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 the definitive disproof of the free will argu
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skeptic griggsy
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USA
77 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2006 :  05:40:47  Show Profile  Visit skeptic griggsy's Homepage Send skeptic griggsy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Theists like Nelson Pike find that if we had free will and could do no wrong on Earth, we would be robots; that applies, without special pleading , also to Heaven .To maintain that matters are different in Heaaven is to special plead. John Hick[ argues with the all or nothing fallacy and a straw man , that we atheists demand paradise,but it is such as he who do and we demand such on Earth if in Heaven. Theists special plead, trying to have it both ways .Theodicy is just one rationalization after another!

Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism. Logic is the bane of theists.Religion is mythinformation. Reason saves, not a dead Galilean fanatic.

Neurosis
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675 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2006 :  12:11:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Neurosis an AOL message Send Neurosis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
We do not have free will even without god. But we may as well have it. Ultimately, we are robots. Our brains make most of our decisions for us without us knowing and only then do we make up an ad hoc excuse for why we did it. Conciousness has been shown to be an illusion. Anyone interested should read and hear Vilayanur S. Ramachandran MD, PhD.

Also, god cannot make something without knowing how it will operate. Knowing how it will operate means it has no free will. The same as a human making a robot. What can vary is the exposure the thing recieve in terms of experience that alter and effect how the patterning machine (brain) works toward those patterns. Of course, god knows these too.

Facts! Pssh, you can prove anything even remotely true with facts.
- Homer Simpson

[God] is an infinite nothing from nowhere with less power over our universe than the secretary of agriculture.
- Prof. Frink

Lisa: Yes, but wouldn't you rather know the truth than to delude yourself for happiness?
Marge: Well... um.... [goes outside to jump on tampoline with Homer.]
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2006 :  21:44:49   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
We do not have free will even without god. But we may as well have it. Ultimately, we are robots. Our brains make most of our decisions for us without us knowing and only then do we make up an ad hoc excuse for why we did it. Conciousness has been shown to be an illusion. Anyone interested should read and hear Vilayanur S. Ramachandran MD, PhD.


I would not be so decided on something which we know very little about. However, it certainly seems that way at the time being.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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Neurosis
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675 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2006 :  22:29:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Neurosis an AOL message Send Neurosis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
We need a working definition of "free will". Also, I was stating my conclusions based on what we currently understand. In the same way, we "know" that evolution will continue on because it has in the past, of course this could theoretically be interupted. Also, we "know" that we will find more evidence to support evolution because of what evidence we have already amassed, but we could find exceptions, theoretically. In either, case it is perfectly reasonable to say, "We humans evolved." Instead of, "We humans may have evolved." In the same way, I think it is ok to say we are governed by our brains even if we do not realize it. Some have even gone so far as to postulate "quantum reverse-time" solutions in order to reconcile the problems of concious recognition being behind (in time) action, or even action without conscious involvement. This is of course woo-hoo ad hoc reasoning in order to save the soul concept.

It really depends on what "free will" means. If it means make decisions ourselves, then yes we have free will, because even the unconcious decisions the brain makes is "us" making them. The concept of "me", is all of my human body. If it means we have the ability to be something other than the emmergent property of our brain then we do not.

Also, philisophically, [here is my real point dealing with the post] we cannot change any action we have the potential to impact. To do or not to do. This is not a question. We will make one decision or the other and it is decided for us beforehand by our previous experiences and genetics. In fact, if you really want to go back it was made for us by our parents parents parents parents.... because the rules of nature govern everything. It is hard to put into text but effectively, once this universe was formed everything including our decisions was set because nature has laws and everything follows those laws. The more of the variables we consider the less randomness we allow for until eventually we know everything and how it will turn out (the same as a god would) and thus all is "set in stone" as they say.

No matter how "random" any one interaction on a sub-molecular, molecular, cellular, or personal level may seem it was governed by something one step removed. This was my point about the inescapable free will infinite regress. God's interference is no more an issue than the brains inner computational interfereces or anthing else. Therefore, one cannot argue that free will is interupted because god reveals himself.

Facts! Pssh, you can prove anything even remotely true with facts.
- Homer Simpson

[God] is an infinite nothing from nowhere with less power over our universe than the secretary of agriculture.
- Prof. Frink

Lisa: Yes, but wouldn't you rather know the truth than to delude yourself for happiness?
Marge: Well... um.... [goes outside to jump on tampoline with Homer.]
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H. Humbert
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Posted - 12/08/2006 :  23:50:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Neurosis
Also, philisophically, [here is my real point dealing with the post] we cannot change any action we have the potential to impact. To do or not to do. This is not a question. We will make one decision or the other and it is decided for us beforehand by our previous experiences and genetics. In fact, if you really want to go back it was made for us by our parents parents parents parents.... because the rules of nature govern everything.

That is far from a settled question.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
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Original_Intent
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USA
609 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2006 :  08:58:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Original_Intent a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I always understood free-will to be pretty simple. In the abscence of the "fight or flight" response when the body overrides everything else, and even this can be controlled to some point by many through experience/discipline/practice. nt), we can do whatever we want to try to do. The consequences of those actions may not be to our liking, but we can still try to do it.

We are not robots. We have very few biological imperatives that must be fullfilled. The devil/god never makes us do anything, and nature makes us do very few things.

Even the one desicion or another gives us the freedom to choose those actions. Heredity/genetics can predipose us to a choice, but the freedom to choos is still ours.

Very interesting subject. Thans for starting it.

Peace
Joe
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Neurosis
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675 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2006 :  09:45:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Neurosis an AOL message Send Neurosis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Original_Intent

I always understood free-will to be pretty simple. In the abscence of the "fight or flight" response when the body overrides everything else, and even this can be controlled to some point by many through experience/discipline/practice. nt), we can do whatever we want to try to do. The consequences of those actions may not be to our liking, but we can still try to do it.

We are not robots. We have very few biological imperatives that must be fullfilled. The devil/god never makes us do anything, and nature makes us do very few things.

Even the one desicion or another gives us the freedom to choose those actions. Heredity/genetics can predipose us to a choice, but the freedom to choos is still ours.

Very interesting subject. Thans for starting it.

Peace
Joe



This is not true. When one examines such cases as split brain patients blind in one eye, we see that when exposed to a sign that reads "Leave the room." Although they cannot see it physically or even process it consciously, for that is literally impossable, they leave the room anyway! Leave the room! Then they make up an excuse to explain why they left the room and once they have, that becomes their experience. It cannot be proven to them that the sign made them do it. Just as the alien abductees cannot believe that what they "felt" wasn't real.

Another good example is anosognosia, patients that deny injury and paralysis. They cannot consciously percieve injury because the emotion associated with being injured is not delivered to thier conciousness. It can not be rationaly explained to them (especially in extreme cases) that they are injured because that is not their experience, sometimes they will even imagine they are moving their paralzed arm when they are not. Of course, to them it is as real as reality.

Blind sight is another good example. These are people who cannot see anything or consciously recognize their environment. However, part of them, the occipital lobe, can see it. They can never communicate with this part consciously, but when asked to guess where the light is. What feels like a guess to them is always correct (within reasonable accuracy). The brain knows where it is and when we guess about anything it is not a guess. Something that is just out of reach of consciousness tells us what to do.

Also, some stroke patients cannot percieve one side of their field of vision when the fusiform gyrus is damaged. This is called unilateral neglect and is similar to what is happening in the anosognosia patients. Somatosensroy is disrupted. It is literally impossible to see anything over on one side even though the eyes work fine. They "see" it but not on a conscious level. In fact, some patients have been observed to repeatedly reach into a mirror over and over again trying to get a pencil that was on the left of them (mirror on the right). Even though they understand what a mirror is, they still cannot recognize that there is a whole other world just to their left, even with the mirror and even with the doctor sitting there asking why they are reaching into the mirror.

There are tons of other example in medical textbooks everywhere. There are things we are conscious of and we have control over, but there is so much more, even things we could be in control of but aren't at the moment, going on it our heads. For instance, when a math solution or a problem is solve spontaneously in your head, that is because another part of you was working it without you knowing it.

If I ask you to move your finger at random, the part of your brain that prepares the finger to move first activates, then the part of you that decides which one lights up, meaning you have decided before you consciously decided. The reverse of this is deciding to move your pinky. If you decide to move a finger, rather than just any finger at a prompt then it can go the other way.

I am not talking about biological imperatives. I am talking about something bigger. I am talking about how the brain works on a smaller level to generate an emmergent property that is in many ways an illusion. Each cell "makes" its own decision based on a chemical presence or absence. Without complicating the whole discussion, I simply mean that what we think we are i.e. one person who makes decisions and ecetera is not what we are. Most of our decisions are made "for us" by another part of us out of reach of conscious awareness.

As for the philisophiocal theory I laid out. I simply mean that we are natural and of nature, as is everything else, nature has rules, the rules may even have rules, and mini rules may be in place. It doesn't matter. Something (rule) determined how something else (chemical interaction) happened. Everything has rules. Therefore, everything (including us) has followed these rules for as long as anything existed and thus the outcome was not variable and can never be, but only in the grand scheme of things. I am not sure anything can be gained from this realization. I do not mean to postulate a way of living or claim that people are not "responsible" for thier actions or anything. I simply mean in reality everything is and was governed and invariable. But as far as our purposes can ever reach it does not matter. We must view most things in relation to our tiny space of history and in that perspective deal with those things.

[Edited to add:]

Sorry, I forgot to address this statement:

"Even the one desicion or another gives us the freedom to choose those actions. Heredity/genetics can predipose us to a choice, but the freedom to choos is still ours."

The freedom of choice is ours to make. True enough. But how we make the decision is not dependent on what we think we are. As the above example of the split brain patients illustrates, we make decisions deep within us and then sort of make up reasons that are really emotionally driven by the limbic cortex and not the frontal cortex. It has its place that good old PFC, but really much more of who we are is programmed by emotional experience and attachment than any reason could undo or even deal with. We are our feelings more than our thoughts. BTW our genetic predispositions are part of "us". Even the biological imperitaves are part of "us". We lean one way or another at birth but based on emotional experiences with those predisposed actions we may completely override them. There are some experiments with rats, bells, and shocking deices you should check out it you get the chance. As the PFC is an extremely late developement evolutionarily, what else would we expect beside most of the control being in the hands of those other cortexes?

Facts! Pssh, you can prove anything even remotely true with facts.
- Homer Simpson

[God] is an infinite nothing from nowhere with less power over our universe than the secretary of agriculture.
- Prof. Frink

Lisa: Yes, but wouldn't you rather know the truth than to delude yourself for happiness?
Marge: Well... um.... [goes outside to jump on tampoline with Homer.]
Edited by - Neurosis on 12/09/2006 10:00:19
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Neurosis
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USA
675 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2006 :  09:49:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Neurosis an AOL message Send Neurosis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by H. Humbert

quote:
Originally posted by Neurosis
Also, philisophically, [here is my real point dealing with the post] we cannot change any action we have the potential to impact. To do or not to do. This is not a question. We will make one decision or the other and it is decided for us beforehand by our previous experiences and genetics. In fact, if you really want to go back it was made for us by our parents parents parents parents.... because the rules of nature govern everything.

That is far from a settled question.





I wasn't really postulating it as a settled question. More of a theory than anything else. But it is not possible to imagine it any other way. Science is all about determining and roping the variables. The variables, of course, are already roped by rules they follow. In effect, the variables are invariable. What we mere humans describe as variant or uncontrolled or chance is not actually in reality variable but instead follows rules. If this was not the case we could not repeat experiments or perform science at all could we? Please anyone who would like to critic my theory feel free.

Facts! Pssh, you can prove anything even remotely true with facts.
- Homer Simpson

[God] is an infinite nothing from nowhere with less power over our universe than the secretary of agriculture.
- Prof. Frink

Lisa: Yes, but wouldn't you rather know the truth than to delude yourself for happiness?
Marge: Well... um.... [goes outside to jump on tampoline with Homer.]
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2006 :  14:01:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
No matter how "random" any one interaction on a sub-molecular, molecular, cellular, or personal level may seem it was governed by something one step removed.


That is an assumption. We have observed it thus far. This does not mean it is always true.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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Neurosis
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USA
675 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2006 :  16:38:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Neurosis an AOL message Send Neurosis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ricky

quote:
No matter how "random" any one interaction on a sub-molecular, molecular, cellular, or personal level may seem it was governed by something one step removed.


That is an assumption. We have observed it thus far. This does not mean it is always true.



No it is not an assumption, because we have observed it (see definition two). Also, you can equally say that the earth may stop spinning any minute. It has yet to occur but may just do it. Should we expect to find stars that do not contain helium? It is possible perhaps but probably we will not find such stars. Although, such possiblities may occur we are not required to entertain such theory without evidence. If we did, then we could use the same "logic" to say that god can exist therefore we should live as though he does just in case. The opposite is true we should live as though he doesn't until sufficient evidence is found. Therefore, I am basing my theory on what we know currently and I have not discovered conflicting evidence yet. If I do, I shall adapt it into my conclusions.

Facts! Pssh, you can prove anything even remotely true with facts.
- Homer Simpson

[God] is an infinite nothing from nowhere with less power over our universe than the secretary of agriculture.
- Prof. Frink

Lisa: Yes, but wouldn't you rather know the truth than to delude yourself for happiness?
Marge: Well... um.... [goes outside to jump on tampoline with Homer.]
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Original_Intent
SFN Regular

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2006 :  17:37:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Original_Intent a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Neurosis

quote:
Originally posted by Original_Intent

I always understood free-will to be pretty simple. In the abscence of the "fight or flight" response when the body overrides everything else, and even this can be controlled to some point by many through experience/discipline/practice. nt), we can do whatever we want to try to do. The consequences of those actions may not be to our liking, but we can still try to do it.

We are not robots. We have very few biological imperatives that must be fullfilled. The devil/god never makes us do anything, and nature makes us do very few things.

Even the one desicion or another gives us the freedom to choose those actions. Heredity/genetics can predipose us to a choice, but the freedom to choos is still ours.

Very interesting subject. Thans for starting it.

Peace
Joe



This is not true. When one examines such cases as split brain patients blind in one eye, we see that when exposed to a sign that reads "Leave the room." Although they cannot see it physically or even process it consciously, for that is literally impossable, they leave the room anyway! Leave the room! Then they make up an excuse to explain why they left the room and once they have, that becomes their experience. It cannot be proven to them that the sign made them do it. Just as the alien abductees cannot believe that what they "felt" wasn't real.

Another good example is anosognosia, patients that deny injury and paralysis. They cannot consciously percieve injury because the emotion associated with being injured is not delivered to thier conciousness. It can not be rationaly explained to them (especially in extreme cases) that they are injured because that is not their experience, sometimes they will even imagine they are moving their paralzed arm when they are not. Of course, to them it is as real as reality.

Blind sight is another good example. These are people who cannot see anything or consciously recognize their environment. However, part of them, the occipital lobe, can see it. They can never communicate with this part consciously, but when asked to guess where the light is. What feels like a guess to them is always correct (within reasonable accuracy). The brain knows where it is and when we guess about anything it is not a guess. Something that is just out of reach of consciousness tells us what to do.

Also, some stroke patients cannot percieve one side of their field of vision when the fusiform gyrus is damaged. This is called unilateral neglect and is similar to what is happening in the anosognosia patients. Somatosensroy is disrupted. It is literally impossible to see anything over on one side even though the eyes work fine. They "see" it but not on a conscious level. In fact, some patients have been observed to repeatedly reach into a mirror over and over again trying to get a pencil that was on the left of them (mirror on the right). Even though they understand what a mirror is, they still cannot recognize that there is a whole other world just to their left, even with the mirror and even with the doctor sitting there asking why they are reaching into the mirror.

There are tons of other example in medical textbooks everywhere. There are things we are conscious of and we have control over, but there is so much more, even things we could be in control of but aren't at the moment, going on it our heads. For instance, when a math solution or a problem is solve spontaneously in your head, that is because another part of you was working it without you knowing it.



Alright, never assume anything....

I should have said in a person who is without a handicap such as CVA's, senile dementia, Traumatic Brain Injuries, chemical inbalances, etc.......


quote:

If I ask you to move your finger at random, the part of your brain that prepares the finger to move first activates, then the part of you that decides which one lights up, meaning you have decided before you consciously decided. The reverse of this is deciding to move your pinky. If you decide to move a finger, rather than just any finger at a prompt then it can go the other way.



If you tell me to move a finger, I can move a finger, or ignore you. I can also open my mind to the wider possibilities, like getting another cup of coffee. The OCD in me may scream at me to twitch a finger, but I can overcome that, in most cases, if I so choose to.

quote:

I am not talking about biological imperatives. I am talking about something bigger. I am talking about how the brain works on a smaller level to generate an emmergent property that is in many ways an illusion. Each cell "makes" its own decision based on a chemical presence or absence. Without complicating the whole discussion, I simply mean that what we think we are i.e. one person who makes decisions and ecetera is not what we are. Most of our decisions are made "for us" by another part of us out of reach of conscious awareness.

As for the philisophiocal theory I laid out. I simply mean that we are natural and of nature, as is everything else, nature has rules, the rules may even have rules, and mini rules may be in place. It doesn't matter. Something (rule) determined how something else (chemical interaction) happened. Everything has rules. Therefore, everything (including us) has followed these rules for as long as anything existed and thus the outcome was not variable and can never be, but only in the grand scheme of things. I am not sure anything can be gained from this realization. I do not mean to postulate a way of living or claim that people are not "responsible" for thier actions or anything. I simply mean in reality everything is and was governed and invariable. But as far as our purposes can ever reach it does not matter. We must view most things in relation to our tiny space of history and in that perspective deal with those things.



I don't buy it.
quote:

[Edited to add:]

Sorry, I forgot to address this statement:

"Even the one desicion or another gives us the freedom to choose those actions. Heredity/genetics can predipose us to a choice, but the freedom to choos is still ours."

The freedom of choice is ours to make. True enough. But how we make the decision is not dependent on what we think we are. As the above example of the split brain patients illustrates, we make decisions deep within us and then sort of make up reasons that are really emotionally driven by the limbic cortex and not the frontal cortex. It has its place that good old PFC, but really much more of who we are is programmed by emotional experience and attachment than any reason could undo or even deal with. We are our feelings more than our thoughts. BTW our genetic predispositions are part of "us". Even the biological imperitaves are part of "us". We lean one way or another at birth but based on emotional experiences with those predisposed actions we may completely override them. There are some experiments with rats, bells, and shocking deices you should check out it you get the chance. As the PFC is an extremely late developement evolutionarily, what else would we expect beside most of the control being in the hands of those other cortexes?



Emotion affects most of us, true... It's nature. But we are humans, and have the ability to decide whether nature, emotion or logic dictates our actions, and whether our lives are dictated more by emotion then by logic.

Their is a big difirence between conditioning in animals and in humans. You can ring a bell, and make a dog salivate. Certain reactions can be conditioned. People can be conditioned for reaction as well. It is a matter of what we do with the reaction.

Peace
Joe
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Neurosis
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USA
675 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2006 :  17:59:15   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Neurosis an AOL message Send Neurosis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What do you think advertising is? It is operant conditioning in humans. And no we don't have the choice to be emotional or not. While it is true that the PFC can override fear after it has occured it cannot do it before. We will always get scared it is not our decision to be scared if we are conditioned that way (see panic attacks, phobias, and brain damage cases where long term memory is lost*.) It also not our decision to like this or that or to perform any given action for the same reason. What we think is us is a total illusion, this has all but been proven by neuroscience. I don't think there is one single finding that indicates otherwise. Fear and sympathetic response is not different than anything else. If something is funny you will laugh, if something is sad you will cry. Only after the emotional cascade has occured can you then choose to stop it because it only then that you even recognize it is happening. All of the functions of the brain, all neuropathology, that has yet to be studied work the same way to achieve a different result. To say that fear is somehow different than another emotional state (even if that state is neutrality) is a conclusion without evidence.

We are animals. As much as we do not want to admit it, we are not that far ahead of our furry friends.

After a huge amount of discipline and training one can rise above the more silly illusions ad faulty thinking but even the brightest amoung us often revert back to that more simplistic emotional logic from time to time. All of the evidence points to hidden emotion driven and autonomic processes deep out of reach within the brain that leads to our decisions and the consciousness is more of a story teller spinning yarns and creating false logic than anything else. I do no deny that we are more logical than the rest of the animal kingdom, I simply realize that we have been emotional animals far longer than thinking tool using hominids and the evidence backs me up.

*It is intersting to read about patients with long term memory loss. Damage to the hippocampus prevents new memories from forming (at least consciously) yet these same people can be conditioned to fear hand shakes if a pin is place in the hand upon greeting them. They cannot remember or consciously process the pin prick experience after it has occured as the long term memory cannot be formed but they still generate a fear of hand shakes and cannot know why. They will, however sometimes make up excuses for such phobias.

You guys should read Descartes' Error and other similar books. The consciousness of the human mind and all his thinking is linked to inner workings. We should expect that actually, as all neuropathology is a consequences of independently working cells, no one of which has a "consciousness".

Facts! Pssh, you can prove anything even remotely true with facts.
- Homer Simpson

[God] is an infinite nothing from nowhere with less power over our universe than the secretary of agriculture.
- Prof. Frink

Lisa: Yes, but wouldn't you rather know the truth than to delude yourself for happiness?
Marge: Well... um.... [goes outside to jump on tampoline with Homer.]
Edited by - Neurosis on 12/09/2006 18:05:09
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Neurosis
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USA
675 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2006 :  18:15:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Neurosis an AOL message Send Neurosis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Original_Intent
Alright, never assume anything....

I should have said in a person who is without a handicap such as CVA's, senile dementia, Traumatic Brain Injuries, chemical inbalances, etc.......



In neuroscience, we study those with abnormalities in order to understand how the brain works. Split brain is not an abnormality per say either, it is simply when the left brain can't communicate with the right, and since this creates effectively one person controled by two brains it illustrate the unseen war that goes on in our heads. The right brain made the person get up and leave because it saw the sign, but the "person" could not.
quote:

If you tell me to move a finger, I can move a finger, or ignore you. I can also open my mind to the wider possibilities, like getting another cup of coffee. The OCD in me may scream at me to twitch a finger, but I can overcome that, in most cases, if I so choose to.




This is a red herring and has nothing to do with the point at hand. The point was that your brain decides which finger to move before "you" even heard the question. I never said you must obey others commands, I said you must obey your brain, the unconcious part that picked the finger for "you".

quote:

I don't buy it.



Please elaborate. Or is that your emotional non logical side talking?

Facts! Pssh, you can prove anything even remotely true with facts.
- Homer Simpson

[God] is an infinite nothing from nowhere with less power over our universe than the secretary of agriculture.
- Prof. Frink

Lisa: Yes, but wouldn't you rather know the truth than to delude yourself for happiness?
Marge: Well... um.... [goes outside to jump on tampoline with Homer.]
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Original_Intent
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USA
609 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2006 :  21:25:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Original_Intent a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Neurosis

What do you think advertising is? It is operant conditioning in humans. And no we don't have the choice to be emotional or not. While it is true that the PFC can override fear after it has occured it cannot do it before. We will always get scared it is not our decision to be scared if we are conditioned that way (see panic attacks, phobias, and brain damage cases where long term memory is lost*.) It also not our decision to like this or that or to perform any given action for the same reason. What we think is us is a total illusion, this has all but been proven by neuroscience. I don't think there is one single finding that indicates otherwise. Fear and sympathetic response is not different than anything else. If something is funny you will laugh, if something is sad you will cry. Only after the emotional cascade has occured can you then choose to stop it because it only then that you even recognize it is happening. All of the functions of the brain, all neuropathology, that has yet to be studied work the same way to achieve a different result. To say that fear is somehow different than another emotional state (even if that state is neutrality) is a conclusion without evidence.

We are animals. As much as we do not want to admit it, we are not that far ahead of our furry friends.

After a huge amount of discipline and training one can rise above the more silly illusions ad faulty thinking but even the brightest amoung us often revert back to that more simplistic emotional logic from time to time. All of the evidence points to hidden emotion driven and autonomic processes deep out of reach within the brain that leads to our decisions and the consciousness is more of a story teller spinning yarns and creating false logic than anything else. I do no deny that we are more logical than the rest of the animal kingdom, I simply realize that we have been emotional animals far longer than thinking tool using hominids and the evidence backs me up.

*It is intersting to read about patients with long term memory loss. Damage to the hippocampus prevents new memories from forming (at least consciously) yet these same people can be conditioned to fear hand shakes if a pin is place in the hand upon greeting them. They cannot remember or consciously process the pin prick experience after it has occured as the long term memory cannot be formed but they still generate a fear of hand shakes and cannot know why. They will, however sometimes make up excuses for such phobias.

You guys should read Descartes' Error and other similar books. The consciousness of the human mind and all his thinking is linked to inner workings. We should expect that actually, as all neuropathology is a consequences of independently working cells, no one of which has a "consciousness".



You are confusing bodily reaction, desires, fears, etc. with the choice on how to act on them. Laughter is easy for me to control. I can refuse to laugh, no problem. Crying... I am a sap.... Anger, I get mad..... But when I cry I can control my actions when doing so. Same with anger. I can be mad as hell, and choose not to strike out at the object or person who has illicited that response.

Do you reconcile your line of thinking with Descartes? (mind distinct from body?)

Peace
Joe
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Original_Intent
SFN Regular

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2006 :  21:42:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Original_Intent a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Neurosis

quote:
Originally posted by Original_Intent
Alright, never assume anything....

I should have said in a person who is without a handicap such as CVA's, senile dementia, Traumatic Brain Injuries, chemical inbalances, etc.......



In neuroscience, we study those with abnormalities in order to understand how the brain works. Split brain is not an abnormality per say either, it is simply when the left brain can't communicate with the right, and since this creates effectively one person controled by two brains it illustrate the unseen war that goes on in our heads. The right brain made the person get up and leave because it saw the sign, but the "person" could not.
quote:

If you tell me to move a finger, I can move a finger, or ignore you. I can also open my mind to the wider possibilities, like getting another cup of coffee. The OCD in me may scream at me to twitch a finger, but I can overcome that, in most cases, if I so choose to.




This is a red herring and has nothing to do with the point at hand. The point was that your brain decides which finger to move before "you" even heard the question. I never said you must obey others commands, I said you must obey your brain, the unconcious part that picked the finger for "you".

quote:

I don't buy it.



Please elaborate. Or is that your emotional non logical side talking?



The left brain not being able to communicate with the right seems to be pretty abnormal to me.

As far as the finger thing.... Even if my brain decided on which finger to move, and the subconcious choose which finger to move, I can still decide not to move any. I can wait a moment and move anyone of them but the one I first want to move. I can Obsses about it for a moment or two, and move one at random.

I understand the neuroscientifc free will expermints, I just don't think they effect my life to any degree of importance.

Peace
Joe
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Neurosis
SFN Regular

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2006 :  22:03:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Neurosis an AOL message Send Neurosis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Original_Intent
You are confusing bodily reaction, desires, fears, etc. with the choice on how to act on them. Laughter is easy for me to control. I can refuse to laugh, no problem. Crying... I am a sap.... Anger, I get mad..... But when I cry I can control my actions when doing so. Same with anger. I can be mad as hell, and choose not to strike out at the object or person who has illicited that response.

Do you reconcile your line of thinking with Descartes? (mind distinct from body?)

Peace
Joe



Crying is an action. Duh! And no you cannot control your laughter. If you could you would never burst out laughing at somthing funny even if it is inappropriate to do so. Tickling is a perfect example. Do you know why we are ticklish? Look it up in a medical neurology textbook it will also explain to you what makes something funny (if you are unable I will explain it next post).

Again, you miss the point entirely. I said nothing of being a rager (although some are). You make decisions no matter what they are, whether they are the normal expected response or any other, in your brain before you are consciously aware that you made them. This is the point. All decisions arise from the cellular chemical level up, never in reverse. Chemical cascades incite one another based on the strength of the previous pathways formed based on genetics (to what degree it is unclear, but it seems a good deal) and past experiences which build them chemically. The fear response is conditioned within you without any conscious involvement and whatever it is that you call consciousness is also conditioned in you physically the same way, being altered by your experience. Not the other way around.

Please entertain this illustration:

When you get angry you act in any manner of ways. The way you choose to act is based on what you have been programmed to do. If you believe it to be bad to blow up, you will not. If you cannot help it you will smash your car window. It doesn't matter what you do. The decision was programmed into you by socialization, and this competes with nature (actually several programs are always competing in our head, we call this guilt and conscience). Either way you follow the program. Also, as with the mice example, the natural program always trumps when it is reinforced no matter what program has been conditioned. The connections never die, they are simply rerouted.

There is no difference between a robot that is programmed and you. We have even created simple robots that can program themselves through experience (although they are as about as advanced as a one year old, and really no where near as complex). This is how you are programmed also. And you cannot break this programming without reprogramming.

As for Descartes. Mind is not distinct from body. End of story on that. The mind is an emmergent property of the brain, no brain no consciousness, or mind. (see phineas gage, and other examples of pre frontal ambutation)

Also, desires are all we are. One desire may win out over the other. When we are socialized we are taught that good feelings come with doing good. Of course, we can substitute any action as a good action so long as it generates reward emotionally (which is chemically). Therefore we may decide to neglect one desire of ours in order to generate the emotional reward that we were conditioned to recieve by another. Of course, genetics are in place to pre-determine these rewards also. Sex for example is rewarding. Some creature will have sex in the face of immediate danger, or even have sex until they die. Others are more reserved. It is evolutionarily stable to for-go sex in order to survive and have more sex, so this is not surprising. Never the less a reward (emotional, chemical) must be recieved or this activity will be neglected in exchange for the other. Which is why you probably don't spend all day having sex or have sex in broad daylight etc.

Again, I am not saying that consciousness does not exist. I am saying that bottom up decision making fits the data, top down decisions do not.

Facts! Pssh, you can prove anything even remotely true with facts.
- Homer Simpson

[God] is an infinite nothing from nowhere with less power over our universe than the secretary of agriculture.
- Prof. Frink

Lisa: Yes, but wouldn't you rather know the truth than to delude yourself for happiness?
Marge: Well... um.... [goes outside to jump on tampoline with Homer.]
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