It seems that, if you believe in god, that all intent stems from that 'being' ... but where does this god get intent? That paradox is the 'turtles all the way down' problem.

And, if you don't believe in god, where does intent originate? I mean, in any deterministic model, intent doesn't exist - instead, there is a highly complex, probably non-linear, set of causes and effects.

But the Big Bang gives it all a beginning and the Third Law of Thermal Dynamics gives it an end. So, in the case of: 'it's all dominoes slamming into each other', there is no real intent - just a chain of interacting events. But what caused the first domino to fall and what effect does the last one to fall have on anything?

Meanwhile, if you do believe in actual intent, then don't you have to believe in a cause without an effect and/or an effect without a cause? Don't you have to believe in at least the possibility of something making absolutely no sense whatsoever?

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How about "Intent" being an emergent property? Like a winning streak of a basket ball team or fish shoaling? I do not see a problem or a paradox. When did the first fish shoal? What caused the winning streak to start?

I'm not religious (except regarding beer) but I believe in the power of intent. Though I certainly don't believe in effect without cause. Just because a specific cause cannot be inherently quantified does not create a contradiction. Some things are just random...

Intent is simply an emergent property of the brain. A bee has intent, to collect honey. Self awareness is an emergent property of the ability to empathize. The ability to empathize is a survival trait, the life form that can better predict the behavior of others will improve it's ability to survive. The brain that can manipulate others even more so...
Love it. Yes, I've been thinking a lot about emergence and leaderless systems. But within the concept of "self" and "free will" there must be a truly unpredictable choice.

"Random" cannot have a cause or it is not random - it is a result. That is my point. In fact, my belief is that arificial intelligence will never truly be achieved until the machine can generate a truly random number and not a quasi-random number as they do now.

Never confuse extreme complexity (like a quasi-random number which is generated by an extremely complex series of calculations often based on the time it was generated) with actual randomness.

Luckily, nonsense is everywhere in my opinion. We do not seem to lack it even in this tiny petri dish called "Earth".

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