>>Can't that logic be used to justify anything though? no. For example:
>> "Why do we have telekinesis and and time travel-at-will?...Well, maybe its >> just an epiphenomenon that's left over from something else." it can't be used to justify that. We have no reason to believe in telekinesis Craig nor time travel at will. Anxiety on the other hand is common. Yes? >> Instead of reaching for a supernatural explanation, determinism compulsively >> reaches for a sub-natural explanation. I don't think so. Determinism is a view people are driven to based on what they know about the world. Its an end point, a conclusion. It doesn't 'compulsively reach' for anything. >>The compulsion is the same - taking comfort in the familiar. Instead of "God >>did it." it's just "Some unconscious mechanism did it.". Comfort in the familiar? You think theres comfort to be had in determinism? That it is familiar? I don't think people feel that way. Whatever. when people make claims as bold as yours, that determinism is logically incompatible with the existance of anxiety; then I want to see whether they are serious or just bigging up pet theories with claims they can't justify. You're evading the question and kicking up mud. >> The whole point of determinism and physical closure is to avoid >> unjustifiable surprises. Like I said, there isn't a point to determinism. It is a conclusion that is reached. >> If we are going to allow that "desires" are conjured randomly in the midst >> of barren austerity for no conceivable purpose, then why bother to assert >> that there are any deterministic laws at all. Who's conjuring what and whats barren and austere??? What are you talking about? Look, It is because the world can be decribed by laws that are deterministic or probabilistic that we feel led to and caught between this pincer. Between randomness and fate. You put the cart way before the horse. >> aybe they are epiphenomena coming along for the ride? Why not say that the >> laws of physics are a random conspiracy of brain chemicals, "zexires", which >> give the impression of validating each other because it makes us more tender >> and juicy for the hideous demons who raise us as cattle? You're out with fairies tonight Craig. Good luck to you. Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2013 03:34:59 -0700 From: whatsons...@gmail.com To: email@example.com Subject: Re: Determinism - Tricks of the Trade "The emotional life of very many animals, including the human animal, is critical to their survival in fact." Right, although only in fact, and not under the theory of strong determinism. In strong determinism the only thing that could matter to an animal's survival is its behavior. As long as they behave like animals, stay in family groups, have a social order, etc, no 'emotion' would impact that behavior in any way, especially if there were no free will. It's pretty easy to make something look like it has emotion - like this = :) But, of course that's because our consciousness includes metaphor and empathy. We might look at animals touching each other or fighting each other and say that there is emotion there, and there is, but in a theoretical deterministic universe, why would there be anything but the touching and fighting, just as there are storms in the atmosphere or supernovas exploding. Animals collide and bond with each other. So what? Thanks, Craig On Thursday, August 22, 2013 12:07:00 AM UTC-4, cdemorsella wrote:>> The determined universe might be inefficient, if you like, carrying along with it baggage that isn't really used. The wants and anxieties would be implied by the universe's initial conditions and not everything in those conditions need be functional. I don't see a logical contradiction there. Chris I follow what you are saying, but wouldn’t you also agree that it seems like a whole lot of energy and evolutionary lineage is invested in desire and the full panoply of the emotional spectra. Doesn’t it seem more probable that it has been very much selected for by evolutionary pressure. That it is not a mere hitchhiker along the ride on t crest of some inevitable collapsing wave in a deterministic universe playing out the preordained.Conservation of energy seems to be a first principal of all evolved systems, the easier an organism can navigate the flows of its reality in the huge numbers game of evolutionary pressure the better its chances are of surviving and passing on its heredity. Nature favors the emergence of efficient design (not always resulting in efficient designs though but that’s another story). It seems to me that the energy required in order to maintain our emotional and felt/experienced existence; to maintain this elaborate illusion of free will (it would be an illusion in a preordained world) is so great that unless it played an essential role in our lives and favored the individual’s hereditary success in whom it expressed then it would have been evolved out of us and would have never developed in the mammalian branch in the first place. The emotional life of very many animals, including the human animal, is critical to their survival in fact.Can something so critical be an accidental epiphenomena emerging out of the inefficiency of the program? Besides wouldn’t the program evolve to be as efficient as it could; doesn’t the conservation of energy apply to the deterministic universe itself or does it get to play by different rules?By the way I enjoy how you argue your position, very cogent and well laid out; it’s just that I feel that proposing that the poetry and depth of the experience of feeling that all of us to one degree or another experience, could be an accidental co-phenomena; a kind of side show that is a distracting superficial phenomena of no bearing or consequence to the underlying preordained script is not supported by the evidence that nature places a lot of energy and attention on developing and evolving precisely those phenomena in a lot of life forms we can study.Thanks for the interesting thread,Chris From: everyth...@googlegroups.com [mailto:everyth...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of chris peck Sent: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 8:20 PM To: everyth...@googlegroups.com Subject: RE: Determinism - Tricks of the Trade Hi Craig am saying that the ontology of desire is impossible under strong determinism. Deterministic and random processes cannot possibly produce desire - not because desire is special, but because it doesn't make any sense. You are talking about putting in a gas pedal on a bowling ball. I think I can meet you half way and agree that in a determined universe wants, desires and anxieties would be futile. They wouldn't make sense from an adaptive point of view. But I'm not convinced they make no logical sense. For example they could be epiphenomena coming along for the ride, unnecessarily colouring the unraveling of pre-written events. The determined universe might be inefficient, if you like, carrying along with it baggage that isn't really used. The wants and anxieties would be implied by the universe's initial conditions and not everything in those conditions need be functional. I don't see a logical contradiction there. All the best.Date: Wed, 21 Aug 2013 19:13:57 -0700 From: whats...@gmail.com To: everyth...@googlegroups.com Subject: Re: Determinism - Tricks of the Trade On Wednesday, August 21, 2013 8:33:06 AM UTC-4, stathisp wrote:On 21 August 2013 03:59, Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com> wrote: >> It is possible to make the distinction between doing something by accident >> and intentionally, between enslavement and freedom, while still >> acknowledging that brain mechanisms are either determined or random. > > > Why would such a distinction be meaningful to a deterministic or random > process though? I think you are smuggling our actual sense of intention into > this theoretical world which is only deterministic-random (unintentional). If you are saying that something cannot be emotionally meaningful if it is random or determined you are wrong. Patients are anxious about the result of a medical test even though they know the answer is determined and gamblers are anxious about the outcome of their bet even though they know it is random. But that's only because of the impact that the random or determined condition has on our free participation. We have anxiety because a particular condition threatens to constrain our free will or cause unpleasant sensations. They are inextricably linked. A sensation can only be so unpleasant if we retain the power to escape it voluntarily. It is only when we we think that a situation will be unpleasant and that we will not be able to avoid it that anxiety is caused. We can't say whether we would have anxiety in a deterministic universe unless we knew for sure that we had been in a deterministic universe at at some point, but logically, it would not make sense for any such thing as anxiety to arise in a universe of involuntary spectators. What would be the justification of such an emotion? Anxiety makes sense if you have free will. If anything anxiety is caused by the ability to imagine the loss of the effectiveness of your free will. >> I do something intentionally if I want to do it and am aware that I am >> doing it; this is compatible with either type of brain mechanism. > > > Only if you have the possibility of something 'wanting' to do something in > the first place. Wanting doesn't make sense deterministically or randomly. > In the words of Yoda, 'there is no try, either do or do not'. You know that you have wants, and you conclude from this that your brain cannot function deterministically or randomly. You make this claim repeatedly and without justification. My brain has nothing to do with it. I am saying that the ontology of desire is impossible under strong determinism. Deterministic and random processes cannot possibly produce desire - not because desire is special, but because it doesn't make any sense. You are talking about putting in a gas pedal on a bowling ball. >> I am enslaved if someone physically constrains me or threatens me in order >> to make me behave in a certain way; this is also compatible with either type >> of brain mechanism. > > > In the deterministic universe, you would be enslave no matter what, so what > difference would it make whether your constraint is internally programmatic > or externally modified? I don't think being a "slave" to brain processes is considered to be real slavery by most people. You are free to differ in your definition. Why not? What exactly is the difference whether your enslavement is internally based or externally based? >>> Some questions for determinist thinkers: >>> >>> Can we effectively doubt that we have free will? >> >> I can't effectively doubt that I decide to do something and do it. I can >> effectively doubt that my actions are random, that they are determined, or >> that they are neither random nor determined > > > It sounds like you are agreeing with me? On this point, yes; but I'm using the common, legal or compatibilist definition of free will, not yours. Ok >>> Or is the doubt a mental abstraction which denies the very capacity for >>> intentional reasoning upon which the doubt itself is based? >> >> Yes: if I intend to do something, I can't doubt that I intend to do it, >> for otherwise I wouldn't intend to do it. > > > If you doubt anything though, it is because you intend to believe what is > true and your sense is that some proposition is not true. To say "I doubt > that there is a such thing as free will (intention)" is itself an > intentional, free-will act. You are saying not just that there is a sense of > doubt, but that you voluntarily invest your personal authority in that > doubt. I don't doubt free will in the common, legal or compatibilist sense. I doubt it in your sense, since it is not even conceptually possible. It doesn't have to be conceptually possible, it is more primitive than concept. We have no choice but to experience it directly, and can only deny that this is the case by demonstrating that we have the power to do that as an act of free will. >>> How would an illusion of doubt be justified, either randomly or >>> deterministically? What function would an illusion of doubt serve, even in >>> the most blue-sky hypothetical way? >>> Why wouldn’t determinism itself be just as much of an illusion as free >>> will or doubt under determinism? >> >> Determinism and randomness can be doubted. There is no problem here. > > > Only because we live in a universe which supports voluntary intentional > doubt. They couldn't be doubted in a universe which was limited to > determinism and randomness. That's my point. To doubt, you need to be able > to determine personally. Free will is the power not just to predict but to > dictate. I can doubt something if it was determined at the beginning of the universe that I would doubt it. Where is the logical problem with that? How would "doubt" exist? Does a falling rock doubt? Doubt, like anxiety, is derived only from the effectiveness of free will. We take our beliefs seriously only because there is a tangible, irreversible, public effect that our actions cause. Were that not the case, and we were impotent spectators to our own brain processes, we could hardly doubt or not doubt any proposition we came across - we would simply observe that the probability that the belief was beneficial to the organism was being calculated, without any feeling about it at all. >> For psychology not to be reducible to physiology, something extra would be >> needed, such as non-physical soul. > > > Then the opposite would have to be true also. For select brain physiology > not to be reducible to psychology, you would need some homunculus running > translation traffic in infinite regress. Non-physical and soul are labels > which are not useful to me. Physics is reducible to sense, and sense tends > to polarize as public and private phenomena. A house is reducible to bricks because if you put all the bricks in place the house necessarily follows. Psychology is reducible to physiology because if you put all the physiology in place the psychology follows necessarily. If a house falls apart, it can be repaired. It can't die or cease being a house without being completely destroyed. The statement that if you put all the physiology in place, the psychology follows necessarily is an assumption, but I think that it is not likely to be true. It's not that simple. Psychology drives physiology as well as the other way around, and ultimately, all matter can be considered the expression of universal psychology (pansensitivity). >> Absent this something extra, the reduction stands. That's my definition of >> reductionism. If your definition is different then, according to this >> different definition, it could be that reductionism is wrong in this case. > > > Physical reductionism is wrong because it arbitrarily starts with objects as > real and subjects as somehow other than real. It's not really reductionism, > it's just stealth dualism, where mind-soul is recategorized as an > unspecified non-substance...an 'illusion' or 'emergent property'...which is > just Santa Claus to me as far as awareness goes. A house is not "other than real" or "illusion", but a house is an emergent phenomenon from the bricks. It is different from the bricks, but ultimately it is just the bricks. Yes, it is just bricks without human interaction. Intentional human habitation makes it a house. Houseness does not emerge from the bricks, it is a signifying expectation projected onto a builder's actions which motivates fulfillment by way of masonry. The key is to realize that 'ultimately it is just' does not automatically equal the perspective of inanimate objects. A brick's view of the world is no more ultimate than our view. We are more qualified to define the universe than the brick is, but the brick-level definition is a more common definition. You are automatically amputating quality because you over-signify the relevance of quantity. Because there's a lot of stuff that seems inanimate, you think that emotion and subjectivity is a fluke - but objectivity is the same fluke, it's just repeated over and over in a form that is so distant from our own that it seems opposite. >> The logic is in the low level chemical processes. These *never* defy >> physics. Fantastically amplified complexity leads from these dumb processes >> to the creation of literature and smart phones. > > > Complexity can only complicate and enhance awareness that is already there. > Low level processes never defy physics because they represent the outermost > periphery of experience. High level processes *always* defy (public) > physics. Feelings have no location, specific gravity, velocity, etc. They > are proprietary and signifying. Awareness must already be there in the same sense as the house must in some sense already be there in the bricks. You're confusing the human experience of a house with a hypothetical experience that you project in the absence of humans. It's a disoriented projection though - the atoms that make up the brick don't perceive any brick, nor does the ground or the atmosphere perceive a brick. A brick to whom? But if the bricks are piled together incorrectly there is no house, and if the brain chemicals are piled up together incorrectly there is no mind. You can use a sheet over a bush to make a house. Anything that you can crawl into can be a house. Again this projection of an objectively 'correct' configuration is an assumption. You are looking at New York City and saying that if it was not in the configuration it is now, it wouldn't work because it would be incorrect. You're generalizing from the particular rather than questioning the general. >> It's not an argument against mechanism to say that it will lead to moral >> degeneracy. If you are right, then we will all suffer when we see the truth; >> but that will not change the truth. > > > That is an assumption of mechanism though. The knife can't tell you the > morality of stabbing. If game theory is amoral, it is because it represents > this kind of voluntary self-dilution, a regression to a pre-human > sensibility. If we use that mechanistic logic to judge the decision to use > mechanistic logic, we have as self-fulfilling fallacy...a fallacy that is > hidden by its own nested circularity. Mechanistic logic leads to morality insofar as mechanistic logic governs the functioning of the brain. That's circular. You have already decided that the brain produces the mind, but that is not supported. Mechanistic logic governs the functioning of the routers and servers of the internet. Does that mean that architecture is producing the content of Facebook? Craig -- Stathis Papaioannou -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to everything-li...@googlegroups.com. To post to this group, send email to everyth...@googlegroups.com. Visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list. 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