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
> once, it is **often** because of something that the person is
> intentionally,". Biochemistry, among other things, can cause
> neurons to react, but also intentional thought can do that with
>> You need to find
>> some experimental evidence for this, and astound the scientific
> 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
The scientific conception of neurons is that *nothing* in them
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
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
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
after bouncing off several cushions either, and that does not lead
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.
"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.
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