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A common vision of human Another common vision of
nature: human nature:
We choose to do the The self is a product of
things we do. The self is physical processes, it
responsible for actions. is determined by
Ideas are created inside of genetic inheritance.
Ideas are the product of
Individuals must be given individuals circumstances
the credit they deserve and histories.
for having ideas. A reflection of the zeitgeist.
Output is recycled input.
An idea that you create is
your property. Intellectual property
must belong to society,
for the benefit of society.
At a guess, everyone switches between
these two doctrines, whenever
it seems convenient.
Arguments based on them surface
continually, under many names:
"free will" vs. "determinism",
"justice" vs. "mercy"...
The first vision here, seems
to have little factual
basis. How can an "idea" be
expected to magically emerge The second vision, seems more
from a single mind, without "scientific", in that it postulates
reference to anything that some natural mechanism behind
has gone before? individual thought. No
At best, this view seems to be
a reflection of our ignorance
of how the mind works. And yet, this view is
disastrous wherever implemented.
And yet it seems necessary It undermines the incentive
for any functional system of structure that keeps human
ethics. society working.
Note issue amongst libertarians:
is alcoholism a "disease" (and
hence the alcoholic is out
of control, not responsible)
or are they guilty of lapses
It's always seemed of self-control (people who
to me that free will need to take responsibility for
is something which is their actions).
than an abstraction ADDICTION
to be "proved". FREEWILL
Side issue: environmentally or
genetically determined? To some
extent it hardly matters: either
way it's still determinism. The
perception that environmentally
determined things are easier to
change may be a misconception
(thou art Mrs. Grundy). Would it STRANGER
be better if human behavior were
random? But it's interesting to
watch people manipulate the issue
as seems convenient. E.g. racial
issues vs. sexual preference.
Further note: idea that
grounding humanity in
somehow demeans it.
If love is just
biochemistry, then it
is worthless: "merely"
The soul considered as
a complex pattern.
(as opposed to mystical,
April 17, 1992
If you drop the model of human behavior as being
goal-directed and rational, then what is it? I mean, we
don't really create ideas within us, right? we don't really
"choose goals" though we talk as though we do.
The self is a node in an information network.
But what do you do with this vision? like that.
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