Chemicals in the Brain and Truth.
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20-09-2015, 08:54 AM
RE: Chemicals in the Brain and Truth.
(20-09-2015 07:34 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Assume one day we're able to create a very sophisticated computer like our brain, that's rational, able to process reality, and determine what is true or not, as we suppose the best human beings are, perhaps even better.

Wouldn't we say that whatever this sophisticated computer holds as true, is actually true.

Only if we take it as written that the computer contains, by definition, only true information. As this takes the computer out of the realm of practicality (since the computer would need infinite processing power and inputs that could take in all information in the universe in order to be certain that everything in it was true, as well as infinite processing speed to put all of the information together and find out what is actually true), it's not really worth discussing.

And even then, it isn't the fact that the computer believes the information to be true which makes it true. It's the fact that the information in the computer matches up to the reality outside of it.

(20-09-2015 07:34 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  And that these truths can be reducible to it's circuitry?

This is a nonsense question.

(20-09-2015 07:34 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  While we might not be able to tell what true or not based on neurochemistry of the human brain, we should be able to tell whats true or not based on the scan of the computers brain, correct?

Yes - but again, this is assuming that we accept as written that everything in the computer is true, and it's still not the fact that the computer thinks it's true which makes it true, so this is all rather silly and pointless.

"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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20-09-2015, 09:20 AM
RE: Chemicals in the Brain and Truth.
(20-09-2015 06:21 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  I don't believe training your brain in such a way is possible.

Psychologists and torturers been doing it for a while now. Learned Helplessness

(20-09-2015 06:31 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  If my brain is the one doing the application it does equate to one's and zeros.

Brain ain't binary.

(20-09-2015 08:05 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  If there are some aspects of reality that can't be reduced to the 0s and 1s of our minds, ...

Brain ain't binary. Hell there are even computers that ain't binary now. IBM's True North chip outputs are voltage levels instead of 0's and 1's.







There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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20-09-2015, 09:23 AM
RE: Chemicals in the Brain and Truth.
(19-09-2015 03:32 PM)onlinebiker Wrote:  
(19-09-2015 01:56 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  Brains are computers. I'm not sure what you mean by the rest of this statement, but brains are computers in the absolute most literal sense.

The brain is a Turing-complete device. Any Turing-complete device is, by definition, a computer. There are a hell of a lot of delicate fiddly bits in there, because brains are really a bit of a mess when you get right down to it, so it's often difficult to track a single computational process completely, but the brain is very much a computer.

They are -- but -- the brain is much more adaptable than a computer.

A computer is, what it is, and will always be what it is. (until it quits working of course) .. A brain is more plastic, and capable of fixing itself under some conditions. A computer is always going to come up with the same answers - because it doesn't change as conditions change. A brain -- especially a human one - as you noted - is a bit of a mess --- and it will "usually" come up with the same answers to questions -- but not always....

Sometimes 2 plus 2 equals four. Other times it equals a grapefruit stuffed up a rhino's nose......

Ya just never know.

Wrong and wrong. Granted, the computer on your desk has a limited area of competence, but it's not the only type of computer out there.

(20-09-2015 05:08 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Let no change the goal post here, you stated:

"Yes, in the same way that you can't tell if the phrase "the sky is blue" is true or not without looking at the sky.

In the case I'm not looking at the sky. The claim is asking me to say that a phrase is true, without looking.

In the spirit of not changing the goal post, the ACTUAL question is whether we could determine the truth or falsehood of ideas based on a hypothetical brain scanning machine.

(20-09-2015 07:34 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Assume one day we're able to create a very sophisticated computer like our brain, that's rational, able to process reality, and determine what is true or not, as we suppose the best human beings are, perhaps even better.

Wouldn't we say that whatever this sophisticated computer holds as true, is actually true. And that these truths can be reducible to it's circuitry? While we might not be able to tell what true or not based on neurochemistry of the human brain, we should be able to tell whats true or not based on the scan of the computers brain, correct?

Our brains are rational?

I mean, sure, we're capable of rationality, on a good day. Not the same thing as being innately rational, though.

And in order to process reality, a computer or brain has to have some sensory link to reality. Unless this sensory link were omniscient (which would raise various interesting flavors of paradox), even the best information processing possible could not fully overcome the limitations of bad or absent data on the environment around it. "Simply" designing a computer that never makes a mistake with the information it's given won't get us past "garbage in, garbage out". It certainly won't get us to "garbage in, truth out" or "nothing in, truth out".

After all a completely rational individual with access to stone age technology and no scientific learning would probably conclude that the sun went around the earth. It would be a rational belief given the limited evidence available. It's not until you start gathering, compiling, and thoroughly examining details that you notice the little inconsistencies that tell us otherwise. (Today, of course, with everyone pointing out those same little details so that everyone else can see them, it would be an irrational belief.)
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20-09-2015, 09:26 AM (This post was last modified: 20-09-2015 09:52 AM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Chemicals in the Brain and Truth.
(20-09-2015 09:23 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  Our brains are rational?

I mean, sure, we're capable of rationality, on a good day. Not the same thing as being innately rational, though.

And we're far better at rationalization than rationality. Tomasia been rationalizing since day one here.

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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20-09-2015, 09:46 AM
RE: Chemicals in the Brain and Truth.
(20-09-2015 08:54 AM)Unbeliever Wrote:  Only if we take it as written that the computer contains, by definition, only true information. As this takes the computer out of the realm of practicality (since the computer would need infinite processing power and inputs that could take in all information in the universe in order to be certain that everything in it was true, as well as infinite processing speed to put all of the information together and find out what is actually true), it's not really worth discussing.

But you don’t believe a computer brain, would need infinite processing power and inputs to match and perhaps to some degree exceed our most rational minded person?

We could possibly create a computerized brain in the distant future, that can think rationally, think and apply the rules of the scientific method, and the rules of logic, the rules of logical calculus, as you would put it. Such a brain wouldn’t necessary require infinite processing power and inputs, any more so than our brain does.

It might not be able to tell whether every observation it makes is true or false, and might even regard observations of the truth or the lack thereof as inconclusive, that there’s not enough observable data, etc.. for this computerized brain to draw a conclusion.

But assuming it can take in the same observations, that any human mind can. Any observation it makes and deems as true, would actually be true. For the same reason that an observation confirmed by the scientific method, the rules of logic, logical calculus would be actually true.

In this scenario what is actually true would be reducible to the circuitry of the computerized brain, reducible to the zeros and ones, assuming that rules the brains follow are accurate representations of those aforementioned rules, and methods (which would also be reducible, to 0s and 1s here as well). Correct right?

It would also indicate whenever you draw a conclusions contrary to the computerized brain here, based on the same observations, that you didn’t properly follow the scientific method, the rules of logical calculus as you should have, and that conclusion you draw are false as a result.

"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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20-09-2015, 10:13 AM
RE: Chemicals in the Brain and Truth.
(20-09-2015 09:23 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  In the spirit of not changing the goal post, the ACTUAL question is whether we could determine the truth or falsehood of ideas based on a hypothetical brain scanning machine.

And just to be clear, to answer my own question, I would agree with most of responses here, that no we can’t. The OP was primarily a jump off point to discuss what implications, "no we can’t", has on our ability to recognize what is true or not about reality, which is all a mind dependent endeavor.

Quote:And in order to process reality, a computer or brain has to have some sensory link to reality. Unless this sensory link were omniscient (which would raise various interesting flavors of paradox), even the best information processing possible could not fully overcome the limitations of bad or absent data on the environment around it. "Simply" designing a computer that never makes a mistake with the information it's given won't get us past "garbage in, garbage out". It certainly won't get us to "garbage in, truth out" or "nothing in, truth out".

After all a completely rational individual with access to stone age technology and no scientific learning would probably conclude that the sun went around the earth. It would be a rational belief given the limited evidence available. It's not until you start gathering, compiling, and thoroughly examining details that you notice the little inconsistencies that tell us otherwise. (Today, of course, with everyone pointing out those same little details so that everyone else can see them, it would be an irrational belief.)

The response here would parallel, the response I wrote to Unbeliever in post #85. So you can respond to that as well, since it takes into consideration what I believe to be your objections here.

"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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20-09-2015, 10:16 AM
RE: Chemicals in the Brain and Truth.
(20-09-2015 09:46 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  In this scenario what is actually true would be reducible to the circuitry of the computerized brain, reducible to the zeros and ones, assuming that rules the brains follow are accurate representations of those aforementioned rules, and methods (which would also be reducible, to 0s and 1s here as well). Correct right?

No. Explicitly wrong, as I have said multiple times in both this and other threads.

Truth requires two components: a statement and a subject. If the content of the statement is a proper description of the subject, then you have truth. You cannot know that "the sky is blue" is true without looking at the sky.

Saying that "true" is reducible to the neurochemical process of thought - the statement - is nonsensical. The statement is not what makes truth. It must be compared to the subject.

"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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20-09-2015, 10:29 AM
RE: Chemicals in the Brain and Truth.
(20-09-2015 09:26 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(20-09-2015 09:23 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  Our brains are rational?

I mean, sure, we're capable of rationality, on a good day. Not the same thing as being innately rational, though.

And we're far better at rationalization than rationality. Tomasia been rationalizing since day one here.

At least some people are still amused. I just peek in once in a while to see if he's still wearing his pants around his ankles, and sure enough. Dodgy

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20-09-2015, 10:34 AM (This post was last modified: 20-09-2015 10:58 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Chemicals in the Brain and Truth.
(20-09-2015 10:16 AM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(20-09-2015 09:46 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  In this scenario what is actually true would be reducible to the circuitry of the computerized brain, reducible to the zeros and ones, assuming that rules the brains follow are accurate representations of those aforementioned rules, and methods (which would also be reducible, to 0s and 1s here as well). Correct right?

No. Explicitly wrong, as I have said multiple times in both this and other threads.

Truth requires two components: a statement and a subject. If the content of the statement is a proper description of the subject, then you have truth. You cannot know that "the sky is blue" is true without looking at the sky.

Saying that "true" is reducible to the neurochemical process of thought - the statement - is nonsensical. The statement is not what makes truth. It must be compared to the subject.

I'm not sure why you keep assuming that the computer brain or the mind is not making a series of observations. The computer might like a blind person in this scenario and not be able to observe the qualities of the sky. So when asking it as to whether the sky is blue or not, might render a response that it's unable to make that determination, as a result of it's ability to make an adequate observation.

I thought it was clear in my example, that the computer brain, and human brain, where making the exact same observations, and drawing a conclusion based on those.

"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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20-09-2015, 10:40 AM
RE: Chemicals in the Brain and Truth.
(20-09-2015 10:34 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  I'm not sure you keep assuming that computer brain or the mind is not making a series of observations. The computer might like a blind person in this scenario and not be able to observe the qualities of the sky. So when asking it as to whether the sky is blue or not, might render a response that it's unable to make that determination, as a result of it's ability to make an adequate observation.

And your point is...?

"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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