Are sceptics sometimes irrational?

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Re: Are sceptics sometimes irrational?

Post by Papus79 » October 23rd, 2017, 8:03 pm

Eduk wrote:Let me give an example. Let us say that we are playing golf and I am trying to make a putt and I miss. Now I could say if I took the exact same putt I would get it nine times out of ten.
Now let us imagine I did take the exact same putt and got it nine times out of ten. This implies free will is real.
Or let us imagine I took the putt and missed all ten times. This implies free will is not real.
I easily see how this could turn into a Harris/Dennett conversation.

My interpretation of the above - you utilize your senses to see how your club is lined up, how well you're squared off, your distancing, whether you have the right club for the distance, whether your shoulders are squared off enough, and all of that data has to get sent back to your cerebellum to be articulated into signals that your nervous system can send to your muscles in the right way and all of that takes very precise timing. If you have ten shots at the same hole and make it nine times a few things need to be considered. First and foremost, your brain is never in the same state twice, your body in quite the same position, and there are likely all kinds of iterative compensations your brain is making with your sensory data that very well coordinate accurately 9 out of 10 times. Secondly, and maybe even more importantly, you don't really get to choose which one of those ten shots is your miss or whether you miss two out of ten in one set fo ten and then none the next set of ten. You have the sense of coordinating the shot, perhaps with some amount of faith that you will make it however you'll usually know also, by the end of the swing, whether something went wrong and if you get that distinct feeling it really had next to nothing with any desire to miss the shot or enforce your 90% quota. I'm sure if you could raise the bar, without biting your nails off or hating golf for the extra effort, you would have it at 95% or 98% rather than 90%. That also is a third point, ie. your genetic ceiling for athletic improvement - something that everyone has and some people can play for years before they hit that ceiling, other people can find it within a few months.
Eduk wrote:Now in reality there will never be the exact same time, the best I can do is to replicate the conditions closely. For example I move the ball back to where I took the putt from and take the putt again. Under this scenario I score the putt nine times out of ten and assume I have free will. I have no absolutely demonstrated free will. Only demonstrated a practical case for free will.
The way I see it every input as well as quantity of iterations of that input has consequences. You see something or do something and a memory gets generated. It happens again and it's already - temporally - happening in what's ultimately a new context and with a historical model of what that event looks like playing itself out. I remember getting in a debate over free will with a guy who said that with no free will if you walked past a person who had hot coffee who was accident-prone enough to spill it on you, and did, you couldn't learn from the experience. I pointed out to him that you can't 'not' learn from experiences and especially with hot coffee, whether the person actually got 1st or 2nd degree burns from it or even if they were wearing a light colored shirt and completely without burns they had to go home and change, they'd probably leer at that person on the next pass like "If you get any closer I'll pop you one" if that person was walking past them with coffee or short of that they'd carve a course as far away in the breath of the hallway as they could.

Eduk wrote:I'm not sure who the heads are? For me Trump is the poster boy and he doesn't seem to align with what you are saying above? Also in my experience those people who complain about their culture being destroyed are amongst those with the least culture. By which I mean talk is cheap.
Vox Day, Greg Johnson, Jonathan Bowden (one of the more prolific UK right-wing thinkers), Tara McCarthy, Brett Stevens, Nick Land, Richard Spencer, and pretty much anyone you'd see these days interviewing on Red Ice Radio as well as quite a few of Tara McCarthy's guests. Although I could say Jared Taylor's been out a lot and promoting race realism I'd also say that as far as I've seen he's stuck on that in sort of a one-issue manner so while he seems to debate people well with rather insidious data about populations around the world he doesn't really have a philosophic selling point other than trying to reinforce the idea that affirmative action is trying to resolve a problem backward which a lot of people, like Charles Murray, are able to make a much more secular humanistic argument for rather than promoting white identity politics.

-- Updated October 23rd, 2017, 8:05 pm to add the following --

One edit on that: I put Nick Land on there as something of an anti-democratic thinker. I doubt that he's necessarily pro white identitarianism with it but he's among another growing group of thinkers who are considering that democracy and even republican democracy are nearing their end of scope based current technologies and the current complexities of our systems.

-- Updated October 24th, 2017, 8:04 pm to add the following --

Something else I just thought of that might be helpful for talking about conscious experience and action as well as testing for free will; I think we can safely branch it off into a two-part division up front and say that there are external test parameters and internal ones. External demands, when they take primacy at least, demand immediate action - such as when you might be going 70 mph on the highway and someone a couple car lengths in front of you slams on their breaks. Most other times when our available behaviors or actions aren't quite so contracted we're somewhere along a gradient between mostly external influence with some internal and at the other end mostly internal influence with some external.

Internal influence seems to come from something like an established deposit of your core values that you often go back to as a touchstone to see whether you're staying on course, drifting, or possibly drifting in a helpful or positive direction. Answering to internal demands, when they're much higher in ratio or almost the entirety of what you're dealing with, tend to be very iterative and non-linear. For instance if I had a particularly bad weak where I wasn't my best self, was giving into what I'd consider licentious behavior, thinking misanthropically, and generally drifting downward from where I prefer to be I might find that I have three or four free hours one afternoon where I get to my bedroom and say 'You know - for the way I've been this week I'm somewhat embarrassed to consider myself a Hermeticist or embarrassed to consider myself a student of Rosicrucian philosophy just on my own moral behavior" and I might go down the list mentally of everything I did over the past week to inventory all of what bothered me. Then I'd probably spend a fair amount of time, perhaps not three or four hours, but enough to hit all of those items in inventory and see if I could trace back to the root causes of what set my mind or emotions in that particular direction, then I'd ask myself why I let it happen - ie. did I get surprised and did it bypass my guard that way? Did I just not get enough sleep and someone or something I heard hit me right along the kind of fracture line in my self-control that might show up at that point?

That's the kind of iterative process I mean and I think most of us are doing it far more often than not albeit people do it with different degrees of deliberation and formality based on a lot of different factors. To claim, in the above example, that I had free will to spend the half hour, hour, or even two or three hours doing what I did in the example above is something that while it's not as clear as slamming on my breaks for a car in front of me in the highway it's also a process that's going on, albeit non-linear, within a fixed set of parameters. For example - my core deposit of values and the somewhat rigid moral boundaries I might have inwardly that send up the warning flags aren't something that I have a lot of control over. Some people are very liquid in those boundaries for example, for whatever reason I find myself less so. There's a certain threshold where lets say enough deviation or drift downward makes me uncomfortable enough to head off for some serious introspect. I might also introspect just as hard if I have an absolutely amazing day and even more so if I had that amazing day for purely internal reasons - ie. where it's repeatable based on internal dynamics, and I'd be trying to create a formal understanding of how that happened.

With that elaboration though I think you probably see what I'm saying regard to my doubts that I can do anything other than what I'm doing at a given moment. I either have external pressures or I don't, I either have hit a threshold for triggering internal pressures or I haven't, or I may be tired enough (or buzzed enough!) that I might be either numbed to both or have my relationship to both significantly augmented. None of those seem to change the fact that where I am at, in a precise moment, with all of these factors is where I am at and in that instant - in that frame of time - they are precisely where they are. That's part of why, no matter how dynamic my life might seem, I'm forced to (when I really think about it) consider it as already written. The trouble is that doesn't allow me to rest on my laurels or say its not a big deal - a good emergency can fix that in an instant.

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Re: Are sceptics sometimes irrational?

Post by Eduk » October 30th, 2017, 5:41 am

Well you raise an interesting point.
In my experience if you tell someone to contemplate that all their actions are predetermined due to living in a mechanical world. Then most people's first reaction is to not do anything. As in what would be the point. If you truly truly believed you had no choice you may very well lie down and not get up again.
But this is a bit of a paradox obviously.
For me a non thinking, non conscious, predetermined life has no need for an illusion of consciousness. Indeed I don't know how you can have an illusion of consciousness. My temptation is to go along with Descartes and assume I am until such point as I am proven wrong.

-- Updated October 30th, 2017, 5:46 am to add the following --

For example can you hallucinate colour if you were born blind?
Can a dog (who was born blind) hallucinate colour?
Can an amoeba hallucinate colour?

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Re: Are sceptics sometimes irrational?

Post by Papus79 » October 30th, 2017, 7:52 am

My best analogy, and I might be repeating it for emphasis, is that our conscious minds are treading water like mad between two fixtures - our deeper internal landscape and the realities of our external landscape. They're trying to keep both our internal landscape and external landscape from killing us out of incongruity and also trying to optimize deal-making between both so that the internal landscape takes as little destructive correction as possible without the external world coming down on the person in a punitive manner (ie. if they decide to put self-serving ahead of honesty and people can tell, even if they stay within the framework of what's technically 'legal' or not getting caught).

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