Decision -> action/behavior.

    Therefore, the mind is a real, physical cause of behavior.

    Our minds can follow our wishes, and our minds use abstract concept to plan futures based on evaluation of the consequences if we take various actions, or think various thoughts, eg. we decide to have a positive, cheerful attitude – say one of optimism.

    Our thinking influences our thinking. And, our thinking influences our behaviors.

    I only point to complexity because we cannot understand what is going on; our brain functioning is so complex that it is a sufficiently advanced technology that appears as ‘magic’ (See Artheu C. Clark).
    It produces a physical effect, qualia etc., that we can not account for.

    If this ‘mind’ thing cannot be understood or explained in physical terms, then our understanding of physics is insufficient to explain our minds, and if our understanding of physics is insufficient, then you cannot claim your explanation is sufficient to rule out voluntary, self determined, action.

    —–

    Steve

    Posted February 5, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Well then it is not completely free.

    We have spent two long threads going over this, Steve and Jeff, and Jerry.
    I have given you multiple explanations stating what free will means, and you insist on only taking free to mean ‘completely unencumbered by anything and totally unconstrained.’

    I am getting choked that you refuse to accept that by free I mean voluntary and volitional, and not that anything ‘goes.’

    Furthermore, Jeff(and Jerry), you have said yourself that we make choices and act on them, that we choose the direction our lives take, yet you keep calling your definition ‘determined’, and mine ‘free’, yet they mean the same effin thing. You are disengenuous. Period.

    More words, ultimately meaningless, to some

    My comment, on this thread at whyevolutionistrue, is getting unbearable long, see what I mean?:

    You, sleeprunning, are the one saying that we are just computers processing input, all you guys, Jeff and Steve, are saying we are just mechanically processing input.

    Yet we are different from computers.

    Not according to you guys. Oh, yes, you SAY we are human, we have emotions, blah blah BSblah.

    I asked you to explain what part our minds play, and both Jeff and Steve have been honest enough to even address that once, each.

    They both said that no, they can’t explain it <i>mechanically</i>, ….

    You people want it both ways, you are the dualists. You are claiming that we work mechanically like computers, yet you admit we are different because we have minds and feel emotions and give meaning to life.

    It is transparent bullshit that you claim one thing, that we are mechanically computing and arriving at the only one output that we can, because it is predetermined by linear cause and effect, then in the next breath you claim that we are aware.

    WE ARE AWARE, AND THAT IS DIFFERENT. WE HAVE QUALIA, AND <B>THOSE QUALIA CANNOT BE EXPLAINED YET THEY ARE A CAUSE OF OUR BEHAVIOR!!<B>

    You say that choice is being made even though only one possible flow of events are possible. In your world, somehow that excludes rocks falling, oh no, they are not choosing between falling and floating, they can only follow the laws of physics.
    But when a computer, or our brains only follow the laws of physics to the only one possible outcome, like the rock falling, now you introduce the concept of choice, even though there is no conceptual difference between what is inevitable.

    A rock falling has no meaning, no purpose, it does only what it can inevitably do, mindlessly obey the laws of physics.

    BTW, I was going to go into theoretical physics, but I was better at chemistry, so I enrolled in Honors Chem at U of A. I flunked out because I chose to drink and play soccer and sports instead of homework, but I still got passing marks in my labs even though I didn’t go. I almost intuitively understand physics and chemistry and just went to lab tests and finals, and passed. I didn’t have enough hours, though, so I didn’t get credits.
    Funny, my verbal IQ is higher than my other subscores, though, and I better at language, in aptitude, than math!!!

    I know perfectly well that this is all bullshit, it has zero worth in determining my real understanding and deployment of information and physical concepts and mechanisms, except that one corporation they accused me of cheating on the mechanical and verbal aptitude tests because they didn’t believe it when I got the highest scores they had seen, so it remains for me to explain my ideas in a coherent way to others, just as that applies to everyone.

    And yes, sleeprunning, it is the idea, only, that has merit, for that is what discussion is, but an exchange and evaluation of ideas, which are further ideas.

    This is what I value most in reality. Ideas. This is the premier importance to making us human, who we are, our individuality is but an expression of our ideas(which I include emotions as part of abstract concepts in the idea theatre).

    And the only way we can express our ideas is if they are different from a rock in freefall, or they are exactly as meaningless. It does not matter how complex and convoluted the path of flight is, it is still just the only event possible.

    How do you people, sleeprunning, Jeff, Steve, the other anti-FW’s, somehow introduce the concept of choosing between alternatives when no alternatives exist?
    <b>You are the ones that unmovabley obstinate about there being only one possible outcome when presented with a set of stimuli, you are the ones that insist that there are no conceivable scenarios that are different from the only one dictated by physics, you plead with us to understand that this is not amenable – you say there is one, and only one event allowable, even in concept</b>

    Now, I told you that I could come up with more complete mechanistic explanations for our actions, so, Jeff et al, believe my when I say I get it, I understand what you are saying, I get it better than you do(appeal to my authority, yuk yuk!).

    So, now I want to deal with a couple of points.
    1 – your insistence of calling inevitable outcomes choices, and,
    2 – your insistence that you understand completely, all the pertinent processes necessary for our behavior and functioning.

    In both cases you employ A DUALITY OF INCOMPATIBLE CONCEPTS.

    1. This is not open to debate, as afr as I can see. A rock falls. A plinko chip falls, and even though the ultimate path(outcome) is unpredictable, it is determinate. A flipping coin lands on one side of two possible, but the coin itself is not choosing anything.
    Now, electrons passing through a gate or being stopped there, is not their decision. If their passage is determined by the state of the gate(lol) which is determined by the output from other gates, there is no decision, or choice, at any gate, or in fact, in any circuit in any computer. Beside random indeterminancy, the computer only has one possible output.

    In fact, I know you agree, and more importantly, you also agree that our brains only process electro-chemically with one possible output. <b>No choice is introduced merely by adding steps to a series of one way, pre-determined outcomes, each operation being dependent on the next, and vise versa.</b>

    A rock that falls on another rock, which falls, then, into another number of rocks, and they all fall in the only possible path, behaving, let’s say, as what we define as an avalanche, comes to rest in the only possible pile/arrangement possible to those rocks. They do not choose where they ultimately lie, which even may be on another precariously balance pile of still more rocks on the side of a mountain.
    This resulting pile will only fall more if conditions, such as wind or erosion, dictate that they become subject to motion in a gravitational field.
    At no point do they decide to fall or not fall, they just exist in an environment described by two way cause/effect forces. <b>There is no meaning to the behavior, they do not choose their paths, the only reason we might say they ‘choose’ one gully over another is because, to us, we don’t know which one will be prescribed by the laws of physics. There only ever was one possible outcome, no selecting between alternatives was made.</b>
    The same with a computer, the same with our behavior, it is only ‘falling’ in one possible path with only one possible resultant outcome.
    The same is therefore true with our behavior, for you guys(people) say that there exists, at the outset, however arbitrarily you assign it, only one possible outcome, which is defined as an action, and even many of these actions, defined as behavior, is still, the only series of events possible.
    You people say so. Outside of random indeterminacy, you claim exactly this. And you are correct, there is only one possible outcome, <b>I agree with you 100% that that is a valid conclusion.</b>
    Where we do disagree, however, <b><i>is whether or not to call this a process of choosing; for you do, indeed, introduce the concept of choice in your descriptions of these purely ‘pre-determined to follow one path to one pre-determined(by the laws of physics) outcome.'</i></b>

    So, no, we do not choose anything, we don’t choose our feelings, our actions, our thoughts derived from our feelings, our actions and behaviors derived from our thoughts and emotions, nothing, nothing is chosen. It is entirely analogous to an avalanche, there is no meaning inherent in any of it.
    Not only that, ‘meaning’ can not somehow magically appear at some mysterious point in the process, just as ‘choice’ cannot, either.

    Now, in light of this understanding, <b>I want you people to explain where you get the principles of choice and meaning from any process in nature!</b>
    Even your thoughts that there is meaning are meaningless, logically and, in reality, for these judgements of meaning are not judgements, but the only possible outcome of a pre-determined set of circumstances, and therefore, there is no meaning that way, <b>and in the fact that by definition, meaning could only possibly exist in a state of alternativesd, of which none exist!</b>

    (Shite, I don’t even know if the formatting, or anything, really!, is sensical at this point – we need a preview option, and I need to shut up)

    And, finally (whew):
    2. None of the above, nor nonFWist concept, contains one iota of a shred of explanation for our awareness and qualia, except to say that no explanation is necessary and is therefore moot.

    But, I retort, it is part of the causal chain.

    So what?, say them, it is a result of known physical laws, and is therefore a combination of matter/energy and physical forces and can only be inevitable, given the physical arrangement of our brains and bodies, and behaves no different than any other system that can be conceived.

    Well, I reply, then our minds must be the same as all other matter/energy, and explainable in concepts we already understand.

    Yes, they say, that is correct.

    But, and now I play dirty(because I won’t let them keep up their evasions), our minds/thoughts/qualia/values/abstract concepts are not apparently physically the same as all the other instances of matter and energy we have ever investigated!

    It doesn’t matter(lol), they say.

    I then conclude that they are silly and illogical, for they cannot ignore the impact of the most important entity in the universe! Surely they cannot <b>say that they understand how something they don’t understand</b>, or can equate in any known or conceivable way to any other state of matter/energy in the known universe, works and interacts with known solid matter. <b>They just said they don’t understand how it acts! Yet they understand how it interacts!!!</b>

    I’ll say it again. You cannot say that the mind is unimportant, is secondary, and most of all, illusory, <b>and then claim, by using the same organ you describe, that what you know is in fact, not illusory, when you are using that very organ in a way that you cannot explain or conceive of why and how it does what it does, or even what it is capable of doing, FFS!!</b>

    You do not know if our minds can function using unknown, and at this point inconceivable, methods that fit in line with our perceptions of experience.

    You can not know what effect our qualia have on our physical actions, because you do not know how qualia interact and process data.

    Because you cannot understand qualia and perception as a consequence of physical processes, it necessarily follows that the process of <b>generating our thinking, perceptions, and intentions</b> is completely unkown.

    If this process of generation of a phenomena is completely unknown and un nonsensical, <b>then the reverse, the interaction of our qualia with the generator, our physical brains and bodies, is also unknown and nonsensical.</b>

    What is going on in our heads is important for our survival and functioning(did I put that in the right order? lol).

    The presence of our awarenesses does not make physical, or resourceful sense. <b>The only way that our minds make sense, is if they act in the manner that appear to, that they fulfill the functions that make sense ie. making decisions.</b>

    You say that the making of decisions are illusory, and therefore not decisions or choices. So, what are our aware minds doing there in the first place?

    First you claim that our minds are inconsequential, then you claim that yes they are consequential, they somehow give our lives value, even though value is a selective decision between possible alternatives. (Remember, in lesson 1, we learned that nothing is a choice or has value if it isn’t comparable to any alternative, and there are no possible alternatives in the reductionist minds.)

    I, and my buddies(you know what I mean), if I may be so bold as to speak for others and assume they agree with me, haha, explain our minds in the only way that makes logical sense.

    <b>You can claim we don’t make decisions or conscious selections all you bloody well want, but your claims are illogical, overall.</b>
    If we don’t need our minds, why do we have them?

    You people don’t fucking know, so don’t fucking tell me what makes sense, and what doesn’t.

    Just recording thoughts, move along. Thanks. You still here?

    “I don’t know what our minds are made of, but I know they are a product of physical reality, you get that simple idea?”

    So, given you have no idea what ‘minds’ are made of, on what basis do you object to them actually being physical stuff – i.e. the brain itself in action? If the ‘mind’ is a product of physical reality in what way is it independent of causal events to be able to dismiss causal precursors and change the course of events that were about to be caused prior to some decisions?

    There, you see what you said, ronmurp?I’m not the one saying it is outside ‘the chain’, that is exactly what I am saying, that it is part of the chain
    You are the one saying it is ‘inside the chain’ but then you say it ‘isn’t inside the chain’ or else it would be able to alter what has already been determined.
    You cannot have it both ways. You cannot insist that our minds are an effect of physical causes yet do not make effects themselves.
    I want to stress this over and over. How can our minds be the result of physical causes, part of the cause effect chain of determinism, and how can they be part of the cause by having thoughts and values become part of the cause of our behavior, yet the ONE TIME OUR THOUGHTS VIOLATE THE CAUSE AND EFFECT CHAIN OF EVENTS IS WHEN OUR THOUGHTS AND VALUES ARE A WISH TO INITIATE SOME ACTION?????????????????

    I am the one stating, very clearly that our minds are part of the cause and effect cycle.

    That is the whole argument against religion/God in a nutshell, as well. If God can interact with people, which are part of nature, then God is a part of nature and there would be evidence of Him manipulating natural events, FFS!

    Everyone get that, steve, sleeprunning, Ron Murphy, Jerry Coyne, ronmurp?!?!

    You are the ones that somehow think our minds are outside the deterministic reality of nature, not me and the other free willies(lol)!!

    It can be, if you apply the interpretation to it that you suppose I do. But it’s not unsettling for me because my interpretation is very pragmatic. If determinism is the case, then everything is determined and my appearance of free-will is an illusion. But the determined consequence is that I continue with this feeling of free-will, in the moment, while upon reflection I acknowledge that, under determinism, if it holds, I do not actually have it. This is no more disturbing than acknowledging that I am made of discrete atoms and lots of empty space, while actually feeling as though I am solid.

    Look, I do not believe you understand and, in fact, I believe that you actually do think you have free will. I call you on your bullshit.
    Which is it: you are at ease and accepting because you seem to be operating with free will, and choosing what to say here and feeling satisfaction at your effeorts, or you really are an emotionally void robot that is not affected by the fact that your life is meaningless, and it is meaningless because you have zero say in how you partake in, and run your, life.

    In want all you guys mentioned to telll me that you really and honestly understand that it is not you doing the thinking and acting, and tell me that you are just aware of things happening to you while you watch and pretend, like a child in a car seat with a steering wheel pretending to drive her parent’s car.

    If that is the case, I want you to convince me that you understand that you deserve zero recognition for what you write and say, that you truly should get no credit whatsoever for anything.

    I wqant you to pretend for a few hours that that is all there is to life, to concentrate and experience what it would feel like if you were not making choices how to act and think, and I want you to look around at everything and everyone and see it and them as just the result of a set of chemical and physical reactions running their course and that not you or anyone else, ever, absolutely had nothing conscious to contribute to reality.

    When you can tell me what that looks and feels like, then I will know if yoyu are full of massive amounts of shit, or you really do understand what you are claiming to accept so blithely.

    I want you to watch some fuckhead gangstas being total pricks and for you to feel scared and intimidated and insecure about whether they will do something unpredictable and cruel, or sensless, and not feel angry and judgemental at them.

    I want you to screw up and say something, or act some way unintentionally that you didn’t mean to, and not feel guilt or remorse or because you didn’t have anything to say in what happenned.

    You will feel something, and it will be something very deep.

    When you people go and do this to the best of your ability, and that means do it, because everyone here is exceptionally capable, then tell me that you are content with it all being uncaused by human will, that it is all just a meaningless stage that ‘happened this way’, then I will know you are not human. Then I will know you are just a meat robot, or deeply psychotic.

    But if come and tell me that feeling that comes drains over you when you understand that everything, no matter how interesting, is unchangable by human decision and will, was not in any way a result of conscious vision and planning mediated by decision to do this or that, that in effect it is all just inanimate matter doing the only thing it possibly can, and nothing is creditable to human will(by which I mean ability to choose a course of events, only then will I know you mean it when you say we have no free will(which means any will except that directed by mindless physical causes).

    For if ever, at some point, somehow, through some accumulation of processes, history has been guided by human (by which I mean mind) input and effort, then free will has been established.

    You see, it’s easy to imagine for one moment or two, that we are just thinking and acting as we are compelled to, but then realize the magnitude of what that means, alright?

    Meanwhile, since I already did all that, and assuming it wasn’t just illusions and mis percetions, I’ll sit here and go through all the words here, starting with Jerry Coyne’s, and respond thoughtfully, and ponder why I get to ride in such a handsome and talented thought support unit, or maybe watch TV.

    Whatever

    Either our minds are illusory, or they serve some function.
    If they are illusory, they are useless – unnecessary.
    If they serve some function, then they can affect the functioning or physical states of our brains.
    If our thoughts can affect our brains/minds, they can affect them by our decision, or else they are unnecessary.
    If they are necessary, it is only by being able to affect our behaviour.
    If they can affect our behaviour by optimizing it, our minds can only optimize our behaviour by changine it selectively.
    If our minds cannot alter our behaviour from a purely unthinking deterministic path towards a more optimal behaviour, they are unnecessary.
    We would not have our minds unless they were necessary, for they increase the organisms vulnerability by increasing resource needs.
    If we have minds, it is only because they benefit our functioning and increase survival fitness, it is only because they are necessary.

    Do some people really have a clue what the fuck they are talking about?

    I left this comment at a blog discussing how the ‘fact’ that free will is an illusion can help to better society, or at least the treatment of certain individuals:

    The thing about acknowledging that we lack free will is that it does not lead to the type of behaviour Coyne and others imagine.
    It leads to more selfish, less considerate, behaviour. Suddenly, we are absolved of moral consequence and may as well just kill everything we don’t agree with.
    It only follows that if we do not have free will, anything we do was/is inevitable anyways, no? Do you think we would even bother trying to decide how to treat criminals and deranged and sick people if we think we don’t have the ability to make decisions to change or act differently in the first place?

    How about the realization that we don’t choose the behaviours and direction we take that give our lives meaning? If we don’t have free will, we don’t have free will in any conceptualization of the idea, long term or acutely.

    In fact, what exactly is anyone talking aboutin relation to picking actions or directions or understandings as individuals or society if we can’t in the first place? How can you talk about altering individuals or society or attitudes in any preferred or imagined manner if we can’t make free choices in the first place?
    Just watch TV or lock yourself in a closet and pretend you are the King of the universe, for all the good it would do you, if your life is nothing more than a trip in a roller coaster ride following a track that you really cannot steer away from?

    Sorry, I can’t find the stuff on researching how the belief that we don’t possess free will influences behavior, but it was at Science Daily. Subjects kept more for themselves, and helped others that needed it less, when they were told that they didn’t have free will.

    I would caution people like Jerry Coyne, and you, Veronica, to think very carefully about the consequences of learning that we don’t have free will.
    Of course it can lead to more humanitarian considerations in treated others in certain situations, that is without question, but at what point do others stop taking you seriously anymore when you insist on an approach to behavior that is so obviously contrary to everyone’s common sense and experience?

    As always, there ensues very interesting discussion like the one at Canadian Atheist

     

    Neanderthal Neuroscience The Loom Discover Magazine

    Neanderthal Neuroscience The Loom Discover Magazine.

    This is one of the most interesting articles I have read.

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