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3 hours ago, anthony said:

Lust? How conscious is that? ?...........

I wonder if you noticed that you didn't answer - or even make a stab at addressing - the question.

Ellen

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From "the particular" (this trade, today's sunrise, this water, etc.etc). to "the general" (all trades, all sunrises, all oceans) IS induction. And it requires cognitive effort to avoid drawing f

Top down and bottom up are not either-or. They are mental frames for perceiving and mentally processing reality. You need both to get a clear picture. Choosing one over the other is linear t

You might also want to check out Harlow's monkeys: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Harlow Ellen

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1 hour ago, anthony said:

The person is a slave to his random effusion of brain chemicals and that explains why his emotions are a). beyond his understanding b). beyond his volition c). always "perfect" in every situation d). a spiritual connection to others.

Random effusion of brain chemicals?? Random? This isn't a response to me, because I've been talking about evolutionary benefits for our biology and physiological systems. That's far from random.

a) I've been going over how to understand and why to understand one's emotions many times throughout this thread.

b) This is true. It's beyond your volition, but you can choose to stoke that emotion, or try to ignore it, or try to change it by doing something.

c) This is the second time you've said this as if responding to something that nobody has ever said.

d) Emotions seem to be evidence for certain spiritual connections, if you want to call them that.

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3 hours ago, anthony said:

I saw results of a study: "Testosterone is found to override judgment".

Let me try my psycho-babble setting. Gong to the beach or just walking through the mall can induce the phenomenon, but I think there is a “time limit” since the last “time” and the hormonal levels that govern the physical responses. The mentality of the subject then channels that “urge” to previous experiences or upon seeing something new, directs the desire for action at the new subject. Emotions can be stifled, (or is the word stiffed?) and physical changes in the subject’s body curtailed, but it requires more decisiveness in a person more prone to hormonal responses.   

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2 hours ago, anthony said:

You think a child abandoned in the bush would  -instinctively - know to avoid snakes or any possibly dangerous animals?

I don't know exactly, it was a rough example. We are definitely hard wired to notice some things more than others; some things have more evolutionary importance to us.

 

Let me just say that I think you are characterizing my stance as the opposite of yours, when it isn't. It's in between... I think they both fit together somehow (compatibilism).

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1 hour ago, Ellen Stuttle said:

The problem of how "free will" (volition) works is solvable.  I know how to solve it in principle, but I need help with the mathematical particulars from a physicist who understands what I'm going for.  My husband, who's a physicist, is fully competent to handle the math, but he doesn't quite get the "gestalt."  He's too influenced in his notions of biology by Aristotle and Rand.

Ellen

Do you mean to explain free-will (a force that is apparently beyond, or outside of, causality) in causal terms? I believe that is doable in theory, but Rand and Tony are tying to explain it as something that contradicts causality ("the science is rubbish").

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2 hours ago, Dglgmut said:

I don't know exactly, it was a rough example. We are definitely hard wired to notice some things more than others; some things have more evolutionary importance to us.

 

Let me just say that I think you are characterizing my stance as the opposite of yours, when it isn't. It's in between... I think they both fit together somehow (compatibilism).

 

2 hours ago, Dglgmut said:

 

We are definitely hard-wired to... Please tell me some things we are "hard wired" to do or feel.

Come on, I need a list. 

You've a misconception of compatibilism, also "integrationism", in which a mind- body dichotomy doesn't exist.

But we've disposed of the Snake Myth, at least.

But that list...

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3 hours ago, Ellen Stuttle said:

I wonder if you noticed that you didn't answer - or even make a stab at addressing - the question.

Ellen

If you want to know how "conscious" the effect of testosterone is on the body, I can't help you more. That's pure biology. This discussion is about emotions, the combination of psycho-physical. .

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2 hours ago, Dglgmut said:

Do you mean to explain free-will (a force that is apparently beyond, or outside of, causality) in causal terms? I believe that is doable in theory, but Rand and Tony are tying to explain it as something that contradicts causality ("the science is rubbish").

Free will can only "contradict causality" if it contradicts the nature of consciousness. Identity and causality are identical, basically, the latter the action-identity..

If volition is the attribute of a mind it has no contradiction. Not employing it is a self-contradiction.

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 You stated "Of course science has essentially proven that the chemicals come before the thought".

In other words - CAUSE the thought.

This is hard determinism - and rubbish. It may already have been rubbished by some scientists, those who are not totally committed reductive-materialsts.

A scientist who goes along with that pseudo-science fantasy may well be better advised to turn to free -will. At very least there's self-evidence to show for a volitional mind.

I gave the example nobody refutes, of a repetitive physical action - practising a golf swing - which gets gradually embedded in the brain's neural network.

So - one doesn't need to reconsider the action every time one picks up a club. It has been SELF - PROGRAMMED in the brain.

Just like learning to drive a car, a mental-physical habit. A skill which initially began with volitional, conscious thought and continued sub-consciously.

But you cant go the step further and consider that one does the same with matters of judging one's values, far more important to one's life, which are self-programmed in the subconscious mind.

The process is identical, the brain makes further pathways for this new input - value-judgements - and responds to the commands of the subconscious with appropriate brain chemicals. Voila - an emotion.

 

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Voila , now it seems silly that god gave us brain chemicals , I mean sure nonrational animals need them, but for us they just seem redundant. Emotions come from pure thought , a reasoned response. Why experience the chemically induced sensation/ perception at all ? Emoting , algebra same same !

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3 hours ago, tmj said:

Voila , now it seems silly that god gave us brain chemicals , I mean sure nonrational animals need them, but for us they just seem redundant. Emotions come from pure thought , a reasoned response. Why experience the chemically induced sensation/ perception at all ? Emoting , algebra same same !

Amusing, but that overlooks that mankind is animal, albeit the rational one with a (volitional) conceptual mind. Emotions I need repeat, because I have been consistently taken out of context and misrepresented, have their source in one's conscious value-judgments, automated in the subconscious; the chemicals automatically respond with flooding parts of the brain. Without the brain chemicals and their physiological effects, you wouldn't "feel" or know if you were happy or sad.

But I don't mind, no need to seriously look into that explanation when it runs against the popular opinions that emotions are magically-given or only biological. I.e. "god" or meat.

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17 hours ago, anthony said:

 You stated "Of course science has essentially proven that the chemicals come before the thought".

In other words - CAUSE the thought.

The whole point of compatibilism is that you accept this as true, while still maintaining that free-will exists. You know what else came before the thought? Your brain. You don't deny that, right?

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The snake myth was not disposed of. The brain automatically responds to snakes differently than it automatically responds to other animals, or other people.

 

You didn't address this point: "If you believe values are consciously chosen, that means significant psychological improvements can be made by thinking alone. This simply doesn't happen. Do the same things in the same environment and you will continue to feel the same (or more of what you were already feeling)."

 

I've already given you many examples of our hard wiring... you can give me your list of ways people can reprogram themselves by thinking alone.

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Free-will is not going to be explained linearly because it is paradoxical by nature. It's essentially the concept of a thing created by itself.

 

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I gave the example nobody refutes, of a repetitive physical action - practising a golf swing - which gets gradually embedded in the brain's neural network.

So - one doesn't need to reconsider the action every time one picks up a club. It has been SELF - PROGRAMMED in the brain.

Just like learning to drive a car, a mental-physical habit. A skill which initially began with volitional, conscious thought and continued sub-consciously.

None of this has anything to do with emotion and whether you make value judgments consciously or unconsciously.

Quote

But you cant go the step further and consider that one does the same with matters of judging one's values, far more important to one's life, which are self-programmed in the subconscious mind.

There's no connection between repeating an action and consciously making value judgments. The thought "this is good for me" is not conscious, but you can consciously experience the feeling associated with that.

 

Have you ever been too emotional about losing a meaningless competition? That wasn't because your conscious value judgments were uncalibrated, it's because you are hard wired to compete for a scarce resource that is vital to human propagation.

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10 hours ago, tmj said:

Voila , now it seems silly that god gave us brain chemicals , I mean sure nonrational animals need them, but for us they just seem redundant. Emotions come from pure thought , a reasoned response. Why experience the chemically induced sensation/ perception at all ? Emoting , algebra same same !

Apparently the way emotions work for all other animals has been completely re-engineered for humans. I've never heard of evolution taking steps backward before going forward again, but I'm not complaining because it worked out in our case!

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1 hour ago, Dglgmut said:

Apparently the way emotions work for all other animals has been completely re-engineered for humans. I've never heard of evolution taking steps backward before going forward again, but I'm not complaining because it worked out in our case!

"...has been..re-engineered for humans."

By whom? God? Mankind?

Neither - obviously.

There's neo-religionism that usually creeps in with any sort of 'specie-ism'. Dg, do your own thinking, you've been absorbing others' scientism premised on "evolutionism".

In the process you show elementary errors about evolution.

It should be common knowledge that Homo Sapiens arose from the family of animals. And ALL that this branch has to distinguish itself is his reasoning capacity.

Therefore, man's conceptual and evaluation capacity gave rise to a ¬much¬ more sophisticated emotional capacity compared to animals. 

You look you identify you choose and the value-choices become lodged in the subconscious. Reminding you in the form of emotion responses.

Re-engineered emotions is then a specie-ist fallacy.

Rather: "built upon" (the animal nature) and taken up by every individual and his free will. And often not.

Absorbing, but logical, how skeptics and materialists only invent further religions.

 

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2 hours ago, Dglgmut said:

None of this has anything to do with emotion and whether you make value judgments consciously or unconsciously.

There's no connection between repeating an action and consciously making value judgments. The thought "this is good for me" is not conscious, but you can consciously experience the feeling associated with that.

 

Have you ever been too emotional about losing a meaningless competition? That wasn't because your conscious value judgments were uncalibrated, it's because you are hard wired to compete for a scarce resource that is vital to human propagation.

"The thought - this is good for me - is not conscious". Wow. What is there to reply to an unconscious thinker and unconscious self-valuer, the ultimate self-contradiction?

"Hard-wired to compete" (for a scarce resource, human propagation etc,etc)

Yes as I predicted, you cannot come up with "hard wiring"which is not 1). in our biological makeup 2). learned knowledge.

How does one know "scarce resources and human propagation" without consciously learning of them and integrating them? These are advanced concepts. You have to get 'scarce' and 'resource' and 'human' and 'competition' before you can make that (illogical) statement.

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1 hour ago, Dglgmut said:

 

 

"If you believe values are consciously chosen, that means significant psychological improvements can be made by thinking alone. This simply doesn't happen.

 

 

Speak for yourself.

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1 hour ago, Dglgmut said:

Free-will is not going to be explained linearly because it is paradoxical by nature. It's essentially the concept of a thing created by itself.

D,

One could say that of the big bang, if that ever happened.

🙂

Incidentally, I don't agree with the term "paradoxical by nature." But you are right that free will is both a thing and a concept referring to that thing. btw - I'm fine with the term "paradox" rather than "paradoxical by nature" since such paradox only refers to the abstraction, not to the nature of the thing abstracted.

To Ellen's point below, I think free will is something much simpler than anything that needs math to explain how it works.

We observe birds flying and we know flying exists as part of reality. We observe the sun coming up and setting every day and we know that solar cycles exist as part of reality. We observe predators stalking and killing prey and we know that stalking and killing exist as part of reality. We can learn more about each of them as we study them and measure them according to standards we devise, and we can observe things around them, and we can study the the how of them descriptively, if you will, but not why they came into being from nothing. (Incidentally "coming into being from nothing" or "always existing" are both systems, stories, made up by humans to explain the reality they observe. But they can't verify those stories. They can only tell them and keep observing.)

In that sense, we observe ourselves and others exercising free will and we know free will exists as part of reality.

Trying to find an explanation to free will through systems that were created and learned using free will is, in a sense, free will creating itself. But that's only free will being used by a human to create the abstraction of itself, not itself per se. Paradoxes don't exist in nature. They only exist in human systems of thought when observations don't match the systems.

And, frankly, humans can't even verify that since they would need to have a faculty of eternal and omnipotent observation to do so. They can only observe patterns within their reach and make systems to explain them, or express the most consistent patterns that have nothing to compare them against by axioms.

Thus...

Free will exists because it exists. A is A.

Those who don't see (or find trivial) the difference between the thing and the abstraction of it will call this a tautology. Those who do see the difference will call both the proposition and the thing it refers to a fundamental law of nature.

(What I like best about this second manner of approaching the issue is that abstraction is not divorced from reality, but instead part of it. Abstraction falls under nature as something that exists, so to speak. Thus I, as an abstractor, fit into the universe as part of the universe, obeying--even at the abstraction level--the same laws that I observe in the universe, and am not just a giant detached eyeball floating around looking at existence and making up stories about what the eyeball sees. I belong here in the most literal sense possible. 🙂 )

22 hours ago, Ellen Stuttle said:

The problem of how "free will" (volition) works is solvable.  I know how to solve it in principle, but I need help with the mathematical particulars from a physicist who understands what I'm going for.  My husband, who's a physicist, is fully competent to handle the math, but he doesn't quite get the "gestalt."  He's too influenced in his notions of biology by Aristotle and Rand.

I am curious about what Ellen is seeing... She tends to find the most fascinating things to contemplate.

Michael

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2 hours ago, Dglgmut said:

 

I've already given you many examples of our hard wiring... you can give me your list of ways people can reprogram themselves by thinking alone.

A list. How about - everything? Within reality. From basic self-programming of actions (getting that tennis serve right) -- to what you think, value (or dis-value) and self program about e.g. Guns? the person one married? a fight with a co-worker? the importance of integrity? the sensation of walking barefoot on a beach? Capitalism?

Self-programming is a continuous life-process, every minute more stuff is arriving in the subconsciousness - - through one's consciousness alone. "Out of sight out of mind" ...   hey?

Well, no.

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-isms sound worse than covid. But as long as  the disease doesn't make you an -ist , you can enjoy the benefits of inoculation. 

A nonspecieist , an ardent one at least, would identify differences in capacities without normative judgements.

 

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15 minutes ago, tmj said:

-isms sound worse than covid. But as long as  the disease doesn't make you an -ist , you can enjoy the benefits of inoculation. 

A nonspecieist , an ardent one at least, would identify differences in capacities without normative judgements.

 

One can't exist, not to add, thrive,  without making ongoing normative judgments about entities.

In fact, you made one right there.

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Tony

To be honest , I don't yet have a dog in the emotion fight. I'm not even sure what is meant by an 'emotion', do we mean the experience of 'one'? is it the perception of a sensation? are there different categories, is hunger one? if not why not?

There's so much I don't know, I'm comfortable with the idea I can't evaluate any one explanation/description as correct , let alone be sure that that is possible.

I'm not pushing back on your argument, just your argument .

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1 hour ago, anthony said:

A list. How about - everything? Within reality.

I looked for some old data and letters that mention the words “wired,” and “hard wired” and here are some samples. Peter

INTERVIEW WITH JACK WHEELER by Karen Reedstrom MAY 1996

Q: You have made first contact with primitive tribes. What do you do when meeting a new people who know nothing of modern culture?

Wheeler: Be very friendly. (Laughter)

Q: What do you say to them?

Wheeler: You don't say anything, you just smile an awful lot.

Q: Is that pretty universal to every culture?

Wheeler: It's not only the smile, but all kinds of gestures. There's all kinds of non-verbal communication that are "hard-wired" in us. Shrugs and facial gestures that a person who has never seen somebody from the outside world will understand, and so you can communicate with them.

From: Ellen Lewit To: atlantis Subject: Re: ATL: Re: Reply to Luka on determinism (was  blame/compatiblism) Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2001 17:13:41 -0500 . . . . We are all familiar with the actions of dogs, cats, dolphins, primates and other animals who exhibit a greater intelligence bordering on the conceptual. As far as I know conceptualization and speech are learned skills.  A few apes (some chimps and a few gorillas) have learned from humans how to do the conceptualization available to small children.  Children learn from other humans like their parents.  Without a teacher, the child is extremely unlikely to learn to speak, to use words and to conceptualize on a wide scale.  The capacity to speak and think are hard wired, but it takes learning to actualize it.

From: "Gayle Dean" To: "Atlantis" Subject: ATL: The Argument Against Egoism Date: Sun, 21 Jan 2001 20:40:32 -0500 Follows is a snippet from Rob Bass'es website: No doubt, you can give me half a dozen reasons that this wouldn’t be a very good way for the world to be, and so could I. I won’t try to list them but I’d just point out that these altruists, if they’re not stupid, could see these reasons, too. In effect, they’d be seeing that a world in which everybody tries to promote the overall good doesn’t achieve as high a score (in terms of overall good!) as a world where people have less universalistic, less egalitarian and less altruistic motivations. So, if their altruistic motivation isn’t just hard-wired into them, they would have reasons, in terms of altruism, to alter it – to become more concerned about their particular interests and less concerned about the overall good.

From: AchillesRB Rationality, Morality, Human Freedom, and Determinism--part 2 by Roger E. Bissell. I have already offered my analysis of what is going on when a person says he "could have done otherwise," so I hope it is clear that I do not think there is literally such a thing as free will in the sense claimed by Objectivists. And that I instead adopt the view that we are, in a very important respect, freer than the animals from being determined solely by a combination of wired-in responses and concrete-level awareness, and the view that we and the animals are all "free" in the sense of being relatively autonomous centers of self-directed action (which "freedom" breaks down when we are the victim of sufficiently severe injury or disease and we become, as it were, ~incapacitated~, whether temporarily or permanently). We do indeed see everywhere various kinds of things that people ~call~ "free will," but ~none~ of them is properly understood as true freedom to do "otherwise than one did." Just because one experiences a series or menu of alternative actions that one ~might~ take does ~not~ mean that one ~could~ take any one of them. Instead, it can only mean that one ~will~ take one of them, the one chosen, and that that choice is not free in the sense of being undetermined by anything (including one's values and knowledge), but only in the quite different sense of being less determined by present-bound considerations than is true for animals, and in the other quite different sense of being autonomous, i.e., relatively less determined by environmental and physiological pressures than by the various weights of ones values and knowledge.

From: RogerEBissell To: atlantis Subject: ATL: Response to George on Volition, Identity, and Causality, 12/26, part 1 Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2001 23:10:44 EST . . . . Even on the vegetative level, living action is ~very~ complex, and that very complexity is a serious obstacle to trying to demonstrate that plants are deterministic creatures. They seem to have "degrees of freedom" wired in to their DNA. What's going on here? Surely, this is ample evidence that determinism simply does not apply in the biological domain whatsoever -- let alone in the more cerebral (!) area of mind- body and free will.

From: "Peter Taylor" To: atlantis Subject: ATL: Fetal Consciousness Date: Thu, 07 Jun 2001 04:25:22 -0000 It has been argued that Consciousness in a baby that has gestated for 28 week is not a valid prerequisite for the imputation of rights. I maintain that the moment that a baby becomes conscious is the moment that it becomes a person. From that first moment onward, sensations and perceptions in and out of the womb are experienced, memories are stored, a unique neural network is continuously being “wired” and “rewired” in the infant’s brain, yet this new person has an identity that will remain the same throughout its life . . . . The first instance of a consciousness consciously observing reality and identifying elements within reality is when the entity first becomes conscious. It is when a baby goes beyond simply reacting to physical stimuli, such as shying away from a bright light shone on a mother’s abdomen, and the first time that VOLITION can be observed. The 28 week old to 32 week old fetus VOLITIONALLY pays attention to, and responds to sounds, tastes, touches and sights within the womb. A Memory Network is being hardwired.

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