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The libertarian approach

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henry quirk
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#26 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 04/20/12 - 4:51 PM:

Thinker: I know 'samvega' is not the same as 'sam vega'...I bastardize and adulterate any- and every-thing, every chance I get... wink

#

Sam,

Some further thoughts before I head home...


Everyone, I think, understands that 'intelligence' is a function of a particular and peculiar kind of organic complexity. That is: intelligence is a quality or aspect or trait exhibited by a certain kind of animal with a certain kind and level of biologic sophistication. Even though no one really understands how a complex brain in a certain kind of body embedded in the world generates 'thinking', no one (usually) views intelligence as a substance that’s some how separate from the animal that thinks. There is, I think, an implicit understanding that the thinker and the thinking are one in the same, that the thinking only happens to, or because of, the thinker.

Call it what you like -- free will, autonomy, agency, watemelon-turniphead -- often, it seems to me, the capacity to choose is viewed differently. Conversations on the subject stumble 'cause folks get caught up in that mysterious, metaphysical, substance that no one can point to and handle. And since this mystical (free) 'will' can't be handled, measured, seen, bottled, etc., and since the very existence of such a thing seems to violate the way the world works, this thing cannot exist and man is doomed to be (remain) bio-automata.

I suggest this capacity to choose is no different than intelligence (thinking). I suggest it is an aspect, quality, trait, of a particular kind of organic complexity. I suggest that in the same way that intelligence varies from person to person, so does the capacity to choose (as I say up-thread: 'Within the constraints of the world (without and within) each of us (perhaps to varying degrees, depending on the individual) can, must, choose 'this' or 'that', 'here' or 'there', etc. Not a one of us has unlimited choice, but we each can and do choose.')

I suggest this capacity to choose is only as mysterious as our ignorance of how 'I-ness' comes about causes it to be.

I suggest our ignorance is no reason at all to abandon what our individual experiences tell us daily, that being: each of us chooses all the time, in large ways, small ways, trivial ways, important ways, wisely, stupidly, with good intentions and with bad.

I suggest the placeholder (whatever it is we use at any particular time) is not the phenomenon and folks need to stop taking what is wild and forcing it into a box that doesn't exist.

I suggest the capacity to choose (choosing) is exactly the same in nature and scope as intelligence (thinking) and memory (remembering) and all the other on-going events that comprise a person, that is: I suggest choosing is synonymous with the chooser, agency is synonymous with the agent, autonomy is synonymous with the 'autonomist', will is synonymous with the willer.

That is (speaking of *myself for the moment): the capacity to choose is synonymous with the 'I' which, in this case, calls itself 'Henry Quirk'.

I suggest that to the extent one is 'willed', choosing, autonomous, or watermelon-turnipheaded, one is less the species member or bio-automata and more a singular event in and of itself (his- or her-self).

I suggest any one who subscribes to hard determinism is explaining away (not explaining) him- or her-self, is reducing the human individual to mere part and process, and probably ought to be horsewhipped.


Good night, Gracie... wink









*my favorite subject.

henry quirk
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#27 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 05/01/12 - 8:52 AM:

I'd hoped Sam woulda come back for more, but -- I guess -- he lost interest...*shrug*

Anyway...

A little more...

In thinking about 'free will', 'will', 'autonomy', 'agency', etc., one must -- as I state above -- put aside the placeholders and look at the raw event or phenomenon. In that light: 'choice’ and 'free choice' must be viewed differently.

In pretty much all the literature: 'choices' and 'decisions' are taken as discrete units, easily isolatable from what preceded them, dissectible as a cat carcass found on the road side.

The human individual is not, however, a digital event, but rather an analog one. That is: the human individual views him- or her-self as a seamless, on-going, whole embedded not in a causal chain (discrete links) but in a causal stream (analog). No choice or decision is made in isolation as each depends on all the others made by the chooser before.

It can be said, then, that each of us exists in an on-going stare of choosing or deciding...that is each of us is ALWAYS choosing, deciding, with one choice overlapping and intermixing with countless others.

As placeholders, then, 'choice' and 'decision' are not nouns (things) but verbs (actions), ongoing from the day one opens his or her eyes as 'I', ending only when 'I' is dead.
Thinker13
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#28 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 05/01/12 - 9:17 AM:

henry quirk wrote:


The human individual is not, however, a digital event, but rather an analog one. That is: the human individual views him- or her-self as a seamless, on-going, whole embedded not in a causal chain (discrete links) but in a causal stream (analog). No choice or decision is made in isolation as each depends on all the others made by the chooser before.

It can be said, then, that each of us exists in an on-going stare of choosing or deciding...that is each of us is ALWAYS choosing, deciding, with one choice overlapping and intermixing with countless others.




It has been my experience, or say, my spiritual experience as well. I think you might have reached at this conclusion as a result of mentation, or may be because of contemplation that followed some experience(s). Enlightenment partially is realizing that there is no whole-concrete-digital self, but rather myriads of signals because of myriads of stimuli and neurons switching together and creating an illusion of a solid self. We are deluded about continuity of our existence because of this attempt by our memory to keep distinct moments joined. Wherever necessary, it fills the gap with a lot of stuff, no matter whether this stuff really fits in the situation or not.

Due to many spiritual experiences--two types of breaking-up happens: a) The body-image gets shattered--this image is created by a consistent set-up running 24 hours and projecting a 'complete self' by using the feedback from all the senses about all body parts. In meditation it breaks and first you might find many disjointed sensations from different parts of body and later you find no sensations and no body and still there remains a self, made up of myriads of thoughts.

b) The continuity of time which gives you an illusion of a past and a future associated with the presen moment is shattered by many meditative practices, which in some ways, similar to the protagonist of Memento, make you capable of completely inhabiting the present moment. It's a great realization to see that time is not as we are accustomed to see it, in units of past, present and future, but only an illusion created by this continuity set-up. When it dawns upon you, you feel being in present and inhabiting yourself and you're time as well as space in such a realization.
Thinker13
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#29 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 05/01/12 - 9:38 AM:

And what is your new avatar, Henry? Is it randomly chosen, out of many Google results for a word, like the previous one? Looks like an astronaut without hat, doing a magic trick and then a shrug!
henry quirk
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#30 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 05/02/12 - 10:18 AM:

"what is your new avatar?"

Don't rightly know...don't like it...changing it out soon.

#

"a result of mentation"

I self-interrogate and observe, assess and conclude.

Not difficult when everything is plainly right in front of me.
smokinpristiformis
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#31 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 05/02/12 - 11:16 AM:

If you could quantify freedom in the world, I think it would probably look like a gaussian. This gaussian would have extremes on either end, with very low freedom:


One end would be absolute, totalitarian, detailed control.
Here oppression dictates people's movements.

The other one would be absolute anarchy, without any social limits.
Here I presume struggle for resources or just general violence dictates people's movements. Not to mention lifespan.


On an individual level, there are people with limitless freedom in either of these extremes. But there are many more whose freedom is crushed. Keeping a more moderate regulation and control would allow for an even, possibly much larger freedom.
Thinker13
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#32 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 05/02/12 - 11:41 AM:

henry quirk wrote:
"what is your new avatar?"

Don't rightly know...don't like it...changing it out soon.



This one is with a horn or a bump on head! laughing
henry quirk
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#33 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 05/02/12 - 2:59 PM:

"This one is with a horn or a bump on head!"

HA!

It's the protagonist from 'I Want My Hat Back', currently my favorite children’s book.

If you read the book: you'll see why I like it (the book and the character).

-----

sweetonbooks.com/all-titles...10-i-want-my-hat-back.html

"The story begins with a bear’s search for his lost (red) hat. He encounters a few other animals and inquires about his missing hat, to which he gets some funny answers, like: “What is a hat?”. He comes upon a rabbit that is wearing a red hat but the bear doesn’t seem to notice, not even when the rabbit guiltily replies: “I would not steal a hat.” Later, when the bear suddenly realizes that “I HAVE SEEN MY HAT”, he retraces his steps past all the animals, finds the rabbit and demands his hat back. Let’s just say things don’t go so well for the rabbit. When a squirrel later asks the bear if he’s seen a rabbit wearing a hat, the bear’s not-so-subtle reply says it all!"


“No. Why are you asking me.
I haven’t seen him.
I haven’t seen any rabbits
anywhere.
I would not eat a rabbit.
Don’t ask me any more questions.”


'nuff said... wink

Edited by henry quirk on 05/02/12 - 3:25 PM. Reason: expansion
henry quirk
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#34 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 05/02/12 - 3:00 PM:

"Keeping a more moderate regulation and control would allow for an even, possibly much larger freedom."

HA!

Not particularly high on my list of priorities... wink
Thinker13
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#35 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 05/03/12 - 3:51 AM:

henry quirk wrote:
"This one is with a horn or a bump on head!"

HA!

It's the protagonist from 'I Want My Hat Back', currently my favorite children’s book.

If you read the book: you'll see why I like it (the book and the character).

-----

sweetonbooks.com/all-titles...10-i-want-my-hat-back.html

"The story begins with a bear’s search for his lost (red) hat. He encounters a few other animals and inquires about his missing hat, to which he gets some funny answers, like: “What is a hat?”. He comes upon a rabbit that is wearing a red hat but the bear doesn’t seem to notice, not even when the rabbit guiltily replies: “I would not steal a hat.” Later, when the bear suddenly realizes that “I HAVE SEEN MY HAT”, he retraces his steps past all the animals, finds the rabbit and demands his hat back. Let’s just say things don’t go so well for the rabbit. When a squirrel later asks the bear if he’s seen a rabbit wearing a hat, the bear’s not-so-subtle reply says it all!"


“No. Why are you asking me.
I haven’t seen him.
I haven’t seen any rabbits
anywhere.
I would not eat a rabbit.
Don’t ask me any more questions.”


'nuff said... wink



laughing It's so comely an outset that I am motivated to read, but may be later. I loved the blurb.
thumb up
henry quirk
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#36 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 05/03/12 - 8:33 AM:

It's a nice little book, full of value for the one with the right head for it.
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