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    Thread: What is consciousness?

    1. #26
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      Quote Originally Posted by Lakona View Post
      And... nobody has any idea whatsoever.

      Literally, no one has anything close to the first clue as to what a plausible answer would even look like.
      bravo you nailed it. im glad someone had the balls to say it. I would say consciousness is being aware that you are aware of being separate from everything else...but that doesnt explain it either. The tough question is what is the origin of consciousness? is it a material substance in the brain? if so why cant we locate it? i have no clue, sorry to waste your time
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      Quote Originally Posted by spockman View Post
      I don't know what is going to happen, but if I knew all of the variables then I would. What is going to happen cannot be changed because it is just that... What is going to happen.
      Determinism is the exaggerated exultation of cause and effect. It goes beyond the logical constitution of the world and says that because X happens then Y must follow. A simple exercise will show this. Because I am human, I must seek subsistence in order to survive. Cause, effect. A determinist would say that because I am human, I will seek subsistence to survive. However, I can choose to not seek subsistence can I not? I am not bound to carry out the effect even though there is a cause.
      Last edited by Laughing Man; 10-07-2010 at 03:52 AM.
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      The Anti-Member spockman's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Laughing Man View Post
      Well that isn't determinism then. You are speaking of cause and effect.
      There isn't a difference. Determinism means a philosophy which accepts that all of the things in the universe are affected by cause and effect and the course of events can never-ever under any circumstances possibly 'even if you really want it to' change. Ever.
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      Quote Originally Posted by DuB View Post
      Newcomb's paradox is first and foremost a problem in rational choice theory, and I really don't see how it's instructive or even relevant here. Care to convince me?
      Because Newcomb's problem concerns free-will and how it is acted upon in relation to the clear/opaque box choices. The choosing of one or two boxes which contain a set amount of money/goods and whether our choices affect the predictions of the predictor. I think that has everything to do with whether or not free will has an effect on the course of events.

      Quote Originally Posted by DuB View Post
      You seem to be saying that because backward causation is impossible, forward causation is impossible. How does this follow?
      Yes backward causation is impossible but forward causation, what I am taking to mean as events having an effect on the future, is possible. In fact the world operates on cause and effect but determinism takes a step beyond just simple laws of logic and states that preordained events will occur.
      'What is war?...In a short sentence it may be summed up to be the combination and concentration of all the horrors, atrocities, crimes, and sufferings of which human nature on this globe is capable' - John Bright

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      Quote Originally Posted by spockman View Post
      There isn't a difference. Determinism means a philosophy which accepts that all of the things in the universe are affected by cause and effect and the course of events can never-ever under any circumstances possibly 'even if you really want it to' change. Ever.
      And thus it goes beyond the laws of logic which demand cause and effect and into a world were preordained events are destined to transpire.
      'What is war?...In a short sentence it may be summed up to be the combination and concentration of all the horrors, atrocities, crimes, and sufferings of which human nature on this globe is capable' - John Bright

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      The Anti-Member spockman's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Laughing Man View Post
      Because Newcomb's problem concerns free-will and how it is acted upon in relation to the clear/opaque box choices. The choosing of one or two boxes which contain a set amount of money/goods and whether our choices affect the predictions of the predictor. I think that has everything to do with whether or not free will has an effect on the course of events.



      Yes backward causation is impossible but forward causation, what I am taking to mean as events having an effect on the future, is possible. In fact the world operates on cause and effect but determinism takes a step beyond just simple laws of logic and states that preordained events will occur.
      Pre ordained is not the right word. That makes it sound like it had to have been set about by some conciousness. Lots of determinists are atheists. Determinism says nothing about atheism/theism. Determinism 'does' say that events which occur today were unavoidable and part of the natural course that existed a billion, a trillion, etc. years ago.

      Quote Originally Posted by Laughing Man View Post
      And thus it goes beyond the laws of logic which demand cause and effect and into a world were preordained events are destined to transpire.
      No. If you say that cause and effect works, then by saying that what is going to happen next week based on the variables of today can be changed you are either trying to imply that things outside of reality affect nature or else you are not following 'the laws of logic' along it's full course.
      Last edited by spockman; 10-07-2010 at 08:38 AM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Laughing Man View Post
      Because Newcomb's problem concerns free-will and how it is acted upon in relation to the clear/opaque box choices. The choosing of one or two boxes which contain a set amount of money/goods and whether our choices affect the predictions of the predictor. I think that has everything to do with whether or not free will has an effect on the course of events.
      The issue of backward causation arises in the background analysis of Newcomb's paradox but certainly has little to do with the primary purpose of the problem. As I said, it's first and foremost a problem concerning rational choice (the impossibility of backward causation is only brought up to the extent that it justifies the rationality of one of the choices) and on no reading other than your own does it have anything useful or interesting to say about free will. If you are so convinced that it "has everything to do with" the present discussion, then as I said earlier, I'd be happy to be convinced of why or how this is so.

      Quote Originally Posted by Laughing Man View Post
      Yes backward causation is impossible but forward causation, what I am taking to mean as events having an effect on the future, is possible. In fact the world operates on cause and effect but determinism takes a step beyond just simple laws of logic and states that preordained events will occur.
      Okay, perhaps I misunderstood you then.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Valmancer View Post
      So, I've come to the conclusion that there is no consciousness and we are just machines, Prove me wrong!
      I cannot decide if this is a self-denial or a confession. I do know that if one desires truth by wordcraft that they would devote their life to understanding what has not yet been written. But then, of course, one would have to be consious that they did not know what they thought they knew, so, I suppose this is a confession.

      You want something of which you will never be conscious of. I say, it is clear that the principles of grammar itself is one thing you certainly are not conscious of, however, were a machine made as well, I trust you would not have a working computer.

      All proof starts with well defined terms, not with undefined terms. You are trying to retrace the gibberish in regards to Euclid's 5th which led to the non-sense called non-Euclidean Geometry. Trust me, if you are unconscious enough not to know how to use what you have already been given, like a history of want to be philosophers, the field will always be wide open. There is one, and only one person, which will have the will to open your eyes, and that is you.

      In the hundreds of years of trying to prove or disprove Euclid's 5th, did even one of those fools ever go back to the first principles of proof to see just how foolish they were? You are no match for them-but you follow them well.

      At the foundation of any logic system, even the one called common grammar, is a convention of names.-which is the establishment of a one-to-one correspondence between a name and one of the three primitive categories of namables. The name of which abstractions are made, that is a thing, and the two elements of that thing, its form and material difference.

      Thus names are not proven, they are assigned by one's participation in the naming convention. The inability to make an abstraction means that one can not participate in the convention, and thus has no idea of the meaning of terms--no matter how they use them otherwise.

      So it does not matter if you are Einstein, Russell, Whitehead, Cantor, or whomever you worship as an intellectual god, not one of them could take the first step without making the first logical error in reasoning, the self-referential fallacy. As clever as they might have been, a pile of gibberish is a pile of gibberish. But, if you really want to know, and have a fascination with the occult, this very same thing, perception is the very same thing that was said to be rejected, as Christ represented perception--his so called miricles were a test, can you say what you saw? The foundation of a working conciousness. Perception determines conception, conception determines will. Proof of conciousness is directly proportional to its ability to craft its environment such that the products maintain and promote life.

      I would like to thank you for this post, though, as you reminded me of when I was very young. This disproof of the results of trying to disprove Euclid's 5th was my first understanding of the error, long before I learned the foundation of grammar. Since a word is not different from a word, a word can neither prove nor disprove a word. Proof is only checking that the original naming convention has not been violated.

      A string of letters, devoid of that which makes it something, is simply a form. A form is one of the two elements, of which nothing can either be asserted or denied. Predication is the inverse function of abstraction.
      Last edited by Philosopher8659; 10-07-2010 at 03:32 PM.

    9. #34
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      Quote Originally Posted by spockman View Post
      Pre ordained is not the right word. That makes it sound like it had to have been set about by some conciousness. Lots of determinists are atheists. Determinism says nothing about atheism/theism. Determinism 'does' say that events which occur today were unavoidable and part of the natural course that existed a billion, a trillion, etc. years ago.
      Unavoidable events future events, and pre-ordained is not the right word?



      Quote Originally Posted by spockman View Post
      No. If you say that cause and effect works, then by saying that what is going to happen next week based on the variables of today can be changed you are either trying to imply that things outside of reality affect nature or else you are not following 'the laws of logic' along it's full course.
      You are not taking into account the actions of others which can effect future events. You seem to be implying that we live in a bubble where everything we want to do gets to be done.
      'What is war?...In a short sentence it may be summed up to be the combination and concentration of all the horrors, atrocities, crimes, and sufferings of which human nature on this globe is capable' - John Bright

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      Quote Originally Posted by DuB View Post
      The issue of backward causation arises in the background analysis of Newcomb's paradox but certainly has little to do with the primary purpose of the problem. As I said, it's first and foremost a problem concerning rational choice (the impossibility of backward causation is only brought up to the extent that it justifies the rationality of one of the choices) and on no reading other than your own does it have anything useful or interesting to say about free will. If you are so convinced that it "has everything to do with" the present discussion, then as I said earlier, I'd be happy to be convinced of why or how this is so.
      Well you seem to only focus on one aspect of Newcomb's problem. The actual choosing process of the boxes shows whether we are determined to get both items by our choice or whether free will determines it. If I choose the opaque, is it already determined before I make the choice that I am going to get the prize? Or is it my free will that brought it about?
      'What is war?...In a short sentence it may be summed up to be the combination and concentration of all the horrors, atrocities, crimes, and sufferings of which human nature on this globe is capable' - John Bright

    11. #36
      The Anti-Member spockman's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Laughing Man View Post
      Unavoidable events future events, and pre-ordained is not the right word?





      You are not taking into account the actions of others which can effect future events. You seem to be implying that we live in a bubble where everything we want to do gets to be done.
      Pre-ordained makes it sound like God planned it all out.

      As far as the other half of your post I don't know what you are saying. Are you implying that there are things outside the bubble, (the laws of the universe being the bubble,) and that the actions of others don't affect us and can't be predicted?
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    12. #37
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      Quote Originally Posted by spockman View Post
      Pre-ordained makes it sound like God planned it all out.
      preordained - definition of preordained by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.


      Quote Originally Posted by spockman View Post
      As far as the other half of your post I don't know what you are saying. Are you implying that there are things outside the bubble, (the laws of the universe being the bubble,) and that the actions of others don't affect us and can't be predicted?
      No I'm saying that the actions of others do affect us and that we don't reside in an atomistic lifestyle.
      'What is war?...In a short sentence it may be summed up to be the combination and concentration of all the horrors, atrocities, crimes, and sufferings of which human nature on this globe is capable' - John Bright

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      The Anti-Member spockman's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Laughing Man View Post
      preordained - definition of preordained by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.




      No I'm saying that the actions of others do affect us and that we don't reside in an atomistic lifestyle.
      Of course the actions of others affect us. But those actions are not independant of the rest of the universe. They are the culmination of countles prior events and are predictable.

      And that definition site is why preordained is not the right word. That definition says appointed. The next definition uses the word destiny. It doesn't have to be destiny for the universe to just follow the laws of physics.
      Last edited by spockman; 10-09-2010 at 02:15 AM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by spockman View Post
      Of course the actions of others affect us. But those actions are not independant of the rest of the universe. They are the culmination of countles prior events and are predictable.
      Determinism isn't prediction. It is the belief that event X WILL happen, not that it is likely.

      Quote Originally Posted by spockman View Post
      And that definition site is why preordained is not the right word. That definition says appointed. The next definition uses the word destiny. It doesn't have to be destiny for the universe to just follow the laws of physics.
      The laws of physics do not apply to human action.
      'What is war?...In a short sentence it may be summed up to be the combination and concentration of all the horrors, atrocities, crimes, and sufferings of which human nature on this globe is capable' - John Bright

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      The Anti-Member spockman's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Laughing Man View Post
      Determinism isn't prediction. It is the belief that event X WILL happen, not that it is likely.
      There isn't such a thing as probability when you get right down to it. It is really nice as a tool, but not as a way the universe works. It's just a tool. How can you determine if something is likely or not? By eliminating variables and understanding what affects the thing you are trying to predict. The more variables eliminated, the better the prediction. Guess what? There aren't an infinite number of variables. Or, to say it better, there aren't any magic variables that will spontaneously change their path.

      Quote Originally Posted by Laughing Man View Post
      The laws of physics do not apply to human action.
      Sorry, but that's a load of crock. So what, are our brains just these magical things that are there for looks? Human action is seperate from the rest of the universe?
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      Quote Originally Posted by spockman View Post
      There isn't such a thing as probability when you get right down to it. It is really nice as a tool, but not as a way the universe works. It's just a tool. How can you determine if something is likely or not? By eliminating variables and understanding what affects the thing you are trying to predict. The more variables eliminated, the better the prediction. Guess what? There aren't an infinite number of variables. Or, to say it better, there aren't any magic variables that will spontaneously change their path.
      Well that is nonsensical. Probability doesn't exist but its a tool? I think your getting turned around in your argument.



      Quote Originally Posted by spockman View Post
      Sorry, but that's a load of crock. So what, are our brains just these magical things that are there for looks? Human action is seperate from the rest of the universe?
      Not at all. Human action is apart of the universe but the natural sciences and social sciences are not viewed in the same limelight. The philosophical outlook of physics does not apply to the philosophical outlook of praxeology ( the study of human action ). It's called methodological dualism. So when I say that the laws of physics don't apply to human action I am not inferring that something so simple as gravity doesn't affect the human body. You are saying that determinism is applicable because of the 'laws of physics' but human action is not a natural science therefore how we interpret and view human action cannot be through the 'laws of physics.'
      Last edited by Laughing Man; 10-10-2010 at 09:58 PM.
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    17. #42
      The Anti-Member spockman's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Laughing Man View Post
      Well that is nonsensical. Probability doesn't exist but its a tool? I think your getting turned around in your argument.

      No, you are not understanding what I am saying. This argument I am making is a common one, so if I go into only a basic explanation I will assume you will realize what argument I am employing and understand. There is only one possible outcome to everything. Only one. If I roll a die, based on what variables I know, it will land on 6 just about 1 out of 6 times. So I can use my knowledge of probability as a tool to predict how often certain events will play out. We know enough about a dies variables to predict that much. However, say I roll a die and hope it lands on 6 and then it lands on 4. There was never a chance that it would land on 6, not even a 1 in 6 chance. Not really. It was always going to land on 4. If I rewound time and played out that scene of me rolling the die over and over again without changing anything it would always land on 6. Always. FOREVER. The die could not have ever landed on 6. The variables that affected it made anything else impossible. So, while the principles behind probability are useful, (making it a tool,) it is really an illusion to think that there are chances that certain events will occur. To employ a phrase, 'God doesn't play with dice.'

      Quote Originally Posted by Laughing Man View Post
      Not at all. Human action is apart of the universe but the natural sciences and social sciences are not viewed in the same limelight. The philosophical outlook of physics does not apply to the philosophical outlook of praxeology ( the study of human action ). It's called methodological dualism. So when I say that the laws of physics don't apply to human action I am not inferring that something so simple as gravity doesn't affect the human body. You are saying that determinism is applicable because of the 'laws of physics' but human action is not a natural science therefore how we interpret and view human action cannot be through the 'laws of physics.'
      Human action is largely the same as rabbit action and salmon action and praying mantis action and microbe action and viral action and grass action and water action and solar action and any kind of action you can imagine. It all equates to the same thing. Unless you are saying that our brains do not interpret signals in a manner that defines our actions, or say that we are magic, then human action is fully defined by the laws of physics. I am not going to let that one slide. I respect your intelligence too much to let you get away with such pseudoscientific nonsense. I know what dualism is. I even agree with it so some extent. But even assuming that dualism is spot on and human minds are more than neurons, whatever metaphysical forces affect our minds will still have a pattern and still act according to stimuli or else they will act according to certain variables. They just will. So, in essence, our action is like that of any animal. Even considering the possibility of us having astral selves or whatever you prefer to call it, we will respond according to whatever path the universe sent us on. Just like any rock or frog. To say otherwise is no better than saying gravity shouldn't affect us if we don't want it to.
      Last edited by spockman; 10-10-2010 at 11:09 PM.
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    18. #43
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      Quote Originally Posted by Laughing Man View Post
      Well that is nonsensical. Probability doesn't exist but its a tool? I think your getting turned around in your argument.
      I think his point is that probability exists as an expression of subjective uncertainty, not as an objective feature of the universe. Regardless of whether this is true or not, I don't think it's nonsensical by any means. Most philosophical interpretations of probability (but not all) treat it in basically this way.

      Quote Originally Posted by Laughing Man View Post
      Human action is apart of the universe but the natural sciences and social sciences are not viewed in the same limelight. The philosophical outlook of physics does not apply to the philosophical outlook of praxeology ( the study of human action ). It's called methodological dualism. So when I say that the laws of physics don't apply to human action I am not inferring that something so simple as gravity doesn't affect the human body. You are saying that determinism is applicable because of the 'laws of physics' but human action is not a natural science therefore how we interpret and view human action cannot be through the 'laws of physics.'
      Okay, but saying that it's not always useful or desirable to describe human action in the reductionist language of physics is very different from saying that human action is not ultimately founded in--and in a deep sense caused by--principles from physics which describe the workings of the natural universe. This latter view is good old fashioned ghost-in-the-machine dualism, and it does not follow at all from the former point (which I happen to agree with). Are you prepared to commit yourself to this view?
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      Quote Originally Posted by DuB View Post
      I think his point is that probability exists as an expression of subjective uncertainty, not as an objective feature of the universe. Regardless of whether this is true or not, I don't think it's nonsensical by any means. Most philosophical interpretations of probability (but not all) treat it in basically this way.
      Uncertainty is an objective feature of the universe. It exists regardless of individual interpretation. Even evolution is uncertain.

      Quote Originally Posted by DuB View Post
      Okay, but saying that it's not always useful or desirable to describe human action in the reductionist language of physics is very different from saying that human action is not ultimately founded in--and in a deep sense caused by--principles from physics which describe the workings of the natural universe. This latter view is good old fashioned ghost-in-the-machine dualism, and it does not follow at all from the former point (which I happen to agree with). Are you prepared to commit yourself to this view?
      So are you saying that human action is or isn't founded upon principles within physics?
      'What is war?...In a short sentence it may be summed up to be the combination and concentration of all the horrors, atrocities, crimes, and sufferings of which human nature on this globe is capable' - John Bright

    20. #45
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      Quote Originally Posted by spockman View Post
      It is pretty clear as long as the basic principles of logic are held to be the highest standard. I've heard about the studies which show how the universe operates differently while being observed and predictions can never be 100 percent. Alright, cool. Even if that is totally spot on there is just a force driving this observation that we don't yet understand. To come to the conclusion, 'Oh, the universe must be broken!' is psuedo-science at its best.

      If quantum uncertainty is inherent in the universe, then it is a law of the universe. Things will effect it and there will be a scientific reason for its operation. Surely you are not suggesting that it is possible for a non-understood idea of to defy all other laws and work seperate from the rest of the universe? If one could understand all the variables of quantum mechanics, the universe isn't going to spit out something contrary to what those variables pointed to.

      And any time quantum mechanics tries to deny basic rules of logic/how things work, I call B.S. I don't care how many think it is true when a scientist says something about universal mechanics, if he uses his thought experiments to deny something as simple as 1+1=2 and sticks to that conclusion he may as well switch his field to cryptozoology or become a sociologist. (To all the sociologists out there... I was just joking about that last one, guys! I you.)
      You are only asserting that probability is illogical, hence your claim that if the universe behaves in this way it is 'broken'. Physicists don't say 'the universe is broken', they just say 'the universe functions in this manner', and indeed quantum mechanics actually provides precise functions for its predictions. To think of quantum physics as chaos and lawlessness is a gross mischaracterisation.

      The way in which logic works is you have some axiomatic facts and also some rules of deduction, and using these you can generate further facts.

      Axioms themselves, however, cannot be proven. We simply obtain them from empirical observation.

      Hence, there is no such thing as an a priori truth. Sometimes axioms can be further reduced to more fundamental axioms, but it is obvious that this cannot go on indefinitely. An interesting exercise is to repeatedly ask 'why' of something; for example, why do logs burn, or why does pi/4 = 1 - 1/3 + 1/5 - 1/7...

      It seems to me that you are using the observation of the macroscopic world that things don't appear probabilistic and attempting to apply it to the microscopic world. This is flawed because there is no reason to assume that such an axiom would be appropriate in the microscopic world, and when you do observe the microscopic world, things appear at least to be probabilistic.

      If you can provide some logical argument based on axioms that can also be observed in the microscopic world then please do so, but if you cannot then you must realise that you are not basing your views on logic but rather presumption.
      Last edited by Xei; 10-10-2010 at 11:53 PM.

    21. #46
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      Quote Originally Posted by Laughing Man View Post
      So are you saying that human action is or isn't founded upon principles within physics?
      I wasn't actually saying anything at all about my own view--I was critiquing yours--but since you asked, I do believe that human action is founded upon principles from physics. To be clear, when I say "founded upon," I mean that it is in principle possible to precisely describe human action (decisions, overt behavior, and everything else) in the language of physics, regardless of whether or not this is in practice possible or even desirable.

      What do you believe? As I wrote above, you seem to be endorsing a simple notion of dualism, but I don't want to put words in your mouth.

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      The Anti-Member spockman's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      You are only asserting that probability is illogical, hence your claim that if the universe behaves in this way it is 'broken'. Physicists don't say 'the universe is broken', they just say 'the universe functions in this manner', and indeed quantum mechanics actually provides precise functions for its predictions. To think of quantum physics as chaos and lawlessness is a gross mischaracterisation.

      The way in which logic works is you have some axiomatic facts and also some rules of deduction, and using these you can generate further facts.

      Axioms themselves, however, cannot be proven. We simply obtain them from empirical observation.

      Hence, there is no such thing as an a priori truth. Sometimes axioms can be further reduced to more fundamental axioms, but it is obvious that this cannot go on indefinitely. An interesting exercise is to repeatedly ask 'why' of something; for example, why do logs burn, or why does pi/4 = 1 - 1/3 + 1/5 - 1/7...

      It seems to me that you are using the observation of the macroscopic world that things don't appear probabilistic and attempting to apply it to the microscopic world. This is flawed because there is no reason to assume that such an axiom would be appropriate in the microscopic world, and when you do observe the microscopic world, things appear at least to be probabilistic.

      If you can provide some logical argument based on axioms that can also be observed in the microscopic world then please do so, but if you cannot then you must realise that you are not basing your views on logic but rather presumption.
      Do adress this partially and to address laughing man, uncertainty only exists insomuch as we are ignorant. If we knew everything about the universe as it is right now, we could predict everything. So uncertainty is inherent in HUMANS. There is no discernable reason I can see that would make it uncertain as a principle.

      If built upon axioms then Quantum Mechanics are built upon the same standards as mathematics. So Quantum Mechanics must admit that 1+1=2, so 1+2=3, so 1+3=4, etc. etc. etc. 1+1=3 will never be true and should quantum mechanics think it is possible, quantum mechanics would become a load of rubbish. As far as macro vs. micro scopic predictability, microscopic particles interact with each other the same way that macroscopic particles interact with each other. Micro may 'appear' more random because it is tougher to observe and there are more variables we have yet to comprehend. But microscopic particles interact with one another. A proton doesn't wake up one day and decide, 'I am going to act independant of the universe, work outside of stimulu, and do things contrary to what my various interactions with other particles would suggest!' To suggest that microscopic particles interact with one another in a totally random manner as opposed to macro particles is to suggest such a thing.

      Look at it like this. Assume that the universe was layed out a certain way 20 billion years ago by me. (In this analogy I have unlimited cosmic power, okay?) That includes the positioning of any astral forces if they exist, any spiritual beings, whatever. It doesn't matter. Everything is in a certain fashion with certain energies and forces already in motion. I make another universe that is identical to the first in every singal way, including likes to metauniverse and metaphysical stuff should any of those be real. In fact, I make an infinite number of those perfectly identical universe. To deny determinism is to suggest that, at this moment 20 billion years after I made all these universes, the various universes will have variations and be different. (SPOILER ALERT: They will be exactly the same in every way.)
      Paul is Dead




    23. #48
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      Quote Originally Posted by DuB View Post
      I wasn't actually saying anything at all about my own view--I was critiquing yours--but since you asked, I do believe that human action is founded upon principles from physics. To be clear, when I say "founded upon," I mean that it is in principle possible to precisely describe human action (decisions, overt behavior, and everything else) in the language of physics, regardless of whether or not this is in practice possible or even desirable.
      Really? Then pray tell how do the laws of physics explain why I buy chocolate ice cream?

      Quote Originally Posted by DuB View Post
      What do you believe? As I wrote above, you seem to be endorsing a simple notion of dualism, but I don't want to put words in your mouth.
      Yes, there is a difference between the natural sciences and the social sciences in terms of methodology and philosophical outlooks.
      'What is war?...In a short sentence it may be summed up to be the combination and concentration of all the horrors, atrocities, crimes, and sufferings of which human nature on this globe is capable' - John Bright

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      Quote Originally Posted by spockman View Post
      Do adress this partially and to address laughing man, uncertainty only exists insomuch as we are ignorant. If we knew everything about the universe as it is right now, we could predict everything. So uncertainty is inherent in HUMANS. There is no discernable reason I can see that would make it uncertain as a principle.
      So you think if the earth were a conscious actor, it would know where an event such as a hurricane would transpire? Or perhaps the next mutation in the evolution of a species?
      Last edited by Laughing Man; 10-11-2010 at 03:43 AM.
      'What is war?...In a short sentence it may be summed up to be the combination and concentration of all the horrors, atrocities, crimes, and sufferings of which human nature on this globe is capable' - John Bright

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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      .

      Axioms themselves, however, cannot be proven. We simply obtain them from empirical observation.

      Hence, there is no such thing as an a priori truth. Sometimes axioms can be further reduced to more fundamental axioms, but it is obvious that this cannot go on indefinitely. An interesting exercise is to repeatedly ask 'why' of something; for example, why do logs burn, or why does pi/4 = 1 - 1/3 + 1/5 - 1/7...
      So you are saying that math, which is a priori, doesn't exist?

      And if you read the definition of axiom, it is a concept which cannot be disproved without being proven. I point to the action axiom. I think we talked about this before.
      Last edited by Laughing Man; 10-11-2010 at 03:45 AM.
      'What is war?...In a short sentence it may be summed up to be the combination and concentration of all the horrors, atrocities, crimes, and sufferings of which human nature on this globe is capable' - John Bright

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