Fw: Re: [asa] Emergence

From: dfsiemensjr <dfsiemensjr@juno.com>
Date: Tue Jun 16 2009 - 16:25:44 EDT

--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Bill Powers <wjp@swcp.com>
To: dfsiemensjr <dfsiemensjr@juno.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Jun 2009 14:05:35 -0600 (MDT)
Subject: Re: [asa] Emergence
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.64.0906161405050.7265@chishio.swcp.com>
References: <20090616.112148.-1749667.0.dfsiemensjr>

Dave:

That it was not posted for the list was unintentional.

Please forward to the list.

thanks,

bill

On Tue, 16 Jun 2009,
dfsiemensjr wrote:

>
> On Mon, 15 Jun 2009 21:44:39 -0600 wjp <wjp@swcp.com> writes:
>> Dave:
>>
>> Let me see if I can say what I am trying to suggest in your terms.
>>
>> Suppose event A causes something of a different character than A.
>>
> Maybe, but I can think of no unambiguous test. If a thought is
> nonphysical, then an experience of the physical can excite it. Though
> there is a difference between primary and secondary causation, theism
> assumes that primary causes are nonphysical and produce physical
effects.
>
>> Generally, it has been said that the effect must be like the cause.
>>
>> But I don't know why I would have to believe this.
>>
>> Is an electron and an anti-electron like a photon? I don't see
>> why I should be compelled to say that they are.
>> Relationships between events are surprising, even perplexing.
>> Science has learned to simply take this in stride.
>> It's what you would expect of a radically contingent universe.
>>
>> Can a physical event A cause a nonphysical effect?
>> I've asked this question before and no one has satisfactorily
>> addressed it.
>>
>> A lot depends upon what you think is physical and what nonphysical.
>> Do we have independent means of assessing whether something is
>> physical
>> or not?
>>
> Yes, for at least some things. It doesn't work for virtual images, but
if
> I can't walk through it, it's physical. I assume that images are
physical
> entities, for they are produced by physical manipulations.
>
>> Do all physical causes produce physical effects by definition?
>> Perhaps. Such a requirement might serve as an extensional
>> definition
>> of the physical.
>>
>> Perhaps we are talking at cross purposes.
>> We need to clarify what it is we are discussing.
>>
>> I began by exploring ways in which the sum of the parts do not equal
>> the whole. I am trying, with this, to get at what exactly a
>> reductive science looks like. Here I am wondering what this
>> "sum" entails and I find it strange and unexpected, like adding
>> an electron and a proton, or particle and anti-particle.
>> So strange that I'm simply wondering out loud whether this
>> what we expected of a "reductive" science.
>>
>> Well, that's something like what I thought we were discussing,
>> something about how amazing this world appears to be, which always
>> lead me, Bohr-like, to wonder whether there is really anyway that
>> we can think that our minds can hold it, or even glimpse it,
>> like God's backside.
>>
>> bill
>>
> Part of this sequence applied to free will. A physicist may tell me I'm
> nuts, but bear with my illustration.
> Consider a person who builds a fancy apparatus that unexpectedly
produces
> from the quantum vacuum a mass of antimatter and an equal mass of
matter,
> which masses collide. The guy's buddy is beside the apparatus when the
> stuff reacts and is cooked. Is the person morally responsible for the
> buddy's death? No. The unfortunate effect is unintended and unexpected.
>
> Now consider the theory that quantum events are what produce freedom. A
> quantum event in the brain, totally random, produces a chain of causal
> events that makes the guy push his fellow out of the window. It's a
> random event that initiates a causal chain. So the answer is no, that
he
> cannot be responsible. It was not his decision. That's not what the
jury
> will decide, for they would not believe that random events cause
> murderous actions. What is held is that the individual in the causal
> context make the difference.
>
> Related to the first paragraph, the guy mixes up a batch of
nitroglycerin
> without removing the reactants, making the mess unattainable. He leaves
> the mix in the room where his buddy normally is. It explodes. In this
> case, the guy is responsible because he did not take the action that
> anyone messing with nitro should understand.
>
> Finally, I note that this was not posted on the list. Was this your
> intent? If you wish, it can be posted, but it doesn't have to be.
> Dave
> ____________________________________________________________
> Need cash? Click to get a loan.
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Received on Tue Jun 16 16:31:57 2009

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