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The Illusion of the Self, An Interview With Bruce Hood
Posted: 29 October 2012 03:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]  
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gsmonks - 22 May 2012 10:03 PM

Consciousness is an electro-biochemical process occurring within the brain and entails both experience and the person experiencing that experience.

And, no, I’m not missing what he’s getting at. The thing is, far too much emphasis is given to the observable processes within the brain these days at the expense of the content of those processes, to the extent that many scientist-philosophers in this area can’t see the forest- the process within the working brain- for the trees- the brain itself. What’s really happening here, and what is entirely wrong-headed, in my estimation, is that Hood is giving observable brain function entire precedence over something that’s glaringly obvious- that the process within the brain is where the self resides, and not in the brain itself. Shut off the machine and that consciousness vanishes, obviously, and this is what scientist-philosophers like Hood refer to. However, to do this is to discount the process itself, which is us. The brain is not us. The process within the brain is us.

I found a paper that discusses this notion in detail; a sample…

One of the most elusive questions within neurobiology is how this electrical activity can produce what we experience as thoughts, behaviors, and memories.  The reason it is so difficult for neurobiologists to address this question is because it is completely perplexing from a purely physical point of view, which scientists have been inclined to restrict themselves to in their investigation of Nature.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/101491729/William-Brown-The-Light-Encoded-DNA-Fialment-and-Biomolecular-Quantum-Communication-24p

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Posted: 11 November 2012 03:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]  
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Can someone explain to me how Hood’s theory explains how people make choices?

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Posted: 27 November 2012 01:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]  
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Rami Rustom - 11 November 2012 03:00 PM

Can someone explain to me how Hood’s theory explains how people make choices?

We don’t actually make choices. We make decisions based on preconceptions, then rationalise that we’ve made choices.

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Posted: 27 November 2012 01:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]  
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In other words, the Human brain’s ability to deceive itself is a hundred times more powerful than its ability to meet reality on its own terms.

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Posted: 27 November 2012 06:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]  
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gsmonks - 27 November 2012 01:05 AM

We don’t actually make choices. We make decisions

I’m a bit confused by your first statement because the word choice is a synonym of the word decision.

gsmonks - 27 November 2012 01:05 AM

based on preconceptions,

By that I think you mean that all of a person’s decisions hinge on our interpretations of the events unfolding in front of us—and our interpretations depend on our ideas.

gsmonks - 27 November 2012 01:05 AM

then rationalise that we’ve made choices. In other words, the Human brain’s ability to deceive itself is a hundred times more powerful than its ability to meet reality on its own terms.

I agree with part of what you said. The part I disagree with is a part that I’m not sure you intended to mean, which is that *all* people do that equally.


People deceive themselves when they are trying to protect their self-image. This is primarily a subconscious process for most people—meaning that they aren’t aware that they are doing it. Some people know a lot about how the human mind works, and thus they are able to “catch” themselves acting in these ways. With sufficient practice, a person can gain the skill allowing him to “catch” himself *before* committing the self-deception.


And a person can go further than that. He can learn about memes, anti-rational memes, and how they affect people. He can learn that anti-rational memes are the things that cause people to feel bad about a certain type of situation. And then the person responds to that bad feeling by deceiving himself in an attempt to relieve the bad feeling. He can learn that he can discover his anti-rational memes and get rid of them—which means that going forward he won’t feel bad about that certain type of situation, hence no self-deception necessary.

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Posted: 27 November 2012 01:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]  
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Your assumptions are based upon current canon, which I diametrically disagree with.

Assuming that we “think” is giving Humans far too much credit. Studies of identical twins separated at birth have demonstrated time and again that we have a genetic predisposition to far more than just behaviour. No matter how much we try to fool ourselves, we’re not really making decisions or choices, that these are a foregone conclusion, that our “thinking”, no matter how much skull-sweat we expend, is nothing more than self-sophistry.

We Homo Sapiens are really stupid, stupid monkey(s) (to quote Burning Monkey Solitaire) whose intelligence is an appendage, not an actual part of our brain-function. This gives us the master-borrowed bravery of a yappy little cur that barks and snaps from behind the safety of its owner’s legs. When actual intelligence is demanded, however, the stupid monkey emerges once more, and begins bashing and thrashing about in frustration, trying to wield the thinkifying appendage within its own brain, so that we have a stupid creature with access to a computer that is far more sophisticated than it itself is.

People that think they’re more evolved than other people in terms of though-processes are only fooling themselves. We’re all pathetic, stupid monkeys that think we’re far smarter than we really are. What other animal would think itself so evolved and intelligent and moral while it commits genocide on its fellow species and destroys the very planet on which it lives?

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