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Attempt at reconciling free will and determinism

 
 
Olivier5
 
  3  
Reply Sun 15 Jan, 2017 11:12 am
@layman,
Yes, it's the part of you you don't keep track of. The part that's in the "dark" (if consciousness is a "light"). But it's still you, whether conscious or not. When you dream, you are unconscious but you are still you.

When people speak to God, and God speaks back, they often speak to themselves. Similarly, our muse (goddess of inspiration) is hidden within ourselves.
layman
 
  -3  
Reply Sun 15 Jan, 2017 12:24 pm
@Olivier5,
OK, Ollie. It's all rather mysterious, but I tend to agree with you.

In certain ways we are like "machines." Many essential bodily functions take place at every moment which we don't consciously control--we're not even aware of them. What is "directing" these extremely complex and highly organized activities?

I don't know.

That said, there is a realm where we can and do consciously control both our own bodies and external objects. Same with our "minds." There are portions of our brain which we can consciously and deliberately control.

It seems to me that those who deny that we can do so "freely" are extremely unaware of their own "selves."
layman
 
  0  
Reply Sun 15 Jan, 2017 01:41 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

. Reason as it is shaped throughout spacetime is its own and its not bound to anything else. We as everything else in Order in our Cosmos express its Necessity. Reason does not conduct facts, Reason is the natural order of Facts themselves.


Where does this "reason" come from, ya figure, eh, Fil? Some quark, or neutrino, or some other piece of material that went to college and got wised-up, that it?
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jan, 2017 07:11 pm
@layman,
You do realise the wording Reason comes from Ratio which in turn just means the ORDER of things...you do also realise that I believe spacetime are an ensemble. That is to conclude the order of things is what it is. No one, no thing has order it. Its done, fecking period.
layman
 
  0  
Reply Sun 15 Jan, 2017 07:17 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Yeah, Fil, ya made some assertions there, but ya didn't answer the question, eh?
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2017 05:37 am
@layman,
If find it funny ya saying I am making assumptions...
Does your God is not bound to its nature ? Your God is a rock without choice. It can't escape its past present or future. Specially when one claims God is Complete.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2017 07:38 am
@layman,
Quote:
What is "directing" these extremely complex and highly organized activities?


Depending on the function, either the sympathetic or parasympathetic nervous systems are in charge (or both). They are both part of the "autonomic nervous system" which unconsciously regulates bodily functions such as the heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate, and sexual arousal.
layman
 
  2  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2017 12:16 pm
@Olivier5,
Well, sure, Ollie, but that's not the kind of "what" that I was asking about. Giving something a name, or describing it, does little to "explain" it.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2017 12:36 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
I like that analogy, god is rock.
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2017 02:25 pm
@layman,
The basic idea is that some key bodily functions are regulated by semi-autonomous nervous systems located within the concerned organs. E.g. the heart has its own "chip", its own "microbrain" in the shape of a small pack of neurons that exite the various parts of the heart muscle in the exact sequence needed to make the heart go TA-tum TA-tum. Similarly, the digestive system has its own dedicated neural network, the enteric nervous system, embedded in the digestive system. Maybe that's the origin of expressions like "gut-feeling" or "to believe in one's heart that..." Our nervous system is much bigger than just our brain.

In evolutionary terms, our brain is just an unsually large concentration of neurons. The nervous system is always networked throughout the body, in all animal species, but more concentrated in smarter species.

Eg at the bottom of the evolutionary ladder, earth worms are made of rings and each ring is governed by its own micro-brain (called "ganglia" in the picture below), all connected by a neural chord. Their head's ganglia are only a bit bigger than the others (called "brain" in the pic below) because they manage more senses.


https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/43/Earthworm_nervous_system.png

But there's no big mystery there because we're not talking of "minds" aka symbolic information management. Our bodily functions and their dedicated nervous systems do not need a representation of the world to work. It's pure machinery at that level. But our mind does need to represent the world and itself in it. That's where the big mystery lies.
layman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2017 02:44 pm
@Olivier5,
Olivier5 wrote:

But there's no big mystery there because we're not talking of "minds" aka symbolic information management.


Wrong, Ollie, information, and the successful transmission/communication of that information, is essential to all life.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2017 03:26 pm
@layman,
Yes, you have a point here. In order for any information to be aquired, managed, transmitted -- as any nervous system supposedly does, including that of our guts and of the earthworm's guts -- this information needs to be coded, in one way or another.... If it's coded, it's already symbolic information, in that one neuronal event must symbolize (code for) one or several outside world events, or something like that. Like the mental event "red color" codes for a certain set of wavelengths perceived by our eye.

If that is so, all neurons would manipulate symbols, including bees' or earthworms' neurons? Maybe.

If all life involves some form of symbolic information management, what defines us humans? Us, "minds"? Consciousness?

Are earthworms self-conscious?



layman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2017 03:31 pm
@Olivier5,
Olivier5 wrote:

Yes, you have a point here. In order for any information to be aquired, managed, transmitted -- as any nervous system supposedly does, including that of our guts and of the earthworm's guts -- this information needs to be coded, in one way or another.... If it's coded, it's already symbolic information, in that one neuronal event must symbolize (code for) one or several outside world events, or something like that.

If that is so, all neurons would manipulate symbols, including bees' or earthworms' neurons? Maybe.

If all life involves some form of symbolic information management, what defines us humans? Us, "minds"? Consciousness?

Are earthworms self-conscious?


Could be. Some influential philosophers, like Whitehead, for example, have argued that all matter has "consciousness."

Whatever "defines" us, it's more than the collection of sub-atomic particles, I figure.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jan, 2017 03:39 am
@layman,
Neverheard of Whitehead. His idea has no worth that I can see though. Self-consciousness is harder than that.
layman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jan, 2017 03:55 am
@Olivier5,
I don't see how anyone can think that animals aren't, in some sense, "self-conscious." They all seem to know that they are different from, and need to be wary of, their predators, for example. It's "them against me."

I don't remember the details, but there has been some scientific research which suggested that even inanimate trees have consciousness, as I recall.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jan, 2017 05:04 am
@layman,
There's a huge difference between a living organism and a piece of rock, though. I seriously doubt that rocks have self-consciousness... :-)
layman
 
  2  
Reply Tue 17 Jan, 2017 05:25 am
@Olivier5,
Olivier5 wrote:

There's a huge difference between a living organism and a piece of rock, though. I seriously doubt that rocks have self-consciousness... :-)


Yeah, I'm with ya there. Which raises the question: How did some inanimate rock (or other chunk of dumb-ass matter) suddenly "get smart," start moving around, and ****, eh? Where did the organization and intelligence come from? The rock, which only responds to physical forces which may be imposed upon it?
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jan, 2017 07:27 am
@layman,
So you believe in some god?
layman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jan, 2017 08:53 am
@Olivier5,
I really don't even know what "god" means. But it seems to me that "reason" did not suddenly arises out of mindless atoms crashing into each other in the void. It must come from some other source than blind, accidental collisions of raw matter. You could knock billiard balls around on a pool table for eternity, and they would never just start moving around on their own initiative.

I don't expect some rock to just "suddenly" get smart and start walking around and talking. Even a big-ass pile of rocks. Chemical reactions, gravitational forces, nuclear forces, etc., as we know them, cannot produce "reason" and/or organization which suddenly "liberates" them from mechanical actions and reactions so that they can start doing meaningful and purposeful things which defy those laws.

Once you get life, these "pieces of matter" no longer simply "respond" to external forces. Their activities are "directed" toward particular ends which are not accidental or random.

Don't ask me where "reason" and purpose came from, because I don't even pretend to have a clue about that.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jan, 2017 01:25 pm
@layman,
Same here. Although i kinda know what a god is: the easy answer to why is there a universe, with us in it.
0 Replies
 
 

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