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Re: [The-Burnsville-Socrates-Cafe] Harris' Free Will (Cliff Notes by Jon A)

From: user 3.
Sent on: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 8:43 AM
Yeah! Only problem is … I weigh just under 470 lbs on Jupiter. 

Me thinks I should concentrate on a diet.

Sent from my iPhone 4S.


On Jul 31, 2012, at 6:26 AM, Andrusela <[address removed]> wrote:

> Thanks, Dick. That was fun. I saved it as a favorite in my "Cheer Up" folder :-)
> 
> On 7/29/12, Dick <[address removed]> wrote:
>> I have found a solution to your dilemma, Andrea.
>> 
>> More time … less gravity.
>> 
>> This link [ http://www.explor...­ ], and your entry, will
>> put you in a mind frame that will, at least for a while, reduce that
>> stress.
>> 
>> I've calculated my Jovian age to be little more than six years old, so I
>> allow myself to act that age here on Earth, when I think about it. Perhaps
>> you will get by, by going to a closer planet.
>> 
>> Try it … you'll like it!, as the saying goes.
>> 
>> Dick
>> Sent from my iPhone 4S.
>> 
>> 
>> On Jul 27, 2012, at 4:35 PM, Andrusela <[address removed]>
>> wrote:
>> 
>>> Thank you, Dick and Luda. And Jim, you make a reasoned argment and
>>> stress is certainly a factor. For me, the key factor is time. Time and
>>> Gravity, she is a bitch, as they say. I am such an anxious person that
>>> I could spend most of my waking hours just managing that stress via
>>> meditation, distraction, cuddling with my husband (no longer an
>>> option, sadly), whatever. However, time waits for no man/woman, and
>>> there is this thing called work that keeps harshing on my buzz. On
>>> another note, I will be joining the group for the middle two tuesdays
>>> in August. There is no yoga in August and I took time off from work
>>> for a couple tuesdays. Hope to see some of you there. I always feel
>>> better after our discussions and leave with a smile on my face.
>>> 
>>> On 7/27/12, Jim <[address removed]> wrote:
>>>> Fascinating discussion, as always.
>>>> 
>>>> Hmmmm let's see...
>>>> 
>>>> Check-ins seem to suggest we are run by genes we are born with and
>>>> circumstances we grow up in and there's little we can do to chart the
>>>> course of our balloon ride, assuming we initially get off the ground.
>>>> BF Skinner would approve to a point, but even he would say "but we
>>>> will hurt you if you make a bad choice based on your fateful path and
>>>> we will reward you if you make good choices—thus you'll be okay and
>>>> we won't need to worry about you.. Skinner held sway for some time
>>>> but it was inevitable that his own balloon would get the needle, as
>>>> it did with the emergence of cognitive science and neuroscience.
>>>> 
>>>> Simplistically, Skinner was saying the moral code society needs to
>>>> thrive is imposed from without on the individual who is then
>>>> conditioned to respond appropriately (except for when he doesn't and
>>>> then we confine him). Cognitive science (shooting from the hip, here)
>>>> says the moral code is internalized as the individual grows and has
>>>> increasing self-reflective capacity and longs for
>>>> "belonging" (Maslow) with a positive social network. The need to
>>>> belong is a powerful social-cognitive force, so has a strong
>>>> influence on choice making for individual actions that can further
>>>> that goal. Some of this is surely subconscious, but much of it too,
>>>> as we sit and mull what's going well or isn't in the social-affective
>>>> context, becomes quite if not entirely conscious.
>>>> 
>>>> Where problems occur and people go bad is in one's self-perception of
>>>> ability to hew to the level in most respects of the crowd s/he would
>>>> like to network with and be accepted by. If a person's self
>>>> assessment concludes s/he can't hold up his/her end of the
>>>> conversation with the higher ground crowd, they will gravitate to
>>>> others with whom they can hold it up.
>>>> 
>>>> So we have perceived brain efficacy here as a self-perceived limiting
>>>> factor. Numerous negative messages from "trusted" adults in a
>>>> person's youth can really sabotage the unconscious self-perception.
>>>> This can lead to social-emotional conflict that results in stress
>>>> that then puts a person in survival mode, bringing down a person's
>>>> capacity for positive outlook, hopefulness, higher-ground choice
>>>> making, and persistence along a path to a better life, instead
>>>> pulling the person down into more primal behavior and a frantic need
>>>> to survive at that level. When one gets to that point, it's really
>>>> quite hard for him/her to self-elevate because stress continues to
>>>> increase driving the executive control center more into submission,
>>>> thus making the path to a good life nearly impossible. Not to mention
>>>> the reinforcements one might be receiving from the "survival" group.
>>>> 
>>>> In my opinion, the key here is stress and its effect on brain
>>>> function. The intervention is training in stress awareness,
>>>> reduction, and self-management of stress, bringing the "stress
>>>> response into equilibrium with the relaxation response, which is
>>>> actually relatively easy to do.
>>>> 
>>>> Jim Baker
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> On Jul 26, 2012, at 5:28 AM, Andrusela wrote:
>>>> 
>>>>>­ I think these are ideas worth entertaining. I especially relate to the
>>>>>­ laziness as a neurological condition hypothesis. Some people are just
>>>>>­ blessed with a lot of energy in productive ways and I am not. I cannot
>>>>>­ seem to budge my capacity for "getting things done" regardless of my
>>>>>­ attempts at healthy living and positive thinking, etc. I have a very
>>>>>­ active mind but it often spins its wheels, if you get my drift. And I
>>>>>­ also see how being born into the wrong family can doom a person, the
>>>>>­ way someone was treated and raised and how hard that is to overcome if
>>>>>­ it's bad. That doesn't mean that some people at the point that they
>>>>>­ are a danger to others will not need to be confined somewhere away
>>>>>­ from the rest of us, regardless of how much choice they had in what
>>>>>­ they later became. Just my two cents. And you get what you pay for, as
>>>>>­ they say. (smiley face)
>>>>>­ 
>>>>>­ On 7/25/12, Jon Anderson <[address removed]> wrote:
>>>>>­> p.5
>>>>>­> Either our wills are determined by prior causes and we are not
>>>>>­> responsible
>>>>>­> for them, or they are the product of chance and we are not
>>>>>­> responsible for
>>>>>­> them.
>>>>>­> 
>>>>>­> p.7
>>>>>­> The intention to do one thing and not another does not originate in
>>>>>­> consciousness -- rather it appears in consciousness.
>>>>>­> 
>>>>>­> p.11
>>>>>­> You are not controlling the storm, and you are not lost in it. You
>>>>>­> are the
>>>>>­> storm.
>>>>>­> 
>>>>>­> p.15
>>>>>­> The idea of free will emerges from a felt experience.
>>>>>­> 
>>>>>­> p.19
>>>>>­> Am I free to do that which does not occur to me to do? Of course not.
>>>>>­> 
>>>>>­> p.33
>>>>>­> . . . the fact that our choices depend on prior causes does not
>>>>>­> mean that
>>>>>­> they don't matter.
>>>>>­> 
>>>>>­> . . . you are no more responsible for the next thing you think (and
>>>>>­> therefore do) than you are for the fact that you were born into
>>>>>­> this world.
>>>>>­> 
>>>>>­> p.38
>>>>>­> . . . you cannot make your own luck.
>>>>>­> 
>>>>>­> My choices matter -- and there are paths toward making wiser ones
>>>>>­> -- but I
>>>>>­> cannot choose what I choose.
>>>>>­> 
>>>>>­> p.30
>>>>>­> Yes, you are free to do what you want even now. But where did your
>>>>>­> desires
>>>>>­> come from?
>>>>>­> 
>>>>>­> p.45
>>>>>­> Losing a belief in free will has not made me fatalistic -- in fact
>>>>>­> it has
>>>>>­> increased my feelings of freedom. My hopes, fears, and neuroses
>>>>>­> seem less
>>>>>­> personal and indelible. There is no telling how much I might
>>>>>­> change in the
>>>>>­> future.
>>>>>­> 
>>>>>­> p.52
>>>>>­> Once we recognize that even the most terrifying predators are, in
>>>>>­> a very
>>>>>­> real sense, unlucky to be who they are, the logic of hating (as
>>>>>­> opposed to
>>>>>­> fearing) them begins to unravel.
>>>>>­> 
>>>>>­> It seems immoral not to recognize just how luck is involved in
>>>>>­> morality
>>>>>­> itself.
>>>>>­> 
>>>>>­> p.61
>>>>>­> How much credit does a person deserve for not being lazy? None at
>>>>>­> all.
>>>>>­> Laziness, like diligence, is a neurological condition.
>>>>>­> 
>>>>>­> In improving ourselves and society, we are working directly with
>>>>>­> the forces
>>>>>­> of nature, for there is nothing but nature itself to work with.
>>>>>­> 
>>>>>­> p.64
>>>>>­> Am I free to change my mind? Of course not. It can only change me.
>>>>>­> 
>>>>>­> 
>>>>>­> 
>>>>>­> 
>>>>>­> 
>>>>>­> 
>>>>>­> --
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>>>>>­> 
>>>>>­ 
>>>>>­ 
>>>>>­ 
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>>>> 
>>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
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> 
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