on 19.11.2010 04:11 Rex Allen said the following:
On Thu, Nov 18, 2010 at 9:56 AM, Jason Resch<jasonre...@gmail.com>
wrote:
Rex,

Your post reminded me of the quote (of which I cannot recall the
source) where someone asked "Who pushes who around inside the
brain?", meaning is it the matter that causes thought to move
around a certain way, or is it the opposite?  The looped
hierarchies described by Hofstadter, if present, make this a
difficult question to answer.  If the highest levels of thought
and reason are required in your decision making, does it still make
sense to say we are slaves of deterministic motions of particles or
is that missing a few steps?

Well, I find it entirely conceivable that fundamental physical laws
acting on fundamental physical entities (particles, fields, strings,
whatever) could account for human behavior and ability.

So if human behavior and ability is what we are trying to explain,
then I see no reason to invoke thought and reason as causal forces.
And, even if you wanted to, I don't see how they could be made to
serve that role.  1Z and I discussed this in the other thread.

We don't invoke thought and reason to explain the abilities and
behavior of chess playing computers - and while human behavior and
ability is much more complex and extensive, I think it can be put in
the same general category.

The conscious experience that accompanies human behavior is another
matter entirely, but I don't think it serves any causal role either.

Have I understood you correctly, that the current discussion has been already predetermined by the initial conditions of the Universe?

I guess that something like this Stephen Wolfram says. A few citations from his talk Some Modern Perspectives on the Quest for Ultimate Knowledge

"It looks probabilistic because there is a lot of complicated stuff going on that we’re not seeing–notably in the very structure and connectivity of space and time."

"But really it’s all completely deterministic."

"That somehow knowing the laws of the universe would tell us how humans would act–and give us a way to compute and predict human behavior."

"Of course, to many people this always seemed implausible–because we feel that we have some form of free will."

"And now, with computational irreducibility, we can see how this can still be consistent with deterministic underlying laws."

See more at

http://blog.rudnyi.ru/2010/07/stephen-wolframs-computational-irreducibility.html

I am not sure that I agree but at least with computational irreducibility there is some logic in all this. Do you agree with Stephen Wolfram?

Evgenii

...

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