On Wed, Mar 13, 2013 at 12:18 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> But physics does describe how high you will decide to throw the ball,
>> since physics describes the movement of the ball and the movement of
>> the matter in your body. If you don't accept this then you believe
>> that your body will behave CONTRARY TO PHYSICS.
> If you claim that you can use physics to decide exactly how high I will
> decide to throw the ball, then how exactly would you do it? How far in
> advance of my throwing the ball do you claim that you can know what I
> decide? Since I can decide right now approximately how far I will throw it
> 30 days from now, you would have to be able to predict my decision before
> this conversation. This is not contrary to physics, but your expectation is
> CONTRARY TO REALITY. There is no physical sign in my brain of how hard I
> will try to throw the ball. I could change it at the last minute also.

I may not be able to predict what your brain will do 30 days from now,
but that does not necessarily mean your brain is not deterministic.
And it certainly doesn't mean your brain is neither deterministic nor

> What you have not considered is that your assumptions about the universe
> could be based on jumping to the wrong conclusions about matter and
> consciousness. The physical system which is actually determining how high I
> will throw the basketball is not what you would see under a microscope with
> your body - billions of cells interacting in a microbiotic environment, or
> smaller still, quadrillions of molecules interacting in a nanoscale
> environment... the basketball doesn't exist there. What is physically
> determining the force on the ball is the part of me that knows about
> basketballs and throwing, and control of my body's actions in a world not of
> biochemistry but of people and real objects. These are the differences that
> matter - this is what the universe is made of; perceptual relativism. Top
> down, bottom up, center out, periphery in... all contribute, all make their
> own sense and motives. Your view is a toy model of bottom up behaviorism
> that has nothing to do with reality at all. Because of the plasticity of
> sense, the universe ensures that there will always be enough evidence for
> you to feel justified in pursuing and believing your view, just as it will
> ensure every view reflects enough of the whole truth that it can seem true
> enough. You think that the universe is a machine, but it is you who wants
> the universe to be a machine.

There is a chain of causation between you reading these words and you
throwing the ball. Where exactly do you think is the break in this
causal chain?

>> That is what contrary
>> to physics means! It would be easy to show that something funny was
>> going on in a laboratory.
> I don't think that it is possible for you to understand what I am talking
> about. I understand what you mean completely though.

No, I think you believe the brain does things "by itself" and you
don't understand how an experiment could be set up to demonstrate

>> You could take a neuron and measure the
>> transmembrane potential which will indicate according to our knowledge
>> of physics that the neuron will not fire, but then observe that -
>> CONTRARY TO PHYSICS - the neuron does fire.
> The whole point is that the transmembrane potential can and does change at
> any time. That's how neurons fire normally. You act as if everything that
> happens in the brain is a pinball machine where each neuron can only fire if
> another one tells it to fire. That is not at all how it is. Every neuron is
> an independent living organism which contributes directly to the chemical
> and electric environment of the brain... then there's the glial cells. How
> do you explain how they improve mouse brain performance without any
> electrical signalling?

Do you know how the transmembrane potential is set? It is due to the
difference between the sum of positive and negative ions on either
side of the membrane. Do you know how the ion concentrations are set?
Ions diffuse across the membrane following their concentration
gradients, diffuse more quickly through specific ion channels, and are
transported against concentration gradients via energy-dependent
transmembrane proteins. You would be surprised if the balls in a
pinball machine just started levitating or something all by
themselves, and yet that is what you claim happens in the brain. Where
does it happen, and why has it never been observed?

>> And
>> insofar as physics is mechanistic - deterministic or probabilistic -
>> the behaviour of the body will be mechanistic.
> That is your theory. I predict that it will be increasingly difficult for
> you to hold on to it in the face of a non-stop cascade of information which
> casts doubt on determinism, mechanism, and probabilistic assumptions. The
> future belongs to sense, perceptual relativism, and intentional interaction.

It isn't my theory, it is the assumption of every scientist in every field.

>> But how could this possibly happen? It's like saying that every part
>> of the computer behaves mechanistically, but the computer as a whole
>> does not.
> That is exactly what it is. The general makes a decision personally, and the
> army follows mechanically. Why is that so hard? The computer as a whole is
> not a computer at all, it is an animal, a being. In reality, it only looks
> like a computer on the lower levels because it is too distant from our
> personal experience to relate to personally.  It's not a matter of how it
> could possibly happen, it is a matter of how could anyone think that it
> isn't happening. You experience it yourself directly in every moment.

If the general does not behave mechanistically then the army as a
whole doesn't either. The only way the general could behave
non-mechanistically is if some part of him does not; for if every part
behaved mechanistically then he and the army would behave
mechanistically. So which part exactly of the general behaves
non-mechanistically, and could you suggest an experiment to
demonstrate your hypothesis is right?

>> Consider only the publicly observable behaviour of any system in the
>> universe. Can the mechanistic rules broken? In what part of the system
>> exactly?
> The mechanistic rules begin at charge. Will is the changing of the charge
> from the top down. Charge has emergent properties in biological systems. Or
> if it isn't charge, it's quantum entanglement... it doesn't matter,
> ultimately every force and field is intentional on some level of perceptual
> description, just not one which is available to us as human beings. What
> forces and fields are particularly responsible for our more human qualities
> of articulated will doesn't really matter to me. What's the difference? Any
> or all is the same with respect to the mind-matter relation. Regardless
> there is top-down and bottom-up interaction within an unbroken continuum of
> private and public (to us) events.

But charge and electric fields are well-described mathematically in
physics. Do you have any experiments showing that electric fields
behave contrary to the well-understood equations?

Stathis Papaioannou

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