• Welcome to the new Internet Infidels Discussion Board, formerly Talk Freethought.
  • 2021 Internet Infidels Fundraising Drive
    Greetings! Time for the annual fundraiser.Sorry for the late update, we normally start this early in October. Funds are needed to keep II and IIDB online. I was not able to get an IIDB based donations addon implemented for this year, I will make sure to have that done for next year. You can help support II in several ways, please visit the Support Us page for more info. Or just click:

    I will try to track all donations from IIDB. Many thanks to those that have already donated. The current total is $493. If everyone dontated just $5, we would easily hit our goal.

Imagining "Indeterminism"

That is where your thinking breaks down, IMO.
Our brains are composed of particles that in the Standard Model trace their genesis to the BB.
The functions of our mind are based in interactions of atoms and subatomic particles.
If not, you are left with arguing mind as separate from physical reality. Mind body duality. The attoms in the bran have no causl effect on thinking? What about genes?
Without the Erath which traces to the BB there are no humans to begin with,
Are we having fun yet?

Well, you seem to be having fun, but I'm currently sobering up.

Physical matter behaves differently according to how it is organized. The atoms of Hydrogen and the atoms of Oxygen are gaseous until you drop their temperature to several hundred degrees below zero. But when you combine two atoms of Hydrogen with one atom of Oxygen you get water, a liquid at room temperature and something we can skate on in winter.

Combine the appropriate atoms into a molecule of DNA and you get a blueprint and the tools for building a living organism. Given an appropriate environment where other essential molecules are nearby, and it will build you a tree, or a worm, or a butterfly, or a human being.

And if you provide an environment in which these living organisms can survive, thrive, and reproduce, they will produce new variations of their species. Eventually, some of these these variations will evolve a new machine, a brain, that can imagine, evaluate, and choose for itself what its body will do.

But the water molecule on its own will not attempt to survive, thrive, and reproduce. That's not something that most molecules do. You need a special machine to do that, a machine that the DNA molecule builds, a living organism.

A living organism behaves differently than inanimate matter. Place a bowling ball on a slope and it will always roll downhill, its behavior governed by the force of gravity. But place a squirrel on that same slope, and he may go up, down, or any other direction where he hopes to find his next acorn. While the squirrel is affected by gravity, he is not governed by it. Instead he is governed by biological drives to survive, thrive, and reproduce.

So, to get special behavior, you need a special machine, one built to perform that behavior. The individual atoms that make up a squirrel have little control over what the squirrel does. But another machine within the squirrel, called a brain, can deliberately choose what the squirrel will do, and the squirrel will damn well do it.

The mind is a physical process running upon the neural architecture of the brain. Turn off the brain's processes, and the brain reverts to an inert lump of matter.
 

Jarhyn

Contributor
Well, I daresay one thing is most determined: that there ARE things out there planning our future step by step, decision by decision, if badly, and those things are US, and when there are conflicts between those plans they are conflicts of "free will" as relates to our local indeterminabilities..
 

steve_bank

Contributor
Well, I daresay one thing is most determined: that there ARE things out there planning our future step by step, decision by decision, if badly, and those things are US, and when there are conflicts between those plans they are conflicts of "free will" as relates to our local indeterminabilities..
Not just the US. Ethiopia is breaking down into utter chaos and violence, widespread starvation. All over aa choice of a contest of wills over a compromise.
 

steve_bank

Contributor
That is where your thinking breaks down, IMO.
Our brains are composed of particles that in the Standard Model trace their genesis to the BB.
The functions of our mind are based in interactions of atoms and subatomic particles.
If not, you are left with arguing mind as separate from physical reality. Mind body duality. The attoms in the bran have no causl effect on thinking? What about genes?
Without the Erath which traces to the BB there are no humans to begin with,
Are we having fun yet?

Well, you seem to be having fun, but I'm currently sobering up.

Physical matter behaves differently according to how it is organized. The atoms of Hydrogen and the atoms of Oxygen are gaseous until you drop their temperature to several hundred degrees below zero. But when you combine two atoms of Hydrogen with one atom of Oxygen you get water, a liquid at room temperature and something we can skate on in winter.

Combine the appropriate atoms into a molecule of DNA and you get a blueprint and the tools for building a living organism. Given an appropriate environment where other essential molecules are nearby, and it will build you a tree, or a worm, or a butterfly, or a human being.

And if you provide an environment in which these living organisms can survive, thrive, and reproduce, they will produce new variations of their species. Eventually, some of these these variations will evolve a new machine, a brain, that can imagine, evaluate, and choose for itself what its body will do.

But the water molecule on its own will not attempt to survive, thrive, and reproduce. That's not something that most molecules do. You need a special machine to do that, a machine that the DNA molecule builds, a living organism.

A living organism behaves differently than inanimate matter. Place a bowling ball on a slope and it will always roll downhill, its behavior governed by the force of gravity. But place a squirrel on that same slope, and he may go up, down, or any other direction where he hopes to find his next acorn. While the squirrel is affected by gravity, he is not governed by it. Instead he is governed by biological drives to survive, thrive, and reproduce.

So, to get special behavior, you need a special machine, one built to perform that behavior. The individual atoms that make up a squirrel have little control over what the squirrel does. But another machine within the squirrel, called a brain, can deliberately choose what the squirrel will do, and the squirrel will damn well do it.

The mind is a physical process running upon the neural architecture of the brain. Turn off the brain's processes, and the brain reverts to an inert lump of matter.
A rock is organized matter. Your entire body and thinking are based on reactions at the atomic scale. Just like a computer is based on atomic scale actions in the circuits.

Our brains are hard wired by genetics and evolution with the capacity to learn and adapt. A philosophical case can be made that our thoughts are predetermined before we are born.



I don't know what fun is, I am deadly serious all the time and these are most serious questions ... .I do enjoy watching a cat trying to catch a string dangled in front of it.
 

Jarhyn

Contributor
Well, I daresay one thing is most determined: that there ARE things out there planning our future step by step, decision by decision, if badly, and those things are US, and when there are conflicts between those plans they are conflicts of "free will" as relates to our local indeterminabilities..
Not just the US. Ethiopia is breaking down into utter chaos and violence, widespread starvation. All over aa choice of a contest of wills over a compromise.
No, I mean, us, the things as translate forces on units of "person", and also on scales of "executive bodies" and also "corporate bodies" and also other forms of organization, some religious and some not.

Edit: sometimes, the deterministic aspects of the universe do not just give us leverage within our idea space to point our vector towards our goals.

Also, it is sometimes the case that they disabuse us of our models through whatever learning model applies to what we are, and we have to adjust those models.

We learn, adapt, and grow.
 
A rock is organized matter.

And the behavior of the rock is fully governed by physical forces, like gravity, inertia, etc.

Your entire body and thinking are based on reactions at the atomic scale.

Everything is running on atoms, but atoms are not running anything.

Just like a computer is based on atomic scale actions in the circuits.

The computer is running on electricity, which is a transfer of electrons from one end of a circuit to another. But those electrons have no clue as to what's going on. Nor do any of the atoms. The only ones that know what's happening are the engineers and programmers, you know, the guys who built the machines and programmed them to serve us humans.

Our brains are hard wired by genetics and evolution with the capacity to learn and adapt.

And that ability to adapt enables us to modify our brains. A coed is invited to a party, but she remembers she has a chemistry test in the morning. So, she decides it would be better to stay home and study tonight. As she reviews her textbook and lecture notes, she is reinforcing the neural pathways related to that data, so that when she sees the question on the test, the answer will pop into her consciousness. She is, by her deliberate choice, modifying her own brain.

A philosophical case can be made that our thoughts are predetermined before we are born.

Sure. But the critical question is, "So what?" Causal necessity is a logical fact. But it is not a meaningful fact. And it is not a relevant fact to any human problem, question, or issue. So, why bring it up? The intelligent mind simply acknowledges it, and then ignores it.
 

DBT

Contributor
Well, I wouldn't call it a special "privilege", but the quarterback causally determines which receiver to throw the football to, and the receiver then causally determines his route through the defense, and that route causally determines the directions of the defenders as they attempt to tackle the receiver.
Each event and each choice is causally necessary from any prior point in eternity, but causal necessity itself is never the agent of causation. The quarterback, the runner, and the tacklers are the causal agents. Causal necessity simply describes how each event, although uniquely caused, was reliably caused by prior events.


We enter the world of illusion when we ascribe causal agency to causal necessity.

By 'privileged' I meant autonomous mental access to the means of production, neural activity/information processing, with the ability to modify deterministic activity, thereby endowing oneself with an ability to do otherwise, which is to have free will.

But of course, nobody can do that. Which means that free will is an illusion, a figure of speech; she acted of her own free will, meaning - she acted of her own accord, she acted according to her own will.

A second faulty conclusion is that causal necessity implies the absence of all freedom. There is only one freedom that is absent due to causal necessity, and that would be "freedom from causal necessity". All other freedoms would still be relevant and meaningful. The bird can still be set free from its cage even though it is not free from causal necessity. We can still enjoy freedom of speech even though we are not free of causal necessity. The ice cream store can still offer us free samples, even though their offering and our acceptance of the offer would be causally necessary. And, we are free to decide for ourselves whether we wish to participate in Libet's experiment, even though the experiment and our choice to volunteer (or not) were causally necessary from any prior point in time.

Causal necessity allows no alternate action. Actions are necessitated/determined. Without alternate actions possible, where is the freedom to have done otherwise? Where is the freedom of choice or will - it is an illusion.

Freedom refers to necessitated actions which are necessarily performed without impediment or constraint; 'Prior events have caused the person’s current desire to do X. Wanting to do X is fully determined by these prior causes. Now that the desire to do X is being felt, there are no other constraints that keep the person from doing what he wants, namely X.'

A certain kind of freedom, no doubt, just not freedom of will.

Whether or not we decide to participate in Libet type experiments doesn't come out of the blue....what we do depends on our underlying drivers, our motives and interests.

Somebody may believe in free will, they see an opportunity to prove their power of veto, to make a point, so they are eager to participate. There are any number of factors that drives behaviour, desire, fear, pleasure...



Technically correct. But the source of the person's current desire is within the person. The desire does not exist outside of the person, and it is formed within the person. It can be influenced by external stimuli, like a television ad that is designed to form such a desire within the person. But it is still up to the person to decide what to do about that desire, to assess that desire in terms of other desires, and to choose for themselves which desires they will attempt to satisfy.

Well, yes, whatever information is within a person is acted upon by external stimuli. But what we have isnot only acted upon, everything that we see, hear, believe, know, think, do, is information that has been acquired by the brain from the external world. We are being shaped and formed by the world even as we respond to it.
 

steve_bank

Contributor
Both rocks and bodies are determined by physical laws.

Your nervous system is electrical. Does a neuron know anything? Your sense of self is the sum of a number of discrete states at any given time. Analogous to digital video. It looks like continuous motion, in reality it is a sequence of still images changing faster than the persistence of the eye.

Your brain is a biological computer, just not of the Turing Machine form of a PC processor. Your neural net has logic functions at the neuron level. You would need to understand Boolean Algebra, digital logic, and state machines to see it.

John Lily went off the deep end a bit combining LSD with salt water isolation tanks as in the movie Altered States, but it is a good read. He staed by doing research on live dolphin brans until he concluded they were aware thinking creatures with a language.

Amazon product
 
Both rocks and bodies are determined by physical laws.

Your nervous system is electrical. Does a neuron know anything? Your sense of self is the sum of a number of discrete states at any given time. Analogous to digital video. It looks like continuous motion, in reality it is a sequence of still images changing faster than the persistence of the eye.

Your brain is a biological computer, just not of the Turing Machine form of a PC processor. Your neural net has logic functions at the neuron level. You would need to understand Boolean Algebra, digital logic, and state machines to see it.

John Lily went off the deep end a bit combining LSD with salt water isolation tanks as in the movie Altered States, but it is a good read. He staed by doing research on live dolphin brans until he concluded they were aware thinking creatures with a language.

Amazon product

Did you ever catch the "Fringe" tv series? The guy had a tank in his lab and used it in the first episode. (Great series by the way, John Noble's character was amazing...in both universes).
 
By 'privileged' I meant autonomous mental access to the means of production, neural activity/information processing, with the ability to modify deterministic activity ...

All activity is deterministic, and there is nothing anyone can do to alter that logical fact.

... thereby endowing oneself with an ability to do otherwise

The "ability to do otherwise" is part of the choosing operation, which operates entirely deterministically. The notion of an "ability" serves as a logical token for something that we "can" do if we choose to. An "ability to do otherwise" is part of the choosing operation.

These notions of things that "we may or may not choose to do" are part of a larger category of "matters of uncertainty". These are summed up as follows: When we do not know what "will" happen, we imagine what "can" happen, to better prepare for what "does" happen.

What "will" happen in a choosing operation is unknown. "Will I choose A, or, will I choose B? I don't know yet." So, we replace the "will" with a "can" to help us remember that what we "will" do is as yet unknown. The "can" stands in for the "will" until we are no longer uncertain as to what we "will" do.

At the beginning of the choosing operation, "I can choose A" and "I can choose B" must both be true, by logical necessity. Causal necessity, which guarantees that we will perform a choosing operation at this point, causally necessitates that it will be logically necessary at this point that "I can choose A" and "I can choose B" will in fact be true.

Continuing with the choosing operation, we evaluate option A, then evaluate option B, compare their results, and choose the one that seems best to us.

, which is to have free will. But of course, nobody can do that. ...

I just did it. Right there in front of you. Did you want to check my sleeves?

Which means that free will is an illusion, a figure of speech; she acted of her own free will, meaning - she acted of her own accord, she acted according to her own will.

The only illusion here is that determinism is a causal agent that makes our decisions for us. If she decided for herself what she would do, then she is the causal agent. And that is empirical reality.

Determinism has no interest in the outcome. But she had skin in the game, an interest in seeing the best outcome for herself and perhaps others.

Pretending that some other object was controlling her for its own interests is a delusion created by the false suggestions that build the "determinism versus free will" paradox.

A paradox is created by false, but believable, suggestions. Take, Zeno's paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise. Achilles, the fastest runner in the world, confidently gives the tortoise a huge head start. Then Achilles runs to where the tortoise is. But, when he gets there, the tortoise, even going very slowly, has advanced further ahead. So, Achilles runs to where the tortoise is now. But, just as before, the tortoise is now a little farther down the road. So, it is impossible for Achilles to ever catch the tortoise. Right?
 

fromderinside

Mazzie Daius

A paradox is created by false, but believable, suggestions. Take, Zeno's paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise. Achilles, the fastest runner in the world, confidently gives the tortoise a huge head start. Then Achilles runs to where the tortoise is. But, when he gets there, the tortoise, even going very slowly, has advanced further ahead. So, Achilles runs to where the tortoise is now. But, just as before, the tortoise is now a little farther down the road. So, it is impossible for Achilles to ever catch the tortoise. Right?
What are you trying to say? False premises are interesting? In the material world it is obviously false that giving a lead does not change laws of physics. In your little gem you are exchanging laws of physics with human presumption, to what end? To make a false point or to trap another in to using your flawed reasoning? If this constitutes the sum and substance of your argument to this point you have lost the argument. Take your F. Moveon.org.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DBT

DBT

Contributor
By 'privileged' I meant autonomous mental access to the means of production, neural activity/information processing, with the ability to modify deterministic activity ...

All activity is deterministic, and there is nothing anyone can do to alter that logical fact.

Exactly, which is why the critical point of regulative control, doing otherwise, is impossible within a determined system, effectively eliminating the possibility of freedom of will. Which in turn compels compatibilists to define free will as 'acting without coercion or according to one's will.'

Which of course is inevitable because once one's will has been formed/determined and action is called for, action must necessarily follow, and it can't be otherwise because there is no otherwise in a determined system.


The only illusion here is that determinism is a causal agent that makes our decisions for us. If she decided for herself what she would do, then she is the causal agent. And that is empirical reality.

But that's not the whole picture, the causal agent (the brain) is being acted upon by information from the external world and the action that is taken is determined by how that information input effects her neural network....''she'' has no say in what goes on in 'her' brain, her thoughts and ruminations emerge in her conscious mind fully formed in response to the information that is being processed unconsciously, her conscious mind is being fed information on what to do even after signals to muscle groups are sent.

An intelligent system, but not a matter of 'free will.'


How Can There Be Voluntary Movement Without Free Will?

''Humans do not appear to be purely reflexive organisms, simple automatons. A vast array of different movements are generated in a variety of settings. Is there an alternative to free will? Movement, in the final analysis, comes only from muscle contraction.

Muscle contraction is under the complete control of the alpha motoneurons in the spinal cord. When the alpha motoneurons are active, there will be movement.

Activity of the alpha motoneurons is a product of the different synaptic events on their dendrites and cell bodies. There is a complex summation of EPSPs and IPSPs, and when the threshold for an action potential is crossed, the cell fires. There are a large number of important inputs, and one of the most important is from the corticospinal tract which conveys a large part of the cortical control.

Such a situation likely holds also for the motor cortex and the cells of origin of the corticospinal tract. Their firing depends on their synaptic inputs. And, a similar situation must hold for all the principal regions giving input to the motor cortex. For any cortical region, its activity will depend on its synaptic inputs. Some motor cortical inputs come via only a few synapses from sensory cortices, and such influences on motor output are clear.

Some inputs will come from regions, such as the limbic areas, many synapses away from both primary sensory and motor cortices. At any one time, the activity of the motor cortex, and its commands to the spinal cord, will reflect virtually all the activity in the entire brain.

Is it necessary that there be anything else?''


Determinism has no interest in the outcome. But she had skin in the game, an interest in seeing the best outcome for herself and perhaps others.

Pretending that some other object was controlling her for its own interests is a delusion created by the false suggestions that build the "determinism versus free will" paradox.

A paradox is created by false, but believable, suggestions. Take, Zeno's paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise. Achilles, the fastest runner in the world, confidently gives the tortoise a huge head start. Then Achilles runs to where the tortoise is. But, when he gets there, the tortoise, even going very slowly, has advanced further ahead. So, Achilles runs to where the tortoise is now. But, just as before, the tortoise is now a little farther down the road. So, it is impossible for Achilles to ever catch the tortoise. Right?


But it's about function, not control. The brain has evolved to acquire and process information, the information that is acquired by the brain in turn effects the system according to the response that is called for, ie, there is food on the table, it is dinner time, the cook has prepared your favorite dishes, you are hungry........an interaction of information, environment and neural architecture, input, output.

Intelligent, interactive but not freely willed.
 

A paradox is created by false, but believable, suggestions. Take, Zeno's paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise. Achilles, the fastest runner in the world, confidently gives the tortoise a huge head start. Then Achilles runs to where the tortoise is. But, when he gets there, the tortoise, even going very slowly, has advanced further ahead. So, Achilles runs to where the tortoise is now. But, just as before, the tortoise is now a little farther down the road. So, it is impossible for Achilles to ever catch the tortoise. Right?
What are you trying to say? False premises are interesting? In the material world it is obviously false that giving a lead does not change laws of physics. In your little gem you are exchanging laws of physics with human presumption, to what end? To make a false point or to trap another in to using your flawed reasoning? If this constitutes the sum and substance of your argument to this point you have lost the argument. Take your F. Moveon.org.

I'm saying that the notion that "reliable cause and effect is something that one must be free of" is a false suggestion. If a person buys into it they get trapped in a self-induced hoax. And then they begin saying a lot of absurd things that contradict empirical reality. For example, they say that we have no control over what we do, that we have no freedom to choose for ourselves what we will do, they say that it is not really us, when really, it is us. They tell us that it was the Big Bang that decided what we would have for breakfast. You know, it just becomes a big pile up of absurdities. But they are wedded to these absurdities, because it seems so convincing to them that one must be free of reliable causation in order to be "truly" free.

But every freedom we have, to do anything at all, requires reliable cause and effect. Reliable causation is as much us, and what we do, as it is anything else. It is not a separate entity, some external being that takes over our lives. It is us, living, and doing, and choosing.

The determinism "versus" free will paradox is created by the false suggestion that reliable cause and effect is something that constrains us, when actually it is something that enables every freedom that we have. We, ourselves, are a collaborative collection of reliable causal mechanisms that keep our hearts beating and our thoughts flowing.

Oh, and the false suggestion in the Zeno's "Achilles versus the Tortoise" paradox is the notion that Achilles runs to the where the turtle was. Achilles would run to where the turtle will be when he gets there (or a few steps further to win a race).

So, if we're looking for reliable causation, or the laws of nature, we have only to look in a mirror. They are not our enemy, they are us.
 

fromderinside

Mazzie Daius

A paradox is created by false, but believable, suggestions. Take, Zeno's paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise. Achilles, the fastest runner in the world, confidently gives the tortoise a huge head start. Then Achilles runs to where the tortoise is. But, when he gets there, the tortoise, even going very slowly, has advanced further ahead. So, Achilles runs to where the tortoise is now. But, just as before, the tortoise is now a little farther down the road. So, it is impossible for Achilles to ever catch the tortoise. Right?
What are you trying to say? False premises are interesting? In the material world it is obviously false that giving a lead does not change laws of physics. In your little gem you are exchanging laws of physics with human presumption, to what end? To make a false point or to trap another in to using your flawed reasoning? If this constitutes the sum and substance of your argument to this point you have lost the argument. Take your F. Moveon.org.

I'm saying that the notion that "reliable cause and effect is something that one must be free of" is a false suggestion. If a person buys into it they get trapped in a self-induced hoax. And then they begin saying a lot of absurd things that contradict empirical reality. For example, they say that we have no control over what we do, that we have no freedom to choose for ourselves what we will do, they say that it is not really us, when really, it is us. They tell us that it was the Big Bang that decided what we would have for breakfast. You know, it just becomes a big pile up of absurdities. But they are wedded to these absurdities, because it seems so convincing to them that one must be free of reliable causation in order to be "truly" free.

But every freedom we have, to do anything at all, requires reliable cause and effect. Reliable causation is as much us, and what we do, as it is anything else. It is not a separate entity, some external being that takes over our lives. It is us, living, and doing, and choosing.

The determinism "versus" free will paradox is created by the false suggestion that reliable cause and effect is something that constrains us, when actually it is something that enables every freedom that we have. We, ourselves, are a collaborative collection of reliable causal mechanisms that keep our hearts beating and our thoughts flowing.

Oh, and the false suggestion in the Zeno's "Achilles versus the Tortoise" paradox is the notion that Achilles runs to the where the turtle was. Achilles would run to where the turtle will be when he gets there (or a few steps further to win a race).

So, if we're looking for reliable causation, or the laws of nature, we have only to look in a mirror. They are not our enemy, they are us.
Do we decide or do we answer to what we think? I'm fully in the camp that we are ones that answer to what e ware thinking. We're pretty bright has little to do with whether we decide. If what we are doing is answering our subvocal utterances we aren't deciding. we are reporting near time behavior.
 
All activity is deterministic, and there is nothing anyone can do to alter that logical fact.

Exactly, which is why the critical point of regulative control, doing otherwise, is impossible within a determined system, effectively eliminating the possibility of freedom of will.

Within a "deterministic" system, every event is causally necessitated by prior events. This includes the choosing event. Choosing necessarily happens. It is unavoidable. And it necessarily happens precisely when, where, and how it happens. This includes every step within the choosing operation, every physical, biological, and mental event.

Among these necessary mental events are the cognition of our options, as two or more things that we "can" choose to do, such as A and B. Once we know our options, we imagine what is likely to happen if we choose A. Then we imagine what is likely to happen if we choose B. If A looks better than B, then A become the thing that "we will do", and B becomes the thing that "we could have done".

Determinism cannot claim that we "could not have chosen B", because "we can choose B" was true at the beginning. When determinists claim that "we could not have chosen B", they create cognitive dissonance, because if "we can choose B" was ever true in the past, then "we could have chosen B" will also be true, forever, in the future.

Determinism can only safely assert that we "would not have chosen B". And, most people would find that to be true. If they had good reasons for choosing A instead of B, then why would they want to choose B? They wouldn't.

Which in turn compels compatibilists to define free will as 'acting without coercion or according to one's will.'

Well, we define "free will" as a choice we make that is "free of coercion and other forms of undue influence" because (a) everyone understands and correctly uses that definition, (b) it makes a meaningful distinction between deliberate acts versus coerced acts versus insane acts, etc., and (c) because this distinction is actually used whenever people assign moral or legal responsibility for a person's actions.

On the other hand, defining "free will" as a choice we make that is "free from causal necessity" creates a paradox, because every freedom we have, to do anything at all, requires reliable cause and effect. So, the philosophical definition is self-contradictory, and cannot reasonably serve as the definition of anything.

Which of course is inevitable because once one's will has been formed/determined and action is called for, action must necessarily follow, and it can't be otherwise because there is no otherwise in a determined system.

Within a deterministic system, each "otherwise" is causally necessary and inevitably must happen. If you encounter an "otherwise" within a deterministic system, then you know that it was unavoidable and had to be there.

It is a simple matter of keeping our event containers straight.
(The Single Deterministic system contains:
(Intelligent species behavior contains:
(Choosing events contain:
(Otherwise's) ) ) ).


The only illusion here is that determinism is a causal agent that makes our decisions for us. If she decided for herself what she would do, then she is the causal agent. And that is empirical reality.

But that's not the whole picture, the causal agent (the brain) is being acted upon by information from the external world and the action that is taken is determined by how that information input effects her neural network....''she'' has no say in what goes on in 'her' brain, her thoughts and ruminations emerge in her conscious mind fully formed in response to the information that is being processed unconsciously, her conscious mind is being fed information on what to do even after signals to muscle groups are sent.

You keep trying to build a wall between her and her brain. If her brain has decided that she will order the chef salad for lunch, and she tells the waiter, "I will have the chef salad, please", then, after the meal, does the waiter bring the bill to her brain, or does he bring the bill to her?

We can spend a lifetime studying the neurological details of how all this works. But in the real world, there is no free lunch, and some person must be held responsible to pay for the salad.

An intelligent system, but not a matter of 'free will.'

Free will is when the customer decides for herself, according to her own goals and reasons, what she will order for lunch. And the waiter will bring her the bill, holding her responsible for her deliberate act.

How Can There Be Voluntary Movement Without Free Will?
''Humans do not appear to be purely reflexive organisms, simple automatons. A vast array of different movements are generated in a variety of settings. Is there an alternative to free will? Movement, in the final analysis, comes only from muscle contraction.

Muscle contraction is under the complete control of the alpha motoneurons in the spinal cord. When the alpha motoneurons are active, there will be movement. ...

Sorry, but the notion that the alpha motoneurons are deciding what she will have for lunch is a bit absurd, don't you think?


But it's about function, not control.

That which performs the function of deciding what will happen next is in control.

The brain has evolved to acquire and process information, the information that is acquired by the brain in turn effects the system according to the response that is called for, ie, there is food on the table, it is dinner time, the cook has prepared your favorite dishes, you are hungry........an interaction of information, environment and neural architecture, input, output.

It is dinner time, yes, but this is a restaurant. There is no food on the table (unless you want to eat the ketchup, salt, and pepper). There is just a menu. And, unless you choose what you will have for dinner, and tell the waiter what you will have for dinner, there will be no dinner for you.

You must choose what you will have for dinner. But, that's why you came to a restaurant, to have choices. You can choose the steak. You can choose the lobster. You can choose to keep it simple and have the chef salad. It is totally up to you.

And, it was causally necessary, and inevitable, from any prior point in eternity, that it would be totally up to you, and no other object in the whole physical universe, to make this choice.

So, what will you have for dinner?
 
Do we decide or do we answer to what we think? I'm fully in the camp that we are ones that answer to what e ware thinking. We're pretty bright has little to do with whether we decide. If what we are doing is answering our subvocal utterances we aren't deciding. we are reporting near time behavior.

Ironically, as you have pointed out, we're talking to ourselves. Words are going out subvocally and coming back in, apparently so that we can review what we are saying and make corrections. I would guess a similar thing is happening as we type out words and read them back to ourselves. Might as well get everyone involved, eh?

Deciding is a formal operation. Choosing inputs two or more options, applies some criteria of comparative evaluation, and outputs a single choice. The choice is usually in the form of an "I will" do something. Choosing sets our intention and that intent marshals the body into action carrying out that intent.

A rat in a maze is choosing, and learning from each choice, until he knows exactly which path to take to get to the cheese. And, of course, people in a restaurant, already having found the path with Google Maps, must now choose from the menu what item they will have for dinner.

Even if there were no speaking to oneself, there would still be choosing going on. And it would be our own brains, acting on our behalf, making the decision, consciously or not.

We don't need to look inside the brain to find choosing. We look at the many possibilities on the menu. Then we look at the single specific item that was ordered. And we know from these two facts that choosing happened.
 

fromderinside

Mazzie Daius
Do we decide or do we answer to what we think? I'm fully in the camp that we are ones that answer to what e ware thinking. We're pretty bright has little to do with whether we decide. If what we are doing is answering our subvocal utterances we aren't deciding. we are reporting near time behavior.

Ironically, as you have pointed out, we're talking to ourselves. Words are going out subvocally and coming back in, apparently so that we can review what we are saying and make corrections. I would guess a similar thing is happening as we type out words and read them back to ourselves. Might as well get everyone involved, eh?

Deciding is a formal operation. Choosing inputs two or more options, applies some criteria of comparative evaluation, and outputs a single choice. The choice is usually in the form of an "I will" do something. Choosing sets our intention and that intent marshals the body into action carrying out that intent.

A rat in a maze is choosing, and learning from each choice, until he knows exactly which path to take to get to the cheese. And, of course, people in a restaurant, already having found the path with Google Maps, must now choose from the menu what item they will have for dinner.

Even if there were no speaking to oneself, there would still be choosing going on. And it would be our own brains, acting on our behalf, making the decision, consciously or not.

We don't need to look inside the brain to find choosing. We look at the many possibilities on the menu. Then we look at the single specific item that was ordered. And we know from these two facts that choosing happened.
During my entire time at university I never participated in a rat study or any animal study that involved scent unless sensing was the objective of the study. Learning studies are designed to attain a particular change in behavior using rewards usually in something like a puzzle box or a Skinner box or a test tank all including a manipulandum. We limit the options to as few as possible usually one. Animals that learn make a choice over trials, almost never in one trial. So its a bit difficult to see that choices are made. We seldom give pretests since doing so would fall into the nature nurture trap.

Uh, the ears require a certain amount of pressure change to hear. So we may not be actually talking to ourselves when we subvocalize. Instead there is feedback from minute variations in muscles produced as information is transferred from speech centers through vocal chords that is sensed by neurons monitoring the vocal chords and fed back to cortex generating confirmation of what was sent from language cortex to vocal apparatus. generating sense of consciousness.

Occasionally we do hear what we subvocalize which produces other outcomes and we ae confused when external speech is also present in the system at the same time.

Your arguments are just logical presumptions based on your model of how we process information, produce consciousness.

If the ear heard what was said it would need another system to separate that from received external speech.

Good luck finding that. remember speech perceptions does discriminate between external sources already. There should be quite a build up in latency of processing if these systems also had to distinguish self-generated speech from externally generated speech.

If we went to all the evolution of generating a homunculus why isn't there more communication between that and speech processing auditory cortex if it were needed to differentiate inner from outer hearing.
 
Last edited:

DBT

Contributor
That which performs the function of deciding what will happen next is in control.

Brain function, how we think and what we do is related to architecture and interaction of information, inputs, memory, etc, rather than 'control.'

Information acquired by the senses acts upon the system. The brain doesn't control what the senses acquire, it responds according to its architecture and memory function.

Goldberg brings his description of frontal dysfunction to life with insightful accounts of clinical cases. These provide a good description of some of the consequences of damage to frontal areas and the disruption and confusion of behavior that often results. Vladimir, for example, is a patient whose frontal lobes were surgically resectioned after a train accident. As a result, he is unable to form a plan, displays an extreme lack of drive and mental rigidity and is unaware of his disorder. In another account, Toby, a highly intelligent man who suffers from attention deficits and possibly a bipolar disorder, displays many of the behavioral features of impaired frontal lobe function including immaturity, poor foresight and impulsive behavior.''




It is dinner time, yes, but this is a restaurant. There is no food on the table (unless you want to eat the ketchup, salt, and pepper). There is just a menu. And, unless you choose what you will have for dinner, and tell the waiter what you will have for dinner, there will be no dinner for you.

You must choose what you will have for dinner. But, that's why you came to a restaurant, to have choices. You can choose the steak. You can choose the lobster. You can choose to keep it simple and have the chef salad. It is totally up to you.

And, it was causally necessary, and inevitable, from any prior point in eternity, that it would be totally up to you, and no other object in the whole physical universe, to make this choice.

So, what will you have for dinner?

What you select comes to mind in response to what you see on the menu and the tastes or aversions that have developed over your lifetime.

You may have had a good idea of what to order before you arrived at the restaurant, which was probably chosen because its menu happens to appeal to your taste.

Or feel adventurous, let someone make the choice for you - ''try this'' - come what may.

Regardless, it's all information processing carried out by the brain and brought to conscious mind as events progress. Input, processing, response.


Pattern Recognition;
''Neuroscientists have repeatedly pointed out that pattern recognition represents the key to understanding cognition in humans. Pattern recognition also forms the very basis by which we predict future events, i e. we are literally forced to make assumptions concerning outcomes,and we do so by relying on sequences of events experienced in the past.''
 
Brain function, how we think and what we do is related to architecture and interaction of information, inputs, memory, etc, rather than 'control.'

No. The whole point of the brain is to exercise control. The infant acquires the skill of crawling and the toddler the skill of walking to control where he goes. Later, he learns to control an automobile. Control is what the brain is all about.

Control is why we care about causation. We control viral diseases like Polio and Measles by knowing that they are caused by a virus and that our bodies can be primed to fight a virus through vaccination.

Freedom is why we care about causation. These diseases used to affect thousands of children every year. But now we are free of their harmful effects.

Information acquired by the senses acts upon the system. The brain doesn't control what the senses acquire, it responds according to its architecture and memory function.

No, not that either. Where we decide to go, and what we decide to do, controls what we experience. What we choose to hear and what we choose to ignore controls the information that enters.

Goldberg brings his description of frontal dysfunction to life with insightful accounts of clinical cases. These provide a good description of some of the consequences of damage to frontal areas and the disruption and confusion of behavior that often results. Vladimir, for example, is a patient whose frontal lobes were surgically resectioned after a train accident. As a result, he is unable to form a plan, displays an extreme lack of drive and mental rigidity and is unaware of his disorder. In another account, Toby, a highly intelligent man who suffers from attention deficits and possibly a bipolar disorder, displays many of the behavioral features of impaired frontal lobe function including immaturity, poor foresight and impulsive behavior.''

The quote from Goldberg supports what I am saying. When he reports that a patient whose frontal lobe injuries prevent him from forming a plan and causing a lack of drive, he is reminding us that a normal brain forms plans and has such drive. "Drive" also goes by the name "will". And another patient Goldberg recalls, with attention deficits and bipolar disorder displays "immaturity, poor foresight and impulsive behavior". This also indicates that the normal brain is capable of deliberate conscious attention, foresight, and mature control of their behavior.

The point of the brain is to enable us to exercise some control, of ourselves and of our environment. Mental illness and brain injuries can compromise this normal ability to exercise responsible control. That is why a significant mental illness can constitute an undue influence that calls for medical and psychiatric treatment, rather than normal rehabilitation in a correctional facility.

What you select comes to mind in response to what you see on the menu and the tastes or aversions that have developed over your lifetime. You may have had a good idea of what to order before you arrived at the restaurant, which was probably chosen because its menu happens to appeal to your taste. Or feel adventurous, let someone make the choice for you - ''try this'' - come what may. Regardless, it's all information processing carried out by the brain and brought to conscious mind as events progress. Input, processing, response.

The process you're referring to is called "choosing". And, it is we ourselves, via our brains, that perform this choosing. And, as you mentioned, our choice will in all cases be reliably caused. Whether what we order in the restaurant is an old favorite, or whether we "feel adventurous" and want something new, or simply following the advice of a friend, it is still up to us to decide.

"Input, processing, response"? Yes. The menu is our input, the processing is us applying an evaluation of our options based upon any number of factors, but mostly our own interests, and finally the response, "I will have the steak dinner, please", the freely chosen "I will" that controls what happens next. The waiter brings us the meal, we eat it, and the waiter brings us the bill, holding us responsible for our deliberate act of placing the order.

Pattern Recognition;
''Neuroscientists have repeatedly pointed out that pattern recognition represents the key to understanding cognition in humans. Pattern recognition also forms the very basis by which we predict future events, i e. we are literally forced to make assumptions concerning outcomes,and we do so by relying on sequences of events experienced in the past.''

Right. Prediction is the first reason we care about causation. Without reliable cause and effect we cannot predict the outcome of our actions. Without the ability to predict the result of our action we will have no control of the outcome. And, without the ability to control what happens next, we have no freedom.

Reliable cause and effect gives us our ability to predict. The ability to predict gives us control. The ability to control what happens next gives us our freedom to do what we want to do.

And that is why "freedom from reliable cause and effect (causal necessity)" is an irrational notion. Without reliable causation there is no freedom to do anything at all. Freedom requires a deterministic universe. Every freedom we have, to do anything at all, is enabled by reliable cause and effect.

The hard determinist's interpretation of reliable causation, as a monster that strips us of our control and our freedom, is spreading a false view of reliable cause and effect. The fact that we ourselves have prior causes does not change the fact that we ourselves are the true prior causes of new events.
 
Top Bottom