Choice - fact or illusion

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by Ready Aim Fire, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    Messages:
    7,982
    Likes Received:
    960
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    How is that free will? You are quite strongly limited in this aspect, you are limited by your respect for your neighbours time, the fact that you have something better to do, the energy you would spend going there, possibly a social anxiety related to bothering people and so on (I assume many things about the relationship between you and your neighbour). My bet is you're not even seriously considering knocking on his door.
     
  2. DentalFloss

    DentalFloss Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    9,037
    Likes Received:
    1,621
    Trophy Points:
    113
    At the time I typed it, I was not. But I have many times.
     
  3. Ready Aim Fire

    Ready Aim Fire New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sounds like you believe in choice with limits/boudaries. I guess that could be worked into some calculus function... somehow.
     
  4. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    Messages:
    7,982
    Likes Received:
    960
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    So what stopped you? And whatever answer you give to that, how can you claim that your will is free from that influence?
     
  5. DentalFloss

    DentalFloss Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    9,037
    Likes Received:
    1,621
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I had no reason to. Frequently, they pick up our packages left by our door. And vice versa. We haven't developed a personal relationship yet, perhaps we will, perhaps we won't. Given that we're planning to move soon, it's more likely that we won't, but there is still enough time for me to be wrong. But my free will allows me to say to myself, "Self, I think I'd like to get to know them better, so even though I don't have a package that belongs to them, I'm gonna go knock on the door in an effort to forward that goal."
     
  6. Prof_Sarcastic

    Prof_Sarcastic New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
    Messages:
    3,118
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    0
    "Free range" chickens are not actually free to roam around any range they want. The "free world" still has laws against things. I dont think its necessarily a word with binary implications. Our will is typically free, on most topics, from major constraints like the threat of force, and to me thats what "free" will really means. Its just a figure of speech.
     
  7. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    Messages:
    7,982
    Likes Received:
    960
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Then having no reason to (as well as whatever mental state makes you not do things that you have no reason to do) hinders you. You use your knowledge and experience about your neighbour, compare it to your experience with friendships with other people and so on, and all of this shapes your behaviour to the extent that in the same position you would never go and see him unless the premises change, ie, you are completely constrained. Even seemingly free behaviour, such as going to see your neighbour to prove the point that you could or do a randomised action is constrained by your ability to make these actions up, which in turn are constrained by your brain and thus your experiences.

    Now, this is of course not a practical approach to free will, and while I don't identify free will in these examples, I don't see that as a reason to say that there is no point in working towards what appears to be free will. It also calls into question what brain washing is, since there is no action we can do which is not primarily governed by some arbitrary experience, and often experiences which someone have designed to some extent (like advertisement). The distinction is purely one with respect to the idea that free will relieves a omnipotent and omniscient God of his responsibility for evil, which as I understand it is the only reason to argue that someone's will is in any way free.
     
  8. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    Messages:
    7,982
    Likes Received:
    960
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Well, free will in the context as one would expect in the religion subforum (although I should probably have specified that that was the context I was referring to) is often related to passing blame of evil away from an omnipotent, omniscient God. The definition of free will needs to be more fundamental than what I understand from your post if it is to resolve the problem of evil.
     
  9. Prof_Sarcastic

    Prof_Sarcastic New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
    Messages:
    3,118
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well, its a religion and philosophy forum, and God wasnt mentioned in the op, but i take your point.
     
  10. DentalFloss

    DentalFloss Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    9,037
    Likes Received:
    1,621
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I don't think the mind is emergent from the brain. But perhaps that's an entire different conversation.
     
  11. Swensson

    Swensson Devil's advocate

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    Messages:
    7,982
    Likes Received:
    960
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Fair enough, the same argument can be made without the mind being physically present in the brain.
     
  12. Wolverine

    Wolverine New Member Past Donor

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Messages:
    16,105
    Likes Received:
    233
    Trophy Points:
    0
    We may make decisions, however the electrochemical processes that kick start that thought/decision occur before we are aware of this thought/decision.

    All paradoxical, self-contradictory, and poorly thought out fervent religiously apologetics aside, free will is an illusion.
    [video=youtube_share;_FanhvXO9Pk]http://youtu.be/_FanhvXO9Pk[/video]

    - - - Updated - - -

    However, brain injuries change brain functions, capabilities, and often times personalities.

    There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that the mind exists outside of the electrochemical workings of the physical brain.
     
  13. DentalFloss

    DentalFloss Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    9,037
    Likes Received:
    1,621
    Trophy Points:
    113
  14. Wolverine

    Wolverine New Member Past Donor

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Messages:
    16,105
    Likes Received:
    233
    Trophy Points:
    0
  15. Wolverine

    Wolverine New Member Past Donor

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Messages:
    16,105
    Likes Received:
    233
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The problem with applying quantum mechanics to the brains is that the ideas are not actually proven. The "New Age" movement makes a habit of misrepresenting quantum mechanics. Their claims do not appear in scientific journals, they do however, appear in sketchy "documentaries" and Facebook pages. Anyone can make a hypothesis, however actual evidence is required to make is factual.

    The brain oriented holographic universe is an interesting thought. I will certainly give you and the author of that page that much. Especially considering the nature of the fleeting moment of now. The more I think about it, the less I think now even exists in a meaningful matter. The less I think anything is really important is any meaningful matter, and the less I believe reality is even reality.

    However, those are more philosophic rambleings than scientific. Science is the beginning, the destination, the means, the end, the Alpha, and the Omega. If X is said to be like so, or if X is to exist, it should be able to demonstrated. And brain injuries, very clearly, consistently, and predictably, alter the mind. The mind is entirely dependent on the state of the brain.
     
  16. DentalFloss

    DentalFloss Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    9,037
    Likes Received:
    1,621
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I think of the brain like an antenna. It's what our mind uses to connect. Obviously a damaged antenna will alter or damage the connection.
     
  17. Wolverine

    Wolverine New Member Past Donor

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Messages:
    16,105
    Likes Received:
    233
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Which is completely unfalsifiable and not demonstrated in any way shape or form.
     
  18. DentalFloss

    DentalFloss Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    9,037
    Likes Received:
    1,621
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Well, based on the fact that I (quite accidentally) remote viewed a friend one night, and later confirmed that what I saw actually happened. Clearly, my consciousness was outside of my body at the time.
     
  19. Wolverine

    Wolverine New Member Past Donor

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Messages:
    16,105
    Likes Received:
    233
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Remote viewing has been debunked and dismissed time and time again.
     
  20. DentalFloss

    DentalFloss Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    9,037
    Likes Received:
    1,621
    Trophy Points:
    113
    And yet, it happened. To me. Under circumstances that cannot be doubted, because the conversation I observed was unique, and confirmed to have happened. I suppose you can blow that off, figure I'm lying or making unreasonable assumptions, or whatever, but it did happen.
     
  21. Wolverine

    Wolverine New Member Past Donor

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Messages:
    16,105
    Likes Received:
    233
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well, you can write a paper, empirically demonstrate your abilities, and win your Nobel Peace Prize.

    What symbol is on the back of my jacket?
     
  22. DentalFloss

    DentalFloss Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    9,037
    Likes Received:
    1,621
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I said it was accidental. I was not trying to do it, nor do I (yet?) have the ability to do so at will. It just happened. And it is, that I'm aware of anyway, the one and only time in my life that it did.
     
  23. MickSpeed

    MickSpeed New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Free Will or Determinism.

    Pondered for millennia.

    Still no definitive answer.

    One could twist oneself into a mental pretzel contemplating such.
     
  24. Beast Mode

    Beast Mode New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    Messages:
    2,106
    Likes Received:
    21
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I don't think that's quite right. Free will is not "strictly" a Christian precept. Most atheists deny the weirdness of Determinism in favor of free will (mistakenly). Determinism is just the idea that every effect in the natural world has a cause/causes that "determine" that effect. If you think about it, free will completely borrows from that world view.

    If I make a choice, what difference does it make what I choose if the outcome is the same either way? Having a free will presupposes that I may cause a particular effect in the world based on the particular choice I make. That is a deterministic world view. Whether I choose to believe or not believe, still is grounded in determinism because whatever I choose has a cause, and effect. Take Job for example. He was blessed, all was taken away from him, it reinforced his faith, and the determined outcome was that he still chose to believe...as the fable goes.

    When we are dealing with things that happen in the natural world, we are dealing with determinism. We can, at any time, backwards rationalize "why" we made any particular choice. The fact that our choices have an effect and we are aware (or not aware) of the consequences, is entirely deterministic.

    Me personally, I draw a distinction between "free will" and "free thought". Free will implies the ability to act. Free thought is consciousness at play. While there are exceptions, most rational beings are at liberty to exercise free thought to their whim without consequence in the natural world. But I suppose if a deity were in control of, or judging, our thoughts then it also would be deterministic.
     
  25. Beast Mode

    Beast Mode New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    Messages:
    2,106
    Likes Received:
    21
    Trophy Points:
    0
    This is what I was looking for in the metaphysics vs logical positivism thread.

    Can you explain to me "how" you remote viewed your friend? The evidence of the details and the confirmation of experience from 3rd parties would be helpful.
     

Share This Page