Thought Experiment

Alot of people's brains have been a little unusual. Neanderthals generally had much larger brains than modern humans. How come they didnt produce an advanced civilization?
Actually, Neanderthals were a lot more sophisticated than was originally thought. I could give a long list of the things they could do, including making stone tools, weaving, seafaring, treating severe injuries. You don't go from essentially a cave man to Rome quickly. It all needs progress over time. Even Newton, one of the worlds greatest scientists, had no idea of relativity and Einstein had to really work on it.
Many years ago, A hydrocephalic man who had only a thin layer of brain tissue and the rest of his head was fluid, got a college degree. There is far more to the mind and intelligence than just the physical brain and its size.
I found this ...

Roger Lewin published an article in the prestigious journal Science, December 12th, 1980, describing and discussing Dr Lorber's work. Some sceptics claimed that Dr Lorber misinterpreted the Cat scans and others complained that he had not exactly quantified the amount of missing brain tissue. Lorber replied that he would hardly make such astounding claims without the backing of substantial evidence and commented on the lack of precise quantitation - "I can't say whether the mathematics student had a brain weighing 50 grams or 150 grams, but it is clear it is nowhere near the normal 1.5kg and much of the brain he does have is in the more primitive deep structures that are relatively spared in hydrochephalus".
and ...

Hydrocephalus has been induced in cats in order to study the structure of the altered brain. The cat experiments show that hydrocephalus preferentially damages the white brain matter. The relative sparing of the grey matter may, at least partly, explain the retention of normal functions in many severely hydrocephalic individuals.
Found here.

The story might not be so straightforward as you think.

I agree, they have a nonphysical mind within them. As an atheist what else besides chemicals is the brain made up of?
"Weighing about 3 pounds in the average adult, the brain is about 60% fat. The remaining 40% is a combination of water, protein, carbohydrates and salts. The brain itself is a not a muscle. It contains blood vessels and nerves, including neurons and glial cells".

Found here.

Children can learn to communicate without contradicting themselves without ever taking any class in logic. This points to it being built into the human mind. But of course, people can be taught to improve their use of the logic they were born with.
People think logically and illogically all the time. Logic isn't built into the human mind, it's able to be realised by the human mind. What's built in is the capacity to learn.
 
Do you think the odds of rolling "snake eyes" is reduced if that has just been rolled?
The odds of rolling snake eyes is one in five. Given the massive number of possible nontruths out there, the odds of accidentally discovering a truth are astronomical.
 
Alot of people's brains have been a little unusual. Neanderthals generally had much larger brains than modern humans. How come they didnt produce an advanced civilization? Many years ago, A hydrocephalic man who had only a thin layer of brain tissue and the rest of his head was fluid, got a college degree. There is far more to the mind and intelligence than just the physical brain and its size.
So what is it?
I agree, they have a nonphysical mind within them. As an atheist what else besides chemicals is the brain made up of?
Neurons, and their supporting cells. Each neuron has its own peculiar microanatomy: their arrangement with respect to each other and their functional properties appear to give rise to our capacity to sense, move and to make decisions: we know this from more than a century of careful laboratory and clinical work. It isn't the chemicals: its the architecture and the activity.

The hydrocephalic man whom you cite is a case in point; in some very pure forms of hydrocephalus, the long connections between cells are thinned and distorted, although the cells themselves are relatively unaffected. Such a condition may be accompanied by normal brain function, although it is physiologically fragile. This is actually pretty well recognised; such people do have neurological disorders: abilities that rely on very long connections within the central nervous system are affected first (e.g. fine motor skills) but clinically obvious cognitive dysfunction is relatively late.

Children can learn to communicate without contradicting themselves without ever taking any class in logic. This points to it being built into the human mind.
This points to its capacity as latent, not to logic itself. Children (and adults) train themselves to achieve functional outcomes using intuitive relationships as rules of thumb, which are re-enforced, generalised or discarded as early experience guides. If you keep thinking that logic is inbuilt (it isn't) you will be like the people who think language is innate: neither is true, but the capacity to learn starting from a few basic rules IS innate. If you think logic is innate: which logic?
 
So what is it?

The God given capacity to believe the truth; then experience reality.

Neurons, and their supporting cells. Each neuron has its own peculiar microanatomy: their arrangement with respect to each other and their functional properties appear to give rise to our capacity to sense, move and to make decisions: we know this from more than a century of careful laboratory and clinical work. It isn't the chemicals: its the architecture and the activity.
The hydrocephalic man whom you cite is a case in point; in some very pure forms of hydrocephalus, the long connections between cells are thinned and distorted, although the cells themselves are relatively unaffected. Such a condition may be accompanied by normal brain function, although it is physiologically fragile. This is actually pretty well recognised; such people do have neurological disorders: abilities that rely on very long connections within the central nervous system are affected first (e.g. fine motor skills) but clinically obvious cognitive dysfunction is relatively late. This points to its capacity as latent, not to logic itself. Children (and adults) train themselves to achieve functional outcomes using intuitive relationships as rules of thumb, which are re-enforced, generalised or discarded as early experience guides. If you keep thinking that logic is inbuilt (it isn't) you will be like the people who think language is innate: neither is true, but the capacity to learn starting from a few basic rules IS innate. If you think logic is innate: which logic?
Actually it isn't a physical capacity at all. But a non-physical and metaphysical capacity called belief that makes the truth and reality known to us.
 
Which laws of physics does reason defy? Please be specific, and show the math.
The laws of chemistry. There is no math. If the mind were purely physical then your conclusions would be based on the ratio of chemicals in your brain rather than the weighing of premises and evidence and coming to a conclusion based on logic.
 
The laws of chemistry. There is no math. If the mind were purely physical then your conclusions would be based on the ratio of chemicals in your brain rather than the weighing of premises and evidence and coming to a conclusion based on logic.
Computers are purely physical, and yet are internally organized in such a way as to be able to make inferences and perform calculations. Are they breaking the laws of electronics? Shouldn't they just be providing output based on the ratio of electrical signals instead giving correct answers based on arithmetic?
 
Precisely which law of physics is violated by free will?

It really isn't good enough to say "Well, it just does." Physics is basically math applied to dimensions: show that math.
The laws of chemistry. In chemistry the product is determined by the ratio of chemicals reacting. In logic the conclusion or product is determined by weighing of evidence or comparing premises of an argument.
 
The laws of chemistry. In chemistry the product is determined by the ratio of chemicals reacting. In logic the conclusion or product is determined by weighing of evidence or comparing premises of an argument.
In electronics the output is determined by voltage, resistance, and circuitry. In arithmetic the answer is determined by the laws of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Therefore calculators cannot do math without violating the laws of physics.
 
In electronics the output is determined by voltage, resistance, and circuitry. In arithmetic the answer is determined by the laws of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Therefore calculators cannot do math without violating the laws of physics.
How did you come to that conclusion?
 
The laws of chemistry. In chemistry the product is determined by the ratio of chemicals reacting. In logic the conclusion or product is determined by weighing of evidence or comparing premises of an argument.

So far you have asserted that the mind violates the laws of chemistry because rhetorical logic is not chemistry. You may as well be saying that a rainbow and the orbit of Saturn violate the laws of chemistry as well. Nobody thinks that the mind is reducible to the law of mass reaction, although it's activities must indeed be somehow circumscribed by such a law, as well as by the laws of thermodynamics. See above in my reference to neural architecture: the brain is more akin to a digital computer than a reaction flask.
 
Different animals are different from each other. Humans have a uniquely elaborate social organization, and we treat each other accordingly. Ants do it by smell and hormonal signals: are you suggesting that if we were principled that we should be like ants, or that ants should be like us? Presumably not. So we do not act like other species because we are not them, and they act like themselves and not like us because they are themselves.
None of that implies that we ought not act like ants or other animals. You are just stating what some humans and ants do, not what they ought to do.
 
None of that implies that we ought not act like ants or other animals.
Given that not all animals act alike, there is no a priori reason that any species OUGHT to act exactly the same as any other. See below.
You are just stating what some humans and ants do, not what they ought to do.
Right. So if animals act in one way, there is no ought that humans should act the same way. So humans act in human ways, and simply because ants might do something is not a reason to say that humans ought, or ought not, do the same thing. You are saying "Animals do X. Nazis do X. Why is it OK for animals and not Nazis, if humans are just a sort of animal?". And my answer is "Because humans are not other animals: just as every animal species has its own way of acting, so do we."

Note: this does not answer the question of the functional basis of our behavior, nor its origin. But what it does do is tell you why, even if humans are simply a clever sort of animal, we can expect ourselves to have our own rules distinct from those of other animals: because every animal species has rules distinct from those of all other animals. Our position is not anomalous in that regard.
 
This answer ignores most of my post about this, that numbers are non contingent. Yes, numbers need a mind to be realised but not to be as they are.
I guess I am not sure what you mean then.
Really? You have to ask? It's because we humans have the ability to reflect upon the consequences of our actions, which makes us moral agents. It doesn't matter whether we are animals or not, what matters is said ability to reflect on the consequences of our behaviour
So if the consequences of your behavior are good for you, then that means it is moral? Like Joseph Stalin gained great power and wealth for many years, so does that mean what he did was good?
 
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