Burning ghost wrote: ↑
November 2nd, 2018, 1:40 am
I know this may be hard for you to hear. You need to re-write more than I need to re-read. I cannot even offr you much critique because I don’t know what you’re saying.
As an example, if you’re using the term “phemonenology” you should perhaps try to learn more about what it means. When you say “phenomena occurs without our awareness of it” you’ve made a fatal error and conflated two different contexts here. In a phenomenological sense it is contrary to talk of phenomena outside of awareness - you’re conflating a physicalist view of reality with a phenomenological view (not that the general positioning of phenomenology refutes physicality it just isn’t particularly concerned with it hence the regard toward “phenomenonal experience” not “physical experience” - don’t conflate the two.)
It is not “okay” for me to be confused between the contexts of your choice of words. You can either make distinct demarcations between the terms you use, find terms that exist already, or turn the reader off.
What is more, and I’d be shocked if Harris doesn’t mention this in some other vid/book, the term “unconscious” (as in “unconscious neurological processes”) can easily be refered to as “conscious activity.” Now you may think I am conflating terms. I promise you I am not because I’ve actually read textbook on cognitive neuroscience where the certain patterns of “unconscious” activity observable in the brain can be only be present when someone is consciously aware - these would be things like automated responses to certain environmental cues, or learnt (explicitly learnt) patterns of behavior.
You’d probably find it incredibly interesting to study much more about how memory functions, how we learn, and items of psychology and neurology that look at “priming” and such. It’s a very fascinating area to say the least.
You may also want to look into “sleep” because you’ve expressed an outdated assumption about he function of sleep - that being “rejuvenate” and then talked about coming back to “consciousness” when in a dream state is actually a “conscious state.” You can then look into the neurological view of differ states of consciousness from “coma” (generally considered a state in which conscoiusness is all but absent.) The function of memory and learning is also closely related to dream states.
Another issue is defining “conscious thought” because many people struggle to think in anyother way than verbally. I am not one of those people. I personally refer verbal thought, or any worded “expression” (be it internally “private” or externally “shared”) as the eulogy of phenomenological thought - right down at the base level (if there is such a thing?) I make no apology for not knowing what is going on, of my fuzzy worded expression of it, or any concrete knowledge fo such a thing other than by my problem with dealing with temporality as an external topic - for obvious reasons!
I agree with you on Heidegger in part. Some of his attempts to refine Husserl’s ideas were useful and helped some grasp them better. Imo he wetn too far though and stretched the concept of “dasein” out so much that it lacks any applicable definition outside his own little hermeneutical “game.”
All said and done though I understand what you’re saying well enough to say you’re expressing badly, you need to dig deeper, and I agree with you in one way that “free will” doesn’t relate to what you’re setting out, yet in other contexts it does exist quite clearly.
The strong deterministic view cannot be proven, but it is at least in some agreement with the notion of a binary view of “free will: as an all or nothing proposition. Given that I barely understand what conscoiusness is, what time is and a number of other things, I am not willing to throw my eggs into one basket - and if I cannot so what?
Also, from a moral perspective it is seems more damaging to me as an individual to believe that either everything is my problem or nothing is my problem. If what I think, and what I do as a consequence of my thoughts, is partially derived from some underlying “free choice” expressed in ways I cannot fathom then it would be immoral of me to live life as if my actions were somehow not my responsibility, or that everything was my responsibility. I live life as a being who has a limited scope and understanding of myself and the world and explore it willfully and with a mixture of caution and, I hope, bravery.
Another issue with listening/resding people’s views (such as Harris’) is that it is very easy to become, I’d say inevitable to some degree, closed off froopposing positions. No doubt you’ve come across Dennett too or Dawkins. They are quite willing to say “free will” exists in one sense and not in another and they’re more onside with Harris’ perspective. Sapolsky is another who’d help bolster your position more - give weight to your argument to some degree.
On a purely psychological level it is very apparent that we’re pretty delusional creatures and tend toward making up the best narrative we can to suit our world views. I like Sapolsky’s view of homosapiens as the “confused ape.”
As an analogy maybe it would help to view questions like this:
- Is weather composed of wind, sun and clouds, or air, heat and water?
- Does the Sun make weather happen or the atmosphere?
Is there any “decision” in the above teo scenarios? If not then when we talk about decision what it is that defines “decision” for animals yet not for the Sun or Clouds?
First of all I read your response carefully, so I hope you do the same and don't "skim" the rest.
You are one of these highly analytical philosophers of language. This is positive because you always question what I mean by how I use language to express my standing, this is good for a productive philosophical discussion, but negative if we end up in infinite loops of explaining definition. We seriously still have a problem of you understanding me
, though I do understand you
and were your coming from. I will do this again and I hope it works. Focus on understanding HOW I USE MY WORDS
. That is why in this thread I defined as much as I could the terms I used. The problem is that you constantly compare my definitions to how philosophy have used these words on their many and many philosophical debates throughout history. And since I'm using some words synonymously, you still compare it to how philosophy has strictly defined it. There is no such thing as a an only way to use a word. Please understand this. Remember a lot of philosophers have created words
to refer to complex abstract ideas that they can't explain with ordinary language(Substance, being, duality, etc) So stop placing other philosophers on a pedestal and the language/terms they have created. With that said, of course I don't mean that every word that I have used I invented my own exclusive meaning, I'm just using it a little bit differently to make sense of these ideas. By the way, try to understand how others in this forum that do get me and how the notion of free will does not exist. With that said I'll start now.
I always used phenomenology to refer to "Our own subjective experience of reality" AKA consciousness
, nothing less, nothing more, understand this. I honestly haven't read Heidegger much so I don't know if he complicated his own definition with all of his analysis. I used the expression: "phenomena that occurs without out awareness of it" to simply explain a basic psychological phenomena that can happen to in our daily lives, like the own process of thinking
like Sam Harris explained. I understand if the way that I said that contradicts a view that phenomenologists hold, but that was not the point at all. Let me say the expression in another way: "Things that occur in experience without ourselves directing our attention to it
" You arbitrarily established that I conflated a physcalist view with a phenomenological view of reality. Why do you complicate your own understanding to this degree? Here you are again turning this into a battle of definitions in the philosophical tradition. Physicalist vs Phenomnology, I don't stand for such a thing. Oppose me, not other debates on these philosophical belief-systems.
Point is, I just wanted to explain the same thing Harris did in the video. The words I used triggered something else I guess.
Okay you explained this word "Unconscious". Before you said that you always have had problems understanding it. This matter is your own personal strife that you have with this term. I'm just gonna pray that you possibly understand this. But you know something? You just said something that basically gets you close to understanding Harris! "Promise you I am not because I’ve actually read textbook on cognitive neuroscience where the certain patterns of “unconscious” activity observable in the brain can be only be present when someone is consciously aware - these would be things like automated responses to certain environmental cues, or learnt (explicitly learnt) patterns of behavior
". You said "certain patterns of unconscious activity
" is only possible to know them when someone is consciously aware
. Wow! How can you not understand me after saying that? Let me use your own terms so you can understand me. Thinking
in itself, would be a certain pattern of unconscious activity
that it is observable when someone is becomes consciously aware
of it. That sums it all up! This is why listed those exercises because the purpose is to become aware of it
. This gave me a little bit of hope. Now back to the term unconscious, this is the definition of it based on a dictionary I have: "Not perceived at the level of awareness; occurring below the level of conscious thought
. Do with that dictionary definition as you will. Since Freud coined the term unconscious; neurologists, psychologists have done tests and they gradually have become aware
(Like you explained) of their own unconscious behavior, thinking, or of other psychological processes. This is how neuroscience has been able to thrive.
Here is something else you said to support the above statement: "You’d probably find it incredibly interesting to study much more about how memory functions, how we learn, and items of psychology and neurology that look at “priming” and such. It’s a very fascinating area to say the least.
" Notice that neuroscientists are describing how
memory functions, how
we learn. They are describing cognitive processes of the mind
as something that happens separate to their volition, describing it like an object of the world, when the mind is inside you. But tell me, are we conscious of those processes? Did you decide to know and how to develop language? Do you decide how the mind correlates its contents? (Memory) Neuroscientists are saying: "The mind
does this and that". But what about you
? What do you
do? They are missing this clear duality of our mind and ourselves.
Regarding what I said about sleeping. Tell me if you have slept soundly while being aware that you are sleeping for 8 hours. You are saying that you are aware of every passing minute, hour and such, till the moment you decide to wake up? That is what I mean by what I said. Haven't you dreamed and after waking up you said: "Oh, it was just a dream!". Were you then "consciously aware
" that you were sleeping and dreaming? No!, you realized it after you woke up
. I don't know what you read, but perhaps it confusedly used erroneous terminology (Maybe they used "conscious state" to refer that the brain is still functioning). It is absurd to say that you are aware while you sleep, it is the same as saying that you are just lying down on your bed with your eyes closed, never seeming to "fall asleep". What it is known in neuroscience is that the mind is highly active whilst we sleep, dreaming is an effect of this, and other things as well. Think for yourself, if neuroscientists say that it is a "conscious state", confirm it phenomenologically for yourself. Again, this was probably a trivial dilemma by their wording of it.
Defining "conscious thought" will always be a problem because there is no such thing as that! You will get nowhere with this.
Heidegger used the word "dasein" to merely mean the experience of the here-and-now
. A term that I used at the start of my thread. It is existence, you are presently in this moment experiencing something, existing. That is "dasein", consciousness. He just used that german word to be more precise on what he means by consciousness and all of his phenomenological talk. Although he definitely has a ontological position of it, fundamentally he just means consciousness.
The strong deterministic view can already be proven by the various neurological investigations that Sam Harris cited. It is already there empirically, accept it or not.
The moral consequences of this are very, very profound. Because like you said, you do not become an agent of your actions. This is something that I of course fear the most and I deny it as well. I always said that free will is an "illusion
". But we are still responsible of our actions because it's not as if were are enslaved to reality and cannot do anything about it. It's not like in our own subjective experience of reality we feel as if we are being controlled by a master puppet. This is why our decisions are still "illusory" but they still count
, merely because of the value we place on decisions. It is enough to have an illusory sense
of ownership or volition deciding between for example: "Lying to my mother or telling her the truth about _______". This matter has way more negative repercussions on my part, but I will not get to them.
You say that people may become close-minded when being exposed to ideas like Sam Harris. Well it truly depends of the person. In my case, this is not something that I believe
. Because if I believed this I am just being dogmatic or just following a leader like a brainwashed, uncritical person.. So, if you just believe it, you don't understand it at all, and it is merely an emotional attachment to Harris views, the perpetual advent of dogmatism. And by the way, some people become conscious of this themselves without knowing Sam Harris. One good example is the actor Jim Carrey, though the way he expresses it might sound nonsensical because he does uphold a certain mystic view of reality. Mysticism or mystical traditions, have purely directed their energy on the mind. They have already discovered this sense of no free will for thousands of years. Philosophy got very close to it when phenomenology emerged, but philosophers still remained highly rational beings like their ancient fathers, Plato and Aristotle.
This will be all my replies. Have a good day sir.