On Sunday, March 3, 2013 11:02:02 PM UTC-5, stathisp wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 4, 2013 at 12:08 PM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whats...@gmail.com<javascript:>> 
> wrote: 
> >> I don't think you *can* conceive of a third option. I think you're 
> >> just saying you can, like saying that you can conceive of a four-sided 
> >> triangle. 
> > 
> > 
> > I don't have to conceive of a third option, my will embodies it. That's 
> why 
> > you are missing the obvious. You are filtering every possibility as a 
> > posteriori to intellect, but you don't see that intellect itself only 
> makes 
> > sense as part of this third option. It isn't the third option, it's the 
> > first and only option, with randomness and determinism being two halves 
> of 
> > its reflection. 
> I don't know what you mean by any of this. The question is whether my 
> actions are entirely determined by antecedents, or not. 

I see the question as being how there could be a such thing as actions 
which are 'yours' in a deterministic universe,

> >> This says nothing 
> >> about whether cognition is based on deterministic processes or not. 
> >> From mere introspection, I haven't any clue that I even have a brain, 
> >> let alone whether it is deterministic or not. 
> > 
> > 
> > It's only through the senses of your body that you have a belief that 
> you 
> > have a brain. That you choose to take one set of experiences as 
> indicating 
> > truth and another as 'mere' introspection is itself mere introspection. 
> By mere introspection I mean thinking in the absence of any empirical 
> data that comes to me through the senses. 

You only think that you have data that comes to you through your senses 
because your introspective qualia defines it that way for you.

> I can't tell a lot from 
> this, but you claim to be able to tell that science will not find that 
> the brain is deterministic. 

It's not an important question. What matters is that determinism itself is 
a shadow or reflection of intention.

> So if tomorrow it is announced that beyond 
> all reasonable doubt, human behaviour is governed by a complex 
> clockwork mechanism, what will you do? 

It's not a realistic suggestion. You are saying, 'imagine tomorrow that 
they discover that circles are absolutely square'. They won't, not because 
I care whether they would or not, or that it would upset me, but because I 
understand why it can't happen. Fully half of the universe is not governed 
by mechanism.

> Declare that there must be some 
> mistake because the finding is a priori impossible? 

I wouldn't need to declare anything, because they will be disgraced 
eventually on their own.

> >> Why is that contrary to what I said? Do you believe it is possible for 
> >> a deterministic or random system to have intentionality? 
> > 
> > 
> > Only if intention was already a possibility to begin with. If the 
> universe 
> > was exclusively deterministic or random, then where would intention come 
> > from, and why? Beyond that, how would it ever become aware of itself, 
> and if 
> > it could, how could it doubt that awareness of itself? It's about as 
> likely 
> > as this conversation turning into a Big Mac. 
> Well obviously, if the universe is deterministic or random, intention 
> comes from that. 

That's begging the question. If the universe is black and white, does red 
come from that? It's worthless to reach for a nonsense solution like that.


> I don't see the problem you have with it. Hamburgers 
> did not exist before the Big Bang, but now we have hamburgers. 

But hamburgers are a perfectly reasonable expectation from the Big Bang, 
given the nature of matter.

> On 
> other planets, they may not have hamburgers. Do we have to explain 
> this in terms of a special essence of hamburger separate from regular 
> matter and energy? 

Who said anything about a special essence? I am saying that sense 
(intention) is the the fabric of the cosmos, and that there can certainly 
be no other. There could in theory be another universe where that isn't the 
case, but it won't have people living in it.

> >> I don't really understand your argument. If my very existence in the 
> >> world is an accident why couldn't my consciousness also be an 
> >> accident? 
> > 
> > 
> > If the world is made of things, then you are going to be one of those 
> things 
> > whether you call it an accident or not.  Why there should be a such 
> thing as 
> > consciousness though, doesn't make any sense in a world of exclusively 
> > accidental things. Again, it's an ontological problem - you can't have 
> > nonsense without sense. You can't have an accident before you have 
> something 
> > which has an expectation of 'on-purpose', and you can't have an 
> expectation 
> > of on-purpose in a universe where it isn't possible to conceive of 
> > 'on-purpose'. 
> Why doesn't consciousness make sense in an accidental or deterministic 
> world?

Because you are assuming an a priority possibility which you are then 
denying. It's not meaningful to say that a birthday cake can appear out of 
nowhere on the surface of the Moon, you have to actually have some reason 
why such an explanation is better than nothing. You can't just 
retroactively assign any magical possibility to accidents or determinism if 
you have no idea how those possibilities existed in the first place. You 
are assuming that just because life exists that there must have been some 
probability that it can exist - but I don't think so at all. To me it is 
obvious that consciousness is not possible in any way, except for it being 
the one possibility which makes all others. Try to think of a plausible 
scenario for how an accident of collisions results in presence, feeling, or 

> If I accidentally end up with arms and legs why can't I also 
> accidentally end up with consciousness? 

Because an arm or a leg is just an extension of a body. A consciousness is 
a property unrelated to anything except itself.

> >> It's a legitimate question to ask why consciousness should exist at 
> >> all, since evolution would have done just as well with zombies. 
> > 
> > 
> > That's the key point. 
> > 
> >> 
> >> The 
> >> most plausible explanation is that consciousness is a necessary 
> >> side-effect of intelligence. 
> > 
> > 
> > Why would it be? Why would consciousness assist intelligence any more 
> than 
> > it would evolution? Even if it did, how does intelligence suddenly 
> conjure 
> > phenomenology out of thin air? As I keep pointing out, time travel, 
> > invisibility, or the ability to turn into a rock when threatened would 
> be 
> > infinitely more plausible and effective. 
> It appears that when you have intelligence, goals, self-reflection and 
> so forth you also have consciousness. 

It appears that if you buy a lot of things that you have access to money or 
credit. That doesn't mean that buying things causes money.

> This is a deduction from 
> observing the types of things that we believe have consciousness. 

There are obviously different qualities of consciousness and different 
intensities and specialties of intelligence, but losing consciousness for a 
year means you are in a coma or dead, losing intelligence for a year might 
just mean that you are married. Of course these are just loose terms. 
Consciousness can also be used to specify a higher kind of intelligence - 
like ethics and self -reflection. That's a valid use of the term and one 
which could be placed a posteriori to intelligence (although it's a bit 
bigoted...dumb people can be socially or ethically conscious and 
intelligent people can be short-sighted.) To me though, consciousness 
generally means the capacity to participate in a private perception.

> It's 
> perhaps a bit mysterious, but you haven't said anything that makes it 
> any less mysterious, while you have said many things that are 
> irrational or ad hoc, such as your claim that you know from your 
> feeling of free will that your brain is not deterministic. 

If I ask you to visualize the color red right now, a computer monitoring 
your brain will find this sudden signal corresponding to imagining red how? 
If I can change my brain to some extent at will, how can it be truly 



> -- 
> Stathis Papaioannou 

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