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Unread July 29th, 2006, 04:40 PM
Margaret McGhee Margaret McGhee is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 271
Default Re: free will, determinism, and morality

OK - we might be getting somewhere with this.

Quote:
Fred: Undoubtedly folk often do make various behavior decisions based on their emotional predilections. Certainly, children, animals, machines, and/or the truly insane do all the time. But the rest of us sane adults, with our cognitive consciousness, will often take other factors into account; as the human ability to comprehend objective (mathematical) truth, and then use that truth/measure to comprehend the reality of our world, attests; and as moral responsibility attests; etc.
Machines with emotional predilections?

You say: "But the rest of us sane adults . . . will often take other factors into account; . . "

You imply that we "sane adults" don't always do that. I assume in those cases where we don't that we would be relying on our emotional inputs, as I have described. Do you agree?

You also seem to imply that the emotional inputs are different in kind from the "cognitive conscious" inputs or the "moral responsibility" inputs you refer to - that when these are involved, that some different decision-making process is occuring in the mind than when emotional inputs are determining a behavior decision. If I'm wrong please clarify that.

If I'm on the right track I have some questions:

a) Do you believe these special sane adult inputs are experienced by us somehow other than through the chemicals and neurons in the brain or other parts of our CNS?

b) If not, then I think you must agree with Tom that human behavior decisions are effectively determined by those chemicals and neurons in the brain or other parts of our CNS. Do you agree?

c) If you do think they come from somewhere else, do you have any scientific evidence for this? Are you aware of any studies that have been done that allow the possibility that we make behavior decisions according to processes that occur outside the chemicals and neurons in the brain or other parts of our CNS.

d) Do you think those inputs are supernatural in origin? If so, can you describe (your understanding of) them better?


Quote:
You say: The problem is that MM’s circular “premise,” her strongly held belief, that “[she] makes behavior decisions according to [her] subconscious prediction of how [she] will feel (better or worse) as a result of that behavior,” utterly precludes MM from ever seeing or comprehending or acknowledging any reality or truth that contradicts that outcome. As they say, “Give a beggar a horse and she’ll ride it to Hell.”
Aside from your strange style of referring to me in the third person in that para, I don't think my hypothesis is a strongly held belief. My purpose in explaining it here is to encourage criticism - to see if I'm out totally in space on this or possibly on the track of something that could be at least partially true.

I have not reacted emotionally to any criticism of my hypothesis - which would indicate a strongly held belief. I have reacted emotionally to personal insults and attacks. In those cases I am usually reacting emotionally to a challenge to my strongly held belief that I am an honest, intelligent person. I agreed with Carey that my hypothesis needs testable predictions. I think it is far from proven in any respect.

I'm very willing to hear other views, even if they are not particularly rigorous - as this thread should verify. I certainly don't think I'm ready to ride this horse to hell.

When you say "The problem is this . . . utterly precludes MM from ever seeing or comprehending or acknowledging any reality or truth that contradicts that outcome" . . . what you say is a problem in this case is actually a red herring. The real problem (if there is one) is that no-one including you have offered any plausible . . . reality or truth that contradicts that outcome.

Margaret

Last edited by Margaret McGhee; July 29th, 2006 at 08:26 PM.
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