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cathylynn
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25 Aug 2011, 9:10 pm

i say choice is a pleasant illusion. everything we do is determined by the genes we're born with and our previous experiences. for this reason, i can not judge my fellow man harshly. he's doing the best he can with the cards he's been dealt.



MarketAndChurch
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25 Aug 2011, 9:14 pm

even if it is predetermined, a set standard with a set of consequences if that standard is violated make this world more livable.

You mean you are not going to judge him in a negative sense, but feel freely to judge him in a positive one.


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cathylynn
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26 Aug 2011, 9:03 pm

yes, consequences are part of the equation. learning from consequences becomes part of us and what we are "programmed" to do next time.



ruveyn
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26 Aug 2011, 9:08 pm

cathylynn wrote:
i say choice is a pleasant illusion. everything we do is determined by the genes we're born with and our previous experiences. for this reason, i can not judge my fellow man harshly. he's doing the best he can with the cards he's been dealt.


Our individual genomes may constrain our biological functions but they cannot account for particular decisions and choices. This does not necessarily mean we have "free will" but genes do not determine our actions in detail.

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cathylynn
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26 Aug 2011, 9:16 pm

as far as core worth - what a person is- a human being - all are equally positive. i may like some people more, but that does not affect my estimation of their worth. some have higher market value - what they produce, but these folks are just luckier, so i have to agree with the psychologist i heard speak, that on a 0 - 10 scale, we're all 5's. at times, i like to think of myself as an 8, because i'm compassionate and intelligent, two things i value highly, but if another person values tact and athletic ability, i would come out wanting on their scale. i guess we really are all 5's.



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26 Aug 2011, 11:28 pm

I've always tried to follow the "judge not" motto at least within the confines of my circle.

Coke or Pepsi?
I prefer Sprite.

From a biological perspective I can't see free will as being an illusion. The brain constantly changes circuitry based on experience and choices, and it never stops from child birth all the way till death. Your actions, thoughts, and experiences shape you.



auntblabby
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27 Aug 2011, 3:23 am

cw10 wrote:
From a biological perspective I can't see free will as being an illusion. The brain constantly changes circuitry based on experience and choices, and it never stops from child birth all the way till death. Your actions, thoughts, and experiences shape you.


the key to free will, is the obverse of your last point, i.e., free will would enable one to definitively shape one's actions, thoughts and experiences- so by that definition, it is a relatively rare thing, with the majority of living things reacting to their environment more so than proactively manipulating their environment. (clicky)stanley milgram did an interesting experiment along these lines.



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27 Aug 2011, 5:12 am

auntblabby wrote:
cw10 wrote:
From a biological perspective I can't see free will as being an illusion. The brain constantly changes circuitry based on experience and choices, and it never stops from child birth all the way till death. Your actions, thoughts, and experiences shape you.


the key to free will, is the obverse of your last point, i.e., free will would enable one to definitively shape one's actions, thoughts and experiences- so by that definition, it is a relatively rare thing, with the majority of living things reacting to their environment more so than proactively manipulating their environment. (clicky)stanley milgram did an interesting experiment along these lines.


The majority of living things, well, how would you define that. Most of the living things on this planet are insects, and they are constantly reforming their environment, it's what they do. Beavers build damns, burrowing animals make homes in the ground with extensive tunnel systems. Humans build skyscrapers, airplanes, highways, fish markets, automobiles, pottery, furniture, shoes, electronics, space shuttles (well not anymore), etc. Birds build nests, make tools, thus adding to the great chain... of life. :)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krcNIWPkNzA[/youtube]



Philologos
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27 Aug 2011, 8:49 am

auntblabby wrote:
the key to free will, is the obverse of your last point, i.e., free will would enable one to definitively shape one's actions, thoughts and experiences- so by that definition, it is a relatively rare thing, with the majority of living things reacting to their environment more so than proactively manipulating their environment. (clicky)stanley milgram did an interesting experiment along these lines.


False, false, false-o.

Will does NOT eaquate to action, nor does action dictate outcome.

Free will is NOT selfdetermination. Clearly, selfdetermination is ridiculous. In a nonsolipsistic universe CLEARLY every action gets me at least eqwually acted upon.

The way most people misinterpret Free Will only ONE could ever have it.



auntblabby
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28 Aug 2011, 2:08 pm

Philologos wrote:
Will does NOT equate to action, nor does action dictate outcome. Free will is NOT selfdetermination. Clearly, self determination is ridiculous. In a nonsolipsistic universe CLEARLY every action gets me at least equally acted upon. The way most people misinterpret Free Will only ONE could ever have it.


ok, will you be so kind as to define free will the way you see it?



Philologos
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28 Aug 2011, 8:43 pm

auntblabby wrote:

ok, will you be so kind as to define free will the way you see it?


It is the way English sees it - the way common sense sees it.

[sorry, those who truly believe all our mental states are totally determined by God or by physics]

You can think what you please.

You can prefer what you choose to anything else.

You can dream your dreams and imagine your imaginings and believe your beliefs.

Will - to will is to want, to desire, to choose.

God does not force you to want chocolate or reject fried ants.

I would love to have vutiromeli in Delphi for breakfast tomorrow. I want to talk to my friend Carla and catch up on the past couple years. I choose to reply to this post.

Nothing stops me wanting these things - noithing forces me to want them. That is free will.

Circumstances will probably keep me from breakfasting in Delphi - finances, time, responsibilities. But I am free to will it.

Carla is dead - I miss her - I certainly cannot follow up on my impulse to talk to her. But I can and do want it.

In the case of responding to this post - I can actiually do it. And I have done it. Sometimes you CAN have what you choose. Sometimes it is the right choice. Not always.



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29 Aug 2011, 1:16 am

It's hard to envision how free will is possible but I find some arguments about synergistic 2-way causation between the macroscopic and the microscopic interesting. I found this author's argument where he talks about the possibility of "real systemic or emergent properties" when discussing the results of the Bell test (Aspect) experiments pretty interesting. The argument put forward, as I understand it, is that if such microphysical systems themselves can have properties not possessed by individual parts (existence of holistic relations), so might any system composed of such parts. So you can have a type of top-down causation that may allow for the possibility of free will. See page 133-134 of the pdf paper below. I have also come across free will arguments from systems theory. I know nothing about systems theory.

"The classical picture offered a compelling presumption in favour of the claim that causation is strictly bottom up-that the causal powers of whole systems reside entirely in the causal powers of parts. This thesis is central to most arguments for reductionism. It contends that all physically significant processes are due to causal powers of the smallest parts acting individually on one another. If this were right, then any emergent or systemic properties must either be powerless epiphenomena or else violate basic microphysical laws. But the way in which the classical picture breaks down undermines this connection and the reductionist argument that employs it. If microphysical systems can have properties not possessed by individual parts, then so might any system composed of such parts...

Were the physical world completely governed by local processes, the reductionist might well argue that each biological system is made up of the microphysical parts that interact, perhaps stochastically, but with things that exist in microscopic local regions; so the biological can only be epiphenomena of local microphysical processes occurring in tiny regions. Biology reduces to molecular biology, which reduces in turn to microphysics. But the Bell arguments completely overturn this conception."

http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/H/James.A.H ... s_Toll.pdf



Knifey
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29 Aug 2011, 2:14 am

cathylynn wrote:
i say choice is a pleasant illusion. everything we do is determined by the genes we're born with and our previous experiences.
So choice just means, the thing we will do because of our genes and experience. I feel like you are quibbling over grammar.


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auntblabby
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29 Aug 2011, 2:41 am

Philologos wrote:
Nothing stops me wanting these things - nothing forces me to want them. That is free will.


ok, what about my situation regarding high versus low testosterone? when i was a young dumb thing i was swimming in the stuff and my little head was priapic and thought only about its priapism and the lack of a suitable receptacle to slake its priapism. now that i am slip-sliding into senescence with low levels of testosterone, the priapism is long-gone and even if faced with a suitable place to slake my priapism, it [the urge or will] is MIA. testosterone is one of many will-influencing somethings which definitely is not nothing. science experiments have proven that it can make people horny, no matter what other fuzz-busting superego machinations are going on. so where is the free will [free thought] in all of that? and that is with just one particular chemical and/or condition, there are oh so many more.



Knifey
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29 Aug 2011, 3:36 am

auntblabby wrote:
ok, what about my situation regarding high versus low testosterone? when i was a young dumb thing i was swimming in the stuff and my little head was priapic and thought only about its priapism and the lack of a suitable receptacle to slake its priapism. now that i am slip-sliding into senescence with low levels of testosterone, the priapism is long-gone and even if faced with a suitable place to slake my priapism, it [the urge or will] is MIA. testosterone is one of many will-influencing somethings which definitely is not nothing. science experiments have proven that it can make people horny, no matter what other fuzz-busting superego machinations are going on. so where is the free will [free thought] in all of that? and that is with just one particular chemical and/or condition, there are oh so many more.


you are free to take a cold shower or inject yourself with testosterone?


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