From an externalist viewpoint there may seem to be only one choice. But from a subjective point of view, things are more overlapping and convoluted than that, unless one is exceedingly simple, which I doubt. Even bacteria have to make decisions of a sort.
The whole concept of “inevitability” is a religious concept, certainty in the Greeks with the Fates but in more modern times, we can thank John Calvin’s Predestination, which led to Determinism… and to modern day thinking.
In sort, it’s ultimately a Calvinist outlook.
Brain plasticity alone though defeats a lot of those notions. We _believe_ that somehow, mathematically, it may someday be possible to accurately predict every choice we will ever make.
But I don’t think so. I believe the study is worth while, but as a species, if we begin believing that our choices are ultimately hard-wired, we run into a dangerous situation of lack of culpability. We already are starting to see signs of that in the courts systems around the world.
We’re patterning our conceptualizations about the mind based upon machinery forgetting that we have it backwards. We have patterned the machinery based upon a limited understanding of our own cognitive processes.
In short, the brain is not like a computer. The computer is like a brain.
aofjiwefaoj;afej – my choice to type those particular letters.
There’s no way anyone but me can know that. Even a brain scan that shows activity that’s theoretically prior to my conscious awareness of it doesn’t negate my choice in the matter.
It is true, of course, that we do things and then tell stories about why we did them after that fact. We justify our recent past (now) actions against further past patterns to try to explain “what just happened”, predicting / anticipating certain responses form the environment based upon past experience.
In short, we’re always comparing the past with the past.
Just the same, it doesn’t negate the freedom of my choices.
The beautiful thing about intent is there’s no way to know anyone else’s intent, unless they follow stereotyped patterns.
A beautiful theory that’s based upon reality is still but a beautiful theory. The reality remains either way. You mention nature or nurture as if they are the only valid compartmentalizations. it’s binary and helpful as a sorting mechanism but it’s ultimately flawed as reality doesn’t always neatly fall into either / or or even both.
A sure sign of a limited theory is when that which doesn’t FIT into the theory is labeled as nonsense.
The thing is: It’s only nonsense ACCORDING TO THAT THEORY.
To me, it’s a sign of holes and flaws in the theory.
Of course it does. Modern Science is wholly deterministic due to its (ultimately) Calvinist roots.
Mathematics works well for what it works for. But then you have idiots who believe The Universe is Made of Math as a consequence. Brilliant idiots making popular books that people buy hook line and sinker.
The problem with that way of thinking is: Just because something works well, doesn’t mean it encompasses everything. It just means it works well.
Scientists (that aren’t busy in Publish or Perish mode, which is rare, and a damned shame about the society of Science as it is today), likely would agree.
It’s not the Scientists I’m concerned with. It’s the Fans of Science and the educators of popular Science that have been becoming a problem socially.
I’m a fan of the Sciences. But it’s socially a disaster, both within its ranks and especially its outreach programs. The religification of this magical thing called SCIENCE which holds all the answers (eventually) is detrimental as it doesn’t reflect reality as it stands. They need more collaboration with the humanities when it comes to public education and outreach as some of their efforts has been absolutely abhorrent, especially in how they attempt to teach history or literature…. or worse, try to get more and more involved in the courts over civic and criminal matters.
None of the sciences are ready for that. Too Ivory tower still.
How did you conclude that I have a problem with people trying to find the answers to everything? Well, it doesn’t matter. It’s mistaken.
Listen to my words, please. You appear to be trying to predict my intent. That’s impossible unless I follow stereotyped patterns, which I don’t typically.
thank you for that. I was about to post this, which you will appreciate: It’s from a physics professor warning other physics professors about not letting their students rely excessively upon the analogies they use in teaching. It leads to a lot of bad notions, such as equating math = universe = math.
It’s an easy read and interesting.
It’s not logic. It’s hope. It’s faith. It’s religious in nature. That’s ok. It’s called Scientism and you’re in good company.
I don’t have a problem with your faith in science. You recognize it, that’s enough for me.
Thank you smile emoticon Sometimes I give an impression of being polar, with fists up and ready to fight but rather I do it in a spirit of a punch in the arm, and a “hey, let’s grab a beer and figure this thing out together ’til we come to a consensus” way.