On Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 12:49 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> But are decisions that a person makes freely caused or uncaused?
> Both and neither. Just as a yellow traffic signal is neither red nor
> green but represents possibilities of both stop and go. We are the
> cause. We are influenced by causes but to varying degrees. We
> influence our body and by extension the world with varying degrees of
> freedom.

EITHER something is determined/caused OR it's random/uncaused. This is
standard use of language. You can define your own terms but then at
least you should explain them in relation to the standard language:
"what everyone else calls green, I call red, and what everyone else
calls a dog, I call a cat".

>> >> By this reasoning nothing can ever have an adequate explanation, since
>> >> if the explanation offered for A is B, you can always ask, "But why
>> >> should B apply to A?"; and if the answer is given, "Because empirical
>> >> observation shows that it is so" you can dismiss it as unsatisfactory.
>> > It depends what A and B are. If A is a cloud and B is rain, then you
>> > can see that there could be a connection. If A is a neural fiber and B
>> > is an experience of blue, then there is a gigantic gap separating the
>> > two which can't be bridged just because we are used to looking at
>> > physical objects relating to other physical objects and think it would
>> > be convenient if subjects behaved that way as well.
>> If you're bloody-minded enough you can claim here isn't really an
>> obvious connection between clouds and rain either.
> Sure, it's a matter of degree. If I squeeze an orange, it follows very
> logically that what comes out of it is orange juice. If I poke a
> microorganism like a neuron with an electrode, it does not follow very
> logically at all that comedy, symphonies or the smell of pineapple
> should ensue. At some point you have to decide whether sanity is real
> or reality is insane. I choose the former.

But it's an empirical observation that if certain biochemical
reactions occur (the ones involved in processing information) ,
consciousness results. That you find it mysterious is your problem,
not nature's.

Stathis Papaioannou

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