Power corrupts. Here is how.

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QuantumTroll
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Power corrupts. Here is how.

Post by QuantumTroll » Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:26 am

http://www.npr.org/2013/08/10/210686255 ... t=1&f=1007

Neurologists explain or at least describe what happens when people feel powerful.

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Re: Power corrupts. Here is how.

Post by mdsimpson92 » Sat Aug 10, 2013 2:22 pm

Interesting. I can definitely see how as people become more powerful they become more detached from other people However, I kind of wish they went more into how empathy can be maintained, if only just to give a few examples.

Would that be a good justification for things like term limits? and what would be a good method to help those with power maintain empathy?
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Re: Power corrupts. Here is how.

Post by Metacrock » Sun Aug 11, 2013 7:39 am

QuantumTroll wrote:http://www.npr.org/2013/08/10/210686255 ... t=1&f=1007

Neurologists explain or at least describe what happens when people feel powerful.
so all we have to do is get some humility juice and make them take it right? just say anyone in power has to take humility juice.

I'm just being factitious. seriously QT, do you think that description is complete understanding of human motivations? Is the brain chemistry the origin of he desire? Or is it a response to the desire?
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Re: Power corrupts. Here is how.

Post by QuantumTroll » Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:04 am

Since activity in mirror neurons is correlated with empathy, this is evidence that people who feel powerful experience less empathy. According to this, it happens instantly, so term limits won't reduce this effect (although "use it or lose it" applies to brain structures, so one can imagine that people who often feel powerful and therefore rarely have high activity among the mirror neurons will have diminished activity in general).

I don't know whether there is a pharmaceutical way to increase mirror neuron activity, but if there were such a way then I expect that people dosed with the compound would experience stronger empathy. That'd be nice to give to anyone with power or responsibility for others' welfare. And psychopaths.

Conversely, there are uses for drugs that'd decrease mirror neuron activity. People who risk PTSD during work in disaster areas, for example.

Meta: activity in neurons is just the other side of the coin from some experience. Activity in mirror neurons is what needs to happen for us to feel what someone else is feeling. If something happens that makes us feel empathy, then the mirror neurons will be doing stuff, and if something happens to dampen the mirror neurons then we'll feel less empathy. It goes both ways.

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Re: Power corrupts. Here is how.

Post by Metacrock » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:26 am

Meta: activity in neurons is just the other side of the coin from some experience. Activity in mirror neurons is what needs to happen for us to feel what someone else is feeling. If something happens that makes us feel empathy, then the mirror neurons will be doing stuff, and if something happens to dampen the mirror neurons then we'll feel less empathy. It goes both ways.
Me trying to fish around and find the limits of your chemical determinism (to whatever extent there is any in your view) and understanding this point you make now are two different things. That was my clumsy way of trying to do the former (as opposed to just asking you--which I should have done) and me commenting on the issue--which is what I should b doing.

On the issue, I feel that people don't have empathy because they got some empathy juice in food and then started being empathetic. I think they started being empathetic or at least moving toward it based upon whatever innate chemicals were in us already, then our brains made more of the stuff as the process got going.

I'm sure what you are probably going to disagree with is that I do see a certain basis in spiritual initiation for desires rather than pure chemical or physical determinism.

I see it as itch/scratch kind of thing. It's not totally dependent upon chemical to cause the initial desire but requires a chemical link to follow though. Following through creates more ability that in turn leads to more desire to do it.

does that make sense?
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Re: Power corrupts. Here is how.

Post by QuantumTroll » Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:52 am

I think I see the point you're making, but I also think that you misunderstand my view. I'll try to explain with some illustrations.

Suppose you're in a completely empty room with white walls. Someone doses you with chemicals that activates the "empathy system" in your brain. Ordinarily, this would make it easier for you to empathize with someone, and you'd feel stronger a empathy. But what happens if no one is there to empathize with? Of course, I don't know, but I believe that at low dosages nothing would happen (because there's nothing actually triggering your empathy) and at high dosages you'd go crazy (because you'd start to empathize with a smudge on the wall or something).

Conversely, suppose you're in a room with a crying child. You naturally empathize with her and immediately go to comfort her. But someone doses you with chemicals that suppress the "empathy system". Then you still understand that the child is sad or hurt, and you know that you could comfort her so she'll be quiet, but you don't feel her sorrow for yourself. You can't, because you lack the equipment! So maybe you think that a crying, sobbing child is icky with snot, and you decide to drown out the noise of her crying with headphones. No, probably not, because you're still a decent human being, but the thought *might* cross your mind.

When you encounter someone, be it a crying child or just another man on the bus, your mind activates the empathy system in the brain, which lets the mind experience empathy. If the system is activated for no reason, you'll act crazy, and if the system is shut down then you become similar to a psychopath.

This is all very similar to what you were describing in the sense of "spiritual initiation" for desires, except in my version the spirit lives in brain activity. If I understand you correctly, your spirit lives separate from the brain, but acts through it. Is that a good description of the difference in viewpoint between us?

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Re: Power corrupts. Here is how.

Post by Metacrock » Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:16 am

I think trying to separate brain from spirit is like trying to separate thunder fro lightining or wave from energy that makes the wave. It's in the brain but it's not identical too it. I do think it is largely identical with mind. I see spirit as basically being mind, expect not identical competently. Mind might have some aspects more than spirit or spirit may be core of the mind. So to speak not that there is a literal core to the mind.

I see mind and brain as inseparable even thought they are not the same thing exactly.
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Re: Power corrupts. Here is how.

Post by mdsimpson92 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:57 am

Metacrock wrote:I think trying to separate brain from spirit is like trying to separate thunder fro lightining or wave from energy that makes the wave. It's in the brain but it's not identical too it. I do think it is largely identical with mind. I see spirit as basically being mind, expect not identical competently. Mind might have some aspects more than spirit or spirit may be core of the mind. So to speak not that there is a literal core to the mind.

I see mind and brain as inseparable even thought they are not the same thing exactly.
Is that due to the issue of Qualia?
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Re: Power corrupts. Here is how.

Post by Metacrock » Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:43 am

mdsimpson92 wrote:
Metacrock wrote:I think trying to separate brain from spirit is like trying to separate thunder fro lightining or wave from energy that makes the wave. It's in the brain but it's not identical too it. I do think it is largely identical with mind. I see spirit as basically being mind, expect not identical competently. Mind might have some aspects more than spirit or spirit may be core of the mind. So to speak not that there is a literal core to the mind.

I see mind and brain as inseparable even thought they are not the same thing exactly.
Is that due to the issue of Qualia?
NO it' becuase they so closely linked; brain is the access to mind weather it's the cause of it or not. I think a good argument for brain being either the cause or the "delivery system." That would create the sense that they are inseparable and the same. You can't access mind without brain that makes it seem they are the same.
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Re: Power corrupts. Here is how.

Post by QuantumTroll » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:08 am

(edit: Metacrock has responded by editing my post. I'm going to try to un-bork things...)
Quantumtroll wrote: Let's think about how we could detect whether the brain is: (1) the "cause" of the mind or (2) the "delivery system".

First, let's define the terms a little more clearly.
By (1), I mean that a mind is the result of neural and chemical activity in the brain. Thinking, feeling, and experiencing are performed when neurons and other braincells transmit electrical pulses and various chemicals.
By (2), I mean that the mind resides somewhere else. Thinking, feeling, and (especially) experiencing are performed elsewhere, by some unknown action, and the brain acts as an interface between the human body and the mind. The brain transmits sense data from the body to the mind, and receives and routs responses from the mind to the body.
Metacrock wrote: why does it have to reside anywhere? You make it sound like a spleen. It's a construct, it's like the internet. The stuff on the next isn't anywhere. It's some wired thing called "cyrbre space" but there's no there there.
QT wrote:If we want to tell the difference, we must devise an experiment where (1) and (2) yield different results. There are probably many possible experiments, and we (being biased) are likely to look for experiments proving our prejudiced opinion and disproving the opposite opinion. So I invite you to do so.
Metacrock wrote: No we don't. we know mind exists just by being. we don't need to prove it, we don't need an experiment. you are just giving into the spirit of the age. the Zeitgeist the only existence is that which can be reduced to what we can control." that's just ideology. its' not a fact it's not proved it just a bleeding dogma.
QT wrote:One of my strongest reservations against (2) is that we don't know how to detect any transmissions between brain and mind. It's not an electromagnetic transmission, or else people would fall unconscious when put in a Faraday cage (this is an experiment disproving (2)). We don't seem to have any special structures in our brains for doing strange extradimensional things or anything else that's different from any other animal (lack of mechanism for (2)).
Metacrock wrote: that's just assuming something not in evidence, the mechanistic model of animal life. that's just circular reasoning because that's transplanting the same problem of ourselves to animals and acting we solved it for them when we have not. We don't know that animals are little machines.

if we can't detect it, it can't exist. there's no two ways about it, if we can't control it's not part of reality. the only things that can ever be real are things we control. Since mind is not a physical organ like the spleen you don't have transmissions going to it. There is no reason why it should be detected.

I have this qualia in front of my face, tis' there weather I like it or not. the theater in which i behold it is there weather I like it or not.; that is what I call mind it has to be there a priori. I don't have to control for it to exist, it does. I can see it. I experience it every moment.
QT wrote:Another reason to believe (1) is the old nut where changes in brain structure and brain chemistry causes profound changes in personality. It is easy to see how a mind can be changed when the brain is changed if (1) is true. If (2) is true, then it's more difficult. You add antidepressants to a brain, and the mind stops being so very sad. Maybe the antidepressants cause the brain to send happier sense data to the mind, so the mind has less to feel sad about? This explanation is... not very satisfying to me, and similarly odd explanations are required for every change. The man whose tumor caused pedophilia, for example, is very hard to explain if (2) is true. To me, these questions constitute experiments that reasonably disprove (2).
Metacrock wrote: you still have not bridged the epistemological gap. there' an epistemological reason why that argument can't work. I told you it several times you have not traversed it.

It's access. If we access a certain thing and the route through we access it can become blacked it can be mistaken for cause. we can assume it's causal when it really just access.

say you have "niceness" in your head. say Niceness is like water. It's a physical thing that comes out when you talk. then you get the access pipe that carried the niceness blocked so you can't access your niceness. then you are not nice anymore. so people say "I see that pipe cause you to be nice." But it doesn't really it just let's the niceness out.
Last edited by QuantumTroll on Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:40 am, edited 2 times in total.

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