Selling Your Soul To The Devil

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Re: Selling Your Soul To The Devil

#41  Postby zoon » Nov 15, 2020 1:07 pm

aufbahrung wrote:…….With the soul we have no Newton whose invented gravity yet. The circular questions and impossible diversions are endless. The breakthrough is yet to be. Same with consciousness I suppose. We know everything and nothing about it.

All the evidence suggests consciousness is an artefact of our social evolution.

Human brains are very similar to each other. We have evolved to make use of this fact when predicting other people. A number of brain processes, known collectively as “Theory of Mind” or “mindreading”, enable us to imagine what another person may be thinking by using our own brains as models (Wikipedia article here). It’s all evolved guesswork, but so far it’s massively more effective than the best of modern science for predicting people in ordinary social life.

This means that the way we think about other people is fundamentally different from the way we think about inanimate objects. I see another person by default as having consciousness “like me”, and then track the differences for each individual in what they can see, what they believe, who they are close to etc. All the scientific research on our brains indicates that they follow the same mathematically described laws of physics and chemistry as everything else, but while Theory of Mind remains the most effective way of predicting people, we continue to see each other as having an otherworldly consciousness.
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Re: Selling Your Soul To The Devil

#42  Postby aufbahrung » Nov 15, 2020 1:25 pm

zoon wrote:
aufbahrung wrote:…….With the soul we have no Newton whose invented gravity yet. The circular questions and impossible diversions are endless. The breakthrough is yet to be. Same with consciousness I suppose. We know everything and nothing about it.

All the evidence suggests consciousness is an artefact of our social evolution.

Human brains are very similar to each other. We have evolved to make use of this fact when predicting other people. A number of brain processes, known collectively as “Theory of Mind” or “mindreading”, enable us to imagine what another person may be thinking by using our own brains as models (Wikipedia article here). It’s all evolved guesswork, but so far it’s massively more effective than the best of modern science for predicting people in ordinary social life.

This means that the way we think about other people is fundamentally different from the way we think about inanimate objects. I see another person by default as having consciousness “like me”, and then track the differences for each individual in what they can see, what they believe, who they are close to etc. All the scientific research on our brains indicates that they follow the same mathematically described laws of physics and chemistry as everything else, but while Theory of Mind remains the most effective way of predicting people, we continue to see each other as having an otherworldly consciousness.


Qualia though? and I'm still conscious when no one is around to predict. Possibly my brain is running on fumes then? :(
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Re: Selling Your Soul To The Devil

#43  Postby SafeAsMilk » Nov 15, 2020 1:42 pm

Hermit wrote:They also forget to explain why the Old Testament is still part of the Bible on every Christian church's pulpit. That is a bit weird if the New Covenant has superseded it.

It's there for context. After all, NT is an almost constant stream of references to and riffs on the OT. What they don't explain is why some stuff is "fulfilled" and some stuff isn't, and how it mostly seems based on convenience.
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Re: Selling Your Soul To The Devil

#44  Postby zoon » Nov 15, 2020 3:03 pm

aufbahrung wrote:
zoon wrote:
aufbahrung wrote:…….With the soul we have no Newton whose invented gravity yet. The circular questions and impossible diversions are endless. The breakthrough is yet to be. Same with consciousness I suppose. We know everything and nothing about it.

All the evidence suggests consciousness is an artefact of our social evolution.

Human brains are very similar to each other. We have evolved to make use of this fact when predicting other people. A number of brain processes, known collectively as “Theory of Mind” or “mindreading”, enable us to imagine what another person may be thinking by using our own brains as models (Wikipedia article here). It’s all evolved guesswork, but so far it’s massively more effective than the best of modern science for predicting people in ordinary social life.

This means that the way we think about other people is fundamentally different from the way we think about inanimate objects. I see another person by default as having consciousness “like me”, and then track the differences for each individual in what they can see, what they believe, who they are close to etc. All the scientific research on our brains indicates that they follow the same mathematically described laws of physics and chemistry as everything else, but while Theory of Mind remains the most effective way of predicting people, we continue to see each other as having an otherworldly consciousness.


Qualia though? and I'm still conscious when no one is around to predict. Possibly my brain is running on fumes then? :(

When you are conscious, your own brain is still active, so there’s somebody around. Our qualia feel inherently and qualitatively different from the real solidity of the external world, but this may well be a case of our brains misrepresenting their own workings, as suggested by Pereboom in his 2011 book (abstract here). In the same way, we see blue and red as qualitatively and inherently different, while science tells us they are just different wavelengths of light being picked up by different molecules in the retina. My brain attributes a ghostly consciousness to other people (because this helps me predict them), and then attributes a similar ghostly consciousness to itself (the prediction is helped if I can guess what they think of me). Even when I’m on my own I’m still thinking in social terms.

Admittedly this is speculation, because so little is scientifically known about what goes on in brains, but it seems to me that this is at least one plausible way qualia might be accounted for on a physicalist model.

Another approach is to ask how I might react if I thought everyone else was a zombie, with no metaphysically “real” qualia, but with brains and bodies of humans as described by science. What difference would that make to the way I interact in practice with those people? I think, none. Zombies or not, I want to interact effectively with them, and the best way to achieve this is to make use of my brain’s evolved capacity for predicting them via attribution of consciousness, whether or not they “actually” have it.

Neuroscience may eventually improve to the extent of predicting people more accurately than via evolved Theory of Mind, but we are nowhere near that point yet.
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Re: Selling Your Soul To The Devil

#45  Postby Caper » Nov 22, 2020 3:11 am

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Re: Selling Your Soul To The Devil

#46  Postby Hermit » Nov 22, 2020 4:00 am

aufbahrung wrote:...figure saving the pilot would be like having a rocket abort feature and use retros and things. Easier than saving everyone, justified from the black box recorder perspective, and get people with creative genius focussed on the larger issue of saving the passengers.

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. This is captain Kismet speaking. If you look to your left you'll notice the port engines have stopped running. If you look to your right you'll notice the starboard engines have stopped as well. That's why you can hear this message so well. It appears someone miscalculated the amount of fuel we need to get to our destination.

If you look downwards, you'll see three dots. They are the parachutes of the first officer, the engineer and mine, of course. Enjoy your rapidly accelerating descent into the ocean ten knots nautical miles* short of the airport we initially intended to land on. This is a recording.


*Edited. Thanks, Cito. :mrgreen:
Last edited by Hermit on Nov 22, 2020 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Selling Your Soul To The Devil

#47  Postby Cito di Pense » Nov 22, 2020 8:52 am

Hermit wrote:
aufbahrung wrote:...figure saving the pilot would be like having a rocket abort feature and use retros and things. Easier than saving everyone, justified from the black box recorder perspective, and get people with creative genius focussed on the larger issue of saving the passengers.

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. This is captain Kismet speaking. If you look to your left you'll notice the port engines have stopped running. If you look to your right you'll notice the starboard engines have stopped as well. That's why you can hear this message so well. It appears someone miscalculated the amount of fuel we need to get to our destination.

If you look downwards, you'll see three dots. They are the parachutes of the first officer, the engineer and mine, of course. Enjoy your rapidly accelerating descent into the ocean ten knots short of the airport we initially intended to land on. This is a recording.


Ten knots short of the airport?

That's a little like ten kilograms short of an hour. Welcome to pig wrestling.

There's a precedent for this: Making the Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs. Time is money.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Selling Your Soul To The Devil

#48  Postby laklak » Nov 22, 2020 3:35 pm

Two bricks short of a picnic.
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way. - Mark Twain
The sky is falling! The sky is falling! - Chicken Little
I never go without my dinner. No one ever does, except vegetarians and people like that - Oscar Wilde
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Re: Selling Your Soul To The Devil

#49  Postby The_Piper » Nov 22, 2020 4:12 pm

3 hots and a cot.
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Re: Selling Your Soul To The Devil

#50  Postby Hermit » Nov 22, 2020 6:41 pm

10 W/h short of an electrocution
God is the mysterious veil under which we hide our ignorance of the cause. - Léo Errera


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Re: Selling Your Soul To The Devil

#51  Postby The_Piper » Nov 22, 2020 7:34 pm

3 hamberders shy of a covfefe?
The thread has been GodwinDevilwin'ed. :shifty:
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Re: Selling Your Soul To The Devil

#52  Postby laklak » Nov 22, 2020 8:08 pm

Elevator doesn't go all the way to 40 watts.
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way. - Mark Twain
The sky is falling! The sky is falling! - Chicken Little
I never go without my dinner. No one ever does, except vegetarians and people like that - Oscar Wilde
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Re: Selling Your Soul To The Devil

#53  Postby don't get me started » Nov 25, 2020 11:04 pm

Two pulls short of a wank.
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Re: Selling Your Soul To The Devil

#54  Postby BlackBart » Nov 26, 2020 11:13 am

Two fries short of a six pack.
You don't crucify people! Not on Good Friday! - Harold Shand
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Re: Selling Your Soul To The Devil

#55  Postby laklak » Nov 30, 2020 3:56 am

Have we figured out how to get Old Scratch to make an offer? Do I need to find a crossroads at midnight or something?
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way. - Mark Twain
The sky is falling! The sky is falling! - Chicken Little
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