On Saturday, March 9, 2013 1:01:50 AM UTC-5, John Clark wrote:
>
>
> On Thu, Mar 7, 2013 , Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com <javascript:>>wrote:
>  
>
>> who would vow never to change their views?
>>
>
> The religious faithful.  
>

I'm not sure I would say that is "their" view, so much as the view of an 
institution, but fair enough.
 

>
> >> By simple logic the answer has to be yes if the following conditions 
>>> are met. If whenever a traffic jam happens the sun goes down and whenever 
>>> the sun goes down a traffic jam happens and there has never been a single 
>>> recorded instance of this not happening then the sun going down and traffic 
>>> jams are inextricably linked together.  
>>>
>>
>> > But you can see that's a fallacy just by understanding that obviously 
>> we cannot cause the Sun to go down by making a traffic jam. 
>>
>
> "Obviously" be damned! If we lived in a universe where without exception 
> every single time there was a traffic jam then "obviously" the laws of 
> physics and the orbital mechanics of the solar system would have to be 
> radically different from what they are in this universe. And if we don't 
> have a good theory to explain how it could be that traffic jams could 
> effect the rotation of the Earth that's just too bad but the universe 
> doesn't care if we understand how it works or not and our lack of 
> understanding would not change the fact that the every single time a 
> traffic jam happens the sun goes down.     
>

What I am saying though is that even a perfect correlation does not mean 
direct causation. Everyone has a brain and a heart, but that doesn't mean 
the brain causes the heart.


>
>  >> we know that whenever there is a change in brain chemistry there is 
>>> ALWAYS a change in consciousness and whenever there is a change in 
>>> consciousness there is ALWAYS a change in brain chemistry, so consciousness 
>>> and chemistry are also inextricably linked together. 
>>>
>>
>> No. 
>>
>
> NO? WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN "NO"?!!
>

If I said that the electronics of your television must be linked to the 
plot of the TV series you are watching, would you still not understand? 
Would you insist that there must be some plot generating component in your 
TV set? Of course human consciousness and human biochemistry are parts of 
the big picture which fit together, but not necessarily in the way that you 
assume at all.

 

>
>  > they are opposite in every way - because they are literally the 
>> opposite side of each other. 
>>
>
> If whenever X happens Y happens and whenever X does not happen Y never 
> happens then X causes Y, it's what the word "causes" means for goodness 
> sake.
>

And it is the word 'causes' which is completely wrong when applied to the 
explanatory gap. It is more like a content-form relation than a 
cause-effect relation. A glass of water happens every time there is water 
in a glass. That doesn't mean the water causes the glass or the glass 
causes the water.
 

>  
>
>> > Computers are made of atoms and molecules just like humans are, 
>>>
>>
>> > No, they are made of different molecules entirely. Which is why we plug 
>> them into electric current rather than feeding them cheeseburgers.
>>
>
> So you think carbon is inherently more conscious than silicon and 
> hydrocarbons are more conscious than silicon-dioxide. That's just dumb.  
>

No, I think that living cells are more conscious than anything which is not 
a living cell. If you can get silicon dioxide to make a living cell, then 
you might have a point, but until that time, your argument is with nature 
not me. You can tell nature that it is stupid for favoring sugars and 
proteins and lipids in constructing cells.
 

>
> > If my brain changed my mind, 
>>
>
> In other words if your brain started to do things differently. 
>

Differently than what? My brain changes my mind all the time. Every morning 
my brain wakes me up. That's a simplified way of saying it of course, but 
for our purposes here, that's what happens - predictably, every day. I am 
asleep and am awakened at a time deemed appropriate by my brain.
 

>
> > then it would be an involuntary change. 
>>
>
> I have no idea what that means,
>

It means that I don't have a choice when my brain wakes me up in the 
morning.
 

> I do know that the mind is what the brain does
>

You think that you know that, but you don't really seem to know much about 
what either the mind or brain does.
 

> and if it started to do things differently it did so for a reason, 
>

Where do you get this "do things differently" from? Differently from what? 
The brain and mind have always worked this way. I move my arm, and my brain 
changes to accomplish that. My arm moves by itself from a twitch and my 
mind notices that it is happening.
 

> a new chemical introduced into your bloodstream that made it past the 
> blood brain barrier for example, or the brain started doing things 
> differently for no reason at all, in other words random.  
>

?
 

>
> >> If you change your mind, that is to say if your brain changes what it 
>>> is doing, then your brain chemistry changes. And if your brain chemistry 
>>> changes then you change your mind. Get it?  
>>>
>>
>> > Ahhh, so your brain changes its own chemistry
>
>
> Obviously. 
>

Then what does it need "you" for?
 

>  
>
>> > The mind knows nothing about the brain and the brain knows nothing 
>> about the mind.
>>
>
> That depends on the mind, but it is true that "fast" knows nothing about 
> "racing car".
>

What knows about either one?
 

>
> > We have sub-personal, or sub-conscious, instinctual, physiological 
>> drives 
>>
>
> The subconscious?? Why are you talking about the aspect of our mind not 
> involved in consciousness? I thought you said the only important thing is 
> consciousness!    
>

The subconscious is still consciousness, it's just not under your personal 
control by default. 
 

>
> >> Please give me experimental evidence of one chemical reaction in the 
>>> brain that is not controlled by a impersonal law of physics.     
>>>
>>
>> > Any chemical reaction which is involved in my deciding to hold in a 
>> sneeze.
>>
>
> There would be no deciding to do if foreign particles didn't trigger 
> release of histamines which irritate nerve cells in the nose and send a 
> signal to the brain. That signal is excitatory pushing in the direction of 
> a sneeze, and for every excitatory signal there is almost always a 
> inhibitory signal saying not to do it, one signal will be stronger than the 
> other so you will either sneeze or not. Should we inform CERN that pollen 
> does not obey the laws of physics, or histamines?  
>

Where are these inhibitory signals coming from? Mars? They just happen to 
appear when you are at a funeral but not when you are by yourself at home? 
What you seem to be in denial about is that the 'laws of physics' have no 
opinion whatsoever if you hold in your sneeze or not. Your body doesn't 
give a shit, but it would clearly prefer that you sneeze freely, loudly, 
and snottily. What is it that is providing these inhibitory signals in some 
situations and not others? How does your brain know the difference between 
a funeral and a carnival?

if you haven't read my manifesto for critics, it might save you the time 
from repeating your straw man accusations about violations of physics that 
you erroneously imagine: http://s33light.org/post/44836667412  


> > Receiver theories of consciousness are not my invention, and have been 
>> around longer than Newtonian physics.
>
>
> Yes, and that is an excellent reason for thinking they're bullshit, just 
> like many ideas from the pre-scientific era.
>

Only for unscientific and prejudiced minds.
 

>
> > A computer can be programmed to detect what it is programmed to detect. 
>> It has no idea if your microphone is providing it with audio input - input 
>> is input. It knows which jack and what voltage fluctuations are present 
>> there - that's all it knows. 
>>
>
> Then why does the computer display a "unrecognized format" error message 
> when they are plugged in wrong but not when they are connected correctly?  
>

Because it is expecting a particular data format. If it knew anything about 
anything, it would say 'please use the camera jack for video', or better 
yet, it would recognize it no matter what jack it came from and treat it 
correctly. This is screamingly obvious.

Craig
 

>
>   John K Clark
>
>
>

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