Illusion of Freedom

 
Rami Rustom
 
Avatar
 
 
Rami Rustom
Total Posts:  226
Joined  10-09-2012
 
 
 
23 November 2012 19:16
 
GenerousGeorge - 23 November 2012 07:11 PM

Pray about it. Maybe. Seriously you seem kinda “slippery” in youranswers sometimes, not exactly strawman, but a close relative.

So you’re saying my answers are vague? Then why don’t you ask me questions for clarification? How am I supposed to know if you think my answers are vague until you point it out to me? Am I supposed to read your mind? I’m not that good of a debater.

 
GenerousGeorge
 
Avatar
 
 
GenerousGeorge
Total Posts:  109
Joined  22-09-2012
 
 
 
23 November 2012 19:20
 

I don’t know Rami. I have to think about it. Some of your answers seem to want to change the subject a little. Also, you seeem to answer a lot of questions with questions. Maybe others can give more insight. Don’t try so hard to be right and try to understand the other posters more.

 
Rami Rustom
 
Avatar
 
 
Rami Rustom
Total Posts:  226
Joined  10-09-2012
 
 
 
23 November 2012 19:29
 
GenerousGeorge - 23 November 2012 07:20 PM

I don’t know Rami. I have to think about it. Some of your answers seem to want to change the subject a little. Also, you seeem to answer a lot of questions with questions. Maybe others can give more insight. Don’t try so hard to be right and try to understand the other posters more.

I don’t know what you’re talking about.


The point of this forum is to discuss ideas and find the truth. Truth-seeking. How do we do that? By posting our ideas and criticizing them, and then criticizing the criticisms. Thats what we are doing.


This works best when each person looks for substantive flaws in the other person’s ideas and his own ideas (i.e criticism). And we guess new ideas too (i.e creativity).

 
GenerousGeorge
 
Avatar
 
 
GenerousGeorge
Total Posts:  109
Joined  22-09-2012
 
 
 
23 November 2012 19:31
 

Not sure Rami. Just trying to be helpful.

 
 
Avatar
 
 
nv
Total Posts:  8145
Joined  29-04-2005
 
 
 
23 November 2012 21:37
 
Rami Rustom - 22 November 2012 02:27 PM

. . . According to wikipedia : Empiricism is a theory of knowledge that asserts that knowledge comes only or primarily from sensory experience.[1]


Einstein did not create his theory of gravity “only or primarily from sensory experience”.

But don’t forget that Einstein’s hypotheses needed to be verified by sensory means before they were classed as knowledge.

 
 
GenerousGeorge
 
Avatar
 
 
GenerousGeorge
Total Posts:  109
Joined  22-09-2012
 
 
 
23 November 2012 21:44
 

There is a big difference between “verify” and “create” knowledge Rami. That kind of answer is the type I think some were referring to earlier that bothered them about some of your replies.  “For what it is worth”

 
 
Avatar
 
 
srrr
Total Posts:  233
Joined  22-10-2011
 
 
 
24 November 2012 12:39
 
Rami Rustom - 22 November 2012 02:27 PM

What are you saying conflicts with evolution?

Evolution is about simple things getting more complex over time. So if we go back on the evolutonary timeline, we will find that our brains have simpler ancestors, and this goes all the way back to the first organism, and beyond. Now take the idea that consciousness only exists in brains. This implies that it has no simpler version that existed before brains, that it has no evolutionary ancestor. So as the brain gets simpler and simpler as we go back in time, we are told that consciousness gets simpler to a degree, and then completely vanishes.

[ Edited: 24 November 2012 12:57 by srrr]
 
GenerousGeorge
 
Avatar
 
 
GenerousGeorge
Total Posts:  109
Joined  22-09-2012
 
 
 
24 November 2012 12:43
 

Rami I lean toward agreeing with your statement.


My one reservation is that evolution may have created a better channel or receiving device.


I’m not sure what your comment has to do with previous coments however.


The whole subject does not lend itself to statements of 100% certitude.

 
 
Avatar
 
 
srrr
Total Posts:  233
Joined  22-10-2011
 
 
 
24 November 2012 12:47
 
Rami Rustom - 22 November 2012 02:37 PM

No. The configuration of elementary particles that makes an atom is not the same configuration of elementary particles that makes consciousness. So I don’t see why you think that my argument implies that an atom is conscious. Why do you think that?

We already agreed that the difference between any two configurations is only ever quantitative. So if brains are conscious (which they are), and the difference between brains and non-brains is only quantitative, then non-brains should also have a quantity of consciousness.

Agreed. Lets be more specific though. An object that collects data from its environment, process it, then responds by reacting to that environment, is conscious. Agreed?

If you are talking about a physical object: all physical objects ever do is that their elementary particles interact according to the fundamental forces in space and time. That is true for any computer also. So while you may talk about a computer as if it “processes”, “collects data”, etc., in reality they do not do that anymore than rocks and atoms do. Both rocks and computers are merely collections of particles that interact.

[ Edited: 24 November 2012 13:05 by srrr]
 
 
Avatar
 
 
srrr
Total Posts:  233
Joined  22-10-2011
 
 
 
24 November 2012 13:03
 

The empiricism thing is just a sidenote. I did not want to argue anything about the empiricism vs rationalism stuff. Personally, i would consider all of rationalism a part of empiricism also, because empiricism means “to experience” and thoughts are experiences also. The division between sensory and other type of experiences is arbitrary.

 
GenerousGeorge
 
Avatar
 
 
GenerousGeorge
Total Posts:  109
Joined  22-09-2012
 
 
 
24 November 2012 13:06
 

Some might think thoughts are not experiences in the usual sense.

Your use of this “questionable comparision” technique is what some object to in your posts.

[ Edited: 24 November 2012 13:30 by GenerousGeorge]
 
 
Avatar
 
 
kikl
Total Posts:  122
Joined  10-05-2011
 
 
 
25 November 2012 13:49
 
GenerousGeorge - 24 November 2012 01:06 PM

Some might think thoughts are not experiences in the usual sense.

An experience is not a state of consciousness? It definitely is. Unconscious experience appears to be a contradiction in terms. You must be conscious in order to experience anything.

 
 
GenerousGeorge
 
Avatar
 
 
GenerousGeorge
Total Posts:  109
Joined  22-09-2012
 
 
 
25 November 2012 13:53
 

Interesting

 
 
Avatar
 
 
Halo2040
Total Posts:  931
Joined  28-01-2013
 
 
 
28 January 2013 16:05
 
Rolyat - 15 May 2011 11:52 AM

Kiki, I think you have made some solid points, however, it seems most of you are confused as to what determinism has to say about free will.

No determinist has ever claimed we cannot act, choose, decide, etc, but that we cannot do this freely due to the laws of nature and antecedent events. So there is a will, it is just not free, or within our control. For example, say you put a Coke and a Pepsi on a table in front of me, and tell me to pick one, and I pick the Coke, there is no doubt that I have chosen to pick the Coke, the question is whether or not my will was free to decide that. Determinism says I was not, that because of my past experiences with advertisements for Coke, and maybe how my brain finds the color red to be more pleasing at a chemical level than Pepsi’s blue, then if I were to repeat that same situation a million times, I would never be able to choose Pepsi. This is a fairly simple example, but hopefully it makes sense.

If determinism is true, then there can still be morality, just no moral responsibility. The reason a determinist like Harris writes about morality is because we can still have influence on other people, even if we are not free. His work on morality can be read and be the antecedent event that determines you to think about morality differently.

I think that is what Sam is trying to convey.  Determinism does not mean we don’t have a will or can’t make choices, but that the choices we make are based on antecedent events that compel us to choose one thing over another.