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  • Physicalism is the embodiment of free will.

    Why do we bury our dead with a ritual? Because we believe that there is an after life? Because we believe that his soul will actually feel emotions in the next life? If that is the case, then everything that we do here is a reflection of what we believe will happen after we are gone. If you are good then your after life is good. If you are bad then your after life will be bad. Ask anyone who believes in any form of God, and you will find the same sentiment. If they actually believe that, then everything that they do in the "real" world is driven by will. We go to work because we believe that we will receive credits to purchase goods to survive. We commit crimes because we believe that it has credit value which then again will be used to survive. We pray because there is a need in our life that will be fulfilled by feeling good. Physical things are not only things that we can touch, but also things that we can feel. Anger, Hate, Love are all things that our physical body feels and there for, are real. Free will drives all of these, because we are constantly seeking what feels good. You create a symphony not because it's cool, but because it feels good. That is the power of free will, doing things that make you feel good, and in that sense, also, things that make you feel bad. Why bad? Because you are ultimately looking for something that feels good. You don't do your work because you are lazy, that is bad, but it feels good to be lazy. Free will is the act of doing something that feels good, and Endorphins is the Physical incarnation of that emotion in our body. Endorphins is released in the body which supresses pain, and there for makes you feel good. So yes Free Will is directly involved in Physicalism.

  • What does physical mean?

    Physicalism holds that everything that exists only consists of its physical properties. What does "physical" mean? Could not the self also be a physical thing with physical properties and hence results? If something results from the self then one may say that it was willed from the self and so the self has will. Is the will free? If anything culminating in the results originates in the self then it is free. And since random fluctuations are confirmed in physics some percentage of influence over the results of the self will result from a chain of causality originating in the self if we allow that random fluctuations can count as being part of the "self". And if a random fluctuation occurs in the brain, and arguably in the rest of the body particularly in the gut where microbiota influences the brain from, then it's easy to argue that those fluctuations should be considered part of the self.

  • I guess so.

    Im not familiar with the term physicalism, but I think I understand the concept.

    I think free will exists in the way that we can choose from information provided to/for us. The brain collects information and calculate is, and then we have the power to choose what we want to focus on. Thereby leading us where we want, our will is therefore also our destiny.

    We cant know the physical reality, since we cant see it, but we can imagine it in our own minds. I think we are only connected to the outside reality, but we ourselves are separate.

    Making our free will very clear and real for that matter. I think we can choose what to believe from the "real" world, the outside reality, but it doesn't affect us in the matter we might think.

  • I'm in the compatibilist camp because physicalism and free will are not mutually exclusive. That is a false dichotomy created by some philosophers. (https://en.Wikipedia.Org/wiki/Compatibilism)

    Check out Daniel Dennett's "Elbow Room" for more on compatibilism philosophy. Some religious philosophers argue for this dichotomy of physicalism vs free will because they would like dualism to have the monopoly on free will, but the idea that free will and decision-making abilities require a "special and mysterious causal power not had by anything else in nature: a godlike power to be an uncaused cause of changes" (Chisholm) is speculative and was made decades ago. Also wrong are the new atheists who believe that physicalism is the same as determinism(https://aphilosopherstake.Com/2012/07/29/free-will-why-sam-harris-needs-to-read-more-philosophy/). While I believe that most animals with brains can feel pain (yes, even insects), I also consider simple brains to be more like central processing units lacking in what we would consider reason, thought and free will. Those features are found in the prefrontal cortex in mammals and the nidopallium caudolaterale in birds. (http://www.Bio.Psy.Rub.De/papers/Current%20Opinion%202005.Pdf)
    If our own experiences are acceptable as evidence, then I would posit that we all feel that we have free will (at least most of the time when conscious), and we have physical brains; therefore physicalism and free will can both be true. Even if some aspects of our neurophysiology affect decisions and there is evidence of pre-decisions that are made before conscious recognition of said decision, it doesn't rule out free will based on most of our definitions. (https://www.Wired.Com/2014/09/belief-free-will-threatened-neuroscience/)
    Another idea is just that the descriptors "physicalism" and "free will" are too limiting and do not describe how our universe and consciousness works. I tend to agree that our vocabulary is always limited and that the word "physicalism" almost implies that it erroneously relates only to physical matter, but there are aspects of our universe that are not made of matter, like EM forces, gravity, quantum wave packets and consciousness. Perhaps, much of the universe is deterministic, but some features and events are more fluid, random or based on factors/decisions that are not entirely determined by the base material/chemical/biological components and don’t require a causation. Basically, we have to do a lot of research in all of these topics because they're still pretty mysterious to us. (https://www.Youtube.Com/watch?V=eMgxSzAixJE)
    If anyone would like to see how our physical brains are the basis of consciousness, the mind and all related features, including free will, please read the following journal, especially the 1st article on hemispherectomies: http://jcn.cognethic.org/jcnv3i4.pdf . Other examples that seemingly disprove dualism include craniopagus conjoined twins who share brain structures (and can simultaneously have the same sensation) and free-will over certain limbs and actions, lack of evidence of souls/afterlife/reincarnation (population of 7 billion humans on earth right now means that new souls must constantly be created), and new research demonstrating physicalist explanations (cellular, electrical and chemical) of previously "mysterious" brain phenomena.

  • I'm in the compatibilist camp because physicalism and free will are not mutually exclusive. That is a false dichotomy created by some philosophers. (https://en.Wikipedia.Org/wiki/Compatibilism)

    Check out Daniel Dennett's "Elbow Room" for more on compatibilism philosophy. Some religious philosophers argue for this dichotomy because they would like dualism to have the monopoly on free will, but the idea that free will and decision-making abilities require a "special and mysterious causal power not had by anything else in nature: a godlike power to be an uncaused cause of changes" (Chisholm) is speculative and was made decades ago. Also wrong are the new atheists who believe that physicalism is the same as determinism(https://aphilosopherstake.Com/2012/07/29/free-will-why-sam-harris-needs-to-read-more-philosophy/). While I believe that most animals with brains can feel pain (yes, even insects), I also consider simple brains to be more like central processing units lacking in what we would consider reason, thought and free will. Those features are found in the prefrontal cortex in mammals and the nidopallium caudolaterale in birds. (http://www.Bio.Psy.Rub.De/papers/Current%20Opinion%202005.Pdf)
    If our own experiences are acceptable as evidence, then I would posit that we all feel that we have free will (at least most of the time when conscious), and we have physical brains; therefore physicalism and free will can both be true. Even if some aspects of our neurophysiology affect decisions and there is evidence of pre-decisions that are made before conscious recognition of said decision, it doesn't rule out free will based on most of our definitions. (https://www.Wired.Com/2014/09/belief-free-will-threatened-neuroscience/)
    Another idea is just that the descriptors "physicalism" and "free will" are too limiting and do not describe how our universe and consciousness works. I tend to agree that our vocabulary is always limited and that the word "physicalism" almost implies that it erroneously relates only to physical matter, but there are aspects of our universe that are not made of matter, like EM forces, gravity, quantum wave packets and consciousness. Perhaps, much of the universe is deterministic, but some features and events are more fluid, random or based on factors/decisions that are not entirely determined by the base material/chemical/biological components and don’t require a causation. Basically, we have to do a lot of research in all of these topics because they're still pretty mysterious to us. (https://www.Youtube.Com/watch?V=eMgxSzAixJE)
    If anyone would like to see how our physical brains are the basis of consciousness, the mind and all related features, including free will, please read the following journal, especially the 1st article on hemispherectomies: http://jcn.cognethic.org/jcnv3i4.pdf . Other examples that seemingly disprove dualism include craniopagus conjoined twins who share brain structures (and can simultaneously have the same sensation) and free-will over certain limbs and actions, lack of evidence of souls/afterlife/reincarnation (population of 7 billion humans on earth right now means that new souls must constantly be created), and new research demonstrating physicalist explanations (cellular, electrical and chemical) of previously "mysterious" brain phenomena.

  • The Bridge is Simple

    The bridge between the two philosophies isn't actually that much of a stretch; indeed, it follows basic human intuition.

    Free-will is the product of a unique set of equations/chains of causation that give rise to the human brain.

    Proven theories, such as Quantam Entanglement, explain how one particle can control the properties of another. If this can happen, then there is no reason we cannot manipulate the physical reaction of our minds.

  • Physicalism does not allow for free will

    If one accepts physicalism, I would argue free will cannot be a part of that theory. The reason I believe this is because if physicalism is true, then events are said to follow without exception from prior events. This leaves no room for changes in the course of history. Changes in the course of history can only be brought about by choice. If history can only follow one course there is no room for change and hence no choice. If these premises are true, then physicalism ensures events follow in a set order, leaving no room for change of outcome, choice, or free will.

  • Is Free Will Possible for the Physicalist? No.

    According to physicalism, a human being is merely a physical entity. The only things that exist are physical substances, properties, and events. When it comes to humans, the physical substance is the material body, especially the parts called the brain and central nervous system. The physical substance called the brain has physical properties, such as a certain weight, volume, size, electrical activity, chemical composition, and so forth.

    When we use the term free will, we mean what is called libertarian freedom: Given choices A and B, I can literally choose to do either one. No circumstances exist that are sufficient to determine my choice. My choice is up to me, and if I do A or B, I could have done otherwise. I act as an agent who is the ultimate originator of my own actions.

    If physicalism is true, then human free will does not exist. Instead, determinism is true. If I am just a physical system, there is nothing in me that has the capacity to freely choose to do something. Material systems, at least large-scale ones, change over time in deterministic fashion according to the initial conditions of the system and the laws of chemistry and physics. A pot of water will reach a certain temperature at a given time in a way determined by the amount of water, the input of heat, and the laws of heat transfer.

    Now, when it comes to morality, it is hard to make sense of moral obligation and responsibility if determinism is true. They seem to presuppose freedom of the will. If I “ought” to do something, it seems to be necessary to suppose that I can do it. No one would say that I ought to jump to the top of a fifty-floor building and save a baby, or that I ought to stop the American Civil War, because I do not have the ability to do either. If physicalism is true, I do not have any genuine ability to choose my actions.

    It is safe to say that physicalism requires a radical revision of our commonsense notions of freedom, moral obligation, responsibility, and punishment. On the other hand, if these commonsense notions are true, physicalism is false.

  • Of course not..

    If everything is purely a physical process then there are no choices just physical constants in the brain that mean when X happens, the person will respond a way pre-determined by the physical state of their brain.

    There can be the appearance of choice, but there is none, IF materialism/physicalism is true.

  • It just doesn't add up

    Your brain is in state A. You see event B. Your brain reacts and changes to state C. Every single time you are in state A, and you see B, you will end up at C. The only things that are truly random chance happen on the quantum level and don't affect our world.


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