On Saturday, October 27, 2012 1:03:52 PM UTC-4, stathisp wrote:
> On Fri, Oct 26, 2012 at 11:24 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> 
> wrote:
> > No. What we as humans do is determined by human experiences and human
> > character, which is not completely ruled externally. We participate
> > directly. It could only be a small set of rules if those rules include 
> 'do
> > whatever you like, whenever you have the chance'.
> The small set of rules I was referring to are the low level rules, the 
> laws of physics. More complex higher level rules are generated from these. 
> "Do whatever you like, whenever you have the chance" is an example of such 
> a higher level rule, and it could not occur unless it was consistent with 
> the laws of physics.

I am saying that more complex higher level rules, by definition, cannot be 
generated from low level rules. It is like saying that the Taj Mahal 
follows from bricks, or that the internet is generated by electrical 

> >> the rules being
> >> as you say what matter actually does and not imposed by people or
> >> divine whim.
> >
> >
> > Matter is a reduced shadow of experiences. Matter is ruled by people and
> > people are ruled by matter. Of the two, people are the more directly and
> > completely real phenomena.
> >
> >>
> >> I really don't understand where you disagree with me,
> >> since you keep making statements then pulling back if challenged.
> >
> >
> > I don't see where I am pulling back. I disagree with you in that to you 
> any
> > description of the universe which is not matter in space primarily is
> > inconceivable. I am saying that what matter is and does is not important 
> to
> > understanding consciousness itself. It is important to understanding
> > personal access to human consciousness, i.e. brain health, etc, but
> > otherwise it is consciousness, on many levels and ranges of quality, 
> which
> > gives rise to the appearance of matter and not the other way around.
> It doesn't matter for the purposes of the discussion if there is no basic 
> physical universe at all: you just add "apparently" in front of every 
> statement about what happens. Apparently there is a set of physical laws, 
> and everything that apparently happens is consistent with these laws.

But the only things that happen which is consistent with those laws are 
things which have to do with the body. Experiential laws are completely at 
odds with physical laws, and if anything physical laws are all explainable 
as experiences, but experiences can in no way be explained as physical 

> >> Do
> >> you think the molecules in your brain follow the laws of physics, such
> >> as they may be?
> >
> >
> > The laws of physics have no preference one way or another whether this 
> part
> > of my brain or that part of my brain is active. I am choosing that 
> directly
> > by what I think about. If I think about playing tennis, then the 
> appropriate
> > cells in my brain will depolarize and molecules will change positions. 
> They
> > are following my laws. Physics is my servant in this case. Of course, if
> > someone gives me a strong drink, then physics is influencing me instead 
> and
> > I am more of a follower of that particular chemical event than a leader.
> It seems that you do not understand the meaning of the term "consistent 
> with the laws of physics". It means that when you decide to play tennis the 
> neurons in your brain will depolarise because of the ionic gradients, 

If you can't see how ridiculous that view is, there is not much I can say 
that will help you. My decision to play tennis *IS* the depolarization of 
neurons. The ionic gradients have no opinion of whether or not I am about 
to play tennis. The brain as a whole, every cell, every molecule, every 
charge and field, is just the spatially extended shadow of *me* or my 
'life'. I am the event which unites all of the functions and structures 
together, from the micro to the macro, and when I change my mind, that 
change is reflected on every level.

the permeability of the membrane to different ions, the way the ion 
> channels change their conformation in response to an electric field, and 
> many other such physical factors. It is these physical factors which result 
> in your decision to play tennis and then your getting up to retrieve your 
> tennis racquet. If it were the other way around - your decision causes 
> neurons to depolarise - then we would observe miraculous events in your 
> brain, ion channels opening in the absence of any electric field or 
> neurotransmitter change, and so on.

No. The miraculous event is viewable any time we look at how a conscious 
intention appears in an fMRI. We see spontaneous simultaneous activity in 
many regions of the brain, coordinated on many levels. This is the 
footprint of where we stand. When we take a step, the footprint changes. We 
are the leader of these brain processes, not the follower.

> >> If so, then the behaviour of each molecule is
> >> determined or follows probabilistic laws, and hence the behaviour of
> >> the collection of molecules also follows deterministic or
> >> probabilistic laws.
> >
> >
> > I am determining the probabilities myself, directly. They are me. How 
> could
> > it be otherwise?
> Yes, but this is an empty statement unless you claim that your 
> consciousness causes miraculous events. Otherwise the physical events play 
> out for you in the same way as they do for everything else on the universe, 
> and the consciousness is just a supervemient effect.

Whether voluntary control of my own brain is miraculous or not is 
irrelevant. It makes no difference what we call it, but it is undeniably 

> >> If consciousness, sense, will, or whatever else is
> >> at play in addition to this then we would notice a deviation from
> >> these laws.
> >
> >
> > Not in addition to, sense and will are the whole thing. All activity in 
> the
> > universe is sense and will and nothing else. Matter is only the sense and
> > will of something else besides yourself.
> That is a meaningless statement unless it leads to testable predictions.

It predicts order, consciousness, perception, and qualia. No other model 
does that.

> >> That is what it would MEAN for consciousness, sense, will
> >> or whatever else to have a separate causal efficacy;
> >
> >
> > No. I don't know how many different ways to say this: Sense is the only
> > causal efficacy there ever was, is, or will be. Sense is primordial and
> > universal. Electromagnetism, gravity, strong and weak forces are only
> > examples of our impersonal view of the sense of whatever it is we are
> > studying secondhand.
> Again, empty of meaning.

Again, devoid of understanding.

> >> absent this, the
> >> physical laws, whatever they are, determine absolutely everything that
> >> happens, everywhere, for all time. Which part of this do you not agree
> >> with?
> >
> >
> > None of it. I am saying there are no physical laws at all. There is no 
> law
> > book. That is all figurative. What we have thought of as physics is as 
> crude
> > and simplistic as any ancient mythology. What we see as physical laws are
> > the outermost, longest lasting conventions of sense. Nothing more. I 
> think
> > that the way sense works is that it can't contradict itself, so that 
> these
> > oldest ways of relating, once they are established, are no longer easy to
> > change, but higher levels of sense arise out of the loopholes and can
> > influence lower levels of sense directly. Hence, molecules build living
> > cells defy entropy, human beings build airplanes to defy gravity.
> Cells don't defy entropy and planes don't defy gravity. Their respective 
> behaviour is consistent with our theories about entropy and gravity.

Cells defy entropy locally. Planes allow us to get around some constraints 
of gravity. If your definition of any law is so broad that it includes all 
possible technological violations of it, then how does it really give us 
any insight?

> >> If the computer came about through an amazing accident would that make
> >> any difference to its consciousness or intelligence?
> >
> >
> > Yes. If a computer assembled itself by accident, I would give it the 
> benefit
> > of the doubt just like any other organism. But would it heal itself too?
> > Would it reproduce? Would it lie and cheat and steal to get what it needs
> > for it's computer family? If not, then the accidental computer would not
> > last very long in the wild.
> How the computer was made would have no effect on its behaviour or 
> consciousness.

Yes, it would. If I make a refrigerator, I can assume that it is a box with 
cooling mechanism. If I find an organism which has evolved to cool parts of 
itself to store food, then that is a completely different thing.

> >> If a biological
> >> human were put together from raw materials by advanced aliens would
> >> that make any difference to his consciousness or intelligence?
> >
> > It would if we were automaton servants of their agendas.
> If the created human had a similar structure to a naturally developed 
> human he would have similar behaviour and similar experiences. How could it 
> possibly be otherwise?

Because consciousness is not a structure, it is an event. It is an 
experience which unifies bodies from the inside out, not a configuration of 
bodies which has an experience because of external conditions.


> -- 
> Stathis Papaioannou

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups 
"Everything List" group.
To view this discussion on the web visit 
To post to this group, send email to everything-list@googlegroups.com.
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to 
For more options, visit this group at 

Reply via email to