On Friday, April 5, 2013 6:47:00 PM UTC-4, stathisp wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 11:35 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:
> Why are all of your actions "obviously" due to subconscious influences? If 
>>>> that were the case why would personal awareness exist?
>>> Your actions are due to physical processes in your brain which move your 
>>> muscles, but you are not actually aware of these physical processes. 
>> How can you be any more aware of those processes than by being them?
> Because I have no idea that these processes are going on, or even that I 
> have a brain. Why do you think people used to believe that they think with 
> their hearts, or with their immaterial soul? 

People thought that because they tried to explain private physics in the 
terms of public physics instead of understanding it in its own terms. You 
already are aware of the relevant aspects of your brain function, and aware 
of them in a way which is a million times more detailed than any fMRI could 
ever be. The problem is that you are making the same mistake that the 
immaterialists make only in reverse. You begin with absolute certainty in 
what instruments have shown us of the outside of matter to the extent that 
you doubt what your own native senses tell you about the inside of matter.

>> You can't tell me that you feel neurons firing in your cerebellum, for 
>>> example.
>> No, neurons firing are my feeling already, there is no more way that they 
>> can be felt from the human perspective.
> But you are directly aware that your fingers are hitting the keys and 
> control them to write your email. You do not make such a decision to 
> activate cortical centres; it happens when you do something, but it is 
> subconscious.

It's subconscious but its still me. Of course I make the decision to 
activate cortical centres, I AM the cortical centers and when I turn my 
attention toward particular capacities, that attention is represented 
publicly as simulataneous and serial changes in tissues, cells, and 
molecules. I am not in my body, my body is just how I look at any given 
moment to participants other than me. 

>>  It is an inference from empirical data that the brain is the organ of 
>>> thought at all. 
>>> You seem stuck on the belief that it is not possible to be conscious if 
>>> the processes leading to consciousness are deterministic, random or 
>>> subconscious. As a matter of logical deduction, this is false. It is 
>>> possible for a thing to have qualities different from its parts.
>> This would be a case where the intentional would have to come from its 
>> complete opposite -  from the unintentional (determined and random), which 
>> could happen theoretically, but not in a universe which had no use for 
>> intention. A universe where intentionality is fundamental can pretend to be 
>> unintentional, but unintentional can't pretend to be anything. 
>> Unintentional is anesthetic and has no plausible use for intention.
> Why does the universe need to hae a "use" for something? Who made this 
> rule?

It's not a rule it's reason. If there were no fish in the water, there 
would be no such thing as gills. If there were gills on a cow, then that 
would be weird, especially if someone was saying that gills are an illusion.

> And what difference does it make if you say intentionality is fundamental 
> or emergent? It could be a fundamental fact that consciousness will emerge 
> when matter is organised in particular ways.

The difference is that the argument that intention must be reduced to 
determinism or randomness doesn't make any sense but it makes perfect sense 
that intention would be fundamental and determinism and randomness would 
naturally arise as perceptual fictions. The idea that consciousness will 
emerge from an organization of inanimate, unconscious matter (which makes 
no sense to begin with since there is no real way to conceive of a universe 
devoid of all detection and presentation) is just a religious faith with no 
explanatory power at all. Why not just say that when there are a trillion 
customers at the galactic WalMart that consciousness appears on a random 

>>  * "...I never said that the laws of physics deny the possibility of 
>>>>>> free will,
>>>>>> but free will is impossible if you define it in such a way as to be
>>>>>> incompatible with the laws of physics or even with logic."*
>>>>>> *
>>>>>> *
>>>>>> The "Laws" of physics are our deduction from the so far observed 
>>>>>> incomplete
>>>>>> circumstances - they don't "allow" or "deny" - maybe explain at the 
>>>>>> level of their
>>>>>> compatibility. The "impossibility" of free will is not a no-no, 
>>>>>> unless it has been 
>>>>>> proven to be an existing(?) FACT (what I do not believe in).
>>>>>> Logic is the ultimate human pretension, especially if not said 'what 
>>>>>> kind of'. 
>>>>> In order to decide if free will exists the first thing is to 
>>>>> understand what is meant by the term. If it means "I choose to do what I 
>>>>> want I do" then free will exists. If it means something else such as 
>>>>> "neither determined nor random" then it doesn't exist.
>>>> What do you claim is the difference between choosing to do what you 
>>>> want to do and acting as a physical phenomenon which is intentional rather 
>>>> than unintentional (determined or random)?
>>> I don't accept your claim that "intentional" (either in the common sense 
>>> or the philosophical sense) is incompatible with the phenomenon being 
>>> determined or random. It seems to be something you just made up and present 
>>> as self-evident, which it certainly is not.
>> You don't accept it but you have no reason to offer for your opinion. I 
>> present my view as self-evident because to me it certainly is. It's funny 
>> for you to talk about 'making things up' since that is certainly a thing 
>> which makes no sense in an unintentional universe.
> I have a good reason for my opinion:
> Fact 1 accepted by everyone: we are conscious.
> Fact 2 accepted by everyone except you: everything that happens in the 
> universe is either determined or random.

"Everyone" meaning like three people on this list? A lot of people think 
that the universe does not include their own life. They conceive of the 
universe from the view from nowhere, like some perfect diorama which exists 
in an observation bubble. When presented with real opportunities to 
participate in the world, nobody thinks that what they eat for lunch is 
determined by physics or random, they personally contribute to their own 
lunch experience and the universe fully supports that. It does not require 
any metaphysical powers that defy the laws of gravity, we simply weigh the 
various influences which are available to us and settle on what we prefer, 
or create a new idea. Then we move through the world directly to get what 
we want to eat for lunch. There is no physical agenda which shows up on an 
fMRI which says 'yep, this is brainstem for pastrami sandwich. He has no 
choice but to get a pastrami sandwich.

> Conclusion: hence, consciousness is compatible with a deterministic or 
> random universe.

That's your argument? "Everyone" thinks there is no free will (using their 
free will, of course) so there must not be. Wow. How could any religious 
fundamentalist have an argument that was any worse than that. Seriously, 
here's how that would go.

I have a good reason for my opinion:

Fact 1 accepted by everyone: it is good that we are conscious.
Fact 2 accepted by everyone except you: everything that happens in the 
universe is either determined by God or the Devil.

Conclusion: hence, consciousness is only possible if God made it.


> -- 
> Stathis Papaioannou 
> -- 
> Stathis Papaioannou

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