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Old 12-05-2012, 06:03 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Canada's falling apart? Since when?
Please in Canada (well maybe not the Toronto), there is a government is too fighting over so many little issues especially in the region below Minnesota. In USA, you have Republican jackasses and Democrats croonies who are fighting whether Rich need to pay their fair share. Canada is no better than US except in Canada there is less police state and less violence. But all Western places are losing credibility.
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Please in Canada (well maybe not the Toronto), there is a government is too fighting over so many little issues especially in the region below Minnesota. In USA, you have Republican jackasses and Democrats croonies who are fighting whether Rich need to pay their fair share. Canada is no better than US except in Canada there is less police state and less violence. But all Western places are losing credibility.
I'm totally confused, which issues are these? I guess I am uninformed.
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:26 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm totally confused, which issues are these? I guess I am uninformed.
I too am uninformed about the region of Canada below Minnesota.
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I too am uninformed about the region of Canada below Minnesota.
Maybe he means the border of Canada along the Great Lakes
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I understand what you are saying about nature vs nurture and whether or not we have any control over our choices...but then we can start breaking this down into a semantic argument about what free will actually means. To me, free will is simply making your own decisions which may or may not be informed by past experience and future expectation. Hormones and intelligence do play a part in this, but that makes it no less "your decision".

So, choices are firing neurons eventually leading to an action. However, what informs those particular neurons and eventual action are previous choices and conditionings. Let's pretend your brain is a blank slate...you are officially making your first decision ever. What is there to inform it? What choice will your brain make? My point here is just to point out that you can break down every human action to brain chemistry and composition, but that chemistry and composition is dynamic and you may make one decision today but another tomorrow. A computer may be able to predict an action that is inevitably about to occur, but it wouldn't be able to predict what you will do about it tomorrow. Similarly, we can make decisions and actions contrary to our character. To put it simply, your brain can tell you to do one thing and your heart could tell you to do another. Ultimately, the decision is up to you. Free will.

That then directly ties into pride. Let's say you make a hard decision that turns out to be the right one. You might be proud to have made that decision, which will then enforce taking decisive action in the future. In that way, it's completely logical. Some dude invented the wheel, was probably really proud of it, and then felt inspired to make more useful ****. Looking at it objectively like this, it sure makes sense. The illogical part comes in when we apply other emotions to it. Especially embarrassment. Let's say we make a decision we are initially proud of, it backfires, and we are embarrassed about it. Pride is such an enforcing aspect of our minds that our brains seriously can't let it go and inevitably cause ourselves more embarrassment until we can admit we were wrong. That is illogical and a good example of how young we are evolutionarily.
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:48 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I too am uninformed about the region of Canada below Minnesota.
What do you need to know about it?
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:09 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Never been about blame and punishment? Let's leave that for another time.
I don't know why I said that cause it's not even close to true lol. It's certainy headed in that direction though.

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I was thinking more along the lines of normal human interaction. If no-one has true choice over their actions why appreciate anything anyone ever does or feels for you? Do you coldly think "my parent didn't choose to hug me, they have been conditioned to, I will be nice to them in order to maintain the social contract". No, while we may appreciate it on some level no-one actually processes human interaction like that on a personal level apart from sociopaths, and they can only survive on the goodwill and trust of others.
Emotions have proven an effect survival too for many species and humans are no different. Our emotions just happen to be more complex than all other species.


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You're saying people are input, output machines. I don't necessarily disagree. But given the same input in each machine, you should judge each on the (entire) output/effect it gives. Not because it's the machines "fault" or "choice", but because it's what that machine "is".
Well by same input I assume you're meaning same set of DNA and same exact environment? (Which is obviously physically impossible for a multitude of reasons, but I know you're presenting a hypothetical). In those ideal circumstances, the output would be identical I imagine.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:15 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Okay, I get that. Do you think that everybody is cut out to follow a certain path in their life, personally and professionally? For instance, somebody with a good career and a good salary is in that position because it was "meant to be"? (This is how I think about nature vs nurture in the context that you put it in). Or are they there because they've accomplished a series of goals along the way because it is a position/status in life that they actually wanted to reach?
I honestly think those two ways of viewing how something transpires are both equally valid and can coexist without free will existing. As far as "meant to be", you're referring to destiny? I guess that's how I see it, so for example if science and technology had improved so vastly in the far future that we were able to monitor all brain wave activity and DNA, we could predict how someone's life would transpire to a T, from beginning to end. As far as that ever happening, probably pretty unlikely though I wouldn't put it out of the realm of computer science to develop a program that could map it.

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So I don't have control over my thoughts or actions? I'm just trying to understand what you're saying here.
Depends on how you define control I guess.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:20 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I understand what you are saying about nature vs nurture and whether or not we have any control over our choices...but then we can start breaking this down into a semantic argument about what free will actually means. To me, free will is simply making your own decisions which may or may not be informed by past experience and future expectation. Hormones and intelligence do play a part in this, but that makes it no less "your decision".

So, choices are firing neurons eventually leading to an action. However, what informs those particular neurons and eventual action are previous choices and conditionings. Let's pretend your brain is a blank slate...you are officially making your first decision ever. What is there to inform it? What choice will your brain make? My point here is just to point out that you can break down every human action to brain chemistry and composition, but that chemistry and composition is dynamic and you may make one decision today but another tomorrow. A computer may be able to predict an action that is inevitably about to occur, but it wouldn't be able to predict what you will do about it tomorrow. Similarly, we can make decisions and actions contrary to our character. To put it simply, your brain can tell you to do one thing and your heart could tell you to do another. Ultimately, the decision is up to you. Free will.

That then directly ties into pride. Let's say you make a hard decision that turns out to be the right one. You might be proud to have made that decision, which will then enforce taking decisive action in the future. In that way, it's completely logical. Some dude invented the wheel, was probably really proud of it, and then felt inspired to make more useful ****. Looking at it objectively like this, it sure makes sense. The illogical part comes in when we apply other emotions to it. Especially embarrassment. Let's say we make a decision we are initially proud of, it backfires, and we are embarrassed about it. Pride is such an enforcing aspect of our minds that our brains seriously can't let it go and inevitably cause ourselves more embarrassment until we can admit we were wrong. That is illogical and a good example of how young we are evolutionarily.
Your heart can't tell you to do anything. Heart in the sense you used it is just a metaphorical meaning for emotions like love and compassion, which come from the brain. As for being proud of making a hard decision, like I said your decisions are just your brains reaction to a lifetime of environmental experience coupled with your unique DNA.

I can give you a for instance, give me a really popular form of food that you dislike. Or a respected band. Or anything like that.
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Last edited by midnight rain; 12-05-2012 at 07:27 PM.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:32 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Your heart can't tell you to do anything. Heart in the sense you used it is just a metaphorical meaning for emotions like love and compassion, which come from the brain. As for being proud of making a hard decision, like I said your decisions are just your brains reaction to a lifetime of environmental experience coupled with your unique DNA.

I can give you a for instance, give me a really popular form of food that you dislike.
Yes, I was using heart in the metaphorical sense. My point is there can be two conflicting thoughts in your head, and everyone has the potential to make a counter-intuitive decision. Which is exactly what free will is. It doesn't matter how much you boil it down to brain chemistry because even though you can...it doesn't change that in the way most people define it, we still have free will. The way you describe it, it sounds more concrete. Like you will never be able to escape your brain. While that may be true, consider what I said about the brain being dynamic. Everyone has the potential to CHANGE their brains, which is itself also a part of free will.

But to play along...I hate grits. And I'm from the south, which I guess is weird.
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