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A pragmatic discussion about free will
Posted: 13 April 2012 07:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]
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GdB - 13 April 2012 06:47 AM

On the other side, to say that “I” dictate what my brain does is just as absurd. Both views suffer from dualism.

Yeah, I don’t see a difference between “I” and my brain. Things get a little more interesting when considering the person who takes medication for schizophrenia. “I” control “me” by making “me” not “I”.
tongue wink

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Posted: 13 April 2012 07:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]
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GdB - 12 April 2012 11:59 PM
VYAZMA - 12 April 2012 09:04 AM

I stopped reading the free-will thread precisely because of this OVER-COMPLICATION of the concept.

Sure. The simplest concept is always the best. And the sun orbits around the earth.

VYAZMA - 12 April 2012 09:04 AM

The free-will thread is misguided and inaccurate!  You know what proves that?  It’s hundreds of pages long!  It can easily be reasoned out in 5-10 pages.

I fully agree with your words here. But I think you did not mean them that way…

Compatibilism is only difficult, because nearly all of us still believe in the Cartesian Theater. Still dualists in disguise.

I see in this discussion the continuing idea of dualism.  Both sides(but it appears not directly opposed sides(for the most part)) take and detract from the “dualism” concept.  This is because the idea of dualism arises from the effort of trying to understand human consciousness…trying to literate or flesh out the mechanics of consciousness!
The fact that the universe and all it’s parts are “chain-reaction determined” is not disputable. The only thing left to do is to extrapolate that into the mechanics of bio-chemiostry, DNA, and most importantly the science of how the brain works-specifically consciousness.)
On the subject of consciousness the most important concept is the fact that we can think in future tense.(the illusion!!!) When in fact we are constantly…constantly thinking in past tense!!!  ie…relating microsecond, completely subconscious, “decisions” based on past events(memory-huge! and an undiscovered player in this disussion) and animal behaviors.

[ Edited: 13 April 2012 07:45 AM by VYAZMA ]
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Posted: 13 April 2012 07:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]
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VYAZMA - 13 April 2012 07:41 AM

On the subject of consciousness the most important concept is the fact that we can think in future tense.(the illusion!!!) When in fact we are constantly…constantly thinking in past tense!!!  ie…relating microsecond, completely subconscious, “decisions” based on past events(memory-huge! and an undiscovered player in this disussion) and animal behaviors.

Okay, I’m intrigued but you sort of lost me. I think I can think in the future tense. That is, I can envision my future self doing stuff. I can make plans for tomorrow. I can decide what I am about to type well before I type it. Explain to me how that is not thinking in the future tense.

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Posted: 13 April 2012 07:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]
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FreeInKy - 13 April 2012 07:48 AM
VYAZMA - 13 April 2012 07:41 AM

On the subject of consciousness the most important concept is the fact that we can think in future tense.(the illusion!!!) When in fact we are constantly…constantly thinking in past tense!!!  ie…relating microsecond, completely subconscious, “decisions” based on past events(memory-huge! and an undiscovered player in this disussion) and animal behaviors.

Okay, I’m intrigued but you sort of lost me. I think I can think in the future tense. That is, I can envision my future self doing stuff. I can make plans for tomorrow. I can decide what I am about to type well before I type it. Explain to me how that is not thinking in the future tense.

Real brief, I don’t want to come in this room.
All of your “thoughts” or “decisions” are based on past events. Or animal mechanics.  Instincts. etc..

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Posted: 13 April 2012 08:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]
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FreeInKy - 13 April 2012 07:48 AM
VYAZMA - 13 April 2012 07:41 AM

On the subject of consciousness the most important concept is the fact that we can think in future tense.(the illusion!!!) When in fact we are constantly…constantly thinking in past tense!!!  ie…relating microsecond, completely subconscious, “decisions” based on past events(memory-huge! and an undiscovered player in this disussion) and animal behaviors.

Okay, I’m intrigued but you sort of lost me. I think I can think in the future tense. That is, I can envision my future self doing stuff. I can make plans for tomorrow. I can decide what I am about to type well before I type it. Explain to me how that is not thinking in the future tense.

Because obviously you are NOT thinking in the future…no?  We can’t travel forward in time.  No, everything is a concisousness based on memory…most of that is probably sub-conscious.  The rest is animal-auto-matic(breathing, eating, mating.)

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Posted: 13 April 2012 08:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]
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Okay, I agree with you that we obviously do not think in the future in the sense that our thoughts occur in the future. But doesn’t the fact that we can even contemplate the future count as something special? No other process that I know of in the universe takes the future into account. Or is that also an illusion? (Yes, this stuff confuses the hell out of me.)

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Posted: 13 April 2012 08:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]
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FreeInKy - 13 April 2012 08:14 AM

Okay, I agree with you that we obviously do not think in the future in the sense that our thoughts occur in the future. But doesn’t the fact that we can even contemplate the future count as something special? No other process that I know of in the universe takes the future into account. Or is that also an illusion? (Yes, this stuff confuses the hell out of me.)

You think it over.  I’ve said all I need to say to put forth my proposition.  It’s all there.  Build on it.

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Posted: 13 April 2012 08:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]
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Really the most important item in my post above is this: The fact that the universe and all it’s parts are “chain-reaction determined” is not disputable. The only thing left to do is to extrapolate that into the mechanics of bio-chemiostry, DNA, and most importantly the science of how the brain works-specifically consciousness.)
keep it simple…use science.  This isn’t a philosophical question for me. It’s science.  Some are approaching this philosophically…and worse using other philosophical tenets to bolster their views on free-will.

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Posted: 13 April 2012 09:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 69 ]
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Even though the focus is supposed to be “pragmatic” rather than “philosophical”. I knew from the first sentence in this thead that it would be another 100+ page discussion, and it’s well started.

Occam


At least it’s not a 2 envelopes problem.

[ Edited: 13 April 2012 09:09 AM by TimB ]
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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 13 April 2012 09:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 70 ]
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TimB - 13 April 2012 09:07 AM

At least it’s not a 2 envelopes problem.

Naughty boy! I take this personally! tongue rolleye

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Posted: 13 April 2012 09:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 71 ]
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VYAZMA - 13 April 2012 08:25 AM

Really the most important item in my post above is this: The fact that the universe and all it’s parts are “chain-reaction determined” is not disputable. The only thing left to do is to extrapolate that into the mechanics of bio-chemiostry, DNA, and most importantly the science of how the brain works-specifically consciousness.)
keep it simple…use science.  This isn’t a philosophical question for me. It’s science.  Some are approaching this philosophically…and worse using other philosophical tenets to bolster their views on free-will.


I look at it from a behavior analytic perspective, while using the operational definition of compatiblilist free will as I understand it.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 13 April 2012 09:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 72 ]
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TimB - 13 April 2012 09:21 AM

I look at it from a behavior analytic perspective, while using the operational definition of compatiblilist free will as I understand it.

That is not simple enough…

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GdB

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Posted: 13 April 2012 09:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 73 ]
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GdB - 13 April 2012 09:15 AM
TimB - 13 April 2012 09:07 AM

At least it’s not a 2 envelopes problem.

Naughty boy! I take this personally! tongue rolleye

Yea!  I got a reaction!

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 13 April 2012 09:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 74 ]
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traveler - 13 April 2012 07:15 AM

Yeah, I don’t see a difference between “I” and my brain. Things get a little more interesting when considering the person who takes medication for schizophrenia. “I” control “me” by making “me” not “I”.

I know you mean this funny… But you get a serious answer:

In schizophrenia some mental contents are not recognised as belonging to the patient himself. They are alien to them. So they become “voices”, “entities” that are not himself. I don’t know if antipsychotics really help against this mis-identification, or that they just tranquilize, so that is easier to cope with the voices.

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Posted: 13 April 2012 09:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 75 ]
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VYAZMA - 13 April 2012 08:22 AM
FreeInKy - 13 April 2012 08:14 AM

Okay, I agree with you that we obviously do not think in the future in the sense that our thoughts occur in the future. But doesn’t the fact that we can even contemplate the future count as something special? No other process that I know of in the universe takes the future into account. Or is that also an illusion? (Yes, this stuff confuses the hell out of me.)

You think it over.  I’ve said all I need to say to put forth my proposition.  It’s all there.  Build on it.

I’m trying. But something tells me that there is something “special” about consciousness that raises it above the level of purely mechanical, cause-and-effect processes. I realize that this is both unscientific and fraught with pitfalls that have led others to embrace spirituality as the solution. But I fully accept that we are our brains. I don’t think that “I” am something “out there” above and outside of my physiology. But I also know that there is this idea that consciousness somehow is an emergent property of the organic workings of our brains. Isn’t it just possible that our consciousness somehow creates this free will?

In reading over that I realize that it sort of sounds absurd. Maybe it just shows how far I still have to go along this road.

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