Ten oz

Consciousness and the illusion of choice

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Posted (edited)

I don't doubt for a moment,TAR,that you saw something in that driveway years ago, or that your then future brother-in-law has different recollections of what happened - my sister and i have very different memories of growing up in the same house together and of going to the same school at the same time. Police often tell,too,of eye-witnesses giving conflicting accounts of the same incidents. I've never had any " supernatural " experiences like that myself, but i would never scoff at anyone who says they have. I recall that, many years ago, shortly after my mother died, her young grandson, then about 3, was alone in our kitchen and, from another room, we could hear him talking as though he was having a conversation with someone; when he came in to us, we asked him who he'd been talking to, and he simply replied " Granny ", and went off to play with his toys. As that great genius Shakespeare wrote ( in Hamlet ): "There are more things in heaven and earth... than are dreamt of in your philosophy. "

 

Having said all that, i'm still not convinced that we inherit memories, and from them our choices: i had to learn the language that my parents already knew how to speak, and picked up their accents at the same time. I had to learn,also, the traditions, customs and social mores of my town and country etc. though that didn't mean i would to conform to them if i " chose " not to do so: we all know that teenagers often " rebel " against the choices their parents or society try to impose on them. As an adult now, i " know " it isn't wise to pull a cat's tail, but unthinking toddlers wouldn't, and soon learn from their own painful consequences - not from my own painful memory of having done just that when i was a child.

 

Specifically, i think the wheel arose from the ancient practice of using a " carpet " of logs, on top of which a sled would be laid and then pushed along the logs, with the logs at the back being constantly moved to the front of the " carpet " as the sled progressed. This was the method used then to transport large, heavy objects over land.

I imagine that the poor fellow who had to keep moving the logs from back to front would take a rest, massage his back, rub his brow, grumble a bit and think: " There must be an easier way to do this! ". So, as you said, the perception of rolling logs provided the inspiration for the wheel,but that perception was actual, not a prefabricated memory, and the wheel was an " unknown " innovation.

Edited by goldglow
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Posted (edited)

goldglow,

 

I had a waking dream moment a few minutes ago, where I put together a thought about memories I was having yesterday after I posted, and "something" that I was dreaming about or chewing over in my half awake state. It came clear to me, at least an aspect of this, and I ran to the computer, half asleep, hit some wrong buttons and read your post.

 

I spliced my thought in with yours and have now this.

 

The "choice" we have, that is not an illusion, is what memories to pay attention to, and act on.

 

And in reference to the idea of prefabricated memories, and things being "unknown" at some time in history, I would say, it is difficult to say what someone else "knows" or remembers. Part of our memory as humans has to do with song and legend and stories and written documents, and museums and monuments, memorabilia. memorized bible verses and recorded history of all types. Just because we have no record of sleds being used till a certain time, or someone coming up with a better way to build the log road into the vehicle, does not mean nobody came up with the idea. After all wood and vines and weaved rope and such have a tendency to degrade and be eaten by worms and ants and get dried out and crumble to dust in the sun. The earth remembers things only for a short time, before life and wind and rain and sun forget it happened. So while I will admit that there is no direct evidence that the idea of the wheel is an innate memory, I will offer a time when I was young, playing with a string, putting a loop in a loop and making a long thicker string, my mom saying "huh, you've invented crocheting".

 

So, for this discussion, I am widening the idea of innate to include proclivities. The one foot in front of the other thing. We have our senses, but they are our senses. Just a certain piece of the electromagnetic spectrum, a certain range of vibrations, certain chemicals that "taste" sweet or sour or bitter or savory, and certain sensitivities to changes in roughness, or smoothness, sharpness or dullness, warmth or coolness, a certain range of airborne chemicals that smell a certain way combined with how an object feels and tastes, that tells us (good or bad) how it smells. With these inputs, we build a model of the world. It is likely to be a similar model, as pieced together by another human, as the other human is innately outfitted with the exact same bevy of senses, interpreted by a very similar perceptual system, and recorded in a very similar folded up mass of brain cells and connections.

 

So yes each of us has our own unique set of memories. We have had different experiences, heard different stories, read different books, had to solve different problems, and satisfy different bosses and friends and companies and countries and religions and such, but we are all doing it on the same planet, and we are all doing it as humans. What we remember is the world, and the world fits together flawlessly. Everything fits, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. You move something from over there to here and it does not exist over there anymore. Vibrations of light emanate outward...forever, and come in from everywhere, constantly. Matter is neither created of destroyed, for the most part, just changes form and structure, but when something happens at one spot in the world it eventually "gets" everywhere. You spend a dollar on suntan lotion, and you don't have it to spend on a hamburger, but the clerk at the drugstore gets paid, and the coconut that yielded the oil, does not sprout. Our world operates and fits together with no mercy. No mulligans. You pull your boss's pants down...well you can't take it back. The waking world has a perfect memory, in the sense that a butterfly flapping its wings in Africa could cause a hurricane to emerge and hit Florida. And even that "wheel" and cart a human child 50 thousand years ago constructed out of pebbles and leaves, could be lying broken and scattered, in the sediments at the bottom of a creek.

 

Now, my waking thought was this. Our memories are not perfect. They are limited, and somewhat reconstructed. Fallible twice. Once on the way in, and once upon reconstruction. But the memories are of an infallible thing. Reality, the waking world, does not make mistakes. We have the world to check our memories against. "oh, I thought I left my keys on the desk...no, there they are, on the counter, I must have put them down with the groceries." Well, I didn't think that, about the groceries, I thought that pertaining to this discussion, the free choice we make, is what piece of the world, what particular memories of it, are we paying attention to, now.

 

Perhaps, that is what conscious thought is, an attention to, a noticing of, a seeing of a pattern, a remembering of the world, or portion of it, that accrues to fulfilling a survival need.

 

Where was that water hole? How do I get that honey without getting eaten by the bear, or stung by the bees?post-15509-0-27689600-1495373751_thumb.jpg

 

Regards, TAR

Edited by tar
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DrmDoc,

 

Well OK, the subconscious is an influence, but I am not clear on what you consider unconscious. Is it no thought. Like you are knocked out or under anesthesia...and is a dream happening when you are unconscious. If a dream is under your unconscious umbrella, does it receive subconscious influences as well?

 

If for instance we have all the sensory information from a lifetime, stored in some fashion in our memories, do both the conscious mind, and the unconscious mind have access to these memories?

 

Empirically, unconscious is that state of brain function that is diametrically opposite our brain's conscious state of function, waking-state activity, and awareness. Unconscious is descriptive of a functional brain state capable of generating thoughts and behaviors below our threshold of conscious awareness. Subconscious​, conversely, references those influences we experience and exert that enter below the threshold of conscious awareness. As I have described elsewhere ad nauseam, the distinction between unconscious and subconscious is analogous to a person and a package; whereas, unconscious describes the person, while subconscious describes the package that person either receives or delivers. Dreams are subconscious influences (i.e., perceptual responses) that emerge from our brain's unconscious activity. As a finale note, subconscious is not a state generated by brain function; therefore, subconscious is neither a mind nor a state of mentation.

 

Specifically I am after the role of reconstituted memories as afferent input. That is, if I remember something wrong, can I count that as a sensory experience. The example I am using in my own mind at the moment, is a time I saw a man dressed in white at the end of a driveway (we were running scared) as a teenager. We later found out a man that dressed like that had hung himself from a lamppost at the end of the driveway. So did I see a ghost? Does the sensory input required for thought include remembering or reconstructing a sensory experience?

 

 

There's precedence in brain function for seeing things that aren't there; unfortunately, it's associated with schizophrenia. Now I'm not suggesting that you experienced schizophrenia or that your experience wasn't real; however, I am suggesting that our brain is fully capable of producing mental experiences that appear to us as real physical/material perceptions. Those experiences can either emerge from memory or as misinterpretations of real perceptual experiences.

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Posted (edited)

DrmDoc, please tell me if i've understood this correctly: Is it that, without the subconscious as a " go-between ", there would be no interaction of the conscious/unconscious brain functions?

 

 

 


 

I am suggesting that our brain is fully capable of producing mental experiences that appear to us as real physical/material perceptions. Those experiences can either emerge from memory or as misinterpretations of real perceptual experiences.

 

Yes: reading books or newspapers, i have often " read " a word in my mind that, looking back,wasn't the word on the page.


goldglow,

 

I had a waking dream moment a few minutes ago, where I put together a thought about memories I was having yesterday after I posted, and "something" that I was dreaming about or chewing over in my half awake state. It came clear to me, at least an aspect of this, and I ran to the computer, half asleep, hit some wrong buttons and read your post.

 

I spliced my thought in with yours and have now this.

 

The "choice" we have, that is not an illusion, is what memories to pay attention to, and act on.

 

And in reference to the idea of prefabricated memories, and things being "unknown" at some time in history, I would say, it is difficult to say what someone else "knows" or remembers. Part of our memory as humans has to do with song and legend and stories and written documents, and museums and monuments, memorabilia. memorized bible verses and recorded history of all types. Just because we have no record of sleds being used till a certain time, or someone coming up with a better way to build the log road into the vehicle, does not mean nobody came up with the idea. After all wood and vines and weaved rope and such have a tendency to degrade and be eaten by worms and ants and get dried out and crumble to dust in the sun. The earth remembers things only for a short time, before life and wind and rain and sun forget it happened. So while I will admit that there is no direct evidence that the idea of the wheel is an innate memory, I will offer a time when I was young, playing with a string, putting a loop in a loop and making a long thicker string, my mom saying "huh, you've invented crocheting".

 

So, for this discussion, I am widening the idea of innate to include proclivities. The one foot in front of the other thing. We have our senses, but they are our senses. Just a certain piece of the electromagnetic spectrum, a certain range of vibrations, certain chemicals that "taste" sweet or sour or bitter or savory, and certain sensitivities to changes in roughness, or smoothness, sharpness or dullness, warmth or coolness, a certain range of airborne chemicals that smell a certain way combined with how an object feels and tastes, that tells us (good or bad) how it smells. With these inputs, we build a model of the world. It is likely to be a similar model, as pieced together by another human, as the other human is innately outfitted with the exact same bevy of senses, interpreted by a very similar perceptual system, and recorded in a very similar folded up mass of brain cells and connections.

 

So yes each of us has our own unique set of memories. We have had different experiences, heard different stories, read different books, had to solve different problems, and satisfy different bosses and friends and companies and countries and religions and such, but we are all doing it on the same planet, and we are all doing it as humans. What we remember is the world, and the world fits together flawlessly. Everything fits, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. You move something from over there to here and it does not exist over there anymore. Vibrations of light emanate outward...forever, and come in from everywhere, constantly. Matter is neither created of destroyed, for the most part, just changes form and structure, but when something happens at one spot in the world it eventually "gets" everywhere. You spend a dollar on suntan lotion, and you don't have it to spend on a hamburger, but the clerk at the drugstore gets paid, and the coconut that yielded the oil, does not sprout. Our world operates and fits together with no mercy. No mulligans. You pull your boss's pants down...well you can't take it back. The waking world has a perfect memory, in the sense that a butterfly flapping its wings in Africa could cause a hurricane to emerge and hit Florida. And even that "wheel" and cart a human child 50 thousand years ago constructed out of pebbles and leaves, could be lying broken and scattered, in the sediments at the bottom of a creek.

 

Now, my waking thought was this. Our memories are not perfect. They are limited, and somewhat reconstructed. Fallible twice. Once on the way in, and once upon reconstruction. But the memories are of an infallible thing. Reality, the waking world, does not make mistakes. We have the world to check our memories against. "oh, I thought I left my keys on the desk...no, there they are, on the counter, I must have put them down with the groceries." Well, I didn't think that, about the groceries, I thought that pertaining to this discussion, the free choice we make, is what piece of the world, what particular memories of it, are we paying attention to, now.

 

Perhaps, that is what conscious thought is, an attention to, a noticing of, a seeing of a pattern, a remembering of the world, or portion of it, that accrues to fulfilling a survival need.

 

Where was that water hole? How do I get that honey without getting eaten by the bear, or stung by the bees?attachicon.gifhornetsandbears.jpg

 

Regards, TAR

 

Read your post a few times, TAR, and i would only add one thing: that conscious thought can also be abstract, not completely tied to the needs of survival. Apart from that, i agree with just about everything else. The apparatus of consciousness is the same for everyone, and much of it's content has common elements like hopes, dreams, ambitions, loves and fears etc, and we just add those personal ingredients that make up our unique selves: there are a lot of stations/channels showing similar shows, but we make, and mostly watch, our own programs. Memory is indeed imperfect, too - it is ,after all, imprinted on matter, which can easily be damaged, or simply deteriorate with time.The whole of Life, near or far, is in each passing moment and we just have to live that moment as best we can, with the help of every tool at our disposal, including that same " bevy " of senses, perceptual systems and brain cells.

 

The honey? Take a tip from Winnie the Pooh and float beneath balloons, but take heed: " When you go after honey with a balloon, the great thing is not to let the bees know you're coming."

Edited by goldglow
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DrmDoc, please tell me if i've understood this correctly: Is it that, without the subconscious as a " go-between ", there would be no interaction of the conscious/unconscious brain functions?.

 

Subconscious primarily describes a type of influence and a way influence can be delivered. Rather than an intermediary or conduit, subconscious describes how information is packaged and exchanged. Information exchanged overtly is information that isn't concealed or surreptitiously delivered. That overt information is delivered in a way that arouses conscious awareness and is, therefore, conscious information. Information exchanged covertly, which is indeed delivered surreptitiously, is subconscious information in that its effects are delivered or received in a way that eludes conscious detection or awareness. Although conscious ​is a homogeneous reference for mind and influence, subconscious merely references influence while unconscious references mind.

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Posted (edited)

There have been a couple good threads recently which deal with awareness and consciousness which has gotten me thinking a bit about the function of consciousness and what it actually does and doesn't do. I consciously reason and make choices in life but only after I have unconciously interpreted things. I know instantaneously without any thought what I do and don't want or how I feel about everything. My consciousness chooses an action but the action chosen seldom ever changes what I want or feel.

 

Simply examples of this happen all day everyday. While walking down the street I see a jacket in a store window and immediately am aware that I want it. The desire to have it comes without any thought. Then I consciously tell himself that I don't need it because I have others,can't afford it, don't have time to go in the store, or whatever and continue walking. Despite making the choice not to obtain the jacket the desire to have it, which sprung from up without any thought I was aware of remains. A stronger example would be a homosexual who spends decades of their life trying to consciously suppress their desires yet is unable to. Why would one be unable to change that which they desire if one has conscious control over their own mind?

 

If I am fully self aware and consciousnessly control my own mind than I should be able to choose to desire healthy food, choose not to fear spiders, and etc. Instead I have the ability to ignore my desires and fears. I cannot control what those fears and desires are. Which means I actually have limited influence over what things I will be making choices between. I do not consciousnessly determine what captures my attention, what pops into my mind. Instead my unconscious interprets the world and presents me with actions and ideas which I consciously reason through. My consciousness is led by unconscious thought I do not control and prehaps have no influence over.

 

Some will agrue that a person can tap into or learn to control their fears, desires, and etc. I am very skeptical of this. There are millions of depressed people who would strongly prefer not to be depressed. Millions of people who suffer form one of a thousand personality disorders who would prefer to just make them go away. It isn't simple. Is self awareness simply a mechanism our minds use to make choices?

 

Ten Oz,

 

I am reposted your OP because certain of our conversational posts addressed your thought, or explored portions or angles, but as a whole did not get back to your question of whether self awareness was simply a mechanism used to make choices, and was not actually the controlling factor in how we feel, or why we make the choices we make.

 

Years ago, while in college, I had a girlfriend who was afraid of heights. I was shingling my dad's garage roof, and thought I could help her overcome her fears by being right there with her and having her climb the ladder and get onto the roof and see that she would not fall, and could look around from on high. It did not work out too well. She was afraid to leave the top of the ladder and step on the roof. No amount of reasoning or coaxing would do the job. We abandoned the effort, because it was not going to work.

 

When my older daughter (the one on the right), was young (and still) she was afraid of fire. We had a woodstove in our large cinderblock garage at the time, and I would use it all the time to heat the garage, when I was out there in the winter, to save on running the oil furnace. I had her one day come out with me and I put a piece of newspaper on the floor in the middle of the garage, away from furniture or anything flammable, and with fire extinguisher in hand, set the piece on fire with a lighter, to show her we were in control of the fire, and need not be afraid. The extinguisher did not work and I stamped out the fire as my terrified child stood wide-eyed watching the "lesson". Needless to say, I did not help her overcome her fear.

 

My wife has heard my dopamine theory, she has watched with pride, me quit smoking...she smokes less than before, and only outside as always, but she still smokes. Rational thought does not really control such situations.

 

Regards, TAR

Edited by tar
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I would like to offer the paraphased statment. Humans tend to be creatures of habit.

 

With that be said.

 

Habits are patterns which come from conditioning.

 

If one can be conditioned to follow a pattern then one can be un conditioned.

 

Now given there are expections to this mental illness for exsample.

 

I use my schizophrenia as an exsample.

 

My brian like most other is hardwired to work a certian way. However due to certian events my preception of the world is asscued. I often find myself thinking though of what others would do rather than what i would do.

 

This very way of thinking causes me to disassociate myself from my actions to the point where I pshycially view myself prefrom actions in thrid person. I have no conscience control over this happening. however the subconscious level of stress which causes this to happen can be controled. If I take no action other to realize I feel detached as if I am pshycially free from my body.(lacking physical senses of the human body)

 

I dont have a choice which such a state comes over me but I confine myself with strict moral constraints to prevent me from making choices that could lead to negative outcomes.

 

So, even for my abnormal preception of my world i have to use morals and ethics as devine laws rather that guidlines.

 

Which leads me back to the conditioning of being aware of my physical self and limits.

 

I also have to point out typing is a long series of choices. Even when doing something simple as typing I fall into disassociate states which is why I ignore spelling errors, grammar and most rules of language.

 

Now I seen people train there brains (conditioning) form habits (good and negative), and so on.

 

I do not have a normal consciousness so I like every one else have had to adapt a ethics and morals.

 

I think even on a subconscious level we all have been conditioned with a certian level of moral and ethical behavior by whatever means.

 

I most certainly could agrue that morals and ethics help define every choice we make.

 

However, at the risk of being off topic if choice is an illusion then anyone could predict the outcome of any choice made. An agruement could be made that a certian choice has predictable outcomes but could not limit said outcomes down to one outcome that would occur with 100% certainty.

 

Even people whom study the habits of a person can only vaguely predict when a person might be most prone to preform a certian actions. Habits can be pattern of a string choices or actions which you are condition to preform.

 

I have to say the statement of consciousness and illusion of choice really come down to how ones minds eye can adapt and condition itself given with one senses even if those senses are abnormal.

 

(definition of normal in this case to mean a non schizophrenic)

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In response to the OP, unless a person is mentally or socially compromised, no choice is an illusion because all choices arise from the collective experiences of a single mind. The belief that choice could be an illusion is predicated on an idea that the choices an individual makes are all directed by some separate yet conjoined mental element. The reality is that those choices all originate from the mind of that individual and no entity other than that individual. Our unconscious is not a separate and distinct individual from the persons we consciously believe ourselves to be. Our unconscious is who we are on a level of perception and experience that facilitates our ability to focus on only our most immediate conscious concerns. Unconsciously is how we manage certain non-essential perceptual experiences that distract our focus from concerns more demanding of our conscious attention--it's our autopilot for behavioral responses where conscious consideration is not convenient or necessary.

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Posted (edited)

DrmDoc,

 

The effect of socialization on our self image though is somewhat important to this discussion. Not a "single mind" at work when we are making moral decisions. Schitzo@play spelled conscious, conscience and we were before talking about the part of the brain that develops around 3 or 4 that allows us to put ourselves in other people's shoes.

 

Related in a curveball type way to my dopamine theory, is the idea of wanting to "please" an unseen other, with your thoughts or actions.

 

Maybe a "single mind" can not determine morality.

 

Regards, TAR


Allows us to "converse" with unseen others. To "talk" about our choices.


While the guy that ran over the people in Times Square was hearing voices, that is a drug induced extreme example of conversations we "normally" have with ourselves.


"what would Grandpa have thought about Manchester?" "what would Grandma have said?"


and while I am thinking about it, before, when talking about sensory deprivation I recalled that Mohammed heard the Angel Gabriel bring him Allah's biblical clarifications, while in a dark and silent cave


con·science
[ˈkän(t)SHəns]
conciences (plural noun)

 

  1. an inner feeling or voice viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one's behavior:
    "he had a guilty conscience about his desires" ·
    "Ben was suffering a pang of conscience"
    synonyms: sense of right and wrong · moral sense · inner voice · morals · standards · values · principles · ethics · beliefs · compunction · scruples · qualms
Edited by tar
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The effect of socialization on our self image though is somewhat important to this discussion. Not a "single mind" at work when we are making moral decisions.

 

Then your argument is ultimately circular, if not a single mind then who makes the decision?

 

Yes we are social and comply with the consensus, but it has to start somewhere.

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Posted (edited)

dimreepr,

 

 

Some people are of better character than others, in their compliance to the rules established for them by the rest of us.

 

How those rules come to pass, in my estimation, is by consensus. Those things that "work" by either the filter of evolution, or by the experimentation of man, actually work. We really do "feel good" when we do things right.

-

My "argument" in this thread has alternatively accrued to DrmDoc's or Ten Oz's argument, depending on the compliance to, or non-compliance to my worldview, and understanding of science and history, personality and brain functioning. That is, I understand that we are part of the world, bound by its physical reality, and I understand that we are bound by convention and societal rules, and that we have a fully functioning "self", with conscious control of our decisions, and undercurrents or influences provided by both the physical world, in the chemistry and structure of our body/brain/heart group, and the physical world of man constructed in our religions, and governments, and institutions and families and philosophies and the like.

 

To me, the best model to understand what is going on, and all that we have so far talked about, is the Id is the physiological influences, the SuperEqo is the societal influence, and the ego is the moderator between that works out the best plan of behavior, that balances the two sometimes conflicting voices.

 

My argument is simply that we are bound by reality, of and in reality, responsible to reality and responsible for the decisions that we collectively make, as well as those we make for ourselves.

 

Regards, TAR

Edited by tar
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DrmDoc,

 

The effect of socialization on our self image though is somewhat important to this discussion. Not a "single mind" at work when we are making moral decisions. Schitzo@play spelled conscious, conscience and we were before talking about the part of the brain that develops around 3 or 4 that allows us to put ourselves in other people's shoes.

 

Related in a curveball type way to my dopamine theory, is the idea of wanting to "please" an unseen other, with your thoughts or actions.

 

Maybe a "single mind" can not determine morality.

 

Regards, TAR

Allows us to "converse" with unseen others. To "talk" about our choices.

While the guy that ran over the people in Times Square was hearing voices, that is a drug induced extreme example of conversations we "normally" have with ourselves.

"what would Grandpa have thought about Manchester?" "what would Grandma have said?"

and while I am thinking about it, before, when talking about sensory deprivation I recalled that Mohammed heard the Angel Gabriel bring him Allah's biblical clarifications, while in a dark and silent cave

con·science
[ˈkän(t)SHəns]
conciences (plural noun)

 

  1. an inner feeling or voice viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one's behavior:
    "he had a guilty conscience about his desires" ·
    "Ben was suffering a pang of conscience"
    synonyms: sense of right and wrong · moral sense · inner voice · morals · standards · values · principles · ethics · beliefs · compunction · scruples · qualms

 

 

Although it may be an appealing notion to some, that higher moral voice doesn't originate from a separate mind even when we seem to hear an actual voice. What we call our conscience is a product of the social examples and moral experiences we've amassed in memory as mental guides. We rely upon these mental guides not as separate minds but as resources of memory much like the skills we learn and later rely upon for gainful employment. Listening to our inner voices is listening to our own experience rather than the counsel of assimilated or separate identity.

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DrmDoc,

 

I think you are making the individual's independence unrealistically true.

 

That is, the portion of the brain that develops at 3 or 4, that allows us to converse with unseen others, actually allows us to converse with a separate identity. We assimilate the world, into our model. Whether that is images of water holes, or bears or blueberry patches or stars or Aunt Gloria. Having these items in our brains to converse with and make analogies to and figure out how to move through and modify, does not make, in my opinion, a separate mind, that somehow trumps the world that it has internalized.T

 

If you have 16 minutes, please watch this TED talk by Rebecca Saxe, submitted by JillSwift years ago to iNow's great thread on How religion hijacks neurocortical mechanisms of the brain, and why people believe in Dieties. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=rebecca+saxe+ted+talk&view=detail&mid=D333DA8CA52003335BF8D333DA8CA52003335BF8&FORM=VIRE

 

It has been folded into my thinking about our brains and how we operate, ever since I saw it, when iNow's thread was fresh, back in 2009 or 10.

 

Regards, TAR

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DrmDoc,

 

I think you are making the individual's independence unrealistically true.

 

That is, the portion of the brain that develops at 3 or 4, that allows us to converse with unseen others, actually allows us to converse with a separate identity.

 

It's the illusion of a separate identity that is much like talking to oneself in a mirror--that person in the mirror is still us, still the sum of our life experience and the wisdom we've acquired through that experience.

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Dimreepr,

 

As to the circular nature of my argument, as to who then is making the decision, I think, since we are on the philosophy section, its alright to restate a philosophy of mine that says we are in and of the world. God, is a construct, but one that "stands for" the objective reality that we are of and in. God is usually anthropomorphic in nature, when "talked" to. Similar in many ways, in my thinking to that RTPJ that Rebecca Saxe researched, that allows us to converse with unseen others, allows us to put our self in other peoples shoes, and is active when we are making moral judgements. The connection between our selves and our environment is absolutely undeniable. We can not breath without the air, or not freeze without the Sun, or have the energy to move and keep up our internal temperature, without ingesting some calories from plants or animals or fungus, or something on the outside.

 

A central theme of mine, years ago, when debating religion with iNow, was that whether god is considered literally or figuratively, it is actually the same thing. That, about the world that causes an atom to be, that about the world that "knows" how to metabolize sugar...there is plenty...no most, about the world, that does not require human thought, to work.

 

So circular arguments are allowed in this venue. If the human mind's basic job, as DrmDoc is saying, is to record the world, to store the wisdom of a lifetime of sense experience, and with this knowledge, as I promote, enjoy the place and make it possible for others to do the same, then the argument is circular. We can not be more important than the place that made us possible, and that we are part of, and that we sense and record, manipulate and move through.

 

It has to be reciprocal in nature. Just as all the religions talk about, just as all the sciences talk about, just as all the philosophies talk about,just as reality is.

 

Consider for a moment the way we "talk to" science, allow the collective knowledge, the collective experimentation of a million researchers be "our" knowledge.

 

You want to take that literally or figuratively. Your choice. It is no illusion.

 

Regards, TAR

 

 

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Dimreepr,

 

As to the circular nature of my argument, as to who then is making the decision, I think, since we are on the philosophy section, its alright to restate a philosophy of mine that says we are in and of the world. God, is a construct, but one that "stands for" the objective reality that we are of and in. God is usually anthropomorphic in nature, when "talked" to. Similar in many ways, in my thinking to that RTPJ that Rebecca Saxe researched, that allows us to converse with unseen others, allows us to put our self in other peoples shoes, and is active when we are making moral judgements. The connection between our selves and our environment is absolutely undeniable. We can not breath without the air, or not freeze without the Sun, or have the energy to move and keep up our internal temperature, without ingesting some calories from plants or animals or fungus, or something on the outside.

 

A central theme of mine, years ago, when debating religion with iNow, was that whether god is considered literally or figuratively, it is actually the same thing. That, about the world that causes an atom to be, that about the world that "knows" how to metabolize sugar...there is plenty...no most, about the world, that does not require human thought, to work.

 

So circular arguments are allowed in this venue. If the human mind's basic job, as DrmDoc is saying, is to record the world, to store the wisdom of a lifetime of sense experience, and with this knowledge, as I promote, enjoy the place and make it possible for others to do the same, then the argument is circular. We can not be more important than the place that made us possible, and that we are part of, and that we sense and record, manipulate and move through.

 

It has to be reciprocal in nature. Just as all the religions talk about, just as all the sciences talk about, just as all the philosophies talk about,just as reality is.

 

Consider for a moment the way we "talk to" science, allow the collective knowledge, the collective experimentation of a million researchers be "our" knowledge.

 

You want to take that literally or figuratively. Your choice. It is no illusion.

 

Regards, TAR

 

 

 

It's fine to add colour to existence, but let's just be clear on what is the canvas and what our hand has added. It will help us appreciate both. - Prometheus

 

 

I have nothing more to add to this quote from another thread and it's relevance to this thread; feel free to try.

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Posted (edited)

It's fine to add colour to existence,but let's just be clear on what is the canvas and what our hand has added. It will help us appreciate both. - Prometheus.

 

I have nothing more to add to this quote from another thread and it's relevance to this thread; feel free to try.

 

It's clear to me that the only possible " canvas " we have to work on is each moment of our daily life, and whatever we are within ourselves is the colour we add to that canvas. Life is our relationship with each other and the world,and, as sane and sensible adults,when able to act rationally and make our own choices, whatever we bring to that relationship, be it love or hatred, order or disorder, kindness or cruelty, tolerance or intolerance, peace or conflict, or whatever else, is entirely our own responsibility: what we are within ourselves is what we project onto the world. Chaos within creates chaos without: look around around the world today and you'll see what that means. Peace without can only come from peace within.

Edited by goldglow
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Posted (edited)

dimreepr,

 

 

Some people are of better character than others, in their compliance to the rules established for them by the rest of us.

 

How those rules come to pass, in my estimation, is by consensus. Those things that "work" by either the filter of evolution, or by the experimentation of man, actually work. We really do "feel good" when we do things right.

-

My "argument" in this thread has alternatively accrued to DrmDoc's or Ten Oz's argument, depending on the compliance to, or non-compliance to my worldview, and understanding of science and history, personality and brain functioning. That is, I understand that we are part of the world, bound by its physical reality, and I understand that we are bound by convention and societal rules, and that we have a fully functioning "self", with conscious control of our decisions, and undercurrents or influences provided by both the physical world, in the chemistry and structure of our body/brain/heart group, and the physical world of man constructed in our religions, and governments, and institutions and families and philosophies and the like.

 

To me, the best model to understand what is going on, and all that we have so far talked about, is the Id is the physiological influences, the SuperEqo is the societal influence, and the ego is the moderator between that works out the best plan of behavior, that balances the two sometimes conflicting voices.

 

My argument is simply that we are bound by reality, of and in reality, responsible to reality and responsible for the decisions that we collectively make, as well as those we make for ourselves.

 

Regards, TAR

 

 

Tar I'm not sure what your question is here? Why some people have better character and why some people have weaker character?

 

Tar have you ever worked at some of the jails and group homes? Some of these people come from baggage of life problems.

 

Now take drive to upper community neighborhood where mommy and daddy are paying for the kids collage. And they have a comfortable house.

 

Or jobs that will not hire you because of xx and than what do you do.

 

It nice to have laws and rules when every one can be on the same playing field to say yap that follow those laws and rules. Not everyone will be the same.

 

How can people with medical problems, mental problems, family problems, broken family, financial problems, ill health be on the same playing field

Edited by nec209
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Posted (edited)

nec209,

 

You are right, life does not "work", for everyone.

 

But consider for a moment the entire picture. If the rules of proper behavior have been cobbled by the environment, the drive toward "fitness" of evolution, and by the rules and laws of man that suggest to a member of the community what roles and behaviors would satisfy the others, then the most fit, will succeed the best.

 

There is, in some peoples thinking, this idea that a person's soul is to be treated equally by objective reality, and that some have been dealt a bad hand, and therefore need a head start in the race, and the better equipped need to be handicapped. Such a difference in philosophy exists today in the U.S. where an attempt by the GOP to balance the budget in 10 years by reducing the rate of increase in transfer payments has been met by calls of cruel, villain like behavior. The other side of the coin, the other philosophy is consistent with my philosophy, in that what is important, is what works. It is unsustainable to increase our debt like we have for the last 10 years. If income does not increase, we can not pay it back. If interest rates, which have been held artificially low, increase, then the interest payments will be all we can afford to pay, and more and more of our income will be used to pay back what we have already spent, and no funds will be available to make any new purchases, or pay even the obligations that we have already promised to social security, and pensions and the like.

 

So you wonder how a person can play, if there is not a even playing field. Well, we have exactly the same playing field, as every other human being on the planet. Same equipment, same needs for food and shelter, safety and security, love and belonging, and self actualization. What differs is our choices. What team do we chose to play on. What rules do we follow and what do we consider a victory.

 

You, being familiar with the people in the criminal justice system are surrounded by people who did not do it right.

 

They had many opportunities to do it right, and there are many people around ready to give a helping hand.

 

Consider for a moment, how many "problems" are created when a person "chooses" to play computer games, rather then take out the trash, or tend the garden.

 

If some of our societal issues are due to our basic needs already being met, by successful moms and dads, and successful businesses funding a government and a society that will not allow any American to starve to death, that is actually an indication that our rules of behavior, as a nation are working. It is not however proper, or rational, or workable, to expect the world to work for you, if you have not supported the endeavors required to structure the world in such a way as to make survival possible in the first place.

 

My thinking in this is thusly this. If I am in a position to help someone else, that means, not only did I do it right, but I did it SO right, as that I have some extra capability that I can share with others.

 

So I figure if the battle is between the haves and the have nots, then I would rather be a have, and conform to the rules, the working rules, determined by history, and convention among the haves as workable rules. The American dream was, respect your parents, do your chores, do your homework, go to school, find a mate, get a job, start a family, buy a house, follow the laws. The rest of the 200 million Americans that were with me in the 50s and 60s and 70s and 80s and 90s were there, backing up others following that dream. It was not a divided world where the rich are extorted by terror and hold ups and threats of violence, to pay ransom to the poor.

 

Same idea goes for countries, or families, that succeed as opposed to those countries or families that do not. The workable rules followed result in success. Unworkable rules followed or no rules followed result in starvation and situations like Venezuela.

 

Even playing field was never the case. Heavily weighted against life...but we were victorious, by doing it right.

 

Regards, TAR


"How can people with medical problems, mental problems, family problems, broken family, financial problems, ill health be on the same playing field"

 

How many of those problems could have been avoided, if the choice to get high, rather than do your homework was not made.

 

I am thinking of addiction and how that breaks families, as the user feels he/she is "winning" the game of life, when in actuality they are badly losing.

 

Dependency on drugs or unemployment check or disability check, is not healthy, not workable, not sustainable.

 

If the best and brightest in your neighborhood are making their living, selling illegal drugs, I am thinking that in the long run, that neighborhood is going to fail.


But I would be proven wrong in cases like Las Vegas, so It is probably complicated, and I should be careful making blanket statements like that. People often make their livings off other people's dependencies. Every bar, restaurant, gambling house, whore house, carnival, sporting event, dance hall, flower shop, art museum...well just about everything that fills a human need, is in the business of providing dopamine.

 

Regards, TAR

Edited by tar
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Please explain how this post is relevant to the OP.

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exactly accrues to the OP in terms of what choices are we born with and what choices do we make


and directly addresses the idea that what fits, what works, is the thing that survives


the "choice" that works is the one that is often made...and in this there is an argument that many of our choices are already made

 

in regards to the OP and our discussion, when we pass the jacket up in the store, even though we want it, it is because we know it will work out better, if we don't get it

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Posted (edited)

When,one way or another, most of our daily choices are, for the most part, quite trivial, does it really matter too much how or why we make those simple choices? Witnessing

the heart-shredding anguish of those poor parents in Manchester and wherever else children are slaughtered, perhaps the only choice of any real consequence in life, when we are able to make a sane choice, is just to do no harm.

Edited by goldglow
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Posted (edited)

Maybe a little better than that. Attempt to be a "good" person. Provide dopamine for yourself and make it possible for others to have the same.

Do the right thing.

Edited by tar
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Maybe a little better than that. Attempt to be a "good" person. Provide dopamine for yourself and make it possible for others to have the same.

Do the right thing.

 

A little better than that, perhaps, just be yourself and do what you want, but always consider others; just remember 'doing the right thing' isn't the same for everyone, if you can accept that, you're well on the way.

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