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Old 08-07-2019, 12:37 PM
KidCharlemagne is offline
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 5,321
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
Somehow, since I was using your word, I assumed you couldn't find offense in it. Live and learn. I will in the future only state my beliefs without commenting on yours.
Well forgetting for a sec that for one of those examples you'd have had to travel forward in time to reference, it was really the claim that my post was pseudoscientific that raised my hackles. There is nothing pseudoscientific in that post. But hey, let bygones be bygones.

Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
I've also said that I do not see the connection between these two statements. I dislike the term "biological machines" because I think it's intended to gloss over a enormous number of issues we don't have answers to. Whatever we are is a product of multiple influences, both internal and external, that cannot be explained today. Brain scan studies are interesting, but cannot and should not at this stage be taken as evidence that the bottom level has been reached. Consciousness is the important problem. If we don't have any idea what it is we cannot say that it exists on a gradient. It might, or it might be an emergent property that only a few select species have. Are emergent properties casually determined? If so, how?

My personal belief is that we are at the state physics was in 1900. We thought we knew everything, only to find that we knew only a few basics, and not the interesting stuff. Our knowledge of the brain and consciousness, whatever that is, is basic. The interesting stuff is still hidden.
I don't like "biological machines" either but you weren't happy with causal determinism without compatibilism. I think that should be enough to start the conversation (though it may require further refinements).

I don't think the idea that conciousness exists on a gradient is controversial. We know there is a difference between sentience and self-awareness, and that humans can be unconcious but still dream.

Most emergent properties are causally determined. I don't know of any that don't make sense (though conciousness is obviously hard to get our heads around). Note that most emergent phenomena seem intentional but aren't. IMO that seems closer to an implication that there's no free will (I'm certainly not sold on that notion though).

I'm not sure free will doesn't exist - I'm just blown away by how many otherwise scientifically-minded people default to tossing Occam's Razor in the trash just because they don't like how they look in the mirror after using it in this case.