Re: A more "sciency"-sounding mysticism.

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Sat, 3 Apr 1999 06:21:49 EST

From: <>
Date: Sat, 3 Apr 1999 06:21:49 EST
Subject: Re: A more "sciency"-sounding mysticism.

In a message dated 01/04/99 00:28:30 GMT Daylight Time,

<< Are you suggesting that our experiences can be *so*consistently* at odds
reality? Do you not have any sense of your agency? I do. It is my
understanding that other individuals consistently do. And even some that
might try to convince me that they do not, seem to otherwise be perfectly
willing to use language of agency. They speak of acting, doing things, and
otherwise controlling their own behavior, and treat themselves as a distinct
entity just as surely as the rest of us. We hold them responsible for their
debts and most of the time they accept this responsibility willingly. They
set goals, speak of their life story, talk about overcoming their past, and
other hardships. What is free will at all if not these things? >>Jake

Most people's perception is that their actions are not determined. For most
people, the term "free will" infers a lack of determinism. This is the
baggage I spoke of. I cannot conceive of how genes and memes could break
down the chain of determinism (or infringe on truly random events, if they
exist). Yes, I am suggesting that our subjective experience could be
consistently at odds with reality. However, if we define our *self* as an
intentional system formed from the some total of information contained in our
genes and memes and as Richard Brodie points out genes and memes are agents
in a sense, we are justified in calling our *self* an agent. From the
intentional stance (which as you point out, is the way we innately view
ourselves) we have goals and ambitions and we attempt to control our
environment to achieve these objectives. We (the sum total of our genes and
memes) do exert control over our environment, but this does not mean we have
broken free of determinism, there is still no "free will" at work.

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