On Jun 3, 4:48 pm, RMahoney <rmaho...@poteau.com> wrote: > On Jun 1, 7:08 pm, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:> On Jun 1, > 7:07 pm, RMahoney <rmaho...@poteau.com> wrote: > > > > On Jun 1, 1:31 pm, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote: > > > > > On May 31, 6:14 pm, RMahoney <rmaho...@poteau.com> wrote: > > > > > They seem to think this free will has some ability to manipulate the > > > > > Universe in ways that avoid it's laws. > > > > > Free will is one of the laws of the universe. We are made of the > > > > universe, therefore whatever we do or can do is inherently a potential > > > > of the universe. > > > > Free will is not a basic law or building block of the universe. The > > > sense of > > > free will is a result of the process of the universe. > > > I used to think that too, but why should a 'sense of free' will be the > > result of any process in any universe? What would it accomplish? What > > process would produce it? > > Anything that is in the present universe is here because it is either > stable enough to last a long time or capable enough to survive a long > time, basically the process of evolution. A sense of free will or > consciousness developed as minds became intelligent enough to make > decisions that would increase their chances of survival.
Why would it develop though? It's like saying that vanilla palm trees developed as minds became intelligent enough to make decisions that would increase their chances of survival. My immune system makes decisions all the time which increase my chance of survival. Even if it could benefit by having some sort of experience of 'free will' in making those decisions (which it wouldn't), how could such an 'experience' appear in a purely mechanistic context. It's a just-so story. You assume the primacy of evolution and work backwards from there. Did electromagnetic charge evolve? Did velocity evolve? Mass? Not everything is explained by evolution - only the differentiation of biological species. > > > > > > > > I don't believe I willed myself into existence. I cannot will myself > > > > > to avoid the end of my existence. While I'm here I cannot break any of > > > > > the laws of the Universe. > > > > > You don't break the laws, you make new laws. The law of the universe > > > > was once 'human beings cannot fly'. > > > > Laws of the universe I'm referring to are the real laws, not human's > > > attempt > > > at defining them. Human beings cannot fly is a human thought, not a > > > law. > > > All laws that we understand are necessarily defined by humans. They > > are our interpretations of observations using our senses, our body, > > and instruments which we have designed with our senses to extend our > > human body and human mind. If there is any truly real law, it is that > > our understanding of what they are gets rewritten frequently. > > There is an underlying order to the universe that we have not defined > yet, and may never be able to define. It does not mean that underlying > order does not exist, or that the only order or "law" that exists is > what we define. The whole idea that there is an order to the universe that is separate from the actual universe is metaphysics. If such a thing existed, why go through the formality of creating a universe? Why not just have the laws existing in perfection in their never-never land? There is no order without sense. > > > > > > > > We are all molecular machines. > > > > > Then molecular machines are also us and molecules are telepathic. > > > > Systems of molecules and energy can transmit information across > > > distances, so? > > > Not information. Feelings. Thoughts. Images. Comedy. Irony. Human > > life. A bar graph is information. Getting your molars ripped out with > > a pair of pliers is more different. > > Sorry but feelings, thoughts, images, comedy, irony, are all the > result of information processing. These things do not exist without > the programming of our molecular computer. Why would information processing produce anything at all other than more information processing? There is no reason for feeling to arise out of information. If a system has data then it can execute a function without needing to conjure up some kind of 'feeling' or experience. Informaiton, on the other hand, is obviously a reduction of complex qualities into simplistic abstractions. I count five apples and then I can manipulate the quantitative concept of five rather than deal with the full reality of the apples. Feeling and sense are concretely real, information is an a posteriori analysis - detached, lifeless, inauthentic - just like CGI and AI. Forever sterile and empty in spite of increasing sophistication and complexity. > > > > > > > > Those > > > > > molecules operate within the laws of the Universe. > > > > > We wouldn't know. We only experience molecules indirectly through our > > > > instrument-extended perception. What we see of molecules is even less > > > > than what an alien astronomer would see looking at the grey patches of > > > > human mold growing on the land surfaces of the Earth. > > > > > > The result of their > > > > > action allows me to think and reason and decide on a course of action, > > > > > execute a will so to speak, but that will is determined by the > > > > > sequence of events of the molecules that make up my self. > > > > > If I move my arm, I directly move it. I don't even need to cognitively > > > > 'decide' to move it, I just move the whole arm all at once from my > > > > point of view on my native scale of perception. That there are > > > > molecules, cells and tissues which make up my brain and body is a fact > > > > of a different layer, a different perceptual inertial frame where "I" > > > > don't exist at all. The fact remains though, that I can move my arm at > > > > will, and whatever molecular processes need to happen to fulfill my > > > > intention will be compelled to happen. That's why there is a > > > > difference between voluntary muscles and involuntary muscles. Some I > > > > control, some I don't, some control me. > > > > There is the molecular process that occurs when you command movement, > > > but there is also the molecular and electrical process that occurs to > > > develop that > > > command. It doesn't happen out of "thin air". > > > It happens out of my active participation in the semantic context of > > myself and my world. It happens out of desire, purpose, whim, > > intuition. I command my brain directly. It is top-down as well as > > bottom up. You are assuming bottom up only which would posit the > > tortured reasoning of neurons moving my arm for some evolutionary or > > biochemical reason...which is not true. If it were true, it would be > > easy to tell because we would have no division of voluntary and > > involuntary muscle tissue in our body. It would all be automatic. > > Why should evolution not create both voluntary and involuntary muscle > tissue? Because all that is required to survive and reproduce is involuntary action. The whole idea of voluntary doesn't even enter the universe of evolutionary biology. > Animals are mobile for a reason, need to command voluntary > tissue to find food or flee from predators. Need to make decisions. > Develop the will to do so. All in response to outside stimulus. Not at all. All of those things can be accomplished just as well if not better by unconscious computation. Do I need to decide when to sweat or increase my heart rate? Decisions of an organism would be made just as we assume they are in chemistry and physics - automatically and without awareness. > All > programmed in your genes or learned through experience. All > deterministic processes. With a little randomness thrown in to keep it > interesting. Mutations, what not. It doesn't explain our direct sense of and participation in the universe. What you describe is a statistical automatism with no possibility of meaning or sensation. Bodies need to survive. So what? Bodies programmed with the most niche-appropriate genes survive better. Why would that programming include 'awareness'? From what palette are molecular combinations pulling that capacity from? How does that palette exist independently of the molecules themselves and how does their combination-ness conjure them from the aether? > > > > > > > > To say "free > > > > > will" implies that I somehow avoided the laws of the Universe and > > > > > resulting cause and effect. "Free" from the laws of the Universe. > > > > > No, just free from automatism. If you look at the patterns of low > > > > level inorganic matter and distill the most simplistic mathematical > > > > patterns within that, and then consider them the only 'laws of the > > > > Universe' then you succumb to the cognitive bias of mechanemorphism. > > > > The laws of inorganic matter cannot be applied to meaning and > > > > awareness. > > > > There is no such thing as magic. > > > Imagination is pretty close to magic and it is part of the universe. > > Imagication? Magic is a break in the natural process of the universe. > Miracles, etc. They are impossible. Imagination is a mental process > that does not break from the natural process of the universe. If you are in a lucid dream that never ends, then your universe includes magic. This idea of the 'natural process of the universe' is an antiquated idea of substance dualism. You are talking about the universe as machine of physics and chemistry, but it has no respect for the thing that is talking about it. It disqualifies the most important reality of all - your own. > > > > > > A computer program can become self aware, > > > and obtain the sense of a free will. > > > No byte of information has ever felt anything or done anything by > > itself. No program will ever obtain any sense of free will. We may > > fool ourselves into projecting our own free will onto it, as we do > > with stuffed animals and good luck charms, but a program has no > > reality. It's a sophisticated recording. > > A sufficient number of bytes of information properly organized have > felt and have done and have obtained consciousness, the human mind, Begging the question. You assume the mind is information, therefore information must be the mind. It's circular reasoning. > and many many other animal minds as well. I can't say you are anything > but a sophisticated recording with any certainty, but because I know I > am, I can guess you probably are. We are a very long ways from > developing a computer with enough capacity and learning capability to > evolve self awareness, but there is nothing that says that computer > has to be made of flesh and blood to achieve it. What is there to say that we can't eat plastic and silicon for food? Why can't we make a computer out of steam? If information can be conscious, why hasn't the internet come to life yet? Why don't movies and cartoons evolve by themselves. Why is there substance or bodies in the first place? > > > > > > In > > > > > that sense, there is no such thing as "free will", only "will", that > > > > > is determined by your physical being and sequence of molecular action. > > > > > Where would sequences of molecular action get a sense of 'will' from? > > > > It doesn't make sense. > > > > The molecular and electrical action creates a closed loop system of > > > action > > > and observation of it's action, and resulting adjustment of it's > > > action. It is a > > > program with a broad matrix of inputs and outputs. > > > That matrix of senses is consciousness. Molecular action doesn't get a > > > sense > > > of "will", it creates a sense of will. Therefore, it does, make, > > > "sense". > > > That isn't a sense of will at all. It's a self-correcting behavior. It > > would hardly need some kind of 'feeling' to accomplish that. A sense > > of will would add nothing to the functionality that you describe. > > I was describing it at it's basic level. When the system becomes > complex enough and knows what it's doing and makes decisions at a high > enough level, it will have consciousness and can have a sense of will. Why would it? Complexity sounds just like magic. > > > > > > > > Now I myself believe that probably the laws of the Universe allow it > > > > > to be non-deterministic. My logic might be simple on this, but if > > > > > there were no randomness at all, there could be no evolution of the > > > > > Universe (and probably the laws of the Universe) to become the > > > > > Universe we observe today. I think if we started (over and over again) > > > > > with the same initial condition of this moment, that the next moment > > > > > could be any number of potential outcomes, all within the same laws of > > > > > the same Universe. The Universe is built upon the laws of probability, > > > > > What are the laws of probability built on? > > > > Mathematics. Quanta. > > > Which are built on...? > > We may never know. The universe may never create a high enough > intelligence to find the bottom turtle. But then again it may. I doubt > you'll find it here though. Or in our lifetimes. You don't know what it is but you know that it isn't sense? > > > > > > > > and at the short term macro level things can be fairly predictable, > > > > > but at the micro level and over long periods of time, things are not > > > > > so predictable, due to random events at the quantum level. I also > > > > > subscribe to the idea that all possible outcomes exist simultaneously > > > > > and forever, as do all possible histories. If it is possible for it to > > > > > exist, it exists, and always can exist. Else it would be impossible, > > > > > and not exist. I doubt anything like this could ever be proven, but it > > > > > makes logical sense to me. > > > > > > But I do not see that this non-deterministic quality of the Universe > > > > > in any way creates a free will. It just makes the Universe really > > > > > infinite in possibilities. Will cannot be executed without cause. Even > > > > > if the result of that process of executing a will was at some point > > > > > affected by a random quantum event. > > > > > What you have written here...were you a helpless spectator to the > > > > event of it being written deterministically or was it random? Why do > > > > you have any more awareness of it than you have of peristalsis or your > > > > hair growing? > > > > I was a spectator (or observer) yes, I was not helpless. > > > It's either one or the other. If you are purely a spectator, then you > > are helpless to change the outcome. > > > > The > > > development of my > > > brain shaped by my past experiences has created an internal program, > > > that, > > > along with present input determined what I ultimately wrote, and too > > > what I am > > > currently writing. > > > The program has no reason to feel anything, let alone feel like you > > are able to decide what you write if you are not able to do that. > > Survival is the reason. It enabled our evolutionary line to survive > over the ages to the present time. Survival is not a reason to invent the possibility of feeling. Sharper teeth, more frequent intercourse, sure, but 'feeling' is irrelevant to the mechanics of survival. > > > > > >I am the product of all past events and I can fly, > > > I can feel > > > the freedom of flight, but I cannot cheat gravity. I can only use > > > gravity to my > > > advantage, and soar to the clouds. It has all been determined by the > > > universe > > > which makes it possible. > > > The universe also makes it possible for you to change aspects of the > > universe according to your imagination. > > Not outside the natural process of the universe. No magic. No > miracles. > Our ability to change our universe is part of the universe. To a neanderthal, air conditioning is magic and the internet is a miracle. > > > > >Evolution determined that my consciousness > > > has > > > no need to be aware of my hair growing, other than to notice when I > > > need > > > a hair cut. :-) > > > Evolution did it = God did it (in reverse). > > Magic and miracles are impossible. It depends. Every improvement to civilization was unforeseen before it happened. Craig -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.