Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Free will is an obsolete concept

Do we have free will? I used to think that the question had meaning. But that was back when I was still religious.
In order to answer the question, one must first define what “free will” means. Is it the freedom to do what one wishes? We already know that we sometimes do what we wish to do hence free will, in this sense, is not really a subject of debate for reasons of “obviousness”.

When the philosophically inclined think of free will, what they usually have in mind is the issue of determinism and indeterminism. Have we been preconditioned to make the choices that we’ve made before we were even born. Do we have a predestination? In a deterministic universe, all our actions have been predetermined since the big bang. In a non-deterministic universe, our actions are indeterminable or unpredictable

People argue that in a deterministic universe, there can be no free will since if our actions have been predetermined, they are not actually ours and we are not responsible for them. But in what other kind of universe can free will exist?

Right now I’m feeling thirsty. I could follow my biological need to get some water right now, but because I want to prove that I have free will, I decide not to follow my biological cravings and instead continue writing this article. Did I actually violate determinism by not submitting to my biological needs?

I’d say no. If I didn’t decide to write this article right now, I probably wouldn’t be thinking of the issue of free will at this particular instant. If I were not thinking of the issue of free will right now then the decision to challenge it probably wouldn’t come to me at this particular time. If the decision to not challenge free will didn’t come to me at this particular time, then I’d have gotten myself a glass of water already. Point is, our decisions are a result of inter-related cause and effects. Even if you decide to choose the least likely choice, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re violating the rule of causality

Some argue that we, as conscious entities, have the capacity for self inference. We can decide how we’re going to react to stimuli. But what is concsciousness.We know that it is produced in the brain. Your thoughts, your emotions, your memories are all a web of bio-chemical processes. The chemico-biologocal processes in my brain right now that say I need to prove that I have free will is greater than the chemico-biological processes that say I need to get water. Hence, I’m still thirsty. Since those processes originate in your brain which is a physical object and therefore follows physical laws, you’re still subject to your biological make-up and the laws that govern them, even if you think that you’re actually violating those laws… You’re like a gear in a machine that you may not be aware of.

So if your decisions are produced by your consciousness and your consciousness is produced by your brain, and your brain is composed of matter and matter follows physical laws, then that must mean that your decision making follows physical laws.

The question now shifts from philosophy to science. Are the laws of physics deterministic or not? The consensus in science now is that large objects follow the laws of classical physics which are deterministic. When you go down to the size of subatomic particles though, the “rules” become very strange. Quantum mechanics governs the behavior of very small particles. Particles can be in a superposition of many states, particles can be in more than one location at one time, causes don’t always have traceable effects. In short, determinism doesn’t rule here. Human brain cells are way too large to be influenced by quantum phenomena but let’s say that human consciousness is influenced by quantum properties and therefore indeterministic, does that mean that we have free will?

If yes, then what is free will? Randomness in the brain? I fail to grasp why this is a desirable thing to have. Do you actually become less responsible for your choices if they have been predetermined? To answer the question, I’d ask you the antithesis of the same question. Do you become more responsible for your choices if you’re choices were random? I think not

Determinism isn’t some conscious, scheming entity that makes your decisions for you or forces you to make decisions against your will. Determinism, through a long chain of causes and effects, both external and internal to you, determines your desires, your personality, your inclinations, and in the end, your decisions. It doesn’t make you arrive at a predestination against your will but rather it makes you “will” yourself to arrive at a predestination.

If “will” or “intent” is the measure of responsibility for an action, then determinism has no bearing on whether you’re responsible or not for your choices since your “will” still determines your choices. Your will though is produced though physical processes in your brain and as such, is subject to physical laws, whether they be deterministic or not.

Do I think that we have free will? The word doesn’t exist in my vocabulary. I don’t know what it means. I don’t know what its significance is. I think It’s an obsolete concept. A remnant of the days when man thought that he had a special place in the center of the universe and that he was somehow independent from it.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Meaning of Life? Pointless question?

Meaning of Life? Pointless question?

 “What is the meaning of life?” The question has been pondered about by countless philosophers for centuries. It makes me wonder why… because I think it’s a pointless question. But I don’t think the question is pointless because I think that life has no meaning. I think it’s pointless because the question assumes that there should be a general standard for meaning and that it has to be defined external to the person asking the question.

There was a commercial before by the World wildlife foundation which I found to be a bit intellectually substandard. The commercial was about wildlife conservation. I don’t remember the exact words, so I will paraphrase: “It is perhaps the greatest question man has ever asked. We know that plankton exist to feed the whales, we know that zebra exist to feed the lions, we know that (insert species here) for (insert species here). What about us? What is our purpose?

I didn’t like the commercial for a variety of reasons. One, because it states that the inane question “what is our purpose” is the greatest question man has ever asked. Two, because it seems to assume that there is a universal purpose for why we are all here

From a lion’s perspective, a zebra’s purpose may be to satisfy its hunger. But from the zebra’s perspective, the purpose of its existence may be to get through life without satisfying the lion’s hunger. Purpose comes from either the lion’s or the zebra’s intent to achieve its own respective goals -Goals that are diametrically opposed to each other.

One may say that the purpose of fire is to give us warmth or to heat our food. But fire didn’t come into existence to serve man. Fire existed and then man found purpose for it. But that purpose only exists to those with minds to see benefit from fire. From fire’s perspective, it doesn’t care what man does to it. Fire itself has no intrinsic purpose for existence except for the subjective interpretations of purpose that man assigns to it.

Meaning is defined as the overall purpose of one’s existence. The claim that there is an overarching purpose for the existence of everyone or everything is a circular claim. The question “What is the meaning of life” is a question that proposes its own answer

Purpose requires intent, can only exist in minds that are capable of intent and is perspective relative. From a theistic standpoint, it’s a valid question since you may be of the belief that you were created by a mind that is capable of intent, for a purpose that it defined itself. It is valid to ponder what intentions your god had for creating you. Though I don’t see how you can get an answer unless you can ask him yourself.

However the question just doesn’t make sense in a secular forum because it presupposes true the assumption “purpose precedes existence”; That we were put here for a purpose that preceded our capability to define it and that the birds, lions, the whales and us are pawns fulfilling a purpose that was devised by a mind that is capable of intent –by asking such a question, you are already presupposing true the existence of a sentient creator

One of the most irksome questions that theists ask me is “If there is no god, how can our lives have meaning?”

Believers who can’t see meaning or purpose in life without god bother me. I just don't understand why some people can't grasp any concept of meaning or purpose without god. It seems like they’ve surrendered so much of their thinking process to their chosen deities that they’ve forgotten that purpose could also be defined from the first person perspective. They believe that they have a purpose, I believe that I have a purpose. The difference is that I don’t need other entities to define that purpose for me

It’s not just believers who misuse the word “meaning”. Some atheists claim that according to evolution, the meaning of man’s life is to spread his genes. I think that “meaning” is not the most appropriate word here. Evolution is a mindless process that is incapable of purposeful action thus it cannot ascribe meaning or have reason for anything that it “does”. Evolution gave us the capability and the motivation to procreate. Whether that will be the purpose of our existence will be determined by the individual who has the mind to conceive of purpose

The question “what is THE meaning of life” makes as much sense as “what is THE favorite color” which cannot be answered unless you have a reference point. For the question to have sense, you have to replace “THE” with “you” or “my”. So instead of asking: “What is the favorite color”, ask what is your/my favorite color

Instead of asking “what is the meaning of life”, ask: “what is the meaning of your life?” “What is the meaning of mine?”

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Objectively defining personhood (discussion w/ liz)

This entry is truncated. Click on readmore to read the full entry

Here’s an interesting discussion I had with liz. I was having a formal debate on the realm of thought and the thesis was “Is animal experimentation justifiable”. I was against animal experimentation and my opponent was for it. My opponent (ischaramoochie) brought up the subject of "personhood" to justify why it is less moral to do experimentation on humans than on animals

In the conversation below, liz and I discussed the debate, the issue of animal experimentation and the difficulty of defining "personhood"

I eventually conceded the formal debate because I felt that my position didn’t give me enough space to maneuver and I was up against a really good debater who had a position that’s a bit easier to defend

It’s a bit long but if you’re into the habit of prying into other people’s conversations, you might find this interesting

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 11:59:14 AM): im reading the debate

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 11:59:17 AM): ahh

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 11:59:22 AM): wait wait

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 11:59:23 AM): what's your position on the issue

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 11:59:25 AM): k

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:03:25 PM): im for animal testing

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:03:35 PM): but i havent researched on it or anything

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:03:41 PM): and what would be your rationale for it

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:03:51 PM): I'm actually for animal testing as well

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:03:52 PM): anyway, fyour opponent has set up a pretty good argument

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:04:07 PM): ive guessed that

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:04:18 PM): why are you for animal testing

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:04:22 PM): did you expect him to limit animal testing to endangered species?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:04:28 PM): no

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:04:48 PM): no, i cant argue with you right now, because im not well-versed on it

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:04:49 PM): at first the agreement was that the debate was just gonna be about animal testing

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:04:51 PM): in general

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:04:55 PM): ahh

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:05:03 PM): are you fishing

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:05:15 PM): but you're smart miss lanuzo

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:05:23 PM): no no

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:06:09 PM): being smart doesnt mean one knows everything, and in this case i dont want to argue for something i only know vaguely og

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:06:17 PM): of

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:06:17 PM): a valid point

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:06:20 PM): but lets discuss your debate

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:06:23 PM): ok

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:06:30 PM): what do you think of my performance

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:06:36 PM): how will you rebut him?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:06:40 PM): his position is difficult to attack

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:07:08 PM): I mean if animal testing doesn't involve suffering there really is no issue

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:07:22 PM): oh, but there is

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:07:31 PM): the moral angle to it

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:07:34 PM): I know

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:07:35 PM): but of course you cant bring that in

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:07:40 PM): that's what I'm trying to expoit

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:07:47 PM): also some holes in his arguments

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:07:59 PM): like?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:08:24 PM): I asked him what defines personhood

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:08:45 PM): and what makes human life objectively more valuable than animal life

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:08:56 PM): his answer was

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:09:48 PM): Persons are protected by rights against being used as means to an end, but non-persons are not entitled to these rights.

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:09:54 PM): there

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:10:00 PM): thats what h said

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:10:12 PM): wait let me read his arguments again

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:11:13 PM): how would you define a person

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:11:21 PM): there was a debate about that before in pex

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:11:42 PM): he or she would have reason

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:11:58 PM): and emotions

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:12:04 PM): what if it were proven that some animals have reason and emotions

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:12:09 PM): would that make them persons?

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:12:24 PM): what IF

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:12:53 PM): have you heard of a disability that renders some people literally incapable of emotions

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:13:08 PM): and people with mental retardation...

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:13:08 PM): something of that sort, yes

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:13:24 PM): are they less human then everybody else?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:13:57 PM): I mean if we're gonna gauge humanity by higher cognitive preoesses like the ones you mentioned

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:14:12 PM): then a lot of "persons" cannot be considered as persons

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:14:19 PM): but that's a simple generalizations

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:14:28 PM): no one

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:14:48 PM): can define people by reason and emotions, not only that---there are other categories to satisfy

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:14:56 PM): like what

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:15:32 PM): genetic make-up

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:15:34 PM): aha

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:15:39 PM): ok

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:15:52 PM): would you say that a human skin is human

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:15:53 PM): ?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:16:11 PM): ^human skin cell

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:16:21 PM): would you say that a human skin cell is human?

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:16:23 PM): no, if it doesnt cover a human being

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:16:45 PM): but human skin cells have human DNA and therefore genetically human

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:16:58 PM): but does it have reason and emotions?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:17:31 PM): so you define humanity as a genetically human organism wth reason and emotions

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:17:37 PM): do you believe in abortion?

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:18:07 PM): dont get me into that. do you?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:18:19 PM): it's related

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:18:35 PM): i know

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:18:35 PM): so do you?

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:18:47 PM): ill answer

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:18:49 PM): ok

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:18:50 PM): i do believe in abortion

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:18:53 PM): ok

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:19:15 PM): ok?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:19:25 PM): I do but only before higher cognitive functions are detected

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:19:41 PM): I have a question

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:19:51 PM): you define humanity as a genetically human organism wth reason and emotions

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:19:55 PM): yes?

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:20:24 PM): there may be other categories i cannot name as of the moment

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:20:35 PM): so i wouldnt say thats a strict definition

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:20:38 PM): let's concentrate on those two for the moment

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:21:07 PM): but do bear in mind that those are not my strict definitions

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:21:22 PM): may i know your strict definitions then

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:21:46 PM): okay, thats not a properly relayed statement

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:21:53 PM): cause if we're gonna define humanity by his biological make up

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:21:57 PM): yes, thats my definition

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:21:59 PM): we're gonna run into problems

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:22:09 PM): like cells would also satisfy that definition

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:22:21 PM): but not the strict definition, ie, its not the ONLY one

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:22:27 PM): but theres an 'and'

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:22:32 PM): I know let's just explore the problem

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:22:36 PM): has reasons and emotions

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:22:50 PM): if we're gonna define humanity by higher cognitive functions like reason and intelligence

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:22:59 PM): we will again run into problems

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:23:11 PM): wait

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:23:17 PM): if we define humanity

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:23:43 PM): if we define a human organism as one that has a biological make up and higher cognitive functions

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:23:51 PM): we still run into the same problem

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:24:11 PM): some biologically human organisms

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:24:13 PM): like?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:24:49 PM): have limited cognitive abilities

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:24:54 PM): that would therefore

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:25:02 PM): nullify the "and" condition

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:25:23 PM): wait

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:25:25 PM): so

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:25:25 PM): lets change it to

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:25:25 PM): 'or'

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:25:31 PM): or

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:25:32 PM): ok

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:25:39 PM): or

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:25:45 PM): still the same problem as above

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:25:46 PM):

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:25:53 PM): no

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:25:54 PM): a cell would still be considered human

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:26:26 PM): okay, let's rehash the statment

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:26:29 PM): ok

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:26:32 PM): let's do that

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:26:35 PM): biological mak-up

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:26:35 PM): reason

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:26:40 PM): emotions

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:26:44 PM): that's the three

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:27:24 PM): a human organism has the genetic make-up of one AND has reasons OR emotions

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:27:39 PM): what do you mean by "of one"

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:27:55 PM): well, the genetic make-up of a human being

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:28:03 PM): ahh

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:28:20 PM): that's still the same definition isn't it

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:29:07 PM): petitio principii, but its just the construction of the statement

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:29:11 PM): a human being may satisfy the biological make up of a human being but may lack reasoning and emotions

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:29:44 PM): we assume that the genetic make-up of the homo sapiens is established

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:29:55 PM): as unique to the species

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:30:10 PM): it is unique to the species

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:30:47 PM): so what i meant by 'of one', using incorrect words, was on the assumption that the genetic-mak-up is yes, unique to us

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:31:12 PM): you mean you unique to an individual?

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:31:27 PM): unique to the species

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:31:38 PM): it is unique to the species

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:31:56 PM): human DNA is human DNA

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:31:59 PM): let me just rehash the definition

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:32:02 PM): cells though also have human DNA

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:32:02 PM):

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:32:18 PM): human cells that is

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:32:40 PM): a human being possesses the genetic make-up of the species and has reasoning or emotions

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:32:50 PM):

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:32:54 PM): what did you change?

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:32:58 PM): you remember you logic subject, of course

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:33:09 PM): the 'of one'

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:33:15 PM): ?

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:33:16 PM): its an error

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:33:39 PM): isn't that the same definition?

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:34:26 PM): it is, but iv removed the misleading phraset which would make me guilty of petitio principii

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:34:38 PM): but isn't it a problematic definition

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:34:39 PM): lets move on

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:35:10 PM): coz some people are genetically human but lack reasoning and emotions

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:35:25 PM): kaya nga

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:35:31 PM): you remember your Logic subject, of course

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:35:37 PM): of course I do

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:35:50 PM): so

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:35:54 PM): there

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:36:07 PM): let me re rephrase that

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:36:11 PM): coz some people are genetically human but lack reasoning and/or emotions

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:36:32 PM):

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:36:49 PM): AND connective---if there's one false, fals na lahat

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:37:06 PM): OR connective---if theres one true, true na yung statement

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:37:11 PM): that's what i'm trying to say

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:37:21 PM): So

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:37:33 PM): if the genetic make-up is TRUE

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:37:56 PM): but there reasong is FALSE and so are the emotions

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:38:21 PM): then according to the AND connective, the statent, or what is human, ends up as FALSE

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:38:25 PM): so people who lack reasoning and emotions are not human?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:39:22 PM): by your definition severely mentally handicapped people are not human

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:40:35 PM): so people who lack R and E are not human---yes, for the skin cells and the DNA and the zygote

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:40:41 PM): as for the mentally handicapped people

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:40:46 PM): ...

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:40:50 PM): enters the other criteria

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:40:57 PM): which we havent discussed

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:41:04 PM): and what are those criteria

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:41:33 PM): wait you are for the experimentation of chimps right?

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:41:39 PM): i was hoping you can name them

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:41:44 PM): me?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:42:32 PM): I had an argument with an evangilist before

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:42:38 PM): about how to define a human

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:42:45 PM): your thrust, it seems

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:42:54 PM): is simply criticizing my arguments

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:43:04 PM): i suggest you give yours

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:43:20 PM): no I'm trying to point out that it's difficult to objectively define a human being

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:44:35 PM): i know. that's why i told you that i have no strict definitions, per se, only a vageuly general one

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:44:46 PM): well anyway on with my story

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:44:59 PM): haha, okay

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:45:15 PM): the evanglist first defined a "human being" as an organism with human DNA

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:45:35 PM): but I've already pointed out the problem with that definition

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:46:02 PM): w8

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:46:10 PM): I'll just copy paste

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:48:16 PM): can't find the thread anymore

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:48:25 PM): anyway if I remember correctly

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:48:31 PM): He next defined a human being as a collection of cells bearing the same unique genetic identity.

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:48:42 PM): with that definition a cell is no longer human on its own

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:49:15 PM): but twins share the same genetic identity but they're considered as two human beings

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:49:17 PM): still there?

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:49:32 PM): yes

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:49:38 PM): and so?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:50:18 PM): He next defined a human being as a collection of cells bearing the same genetic identity contained in a collection of body parts that define the human form.

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:50:29 PM): head, torso, limbs

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:50:41 PM): okay

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:50:45 PM): but that would be a problematic definition for people with missing appendages

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:51:12 PM): anyway the point is

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:51:13 PM): ok

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:51:34 PM): it's difficult to define a human being biologically

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:51:58 PM): so your definition of biology and cognitive abilities

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:52:14 PM): is problematic since it's difficult to define the former

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:52:43 PM): and that's where refinement comes in

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:52:48 PM): ok

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:52:57 PM): it's a very general definition

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:53:09 PM): what would be your more refined definition

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:53:14 PM): do you have classes already btw

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:53:32 PM): i would imagine subcategories under 'genetic make-up' and 'reason' and 'emotions' stretching under it

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:53:42 PM): yep. may pasok na ko

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:54:08 PM): I would like to know those subcategories

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:54:23 PM): so do i

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:54:34 PM): theyre as yet beyond me, though

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:54:48 PM): see

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:54:51 PM): that's the agnostic attitude

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:54:53 PM): so my point still stands

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:55:07 PM): that?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:55:11 PM): it's dfficult to define a human organism

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:55:22 PM): I mean a human being

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:55:38 PM): did i say its not?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:55:47 PM):

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:56:05 PM): I'd say it's near impossible

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:56:13 PM): without running into contradictions

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:56:29 PM): i agree.

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:56:37 PM): ok

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:56:41 PM): on to my next point

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:56:56 PM): say it's 2090AD

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:57:14 PM): and we've already discovered how to perfectly replicate human consciousness

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:57:22 PM): in a machine

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:57:33 PM): ok

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:57:34 PM): say the consciousness possesses reasoning and emotions

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:57:55 PM): would you say that that machine deserves rights

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:58:01 PM): and

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:58:14 PM):

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:58:19 PM): what?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:58:25 PM): that's not hte point yet

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:58:30 PM): baby steps baby steps

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:58:30 PM): have you ever read the positronic man?

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:58:37 PM): or watched the movie

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:58:42 PM): not yet

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:58:58 PM): the bicentennial man with robbie williams

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:58:59 PM): all my points are interconnected

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:59:04 PM): ahh yes

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:59:05 PM): that one

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:59:15 PM): so?

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:59:15 PM): that one

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:59:37 PM): he was given rights in the end

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:59:41 PM): ok

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 12:59:53 PM): after years and years of arguing in the courts

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 12:59:57 PM): and what's your opinion on that

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:00:01 PM): about what is human

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:00:08 PM): the same argument we are having now

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:00:13 PM): whether consciousness alone

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:00:37 PM): whether the possession of consciousness alone affords someone rights

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:00:52 PM): without the biological make up

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:02:45 PM): your argument rests on the fact that in the future we MAY know how to replicate human consciousness

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:02:51 PM): yes

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:02:55 PM): but we may also not

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:03:03 PM): it's irrrelevant if we do or not

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:03:16 PM): oh, but it is

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:03:45 PM): the point is do you believe that a non-biologically human entity that has consciouness deserves rights

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:04:22 PM): im not willing to argue on suppositions, because in the mean time, when humanity is not yet capable of it, the point you are trying to make is irrelevant

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:04:33 PM): it isn't

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:04:44 PM): it;s the conncept that I'm trying to argue

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:04:45 PM): fallacy of the future

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:04:51 PM): not the feasibility of the case

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:05:16 PM): but im not willing to argue on the concept if its not feasible

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:05:36 PM): and as of now it isnt

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:05:36 PM): jjust answer the quesiton will ya

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:05:37 PM): do you believe that a non-biologically human entity that has consciouness deserves rights

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:05:45 PM): whether that's a machine

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:05:55 PM): an alien entity etc

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:07:12 PM): would the machine have values? ethics? will the machine be able to love and hate?

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:07:17 PM): as for the alien

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:07:29 PM): let's say it has the capacity for love and hate

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:07:49 PM): values and ethics?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:07:54 PM): sure

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:07:54 PM): morals?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:07:55 PM): why not

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:07:57 PM): ok

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:08:06 PM): yes let;s say it has morals

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:08:14 PM): does it deserve rights

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:08:29 PM): free will?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:08:37 PM): do we have free will?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:08:51 PM): ok it has free will by the general definition

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:08:55 PM): as we know it

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:09:31 PM): bear with me for the moment

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:09:33 PM): ok

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:11:09 PM): the point you are trying to make is this: my definition is wrong, not just generally and vaguely and ambiguously correct, in the argument you are putting forward now

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:11:11 PM): but

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:12:09 PM): still, your concept is not feasible, and i am not willing to answr your question based on a supposition that a machine can have human cognitive abilities

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:12:30 PM): I'm trying to argue that it is consciousness that pay respect to and that we afford rights to whether that consciouness is contained in a biologically human organism or not

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:12:46 PM): I'm trying to argue that it is consciousness that we pay respect to and that we afford rights to whether that consciouness is contained in a biologically human organism or not

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:12:50 PM): yes, i understand that.

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:13:15 PM): a biologically human organism without consciousness is just meat

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:13:32 PM): but where's the relevance? it is not possible now, not in the near future.

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:13:37 PM): a consciousness without a biologicaly human body still is human and deserves rights

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:13:56 PM): should I go to my next point now

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:13:57 PM):

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:14:34 PM): have you heard about studies on chimps

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:14:51 PM): not much

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:15:08 PM): you should watch national geographic

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:15:28 PM): nah, i dont watch tv too much

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:15:42 PM): dude you should sometime

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:15:50 PM): you;'ll learn stuff

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:16:09 PM): one higher apes posses self awarenes

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:16:09 PM): s

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:16:38 PM): they posses significant cognitive abilities

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:17:13 PM): what else

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:17:22 PM): do you agree with experimentation on chimps btw

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:17:50 PM): im not well-versed on the subject

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:17:56 PM): ok

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:18:04 PM): but chimps are convered in the debate

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:18:22 PM): my debate with ischaramoochie

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:18:39 PM): yes. teka.

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:18:40 PM): eto

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:18:40 PM): That's what I'll try to concentrate on

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:18:56 PM): teka lang

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:18:56 PM): uh

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:19:15 PM): uh?

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:19:47 PM): alam mo, my definition, in light of your argument---

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:19:54 PM): ok

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:20:06 PM): connectives. they must be fixed.

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:20:16 PM): what do you mean

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:20:22 PM): AND OR IF IF AND ONLY IF

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:20:42 PM): i'll think about it.

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:20:54 PM): could you complete the sentence

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:21:06 PM): ___AND OR IFAND ONLY IF____

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:21:59 PM): in light of your argument regarding consciousness, i think the definition i gave you still has hope of being true, if only generally and vaguely

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:22:05 PM): ok

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:22:08 PM):

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:22:22 PM): bah, go on

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:22:37 PM):

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:23:31 PM): you have no position on experimentation on chimps because you don't know enough about them right?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:24:28 PM): but if they are self aware, intellectually and emotionally complex (which they probably are) would you agree with experimentation on them

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:25:47 PM): you will know they are self-aware, intellectually and emotionally complex by experimenting on them

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:25:54 PM): and your debate partner

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:26:16 PM): what kind of experimenation are we talking about here/

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:26:24 PM): well not the sort of experimentation that my debate partner described

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:26:46 PM): which involves killing

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:26:47 PM): so there's your problem

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:27:08 PM): Those are the only points where you can attack him

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:27:14 PM): his position covers higher apes

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:27:26 PM): and his position involves the termination of life

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:27:59 PM): let me trace this

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:28:02 PM): you can't really argue against experimetation if there is no suffering or loss of life involved

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:28:23 PM): we were debating about the definition of what is human

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:28:29 PM): yup

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:28:39 PM): that is connected to animal experimentation

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:28:46 PM): and then you moved on to detaching consciousness from the human genetic make-up

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:28:49 PM): and now

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:29:19 PM): ...

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:29:44 PM): you are trying to assert that since chimps also have cognitive abilities, they have rights like humans?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:29:51 PM): hmm

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:29:54 PM): that is the qiuestion isn't it

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:29:59 PM): equal to are lesser than?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:30:23 PM): are you asking for my real position or my debate position

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:30:45 PM): your debate position

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:30:50 PM): hmm

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:31:30 PM): just read the debate thread

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:31:41 PM): you'll see my position there eventually

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:32:05 PM): if i may say

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:32:07 PM): I didn't outline my position right away did I

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:32:17 PM): you have good points

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:32:23 PM): of course

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:32:46 PM): but the problem with them is that while it is hard to define what is human, it is easier to define what is animal

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:33:02 PM): but humans are also animals

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:33:20 PM): I agree but how would you define an animal

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:33:24 PM): but animlas are not human

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:33:46 PM): from a collective standpoint it's easier to define animals I think

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:34:09 PM): humans are also animals, but animals are not human

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:34:15 PM): so there

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:34:27 PM): your example kanina, the one that's feasible

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:34:32 PM): is it because of what man has achieved?

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:34:33 PM): NOT feasible i mean

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:34:36 PM): technology etc

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:34:45 PM): teka lang

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:35:51 PM): your example kanina, it's not feasible, but not totally impossible. a machine with human morals, values, ethics, human emotions such as love and hate

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:36:02 PM): but animals?

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:36:06 PM): they may eventually evolve

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:36:06 PM): but

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:36:09 PM): ?

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:36:21 PM): like i told you kanina, that point is irrelevant to your debate

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:36:31 PM): which point

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:36:46 PM): we are talking about NOW

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:36:50 PM): that it's consciousness that defines humanity?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:36:54 PM): not the biological make up

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:37:02 PM): yes.

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:37:07 PM): no

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:37:07 PM): mali mali

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:37:15 PM): what's mali

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:37:42 PM): yes, consciousness defines humanity, but youd be hard-pressed to prove that such consciousness exists within the chimps

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:37:47 PM): not now anyway

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:37:48 PM): it won't make the case for any side but it's raises issues that I may exploit later

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:37:58 PM): but there's hard evidence

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:38:11 PM): that chimps have consciousness

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:38:33 PM): such as humans, which may in turn earn them rights?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:39:17 PM): biut there is hard evidence that reasonably supports the conclusion that chimps have consciousness

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:40:11 PM): okay, that's given

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:40:24 PM): but such consciousness wont be anywhere near the human kind, would it?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:40:28 PM): aha

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:41:04 PM): psychological tests also support the conclusion that chimp intelligence is AT LEAST equivalent to that of young chilren

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:42:21 PM): chimp intelligence, how about chimp emotions? chimp morals and values and ethics?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:42:30 PM): what are morals miss liz

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:42:33 PM): would they also be equivalent to young children?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:42:40 PM): what are ethics?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:43:17 PM): a believer may argue that morals are god given gifts that are unique to humans

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:43:25 PM): but we're not believers are we?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:43:45 PM): an evolutionist would probably look at morals as

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:43:53 PM): morals are the absolute and over-reaching standard among human beings

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:44:08 PM): no need for religious overtones

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:44:21 PM): you agree not to kill people---that's a moral

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:44:25 PM): an evolutionist would probably look at morals as qualities we evolved for the preservation of our species

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:44:51 PM): qualities that would be destructive to society would be detrimental to the cause of the species

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:44:57 PM): yes. but such morals would still be unique only to humans, and not to chimps would it?

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:45:02 PM): therefore evolution would try to weed out such qualoities

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:45:51 PM): chimps have complex societies

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:45:53 PM): thats far from the point

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:46:37 PM): the average chimp would not kill an individual within its social group

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:46:51 PM): wait

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:47:20 PM): emotions are more difficult to quantify than intellect

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:48:04 PM): sorry gor disconnected

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:48:07 PM): and/

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:48:15 PM): what was my last message

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:48:24 PM): thats ok

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:48:38 PM): chimps have complex societies

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:48:56 PM): dude, your ym is screwed

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:49:00 PM): it is

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:49:19 PM): am I invisible there?

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:49:34 PM): nope

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:50:07 PM): emotions are more difficult to quantify than intellect

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:50:30 PM): but chimps have shown emotions such as guilt, empathy etc

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:51:00 PM): besides I don't view morality as a byproduct of higher intellect

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:51:15 PM): i dont either.

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:51:27 PM): I think of it as an ensurance by evolution so that we would not kill each other

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:52:04 PM): but what im trying to say is that while chimps may have such cognitive functions, there are not of the human kind.

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:52:15 PM): hmm

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:52:36 PM): liz do you have classes already

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:52:46 PM): I do

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:52:48 PM):

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:52:58 PM): this has been a most interesting conversation miss liz

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:53:18 PM): and so it has.

lizette lanuzo (1/10/2007 1:53:25 PM):

Jonathan Davis (1/10/2007 1:53:25 PM): we will continue this later

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