What is CTD?

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

Re: What is CTD?

Postby Braininvat on March 9th, 2018, 11:03 am 

RJG » March 8th, 2018, 3:13 pm wrote:.
All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. -- Arthur Schopenhauer




3 logical flaws here:

1. Argumentum ad veracundum - the fallacy of arguing from authority. The fact that Schopenhauer said it is irrelevant.

2. Presumes the truth value of your position. Just because some true assertions pass through the stages of ridicule and opposition does not mean that your assertion is rendered true because it has encountered ridicule and opposition. Phlogiston, spontaneous generation, and astro!ogy all encountered ridicule and so on. It didn't make them valid.

3. The "all" in "all truth" is fallacious. The truth that the sky is blue or that most people walk on 2 legs or that roosters crow at dawn have not passed through those three stages.

Cheers.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 9th, 2018, 2:56 pm 

Positor wrote:2. Whether consciousness (when clearly defined) is causal or not is ultimately a question of physics, not of logic.

Not so. If 'conscious causation' is akin to 'square circles' and 'married bachelors', then all the physics in world cannot overturn/overrule this impossibility.


Positor wrote:3. Some of RJG's points are indeed matters of logic. For example, if A precedes B, then logically B cannot precede A. But nobody is claiming anything contradictory like that.

Yes they are. Just look closely at their words, and you'll see that is exactly what they are claiming.

Causation implies "before".
Consciousness implies "after".
After + before contradict each other.

The logical contradictions:
1. You can come 'before' that which you come 'after'.
2. Consciousness can 'consciously cause' that which it is conscious of.
3. Consciousness can 'consciously cause' that which it is NOT conscious of.
4. Conscious causation (itself).

These are claims made that are all logical impossibilities.


Positor wrote:RJG has not provided a rigorous argument to support his assertion that conscious causation is logically (as opposed to merely physically) impossible.

P1. If consciousness is to 'cause' something [C<X], then it must occur 'before' that which it is causing.
P2. Consciousness can ONLY occur 'after' that which it is conscious of [C>X].
C. Therefore, 'conscious causation' [C<X] is logically impossible, as C<X and C>X are mutually exclusive.


Positor wrote:The claim is that the 'conscious self' can affect the later 'physical self', and this does not seem to involve any contradiction.

The 'conscious self' has no consciousness of the later 'physical self', and therefore cannot 'consciously cause' the later 'physical self'.

Since:
1. Consciousness cannot 'consciously cause' that which it is conscious of, and
2. Consciousness cannot 'consciously cause' that which it is NOT conscious of.
Therefore, Consciousness cannot 'cause' anything!

And if consciousness cannot 'cause' anything, then it cannot 'affect' anything.


Positor wrote:4. A crucial question is whether CTD applies to decision-making. Is there a time lag between a decision itself and consciousness of that decision? Is the decision distinct from the consciousness of it? To say "yes, because CTD applies to everything" just begs the question.

Not so. This is not begging the question. "CTD applies to everything" is true because it is logically impossible to be conscious-of-something without (some pre-existing) 'something' to be conscious of.

If consciousness is a process, then it consumes time. If one is conscious of 'something', then this 'something' must precede one's 'consciousness-of-this-something'.

If you are still unsure, just try it for yourself, -- try to be conscious of something without there being something to be conscious of. -- it's impossible!!

Without 'something' to be conscious of, there is NO consciousness!


Positor wrote:5. I do not see this topic as a moral one. In fact, I think one's view on conscious causation is orthogonal to that on personal responsibility. A person could believe in conscious causation but say "I don't care" and exhibit cruelty, selfishness, laziness or any other vice. Conversely, they could deny conscious causation but accept that non-conscious, 'automatic' mental processes are part of their personal identity and accept responsibility for them. (Indeed, any sane epiphenomenalist must do so in order to lead a normal life.)

Agreed. And well said.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby DragonFly on March 9th, 2018, 4:24 pm 

mitchellmckain » March 9th, 2018, 4:36 am wrote:
Dfly seems to by flailing wildly like a blind person hitting random people. No doubt the thread has become bit too complicated to follow when one is really only interested in talking about ones C versus C' theory. How absurd is it that he now calls anything not on that one topic (even definitions from a dictionary) by the disparaging name of 'pop psychology.'


Good day to you, Mr. Middle Finger Sticking Up non random insulter person. Insults are what make you and others identified, not random. And both fingers up, too. You outdo yourself in such cleverness. It's would be a good image of you for us to imagine as a symbol of you until there is an avatar showing it. If reading Edelman's good information is too complicated, then you won't be able to keep up with my references to it.

And you still can't listen: it's the well known "folk psychology" that the Churchlands and other cite. It doesn't disparage; the opponents show reasons, something you can't do. And you weren't able to hear that there is much more to psychology, and so you just restated the same uncorrected claim, even changing to to 'pop' again and dumbly still insisting that it covered all psychology.

It's wonderful that you had put something in another thread about zombies, but that is there and not here, so you have no point about it being seen or not. Poor try at making trouble about that.

I did see in another thread that your consciousness as 'you' solely on its own unshown basis chooses theism, rather than the subconscious neural activity of two trillion connections would more seem to be you. If this is just a preach of declaring a 'maybe' or an unknown to be truth, then that isn't honest; however, if it's true then please show. You can always make up some way not to have to attend to the topic, though.

To your credit, I did see, years ago, in some strict religious forum, someone damning you to Hell for not following their orthodox views. Our forum here has more decency and intelligence, but you don't have to consider Edelman at all, but, again, here is where it was presented and referenced as informative.

Until you have something on topic, you have greatly worn out your welcome, and so meanwhile I leave it to others to imagine or make responses to your continuing poor posts here. Your posts about personalities and judgments about how people are not useful.

In other words, goodbye, and get lost with your outdated repetitions and inability to read a paper due to some "complications" of a thread that you participate in. Positor will read it and come through with what can advance this thread. I challenge you to attempt the same, and without your beloved mode of insulting people and talking about people, which is exactly what can disrupt and complicate a thread. For whatever reason, you cannot even follow our recent posts to each other, not even getting the several reminders, making it all too easy for me to undo your same uncorrected stuff again. It's not that it's your fault or anything such; it is that if doesn't work.
Last edited by DragonFly on March 9th, 2018, 4:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby DragonFly on March 9th, 2018, 4:50 pm 

BadgerJelly » March 9th, 2018, 2:15 am wrote:As for causal. I think about something, sometimes items appear in my thoughts, by way of these itmes and thoughts I then choose to act as best I can.

I feel hungry. I reach out my hand and pick up food, then put it into my mouth. We can of course go into infinity claiming what the original causal chain is. Given that the end of the known chain of events is "known" to me it is me knowing them not me recognising me knowing them.


The thread is concerned with whether the 'I' that is doing the doing is the 'I' of consciousness, C, or the 'I' of its corresponding C' Neural activity. You know this if you've read the thread.

There is no going to "infinity"; the universe had a beginning and so it is that the universe does you, not the other way around.

BadgerJelly » March 9th, 2018, 2:15 am wrote:I think it is reasonable to say if my spine is cut I cannot reach for the apple. The cause of this could be said to be the accident I had that caused this or perhaps we couls equally put it down to the lesion? What is the cause? If one more correct than the other?


We put local and artificial boundaries on events, but they are actually more like a continuation of the one big even of the Big Bang.

BadgerJelly » March 9th, 2018, 2:15 am wrote:So if I say consciousness has an effect and is therefore causal how is that wrong?


You are "just saying" that it is true but you cannot show it. This is dishonest.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby DragonFly on March 9th, 2018, 5:16 pm 

BadgerJelly » March 9th, 2018, 2:15 am wrote:Maybe you're a fatalistic, nihilistic willfully ignorance and irrsponsible individual too. I don't think so because you appear to be agreeing with me more than RJG when it comes to consciously choosing what to say and what to think. If I'm wrong there please correct me.


Suggesting that someone is maybe [your bad things listed] is an insult in itself, and going toward trouble making, and plainly not the best way to communicate; you know know of my nature. The topic of the thread is either assailable or not, and it seems to be not undoable, and this is regardlesss of anyone's nature or whether they still naturally act as if consciousness itself does the doing or they don't.

They don't have to act as if, according to your insulting moral demands, and that, combined with your other insults, ad hominems, and personal attacks marks you as an invader of the the thread, an aggressor to be dealt with as such, and a controller, plus a clutterer of the thread. It's not working, reduces your influence, and it just plain distracts right and left.

It's not your own private ballpark to mess up. The idea of the forum is to make it easy and attractive to follow. That's why they have rules, that "they" you call of probable "pure stupidity" for warning or banning.

You, too, have worn out your welcome to me. You and Mitch keep putting out the same uncorrected fodder that is all too easy to undo time and time again, which gets tiresome, plus you dishonestly make assertions of positions as true but than cannot show them as true. RJG and Edelman actually show things toward the topic.

As for what you do and have done, it's not a maybe, but is in plain sight, and the mod has already identified it, as have I.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 9th, 2018, 8:15 pm 

RJG -

If you'd responded to my question like you did to Positor we'd have gotten somewhere.

Irregardless you admitted you don't necessarily believe without doubt for a change. If you did you'd lying or immoral. There is no escaping that. The "uglier truth" is being responsible for your actions not along for the ride. You cannot deny the ethical implication of fatalism; and you've failed t explain why it isn't fatalistic?

Dfly -

So the universe does me. Now I see your position.

We don't put boundaries on events, the universe does apparently - you're words not mine.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 9th, 2018, 10:45 pm 

BadgerJelly wrote:If you'd responded to my question like you did to Positor we'd have gotten somewhere.

Positor can disagree without 'insulting'. You seemingly cannot.


BadgerJelly wrote:Irregardless you admitted you don't necessarily believe without doubt for a change. If you did you'd lying or immoral. There is no escaping that.

I have no idea what you are talking about. Please show (quote) my actual words that you are referring to.


BadgerJelly wrote:The "uglier truth" is being responsible for your actions not along for the ride.

I am not interested in finding that which is 'uglier'. - I am interested in finding 'truths'. And if that which is true, is also ugly, then I say "so be it!".


BadgerJelly wrote:You cannot deny the ethical implication of fatalism…

If 'conscious causation' is impossible, then there can be NO "ethical implications" (or "morality") - because "ethical implications" (and "morality") would then be non-sequiturs (meaningless).


BadgerJelly wrote:...and you've failed to explain why it isn't fatalistic?

Why do I need to explain if it is, or is not, fatalistic? Who really cares what 'label' we want to attach to a truth. It is the 'truth' itself that is of interest.

If this truth (the logical impossibility of conscious causation) is called by some as 'fatalistic', then it is (to them)! And if it is not, then it is not! -- I'll call it "the logical impossibility of conscious causation", and you can call it "fatalistic". No problem.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 10th, 2018, 1:02 am 

RJG -

The moral implications of what you're sayng exist. They are not so important if you're merely expolring the idea as a possibility. You're pushing it, as you have been for 5+ years, as a presnetation of an absolute truth.

Calling you wilfully ignorant is not an insult when you are wilfully ignorant and admit it. I think you write repetitive and idiotic things and I've yet to see that is not the case.

You have no argument onky empty rhetoric and repeatedly avoid difficult questions.

Who cares about labels? I think most people care about the implications of a philosophical position. You don't post about anything else, you've repeatedly be unable to expand your position. If met with people telling you, and pointing out, you're talking nonsense you ignore and accuse them of either denying an "ugly truth" or of "fantasy".

My "insults" are directed at dogmatic claims which imply, as you've said above, you disregard any ethical or moral model. That in and of itself (the denial of ethical and moral models) can be argued against well enough on moral grounds.

You deny the moral ground, correct? And that position is abhorrent to me, more so to you.

Then there is the issue of "logic," which you claim as your guiding principle. The biggest issue here is pretty much everything articulated is up for questioning; skepticism is ever present.

If I eat an apple, the apple has been eaten by me ... that, if I'm not mistaken, is equivalence.

What you are doing is drawing a line and saying anything beyond this is unknown so it is untrue. There is a big difference between ignorance and fallacy.

All of this digs right down deep into existentialism, ontology and epistemology. The epi-phenomenal position suffere because it is adsurb. And when I previously called you an "absurdist" you took it as an insult because you were ignorant of what absurdism was ... if I remember correctly you then went silent on the matter.

I remember very well you were someone I could understand the position of years ago, because I was asking the same questions.

How about the steam from an engine analogy? You claimed you didn't think that, but have failed to show why you don't believe that, yet at the same time you then claim there is no choice. Then you talked about my version of "fatalism" without explanation.

A lot of what you have said is idiotic. Don't get upset by that, just show me why it isn't. I've also asked before what if we all accept your doctrine? What use is it? If it is wrong what are the implications? I have stated in no uncertain terms that denying morality exists is abhorrent (with the exception of "morality" being considered as set of indisputable rules - which, I believe is what you're doing; espousing guesswork as certainty.)
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 10th, 2018, 1:50 am 

So I think we are past the first stage (ridicule), and entering the second (violently opposed), ...almost there Badger!

If you can no longer argue with logic, then by all means keep up the personal attacks. Your ignorance is on full display.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 10th, 2018, 2:48 am 

For sake of consolidating this whole thread expose your logical working please.

What I think we be clear as day is the problem of definitions. And again, this is due to you not listening to people in the past who've pointed this out before. By all means apply logic.

With logic you'll necessarily see it is confined to certain situations. You can alter the situations to make anything appear to be true.

The old "All men are mortal, I am a man, therefore I am mortal" is not the same as "All men are mortal, I am mortal, therefore I am a man," the later being a false statement.

What may escape your attention (as it does with us all from time to time) is that it is equally logical to say "All mortals are men, I am mortal, therefore I am a man."

Your position is that "I am conscious of something because of sensibility." Fair enough.

Your other position is "A causes B, but B is the end of the causal chain of events, therefore B is non-causal." Logically sound, but not actually apparent in the world.

In the physical world we understand that the system has some effect, and we could say the effect is possibly negligable, and through scientific investigation we've come to understand the corrspondance between some pattern and another and created/discovered rules to express them.

To return to the above, and correct me if I'm wrong, you're saying something like "The brain causes consciousness, but consciousness does nothing (it is utterly mute.)"

Here we see an abstract logical truth applied to reality as if reality is an abstract logical truth. So your premise is that the universe is not only logical, but understandable to a non-causal entity that doesn't, and cannot, do anything.

My point being, once we break down the premises we're stuck. We cannot question the questioning because we're living it. To say the absolute truth is that we cannot choose anything begs the question of how we can come to know such a truth and if it is true why is it true and what does "truth" mean? If then "truth" is merely the vacuous illusion of consciousness, then logic is also the vacuous illusion of consciousness; so your whole proposition falls down.

This is kind of like some loonie toons adventure. We knock out the step from under your feet and you put it back up again. You've taken perhaps one hundred steps and moved far less from your initial position (as far as I can tell?)

I am curious about your poltical thoughts? Do you take the same line there? Is it just a case of Que sera sera and sitting down to watch the show? I guess you appreciate what I am saying here. That is if you believe you can have no affect on anything then if you do you're less likely to contribute toward making something better.

And regardless of the moral implications you can choose to respond to the problem I expressed above and if you don't you can also blame your lack of choice as being a validation of your none response.

If you set up a situation where you're always presented with a win win option what is there to be learnt?

If your time and circumstances are limited I understand. I can only encourage you to find make the best of your time. Step up your game. If that is patronzing I don't give a flying monkey's septic toe rag. I am not here for brownie points, strutting (well not completely!) or posturing.

I respond as best I can. I am not ashamed of my responses. I know I can be stupid and I assume most people are idiots too, some mor eoften than others. So what? My aim is to not get stuck on who is or is not an idiot and to try and deal with what is being said.

You can respond,you can react or you can ignore. Which is it to be? I generally ignore Dfly and have found a mere glance in that direction bears no fruit for me. If you feel the same about me I won't lose sleep over it.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 10th, 2018, 2:51 am 

Show me my "ignorance" on the matter at hand please? It would be appreciated.

Notice how I don't get all upset and offended? These are words, and my primary purpose on these forums is to improve my writing and learn to express something I currently have no idea how to express - although I've made some headway over the past few years; slowly but surely.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 10th, 2018, 2:55 am 

RJG » March 10th, 2018, 1:50 pm wrote:So I think we are past the first stage (ridicule), and entering the second (violently opposed), ...almost there Badger!

If you can no longer argue with logic, then by all means keep up the personal attacks. Your ignorance is on full display.


Apparently not. you're still doing it! ;)
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 10th, 2018, 3:47 pm 

BadgerJelly wrote:For sake of consolidating this whole thread expose your logical working please.

P1. - As per CTD, consciousness can ONLY occur 'after' that which it is conscious of. C is always 'after' X. [C>X].

P2. - If consciousness is to 'cause' something, it must occur 'before' that which it is causing. If C is to cause X, then C must occur 'before' X. [C<X]

C1. - Therefore, to 'consciously cause' X, C must come 'before' that which it comes 'after'. ...which is a logical impossibility.

C2. - Therefore 'conscious causation' is logically impossible.


Furthermore:
P1. Consciousness cannot 'consciously cause' that which it is conscious of.
P2. Consciousness cannot 'consciously cause' that which it is NOT conscious of.
C. Therefore, Consciousness cannot 'cause' anything!


Badger, if you see a fault in this logic, please point it out, as I, like you, prefer to avoid 'ugliness'. Though, (seemingly) unlike you, I won't compromise 'truth' in favor of non-ugliness. If this truth is 'ugly' then so be it. It is the (real) 'truths' that we are all supposedly searching for, not necessarily the 'feel-goodness-es'.


BadgerJelly wrote:To return to the above, and correct me if I'm wrong, you're saying something like "The brain causes consciousness, but consciousness does nothing (it is utterly mute.)"

Close. Consciousness cannot 'cause' or 'do' anything. But it does provide us with a back seat, rear window view, of our 'past' bodily actions/reactions/experiences. We can only see the trail behind us, not the one in front.

...we have to wait until 'after' our bodies do what they 'do', before we can know what we 'did'.


BadgerJelly wrote:To say the absolute truth is that we cannot choose anything begs the question of how we can come to know such a truth and if it is true why is it true and what does "truth" mean? If then "truth" is merely the vacuous illusion of consciousness, then logic is also the vacuous illusion of consciousness; so your whole proposition falls down.

This is kind of like some loonie toons adventure. We knock out the step from under your feet and you put it back up again. You've taken perhaps one hundred steps and moved far less from your initial position (as far as I can tell?)

If we adhere to logic as our means of reasoning, then the "impossibility of conscious causation" is logically true. If this further means that I did not have the free-will to choose to adhere to this logic, then so be it, ...then I'm just a 'puppet' of the universe, instead of its master, ...again I say, "so be it!", ...or if I were mitchellmckain, then I would flip my middle fingers up to the heavens, to the 'master' universe herself.

If we don't adhere to 'logic' as our means of reasoning, then we will adhere to whatever means of reasoning we do. For many, 'blind faith' and 'gut feel' is sufficient reasoning to justify their beliefs. None of us have a choice in the matter anyways (at least from my adhering perspective). It just is what it is. We adhere to that which we adhere to, and ultimately believe that which we believe.


BadgerJelly wrote:I am curious about your poltical thoughts? Do you take the same line there? Is it just a case of Que sera sera and sitting down to watch the show? I guess you appreciate what I am saying here. That is if you believe you can have no affect on anything then if you do you're less likely to contribute toward making something better.

When I get away from the "intellectual discussions" on this forum, I mostly revert back to fitting into my surroundings. I can yell and get emotional at sporting events and also at the hypocritical political leaders, even though I know that they had no choice in doing or saying the stupid stuff that they do. Also, I (sometimes) catch myself being as much a stupid dumbass as those that I am yelling at. Oh well. I blame it on my physical self :-).

But because of my beliefs, I think my views are somewhat different from most, but probably similar to DragonFly's in regard to reforming society; our justice system, education, etc. etc. Whereas if we wish to make positive improvements in society, then we need to stop the blame games, and all the hating that goes with it, and recognize that free-will (conscious causation) is just a myth, and build from there.

Guys like Daniel Dennett believe that we should keep the impossibility of free-will a 'secret' to the general public. He feels chaos would take over. I feel the opposite. Those of us who know the real truth (of no free-will) are not out robbing banks and causing chaos because we can supposedly (according to Dennett) say "hey it wasn't me, it was my body that did it". Anyways this is probably another topic for discussion elsewhere, so I'll stop here and get back to my work in the real world.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby DragonFly on March 11th, 2018, 1:40 am 

CTD stands, period, but this post is not about CTD, per say, but builds on its findings.

I present a brief sketch. To continue deeper, we might try to look up those researchers who have already advanced my notion.

So, as a progression here, going on to two other consciousness quandaries, we can apply logic to

1) Why do we have consciousness, C?

2) How does it help the neural activity, C', results?


Note that we are not instituting C itself with its own 'soul' of any kind of repertoire like C' has available to it, which idea fails in every way and is dead and gone. As from CTD, the Rocks of Religion and Responsibility remain shattered, and no one can build the Humpty Dumpty of the folk psychology idea of conscious causation. We are going past all that here.

But this would not be to say that C couldn't have one built-in standard function placed there by natural selection that we might call something like 'focus', in a big way, due to some interrupt signal sent by C', to help C'. C would still not itself do any figuring/willing.


As for (1), the main clue is that evolution came upon consciousness (late, but better than never), and this tells us that C enhances our survival chances beyond those of just having C' alone; thus, it adds survival value.

C was never about running the show instead of C' doing so, but purely about improving our chances to continue on and have a future. Of course, it doesn't always succeed.

As for (2), It was always a curious wonder why pain only goes to C, while the wincing from it gets handled by C' (as all actions are).

Why is pain only going to C as a kind of dead end unless it helps survival by helping C'? It is there perhaps as an alarm that cannot be ignored. It obliterates all other goings-on, in both C and C', crowding them out until the avenues toward eliminating the pain can be gone through, only after which time can business go on as normal.

Yes, this is a bit sketchy, but it's a start of logic for those interested to build on. I'm thinking of Positor, RJG, and Sponge, and the like.

Since C is here, it has to help, although C was not always here, and might not have had to be, but luckily it is here now (lucky, because evolution can only use what is nearby on the shelf). Nature seems to have only come upon it a few hundred thousand years ago.

What C helps with, then, can only be that which C' doesn't do so well, not that C' couldn't still do it, but in a less successful way.

Another kind of alarm to help focus and temporarily halt the other automated routines of C' and devote all the energy to the alarm might be such as when learning a new task or when facing a novel situation, as C' would then need continuous and full feedback from the C representation, to keep up with reality as best could do, with all other non related activity squashed, at least that which could wait.

I'm not sure why evolution could only improve the situation by adding the aid of C, although I've said as such that natural selection can't just order them from Amazon, but I suppose why this method would be question 3.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 11th, 2018, 3:02 am 

RJG -

P1. - As per CTD, consciousness can ONLY occur 'after' that which it is conscious of. C is always 'after' X. [C>X].

P2. - If consciousness is to 'cause' something, it must occur 'before' that which it is causing. If C is to cause X, then C must occur 'before' X. [C<X]

C1. - Therefore, to 'consciously cause' X, C must come 'before' that which it comes 'after'. ...which is a logical impossibility.

C2. - Therefore 'conscious causation' is logically impossible.


Furthermore:
P1. Consciousness cannot 'consciously cause' that which it is conscious of.
P2. Consciousness cannot 'consciously cause' that which it is NOT conscious of.
C. Therefore, Consciousness cannot 'cause' anything!


Well, you need to distinguish the terminology more clearly. I will step in and do so for you.

P1. Stuff is consciously processed and then we become aware of said stuff. To visibly see something the light has to travel to my eye and the signal then passed on to the consciousness of my brain, which I then become consciously aware of.

Absolutely no problems there; other than the sticky issue of what is really meant by "consciousness" and "conscious awareness" - so there we have an underlying assumption of semantic meaning prior to the premise.

P2. ... so already things break down here a little. Consciousness (the processing) comes before the conscious awareness, this is repetition of and no more.

You've also added, without reasoning, that because consciousness (the processing) comes before conscious awareness that conscious awareness has no effect on consciousness (the processing.) You assume there is no feedback, which you are entitled to do in a logical proof, but you've hidden it.

I don't see how we have two different premises here. I only see one which is this:

P. Because consciousness causes conscious awareness, conscious awareness cannot effect consciousness.

Your conclusion is merely a repetition of the premise.

You are saying basically looks to me like, If A then A. Which works if you accept A without the need for a logical explanation.

I hope you understand the flaws here in either your premises or the fact that there is only the façade of "conclusion" (meaning the premise is set up as the so called conclusion.)

note: it is quite possible that you may find reasoning faulty, if so then it is most likely due to the lack of attention you've paid to the definition of terms. If you meant something different than "consciousness" as being used in two ways as I distinguished (as processing and as awareness) then please try and explain.

From what you write after this you seem to back up my interpretation so I think you'll find it extremely difficult to claim you have any kind of logical proof. All you appear to have is your stated opinion presented as if it is an undeniable truth.

TO ADD

What seem to be avoiding is the issue of conscious awareness. You, five years ago, understood that the position you begin in is the position of conscious awareness. If you were not aware you have nowhere to go from. The obvious "starting position" is I am aware, and from there we're stuck with the verbal wall before us that is trying to encapsulate "experience" in finite definitions.

To the morality issue. I still cannot fathom how accepting responsibility for what you do (be it harmful or otherwise - and we're more likely to blame others when things go wrong, it takes an act of conscious thought no understand it may be us at fault, but we wish to blame others rather than change ourselves) is in any way NOT an "ugly truth"? Yet, you propound that saying Que sera sera is somehow "uglier" to deal with? It sounds willfully disingenuous to me. Can you not see why?

Within you vie where there is a hint of stoicism maybe? I don't know. I am probing, and I am not against stoicism only I believe it is somewhat "passive" and focusing only on the good side of what passivity can cause.

Not choosing is a choice. I don't view the course of my life as a continual coin toss, where my decision to kill or not kill someone is out of my hands. That said I am perfectly aware that I cannot sprout wings and fly to the Moon to have a picnic with the Clangers and the Soup Dragon - much as the idea appeals to me!

I would also argue that if you assume there is a "truth", and your claim to anything is weighed by whatever "truth", you are making a value based decision. If you take up this position then I assume you must value one thing over another, in which case you can say there is something better or worse.

To follow this up, if you assume a "truthful" or "better" way, then you say you have no choice (when you actually do have some choice) you are willing to accept non-truths because you don't believe you can question them in the first place. If there is no "right" or "wrong" assumption about anything you cannot make a truth claim that stand up logically. If you can then you accept that there are "right" and "wrong" answers yet refuse to look for them, only to blindly accept defeat because the problem is seemingly unsurmountable.

A plea to ignorance leads to people being burnt at the stake for witchcraft, or the Nobel Prize being awarded for performing lobotomies as a "therapeutic treatment."

Mistakes are only recognized by making choices. To not choose is to adhere to ignorance and blindly make the same mistakes over and over causing untold harm and perhaps leading the destruction of what you hold dear.

That is why I find it abhorrent, it is because I have followed the thought through to the bitter limits of my understanding and found nothing but potential fault in the denial of choice whilst int he other direction there is still fault, but bitterly consumed fault and an "uglier" truth of existence being a hardfought and merely potentially meaningless, rather than utterly meaningless.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 11th, 2018, 3:32 am 

Dfly -

CTD stands, period, but this post is not about CTD, per say, but builds on its findings.

I present a brief sketch. To continue deeper, we might try to look up those researchers who have already advanced my notion.

So, as a progression here, going on to two other consciousness quandaries, we can apply logic to

1) Why do we have consciousness, C?

2) How does it help the neural activity, C', results?


Note that we are not instituting C itself with its own 'soul' of any kind of repertoire like C' has available to it, which idea fails in every way and is dead and gone. As from CTD, the Rocks of Religion and Responsibility remain shattered, and no one can build the Humpty Dumpty of the folk psychology idea of conscious causation. We are going past all that here.


Contrary.

How does it help? Make up your mind. Either conscious awareness has a causal effect upon conscious processes or it doesn't (Already argued above the contrary nature of the later argument both ethically and logically.)

If you're "going past it" why do you then go on to talk about it as if this "help" issued by conscious awareness is somehow the kind of help that does nothing?

Again, I can only assume another problem overlooked here. That is the failure to explicate the terms "causal", "consciousness" and the other "consciousness" - I don't think the C or C' does much to present the idea clearly.

So I read your questioning thus:

1) Why do we have conscious awareness?

problem here is the embedded "we", and this is an issue we can overlook for the sake of simplicity.

2) How does conscious awareness "help with" (effect?) conscious processing?

Again, strange, because you go on to ridicule the idea of conscious awareness as being "casual" so I am flummoxed what you mean by "causal" and how, if at all, it relates to the ambiguity of "help with"?

I think this is reasonable question and not difficult to understand.

And again, I assume my interpretation is correct because you then go on to talk about conscious awareness as
"enhances our survival chances", yet above you said "conscious causation" is some kind of fairy tale?

The issue appears to be the term "causation" so I beg for clarification and how something can "help with" or "enhance" something, without having any causal effect?

For me these are quite basic and fundamental ideas that can easily be distorted (because they are so simple!)
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby Positor on March 11th, 2018, 9:09 am 

DragonFly » March 11th, 2018, 5:40 am wrote:As for (1), the main clue is that evolution came upon consciousness (late, but better than never), and this tells us that C enhances our survival chances beyond those of just having C' alone; thus, it adds survival value.

I don't think we can simply assume this. It may be that, at some deep physical level, C is an intrinsic aspect of C'. In that case, either (a) C would arise automatically when C' reached a certain level of evolution, or (b) C would always be part of C' but would only be significant at later stages of the evolution of C'.

DragonFly wrote:Another kind of alarm to help focus and temporarily halt the other automated routines of C' and devote all the energy to the alarm might be such as when learning a new task or when facing a novel situation, as C' would then need continuous and full feedback from the C representation, to keep up with reality as best could do, with all other non related activity squashed, at least that which could wait.

The phrases I have put in bold seem to imply causation by C. C is making C' do something it would not otherwise do.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 11th, 2018, 9:47 am 

RJG wrote:P1. - As per CTD, consciousness can ONLY occur 'after' that which it is conscious of. C is always 'after' X. [C>X].

P2. - If consciousness is to 'cause' something, it must occur 'before' that which it is causing. If C is to cause X, then C must occur 'before' X. [C<X]

BadgerJelly wrote:I don't see how we have two different premises here.

Premise 1 - says consciousness comes 'after' that which we are conscious of [C>X].
Premise 2 - says if consciousness is to 'cause', it must come 'before' that which it causes [If C is causal, then C<X].

These are TWO 'different' premises.


RJG wrote:C1. - Therefore, to 'consciously cause' X, C must come 'before' that which it comes 'after'. ...which is a logical impossibility.

BadgerJelly wrote:Your conclusion is merely a repetition of the premise.

Not so. It is the logical joining (conclusion) of the two premises.


BadgerJelly wrote:You are saying basically looks to me like, If A then A. Which works if you accept A without the need for a logical explanation.

Not so. I am saying that if CTD is true, then conscious 'causation' is NOT true. --- If consciousness comes AFTER, then it can't come BEFORE.


BadgerJelly wrote:What seem to be avoiding is the issue of conscious awareness. You, five years ago, understood that the position you begin in is the position of conscious awareness. If you were not aware you have nowhere to go from. The obvious "starting position" is I am aware, and from there we're stuck with the verbal wall before us that is trying to encapsulate "experience" in finite definitions.

Yes, the starting position is "I am (consciously) aware".

So then what is it, that we are aware of? -- Answer: we are aware of our physical bodily reactions (aka "experiences").

What causes these bodily reactions? -- Answer: The outside real world impacts our physical body (e.g. light waves hit the retina, etc) and creates the bodily reactions (experiences) that we then recognize; become conscious of.

Consciousness = recognizing one's bodily reactions (made possible by memory).


BadgerJelly wrote:Not choosing is a choice. I don't view the course of my life as a continual coin toss, where my decision to kill or not kill someone is out of my hands.

You miss the point. There is NO "choosing" at all. There are NO decisions being made, consciously or unconsciously. The physical body does not make "decisions". The physical body only "auto-reacts" accordingly.

********

DragonFly wrote:...C enhances our survival chances beyond those of just having C' alone; thus, it adds survival value.

Not so. Sorry DragonFly, I gotta disagree with you. C cannot do the impossible. It has NO causal impact/effect on bodily actions. It cannot focus, nor learn, because the focusing and learning have already been done by the real body.

C is nothing more than the "echo" (after-effect) of our real-time bodily actions.
Last edited by RJG on March 11th, 2018, 10:12 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby DragonFly on March 11th, 2018, 10:01 am 

Totally wrong, Badger. The "processing" is subconscious/nonconscious, not conscious. This mistake is as off as one can get.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby Positor on March 11th, 2018, 12:19 pm 

RJG » March 11th, 2018, 1:47 pm wrote:Premise 1 - says consciousness comes 'after' that which we are conscious of [C>X].
Premise 2 - says if consciousness is to 'cause', it must come 'before' that which it causes [If C is causal, then C<X].

You have used the term 'X' to mean two different things. In premise 1, it means "that which we are conscious of", but in premise 2 it means "that which consciousness causes". So we have an implied third premise:

Premise 3 - That which we are (at present) conscious of is that which (present) consciousness causes.

Given CTD, this would indeed be logically impossible. But this is not what anti-epiphenomenalists are claiming. The conscious causation hypothesis is that what we are at present conscious of can be that which past consciousness (partly) caused, and that our present consciousness can (partly) cause that which we will be conscious of. The hypothesis may be false, but I do not find it illogical; it does not involve a contradiction.

You need to refine your argument to get rid of the strawman Premise 3. You need to prove logically that consciousness cannot have a delayed causal effect.

Note that I am talking purely about the logical aspect here.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 11th, 2018, 1:24 pm 

DragonFly » March 11th, 2018, 10:01 pm wrote:Totally wrong, Badger. The "processing" is subconscious/nonconscious, not conscious. This mistake is as off as one can get.


Semantics doesn't change the contrary nature unless you're presenting a definition of of "causal" I am completely unaware of.

It is perfectly reasonable to say there are processes going on in a conscious brain that I am not aware of - subconscious/unconscious - and refer to these distinctons of these brain processes as being "conscious awareness" and merely "conscious processing."

I did state this in reply RJG, I should've perhaps repeated it to make sure you understood the real issue (the confusion I have with your use of "causal".)
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby DragonFly on March 11th, 2018, 1:29 pm 

Thanks, everyone, for the comments on the logic of "Why C" and how it could help, if it does.

It could be that C qualia are mere "echoes" of C doings. Not all that we have has to be useful. Please take out my appendix.

I'd say that C stuff is the result of C', even if there is a fundamental law that C always accompanies certain kinds of C' activity, for without C', there would be no C of what C' came up with. It could also be that C is wholly made by C'.

Another option is that C', although already having the information that is in C, prefers the form of C for some unknown reason, maybe to record it in that form for easier and quicker future reference, as Positor posits.

'Maybe's" don't say much. That evolution is known for selecting traits toward survival doesn't mean it always does. It's more like whatever unused traits are there may come into play during hard times, but still, it isn't necessity.

Back to the drawing board if and when more information becomes available. Darn pain.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby DragonFly on March 11th, 2018, 1:32 pm 

BadgerJelly » March 11th, 2018, 12:24 pm wrote:
DragonFly » March 11th, 2018, 10:01 pm wrote:Totally wrong, Badger. The "processing" is subconscious/nonconscious, not conscious. This mistake is as off as one can get.


Semantics doesn't change the contrary nature unless you're presenting a definition of of "causal" I am completely unaware of.

It is perfectly reasonable to say there are processes going on in a conscious brain that I am not aware of - subconscious/unconscious - and refer to these distinctons of these brain processes as being "conscious awareness" and merely "conscious processing."

I did state this in reply RJG, I should've perhaps repeated it to make sure you understood the real issue (the confusion I have with your use of "causal".)


My internet went down; it was about your post to RJG. What subconscious processes you aren't consciously aware of aren't in consciousness.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 11th, 2018, 1:46 pm 

Dfly -

Do you want me to keep saying "semantics"? It makes no difference what definition you use. I am happy to say call it "warferty" if "consciousness" clashes with your picture. Still need you to clarify how something can "help" or "enhance" when it has no causal effect?

note: You're getting into psychological territory here. I am quite happy to call them "brain processes" instead if it helps - thinking about it I probably should've.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby DragonFly on March 11th, 2018, 2:15 pm 

BadgerJelly » March 11th, 2018, 12:46 pm wrote:Still need you to clarify how something can "help" or "enhance" when it has no causal effect?


That logic is over now because it's not foolproof, but at least the failed attempt forestalls going down that path. I try things both ways.

Such it has that C doesn't cause, doesn't even have anything to do it with, and, worse, if it did have its own formulator, then it's still that C doesn't do it. Pretty damning to the folk wishes.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 11th, 2018, 2:25 pm 

RJG wrote:Premise 1 - says consciousness comes 'after' that which we are conscious of [C>X].
Premise 2 - says if consciousness is to 'cause', it must come 'before' that which it causes [If C is causal, then C<X].

Positor wrote:You have used the term 'X' to mean two different things.

Not so. The 2 X's refer to the same X in the term "conscious causation" (-of-X), used in the conclusion statement.

There are two contradictory components in "conscious causation"; one implies AFTER X, and the other, BEFORE X. The consciousness-of-X is AFTER X -- The causation-of-X is BEFORE X. ...we can't have BOTH cases (as in "conscious causation"), as these are mutually exclusive!

"Conscious causation" is as contradictory, mutually exclusive, and logically impossible as are "square circles" and "married bachelors".


Positor wrote:The conscious causation hypothesis is that what we are at present conscious of can be that which past consciousness (partly) caused, and that our present consciousness can (partly) cause that which we will be conscious of. The hypothesis may be false, but I do not find it illogical; it does not involve a contradiction.

Sure it does! -- ANY "conscious causation" (regardless of 'past' or 'present') is logically impossible.


Positor wrote:You need to prove logically that consciousness cannot have a delayed causal effect.

Can a circle ever be square?
Can a married man ever be a bachelor?
Can after-X ever be before-X?
Can consciousness ever be causal?
Can X ever be not-X?


Imagine the following:

Brothers Ron and Carl are running a long race (e.g. an ultra-marathon through the streets of San Francisco). Ron is always ahead of Carl by 10 meters. When Ron turns left, then 10 meters later, Carl turns left. When Ron runs up a hill, then 10 meters later, Carl runs up that hill. etc. etc.

Question 1
: If Carl is presently 10 meters behind Ron, is there anything Carl can do to influence/affect/cause Ron's present actions?

Question 2: If Carl, at the beginning of the race (i.e. in the 'past') was 10 meters behind Ron, is there anything then or now Carl can do to influence/affect/cause Ron's past or present actions?

Question 3: If Carl is ALWAYS 10 meters behind Ron, can Carl EVER influence/affect/cause Ron's past, present, or future actions?

The answers are all "NO" -- Carl can only view Ron's actions, but never (ever!) have a causal effect upon them.

Carl = consciousness (conscious self)
Ron = physical body (real self)

Consciousness can never (ever!) have a 'causal' influence on the real-time actions/reactions of the body.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby sponge on March 11th, 2018, 3:20 pm 

Positor » March 11th, 2018, 11:19 am wrote:
RJG » March 11th, 2018, 1:47 pm wrote:Premise 1 - says consciousness comes 'after' that which we are conscious of [C>X].
Premise 2 - says if consciousness is to 'cause', it must come 'before' that which it causes [If C is causal, then C<X].

You have used the term 'X' to mean two different things. In premise 1, it means "that which we are conscious of", but in premise 2 it means "that which consciousness causes". So we have an implied third premise:

Premise 3 - That which we are (at present) conscious of is that which (present) consciousness causes.

Given CTD, this would indeed be logically impossible. But this is not what anti-epiphenomenalists are claiming. The conscious causation hypothesis is that what we are at present conscious of can be that which past consciousness (partly) caused, and that our present consciousness can (partly) cause that which we will be conscious of. The hypothesis may be false, but I do not find it illogical; it does not involve a contradiction.

You need to refine your argument to get rid of the strawman Premise 3. You need to prove logically that consciousness cannot have a delayed causal effect.

Note that I am talking purely about the logical aspect here.


This was my position for a time, Positor but there is a problem. Once we make a choice or a decision (which we suppose will alter the future direction of the subconscious processes) that choice or decision must already have been made in the subconscious before it's presented to our awareness. Every thought we have has been through the subconscious process before we are aware of it so we can't come up with anything truly original using our conscious awareness alone.

I can see that RJG has stated this many times but he never said it in a way I could grasp at first. However, I'm not fully onboard with his ideas around this because there are problems with that scenario too.

The fact is that choices and decisions are taken by human and animals all the time and that determining factor needs to be explained. I don't think it works to say the body simply reacts to information coming in as an automatic response. Several people can be in exactly the same situation and all make different choices using exactly the same information.

Plus there is the serial thinking thing that involves logical decision-making and many other examples of the brain discriminating in favour of one course or another.

Something is driving this intelligent decision-making and if that something is part of the subconscious brain then that is where the "I" begins. This was the point I was trying to make in neuro's thread that is a spin off from this one.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 11th, 2018, 4:31 pm 

Sponge wrote:The fact is that choices and decisions are taken by human and animals all the time and that determining factor needs to be explained. I don't think it works to say the body simply reacts to information coming in as an automatic response. Several people can be in exactly the same situation and all make different choices using exactly the same information.

Although people seem the same, everyone is influenced and conditioned (programmed) differently, and therefore behave (auto-react) differently.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 11th, 2018, 9:27 pm 

What causes a light bulb to light up?

Is it the darkness? The absent minded Sun? The switch on the wall? The person who put the light there in the first place? The electrical circuit? Human knowledge of electricity?

Are all of these the "cause" or none of these the "cause"? Is causation merely an illusion?

When we take things this far logic cannot be applied - as RJG demonstrates. His position is to deny causality itself.

Your position is still idiotic. You simply don't understand logic, you merely think you do. I've seen maybe half a dozen people point this out to you over the years clearly enough. You don't listen, merely repeat the same thing again and again.

It doesn't matter how much you shout and protest about this, logical rules and application won't simply change to suit your opinions.

Strange how Positor asks you to refine your position (as I have suggested dozens of times.) The fact remains that you still throw out words without any explanation. You apply the word "consciousness" here or there in subtlely different ways yet with no articulated distinction.

Your assertion is nothing more that saying processes take time. From this you then decide that this means everything is like Newtonian clockwork and there was one point that predetermined everything and we're merely like actors in a movie playing out a role.

That is possible. It is also impossible to prove. Ergo to adhere to it obstinately as if it is an "absolute truth" is dogmatic nonsense, and amoral - as I pointed out.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 11th, 2018, 9:33 pm 

To add

Tailoring a scenario that presents our limitations as proof of our incapacity to do anything is disingenuous. Some things are seemingly impossible. Not everything is impossible or there wouldn't be anything.
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