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Your opinion: Do animals have souls?

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Ciryaher

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People, you're getting way off topic, here. The question is whether or not animals have souls. Half of this thread seems to be arguing about how to look at life in general. At least attempt to correlate these posts with the topic.
 

Eriol

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Helcaraxë said:
I thought I answered this. Independent movement.
But you haven't explained what you mean by that. Why the amoeba is independent from the environment?

I didn't mean it had no cause, only that the cause was not environmental.
Rigor, my friend! :p

Second: you have not adressed my argument as to why it is not a contradiction.
Heh. I probably spent half of my words in this thread addressing that. You may disagree with it (though I don't see how you can do that without falling in contradiction), but to say that I haven't addressed that is very very funny.

I'll do it again, look:

To claim that our thoughts and choices are the result of the deterministic clash of particles is to claim that this paragraph I'm writing right now is the result of deterministic clash of particles. But this is to take away any relationship that this paragraph may have with an uncheangeable truth. If this theory is right, then we can't reach truth by any means; what we think is "true" now may appear false to us tomorrow if we eat a different food or experience a different environment or any of a thousand possible contingencies.

In other words, this theory claims that truth is unreachable, while claiming to be true. Contradiction.

And no, the only way out is not to posit free will (and I am not saying that free will does not exist). This is my point. There can be independent volition without free will. The dog causes the dog's movement uphill. And according to you, the dog has no free will.
Yes, this is your point. But you haven't explained what is "independent volition without free will". Your examples of independent volition -- ALL of them -- are reduced to deterministic clash of particles. The dog climbs the hill because he detects the scent of food over there; he detects the scent of food because he has a nose programmed to look for those things, and a body (most especially a nervous system) programmed to move in that direction; the program is in the genes; the genes are a result of evolution; evolution is deterministic clash of particles producing "the fittest".

About Ockam's razor: it only works when you slice away unecessary principles to simplify an explanation; necessary factor's can't be cut away.
But necessity must be shown; and indeed, the fact that you haven't shown it yet shows that it is not necessary in this case :). Necessity can't be logically denied. Yet we are denying it. Show me why this "independent volition" is a necessary concept. You haven't defined it; you haven't shown it in action. What is it anyway?

Prove that assertion. The cause is very much in his control: he is the cause! It matters to differentiate because the fact that there is an internal cause means that he can control himself, and is not in the external control of the environment. He is not a puppet; if genes control him (which is debatable), he controls himself. He is most certainly a self because he is distinct from the environment.
"He is not a self because he is distinct from the environment". Gosh, Helcaraxë, you really have to define your terms. What is the difference between control by genes and control by environment? Both are control by "outside sources", both deny the self. Why do you put so much importance in "outside environment" anyway? Genes are NOT part of our "selves". They are imposed on us by history. You can't choose to be tall or short. I can't see how you can claim that "if the dog is controlled by the genes, he is in control", and compare this sentence to human control.

Tell me this: if you had absolutely no independence from the environment, would you jump? No! There would be no reason for you to in the environment. Things don't just jump spontaneously, they jump because they themselves exert the force to jump.
I haven't the slighest idea of what you mean here. If I had no independence from the environment I wouldn't jump? Why not?? What if food is in a high branch and I can't reach it without jumping? Isn't a jump to grab food "dependence to the environment"?

It is not so much a matter of location. The genes are a part of the aboeba. The genes control the amoeba. Therefore the amoeba controls itself. Your car analogy is invalid, because cars have no volition of their own unless they are started.
Who started the amoebas? ;). This makes no sense. What about after the car is started, is the analogy valid then? Your statement, "cars have no volition of their own unless they are started" seems to imply that cars HAVE volition of their own after they are started. Is that what you are saying??

"The genes control the amoeba, therefore the amoeba controls itself" simply denies that amoebas have a self, and it undermines your entire argument. If the genes control the amoeba, the amoeba does not exist at an volitional entity. It's just there. You should read "The Selfish Gene", by Richard Dawkins (note, I disagree with Dawkins on just about everything he says because he loves to mix bad philosophy with good science -- but there is good science there). We're not saying that the genes "regulate" the amoeba (as in humans), we're saying that they control the amoeba. It's a much stronger claim. The amoeba simply can't do anything against the genes; she can't even imagine anything against the genes. As a matter of fact, "amoebal volition" becomes a completely unnecessary concept in this context, and therefore we should bring Ockham the barber to deal with it.

The engine controls the car. Fuel controls the engine. Chemical oxidation controls the burning of fuel. The car is not "aware" of any of this, and he can't fight against it. He is the result of it. Now you have to show what is the difference between this scenario and chemical oxidation of sugars in animal cells. Is the difference just that the car can't decide on his own goals while the animal apparently can? Well, the car was not designed to make decisions. He doesn't have a nervous system or sensors. Animals were designed (by evolution) to have those. And the nervous system + sensors follow the exact same routine as respiration; it is a chain of cause and effect, in which there is no, repeat no, room for volition anywhere.

When you see an animal going against his own genes you may have a better argument. So far, you haven't got a good argument.
 

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But you continue to make these assertions. Animals don't merely "move." It has to have some internal factor. Animals or humans don't jump or run uphill naturally. If you have ever seen a dead person or a rock jump, than you could conclude that people and animals do not have some degree of independence. But dead things and rocks do not naturally jump, because they have no controlling facots of their own.
Animals don't jump for no cause... I have seen robots jump. What is the difference between a robot and a rock jumping? I don't know what "naturally" means in that sentence, "animals don't run uphill naturally". Do they run uphill artificially? You really have to define these concepts.

Of course they have an internal factor. But what has location got to do with it? We're not worried about location, we are worried about volition. If I drive a car, I am an "internal factor" at that moment controlling the car. Does that mean that the car has volition? Or is it me, the driver, who has volition?

Animals are driven by molecules. As far as I know, molecules have no volition. I don't see why they acquire volition at some point in evolution, and you haven't explained where or why this happens. You point to physics (e.g. gravity) as the ultimate environmental barrier, but animals (and living beings in general) are controlled mostly by chemistry, not physics; physics just determine the "life boundaries" in our planet, but what happens within those boundaries is mostly not determined by physics, rather by chemistry. And chemistry is just as deterministic and "unfree" as physics. You can't overlook it and declare "internal factor!". It doesn't address the problem.

No, the engine does not control the car because it is not an animate object. ;) But the secondary factor is necessary. I'll ask you again, have you ever seen a rock jump? I doubt it, so the jumping must be a result of a secondary factor that is not in the environment. The amoeba is still controlled, but it is controlled by itself. I attribute a self to it because it can control itself. Amoebas and dogs are not puppets, because the genes that controll them are a part of the amoeba and the dog.
I've seen a robot jump. What is the difference between a robot and a rock, I ask again. The genes are a part of the organism, but they are not a part of the "self"; just as I am not a part of the car "self" when I'm driving it.

The engine is not animate, you say. Is the car animate? Are the wheels animate? Is fuel animate? What is the boundary? Note, if you claim "nothing is animate" then you'll be hard pressed to find anything animate in animals.

Factors are not under control, they are the things that control.
A good sentence. It means that an amoeba is NOT in control. What is in control is genes and environment. What controls those? Physics and Chemistry. No matter how much you squirm ;), you will not be able to show control in organisms, themselves; they are controlled, not controllers. "Genes are part of the organism, therefore it is the organism that is in control" is a fallacy of composition. Read "The Selfish Gene", it is (regardless of its faults) a tremendously important book.

If you claim that the car doesn't control the engine, and the engine doesn't control the car, how can you claim that the amoeba (or the dog) controls anything at all? Refer back to your definition (Merriam-Webster ;)) of "control".

Demonstrate the contradiction. First off, if commands are the antecedent, than any attempt at choice is merely an illusion. But tell me first why evolutionary ethology restricts truth. If it is right, it is right because of chemical factors.
Twice in the same post? Nope, I won't do it. I'll probably not do it again. I'll answer to questions, but you never question, you just say I haven't shown it :p. Well, it's right there, as well as in half of my posts in this thread.

You didn't adress my argument. Desirabilities cannot be equated with rights. And what do mean when you say "that is why he doesn't have the right"? This was a bit confusing.
And you didn't adress my questions about the source of morality... tit for tat :D. I don't equate desirabilities with rights (you'll see that if you read my posts), I say rights derive from desirables. This is not "equating". And what I meant is what I wrote: he doesn't have the right because it would be contradictory to have it.

P.S. Cir, surely to determine whether animals have volition is part of the question of the thread... right?
 

Helcaraxë

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Tarlanc said:
You know, that you agree with me by formulating it this way?
'Towing the car is taking the car into some measure of control' is just what I said. It is taking the car into control. But you do not control it immediately. To really control the car, you had to sit in it, steer it, press the pedals and so on.
It's the same thing as the example with the stomach. The stomach controls itself. You can not control it. But you are the one that is in control of the stomach. You can move it by walking a step forwards. The stomach will follow. But the control of the funtions of the stomach is not in your hands.
You still control it. You can have just as much influence on the car by selling it as you could by taking the wheel.
The new names you brought in your post of the 'controller' and the 'ultimate controller' is fitting this image wuite well. If you want, we can stick to that. Although 'immediate controller' and 'ultimate controller' could be a litle clearer.
There are two different kinds of control. One is the more general control. It lies in the hands of the ultimate controller. The owner of the plane, the one towing a car, the one owning a stomach. He gives directions. But in many cases he can only control the object ba instructing the immediate controller. The immediate controller is the one that pulls the strings, pushes the buttons and presses the pedals.
Both of them have a degree of control over the object. But in a different way.
And the immediate controller in many cases is not the ultimate controller, or the possessor of the object.
I hope, at least in this point you will agree with me.
Yes, they are different kinds of control, although I don't see why it matters as long as there is control present in the owner and not just the captain.
Yes, this is a kind of control. This is the kind an ultimate controller possesses. The object underlies his will. He can say what he wants the object to do. But he does not have to be the one that directly controls the object.
The immediate controller ma be someone else.
Correct.
Yes, that's it. These are the two different uses or levels of control.
But hving the one kind of control does not mean you do have the other kind, too.
Yes, that's right.
evidence: A stone does not take a plane into control. It has no consciousness.
evidence: A tree does not take a plane into control. It has no consciuosness.
evidecne: A human does take a plane into control. It has a consciousness,
This does not prove anything. It just says that in some examples it requires consciousness, that in the case of a plane it requires consciousness. But you have yet to prove that in all cases taking control requires consciousness.

No, it is exactly the point. Soryy that I could not make that clear. These are two different kinds of control. And having one kind of control does not mean that you have automatically the other one, too.
'Taking something into control' means that you gain ultimate control over an object.
'To control' something means to have the immediate control over an object.
Why? That's an invalid inference.

No, this is an outside influence. If a plant is not able to sustain itself this means that there are too little nutritients, light, water or air present for the plant to sustain itslef. All of these are outside factors. The plant can not control these. Thus they are outside influences.
I've seen plants die when there is plenty of nutrients, water and sunlight. Plants don't just go on living indefinately even if the conditions are right.

No, you have mixed them up. The contolling instance always gives feedback. This is the way to control. It gets information, gives feedback and controls something by means of this feedback.
Another assertion, but this is easily refutable. The endocrine system tells the hair folicle to grow a hair; the folicle gives no information to the endocrine system.

No. The plant recieves the information that the grains are gone with the wind. Then it gives a feedback which causes cell-death.
Irrelevant.

The controller does not recieve feedback but information. This information my be the feedback of the object that controls the controller, but it remains information.
Now you are changing your argument. Prove that in all instances, feedback or information is received by the controller.

Pracitcal example: If the sun shines on a blossom it opens. But there are several controls involved. The sun shines on cells on the surface of the closes blossom. These cells give a feedback in shape of signalling molecules. These molecules (the feedback of the one cells and informations for the others) are again recognized by other cells in the blossom which pump water inside themselves to grow. Like this the blossom opens.
But from the point of view of the controller it is always incoming information which causes a feedback.
This example only applies when a thing controller receives feedback from a thing that in turn controls it, which proves my point that in some instances only the controlled object receives the feedback, and not the controller.


No, it does not. Neither the central nervous system (brain and brain stem) nor the peripheral nervous system (nerves in the organs) have anything to do with hair growth. Hair can grow without a nervous system. They do. I have seen it myself. Hair grows on dead bodies and in petri dishes. There are no nerves needed.
(P.S: I have been studying biochemistry for 3 years now. If I know anything it is the funtion of cells)
Appeal to authority. Anyway, what relevance does this have? If the nervous system or the endocrin system is dead, than the folicles receive no feedback. And yet it continues to grow without feedback, and it supports my point.

Neither of them communicates with the other. The hair follicles are independent of the nervous system. They get their information from the surrounding tissue and give feedback by forming hair or inhibiting hair formation.
The nervous system has nothing to do with hair growth.
I don't know the details of hair growth, but either the folcile is the controlled object and receives feedback from the tissue, which would support my argument that in many cases it is the controlled and not the controller that receives the feedback, or the folicle grows the hair independently, and the folicle would be the controller, which also supports my argument.

In this case lava killing a man by swallowing him up is controlling the man? Water wresting the life from a drowning person is controlling it? A rope tied around the neck of a hanged man is controlling that man?
No, because the lava is not a thing that meets the criterion for control. It does not take the person's life into control, but is merely a thing of the surroundings that causes death.

The vine does not control anything but itself. Killing someone does not indicate control. The vine kills the the tree by taking the nutritients from the tree. The tree starves. But the vine has no control over the tree. It does nothing but growing and eating.
Nothing but growing and eating which actively causes the death of the tree. To kill something is to take control of their life away from them. Regardless of whether the vine aims to control the tree or merely to eat, it kills the tree and takes control of its life.
Fire can kill planst and people. But it does not control them. Water can kill, too. But it has no control over the one it kills.
The vine can not control the life of the tree. The tree just starves because it does not get enough nutrition.
The vine would control the life of the tree if it could decide whether it wants to kill it or let it live. This is control. But it needs consciousness.
But the vine does not control anything it just sucks nutrition out of the tree and the tree eventually starves.
Yet now you contradict yourself, and say that control requires consciousness. You can't have them both. :)
Yes, he is. Because he can decide whether the chicken lives or dies. He has the power to kill the chicken or to let it run. Thus he controls its life. Its life depends on the will of the farmer. He is the one in control.
The chicken still controls itslef. It can move its limbs, lay eggs, flutter, but the one that is in ultimate ontrol of the chicken is the farmer.
Only if he kills the chicken. But this control is not rightful, as the chicken is the rightful and original controller.
Not exactly. If something has the ability to decide to kill something else, it is in control.
A lightning my kill the chicken. But it is not in control of the chicken. A flood, a fire, thin air... all of these have the ability to kill.
But only by having the ability to decide whether to kill someone you do have power.
Decision is not necessary. A fox can take control of a chicken's life as much as a farmer can. Is the chicken's life somehow more in its own control if a fox kills it rather than a farmer?
Thanks. At least in one point we may agree.
But you still did not provide evidence for your hypothesis that unconscious objects may take something into control.
The vine does not take anything into control. As little as water, fire or a rock falling from a mountain.
Not true. Water and fire do not meet the criteria for control. They are, as you said, merely causes. The vine does meet these criterion, and is not merely a cause. Anything that kills another thing, be itconscious or unconscious, it is taking it into control. But what about my earlier example? If a wolf wrests control of the chicken's life away from it, is it any more in control than if the farmer did?
 

Helcaraxë

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Thanks. At least in one point we may agree.

But you still did not provide evidence for your hypothesis that unconscious objects may take something into control.
The vine does not take anything into control. As little as water, fire or a rock falling from a mountain.
Not true. Water and fire do not meet the criteria for control. They are, as you said, merely causes. The vine does meet these criterion, and is not merely a cause. Anything that kills another thing, be itconscious or unconscious, it is taking it into control. But what about my earlier example? If a wolf wrests control of the chicken's life away from it, is it any more in control than if the farmer did?

No. A hypothesis is true until falsified. this is a general principle in empirical sciences. An assumption my become a hypothesis by a piece of evidence. A hypothesis may only be falsified by a contradicting fact.
You can not prove a hypothesis to be true. That's not possible by definition.
If you can prove it to be true it is a fact and no hypothesis. Because facts are the only things that are true.
Prove that all true things are observable. Second: so if I have a theory that nothing has true existence, that all things ar an elaborate illusion, am I right? Can it even be proven that I am wrong? If it cannot be proven, is it automatically true?

'I am sitting on a chair' this is a fact. This is observable.
But it does not have absolute existence. The chair has existence. I do have exisetence, but me sitting on a chair is a fact. It has no existence.
But all things that have absolute existance are observable. There is not one thing that exists and can't be observed theoretically by one means or another. It does not mean I can observe it with my eyes, but it is observable.
Argument by assertion. Prove that nothing exists that cannot be observed.

But you haven't explained what you mean by that. Why the amoeba is independent from the environment?
Isn't this the same question you asked last time? What more do you want me to tell you?
Heh. I probably spent half of my words in this thread addressing that. You may disagree with it (though I don't see how you can do that without falling in contradiction), but to say that I haven't addressed that is very very funny.
Show me where you explained it.
I'll do it again, look:

To claim that our thoughts and choices are the result of the deterministic clash of particles is to claim that this paragraph I'm writing right now is the result of deterministic clash of particles. But this is to take away any relationship that this paragraph may have with an uncheangeable truth. If this theory is right, then we can't reach truth by any means; what we think is "true" now may appear false to us tomorrow if we eat a different food or experience a different environment or any of a thousand possible contingencies.

In other words, this theory claims that truth is unreachable, while claiming to be true. Contradiction.
Why? Why is this "taking away the unchanging relationship it has with unchangable truth? Is there unchangable truth, when considering clashing particles? If so, why is it impossible to perceive this truth?


Yes, this is your point. But you haven't explained what is "independent volition without free will". Your examples of independent volition -- ALL of them -- are reduced to deterministic clash of particles. The dog climbs the hill because he detects the scent of food over there; he detects the scent of food because he has a nose programmed to look for those things, and a body (most especially a nervous system) programmed to move in that direction; the program is in the genes; the genes are a result of evolution; evolution is deterministic clash of particles producing "the fittest".
You are repeating yourself. Independent volition is possible with clashing particles. The dog detects smell, and than moves of his own accord toward the scent of food. His nervous system.
But necessity must be shown; and indeed, the fact that you haven't shown it yet shows that it is not necessary in this case . Necessity can't be logically denied. Yet we are denying it. Show me why this "independent volition" is a necessary concept. You haven't defined it; you haven't shown it in action. What is it anyway?

Huh? Why can't necessity be logically denied? Why is the fact that I (alledgedly) haven't shown it yet negate the necessity? Independent volition is a necessary concept to account for the movements of certain objects.'


"He is not a self because he is distinct from the environment". Gosh, Helcaraxë, you really have to define your terms. What is the difference between control by genes and control by environment? Both are control by "outside sources", both deny the self. Why do you put so much importance in "outside environment" anyway? Genes are NOT part of our "selves". They are imposed on us by history. You can't choose to be tall or short. I can't see how you can claim that "if the dog is controlled by the genes, he is in control", and compare this sentence to human control.
I did not say, "he is not a self because he is distinct," I said he is a self because he is distinct. And why do genes deny the self when they are such an integral part of the self? They are very much internal sources. They are imposed on us by history, but you could just as easily say that your arm is not a part of you because it was imposed on you at birth.

I haven't the slighest idea of what you mean here. If I had no independence from the environment I wouldn't jump? Why not?? What if food is in a high branch and I can't reach it without jumping? Isn't a jump to grab food "dependence to the environment"?
If you jumped, even to reach food, you wouldn't be entirely dependent on the environmen, would you? You would be exerting the force to jump. But answer my question. Have you ever seen anything jump spontaneuosly? Have you seen anything that is inanimate jump? Have you seen a rock jump? Or a keyboard?

Who started the amoebas?. This makes no sense. What about after the car is started, is the analogy valid then? Your statement, "cars have no volition of their own unless they are started" seems to imply that cars HAVE volition of their own after they are started. Is that what you are saying??
No, it's not. The car cannot move of it's own accord. Car's didn't even exist until we made them. We are the ones that created cars and allowed them to move. We are the immediate causes of the cars.
"The genes control the amoeba, therefore the amoeba controls itself" simply denies that amoebas have a self, and it undermines your entire argument. If the genes control the amoeba, the amoeba does not exist at an volitional entity. It's just there. You should read "The Selfish Gene", by Richard Dawkins (note, I disagree with Dawkins on just about everything he says because he loves to mix bad philosophy with good science -- but there is good science there). We're not saying that the genes "regulate" the amoeba (as in humans), we're saying that they control the amoeba. It's a much stronger claim. The amoeba simply can't do anything against the genes; she can't even imagine anything against the genes. As a matter of fact, "amoebal volition" becomes a completely unnecessary concept in this context, and therefore we should bring Ockham the barber to deal with it.
Another assertion. How does this deny that amoebas have a self? Do you agree that the genes are a part of the amoeba? Genes are not some external controlling factor. If genes control an organism, and genes are one of the fundamental parts of the organism, how is it logical to say that the genes are somehow "external?"
 

Helcaraxë

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The engine controls the car. Fuel controls the engine. Chemical oxidation controls the burning of fuel. The car is not "aware" of any of this, and he can't fight against it. He is the result of it. Now you have to show what is the difference between this scenario and chemical oxidation of sugars in animal cells. Is the difference just that the car can't decide on his own goals while the animal apparently can? Well, the car was not designed to make decisions. He doesn't have a nervous system or sensors. Animals were designed (by evolution) to have those. And the nervous system + sensors follow the exact same routine as respiration; it is a chain of cause and effect, in which there is no, repeat no, room for volition anywhere.
Are you asking me the difference between a car and a living organism? Let me tell you the difference. Leave a car in a parking lot and it will do nothing. Even if you had a car that would keep going automatically, this is a result of a human construction that is entirely beyond the control of the car. The car can't even move at all unless we make it in such a way.

When you see an animal going against his own genes you may have a better argument. So far, you haven't got a good argument.
No worse than yours. If it was so weak, than I wouldn't have been able to counter your refutations, would I? If my argument isn't good, refute it. And refute it in such a way so that I cannot counter those refutations, at which time I will concede to your position. Do that, and it'll prove that my argument isn't good. Until you do that, quit saying my argument is weak and argue with it.


Animals don't jump for no cause... I have seen robots jump. What is the difference between a robot and a rock jumping? I don't know what "naturally" means in that sentence, "animals don't run uphill naturally". Do they run uphill artificially? You really have to define these concepts.
What I mean is, an animal doesn't just run uphill spontaenously. He runs because he excerts force in his muscles that propell him uphill. If the dog had no independent motion, we would not run uphill unless a subterranean explosion threw him ten feet in the air. Which he would not notice, by the way, becase he is completely inanimate.

Of course they have an internal factor. But what has location got to do with it? We're not worried about location, we are worried about volition. If I drive a car, I am an "internal factor" at that moment controlling the car. Does that mean that the car has volition? Or is it me, the driver, who has volition?
Not necessarily internal, when referring merely to location. Genes are not merely located in an organism, they are one of the fundamental parts of the organism. As for whether the car has voltion, see my response earlier.

Animals are driven by molecules. As far as I know, molecules have no volition. I don't see why they acquire volition at some point in evolution, and you haven't explained where or why this happens. You point to physics (e.g. gravity) as the ultimate environmental barrier, but animals (and living beings in general) are controlled mostly by chemistry, not physics; physics just determine the "life boundaries" in our planet, but what happens within those boundaries is mostly not determined by physics, rather by chemistry. And chemistry is just as deterministic and "unfree" as physics. You can't overlook it and declare "internal factor!". It doesn't address the problem.
What are you trying to say here? Animals are driven by molecules that function in such a way that they allow the organism that they constitute to move in ways that are not entirely dependent on the environment. They still abide by the laws and physics of chemistry. But they are not merely surroundings.

I've seen a robot jump. What is the difference between a robot and a rock, I ask again. The genes are a part of the organism, but they are not a part of the "self"; just as I am not a part of the car "self" when I'm driving it.
You are not fundamental to the very being of the car. Genes are fundamental to the beings of organisms.

The engine is not animate, you say. Is the car animate? Are the wheels animate? Is fuel animate? What is the boundary? Note, if you claim "nothing is animate" then you'll be hard pressed to find anything animate in animals.
The car, the wheels, and the engine are not independent objects. They move because we cause them to move. We build them, we may even install an computer chip so that it can seemingly move on its own. But we are the causes of movement.
A good sentence. It means that an amoeba is NOT in control. What is in control is genes and environment. What controls those? Physics and Chemistry. No matter how much you squirm , you will not be able to show control in organisms, themselves; they are controlled, not controllers. "Genes are part of the organism, therefore it is the organism that is in control" is a fallacy of composition. Read "The Selfish Gene", it is (regardless of its faults) a tremendously important book.
No, it doesn't mean that all. Amoebas are controlled by factors, just as humans are controlled by factors. But when the factors are an inherent part of the things they control, when they essentially constitute what they control, the thing controls itself because the controlling factors are an integral part of the thing itself. Organisms indeed control, because the things that control them are present in themselves.

If you claim that the car doesn't control the engine, and the engine doesn't control the car, how can you claim that the amoeba (or the dog) controls anything at all? Refer back to your definition (Merriam-Webster ) of "control".
I don't recall giving a defintion for control, only possession. But as for the difference between the car and the amoeba, I explained this earlier.

Twice in the same post? Nope, I won't do it. I'll probably not do it again. I'll answer to questions, but you never question, you just say I haven't shown it . Well, it's right there, as well as in half of my posts in this thread.
Preposterous. I have provided evidence as to why it is not a contradiction. The explanantion you provided is indeed evidence, but it was based on assertions. You can keep on saying that I have provided no evidence, and have merely stated that you have not, but you'll get nowhere unless you pay attention to the evidence that I give.

And you didn't adress my questions about the source of morality... tit for tat . I don't equate desirabilities with rights (you'll see that if you read my posts), I say rights derive from desirables. This is not "equating". And what I meant is what I wrote: he doesn't have the right because it would be contradictory to have it.
Why is morality based on desire? I see no evidence for this. It's an unproven assertion. Desirability simply can't grow into morality, unless you're a sophist.
 

Eriol

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Helcaraxë said:
No worse than yours. If it was so weak, than I wouldn't have been able to counter your refutations, would I? If my argument isn't good, refute it. And refute it in such a way so that I cannot counter those refutations, at which time I will concede to your position. Do that, and it'll prove that my argument isn't good. Until you do that, quit saying my argument is weak and argue with it.
Well, since all I've done here in the last 20 pages is presenting arguments when you say I haven't, refuting arguments when you say I haven't, disputing so-called proofs when you say I haven't, I conclude that we have different definitions of those terms. Since I don't want to engage in a discussion of those terms -- my interest in this thread is whether animals have souls (or at this point, volition), our talk is meaningless from now on. But it was a good debate. If you ever feel like picking it up again, re-read all of my posts. All of the arguments, refutations and proofs that you demand are there. And when you demand them, I repeat them, and you still demand them. Not very productive.

Good luck with Tarlanc.
 

Tarlanc

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Helcaraxë said:
You still control it. You can have just as much influence on the car by selling it as you could by taking the wheel.
Yes, in both cases you do have influence on the car. But the manner of control is different.

Yes, they are different kinds of control, although I don't see why it matters as long as there is control present in the owner and not just the captain.
I'll tell you why it matters. You have agreed with me, as I have seen, in the point that the ultimate controller and the immediate controller my be different persons (or machines). And you agreed with me that the ultimate controller need not be the immediate controller and that the immediate controller need not be the ultimate one.

And this is exactly the point which I tried to make clear the last (I don't know how many) posts.

To control something (as the immediate controller) does not mean necessarily that you are the ultimate controller.
This means that by immediately controlling something you are not necessarily the possesor of this thing. You can well control something without having the ultimate control or without possessing it. As pilots do, for example.

But you have yet to prove that in all cases taking control requires consciousness.
Still did not get the point of hypotheses?
A Hypothesis can never be proven. All you can do is deliver evidence. By evidence an assumption becomes a hypothesis.
Hypotheses can not be proven but only be falsified. I can not show that in all cases of taking over control a consciousness is involved. I can just give some cases in which this is true. Listing all possible events of taking something into control would lead miles beyond the capacity of this thread.
But a hypothesis is true until falsified. Thus, if you have a fact that contradicts my hypothesis (i.e. One event in which something without consciousness takes something into control) then it will be falsified.
But as long as no fact contradicts my hypothesis it remains true.

I've seen plants die when there is plenty of nutrients, water and sunlight. Plants don't just go on living indefinately even if the conditions are right.
For this death there may be several reasons. The plant may have missed a single nutritient (nitrogen, magnesium, iron...) you did not know it was missing. Or the plant could have had too much of water or a single nutritient. Or the plant had not enough light to survive. Or it had too much light and burned out.
All of these are external influences. Many plants die because of them. Especially when they are taken from their natural environment and put into a vase.

Th plant, however, may also have undergone controlled death. Perhaps it has fulfilled its duty by delivering seeds and then initiated death. This would be a feedback mechanism. It recieves the signal that it has done its duty and gives the impulse to die.

Another assertion, but this is easily refutable. The endocrine system tells the hair folicle to grow a hair; the folicle gives no information to the endocrine system.
The endocrine system may only influence hair growth. It can, in some cases slow down hair growth or cause follicles to induce controlled cell-death (as with estrogen or testosterone). But hair growth is stroger regulated by paracrine mechanisms. The follicle can do completely without the endocrine system.
Most informations a follicle recieves are nutritients and gases. The hormones may just further influence them. But in all cases the follicle gets information and gives a feedback in form of hair growth or growth inhibition.

Now you are changing your argument. Prove that in all instances, feedback or information is received by the controller.
Again this is not possible. Listing all cases in which something is controlled by something else and showing the role of the feedback in this control would result in billions of examples. And even whith these billions you would not even be able to cover up alle the control mechanisms in the human body.
It is a hypothesis. I gave several pieces of evidence to found it. But Hypotheses can never be proven to be true. They are true until falsified.
So give me one single fact that contradicts the hypothesis that in all cases of immediate control a feedback-system is involved, and it is falsified.

It just works like that.

This example only applies when a thing controller receives feedback from a thing that in turn controls it, which proves my point that in some instances only the controlled object receives the feedback, and not the controller.
Are we talking different languages?
The controller gets information and gives feedback. Of course it is the controlled object which recieves the information resulting from that feedback.
The follicle recieves information in form of nutritients and hormones and gives feedback in form of hair growth.
The autopilot gets information about the status of the plane and gives feedback in form of changing the angle of the flaps, throttling the engine and so on.

If the nervous system or the endocrin system is dead, than the folicles receive no feedback. And yet it continues to grow without feedback, and it supports my point.
The follicles do not need feedback. They are the controllers. They need information and give feedback. The information are nutritients which are present in dead skin, too.

No, because the lava is not a thing that meets the criterion for control. It does not take the person's life into control, but is merely a thing of the surroundings that causes death.
So is the vine. It just sucks nutritients. For the tree it is just an outside factor that limits its ressources and thus causes starvation.

To kill something is to take control of their life away from them.
No. There are several facts that contradict this hypothesis. A fire may kill. Water may kill. Cold air may kill. But all of these do not take over control.
So, killing without taking control is possible.
Q.E.D.

Decision is not necessary. A fox can take control of a chicken's life as much as a farmer can. Is the chicken's life somehow more in its own control if a fox kills it rather than a farmer?
The chickens life is seldom in its own control. It is in the control of the farmer who could anytime decide to kill it. But the chicken can also be killed by other factors. It may freeze, die in a fire, drown, starve, be taken by the fox....
In all these events the chicken has no control over its own life.
But in all cases the chicken is in control of the farmer. The farmer owns the chicken. It is his chicken that dies in the flames. The chickens life may be out of control. If the chicken dies ba accident, nobody has control over the life of it. But the body of the chicken is alwas in control of the ultimate controller of the chicken. My it be the farmer or the chicken itself.

If a wolf wrests control of the chicken's life away from it, is it any more in control than if the farmer did?
If the wolf kills the chicken he does not necessarily take the chicken into control. He can just kill it and leave it there. As a result of a killing reflex. In that case the farmer is still in control of the chicken. Though it is a lifeless chicken, then.
But if the wolf wants to take the chicken to his lair and eat it. He takes it into control. But he does it consciously. He decides to take the chicken home.

Prove that all true things are observable.
It is again a hypothesis. Give me one opposing fact. Until that it remains true.

so if I have a theory that nothing has true existence, that all things ar an elaborate illusion, am I right? Can it even be proven that I am wrong? If it cannot be proven, is it automatically true?
Whether you are right or wrong is not possible to say. But you can make this assumption. It remains an assumption, though, until you find an evidence.
With evidence it becomes a hypothesis and remains true until falsified.
That's the principle of empiric science.
 

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Eriol said:
Well, since all I've done here in the last 20 pages is presenting arguments when you say I haven't, refuting arguments when you say I haven't, disputing so-called proofs when you say I haven't, I conclude that we have different definitions of those terms. Since I don't want to engage in a discussion of those terms -- my interest in this thread is whether animals have souls (or at this point, volition), our talk is meaningless from now on. But it was a good debate. If you ever feel like picking it up again, re-read all of my posts. All of the arguments, refutations and proofs that you demand are there. And when you demand them, I repeat them, and you still demand them. Not very productive.

Good luck with Tarlanc.
Again, stop idealizing your argument. You have been doing a lot of what you say I have as well, and it would benefit you as much as me to re-read my arguments. It is preposterous for you to keep saying that I am always arguing by assertion. I have provided evidence, and I have made arguments, though you can say they are assertions all you want. My evidence is there, as are my arguments. You have made refuations and I have countered them, and I have made refuations and you have countered them. If you are going to debate with someone, than please don't act like such a martyr.
 
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Helcaraxë

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To control something (as the immediate controller) does not mean necessarily that you are the ultimate controller.
This means that by immediately controlling something you are not necessarily the possesor of this thing. You can well control something without having the ultimate control or without possessing it. As pilots do, for example.
Any control is some measure of possession. The ultimate controller has ultimate possession, while the immediate controller has immediate possession.

Still did not get the point of hypotheses?
A Hypothesis can never be proven. All you can do is deliver evidence. By evidence an assumption becomes a hypothesis.
Hypotheses can not be proven but only be falsified. I can not show that in all cases of taking over control a consciousness is involved. I can just give some cases in which this is true. Listing all possible events of taking something into control would lead miles beyond the capacity of this thread.
But a hypothesis is true until falsified. Thus, if you have a fact that contradicts my hypothesis (i.e. One event in which something without consciousness takes something into control) then it will be falsified.
But as long as no fact contradicts my hypothesis it remains true.
Believe me, I understand quite well the nature of hypotheses. I did not say "prove beyond a shadow of a doubt," which is almost impossible (which is why Eriol's definition of proof is faulty). I merely said "prove." Hypotheses are never proven completely, but if they are supported by good evidence they are "proven" for all practical purposes. So while they are not truly proven, if they are well-supported they can be considered proof. Empirical proof, and thus flawed, but still "proof."

For this death there may be several reasons. The plant may have missed a single nutritient (nitrogen, magnesium, iron...) you did not know it was missing. Or the plant could have had too much of water or a single nutritient. Or the plant had not enough light to survive. Or it had too much light and burned out.
All of these are external influences. Many plants die because of them. Especially when they are taken from their natural environment and put into a vase.
Tell me this: if a plant got all the nutrients, sunlight, and water it needed, would it continue to live indefinately? No, it wouldn't. People can age and die even when all the conditions are perfect.

Th plant, however, may also have undergone controlled death. Perhaps it has fulfilled its duty by delivering seeds and then initiated death. This would be a feedback mechanism. It recieves the signal that it has done its duty and gives the impulse to die.
Not relevant.

The endocrine system may only influence hair growth. It can, in some cases slow down hair growth or cause follicles to induce controlled cell-death (as with estrogen or testosterone). But hair growth is stroger regulated by paracrine mechanisms. The follicle can do completely without the endocrine system.
Most informations a follicle recieves are nutritients and gases. The hormones may just further influence them. But in all cases the follicle gets information and gives a feedback in form of hair growth or growth inhibition.
Alright. But do the nutrients and gases which control hair folciles receive information from the folicle?


Again this is not possible. Listing all cases in which something is controlled by something else and showing the role of the feedback in this control would result in billions of examples. And even whith these billions you would not even be able to cover up alle the control mechanisms in the human body.
It is a hypothesis. I gave several pieces of evidence to found it. But Hypotheses can never be proven to be true. They are true until falsified.
So give me one single fact that contradicts the hypothesis that in all cases of immediate control a feedback-system is involved, and it is falsified.

It just works like that.
First off, I have given you a counter-example, though you insist on ignoring it. But let me tell you something. When people ask you to prove that in all instances this is true, they are speaking in a pracitcal sense. I am not asking you to give me every example possible. This is not necessary. You can "prove" that in all instances this is true by making generalizations. But I am not asking you to prove it in every example imaginable. Just prove it so that I cannot think of a counterexample. Practically speaking.

Are we talking different languages?
I'm not quite sure. I don't know German, so I'm afraid we'll have to stick to English.

The controller gets information and gives feedback. Of course it is the controlled object which recieves the information resulting from that feedback.
The follicle recieves information in form of nutritients and hormones and gives feedback in form of hair growth.
The autopilot gets information about the status of the plane and gives feedback in form of changing the angle of the flaps, throttling the engine and so on.
Yes, you have said this before. Do the nutrients and hormones that control hair growth receive information from the folicle?

The follicles do not need feedback. They are the controllers. They need information and give feedback. The information are nutritients which are present in dead skin, too.
This is contradicting what you said earlier. You stated quite clearly that folicles do in fact receive feedback, first from the nervous system you said, but then denied it, than from the endocrine system, but oh, that's not feedback, only influence. :rolleyes: The follicles control hair growth. They in turn receive feedback from nutrients and hormones, telling it to grow. So obviously the nutrients and hormones control the follicle. They receive no feedback from the follicle. But answer this question: the follicle controls the hair. Does the folicle receive feedback from the hair? No. So how can you say that the controller always receives feedback from the controlled? The only examples you have provided state that the controller receives feedback from things that in turn control the controller.

So is the vine. It just sucks nutritients. For the tree it is just an outside factor that limits its ressources and thus causes starvation.
For the last time, the vine is a controller and not merely a cause. Causes cannot control. The vine kills the tree and thus controls it. Are you asking me the difference between a vine and lava?

No. There are several facts that contradict this hypothesis. A fire may kill. Water may kill. Cold air may kill. But all of these do not take over control.
So, killing without taking control is possible.
Q.E.D.
I have said many times that control is only possible with animate things. I was assuming that you would understand that I was reffering to those things that control.
Quod erat demonstradum? Hardly.

The chickens life is seldom in its own control. It is in the control of the farmer who could anytime decide to kill it. But the chicken can also be killed by other factors. It may freeze, die in a fire, drown, starve, be taken by the fox....
In all these events the chicken has no control over its own life.
But in all cases the chicken is in control of the farmer. The farmer owns the chicken. It is his chicken that dies in the flames. The chickens life may be out of control. If the chicken dies ba accident, nobody has control over the life of it. But the body of the chicken is alwas in control of the ultimate controller of the chicken. My it be the farmer or the chicken itself.
Wrong again. Unless the farmer is actively killing the chicken, there is only the possibility of control and not control itself. But it appears that you agree that the chicken's body is the ultimate controller of the chicken.


If the wolf kills the chicken he does not necessarily take the chicken into control. He can just kill it and leave it there. As a result of a killing reflex. In that case the farmer is still in control of the chicken. Though it is a lifeless chicken, then.
But if the wolf wants to take the chicken to his lair and eat it. He takes it into control. But he does it consciously. He decides to take the chicken home.
If the wolf kills the chicken, he is wresting its life from it and thus taking it into control. Whether he leaves it to rot or eats it.


It is again a hypothesis. Give me one opposing fact. Until that it remains true.
And yet you have provided no support. You can list all the examples you want and say "these are all facts." But this does not address the issue. Some facts are observable, but you have yet to prove the nonexistence of an unobservable fact.


Whether you are right or wrong is not possible to say. But you can make this assumption. It remains an assumption, though, until you find an evidence.
With evidence it becomes a hypothesis and remains true until falsified.
That's the principle of empiric science.
So I can confidently say that all of this is an elaborate illusion? I mean, it cannot be proven. This reminds me of Pyrrho of Elea, the great Greek skeptic, who had to be attended by his servants wherever he went because he refused to accept that fire burns and that swords are sharp and the like. ;)
 

Tarlanc

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Helcaraxë said:
Any control is some measure of possession. The ultimate controller has ultimate possession, while the immediate controller has immediate possession.
So the Pilot possesses the plane? Anyone who uses a remot-controller possesses the TV? The Taxi-Dirver possesses the taxi?

If you have this opinion then we understnad something different under the word 'possess'. Because if you possess something you are IMO able to give it to someone else if you wish. Or sell it. It is yours to decide what to do with it.

Tell me this: if a plant got all the nutrients, sunlight, and water it needed, would it continue to live indefinately? No, it wouldn't. People can age and die even when all the conditions are perfect.
Plants are indeed able to live forever. Unlike humans whose bodies usually break after some 100 years. A plant is able to live for centuries if the conditions are correct. Ever seen a giant redwood? Or an oak of 200 years?
But there are many plants that only live for one year or for even a shorter span and then kill themselves. Many flowers, for example, only live to deliver their seed. And they kill themselves by controlled Cell-death. As soon as they get the information that they have fulfilled their task, they whither and die.
But trees are able to live as long as the conditions are right. They live until they lack a nutritient or are felled by humans or strong wind.
The problem is, that many trees grow very high as the grow older. And because they grow a little thicker with every year there is more tissue to sustain with every season. Thus they need more leaves to get all the energy to do so. And eventually they have too many leaves for their height and are felled by strong wind or a lightning.
But there is always a reason for the death of a plant.

Alright. But do the nutrients and gases which control hair folciles receive information from the folicle?
No. The nutritients are just the information. The feedback is only given in form of hair growth.
Oh, are you understanding feedback as something given back to the source of the information? In that case we do have a misunderstandung. The feedback is given to the controlled object in many cases. Perhaps it would be clearer to speak of 'reaction' in this case.

You can "prove" that in all instances this is true by making generalizations. But I am not asking you to prove it in every example imaginable. Just prove it so that I cannot think of a counterexample.
This would be inductive conclusion. And in many cases this misleads strongly. A hypothesis can not be proven. But if you do have a counterexample the hypothesis is wrong. No matter how i formulate and generalize it.

This is contradicting what you said earlier. You stated quite clearly that folicles do in fact receive feedback
The follicles to recieve information which is the output of another feedback. But it has nothing to do with the nervous or the endocrine system. It is information from the tissue. The tissue gives it the nutritients and some hormones.

Does the folicle receive feedback from the hair? No. So how can you say that the controller always receives feedback from the controlled?
I never said this. All I say all the time is The controller gets information and gives feedback..

For the last time, the vine is a controller and not merely a cause. Causes cannot control. The vine kills the tree and thus controls it. Are you asking me the difference between a vine and lava?
If you want you can try to explain this difference, yes. Because they are both causes of death. The vine does not kill the tree. It just causes its death.
It takes away nutritients the tree would need. Thus it causes the starvation of the tree. It does not kill. And it surely does not kill with the will to do so.

I have said many times that control is only possible with animate things. I was assuming that you would understand that I was reffering to those things that control.
How do you define 'animate thing'? I mean, lava moves. Thus it is animate. Water also moves. Fire moves, too. They are all animate.

Wrong again. Unless the farmer is actively killing the chicken, there is only the possibility of control and not control itself. But it appears that you agree that the chicken's body is the ultimate controller of the chicken.
The body of the chicken is the immediate controller of the chicken. Unless it is able to move wherever it wants. A free chicken in a wood may decide on where it wants to go. Thus it is the ultimate controller of itself.
But a chicken in a cage is ultimately controlled by the farmer. The farmer decides when it has to eat, to lay an egg and to die.
Thus the farmer is the ultimate controller.

If the wolf kills the chicken, he is wresting its life from it and thus taking it into control. Whether he leaves it to rot or eats it.
In both cases he causes the death of the chicken. But if he takes the chicken away or eats it, he takes it into control. If he leaves it, he does not have it in control. He only caused its death.

And yet you have provided no support. You can list all the examples you want and say "these are all facts." But this does not address the issue. Some facts are observable, but you have yet to prove the nonexistence of an unobservable fact.
Not possible. Because I had to list all fats and show their observability. But as long as you don't find an unobservable fact, it remains true.

I mean, noone porved that all things fall down on earth. It is just a hypothesis. As soon as something with a mass does not fall down but upwards we have to think over physics. You can not prove that all things fall down. You can just make the hypothesis and stick to it until something falls upwards.

So I can confidently say that all of this is an elaborate illusion? I mean, it cannot be proven.
Yes, it cannot be proven true or false. You can believe it if you want. This is the foundament of belief. Something that cannot be proven or falsified. As the existence of God or Fate.

This reminds me of Pyrrho of Elea, the great Greek skeptic, who had to be attended by his servants wherever he went because he refused to accept that fire burns and that swords are sharp and the like. ;)
But he refused to accept the evidence that fire may burn. He was just a maniac. Fire is able to burn ans swords are able to cut. No matter how sceptic you are. You can obsere them doing so. These are facts.
 

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Tarlanc said:
So the Pilot possesses the plane? Anyone who uses a remot-controller possesses the TV? The Taxi-Dirver possesses the taxi?
In some sense, yes. The taxi driver does have some measure of control over it, as he turns it and puts his foot on the gas.

If you have this opinion then we understnad something different under the word 'possess'. Because if you possess something you are IMO able to give it to someone else if you wish. Or sell it. It is yours to decide what to do with it.
So a person can give their body away? But this is different from the argument you posed earlier; now you are saying that control requires decision and thus free will.

Plants are indeed able to live forever. Unlike humans whose bodies usually break after some 100 years. A plant is able to live for centuries if the conditions are correct. Ever seen a giant redwood? Or an oak of 200 years?
But there are many plants that only live for one year or for even a shorter span and then kill themselves. Many flowers, for example, only live to deliver their seed. And they kill themselves by controlled Cell-death. As soon as they get the information that they have fulfilled their task, they whither and die.
But trees are able to live as long as the conditions are right. They live until they lack a nutritient or are felled by humans or strong wind.
The problem is, that many trees grow very high as the grow older. And because they grow a little thicker with every year there is more tissue to sustain with every season. Thus they need more leaves to get all the energy to do so. And eventually they have too many leaves for their height and are felled by strong wind or a lightning.
But there is always a reason for the death of a plant.
Perhaps plants are an exception, but humans will die even if all the conditions are perfect. But what point does this prove?

No. The nutritients are just the information. The feedback is only given in form of hair growth.
Oh, are you understanding feedback as something given back to the source of the information? In that case we do have a misunderstandung. The feedback is given to the controlled object in many cases. Perhaps it would be clearer to speak of 'reaction' in this case.
Well if the nutrients can dictate when the follilce grows the hair it has some control. Still, the controller only "reacts" to things that are controlling it.

This would be inductive conclusion. And in many cases this misleads strongly. A hypothesis can not be proven. But if you do have a counterexample the hypothesis is wrong. No matter how i formulate and generalize it.
No, that's not the definition of induction. It's a common misconception. Either deduction or induction can proceed from general to specific or vice versa. Deduction's conclusions are entirely supported by the premises, and the conclusion is implicit in the premise. Induction's conclusion is not implicit, and it does not establish things with certainty. But I have provided counterexamples. The vine and the wolf are not merely causes because causes in the environment are passive. They are the cause of the death, but they are actvely the cause of the death. They do not merely cause death, they cause death of their own accord.
The follicles to recieve information which is the output of another feedback. But it has nothing to do with the nervous or the endocrine system. It is information from the tissue. The tissue gives it the nutritients and some hormones.
Hormones are created by the endocrine system, but that's unimportant. But still, the tissue is the controller of the follicle. Not merely information, because it tells it when to grow the hair. And thus the follicle only receives feedback or "information" because the follicle, the controller of hair, is in turn controlled by tissue. Does the tissue receive feedback from the follicle? Does the follicle receive feedback from the hair?


I never said this. All I say all the time is The controller gets information and gives feedback..
The controller does not always receive information from the things it controls. It only receives information from the things that control the controller, but are entirely separate from what the first controller controls.

If you want you can try to explain this difference, yes. Because they are both causes of death. The vine does not kill the tree. It just causes its death.
It takes away nutritients the tree would need. Thus it causes the starvation of the tree. It does not kill. And it surely does not kill with the will to do so.
And now you are contradicting yourself and saying free will is, in fact, necessary. Please choose one. The vine is more than merely a cause because it actively causes the death of the tree, just as the taxi driver actively causes it to move and thus controls it.


How do you define 'animate thing'? I mean, lava moves. Thus it is animate. Water also moves. Fire moves, too. They are all animate.
No, they are not animate. Water moves because of gravity. Lava moves because of gravity. They do not move of their own accord; they are dependent on the environment.

The body of the chicken is the immediate controller of the chicken. Unless it is able to move wherever it wants. A free chicken in a wood may decide on where it wants to go. Thus it is the ultimate controller of itself.
But a chicken in a cage is ultimately controlled by the farmer. The farmer decides when it has to eat, to lay an egg and to die.
Thus the farmer is the ultimate controller.
No, that's not correct. As I said before, unless the farmer is in the process of killing the chicken, the chicken is still in control of its life. And how does the farmer decide when it lays an egg? Regardless, the chicken is most often the ultimate controller.

In both cases he causes the death of the chicken. But if he takes the chicken away or eats it, he takes it into control. If he leaves it, he does not have it in control. He only caused its death.
You are just repeating what you said earlier. Whether he eats it or leaves it makes no difference. But if he actively causes the death of the chicken he takes his life into control. By your reasoning, the taxi driver is merely the cause of movement.

Not possible. Because I had to list all fats and show their observability. But as long as you don't find an unobservable fact, it remains true.
No, that's exactly what I said you didn't have to do. Listing all observable facts does not mean that all facts are observable. Tell me why there can be no obervable facts. And I'm not merely speaking empirically, as occasionally we must view empirical studies from a non-empirical persepctive. And what about mathematical entities? Plate loved to use these to prove the existence of both truth and the world of Forms in his dialogue, Meno.

I mean, noone porved that all things fall down on earth. It is just a hypothesis. As soon as something with a mass does not fall down but upwards we have to think over physics. You can not prove that all things fall down. You can just make the hypothesis and stick to it until something falls upwards.
Yet facts are slightly more difficult. All you can prove by providing examples is that facts do exist in an observable state. You cannot prove anything about unobservable facts by providing observable examples.
Yes, it cannot be proven true or false. You can believe it if you want. This is the foundament of belief. Something that cannot be proven or falsified. As the existence of God or Fate.
That's disputable.

But he refused to accept the evidence that fire may burn. He was just a maniac. Fire is able to burn ans swords are able to cut. No matter how sceptic you are. You can obsere them doing so. These are facts.
Yet interestingly enough, he lived to be ninety-four in a society where men over fifty were considered old. But observations may be deceptive. Light can be bent so that distance is misjudged, cold may feel as though it burns but yet is below freezing. But does fire really burn? Are swords really able to cut? How could you tell? Obviously observation is very uncertain.


Anyway, all of these discussions about feedback and the like are all well and good, but how does your argument prove me wrong about animal's rights?
 

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Helcaraxë said:
In some sense, yes. The taxi driver does have some measure of control over it, as he turns it and puts his foot on the gas.
Of course he has control. But does he possess the taxi in your eyes? That's what I asked.

So a person can give their body away?
Of cours. you can give your kidney to someone. You may donate blood and so on. But if you give organs away that are essential for survival it will cause your death. But still you are the only one that has the right to give these organs away. Because you possess them. They are your private property.
The body as a whole thing is, however, you. You can not possess yourself. As I pointed out earlier. Because you can't give yourself away. you'd have to go with your body. Your body may be yours to control, but it is not in your possession.

But this is different from the argument you posed earlier; now you are saying that control requires decision and thus free will.
I never said this. I said taking something into control requires consciousness and self-awareness. Control only requires the ability to react on information given to you. The ability of feedback.

Perhaps plants are an exception, but humans will die even if all the conditions are perfect. But what point does this prove?
This proves that your argument, that plants may die from other reasons than outside influences and control, is wrong ;)

Well if the nutrients can dictate when the follilce grows the hair it has some control. Still, the controller only "reacts" to things that are controlling it.
That's what I meant, yes. Feedback seems to hve been the wrong word. control requires the ability to react to information. In my understanding 'react to information' is equal to 'feedback'. But that may be caused by my bad vocabulary.

I'd like to give some definitions here to avoid further misunderstandings:

to take something into control: Putting oneself in the position to decide about the movement, actions and the existence of something and command over the immediate controller.

to be in control of sth.: Being in the position to decide about the movement, actions and the existence of something and command over the immediate controller.

to control something: Being in the position to immediately influence the movements, actions and existence of something as a reaction to environmental information.

To possess something: To be in control of something and able to give it away, sell it or destroy it at will.

That's how I see it.

According to these definitions, water, for example could not control anything. It may influence the movement and the existence of things but not as a reaction to environmental information. Just by hazard.
You would be in control but not in possession of your body as you can decide on the whereabouts of your body but you can not give it away.
A taxi driver would control the taxi but neither be in control of it nor possess it (except of course, if he is the owner. in this case he may give it away and thus be in possession of it)
The terrorist is in control but not in possession of the plane. And he is not controlling it of there is a pilot.

Are you happy with these definitions?

The vine and the wolf are not merely causes because causes in the environment are passive.
If i actively throw a nail out of my window and it lands on the street where a car rushes over it and rips its tyre. Then I am an active factor. A conscious factor. I am animate.
But am I in control of the tyre just becasue I caused it to rip open? Am I in control of the driver just because I caused him to stop and change the tyre? Am I in control of the car just becasue I made it halt?
I say no. I just caused these things. No matter whether I am an animate object or this nail fell from the roof without anyone throwing it.
And if the car made an accident becasue of the nail and killed someone I would only be the cause. But not in control of the victim.

The vine just nourishes from the juice of the tree. And this may cause the tree to starve. But the vine does not control it. It just causes it.

Hormones are created by the endocrine system, but that's unimportant.
And untrue ;) Some hormones are part of the endocrine system, that's true. But many hormones are not part of the endocrine system and just act in paracrine and juxtacrine systems inside a tissue. As the growth-factors that influence hair-growth, for example.

The vine is more than merely a cause because it actively causes the death of the tree, just as the taxi driver actively causes it to move and thus controls it.
There is one big difference between the two of them. The taxi driver reacts on his environment. He reacts on all the information (as the gauges in the car, the traffic lights, the other cars...) and thus is controlling the car.
But the vine, like the water, just is. It does not react on the tree. It just lives on the tree and nourishes form its nutritients.
A wolf that kills an animal does react on the environmental information. He sees a chicken and reacts to this sight of a prey in killing the chicken. This is a controlled act. He thus controls the life of the chicken. But he is not in control of the chicken as long as he does not take it away. If the wolf leaves the dead chicken where it fell and goes on, he does not take it into control.

No, that's not correct. As I said before, unless the farmer is in the process of killing the chicken, the chicken is still in control of its life.
But the farmer is in the position to decide when the chicken is going to die. Thus he is in control of its life. Whether he kills it right now or later.
(That does not necessarily mean that he is in control of the whole chicken. Just its life.)

Tell me why there can be no obervable facts.
Because you can't find any :D
If you could find one you'd already have brought it.

And what about mathematical entities? Plate loved to use these to prove the existence of both truth and the world of Forms in his dialogue, Meno.
Mathematics is no empirical science. Thus there are proofs in mathematics and there are no hypotheses. Everything is provable because it is a rational science. That's the difference between rational and empirical sciences.

You cannot prove anything about unobservable facts by providing observable examples.
According to my hypothesis there are no unobservable facts. Thus there is no need to prove anything about them.

But observations may be deceptive. Light can be bent so that distance is misjudged, cold may feel as though it burns but yet is below freezing. But does fire really burn? Are swords really able to cut? How could you tell? Obviously observation is very uncertain.
Of course the observations we can make with our own body are very restricted and hardly ever true. But we can observe the temperature of something by using a thermometer. We can observe the sharpness of a sword by making a cutting-test with different materials.
It is observable. It may be possible that you can not observe it with your own eyes and hand but it is possible to obesrve it.
When the microscopes were not as good as today, the internal organization of cells was merely a theory. Many hoypotheses that no one could falsify until the invention of Electron Micorscopy. But with electron microscopes one could see the internal organization and thus it is a fact that there are Mitochondria and Microfilaments and all these things.
It was a fact before, because it was always observable. We just did not have the means to observe it. And thus there were many hypotheses of which some were wrong and some were true.
But as soon as one could see these things the facts were known.
 

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Tarlanc said:
Of course he has control. But does he possess the taxi in your eyes? That's what I asked.
Well, do you accept my defintion of possession as control from those two dictionaries? Than yes, he has some measure of possession.
Of cours. you can give your kidney to someone. You may donate blood and so on. But if you give organs away that are essential for survival it will cause your death. But still you are the only one that has the right to give these organs away. Because you possess them. They are your private property.
The body as a whole thing is, however, you. You can not possess yourself. As I pointed out earlier. Because you can't give yourself away. you'd have to go with your body. Your body may be yours to control, but it is not in your possession.
But you'll have to support the proposition that to possess something you must be able to give it away. Despite what you say, this definition of possession does require consciousness. You can't very well decide to give away your kidney if you have no consciousness to decide it with. ;)


I never said this. I said taking something into control requires consciousness and self-awareness. Control only requires the ability to react on information given to you. The ability of feedback.
But if you accept that possession is control, and possession requires the ability to make decisions, than control does require consciousness.
This proves that your argument, that plants may die from other reasons than outside influences and control, is wrong ;)
I'm not a botanist, so I'll concede the point, but my argument still stands because people may die in a perfect environment.

That's what I meant, yes. Feedback seems to have been the wrong word. control requires the ability to react to information. In my understanding 'react to information' is equal to 'feedback'. But that may be caused by my bad vocabulary.

I'd like to give some definitions here to avoid further misunderstandings:

to take something into control: Putting oneself in the position to decide about the movement, actions and the existence of something and command over the immediate controller.
I see where the misunderstanding is. If you define it as putting one's self in a position to decide about movement, than yes, it requires free will; decision requires consciousness. But I was defining it as merely establishing control at a specific point in time; control that was not present beforehand. If it is defined this way, than it does not require free will or consciousness, only the ability to move so that control can be established.

to be in control of sth.: Being in the position to decide about the movement, actions and the existence of something and command over the immediate controller.
Well, this is essentially the same definition as the one above, but I don't think it is accurate enough. How I see it, to be in control is merely the state of controlling, and thus would not require free will.

to control something: Being in the position to immediately influence the movements, actions and existence of something as a reaction to environmental information.
I agree with that, except that not all controllers react to the environment. Hormones do indeed control the follice, because they actively cause it to grow the hair. Do the hormones that control the follicle react to something else? No, they merely tell the follicle to grow the hair. They receive no information from the outside which tells the hormone that the hormone needs to tell the follicle to grow the hair.
To possess something: To be in control of something and able to give it away, sell it or destroy it at will.
This is the one I would contest. If we use this definition, possession requires consciousness, while control does not, because of the "at will." I don't see why possession should not be more than mere control. A rabbit controls its body, but it cannot decide to give it away or destroy it at will. Does this mean the rabbit does not possess itself? If this is true, why?


According to these definitions, water, for example could not control anything. It may influence the movement and the existence of things but not as a reaction to environmental information. Just by hazard.
True, but another reason why it cannot control is that it is passive.

You would be in control but not in possession of your body as you can decide on the whereabouts of your body but you can not give it away.
A taxi driver would control the taxi but neither be in control of it nor possess it (except of course, if he is the owner. in this case he may give it away and thus be in possession of it)
The terrorist is in control but not in possession of the plane. And he is not controlling it of there is a pilot.

Are you happy with these definitions?
Mostly, except for that definition of possession. Please explain the basis on which possession requires consciousness but control does not. The dictionaries that I have consulted say that possession and control are the same thing.

If i actively throw a nail out of my window and it lands on the street where a car rushes over it and rips its tyre. Then I am an active factor. A conscious factor. I am animate.
But am I in control of the tyre just becasue I caused it to rip open? Am I in control of the driver just because I caused him to stop and change the tyre? Am I in control of the car just becasue I made it halt?
I say no. I just caused these things. No matter whether I am an animate object or this nail fell from the roof without anyone throwing it.
And if the car made an accident becasue of the nail and killed someone I would only be the cause. But not in control of the victim.
You are animate, but this does not make everything you do active. You do not control the tire because throwing the nail out the window did not directly influence the taxi. The action of throwing the nail was active, but you causing the car crash was passive.

The vine just nourishes from the juice of the tree. And this may cause the tree to starve. But the vine does not control it. It just causes it.
No, because it is not passive. It is a direct influence on the tree, and since the influence is direct, the vine controls it.

And untrue ;) Some hormones are part of the endocrine system, that's true. But many hormones are not part of the endocrine system and just act in paracrine and juxtacrine systems inside a tissue. As the growth-factors that influence hair-growth, for example.
Most hormones are produced by the endocrine system. See this definiton from Encyclopeida Britannica Online: "any of the systems found in animals for the production of hormones." I put in the emphasis. But this is irrelevant.

There is one big difference between the two of them. The taxi driver reacts on his environment. He reacts on all the information (as the gauges in the car, the traffic lights, the other cars...) and thus is controlling the car.
But the vine, like the water, just is. It does not react on the tree. It just lives on the tree and nourishes form its nutritients.
First off, the vine does indeed react to the tree. It reacts to the presence of nutrients in the tree. But as I demonstrated earlier, reacting to the environment is not necessary, as the hormones which control the follicle do not react to any environmental factor.

A wolf that kills an animal does react on the environmental information. He sees a chicken and reacts to this sight of a prey in killing the chicken. This is a controlled act. He thus controls the life of the chicken. But he is not in control of the chicken as long as he does not take it away. If the wolf leaves the dead chicken where it fell and goes on, he does not take it into control.
That second part is an assertion. Why does it matter whether the wolf carries the chicken off or not? Will it make the chicken any less dead? Will it give the chicken more control of the life that the wolf took control of?


But the farmer is in the position to decide when the chicken is going to die. Thus he is in control of its life. Whether he kills it right now or later.
(That does not necessarily mean that he is in control of the whole chicken. Just its life.)
He is in a position to decide, but that is not control, only the potential for control. As long as the farmer is not in the process of killing it, the chicken is the one in control of its own life.
Because you can't find any :D
If you could find one you'd already have brought it.
Mathematics is no empirical science. Thus there are proofs in mathematics and there are no hypotheses. Everything is provable because it is a rational science. That's the difference between rational and empirical sciences.
I have provided one. Mathematical entities. If you say, all facts are observable because all facts are emprical, you create a circularity, because you say that there can be no non-observable facts because all facts are observable. Circularity.
 

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According to my hypothesis there are no unobservable facts. Thus there is no need to prove anything about them.
But your hypothesis is supported by examples which cannot possibly prove or disprove anything about the existence of non-observable facts if you only give those kinds of examples.

Of course the observations we can make with our own body are very restricted and hardly ever true. But we can observe the temperature of something by using a thermometer. We can observe the sharpness of a sword by making a cutting-test with different materials.
It is observable. It may be possible that you can not observe it with your own eyes and hand but it is possible to obesrve it.
Yet, inescapably, all observation is flawed. You can take the temperature with a thermometer, but you are reading the thermometer with your eyes. The thermometer may not even have true existence; it may be merely an illusion. So even observation using instruments is uncertain.

When the microscopes were not as good as today, the internal organization of cells was merely a theory. Many hoypotheses that no one could falsify until the invention of Electron Micorscopy. But with electron microscopes one could see the internal organization and thus it is a fact that there are Mitochondria and Microfilaments and all these things.
It was a fact before, because it was always observable. We just did not have the means to observe it. And thus there were many hypotheses of which some were wrong and some were true.
But as soon as one could see these things the facts were known.
But still the observation is flawed, and for the same reasons.
 

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Helcaraxë said:
Well, do you accept my defintion of possession as control from those two dictionaries? Than yes, he has some measure of possession.
I do not. Because an auto pilot controls the plane but has no possession at all. This is a fact that contradicts your hypothesis that possession is equal to control. 'To take something into possession' may be synonymous to 'to take something into control' but possession is not equal to control because of that.

Despite what you say, this definition of possession does require consciousness.
I never said something else. Taking something into control or possessing something always requires consciousness. And I would go further in saying that it also requires self-awareness.

But if you accept that possession is control, and possession requires the ability to make decisions, than control does require consciousness.
I did with no word accept that possession is control. And control does not require consciuosness because a follicles control hair growth. They have no consciousness as far as I know.

I'm not a botanist, so I'll concede the point, but my argument still stands because people may die in a perfect environment.
Of course people die. The human body, in contrast to the body of plants, is not able to regenerate. It grows older and neurons, muscles, liver-cells and many other components refuse service if they are too old. But this is again no controlled death but a death because of outside influence. The influence that weakened these cells for 70 years.
So people die of outside influence. I don't think the human body is able to destroy itself controlled as plants do. Thus it is always the einvironment that kills the human body.

But I was defining it as merely establishing control at a specific point in time; control that was not present beforehand. If it is defined this way, than it does not require free will or consciousness, only the ability to move so that control can be established.
Control may well be established with movement (and the ability to react to information) alone. But by this you only establish control. You influence something.
Taking something into control requires more than just movement. It requires the will to take it.
But to control something, movement in reaction to some input is all you need.

How I see it, to be in control is merely the state of controlling, and thus would not require free will.
I tend to differentiate between 'being in control' and 'controlling'. The pilot is controlling the plane. But the owner of the plane is IMO in control of the plane.
Because of this I prefer this definition.

I agree with that, except that not all controllers react to the environment. Hormones do indeed control the follice, because they actively cause it to grow the hair. Do the hormones that control the follicle react to something else?
Hormones do not control hair growth. The follicles do control hair growth. And the tissue controls the follicles. The information which the tissue gives and the follicle reacts to are the hormones. The hormones are merely information. Like the electric impulses in a micro chip. Thus they do not control anything themselves. They influence the follicle but only as information.
Sunlight influences the plants to open their blossoms. But sunlight does not control the plants. The sunlight is merely the environmental information the control systems of the plant read and react to by opening the blossom.
The control instance always reacts to information. And this infomation does not control itself. Though it may be reagrded as influence.

Becasue of that lifeless matters that passively influence something are not said to control it. Water that shoves a pebble down the river does not control the pebble. It merely passively influences it. But a child that kicks a pebble on the street does this in reaction to the fact that there is a pebble. Thus it actively controls its movement.

This is the one I would contest. If we use this definition, possession requires consciousness, while control does not, because of the "at will."
Possession requires consciousness. Control does not require consciousness (if it would an autopilot would be unable to work). But taking something into control requires consciousness as well.

According to these definitions, the only difference between 'possessing something' and 'being in control of something' lies in the ability to give it away.

A rabbit controls its body, but it cannot decide to give it away or destroy it at will. Does this mean the rabbit does not possess itself? If this is true, why?
An autopilot controls the plane, but it cannot decide to give it away or destroy it at will. Does this mean the autopilot does not possess the plane? YES

The action of throwing the nail was active, but you causing the car crash was passive.
The action of the vine nourishing from the tree's nutritients is active. But this eventually causing the tree to starve afterwards is passive.
That's the point.

First off, the vine does indeed react to the tree. It reacts to the presence of nutrients in the tree.
Ecactly. It reacts to the nutritients. It does not react to the tree itself. It senses nutritiens and reacts to this sensation in growing roots to take them up. Whether there is a tree or not and whether this tree is able to bear a parasite does not matter in this reaction.
It is not the tree that is attacked. The tree and the vine just have the same source of nutritients and thus one of them will starve it the other one is stronger.

Why does it matter whether the wolf carries the chicken off or not? Will it make the chicken any less dead? Will it give the chicken more control of the life that the wolf took control of?
It makes absolutely no change for the chicken. But it represents two different actions. Just biting a chicken dead and leave it is a reflex. It is a reaction to the fact that there is a chicken.
But to take the chicken away requires the will to take the chicken. It is more than a reflex. It is a conscious act to kill a chicken and bring it to his lair to eat it later this day.
It requires planning.

I have provided one. Mathematical entities. If you say, all facts are observable because all facts are emprical, you create a circularity, because you say that there can be no non-observable facts because all facts are observable. Circularity.
In empirical science there are facts. These facts are observable.
In rational science there are facts, too. These facts are provable.

But you really busted my hypothesis. The hypothesis 'all facts are observable' is not correct. It should read 'In empirical science all facts are observable'
Thus my earlier definition of 'fact' is to be changed:
Fact: In empirical science an observable piece of truth. In rational science a provable statement.

Whereas 'observable' is a property of the fact itself. It is independent of the observer. The observation may be flawed. But this does not change the property of the fact that it is observable.
I may observe that there are 7 stars that form the Plejades. But that does not change the (observable) fact that there are more than 20 stars in this formation. Had I a telescope I could see it. It is observable.
 

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Tarlanc said:
I do not. Because an auto pilot controls the plane but has no possession at all. This is a fact that contradicts your hypothesis that possession is equal to control. 'To take something into possession' may be synonymous to 'to take something into control' but possession is not equal to control because of that.
If you say that possession is separate from control because an autopilot controls but does not possess, it proves nothing about whether possession is equated with control. Why does the autopilot not possess the plane? Your paragraph merely says that possession is separate from control because it is possible to possess, but not control, but you still have'nt demonstrated why this is possible.

I never said something else. Taking something into control or possessing something always requires consciousness. And I would go further in saying that it also requires self-awareness.
I still do not accept this. Why does control require consciousess? By your definition, it does require consciousness, because it requires decision. But I don't see the basis for this definiton. Don't give me an example - give me a reason. I'll give you a reason: consciousness is not necessary because taking control is not putting one's self in a position of decision, but merely establishing influence that was not previously present. Thus it only requires the ability to exert influence.

I did with no word accept that possession is control. And control does not require consciuosness because a follicles control hair growth. They have no consciousness as far as I know.


Of course people die. The human body, in contrast to the body of plants, is not able to regenerate. It grows older and neurons, muscles, liver-cells and many other components refuse service if they are too old. But this is again no controlled death but a death because of outside influence. The influence that weakened these cells for 70 years.
So people die of outside influence. I don't think the human body is able to destroy itself controlled as plants do. Thus it is always the einvironment that kills the human body.
I don't even remember how this point arose, but I no longer see its relevance.

Control may well be established with movement (and the ability to react to information) alone. But by this you only establish control. You influence something.
Control is influence. So how can one establish control (which, as you just agreed, does not require consciousness), and yet not be able to take control?
Taking something into control requires more than just movement. It requires the will to take it.
But to control something, movement in reaction to some input is all you need.
All you need is movement in order to control something, but also to establish control. If you want to differentiate the definitions of taking control and establishing control, you must provide some non-arbitrary basis on which to do so.


I tend to differentiate between 'being in control' and 'controlling'. The pilot is controlling the plane. But the owner of the plane is IMO in control of the plane.
Because of this I prefer this definition.
It's fine if you prefer it, but if I'm going to accept this definition I'm going to need a reason for differentiating between the two.

Hormones do not control hair growth. The follicles do control hair growth. And the tissue controls the follicles. The information which the tissue gives and the follicle reacts to are the hormones. The hormones are merely information. Like the electric impulses in a micro chip. Thus they do not control anything themselves. They influence the follicle but only as information.
Sunlight influences the plants to open their blossoms. But sunlight does not control the plants. The sunlight is merely the environmental information the control systems of the plant read and react to by opening the blossom.
The control instance always reacts to information. And this infomation does not control itself. Though it may be reagrded as influence.
Regardless. In that case, the tissue is controlling the follicle. But if it is true that the controller only controls because it receives information, the tissue would have to receive information from the hormones or the hair. And it doesn't.
Becasue of that lifeless matters that passively influence something are not said to control it. Water that shoves a pebble down the river does not control the pebble. It merely passively influences it. But a child that kicks a pebble on the street does this in reaction to the fact that there is a pebble. Thus it actively controls its movement.
Ah, I have a convert! :D Precisely what I am saying. The tissue then controls the hair, but receives no information from it.

Possession requires consciousness. Control does not require consciousness (if it would an autopilot would be unable to work). But taking something into control requires consciousness as well.
Again, this has not been demonstrated. Why shouldwe define possession that way? Why should establishing control be different from taking control?

According to these definitions, the only difference between 'possessing something' and 'being in control of something' lies in the ability to give it away.
Why the ability to give it away? This seems to me like an arbitrary defintion.
An autopilot controls the plane, but it cannot decide to give it away or destroy it at will. Does this mean the autopilot does not possess the plane? YES
But why? Why should the ability to give it away be a criterion for possession.

The action of the vine nourishing from the tree's nutritients is active. But this eventually causing the tree to starve afterwards is passive.
That's the point.
No, because the tree starving is a direct result of the active action of sucking the nutrients.
 

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Ecactly. It reacts to the nutritients. It does not react to the tree itself. It senses nutritiens and reacts to this sensation in growing roots to take them up. Whether there is a tree or not and whether this tree is able to bear a parasite does not matter in this reaction.
It is not the tree that is attacked. The tree and the vine just have the same source of nutritients and thus one of them will starve it the other one is stronger.
The nutrients are part of the tree. But whether it reacts to the tree or the nutrients in the tree, the tree is indeed being attacked. The only reason it wouldn't be is if the vine had an intention not to. But the tree dies as a direct result of an active thing that the vine did.


It makes absolutely no change for the chicken. But it represents two different actions. Just biting a chicken dead and leave it is a reflex. It is a reaction to the fact that there is a chicken.
But to take the chicken away requires the will to take the chicken. It is more than a reflex. It is a conscious act to kill a chicken and bring it to his lair to eat it later this day.
It requires planning.
I happen to agree with you that it is planned, but Eriol would not. But whether it kills the chicken because of reflex or planning does not matter. The wolf is actively wresting the chicken's life away from it. Why should it matter whether it plans it or not? The wolf still controlled the chicken's life, whether by intention or not.

In empirical science there are facts. These facts are observable.
In rational science there are facts, too. These facts are provable.
An excellent sentence.

But you really busted my hypothesis.
The hypothesis 'all facts are observable' is not correct. It should read 'In empirical science all facts are observable'
Thus my earlier definition of 'fact' is to be changed:
Fact: In empirical science an observable piece of truth. In rational science a provable statement.
Perfect. Those definitions are far more precise.

Whereas 'observable' is a property of the fact itself. It is independent of the observer. The observation may be flawed. But this does not change the property of the fact that it is observable.
I may observe that there are 7 stars that form the Plejades. But that does not change the (observable) fact that there are more than 20 stars in this formation. Had I a telescope I could see it. It is observable.
Yes, that is true.
 

Tarlanc

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Helcaraxë said:
If you say that possession is separate from control because an autopilot controls but does not possess, it proves nothing about whether possession is equated with control. Why does the autopilot not possess the plane?
Because it can neither decide where to fly the plane nor sell it to someone. The one that possesses the plane can do these things.
The one that controls can influence the plane. But the one that possesses it can decide how he has to influnece it and can eventually give the plane away. Because of this fact the definition for 'control' and the one for 'possession' have to be different.

I still do not accept this. Why does control require consciousess?
CONTROL DOES NOT REQUIRE CONSCIOUSNESS!!!
Control requires the ability to react to the environment.
Taking something into control requires consciousness bcesause you simply cannot unconsciously take something into control. The act of taking something into control requires the will to take it. It requires the ability to decide over the thing taken into control.

Control is influence.
I don't agree. The moon influences the tides of the sea. But it does not control the sea. The sun influences the tanning of my skin. But it does not control my skin.
Control is not influence.

So how can one establish control, and yet not be able to take control?
By not having the wish or the ability to take it into control. The aotopilot has neither the wish nor the ability to take the plane into control. It just controls it.
There is a difference between controlling and taking something into control. A difference which requires a will to overcome. The taxi driver controls the taxi. But he does not take it into control. The taxi belongs to his boss and he brings it back in the evening. But he would be able to decide to steal the taxi. Just drive away with it. By this action he would take it into his own control.
And because this situation is possible we have to differ between 'control' and 'taking into control'.
If we don't, we deny the possibility of this situation.

All you need is movement in order to control something, but also to establish control.
I disagree. Water, air, lava and many other things move. But they do not control anything. They just influence things. Thus it needs more than movement to control something. It requires the ability to react.

If you want to differentiate the definitions of taking control and establishing control, you must provide some non-arbitrary basis on which to do so.
Because it is possible for a computer to establish control over a satellite (send pictures, hold it in the orbit, catch sunlight...) but not to take over the satellite (move it at its own will) there must be a difference between these two.

The tissue then controls the hair, but receives no information from it.
Nope. The tissue controls the follicle. The follicle controls the hair. And the tissue controls the follicle in reaction to informations from the blood, the air and other informations. Thus it also reacts to something. It does not react to the hair but to other information. But this does not oppose the hypothsis that control just requires reaction on environmental information.

Why the ability to give it away? This seems to me like an arbitrary defintion.
You can possess a piece of land. You give this land to a peasant that he may plant whatever he wants on it and just pay you a share of his income that results from the harvest. This is quite usual.
In this case the peasant takes the land into control. He decides what to plant, he decides when to water and fertilize the land and so on. He is the one in control. But you are still the one that possesses the land.
Thus there must be a difference between 'being in control' and 'possessing'. And the difference is, that the one that possesses the land is the only one allowed to sell it or give it away. The peasant is not allowed to do so. He is just allowed to cultivate it as he wants.
Thus I came to this distinction.

Possession does not only require the ability to decide what should happen to it or give orders to the one that controls it, it also requires the ability to give it away.

Another example may be the slaves. Though they are in control of their body they do not possess it. Their owner may sell them or give them away at will. He is the one that possesses them by right. This is a clear indication that there is a difference between 'being in control' and 'possessing'.

In most cases, however, the one that possesses the thing is in ultimate control, too. But there are these exceptions that make it necessary to distinguish between these two phrases.

No, because the tree starving is a direct result of the active action of sucking the nutrients.
And the ripping open of the tyre is a direct result of my active throwing of a nail on the street.

The wolf is actively wresting the chicken's life away from it. Why should it matter whether it plans it or not? The wolf still controlled the chicken's life, whether by intention or not.
That's right. It does not change the fact that the wolf kills the chicken. But it changes the situation. In one case it is a consciuos act and in the other it is a reflex.
 

Tarlanc

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But to summarize my point without messing with the uses of control:

Being alive does not give you possession over yourself. For centuries slavery was an accepted piece of social structure. From the earliest cultures over the feudalism until modern times there have always been slaves. People that were bought and sold. Humans that had no right to decide where to go and had to work hard for no payment.
children that were born to slaves were automatically slaves themselves. They were owned by their masters.

The masters of the slaves were the ones that possessed them. They could do whatever they wanted with their slaves. And these humans were not only animate but conscious of themselves. And in spite of that they were regarded as possessions before the law.

This went on until the constitutions of several countries forbade slavery. Sentences like 'everybody is born free' and others were included in legel texts to stop slavery and to give everyone that was born the right to life his life the way he wanted.
But before these laws slavery was legal. It was even morally correct. Not from todays point of view but certainly so in the past.

Thus being born does not automatically lead to the right to decide over ones fate. We need laws to ensure freedom for everyone. Just because slavery is forbidden, we reagrd everybody in control of his own fate. If there were no such laws we would still trade with humans.
And there are no such laws for animals. Nowhere can we find a law that reads 'All animals are born free' or 'All animals hereby have a right to live unharmed by others'
And as long as these rights are not there it does not even matter whether an animal could eventually take control over itself. Or what the difference between control and possession is. As long as these rights are not there the animals have no such rights.

If somedays such laws should be decided by the people and the government all meat-factories would have to be closed and everyone would become a vegetarian. But until this day everyone that is not offended by animals being killed may eat meat.
 
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