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Free will = making choices for no reason(?)

sdavio
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3/7/2014 9:46:52 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I've never understood what free will is, or what it's actually 'free' of. If I make a choice, supposedly it is 'free' from the causal chain. But if not random, surely my choice comes about for a reason, whether internal or external. We can't keep answering every time with 'you chose it' as the reason for choice, as that would develop into it's own deterministic causal chain!
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,090
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3/7/2014 10:05:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/7/2014 9:46:52 PM, sdavio wrote:
I've never understood what free will is, or what it's actually 'free' of. If I make a choice, supposedly it is 'free' from the causal chain. But if not random, surely my choice comes about for a reason, whether internal or external. We can't keep answering every time with 'you chose it' as the reason for choice, as that would develop into it's own deterministic causal chain!

Free will is the freedom from intrinsic or extrinsic necessity. The idea is that there's a compass inside the person, and can point at something.

It seems to me that it's a sort of self-motion... But this almost seems incoherent, since nothing can reduce itself from potency to act. But yeah, it's confusing.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
AnDoctuir
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3/7/2014 10:07:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
One could make the argument that the ability to rationalise things is largely free of causality if done unbiasedly (and of course outside of the evolution and being of rationality or whatever), but then the preponderance of people don't rationalise unbiasedly, and then even those who do are probably going to base their decisions on the self in terms of things such as fairness.

I do hold out hope on a sort of inexplicable goodness, though.
AnDoctuir
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3/7/2014 10:10:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
The rational agent is just rational, basically. It transcends causality, it's emergent, whatever.
dylancatlow
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3/7/2014 10:26:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/7/2014 10:07:35 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
One could make the argument that the ability to rationalise things is largely free of causality if done unbiasedly (and of course outside of the evolution and being of rationality or whatever), but then the preponderance of people don't rationalise unbiasedly, and then even those who do are probably going to base their decisions on the self in terms of things such as fairness.

I do hold out hope on a sort of inexplicable goodness, though.

What utter nonsense.
AnDoctuir
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3/7/2014 10:42:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/7/2014 10:26:51 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 3/7/2014 10:07:35 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
One could make the argument that the ability to rationalise things is largely free of causality if done unbiasedly (and of course outside of the evolution and being of rationality or whatever), but then the preponderance of people don't rationalise unbiasedly, and then even those who do are probably going to base their decisions on the self in terms of things such as fairness.

I do hold out hope on a sort of inexplicable goodness, though.

What utter nonsense.

How is that utter nonsense exactly? The rational element is the only thing that could be said to be free of causality, it being simply correctness. Of course what a person does with their rational element is another story. It's the same as saying to be human is free of causality, basically, but getting you nearer to will, and then there was the inexplicable goodness part.
AnDoctuir
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3/7/2014 10:45:09 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I am failing awfully in putting things together, though. What I'm saying is basically in line with what you were arguing recently, dylan. Just I don't believe it as absolute fact :P
sdavio
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3/7/2014 11:55:00 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/7/2014 10:07:35 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
One could make the argument that the ability to rationalise things is largely free of causality if done unbiasedly (and of course outside of the evolution and being of rationality or whatever), but then the preponderance of people don't rationalise unbiasedly, and then even those who do are probably going to base their decisions on the self in terms of things such as fairness.

Isn't a choice inherently by definition biased? A completely unbiased choice would be like a computer's 'choice' to process whatever a person inputs into it.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
AnDoctuir
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3/8/2014 12:22:26 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/7/2014 11:55:00 PM, sdavio wrote:
At 3/7/2014 10:07:35 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
One could make the argument that the ability to rationalise things is largely free of causality if done unbiasedly (and of course outside of the evolution and being of rationality or whatever), but then the preponderance of people don't rationalise unbiasedly, and then even those who do are probably going to base their decisions on the self in terms of things such as fairness.

Isn't a choice inherently by definition biased? A completely unbiased choice would be like a computer's 'choice' to process whatever a person inputs into it.

Yes, basically. Hey, I'm the first to argue against free will as nonsensical, but you have to hold out hope on something in this life, IMO. You might consider us all a part of god's brain, and he's battling with the idea of himself being selfish to want others around --others that are also himself, that is. I mean random is essentially free will, as dylan has so vehemently argued recently, and we're all a product of random. Who knows what this might be supposed to add up to, if anything. I just view some things as good in this world, though, and will never give up on them being something more than just extended selfishness.
AnDoctuir
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3/8/2014 12:26:29 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
There are some things that would bring you to believe in god, basically. They're just spoiled by a whole load of other nonsense.
Sidewalker
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3/8/2014 2:24:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/7/2014 9:46:52 PM, sdavio wrote:
I've never understood what free will is,

The free will debate is about whether we have the cognitive ability to conceive of future courses of action, deliberate about various reasons for choosing among them, determine our actions on the basis of such deliberation, and control our actions despite the presence of competing desires. If we do have these abilities, and almost everyone concedes that we do, and we can exercise these cognitive abilities to act without our actions being unreasonably compromised by external pressure, then we possess free will and human beings are morally responsible causal agents.

or what it's actually 'free' of.

Typically it is challenged by a competing belief in materialistic determinism, that is what it is said to be free of, and if you want to challenge free will on that basis, then one needs to establish that materialistic determinism is a fact first, and good luck with that one.

If I make a choice, supposedly it is 'free' from the causal chain.

No, it is free from a deterministic causal chain, which is a failed concept that was formally articulated in 1814 and has been thoroughly refuted by science for well over a hundred years now.

But if not random,

The idea that if it isn't deterministic, then it must be random, is a false dichotomy, the fact that determinism is a failed concept doesn't eliminate causality by any stretch of the imagination.

surely my choice comes about for a reason, whether internal or external.

Sure it does, the self-evident experiential reality that we are morally responsible causal agents results from the fact that we are conscious beings. Since we are conscious, the free will debate can be resolved by a logical determination as to whether or not the conscious self, is at times a causal agent as well as an entity that is acted upon by external causes. It's a self-evident fact that we are indeed conscious, causal agents.

We can't keep answering every time with 'you chose it' as the reason for choice, as that would develop into it's own deterministic causal chain!

No it wouldn't, by definition, the word "choose" implies that you could have acted otherwise, it implies the ability to select among alternatives. Consciousness has causal influence due to its content, a conscious state includes a desire or intention, it includes the ability to envision a future state and establish a strategy for attaining that state. That makes it more than a purely physical state, it is a conscious state with reference to a future possibility, and no such reference is part of any purely physical state. Such conscious states can have causal effect to bring about further states for the sake of values and purposes, and intents, values, and purposes are not reducible to the purely physical state of a deterministic argument.

Any Willusionists here want to formally debate this?

If so, I'm your Huckleberry.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
sdavio
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3/9/2014 5:33:05 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/8/2014 2:24:16 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 3/7/2014 9:46:52 PM, sdavio wrote:
I've never understood what free will is,

The free will debate is about whether we have the cognitive ability to conceive of future courses of action, deliberate about various reasons for choosing among them, determine our actions on the basis of such deliberation, and control our actions despite the presence of competing desires.

But the question is, how does that deliberating and determining of our actions come about? It's not enough simply to say 'we deliberate and determine it.' If I make a choice of some certain action A as opposed to an action B, did I do so because of some predisposition for that choice? Or is it random? I really don't see any other option here. If my choice is based on prior experiences and values, then surely it is 'determined' by them. Even barring that, 'free will' isn't simply a rejection of determinism saying "you can't know for sure," but a positive assertion of some uncaused causal agent.

or what it's actually 'free' of.

Typically it is challenged by a competing belief in materialistic determinism, that is what it is said to be free of, and if you want to challenge free will on that basis, then one needs to establish that materialistic determinism is a fact first, and good luck with that one.

No, I would say free will has the BOP as a positive claim. It is not simply agnostic as to what causes a person's actions.

But if not random,

The idea that if it isn't deterministic, then it must be random, is a false dichotomy, the fact that determinism is a failed concept doesn't eliminate causality by any stretch of the imagination.

If something didn't come about as the result of a potential in a prior thing, then it came about as a result of nothing at all. ie, random.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
rross
Posts: 2,772
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3/9/2014 6:07:09 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/7/2014 9:46:52 PM, sdavio wrote:
I've never understood what free will is, or what it's actually 'free' of. If I make a choice, supposedly it is 'free' from the causal chain. But if not random, surely my choice comes about for a reason, whether internal or external. We can't keep answering every time with 'you chose it' as the reason for choice, as that would develop into it's own deterministic causal chain!

Have you read about Libet's experiments? They found that the neurons that initiate action fire before the person makes the decision to act, so the decision is not the first thing that happens.

Some people interpret this as the conscious mind having the illusion of making a decision, kind of like being an observer. Others say not. Either way, I think that the conscious decision is only part of a bigger, more complicated process. It's not as simple as making a choice and then acting on it.

http://www.informationphilosopher.com...
Sidewalker
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3/9/2014 7:50:16 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/9/2014 5:33:05 AM, sdavio wrote:
At 3/8/2014 2:24:16 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 3/7/2014 9:46:52 PM, sdavio wrote:
I've never understood what free will is,

The free will debate is about whether we have the cognitive ability to conceive of future courses of action, deliberate about various reasons for choosing among them, determine our actions on the basis of such deliberation, and control our actions despite the presence of competing desires.

But the question is, how does that deliberating and determining of our actions come about?

You are making an argument from ignorance. OK, then I'll see your bid and raise you a "how do the deterministic process result in one and only one possible outcome to each choice we encounter".

It's not enough simply to say 'we deliberate and determine it.' If I make a choice of some certain action A as opposed to an action B, did I do so because of some predisposition for that choice? Or is it random? I really don't see any other option here.

As I already pointed out, this is a false dichotomy; there is no excluded middle in the analysis. You are making generalized "black and white" or true and false comparisons between random and deterministic. Black and white are mutually exclusive properties, but the law of the excluded middle doesn't apply, if something is not black, it is not the case that it must then be white, it could be red or blue.

The "other option here" is over here in the real world, it is a scientific fact that you can have stochastic processes with completely deterministic inputs that yield only probabilistic outcomes, which proves determinism untrue because you cannot determine one and only one output in each instance. For a process to be deterministic there can be one and only one outcome with a probability of 100%. For the doctrine of determinism to be true, it must apply to all processes and all outcomes, and it's very clear that it doesn't. In the real world, some things can be determined, others can be random, and others can be probabilistic, and if a single one is random or probabilistic, then determinism is untrue.

If my choice is based on prior experiences and values, then surely it is 'determined' by them.

If it is determined, then it isn't a choice.

Even barring that, 'free will' isn't simply a rejection of determinism saying "you can't know for sure," but a positive assertion of some uncaused causal agent.

Nope, it is an assertion that we have the conscious ability to affect outcomes in some manner that makes fatalism, the belief that events are irrevocably fixed, a false proposition because conscious human effort can in fact, alter outcomes. Free will only asserts that the future is not beyond our control. If we do in fact have free will, then it follows that we can have some effect on our personal and corporate tomorrows, which is to say that we are free to plan the future, and that our resultant intentions make a real difference in the world.

It is a matter of our identity; it speaks to what and who we are as human beings. If you want to try to reduce human beings to mindless automatons and claim that every culture that has ever existed was simply delusional about our being responsible for our actions, then you are making a very extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary evidence. Repeated reference to the hopelessly failed concept of mechanistic determinism just doesn't do it.

By the way, logic and reason presuppose free will, as does the concept of an argument, your "so called" argument is self defeating.

or what it's actually 'free' of.

Typically it is challenged by a competing belief in materialistic determinism, that is what it is said to be free of, and if you want to challenge free will on that basis, then one needs to establish that materialistic determinism is a fact first, and good luck with that one.

No, I would say free will has the BOP as a positive claim. It is not simply agnostic as to what causes a person's actions.

Oh pulease, you are shifting the BoP because you don't have an argument. It"s your OP, you are the one making the positive claim for determinism defeating free will, and you are the one challenging self-evident truths here. You are completely discounting the primary experiential reality of consciousness, specifically, the simple and self-evident fact that consciousness is not merely a passive perception or awareness of the universe that simply reacts to stimuli; it is an active force that we exert upon the universe as causal agents. You are making an extraordinary claim that requires either extraordinary evidence, or at least an extraordinary argument, making unsupported declarative statements and then shifting the burden of proof just doesn't cut it.

But if not random,

The idea that if it isn't deterministic, then it must be random, is a false dichotomy, the fact that determinism is a failed concept doesn't eliminate causality by any stretch of the imagination.

If something didn't come about as the result of a potential in a prior thing, then it came about as a result of nothing at all. ie, random.

I'm sorry, but repetition doesn't make a false dichotomy become true. Stochastic processes come about as the result of a potential in a prior thing too, we do have choices we can make, and it is not true that we are compelled to make one and only one decision in every instance.

Do you want to formally debate this?
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Sidewalker
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3/9/2014 10:40:34 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/9/2014 6:07:09 AM, rross wrote:
At 3/7/2014 9:46:52 PM, sdavio wrote:
I've never understood what free will is, or what it's actually 'free' of. If I make a choice, supposedly it is 'free' from the causal chain. But if not random, surely my choice comes about for a reason, whether internal or external. We can't keep answering every time with 'you chose it' as the reason for choice, as that would develop into it's own deterministic causal chain!

Have you read about Libet's experiments? They found that the neurons that initiate action fire before the person makes the decision to act, so the decision is not the first thing that happens.

That only follows from the research if you believe in miracles, which isn't science of course. It's flatly unscientific to begin with the presumption that free will depends on supernatural causes and then reference science to argue that free will therefore cannot exist. Let's instead look at the relevant science scientifically.

First of all, the Readiness Potential (RP) which Libet evaluated temporally had been known for decades and to this day there is no proof the RP represents a decision to move.

More importantly, the existing neuroscientific evidence, including Libet's study and several that followed it, do not support the conclusion that free will is an illusion. The presumption is that Libet showed that a decision has been made before people are aware of having made it, but that isn't what he demonstrated. He simply found discernible patterns of neural activity that precede the awareness of simple decisions (moving your wrist). If we remain in the scientific frame of reference, then we can assume that conscious decisions have neural correlates, and we would necessarily expect to find indications that those correlates are active prior to the moment of consciousness. If you don"t believe in miracles, and instead believe in cause and effect along with a belief that consciousness does have neural correlates, then it would be inane to presume that the brain did nothing at all until the moment when people magically became aware of a decision to move. All of the referential experiments involve quick, repetitive decisions where people are told not to plan their decisions but just to wait for an urge to come upon them. The early neural activity measured in the experiments likely represents these urges or other preparations for movement that necessarily precede the resultant conscious awareness.

Some people interpret this as the conscious mind having the illusion of making a decision, kind of like being an observer. Others say not.

Those who conclude that free will is an illusion are typically basing their conclusion on the flatly unscientific presumption that free will involves magic or is supernatural in nature. I"m deeply spiritual myself, but I know the difference between science and faith, and I know it isn't valid to confuse one with the other.

Either way, I think that the conscious decision is only part of a bigger, more complicated process. It's not as simple as making a choice and then acting on it.

Our brains are the most complex organized things in the known universe, just the sort of thing that could eventually make sense of why we are conscious creatures with the abilities to comprehend, converse, and create that go well beyond deterministic processes of inanimate matter. The scientifically minded hold out hope that neuroscientific discoveries over the next century will uncover how consciousness and thinking work the way they do because our complex brains work the way they do. Rather than discount consciousness and free will, it can help to explain our capacities to control our actions in such a way that we are responsible for them.

Much of the progress in science comes precisely from understanding wholes in terms of their parts, without this suggesting the "disappearance" of the whole in any way. Defining things out of existence is not what science does; it"s what people with an agenda do on the Internet. It just a tactic, much like taking the fact that it can be said of the color green that it is both blue and yellow, and yet it is neither blue nor yellow, and concluding that the color green is logically incoherent. To make such an invalid assertion sound scientific, it could be said that what is referred to as Green is merely a particular wavelength of light within the visible spectrum of the electromagnetic field, the color Green has been explained away by science and therefore green has no objective existence. I think it is supposed to sound clever or something, but it is just nonsense.

I can imagine few things that are as self-defeating as using the mind to limit the mind, especially when the reason for doing so is nothing but an illogical and totally unscientific semantics game based on some misguided faith based agenda. There is no reason to define the mind or free will in a way that begins by cutting off the possibility for scientific progress in understanding.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
dylancatlow
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3/9/2014 11:08:09 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/8/2014 2:24:16 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 3/7/2014 9:46:52 PM, sdavio wrote:
I've never understood what free will is,

The free will debate is about whether we have the cognitive ability to conceive of future courses of action, deliberate about various reasons for choosing among them, determine our actions on the basis of such deliberation, and control our actions despite the presence of competing desires. If we do have these abilities, and almost everyone concedes that we do, and we can exercise these cognitive abilities to act without our actions being unreasonably compromised by external pressure, then we possess free will and human beings are morally responsible causal agents.


And if all of this happens according to deterministic laws of nature, what room do you see for free will? Our actions would still be determined by forces beyond our control...our consciousness reduced to a kind of meaningless sideshow compulsively played out by our irrelevant minds. What you've just described is the basis for the illusion of free will, but not free will itself. Free will is possible, but not for these reasons.
dylancatlow
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3/9/2014 11:23:30 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/9/2014 6:07:09 AM, rross wrote:
At 3/7/2014 9:46:52 PM, sdavio wrote:
I've never understood what free will is, or what it's actually 'free' of. If I make a choice, supposedly it is 'free' from the causal chain. But if not random, surely my choice comes about for a reason, whether internal or external. We can't keep answering every time with 'you chose it' as the reason for choice, as that would develop into it's own deterministic causal chain!

Have you read about Libet's experiments? They found that the neurons that initiate action fire before the person makes the decision to act, so the decision is not the first thing that happens.


Libet himself believed that his experiments did not disprove free will since "the 200 ms separating conscious intent from muscular contraction is time enough to consciously veto or permit the movement precipitated by the readiness potential."
dylancatlow
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3/9/2014 11:30:48 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Expanding on that concept:

Along much the same lines, the subject may choose a
task and formulate an appropriate general plan on a
combination of conscious and unconscious levels, delegating
certain parts of the execution of this plan, as well as details
of scheduling, to the unconscious mind. The unconscious
mind would then take responsibility for that which has been
delegated to it, executing various subtasks when appropriate
and "reminding" the conscious mind of its responsibility to
"intend" those acts just before committing them. The
conscious mind would automatically take these cues,
thereby reserving the right of final authorization and
selectively permitting or interdicting the associated
unconscious impulses.
The latter explanation incorporates several key
concepts. One such concept is the mind"s supposed ability to
delegate various responsibilities to conscious or unconscious
levels of processing, implying that the unconscious mind can
to some extent function autonomously, without benefit of
direct, step-by-step conscious oversight. Another is the
distinction between tasks and subtasks in goal-related
processing and behavior. This distinction permits the
distinction of an overall task-related decision, e.g. deciding
to perform a sequence of voluntary hand movements, from
constituent subtask-related decisions, e.g. deciding to
perform one of the hand movements in question.
Yet another such concept is higher-order
intentionality, or "intent to intend". For example, intending
to perform a sequence of voluntary hand movements
amounts to intending to intend to perform each of the hand
movements in the sequence, and where the latter (lower-
order) intentions are generated by the unconscious level of
processing, they can in turn be regarded as a unconscious
intentions to consciously intend to permit or veto the impulses
associated with the unconscious intentions themselves. We
thus have a kind of "volitional loop" involving two levels of
processing, and two levels of intentionality, instead of the
single level usually acknowledged"a multilevel control
loop in which the "higher" (conscious) level of volitional
processing is insulated from the noise and complexity
generated by the "lower", unconscious nuts-and-bolts level,
which thus functions to some extent autonomously.
Does this new explanation of volition as a multilevel
control loop have any weaknesses? One possible weakness is
the fact that because we associate control with
consciousness, the very idea of "unconscious volition" seems
semantically inconsistent. Relegating any part of a volitional
control function to a non-conscious level of mental
processing seems to contradict the premise that we possess
the freedom to control our actions.
However, a little reflection should reveal that the
horse of cognition is already long gone from the barn of
consciousness anyway. If the conscious mind, which has an
innate need to function within a well-defined conceptual
system in order to ensure its informational integrity, were
ever made responsible for the details of the complex,
tentative, rapid-fire neural dialogue that microscopically
relates one well-defined state of consciousness to its
successor, cognition would immediately break down like a
tired old jalopy. With a catastrophic "kapow!" from its
exhaust pipe and a sad sigh of defeat from beneath its hood,
it would forcibly retreat into the wakeless sleep of
unrealizability. One might as well demand that the output of
a computer never be acknowledged until the user has
accounted for each of the millions of logical operations by
means of which it was generated. Such a demand cannot be
met within the bounds of practicality.

- The Art of Knowing
Sidewalker
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3/9/2014 1:23:04 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/9/2014 11:08:09 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 3/8/2014 2:24:16 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 3/7/2014 9:46:52 PM, sdavio wrote:
I've never understood what free will is,

The free will debate is about whether we have the cognitive ability to conceive of future courses of action, deliberate about various reasons for choosing among them, determine our actions on the basis of such deliberation, and control our actions despite the presence of competing desires. If we do have these abilities, and almost everyone concedes that we do, and we can exercise these cognitive abilities to act without our actions being unreasonably compromised by external pressure, then we possess free will and human beings are morally responsible causal agents.


And if all of this happens according to deterministic laws of nature, what room do you see for free will? Our actions would still be determined by forces beyond our control...our consciousness reduced to a kind of meaningless sideshow compulsively played out by our irrelevant minds.

Well yeah, except the "deterministic laws of nature" are not deterministic, the laws of nature are best exemplified by the Standard Model, and it says quite explicitly that it isn"t a deterministic system, it"s probabilistic.

If you want to invoke the "laws of nature", then you need to be factual about what those laws entail, and what science tells us is that the very platform from which you ask your question refutes your presupposition of "deterministic laws of nature".

According to the standard model, the reason the universe has any structure at all is that those randomly occurring quantum thermal fluctuations caused an uneven distribution of matter/energy when the early inflationary epoch occurred, and that uneven distribution of matter energy is what caused things like galaxies, stars, planets, and people to form.

What you've just described is the basis for the illusion of free will, but not free will itself. Free will is possible, but not for these reasons.

Nope, what I described was a scientific basis for free will, what you described is the illusion of "deterministic laws of nature", which is not supported by science and has no basis in reality.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Sidewalker
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3/9/2014 1:24:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/9/2014 11:30:48 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Expanding on that concept:

Along much the same lines, the subject may choose a
task and formulate an appropriate general plan on a
combination of conscious and unconscious levels, delegating
certain parts of the execution of this plan, as well as details
of scheduling, to the unconscious mind. The unconscious
mind would then take responsibility for that which has been
delegated to it, executing various subtasks when appropriate
and "reminding" the conscious mind of its responsibility to
"intend" those acts just before committing them. The
conscious mind would automatically take these cues,
thereby reserving the right of final authorization and
selectively permitting or interdicting the associated
unconscious impulses.
The latter explanation incorporates several key
concepts. One such concept is the mind"s supposed ability to
delegate various responsibilities to conscious or unconscious
levels of processing, implying that the unconscious mind can
to some extent function autonomously, without benefit of
direct, step-by-step conscious oversight. Another is the
distinction between tasks and subtasks in goal-related
processing and behavior. This distinction permits the
distinction of an overall task-related decision, e.g. deciding
to perform a sequence of voluntary hand movements, from
constituent subtask-related decisions, e.g. deciding to
perform one of the hand movements in question.
Yet another such concept is higher-order
intentionality, or "intent to intend". For example, intending
to perform a sequence of voluntary hand movements
amounts to intending to intend to perform each of the hand
movements in the sequence, and where the latter (lower-
order) intentions are generated by the unconscious level of
processing, they can in turn be regarded as a unconscious
intentions to consciously intend to permit or veto the impulses
associated with the unconscious intentions themselves. We
thus have a kind of "volitional loop" involving two levels of
processing, and two levels of intentionality, instead of the
single level usually acknowledged"a multilevel control
loop in which the "higher" (conscious) level of volitional
processing is insulated from the noise and complexity
generated by the "lower", unconscious nuts-and-bolts level,
which thus functions to some extent autonomously.
Does this new explanation of volition as a multilevel
control loop have any weaknesses? One possible weakness is
the fact that because we associate control with
consciousness, the very idea of "unconscious volition" seems
semantically inconsistent. Relegating any part of a volitional
control function to a non-conscious level of mental
processing seems to contradict the premise that we possess
the freedom to control our actions.
However, a little reflection should reveal that the
horse of cognition is already long gone from the barn of
consciousness anyway. If the conscious mind, which has an
innate need to function within a well-defined conceptual
system in order to ensure its informational integrity, were
ever made responsible for the details of the complex,
tentative, rapid-fire neural dialogue that microscopically
relates one well-defined state of consciousness to its
successor, cognition would immediately break down like a
tired old jalopy. With a catastrophic "kapow!" from its
exhaust pipe and a sad sigh of defeat from beneath its hood,
it would forcibly retreat into the wakeless sleep of
unrealizability. One might as well demand that the output of
a computer never be acknowledged until the user has
accounted for each of the millions of logical operations by
means of which it was generated. Such a demand cannot be
met within the bounds of practicality.

- The Art of Knowing

A Chris Langan quote, what a surprise.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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3/9/2014 3:34:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/9/2014 1:24:37 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 3/9/2014 11:30:48 AM, dylancatlow wrote:
Expanding on that concept:

Along much the same lines, the subject may choose a
task and formulate an appropriate general plan on a
combination of conscious and unconscious levels, delegating
certain parts of the execution of this plan, as well as details
of scheduling, to the unconscious mind. The unconscious
mind would then take responsibility for that which has been
delegated to it, executing various subtasks when appropriate
and "reminding" the conscious mind of its responsibility to
"intend" those acts just before committing them. The
conscious mind would automatically take these cues,
thereby reserving the right of final authorization and
selectively permitting or interdicting the associated
unconscious impulses.
The latter explanation incorporates several key
concepts. One such concept is the mind"s supposed ability to
delegate various responsibilities to conscious or unconscious
levels of processing, implying that the unconscious mind can
to some extent function autonomously, without benefit of
direct, step-by-step conscious oversight. Another is the
distinction between tasks and subtasks in goal-related
processing and behavior. This distinction permits the
distinction of an overall task-related decision, e.g. deciding
to perform a sequence of voluntary hand movements, from
constituent subtask-related decisions, e.g. deciding to
perform one of the hand movements in question.
Yet another such concept is higher-order
intentionality, or "intent to intend". For example, intending
to perform a sequence of voluntary hand movements
amounts to intending to intend to perform each of the hand
movements in the sequence, and where the latter (lower-
order) intentions are generated by the unconscious level of
processing, they can in turn be regarded as a unconscious
intentions to consciously intend to permit or veto the impulses
associated with the unconscious intentions themselves. We
thus have a kind of "volitional loop" involving two levels of
processing, and two levels of intentionality, instead of the
single level usually acknowledged"a multilevel control
loop in which the "higher" (conscious) level of volitional
processing is insulated from the noise and complexity
generated by the "lower", unconscious nuts-and-bolts level,
which thus functions to some extent autonomously.
Does this new explanation of volition as a multilevel
control loop have any weaknesses? One possible weakness is
the fact that because we associate control with
consciousness, the very idea of "unconscious volition" seems
semantically inconsistent. Relegating any part of a volitional
control function to a non-conscious level of mental
processing seems to contradict the premise that we possess
the freedom to control our actions.
However, a little reflection should reveal that the
horse of cognition is already long gone from the barn of
consciousness anyway. If the conscious mind, which has an
innate need to function within a well-defined conceptual
system in order to ensure its informational integrity, were
ever made responsible for the details of the complex,
tentative, rapid-fire neural dialogue that microscopically
relates one well-defined state of consciousness to its
successor, cognition would immediately break down like a
tired old jalopy. With a catastrophic "kapow!" from its
exhaust pipe and a sad sigh of defeat from beneath its hood,
it would forcibly retreat into the wakeless sleep of
unrealizability. One might as well demand that the output of
a computer never be acknowledged until the user has
accounted for each of the millions of logical operations by
means of which it was generated. Such a demand cannot be
met within the bounds of practicality.

- The Art of Knowing

A Chris Langan quote, what a surprise.

Yeah...I'm kinda obsessed with him :D Btw, the reasoning in your previous post is so shoddy that I'm not even going to respond to it. Any reasonable person will see why it's a foolish defense, and any unreasonable person....well, I don't have time for that.
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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3/9/2014 4:07:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/9/2014 3:34:44 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 3/9/2014 1:24:37 PM, Sidewalker wrote:

A Chris Langan quote, what a surprise.

Yeah...I'm kinda obsessed with him :D

Yeah, I noticed.

Btw, the reasoning in your previous post is so shoddy that I'm not even going to respond to it. Any reasonable person will see why it's a foolish defense, and any unreasonable person....well, I don't have time for that.

As I already said in my first post, if you want to challenge free will on the basis of determinism, you first need to establish that determinism is a fact first, which of course you can't, and even if you could, it's a false dichotomy argument anyway since compatibilism is still a strong argument. Granted, it was a little weak, but I don't much feel like putting a lot of time or thought into defending free will against the presumption of a failed deterministic concept. A foolish argument deserves a foolish defense.

There is a difference between methodological determinism, which is scientific, and actual determinism, which isn't.

I'm still looking for a formal debate here if you're interested.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
rross
Posts: 2,772
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3/9/2014 4:41:09 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/9/2014 10:40:34 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 3/9/2014 6:07:09 AM, rross wrote:
At 3/7/2014 9:46:52 PM, sdavio wrote:
I've never understood what free will is, or what it's actually 'free' of. If I make a choice, supposedly it is 'free' from the causal chain. But if not random, surely my choice comes about for a reason, whether internal or external. We can't keep answering every time with 'you chose it' as the reason for choice, as that would develop into it's own deterministic causal chain!

Have you read about Libet's experiments? They found that the neurons that initiate action fire before the person makes the decision to act, so the decision is not the first thing that happens.

That only follows from the research if you believe in miracles, which isn't science of course. It's flatly unscientific to begin with the presumption that free will depends on supernatural causes and then reference science to argue that free will therefore cannot exist. Let's instead look at the relevant science scientifically.

I'm going to take these as introductory remarks that will be explained in your subsequent comments.

First of all, the Readiness Potential (RP) which Libet evaluated temporally had been known for decades and to this day there is no proof the RP represents a decision to move.

More importantly, the existing neuroscientific evidence, including Libet's study and several that followed it, do not support the conclusion that free will is an illusion. The presumption is that Libet showed that a decision has been made before people are aware of having made it, but that isn't what he demonstrated. He simply found discernible patterns of neural activity that precede the awareness of simple decisions (moving your wrist). If we remain in the scientific frame of reference, then we can assume that conscious decisions have neural correlates, and we would necessarily expect to find indications that those correlates are active prior to the moment of consciousness. If you don"t believe in miracles, and instead believe in cause and effect along with a belief that consciousness does have neural correlates, then it would be inane to presume that the brain did nothing at all until the moment when people magically became aware of a decision to move. All of the referential experiments involve quick, repetitive decisions where people are told not to plan their decisions but just to wait for an urge to come upon them. The early neural activity measured in the experiments likely represents these urges or other preparations for movement that necessarily precede the resultant conscious awareness.

Some people interpret this as the conscious mind having the illusion of making a decision, kind of like being an observer. Others say not.

Those who conclude that free will is an illusion are typically basing their conclusion on the flatly unscientific presumption that free will involves magic or is supernatural in nature. I"m deeply spiritual myself, but I know the difference between science and faith, and I know it isn't valid to confuse one with the other.

Either way, I think that the conscious decision is only part of a bigger, more complicated process. It's not as simple as making a choice and then acting on it.

Our brains are the most complex organized things in the known universe, just the sort of thing that could eventually make sense of why we are conscious creatures with the abilities to comprehend, converse, and create that go well beyond deterministic processes of inanimate matter. The scientifically minded hold out hope that neuroscientific discoveries over the next century will uncover how consciousness and thinking work the way they do because our complex brains work the way they do. Rather than discount consciousness and free will, it can help to explain our capacities to control our actions in such a way that we are responsible for them.

Much of the progress in science comes precisely from understanding wholes in terms of their parts, without this suggesting the "disappearance" of the whole in any way. Defining things out of existence is not what science does; it"s what people with an agenda do on the Internet. It just a tactic, much like taking the fact that it can be said of the color green that it is both blue and yellow, and yet it is neither blue nor yellow, and concluding that the color green is logically incoherent. To make such an invalid assertion sound scientific, it could be said that what is referred to as Green is merely a particular wavelength of light within the visible spectrum of the electromagnetic field, the color Green has been explained away by science and therefore green has no objective existence. I think it is supposed to sound clever or something, but it is just nonsense.

I can imagine few things that are as self-defeating as using the mind to limit the mind, especially when the reason for doing so is nothing but an illogical and totally unscientific semantics game based on some misguided faith based agenda. There is no reason to define the mind or free will in a way that begins by cutting off the possibility for scientific progress in understanding.

Sure. I didn't say that the experiments prove that free will doesn't exist. As you say, that would be concluding too much from them.

But I do think that these - and others - show that we believe we have more control than we do over our own actions. That's all.

Belief in control is strange. There was an experiment I was reading about the other day where subjects were dealt cards from a pack which had 70% blue cards and 30% red cards, randomly shuffled, and they were paid by how accurately they could predict the colors. Obviously, the best strategy would be to say blue all the time and get 70% correct. But subjects couldn't bring themselves to do it, even over multiple trials. They'd say blue more than red, but they couldn't bring themselves to admit to no predictive control and so they didn't say blue all the time, and their results stayed at less than 70%.

Then, in another experiment, subjects were given a lottery ticket randomly, or they could pick their own number, and then they assessed the likelihood of winning, and those subjects who picked their own number guessed that they were several times more likely to win (I think. I can't remember the exact numbers. I think it was a Tversky study so I can look it up if you like).

In summary, we have this belief in control which is unreasonable, but it must have some function, I think.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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3/9/2014 4:53:55 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/9/2014 4:41:09 PM, rross wrote:
At 3/9/2014 10:40:34 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 3/9/2014 6:07:09 AM, rross wrote:
At 3/7/2014 9:46:52 PM, sdavio wrote:
I've never understood what free will is, or what it's actually 'free' of. If I make a choice, supposedly it is 'free' from the causal chain. But if not random, surely my choice comes about for a reason, whether internal or external. We can't keep answering every time with 'you chose it' as the reason for choice, as that would develop into it's own deterministic causal chain!

Have you read about Libet's experiments? They found that the neurons that initiate action fire before the person makes the decision to act, so the decision is not the first thing that happens.

That only follows from the research if you believe in miracles, which isn't science of course. It's flatly unscientific to begin with the presumption that free will depends on supernatural causes and then reference science to argue that free will therefore cannot exist. Let's instead look at the relevant science scientifically.

I'm going to take these as introductory remarks that will be explained in your subsequent comments.

First of all, the Readiness Potential (RP) which Libet evaluated temporally had been known for decades and to this day there is no proof the RP represents a decision to move.

More importantly, the existing neuroscientific evidence, including Libet's study and several that followed it, do not support the conclusion that free will is an illusion. The presumption is that Libet showed that a decision has been made before people are aware of having made it, but that isn't what he demonstrated. He simply found discernible patterns of neural activity that precede the awareness of simple decisions (moving your wrist). If we remain in the scientific frame of reference, then we can assume that conscious decisions have neural correlates, and we would necessarily expect to find indications that those correlates are active prior to the moment of consciousness. If you don"t believe in miracles, and instead believe in cause and effect along with a belief that consciousness does have neural correlates, then it would be inane to presume that the brain did nothing at all until the moment when people magically became aware of a decision to move. All of the referential experiments involve quick, repetitive decisions where people are told not to plan their decisions but just to wait for an urge to come upon them. The early neural activity measured in the experiments likely represents these urges or other preparations for movement that necessarily precede the resultant conscious awareness.

Some people interpret this as the conscious mind having the illusion of making a decision, kind of like being an observer. Others say not.

Those who conclude that free will is an illusion are typically basing their conclusion on the flatly unscientific presumption that free will involves magic or is supernatural in nature. I"m deeply spiritual myself, but I know the difference between science and faith, and I know it isn't valid to confuse one with the other.

Either way, I think that the conscious decision is only part of a bigger, more complicated process. It's not as simple as making a choice and then acting on it.

Our brains are the most complex organized things in the known universe, just the sort of thing that could eventually make sense of why we are conscious creatures with the abilities to comprehend, converse, and create that go well beyond deterministic processes of inanimate matter. The scientifically minded hold out hope that neuroscientific discoveries over the next century will uncover how consciousness and thinking work the way they do because our complex brains work the way they do. Rather than discount consciousness and free will, it can help to explain our capacities to control our actions in such a way that we are responsible for them.

Much of the progress in science comes precisely from understanding wholes in terms of their parts, without this suggesting the "disappearance" of the whole in any way. Defining things out of existence is not what science does; it"s what people with an agenda do on the Internet. It just a tactic, much like taking the fact that it can be said of the color green that it is both blue and yellow, and yet it is neither blue nor yellow, and concluding that the color green is logically incoherent. To make such an invalid assertion sound scientific, it could be said that what is referred to as Green is merely a particular wavelength of light within the visible spectrum of the electromagnetic field, the color Green has been explained away by science and therefore green has no objective existence. I think it is supposed to sound clever or something, but it is just nonsense.

I can imagine few things that are as self-defeating as using the mind to limit the mind, especially when the reason for doing so is nothing but an illogical and totally unscientific semantics game based on some misguided faith based agenda. There is no reason to define the mind or free will in a way that begins by cutting off the possibility for scientific progress in understanding.

Sure. I didn't say that the experiments prove that free will doesn't exist. As you say, that would be concluding too much from them.

But I do think that these - and others - show that we believe we have more control than we do over our own actions. That's all.

Belief in control is strange. There was an experiment I was reading about the other day where subjects were dealt cards from a pack which had 70% blue cards and 30% red cards, randomly shuffled, and they were paid by how accurately they could predict the colors. Obviously, the best strategy would be to say blue all the time and get 70% correct. But subjects couldn't bring themselves to do it, even over multiple trials. They'd say blue more than red, but they couldn't bring themselves to admit to no predictive control and so they didn't say blue all the time, and their results stayed at less than 70%.


Were the subjects told what the assortment of cards was beforehand, or were they supposed to discover it themselves? Anyway, that's really interesting.

Then, in another experiment, subjects were given a lottery ticket randomly, or they could pick their own number, and then they assessed the likelihood of winning, and those subjects who picked their own number guessed that they were several times more likely to win (I think. I can't remember the exact numbers. I think it was a Tversky study so I can look it up if you like).

In summary, we have this belief in control which is unreasonable, but it must have some function, I think.
rross
Posts: 2,772
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3/9/2014 5:36:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/9/2014 4:53:55 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 3/9/2014 4:41:09 PM, rross wrote:
At 3/9/2014 10:40:34 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 3/9/2014 6:07:09 AM, rross wrote:
At 3/7/2014 9:46:52 PM, sdavio wrote:
I've never understood what free will is, or what it's actually 'free' of. If I make a choice, supposedly it is 'free' from the causal chain. But if not random, surely my choice comes about for a reason, whether internal or external. We can't keep answering every time with 'you chose it' as the reason for choice, as that would develop into it's own deterministic causal chain!

Have you read about Libet's experiments? They found that the neurons that initiate action fire before the person makes the decision to act, so the decision is not the first thing that happens.

That only follows from the research if you believe in miracles, which isn't science of course. It's flatly unscientific to begin with the presumption that free will depends on supernatural causes and then reference science to argue that free will therefore cannot exist. Let's instead look at the relevant science scientifically.

I'm going to take these as introductory remarks that will be explained in your subsequent comments.

First of all, the Readiness Potential (RP) which Libet evaluated temporally had been known for decades and to this day there is no proof the RP represents a decision to move.

More importantly, the existing neuroscientific evidence, including Libet's study and several that followed it, do not support the conclusion that free will is an illusion. The presumption is that Libet showed that a decision has been made before people are aware of having made it, but that isn't what he demonstrated. He simply found discernible patterns of neural activity that precede the awareness of simple decisions (moving your wrist). If we remain in the scientific frame of reference, then we can assume that conscious decisions have neural correlates, and we would necessarily expect to find indications that those correlates are active prior to the moment of consciousness. If you don"t believe in miracles, and instead believe in cause and effect along with a belief that consciousness does have neural correlates, then it would be inane to presume that the brain did nothing at all until the moment when people magically became aware of a decision to move. All of the referential experiments involve quick, repetitive decisions where people are told not to plan their decisions but just to wait for an urge to come upon them. The early neural activity measured in the experiments likely represents these urges or other preparations for movement that necessarily precede the resultant conscious awareness.

Some people interpret this as the conscious mind having the illusion of making a decision, kind of like being an observer. Others say not.

Those who conclude that free will is an illusion are typically basing their conclusion on the flatly unscientific presumption that free will involves magic or is supernatural in nature. I"m deeply spiritual myself, but I know the difference between science and faith, and I know it isn't valid to confuse one with the other.

Either way, I think that the conscious decision is only part of a bigger, more complicated process. It's not as simple as making a choice and then acting on it.

Our brains are the most complex organized things in the known universe, just the sort of thing that could eventually make sense of why we are conscious creatures with the abilities to comprehend, converse, and create that go well beyond deterministic processes of inanimate matter. The scientifically minded hold out hope that neuroscientific discoveries over the next century will uncover how consciousness and thinking work the way they do because our complex brains work the way they do. Rather than discount consciousness and free will, it can help to explain our capacities to control our actions in such a way that we are responsible for them.

Much of the progress in science comes precisely from understanding wholes in terms of their parts, without this suggesting the "disappearance" of the whole in any way. Defining things out of existence is not what science does; it"s what people with an agenda do on the Internet. It just a tactic, much like taking the fact that it can be said of the color green that it is both blue and yellow, and yet it is neither blue nor yellow, and concluding that the color green is logically incoherent. To make such an invalid assertion sound scientific, it could be said that what is referred to as Green is merely a particular wavelength of light within the visible spectrum of the electromagnetic field, the color Green has been explained away by science and therefore green has no objective existence. I think it is supposed to sound clever or something, but it is just nonsense.

I can imagine few things that are as self-defeating as using the mind to limit the mind, especially when the reason for doing so is nothing but an illogical and totally unscientific semantics game based on some misguided faith based agenda. There is no reason to define the mind or free will in a way that begins by cutting off the possibility for scientific progress in understanding.

Sure. I didn't say that the experiments prove that free will doesn't exist. As you say, that would be concluding too much from them.

But I do think that these - and others - show that we believe we have more control than we do over our own actions. That's all.

Belief in control is strange. There was an experiment I was reading about the other day where subjects were dealt cards from a pack which had 70% blue cards and 30% red cards, randomly shuffled, and they were paid by how accurately they could predict the colors. Obviously, the best strategy would be to say blue all the time and get 70% correct. But subjects couldn't bring themselves to do it, even over multiple trials. They'd say blue more than red, but they couldn't bring themselves to admit to no predictive control and so they didn't say blue all the time, and their results stayed at less than 70%.


Were the subjects told what the assortment of cards was beforehand, or were they supposed to discover it themselves? Anyway, that's really interesting.

In the first trials, they didn't tell them, but in later trials they did tell them, I think. At that point the subjects tended to choose blue 70% of the time, which gave them a 58% success rate.

Then, in another experiment, subjects were given a lottery ticket randomly, or they could pick their own number, and then they assessed the likelihood of winning, and those subjects who picked their own number guessed that they were several times more likely to win (I think. I can't remember the exact numbers. I think it was a Tversky study so I can look it up if you like).

In summary, we have this belief in control which is unreasonable, but it must have some function, I think.
Wocambs
Posts: 1,505
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3/9/2014 6:48:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I am Wocambs, and I will always act as Wocambs acts. For some reason people think that means 'free will' doesn't exist.

You simply cannot make a choice without a decision-making framework, so it is in fact a requirement that choices be 'pre-determined'. If there was no framework then the idea of it being a choice would be meaningless.
Sidewalker
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3/10/2014 6:49:14 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/9/2014 4:41:09 PM, rross wrote:

Sure. I didn't say that the experiments prove that free will doesn't exist. As you say, that would be concluding too much from them.

I thought that was what you were saying; I was trying to agree with you.

But I do think that these - and others - show that we believe we have more control than we do over our own actions. That's all.

No doubt we believe we have more control than we do, for both our own actions and the actions of other people and things too. Watch people playing most sports, they train and condition for more control, they want to win to have more control over others. Watching people at a bowling alley provides a good example, the way a person moves trying to influence the ball as if they can control where it goes, I doubt any of them believes in mind over matter as the ball rolls down the lane, but instinctively they sure try to influence that ball as it rolls, it"s some kind of natural condition that we think we can control more than we can. Knowledge is power, we study to have more control, we learn for control. I think a lot of what we see as human progress, such as our achievements in science, result from our innate desire for more and more control. Our most basic instinct is for survival, and that has always been a matter of controlling both ourselves and our environment, so it"s hardwired in at the deepest levels, and it"s learned from the beginning. We are born, we cry when we are uncomfortable and people brings us what we want or need, we learn to talk and we have more control, we learn to walk and we can go get it ourselves. Our personal and collective survival is a matter of control.

Belief in control is strange. There was an experiment I was reading about the other day where subjects were dealt cards from a pack which had 70% blue cards and 30% red cards, randomly shuffled, and they were paid by how accurately they could predict the colors. Obviously, the best strategy would be to say blue all the time and get 70% correct. But subjects couldn't bring themselves to do it, even over multiple trials. They'd say blue more than red, but they couldn't bring themselves to admit to no predictive control and so they didn't say blue all the time, and their results stayed at less than 70%.

Then, in another experiment, subjects were given a lottery ticket randomly, or they could pick their own number, and then they assessed the likelihood of winning, and those subjects who picked their own number guessed that they were several times more likely to win (I think. I can't remember the exact numbers. I think it was a Tversky study so I can look it up if you like).

In summary, we have this belief in control which is unreasonable, but it must have some function, I think.

I think it"s a fundamental motivation that can be seen as driving us both individually and collectively, we desire more wealth, power, knowledge, safety, whatever, it all mostly comes down to having more control. It"s survival of the fittest, and by definition, the "fittest" is pretty much the one with the most control.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Evan_Shad
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3/10/2014 8:10:02 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
OP, have you ever done anything? If so, what did it feel like? How was it to make the decision?

You were conscious of the origin of the decision in your soul, and you were not conscious of any cause. There may have been a reason, but still, you introspected the choice. This reason did not force you; you remember refusing to be irrational and go against reason.

I don't know where people get this silly idea that free will is a matter for experiments and such. It's just obvious.
Sidewalker
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3/10/2014 8:56:35 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/10/2014 8:10:02 AM, Evan_Shad wrote:
OP, have you ever done anything? If so, what did it feel like? How was it to make the decision?

You were conscious of the origin of the decision in your soul, and you were not conscious of any cause. There may have been a reason, but still, you introspected the choice. This reason did not force you; you remember refusing to be irrational and go against reason.

I don't know where people get this silly idea that free will is a matter for experiments and such. It's just obvious.

Same here, it always amazes me that people try to challenge the self evident fact that we are causal agents, they act according to a belief in free will, it is an integral part of their experience of reality, they contrive arguments which would be impossible if we didn't have free will, and yet, they seem to think the BoP is on someone else to convince them.

And they always base their argument on determinism, something that isn't self evident, isn't experienced, and has been demonstrated as completely false by science.

It just makes no sense.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater