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Thread: Is the sun conscious?

  1. #46
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    In 2006 John Conway and Simon Kochen presented “The Free Will Theorem” https://arxiv.org/pdf/quant-ph/0604079.pdf followed by “The Strong Free Will Theorem” https://arxiv.org/pdf/0807.3286.pdf Here’s a Wikipedia summary: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will_theorem and a blog post by Dolors “Do Electrons Have Free Will?” with references http://web.mit.edu/asf/www/Press/Do%...20Loophole.pdf

    I see this as implying panpsychism since the the quantum particles involved have enough mind to make a choice.

    The theorem assumes that we have free will first and some argue that perhaps we don’t have any free will? If that is true then every experiment performed is determined from some state at the beginning of the universe. If that is possible then what we see as the indeterminacy of quantum physics is an illusion.

    If that is true then there would be God(s) or Laws of Nature, the physicalists’ version of God, that knows or determines everything and even the believers or the physicalists are fooled by It.

  2. #47
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    Here is a video of the blog post I referenced earlier. I think this video is easier to understand (and more entertaining) than the references above.


  3. #48
    Registered User fudgetusk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YesNo View Post
    Assume you have no free will. Then there is a cause for the beliefs you hold. All I am asking is what is that cause?

    I do think there are influences, in particular, social mood, but I don’t think there is a deterministic cause for our beliefs. At some point they are the result of choices which may not always be conscious, but can be considered to be our choices.
    I don't think a lack of free will stops us having complicated thoughts. Just that our thoughts are logical from our point of view. Obviously there must be reasons why I came to follow this belief. It just seems obvious that decisions are made by the decisions themselves(to put it another way).

  4. #49
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    I don’t think that decisions have enough “free will” to make a decision. However, it is hard to believe that an electron might have free will.

    There is also the question of who is making the decision. It is possible that “my” decision is the decision of more agents than myself. That may seem counterintuitive, but in the Free Will Theorem it is not the individual electron that has free will but the entangled pair.

  5. #50
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    NOt sure what you mean about not having enough free will. It goes like this: We collect data. The world provides more and more new data. The new data is compared to the data we already accrued. Calculations are made. A decision springs from it. (we enjoy a cheese sandwich. We enjoy an egg sandwich slightly less. We are offered a choice of either. We choose the cheese sandwich) It's more complicated than that. bUt that about sums it up. No free will going on in the equation.

    As for electrons...who knows if they make a decision. I suspect there is more going on.

  6. #51
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    What you are assuming is our decisions are rational which brings us back to whether we make decisions like that. It also assumes our own reasoning about what we intend to do is what we actually do. See Jonathan Haidt’s “The Righteous Mind”.

    However, if the Conway-Kochen Free Will Theorem is true and we have free will then so does an entangled system of particles. They don’t have brains. Our free will may well not need this rational process either. That is, our brains would be secondary to our free will which may be arrived at from gut decisions.

  7. #52
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    I don't see the Haidt argument because all my decisions have been rational so far. I've never been asked if I wanted tea or coffee and said "speedway stadium" in response. I'm joking but serious at the same time. Do you do irrational things and then rationalise them later?

    "The free will theorem of John H. Conway and Simon B. Kochen states that if we have a free will in the sense that our choices are not a function of the past, then, subject to certain assumptions, so must some elementary particles. Conway and Kochen's paper was published in Foundations of Physics in 2006.[1] In 2009 they published a stronger version of the theorem in the Notices of the AMS.[2] Later Simon elaborated some details.[3]"

    I would argue that all our choices are a function of the past. Even when we are faced with something new. Nothing is ever fully new. Only when we are babies. But then we try anything as babies and formulate a basis for all future decisions by doing so. as for the 'axioms' of this theory...it would be nice if scientists didn't always write for other scientists.

  8. #53
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    It is not “irrational”, but intuitive or non-rational. The rational process comes after the decision. Almost all my decisions are intuitive. I do try to justify them with reasons. I am a very motivated reasoner, but the decisions come first without a complete explanation or cause. This is where I place free will.

    The article is difficult to read. There is a YouTube video that made it clearer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZqUEAACfyk

    It doesn’t have to be “fully new”. There will always be constraints and influences from the past. As long as those influences are not a complete explanation or cause, there is likely room for all the free will I claim exists. Note that we are not the only free agents in the universe. What we see as constraints are the results of other free agents, some not human. Some, given Conway-Kochen result, not even alive.

  9. #54
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    Yeah. But like I said. Why is it seen as non-rational/intuitive? because it is quick and doesn't involve us? I think this is underestimating the brilliance of the brain. What you should consider is how much of a disability the conscious mind is. Hmmming, ahhhhhing. We have come to believe THIS is thinking and anything else is not. And why does slowness equate to freewill? because it works at the same speed as our conscious minds therefore feels like we are doing it. Rather than IT doing US. Neither quick subconscious thought or slow conscious thought contains free will. We are not powering the mind. the mind is powered by some other source. We just are and we have little choice(if any) about it. It is a machine that keeps switching on. And we have to keep taking in data. Try and stop it happening. We keep making calculations, mostly on how much we like something that is happening. Did you have ANY choice in any of this so far? It happens despite us. We are nothing but data. AND WE DO NOT GET A CHOICE OF WHAT DATA ENTERS OUR MINDS at any given moment. BANG! just happens. I've read that the brain takes in 11 million bits of data a second and then the brain shrinks this down to 40 bits and that is what the conscious mind(US) experiences of the world.
    But that is just a side effect of this discussion.
    The only way we have of calculating an event is by data(past events). This is what free will really is. It is a calculation. we are offered something. "Do I want this or not?"(I haven't liked it in the past) "No, I do not want it".

    That is freewill. remarkably like a binary computer gate. The brain looks remarkably like a computer. Logic would suggest it is a computer.

    It is doing nothing outside of being a computer. a simple network of switches. every choice is a switch. it is not some magical property. free will is a switch being flicked by a stream of electrons that happened to be greater than a value created by past data.

  10. #55
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    It is not so much “logic” that suggests the brain is a computer, but a bullish social mood that favors individualism and rationality. Many of the constraints we have to deal with are holistic in origin, such as social mood.

    Free will is quick and involves us. By the Conway-Kochen theorem, even quantum systems have free will (indeterminism). In general it can’t require a brain. I think Haidt is right that the brain is mainly for rationalizing our prior choices, although I don’t know what his views are on free will and determinism.

    You wrote, “We are not powering the mind. the mind is powered by some other source.” What is this other source?

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    Tried to watch that Youtube film. Why do they assume particles are not acting out of prior events? I think they are making an assumption based on the natural vagueness of how particles act. To make the leap to the idea that particles have free will is bizarre.

    >>It is not so much “logic” that suggests the brain is a computer, but a bullish social mood that favors individualism and rationality. Many of the constraints we have to deal with are holistic in origin, such as social mood.

    It is certainly rationality, as for individualism and social mood I do not know. Could you explain what you mean. You use words in a very personal way. By which I mean only you could understand what context you are using them.

    what source? memory. data. prior events. That powers us. a newborn baby lies there. we get up and do stuff. because we know doing stuff that we've done before gives us pleasure.

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by fudgetusk View Post
    Why do they assume particles are not acting out of prior events? I think they are making an assumption based on the natural vagueness of how particles act. To make the leap to the idea that particles have free will is bizarre.
    Empirically they are not acting out of prior events and there are no hidden variables that we are missing. It is not an assumption. Given a state there is ambiguity in outcome.

    My interpretation is to assume choices are being made. Some think there are many worlds one for each possibility and we live in all of them. Some don’t look at it. If they make choices (as my interpretation sees it) they have free will. If they have free will that only shows that brains aren’t necessary for free will. So we can forget trying to completely reduce our minds to our brains. There is more going on.

    Quote Originally Posted by fudgetusk View Post
    It is certainly rationality, as for individualism and social mood I do not know. Could you explain what you mean. You use words in a very personal way. By which I mean only you could understand what context you are using them.
    I see history in terms of Elliott Waves. Look up “socionomics” for more information. That is where “social mood” comes from.

    Jonathan Haidt isn’t part of this (to my knowledge), but his moral foundation theory fits in well. His description of the rationalist delusion as starting in the late 1700s and proceeding until now corresponds to the third wave of our current grand supercycle as socionomics describes it.

    We are at the final mania stage of a centuries old bull market (see bitcoin and the US financial markets). This leads to wave four which is a bear market lasting decades. It is not a personal way of viewing things. I’m basically following Robert Prechter’s market and cultural analysis. What is personal is I may not understand it as well as I think I do.

    Quote Originally Posted by fudgetusk View Post
    what source? memory. data. prior events. That powers us. a newborn baby lies there. we get up and do stuff. because we know doing stuff that we've done before gives us pleasure.
    Do any of these prior events make choices? Who is responsible? If we do stuff because it gives us pleasure, then we are responsible. We make choices.

    I am not saying that we don’t have influences or constraints on our choices. We do have them. What I am saying is that those influences, constraints, prior or current events, do not completely explain our behavior. We have the ability to make choices given all of that. The determinist would say we have no ability to make such choices, but I don’t see evidence for that. On the contrary, the determinist is saying that all of our experience of making choices is an illusion--basically all of our experience in choose what experiments in science to do is an illusion. Science for the determinist is an illusion. I am more empirical than that.
    Last edited by YesNo; 01-12-2018 at 09:05 AM.

  13. #58
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    This free will particle idea relies on ambiguity though. We are not able to predict a measurement. Ok. To say they are indetermined is a big leap. To suggest they act out of free will is a massive leap. And you say there are no hidden variables again. No one can say that.

    >>Do any of these prior events make choices? Who is responsible? If we do stuff because it gives us pleasure, then we are responsible. We make choices.

    A decision? a choice? no a mathematical equation. a machine spitting out change according to what buttons are pressed. Is that a choice? if a thermometer rises is that a choice?
    we are a more complex version of that. millions of thermometers.

    another way of seeing it is that if there is a reason to do something then it is the reason not us that decides.

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    It is one thing to postulate a telepathic ability of humans and animals, as Sheldrake does (and as for humans, he is surely right, since I know two partially schizophrenic guys who have this ability), and another to postulate a conscious sun. As for the former, there are methods to prove the thesis, as for the latter, not. So why mull over the sun thesis if there is not the least possibility to prove or disprove the thesis? And how are we to imagine a sun consciousness? Such objects are existing for billions of years without undergoing too many significant changes with regard to itself or its environment. Wouldn´t it be rather boring to consciously exist in such a way for such long periods? I think, to apply the consciousness concept to such entities means to unduly overstretch this concept.

    It might be more instructive to see how the concept of solar consciousness developped historically, since such an idea is anything but new. As part of an own study of the Roman sun god Mithras, I recently wrote the following:

    Why solar deities were only invented in the Neolithic, can be explained by a changed world view, which had shifted its focus from the lunar cycle to the solar cycle due to the introduction of sedentariness and agriculture, the latter most probably invented by women on the basis of their botanic knowledge. The sun was now considered to be the cosmic clock for the fertility of nature. One can only chew over the gender of the first sun deities due to the lack of written evidence. The frequent appearances of sun goddesses and goddesses closely associated with the sun in historical mythologies suggest an originally female gender, since the introduction of a female sun deity (such as Sol in Germanic religion and Wurushemmu in the Hittite empire) after the establishment of the patriarchate is highly improbable. In case goddesses have an important function in patriarchal systems--such as, to name more examples, Hathor in Egypt, Inanna in Mesopotamia, Isis in the entire Roman Empire, Anahita in Persia and Sarasvati in India--it's only because they are rooted in formerly dominating pre-patriarchal Neolithic goddesses, which in turn go back to Paleolithic goddesses.

    Now let us look at a some historical remnants of the presumed prehistoric sun goddesses and at some results of the gender transformation into masculine which still show traces of the transformation process, especially in India. There the god Surya (Skt. for ´sun´) personifies the sun. In Vedic mythology he belongs to a group of deities called 'Adityas'. The mother of these Adityas is the unmarried heavenly goddess Aditi, whose name means ´unattached´,

    In the mythology of the Rigveda, one of the oldest Vedic texts from before 2,000 BCE, Aditi is the most prominent manifestation of the Great Goddess (Skt. Devi) and has, though being mother of a dozen of deities, no association with a male partner, which is sufficient evidence of her rooting in the prehistoric idea of a monogenetic goddess. The ´Mahanirvanatantra´ says about the Devi that she is "the Great Mother sprung from the sacrificial hearth of the fire of the Grand Consciousness, decked with the Sun and Moon" and in another place with reference to this Devi: "The sun, the most glorious symbol in the physical world, is the mayik vesture of Her who is ´clothed with the sun´".

    ("mayik" = illusory)

    Hence the masculine sun god Surya has a mother who also is equipped with a solar competence as well as with the moon competence typical of the Great Goddess. As if that wasn´t enough, in the Rigveda the sun god is assigned a daughter with the name ´Surya´ (pronounced as opposed to the sun god with a prolonged ´a´) who acts as goddess of the dawn and driving force for the awakening sun.

    In Sumer the gender transformation of the lunar deity was accomplished by a transfer of the lunar competence of goddess Inanna to a male god named Sin. A basically comparable process must have taken place in the case of Surya, since mythology connects him with a monogenetic mother in form of a heavenly goddess ´clothed with the sun´, what suggests that the sun was formerly personified by Aditi and only in the course of patriarchalization became associated with a male god, whom to separate completely from the original sun goddess the strength of the patriarchal ideology was however not sufficient because of the rooting of a large part of Hindu faith in the prehistoric matristic world.

    ***

    Of course Sheldrake is familar with the Rigveda tradition, so most probably his sun consciousness theory is inspired from there.
    Last edited by Tammuz; 01-16-2018 at 11:53 AM.

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