Craig, Can you give us a synopsis of the consciousness conference?
Is there any convergence of their thinking or is it still rather scattered?
Richard

On Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 1:19 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:

> 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
> irrelevant."
>
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > >> >> 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.
>
> Craig
>
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