Consciousness: Egnor on determinism and free will (General)

by David Turell @, Thursday, February 28, 2019, 15:52 (577 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Yes, it takes a mind to hear it, so if there is no mind, no one can hear it. Your question is believed to have been asked way back in the 19th century by George Berkeley, who at least had the good sense to argue that “the nature of reality depends on who is looking” but this did NOT mean there are no objective facts. I have found a delightful quote in Wikipedia:
"Albert Einstein is reported to have asked his fellow physicist and friend Niels Bohr, one of the founding fathers of quantum mechanics, whether he realistically believed that 'the moon does not exist if nobody is looking at it.' To this Bohr replied that however hard he (Einstein) may try, he would not be able to prove that it does."

I would add that nobody can possibly prove that the tree does not make a sound or the moon does not exist, and I would also add my usual proposal that anyone who believes there are no objective facts should step in front of a bus travelling at, let’s say 50 miles an hour.

DAVID: So the question really is: if original and many subsequent organisms until presumably the Cambrian could not recognize sound or in any way be aware of its possible existence, how could cell committees from the Ediacaran invent it in the Cambrian? My usual question. It takes a mind to visualize what is needed or available to evolve anything.

dhw: This thread began with the subject of free will versus determinism and then moved on to the question of whether there is or is not such a thing as objective reality. All of a sudden you switch the subject to the one we have been discussing year after year, and are still discussing on the two threads “Big brain evolution” and “Genome complexity”: i.e. the mechanisms that have driven evolution. Please can we keep to one subject at a time. In this case, I have argued that although “the nature of reality depends on who is looking”, there is such a thing as objective reality. Do you or do you not agree?

Objective reality exists. You've not answered my point that it requires a mind to appreciate all of reality. And again, if there was no awareness of a large potion of reality how did cell committees know to create brains/minds. Cell committees can't create evolved new forms.


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