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  • Darwins +438/-5

Right.  We have the ability to choose between outcomes, to pick the one we want to go for.  Self-determination, as it were.  What we can do is limited based on what's come before and the information that's available to us, but we can make meaningful decisions within those parameters.

How?  Help me understand the process that allows a decision to be made outside of causality and randomness?

Quote from: JeffPT
Everything up to that decision led to whatever decision was made and if the scenario were run a million times with everything being equal, the same decision would be made a million times over.
So, you've actually run through the scenario a million times and determined that the same decision would be made every single time? 

Jeff and I are saying that any particular neuron in the brain will, at any point in time, be in a particular state.  The physical laws of the universe, combined with the neighbouring action potentials, will determine exactly what the subsequent state of that neuron will be.  Each neuron in the brain is subject to causality.

The fact of the matter is that no matter how much you or anyone else argues that this has to be the case, you can't prove it.  You're going based on what you feel to be true, and using logic to justify it. 
Okay - so you disagree that the brain and its constituent parts are subject to causality, is that what you are saying?

You can't hold a rock responsible if it breaks a window.  But you can hold the person who threw it responsible for throwing it....

WHY?  Why is it that the rock, once it has been acted on by an external force, has to follow the physical laws of the universe, but the person's brain does not?  Because that in essence is what you are saying here - that there is something in the brain that can overrule the electrochemical processes that are going on and change their firing rate so that different actions are taken.

So again I ask - can you even begin to describe why or how it is that the brain is not subject to all the physical laws we know exist, and which govern every other aspect of the universe?  Its all just electrical switches, after all, so what makes a "switch" in a brain be able to forego the laws of physics in a way that the "switches" in your television, or your PC, can not?
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screwtape good post January 04, 2013, 08:05:48 AM