What is CTD?

Discussions on the nature of being, existence, reality and knowledge. What is? How do we know?

Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 3rd, 2018, 2:27 pm 

BadgerJelly wrote:Nihilism. You say it's not nihilistic yet seem unable to say why RJG.

You are avoiding an ugly truth.

...a 'strawman' accusation.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 3rd, 2018, 7:44 pm 

And you don't seem able to understand what a "strawman" is.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby mitchellmckain on March 3rd, 2018, 11:01 pm 

When you look up Nihilism, it says a "true nihilist would have no beliefs," and this seems to be wrong in his case. But I suspect there are no true nihilists -- only those people who use self deception in order to hold to a selective nihilism.

But what I think is more significant is that RJG admits to being nothing but a bot on this forum, for has he not told us that what he posts is not a product of conscious thought? I would suggest that the bot can only speak for itself, in which case are not its conclusions natural considering it has no experience of human consciousness itself.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 4th, 2018, 12:23 am 

And therefore has no "belief" or "view" about anything.

He says he isn't a nihilist, and degrees of holding to determinism doesn't necessarily make one a complete nihilist nor does being a determinist make one a fatalist.

I have asked him previously why he is not a nihilist. The question could be asked about fatalism.

He has a habit of ignoring questions he doesn't like to address ... I am not surprised that he hasn't said what it is about his view (that isn't HIS) that sets hm apart from fatalism or nihilism.

He has said plainly enough that he doesn't believe he can believe right? If not I wait to hear an explanation.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 4th, 2018, 11:34 am 

from previous conversation wrote:
BadgerJelly wrote:But your position is pointless because YOU don't have a position - that is the YOU that is supposedly consciously acting out and writing here on this forum.

RJG wrote:The 'physical' ME is the one that is auto-reactively "acting out and writing here on this forum", ...not the 'conscious' ME. The 'conscious' ME is just an illusion (a bodily reaction/experience in of itself).



BadgerJelly wrote:It is meaningless. It is pure nihilism.

RJG wrote:Not so. It is NOT "meaningless". It's just not the 'meaning' that any of us want (desire) to accept.



BadgerJelly wrote:For an equivalent position we could imagine that there is a box that may or may not have a bomb in it that is about to explode. From your position you'd do nothing about it, from my position I'd presume the worst and move away from the box. You do nothing.

RJG wrote:Not so. The 'physical' ME (body) does what it does. And in most cases, wants to survive and will auto-react to preserve itself. The 'conscious' ME has no say-so in the actions of the body. The 'conscious' ME, can only 'experience' (recognize) the actions/reactions of the body.


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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 4th, 2018, 12:28 pm 

How is that a defense? If that isn't fatalism what is?

Have you not just admitted above that your "desire" or "want" is not YOUR desire (because it is merely the bodily wants and desires) ??

You use logic as a defense only when it suits your purpose it seems (sorry, some OTHERLY purpose.)

See the tangled mess or is it just too hard a truth to accept?

I guess you could be saying we are prisoners of a sort. That wouldn't really offer up any kind of "meaning" though so we could never truly accept it fully.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 4th, 2018, 1:51 pm 

It is what it is! ...nothing more, nothing less. Your "like" or "dislike" of a logical truth has no relevance upon it's truthfulness.

The acceptance of an 'ugly' truth is always 'difficult' for us emotional beings. We want what we want, not what we don't want. If we are searching for truths, then we might not like what we find. (...as in this case). I say - "So be it!" dammit. Life goes on regardless.

Long story short - STOP searching for truths if you can't handle what you might find!
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby TheVat on March 4th, 2018, 2:58 pm 

RJ: Stop pretending you are the arbiter of truth around here. Many of the logic problems with epiphenomenalism presented to you here, you never responded to or even bothered to study. I consider your position a failure of the imagination - you cannot conceive of a world where the causal unknowns of the mind are far from being uncovered. As others have pointed out, quantum theory suggests a universe that is not the closed causal system you believe it is. You criticize others as too emotional about their own beliefs and conjectures, all while you passionately cling to yours and dismiss all possible flaws to your epiphenomal theory of mind.


I leave this, from Chalmers, for further exploration:

http://consc.net/zombies-on-the-web/
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 4th, 2018, 3:25 pm 

'Logic' (not "me"!) is the arbiter of truth. There is no higher authority!

If something is logically impossible, then all the science, and all the emotions, and all the quantum theory, and all the pissing and moaning, cannot suddenly make the impossible somehow possible.

Our inability to accept a logical truth, is the problem that we REFUSE to face.

Until we can accept that X does not equal not-X, then all means of reasoning, and "making sense" of anything is out the window.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby mitchellmckain on March 4th, 2018, 6:20 pm 



The application of this to the thread merits an additional type of zombie modified from the philosophical zombie.

The RJG or epiphenomenal zombie: This is, of course, something that looks and behaves like a normal human being and has an experience of consciousness but the experience is irrelevant and serves no purpose because it has no causal effect on the behavior of the zombie. Indeed, for all intents and purposes it is the same as the philosophical zombie -- it just has this added observer which is nearly as ephemeral and meaningless as Carl Sagan's dragon in the garage. This would be what I compared to a bot in my previous post.

In fact, the CS dragon comparison raises a very interesting situation and question. This thing RJG calls consciousness would be unlike the dragon in the fact that it can be affected by things (and thus damaged or destroyed) even though there would be no obvious effect of such an event. This means we would have every reason to believe that there should be those with brain damage who are very similar to the philosophical zombie with no conscious experience even though they behave just like normal people. I should point out that this is technically not the same as the philosophical zombie because there would be a physically measurable difference. The question is... would this make RJG's belief testable? ...and would a negative result from such a test have any impact whatsoever on RJG's beliefs?
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 4th, 2018, 11:32 pm 

RJG -

Wipe the drool from your bottom lip and explain how we CAN accept this. Once you've done that you'll have to then explain how we can do such a thing when you've stated (perhaps several hundrd times) that WE cannot choose to do anything.

Is it "logical" to say that we cannot choose, but that your choice is better and truer than everyone else's, when you deny any kind of possible intentional action in the world? If there is no conscious control at all then all my thoughts are predetermined. If this is so then I can never do anything, the "I" is nil. Therefore everything you or I say is merely a pattern being played out and if it was to play out again it would be the same because WE would never choose any differently because we cannot.

Is that or is that not fatalism? I say it is fatalism. I would then say that if that is your position and you held to it as firmly as possible you're disregarding your own position in the world and denying all responsibility for action. You therefore have a perfect excuse to do nothing believing firmly that you cannot do anything - that is why it is amoral; it is a steadfast denial of selfhood and responsibility.

Now, could fatalism be true? Certainly. If we find out it is true then what? I guess it is inevitable whether we do or don't! If we do have a say and deny that we do then we live an amoral life because we simply don't know fatalism to be a truth of human life (although we could bolster the belief of such an idea by wilfully adherring to focus on what we cannot change rather than trying to make an impact upon our own narrative.)

The amoral feature reeks of the most vile form of nihilism. The best use of nihilism is forcing oneself into a corner and understanding the use of pessimism as a road toward harder "truths" of life and makes us face our Shadow (Jungian.) You appear to be in thrall of your shadow self. You'll suffer more before you suffer less and it may well destroy you.

But hey! YOU have no choice right. Wake up.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 5th, 2018, 2:00 pm 

mitchellmckain wrote:The RJG or epiphenomenal zombie: This is, of course, something that looks and behaves like a normal human being and has an experience of consciousness but the experience is irrelevant and serves no purpose because it has no causal effect on the behavior of the zombie.

Correct. Since none of us can do the impossible, then these 'Zombie's-are-Us'.


BadgerJelly wrote:...and explain how we CAN accept this.

We cannot (consciously) "choose" to accept, or not accept, anything. If we are psychologically unable to accept an 'ugly' logical truth, then we can't accept it.


BadgerJelly wrote:Is that or is that not fatalism? I say it is fatalism.

If it matches your definition of fatalism, then it is fatalism to you. So be it.


BadgerJelly wrote:I would then say that if that is your position and you held to it as firmly as possible you're disregarding your own position in the world and denying all responsibility for action. You therefore have a perfect excuse to do nothing believing firmly that you cannot do anything - that is why it is amoral; it is a steadfast denial of selfhood and responsibility.

If we don't have a 'choice' to deny, or not deny, then how could it be a "denial"?


BadgerJelly wrote:Now, could fatalism be true? Certainly. If we find out it is true then what?

Then we accept it.

And if this truth is too 'difficult' to accept, then we won't accept it, and instead just cast stones at those that do accept it.


BadgerJelly wrote:The amoral feature reeks of the most vile form of nihilism. The best use of nihilism is forcing oneself into a corner and understanding the use of pessimism as a road toward harder "truths" of life and makes us face our Shadow (Jungian.) You appear to be in thrall of your shadow self. You'll suffer more before you suffer less and it may well destroy you.

Yes, if you suspect that you will be "destroyed", then best not go down that path.

So again, if you are psychologically unable to handle an 'ugly' truth, then you probably should STOP searching-for-truths. As you're bound to stumble over an 'ugly' one.


BadgerJelly wrote:But hey! YOU have no choice right. Wake up.

Wake up to what??? ...falsehoods and delusions? ...no thanks, I would rather believe in a truth that was ugly, than a lie that is pretty.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby mitchellmckain on March 5th, 2018, 2:52 pm 

BadgerJelly » March 4th, 2018, 10:32 pm wrote:The amoral feature reeks of the most vile form of nihilism. The best use of nihilism is forcing oneself into a corner and understanding the use of pessimism as a road toward harder "truths" of life and makes us face our Shadow (Jungian.) You appear to be in thrall of your shadow self. You'll suffer more before you suffer less and it may well destroy you.

But hey! YOU have no choice right. Wake up.


It seems like you are trying to brow-beat him into changing his beliefs. That seems like a waste of time to me, but then I have never had the skills and inclination to be a preacher or motivational speaker. I am more inclined to accept RJG's beliefs as possibly accurate self-assessment -- nobody knows RJG like RJG. After all, belief plays a role in making us what we are, and beliefs rarely change as a result of argumentation. But there is a unbridgeable gap when it comes to knowing others, however ever much we might like to assume that other people are just like us. But this is a habit I have never been inclined to indulge in. I see no reason to project either my assets or flaws on other people. Variation seems to be the one constant not only in living things but throughout the entire universe. And the more complex things are the greater the variation. Thus, why should people be the same. That many people are like the walking dead (whichever kind of zombie that may be) has been an observation of many including Jesus in the NT. And that need not be a unilateral judgment because it is quite possible that we are all a bit a deader in particular areas of life.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby sponge on March 5th, 2018, 4:35 pm 

Hey, RJG, did it ever occur to you that your 'conscious self' might be standing in the so-called subconscious - at that point where all the information comes together - and sending out information to the physical body with that fraction of a second delay?
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 5th, 2018, 6:43 pm 

Sponge wrote:Hey, RJG, did it ever occur to you that your 'conscious self' might be standing in the so-called subconscious - at that point where all the information comes together - and sending out information to the physical body with that fraction of a second delay?

Sponge, it still doesn't help.

Without the prior actions/reactions/experiences/sensations of the "physical self" (body), there is NOTHING for the "conscious self" to be conscious of. By the time the "conscious self" receives any information, the "physical self" has already acted.

The "conscious self" can never direct the actions of the "physical self" because the "physical self" is always at least 150 milliseconds ahead of the "conscious self".

The "physical self" leads and calls all the shots (i.e. auto-reacts accordingly), whereas the "conscious self" lags behind filling its content with the 'knowing/recognition' of these reactions (i.e. the consciousness of these bodily experiences/reactions/sensations).

The "conscious self" can never lead the way, because its 'existence' is wholly dependent on the actions/reactions/experiences of the "physical self".
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 5th, 2018, 10:14 pm 

Mitch -

Brow beating? I am just calling out the dangerous thoughts of a dangerous fool. I cannot forgive willful ignorance on this scale.

He talks about a definition of "fatalism" like there are many different definitions. I think that says it all. He is ignorant of terminology and at an intellectual dead end.

Tell me, is this fatalism:

If we don't have a 'choice' to deny, or not deny, then how could it be a "denial"?

- RJG


I think that is textbook fatalism. To accept the possibility of something is not the same as holding to it unerringly. We appear to be dealing with a fatalistic defeatism - I think my previous comment of pure nihilism was accurate enough.

I have yet to see a defense of my so called "accusations" of his fatalistic, amoral, defeatist nihilism. They are his own "accusations" written in his own words. I am merely telling him what he is saying and how abhorrent it is.

Then comes the idiot logic. If fatalism is true "we accept it" ?? Really? Now we have a choice to accept it even though RJG doesn't believe we have a choice in the first place? It is dogmatic faith in a nihilistic universe, there is no "what if I'm wrong" to the person who does not think they are capable of independent thought - which is the gist of RJG position.

I find it morally abhorrent and if you do not I also find you morally abhorrent. The reason is to think in such a way disposes responsibility. Someone living their life without any inclination to be responsible for their actions is a personal danger to me and those around them. They need no "justification" because such as idea is empty to them. It is a deeply childish and naively dangerous dogmatic position to hold.

Only a complete fool or an evil idiot would say we should act as if we cannot act. The very fact that they would say what we "should" do whilst saying we cannot decide is a clear sign of a dysfunctional being.

example of disregarding logic:

Yes, if you suspect that you will be "destroyed", then best not go down that path.


Even though he has stated we cannot decide not to go down that path. It's pure idiocy is it not? You can of course try to reason with him but he'll just lead you around in circles for several pages of gibberish (there are examples on this site and others of such a course of directionless and inconsistent thought - spanning around 5 years.)

RJG -

Wake up to what??? ...falsehoods and delusions? ...no thanks, I would rather believe in a truth that was ugly, than a lie that is pretty.


No, you'd rather believe in a truth in which you have no responsibility for your actions than take any responsibility.

Which one is the "ugly truth"?

a) That you admit you can cause bad things to happen.

b) That you choose the belief that no matter what you do things will turn out the way they are destined to turn out.

You can amuse us all by trying to argue (b) over (a), but you won't.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby mitchellmckain on March 5th, 2018, 11:53 pm 

BadgerJelly » March 5th, 2018, 9:14 pm wrote:Brow beating? I am just calling out the dangerous thoughts of a dangerous fool. I cannot forgive willful ignorance on this scale.

dangerous thoughts? Hmmmm.... Sounds like something "thought police" would say.

BadgerJelly » March 5th, 2018, 9:14 pm wrote:I have yet to see a defense of my so called "accusations" of his fatalistic, amoral, defeatist nihilism. They are his own "accusations" written in his own words. I am merely telling him what he is saying and how abhorrent it is.

If that is different from brow-beating then it looks like a fine line to me.

BadgerJelly » March 5th, 2018, 9:14 pm wrote:Then comes the idiot logic. If fatalism is true "we accept it" ?? Really? Now we have a choice to accept it even though RJG doesn't believe we have a choice in the first place? It is dogmatic faith in a nihilistic universe, there is no "what if I'm wrong" to the person who does not think they are capable of independent thought - which is the gist of RJG position.

Agreed. But in some sense this is beside the point. The issue is really whether CTD really means what RJG claims and it is logically clear to most on this forum that it does not mean any such thing. I certainly agree there are some things we believe for purely pragmatic reasons but this is not one of them. In this case, I think it is RJG who is distorting things to fit his beliefs and I see no need to resort to anything similar.

BadgerJelly » March 5th, 2018, 9:14 pm wrote:I find it morally abhorrent and if you do not I also find you morally abhorrent.

That kind of "with me or against me" type of argument raises all kinds of red flags, bringing to mind such things as intolerance and Nazis.

It is unavoidable that I am reminded of similar situations where atheism has been called morally abhorrent. But just because some people have made morality logically dependent upon God in their own thinking does not mean that other people cannot be moral without a belief in God. Thus, I think a little step back is called for here.

Do I find it morally abhorrent? No, I do not. But I do think it is an example of philosophy which is very much out of touch with the basic human experience -- what many would call bad philosophy. I think this makes it unavoidable that those pushing it are being logically inconsistent and willfully ignorant to some degree. But like a lot of religion, no matter how inconsistent it may be, perhaps some people think they have to believe it in order to cope with their life. That is their prerogative, is it not?

Does that mean I think anything goes? No it does not. Tolerance has a logical limit which ends at the gates of intolerance. That is the most important line drawn, upon which a free society depends. Does this mean we do not hold people responsible for what they do? No it does not. That, we will do according to the legal definitions and the determination of psychology experts. But when it comes to believing whether people are responsible in a philosophical sense as opposed to things like determinism and predestination, that just isn't on the same level of importance as tolerance. And thus I have to support a tolerance of a diversity of opinion on this issue.

BadgerJelly » March 5th, 2018, 9:14 pm wrote: The reason is to think in such a way disposes responsibility. Someone living their life without any inclination to be responsible for their actions is a personal danger to me and those around them. They need no "justification" because such as idea is empty to them. It is a deeply childish and naively dangerous dogmatic position to hold.

Only a complete fool or an evil idiot would say we should act as if we cannot act. The very fact that they would say what we "should" do whilst saying we cannot decide is a clear sign of a dysfunctional being.

That would not agree with my definition of evil. I mean think about... At most you can say that such a belief makes a person have no more moral agency than a device or a rock. Are devices and rocks evil? I don't think so. It may be a great shame that a person has made of himself so much less than he could be. Or perhaps you are afraid that RJG might convince others to believe as he does, and then I suppose you could say that he is doing some harm to them. But I do not share your fear in this. Indeed, I am inclined to laugh at the thought. I think the only people he is likely to "convince" are people who want to believe something like this and will find an excuse for it one way or another just as RJG has done.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby DragonFly on March 6th, 2018, 1:11 am 

I see a lot of defense mechanisms seeming to end up kicking the player instead of the ball, and when the ball is addressed I see but poor sweeping generalizations with no specifics.

Sa far, no one has shown how conscious qualia, etc. have a separate repertoire of information from which to decide things which does not include the neural activity correlating to the qualia. Or, a source over and above the neurals.

There are too many faults to list here, but one poor one says that one can't let certain states be true when they are not what one wants.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 6th, 2018, 1:32 am 

Mitch -

And I have to point out willful ignorance and laziness. I have to point out that to shirk responsibility for your actions as your own actions (possessing agency) is to dismiss the horrible truth ...

Or to quote Pink Floyd again:

"exchange the walk on part in the war for the lead role in a cage."

I call that cowardice and I am calling RJG a coward even though he is trying to make out his display as somehow being brave and noble. It is laughable and I don't even think he believes it, what I imagine he is looking for is a reason to do something. He wants answers, but he's too lazy, and/or too scared, to look and put in any effort.


That kind of "with me or against me" type of argument raises all kinds of red flags, bringing to mind such things as intolerance and Nazis.


I have a line and I am not sure exactly where the line is, but when someone is far enough across it I am willing to commit and say their position is "abhorrent." I know it makes me feel this way because I've been in the clutch of it myself (as have we all to some degree or another) and I know it is destructive, and that destruction can spread - if you destroy yourself it affects those around you.

I meant what I said. If you don't find such fatalism and nihilism morally abhorrent then I find you abhorrent. I did not say if you find nihilism and fatalism worthy of contemplation I find you morally abhorrent. There is a difference.

And be clear, I am talking about the extreme ends where all responsibility or action is reduced to nil. That is what RJG is propounding, and has been propounding for a long time, so I am at loggerheads with that and will continue to be until RJG can explicate why it is not a kind of fatalistic, nihilistic, screw the universe, nothing matters kind of attitude that boils down to a refusal to take on any kind of responsibility in life.

dangerous thoughts? Hmmmm.... Sounds like something "thought police" would say.


There are such things as dangerous thoughts. If someone is not capable of handling them then they will commit violence. You'd hardly ask a 5 year old to think about committing multiple murder for 5 hours a day would you? He is after all saying he does not, and cannot, think. He is saying he doesn't control his thoughts and you accuse me of being "thought police" ? Are you not reading what he is saying? He is committing, dogmatically, to not being able to do anything about anything, he is denying "thought" itself outright.

I am quite happy to except determinist views. He is not expressing something merely as deterministic here. I can even understand holding to some kind of predetermined view; but morally there is no grounding for such views because it is a denial of moral responsibility.

I have far more respect for someone saying this or that thought is bad than I do for someone saying I have no control and I cannot think. See what I mean? Denying "thought" is a greater travesty than policing thought, for what I would assume to be quite obvious reasons - and ironically RJG claims "reason" to be part of his "thinking."

So it is also a comment on his sketchy use of rational thinking and application of logically coherent thought (which, to emphasize again, he denies outright.)

I'll await his response to my question and see if he can defend (b) over (a). I am curious to see what he has to say/troll.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby zetreque on March 6th, 2018, 1:54 am 

I haven't had time to fully read and follow this thread but I will say that I like what mitchellmckain has said. Badgerjelly, I also thinking that you have an uphill battle in life when there are so many crazy ideas out there and getting crazier all the time (like the scientist in the news today claiming some holes in a rock on Mars are alien footprints, or flat earthers). I understand your feelings about them being indirectly harmful to our life but there is also such a thing as coexistence and open debate. Everyone presents their sides (hopefully without repeating themselves, browbeating, and getting too emotional) and future readers can use that as part of making up their own minds.

You also must find me abhorrent then because I am open to discussion on ideas for the possibility of not having free will. It's a physics question as well as philosophical. Whether or not I believe in free will (or fatalism) is beside the point. I don't think anyone is godlike enough to know the answer right now.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 6th, 2018, 2:48 am 

Zeq -

If you'd taken the time to read my response you'd see that is a ridiculous thing to say.

I find you morally questionable for completely different reasons (kind of counter to you your own claimed position here - but hey, maybe I am wrong. That is because you were unable and unwilling to say anything positive about Trump. My view is if you cannot, and/or will not, say anything positive about someone you're dogmatic.) That is just my opinion and I have my own reasons for saying that - which we could discuss at length in a debate about ethics.

This simply boils down to me having a strong opinion about something and being willing to voice it so it can be countered. RJG is saying he, me and you have no agency or influence upon the world. He is denying "thought" itself. He is denying the existence of "opinion." Yet it is not "HE" that is doing so and his explanation as to what is is to say "evolution" like that is some kind of reasonable explanation for the denial of agency?

Read above for my respect for those who believe in Flat Earth or any other far flung idea. RJG denies the very existence of thought itself and fails to see the contrary nature of this. He has had plenty of opportunity to defend his position. As yet nothing he has said has disputed his fatalistic nihilism.

Yes, no one is in a position to say anything either way. RJG is saying fatalism is the "truth", and I am saying "fatalism" is inherently amoral. He may still try and swerve away from the fatalistic scheme he's lain out, but if he is to do so he'll have to drop several of his previous claims.

He is cornered. I am merely finishing off unformed fatalism and shifting him toward absurdism. From there he'll have the beginning of philosophical currency in term of a moralistic position.

Whether or not I believe in free will (or fatalism) is beside the point.


Not if it is dogmatic belief. There is literally no logic in arguing "I don't know, therefore there is no meaning and I cannot do anything." That is the gist of what RJG is saying. If I am mistaken then he's presented his view as such and I am hardly to blame for responding to the words he's written.

He has again started to use rhetoric and suggest that my view of "fatalism" is someone different to everyone else's. It is a desperate attempt to escape criticism through semantics, or the sign or ignorance (I assume a bit of both for now because I am charitable.)

And to repeat, no one here is denying CTD. What I, and others, are protesting is RJG incoherent reasoning from this obvious position to deduce that we have no conscious control or input in to anything that happens.

note: He has also previously denied that consciousness is like the famous "steam from an engine" statement. There is no consistency in his "argument."
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby Positor on March 6th, 2018, 10:11 am 

DragonFly » March 6th, 2018, 5:11 am wrote:So far, no one has shown how conscious qualia, etc. have a separate repertoire of information from which to decide things which does not include the neural activity correlating to the qualia. Or, a source over and above the neurals.

I agree. This is a point I have often made.

Unlike RJG, however, I do not see this as a question of 'logic'. I see no logical reason why our past consciousness cannot have influenced our present physical actions, or why our present consciousness cannot influence our future physical actions (to some extent, bearing in mind any external changes during the time lag, and any competing neural events that do not reach our consciousness). There is no contradiction here; it is not saying "X precedes X" or anything of that kind.

Whether our consciousness actually does influence our actions is a difficult philosophical and physical question, which is open to discussion and requires background knowledge/reading. It is a controversial issue, involving such concepts as downward causation, overdetermination, and causal closure. It cannot be resolved by 'logic'.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 6th, 2018, 6:09 pm 

Positor wrote:I see no logical reason why our past consciousness cannot have influenced our present physical actions

This is logically impossible. If C is the result of B, then B cannot be the result of C. B>C and B<C are mutually exclusive (and cannot co-exist)!

If Consciousness is the result of the Body's actions/reactions, then the Body's actions/reactions cannot be the result of Consciousness.

Imagine the following:
A large boulder falling to and fro down a large mountainside. This large boulder's movements (actions/reactions) are determined by that which it encounters out in front of it (such as other rocks, cactus, etc). These actions/reactions have caused a newly formed path (of destruction/debris behind it). This path is the 'result' (the 'aftermath') of the boulders actions/reactions.

Q1 - Does this newly formed path have any causal effect on the boulder's future actions? -- NO !

Q2 - If consciousness is the result of the body's actions/reactions, then can consciousness influence or have a causal effect on the body's future actions? -- NO !

The 'physical self' reacts/acts in 'real-time' accordingly to that which it encounters. The "physical self" leads and calls all the shots (i.e. auto-reacts accordingly), whereas the "conscious self" lags behind filling its content with the 'knowing/recognition' of these reactions (i.e. the consciousness of these bodily experiences/reactions/sensations).

Without the prior actions/reactions/experiences/sensations of the "physical self" (body), there is NOTHING for the "conscious self" to be conscious of. By the time the "conscious self" receives any information, the "physical self" has already moved down the road (already acted).

The "conscious self" can NEVER direct, or influence, the actions of the "physical self" because the "physical self" is always at least 150 milliseconds ahead of the "conscious self". -- The 'conscious self' can only "eat the dust" of the 'physical self' moving on down the road.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby Asparagus on March 6th, 2018, 8:33 pm 

Phone rings. I realize it 150 ms later. 250 ms after that I decide to answer it. 4000 ms later I say "Hello?"

Volitional activity. No problem.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 6th, 2018, 11:17 pm 

RJG -

Now you're ignoring causation AND using causation as an argument for your position.

It is like saying, "I shot him in the head, but that action has no effect on the present."

Q1 - Possibly, because the distruption left in the wake of the boulder may have loosened some rocks that, as a consequence, will fall and physically effect the boulder.

Q2 - If a computer is given no data input it won't give any data output. If it is given data input it may guve data output. Even if you view the brain as little more than a computing device (which I don't) it does soemthing. It is not inactive.

As for consciousness we know enough about the mechanisms of the brain to suggest that perhaps we don't choose an action, but merely choose not to do a nultitude of possible actions leaving only a handful possible directions.

Personally I think it is like this with the addition that the initial possible actions are choosen unconsciously (which technically is still actuallly the consciousness - the subtlty of the jargon can be misleading and given that you don't read anything you'll no doubt say I talking nonsense, or ignore me) and then we assume authorship of the options presented and eliminate many of them, then given the currwnt changes and the immediacy of the action to be carried out the consciousness (unconscious authority) takes a course of action that best fits.

By this I mean, in the vaguest way, the conscious awareness is the mediator between deep unconscious processing and the environmental input.

Then there is implicit and explicit memory. When we learn to walk or talk we must make conscious effort to do so; we gradually refine our ability and then eventually we don't have to "think" about what to say, we don't think about every word or every step we take, but we still can. This is because we've embedded a automatic mechanism, we were not born walking and talking, but we were born with the capacity to do both - what is more we don't appear to be able to choose not to talk, that choice is not ours in the sense we must communicate in some capacity or we'd die quickly.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby Positor on March 6th, 2018, 11:27 pm 

RJG » March 6th, 2018, 10:09 pm wrote:If C is the result of B, then B cannot be the result of C. B>C and B<C are mutually exclusive (and cannot co-exist)!

True, but irrelevant. I am saying that it is logically possible for our past consciousness to influence our present physical actions, but obviously not vice versa.

RJG wrote:If Consciousness is the result of the Body's actions/reactions, then the Body's actions/reactions cannot be the result of Consciousness.

See above, and note the words "past" and "present".

RJG wrote:Imagine the following:
A large boulder falling to and fro down a large mountainside. This large boulder's movements (actions/reactions) are determined by that which it encounters out in front of it (such as other rocks, cactus, etc). These actions/reactions have caused a newly formed path (of destruction/debris behind it). This path is the 'result' (the 'aftermath') of the boulders actions/reactions.

Q1 - Does this newly formed path have any causal effect on the boulder's future actions? -- NO !

Q2 - If consciousness is the result of the body's actions/reactions, then can consciousness influence or have a causal effect on the body's future actions? -- NO !

Your analogy is not appropriate. The path made by the boulder is not part of the boulder itself; the boulder does not carry the path along with it. However, consciousness is part of the person; it is an aspect of the person's brain. The boulder's path is external; consciousness is internal.

RJG wrote:The 'physical self' reacts/acts in 'real-time' accordingly to that which it encounters.

Yes, but this does not preclude the possibility that "that which it encounters" includes input from earlier consciousness.

RJG wrote:The "physical self" leads and calls all the shots (i.e. auto-reacts accordingly), whereas the "conscious self" lags behind filling its content with the 'knowing/recognition' of these reactions (i.e. the consciousness of these bodily experiences/reactions/sensations).

This may indeed be so. It is possible that consciousness is an epiphenomenon, but you have not proved that it is logically necessary.

While everyone would agree that CTD applies to experiences/sensations, it is not at all obvious that it applies to reactions. Some would claim (and have claimed in this thread) that consciousness-of-reacting constitutes the reaction itself, and that therefore there cannot be any time lag between "reacting" and "consciousness of reacting". (By "reacting" I mean the initiation of a physical process; obviously it will take time to complete this process, resulting in bodily action.)

RJG wrote:Without the prior actions/reactions/experiences/sensations of the "physical self" (body), there is NOTHING for the "conscious self" to be conscious of. By the time the "conscious self" receives any information, the "physical self" has already moved down the road (already acted).

Yes, but it is logically possible (though perhaps not physically possible) for the present "physical self" to receive delayed input from the past "conscious self", and for the past "physical self" to have received input from an earlier "conscious self", and so on.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 7th, 2018, 2:33 am 

Asparagus wrote:Phone rings. I realize it 150 ms later. 250 ms after that I decide to answer it. 4000 ms later I say "Hello?" Volitional activity. No problem.

Not so. --

1R. t = 0 - Phone rings in real-time
1C. t = 150 ms - conscious self is conscious of hearing phone ringing.

2R. t = 250 ms - physical self decides (auto-reacts) to answer phone
2C. t = 400 ms - conscious self is conscious of deciding to answer phone

3R. t = 1000 ms - physical self answers phone
3C. t = 1150 ms - conscious self is conscious of answering phone

4R. t = 3850 ms - physical self says "Hello"
4C. t = 4000 ms - conscious self is conscious of saying "Hello"

R = 'real-time'
C = 'conscious-time'

R + 150 ms = C

Conscious experiences always follow the Real experiences. Volitional activity is an illusion; myth.


BadgerJelly wrote:It is like saying, "I shot him in the head, but that action has no effect on the present."

Badger, it is not the 'consciousness'-of-shooting-him that is the 'causal' element, it is the actual 'physical real-time' action itself that is the causal element,

BadgerJelly wrote:When we learn to walk or talk we must make conscious effort to do so…

Not so. We only believe this to be true because we've been indoctrinated (brainwashed) to believe this. Contrary to popular belief, consciousness does not play a causal role in learning. "Learning" is an unconscious process whose effects are only consciously realized.


Positor wrote:I am saying that it is logically possible for our past consciousness to influence our present physical actions...

Not so. Please give an example if you truly believe this is so. I suspect that you really mean that 'past' physical actions influence 'present' physical actions.

Positor wrote:Your analogy is not appropriate. The path made by the boulder is not part of the boulder itself; the boulder does not carry the path along with it. However, consciousness is part of the person; it is an aspect of the person's brain. The boulder's path is external; consciousness is internal.

You miss the point of the analogy. The path is 'formed' by the actions/reactions of the boulder. Consciousness is 'formed' by the actions/reactions of the physical body. The path/consciousness does NOT have a causal effect on the future actions of the boulder/body.

Positor wrote:While everyone would agree that CTD applies to experiences/sensations, it is not at all obvious that it applies to reactions. Some would claim (and have claimed in this thread) that consciousness-of-reacting constitutes the reaction itself, and that therefore there cannot be any time lag between "reacting" and "consciousness of reacting".

You are forgetting that consciousness itself is a process that consumes time. Instantaneous consciousness is not possible. So the consciousness-of-'anything' consumes time, including the consciousness-of-reacting. The consciousness-of-X is always 'after' X.

Positor wrote:Yes, but it is logically possible (though perhaps not physically possible) for the present "physical self" to receive delayed input from the past "conscious self", and for the past "physical self" to have received input from an earlier "conscious self", and so on.

Not so. This is NOT logically possible. If the "physical self" always leads the "conscious self", then how can the "conscious self" ever catch up to the "physical self" to feed it an input?
Last edited by RJG on March 7th, 2018, 2:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby Asparagus on March 7th, 2018, 2:47 am 

A bird passes by my head. 150 ms later, I realize it and decide to duck. 250 ms later, I duck.

RJG, you're agreeing that this can happen. You accept volition.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 7th, 2018, 3:02 am 

Asparagus wrote:A bird passes by my head. 150 ms later, I realize it and decide to duck. 250 ms later, I duck.

Did you 'consciously duck', or were you only just 'conscious of ducking'?

Cheat Sheet Answer: You the 'physical self' ducked, and then 150 ms later, you the 'conscious self' were 'conscious of ducking'.

No 'consious causation', ...no volition.

Asparagus wrote:RJG, you're agreeing that this can happen. You accept volition.

Not so. ...unless your meaning of "volition" is different than "conscious causation".
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby Asparagus on March 7th, 2018, 3:08 am 

The duck story describes volition. Which part of that story would you say is not possible?

Cheat sheet: there is an unbeatable argument for determinism. This isn't it.
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