MORE OF DISCUSSION OF FREE WILL VERSUS DETERMINISM
- Walt wrote: George has written that he found adopting his 'robotic' stance has made him feel more empowered (George, correct me if I misunderstood your point).
Walt, I described the moment that I (identical with the concept brain) realized that it (identical with the concept he) was a robot. The brain that is I/me woke up one morning, realized suddenly that its first conscious thoughts were not freely chosen by itself but that thoughts arrived with this quality it possessed called consciousness. This made it consciousness of the fact that it was always functioning even when it slept and had been functioning since the day that it became viable enough to function on in its own. That realization was not its own invention. The realization resulted from a couple of years of reading evolutionary psych which prepped the brain (identical with the concept of me) for the realization of its predicament. Next it experienced a nerve-tingling, joyous feeling accompanied shortly thereafter by a set of words that arose automatically into its consciousness function to explain the feeling it was experiencing. The words were exactly, "I've never felt so free!" The connection of emotional biases to language units caused that set of words to arise and make sense of its situation in the world along with the psychological and emotional acceptance of its plight.
The operant word in that sentence about freedom was "felt". Since emotional biases make all our decisions for us, that's a key realization about free will. Let me also call an emotional bias a set of synaptic connections that runs through the limbic system and into other areas of the brain, making them function together. Any emotional bias will always fire up when the brain (beneath consciousness) in its monitoring of the outside world in search for safe behavior in any situation randomly considers that bias along with many other emotional biases that are triggered by the familiarity of the situation to a past situation. If any bias or set of biases becomes the preferred bias upon which the brain acts in any situation, the set of words connected with that bias will also arise into consciousness shortly after the bias becomes active as a set of behaviors visible to the outside world. The brain follows this line of authority: observe, react (select safe behavior) connect words to it (become conscious of what its observed and acted upon).
Consciousness is a secondary characteristic of the function by which long term memories are formed. The more powerful the learning experience, the more it will stick in memory and be available to consciousness in similar situations. Another important element in my brain's awareness scenario described above is that from that moment on, this brain (now divulging itself on this page) finds itself possessed of a strong consciousness of and an emotional bias for discussing its robotic behavior in all other situations. The brain that is identical with the meme "I" strongly feels the need to spread these memes about free will and determinism. It has never forgotten that morning because the experience was so powerful. Again: the strength of the emotion in an experiential moment functions to enter the experience and all behaviors attached to it into memory and the words that go along with it too.
So what did the brain experience in that moment. What was it free of? And how does all this go along with my falling into and climbing out of the experiential state, called alcoholism? Paul finds this ability to change, reform, rehabilitate, to be central to his concept of the human condition called free will. To keep it simple, I'll stop here. The answer to Paul's conditions for free will is another lengthy dissertation.