RJG wrote:...the impossibility of conscious causation...
Not so. There is no gray area (or "degrees of") in a logical impossibility. One cannot 'come' before that which one comes 'after'. X<Y and X>Y are mutually exclusive, (i.e. logically impossible to co-exist).Belindi wrote:True, there is never absolute conscious causation however there are degrees of conscious causation which ktz called " internal locus of control".
Belindi, just ask yourself ...is there ANYTHING that you are conscious of, 'before' you are conscious of it? Hopefully you will agree that this is nonsense; and a strict logical impossibility.
We cannot consciously cause 'anything', because 'everything' that we are conscious of, has 'already' been caused/scripted/created. ...and if you disagree, then please tell me what you know of (are conscious of) before you know it, so as to then possibly cause it's knowing.
Thanks BG, I can always count on you for a good insult. ...it is flattery to my ears. For you to care so much to insult me, means that I must have said something so irrefutable that you cannot rationally refute it. ...it means that all you got left to argue with are just insults.Burning ghost wrote:If you polish a turd it’s still a turd.
Hopefully by then you will learn how to argue more effectively (note: casting 'insults' only highlights your inabilities). But, like you say "I'm not exactly overly optimistic".Burning ghost wrote:See you in 2020 ... maybe time will humble you a tad - judging by the past 5-6 years I’m not exactly overly optimistic.
Aaah, how refreshingly novel, ...good man Chewy!Chewy brian wrote:Very well... I will try now to attack only your argument.
Not so. I am not doubting the existence of non-conscious thoughts (brain/memory activities).Chewy brian wrote:You seem to begin with the idea that thoughts must be experienced to exist…
Yes, any thoughts that we consciously experience are only 'experienced' thoughts.Chewy brian wrote:..and that this implies, to you, that thoughts are only experienced…
Correct - consciously "experiencing" thoughts does not mean consciously "authoring" thoughts.Chewy brian wrote:...and never authored or controlled by the thinker.
Yes, the thoughts that we consciously experience are non-consciously created.Chewy brian wrote:I assume you think (no pun intended) that they come from the subconscious or unconscious, then. Is this what you assert?
Correct. Since we are not conscious of our non-conscious activities, we therefore can't have 'conscious' control over them.Chewy brian wrote:I suppose you think we have no control over any aspect of our subconscious or unconscious, and they both act of their own accord, or in some random or caused way totally out of reach of our consciousness. Is this what you are saying?
You have lost me here. Which premises are you alluding to? The impossibility of conscious causation has nothing to do with these comments above. It has to do with the impossibility of something coming 'before' that which it comes 'after'. Causation implies 'before' and consciousness implies 'after'. We can't get 'opposites' on the same side of the equation, so as to then consciously cause anything. Conscious causation is an oxymoron. Causation<X>ConsciousnessChewy brian wrote:Your stance of seems to be the conclusion of this train of thought, then. But, the logic only works when and if the reader assents to the premises upon which it is built. I don't assent to your premise, so I don't feel the need to follow along to the conclusions you draw from it.
I would love to, if you could specifically point out the flawed premises that lead to the flawed conclusion.Chewy brian wrote:Many folks have raised objections to these premises, and you seem to run back to 'logical impossibility' rather than addressing their concerns thoughtfully. I hope, instead, that you might take the time to address my concerns thoughtfully.
Aren't you just begging the question here? In essence, you are saying I have conscious control because I can consciously control. No offense, but you can't "decide" (not "consciously" anyways). For any 'decision' that you may be conscious of, precedes your consciousness-of-that-decision. All bodily actions are totally involuntary. Our consciousness of our bodily actions is always 'after' the action itself, and certainly never 'before' so as to then be considered "consciously caused".Chewy brian wrote:1-Do we know for a fact that our unconscious, subconscious and conscious thought processes do not work together? Intuitively, it makes sense that they would. We are all on the same team, right? And, we often run on autopilot, performing basic tasks like breathing, standing in place or walking across a spectrum of awareness, from totally involuntary to a peripheral vision type of awareness without any focus. Yet, the conscious mind can take control at any point. Doesn't all of this point to the idea that these systems are not separate, but overlap? If I decide right now to take a deep breath, my conscious mind takes over an unconscious process, so the overlap seems self-evident in that case, implying that more overlap could exist.
I suspect that the close proximity in time (200+ milliseconds) between the bodily action/reaction/experience, and then the following consciousness-of-the-action, is the cause of the problem. The mind puts the consciousness-of-the-action in front of the action itself, thereby creating the illusionary feeling of "conscious causation" (aka "free-will").
Again, this is more begging the question. You are making the pre-assumption that you can consciously do something that ultimately ends up causing something. Your "wish" and "wanting to know" are just conscious 'experiences', that you falsely assume as conscious actions, or "ordering your subconsciousness". Just because you 'experienced' your wishes and wants does not mean that you 'caused' your wishes/wants, that may have ultimately caused the subconscious action.Chewy brian wrote:2-What about subconscious work that occurs to resolve a problem put aside by the conscious mind? I may forget someone's name, and give up trying to remember, only to have the name 'emerge' to me a bit later. I had pushed it out of my conscious mind, yet the subconscious took the ball and solved it for me. My conscious mind wanted to know that name. If it did not, one presumes it would never have come to mind later. So, did I not 'author' the emergence of the idea of the name, through my conscious wish to know it? Like a boss directing work, I am responsible for the thought if I asked or ordered my subconscious to work on it.
Yes. Every time you play chess, you only know of your moves (bodily actions) after you have experienced it. (You certainly can't know before). We have been led to believe that our consciousness does stuff. But this is false. As odd as it sounds, our bodies do as they do, and we become aware (conscious; knowing) of said bodily actions/reactions/experiences shortly thereafter.Chewy brian wrote:3-If my conscious mind can never author a thought, do you the contend that my subconscious or unconscious is capable of anything which appears to be achieved by my conscious mind? Can my unconscious play chess?
Yes. And let's take a slow and honest look at this, step by step:Chewy brian wrote:As it occurs to me that I should use the bishop to take your rook, is this emerging from my unconscious?
1. You consciously experienced the thought/feeling "I should use my bishop to capture your rook", then...
2. You consciously experienced the urge to move your arm, then...
3. You consciously experienced the movement of your arm, then...
4. You consciously experienced the sliding of your bishop, and the subsequent taking of the rook, then...
5. You consciously experienced the thought "I'm awesome, he's dead meat now", then...
6. Etc etc
Notice that everything you consciously experienced was just an experience (a passive, one-way inward happening). There was never an experience of a non-experience (...an active; out-going causative action). All experiences are just experiences.
No, the conscious mind can only observe, as it gets it's 'content' from the reactive body. Without 'something' to be conscious of, then there is 'nothing' to be conscious of; hence no consciousness. The body via bodily reactions/experiences, provides the 'something', i.e. the 'content' of one's consciousness.Chewy brian wrote:What do you think happens, if anything, at the level of consciousness, other than observation? Does our conscious mind at least choose from alternatives presented to it, or can it only observe?
There is another OP in this forum, that I presented a year or so ago, called "What is CTD?" which goes into much more detail of the relationship of our conscious realization of the real-time actions. CTD is our "conscious time delay".
But EVERY micro experience involved in your bike riding experience is just a series of sequential experiences (one-way passive happenings). Consciously 'experiencing' yourself riding a bike, does not mean that you consciously 'caused' yourself to ride the bike. Just as when you consciously experience (see/hear) your neighbor riding his bike, it does not mean that you consciously 'caused' his bike riding. The only real difference between the two experiences is the group of sensory reactions involved. Why do you believe you 'caused' one and not the other, when you only consciously 'experienced' them? Could it be that we were raised (indoctrinated) to believe such?Chewy brian wrote:4-How do we know that we do not author and experience thoughts simultaneously? Back to the example of the bicycle ride... As I ride a bicycle, I also have the experience of riding a bicycle. There is no conflict or flaw in logic there for most people. I believe my conscious mind is authoring the ride, and experiencing the ride, and I don't think the riding emerges from my subconscious.
The question to ask them then is "how do they know they think"? If they answer with "well, I experienced…(this, that, or whatever)" then stop them right there and raise the red flag. Consciously 'experiencing' something does not mean consciously 'causing' that something. One cannot logically experience a non-experience; a out-going action. We can only experience experiences (those effects, that impinge upon us).Chewy brian wrote:Similarly, it is not impossible (for many people) to think that they both author and experience their thoughts.
If we experience them then they are just experiences. Again, we can't (nor can the conscious mind) do the impossible. We can't consciously do or cause anything. We can only consciously 'experience' that which we've (non-consciously) done.Chewy brian wrote:It seems reasonable to say that memories must be accessed, but that novel thoughts can be directed by the conscious mind. So, do you attribute decisions, speaking, physical movements and such to the conscious mind? Don't we experience these things as we work through them, then?
Again, it is not clear to me which premises you are talking about. I presented the logic below. Do you disagree with one of these premises?Chewy brian wrote:Please, if you will, respond to all four points. I do not make any as an attack on your logic, but rather on the premises upon which you build the logic, mainly the idea that I can not author a thought.
- P1 -- Causation<X -- causation precedes (comes 'before') that which it causes. As in all causal (cause and effect) relationships, cause 'precedes' that which it causes. One cannot cause-X, unless it 'precedes' X.
P2 -- X>Consciousness -- consciousness follows (comes 'after') that which it is conscious of. One cannot be conscious-of-X, without a pre-existing X to be conscious of.
Conclusion -- Causation<X>Consciousness -- The conscious causation-of-X is therefore logically (and mathematically) impossible. One term defeats the other. "Conscious causation" is therefore an oxymoron; on par with "square circles" and "married bachelors". The before/after relationship defeats itself.
Yes, ...from a position of 'logical certainty'. And logical truths are not determined by popularity.Chewy brian wrote:You, and you alone, seem to be arguing in this thread from a supposed position of certainty.
Not necessarily. The logic is very simple and clear. It is valid and sound. Although none of us like its conclusion, it is nonetheless logically true/certain. If there is flaw in this logic, which I claim there is none, then the burden rests upon those claiming the logic is flawed.Chewy brian wrote:The heavier burden of proof is therefore upon you.
As I've said before, I have no problem with being proven wrong, but you gotta prove me wrong. Casting insults (not by you, but others) is not a very effective means of proving someone wrong. If there is a flaw in the logic, then let's keep it simple and non-personal, and just point out the flaw. Easy peasy.Chewy brian wrote:Surely you must see that an attack on the premise requires a refutation of the attack to defend the premise, rather than a return to the logic, which needs no defense.