RE: Personal goal system was: IA vs. AI

Cameron Reilly (
Tue, 10 Aug 1999 22:52:58 +1000

I don't want this to turn into a metaphysics post, but isn't the so-called
"re-wiring" of conditioning you speak of just another form of conditioning?
What is conditioning except the creation of neural structures from interaction with our environment?

Of course you've been successful in reprogramming conditioned responses - but where did the motivation and skills to do so come from? From previous conditioning. It *is* completely regressive. Therefore I don't see that your response provides any argument for the existence of free will.

I have two experiments to determine whether or not an individual can demonstrate free will. I should start by defining 'free will' as "The power, attributed especially to human beings, of making free choices that are unconstrained by external circumstances or by an agency such as fate or divine will".

  1. deliberately stop thinking for an hour. Can you stop thoughts from being generated at will?
  2. explain how you go about creating a thought. Do you control the process or do they appear spontaneously?

Cameron Reilly

-----Original Message-----
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Sent:	Tuesday, August 10, 1999 10:40 AM
Subject:	Re: Personal goal system was: IA vs. AI

Genetics has no bearing on our decisions if we've already uploaded our brains into computronium structures and completely re-written or erased any residual memetic processes that originated through blind genetic evolution.

What is conditioning if we are re-wiring that as well? I have been quite sucessful in reprogramming a whole series of conditioned responses. So who is doing the re-conditioning? We find ourselves in an infinite regress, so there is no remaining merit in your answer.