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auntblabby
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29 Aug 2011, 3:49 am

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


:roll: the point was that an internal chemical process was influencing my will in one direction or another. that is not free [free of encumbrance or force] will. anything less than free is not free, so one might as well say almost pregnant as almost free will.



Knifey
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29 Aug 2011, 5:31 am

auntblabby wrote:
Knifey wrote:
you are free to take a cold shower or inject yourself with testosterone?


:roll: the point was that an internal chemical process was influencing my will in one direction or another. that is not free [free of encumbrance or force] will. anything less than free is not free, so one might as well say almost pregnant as almost free will.
ah but you may not be free of outside forces but they are not making you do anything. they are just pushing you one way or another. you have free will to override those feelings because of higher brain function. which was my point.


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Philologos
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29 Aug 2011, 9:03 am

Knifey wrote:
auntblabby wrote:
Knifey wrote:
you are free to take a cold shower or inject yourself with testosterone?


:roll: the point was that an internal chemical process was influencing my will in one direction or another. that is not free [free of encumbrance or force] will. anything less than free is not free, so one might as well say almost pregnant as almost free will.
ah but you may not be free of outside forces but they are not making you do anything. they are just pushing you one way or another. you have free will to override those feelings because of higher brain function. which was my point.


Thing is, some amongst us do not accept "higher brain function". The temptation in some mechanist materialist and often godfearing - NOT pious - circles is to assume that IF we were God [the irony!] we could track that "k" back to its source in a jiddle in the Big Bang - sometimes making room for quantum indeterminacy ["all is predetermined except where it is not", kind of like "we interpret the Bible literally except where we don't"].



Knifey
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29 Aug 2011, 9:58 pm

Philologos wrote:
Thing is, some amongst us do not accept "higher brain function". The temptation in some mechanist materialist and often godfearing - NOT pious - circles is to assume that IF we were God [the irony!] we could track that "k" back to its source in a jiddle in the Big Bang - sometimes making room for quantum indeterminacy ["all is predetermined except where it is not", kind of like "we interpret the Bible literally except where we don't"].
Like Calvinism?


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Awesomelyglorious
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29 Aug 2011, 11:04 pm

Knifey wrote:
auntblabby wrote:
Knifey wrote:
you are free to take a cold shower or inject yourself with testosterone?


:roll: the point was that an internal chemical process was influencing my will in one direction or another. that is not free [free of encumbrance or force] will. anything less than free is not free, so one might as well say almost pregnant as almost free will.
ah but you may not be free of outside forces but they are not making you do anything. they are just pushing you one way or another. you have free will to override those feelings because of higher brain function. which was my point.

Except that's kind of the issue. There is no overriding force. Sure, there are brain activities that conflict and overcome other brain activities, but even these would be deterministic. The only way to start bringing in a "free will" into the equation would be to have a mysterious spiritual force, AKA magic stuff, plug the gap. Even then, what would that do for you? Is it really better that an action lacks sufficient reason to exist and could arbitrarily be otherwise? How is free will *really* different than flipping a coin or a probability distribution? The "essence" of it? We still have action without sufficient reason to overcome it.



Awesomelyglorious
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29 Aug 2011, 11:06 pm

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.

Umm.... that's not even CLOSE to an argument. Yes, the brain is a neural network that adapts to influences, even patterns that reinforce themselves in the brain. That does not mean there is something like an undetermined free will. The notion that free will is an illusion is the idea that we have the experience of freely choosing, but in reality everything is determinately made. This point is sensible, particularly given that free will is in part aided by the fact that our self-awareness isn't infinite. We don't see all of the whys in everything we do, so it becomes easier to assume a spiritual self delivers our choices from above, rather than a determinate process of neural signals.



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29 Aug 2011, 11:11 pm

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
start bringing in a "free will" into the equation would be to have a mysterious spiritual force, AKA magic stuff, plug the gap.
But the act of letting you override other elements giving you free will would in and of itself be the thing that makes the decision. So you still wouldn't have free will because you would be subject to the magic force.


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Awesomelyglorious
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29 Aug 2011, 11:15 pm

Knifey wrote:
Awesomelyglorious wrote:
start bringing in a "free will" into the equation would be to have a mysterious spiritual force, AKA magic stuff, plug the gap.
But the act of letting you override other elements giving you free will would in and of itself be the thing that makes the decision. So you still wouldn't have free will because you would be subject to the magic force.

Right.... you have to realize there is pretty much no way to put free will into a mechanistic system, but the brain IS a mechanism. So, tracing out "free will" ends up being tracing out nothing. There is no essential self beyond the brain to make choices, instead, the brain functions and churns out output. We can call this output "choice", but... there is nothing really *free* about it, except in the sense of not being compelled by voodoo, psychics, or force.



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30 Aug 2011, 12:22 am

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Right.... you have to realize there is pretty much no way to put free will into a mechanistic system, but the brain IS a mechanism. So, tracing out "free will" ends up being tracing out nothing. There is no essential self beyond the brain to make choices, instead, the brain functions and churns out output. We can call this output "choice", but... there is nothing really *free* about it, except in the sense of not being compelled by voodoo, psychics, or force.
So what are the implications?


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Awesomelyglorious
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30 Aug 2011, 1:17 am

Knifey wrote:
Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Right.... you have to realize there is pretty much no way to put free will into a mechanistic system, but the brain IS a mechanism. So, tracing out "free will" ends up being tracing out nothing. There is no essential self beyond the brain to make choices, instead, the brain functions and churns out output. We can call this output "choice", but... there is nothing really *free* about it, except in the sense of not being compelled by voodoo, psychics, or force.
So what are the implications?

The implications of the lack of free will? Potentially the reconceptualization of our legal framework due to how this impacts our moral reasoning. The failure of the free will theodicy/defense. That neuroscience will not find "spirit stuff".



Philologos
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30 Aug 2011, 2:37 pm

Knifey wrote:
Philologos wrote:
Thing is, some amongst us do not accept "higher brain function". The temptation in some mechanist materialist and often godfearing - NOT pious - circles is to assume that IF we were God [the irony!] we could track that "k" back to its source in a jiddle in the Big Bang - sometimes making room for quantum indeterminacy ["all is predetermined except where it is not", kind of like "we interpret the Bible literally except where we don't"].
Like Calvinism?


Like Calvinism only more so. I think an irresistible grace once saved always saved only the elect need apply Calvinist still lets people be human, where determinist materialism puts us as vaguely assembled clots of wiggling strings. Though of course even a determinedly determinist materialist ACTS as if he is a reasoning and feeling human being, though he knows he is just physical forces playing themselves out.



cathylynn
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30 Aug 2011, 8:03 pm

"Though of course even a determinedly determinist materialist ACTS as if he is a reasoning and feeling human being, though he knows he is just physical forces playing themselves out."


i contend that we are both - reasoning and feeling human beings and "just" physical forces playing themselves out.



Awesomelyglorious
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30 Aug 2011, 8:19 pm

cathylynn wrote:
"Though of course even a determinedly determinist materialist ACTS as if he is a reasoning and feeling human being, though he knows he is just physical forces playing themselves out."


i contend that we are both - reasoning and feeling human beings and "just" physical forces playing themselves out.

Seems reasonable enough. It certainly feels right. :P



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02 Sep 2011, 2:16 pm

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

Your own definition of free will differs from the philosophical take on it here, which is wether "we have the ability to make choices that are free from external and internal agents that determine our actions" (and it appears there is no empirical evidence for it), rather than "free to desire something without coercion", so your definition is more of a social and political nature rather than the metaphysics and the science of free will.

As it looks like, everything we do and even what we desire and dream are determined by our biology, experiences and circumstances, as it has been pointed out, limited by our physical capabilities and laws of physics, thus free will is an illusion.



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02 Sep 2011, 3:11 pm

Its even simpler than that IMO. By the rules of space time, everything being 1:1, the cascade from the big bang falls exactly as it falls at the rate it falls. There's really no loophole to allow anything an override on that, even if it comes from influences exerted from other dimensions, even if there's a guy behind the scenes named Yahweh, we all have souls, and heaven and hell both exist. Anything that exists in time, by nature, is deterministic.


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