Again, the problem is that we can NOT talk about determinism or consciousness without first defining what we mean with these abstractions. Sloppily assuming we are talking about the same thing just because we use the same words makes for sloppy philosophy. I seriously doubt that there is such a thing as consciousness to begin with (just as I refuse to speak of unconsciousness unless we speak of people who have simply plassed out or died). Perhaps all we know of is a constant state of subconsciousness where things that SEEM to have become phenomena to us by being associated with words appear to us as "conscious". We already know from psychology that there is no now, the now we seem to experience is always already a thing of the past. I much prefer the Zoroastrian take to just speak of a MIND which can be any way we like, regardless of whatever brain or even body activity we may have. And as for determinism, the world is NOT deterministic in itself, if it was there would be no such thing as Heisenberg's uncertainity principle. But then again, there are several forms of determinism, some of them including the unforeseen (such as Daniel Dennett's take). This is why these issues as so complex. What's important is for us as Zoroastrians, Zarathushtra regarded will to be a force within a feedback loop where each stage affected all the others. Thoughts affect words affects actions which in turn affect a new set of thoughts. And this opens up for an ethics of THE BODY as a unit which I find extremely interesting.
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2008/8/13 Special Kain
One more thing I forgot to ask: Where does the consciousness come into play, given the body as a whole having a free will within a certain freedom? There's much talk about conscious and unconscious decisions taking place. And it seems that Mazdayasna is more about wise choices that are grounded in one's learning ability. This IMHO also includes consciously made decisions.
--- Special Kain
Von: Special Kain
Betreff: AW: [Ushta] Freedom of choice and "brainy determinism"
Datum: Mittwoch, 13. August 2008, 14:12
@ Farida: A very beautiful poem! :-))
@ Alexander: So your point of view on the issue is rather compatibilistic, isn't it? Free will and determinism not being mutually exclusive, but compatible ideas instead. To choose within a given range of possibilities. That's what I consider true, at least. And I also believe that we can expand that range of possibilities and attain more freedom. And maybe Mazdayasna is another way to attain more freedom?