Could our actions be decided by our conscious mind?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Speakpigeon, Dec 23, 2018.

  1. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    Thank you to discuss the following argument, its two premises and its validity.
    Thank you to restrict yourself to facts and logic.
    EB
     
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    We can test this: we can compare the behavior of someone when conscious of a prompt event and when unconscious of it.
    Distracted drivers, for example - do they react the same to registered stimuli in their visual field when unconscious of them?

    (btw: not the state of the neurons - the status of the firing patterns, the patterns of neural activity. The neurons are two or three levels down in the substrate hierarchy).
     
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  5. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    I think it would be logical to state that consciousness is required for a decision to be made.
     
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  7. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    So you're not even prepared to answer a logical question? What you say here is beside the point.
    So, let's compare the behaviour of someone who is conscious with the behaviour of someone who isn't. Yes?
    Sorry, I didn't say as you suggest "the state of neurons".
    If you can't even read and quote the OP properly, don't expect to be able properly to address the question that's being asked.
    And logically, the state of a group of neurons includes firing patterns and patterns of neural activity.
    Also, it's not "status". It's "state". The premise is that the conscious mind is literally the state of a group of neurons. That's the OP. So, can you answer the OP as it is?
    EB
     
  8. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    No, it wouldn't be.
    It would be a possibility and a logical one, yes, but no, it wouldn't be logical to include it in the premises. Feel free to believe that consciousness is required for a decision to be made but, first, it's not my argument and it has nothing to do with it, and, second, there's nothing logical in this belief. In other words, for all I know, consciousness is not required for a decision to be made. The OP argument is based on premises that as far as I can tell we should all agree on from a rational point of view. If you think not, please explain.
    EB
     
  9. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    For the question to make sense you need to drop the "for all we know" from the first premise.
    as for the rest I'll leave that up to those who can be confident that a group of neurons may be responsible or not.
     
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  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    No. Reread please. "We can test this: we can compare the behavior of someone when conscious of a prompt event and when unconscious of it."
    I used the quote function, and your post remains unaltered - with "the state of a group of neurons" repeated therein. Your words.
    Nope. You are confusing substrate with pattern - they occupy different logical levels.
    Will you make up your mind? I posted about the state of the neurons - the neurons at issue, the "group" as you referred to them. ("(btw: not the state of the neurons - the status of the firing patterns, the patterns of neural activity ") My point is that the state of those neurons - the ones you are talking about - is not at all the same thing as the patterns formed in their firing. Those patterns are entities in their own right. Their substrate is of minor concern in a discussion of consciousness.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
  11. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    I certainly don't feel like it.
    I can try to rephrase Premise 1 just for you: There is nothing that we know which would exclude the possibility that somebody's conscious mind be the state of a group of neurons in this person's brain.
    Still, you could try to explain why you think that the "for all we know" makes the question meaningless.
    The hypothesis that somebody's conscious mind is most likely just the state of a group of neurons in this person's brain seems to be the only hypothesis that could make sense from a scientific point of view. Not that it should be necessarily true, but if you have to start from somewhere, this seems to be the most reasonable place to start from.
    EB
     
  12. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    1,123
    Then explain ow it's would be relevant.
    No, you didn't use the quote function and of course my post remains unaltered. So what?
    I said "the state of a group of neurons", but you suggested I had said instead "the state of neurons".
    Making a simple mistake is acceptable. Trying to deny an obvious mistake is just a waste of everybody's time.
    I'm not confusing anything. I meant what I said, which is that for all we know the conscious mind may be just the state of a group neurons. If you disagree, please provide an argument. Just claiming that I am confusing something is again just a waste of our time.
    What substrate? There's no question of substrate in my OP. I'm talking about the state of a group of neurons.

    OK, I think I have enough of you. Nothing you say here is even remotely in line with the basic facts of what I said in the OP. There's just not the minimal conditions to have any serious debate.
    EB
     
  13. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Yet another futile Speakpigeon thread, then.....
     
  14. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    Explain yourself if you can.
    EB
     
  15. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    To you? What's the point?
     
  16. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Seriously?
    "There is nothing that would exclude the possibility...." is the premise? Or are we supposed to talk about the state of a group of neurons being linked to the conscious mind.
    I am sorry but I would have to go with exchemist. If you write up a premise in such a manner then there is indeed no point continuing the discussion.
     
  17. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    To try and address the title of the thread. I once gave my dad a flippant answer when I was frustrated and looking for something. He said "stop and think of where you had it last" To which I said: "If I remembered that I wouldn't be looking for them now would I?"
     
  18. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    Yes. What's your problem with that?
    Why not try to explain yourself instead of asking perfunctory questions?
    No we're not. The premise is clear as it is. What is still not clear is the problem you seem to have with it.
    The idea that the conscious mind is simply somehow "linked" to the brain is definitely nothing we can exclude but it's not the idea I'm interested to discuss here. And I don't see what could be your problem with it.
    ???
    That's all you can do? The premise would be so whatever that you can't even get yourself to articulate what you think is wrong with it?! Whoa.
    EB
     
  19. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    While a group of activated neurons may indeed be involved in what someone does they may not be involved in the state of consciousness.
    Which part are you seeking to address?
     
  20. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    1,123
    Not to me. To everyone around.


    Or maybe everyone is going the Trump way these days.
    Simple question but no one who posted could articulate a proper view, a critique, an analysis, a discussion. Nothing. Nada. The Big Vacuity of the Modern Mind.
    EB
     
  21. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Typically a premise is a test statement of fact.
    to wit:
    Premise: Consciousness is an outcome of a group of activated neurons.
    Premise: What a person does is an outcome of a group of activated neurons.

    And then make some sort of discussion/claim based on your premises....
     
  22. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    It s a bit like saying the following logic stream:
    If consciousness is an outcome of a group of activated neurons
    and activated neurons are required for doing stuff
    then doing stuff is an outcome of consciousness.

    then seek to test your logic stream by discussion
     
  23. Speakpigeon Valued Senior Member

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    1,123
    Why not? How do you know?
    It's a straightforward logical argument. Two premises. Given the premises, one conclusion. You can criticise the argument in two ways. First, you can try to show that the premises somehow don't entail the conclusion. Second, you can try to show that we know that one or the two premises are wrong. However, just making unsupported claims won't do.
    EB
     

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