Jump to content
Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Scudbuster

A Universe Not Made For Us

862 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

Mr Walker
On 11/17/2019 at 2:52 AM, Horta said:

Deepak Chopra would be proud of that. I notice that for something that you think is a fundamental property of the universe, you still seem unable to offer any sort of definition lol.

Think I'll stick to the well established and observable fact that the mind arises directly out of the physical processes of the brain. This unavoidably assigns a causal chain to every conscious and unconscious outcome. Have you managed to find a real physical "mind" yet, to study? 

true until the bolded part Then it falls apart.

We choose what we think and thus what we do. You cannot arise from a chair  without first thinking of it and commanding your body to act.

There are many options and choices available, even if we only choose one which forms a chain  That chain  only exists AFTER our choices, not before.   

Thus there is no determinism when it comes to human thought.  We are not determined by prior thoughts, experiences, or anything.  We are indeed some what limited by language, experience etc but within those limitations we can choose think, and do, (or at least attempt to do)  anything at all. 

and yes neuro scentists and others have not only located a real physical mind. The y can tell which patterns of energy form which thoughts, words, body movements, etc The y can exchange pasterns of energy between minds  to swap images and words  They can remove parts (memories)  for the mind and add parts to it artificially The y can attach a mind to a computer and thus wirelessly direct a machine anywhere around the world  eg drones and deep sea welding equipment  or on the body eg powered exo skeleton and prosthetic for people , by thought (mind) alone  

The mind is a directed and controlled organic machine,  fueled by the human body and energised by electro- chemical energy Damage the machine which powers it and you damage the mind   BUT it is not the machine,  Indeed, in large part, it directs and controls the machine.

Edited by Mr Walker
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Horta
On 11/19/2019 at 10:13 PM, RabidMongoose said:

You have been told several times human beings behave probabilistically and non-deterministically.

Once again (and I'm getting a bit tired of asking), where is your experimental evidence for this claim? Please provide the experiments that demonstrate that the physical nervous system from which all human behaviour is derived, and thus the resulting behaviour, is non deterministic.

Please provide the experiments where precisely identical brain states, lead to different thoughts and patterns of behaviour. That would be fascinating, as it is certainly not the consensus amongst neuroscientists.

There are lots of things we can't predict, yet we know they are still determined.

If you could provide it (which you don't seem able to, or you would have by now) so what?

 

Quote

You have also been told the difference between determinism and non-determinism. You dont know what you are talking about and wont listen to anybody correcting you. So you are now having a debate on your own.

...and you have been told why this is irrelevant to claims of libertarian "free will". You offer nothing as yet which would make it relevant.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Horta
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Will Do
14 minutes ago, Horta said:

from which all human behaviour is derived

 

All human behavior is derived from unique personal free will choices:D

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lightly
5 minutes ago, Will Due said:

 

All human behavior is derived from unique personal free will choices:D

 

 

You had no choice but to say that...and I had absolutely no choice but to respond with this.  

I'm going to eat a cinnamon roll now...but it was't really my idea.   I have no choice in the matter.   :lol:

 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Will Do

 

I think what @Horta has been saying is that humans are no different than animals.

But persons are more than animals.

However, animals never commit suicide, and the main difference between them is that persons are the sons of God. :tu:

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Horta
On 11/19/2019 at 11:55 PM, lightly said:

I dunno,  machines are not ALIVE.  People are.   I'm not convinced they can ever be 'equals'.  People seem to be unique amoung living things as well?   Is any other living thing capable of murder?   Not killing, but pre-meditated murder?   How about suicide?  Not to stop eating because master ,or mate, died...but the concious and considered act of suicide?    I dunno

 

Those things exist in nature, though there is no human behavioural model for suicide in the rest of nature. But other critters don't have complicated human brains, and as it is the human mind itself that is causative in suicide, it seems anthropomorphic to expect it. There is plenty of self destructive behaviour in nature that results in death though. Especially concerning altruism.

Machines might never be alive (depending on definition), but they might very well be "conscious" eventually. The brain is a physical computational system as far as we know, so there is no reason "in principle" why it can't be replicated, other than having the required technology. 

We now know there is no magical elan vital substance required for biology, it is a result of chemical evolution. It requires only physical matter. Similarly we know there is no special consciousness "substance" required for the mind, it arises out of brain function.

These things don't speak to "free will" anyway. For our will to be "free" this way, our mind has to be causally free of the brain states that give rise to it to begin with. Then there has to be some other (non physical) mechanism for volition. There is no known mechanism for this to happen and it is logically incoherent anyway. To freely and consciously will something, requires you to know what you wish to will before you will it, otherwise it is simply random. It makes no sense. What seems to happen is that it simply arises from the processes of the brain and then appears in our awareness.

There are all sorts of conditions (such as hemi-spacial neglect) where due to brain damage people are unaware of anything one one side, yet the brain still takes in sensory information and parses it, makes decisions and even react to physical events. Yet the person has no idea why these things happen, their consciousness is unaware of the reasons for any of it. There are also split brain patients who have fundamentally different beliefs, depending on which side of the brain is active .Though the most basic example is...no brain activity=no mind at all. Not much freedom of the will there.

 

 

Edited by Horta
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Horta
57 minutes ago, Will Due said:

 

I think what @Horta has been saying is that humans are no different than animals.

But persons are more than animals.

However, animals never commit suicide, and the main difference between them is that persons are the sons of God. :tu:

 

 

If our ability to suicide is the distinguishing gift god gave us from the other critters (because he loves us so much, no doubt), that's probably not worth crowing about Will.

We are certainly more than animals to ourselves.

But objectively, we are mammals in the kingdom Animalia. Closely related to the other extant ape species.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Horta
On 11/20/2019 at 11:05 PM, joc said:

I kind of disagree with something here.  I think we do indeed consciously choose what it is that we will.  It is in the choosing consciously that gives rise to the appearance of thoughts from our subconscious memory.  These are the thoughts that seemingly come from out of the blue.  Because the subconscious is constantly cataloging and extracting data.  The subconscious isn't a judge of anything....it simply extracts data to support the current conscious thought process.

We appear to choose it after the fact, yes. To be able to consciously choose what you want to will, would require you to also know what you wanted to will, before you willed it. This makes no sense.

There was at one stage the claim that people had "free won't" (lol). When simple experiments showed that human volition occurred and decisions were already made in the brain before people were consciously aware of them, the claim was that they could be then either chosen or vetoed. Sadly for this idea, it looks like the same unconscious processes are causing "free wont" as well. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Horta

ps. It's the same with thoughts. "We" don't create our thoughts consciously. To purposely create our thoughts we would need to know what we wanted to think before we thought it...thoughts simply appear in our awareness. We don't always accept them or act on them though, we choose (which doesn't necessarily imply "free" will). For healthy people, it all seems consistent, we have the illusion that a little conscious "us" is creating our thoughts and we are happy enough. For people with various conditions such as schizophrenia this process can amount to a living nightmare though.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Will Do

Oops :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lightly
4 hours ago, Horta said:

ps. It's the same with thoughts. "We" don't create our thoughts consciously. To purposely create our thoughts we would need to know what we wanted to think before we thought it...thoughts simply appear in our awareness. We don't always accept them or act on them though, we choose (which doesn't necessarily imply "free" will). For healthy people, it all seems consistent, we have the illusion that a little conscious "us" is creating our thoughts and we are happy enough. For people with various conditions such as schizophrenia this process can amount to a living nightmare though.

I'm still trying to wrap my old brain around what your explaining..it's new to me ,.but, it is starting to make more sense to me...

thanks for your patient explanations.   As for the bolded ^ ... I like to think ..and sometimes I choose a subject I want to think about...I suppose my subconscious could have made that choice...  It seems like I do .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cookie Monster
4 hours ago, Horta said:

ps. It's the same with thoughts. "We" don't create our thoughts consciously. To purposely create our thoughts we would need to know what we wanted to think before we thought it...thoughts simply appear in our awareness. We don't always accept them or act on them though, we choose (which doesn't necessarily imply "free" will). For healthy people, it all seems consistent, we have the illusion that a little conscious "us" is creating our thoughts and we are happy enough. For people with various conditions such as schizophrenia this process can amount to a living nightmare though.

Then its back to those tubes of neurons which are theorised to have quantum behaviour going on in them and where thoughts (and free will) arise from.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Horta
37 minutes ago, RabidMongoose said:

Then its back to those tubes of neurons which are theorised to have quantum behaviour going on in them and where thoughts (and free will) arise from.

Ok, explain the relevance of microtubules to "free will". Neither Penrose nor Hameroff have been able to. They seem to think this allows for the mind to exist outside of the body (no one believes it) but they don't explain how it amounts to "free will".

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cookie Monster
6 minutes ago, Horta said:

Ok, explain the relevance of microtubules to "free will". Neither Penrose nor Hameroff have been able to. They seem to think this allows for the mind to exist outside of the body (no one believes it) but they don't explain how it amounts to "free will".

You mean you dont believe it?

Its blatantly obvious that the mind might be centred in the head but extends out beyond the confines of the skull. Everything you experience of reality is a perception created by your mind, yet your can see your perceptions all around you. Your perceptions are outside of your head.

As it happens my exact position is that the core mind has primacy. It comes before space, time, and matter, and then higher levels of mind come into existence as the result of space, time, and matter. You have reduced yourself down to being the product of a specific collection of scientific theories. I suspect most of which will get chucked out over the coming centuries so why lock yourself into them?

Be open minded, and a final point allow yourself to see the holes and inconsistencies in current theories. Like I have told you, you cannot exactly describe a universe made out of building blocks using mathematic formulas that give irrational numbers as answers. Mathematic based physics will get thrown out in the future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
joc
7 hours ago, Horta said:

To be able to consciously choose what you want to will, would require you to also know what you wanted to will, before you willed it. This makes no sense.

I'm not really sure what you are trying to say here but it sounds like...we have no free will.   I beg to differ.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ai_guardian

I'm 100% with Horta on this, there is no free will, there is only an illusion of one. This knowledge however, should you accept it, is only useful in existential pondering as we are still held accountable for our actions and should be so. As already pointed out, our brain is an extremely complex state machine, and our apparent 'choices' are merely results of the intricate battle for 'attention' (read entering awareness) of groups of activated neurons based on weights & measures of previous battles and firings resulting from myriads of inputs. Our 'choices' are post-choices, as has already been mentioned, studies show that the state machine makes a choice (ie. there's a winner in the ongoing battle for 'attention') before the 'I' actually knows who the winner is - the making of a choice, that we feel was our free will, is merely the self owning the decision. This, I hazard a guess, is similar in feeling as has been found recently with deja-vu postdiction whereby a deja-vu subject feels and knows what will happen in the immediate future (and I have had many of these), only for it to be confirmed, HOWEVER, as with my own experiences, it turns out that the subject does not know what will happen and they cannot and NEVER do predict but rather postdict ie. feel like that is what they predicted after the fact.

With regards to the complex and intricate state machine I'll throw in a simple (by our standards but in reality much much more complex) example of one making a choice. Preamble: our memories, ALL OF THEM, are stored in interconnected patterns of neuron activity, they are interconnected in very complex ways, by categories, by timing etc. etc. Now suppose you are browsing the web, as a result of some other 'choice' and all of a sudden the thought 'I have to fill in and send off that application for that fireman job I saw advertised in the employment section of the local paper'. That thought unbeknownst to the 'I' was triggered by something as simple as the color red that just loaded on a web page in your browser. That same color also triggered, NOT in this order: apple, blood, bull, traffic signal, danger, alert, fire engine, fireman, tons of other patterns, and also "fireman job application". Why did that win? Because, perhaps, one of your other recent thoughts was "I hate my work" (as a result of previous similar triggering), "we need toilet paper" yes - lol (associated with newspaper), "I'm hungry" (yes, associated with kitchen, where you left the paper). So yes, by weights & measures, the job application thought wins and you go and make yourself lunch. Huh? Why? Because previous 'procrastinator' patterns, and your "I'm hungry", "Is there an apple I can snack on?", thoughts (read neuron activity patterns) just won the battle! You've made the 'choice' to defer the application and go and open the fridge - you own your action, you were not free to make it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Horta
9 hours ago, RabidMongoose said:

You mean you dont believe it?

No, I mean as a hypothesis the Orch OR model has gained no traction at all amongst the relevant scientific community. It is considered to be verging on "quantum woo". Penrose is at least gracious about this and happily acknowledges that it is little more than a personal belief (and he is an otherwise good scientist/mathematician). It's good that people are trying to scientifically explore such possibilities, however unlikely they are.

Quote

Its blatantly obvious that the mind might be centred in the head but extends out beyond the confines of the skull. Everything you experience of reality is a perception created by your mind, yet your can see your perceptions all around you. Your perceptions are outside of your head.

No, it isn't blatantly obvious at all. It's only obvious in the same way that the earth appears blatantly obviously flat, but isn't really. Everything we can experience is created by the brain, so this makes the last part contradictory. These claims really need something to back them up experimentally. So far experiments with this (we can artificially create the effect of being external to the body) indicates that our intuitions about such things can be very misleading.

Quote

As it happens my exact position is that the core mind has primacy. It comes before space, time, and matter, and then higher levels of mind come into existence as the result of space, time, and matter. You have reduced yourself down to being the product of a specific collection of scientific theories. I suspect most of which will get chucked out over the coming centuries so why lock yourself into them?

So you are saying the underlying, fundamental aspect of mind exists in "no time, no space and no matter"? This will sound a bit odd to you, but I'm open to a very similar possibility (based on properties of light, though mostly from personal experience) yet I realise that nothing really supports it. I would go further and say it is completely devoid of any notion of "self" (or "free will"), if it really exists. 

It (experience) is also far more likely to have prosaic explanation and is generally accepted as having just such an explanation. The only reason I am still open to the possibility is that physical explanations don't seem to entirely rule out the more exotic possibilities (certainly don't rule them in either).

I have no problem accepting verified science and reason as a basis. That's not a bad thing at all IMO.

This has nothing really to do with "free will".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Horta
9 hours ago, joc said:

I'm not really sure what you are trying to say here but it sounds like...we have no free will.   I beg to differ.

Few take the time to really understand it, before rejecting it, that's normal. The arguments against it usually make that obvious. It's also understandable why, the intuition that we have an entirely (causally) free "us" in our heads running things is very strong. Its your prerogative to believe as you wish, obviously.

The (rough) translation of Shopenhauer says it very simply "Man can indeed do what he wants, but he cannot will what he wants."

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Horta
13 hours ago, lightly said:

I'm still trying to wrap my old brain around what your explaining..it's new to me ,.but, it is starting to make more sense to me...

thanks for your patient explanations.   As for the bolded ^ ... I like to think ..and sometimes I choose a subject I want to think about...I suppose my subconscious could have made that choice...  It seems like I do .

Really that depends on the definition of "you". If you mean the entire "you" including all of the processes of the brain (both conscious and unconscious), then "you" are the proximate cause for the lot of it and take responsibility for it.

In the deeper sense though, there is far more to it. Both psychologically and physically. The physical world relies on cause and effect. Including the brain, which is a physical system. "We" (the supposed little "us" in our heads) are simply oblivious to the countless preceding physical and psychological causes, so it appears that "we" create our thoughts and volition anew, as if out of nowhere. That it is somehow it's own cause (which is impossible). Or that somehow our thoughts don't arise from the brain, but from somewhere else and then they control the brain (aka mind/body substance dualism). Science has found no real support for this (quite the opposite). If you really look at it deeply, it becomes very obvious.

Ever since the original very simple Libet experiments indicated an unlikelihood of "free will" in any meaningful sense, academics (particularly philosophers) seem to have detested the idea (neuroscientists have far less problems with it). It is probably the predictive nature of the later experiments that rankles (prediction is improving with technology, to well over 80% accuracy).Yet it's strange that it should be controversial at all really. All it illustrates is that the brain activity that causes conscious volition and choice, precedes said volition and choice. How could it do anything else? What would really be amazing is if they found that conscious thought or volition preceded the brain activity that caused it (that would surely amount to magic!).

"We" make lots of choices. We rarely have any idea of the many causes that determine these choices though. Thus we think they are "freely willed". Genuine choice itself seems to be an illusion. If any particular given brain state can only lead to one possible outcome, where was the choice? 

If an element of randomness allows for different outcomes for the same brain state, it gets worse. Randomness by its nature is unaffected by the will of anything.

There are both scientists and psychologists who are starting to view the (psychological) "self" itself, as an illusion (as in "not what it appears to be", not that it doesn't exist). It seems strange that Buddha said much the same thing 2,500 yrs ago (assuming he existed that is).

 

Edited by Horta
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Horta
10 hours ago, ai_guardian said:

As already pointed out, our brain is an extremely complex state machine, and our apparent 'choices' are merely results of the intricate battle for 'attention' (read entering awareness) of groups of activated neurons based on weights & measures of previous battles and firings resulting from myriads of inputs. Our 'choices' are post-choices, as has already been mentioned, studies show that the state machine makes a choice (ie. there's a winner in the ongoing battle for 'attention') before the 'I' actually knows who the winner is - the making of a choice, that we feel was our free will, is merely the self owning the decision. This, I hazard a guess, is similar in feeling as has been found recently with deja-vu postdiction whereby a deja-vu subject feels and knows what will happen in the immediate future (and I have had many of these), only for it to be confirmed, HOWEVER, as with my own experiences, it turns out that the subject does not know what will happen and they cannot and NEVER do predict but rather postdict ie. feel like that is what they predicted after the fact.

Have had deja-vu experiences too. They can seem convincing.

There is a train of thought that this process can possibly also play a part in certain delusions. Such as when people believe they can control external events (the weather for instance), by an act of their own will.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
XenoFish

Oh look, an echo chamber. I'll be on my way now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
joc
2 hours ago, Horta said:

Few take the time to really understand it, before rejecting it, that's normal. The arguments against it usually make that obvious. It's also understandable why, the intuition that we have an entirely (causally) free "us" in our heads running things is very strong. Its your prerogative to believe as you wish, obviously.

The (rough) translation of Shopenhauer says it very simply "Man can indeed do what he wants, but he cannot will what he wants."

 

Shopenhauer was wrong!  That is a conclusion that Shopenhaurer reached on his own apparently.  We all make mistakes you know.  Did you reach this conclusion yourself or are you just taking Shopenhaurer's conclusion as your own?

I think it's kind of ridiculous actually.  There are things we can change.  There are things we cannot change. We cannot 'will' that it stop raining.  But we can have a desire to not get wet in the rain and 'will' into being something like an umbrella.  I just don't get your whole argument.  I think it is based on a false premise at best.  Actually...it is it's own false premise.  Which is why few take the time to understand it...because few have the patience to attempt to understand or explain idiocy.  And that is what this argument is.  Not calling you any names...just saying the whole idea is quite idiotic. Imho

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lightly

...if I see a tiger about to leap on me...does it make much difference if the decision to MOVE arises from the subconscious before entering  conciousness?   Does it matter where the  WILL to move  initiates?  

      Or maybe , the subject is just beyond the capabilities of my understanding.    

 

 

Edited by lightly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Noteverythingisaconspiracy

Its because of stuff like this that I never had much interest in philosophy. Just live a your life a well as you can and enjoy the ride.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Horta
On 11/24/2019 at 11:56 PM, joc said:

Shopenhauer was wrong!  That is a conclusion that Shopenhaurer reached on his own apparently.  We all make mistakes you know.  Did you reach this conclusion yourself or are you just taking Shopenhaurer's conclusion as your own?

Luckily for Shopenauer, a fervent belief that human will is magical doesn't amount to a rebuttal. Also luckily for him, everything we understand about the universe so far indicates he was correct. You realise that the truth or otherwise of paranormal claims such as yours, doesn't hinge on how fervently you wish to believe them? What do you have to support your belief?

Quote

I think it's kind of ridiculous actually.  There are things we can change.  There are things we cannot change. We cannot 'will' that it stop raining.

Smallpox can change things too (quite dramatically), can't stop the rain though, has it got free will?

Quote

  But we can have a desire to not get wet in the rain and 'will' into being something like an umbrella.  I just don't get your whole argument.  I think it is based on a false premise at best.  Actually...it is it's own false premise.  Which is why few take the time to understand it...because few have the patience to attempt to understand or explain idiocy.  And that is what this argument is.  Not calling you any names...just saying the whole idea is quite idiotic. Imho

Where is the false premise? Care to explain it? The mind and will have biology as their basis. This means it arises as a result of a causal chain (and can never really be "free"). For the will to be "free" it has to be free from causation, otherwise it is like everything else, determined by the laws of nature. Unless you go the quantum woo route, which makes it random. This means the "free" part is an illusion. 

This is like arguing with a creationist who neither understands evolution, nor their own claims. Libertarian "free will" is acausal, unconstrained by the physical forces of nature, it's free from causes, otherwise it isn't "free" will it's garden variety "will" that results from a very long chain of causes. Can you explain how the last 13.8 billion years evolution of the universe up to this moment, has no effect on your "will" nor has it played any part in the resulting conditions that you call "free will"? How did appear, is it it's own cause? If you don't believe that the mind and the will have a basis (ie. their cause) in biology (which makes them determined), what is it then? Is there is some magical free will fairy dust in our heads? How can it exist in our universe without cause, does it cause itself? 

It might be wise to ease up on the idiocy claims for things you can't understand, as your own belief is up there with religious claims that a fairy in the sky is controlling things (and has the same level of support) .

Edited by Horta
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.