Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Philosophy of Neuroscientific Unfree Will

Expand Messages
  • Kim
    I have a table here Dream Interpretation in Esoteric Work .
    Message 1 of 15 , Nov 16, 2011
    • 0 Attachment
      I have a table here  Dream Interpretation in Esoteric Work. Sorry, you are not automatically free of karmic influence, only for the karmic stuff you have handled correctly, tranformed to wisdom. The best book on the subject is Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and its Attainment  and it becomes better with ones age. Look at chapter 5 for more on your specific question, the greater guardian of the threshold.
      Kim
       
      --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "griromero" <griromero@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi Kim:
      >
      > Is there any reference you could recommend re. the seven periods and seven chakras correlation and it's karmatic implications. I would be grateful specially is it is in the context of anthroposophy. Did RS speak about our responsibility beyond 49 when there is less of a karmic influence on our will?.
      >
      > Best
      >
      > GRI
      >
      > --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "Kim" kimgm@ wrote:
      > >
      > > When you is born you have seven periods in front of you ending at 49,
      > > each relating to a chakra with it's karmic debt. All of this is planned
      > > in the large, fex all the people you meet you know from previous lives
      > > and you have made your karma in relation to them, so you can't just walk
      > > away from them as you have to handle your karma in cooperation with
      > > them.
      > > When you have handled all your chakras your future is not locked any
      > > more, you will go through some situations which will create a new path,
      > > but you will now consciously handle eventual karma, as you have the
      > > needed strength to do what is right, but it's only a smaller part of
      > > humanity who are ready for that, but many are incarnating now who are
      > > ready.
      > > Kim
      > >
      > > --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "ted.wrinch"
      > > <ted.wrinch@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > My understanding of karma is almost certainly unclear Kim; I consider
      > > myself still an amateur at understanding that sort of thing. But I was
      > > trying to make a distinction between inner and outer compulsion and I
      > > suppose that I think of karma more along the latter line. But now that I
      > > think of it, it's quite true that our inner life is formed from the
      > > effects of actions in our previous life, and so what you say makes
      > > sense. You are making the distinction between old karma (our inner life)
      > > and new (that created by our actions in this life) and saying we can act
      > > to change old karma. But can we not also, should we be sufficiently
      > > aware, act to change the way our outer life flows? Now I'm taking the
      > > discussion away from that article!
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > T.
      > > >
      > > > Ted Wrinch
      > > >
      > > > --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "Kim" kimgm@ wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > I have a little problem understanding your problem, but it may be
      > > that
      > > > > English is not my first language, but it may also be your
      > > understanding
      > > > > of karma that is unclear.You wrote "I was thinking more on the level
      > > of
      > > > > habits, patterns of emotional response, characteristic thinking and
      > > that
      > > > > side of things, and becoming conscious of how these operate and
      > > thereby
      > > > > gaining degrees of freedom from them.", and these habits, patterns,
      > > > > thinking and so on is karma, result of earlier lives and decisions
      > > in
      > > > > the current life. So these things can be changed, but you can't
      > > change
      > > > > the surroundings, if you move to Australia it's karma and not your
      > > free
      > > > > choice.Kim --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com,
      > > "ted.wrinch"
      > > > > <ted.wrinch@> wrote:
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I was thinking more on the level of habits, patterns of emotional
      > > > > response, characteristic thinking and that side of things, and
      > > becoming
      > > > > conscious of how these operate and thereby gaining degrees of
      > > freedom
      > > > > from them. Considering this from the POV you outline means that yes,
      > > you
      > > > > can see might be able to see it like this - though I think this is
      > > > > centuries away from the perspective of the author of that article.
      > > I'm
      > > > > not so clear on how one should understand this but I suppose the
      > > > > freedom is more difficult to gain; you encounter life situations
      > > that
      > > > > require new responses from you; you make the responses consciously
      > > and
      > > > > thereby advance karmically and in your capacities, or the situation
      > > > > unfolds willy-nilly and karma maybe advanced but you aren't. But my
      > > > > trouble with this line of thought is that it seems a long way away
      > > from
      > > > > the brain states and such that were being considered by that
      > > article.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > T.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Ted Wrinch
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > > --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "Kim" kimgm@ wrote:
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > You wrote "This is what PoF argues against: there is a
      > > > > > > preponderating chain of cause and effect, including inner
      > > causes,
      > > > > that
      > > > > > > does
      > > > > > > operate against free will, but within this there is still *
      > > > > spiritual*
      > > > > > > freedom,
      > > > > > > that has to be won by conscious effort."
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > Quite interesting. In other words, we are bound in our own
      > > karma,
      > > > > which
      > > > > > > have created a route through life where the people and scenes
      > > are
      > > > > setup
      > > > > > > from your birth of, and on your travel along that route you will
      > > > > have
      > > > > > > the chance to solve karmic tasks. The more karmic tasks you
      > > solve
      > > > > the
      > > > > > > more free you becomes.Kim
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "ted.wrinch"
      > > > > > > <ted.wrinch@> wrote:
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > This seems to me like the usual confusion you get in this
      > > subject.
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > "..to conclude that consciousness or free will is thereby an
      > > > > illusion
      > > > > > > is too quick. It is like inferring from discoveries in organic
      > > > > > > chemistry that life is an illusion just because living organisms
      > > are
      > > > > > > made up of non-living stuff. Much of the progress in science
      > > comes
      > > > > > > precisely from understanding wholes in terms of their parts,
      > > without
      > > > > > > this suggesting the disappearance of the wholes. "
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > There is actually a constant temptation for people studying
      > > parts
      > > > > to
      > > > > > > conclude that the wholes are nothing but their parts and that
      > > life
      > > > > is
      > > > > > > 'an illusion'. Many biologists and lay people believe that we
      > > are
      > > > > > > machines, which is to say that life is an illusion.
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > "Neuroscientific discoveries over the next century will
      > > uncover
      > > > > how
      > > > > > > consciousness and thinking work the way they do because our
      > > complex
      > > > > > > brains work the way they do."
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > This seems about as likely as the claim made in the 50s that
      > > we
      > > > > would
      > > > > > > soon be able to make thinking machines. He even admits as much
      > > > > further
      > > > > > > down:
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > "Even if neuroscience and psychology were in a position to
      > > > > establish
      > > > > > > the truth of determinism — a job better left for
      > > physics…"
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > As we know, physics is further away from doing this now, at
      > > the
      > > > > > > beginning of C21, than it was at the triumphant end of the C19.
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > "…my collaborators and I have found that most people think
      > > > > that
      > > > > > > free will and responsibility are compatible with determinism,
      > > the
      > > > > thesis
      > > > > > > that all events are part of a law-like chain of events such that
      > > > > earlier
      > > > > > > events necessitate later events.[3]"
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > Do people really think this? It's actually a contradiction to
      > > do
      > > > > so as
      > > > > > > there is no freedom in necessitation. This is what PoF argues
      > > > > against:
      > > > > > > there is a preponderating chain of cause and effect, including
      > > inner
      > > > > > > causes, that does operate against free will, but within this
      > > there
      > > > > is
      > > > > > > still * spiritual* freedom, that has to be won by conscious
      > > effort.
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > "As long as people understand that discoveries about how our
      > > > > brains
      > > > > > > work do not mean that what we think or try to do makes no
      > > difference
      > > > > to
      > > > > > > what happens, then their belief in free will is preserved."
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > So the necessitation described above isn't really such;
      > > instead
      > > > > there
      > > > > > > are levels of description and causality, in which the higher
      > > level
      > > > > > > cannot be collapsed to the lower (which mean that the higher
      > > will
      > > > > not
      > > > > > > be explained by physics) and the higher levels, at which our
      > > > > > > consciousness operates, are only influenced by the lower and not
      > > > > > > determined by them.
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > "For instance, doesn't neuroscience show that our brains make
      > > > > > > decisions before we are conscious of them such that our
      > > conscious
      > > > > > > decisions are bypassed?"
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > This is the famous experimental result from a couple of
      > > decades
      > > > > ago by
      > > > > > > Libet on the will that showed that brain activity occurred a
      > > > > significant
      > > > > > > fraction of a second before people registered their conscious
      > > > > decision
      > > > > > > to do something. I don't think it's ever been explained (I don't
      > > > > think
      > > > > > > the author of this article's explanations are convincing); I
      > > > > interpreted
      > > > > > > the experiment as suggestive of Steiner's theory of the will as
      > > > > being
      > > > > > > mostly an unconscious faculty, that is given consciousness by
      > > our
      > > > > > > nervous system. From this perspective, one would expect the
      > > nerves
      > > > > to be
      > > > > > > active before our *conscious * awareness; they are reflecting a
      > > > > > > preceding *unconscious* impulse of the will to do something and
      > > I
      > > > > take
      > > > > > > it there is a loss of freedom in this kind of action. But I
      > > would
      > > > > assume
      > > > > > > that our most consciously and carefully deliberated choices
      > > would
      > > > > not
      > > > > > > show such a prior activation of the nervous system. I don't know
      > > of
      > > > > any
      > > > > > > direct evidence supporting this view but the writer says that
      > > these
      > > > > > > experiments were on the more impulsive - and so less conscious -
      > > > > kinds
      > > > > > > of will activity.
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > "We should not begin by assuming that free will requires a
      > > > > conscious
      > > > > > > self that exists beyond the brain (where?)…"
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > Standard materialism - all phenomena must be spacial; 'where'
      > > does
      > > > > he
      > > > > > > think the concept of an equilateral triangle exists?
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > "… we should consider the role of consciousness in action
      > > on
      > > > > the
      > > > > > > assumption that our conscious deliberation and rational thinking
      > > are
      > > > > > > carried out by complex brain processes.."
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > I would say *supported* by complex brain processes.
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > "...suppose I am trying to decide whether to give $1,000 to
      > > > > charity or
      > > > > > > buy a new TV. I consciously consider the reasons for each
      > > choice
      > > > > —
      > > > > > > e.g., how it fits with my goals and values. I gather
      > > information
      > > > > about
      > > > > > > each option. Perhaps I struggle to overcome my more selfish
      > > > > > > motivations. I decide based on this conscious reasoning (it
      > > > > certainly
      > > > > > > would not help if I could magically decide on no basis at all),
      > > and
      > > > > I
      > > > > > > act accordingly. "
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > Having a spiritual awareness of aspects of our existence,
      > > > > especially
      > > > > > > the moral principles that actuate the example above, and that
      > > may
      > > > > not
      > > > > > > all need supporting brain processes, is not 'no basis at all'.
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > "…the mind sciences will continue to show that
      > > consciousness
      > > > > does
      > > > > > > not work in just the ways we thought, and they already suggest
      > > > > > > significant limitations on the extent of our rationality,
      > > > > > > self-knowledge, and self-control. Such discoveries suggest that
      > > > > most of
      > > > > > > us possess less free will than we tend to think, and they may
      > > inform
      > > > > > > debates about our degrees of responsibility."
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > Fair enough; we all tend to be over generous and less than
      > > > > > > sufficiently critical of the motivations of our own behaviour.
      > > > > Whether
      > > > > > > an improved awareness of this comes from a spiritual, mediative
      > > > > program
      > > > > > > or external sources like the author suggests I don't suppose
      > > much
      > > > > > > matters.
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > "If we put aside the misleading idea that free will depends on
      > > > > > > supernatural souls rather than our quite miraculous brains, and
      > > if
      > > > > we
      > > > > > > put aside the mistaken idea that our conscious thinking matters
      > > most
      > > > > in
      > > > > > > the milliseconds before movement…"
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > It's not an either or; does anyone think it's the milliseconds
      > > > > before
      > > > > > > that matter? I would have assumed the opposite.
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > "…neuroscience does not kill free will. Rather, it can
      > > help
      > > > > to
      > > > > > > explain our capacities to control our actions in such a way that
      > > we
      > > > > are
      > > > > > > responsible for them. It can help us rediscover free will."
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > Can't see how it can help us rediscover it; according to him,
      > > in
      > > > > the
      > > > > > > paragraph above, it's helped us lose it. Maybe it's caused us to
      > > > > lose it
      > > > > > > and will subsequently help us rediscover the loss it caused?
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > T
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > Ted Wrinch
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "Frank Thomas
      > > > > Smith"
      > > > > > > fts.trasla@ wrote:
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > For students of Rudolf Steiner's "Philosophy of Freedom" -
      > > this
      > > > > > > article may be interesting. I don't think even the arch
      > > materialists
      > > > > of
      > > > > > > Steiner's time thought that the brain is what causes us to act
      > > and
      > > > > > > therefore there is no free will.
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > >
      > > http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/13/is-neuroscience-the-deat\
      > > \
      > > > > \
      > > > > > > h-of-free-will/?hp
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > Frank
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >
    • griromero
      OK, Thanks.
      Message 2 of 15 , Nov 17, 2011
      • 0 Attachment
        OK, Thanks.

        --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "Kim" <kimgm@...> wrote:
        >
        > I have a table here Dream Interpretation in Esoteric Work
        > <http://kimgraaemunch.wordpress.com/2010/05/01/dream-interpretation-in-e\
        > soteric-work/#soultable> . Sorry, you are not automatically free of
        > karmic influence, only for the karmic stuff you have handled correctly,
        > tranformed to wisdom. The best book on the subject is Knowledge of the
        > Higher Worlds and its Attainment
        > <http://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA010/English/AP1947/GA010_index.html>
        > and it becomes better with ones age. Look at chapter 5 for more on your
        > specific question, the greater guardian of the threshold.
        > Kim
        >
        > --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "griromero"
        > <griromero@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Hi Kim:
        > >
        > > Is there any reference you could recommend re. the seven periods and
        > seven chakras correlation and it's karmatic implications. I would be
        > grateful specially is it is in the context of anthroposophy. Did RS
        > speak about our responsibility beyond 49 when there is less of a karmic
        > influence on our will?.
        > >
        > > Best
        > >
        > > GRI
        > >
        > > --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "Kim" kimgm@ wrote:
        > > >
        > > > When you is born you have seven periods in front of you ending at
        > 49,
        > > > each relating to a chakra with it's karmic debt. All of this is
        > planned
        > > > in the large, fex all the people you meet you know from previous
        > lives
        > > > and you have made your karma in relation to them, so you can't just
        > walk
        > > > away from them as you have to handle your karma in cooperation with
        > > > them.
        > > > When you have handled all your chakras your future is not locked any
        > > > more, you will go through some situations which will create a new
        > path,
        > > > but you will now consciously handle eventual karma, as you have the
        > > > needed strength to do what is right, but it's only a smaller part of
        > > > humanity who are ready for that, but many are incarnating now who
        > are
        > > > ready.
        > > > Kim
        > > >
        > > > --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "ted.wrinch"
        > > > <ted.wrinch@> wrote:
        > > > >
        > > > > My understanding of karma is almost certainly unclear Kim; I
        > consider
        > > > myself still an amateur at understanding that sort of thing. But I
        > was
        > > > trying to make a distinction between inner and outer compulsion and
        > I
        > > > suppose that I think of karma more along the latter line. But now
        > that I
        > > > think of it, it's quite true that our inner life is formed from the
        > > > effects of actions in our previous life, and so what you say makes
        > > > sense. You are making the distinction between old karma (our inner
        > life)
        > > > and new (that created by our actions in this life) and saying we can
        > act
        > > > to change old karma. But can we not also, should we be sufficiently
        > > > aware, act to change the way our outer life flows? Now I'm taking
        > the
        > > > discussion away from that article!
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > T.
        > > > >
        > > > > Ted Wrinch
        > > > >
        > > > > --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "Kim" kimgm@ wrote:
        > > > > >
        > > > > > I have a little problem understanding your problem, but it may
        > be
        > > > that
        > > > > > English is not my first language, but it may also be your
        > > > understanding
        > > > > > of karma that is unclear.You wrote "I was thinking more on the
        > level
        > > > of
        > > > > > habits, patterns of emotional response, characteristic thinking
        > and
        > > > that
        > > > > > side of things, and becoming conscious of how these operate and
        > > > thereby
        > > > > > gaining degrees of freedom from them.", and these habits,
        > patterns,
        > > > > > thinking and so on is karma, result of earlier lives and
        > decisions
        > > > in
        > > > > > the current life. So these things can be changed, but you can't
        > > > change
        > > > > > the surroundings, if you move to Australia it's karma and not
        > your
        > > > free
        > > > > > choice.Kim --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com,
        > > > "ted.wrinch"
        > > > > > <ted.wrinch@> wrote:
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > I was thinking more on the level of habits, patterns of
        > emotional
        > > > > > response, characteristic thinking and that side of things, and
        > > > becoming
        > > > > > conscious of how these operate and thereby gaining degrees of
        > > > freedom
        > > > > > from them. Considering this from the POV you outline means that
        > yes,
        > > > you
        > > > > > can see might be able to see it like this - though I think this
        > is
        > > > > > centuries away from the perspective of the author of that
        > article.
        > > > I'm
        > > > > > not so clear on how one should understand this but I suppose
        > the
        > > > > > freedom is more difficult to gain; you encounter life situations
        > > > that
        > > > > > require new responses from you; you make the responses
        > consciously
        > > > and
        > > > > > thereby advance karmically and in your capacities, or the
        > situation
        > > > > > unfolds willy-nilly and karma maybe advanced but you aren't. But
        > my
        > > > > > trouble with this line of thought is that it seems a long way
        > away
        > > > from
        > > > > > the brain states and such that were being considered by that
        > > > article.
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > T.
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > Ted Wrinch
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > > --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "Kim" kimgm@
        > wrote:
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > You wrote "This is what PoF argues against: there is a
        > > > > > > > preponderating chain of cause and effect, including inner
        > > > causes,
        > > > > > that
        > > > > > > > does
        > > > > > > > operate against free will, but within this there is still *
        > > > > > spiritual*
        > > > > > > > freedom,
        > > > > > > > that has to be won by conscious effort."
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > Quite interesting. In other words, we are bound in our own
        > > > karma,
        > > > > > which
        > > > > > > > have created a route through life where the people and
        > scenes
        > > > are
        > > > > > setup
        > > > > > > > from your birth of, and on your travel along that route you
        > will
        > > > > > have
        > > > > > > > the chance to solve karmic tasks. The more karmic tasks you
        > > > solve
        > > > > > the
        > > > > > > > more free you becomes.Kim
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "ted.wrinch"
        > > > > > > > <ted.wrinch@> wrote:
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > This seems to me like the usual confusion you get in this
        > > > subject.
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > "..to conclude that consciousness or free will is thereby
        > an
        > > > > > illusion
        > > > > > > > is too quick. It is like inferring from discoveries in
        > organic
        > > > > > > > chemistry that life is an illusion just because living
        > organisms
        > > > are
        > > > > > > > made up of non-living stuff. Much of the progress in
        > science
        > > > comes
        > > > > > > > precisely from understanding wholes in terms of their parts,
        > > > without
        > > > > > > > this suggesting the disappearance of the wholes. "
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > There is actually a constant temptation for people
        > studying
        > > > parts
        > > > > > to
        > > > > > > > conclude that the wholes are nothing but their parts and
        > that
        > > > life
        > > > > > is
        > > > > > > > 'an illusion'. Many biologists and lay people believe that
        > we
        > > > are
        > > > > > > > machines, which is to say that life is an illusion.
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > "Neuroscientific discoveries over the next century will
        > > > uncover
        > > > > > how
        > > > > > > > consciousness and thinking work the way they do because our
        > > > complex
        > > > > > > > brains work the way they do."
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > This seems about as likely as the claim made in the 50s
        > that
        > > > we
        > > > > > would
        > > > > > > > soon be able to make thinking machines. He even admits as
        > much
        > > > > > further
        > > > > > > > down:
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > "Even if neuroscience and psychology were in a position to
        > > > > > establish
        > > > > > > > the truth of determinism — a job better left for
        > > > physics…"
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > As we know, physics is further away from doing this now,
        > at
        > > > the
        > > > > > > > beginning of C21, than it was at the triumphant end of the
        > C19.
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > "…my collaborators and I have found that most people
        > think
        > > > > > that
        > > > > > > > free will and responsibility are compatible with
        > determinism,
        > > > the
        > > > > > thesis
        > > > > > > > that all events are part of a law-like chain of events such
        > that
        > > > > > earlier
        > > > > > > > events necessitate later events.[3]"
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > Do people really think this? It's actually a contradiction
        > to
        > > > do
        > > > > > so as
        > > > > > > > there is no freedom in necessitation. This is what PoF
        > argues
        > > > > > against:
        > > > > > > > there is a preponderating chain of cause and effect,
        > including
        > > > inner
        > > > > > > > causes, that does operate against free will, but within this
        > > > there
        > > > > > is
        > > > > > > > still * spiritual* freedom, that has to be won by conscious
        > > > effort.
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > "As long as people understand that discoveries about how
        > our
        > > > > > brains
        > > > > > > > work do not mean that what we think or try to do makes no
        > > > difference
        > > > > > to
        > > > > > > > what happens, then their belief in free will is preserved."
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > So the necessitation described above isn't really such;
        > > > instead
        > > > > > there
        > > > > > > > are levels of description and causality, in which the higher
        > > > level
        > > > > > > > cannot be collapsed to the lower (which mean that the higher
        > > > will
        > > > > > not
        > > > > > > > be explained by physics) and the higher levels, at which our
        > > > > > > > consciousness operates, are only influenced by the lower and
        > not
        > > > > > > > determined by them.
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > "For instance, doesn't neuroscience show that our brains
        > make
        > > > > > > > decisions before we are conscious of them such that our
        > > > conscious
        > > > > > > > decisions are bypassed?"
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > This is the famous experimental result from a couple of
        > > > decades
        > > > > > ago by
        > > > > > > > Libet on the will that showed that brain activity occurred a
        > > > > > significant
        > > > > > > > fraction of a second before people registered their
        > conscious
        > > > > > decision
        > > > > > > > to do something. I don't think it's ever been explained (I
        > don't
        > > > > > think
        > > > > > > > the author of this article's explanations are convincing); I
        > > > > > interpreted
        > > > > > > > the experiment as suggestive of Steiner's theory of the will
        > as
        > > > > > being
        > > > > > > > mostly an unconscious faculty, that is given consciousness
        > by
        > > > our
        > > > > > > > nervous system. From this perspective, one would expect the
        > > > nerves
        > > > > > to be
        > > > > > > > active before our *conscious * awareness; they are
        > reflecting a
        > > > > > > > preceding *unconscious* impulse of the will to do something
        > and
        > > > I
        > > > > > take
        > > > > > > > it there is a loss of freedom in this kind of action. But I
        > > > would
        > > > > > assume
        > > > > > > > that our most consciously and carefully deliberated choices
        > > > would
        > > > > > not
        > > > > > > > show such a prior activation of the nervous system. I don't
        > know
        > > > of
        > > > > > any
        > > > > > > > direct evidence supporting this view but the writer says
        > that
        > > > these
        > > > > > > > experiments were on the more impulsive - and so less
        > conscious -
        > > > > > kinds
        > > > > > > > of will activity.
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > "We should not begin by assuming that free will requires a
        > > > > > conscious
        > > > > > > > self that exists beyond the brain (where?)…"
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > Standard materialism - all phenomena must be spacial;
        > 'where'
        > > > does
        > > > > > he
        > > > > > > > think the concept of an equilateral triangle exists?
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > "… we should consider the role of consciousness in
        > action
        > > > on
        > > > > > the
        > > > > > > > assumption that our conscious deliberation and rational
        > thinking
        > > > are
        > > > > > > > carried out by complex brain processes.."
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > I would say *supported* by complex brain processes.
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > "...suppose I am trying to decide whether to give $1,000
        > to
        > > > > > charity or
        > > > > > > > buy a new TV. I consciously consider the reasons for each
        > > > choice
        > > > > > —
        > > > > > > > e.g., how it fits with my goals and values. I gather
        > > > information
        > > > > > about
        > > > > > > > each option. Perhaps I struggle to overcome my more selfish
        > > > > > > > motivations. I decide based on this conscious reasoning (it
        > > > > > certainly
        > > > > > > > would not help if I could magically decide on no basis at
        > all),
        > > > and
        > > > > > I
        > > > > > > > act accordingly. "
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > Having a spiritual awareness of aspects of our existence,
        > > > > > especially
        > > > > > > > the moral principles that actuate the example above, and
        > that
        > > > may
        > > > > > not
        > > > > > > > all need supporting brain processes, is not 'no basis at
        > all'.
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > "…the mind sciences will continue to show that
        > > > consciousness
        > > > > > does
        > > > > > > > not work in just the ways we thought, and they already
        > suggest
        > > > > > > > significant limitations on the extent of our rationality,
        > > > > > > > self-knowledge, and self-control. Such discoveries suggest
        > that
        > > > > > most of
        > > > > > > > us possess less free will than we tend to think, and they
        > may
        > > > inform
        > > > > > > > debates about our degrees of responsibility."
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > Fair enough; we all tend to be over generous and less than
        > > > > > > > sufficiently critical of the motivations of our own
        > behaviour.
        > > > > > Whether
        > > > > > > > an improved awareness of this comes from a spiritual,
        > mediative
        > > > > > program
        > > > > > > > or external sources like the author suggests I don't suppose
        > > > much
        > > > > > > > matters.
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > "If we put aside the misleading idea that free will
        > depends on
        > > > > > > > supernatural souls rather than our quite miraculous brains,
        > and
        > > > if
        > > > > > we
        > > > > > > > put aside the mistaken idea that our conscious thinking
        > matters
        > > > most
        > > > > > in
        > > > > > > > the milliseconds before movement…"
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > It's not an either or; does anyone think it's the
        > milliseconds
        > > > > > before
        > > > > > > > that matter? I would have assumed the opposite.
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > "…neuroscience does not kill free will. Rather, it
        > can
        > > > help
        > > > > > to
        > > > > > > > explain our capacities to control our actions in such a way
        > that
        > > > we
        > > > > > are
        > > > > > > > responsible for them. It can help us rediscover free will."
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > Can't see how it can help us rediscover it; according to
        > him,
        > > > in
        > > > > > the
        > > > > > > > paragraph above, it's helped us lose it. Maybe it's caused
        > us to
        > > > > > lose it
        > > > > > > > and will subsequently help us rediscover the loss it
        > caused?
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > T
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > Ted Wrinch
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "Frank
        > Thomas
        > > > > > Smith"
        > > > > > > > fts.trasla@ wrote:
        > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > For students of Rudolf Steiner's "Philosophy of Freedom"
        > -
        > > > this
        > > > > > > > article may be interesting. I don't think even the arch
        > > > materialists
        > > > > > of
        > > > > > > > Steiner's time thought that the brain is what causes us to
        > act
        > > > and
        > > > > > > > therefore there is no free will.
        > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > >
        > http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/13/is-neuroscience-the-deat\
        > \
        > > > \
        > > > > > \
        > > > > > > > h-of-free-will/?hp
        > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > Frank
        > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > >
        > > >
        > >
        >
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.