Dear Rex, I went through that long back-and-forth with Brent (not sure which >>>>>> meaning whom) and recalled Brono's "we don't 'know': we assume (as in scinece). I also recalled my poor opinion about statistical/probabilistical judgements (because they depend on the limits of counting and sequence of counting - changeable at whim) - furthermore my denial of 'cause' - as the 'most likely initiator* within* the observed model-cut, irrespective of, maybe more relevant initiators beyond such model, -- I tend to appreciate 'relations' (we assume) instead of physical figments of action-related equational conventional science -- I tried to paraphrase your next to last par. of this post. It was:
*"As if we could do otherwise. If we assume physicalism, then our constituent particles are doing all the work. Given the universe's initial conditions and causal laws (which may be probabilistic), they could behave other than they do. In this view, the emotion we feel would seem to be an irrelevant non-causal side-effect at best. Maybe even an illusion?"* ** In my paraphrasing: *As if we could think otherwise. If we assume physicalism, then our assumed constituent particles are assigned to "do all the work". Assuming the universe's initial conditions and the conventional 'causal' laws (which may be part of the believe system) they could be assumed to behave other than we presume 'them' to do. In such view the emotion we feel would seem to be an irrelevant (non causal? secondary?) side-effect at best.* *Maybe even an illusion (if we assign an adequate meaning to this term). * *John M* ** On 5/5/10, Rex Allen <rexallen...@gmail.com> wrote: > > On Mon, May 3, 2010 at 11:26 PM, Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com> > wrote: > > On 5/3/2010 7:14 PM, Rex Allen wrote: > > > > On Sat, May 1, 2010 at 9:48 PM, Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com> > > wrote: > >>> That's assuming I believe some things are true in some absolute sense > >>> unrelated to usefulness. I don't. > >>> > >> > >> I am having the experience of seeing a red book. > >> > > > > But do you *believe* you are seeing a red book. You could be mistaken > about > > that (in fact you've argued you're probably mistaken). No, you only > believe > > that you are having an experience that is described as "seeing a red > book". > > But I will concede you may have confidence in such a belief (provided you > > know what "see", "red", and "book" mean - which requires references that > are > > less than certain). For myself I don't formulate such beliefs, although > I > > suppose I could say, "I believe I am experiencing something that could be > > described as looking at a computer display." > > Do you really believe that you are experiencing looking at a computer > display, OR, do you only believe that you believe that you are > experiencing looking at a computer display? > > Ha! > > What is belief except another aspect of conscious experience? > > So there are blind people with anosognosia, who deny being blind and > will invent visual experiences. When they claim to see a red book, > what is their conscious experience? I would guess that their > experience is not the same as mine, but who knows? Maybe it is the > same. > > Maybe the sincere belief that you're having a visual experience *is* a > visual experience. If so, that works for me. Maybe that explains the > visual aspects of dreams? > > Maybe belief is all that exists? Fundamental and uncaused... > > OR maybe the blind anosognosiacs don't truly believe that they are > seeing a red book, but their impaired condition forces them to behave > as though they believed they were? > > OR, maybe they aren't having any experience at all. Maybe they have > become zombies...? > > I can only work with what I know about my own experiences. But, > thanks to Salvia Divinorum, I have some idea of what it's like to both > believe really strange things, and to experience really strange > things. > > If you asked me what I was seeing on one of those Salvia outings, I > would have told you all sorts of crazy things. The visual experience > was real, even if what I saw wasn't. > > > > It doesn't seem to be useful to obtain certainty by giving > > up all reference. Is that what you are doing and that's > > why you regard your experiences as uncaused and not > > referring - so you can have certainty? > > Wellllllllll. I am trying to fit everything that I know into a single > consistent, coherent framework. > > Why? Well...I don't know. Too much spare time on my hands? > > In general though, it seems like a reasonable way to pass the time. > > > >> When I say time and red are aspects of consciousness, I mean it in the > >> same way that a scientific realist means that spin is an aspect of an > >> electron. > > > > > > Red and time are mathematical attributes in a model of > consciousness?? Ok, > > what's the model? > > By definition, a scientific realist believes in the actual existence > of electrons and of the attribute of spin. If he didn't, he wouldn't > be a scientific realist. He might instead be a structural realist. > > > > On 5/1/2010 6:15 PM, Rex Allen wrote: > >>>> I'm not switching positions, I'm saying that the "honest physicalist" > >>>> should believe that his beliefs are determined only by the initial > >>>> conditions and causal laws of the universe. > >>>> > >>> > >>> Why would he be a determinist? > >>> > >> > >> If he's a physicalist, why wouldn't he believe that his beliefs are > >> determined by the nature of the physical world? What else would they > >> be determined by? > >> > > > > Maybe we're using "determined" in different ways. I use it in contrast > to > > random or stochastic. > > I use "deterministic" in contrast to random or stochastic. > > > > So if the natural world has stochastic aspects then > > one's beliefs could be undetermined and yet still "determined by the > nature > > of the physical world". For example, one of your momentary experiences > > might be due to the decay of a radioactive calcium atom in the blood > stream > > of your brain. > > Exactly. > > > >>> And what if they were? According to the > >>> best physical models we have they are mostly determined by the recent > >>> history of the universe plus probabilistic laws (QM) - > >> > >> > >> Probabilistic laws are still causal laws, right? > >> > > > > Depends on what you mean by causal? I take "probabilistic" to mean not > > entirely determined by the preceding (=within the past light cone) state. > > If it's not entirely determined by the preceding state, then what *is* > it determined by? > > So if a physical law is deterministic then under it's influence Event > A will "cause" Result X 100% of the time. > > Why does Event A always lead to Result X? Because that's the law. > There is no deeper reason. > > If a physical law is indeterministic, then under it's influence Event > B will "cause" Result Q, R, or S according to some probability > distribution. > > Let's say that the probability distribution is 1/3 for each outcome. > > If Event B leads to Result R, why does it do so? Because that's the > law. There is no deeper reason. > > Event A causes Result X 100% of the time. > > Event B causes Result R 33.3333% of the time. > > Why? There is no reason. That's just the way it is. > > > > >> Which brings me back to the point that I made in the "no miracles" > >> argument against scientific realism thread. Which you never responded > >> to. > >> > >> > > You mean this? > > "It seems to me that it would be a bit of a miracle if it turned out > > that we lived in a universe whose initial state and causal laws were such > > that they gave rise to conscious entities whose beliefs about their > universe > > were true beliefs." > > It's an argument from incredulity. If you can make it something more > > objective I might be able to respond. > > You responded to my initial post, but you didn't respond to my > response to your response. > > > >>> to those purposes we imagine we have. > >>> > >> > >> We *imagine* we have? What do you mean by that? > >> > > > > Our purposes are not always conscious. > > What is an unconscious purpose? I know what conscious purpose > is...I've had that experience. e.g. "I did that on purpose." I have > goals...things I want to do. But I am conscious of all of that. > That's how I know of it. > > Does a tree have unconscious purpose when it grows and puts out seed > and whatnot? > > Does a falling rock have unconscious purpose? As Aristotle thought, > "Things fall because they are trying to reach their natural place in > contact with the earth." ? > > Does a flowing stream have unconscious purpose? A weather system? > > How does human "unconscious purpose" differ from a weather system's > "unconscious purpose"? > > > > "Emotion is Nature's way of making us do what is necessary to reproduce." > > --- Robert Wright, in "Man, the Moral Animal" > > As if we could do otherwise. If we assume physicalism, then our > constituent particles are doing all the work. Given the universe's > initial conditions and causal laws (which may be probabilistic), they > could behave other than they do. In this view, the emotion we feel > would seem to be an irrelevant non-causal side-effect at best. Maybe > even an illusion? > > Do you think weather systems feel emotion, as Nature's way of making > them do...weather things? If not, why not? Not even the illusion of > emotion? > > > -- Rex > > -- > You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups > "Everything List" group. > To post to this group, send email to everything-l...@googlegroups.com. > To unsubscribe from this group, send email to > everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com<everything-list%2bunsubscr...@googlegroups.com> > . > For more options, visit this group at > http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en. > > -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to everything-l...@googlegroups.com. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.