On Thursday, August 30, 2012 11:04:28 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote:
>
>  On 8/30/2012 6:23 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote: 
>
>
>
> On Thursday, August 30, 2012 9:00:12 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote: 
>>
>>  On 8/30/2012 5:39 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote: 
>>
>>
>>
>> On Thursday, August 30, 2012 8:19:32 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote: 
>>>
>>>  
>>>  
>>> If morals didn't exist, why would we choose to invent them? What 
>>> possible purpose could be served by some additional qualitative layer of 
>>> experience on top of the perfectly efficient and simple execution of 
>>> neurochemical scripts? Don't you see that the proposed usefulness of such a 
>>> thing is only conceivable in hindsight - after the fact of its existence?
>>>  
>>>
>>> We didn't invent them.  They evolved.  Evolution has no foresight, it's 
>>> random. 
>>>
>>
>> Randomness is not omnipotence. It doesn't matter how many words I write 
>> here, they will never evolve into something that writes by itself.
>>  
>>
>> Exactly. Randomness is more likely to kludge up an adaptation than create 
>> an efficient design from scratch.  Your words don't evolve because they 
>> don't move around and recombine randomly - except in your head.  
>>  
>
> Are you suggesting that if I add a randomizer that the words being spit 
> out will eventually learn to become an author?
>  
>
> That would be necessary but not sufficient.  You'd need an editor (or 
> natural selection) to find something coherent.
>

No, you'd need the possibility of 'coherence' first. Then you would need an 
agent which cares whether something is coherent or not. Then you would need 
that agent to be causally empowered to execute their preference in a 
materially effective way. In other words, you would need an author. Once 
you have an author, then an editor or natural selection could certainly 
introduce specialization and diversification into the quality and quantity 
of authors, but authorship itself has no basis to be considered as a 
possible option to be selected by any means - natural selection, divine 
selection, whatever...not happening. My conclusion is that there is only 
one possible way that consciousness can exist, and that is if nothing else 
has ever existed but consciousness (not human consciousness, obviously, but 
awareness; sense.).
 

>
>   
>  
>>  Are you an Intelligent Design creationist?
>>
>
> Of course not.
>  
>
> Then why can't you accept that living systems are not designed, don't 
> 'need' be they way they are, are just formed by random variation and 
> natural selection.
>

I'm not talking about the design of specific living systems, I am talking 
about the possibility of order and experience in the first place. These are 
not possible results of arithmetic permutation and probability. Probability 
and evolution themselves are not systems which could have evolved (or 
created). Sense is the ground of being. Probability, order, awareness, 
evolution all occur as a subordinate limited conditionality within sense. 
Not everything evolves. The relation between blue and red doesn't evolve. 
The notion of an omnipotent designer adds nothing for the same reason, it 
doesn't explain itself. If the universe needs a designer then why doesn't 
the designer need a designer.

All you need is sense.



>   
>  
>>  
>>  
>>  
>>>  It takes advantage of what is available.  Feeling sick at your stomach 
>>> after eating rotten food is a good adaptation to teach you not eat stuff 
>>> like that again.
>>>
>>
>> No, it isn't a possible adaptation at all. There would not be any such 
>> thing as 'feeling' or 'sick' - only memory locations and branching tree 
>> algorithms. This is what I am saying, feeling makes no sense as a 
>> possibility unless you are looking back on it in hindsight after the fact. 
>> Sure, to you it seems like nausea is a good adaptation, but that's naive 
>> realism. You assume nausea is possible because you have experienced it. 
>>
>>
>> That's not an assumption - that's empiricism.  An assumption would be 
>> that a brain can't instantiate feelings.
>>  
>
> Ok, then you *know* nausea is possible because you have experienced it. 
> That doesn't change the fact that nausea has no business being possible in 
> a universe driven only by bottom up evolution.
>  
>
> IT'S RANDOM!  Having business assumes a goal, foresight.
>

Random within what range? A magic hat of infinite phenomenological 
possibilities? Left, right, nausea, laughter, donkey smoke... just any old 
unexplainable comes into being whenever it is needed? And this is better 
than Creationism how? Randomism. Whatever is clearly 
unexplainable...evolution did it. Goal-lessness itself did it. It is a 
cosmic Willy Wonka of meaningless delights like passion, terror, and misery 
to be randomly attached to the oh-so-important cockroach-like functions of 
survival and reproduction. This is the reason that science never develops 
before religion, because common sense readily exposes it's instrumental 
reasoning as absurd when applied to cosmology. We need to move beyond this 
Emperor's New Clothes glamor of insignificance and see that this too is a 
simplistic pedagogy. It's better than religion, but it fails utterly to 
account for anything that is important to our actual experience of life. It 
is an obsolete approach to address the deep questions that need to be 
addressed urgently if we are to progress.

 

>
>  
>   
>>  You would have to use evolution to explain the possibility of feeling 
>> in the first place, and it cannot.
>>  
>>
>>>   So what feeling would work to guide you not harm a child? - how about 
>>> that 'sick at your stomach' feeling. 
>>>
>>>  
>> That implies that T-cells need a feeling to guide them not to kill 
>> friendly cells. 
>>
>>
>> No it doesn't.  T-cells are not social animals who need to care for their 
>> young. 
>>  
>
> T-cells are social organisms who need to care for the other cells of the 
> body. What's the difference?
>  
>
> For one the T-cells don't have young.  
>

Agreed. Did I say they do? Are you reading what I type?
 

> Their 'feelings' are simple and don't need to rise to level of being 
> expressible or to be resolved with conflicting feelings.  
>

I don't have a problem with that. They still have an experience. Simple 
experiences count, especially at the time when these organisms first 
evolved and they had the richest, most complex feelings in the biosphere 
(or possibly the universe).
 

> You are again asking why some biological system 'needs' to be the way it 
> is, as though there is a designer who can explain his choice.
>

Nothing to do with a designer whatsoever. You don't need to explain the 
choice, you need to explain the existence of the of a palette of possible 
choices. Why is the possibility of experience of any sort even on the 
table? How does it make sense in any way as a plausible feature of 
evolution or randomness. Evolution of what? Are you saying that given 
enough ping pong balls randomly colliding, eventually they will turn into a 
puppy? A dragon? Why not a God? Wouldn't evolution and randomness 
eventually have to produce an omnipotent God? Evolution is great at 
explaining what it was formulated to explain - the origin of species. 
Heredity. The shapes of beaks. Mating displays. But it is a catastrophe to 
allow it to overtake all other considerations. Why? Because it is as 
unfalsifiable as religion. You can always attribute anything you want to 
randomness if your definition of randomness includes only those 
possibilities that turn out to make sense but none of those that don't. 
It's a just-so story when applied to the existence of awareness and 
experience itself.'

Craig


> Brent
>  

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