The Human Brain Is Incapable Of Volition Or Free Will

Discussion in 'Alternative Theories' started by Steve Klinko, May 10, 2021.

  1. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Nothing can live in symbiosis with "nature" as a whole.
     
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  3. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Good grief. Try to at least make some attempt to stay on track or in context with what you're replying to. IOW, don't reference examples of emergence that are public (consist of detectable and potentially verifiable affairs).

     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2021
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  5. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Apparently man cannot live in symbiosis with nature at all.
    Dr. Hellstrom:
    The people that actually do live in symbiosis with nature are considered "primitive" and "backward" and then modern man comes along and takes what he wants., destroying the entire ecosystem. The results are self-evident.
     
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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Perhaps I misunderstood, but AFAIK you made a blanket statement there are no emergent phenomena. You cannot now claim selective context. My response was perfectly in context of the general question.

    The article I cited posits that all evolutionary processes are emergent phenomena in essence.
    Complexity acquires potentials over and above the properties of the individual parts. This is not new.
     
  8. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    No. I specifically stated "hidden or subjective _X_ novelty" in the very part you quoted. Which in addition (for the heck of it), was a footnote not even relating to a sentence which directly mentioned emergence. Your reading skills are selective (though we've all been carelessly or deliberately guilty of that at one time or another, barring those who preen their idealized, feathered coats of perfection and immortality).
     
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  9. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Great, I'm glad we have no disagreement on this. I appreciate your generosity.

    I do not consider "conscious volition" as a _X_ novelty, as a "hard question".
    Conscious volition is a "hard fact" and can only be an emergent property of complexity. There is no other available option, IMO.

    Even if we do not yet know "how", we do know "consciousness is" a demonstrable fact and can be traced back all the way back to the very emergence of biological life (abiogenesis) and the evolution of neural sensitivities in Eukaryotic organisms.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2021
  10. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Your - unsourced - quote does not support your claim.
     
  11. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    That's because you are misquoting it. Selective reading?
    Quoted from this source;
    https://www.quotes.net/movies/the_hellstrom_chronicle_146436
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2021
  12. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    18,755
    For full disclosure;

    The Hellstrom Chronicle
    https://www.avclub.com/the-hellstrom-chronicle-1798171174#
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2021
  13. river

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    Intellect , Intelligence ; is the essence of free-will .
     
  14. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    IMO, "refined awareness of choices" is the essence of volitional action, such as planing for future events.

    As Antonsen says; "when we can look at something from several different perspectives, that makes for understanding" on which to base volitional choices of action. Still deterministic, but now within a range of possible solutions, i.e. how high and strong to build the next dike or levee to prevent a future flood after the last neglected levee was overwhelmed at cost of lives and treasure.

    In Holland, which is partly below sea-level the height of sea dikes was critical and made the Dutch famous dike builders. We have fought against the North Sea for a long time and even claimed a sizable portion for rich farmland.

    Several Dutch cheeses are made from milk of cows grazing on what was once an inland sea (the Zuiderzee) connected to the North Sea, but fed by a major inland river.

    How the Netherlands Reclaimed Land From the Sea
    Polders and Dikes of the Netherlands

    Reclaiming the Zuiderzee
    Much of the Netherlands Is Below Sea Level
    https://www.thoughtco.com/polders-and-dikes-of-the-netherlands-1435535#

    Compare that with the erosion taking place in many places of the world due to rising sea levels.
     
  15. river

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    Highlighted

    Intellect Evolution , which has been going on for 450 million yrs .
     
  16. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    I would say "ongoing" since the advent of abiogenesis, some 3.5 billion years. (Robert Hazen)

    EUKARYOTES – 2.7 BILLION YEARS AGO
    http://kitto.cm.utexas.edu/courses/ch395g/fall2009/MOL190/Eukaryotes27.pdf

    And before then;

    The evolution of the cytoskeleton

    Introduction
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3160578/

    The cytoskeleton is formed and maintained by microtubules and due to their remarkable self-organizing dynamic properties which allows for electro-chemical data transfer, IMO, that's when intelligence (sensory awareness) originated .
     
  17. river

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    To your last statement . Agreed

    Highlighted

    Not only sensory awareness but also Memory .
     
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  18. Steve Klinko Registered Senior Member

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    Thank you for the Insult. I study Conscious Experiences. Yes, the Conscious Experiences themselves, in and of themselves. You should think more Deeply about your own Conscious Experiences. You might then come to appreciate the importance of these Experiences.
     
  19. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    It's not an insult, it's advice. I've focused enough on my "experiences" to know that the fundamental mystery is not their specific content (like a red quale), but the fact that the content manifests. A mundane robot could be asserted to have information content to its navigational and recognition processes, but that content remains "invisible" to itself, consists of mechanistic relationships without any additional novelty appended.

    As far as an extinctivist and anti-panpsychic version of physicalism goes: When you're dead everything disappears -- that's the conventional character of matter with respect to phenomenal verification of itself existing. Non-consciousness is thereby easy to define, and the inversion of that provides the most simplistic definition of (phenomenal) consciousness: "Stuff" is presenting itself, whether personal thoughts or the appearances of an external world.

    To focus too much on qualia is to go down into the very valley that the Daniel Dennett and Keith Frankish school want you to go down into. So that they can strawman the "problem" into being about that particular category of content (which they consider vulnerable to criticism), rather the overall "hit-you-in-the-face like a rake handle" problem of manifestation. Which, BTW, is only a problem because of how certain strains of materialism (or commonsense views if that be the case) are taken to pronounce matter as lacking even a proto-capacity to exhibit to itself as anything.
     
  20. Steve Klinko Registered Senior Member

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    When I study Conscious Experiences I am always trying to understand how they Manifest. That is the main goal of my quest. I don't understand how you think anyone will ever understand the Manifestation without directly and tirelessly keeping their eyes on the Target of Experiences (Qualia) themselves. I learned a long time ago to ignore anything Dennett says anymore. His ramblings about Illusions are incoherent and irrelevant. I don't care about his straw men.
     
  21. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    I tentatively (tentatively!) accept the notion that qualia either are fundamental or can be treated as that. Which is to say, I could consider a patch of red for several weeks and not discern any composites or answers for it other than the neural correlates it may correspond to in the brain. Which are radically different in terms of both appearance and their abstracted, causal mapping (electrochemical and network interactions).

    So -- for me at least, pondering a patch of red (which in synesthesia could be triggered as much by a crossover of tactile sensory information as the conventional optical stimulation), or another quale, is about as productive as caricaturized sages gazing at their navels. And it's not like experiments and scientific research can be conducted upon an appearance residing in 1st-person territory, beyond public scrutiny.

    Thus, the common key attribute of qualia -- that they "show" themselves -- in contrast to raw, non-represented matter which [supposedly] does not -- is for me the item that such content of general manifestation is sort of futile with respect to illuminating. (For me) it's kind of like trying to account for a skillet with the eggs and bacon being fried in it.

    Yes, but from a tactical standpoint... Something from the Dennett/Frankish camp is almost always going to indirectly or directly introduce itself to the fray when a discussion constantly revolves around qualia. If you instead try to emphasize "experience" most of the time, then that's definitely better. But as soon "red patch", etc, is mentioned, the qualia alarms are probably going to sound, and here comes the strawman detour from manifestation to "specific content that appears to be unjustified by the meanings we have cherry-picked for a definition".

    I'd also like to avoid "consciousness" like the plague, because it inevitably gets conflated with cognition and intellectual activity rather than the narrowness of phenomenal presentations. But that's pretty difficult when most of PoM today seems to be tossing "consciousness" around as if perfectly equivalent to experience, rather than (traditionally) more of an umbrella concept for various features.
     
  22. Steve Klinko Registered Senior Member

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    I actually don't understand how Qualia became such a Straw Man. To me Qualia (Conscious Experiences) are the only things that are real. A radical thought occurred to me a couple of years ago where it seemed like the people I debated did not even really Experience Qualia. I posted this in a couple of forums a while back:

    I have always assumed that all normally functioning Human Minds would have at least similar kinds of Conscious Experiences. I have thought this for decades. But after many years of discussions about this with people it has finally become clear to me that some people actually must not have Conscious Experiences or Qualia. I limit this observation to things like the Experience of Redness, the Standard A Tone, the Salty Taste and so on. The Experience of Colors and especially the Experience of Redness has been a major target for my discussions with people on the various Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness Forums. There are people that flat out deny the Existence of the Experience of Redness. I think they give it their best shot at understanding it but they always fall back to just dismissing the Experience of something like Redness as pure Fantasy, Superstition, Magic, and Illusion. I have become convinced that their denials of Conscious Experience, their very words, show that they truly and simply do not perceive Redness as a kind of Experience. There is no Redness Experience. They are not Color blind so they can Detect Red in their Visual Field in some way but it seems to be more at the level of the Neural Activity. They can somehow sense that their Neurons are Firing for Red and indicate that there is Red in their Field of View but there seems to be no Experience of Redness in their Field of View. They deny any such extra Consciousness Phenomenon is happening. I used to think they were just messing with me, and I was hoping that after all these years that they would get tired of continuing their Fraud. But they are not messing with me, they truly do not have Conscious Experiences or Qualia. In fact they say that Qualia was invented by Idiot Philosophers. They are usually nasty and arrogant like that and I wonder if that is a symptom of their lack of Qualia. It is interesting that their lack of Qualia would make them living examples of the P-Zombies from Philosophy. One thing I can say is that if they really never have had an Experience of something like Redness then I can completely understand how they would think it was something Magical, and Illusory. These people simply deny the Existence of Qualia and are completely stymied by talk of Qualia.

    I have been astounded by the possibility that some people (mostly the Physicalists) actually might not Experience the Color Qualia. It is a mystery to me what their Inner Experience of Color could be like. I have always tried to use the Experience of Redness as a discussion point for talking about Conscious Experiences. These people literally will say that there is no such thing as Redness and they always try to compare descriptions of Experiences of Redness to Religious Experiences. I have tried for a long time to get them to describe what the Experience of Redness means to them. After receiving mostly insults, one of them gave me a description of what the Experience of Redness was from their own point of view. He dismissively said that his Experience was the same as everybody else. He described the multitude of Emotions and Memories that were Experienced while Seeing Red. He went on to describe particular Emotions and Memories. I noticed that there was no recognition of the Experience of the Redness itself, but rather it seemed like his Experience of Redness wholly consisted of Associations to other things. This seemed a little odd, but telling. So I then asked him to strip away all the Emotions, Memories, and other Associations from his Experience of Redness and tell me if there was anything still remaining in the Experience. Here is his reply: "How the {!#%@} would I know? It isn't possible for me to 'strip out all the Emotions, Memories, and any other Associations'. Further, I don't believe for a moment that you can either, Steve. This is navel-gazing, pure and simple." This person obviously does not Experience the Redness, but rather Experiences all these other things in place of the Redness Experience. He literally can not figure out what I am talking about. Notice the reference to Navel-Gazing. He still thinks that the Redness is a Religious Experience.

    After some further conversations I now understand what an Experience of Redness is for these Physicalists. When they think about Experiencing Redness they always branch off into talking about Emotions and Memories. For them, it appears that the actual Experience of Redness is an Experience of Emotions and an Experience of Memories. That is the Experience for them and there is nothing else for them to report. This is of course why they hate the word Qualia, because it does indeed imply that there is something else happening with the Experience of Redness. I can fully see how they would think that the concept of Qualia is Redundant to their Experience. I can fully now understand why they would think that Qualia and the Experience of Redness are different things. For the Physicalists the Experience of Redness is not what I expected. It is something different than my Experience of Redness. I Experience Redness as a Quale and they Experience Redness as associated Emotions and Memories. In fact I can say I really don't even Experience Redness as Emotions and Memories at all. I just simply Experience Redness as a Thing In Itself.

    Another discussion thread I have participated in where the people denied the Existence of Qualia was one where the people were convinced that we cannot see a Color until we have a Word for the Color. This seems like a very strange thing to believe. I tried in vain to convince them that the Word for the Color does not make the Color real but that the direct Experience of the Color is real. They could not understand what I was talking about. This can only make sense if you consider that they might never have Experienced a Color Quale. They instead receive some kind of Signals from their Neurons that gives them some type Indication of the different Colors but without an actual Conscious Experience of the Colors. I can see how the Words might be of prime importance to them.

    But yet another example of People that probably have no Conscious Experiences or Qualia are the people that don't understand the difference between a Computer detecting Red and a Human detecting Red. They probably also just Detect Red in some way but have never had an actual Experience of Redness.
     
  23. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    You are right. All conscious experiences have similarities, but are not necessarily identical. An eagle's eyesight is much sharper than a human, but the difference is an evolved genetic advantage for the eagle.
    I think you are wrong there. Almost all people have subjective conscious experiences .
    You seem to accept the notion that subjective experiences must be exactly alike or one or the other is an emotional zombie. IMO, that is just a limited view of what goes on when we observe and experience cognition and how certain sensory experiences are balanced against prior memories.

    The fact is that the experience of qualia is generated by the physical senses. When the sensory receptors of color are impaired by a condition such as deuteranopia, that does not make a person a zombie, it makes that person partially disabled.

    Let's reverse the question. If I have arthritis and moving my hand causes pain do I have better qualia than a person without arthritis and who moves his hand without experiencing pain? In that case the increased qualia are an indication of inflammation, a homeostatic warning that something is wrong with my hand.

    However, I have demonstrated before that deuteranopia does impair a person's perception (best guess) of reality and when that impairment is filtered for conflicting wave lengths and the brilliant distinction between red a green is accentuated , the emotional response is usually quite obvious. People may cry from the overwhelming experience of color differentiation, which increases the deeper emotional experience in the observer. But zombie is such a useless term.
     

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