Luke Monahan

Perth, Australia

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Luke Monahan
Posted over 1 year ago
Materialists and those who think humans evolved from animals are irrational.
Explaining my thoughts on free will can be difficult, I don't always have the right words to be understood correctly but let’s see how it goes. Predicting the outcome of a decision requires three things; you must know all the variables, you must know all the rules and reality itself must be absolutely deterministic. My very amateur understanding of quantum physics is that the Heisenberg uncertainty principle disallows our knowing all variables and Bells theorem suggests that quantum effects cannot be explained with local variables and determinism cannot be absolute. If free will is to exists, it's probably expressed somehow on the quantum level. I'm going to borrow from a previous post of mine now; There are conceptual problems with the idea of free will; The act of making a decision is one which is made, consciously or otherwise, by placing all the known variables into an equation defined by your value system and determining the best conceptual path. This process is very mechanical and predicable, if you know the variables and the equation, you automatically know the outcome. If free will does exist it means that a decision must be made in the absence of knowledge, values and analysis. It would be the ability to make a choice when you don't even know that there is one to be made. (otherwise it is predictable and not true free will) Free will is paradoxically nonsensical but at the same time an individual’s experienced existence or even existence itself cannot be explained with a "turtles all the way down" endless causal chain of events. (I don't see absolute determinism as a viable alternative explanation).
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Luke Monahan
Posted over 1 year ago
Materialists and those who think humans evolved from animals are irrational.
Before we can even consider whether humans or animals have free will we must determine what free will is and if it exists. Unfortunately free will is an abstract concept which is untestable and unprovable. I see no reason why if we assume that humans have free will, we should assume that animals do not. There are only two possible reasons why someone might assume that humans have free will while animals do not. It allows cruelty to animals since you can't really "hurt" a biological robot and there is a comfortable feeling of superiority which the assumption creates. David, you are suggesting that there is a group of people which have made the following three assumptions; 1. Animals do not have free will. 2. Humans do have free will. 3. Humans evolved from animals. I would suggest that 1 and 2 are your assumptions and they do not belong to the "Materialists" or "those who think humans evolved from animals" and they are not self evident givens which we should all accept unchallenged. A rational set of assumptions might be; 1. Animals have free will. 2. Humans have free will. 3. Humans evolved from animals. Alternatively; 1. Animals do not have free will. 2. Humans do not have free will. 3. Humans evolved from animals. Or finally, perhaps the most reasonable position; 1. I don't know if animals have free will. 2. I don't know if humans have free will. 3. Humans evolved from animals.
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Luke Monahan
Posted over 1 year ago
The Transitive Theory of Cognition
Since zero to one can be infinitely divided, it is an infinitely large range. Negative infinity to positive infinity is still conceptually represented by the less than 0.5 range and the greater than 0.5 range. With your suggested paradigm, less than average becomes undesirable and greater than average becomes desirable.
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Luke Monahan
Posted over 1 year ago
A statement rephrased as a question: I think therefore what am I?
I prefer to say; "I am experiencing existence therefore I must exist". What is in question is my nature and the nature of that which is around me. I could be a robot or an alien without knowing it. I could be a computer program in a simulation. I could be exactly what I appear to be. I could be any other 1 of an infinite number of possible things whilst unaware of my true nature. Whatever my true nature happens to be, I still exist. By extension, I would argue that everyone I interact with must exist because I am experiencing their existence. Again, it is their nature which is questionable. They could be as little as a set of misfiring neurons in my brain during a hallucination but a set of misfiring neurons in my brain are still a thing, therefore, they exist. Beyond this point everything is an assumption of necessity based on the observed patterns of my experience. To answer you question though; I believe I am more than my physical construct because I don't believe that the consciousness i experience can be built or programmed. If I am no more than my physical presence then I am a biological robot but no matter how complex a program gets, you cannot program a consciousness. ... As I said though, this is just an assumption of necessity.
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Luke Monahan
Posted over 1 year ago
If the universe is expanding - what is it expanding into?
What I'm saying is that there is a ratio between the size of the universe and the size of matter within it. You can express a change in this ratio by saying that the universe is expanding or by saying that matter is shrinking and you'd be equally correct because they are the same thing.
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Luke Monahan
Posted over 1 year ago
If the universe is expanding - what is it expanding into?
There is another way to look at this. If all objects are accelerating away from one another simultaneously, you could say that space itself is expanding but you could also say that space is remaining constant and matter is shrinking. From our prospective we would be unaware of our shrinking because everything else is shrinking at an equal rate. It would just appear that everything is accelerating away. If we are shrinking then the universe isn't "expanding" into anything.
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Luke Monahan
Posted almost 2 years ago
Is Kindness - Powerful?
I think kind and respectful gentleman might be a bit more than I deserve, I was a bit frustrated at the time and I'm sure I could have been more thoughtful and tactful. Perhaps the conversation might have been able to continue if I had been more thoughtful and tactful. I believe it was a miscommunication and I don't think badly of you for it.
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Luke Monahan
Posted almost 2 years ago
Is Kindness - Powerful?
For me it tends to be the other way around. I find that I miss more with face to face real time interaction because I do not have time to stop and think about what was said before responding. Electronically, I can read and re-read what someone has said and re-consider my response several times before settling on one which fits best and feels most likely to communicate the desired message. As a rule, I try to always assume the best possible interpretation about what someone has said online and respond to that. If I'm wrong I can always tell them off for being an asshole to me later. :P
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Luke Monahan
Posted almost 2 years ago
Is Kindness - Powerful?
Kindness itself is a rather subjective and ambiguous term. There is the stereotypical viewpoint that you should always say positive/constructive/uplifting things but I believe that the intention is the most important aspect of kindness and that requires a deep and honest self awareness. It's not at all difficult or uncommon to respond to a comment with the conscious intention of being kind while feeling angry and placing passive aggressive subtle implications in without even realising it. I often convince myself to wait until the next day before I reply to a comment if I can feel that there is too much emotion present to give a balanced response. I will admit though that there have been times when I have failed to convince myself to wait that extra day. There is also a matter of different prospectives. If I encounter someone that is clearly upset about something, I might start talking in a tone that I believe sounds concerned and non-threatening. The person I am talking to might hear that choice of tone and believe that I am being condescending. I have learnt that you can't necessarily just tell the other person that you're not being condescending, you have to change your strategy to fit their expectations. I have found that I cannot have a single universal rulebook with people. Different people have different social contracts they expect you to follow. As with anything else though it's a matter of balance, you can't change everything about yourself to fit someone else’s expectations but you can't expect them to either, compromise is the key.