What is CTD?

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

Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 12th, 2018, 4:17 am 

Oh and ...

Consciousness can never (ever!) have a 'causal' influence on the real-time actions/reactions of the body.


You're also appealing to some strange definition of "causal" it appears?

Can it have a "non-causal" influence then? What would be a "non-casual" influence? An example of such a thing would be a welcome.

Again, the issue may well be language. We don't tend to say things like "What causes a Sea" because it is a silly thing to say. "Sea" is simply how we refer to particular bodies of water on Earth. If we start applying words willy nilly to this or that then all meaning dissolves.

For instance, can we talk about what "causes" logic?
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby DragonFly on March 12th, 2018, 10:40 am 

Yes, the information behind what appears in consciousness took time for the subconscious to gather and put together. Ergo, the quale is a product, not a producer. All of the nonsense of the ages about conscious choosing has fallen to pieces. Eve's C' chose the apple, not her C product echo.

To get around this 'product' status, one has to show otherwise, not just be a useless condemner throwing emotions about.


Good enough to be carved into the base of a statue?

"Not everything is impossible or there wouldn't be anything."
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 12th, 2018, 11:50 am 

RJG wrote:Consciousness can never (ever!) have a 'causal' influence on the real-time actions/reactions of the body.

BadgerJelly wrote:You're also appealing to some strange definition of "causal" it appears?

Not so, ...just reiterating; highlighting the obvious impossibility of 'causation' within "conscious causation".


DragonFly wrote:Yes, the information behind what appears in consciousness took time for the subconscious to gather and put together. Ergo, the quale is a product, not a producer. All of the nonsense of the ages about conscious choosing has fallen to pieces. Eve's C' chose the apple, not her C product echo.

Bingo. Well said.

The impossibility of conscious causation is obvious and self-evident to those who are not chained to their emotional pre-dispositions (biases/indoctrinations).

Exchanging 'emotional bias' with 'logical reasoning' is the secret to seeing the obvious self-evidence.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby Braininvat on March 12th, 2018, 11:52 am 

I find Strawson's "reactive attitude" to be an interesting approach to moral agency in a determinist universe. It is a compatibilist position which rescues moral responsibility.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 12th, 2018, 12:08 pm 

Dare I ask what this "product" does?

I think after that I'll just leave you both to ignore what I've said.

Biv -

I think we've got two people who don't care for moral responsibility.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby DragonFly on March 12th, 2018, 12:31 pm 

BadgerJelly » March 12th, 2018, 11:08 am wrote:Dare I ask what this "product" does?


Nothing, by its own so far. That's what you have to show. C' has the information that went into it and so C' is informed already and can use the info in whatever form it needs to.

BadgerJelly » March 12th, 2018, 11:08 am wrote:I think after that I'll just leave you both to ignore what I've said.


Good plan.

BadgerJelly » March 12th, 2018, 11:08 am wrote:I think we've got two people who don't care for moral responsibility.


That old approach again! Nature and Truth don't care for it; people's wishes for it or against have nothing to do with what is.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 12th, 2018, 12:38 pm 

BadgerJelly wrote:Dare I ask what this "product" does?

It "does" nothing, ...it is there to be "experienced". Conscious content ("product") is just 'content', ...it doesn't "do" anything.


BadgerJelly wrote:I think we've got two people who don't care for moral responsibility.

It's not that we don't necessarily "care", ...it is that it is ultimately "meaningless". If we have no say-so in our actions, then "moral-ness" ("morality") is non-existent; void of any meaning.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby DragonFly on March 12th, 2018, 12:48 pm 

Braininvat » March 12th, 2018, 10:52 am wrote:I find Strawson's "reactive attitude" to be an interesting approach to moral agency in a determinist universe. It is a compatibilist position which rescues moral responsibility.


Here's a summary I found about PF Strawson's position. Does it sound like it?

As I understand it, Strawson’s idea of moral responsibility works in terms of a sort of pragmatic illusionism. We may know that we cannot technically praise or blame someone, that they are a product of the historical and present universe, but we cannot help having those psychological reactions to their (determined) intended actions. These reactions are what constitute moral responsibility and they, it seems, are not worth giving up (or we are simply unable to do so). It’s what makes us human, perhaps.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby Braininvat on March 12th, 2018, 12:59 pm 

That's part of it, yes. It gives free will a certain sort of validity at the personal level, by looking at how we ignore the chain of causality that stretches back to the symmetry-breaking vacuum fluctuation of the Big Bang. Some moments of moral agency are not going to be reducible to a mechanical causal scheme that started with the singularity and the condensate of the quark-gluon plasma. I'm still chewing on the implications of Strawson's position and how others have played around with it.

Perhaps worth looking up in IEP or SEP. Even if you are a determinist, there are still questions of moral agency to contend with. After all, we hold an adult responsible for bad actions that we don't hold a small child responsible for. Without decisively rejecting determinism, most of us do take a compatibilist position on free will. For another thread. Or another 2-5 lengthy threads that may be reopened and rehashed. Yes, I'm reluctant to do that, too.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 12th, 2018, 1:08 pm 

Glad you've both made that clear.

Still puzzled why you don't see this as morally abhorrent stance to take.

I'll still talk to you RJG when the time and need arises. You'll first have to address my post to you on the previous page in more detail.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby DragonFly on March 12th, 2018, 2:35 pm 

BadgerJelly » March 12th, 2018, 12:08 pm wrote:Still puzzled why you don't see this as morally abhorrent stance to take.


Be puzzled no more, for no one is just taking some likable/wishing stance out of nowhere. What's found is what's so, whether it was expected or not. Need I redundantly say again some more, several times, and over, if your repeated puzzle still remains?

Plus, the fixed will may happen to learn and thus become a new and more productive fixed will. Can't count on it, though. We all know people who can't be dealt with at all on certain matters even through much of their life.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby mitchellmckain on March 12th, 2018, 8:41 pm 

BadgerJelly » March 12th, 2018, 12:08 pm wrote:Still puzzled why you don't see this as morally abhorrent stance to take.


Since I agree with them on this point, I'll take another stab at it. And remember that I am not even a compatibilist. I am an incompatibilist libertarian all the way.

There is a difference between metaphysics and ethics. One addresses questions about reality and the other addresses questions about acceptable human behavior. Just because you don't see human beings as having any real responsibility for their actions, doesn't mean that you don't consider any human behaviors to be unacceptable. You can think of it as a sort of evolutionary imperative. Just because we will not tolerate people doing certain things doesn't mean we have to say they deserve the actions taken against them any more than we would say that the species which become extinct deserved to die. It simply shifts the issue of justice to the pragmatic needs of human society -- something which I am inclined to do even believing that people are responsible for their actions.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 13th, 2018, 12:03 am 

Mitch -

The moral repercussions come if you're wrong. If you're wrong then you could've done something, but due to your instilled belief (presented as a dogmatic "absolute truth") you didn't. Ergo you avoided taking responsibility.

Merely as a question of metaphysics it is certainly something be to considered. All fields of interest relate, and in this instance to proclaim that fatalism is the truth is morally abhorrent (unless you're religiously inclined, in which case miracles are a get out jail free card.)

Dfly -

I'll not be responding to you until you address my questions of the previous page. It seems both myself and Positor pointed out the conflict with "enhancing", "helping" somehow having no actual effect on anything? You presented "help" and "enhance" as being "non-causal".

RJG has presented himself as a fatalistic and nihilistic person - ironic because he didn't seem capable of putting up an argument for "truth" or why he places "logic" above all whilst unable to talk about the cause of logic.

There is a point where ignorance steps in. To ignore your own ignorance can be fatal.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby DragonFly on March 13th, 2018, 2:29 am 

BadgerJelly » March 12th, 2018, 11:03 pm wrote:Dfly -

I'll not be responding to you until you address my questions of the previous page. It seems both myself and Positor pointed out the conflict with "enhancing", "helping" somehow having no actual effect on anything? You presented "help" and "enhance" as being "non-causal".


You didn't read my post after that one; I took it all back the next day and abandoned the proposal as not workable, due to the feedback you mentioned.

BadgerJelly » March 12th, 2018, 11:03 pm wrote:RJG has presented himself as a fatalistic and nihilistic person - ironic because he didn't seem capable of putting up an argument for "truth" or why he places "logic" above all whilst unable to talk about the cause of logic.


He discovered an ultimate truth, one among the most important of all time. He didn't do any presenting of himself of being some certain inclination beforehand or now. You were the one putting all the words toward it.

There are still all kinds of moral codes; commit a crime and get put away, to protect society, or, if it's something less that steps on others rights, get punched out or left or ignored or whatever. Plus, brains can change due to learning and so many will still speak out.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby mitchellmckain on March 13th, 2018, 2:38 am 

BadgerJelly » March 12th, 2018, 11:03 pm wrote:Mitch -

The moral repercussions come if you're wrong. If you're wrong then you could've done something, but due to your instilled belief (presented as a dogmatic "absolute truth") you didn't. Ergo you avoided taking responsibility.

No. If you are not in control then you cannot avoid taking responsibility either.

In many ways, all it amounts to is a game of empty semantics. That is why I say this is a philosophy which is out of touch with human existence and thus nearly as pointless as believing that the universe was created this morning with all our memories as they are.

BadgerJelly » March 12th, 2018, 11:03 pm wrote:Merely as a question of metaphysics it is certainly something be to considered. All fields of interest relate, and in this instance to proclaim that fatalism is the truth is morally abhorrent (unless you're religiously inclined, in which case miracles are a get out jail free card.)

How do you get a "get out of jail free card" in Buddhism, or Taoism, or Native American religion, or Shinto, or...? In fact, I would characterize this statement as a highly religious one revealing all kinds of religious ideas, sentiments and subjective prejudices...

If the world is nothing but a fancy film or novel where the story is already written then this just means what happens all depends on the producer or writer rather than the characters in the story. Are you telling us that it is morally abhorrent to make films and write novels?

No... You go too far. Bad philosophy? Yes. But that is all. Morally abhorrent? No.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 13th, 2018, 4:53 am 

I think I get the idea. Brains are moral, but consciousness is not? I can see how this may snare you

I still say if this is proven wrong you're morally culpable, and if not it makes no difference either way. I err on the side of caution and assume my thoughts have an impact, meaning my conscious thoughts have an impact - to be clear, meaning I assume that I do make choices rather than being a mute passenger of life.

I can break this down again into simple form (I've done so before several times for RJG):

Let us make two possible assumptions, call it an appeal to our possible ignorance:

1) Everything is predetermined and nothing we think effects anything.

2) Not everything is rigidly determined, but it playout within certain limitations. What I think and choose makes a potential difference to what will happen.

Now we have another two positions:

A) I believe (1) rigidly and in no way think my choices are my own or that I have any control. If I am correct then it obviously doesn't matter, if (1) is true then there is no consequence following this belief. If however (2) is true I affect my future choices and arm myself with the presumption that what I do or think makes no difference and if the time comes in the future where a choice will point to toward something good or something bad I will mutely just go along with anything because I don't believe I am more than a passenger.

B) I believe (2) rigidly, but in reality (1) is true so it doesn't matter at all what I do or think. My thoughts and belief in having any agency at all are merely a consequence of the predetermined universe - there is no consequence to my thought here, there is essentially no difference to me believing (1) or not. If however (2) is true and I possess some element of agency in the universe, that my thoguhts can impact upon future events AND I am thinking they do then I put my agency to use and direct myself toward the good and away from the bad, and no doubt make mistakes and learn and strive toward something better.

The difference here is stark. If you adhere to rigid and unerring belief in (1) you're not even trying because you don't believe "trying" matters.

If you don't understand this let me break it into more simplier terms.

Position (1) means there is no responsibility for our conscious awareness. Position (2) means there is some responsibility carried by our conscious awareness.

Belief in either position makes no difference if (1) is true. Belief in each position has consequences if (2) is true.

To solidify the difference more clearly. You have the option of choosing two guns and placing it against your temple and pulling the trigger. One gun is loaded and the other is not. If you deny the existence of the empty gun you blindly march into oblivion, whilst if you accept the existence of both guns you can choose to end your life or continue it.

In reality it may be that both guns are loaded, or that we don't know which one is loaded. What is preposterous to me is to deny the existence of one in order not to be faced with "having to make a choice," because you don't believe that you have a choice.

You can of cause attempt to prove that the universe is predetermined and fatalistic, but you cannot prove this. Therefore I have proven the idiocy of adhering to the idea that what you think now have no causal effect on future events when you cannot definitively say one way or the other, but I can show quite clearly, as above, that when it comes down to ethics there is only one choice, that is to accept your choice means something rather than nothing.

The problem of the human condition is not knowing how much an impact our actions have or what leads to a better future. Accepting responsibility is the first step toward not welcoming destruction in with open arms, because even though your influence in the world may be small it may just be enough to avoid destruction.

Mitch calls is "bad" and I call it "morally abhorrent." On the surface it looks mundane, and I am assuming (in all honesty) that you fail to my point clearly enough or that I'm simply doing a terrible job of it - or I could possibly be wrong, in which case you're doing a terrible job of defending it.

Either way, we're all failing here to some degree. I can accept that and keep on keeping on because I believe it is still currently worthwhile, but tomorrow I may think I am talking to myself. Sometimes people are so far apart in their thinking that any common ground seems so unlikely as to appear an impossibility. And until either RJG or I die, or leave the forum, I'll continue to the bitter end.

Mitch -

"bad" or "abhorrent" are just different degree fo disliking something. They are judgements. Ignorant if I am to be kind and morally abhorrent if they understand the chance they are wrong yet choose not to choose this option.

I just meant the "get out of jail free card" as being an appeal and acceptance of personal limitation with the added bonus of assuming there is an overlying moral meaning to the universe and that we're a blip, albeit a blip that matters.

Basically I am saying it is an appeal to reason "beyond reason", which we obviously cannot conceive of. Much like physicists don't tend to mull over what happens outside of time and space, because such ideas are so beyond human contemplation that to frame them rationally is to bring them into the confines of that which they are unknowable - and there is the point at which people struggle with Kant's "noumenon" and misinterpret it as an appeal to something "other", not realizing that the very term "noumenon" is its own refutation.

Anyway, nevermind! It appears Dfly thinks RJG has stumbled upon some "ultimate truth."
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 13th, 2018, 8:02 am 

Badger seems to be adhering to his own version of "Pascal's Wager".

The problem with Pascal's Wager is that one's truths are then determined by 'desirability' (or that which is not 'ugly'), ...thereby demoting one's 'truth' to mere 'religion'.

'Desirability' (or 'ugliness') is NOT a property of 'truth'.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 13th, 2018, 10:40 am 

RJG -

The above argument is not dogmatic. I am not saying your position is wrong, only that it is redundant if you're wrong.

It is dogmatic to state something as an "absolute truth" without any logical proof. You cannot show me that the universe runs of predetermined rails so you must accept the possibility that you're wrong; in whcih case from a moral perspective you're left wanting.

Is "truth" your wager or not?
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 13th, 2018, 11:05 am 

Dfly -

You mean this reply?

DragonFly » March 12th, 2018, 2:15 am wrote:
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.


I am sorry to say I don't understand a word of it.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 13th, 2018, 11:13 am 

BadgerJelly wrote:It is dogmatic to state something as an "absolute truth" without any logical proof.

Is it dogmatic to state a "logical truth"?? -- if so, then I "dogmatically" state "Conscious causation is logically impossible"!


BadgerJelly wrote:You cannot show me that the universe runs of predetermined rails so you must accept the possibility that you're wrong; in which case from a moral perspective you're left wanting.

"Determinism" has NOTHING to do with this 'logical impossibility'.

It is not "determinism" than makes "square circles" and "married bachelors" logically impossible. It is their two contradictory terms that do.

And likewise, it is not "determinism", that makes "conscious causation" logically impossible. It is its two contradictory terms that do (...that mutually imply 'after'-X and 'before'-X).
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby Positor on March 13th, 2018, 11:38 am 

RJG » March 11th, 2018, 6:25 pm wrote: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!

But what if the consciousness-of-X causes Y, which comes after X? There is no contradiction there.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby BadgerJelly on March 13th, 2018, 11:51 am 

RJG -

It doesn't matter how many times you repeat yourself. Saying something is a logical truth without offering up a logical and coherent proof doesn't make it so.

This has been pointed out to you several times by several different people.

We all, or at least I do, that what I am conscious of in this exact moment is the product of what is going on in my brain. What you need to prove is why the causal chain ends in conscious awareness and plays no further part. Of course you cannot prove this ... that is kind of my point.

So you have an opinion you cannot prove and so I reduce it to being about the possible moral implications if you're opinion is wrong and if it is right (see above, I played this out at length with enough clarity I believe?)

Of course it is perfectly logical to say if there is an "absolute bottom" to a hill and I push a ball down the hill it will roll and settle at the bottom. It is fair enough to suggest that consciousness (conscious awareness) "bottoms out", so to speak, but you offer no proof of this.

note: "determinism" and "pre-determinism" are two different terms.

I am no longer accusing you of nihilistic fatalism, because it appears something is amiss and until you present a proof of your "Conscious causation is logically impossible".

Clarify the terms you use in your premise/s as precisely as you can, with as many words as it takes. I have asked and Positor has pointed this out too, as have other people before.

NOTE: It appears my post has not gone through because Positor has pointed out the problem again.

Can wheel only make one full rotation?
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 13th, 2018, 1:36 pm 

Positor wrote:But what if the consciousness-of-X causes Y, which comes after X? There is no contradiction there.

There is no contradiction with the 'X' itself being the cause of Y. The contradiction is with the 'consciousness'-of-X being the 'cause' of Y.

The 'consciousness' of anything cannot be the 'cause' of anything, as 'conscious causation' is logically impossible.

Again:
1. If consciousness IS conscious of Y, then consciousness can't 'consciously cause' Y, and
2. If consciousness IS NOT conscious of Y, then consciousness can't 'consciously cause' Y.

Therefore, in any and all cases, 'consciousness' can never 'cause' anything!



BadgerJelly wrote:It doesn't matter how many times you repeat yourself. Saying something is a logical truth without offering up a logical and coherent proof doesn't make it so.

Are square circles logically impossible? Y/N
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby DragonFly on March 13th, 2018, 1:57 pm 

Going on the larger field of Responsibility, via more avenues, past the finding that C' neural activity runs the show…

One's C' sorts out its information as it goes along by what its capability has come to be.

How did the particular C' as you come to be as it is, namely your memories, tendencies, personality, and more?

Among the influencing/forming sources would be genetics, environment, nurture, friends, schooling, health, geography, customs, problems, etc.

When were you ever personally responsible for how you became and are? The (See Galen Strawson.)


The following are all gone:

Endless regret, shame, and blame over some bad thing you did, beyond that of such review helping you not to do it again?

Telling people, in effect, that there is a fantasy world of "they could have done differently", as if this mandate somehow trumps the actuality of that they did do/choose the thing.

Judgement Day? Life as a test to go to Heaven or Hell? Eve is to blame for the apple bite? Believe or burn? The invalidation of the source that the preceding is based on?

(Any more?)
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby mitchellmckain on March 13th, 2018, 4:10 pm 

BadgerJelly » March 13th, 2018, 3:53 am wrote:
Mitch -

"bad" or "abhorrent" are just different degree fo disliking something. They are judgements. Ignorant if I am to be kind and morally abhorrent if they understand the chance they are wrong yet choose not to choose this option.

I don't have time for a full response right now but I had to respond to particular gloss right away.

Putting the difference down to these two synonyms is really dishonest!!!

Our dispute is primarily over the other two words... You call it "morally abhorrent" and I say no, it is at most "bad philosophy." RJG's argument connecting CTD to no conscious causality is "poor logic" which means something quite different than either of our two descriptions -- having nothing to do with a comparison of "poor" with "bad" or "abhorrent." The connection he is making is wrong -- it does not logically follow. But neither does his conclusion have anything to do with morality. I REFUSE these ideological judgement of people based on philosophical beliefs alone -- indeed I would call THAT morally abhorrent! People should not be morally condemned just because of their beliefs about reality alone and pushing this is out-and-out intolerance! He is not bad or evil just because he thinks differently than you do. AND whatever implications you are connecting such beliefs to is ONLY a part of YOUR thinking!

So you are wrong! It is not just a matter of difference of degree. Bad philosophy essentially means that it is useless. It is like a scientific theory which does match the evidence and is therefore of no value. And neither has ANYTHING to do with morality!
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby Positor on March 13th, 2018, 8:40 pm 

RJG » March 13th, 2018, 5:36 pm wrote:2. If consciousness IS NOT conscious of Y, then consciousness can't 'consciously cause' Y.

I disagree. It is logically possible that consciousness can imagine Y, and then consciously cause it.

That is not, of course, to say that it physically can. Determinism may preclude this possibility; but that is a separate issue from the logical one.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby mitchellmckain on March 13th, 2018, 10:05 pm 

mitchellmckain » March 13th, 2018, 3:10 pm wrote:It is like a scientific theory which does match the evidence and is therefore of no value. And neither has ANYTHING to do with morality!

Argghhh! I hate typos like this.

It is like a scientific theory which does NOT match the evidence and is therefore of no value.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 13th, 2018, 10:35 pm 

Positor wrote:It is logically possible that consciousness can imagine Y, and then consciously cause it.

When consciousness is imagining this Y, is it 'conscious' of imagining this Y?
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby mitchellmckain on March 13th, 2018, 10:42 pm 

RJG » March 13th, 2018, 9:35 pm wrote:
Positor wrote:It is logically possible that consciousness can imagine Y, and then consciously cause it.

When consciousness is imagining this Y, is it 'conscious' of imagining this Y?

No. That comes later. We have been over this. Self-reflective process are a different later process.

But to be sure, imagination is a process which takes time. The awareness of X certainly can cause/inspire such a process to begin, and then some microseconds later one is conscious of the imagined Y which then begins the process of enacting Y. After that then one can become aware of this Y one has enacted, or even of the whole process of imagining Y before enacting it.

As usual you keep skipping the logical step of proving that there is nothing to which this consciousness is presented which can act on it. Nor have you proven that we must be conscious of something at the time in order to be the cause of it. Until you do that your argument remains a non-sequitur. The simple evidence of how evolution works tells us that you cannot prove this because it is wrong. Consciousness only exists because it serves a purpose of informing that which acts. Are you now going to ask if we are conscious of that which acts? The answer is the same as above... we can at a later time in self-reflection.
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Re: What is CTD?

Postby RJG on March 14th, 2018, 12:12 am 

Positor wrote:It is logically possible that consciousness can imagine Y, and then consciously cause it.

RJG wrote:When consciousness is imagining this Y, is it 'conscious' of imagining this Y?

mitchellmckain wrote:But to be sure, imagination is a process which takes time...

...and then some microseconds later one is conscious of the imagined Y…

If "one is conscious of the imagined Y" AFTER the imagination process, then would you agree that it is not logically possible for one to consciously cause the imagined Y?
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