On Apr 24, 8:59 am, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 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".

It is a standard use of language to say that people are responsible in
varying degrees for their actions. I don't understand why you claim
that your binary determinism is 'standard language' in some way. When
we talk about someone being guilty of a crime, that quality of guilt
makes no sense in terms of being passively caused or randomly
uncaused. It is you who should explain your ideas in relation to the
standard language: "what everyone else calls intention, I call

> >> >> 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.

If I turn on a TV set, TV programs occur. That doesn't mean that TV
programs are generated by electronics. Fortunately I just spent a week
at the consciousness conference in AZ so I now know how deeply in the
minority views such as yours are. The vast majority of doctors and
professors researching in this field agree that the Explanatory Gap
cannot simply be wished away in the manner you suggest. I don't find
it mysterious at all that consciousness could come from configurations
of objects, I find it impossible, as do most people.


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