On Monday, March 4, 2013 7:17:58 AM UTC-5, stathisp wrote:
> On Mon, Mar 4, 2013 at 3:44 PM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whats...@gmail.com<javascript:>> 
> wrote: 
> >> 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, 
> They are mine because I carry them out. 

That's tautological. In a deterministic universe, there are actions, and 
that is all. There is no 'your' actions. 

> I am responsible for my 
> actions because I know what I am doing and I choose to do it. If I 
> break the law I will be punished because the fear of punishment will 
> deter me and others who are thinking of doing the same thing. This is 
> all consistent with determinism. 

Why would any of that be consistent with determinism?

What difference would it make how you feel about what is determined to be 
done. There is no choice - it is simply done. If you are deterred by fear 
that is still your choice, still up to you, not something which is 
literally determined *for you* by extra-personal conditions. 

> >> 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. 
> Yes, the world is a construct of my mind, whether there is an actual 
> world out there or not. If I ignore the information that seems to come 
> to me from outside, that is what I am referring to as introspection. 

But nobody is talking about ignoring the information from outside, we are 
talking about valuing that information as more real than what is not 
seemingly coming from outside. My point was that all outside information is 
a subset of information receive inside, so you can't claim the former to be 
true and the latter to be fallible without running into circularity - if 
you take the belief in disbelief literally, then you can't believe your own 
ability to contact truth in any kind.

> >> 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 are you now agreeing that we could have consciousness and free will 
> despite having deterministic brains? 

I don't think that the term 'deterministic' is meaningful to describe the 
brain is all.

> >> 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. 
> So you *are* saying it is a priori impossible that the brain is 
> deterministic. It's a pretty dramatic claim: you are telling 
> scientists that, by sitting 

Looks like you trailed off there, but I don't see why a brain would be 
deterministic if a person's life experience isn't deterministic. In some 
way the brain reflects that experience, so unless you can isolate them and 
control, it, I wouldn't expect that determination would be a relevant 
quality of a brain. 

> >> 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. 
> But if the universe could only possibly be deterministic or random 
> then intention must come from that. It's not begging the question, 
> it's a reasonable conclusion from two facts. 

No, its plugging in a deus ex machina (or a machina ex deus, really). If 
there were only deterministic or random phenomena in the universe than 
intention would be inconceivable. Unless you have a guess as to how you get 
one from the other two?

> >> 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. 
> So is consciousness, given the nature of matter.

Why do you think so? What about matter prefigures consciousness?

> For when you put 
> matter, and nothing but matter, together in the form of a human, it is 
> conscious. 

Which means that matter is conscious, or at least potentially conscious 
from the start.

> >> 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. 
> The standard view is that there is only matter and energy and "sense" 
> follows if it is combined in a certain way. You are putting it the 
> other way around, so it certainly sounds as if you're saying "sense" 
> is something over and above matter and energy. 

Exactly. Matter and energy are what sense and motive look like to itself 
separated by space (matter) and time (energy). Because if matter or energy 
could exist independently of sense, then there surely would be no sense 
experience at all.

> >> 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 
> > participation. 
> Consciousness arises from intelligent behaviour. If it did not, then 
> there would be no consciousness, since there is no reason for it to 
> evolve. 

It's circular, because you assume that consciousness evolves rather than it 
being that which evolves itself. If consciousness could evolve, it 
wouldn't. If matter could become conscious, it would have no way of knowing 
or caring about it.

> Your theory presents an ad hoc complication: that 
> consciousness arises independently and somehow in sync with 
> intelligent behaviour. By Occam's Razor, your theory should be 
> eliminated. 

No, I never said that consciousness arises. It is the universe which arises 
as the experiences of consciousness.

> >> 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. 
> This is what Descartes thought: consciousness is independent of the 
> body. He imagined that the two interact via the pineal gland. 

Because he didn't take dualism far enough. Descartes didn't have the 
hindsight of relativity, QM, and psychedelics to understand that the self 
is neither independent from, not non-identical to the body. They are 
conjugate perceptual correlations of the same event - which is a 
time-generating experience. The site of interaction of mind and brain is 
not in the brain, it is the entire lifetime.

> >> 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. 
> Association does not necessarily imply causation, so it is possible 
> that consciousness is caused by God and intelligent behaviour is 
> caused by matter, and the two just happen to coincide. It's possible, 
> but it is an inferior theory as it is more complicated, does not 
> explain any more, and is not empirically falsifiable. 

I was commenting that you assume from the start that consciousness is a 
product of the universe rather than the origin. I think that is an inferior 
theory as it doesn't lead to a resolution of any of the problems with 
physics and consciousness, while mind resolves all of them.

> >> 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. 
> One other important observation is that only things with the capacity 
> to analyse their environment and interact with their environment in a 
> complex way are conscious. Dead or inert things aren't conscious, yet 
> dead or inert things might have just as much matter and just as much 
> of your proposed all-pervasive "sense"; otherwise how is "sense" 
> allocated? 

You are looking at what seems dead to us, on a particular level of 
description. Speed up the action fast enough (i.e. don't take your naive 
human pace of awareness as a universal voyeur standard) and it may very 
well make sense as part of some conscious experience. Complexity is 
relative. The orbits of the Moons of Jupiter are a pretty complex 
interaction. The atmospheres of planets interact with the sun. Our 
civilization doesn't look very impressive from a distance either. 

> >> 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 
> > deterministic? 
> Your brain changes deterministically and as a result of this process 
> you feel you have changed your mind, for good or bad or arbitrary 
> reasons. This may or may not be true but where is the *logical* 
> contradiction which leads you to say it is a priori false? 

The logical contradiction is that the chemistry of your brain has no reason 
to spontaneously change to correspond with visualizing red right now, but 
my asking you to visualize red is an overwhelmingly convincing cause.


> -- 
> Stathis Papaioannou 

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