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Old 19th April 2018, 05:16 AM   #521
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Originally Posted by Tommy Jeppesen View Post
The joke is that, because if we only did that, rationalize afterwards, then your claim would be a rationalization after the fact and thus not a reasoned, with logic and evidence answer. So in your answer you gave evidence for that some humans use reason, logic and evidence and not just give a rationalization after the fact.
Or as the song puts it "I am what I am", whatever that is.
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Old 19th April 2018, 05:18 AM   #522
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
"Rationalize" while technically accurate, is too loaded.

Left Brain creates the best cognizant picture it can with the information it does have.
Perhaps:

We create a narrative to explain our behaviour.

Is a better way of putting it.
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Old 19th April 2018, 11:12 AM   #523
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
So being aware of your environment and interacting with it is one component of consciousness but it falls short of what we are trying to express. The missing component, in my opinion, is that you must also be aware of your position in relation to that environment. So a single cell organism could respond when the temperature of its environment got dangerously high but they are not necessarily aware of why they do that. A human, on the other hand, also has an automatic response to their skin being heated dangerously high, just like the single cell organism, but they are also aware of why they respond that way to the point that they don't need a temperature variation to avoid the situation, just seeing the indicators that such a situation could occur causes them to react.
Well, I asked about the qualitative difference between a simple and a complex brain. A single-celled organism does not have a brain. My personal assumption is that consciousness requires a brain. Probably a brain of some complexity.

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Old 19th April 2018, 12:36 PM   #524
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Well, I asked about the qualitative difference between a simple and a complex brain. A single-celled organism does not have a brain. My personal assumption is that consciousness requires a brain. Probably a brain of some complexity.

Hans
On the one hand, it sounds plausible when we think of biological organisms on earth.

Once we spread our interests to very different organisms or AI, it starts to get hard to say why a brain is necessary.

I think Searle argued for something like your position.
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Old 21st April 2018, 10:30 PM   #525
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Well, I asked about the qualitative difference between a simple and a complex brain. A single-celled organism does not have a brain. My personal assumption is that consciousness requires a brain. Probably a brain of some complexity.

Hans
The smallest brain belongs to the fruit fly and fruit flies show the rudiments of consciousness. Maybe the brain doesn't have to be that complex.

Brains are an evolutionary device that positions us in our environment and consciousness is a direct, and inevitable, result of having a brain. Without being aware of ourselves we cannot know our position in the environment. Probably every creature with a brain has a degree of consciousness.
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Old 21st April 2018, 10:56 PM   #526
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
The evidence seems to be that much of what we do we rationalise afterwards, the split brain video Joemorgue provided shows this.
Perhaps but it is obvious we understand what is going to happen before it happens. Knowing our position in our environment has huge survival advantages and to be able to do that we need to be aware of ourselves. This allows us to, know the consequences of actions before they are undertaken, and foresee the results of events occurring in our immediate environment in order to take advantage of the results of those events. Without these abilities hunting is impossible and one relies on chance for food.
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Old 22nd April 2018, 01:04 AM   #527
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
The smallest brain belongs to the fruit fly and fruit flies show the rudiments of consciousness. Maybe the brain doesn't have to be that complex.

Brains are an evolutionary device that positions us in our environment and consciousness is a direct, and inevitable, result of having a brain. Without being aware of ourselves we cannot know our position in the environment. Probably every creature with a brain has a degree of consciousness.
I tend to agree. Again, much depends on how we decide to define consciousness.

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Old 25th April 2018, 07:59 PM   #528
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Physical reality is unlike the way our brains mock it up.

Maybe consciousness is also unlike the way our brains mock it up.

Actually, that seems like a pretty sure bet.
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Old 26th April 2018, 12:38 AM   #529
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
The smallest brain belongs to the fruit fly and fruit flies show the rudiments of consciousness. Maybe the brain doesn't have to be that complex.

Brains are an evolutionary device that positions us in our environment and consciousness is a direct, and inevitable, result of having a brain. Without being aware of ourselves we cannot know our position in the environment. Probably every creature with a brain has a degree of consciousness.
What does "rudiments of consciousness" mean? How do they demonstrate that?


There guys have a small brain and nervous system made of a total of 250 cells.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotifer

You really think they're conscious? Why do you say consciousness is inevitable with a brain?

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Without being aware of ourselves we cannot know our position in the environment
Depends on how you're defining "know". Well programmed drones can position themselves in their environments. I don't see anyone arguing that that means they're conscious.
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Old 26th April 2018, 01:58 AM   #530
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Originally Posted by qayak View Post
Perhaps but it is obvious we understand what is going to happen before it happens. Knowing our position in our environment has huge survival advantages and to be able to do that we need to be aware of ourselves. This allows us to, know the consequences of actions before they are undertaken, and foresee the results of events occurring in our immediate environment in order to take advantage of the results of those events. Without these abilities hunting is impossible and one relies on chance for food.
Depends on what we mean by that "we" - I'd say based on my own experience that the narrator in my head, the one that has just created this very sentence is often not in the loop until after a behaviour has happened. I think a better way of putting it is my second attempt: We often create a narrative to explain our behaviour after the behaviour has happened. The crudest example would say be a reflex like something hitting your eyeball, the blink reflex happens before the "narrator" is aware of it, we then narrate what happened as "Bugger something's just got into my eye!"
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Old 26th April 2018, 09:03 AM   #531
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
You really think they're conscious?
Why do you think they aren't?
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Old 26th April 2018, 11:37 AM   #532
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Originally Posted by Toontown View Post
Physical reality is unlike the way our brains mock it up.
Really? Don't you think your perception is a relevant (if incomplete) representation of reality?

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Maybe consciousness is also unlike the way our brains mock it up.
Maybe pigs can fly.

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Actually, that seems like a pretty sure bet.
Based on what?

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Old 27th April 2018, 08:06 AM   #533
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
Why do you think they aren't?
Ha! I don't know, really. It just seems like at some level of simplicity it's more like an organic robot.
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Old 27th April 2018, 08:11 AM   #534
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The hard problem of God: The Universe and its workings is too complicated to explain all of its moving parts at any given instance. Therefore God.
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Old 27th April 2018, 08:30 AM   #535
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Ha! I don't know, really. It just seems like at some level of simplicity it's more like an organic robot.
What's the difference? We're nothing more than organic robots ourselves.
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Old 27th April 2018, 08:54 AM   #536
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
What's the difference? We're nothing more than organic robots ourselves.
I guess I'm leaning towards the idea of consciousness as an incidental byproduct of mental computation, where it's not a given that it exists before a certain level of complexity.
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Old 27th April 2018, 09:35 AM   #537
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
I guess I'm leaning towards the idea of consciousness as an incidental byproduct of mental computation, where it's not a given that it exists before a certain level of complexity.
Lean towards whatever you like. Until you have a testable definition for what consciousness actually is, you're counting angels on pinheads.

Which is fine, this is the philosophy forum, but don't then wave at classes of pins and say that angels are far too big to fit on them.
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Old 27th April 2018, 11:39 AM   #538
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
I guess I'm leaning towards the idea of consciousness as an incidental byproduct of mental computation, where it's not a given that it exists before a certain level of complexity.
I disagree. Consciousness is the very goal of mental computation. Your brain is a very expensive organ, biologically: It consumes a lot of energy. It is quite fragile. It makes childbirth a challenge.

There is an evolutionary reason for your brain: Consciousness. Consciousness enables you to make decisions on incomplete data. Consciousness enables you to infer possibilities that you you cannot compute from sensory input. Consciousness enables you to combine experience into behavioral patterns which enables you to act where a simple computer would not know what to do.

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Old 27th April 2018, 12:01 PM   #539
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
I disagree. Consciousness is the very goal of mental computation. Your brain is a very expensive organ, biologically: It consumes a lot of energy. It is quite fragile. It makes childbirth a challenge.

There is an evolutionary reason for your brain: Consciousness. Consciousness enables you to make decisions on incomplete data. Consciousness enables you to infer possibilities that you you cannot compute from sensory input. Consciousness enables you to combine experience into behavioral patterns which enables you to act where a simple computer would not know what to do.

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Why is consciousness required for any of that?
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Old 27th April 2018, 12:25 PM   #540
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
Why is consciousness required for any of that?
We're the product of natural selection therefore nothing is "required", it's just whatever that process has arrived at in any given moment.
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Old 27th April 2018, 12:33 PM   #541
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
I disagree. Consciousness is the very goal of mental computation. Your brain is a very expensive organ, biologically: It consumes a lot of energy. It is quite fragile. It makes childbirth a challenge.
It doesn't make childbirth a challenge for most species. Definitely not birds. Not even for dogs. And you can have computation without consciousness in computers, so why not biological organisms?

Quote:
There is an evolutionary reason for your brain: Consciousness.
That's just an assumption.

Quote:
Consciousness enables you to make decisions on incomplete data. Consciousness enables you to infer possibilities that you you cannot compute from sensory input. Consciousness enables you to combine experience into behavioral patterns which enables you to act where a simple computer would not know what to do.

Hans
It might be an illusion that it's consciousness that allows us to do those things. Do you believe in free will?

With it letting you "infer possibilities that you you cannot compute from sensory input" -- inferring is possibly/probably a form of computation.
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Old 27th April 2018, 12:37 PM   #542
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Consciousness enables you to infer possibilities that you you cannot compute from sensory input.
Cite one please. And what non-computational process do you think it is?
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Old 27th April 2018, 02:04 PM   #543
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
We're the product of natural selection therefore nothing is "required", it's just whatever that process has arrived at in any given moment.
Ok, how does consciousness enable us to make decisions on incomplete data?
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Old 27th April 2018, 06:26 PM   #544
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In the sense that eyeballs are "required" for vision, consciousness could be required for those things MRC_Hans listed, or maybe not.

The question is kind of part of the whole "hard problem" aspect of consciousness, I think.

Quote:
make decisions on incomplete data
^^^ pretty sure robots have been doing that for a really long time.
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Old 28th April 2018, 05:56 AM   #545
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
Ok, how does consciousness enable us to make decisions on incomplete data?
No idea.
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Old 28th April 2018, 06:00 AM   #546
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
In the sense that eyeballs are "required" for vision, consciousness could be required for those things MRC_Hans listed, or maybe not.

The question is kind of part of the whole "hard problem" aspect of consciousness, I think.


^^^ pretty sure robots have been doing that for a really long time.
Need to be careful here, the "hard problem" refers to a specific philosophical argument and isn't about how consciousness 8s "hard" to understand. It is based on the premise that you can have something that is exactly like something else but is different because.... The issue for those that think there is a HPC is that there is no evidence that such a thing can exist never mind that it does.
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Old 28th April 2018, 12:58 PM   #547
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
It doesn't make childbirth a challenge for most species. Definitely not birds.
I was talking about humans. Yes smaller brains are, of course, "cheaper" evolution-wise.

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Not even for dogs. And you can have computation without consciousness in computers, so why not biological organisms?
Exactly what is, in your opinion, the difference between consciousness and computation?

Quote:
It might be an illusion that it's consciousness that allows us to do those things.
Remember, my claim is that "consciousness" is not a qualitatively different process. It is just the result of a sufficiently complex brain, and it is not something that is either there or not there; consciousness emerges gradually as a brain gets more complex.

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Do you believe in free will?
Certainly. Try to live one day without it and see how that goes.

Quote:
With it letting you "infer possibilities that you you cannot compute from sensory input" -- inferring is possibly/probably a form of computation.
Excuse me, but don't you even read your own reply? "Compute from sensory input" =/= "Compute".

Inferring is certainly a form of computation, but it does not rely on direct input alone.

The first level is that a brain includes past experience. What happened last time I encountered this? Dogs can certainly do this.

A higher level is combining looking ahead. What will this situation probably lead to? Dogs can do this sometimes.

Still higher, start to build classes of action, based on experience. Humans can certainly do this.

Still higher, make personal standards of action: What do I prefer to do in this class of experience. This is where free will comes in; now I may react differently from you, given equal input.

Ultimately, this builds into personal desires, moral standards, ideals.

... All assumptions, I suppose.

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Old 28th April 2018, 01:03 PM   #548
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post


^^^ pretty sure robots have been doing that for a really long time.
AI can do that, yes. Because it includes experience.

Hans
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Old 28th April 2018, 01:06 PM   #549
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Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
Ok, how does consciousness enable us to make decisions on incomplete data?
Consciousness is the process that allows us to do it. It is that level of brain sophistication. Consciousness is not a thing, it is something we assign to sufficiently complex brain function.

(I know we probably differ here)

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Old 28th April 2018, 01:17 PM   #550
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Exactly what is, in your opinion, the difference between consciousness and computation?
Borrowing from the dictionary, consciousness involves "sensation, emotion, volition, and thought."



Quote:
Remember, my claim is that "consciousness" is not a qualitatively different process. It is just the result of a sufficiently complex brain, and it is not something that is either there or not there; consciousness emerges gradually as a brain gets more complex.
Well, my only claim is that your clam is a guess.



Quote:
Certainly. Try to live one day without it and see how that goes.
Where do you think free will comes from?


Quote:
Still higher, make personal standards of action: What do I prefer to do in this class of experience. This is where free will comes in; now I may react differently from you, given equal input.
We react differently because of genetics or previous experience (and I'm considering epigenetics, neurological injury, and things like that part of "previous life experience".)
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Old 28th April 2018, 01:20 PM   #551
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
AI can do that, yes. Because it includes experience.

Hans
You think AI is already conscious?
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Old 28th April 2018, 01:55 PM   #552
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Borrowing from the dictionary, consciousness involves "sensation, emotion, volition, and thought."
That is one definition. Which of these cannot be a product of sufficiently complex computation?

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Well, my only claim is that your clam is a guess.
I haven't denied that. So is every other explanation in this field.

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Where do you think free will comes from?
From the process of consciousness. I just explained.

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We react differently because of genetics or previous experience (and I'm considering epigenetics, neurological injury, and things like that part of "previous life experience".)
Yes, and? What else is "free will"?

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Old 28th April 2018, 01:56 PM   #553
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
You think AI is already conscious?
Not by the definition you just mentioned. It is still rudimentary.

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Old 28th April 2018, 02:55 PM   #554
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For consciousness you IMHO need:
1) processing of data from environment
2) being able to learn and abstract - classify data by what is similar, and detect new patterns and assigning new 'class' for them
3) having your own presence as part of the input data .. in other words, some for of body .. that will inevitably lead to you classifying your body as something quite different to anything else
4) also you need thoughts. Basically some abstract level of decision making has to be part of the inputs. You perceive not only what you see and hear .. but also what you think.
The thoughts don't have to be free (and I don't think they are in human), but you need to be able to think about the object class without the object being around, and most likely you need some thought process, like putting two or three things in some relation in your mind.

Neither of 3 or 4 alone is consciousness. Even on level 3 you can have 'me'. You feel when your body is harmed. Your body feels good when you eat, and bad when you're hungry. You can have language. You can say 'me hungry'.
With 4 you can go 'me hungry, apple tasty, apple was there, let's go see'. You self-feed the brain. Hungry will recall food. Food will recall apple. Apple will recall the place where there are apples.
Consciousness is when you notice the thought process IMHO. Me is no longer just body. Thoughts are always there too. I think therefore I am indeed. But you can interpret that in many ways. I prefer 'because I noticed, that I think, I am, and I am the one noticing it'.
I don't think thought or mind are free. There are locked to what's going on around and how the brain was modeled by evolution. And I don't think consciousness is all that important. It's just a name for something which would work just as well without you noticing.
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Old 29th April 2018, 10:25 AM   #555
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
That is one definition. Which of these cannot be a product of sufficiently complex computation?
I don't know. Does anybody know?


Quote:
Yes, and? What else is "free will"?
An illusion.
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Old 29th April 2018, 10:38 AM   #556
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
An illusion.
(About free will) So ... what do you think exists instead? Predeterminism? Random?

If you decide to take a walk, what determines where you will go, which turns you will take?

Hans
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Old 29th April 2018, 10:51 AM   #557
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I lead towards predeterminism.
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Old 29th April 2018, 10:55 AM   #558
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Metaphysical (as in not practical day to day) free will is rather silly, basically arguing that cause and effect doesn't exist.
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Old 29th April 2018, 11:13 AM   #559
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Ha! I don't know, really. It just seems like at some level of simplicity it's more like an organic robot.
I agree. Each cell in our brains is not individually conscious. Brain research reveals a number of specialized parts of the brain, one of which appears, from damaged brain research, to be where the conscious experience is taking place.

We have also discovered that a whole slew of brain functions are acting outside our conscious awareness. These functions are more than simple reflexes. The conscious stream of thought is one of many things the brain does. And that is pretty good evidence that just because a brain functions doesn't mean it includes consciousness.
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Old 19th May 2018, 06:19 PM   #560
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Originally Posted by Toontown View Post
Physical reality is unlike the way our brains mock it up.
Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Really? Don't you think your perception is a relevant (if incomplete) representation of reality?
Do you think my saying "physical reality is unlike the way our brains mock it up" is equivalent to saying my perception is irrelevant?

A color is not really a color in the physical realm, but that doesn't mean it's irrelevant. A musical tone is not really a musical tone in the physical realm, but that doesn't mean it's irrelevant.

So, no, I didn't mean that the way our brains mock up physical reality is irrelevant.

Originally Posted by Toontown View Post
Actually, that seems like a pretty sure bet.
Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Based on what?
Based on the established fact that "physical reality is unlike the way our brains mock it up".

If the glaringly obvious is to be a bone of contention, then I shall be even less engaged than usual.
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