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Question regarding free will

Benshapiro
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8/30/2016 9:58:05 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
If we don't have control over our thoughts or emotional state of mind, do we still have free will?
keithprosser
Posts: 1,935
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8/31/2016 5:44:38 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/30/2016 9:58:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
If we don't have control over our thoughts or emotional state of mind, do we still have free will?

It just occurred to that there might be a language/vocabulary issue to untangle here. If we say 'our thoughts and emotionak state of mind' it suggests that those thoughts have our selves as an owner, and ownership suggest a degree of 'having control over' and repsonsibility, as in one owns a dog or or a car.

But if Ben had said 'If we don't have control over the thought that arise in our brains do we have free-will?' that suggests were are the passive recepients of unbidden thoughts. Rather than being the owners (and hence masters) of thoughts we are the slaves of unbidden thought.

May be its not exclusively one or the other, or even it could be neither. Take a necker cube. It look like a 3d object that flips impossibly between two states. That is because it isnt really a 3d object - it is a 2d image we interpret as a 3d object. So free-will might be puzzling because free will isn't what we all assume it to be.

I don't suggest that as solution, but it may partly explain why people disagree about free will, jus as people could disagree wether a necker cube point is 'really' pointing in or out (or the colour of a dress?) Or I am flogging yet another dead end in the free will debate - I make no grand claims - just a follorn attempt to avoid too much of going over the same ground!
Pbody
Posts: 47
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8/31/2016 7:13:12 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/30/2016 9:58:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
If we don't have control over our thoughts or emotional state of mind, do we still have free will? : :

Think about this for a minute. Not one person has the same set of thoughts going through his mind. Why is that?
skipsaweirdo
Posts: 1,863
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8/31/2016 10:15:56 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/31/2016 5:44:38 AM, keithprosser wrote:
At 8/30/2016 9:58:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
If we don't have control over our thoughts or emotional state of mind, do we still have free will?

It just occurred to that there might be a language/vocabulary issue to untangle here. If we say 'our thoughts and emotionak state of mind' it suggests that those thoughts have our selves as an owner, and ownership suggest a degree of 'having control over' and repsonsibility, as in one owns a dog or or a car.

But if Ben had said 'If we don't have control over the thought that arise in our brains do we have free-will?' that suggests were are the passive recepients of unbidden thoughts. Rather than being the owners (and hence masters) of thoughts we are the slaves of unbidden thought.

May be its not exclusively one or the other, or even it could be neither. Take a necker cube. It look like a 3d object that flips impossibly between two states. That is because it isnt really a 3d object - it is a 2d image we interpret as a 3d object. So free-will might be puzzling because free will isn't what we all assume it to be.

I don't suggest that as solution, but it may partly explain why people disagree about free will, jus as people could disagree wether a necker cube point is 'really' pointing in or out (or the colour of a dress?) Or I am flogging yet another dead end in the free will debate - I make no grand claims - just a follorn attempt to avoid too much of going over the same ground!
RUSH says I will choose free will. So it's gotta be true....they are totally awesome dude.
keithprosser
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8/31/2016 10:59:15 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
Only the best Canadian band EVER...(after Nickelback).
NIckelbacK on freewill: "Well, we all just wanna be big rockstars/And live in hilltop houses driving fifteen cars"
skipsaweirdo
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9/1/2016 7:25:27 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/30/2016 9:58:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
If we don't have control over our thoughts or emotional state of mind, do we still have free will?

I can't decide.. I'm trying to type but I'm on drugs because my thoughts were decided by another person who abused me because they were a big mean hairy ape and I was a nice cool little chimp about 600,000 years ago. Btw, every place on the net where I looked for online places to get me a will, they charge so it ain't free. Unless I steal a credit card and make someone else pay. It's free to me but it costs the vendor who gets screwed on the sale. Life and words really suck don't they?
keithprosser
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9/1/2016 9:14:11 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
Returning to serious matters, I think a lot hangs on what we think we are - and whether we are what we think we are.

Let me suggest that an individual is an absurdly complicated chemical reaction - and that is all an individual is. As a chemical reaction, we are subject to the full force of the laws of physics, and we as 'unfree' as a lump of zinc dropped in acid.

But it doesn't feel as if that is the case. If we are 'just chemicals' why do we think we are intelligent, conscious entities with hopes, dreams, rights and duties? Why do we think the question matters - a lump of zinc doesn't care if it left in the ground or dropped in acid, so why should we care?

The difference is that we manifest consciousness - lumps of zinc don't (at least I don't think they do!). So we have to concentrate on 'consciousness'.

What do we know about consciousness? We don't know much about how it works, but we do know that it works, and we know what it like to be a conscious entity (it is like being yourself; its having feelings and opinions, having logical thoughts and irrational passions - what 'conscious feels like' is hard to put into words, but we are all familar with how it feels.)

We also know - or are very confident about - that the brain works by maintaining a reprsentation of the world, encoded as patterns of neural activity. It is the information encoded into those 'representations' that we aware of (ie we are not aware/conscious of the external world per se).

There are two ways of thinking about a neural representation. One can think about what it is physically (a pattern of synaptic activity) or the information it encodes, in other words a)what it is or b)what it represents. Our brains are set up to have awareness of what it represents. Awareness of what is it (ie patterns of neural activity) is not built into brains - although we can discover how brains work by doing scientific research, we don't have direct, innate conscious access to how our brains work.

Why are we aware of anything? It's because natural selection favoured those 'chemical reactions' that persisted or replicated successfully and having an internalised model of its environment allowed it to 'react' differently according to its internal and external conditions (you can read 'react' as in 'chemical' reaction or as a behavioural thing - there is no actual difference in the view I am proposing).

The central object in our internalised (neural) representation of the world is 'self' - it was put there by natural selection. So now we know what the 'self' is - it is pattern of neural activity that encodes that unverbalisable 'how it feels to be us' I wrote about above.

All the subjective feelings we have about our nature, how it fells to be ahuman being - is a load of hooey. That sunjecctive self exists only as the information encoded into an internal self-representation, ie a pattern of neural activity (produces by natural selection) that encodes us as being 'conscious entites' with subjectivity' and 'emotions'. But that is only what our iternal self-repesentation encodes; its not what the self is. The self is - I repeat - a purely physical pattern of neural activity, subject to the laws of physics. We are just not innately aware of that fact, all we are innately aware of is the fictional subjctive 'self' that pattern encodes.

So when it comes to free will, what is happening at the physical level? Physically, every atom in the brain is subject to the laws of physics 100% of time. The way those atoms move is completely determined (within the limits set by quantum mechanics which are irrelevant in this context). At a higher level those atomic movements result in changes in the patterns of activity neural, and those changes in neural activity can change other patterns of neural activity - they can (within the laws of physics) interact. That is what we'd see if we just looks at the physical side. But if we consider the infornational side, the changes pattern configurations give rise to different information content different 'awarenesses'. What are physically a complex inter-atomic interactions are transcibed into us being aware of things like 'thinking about it', 'preferring', and 'finally choosing'.

We operate entirely within the laws of physics. If is seems we don't its because our brains misrepresent the way it works, by mispresenting the self as a 'subectively conscious entity'. We are indeed conscious - there are physical process in the brain that produce 'awareness'. But the reality of that mechanical consciousness is not what our brain are wired up at birth to be 'self-aware' of. The 'self' - the subjectively 'conscious' self - is a fiction written by natural selection.

At root, whatever we think we are, each of us is a complex physical system containing a false (but practically very useful) misrepresentation of itself, and free-will (our belef we make autonomous choices) is a mispresentation of the physical reality what is really going on of the brain - the reality of information being manipulated and changed as strictly under the command of physics as in a computer working out a gas bill cannot defy the laws of physics.

OK - that expostion needs work! - I can only hope my drift got across. :<
Furyan5
Posts: 1,228
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9/1/2016 11:12:35 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 9/1/2016 9:14:11 AM, keithprosser wrote:
Returning to serious matters, I think a lot hangs on what we think we are - and whether we are what we think we are.

Let me suggest that an individual is an absurdly complicated chemical reaction - and that is all an individual is. As a chemical reaction, we are subject to the full force of the laws of physics, and we as 'unfree' as a lump of zinc dropped in acid.

But it doesn't feel as if that is the case. If we are 'just chemicals' why do we think we are intelligent, conscious entities with hopes, dreams, rights and duties? Why do we think the question matters - a lump of zinc doesn't care if it left in the ground or dropped in acid, so why should we care?

The difference is that we manifest consciousness - lumps of zinc don't (at least I don't think they do!). So we have to concentrate on 'consciousness'.

What do we know about consciousness? We don't know much about how it works, but we do know that it works, and we know what it like to be a conscious entity (it is like being yourself; its having feelings and opinions, having logical thoughts and irrational passions - what 'conscious feels like' is hard to put into words, but we are all familar with how it feels.)

We also know - or are very confident about - that the brain works by maintaining a reprsentation of the world, encoded as patterns of neural activity. It is the information encoded into those 'representations' that we aware of (ie we are not aware/conscious of the external world per se).

There are two ways of thinking about a neural representation. One can think about what it is physically (a pattern of synaptic activity) or the information it encodes, in other words a)what it is or b)what it represents. Our brains are set up to have awareness of what it represents. Awareness of what is it (ie patterns of neural activity) is not built into brains - although we can discover how brains work by doing scientific research, we don't have direct, innate conscious access to how our brains work.

Why are we aware of anything? It's because natural selection favoured those 'chemical reactions' that persisted or replicated successfully and having an internalised model of its environment allowed it to 'react' differently according to its internal and external conditions (you can read 'react' as in 'chemical' reaction or as a behavioural thing - there is no actual difference in the view I am proposing).

The central object in our internalised (neural) representation of the world is 'self' - it was put there by natural selection. So now we know what the 'self' is - it is pattern of neural activity that encodes that unverbalisable 'how it feels to be us' I wrote about above.

All the subjective feelings we have about our nature, how it fells to be ahuman being - is a load of hooey. That sunjecctive self exists only as the information encoded into an internal self-representation, ie a pattern of neural activity (produces by natural selection) that encodes us as being 'conscious entites' with subjectivity' and 'emotions'. But that is only what our iternal self-repesentation encodes; its not what the self is. The self is - I repeat - a purely physical pattern of neural activity, subject to the laws of physics. We are just not innately aware of that fact, all we are innately aware of is the fictional subjctive 'self' that pattern encodes.

So when it comes to free will, what is happening at the physical level? Physically, every atom in the brain is subject to the laws of physics 100% of time. The way those atoms move is completely determined (within the limits set by quantum mechanics which are irrelevant in this context). At a higher level those atomic movements result in changes in the patterns of activity neural, and those changes in neural activity can change other patterns of neural activity - they can (within the laws of physics) interact. That is what we'd see if we just looks at the physical side. But if we consider the infornational side, the changes pattern configurations give rise to different information content different 'awarenesses'. What are physically a complex inter-atomic interactions are transcibed into us being aware of things like 'thinking about it', 'preferring', and 'finally choosing'.

We operate entirely within the laws of physics. If is seems we don't its because our brains misrepresent the way it works, by mispresenting the self as a 'subectively conscious entity'. We are indeed conscious - there are physical process in the brain that produce 'awareness'. But the reality of that mechanical consciousness is not what our brain are wired up at birth to be 'self-aware' of. The 'self' - the subjectively 'conscious' self - is a fiction written by natural selection.

At root, whatever we think we are, each of us is a complex physical system containing a false (but practically very useful) misrepresentation of itself, and free-will (our belef we make autonomous choices) is a mispresentation of the physical reality what is really going on of the brain - the reality of information being manipulated and changed as strictly under the command of physics as in a computer working out a gas bill cannot defy the laws of physics.

OK - that expostion needs work! - I can only hope my drift got across. :<

I have seen many debates on free will and one thing I realized is that we each have a different understanding of what free will is. Depending on your definition your answer would differ. For some, making a decision without coercion from an external agent means you have free will. For example, if the government says drinking and driving is illegal, free will allows you to still drink and drive. But if your moral values stop you from drinking and driving then you still have free will, because it's your own moral values, not an external agent or influence. Others would consider moral values a determining factor in our decision making and to them, free will wouldn't exist. It all depends on your definition of free will.
keithprosser
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9/1/2016 1:13:06 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
I agree - there is no single, canonical sense of the term 'free will'. My post was based on the notion of free will as something that over-rides the apparent straight-jacket of physical cause and effect. It is the sort of free will that some people seem to be thinking about when they suggest our every action was determined at the time of the big bang, or that some people saw as being impossible in the classical, 'clockwork' view of the universe but hoped to recover in quantum effects. I hope you know the sort of 'free will' I mean by that; I hope that at least some people believe in that sort of free will.

I reject that 'extreme sort of free will' on the grounds it is essentially dualistic (IMO), and I admit I am dogmatic in my rejection of dualism!

But the low level (atoms) view of the brain is not the only reasonably level of analysis. If we want to undertand what a computer is doing, then we would learn nothing of value by tracking the movement of each electron through its gates. We would see determinism holds in full within computers and conclude a computer doesn't do anything interesting - it just moves electrons around according to the laws of physics. That low level view of a computer is 100% accurate, absolutely true and almost totally useless if you want to understand what computers actually do.

Similarly, although the brain (like a computer) cannot escape or override the laws of physics (obviously, because nothing can do that unless dualism is true), the interesting things happen at a higher level of analysis, at the level of systems, sub-systems, modules and most importantly their high-level interaction. Something that can legitamately claim to be free will arises (I am not a fan of the word 'emerges') at a higher level of analysis, where things like memory and cognition are considered.

However, I stand by what I wrote. At bottom, the brain is a deterministic machine. It differs from a computer in only one significant respect - brains have an uncanny (in the literal sense) power of awareness. I cannot fully explain how awareness occurs (self-awareness being a special case of awareness), but if I can take it as a given that brains do produce awareness then we can understand how a deterministic brain can (mis-)represent itself as having inexplicable powers such as being able to make 'free' choices without requiring that it actually has such powers by leveraging its representational system to represent itself.

I'm probably not making anything clearer so I'll shut up now! :-(
Furyan5
Posts: 1,228
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9/1/2016 2:13:57 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 9/1/2016 1:13:06 PM, keithprosser wrote:
I agree - there is no single, canonical sense of the term 'free will'. My post was based on the notion of free will as something that over-rides the apparent straight-jacket of physical cause and effect. It is the sort of free will that some people seem to be thinking about when they suggest our every action was determined at the time of the big bang, or that some people saw as being impossible in the classical, 'clockwork' view of the universe but hoped to recover in quantum effects. I hope you know the sort of 'free will' I mean by that; I hope that at least some people believe in that sort of free will.

I reject that 'extreme sort of free will' on the grounds it is essentially dualistic (IMO), and I admit I am dogmatic in my rejection of dualism!

But the low level (atoms) view of the brain is not the only reasonably level of analysis. If we want to undertand what a computer is doing, then we would learn nothing of value by tracking the movement of each electron through its gates. We would see determinism holds in full within computers and conclude a computer doesn't do anything interesting - it just moves electrons around according to the laws of physics. That low level view of a computer is 100% accurate, absolutely true and almost totally useless if you want to understand what computers actually do.

Similarly, although the brain (like a computer) cannot escape or override the laws of physics (obviously, because nothing can do that unless dualism is true), the interesting things happen at a higher level of analysis, at the level of systems, sub-systems, modules and most importantly their high-level interaction. Something that can legitamately claim to be free will arises (I am not a fan of the word 'emerges') at a higher level of analysis, where things like memory and cognition are considered.

However, I stand by what I wrote. At bottom, the brain is a deterministic machine. It differs from a computer in only one significant respect - brains have an uncanny (in the literal sense) power of awareness. I cannot fully explain how awareness occurs (self-awareness being a special case of awareness), but if I can take it as a given that brains do produce awareness then we can understand how a deterministic brain can (mis-)represent itself as having inexplicable powers such as being able to make 'free' choices without requiring that it actually has such powers by leveraging its representational system to represent itself.

I'm probably not making anything clearer so I'll shut up now! :-(

Lol quite clear. I trust my senses which perceive a rainbow in the sky. Logic tells me colors only exist in my mind. I don't know why I prefer coffee to tea, so there is nothing that determines my choice. (btw, scientists have just discovered a specific gene which explains why some people prefer coffee to tea). The gap in which free will can exist grows smaller each day.
JB009
Posts: 22
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9/1/2016 4:40:45 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/30/2016 9:58:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
If we don't have control over our thoughts or emotional state of mind, do we still have free will? : :

As a former alcoholic, I learned all about "will power". What a lie that was.
Furyan5
Posts: 1,228
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9/1/2016 8:16:25 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 9/1/2016 4:40:45 PM, JB009 wrote:
At 8/30/2016 9:58:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
If we don't have control over our thoughts or emotional state of mind, do we still have free will? : :

As a former alcoholic, I learned all about "will power". What a lie that was.

I don't envy you. That's a battle you fight till the day you die. But you have my respect.
JB009
Posts: 22
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9/1/2016 8:19:48 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 9/1/2016 8:16:25 PM, Furyan5 wrote:
At 9/1/2016 4:40:45 PM, JB009 wrote:
At 8/30/2016 9:58:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
If we don't have control over our thoughts or emotional state of mind, do we still have free will? : :

As a former alcoholic, I learned all about "will power". What a lie that was.

I don't envy you. That's a battle you fight till the day you die. But you have my respect. ::

That is a battle for some recovered alcoholics who aren't really recovered. I haven't had any urge to drink alcohol since I quit on December 14th, 1979. In fact, I was playing in a band back then and we played in bars. My band members were all drinking alcohol and smoking weed but it had no effect on me at all. I was just glad that our Creator had planned to sober me up and remove me desire, which was very strong for many years.
NHN
Posts: 624
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9/1/2016 8:37:43 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/30/2016 9:58:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
If we don't have control over our thoughts or emotional state of mind, do we still have free will?
We are motivated by the unconscious, which is made evident by our nervous system, skillful application, and any degree of subliminal application. This means that our will or volition or velleity is not freely asserted but always the result of an unattainable process.

It doesn't hurt, however, to act as if we were in control.
skipsaweirdo
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9/2/2016 6:22:56 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/31/2016 10:59:15 AM, keithprosser wrote:
Only the best Canadian band EVER...(after Nickelback).
NIckelbacK on freewill: "Well, we all just wanna be big rockstars/And live in hilltop houses driving fifteen cars"
I've never actually seen anyone put RUSH into a "fave" category. After all it's not like there's anything that's in the category of RUSH...lol
ShabShoral
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9/5/2016 1:26:03 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/30/2016 9:58:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
If we don't have control over our thoughts or emotional state of mind, do we still have free will?

Now, I'm not entirely sure what you mean here, but I assume you're asking something along the lines of, "If our thoughts are determined, in part, by what we ate last Wednesday, or, more specifically, if the causal chain leading up to our thoughts has, as a link, what we ate last Wednesday, that is to say, our thoughts have a cause, do we have free will?"

This is not the correct question. Whether we have "control" over our "state of mind" is irrelevant when talking about free will. It is whether we have control over our will that is the question. The two are connected only tenuously.

As Spinoza said:

"That thing is called free, which exists solely by the necessity of its own nature, and of which the action is determined by itself alone. On the other hand, that thing is necessary, or rather constrained, which is determined by something external to itself to a fixed and definite method of existence or action."

This makes clear that it is the origin of the will which determines if it is free or bound; if the origin of the will is in the determined (fully determined, stretching back to the Prime Mover), then the will is determined; if the origin of the will is in the chosen, then it is free.

The point here is that the will is free, not when it is causeless (for one's emotions have causes, no doubt), but when those causes stop, not outside of one's self, but in it.

Thus, it would be proper to speak of a "determined" will, and, in fact, that is the only type of will; all wills must be determined. What it is determined by is what makes the difference.
"This site is trash as a debate site. It's club penguin for dysfunctional adults."

~ Skepsikyma <3

"Your idea of good writing is like Spinoza mixed with Heidegger."

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"fvck omg ur face"

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ShabShoral
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9/5/2016 1:31:46 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/31/2016 10:15:56 AM, skipsaweirdo wrote:
At 8/31/2016 5:44:38 AM, keithprosser wrote:
At 8/30/2016 9:58:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
If we don't have control over our thoughts or emotional state of mind, do we still have free will?

It just occurred to that there might be a language/vocabulary issue to untangle here. If we say 'our thoughts and emotionak state of mind' it suggests that those thoughts have our selves as an owner, and ownership suggest a degree of 'having control over' and repsonsibility, as in one owns a dog or or a car.

But if Ben had said 'If we don't have control over the thought that arise in our brains do we have free-will?' that suggests were are the passive recepients of unbidden thoughts. Rather than being the owners (and hence masters) of thoughts we are the slaves of unbidden thought.

May be its not exclusively one or the other, or even it could be neither. Take a necker cube. It look like a 3d object that flips impossibly between two states. That is because it isnt really a 3d object - it is a 2d image we interpret as a 3d object. So free-will might be puzzling because free will isn't what we all assume it to be.

I don't suggest that as solution, but it may partly explain why people disagree about free will, jus as people could disagree wether a necker cube point is 'really' pointing in or out (or the colour of a dress?) Or I am flogging yet another dead end in the free will debate - I make no grand claims - just a follorn attempt to avoid too much of going over the same ground!
RUSH says I will choose free will. So it's gotta be true....they are totally awesome dude.

This is precisely it. Freewill just cannot be beat.
"This site is trash as a debate site. It's club penguin for dysfunctional adults."

~ Skepsikyma <3

"Your idea of good writing is like Spinoza mixed with Heidegger."

~ Dylly Dylly Cat Cat

"You seem to aspire to be a cross between a Jewish hipster, an old school WASP aristocrat, and a political iconoclast"

~ Thett the Mighty

"fvck omg ur face"

~ Liz
Furyan5
Posts: 1,228
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9/6/2016 8:07:21 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/5/2016 1:31:46 AM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 8/31/2016 10:15:56 AM, skipsaweirdo wrote:
At 8/31/2016 5:44:38 AM, keithprosser wrote:
At 8/30/2016 9:58:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
If we don't have control over our thoughts or emotional state of mind, do we still have free will?

It just occurred to that there might be a language/vocabulary issue to untangle here. If we say 'our thoughts and emotionak state of mind' it suggests that those thoughts have our selves as an owner, and ownership suggest a degree of 'having control over' and repsonsibility, as in one owns a dog or or a car.

But if Ben had said 'If we don't have control over the thought that arise in our brains do we have free-will?' that suggests were are the passive recepients of unbidden thoughts. Rather than being the owners (and hence masters) of thoughts we are the slaves of unbidden thought.

May be its not exclusively one or the other, or even it could be neither. Take a necker cube. It look like a 3d object that flips impossibly between two states. That is because it isnt really a 3d object - it is a 2d image we interpret as a 3d object. So free-will might be puzzling because free will isn't what we all assume it to be.

I don't suggest that as solution, but it may partly explain why people disagree about free will, jus as people could disagree wether a necker cube point is 'really' pointing in or out (or the colour of a dress?) Or I am flogging yet another dead end in the free will debate - I make no grand claims - just a follorn attempt to avoid too much of going over the same ground!
RUSH says I will choose free will. So it's gotta be true....they are totally awesome dude.

This is precisely it. Freewill just cannot be beat.

When RUSH says, "I will choose free will", did he have any other choice?
skipsaweirdo
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9/10/2016 8:40:08 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/6/2016 8:07:21 PM, Furyan5 wrote:
At 9/5/2016 1:31:46 AM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 8/31/2016 10:15:56 AM, skipsaweirdo wrote:
At 8/31/2016 5:44:38 AM, keithprosser wrote:
At 8/30/2016 9:58:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
If we don't have control over our thoughts or emotional state of mind, do we still have free will?

It just occurred to that there might be a language/vocabulary issue to untangle here. If we say 'our thoughts and emotionak state of mind' it suggests that those thoughts have our selves as an owner, and ownership suggest a degree of 'having control over' and repsonsibility, as in one owns a dog or or a car.

But if Ben had said 'If we don't have control over the thought that arise in our brains do we have free-will?' that suggests were are the passive recepients of unbidden thoughts. Rather than being the owners (and hence masters) of thoughts we are the slaves of unbidden thought.

May be its not exclusively one or the other, or even it could be neither. Take a necker cube. It look like a 3d object that flips impossibly between two states. That is because it isnt really a 3d object - it is a 2d image we interpret as a 3d object. So free-will might be puzzling because free will isn't what we all assume it to be.

I don't suggest that as solution, but it may partly explain why people disagree about free will, jus as people could disagree wether a necker cube point is 'really' pointing in or out (or the colour of a dress?) Or I am flogging yet another dead end in the free will debate - I make no grand claims - just a follorn attempt to avoid too much of going over the same ground!
RUSH says I will choose free will. So it's gotta be true....they are totally awesome dude.

This is precisely it. Freewill just cannot be beat.

When RUSH says, "I will choose free will", did he have any other choice?
I, unlike you, would never guess what someone else had before them to choose from. But I'm sure you think you know what another must be thinking.
Furyan5
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9/10/2016 8:52:48 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/10/2016 8:40:08 PM, skipsaweirdo wrote:
At 9/6/2016 8:07:21 PM, Furyan5 wrote:
At 9/5/2016 1:31:46 AM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 8/31/2016 10:15:56 AM, skipsaweirdo wrote:
At 8/31/2016 5:44:38 AM, keithprosser wrote:
At 8/30/2016 9:58:05 PM, Benshapiro wrote:
If we don't have control over our thoughts or emotional state of mind, do we still have free will?

It just occurred to that there might be a language/vocabulary issue to untangle here. If we say 'our thoughts and emotionak state of mind' it suggests that those thoughts have our selves as an owner, and ownership suggest a degree of 'having control over' and repsonsibility, as in one owns a dog or or a car.

But if Ben had said 'If we don't have control over the thought that arise in our brains do we have free-will?' that suggests were are the passive recepients of unbidden thoughts. Rather than being the owners (and hence masters) of thoughts we are the slaves of unbidden thought.

May be its not exclusively one or the other, or even it could be neither. Take a necker cube. It look like a 3d object that flips impossibly between two states. That is because it isnt really a 3d object - it is a 2d image we interpret as a 3d object. So free-will might be puzzling because free will isn't what we all assume it to be.

I don't suggest that as solution, but it may partly explain why people disagree about free will, jus as people could disagree wether a necker cube point is 'really' pointing in or out (or the colour of a dress?) Or I am flogging yet another dead end in the free will debate - I make no grand claims - just a follorn attempt to avoid too much of going over the same ground!
RUSH says I will choose free will. So it's gotta be true....they are totally awesome dude.

This is precisely it. Freewill just cannot be beat.

When RUSH says, "I will choose free will", did he have any other choice?
I, unlike you, would never guess what someone else had before them to choose from. But I'm sure you think you know what another must be thinking.

No I don't. But I do no belief is not a choice. It's determined.
Dirty.Harry
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9/11/2016 6:03:32 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/1/2016 9:14:11 AM, keithprosser wrote:
Returning to serious matters, I think a lot hangs on what we think we are - and whether we are what we think we are.

Let me suggest that an individual is an absurdly complicated chemical reaction - and that is all an individual is. As a chemical reaction, we are subject to the full force of the laws of physics, and we as 'unfree' as a lump of zinc dropped in acid.

How did you establish that that's all an individual is?
keithprosser
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9/11/2016 6:25:01 PM
Posted: 2 months ago
It's a hypothesis. The idea is to make a guess and see what the consequences are. If the consequences work out then it's a useful hypothesis, otherwise you throw it out and make another guess.

I guess humans are bags of chemicals and examine the consequences of that in the. Context of free will. I think it works out OK, so there is no reason to throw that hypothesis out.

Hypotheses are established only in so far as they are not refuted by some actual observation or data.
Furyan5
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9/12/2016 7:00:47 AM
Posted: 2 months ago
At 9/11/2016 6:25:01 PM, keithprosser wrote:
It's a hypothesis. The idea is to make a guess and see what the consequences are. If the consequences work out then it's a useful hypothesis, otherwise you throw it out and make another guess.

I guess humans are bags of chemicals and examine the consequences of that in the. Context of free will. I think it works out OK, so there is no reason to throw that hypothesis out.

Hypotheses are established only in so far as they are not refuted by some actual observation or data.

Typically people think, "I can eat what I enjoy most or choose to eat healthy. The choice is mine, therefore free will exists." Lol, how do you overcome an intellectual barrier?
keithprosser
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9/12/2016 8:27:35 AM
Posted: 2 months ago
My approach is to try to understand the mind in 'scientific' terms and use that understanding to suggest philosophy.

The phenomenon of free will does seem to violate physical causality- we do not feel that our choices are determined by the laws of physics. Some people trust their intuition that free will is 'unphysical' and end up adopting some variation of dualism. My intuition is that dualism is false, therefore determinism holds so the feeling we have of being able to make choices is just that - a feeling, a false impression of something that is on reality something quite different, like a tromp d'oil painting.

How such false impressions can arise in a brain can be explained scientifically, so we have the facts at our disposal - we know what free will is in physical terms and dualism is false.

Armed with that knowledge we can do our philosophising about the nature of justice and of reward and punishment.

What is wrong is to take our philosophy of justice and use it to decree how the brain actually works

Not quite an answer to the question asked but it's the best I can do for now.