Dglgmut

Two Points of View

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8 hours ago, anthony said:

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

By whom? God? Mankind?

Neither - obviously.

I was being ironic. I was adding on to what tmj said, also ironically.

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7 hours ago, anthony said:

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

If it were not in our biological makeup, how could it be hardwired?? That's the whole point.

Quote

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.

One doesn't have to know, that's also the point.... It's about creating behavior that is evolutionarily viable... You get upset when you lose a meaningless competition because you are hard wired (biologically) to compete (with other men, for eggs).

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7 hours ago, anthony said:

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.

You keep avoiding this issue: by THINKING ALONE. Of course action will lead to new emotions... I've repeated that several times now, I think I've even stated that I've repeated it several times now...

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6 hours ago, Peter said:

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.

This is my point about consciousness not being a binary quality. Or awareness, being the state of experiencing, which is core of consciousness.

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8 hours ago, anthony said:

Speak for yourself.

Just saw this. Note that thinking can act as a sort of exposure therapy, that doesn't mean that the changes that result (from the thinking) are consciously chosen. You cannot choose to value something that you don't value. You can only choose to open yourself up to new information.

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2 hours ago, Dglgmut said:

You keep avoiding this issue: by THINKING ALONE. Of course action will lead to new emotions... I've repeated that several times now, I think I've even stated that I've repeated it several times now...

 No, not simply by action - by identifications plus evaluations (of all those experiences). You already programmed them with value-judgments, consciously (good, bad, in between, so-so) and the subconscious returns the favor with your present and future emotional responses.

 

2 hours ago, Dglgmut said:

This is my point about consciousness not being a binary quality. Or awareness, being the state of experiencing, which is core of consciousness.

There wasn't a hint "consciousness" in plants that Bissell referred to or intended.

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9 hours ago, tmj said:

Tony

 

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.

 

That puts you ahead already, off to a flying start and no preconceived opinions.

We are asked to believe by science that brain chemicals and the brain cause emotions. The root "cause", mind.  Right away, one has to ask:

How does the brain- plus-chemical combo evaluate situations, circumstances, etc.,etc, -  by themselves?

Without an identifying/evaluating mind.

That's my next simple question: what causes the 'correct' chemical to flow to create the 'right' emotion (appropriate to your values in the given situation)? Anxiety, fear, delight etc.

These are some brainy brain chemicals, is all I can say!

The upshot is that we (our emotions at least) are controlled by chemicals. Which somehow "know" best for us.

 

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1 hour ago, anthony said:

 There wasn't a hint "consciousness" in plants that Bissell referred to or intended.

Not even a hint? Even the word "freedom"?

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On June 23, 2020 at 1:20 PM, 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" does contradict causality, as causality is understood in modern physics.  It violates the foundational conservation laws and Newton's third law of motion.  Hence a major problem.  I think the compatibility answers which have been offered amount to word games which make actual choice an illusion.

However, I shouldn't have blipped into this thread.  I'd been avoiding reading the thread, since I could see from the activity feed that Tony is  a major participant.  But then I noticed Wiiliam's reference to studies of the effects of early maternal deprivation, so I added a link about Harlow's experiments with monkeys.  Then I read a few posts and noticed your comment to which I replied. And, foolishly, I yielded to curiosity, wondering just what conscious process Tony thinks results in the almost universal phenomenon of pubertal interest in sex.  (Tony doesn't appear to understand the question.)

Anyway, I don't have time for trying to follow your and Tony's disputes, so......sorry for interrupting.

Ellen

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45 minutes ago, Ellen Stuttle said:

Anyway, I don't have time for trying to follow your and Tony's disputes, so......sorry for interrupting.

Ellen

You have always been the most (fill in the blank) brain on objectivist websites.     

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11 hours ago, Ellen Stuttle said:

"Free will" does contradict causality, as causality is understood in modern physics.  It violates the foundational conservation laws and Newton's third law of motion.  Hence a major problem.  I think the compatibility answers which have been offered amount to word games which make actual choice an illusion.

Hear, hear!

 

11 hours ago, Ellen Stuttle said:

However, I shouldn't have blipped into this thread.  I'd been avoiding reading the thread...

Yes, let's not go back to 2002. Stronger minds than Tony's have already covered the topic ad nauseam.

 

11 hours ago, Ellen Stuttle said:

(Tony doesn't appear to understand the question.)

Correct.

J

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14 hours ago, Ellen Stuttle said:

. And, foolishly, I yielded to curiosity, wondering just what conscious process Tony thinks results in the almost universal phenomenon of pubertal interest in sex.  (Tony doesn't appear to understand the question.)

Anyway, I don't have time for trying to follow your and Tony's disputes, so......sorry for interrupting.

Ellen

I must say I found the question surprising and superfluous. Does Ellen not know that there is a group of brain chemicals dedicated to emotionality, and another  -testosterone and estrogen - dedicated to sexual procreation? Or is she trying to trip me up?

Are these facts new to you? Clearly the flood of testosterone in an adolescent body is not preceded by his consciousness and value-judgments. They are solely biological, automatic. The others are.

 

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On 6/23/2020 at 7:20 PM, 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").

"Volition is not an exception to the Law of Causality; it is a type of causation". (AR or LP, I'm unsure)

I'd add to it, of SELF-causation. I 'd stick my neck out so far as to say that the Randian formulation doesn't recognize the old 'free will v. determinism' dichotomy. And that it's self-evident that man has a determining biological nature, and that individual men/women are born into far ranging backgrounds, upbringing, cultures, education, wealth, etc. And eras. These factors are all going to be influential, to varying degrees. However, what remains a constant: His "will" is free, his consciousness is volitional (not automatic, instinctual or omniscient) to address himself to reality and reason, or not. His volition extends to and determines the two all-crucial spheres: his conceptual knowledge - and his values and virtues. With knowledge and character, anyone has the tools for living, any time in any place, one would think. 

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5 hours ago, Jonathan said:

 

 

Yes, let's not go back to 2002. Stronger minds than Tony's have already covered the topic ad nauseam.

 

 

J

Damn right! One of whom was the insightful genius, Nathaniel Branden.

I've not seen anyone rushing to take him on on this subject.

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One would have to allow then, that the pubertal interest in sexual behavior is present/ changes in degree after a change in the endocrine system.

The presence of testosterone is at least correlated, or may be casual in changes of thinking .

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Free will is freedom to think and act or not on rational conclusions. That is where determinism stops and active, productive humanity begins.

--Brant

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17 hours ago, anthony said:

"Volition is not an exception to the Law of Causality; it is a type of causation". (AR or LP, I'm unsure)

I'd add to it, of SELF-causation. I 'd stick my neck out so far as to say that the Randian formulation doesn't recognize the old 'free will v. determinism' dichotomy. That it's self-evident that man has a determining biological nature, and that individual men/women are born into far ranging backgrounds, upbringing, cultures, education, wealth, etc. And eras. These factors are all going to be influential, to varying degrees. However, what remains a constant: His "will" is free, his consciousness is volitional (not automatic, instinctual or omniscient) to address himself to reality and reason, or not. His volition extends to and determines the two all-crucial spheres: his conceptual knowledge - and his values and virtues. With knowledge and character, anyone has the tools for living, any time in any place, one would think. 

I agree with all of this up until the last couple sentences. The knowledge you have, though it can take effort to obtain, is still very much determined by what you've been exposed to. Let's simplify this problem, because Rand made it very convoluted. How do you form memories? Is that volition or is automatic?

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On 6/24/2020 at 9:41 PM, anthony said:

How does the brain- plus-chemical combo evaluate situations, circumstances, etc.,etc, -  by themselves?

This is the problem of consciousness being experienced only from the first person. The chemical combination is conscious, that's what a person is. That's why a severe brain injury will end that consciousness.

 

I keep saying you are implying a duality because you are. "By themselves..." as if there is a separation. Those chemicals (and neurons, and electricity) are the observable aspect of the mind. You don't have a mind that is pulling the strings.

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18 hours ago, tmj said:

One would have to allow then, that the pubertal interest in sexual behavior is present/ changes in degree after a change in the endocrine system.

The presence of testosterone is at least correlated, or may be casual in changes of thinking .

Okay, highlighting the distinction between brain chemicals and hormones and their much different biological purposes. No doubt that the hormones do disrupt thinking and create a distraction. Can't live without them either.

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1 hour ago, Dglgmut said:

This is the problem of consciousness being experienced only from the first person. The chemical combination is conscious, that's what a person is. That's why a severe brain injury will end that consciousness.

 

I keep saying you are implying a duality because you are. "By themselves..." as if there is a separation. Those chemicals (and neurons, and electricity) are the observable aspect of the mind. You don't have a mind that is pulling the strings.

Eh? A brain that is conscious of itself? Chemical compounds are conscious? That's what "a person is"?

I didn't call for a separation ("by themselves"), the scientists have. I was ironically referring to the 'accepted knowledge' of the apparent cause of emotions. Which remains popularly unquestionable.

When they speak of dopamine causes this, a depletion of seratonin causes that, scientists are confusing the messenger with the message.

What causes them (the chemicals) - more accurately, their activity?

Do you have trouble with "integrationism"? By your explanations, you are invested in materialist monism it seems to me.

Oh, and the emotional "strings" originate in one's consciousness (which is conscious of reality, so the Primacy of Existence is incontrovertible and holds firm).

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1 hour ago, Dglgmut said:

. Let's simplify this problem, because Rand made it very convoluted.

!

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35 minutes ago, anthony said:

When they speak of dopamine causes this, a depletion of seratonin causes that, scientists are confusing the messenger with the message.

You're contradicting the fact that drugs can and do affect your mental state/emotions.

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1 hour ago, Dglgmut said:

You're contradicting the fact that drugs can and do affect your mental state/emotions.

I am not contradicting anything of medicine and biology. Obviously, extraneous chemical interventions will change bodily functions and possibly affect emotions. That is *their* designed purpose. Temporarily, anyhow.

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18 minutes ago, anthony said:

I am not contradicting anything of medicine and biology. Obviously, extraneous chemical interventions will change bodily functions and affect emotions. That is *their* designed purpose. Temporarily, anyhow.

So if the release of the chemicals happens without exogenous drugs, then it's the result of consciousness (self-programming). But if there are drugs involved you are interfering in the process that is normally restricted to the interaction between the mind and the brain?

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1 hour ago, anthony said:

By your explanations, you are invested in materialist monism it seems to me.

I just don't deny the determinst argument. I agree with most of it, but I don't think it rules out free will (compatibilism). The fundamental premise is that you can choose what you do, but you can't choose what you want. This is true.

 

But the part of determinism I do not agree with is that we are determined by external forces. We are affected by external forces, but we are self-determined to a great extent also. I do not rule out the concept of a self. I can predict that a plant will grow towards the sun, but does that minimize the plant's nature in my eyes? I don't think of it as the plant being a slave to its nature, I think of it as nature being intelligent. This is where the "random mutations" of evolutionary theory intersect with the problem of free will. We are ultimately a microcosm of the natural world (the universe).

 

This is why I point out that you keep minimizing the physical, observable aspect of the mind. They aren't "just" chemicals. They are chemicals, but "just" implies that you've completed the concept of what they are, and you haven't. Nobody has. You don't know exactly what they are or what they're doing. To point at chemicals as the source of consciousness does nothing to minimize consciousness. You have this lengthy process for how we consciously create our own psychology, but I don't experience what you're saying. I would bet almost everybody would disagree with what you are saying we do consciously. Not that the process is wrong, but you just say, "It's done consciously." Well, I say I don't do it consciously. I say I don't deliberately create memories. I just do it because that's something I'm naturally designed to do.

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