Old 07-17-2010, 07:16 AM   #271
Philboid Studge
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Professor Chaos wrote View Post
If Christians use the "Everything MUST have a cause" argument as a refutation of the Big Bang, how can they then claim the existence of free will?
Yeah this notion surfaced briefly in the Ask Lily to Tapdance thread.

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PHil wrote
Shirley that notion--that everything has a cause (except Superman)--is compatible with your usual line of jibber-jabber?
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:26 PM   #272
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Old 07-17-2010, 04:22 PM   #273
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Man, I loved those books so, so much as a kid. Back then (pre-introduction to drugs and alcohol) I had a pretty awesome memory, and would draw up a sweet diagram in my head of all the different paths I'd taken, and what paths remained.

That would rule if I could still do that. Or even diagram in my head why the fuck I just walked into the kitchen and how long I've been standing here. Fucking drugs.

I will grieve. Grief is not a theistic concept. ~ Sternwallow
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Old 07-18-2010, 12:51 AM   #274
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OK, I'll bite! What the Hell happened in that 16 page gap?

"Those who most loudly proclaim their honesty are least likely to possess it."
"Atheism: rejecting all absurdity." S.H.
"Reality, the God alternative"
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Old 07-18-2010, 02:49 PM   #275
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OK, I'll bite! What the Hell happened in that 16 page gap?
If we knew that, we wouldn't be on page 56.

thank goodness he's on our side
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:55 AM   #276
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Biology, with special interest in biological psychology.
Can I assume you are a fizzy cyclist ?
Physiological psychology, U. of Florida. Thesis on midbrain DA systems in early postnatal development. Post doc U of Kentucky in DA system pharmacological teratology.

In other words, I used to do cocaine.
Now I just teach.

Sadly, since I do not agree with Calbingo on his pet model of christpsychosis, I'm not a "REAL" neuroscientist.

BTW, anybody see this?
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:30 AM   #277
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Of course, but the system is complex and I think not completely predictable. Perhaps you mean that in principle it could one day be predictable?
'Zactly!

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Regardless, isn't the biological system you describe here what we mean we use the term "self". Ones particular experiences, biological make-up, past development, past environment etc all go together to make up the current self.
"Self" is a reification. And I don't disagree with your subjective description of the construct. But how much impact do you think unconscious processes might have on how you define the word "self" much less how you think of your"self"? And what about those things you mention is NOT a physical manifestation of the brain?
Experiences, memories, emotions, and actions are neural states involving physical (electrical/chemical) mechanisms among cell assemblies. Physical changes are caused by physical stimuli. Brains are physical, and logically everything we are comes from our brains. Remove a brain, or even a small portion of it in some cases, and how much self is left?

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Could we add to your list of hard-wired functions to choose actions from a range of potential actions? I think that's what I mean when I say I am self-determined.
I completely agree that there are a range of possible behavioral options available at any given point in time (determined by the macro-nature of the neurological system, e.g., personality), but I do not accept the word "choose" because the behavior that is emitted at that point is determined by the state of the organism at that point. The thing that gets everyone confused about is that there are subtle neural processes of which we are not "consciously" aware that can differ at different points in time (let's just say moment to moment changes in endocrine, biochemical, neural, etc etc systems). These neural substrates are not available to our "self" awareness, but can result in a different response to the same environmental cues and a different "choice" from among those options.

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Another way to ask the question would be "If I don't determine my actions, what does?"
What Phil said.

Every neural substrate is a system in flux. Predictable flux, if we could know all the physical influences on each of a 100billion neurons in the trillions of cell assemblies and had a computer big enough to do the processing of EPSPs, IPSPs, and APs at each synapse. It's be easy.
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:31 AM   #278
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OH yeah, and ain't THIS the shite!!!

Joseph frickin LeDOUX is a god!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:58 AM   #279
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Gnosital wrote View Post
Physiological psychology, U. of Florida. Thesis on midbrain DA systems in early postnatal development. Post doc U of Kentucky in DA system pharmacological teratology.

In other words, I used to do cocaine.
Now I just teach.

Sadly, since I do not agree with Calbingo on his pet model of christpsychosis, I'm not a "REAL" neuroscientist.

BTW, anybody see this?
LOL of course you're not even tho it's people like you I rely on to give me some insight into the inner workings of my patients

'I am offended by that.' Well, so fucking what." Fry
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Old 07-26-2010, 12:51 PM   #280
Philboid Studge
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BTW, anybody see this?
I did ! Also this recently, via Jerry Coyne, who added his sense too.
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:37 PM   #281
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BTW, anybody see this?
What a great catch! That item says much that I have been saying for months. The following item is also good, though it erroneously makes a case for free will.

Thanks, Gnosi!!

"Those who most loudly proclaim their honesty are least likely to possess it."
"Atheism: rejecting all absurdity." S.H.
"Reality, the God alternative"
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:51 PM   #282
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Gnosital wrote View Post
Every neural substrate is a system in flux. Predictable flux, if we could know all the physical influences on each of a 100billion neurons in the trillions of cell assemblies and had a computer big enough to do the processing of EPSPs, IPSPs, and APs at each synapse. It's be easy.
Whether it is, itself, deterministic or not, the inaccessibility of the subconscious and our inability to control it in any meaningful way means that our conscious decisions are completely determined and are not free.

We can know that a system is determined without knowing all of the factors that determine it.

When we cannot predict an outcome for lack of information about the relevant causes, often we can examine the outcome afterward and discover what its causes were.

Only by postulating an uncaused causal element can behavior be non-deterministic and then, it still is not intentional. Random intentions is an oxymoron.

Even the desire to make a free choice will have been determined.

"Those who most loudly proclaim their honesty are least likely to possess it."
"Atheism: rejecting all absurdity." S.H.
"Reality, the God alternative"
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Old 07-26-2010, 04:27 PM   #283
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Gnosital wrote View Post
Physiological psychology, U. of Florida. Thesis on midbrain DA systems in early postnatal development. Post doc U of Kentucky in DA system pharmacological teratology.

In other words, I used to do cocaine.
Now I just teach.

Sadly, since I do not agree with Calbingo on his pet model of christpsychosis, I'm not a "REAL" neuroscientist.

BTW, anybody see this?
Great article, and speaking of stochasticism this may be of interest, (might just be me) as a framework of differing scales of biological organization with regard to free-will.

I like Cals pet It cheers me up and makes I laff and if you want to be a "proper" neuroscientist,...... just join up them dots..........

Professor Plum - In the Dinning Room - with the Lead Pipe...
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Old 07-26-2010, 04:34 PM   #284
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:33 PM   #285
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Okay, I've been pondering this whole question of free will virtually non-stop for over six months straight now and here is my take on it.

A conscious entity, or human, certainly exists (I'm guessing we all would agree that people are conscious creatures; I think therefore I am, etc.). This entity, while not completely responsible for its nature, at the very least feels in control of some, but not all, of its actions. If from the standpoint of the acting agent or conscious entity, there is no way for it to distinguish between being the initiator of its actions, and the actions happening to it, then those two things become synonymous.
We don't ultimately choose who we are, but we do acknowledge who we are, and then act (or don't act) accordingly. I think that's what important. Just because we can't in any ultimate sense choose who we are, doesn't mean we aren't the person who carries out the action that we carry out. I think it can be most certainly said that a thinking being, what we would call a human, exists, and is responsible for the behavior it does. It is still the one who acts, regardless of the circumstances which led it to be the person it is. We think and we act. That is free will.

The newest episode of the Mental Masturbation Podcast is up! Did Jesus exist? We discuss it. www.MentalMasturbationPodcast.com
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