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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) The Illusion of Self, The Illusion of Freewill, The Allusion to Illusion Thread (Read 3,032 times)
Nazi Hunter B.S.C.
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The Illusion of Self, The Illusion of Freewill, The Allusion to Illusion Thread
Jan 22nd, 2017 at 10:38am
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I've been freebasing experimental philosophers again and I'm totally tripping out!  Please bare with me on this one and talk me down if I start really wiggin.

Also I refuse to post this in the Religion forum because it's not "Religion and Philosophy" and there's only like Fiddler, Limey and Bowhunter in there. Total sausage fest, no chicks.

So to begin...

There is no reality, there is only perception.

On top of that, our brain cons us into believing our senses are more powerful and more accurate than they actually are.

Consider the McGurk effect. This is a video of a man repeating a vocalization. I'll spoil it and tell you that it's the same vocalization we'll hear each time, "ba ba, ba ba, ba ba," but since the face we are seeing seems to be mouthing another sound, our brain fills in the missing pieces and "deceives" us.  It's fun to watch this effect and closing you eyes intermittently between each vocal pattern.  It's remarkable to note how the sound is perceived differently in our brains depending on whether or not we can see the mans mouth or not.



So our senses are not interpreted as accurately as we'd like to believe.  My reality is in fact quite different than yours, different brains of course as well as different experiences.  But are we that different really?  What makes you you?

What makes you in adulthood the same person you were when you were 3 years old?  Your given name?  Your social security number?  The fact that you prefer vanilla over chocolate? 

The sense of self is an illusion.  The sense of being an ego or a thinker of thoughts in addition to the thoughts is an illusion.  This sense we all seem to have of riding around in our heads as kind of a passenger in the vehicle of the body is an illusion.  Perhaps we are identical to the body, identical to each other.  Perhaps there is such a thing as a collective consciousness.

Most people don't feel identical to their bodies.  We would rather say that we have bodies.  We tend to assume that we are inside our bodies and furthermore, inside our heads somewhere.  That sense that we are a subject, residing somewhere behind our eyes is entirely an illusion. There is no neuroanatomical evidence, no place in the brain for the ego to hide.  We only know that everything you experience, your conscious emotions, thoughts and moods, our impulses and behaviors are delivered by clusters of neurons firing in our brain. 

That's it.  Just clusters of cells firing in your brain.  Not one of those cells knows who you are or cares.  Somehow we intuit that those cell clusters can interpret and accurately describe the sweet tang of a kumquat and the world around us.















« Last Edit: Jan 23rd, 2017 at 12:40am by Nazi Hunter B.S.C. »  

"Be Kind; Everyone You Meet is Fighting a Hard Battle" Plato
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TowardLiberty
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Re: The Illusion of Self, The Illusion of Freewill, The Allusion to Illusion Thread
Reply #1 - Jan 22nd, 2017 at 12:32pm
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Nice thread. I like the topic.

I definitely take the opposite side in this debate.

I don't think we can say that there is no objective reality. Sure we all experience it differently. But we are experiencing something.

There must be something for our senses to perceive- something that exists whether we perceive it or not.

If not we would have no sensory input.

I grant that our senses trick us into thinking that we are getting a direct sensory experience. That's straight forward. But I do not see how this fact or idea is at odds with an underlying objective reality.

And we know that there is an underlying objective reality. If not we could not repeat experiments and find regularities.

We wouldn't be able to build bridges or fly planes. For these complex arrangements are built on thousands of assumptions about the nature of reality.

Regarding free will and the self- sure science does not know where this is located in the brain. There are things we do not understand and might never understand about consciousness.

But what is undeniable is there is an ego in all of us.

Is it a mere chemical illusion? Maybe so.

But there is nothing in the idea of consciousness or free will that says it cannot be chemical in nature. Why wouldn't it be?

What we do know is that these chemical reactions give way to thoughts, goals, and plans.

And they are not random.

Your brain did not put these words down just because of a random chemical release. You made this post because you had a point you wanted to share with the rest of the board. There is a purpose behind your actions.

If there was no intelligence or agency guiding your actions, and only random chemical chance, then the order and rationality that we see in so much human action/ behavior would be the most improbable good fortune.

  

"Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist." J M Keynes

"In the first place, the dichotomy between "theoretical" and "practical" is a false one. In economics, all arguments are theoretical. And, since economics discusses the real world, these theoretical arguments are by their nature "practical" ones as well." M Rothbard
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Re: The Illusion of Self, The Illusion of Freewill, The Allusion to Illusion Thread
Reply #2 - Jan 22nd, 2017 at 4:05pm
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nothing new really, if you recall the election of 1960 & the JFK / Nixon debate those that watched it on TV felt JFK came out on top, however, those that listened to it on the radio felt that Nixon came out on top.
I'm sure that there are other examples of different responses, or feelings, when hearing spoken words or seeing them being said.
  
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Re: The Illusion of Self, The Illusion of Freewill, The Allusion to Illusion Thread
Reply #3 - Jan 22nd, 2017 at 4:14pm
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BowHunter wrote on Jan 22nd, 2017 at 4:13pm:
Don't lie. It never happened to you before.


It did! I made an A in psych 101! I did the same in Philosophy class!
  
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Re: The Illusion of Self, The Illusion of Freewill, The Allusion to Illusion Thread
Reply #4 - Jan 22nd, 2017 at 4:20pm
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BowHunter wrote on Jan 22nd, 2017 at 4:15pm:
Grin Moron.


Good answer! I see you're conserving the neurons.
  
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Re: The Illusion of Self, The Illusion of Freewill, The Allusion to Illusion Thread
Reply #5 - Jan 22nd, 2017 at 4:23pm
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BowHunter wrote on Jan 22nd, 2017 at 4:22pm:
You don't know the meaning of the word, idiot.


Which word? I wrote several.
  
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Nazi Hunter B.S.C.
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Re: The Illusion of Self, The Illusion of Freewill, The Allusion to Illusion Thread
Reply #6 - Jan 22nd, 2017 at 7:17pm
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TowardLiberty wrote on Jan 22nd, 2017 at 12:32pm:
Nice thread. I like the topic.

I definitely take the opposite side in this debate.

I don't think we can say that there is no objective reality. Sure we all experience it differently. But we are experiencing something.

There must be something for our senses to perceive- something that exists whether we perceive it or not.

If not we would have no sensory input.

I grant that our senses trick us into thinking that we are getting a direct sensory experience. That's straight forward. But I do not see how this fact or idea is at odds with an underlying objective reality.

And we know that there is an underlying objective reality. If not we could not repeat experiments and find regularities.

We wouldn't be able to build bridges or fly planes. For these complex arrangements are built on thousands of assumptions about the nature of reality.

Regarding free will and the self- sure science does not know where this is located in the brain. There are things we do not understand and might never understand about consciousness.

But what is undeniable is there is an ego in all of us.

Is it a mere chemical illusion? Maybe so.

But there is nothing in the idea of consciousness or free will that says it cannot be chemical in nature. Why wouldn't it be?

What we do know is that these chemical reactions give way to thoughts, goals, and plans.

And they are not random.

Your brain did not put these words down just because of a random chemical release. You made this post because you had a point you wanted to share with the rest of the board. There is a purpose behind your actions.

If there was no intelligence or agency guiding your actions, and only random chemical chance, then the order and rationality that we see in so much human action/ behavior would be the most improbable good fortune.



The chemical reactions that occurred in my brain to cause me to write the OP were perhaps out of my hands making the posting inevitable.  For whatever reason, the experiences and emotions and chemical reactions that make up this person called Capt. Obvious, gave me a desire to post.  I delayed posting to get my thoughts organized and believe I made a conscious decision to make the posting, but did I decide to post or was it inevitable? 

If we are just chemical reactions, than something caused those reactions which caused me to post, nothing more. If something caused those chemical reactions, and something caused me to become an individual, namely, my parents getting jiggy with it about 40 years ago, then can "I" be truly be said to have decided anything for myself?  All of the emotions and experiences that I believe makes me me, is an illusion, I suspect it's a safety mechanism to help us deal with this notion that we are all individuals with our own private thoughts and ideas. Illusion, all of it.  I had no choice but to support the candidate that my chemical soup decided for me.   Undecided

You make some great points indeed, nice succinct rebuttal but my chemical soup has always been a bit contrarian, so you're certainly wrong, and I'm right!  Whoever you are and whoever I am at any rate.   Tongue
« Last Edit: Jan 22nd, 2017 at 7:40pm by Nazi Hunter B.S.C. »  

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Re: The Illusion of Self, The Illusion of Freewill, The Allusion to Illusion Thread
Reply #7 - Jan 22nd, 2017 at 7:26pm
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USyeah wrote on Jan 22nd, 2017 at 4:05pm:
nothing new really, if you recall the election of 1960 & the JFK / Nixon debate those that watched it on TV felt JFK came out on top, however, those that listened to it on the radio felt that Nixon came out on top.
I'm sure that there are other examples of different responses, or feelings, when hearing spoken words or seeing them being said.


That phenomenon extends to our other sensory experiences as well.  Consider the experiment...

Take what you believe is a straight pencil and place half of it in a glass of water.  Notice how the pencil now appears bent to our eyes.  So we appeal to more sensory input, we feel the pencil and it still feels straight but looks bent. How? 

Well, thankfully we can explain this away because we understand how light is refracted differently through the medium of water.  The pencil feels straight while simultaneously looking bent.
  

"Be Kind; Everyone You Meet is Fighting a Hard Battle" Plato
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Re: The Illusion of Self, The Illusion of Freewill, The Allusion to Illusion Thread
Reply #8 - Jan 22nd, 2017 at 7:27pm
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Nazi Hunter B.S.C. wrote on Jan 22nd, 2017 at 7:26pm:
That phenomenon extends to out other sensory experiences as well.  Consider the experiment...

Take what you believe is a straight pencil and place half of it in a glass of water.  Notice how the pencil now appears bent to our eyes.  So we appeal to more sensory input, we feel the pencil and it still feels straight but looks bent. How? 

Well, thankfully we can explain this away because we understand how light is refracted differently through the medium of water.  The pencil feels straight while simultaneously looking bent.


Some of us understand refraction.
  
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Re: The Illusion of Self, The Illusion of Freewill, The Allusion to Illusion Thread
Reply #9 - Jan 22nd, 2017 at 7:35pm
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Quote:
Some of us understand refraction.


Would a common man say, 5000 years ago understand refraction of light?  Perhaps to ancient man, the bending pencil in water trick was a miracle or magic.
  

"Be Kind; Everyone You Meet is Fighting a Hard Battle" Plato
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