Chemicals in the Brain and Truth.
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26-09-2015, 09:47 AM (This post was last modified: 26-09-2015 09:54 AM by DLJ.)
RE: Chemicals in the Brain and Truth.
(26-09-2015 09:06 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  ...
And that criticism would make some sense, if someone subscribed to some form of dualism, or irreducibility, but it doesn't work if you don't.
...

Erm ... no ... dualism doesn't come into it. By 'chemistry of thinking' I simply meant: What happens in a brain when thinking occurs; how do some thoughts dominate other thoughts to be the conscious thought of a given instant?

(26-09-2015 09:06 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  ...
But if we agree that we're just molecules in motion,
...

We don't agree.

Dodgy

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26-09-2015, 10:08 AM
RE: Chemicals in the Brain and Truth.
(26-09-2015 09:47 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Erm ... no ... dualism doesn't come into it. By 'chemistry of thinking' I simply meant: What happens in a brain when thinking occurs; how do some thoughts dominate other thoughts to be conscious thought of a given instant?

Dualism comes into this if any answer or hypothesis to this question suggests non-physical forces at play.

Thoughts that dominate other thoughts would be one's that in essence sound better to you. The thoughts that have a stronger ring of truthiness to it, are the ones you accept.

Of course the question could be why do some thoughts for any particular individual sound more truthful to them than for others. And the reason would be the variety of physical forces that acted upon his life, than leads him to favor the sound of one over the other. Maybe there's a series of propositions that are entirely true, but it makes you so terribly uncomfortable, unsettling your neurochemistry in a way, that it goes into the defense, causing you to churn out responses like: "that's not rational", that's not "logical" etc... So that they can put a wall between you ever recognizing the validity of those propositions, or even really being able to contemplate them.

Quote:
(26-09-2015 09:06 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  ...
But if we agree that we're just molecules in motion,
...

We don't agree.

Dodgy

"We are biological creatures, collections of molecules that must obey the laws of physics. All the success of science rests on the regularity of those laws, which determine the behavior of every molecule in the universe. Those molecules, of course, also make up your brain — the organ that does the "choosing." And the neurons and molecules in your brain are the product of both your genes and your environment, an environment including the other people we deal with. Memories, for example, are nothing more than structural and chemical changes in your brain cells. Everything that you think, say, or do, must come down to molecules and physics." -Jerry Coyne

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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26-09-2015, 10:21 AM
RE: Chemicals in the Brain and Truth.
(26-09-2015 09:42 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(26-09-2015 09:06 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  And that criticism would make some sense, if someone subscribed to some form of dualism, or irreducibility, but it doesn't work if you don't.

But if we agree that we're just molecules in motion, governed by the laws of physics, that's not required. Because this sets the parameters for us already, for any conclusion, hypothesis, etc...

No. Chemistry works at the level of the atom and molecule. It can quite literally be reduced to that level and discussed forward (hence the reason we study chemistry).

So, what's the chemistry of "thought" and then how does it differ between rational and irrational thought?

It doesn't. Irrational and rational are merely words, a part of a persons own individual taxonomy, and acquire different meaning, different sensations when heard by different people.

Quote:And seriously, what's the alternative to your brain chemistry producing you? What's the matter with that?

I'm not the one who has the problem with that.

Quote:A flatworm crawls along the bottom of my dissecting dish, it's not thinking. It can't "think" in any real sense of the word. But it still seems to have the free will to go wherever it wants in its search for food (which it locates using chemoreceptors that trigger impulses and actions. It's merely reacting to its environment. So do we, but our brains allow for a more complex interaction than just "eat" and "reproduce" because we posses an organ with chemistry that the flatworm doesn't have)

I have no problem with this picture. But a reconciliation with this picture is needed as to what it means to search for the truth.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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26-09-2015, 10:37 AM
RE: Chemicals in the Brain and Truth.
(26-09-2015 10:21 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(26-09-2015 09:42 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  So, what's the chemistry of "thought" and then how does it differ between rational and irrational thought?

It doesn't. Irrational and rational are merely words, a part of a persons own individual taxonomy, and acquire different meaning, different sensations when heard by different people.

Wrong.

This has been explained to you a frankly ludicrous number of times already. Logic is not a subjective system any more than mathematics is. In fact, at its root, logic basically is mathematics, albeit a highly specialized form of it.

What one person thinks is rational has no more effect on what actually is rational than someone's belief in two plus two equaling five will make that true.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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26-09-2015, 10:42 AM
RE: Chemicals in the Brain and Truth.
(26-09-2015 10:08 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(26-09-2015 09:47 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Erm ... no ... dualism doesn't come into it. By 'chemistry of thinking' I simply meant: What happens in a brain when thinking occurs; how do some thoughts dominate other thoughts to be conscious thought of a given instant?

Dualism comes into this if any answer or hypothesis to this question suggests non-physical forces at play.

I didn't suggest they did ... therefore, dualism doesn't come into it. We agree.

(26-09-2015 10:08 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  ...
Thoughts that dominate other thoughts would be one's that in essence sound better to you. The thoughts that have a stronger ring of truthiness to it, are the ones you accept.
...

What's this 'you' of which you speak?

Are you suggesting the 'homunculus theory' whereby an 'inner you' sifts through choices of thoughts looking for acceptable ones?

(26-09-2015 10:08 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  ...
Of course the question could be why do some thoughts for any particular individual sound more truthful to them than for others. And the reason would be the variety of physical forces that acted upon his life, than leads him to favor the sound of one over the other. Maybe there's a series of propositions that are entirely true, but it makes you so terribly uncomfortable, unsettling your neurochemistry in a way, that it goes into the defense, causing you to churn out responses like: "that's not rational", that's not "logical" etc... So that they can put a wall between you ever recognizing the validity of those propositions, or even really being able to contemplate them.

I'm not interested in the 'truthiness' question until we've addressed the 'consciousness' question. How do the thoughts 'appear' at the top of the queue, so to speak?

The 'truthiness' question is about pattern recognition as per the videos I posted before but I am intrigued when you say "uncomfortable, unsettling your neurochemistry in a way" ... what is the mechanism (the 'in a way') by which one's neurochemistry becomes uncomfortable?

Isn't it just "Hang on! Something's different! That doorknob isn't where is usually is! Ohmy "

(26-09-2015 10:08 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(26-09-2015 09:47 AM)DLJ Wrote:  We don't agree.

Dodgy

"... Everything that you think, say, or do, must come down to molecules and physics." -Jerry Coyne

I agree with Mr Coyne but he nor I agree with you.

We've had this problem before when discussing morality. Your imprecision leads to your own confusion.

You wrote "just molecules in motion".

Just ones and zeros do not a spreadsheet make.

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26-09-2015, 02:28 PM
RE: Chemicals in the Brain and Truth.
(26-09-2015 10:21 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  But a reconciliation with this picture is needed as to what it means to search for the truth.
There is a weirdness about a search for the truth.

Scientists certainly don't go around claiming to have found the truth.
The Truth is something dear to Christians, it's part of their brainwashing techniques.

Abstract concepts like "mind", "soul", "truth", "right/wrong" are things that religious folk fight hard to make out that these things are fundamental and hence have an existence rather than merely being conceptual.

This whole thread is a little awkward if you ask me. Scientists are kicking the tires of the universe, developing models that accurately reflect various aspects of the universe, models that we can take advantage of in order to build things of value that we can use to "improve" our lives.
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26-09-2015, 04:29 PM
Chemicals in the Brain and Truth.
(26-09-2015 10:21 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(26-09-2015 09:42 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  No. Chemistry works at the level of the atom and molecule. It can quite literally be reduced to that level and discussed forward (hence the reason we study chemistry).

So, what's the chemistry of "thought" and then how does it differ between rational and irrational thought?

It doesn't. Irrational and rational are merely words, a part of a persons own individual taxonomy, and acquire different meaning, different sensations when heard by different people.

Quote:And seriously, what's the alternative to your brain chemistry producing you? What's the matter with that?

I'm not the one who has the problem with that.

Quote:A flatworm crawls along the bottom of my dissecting dish, it's not thinking. It can't "think" in any real sense of the word. But it still seems to have the free will to go wherever it wants in its search for food (which it locates using chemoreceptors that trigger impulses and actions. It's merely reacting to its environment. So do we, but our brains allow for a more complex interaction than just "eat" and "reproduce" because we posses an organ with chemistry that the flatworm doesn't have)

I have no problem with this picture. But a reconciliation with this picture is needed as to what it means to search for the truth.

Facepalm

Rational and irrational are just words in each person's "individual taxonomy" (whatever the fuck that means)? ALL words are "just words" that people ascribe individual meanings to.

So when you prattle on about "truth" as it somehow relates to the brain, you've made an assumption based on your predisposition that beliefs = truths. Which is flat out, horseshit. You are equating internal (in your brain) beliefs with external "truths" (reality). What you sincerely believe in your brain has NO bearing on the nature of reality. And if you believe in a sky wizard, your beliefs aren't influenced by reality either.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
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26-09-2015, 07:01 PM
RE: Chemicals in the Brain and Truth.
(26-09-2015 09:06 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(26-09-2015 09:02 AM)DLJ Wrote:  I think you need to give us the chemistry of 'thinking' before you deliver a verdict on 'rational thinking'.

Looking forward to it.

Big Grin

And that criticism would make some sense, if someone subscribed to some form of dualism, or irreducibility, but it doesn't work if you don't.

But if we agree that we're just molecules in motion, governed by the laws of physics, that's not required. Because this sets the parameters for us already, for any conclusion, hypothesis, etc...

You ignore emergent properties at your peril, and making the leap from physics to thought leaves so many levels without explanation.

You will need to fill this in before you can be taken seriously. Drinking Beverage

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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26-09-2015, 08:31 PM
Chemicals in the Brain and Truth.
(26-09-2015 04:29 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(26-09-2015 10:21 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  It doesn't. Irrational and rational are merely words, a part of a persons own individual taxonomy, and acquire different meaning, different sensations when heard by different people.


I'm not the one who has the problem with that.


I have no problem with this picture. But a reconciliation with this picture is needed as to what it means to search for the truth.

Facepalm

Rational and irrational are just words in each person's "individual taxonomy" (whatever the fuck that means)? ALL words are "just words" that people ascribe individual meanings to.

So when you prattle on about "truth" as it somehow relates to the brain, you've made an assumption based on your predisposition that beliefs = truths. Which is flat out, horseshit. You are equating internal (in your brain) beliefs with external "truths" (reality). What you sincerely believe in your brain has NO bearing on the nature of reality. And if you believe in a sky wizard, your beliefs aren't influenced by reality either.

Of course what you sincerely believe in your brain has no bearing on reality. Nor does reality speak in propositions, whisper whatever parts of it are true to you either. Nor does it have to correspond to whatever abstract image you have in your head about it.

That's as much true for you as for anyone else.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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26-09-2015, 08:34 PM
Chemicals in the Brain and Truth.
(26-09-2015 07:01 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(26-09-2015 09:06 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  And that criticism would make some sense, if someone subscribed to some form of dualism, or irreducibility, but it doesn't work if you don't.

But if we agree that we're just molecules in motion, governed by the laws of physics, that's not required. Because this sets the parameters for us already, for any conclusion, hypothesis, etc...

You ignore emergent properties at your peril, and making the leap from physics to thought leaves so many levels without explanation.

You will need to fill this in before you can be taken seriously. Drinking Beverage

Are these emergent properties irreducible? Are they physical properties, governed by the laws of physics?

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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