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Thread: Are Thoughts Causal?

  1. #11
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    They would say that the brain made that decision (sub-consciously) before your conscious mind was aware. And you awareness of that was just an after thought (if you will) with no real casual effect.
    Not necessarily, the thinking of going to the pharmacy, and therefore go, may be a part of many chains of cause and effect outcomes in ones life, both conscious, sub-conscious, and influences outside one's self influences.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  2. #12
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    There may be a chain of of cause and effect outcomes that 'may' cause you to think about going to the pharmacy, and therefore go to the pharmacy. I do not believe you can reasonable isolate thinking as as separate causal mechanism in and of itself. Thoughts are an intimate part of the mind, and by the evidence at present the mind is a product of the brain.
    Did you eat some bad grapes that caused you to think that?

    Even if something initiated the idea (I got a notice on my phone that my prescriptions were ready) - I still had to think about it, decide if I was going to stop in on the way home, or do it later, maybe in the morning, etc. There is more to thinking and deciding than reacting to stimuli. And since I thought of all of that and made the decision before I actually did the behavior (going to the pharmacy) that disproves the idea that the thought comes after the behavior as Seer stated in the OP>

    Thought: I need to go to pharmacy.
    Behavior: actually go to pharmacy.

    Thought came first.

  3. #13
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    Did you eat some bad grapes that caused you to think that?

    Even if something initiated the idea (I got a notice on my phone that my prescriptions were ready) - I still had to think about it, decide if I was going to stop in on the way home, or do it later, maybe in the morning, etc. There is more to thinking and deciding than reacting to stimuli. And since I thought of all of that and made the decision before I actually did the behavior (going to the pharmacy) that disproves the idea that the thought comes after the behavior as Seer stated in the OP>

    Thought: I need to go to pharmacy.
    Behavior: actually go to pharmacy.

    Thought came first.
    . . . but the chain of cause and effect events other that your lead you to think about going to the pharmacy. Most of these cause and effect events are outside your mind
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  4. #14
    tWebber Chrawnus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    by the evidence at present the mind is a product of the brain.
    This is absolutely not true at all. The reason there is such a strong belief in the theory that the mind is a product of the brain is not that the evidence points that way, but because the the prevailing assumption among the scientists studying this issue is that the mind is a product of the brain. But the evidence (if any) that exists for that assumption is not very convincing at all.

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  6. #15
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    . . . but the chain of cause and effect events other that your lead you to think about going to the pharmacy. Most of these cause and effect events are outside your mind
    OK even if the "outside" events caused me to want to go to the pharmacy, I still have to think about going or not going, make the decision, plan the route I want to take, the time I want to go, and so on.

    By the way, I didn't go to the pharmacy yesterday after all. I remembered I am waiting on a second prescription that is due to be filled today, so I decided to wait and pick up both at the same time today, IF it gets filled today on schedule.

  7. #16
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrawnus View Post
    This is absolutely not true at all. The reason there is such a strong belief in the theory that the mind is a product of the brain is not that the evidence points that way, but because the the prevailing assumption among the scientists studying this issue is that the mind is a product of the brain. But the evidence (if any) that exists for that assumption is not very convincing at all.
    There is no objective verifiable evidence for any other conclusion that the mind is not a product of the brain.

    If you have something please present it.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  8. #17
    tWebber Chrawnus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    There is no objective verifiable evidence for any other conclusion that the mind is not a product of the brain.

    If you have something please present it.
    The only thing the evidence shows is that there is relation of dependence (of some sort) between the mind and the brain. Your supposed evidence that the mind is a product of the brain is just as absent as the evidence for any other theory.

  9. Amen Adrift, MaxVel amen'd this post.
  10. #18
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    Except I can make conscious detailed plans, considering the various options and carry them out. I don't think the subconscious is capable of detailed and deliberate planning.

    Also even if my subconscious brain came up with the thought it is still a thought that caused the action even if I wasn't consciously aware of it at the time. It wasn't the action that caused the thought.
    True, but the question would then be, is the thought that caused the action a mental state of what you would call your mind, which you see as a thing distinct from your brain, or was the thought that caused the action a mental state of the physical brain?

  11. #19
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrawnus View Post
    The only thing the evidence shows is that there is relation of dependence (of some sort) between the mind and the brain. Your supposed evidence that the mind is a product of the brain is just as absent as the evidence for any other theory.
    I agree with shunya to a certain extent in that the mind is of the brain because the mind is a property of matter itself, not an emrgent property distinct from matter. It is emergent, but not in the sense of being created of, but rather, in the sense of it's evolution through complexity.
    Last edited by JimL; 07-02-2019 at 08:34 PM.

  12. #20
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    True, but the question would then be, is the thought that caused the action a mental state of what you would call your mind, which you see as a thing distinct from your brain, or was the thought that caused the action a mental state of the physical brain?
    That wasn't the OP's assertion. It was that thoughts don't CAUSE behaviors, they are just some after effect. Like you move your leg, then afterwards think "I am going to move my leg" and fool yourself into thinking your thought caused the action when in fact the action caused the thought. THAT is what Huxley was claiming according to Seer's OP.

    If I can make advanced plans and then later carry them out, then that disproves that thesis.

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