View Full Version : Conscience - The separation of innate vs learned

11-23-13, 08:07 AM
Greetings all.

Up for discussion. Conscience. How our gut can misguide us or guide us.

If indeed we are products of cause and effect. If our next action is based on our perceptions of past actions and learned values. Then we are destined to be robots of experience.

Wait a minute your say! What about random factors, what about genetic drift! :giggle: Seriously.....


How to break the cause and effect continuum?

The benefit/relationship between purely learned values, self generated values and how to tell the difference?

Realtime, other than mindfullness and detachment... how can one foster healthy ( evidence based - beneficial ) values?

What place do values have in choice and are they beneficial as a whole if true to ones character?

11-23-13, 11:39 AM
I do not actually think there is an answer outside using self awareness but I will attempt to give some kind of a hybrid answer.

Without self awareness we lack the ability to break the direct link between cause and effect.

Insofar as our actions are caused by external and internal processes the only remaining method through which we have a chance of changing these is by somehow modifying the causes. This is what we do when we introduce medications and coping strategies and by deliberately placing ourselves in an environment that has a different effect on our actions.

But of course, the decision itself to take meds or modify our environment is also made automatically! Its just moving back in the chain of cause and effect.

Within the realm of cause and effect there is no such thing as objective conscience, or objective anything for that matter. Nature has no inherent morality, it just does what it does, and the non self aware human essentially is subject to the same automatic processes that govern the rest of nature and the animal kingdom itself.

11-23-13, 12:32 PM
Even if I try various things to escape cause and effect, I did even those for a cause. If I sense causes and decide not to respond, I also did that for a cause. As you see, I cannot escape cause and effect.

IF cause and effect is validly operating in the first place! :)

11-23-13, 12:39 PM
Of course, the issue is much muddled by the workings of quantum mechanics.

11-23-13, 01:20 PM
Just thinking out loud.... guys... not purportinig these all to be true nor false.... Just brainstorming ( or DDOSing wikipedia ;) )

An emergent ( property of a system, in this context, is one that is not a property of any component of that system, but is still a feature of the system as a whole
The processes from which emergent properties result may occur in either the observed or observing system, and can commonly be identified by their patterns of accumulating change, most generally called 'growth'. Emergent behaviours can occur because of intricate causal relations across different scales and feedback, known as interconnectivity. The emergent property itself may be either very predictable or unpredictable and unprecedented, and represent a new level of the system's evolution.

Emergentism (

A property of a system is said to be emergent if it is in some sense more than the "sum" of the properties of the system's parts. An emergent property is said to be dependent on some more basic properties (and their relationships and configuration), so that it can have no separate existence. However, a degree of independence is also asserted of emergent properties, so that they are not identical to, or reducible to, or predictable from, or deducible from their bases. The different ways in which the independence requirement can be satisfied lead to variant types of emergence.

Vitality and self-regulation (

Another area of interest for SDT researchers is the relationship between subjective vitality and self-regulation. Ryan and Deci[42] define vitality as energy available to the self, either directly or indirectly, from basic psychological needs. This energy allows individuals to act autonomously.
Many theorists have posited that self-regulation depletes energy but SDT researchers have proposed and demonstrated that only controlled regulation depletes energy, autonomous regulation can actually be vitalizing.[43]

Self-determination (philosophy) (

The technical terms Determination[1] and Adequate determinism [2] have been proposed as preferable to determinism to describe actions that are adequately determined by an agent's current reasons, motives, and desires, as opposed to the strict predeterminism by a causal chain of events going back before the agent's birth.
Epicurus actually said "..some things happen of necessity (ἀνάγκη), others by chance (τύχη), others through our own agency (παρ' ἡμᾶς). ...necessity destroys responsibility and chance is uncertain; whereas our own actions are autonomous, and it is to them that praise and blame naturally attach.[11]

Ultimate responsibility (

Kane believes freedom is based on certain rare and exceptional events, which he calls self-forming actions or SFA's. Dennett notes that there is no guarantee such an event will occur in an individual's life. If it does not, the individual does not in fact have free will at all, according to Kane. Yet they will seem the same as anyone else. Dennett finds an essentially indetectable notion of free will to be incredible.
Kane's latest suggestion for his occasional self-forming actions argues that the tension and uncertainty in our minds stirs up "chaos" that is sensitive to micro-indeterminacies at the neuronal level.
All free acts do not have to be undetermined on the libertarian view, but only those acts by which we made ourselves into the kinds of persons we are, namely the "will-setting" or "self-forming actions" (SFAs) that are required for ultimate responsibility. [15]
Now I believe these undetermined self-forming actions or SFAs occur at those difficult times of life when we are torn between competing visions of what we should do or become. Perhaps we are torn between doing the moral thing or acting from ambition, or between powerful present desires and long-term goals, or we are faced with difficult tasks for which we have aversions.[16]
Since he is primarily interested in cases of "liberty of indifference," the strong indeterminism he introduces raise the objection of loss of agent control, but Kane says the agent can beforehand decide to assume responsibility whichever way she randomly chose. This seems more like rationalization than reason, but Kane defends it.
"Suppose we were to say to such persons: 'But look, you didn't have sufficient or conclusive prior reasons for choosing as you did since you also had viable reasons for choosing the other way.' They might reply. 'True enough. But I did have good reasons for choosing as I did, which I'm willing to stand by and take responsibility for. If these reasons were not sufficient or conclusive reasons, that's because, like the heroine of the novel, I was not a fully formed person before I chose (and still am not, for that matter). Like the author of the novel, I am in the process of writing an unfinished story and forming an unfinished character who, in my case, is myself.'" [17]

Free Will (
Abraham Low, a critic of psychoanalysis,[13] stressed the importance of will, the ability to control thoughts and impulses, as fundamental for achieving mental health.[14]
In his On the Freedom of the Will, Schopenhauer stated, "You can do what you will, but in any given moment of your life you can will only one definite thing and absolutely nothing other than that one thing."[10]

Transcendental idealism (

Kant's doctrine maintains that human experience of things is similar to the way they appear to us — implying a fundamentally subject-based component, rather than being an activity that directly (and therefore without any obvious causal link) comprehends the things as they are in and of themselves.
The salient element here is that space and time, rather than being real things-in-themselves or empirically mediated appearances (Ge: Erscheinungen), are the very forms of intuition (Ge: Anschauung) by which we must perceive objects. They are hence neither to be considered properties that we may attribute to objects in perceiving them, nor substantial entities of themselves. They are in that sense subjective, yet necessary, preconditions of any given object insofar as this object is an appearance and not a thing-in-itself. Humans necessarily perceive objects as located in space and in time. This condition of experience is part of what it means for a human to cognize an object, to perceive and understand it as something both spatial and temporal. "I understand by the transcendental idealism of all appearances the doctrine that they are all to be regarded as mere representations and not as things in themselves, and accordingly that space and time are only sensible forms of our intuition…"[3]
It is the dialectic character of knowing, rather than epistemological insufficiency, that Kant wanted most to assert.

Akrasia (

Another explanation is that there are different forms of motivation which can conflict with each other. Throughout the ages, many have identified a conflict between reason and emotion, which might make it possible to believe that one should do A rather than B, but still end up wanting to do B more than A.
Richard Holton (1999), for example, argues that weakness of the will involves revising one's resolutions too easily. Under this view, it is possible to act against one's better judgment (that is, be akratic), but without being weak-willed.
Another view is that although the person holds certain moral views in high esteem—the person holds other beliefs more strongly. With this in mind, the moral conceptual framework of the individual must be evaluated to determine the nature of the act. To show strength of will implies a pre-determined decision-making process that may or may not seem to be in conflict with generally accepted moral beliefs.

Categorical imperative (

The capacity that underlies deciding what is moral is called pure practical reason, which is contrasted with pure reason (the capacity to know without having been shown) and mere practical reason (which allows us to interact with the world in experience). Hypothetical imperatives tell us which means best achieve our ends. They do not, however, tell us which ends we should choose. The typical dichotomy in choosing ends is between ends that are "right" (e.g., helping someone) and those that are "good" (e.g., enriching oneself). Kant considered the "right" superior to the "good"; to him, the "good" was morally irrelevant. In Kant's view, a person cannot decide whether conduct is "right," or moral, through empirical means. Such judgments must be reached a priori, using pure practical reason.[citation needed]
Reason, separate from all empirical experience, can determine the principle according to which all ends can be determined as moral. It is this fundamental principle of moral reason that is known as the categorical imperative. Pure practical reason in the process of determining it dictates what ought to be done without reference to empirical contingent factors. Moral questions are determined independent of reference to the particular subject posing them. It is because morality is determined by pure practical reason rather than particular empirical or sensuous factors that morality is universally valid. This moral universalism has come to be seen as the distinctive aspect of Kant's moral philosophy and has had wide social impact in the legal and political concepts of human rights and equality.

Adaptive autonomy (

Consequently, the automation solutions should be smart enough to adapt the level of automation (LOA) to the changes in peripheral situations. This concept is known as adaptive automation [9] or adjustable autonomy;[10] however, the term "adaptive autonomy"..........

Philosophical zombie (

A p-zombie that is behaviorally indistinguishable from a normal human being but lacks conscious experiences is therefore not logically possible according to the behaviorist, so an appeal to the logical possibility of a p-zombie furnishes an argument that behaviorism is false. Proponents of zombie arguments generally accept that p-zombies are not physically possible, while opponents necessarily deny that they are metaphysically or even logically possible.

11-23-13, 01:26 PM
Of course, the issue is much muddled by the workings of quantum mechanics.
Unless we're actually talking about quantum mechanics per se, no, the issue isn't really muddled by quantum mechanics.

11-23-13, 02:34 PM
-- conscience --
The monkeys are naturally gravitating towards the social actor.
That would be in their programming (innate).

Conscience wrapped up in social behaviour.

Conscience - The separation of innate vs learnedIn man - we can override a natural tendency towards social behaviour through learning.

So - for instance in the lawyer - the lawyer is taught to win regardless - the lawyer has been subjected to a form of education which effectively eliminates morality.

A default innate tendency towards conscience is over-ridden by 'learning'.

Solution ?
Stop rewarding people for crippling their own conscience.

Simplest mechanism of achieving this ?
Just plain $top rewarding people - allow people to 'act' if they find the 'acts' rewarding in and of themself.