• T Clark
    4.2k
    For example, did you have a good childhood? Do you have lots of good relationships? Do you enjoy your work? Is it good epigenetics?Noah Te Stroete

    I'm not sure I understand what you're getting at.
  • PoeticUniverse
    606
    Can you give an example in "real time" how this would look in your daily life activities and decisions?schopenhauer1

    Sleep 10 hours, breakfast, check computer stuff, play expert bridge tournament, lunch, play, go places, later, write books and make videos, then play, hang out. That's what the Cosmos does.
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    It sounds like you’re on autopilot a lot of the time. I’m not like that. I don’t do much. I think it’s epigenetics. Good nature and good nurture.Noah Te Stroete

    Again, I don't understand your point.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.1k
    Good epigenetics implies good nature and good nurture. “Good” here means to me that which is valued by society. You seem more productive than me.
  • PoeticUniverse
    606
    If determinism is true, then what would be the use of consciousness?Noah Te Stroete

    The same as whatever use it has.
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    Same question to you then. What is the evolutionary use of consciousness?Noah Te Stroete

    I think you and I have a different understanding about how evolution works.
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    Good epigenetics implies good nature and good nurture. “Good” here means to me that which is valued by society. You seem more productive than me.Noah Te Stroete

    I'm have no reason to believe that's true and I'm not sure I understand its relevance to this discussion.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.1k
    I think you and I have a different understanding about how evolution works.T Clark

    Well, if you mean that some traits are “evolutionary riders” that weren’t specifically selected for, then no, I don’t think we understand differently. Was consciousness an evolutionary rider that came along with something else that made us more successful at procreating?
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.1k
    I'm have no reason to believe that's true and I'm not sure I understand its relevance to this discussion.T Clark

    ???

    How doesn’t that relate to the OP?
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    Well, if you mean that some traits are “evolutionary riders” that weren’t specifically selected for, then no, I don’t think we understand differently. Was consciousness an evolutionary rider that came along with something else that made us more successful at procreating?Noah Te Stroete

    I don't know. It seems likely that consciousness has benefits. I just think people put too much emphasis on it because it's at the center of their sense of who they are.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.1k
    It seems likely that consciousness has benefits. I just think people put too much emphasis on it because it's at the center of their sense of who they are.T Clark

    What possible benefit could it have if we’re all on autopilot (unconscious motivations)?
  • schopenhauer1
    3.3k
    Usually, I eat lunch at sometime between noon and 1:00 pm, depending on my schedule. It's pretty automatic, habitual. It's not really driven by hunger and I generally eat the same sorts of things. Then sometimes, when I haven't eaten in a while or if I've been doing physical work, I get this feeling rising up, hunger. And I'm not just hungry, I'm often hungry for something specific, sometimes unusual. Pickles. Olives. Hummus. Then when I eat, there's a great feeling of satisfaction when I eat.T Clark

    So you wake up and get out of bed, do some stuff which you say is habitual (brush teeth, etc.), and then do some "stuff" which you decide you want to do. Where do these decisions well up from? What is the cause? Is there a cause? How do you structure the liquid fray of all possibilities into some actual activity?
  • Terrapin Station
    12.4k
    Depends on the activity, on the occasion.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.3k
    Sleep 10 hours, breakfast, check computer stuff, play expert bridge tournament, lunch, play, go places, later, write books and make videos, then play, hang out. That's what the Cosmos does.PoeticUniverse

    So, as an individual making these decisions- internally, what goes through your mind that makes you actually do these activities?
  • PoeticUniverse
    606
    So, as an individual making these decisions- internally, what goes through your mind that makes you actually do these activities?schopenhauer1

    The will ruminates, sometimes, or not, collapsing scenarios of consequences, often going all the way to the nerve spindles to 'actionize' without committing, and then either performs an action or doesn't. The subjective areas referred to don't do anything; they are subjects, but 'mind', if not meaning consciousness, is brain, and does plenty. This is not to say that the brain/will doesn't take in previous quaila from memory and use it somehow as an input. Consciousness is blind to decisions made previously by brain networks; however, I'day say that other brain areas might then check in on the product in consciousness if that's how the other areas get alerted.
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    What possible benefit could it have if we’re all on autopilot (unconscious motivations)Noah Te Stroete

    Our unconscious is as much us as our consciousness is. Actually, more. Just because it's not conscious doesn't mean we're not aware, that we're not responsible for what we do. Most of what we are is not conscious. This is the fundamental insight of psychology. It's what Freud gave us.
  • Noah Te Stroete
    2.1k
    Our unconscious is as much us as our consciousness is. Actually, more. Just because it's not conscious doesn't mean we're not aware, that we're not responsible for what we do. Most of what we are is not conscious. This is the fundamental insight of psychology. It's what Freud gave us.T Clark

    That seems like dodging the question.
  • Drazjan
    36


    "What makes you do any particular activity throughout your daily life?"

    This is a fundamental question, and having gone over the responses I cannot disagree with much other than a certain amount of tortured wording. To answer the question we need to ask ourselves what is the point of being able to get out of bed anyway. For me, there is a basic purpose, and then there are some requirements and responsibilities should I choose to accept them. I think that the bulk of humanity is afflicted with sentimentality. For example, I need to look in on my aged mother today. Why bother? She's not starving, let her amuse herself. I didn't ask to be born. But then we are gregarious, and affection seems an important trait in our consciousness. And we can be sentimental about inanimate objects too. By I digress. it is the basic purpose that makes me do most things. I have been ridiculed and accused of trivialising life, because my main reason for doing anything is to have fun. That does not include spoiling other people's fun. Life's requirements and responsibilities are simply the mechanics of the problem of how to get some more fun. Moralists find this attitude extremely disturbing. Surely life cannot be that simple.
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    So you wake up and get out of bed, do some stuff which you say is habitual (brush teeth, etc.), and then do some "stuff" which you decide you want to do. Where do these decisions well up from? What is the cause? Is there a cause? How do you structure the liquid fray of all possibilities into some actual activity?schopenhauer1

    Actually, I thought of another source of motivation, although it's probably related to motivation from fear. I also find myself doing things out of boredom. Not boredom so much as an unwillingness to to be alone with myself. It's another motivation for eating. Eating sometimes (often, usually?) fulfills, satisfies some other psychological need too, although it's slippery and I have a hard time tying it down. I've always had trouble with my weight.

    Anyway, back to your question. The feelings well up from inside me, where all my feelings come from. From nowhere. Not really nowhere. From the part of me that is not readily accessible to my self-awareness, although I am aware of the feelings themselves. In the cases when my heart and mind are working right, they arise directly from the motivation. The motivation and the act are the same thing. What eastern types call acting without acting. No reflection. If things aren't working right, it's a jumble of desire pushing for action counteracted by fear or conscious thought pushing back. Indecision, anxiety.

    I know we're talking about motivation and this isn't the same thing, but maybe it will give a taste of what I'm talking about - Where do the words come from? In a sense, the words create consciousness, are consciousness, but their creation, for me at least, is not a conscious act. There is no voice in my head that says, write "The," write "dog," write "pissed," write "on," write "Baden's," write "foot." Again, they bubble up from inside. I sit at my computer and they pour out onto the screen. Whole thoughts, paragraphs, poems, ideas, stories come in chunks or all in one piece, often accompanied by visual images, feelings, moods. Then my fingers move and they show up in front of me. The words write themselves. Sometimes I'm amazed at what I've written. Where the hell did that come from? This is a common experience, not just for me. Again, acting without acting, writing without writing.
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    That seems like dodging the question.Noah Te Stroete

    I don't understand how.
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    That does not include spoiling other people's fun. Life's requirements and responsibilities are simply the mechanics of the problem of how to get some more fun. Moralists find this attitude extremely disturbing. Surely life cannot be that simple.Drazjan

    I don't find it disturbing, although it doesn't seem like it would be that much fun to live for fun. That's not the way it is for some of us. Most of us.
  • god must be atheist
    583
    What makes you do any particular activity throughout your daily life?schopenhauer1

    A propensity to avoid to have to answer questions like this.
  • god must be atheist
    583
    So, as an individual making these decisions- internally, what goes through your mind that makes you actually do these activities?schopenhauer1

    @Schopenhauer1, how old are you exactly? Three years of age? Four? That's the age when the "why" questions never stop.
  • Drazjan
    36
    I have a feeling the "but why?" post was tongue in cheek.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.3k
    how old are you exactly? Three years of age? Four? That's the age when the "why" questions never stop.god must be atheist

    Why even comment on this thread? Don't be an asshole. The question of the OP directly applies to you here.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.3k
    Anyway, back to your question. The feelings well up from inside me, where all my feelings come from. From nowhere. Not really nowhere. From the part of me that is not readily accessible to my self-awareness, although I am aware of the feelings themselves. In the cases when my heart and mind are working right, they arise directly from the motivation. The motivation and the act are the same thing. What eastern types call acting without acting. No reflection. If things aren't working right, it's a jumble of desire pushing for action counteracted by fear or conscious thought pushing back. Indecision, anxiety.

    I know we're talking about motivation and this isn't the same thing, but maybe it will give a taste of what I'm talking about - Where do the words come from? In a sense, the words create consciousness, are consciousness, but their creation, for me at least, is not a conscious act. There is no voice in my head that says, write "The," write "dog," write "pissed," write "on," write "Baden's," write "foot." Again, they bubble up from inside. I sit at my computer and they pour out onto the screen. Whole thoughts, paragraphs, poems, ideas, stories come in chunks or all in one piece, often accompanied by visual images, feelings, moods. Then my fingers move and they show up in front of me. The words write themselves. Sometimes I'm amazed at what I've written. Where the hell did that come from? This is a common experience, not just for me. Again, acting without acting, writing without writing.
    T Clark

    Ok, but what made you write in the first place as opposed to something else? Where does your goal and then decision to act on the goal come from?
  • khaled
    1k
    Same question to you then. What is the evolutionary use of consciousness?Noah Te Stroete

    Just because I can't find an evolutionary use for consciousness doesn't mean determinism or non determinism isn't true. And even if I do find an evolutionary use for consciousness doesn't mean determinism or non determinism are correct. There just isn't enough evidence

    You haven't shown why determinism and consciousness are incompatable nor have you shown me whether consciousness is at all associated with someone's actions in the world. It could be that

    A: Everything is conscious and consciousness is completely unrelated to physical effects (determinism)
    B: A select few things are conscious and consciousness is completely unrelated to physical effects (still determinism)
    C: Everything is conscious and consciousness is related to physical effects (free will and everything has it (something like Donald Hoffman's "Conscious Agents"))
    D: A select few things are conscious and consciousness is related to physical effects (free will and humans and some others things have it)

    If consciousness has no evolutionary use then A, B and D are likely but those include both deterministic and non deterministic theories (A, B vs D)

    If consciousness has evolutionary use then A, C and D are likely but those include both deterministic and non deterministic theories (A, C vs D)
  • khaled
    1k
    Idk to be honest. I can't trace how my subjective experiences relate to my brain chemistry and consequently my actions. It's really weird that they do, or at least seem to do.

    I don't think the question is what makes you do but rather do you do

    I am torn between 2 explanations. The full determinist explanation, where I'm in a self driving car to borrow a metaphor from T clark, observing but not actually driving where my subjective experiences have no connection to the world but only seem to. In other words, you don't do at all. The other one is Donald Hoffman's "conscious agents" or anything similar, where consciousness is more fundamental than cause and effect or even matter. What we perceive as cause and effect is actual moment to moment conscious decisions by every conscious agent (his TED talk is a start to understanding what those are, it's like 20 mins). In other words "I do things because I decided to do them but that's also how everything else works"

    There is no problem with the first explanation as far as I can tell because it disconnects consciousness and material effects completely but it doesn't explain what consciosness is or what gives rise to it. The second explanation explains consciousness right off the bat but it doesn't explain why the material world is so consistent. They both techinically have no logical problems, its just which you find more believable: That the material world exists and out of it results a completely useless consciousness while all decisions are made by said material world (they're not really decisions) or that consciousness is the basis for every decision ever but then everything is conscious.

    These are atleast the only two ways I know of to explain why we do what we do that don't glorify our species as the only conscious thing or the only thing with free will, etc ,etc
  • T Clark
    4.2k
    Ok, but what made you write in the first place as opposed to something else? Where does your goal and then decision to act on the goal come from?schopenhauer1

    Come on. I've written a lot trying to describe how it feels to do stuff. I've enjoyed it and it's been helpful for me to try to put into words, but it's time for you to contribute a bit more.
  • schopenhauer1
    3.3k
    There is no problem with the first explanation as far as I can tell because it disconnects consciousness and material effects completely but it doesn't explain what consciosness is or what gives rise to it. The second explanation explains consciousness right off the bat but it doesn't explain why the material world is so consistent. They both techinically have no logical problems, its just which you find more believable: That the material world exists and out of it results a completely useless consciousness while all decisions are made by said material world (they're not really decisions) or that consciousness is the basis for every decision ever but then everything is conscious.khaled

    I really like your thoughts, but I'm trying to get at something more phenomenological- though I think you may want to start a thread on this one. I'm trying to get at the subjective experience of what how we form our intentions/desires and how we act upon them. It's not necessarily about the hard question of consciousness which this seems to indicate. I am very interested in that subject too, however.
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