On Wed, Aug 17, 2011 at 3:16 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Aug 16, 10:08 am, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Our body precisely follows the deterministic biochemical reactions
>> that comprise it. The mind is generated as a result of these
>> biochemical reactions; a reaction occurs in your brain which causes
>> you to have a thought to move your arm and move your arm. How could it
>> possibly be otherwise?
> It's not only possible, it absolutely is otherwise. I move my arm. I
> determine the biochemical reactions that move it. Me. For my personal
> reasons which are knowable to me in my own natural language and are
> utterly unknowable by biochemical analysis. It's hard for me to accept
> that you cannot see the flaw in this reasoning.

It's hard for me to accept that you can possibly think that your mind
determines the biochemistry in your brain. It's like saying that the
speed and direction your car goes in determines the activity of the
engine and the brakes.

> "Why did the chicken cross the road?" For deterministic biochemical
> reactions.
> "Why did the sovereign nation declare war?" For deterministic
> biochemical reactions.
> "What is the meaning of f=ma"? For deterministic biochemical
> reactions.
> Biochemistry is just what's happening on the level of cells and
> molecules. It is an entirely different perceptual-relativistic
> inertial frame of reference. Are they correlated? Sure. You change
> your biochemistry in certain ways in your brain, and you will
> definitely feel it. Can you change your biochemistry in certain ways
> by yourself? Of course. Think about something that makes you happy and
> your cells will produce the proper neurotransmitters. YOU OWN them.
> They are your servant. To believe otherwise is to subscribe to a faith
> in the microcosm over the macrocosm, in object phenomenology over
> subject phenomenology to the point of imaging that there is no
> subject. The subject imagines it is nothing but an object. It's
> laughably tragic.
> In order to understand how the universe creates subjectivity, you have
> to stop trying to define it in terms of it's opposite. Objectivity
> itself is a subjective experience. There is no objective experience of
> subjectivity - it looks like randomness and self-similarity feedback.
> That's a warning. It means - 'try again but look in the other
> direction'.

I feel happy because certain things happen in my environment that
affect the biochemistry in my brain, and that is experienced as
happiness. I can also feel happy if I take certain drugs which cause
release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, even if nothing in my
environment is particularly joy-inducing. On the other hand, I can be
depressed due to underactivity of serotonergic neurotransmission, so
that even if happy things happen they don't cheer me up, and this can
be corrected by pro-serotonergic drugs.

I don't doubt the subjective, I just can't see how it could be due to
anything other than physical processes in the brain. The physical
process comes first, and the feeling or thought follows as a result.
Remove the brain and the feeling or thought is also removed.

Stathis Papaioannou

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