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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Trogdor View Post
    Guanine, cytosine, adenine, and thymine. That's it. We happen to have them arranged in such a way that makes it (seemingly) interesting to discuss.
    I thought you didn't believe in God. Your use of the word "arrange" implies the belief in a designer.

    Also, you are committing division; just because consciousness is interesting to discuss does not mean guanine, cytosine, adenine, and thymine (carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and phosphorus in Dai's case) are also interesting.

    For scientists, you guys have odd ways of saying things.

    Elections are no longer a useful agent of change. Our politicians are
    corrupt because they are elected by a corrupt culture. Change the culture.

  2. #22
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    The point I intended to make was that I suspect Admiral of ascribing magical properties to those specific molecules. See: recent arm-waving about synthetic DNA using novel nucleobases. My view on your wider question concerning Law is that The Law is an emergent construct which arises from our behavioural evolution - Society arose as a consequence of our family / clan / tribal social origins as primates and developed ever more sophisticated bells and whistles as our brains developed language and memory. Law is a mechanism for codifying acceptable social behaviours in a way that can cross generational cutoffs, notionally preserving 'what works' beyond the memory of an individual member of the species.

    I don't intend to speak about the decadent phase of lawmaking (say the last 4000 years, during which we have demonstrated an extraordinary enthusiasm for making laws about all sorts of things that don't really enhance our long-term societal stability). I'm assuming that there's some sort of primal core of laws, social behaviours that actually enhance the long-term stability of a smallish group of individuals. The evolutionary advantages of cross-generational stability would include primacy of your particular gene pool and a strong hold on local resources.
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enteleki View Post
    I thought you didn't believe in God. Your use of the word "arrange" implies the belief in a designer.
    No it doesn't. Does the semantic implications of sequence work better for you? Magnets can arrange iron filings - doesn't mean the arrangement is thought out.

    Also, you are committing division; just because consciousness is interesting to discuss does not mean guanine, cytosine, adenine, and thymine (carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and phosphorus in Dai's case) are also interesting.

    For scientists, you guys have odd ways of saying things.
    My point is that consciousnesses is a result of nothing more than biochemistry (not magical Dai). When we compare our biochemistry to other animals, we see that everything is just following the laws of physics. The, so called, older areas of the brain are very similar to reptiles. Moving up in complexity, we have new peripherals added to the brain. Functions get more complex and various systems begin to interact. Chimps and dogs have more symplistic brains, but there are far more similarities than differences. We make decisions based on punishment and reward - exactly like B.F. Skinner's pigeons. The only difference is that we have a greater capacity to analyze these decisions (and sometimes overthink them).


    Also, I didn't mean to imply that the amino acids of DNA were interesting; only that our particular DNA sequence provides us the means to have discussions (interesting or otherwise).

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Trogdor View Post
    No it doesn't. Does the semantic implications of sequence work better for you? Magnets can arrange iron filings - doesn't mean the arrangement is thought out.
    Very loose use of the word, in my opinion. "Arrange" has connotations of a conceptual consciousness. I would use "cause" for the magnet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Admiral Trogdor View Post
    We make decisions based on punishment and reward - exactly like B.F. Skinner's pigeons.
    Skinner was a complete determinist. What do you have against the existence of free will?

    All deterministic theories of human behavior, whether religious or secular, enter contradiction when applied to their own cause.

    Elections are no longer a useful agent of change. Our politicians are
    corrupt because they are elected by a corrupt culture. Change the culture.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dai View Post
    The point I intended to make was that I suspect Admiral of ascribing magical properties to those specific molecules. See: recent arm-waving about synthetic DNA using novel nucleobases. My view on your wider question concerning Law is that The Law is an emergent construct which arises from our behavioural evolution - Society arose as a consequence of our family / clan / tribal social origins as primates and developed ever more sophisticated bells and whistles as our brains developed language and memory. Law is a mechanism for codifying acceptable social behaviours in a way that can cross generational cutoffs, notionally preserving 'what works' beyond the memory of an individual member of the species.

    I don't intend to speak about the decadent phase of lawmaking (say the last 4000 years, during which we have demonstrated an extraordinary enthusiasm for making laws about all sorts of things that don't really enhance our long-term societal stability). I'm assuming that there's some sort of primal core of laws, social behaviours that actually enhance the long-term stability of a smallish group of individuals. The evolutionary advantages of cross-generational stability would include primacy of your particular gene pool and a strong hold on local resources.
    This sounds like natural selection applied to politics, which implies man is driven, deterministically, by his biology to behave in a certain way.

    I think there is a disconnect here between the nature of man and his biological composition. By the nature of man, I mean those things that are true about him in the context of his abilities and the world in which he exists. I am not talking the chemical make-up of the brain, its hypothetical materialist determinism, nor the innate desire to improve or provide longevity his gene pool.

    I am speaking about man in a metaphysical sense. Man as an entity of a particular type and his place in existence. Man has a conceptual consciousness and free will. Man is required to think and act in order to provide for his needs. Man, in society, finds great benefit in trade, specialization and defense. These are the types of issues that are far more relevant to whether man is fit to be ruled by law than discussion of biology. Man is more than a bag of H2O and what-not.

    Elections are no longer a useful agent of change. Our politicians are
    corrupt because they are elected by a corrupt culture. Change the culture.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enteleki View Post
    Man is more than a bag of H2O and what-not.
    I can see why we've been having a hard time getting our conversation to sync.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enteleki View Post
    I think there is a disconnect here between the nature of man and his biological composition.
    Yep. Didn't I say that? I don't equate society with biology, or at least I didn't intend to. I don't think they are connected strongly at all. Society and cooperative behaviour is an emergent property of our biology, sure, but then 'being an apex predator' is an emergent property of that same biology also, in the case of sharks.
    Geezer #141

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