Craig thinks his theory mind is perfectly compatible with physics because he thinks physics is different from what all those stupid physicists think it is. They just don't know about his top-down physics, which no one has observed but which he *directly experiences* and therefore *just knows he's right*. Give it up John, Stathis. There's no point arguing with cranks and mystics.

There are those who claim that magic is like the tide; that it
swells and fades over the surface of the earth, collecting in
concentrated pools here and there, almost disappearing from other
spots, leaving them parched for wonder. There are also those who
believe that if you stick your fingers up your nose and blow, it
will increase your intelligence.
        -- "The Teachings of Ebenezum, Volume VII"

On 3/15/2013 6:07 AM, Craig Weinberg wrote:

On Friday, March 15, 2013 6:59:42 AM UTC-4, stathisp wrote:

    On Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 2:48 PM, Craig Weinberg < 

    > I didn't say that. I said "When five billion of them jump to attention at
    > once, it  is **often** because of something that the person is 
    > intentionally,". Biochemistry, among other things, can cause billions of
    > neurons to react, but also intentional thought can do that with no 
    > force.
    >> You need to find
    >> some experimental evidence for this, and astound the scientific world.
    > Straw man cabaret continues..

    You claim that I don't understand you and perhaps I don't. I'm not
    deliberately constructing straw man arguments.

Then stop saying that my view must have something to do with violating physics.

    The scientific conception of neurons is that *nothing* in them happens
without a physical reason, ever.

Which is why we those scientists have no idea what consciousness is. Physical is a meaningless term. Whatever happens is physical, whether it is smiling at a neighbor or welding a trashcan shut. The only good use for physical in my view is to discern relative presentations from representations. The letter A is not physical, but any particular instantiation of experience of object that we read as A is physical.

    When a person decides to do
    something, this corresponds to certain changes in his brain, and these
    changes all follow absolutely rigidly from the physical laws
describing electrochemical reactions.

No, not all changes in the brain cannot be predicted at all from electrochemical reactions. If I decide to go on vacation next week, there is no electrochemical chain reaction which can explain why my body will drive to work today but not in a week. The explanation is only realized in the semantic content of the mind. This is why there is a clear and important different in our awareness between voluntary and involuntary reactions. To be addicted, coerced, enslaved, trapped, etc, are among the most dire conditions which humans confront, yet they have no chemical correlate at all. Whether someone is picking up trash on a prison chain gang or they are picking up trash on the grounds of their vast estate, there is no functional basis for either option being chemically preferable.

    This applies to every molecule
in the brains in those fMRI pictures you have referenced.

There were mostly spontaneous changes of large groups of molecules and neurons in those images. That's why I included them, because it is so obvious that this is not some kind of rippling, ricocheting, cymatic pattern which could conceivably propagate from bottom up chemistry.

    You may not
    be able to predict exactly what the brain will do but you can't
    predict much simpler systems such as where a billiard ball will end up
    after bouncing off several cushions either, and that does not lead you
    to doubt that it is mechanistic.

Prediction is not the test. We know for a fact that we experience direct participation in our lives. That cannot be explained by chemistry as it is currently assumed to be. The model is incomplete, not the validity of our own experience.

In the standard scientific view,

which is wrong.

    spontaneously excitable cells are
    just a special subtype of excitable cells and still follow absolutely
    rigidly the physical laws describing electrochemical reactions. Google
    "excitable cells" and you can read about it. If I understand your
    view, you think that "spontaneous" means there is neuronal activity
    not explained by these rigid physical laws.

Nothing is explained by any physical laws which cannot conceive of top-down voluntary control of muscle tissue, cells, and molecules. Excitable doesn't exhaustively determine what it is excited by. In some cases they are excited by surrounding conditions, in some cases they generate excitement internally - and that is who we are, the agency associated with the spontaneous internal excitement of those cells (as well as the unseen excitement or whatever it is going on in glial cells, etc)

    That must be evident in
    some experiment or observation; for otherwise the brain would follow
    the rigid physical laws in a machine-like way, which you do not
    believe is the case.

You are conceiving of the brain in a way which is so pathologically prejudiced that there is no possibility of your seeing beyond it. You have decided a priori that all there is is what physics has defined, and therefore no matter how absurd it is, everything that exists must 'really' be part of that. Your view makes it impossible for any organism to do anything other than passively wait until something external causes a chain reaction that makes their legs move around and their hands shove food into their mouth. The universe that you imagine cannot possibly include you or your ability to imagine anything - but rather than seeing that as a catastrophic problem with your model, you simply let go of common sense, personal experience, etc, and think 'If I think that I am doing anything, then I must be mistaken." To me, this is the height of anthropocentricism, only in reverse. You see everything in the universe as having power and presence except us. We are confined to some metaphysical never-never land of 'illusion' or 'emergent properties' while the lowliest ganglion strides the universe as part of a micro-empire - dictating our every move according to rigidly deterministic laws. It's a fantasy that would make Dr. Seuss roll his eyes.

    Can you explain if I have this wrong where exactly I have it wrong?

You have it wrong by assuming that physics always propagates control from the bottom up and never from the top down.


-- Stathis Papaioannou

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