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Unread May 26th, 2006, 10:34 AM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 483
Default Re: Damasios: Professors of Creativity

Todd: Anyway, when I got back and checked into the forum it took me aback a bit to see how interesting the discussion had gotten and then how rapidly it had degenerated from my perspective.
Yes Todd, I too have been somewhat troubled by Margaret’s lack of restraint. But then since she’s convinced that we humans lack freewill, I suppose her crudity—e.g., her utilization of gratuitous terms like “asshole,” “coward,” “bully,” “ideologue”—is really not all that surprising—It may primarily be a symptom of the moral vacuum resulting from her atheism (whereas your own “atheism” doesn’t seem to result in such a vacuum, probably due to your strong moral/spiritual background; plus your conviction that we sane adults are indeed morally responsible for our behavior).

Regarding “heuristics,” it’s interesting that the word is derived from the same Greek verb that “eureka” is derived; and that we humans, unlike other evolved creatures, are able to discover and utilize objective (mathematical) truth so as to thoughtfully comprehend the reality of, and even somewhat manipulate, our world.

As I’ve written elsewhere, there does seem to be an undeniable duality in our world—in computers it’s hardware and software/heuristics; and in humans we it’s organic matter and coding, some of which requires more than just algorithmic processes (since human understanding, unlike computer computations, isn’t constrained by Godel’s incompleteness theorem).

What seems to get confused in these discussions is that while the evidence suggests that primitive emotional/motivational/survival/instinctive systems do seem to exhibit a good deal of primacy, and do seem to be rather algorithmic, we humans are nevertheless unique in that we are capable of discovering and comprehending objective truth (certainly objective mathematical truth), which provides us with real autonomy and, it seems to me, real moral responsibility (and not some sort of incoherent “predetermined” “choice” that has recently has been hypothesize here).
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