> On Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 3:48 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@...>wrote:
> " you will find that the word intelligence never included the possibility
> > of inanimate objects in the first place.
> That's because the very word "inanimate" means something that does not do
> complex things like turn carbon dioxide, water and nitrogen in the air into
> wood and strawberries and cotton, or behave intelligently like animals and
> especially human beings.
It's simpler than that. Inanimate means it can't move and it's not
alive. Something could still do complex things like crystallize into
diamonds or reflect and magnify an image and still be inanimate.
> Until very very recently the dividing line between
> animate and inanimate seemed very sharp and even philosophers, who worry
> about the damnedest things, didn't worry about it much. But times change
> and that razor sharp line is fast turning into a big grey blob. And
> actually in the real world there are very few razor sharp lines between
That's what I had been thinking too for a long time, and I think it is
an important part of the story, but we may be looking at it too
closely and obscuring the truth rather than revealing it. The line
between life and death or life and non-life may not be all that
blurry, it's only when we look at the universe on other scales that it
seems that way.
> " your your brain is wired to support *your* personal agenda"
> Then it's deterministic.
Sometimes it drives our agenda, sometimes we drive it's agenda. We are
two different views of the same thing.
> > "It's heredity, environment, and choice."
> It's heredity, environment, and randomness.
That's where we disagree and that is not random. I choose to disagree
with your view. I am not genetically bound to disagree, nor does my
environment completely dictate my opinion. I know that is the case
because I used to agree with that view of free will. If I see it your
way, then your opinion is irrelevant blather, since under a different
environmental circumstance or if your genes were different, or if some
random quantum nothingness turned into somethingness in just the right
way, then you would agree with me and there is nothing you can do to
change it. Do you not see that it is impossible to care about what you
write here if those three options were truly the only options?
> > "They feed back on each other. Your choices can influence your environment
> > and vice versa."
> OK, but both positive and negative feedback loops are deterministic.
Sure, but we still have choices sometimes. Very often we have some
degree of choice, sometimes we have a wide degree of latitude to be
creative and make choices, and once in a while we make we can choose
to change our entire life.
> " Where does the 'own free will' come in"
> Cannot comment, don't know what ASCII string "own free will" means.
Does denial work for you generally?
> > " Haven't you been arguing this whole time that the universe is
> > deterministic"
> I have to ask myself why I bother to continue this debate when you aren't
> even trying, you aren't even paying attention. From day one I said that
> some things are not deterministic.
Yes, but you've been saying that whatever isn't deterministic must be
random. Neither of us disagree about randomness, so that leaves
determinism vs determinism + choice.
>I also said something that I would have
> thought was uncontroversial even if a bit dull, I said everything is
> deterministic or it is not. But you disagree, you say some things are not
> deterministic but also not not deterministic, and such fuzzy thinking is
> not the path to enlightenment.
Choice is not deterministic and also not random. That is what I am
saying. A yellow traffic signal is not red and it is not green. Acting
like I am suggesting some mystical koan is just bullying. It's you who
are denying the obvious role of free will in our every conscious
moment. It is you who chooses to put your fingers in your ears at the
sight of the words - not your heredity or environment or randomness
but your. free. willlllll.
> > " and that's why there is no (ASCII expletive deleted)?"
> And the ASCII string "free will" does exist and I have never denied that,
> but I don't know what it means and neither do you. Cows say "Moo" duck say
> "quack" and people say "free will".
I have actually never come across anyone who argues for free will. All
of the people who moo and quack I have come across say 'simply' and
'can only be one way or the other'. I'm not saying that just to
respond to you, it's a legit observation from literally hundreds of
hours of conversations with people who say exactly the same thing as
you are in exactly the same way. It's like I'm watching Fox News or
> " somethings happen because we choose one reason over another."
> And we choose one reason over another for a reason or we did not. Is this
> matter really worthy of debate?
It's not a debate because you aren't willing to consider that the
plain truth is a possibility. When I type now, I could say anything. I
can say trampoline isotope, or I can make up a word like cheesaholic.
It's not random. There were other possibilities but I choose those
words intentionally. They appealed to me aesthetically. I like them.
You can label that a reason but it's not a meaningful way to think
about it. It unasks the question instead of examining what the truth
is. What does it mean to like something? What does it mean to choose
among things that we like equally? Why does this experience exist of
liking and choosing if it's really only random or deterministic? I
think the answer is very straightforward. We exist. Our identity is
real and causally efficacious. We are not just a bundle of effects,
but we are able to yoke those effects together as a cause of our
choosing. That is free will. It may not be 100% free at any time, but
it is as free as free could conceivably be. In our own minds we are
nearly magic. We can create worlds that can't even exist.
> > "Didn't I list for you some examples of what free will means?"
> Yes you did, and didn't I show that every one of those examples was
> circular or ended with a word like "pick" or "choose" or "prefer" as if
> that settled the matter, but that did not settle the matter because there
> was always a very very obvious question that just begged to be asked
> regarding them.
Free will is a primitive so of course you have to use pick or prefer.
If you could reduce it to other terms, it wouldn't be primitive.
> > " Free will the difference between voluntary and involuntary control of
> > the body.
> Free will is gibberish but consciousness is not. If its voluntary then you
> have conscious control over what your body does
Conscious control is free will. They mean the same thing.
>, if it's involuntary then
> you do not. Thus we must conclude that there is a lot of things going on in
> the brain that have nothing to do with consciousness; for example, we
> seldom voluntarily become very sad, but often we do so nevertheless.
Definitely, consciousness is just the tip of the iceberg. The
overwhelming majority of what goes on in the psyche and the brain is
not under our control or within our direct awareness.
> I can control some things like the muscles in my fingers but I can not
> control the muscles in my heart. My car's computer can control the air fuel
> ratio in the engine but it can't control the pressure in the tires.
No, that's a false analogy. Nothing controls the pressure in the tires
except the natural circumstance of their use. Our heart is not under
our control but it is under the control of the cells of the heart and
the brain. The fact that we the experience of control of anything at
all is actual evidence of free will. That experience could not
logically exist in a universe that was only deterministic or random.
> "Free will is the feeling of active participation in one's own life."
> Free will is the feeling we get from not knowing what the result of a
> calculation will be until we have finished the calculation
Let's test that out. Did you kill the neighbors with a flame thrower
on purpose? No, I just had the feeling that I didn't know what the
result of the neighbors dying by me burning them alive with a flame
thrower calculation would be. Do those two things that mean the same
Your definition makes both accidents and intentional acts impossible.
All events can only be irrelevant mixes of randomness and automation.
> " Free will is the difference between premeditated murder and accidental
> > manslaughter."
> Free will is the gibberish responsible for the criminal justice system
> being logically inconsistent and thus inevitably ending up being such a bad
Do you think that skidding into a pedestrian who falls into the street
is the same as hunting down a business rival and slitting their
throat? The two actions are both ok with you. Someone could sneak into
your room while you are sleeping tonight and poke your eyes out with
nine inch nails and any thought of tracking that person down and
preventing them from hurting other would be gibberish? Have you
considered that this opinion might be a tad simplistic?
> " Free will is the ordinary process by which we choose to express ourselves
> > in words and gestures."
> Did one mind choose to transfer information from his mind to another mind
> for a reason, or did one mind choose to transfer information from his mind
> to another mind for no reason?
I can't transfer information to anyone's mind. I can only write and
others can choose to read. Returning to this theme of 'is it black or
white' only reminds me that most people are not willing to entertain
truths beyond their own preconceptions. There are many reasons, none
of them are particularly important. What is important is that it is
what we want to do.
> " Free will is choosing between many ambivalently weighted options or
> > creating new options"
> That's collation and computers are good at that sort of calculation. And a
> hurricane is the size and intensity it is for many many reasons and all
> those reasons interact with each other in astronomically complex ways; so
> does a hurricane have free will?
Neither computers nor hurricanes create new options. We don't really
know about their experiences though. They are so different from us it
seems unlikely that any experience that they might have would be one
we could relate to.
> " If a car manufacturer puts a radio in it's cars, does that mean that
> > radio comes from automotive engineering?"
> > " I have in fact suggested that consciousness is selected for directly by
> > a chain of recursive qualitative augmentations to
> > sensorimotive-electromagnetism. Detection of detection --> sensation.
> > Sensation of sensation --> feeling ---> perception ---> awareness --->
> > consciousness."
> You have a talent for bafflegab and thus could have a bright future in
> psychology as well as philosophy.
I'm saying that free will seems to be a quality that builds
progressively through perception.
> "If that were the case then being unconscious should not affect someone's
> > intelligence"
> But the only way to test for unconsciousness is by observing if their
> behavior is unintelligent.
No, that's a way of testing for someone else's unconsciousness. We can
detect our own consciousness irrespective of whether our behavior
seems intelligent to other people.
> In your case you are hamstrung even more
> because you don't believe that a person doing smart things is any
> indication that they are smart. So not only don't you have a test for
> consciousness you don't even have a way of knowing if someone is
You can tell whether a person is conscious or intelligent by looking
at them and talking to them. That is not the case for a computer
simulation which is designed specifically to fool an audience into
thinking it is conscious and intelligent.
> "and someone's IQ should determine whether or not they are conscious."
> Perhaps it's true, perhaps people with a boiling water IQ are more
> conscious than average people, there is no way to know.
Sophistry again. Why not just admit that I'm right for once?
> > " You've got it backwards. You can only be intelligent when you are awake
> > or aware."
> If you say so. Watson acted intelligently, thus Watson was intelligent (for
> some bizarre reason you refuse to take this step) thus Watson was awake or
Watson is not truly intelligent. Watson is a storage device for pre-
loaded answers to trivia questions with a fast retrieval algorithm.
That's trivial intelligence if you like, but it has no awareness and
no understanding. It's an automated filing cabinet. The human mind is
similar to that, but it's more than that too.
> " everything else being equal a intelligent animal will survive better and
> >> have more offspring than a stupid one"
> " If that were true than the overwhelming majority of animals would be
> > very intelligent.
> No because everything else is not equal. For 90% of the 4 billion year
> history of life Evolution didn't know how to make anything intelligent and
> only in the last .001% did it manage to come up with something very
> intelligent, like us. Also intelligent animals are big, reproduce slowly,
> and require much more fuel than small stupid fast breeding frugal
> creatures; but as I said everything else being equal a intelligent animal
> will survive better and have more offspring than a stupid one
Ants and bees seem like intelligent insects, yet they are small,
reproduce quickly and require little fuel. Beetles out-reproduce them
> " You and every other intelligence is conscious as far as I know. I have no
> > evidence or intuition to the contrary."
> At last something I can agree with completely and without reservation.