Emergence (Evolution)

by romansh ⌂ @, Monday, August 19, 2019, 16:18 (324 days ago) @ dhw
edited by romansh, Monday, August 19, 2019, 16:58

dhw There is no model which can prove that consciousness emerges from the individual cells of the brain! All we can do is draw analogies that seem to point to this being a possible process (I'm neutral on the subject). I offered the ant colony and life itself. Do you want me to call them models? OK, then, they are models. What does that prove?

There is nothing to prove ... when dealing with the universe all we can do is induce. But I am willing listen to evaluate evidence. If you are saying complex systems can result in complex patterns of behaviour, then I would agree.

dhw Yes, I lack belief in God. I also lack disbelief in God. I also lack belief in a blind, unthinking universe that can produce all the complexities of life. But I also lack disbelief in such a universe. I have explained my agnosticism to you, as follows:

Yes this is all fine. By modern definitions of "atheist" you could well be defined as one.

rom Yet you will behave as though there is or is not certain flavours of God.

dhw Behave? Not sure what you mean by “flavours”

By behave, I mean do you pray or worship to some deity on the odd occasion (other than any goddesses we may be attached to). Give thanks etc. Or do you go about your daily life as though there is no deity? Or perhaps you think this deity is in effect blind and uncaring, and to all and intents and purposes does not meddle in our lives?

My point is if someone put a gun to your head to force you to make a bet which way would you bet? Personally I would bet for "blind, unthinking universe that can produce all the complexities of life".

dhw You might as well ask me whether it includes the fact that without a universe I would not be alive and therefore the existence of the universe is a constraint. By implication, you are therefore trying to defining free will out of existence, just as you accuse compatibilists of trying to define it into existence.

My point remains there are people who believe [libertarians] (not necessarily the political kind) we can make decisions etc independently of the causal mesh we find ourselves in. Compatibilists do define free will into existence, it is not an accusation. Compatibilists are determinists too, so they fully accept the causal mesh we find ourselves in. But they do have interesting semantic debates on how we "could do otherwise" using the causal mesh. If you can have a go at this it would me much appreciated.

dhw We should make sure that our definition is neutral. So what is yours?

In the words of the famous sailor, Captain Haddock, "Balderdash!"
We should make sure our definitions match the phenomena we are trying describe. Not some half way house that might give a concept a fighting chance in a philosophical debate. If we and our wills are a product of the causal mesh we find ourselves in what way are we free? Only in the trivial sense we do not have a gun to our heads, tumours etc. If cause is false, then I cannot be responsible for anything. Now if we find ourselves thinking we are partially free from this causal mesh how can we be sure our thought is not brought about by our ignorance of the causal mesh?

my link to what I think free will is, I should update it a bit.

And my take on agnosticism

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