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Unread July 29th, 2006, 11:24 AM
Margaret McGhee Margaret McGhee is offline
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Default Re: free will, determinism, and morality

Quote:
Fred: But one can see how MM “feels compelled by her emotions,” to believe whatever it is that she happens to believe, since, as she has previously declared, she believes whatever it is she believes b/c that is what makes MM herself “feel good,” and, as she explains in her so-called “axiom,” MM “uses her brains to justify it”; and also, as MM now amplifies, “what makes us different are the things that make us feel good.”
OK - and your point is . . . ?

Margaret

On edit: I don't mean this post to be sarcastic. I really would like to know what it is about my premise - that we make behavior decisions according to our subconscious prediction of how we will feel (better or worse) as a result of that behavior - that angers you so much that you feel (emotionally) compelled to sarcastically criticize it (and me).

You seem to think that I have belittled the role of intellect in this process. If you think that we make behavior decisions solely as a result of our intellectual calculations - then perhaps I have. But, I allow intellect to participate in behavior decisions - according to the emotional weight we subconsciously feel from those calculations.

In some behavior decisions there may be no other sources of emotion bearing on that decision. By that I mean that we don't expect to be greatly affected emotionally by our decision. These would include most of the hundreds of utilitarian decisions we make each day like which off-ramp to take to Home Depot, for example, where we expect little emotional consequence from the result of that decision. In these decisions, the weak emotions from our intellectual conclusion will be the only emotions bearing on the decision (we would be mildly dissapointed if we chose the wrong ramp and had to spend an extra five minutes getting to the store) - so we will engage our intellect and take a particular off-ramp.

Other decisions, like what college to go to, might have several competing sources for the emotions we expect to experience as a result of our decision. Our complex estimate of our happiness and success in life as a graduate of Stanford rather than Cal Poly, how others including potential employers will value us, etc. - could be a large source of the emotions we hope to estimate and quantify, both intellectually and subconsciously - in order to make the best decision.

I just don't understand why this view of behavior decision choice is so unsavory for you - unless perhaps it violates your view of free-will - and that violation generates strong negative emotions in you when you consider it.

Care to comment?

Margaret

Last edited by Margaret McGhee; July 29th, 2006 at 02:15 PM.
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