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  #11  
Unread June 30th, 2006, 12:00 PM
TomJrzk TomJrzk is offline
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Default Re: The Political Brain - More Evidence of Evolved Psychology

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred H.
Looks like you’ve finally more or less acknowledged that we humans “CAN” indeed cognitively/consciously discern reality/truth and behave accordingly . . .
I've said in the past that we do make choices, just that those choices are tied directly to the state of our brains; that there is no free will. My brain chose to write those words, and my words may affect the state of others' brains, who may therefore make different choices. There's nothing 'meaningless' about it.
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  #12  
Unread June 30th, 2006, 12:23 PM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
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Default Re: The Political Brain - More Evidence of Evolved Psychology

Quote:
MM: The emotional forces it produces are not always based on good logic or adequate data - and, we use it as often as not to logically justify the particular non-intellectual emotional signals that we'd prefer to follow.
If indeed humans are, as you declare, nothing more than creatures “driven by emotion to do what we do . . . driven to seek an emotional payoff for it,” then neither you nor any human can ever truly, objectively know, one way or the other, what is “good logic or adequate data.”


Quote:
MM: When you say, "Nonsense", you are expressing an emotional response….
Well MM, as you see things—that we are nothing more than creatures “driven by emotion to do what we do . . . driven to seek an emotional payoff for it”—of course. Using your circular reasoning, how could it be otherwise?

But as I see things, I truthfully and in reality do find that much of what you declare/believe to be “nonsense,” and I suspect that others here may also more or less agree.
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  #13  
Unread June 30th, 2006, 01:11 PM
Margaret McGhee Margaret McGhee is offline
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Default Re: The Political Brain - More Evidence of Evolved Psychology

Fred sed,
Quote:
If indeed humans are, as you declare, nothing more than creatures “driven by emotion to do what we do . . . driven to seek an emotional payoff for it,” then neither you nor any human can ever truly, objectively know, one way or the other, what is “good logic or adequate data.”
Ultimately, that is true. To overcome this limitation we construct provisional models for determining those things - and then we test them against reality. These are found in math, science, etc. But, these models are mental constructs, conceptual chimeras made from neural nets with peculiar characteristics. They may or may not resemble objective reality.

That's why science is provisional. It is an admission that a human understanding of objective realty is a goal that can never be realized - that the neurons we use to conceptualize the universe can never replace the reality of that universe, nor the emotional mechanism that is our only true connection to that universe. We can only create models that seem to work better than previous models. That doesn't mean that it's not worth trying to improve them. But, the conceptual models we create can never replace the physical reality that we hope to describe with them.

Fred sed,
Quote:
Well MM, as you see things—that we are nothing more than creatures “driven by emotion to do what we do . . . driven to seek an emotional payoff for it”—of course. Using your circular reasoning, how could it be otherwise?
Indeed. However, I take exception to your phrase "nothing more than creatures driven by emotion". It seems like a pretty clever control system to me, seeing as how it is responsible for everything that humans have ever done, including generating the ideas expressed in this forum, as a very simple example.

Perhaps, you'd like to explain how your downward causation provides behavior choice - without a controlling emotional force behind it. It is not necessary to do that in order to prove me wrong. But, for somone so certain that downward causation is an integral part of behavior choice, I would think you (or some scientist) could have proposed some mechanism by which it could provide those (non-emotional) behavior choices by now. LeDoux has never done that as far as I know.

My hypothesis however, does account for what you call downward causation. It is the emotions produced by our social conscience in the medial pre-frontal cortex - or perhaps by our intellect in our neo-cortex. In socially enlightened and/or logically capable persons, those emotional forces can be very strong.

It seems that every few weeks another study comes out showing the fundamental connection of emotion to behavior choice, like the study that Tom referred to at the start of this thread.

Saying that an explanation is circular does not disprove it. As others have noted, the most fundamental conceptual explanations of nature are inherently circular. This may be a problem for creatures who conceptualize. However, since the universe was here long before conceptualizing humans, I doubt it is a flaw in the fabric of the universe.

Fred sed,
Quote:
But as I see things, I truthfully and in reality do find that much of what you declare/believe to be “nonsense,” and I suspect that others here may also more or less agree.
Then, let them find logical fault with my premise, something that you have completely failed to do.

Remember, you were going to provide a single example where a human has overcome their need to seek emotional gratification and has made a logical or moral decision against their emotional nature in a behavior choice.

Margaret

Last edited by Margaret McGhee; June 30th, 2006 at 02:40 PM.
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  #14  
Unread June 30th, 2006, 04:08 PM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
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Default Re: The Political Brain - More Evidence of Evolved Psychology

Quote:
MM: Then, let them find logical fault with my [circular] premise….
Circularity is a “logical fault.” Hello?

I find your lack of rigor and consistency extraordinary . . . you actually do seem to be something of an automaton . . . really, that’s not just an "emotional response" on my part.
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  #15  
Unread June 30th, 2006, 05:08 PM
Margaret McGhee Margaret McGhee is offline
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Default Re: The Political Brain - More Evidence of Evolved Psychology

I have offered an explanation for behavior choice in animals that says we seek emotional payback - to increase our sense of well-being - in our behavior choices. I have stated that that is all that is needed to allow a human, a dog, a cat or a fish, for that matter, to choose behavior from its repertoire that would support its survival.

I have offered several examples that plausibly illustrate this mechanism. Since I have no way of quantifying emotional force I do not claim that I have proven my hypothesis - that behavior choice is the result of a summation of those emotional forces. That doesn't make my explanation circular - it just leaves me without a way to quantify its operation. It certainly doesn't disprove it.

While I can't prove my hypothesis you can disprove it. You only need to provide one example where it fails to account for behavior choice - where something other than seeking emotional fulfillment causes behavior choice to be made in opposition to that emotional fulfillment. Until you do that, it remains a highly plausible candidate for an explanation of behavior choice in animals.

You say,
Quote:
I find your lack of rigor and consistency extraordinary . . . you actually do seem to be something of an automaton . . . really, that’s not just an "emotional response" on my part.
Saying that I lack rigor and consistency and am somewhat of an automoton is nothing but an emotional response. From reading your posts over the last several months I doubt you have the capacity to make an argument that did not emotionally disparage your opponent's view. You live in a world where the emotions of your belief system control every thought you have and every statement you make. Every abstract concept that occurs in your mind has one purpose - to affirm your theistic belief system and attack all who do not share it. That's not only the reason you participate in this forum, based on the amount of time you seem to have available for this mission, it's no doubt what you live for. Such is life inside the mind of an ideologue. Such is the power of the emotions of strong belief systems when they are allowed to infect one's mind. Thanks for illustrating this so well.

Except for a few posts where you comically implied that JimB or Todd agreed with you about something, I doubt I can find a post where you did not have something nasty to say about someone else or their ideas.

If you actually had a point to make I suspect you would have made it by now. I don't have time for high-school level debating games about God and the associated name calling. As I said before, I'll check back once in a while to see if anything worthwhile is happening here.

Margaret
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  #16  
Unread July 1st, 2006, 09:10 AM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
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Default Re: The Political Brain - More Evidence of Evolved Psychology

Quote:
MM: . . . is nothing but an emotional response.
Of course MM, b/c as you see things, under your paradigm, everything everyone does is for emotional payoff b/c everything everyone does is for emotional payoff—see the unavoidable, unfalsifiable circularity, that renders your so called “hypothesis” useless, as I and others have patiently splained to you over and over and over again? Earth to Margaret—Hello? Hello?

Maybe MM’s blindness here is an example of Tom’s so-called “repressor module” hypothesis? You two, Tom & Margaret, might consider blending your hypotheses into a new and improved:
The T&M repressor module/emotional payoff hypothesis—
Everything everyone does is for emotional payoff and the repression module represses anything that might jeopardize that emotional payoff . . . b/c everything everyone does is for emotional payoff and the repression module represses anything that might jeopardize that emotional payoff….
Be that as it may, humans, unlike the other animals, can and do discern objective (mathematical) truth and can utilize that truth to measure and comprehend the realities of our world, to make predictions about our world, and to somewhat manage/control our world; and by downward causation humans, unlike the other animals, can modify what we instinctively feel and believe about our world, e.g., the earth is not really flat, the universe that we find ourselves in has not always been here, and entropy only increases.
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  #17  
Unread July 1st, 2006, 02:56 PM
TomJrzk TomJrzk is offline
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Default Re: The Political Brain - More Evidence of Evolved Psychology

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred H.
see the unavoidable, unfalsifiable circularity, that renders your so called “hypothesis” useless,
I'm sorry, Fred, you're wrong again.

There is a logical fault called circularity but that is not present in Margaret's argument because she's doesn't say she's proved anything.

Take hunger as an example. People said in the past "I always eat because I'm hungry". Why? Because whenever I'm hungry, I eat. The circularity here just means that the conclusion can not be fully suported with that little of evidence; it doesn't mean that it's wrong. So, these people have not proven that they eat because they are hungry, it's just their working hypothesis. It's not proven until scientists show that the brain signals hunger when blood sugar goes low and we get sugar from carbohydrates that we eat; plus, we ultimately need the sugars to create ATP in mitochondria for energy.

Of course, you can disprove this hypothesis by showing one time each person eats when they are not hungry.

Take Margaret's hypothesis as an example. She is not saying that she proved that all decisions are emotional, just that it's her best guess. And, thinking that every decision she's seen so far has been emotional makes that a damn good first guess and one I wouldn't argue against. She even asked for counter examples.

If someone discovers decision mitochondria that rely on emotion chemicals, then they could prove it. Your taunting with vacuous arguments can not disprove it. Margaret's hypothesis is not 'useless'; in fact, it's probably true.
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  #18  
Unread July 1st, 2006, 04:15 PM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
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Default Re: The Political Brain - More Evidence of Evolved Psychology

Quote:
Tom: Of course, you can disprove this hypothesis by showing one time each person eats when they are not hungry.
You err my shortsighted friend—by MM’s circular reasoning, you could tell her that you’re not hungry, that you’re actually full (maybe even vomit a few times for confirmation), but that you’re going to chose to eat a piece of apple pie anyway, and then eat the piece of pie—but then MM, using her circular reasoning, could say that regardless of what you may have thought or believed about your hunger, you were in fact hungry b/c the only reason people eat is b/c they’re hungry and therefore you were in fact hungry, although you may not have been consciously aware that you were hungry.

And that, Tom, is why Margaret's circular hypothesis is useless—thanks for making the uselessness of her circularity so clear with your hunger example, albeit apparently unwittingly. Perhaps even MM will now begin to grasp the uselessness.
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  #19  
Unread July 2nd, 2006, 01:47 PM
TomJrzk TomJrzk is offline
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Default Re: The Political Brain - More Evidence of Evolved Psychology

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred H.
MM, using her circular reasoning, could say that regardless of what you may have thought or believed about your hunger, you were in fact hungry b/c the only reason people eat is b/c they’re hungry and therefore you were in fact hungry, although you may not have been consciously aware that you were hungry.
No, you've mischaracterized her reasoning. She's saying that you ate that pie for emotional reasons, and the part of your interpretation of your feeling of hunger that was partly intellectual added one of many emotional reasons to eat pie. Your brain weighed all the emotional reasons, including instincts and your desire to prove MM wrong, and stuffed pie down your throat.

Not only useless, but probably correct. You would not eat pie unless you WANTED to eat pie.

That's pretty clear to me.
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  #20  
Unread July 2nd, 2006, 04:01 PM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
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Default Re: The Political Brain - More Evidence of Evolved Psychology

Quote:
Tom: No, you've mischaracterized her reasoning. She's saying that you ate that pie for emotional reasons….
Nonsense Tom—any mischaracterization is your own. You were the one that specifically said:
Quote:
Take hunger as an example. People said in the past "I always eat because I'm hungry". Why? Because whenever I'm hungry, I eat. The circularity here just means that the conclusion can not be fully suported with that little of evidence; it doesn't mean that it's wrong.
And that’s what I did Tom—per your request, I took “hunger as an example,” and clearly showed how/why MM’s (or anyone’s for that matter) circular reasoning, whether it be for hunger, or emotions, or whatever, is useless . . . and thanks again Tom for providing the example of hunger since it provides such a an unambiguous picture of how/why circular reasoning is useless.
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