I've been following the pattern of thought you've be exhibiting this entire
thread, trying to understand why you believe in such a strange way. In all
cases it seems to stem from ignorance of the processes that bring about
your behavior, compounded with the belief that we lose something of value
if we discard the concept of free will.
First, I feel you are being willfully blind to the constraints your biology
puts on your supposedly "free" will. Daily, I stop doing the things I love
to do to pass fluids or the corpses of carbon based organisms through my
mouth. Later, defecate or micturate, further activities that honestly, I
would rather not do. At night, I sleep, though I would rather stay up
through the night. Though I am not enslaved in doing these things, I am
certainly not free in a metaphysical sense. This illusory free will you are
bound to is an artifact that emerges in a system that is complex enough to
reflect on what it does, yet cannot completely grasp the causes of that
which it does do. A system like this can trace some of the factors that
contribute to its actions, but not all of them, and those factors it cannot
picture seem to have no definite value, and therefore it thinks there is no
logical contradction in believing that it could have done y in the
situation in which it actually did action x.
Furthermore, a system that can draw a large number of distinctions about
the distribution of energy crossing its surface and respond in a large
variety of ways, and yet does not understand how these distinctions are
made, will, when asked how it determines an object is yellow, respond "i
don't know, it just looks yellow."
No matter how complex a system is, it can never be complex enough to
contain itself, and is therefore unable to perceive itself directly as a
deterministic process. Only in the special cases, where the major causes of
its action are made apparent, such as when someone holds a gun to its head,
will it realize that it is acting in compulsion and not freedom. In other
cases, when the desire to act comes about in a subtle fashion, the system
might say to itself, I did x because I wanted to do x, and I could have
wanted to do y. The system may be satisfied with such an explanation,
without probing into a complete physical description of what constitutes
wanting. Since the causal explanation is not easily available or
comprehensible (it arose out of the particular and peculiar interaction of
many subunits of the system in question), the system settles with the
explanation that it acted freely and could have done otherwise. This is how
an eight cylinder engine mistakes itself for something which is the
specific opposite of engines.
You can deny that you are such a system, but I don't think you could deny
these things are true of a complex deterministic system.
Lastly, it is trivial to build a deterministic system that desires in a
prototypical form. All you need is a system that exhibits operant learning.
1) Wire some sensors to trigger effectors. 2) In the event that the
effectors bring about certain event (they might bathe the sensors in a
certain chemical), strengthen the ability of sensors that were active
directly before the event (that activated the effectors) to trigger the
effectors they are wired to. 3) In the event that the chemical bath is
removed, weaken the strength of sensors that were active right before the
removal of the chemical. The system will begin to "want" to do things that
increase the concentration of the chemical and dislike doing things that
lower it. If the concentration exhibits noisy behavior (is not solely a
function of the effectors of the system in question), then the system will
even develop novel, unpredictable behavior.
Desire and qualia pose no real problem for determinism.
On Monday, September 2, 2013 5:15:47 PM UTC-5, chris peck wrote:
> Hi Brent
> I think the researchers would agree. Its definately present stimuli they
> have in mind.
> All the best
> --- Original Message ---
> Sent: 3 September 2013 4:11 AM
> Subject: Re: Determinism - Tricks of the Trade
> On 9/2/2013 7:34 AM, chris peck wrote:
> The study you're citing firstly claims the 60% of the variance they
> uncovered is explained by 'spontaneous' brain activity not 60% of all brain
> activity. More importantly, by spontaneous they just mean brain activity
> that has not been triggered by external stimuli:
> And how could they possibly know whether some brain event was triggered by
> a stored perception of you grandmother when you were five? All they can
> say is it wasn't triggered by a *present* external stimuli.
> 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
> Visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list.
> For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.
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 post to this group, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.