On Tue, Apr 9, 2013 at 10:36 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> If you ARE the sequence of neurological events and the neurological events
>> follow deterministic or probabilistic rules then you will also follow
>> deterministic or probabilistic rules.
> That's a tautology. If I move my arm, then I am causing improbable
> neurological events to occur. Muscles, cells, molecules follow my intention
> rather than their own. The cells are not causing my arm to move - if they
> were, that would be a spasm.

Muscles and cells follow your intention if they receive input from
conscious centres in your brain, but the cells in those centres follow
the mechanistic rules that neuroscientists know and love. "Your
intentions" are the result of the activity in your brain. "Your
intentions" do not cause any magical top-down effects.

>> However, you don't believe that this is the case. So sometimes there must
>> be neurological events which are "spontaneous" according to your definition
>> - outside the normal causal chain.
> Spontaneous *IS* the normal causality. It isn't a 'chain'. The entire body
> and brain serve a single purpose - to support a particular quality of
> participatory experience. If it is not doing that, then the person is dead
> or in a coma. Unconsciousness is your causal chain. Consciousness is
> intentional self-modification of causality itself.

But there is no evidence of a breach in the normal chain of causality
in the brain or anywhere else. Don't you think it should be obvious
somewhere after centuries of biological research?

>> Absent this, you return to the default scientific position.
> The default scientific position is that particles decay after a "random"
> duration (i.e. spontaneous), making each event in the cosmos subject to
> non-deterministic and unique outcomes. Determinism is an approximate view
> from a great distance. This is what Multisense Realism specifically
> suggests: Perceptual relativity based on sense attenuation as the sole
> universal principle.

The current scientific position is indeed that reality is not
deterministic but probabilistic, with true random events. The many
worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics restores determinism, but
from the first person perspective reality is still probabilistic.
Nevertheless, events at a biological scale appear as "classical".

Stathis Papaioannou

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