Message from discussion free will, science, etc.
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From: Forrest Cameranesi <forr...@geekofalltrades.org>
Subject: Re: free will, science, etc.
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2012 22:34:06 -0700 (PDT)
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On Jun 18, 5:35 am, Perseus <leopoldo.perd...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Jun 17, 5:10 pm, James Beck <jdbeck11...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> > On Sun, 17 Jun 2012 00:44:03 -0700 (PDT), Perseus
> > <leopoldo.perd...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >On Jun 13, 3:46 pm, wiki trix <wikit...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >> On Jun 13, 9:44 am, "Robert Carnegie: Fnord: cc talk-
> > >> orig...@moderators.isc.org" <rja.carne...@excite.com> wrote:
> > >> > On Wednesday, June 13, 2012 2:26:08 PM UTC+1, wiki trix wrote:
> > >> > > On Jun 13, 9:13 am, "Robert Carnegie: Fnord: cc talk-
> > >> > > orig...@moderators.isc.org" <rja.carne...@excite.com> wrote:
> > >> > > > On Wednesday, June 13, 2012 6:21:03 AM UTC+1, Dale wrote:
> > >> > > > > I no longer believe I have a free will, I believe I have a sole finite
> > >> > > > > will that sees the advantages of having a free will and is tempted by
> > >> > > > > the the current alpha spirit who has a free will to which we are beta to
> > >> > > > > have times of free will at the price of demise
> > >> > > > > I still believe there is not now an All-Powerful benefactor, since
> > >> > > > > suffering exists and it is not beneficial or a utopia, so in this sense
> > >> > > > > I am an atheist, a spiritualist, but an atheist
> > >> > > > > I believe that the current alpha spirit may have started out on the
> > >> > > > > right track, but fell from the path, and needs straightened out, or replaced
> > >> > > > What do you intend to do about it?
> > >> > > > Also, in case I previously was too polite
> > >> > > > to be understood, I am genuinely wondering
> > >> > > > if perhaps you're mentally ill. Many people
> > >> > > > are and it's nothing to be ashamed of, and
> > >> > > > it doesn't necessarily mean that you aren't
> > >> > > > right about the alpha spirit and the beta
> > >> > > > spirits and all that, although I'd bet
> > >> > > > against you on it.
> > >> > > Mental illness is an illusion
> > >> > >http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROidDySyiAQ
> > >> > No it's not. But video is.
> > >> Really? Well I think that Michel Foucault, Thomas Szasz and David
> > >> Rosenhan may have a point...
> > >> See:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antipsychiatry
> > >> To wit:
> > >> "In 1972, psychologist David Rosenhan published the Rosenhan
> > >> experiment, a study questioning the validity of psychiatric diagnoses.
> > >> The study arranged for eight individuals with no history of
> > >> psychopathology to attempt admission into psychiatric hospitals. The
> > >> individuals included a graduate student, psychologists, an artist, a
> > >> housewife, and two physicians, including one psychiatrist. All eight
> > >> individuals were admitted with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar
> > >> disorder. Psychiatrists then attempted to treat the individuals using
> > >> psychiatric medication. All eight were discharged within 7 to 52 days.
> > >> In a later part of the study, psychiatric staff were warned that
> > >> pseudo-patients might be sent to their institutions, but none were
> > >> actually sent. Nevertheless, a total of 83 patients out of 193 were
> > >> believed by at least one staff member to be actors. The study
> > >> concluded that individuals without mental disorders were
> > >> indistinguishable from those suffering from mental disorders."
> > >there cannot be a clear divide between being crazy and normal.
> > Why can't there be? Classical psychology is normative. Behavior either
> > satisfies the norm or it doesn't. Finding that most behavior is
> > abnormal or that most people exhibit some abnormal behavior doesn't
> > change that; however, it should alert you that you need to understand
> > the basis of the norm.
> The "norm" is nothing that a mathematical property of the behavior
> (that is, refers to its frequency).
> When a behavior occurs withing the boundaries of normalcy is normal.
> Then the qualification of not normal behaviors (in a mathematical
> sense) depends on the problems that a behavior causes, or if the
> abnormal behavior incapacitates the person to work, or to being
> accepted by other people.
> And this former condition depends much on how the people in general is
> conditioned to accept inoffensive not normal behaviors, like a nervous
> tick, by example.
"Norm", and "normal" and other words derived therefrom, are not
restricted entirely to the statistical sense; in fact, that is if
anything the more derivative sense of the term.
Its original sense was geometric, and meant straight or orthogonal, as
in "norma", Greek for a carpenter's square (a tool to measure right
angles, that is, 90 degree angles). This sense is preserved today in
geometric terms like "surface normals" or more generally "normal
From the sense of "straight" it came to mean "correct", as in in
accordance with some rule -- another term with dual geometric and
normative meanings, like right and norm. Ruler as in straightedge,
ruler as in king, right as in correct, right as in 90 degrees, normal
as in correct, normal as in 90 degrees; for that matter, "straight"
and "regal" (and "regulation" and, foreshadowing here, "regular") both
derive from the same root as "right" with similar dual meanings. Greek
"ortho" and Latin "ordo" have a similar split as well, seen in
"orthodox" (correct belief) and "orthogonal" (right-angled),
"ordinal", "order" and "ordinary".
This is the sense where the current terms "normative" and "norm" come
from. Synonyms for "normative" include "prescriptive" and
"imperative"; a normative statement is a statement that something
*ought* to be, *should* be, that it would be *good* and *right* for it
to be. "A norm" is to a normative statement as a fact is to a factual
(descriptive, indicative) statement: that is what it puts forth should
be, ought to be, would be good or right if it was. Normative
statements propose norms. Factual statements propose facts. Either may
be correct or incorrect.
Only from the common assumptions of average people that the way people
typically behave is the right, correct, good way to behave did
"normal" acquire its present common meaning of "common", "typical" or
"average", and "the norm" come to mean the common, typical, or average
way for something to be. Strictly speaking, in the older sense of the
term, that is not a given; it is entirely possible that most, even all
people are not normal, and that nobody follows the norm(s).
It is only from that last, already twice-derivative usage, that a
statistically "normal" distribution, as in a gaussian distribution, a
bell curve, gets its name, as in an average distribution, one where
the mean, mode, and median are the same.
James was using "normative" in the second, correct, sense, the one
that means "prescriptive" or "imperative". Classical psychology made
statements about the way that people should think, not merely
statements about the way people on average do think. And it's possible
that almost nobody does think as they should think; that most people