On 05.04.2012 04:14 Stathis Papaioannou said the following:
On Thu, Apr 5, 2012 at 12:01 PM, Craig Weinberg<whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
Your claim that it is impossible to feel in a deterministic universe
is unjustified. It's simply an idea you have taken a fancy to.
I don't claim that it is impossible to feel in a deterministic
universe, but I suspect that is the case since there is no
deterministic justification for or mechanism of 'feeling' of any kind.
We would have to imagine that there is some mysterious deterministic
purpose for it, otherwise there should be no possibility of feeling,
and a deterministic universe should really be pretty parsimonious when
it comes to allowing for mysterious purposes if it is to be logically
consistent. So there is a completely logical basis for suspecting that
feeling is impossible in a deterministic universe that has nothing to
do with taking a fancy to the idea. I don't care one way or another,
I'm only following the logic where it leads. What would determine that
feeling should exist?
My claim is that the feeling of free will is a special case that goes
beyond this because even the suggestion of free will is inconceivable
in a universe defined a priori as being deterministic. It would be
like saying we could imagine what the 500th dimension or a new primary
color is like.
Why does feeling have to have "purpose"? The universe as a whole does
not have "purpose" unless you believe in a certain kind of god.
Let us imagine that we have a deterministic theory of everything and it
has started at time zero with given initial conditions. Then it is
possible to state that the purpose of that initial conditions was to
reach the state that we have now. Otherwise, why exactly these initial
conditions have been employed? One could definitely imagine that the
theory of everything starts with some other initial conditions (also
with some values of fundamental constants, etc.).
In my view, the same event can have purpose or not depending on how you
describe it. Say a mechanical system develops itself according some
Lagrangian. There is no purpose. Yet, if you remember about the
variational principle, then the trajectory minimizes some functional and
this could be considered as the purpose of the trajectory. Well, this is
a word game but then you have also to make your definitions to justify
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