Is life a matter of evolving chemistry?

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  • #106
jerromyjon
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Is ego satisfaction a measurable property of an object?
It certainly is after a lifetime of being "satisfied" by objects if that is how you choose to live. It is a learned behavior that could very simply stem from primal instincts to appear more formidable to rivals, but you have the ability defy your programming.
Free will is not so free, as it usually favors our own interests.
To talk about "freedom" to pursue one's interests is a no-brainer. To talk about sacrifice, now there are some points to discuss regarding free will. Another good point would be how addiction circumvents your free will. It is hard to isolate free will from "evolved chemical responses" and learned behaviors. It seems to me free will is best exemplified by choices which defy all expected outcomes yet is not a random choice.
 
  • #107
Feeble Wonk
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The eventual decision can be based on unquantifiable variables like 'looks', 'coolness' and all kinds of ego satisfaction, regardless of the physical measurable performance of various features of the car etc.
Is that free will?.
Is ego satisfaction a measurable property of an object?

We could try to frame this in terms of "ego satisfaction" being correlated to increased sexual attractiveness... being "cool", and driving the fancy sports car helps in acquiring the breeding partner... and thus, it's a competitive advantage for natural selection.
I'm not sure if that's an overly compelling argument. But regardless, it's entirely aside from the point. If your consciousness is tied directly and unalterably to neurological function, you had no choice in the matter.
If the physicists are correct in their contention that the "warm and noisy" physical environment of the brain imposes quantum decoherence that prevents significant quantum uncertainty in the biochemical/neurological process, then the action is deterministic. While the "motives" for the car purchase might be unquantifiable, the neurological processes that result in the purchase are not. In fact, the entire concept of "motive" becomes largely irrelevant.

It is a learned behavior that could very simply stem from primal instincts to appear more formidable to rivals, but you have the ability defy your programming.
No, you can't defy your programming... IF your consciousness is physically tied to neurological action.

It seems to me free will is best exemplified by choices which defy all expected outcomes yet is not a random choice.
IF consciousness is physically tied to neurological action, there ARE NO "choices". Any "unexpected outcomes" are simply a reflection of unpredictably due to the incalculable complexity of the chaotic physical system.
 
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  • #108
jerromyjon
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No, you can't defy your programming... IF your consciousness is physically tied to neurological action.
That's what I am saying. We can defy our instincts. Our neurological action would have to facilitate our "free will" in some manner, IF free will does exist.
 
  • #109
Feeble Wonk
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That's what I am saying. We can defy our instincts. Our neurological action would have to facilitate our "free will" in some manner, IF free will does exist.
What I'm saying, again, is that that's not possible. IF consciousness is physically tied to (a direct result of) neurological activity, then there IS NO "free will". Consciousness is a deterministic physical process, and part of the entire physical system.

So nature is known to be a monism ever since thermodynamics could study closed systems. If it wasn't, thermodynamics wouldn't

Torbjorn is exactly right. Nature is monistic by logical necessity. Thermodynamics forbids Cartesian dualism. There is no "ghost in the machine". Either the the ghost is an epiphenomenon produced by the machine, or the machine is an epiphenomenon produced by the ghost. I definitely can't say that the former is not the case, but one or the other must be true.
 
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  • #110
jerromyjon
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But whatever isn't in your brain can't be in your mind.
Either the the ghost is an epiphenomenon produced by the machine, or the machine is an epiphenomenon produced by the ghost.
I think this is irrelevant. Whether our free will would come from a "ghost" inside a puppet creature or if the brain itself has an inherent capability is a matter of mechanics, not results.
Well, my point is that this '"extra-physical" effect' is just an invisible unicorn. It does not answer anything, it is just shifting the question around.
You said it at the top of the page and I'm saying it again. All I am trying to get at is how to "isolate" the actual results which could be observed that could indicate a "free choice" has been made and it just seems to be getting more obvious the more I think about it. We know there are drugs which can alter your willpower exclusively so you can stroll into your bank and withdrawal all your savings and hand it to your "friends" like they asked you to. It doesn't mean either way that it disconnects the ghost from your brain or alters your electrochemical signal transmissions. The ghost and the machine seem to be an inseparable unit.
 
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  • #111
Drakkith
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Thread locked for moderation.
Edit: It appears this thread will remain locked for going off topic and getting into philosophy.
 
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