[extropy-chat] Best To Regard Free Will as Existing

Thomas Thomas at thomasoliver.net
Fri Apr 6 00:40:40 UTC 2007

Jef Allbright wrote:

>On 4/5/07, Thomas <Thomas at thomasoliver.net> wrote:
>>Jef Allbright wrote:
>>>[...] It's only when we consider
>>>volition from our own point of view that we are seduced and overcome
>>>by the illusion that something special is going on.
>>>- Jef
>>Yes, but don't you think it a little special that the range of human
>>determinism has evolved into rational consciousness?  Even allowing for
>>the possibility that "self" is an illusion, does not respect for human
>>self determinism fuel the transhuman impulse?  -- Thomas
>Thomas, I'm afraid I'm not sure I fully understand your comment, but
>I'll try to respond:
>I don't think there's anything special, as in fundamentally
>mysterious, involved in human cognition.  
But doesn't "special" mean simply "of a distinct or particular kind?" 
(http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/special)  Can we not distinguish 
between human cognition and non primate brain function?  Does that make 
my comments hard for you to understand?  : )   (Sorry.  Cheap shot, but 
just too funny to pass up.)

>Indeed I think self-awareness is an inevitable product of the
>evolutionary process.  I would hesitate, however, to emphasize "human"
>or "rational" in that regard.
Do not the "human" and "rational" cognitive developments hallmark our 
expanded self determinism at the point where we see our will as 
relatively "free?"  The evidence of rational failures and inhumanity 
serves to emphasize the optional quality of volitional efforts. --  So, 
sure, hesitate, but humanity has evolved and so has rational cognition.  

>As for the "transhuman impulse", I think that it's a deep part of our
>nature that our reach continues to exceed our grasp[1], and that this
>is best exemplified, but not restricted to our species.
>I do think that humanity is special, mainly because I'm currently an
>active member of that club.
>- Jef
Does that mean we (or just you) are fundamentally mysterious?  : )   -- 

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