On Thursday, April 11, 2013 2:23:06 PM UTC-4, stathisp wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 11, 2013 at 10:55 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> 
> wrote:
> >> >> 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.
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > If that were so, then neuroscientists would not need to ask me to move
> >> > my
> >> > arm, they would simply predict when I think I am moving my arm.
> >>
> >> And after that they would predict the lottery numbers.
> >
> >
> > So you are saying that my arm moves at random times like the lottery pays
> > off randomly? How come I can predict when I am about to move my arm and 
> be
> > right every time?
> The lottery pays off unpredictably to an outsider, but not necessarily 
> randomly. The lottery may itself know what its own outcome is going to be 
> and feels that it has chosen it freely. This can be said about any process, 
> since there is no way to know whether it is associated with consciousness 
> or not.

You didn't answer my questions. Instead you are making up an alternate 
universe where lotteries are not random but are intentional beings, and 
consciousness is an unknowable factor. In the universe where we actually 
live though, I can choose what time I want to stand up, and no statistical 
regression of ion channel behaviors is going to suggest what time that can 
or cannot be. I on the other hand, can predict with 100% accuracy that time 
will be.

> >> A top-down effect would result in things happening at the low level
> >> seemingly magically.
> >
> >
> > You only think that because your world view is panmechanistic instead of
> > panpsychic. Since we observe the ordinary top-down control of our own
> > voluntary muscles and some mental capacities, the challenge is not to
> > explain away this fact to preserve an arbitrary attachment to a 
> particular
> > cosmology, but to see that in fact, all that we see as being low and high
> > level are defined by relativistic perception. Low and high are aesthetic
> > perspectives, not objective realities. In reality, low and high can be
> > discerned as separate in some sense and they are united in another 
> sense. Of
> > the two, Top-down is more important, since all bottom up processes are
> > meaningless if a person is in a coma.
> Whether or not the scientific world view is wrong, the fact remains that a 
> top-down effect would result in things happening at the low level SEEMINGLY 

Not if every low level effect was influenced by top level effects to begin 
with. Your argument is bizarre as it not only eliminates free will but it 
really eliminates the possibility of any form of living organism since 
cells would only ever be able to maintain their own homostasis and couldn't 
ever gather into a larger whole. It eliminates the possibility of powered 
flight, since no low level impulse of cells or molecules results in 
assembling airplanes. I repeat. If you think that my view requires 
non-physical magic, then you don't understand what I am suggesting. That 
isn't an opinion, it is a fact. I am defining all physical conditions of 
the universe from the start as the reflected consequences of experiences. 
Experience doesn't need to squeeze into some form or function, it is form 
and function which are nothing but public categories of experience.

> >> If it is all consistent with physics then it
> >> isn't a top-down effect.
> >
> >
> > It is the job of physics to be consistent with reality, not the other way
> > around.
> In the above sentence I am not claiming that physics is right, I am not 
> claiming there is no top-down effect, I am just pointing out that IF IT IS 
> disagree with this then explain how you think the brain could consistently 
> follow the mechanistic rules of physics while at the same time breaking 
> these mechanistic rules due to the top-down action of free will, because 
> that is what you are saying, over and over and over.

The same way that the keyboard allows me to send my thoughts to you, matter 
allows me to publicly extend my private intentions. Does the keyboard break 
the laws of physics? No. Does the video screen, computer, or internet break 
the laws of physics? No. Do I break the laws of physics? No, my public and 
private presence are seamless and fluidly interactive ends of the same 
physical-experiential process. The keyboard and screen, like the voluntary 
muscles of our body, exist for no other reason than to provide us with 
direct, voluntary access to our public environment - to control it, not 
just for survival, but for aesthetic preference.

> >> Again and again I bring this up and you say
> >> that I misrepresent you, that I haven't understood your theory, while
> >> it is you who have not understood the meaning of your own words.
> >
> >
> > Seriously, that is your best argument? That I must not know what my own
> > words mean since they don't make sense to you?  It may not be your 
> fault. I
> > have yet to see someone with the strong panmechanistic view successfully
> > question their own own belief, so it is entirely possible that you won't 
> be
> > able to do that, barring a life-changing neurological or psychological
> > event. Rest assured that I understand precisely my own words and your 
> words,
> > and it is you who have not seen more than one side of the argument.
> You repeatedly contradict yourself, and when this is pointed out your 
> response is a non sequitur, as above.

If your mind is operating in a one dimensional mode, then anything outside 
of that mode is going to look like a non sequitur.

> >> I am trying to explain to you that you are contradicting yourself. If
> >> you agree that the brain functions consistently with physical laws
> >> then you have to to agree that consciousness does not directly affect
> >> brain behaviour, since there is no place for consciousness in chemical
> >> equations.
> >
> >
> > There doesn't need to be any place for consciousness in chemical 
> equations,
> > just as there doesn't need to be any place for images in the pixels or
> > flicker rate on a video screen. When we watch TV, we watch TV programs, 
> not
> > pixels turning off and on. This is what the universe is made of - 
> perceptual
> > relativity. Existence is a false concept - relevance of sense is the
> > universal truth.
> See, non sequitur. I point out that if you are right chemistry is wrong, 
> you respond with this.

It appears that your new strategy is going to be to ignore all arguments 
and assert that you are right and I make no sense. Chemistry does not have 
to be wrong in order for a living organism to spontaneously move or change. 
Every living organism is defined by their ability to interact with their 
environment, over and above any inevitable molecular agenda. We don't just 
sit there while the chemistry of starvation plays out in our body, we find 
ways to feed ourselves. Our chemical reactions don't know anything about 
how a person gets food from a human environment, so it is up to us whether 
it is worth the discomfort of finding food or avoiding hunger. The 
chemicals don't care either way.

> >> This is not to say that consciousness does not exist or is
> >> not important, just that it is not directly or separately or top-down
> >> causally efficacious.
> >
> >
> > Then in what sense do you claim consciousness "exists"? As a metaphysical
> > ephiphenomenon which appears magically in never-never land for no
> > conceivable purpose?
> Most interesting and important things in the world are 
> epiphenomenal. There is no shame in this.

But how can you explain the existence of epiphenomena? They violate physics.


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

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