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    View Poll Results: Where do you stand on free will?

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    • Libertarian

      4 50.00%
    • Compatibilist

      2 25.00%
    • Hard Determinist

      2 25.00%
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    Thread: Where Do You Stand on Free Will?

    1. #1
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      Where Do You Stand on Free Will?

      Libertarian: Metaphysical stance directly opposed to the notion that thoughts, feelings and human behaviour are predetermined along with the rest of the universe. Free will is real and therefore determinism must be false. We are the authors of our actions. See Roderick Milton Chisholm, Robert Kane, Immanuel Kant, René Descartes, etc.

      Compatibilist: We can subscribe to both free will and determinism without being inconsistent or contradictory. Most compatibilists do not support libertarian Liberum arbitrium, believing instead that the illusion of free will is strong enough to behave as though people have absolute autonomy and should be held accountable for their actions (a soft determinism emphasising responsibility). See Daniel Dennett, Matt Dillahunty, John Martin Fischer, Thomas Hobbes, etc.

      Hard Determinist: The philosophical view that we live in a cause-and-effect universe through and through and since we are also made of atoms and molecules obeying the laws of physics, free will is absurd and merely illusory. Ultimately, nobody is to be praised or blamed for their actions (so criminals should be detained but retributive justice is unwarranted or morally indefensible). See John Locke, Baruch Spinoza, Sam Harris, Gregg Caruso, etc.
      THE PHASE = waking consciousness during sleep hybridisation at 40Hz of brainwave activity conducive to lucid dreaming and autoscopy.

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      A mixture of both. We definitely have free will, however, some things are pre-determined by our "Higher Self". We come into this existence with ideas about big events we want to see happen, and we set ourselves up for them. We may undergo certain traumas even, that we sign up for, so that we can grow from them and reap the benefits of having survived them. We don't choose our parents in life, but I do think we have some choice before hand. We may know full well our parent is a narcissistic jerk, but we sign up anyway, for other reasons, or even to help them grow. We may choose the kind of culture, religion, wealth status to some degree. We may even choose to come into this world with a disability so that we can teach other people how to love unconditionally (only a true angel would sign up for that).

      After childhood, some big events may be planned - a car crash, a disease, a marriage to a certain person, etc. We may even sign up for a certain numbers of years on Earth before "fulfilling our contract" so to speak.

      What we do with our gifts though.. that's up to us.

      Edit: I wanted to add that I think experience is adaptive. What I mean by that is, if we put forth enough effort, the universe tries to help us along, providing us with opportunities. But we have to meet it half way.
      Last edited by Hilary; 02-21-2022 at 11:29 PM.
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    3. #3
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      I definitely am not hard determinist or materialist. The question is closely related to origins of life and the universe. We all have a deeply ingrained sense that life matters. If we are literally only fizzing towers of chemicals and nothing else, driven solely by brownian motion and entropy, then absolutely nothing matters, and it means nothing to throw somebody into traffic, for example. Survival or propagation of the species is not an argument for why we have this inner sense, because if everything is only material, then survival/propagation of the species or an individual has absolutely no purpose, value, or benefit.

      One only has to ponder the immensity and the few facts that we know of the universe to realize we know less than nothing about pretty much everything.
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    4. #4
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      Wohoo, thats a nice theme! ill try to recap a bit so its not too long:
      The answer varies depending on what each one sees as "free", but ill explain my view. If we understand having free will as being able to make absolute changes on everything, then, as we are everything, each one of us, we are absolutely free. However, as our consciousness or perception isnt absolute, we are unconscious of most of the decisions we make. So, if you see free will as make absolutely free conscious decisions (you can perceive your actions, the causes, consequences, etc) then we are free in part, as our freedom is tied to our grade of consciousness. If you have this viewpoint then you become more free as you improve your perception of things. Note that both views are intended to be fully true, the only change is that you move your perspective on the concept of free will to change the answer of the question.

      according to the theories, as i assume matter/molecules are the same as mind/consciousness, you can say that things are fully influenced by matter(deterministic) by our minds (libertarian), by both as absolutes, by both as parts, etc, so you can add me to any of the three categories you want to.

      Edit: i wanted to add that any of the answers is equally correct, so one doesnt need to have different opinions on them. For example, on the full deterministic answer, which is a bit disliked, the things that happen are defined by matter an physical processes, but that doesnt erase the purpose of life or the actions, as it also includes our minds. thats where faith comes in. yes, the whole universe (s) makes the decisions, but the whole itself needs to think its purposeful for the actions to be so. Only then it will be an absolutely true purpose, if you know what i mean. Substitute fauth for perception or confidence if it feels religious or dogmatic, it wasnt my intention to do so.
      Last edited by thel; 02-22-2022 at 05:31 PM.
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      Morpheus: Do you believe in fate, Neo?
      Neo: No.
      Morpheus: Why not?
      Neo: Because I don't like the idea that I'm not in control of my life.

      Just that, really, no deeper opinion. Libertarian. But I would be willing to consider compatibilist POV.
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      I believe the focus should be on everyone's freedom and not just one person.
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      Quote Originally Posted by tropicalbreeze View Post
      I believe the focus should be on everyone's freedom and not just one person.
      Yep, thats a good point. We tend to simplify things and we use our own mind as an example of what happens on every mind, like if im free, any human is free. I personally have no inconvenient in that as ones mind and everyones mind is the same, but it can be discussed as i dont think every person believes that.
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      Free Will - but prior to willingly choosing to be incarcerated in this particular Holographic Experiential Reality Simulation.

      Once inside - then relative free will - illusionary but aligned with the reason we freely chose to be here...

      Last edited by VVilliam; 03-15-2022 at 02:45 AM.
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      After much deliberation, I realise that I am unreservedly a hard determinist. Every molecule in our bodies exists within the constraints of a cause-and-effect universe, hence the fact that we are driven by emotions and desires we sometimes wish we didn't have—often causing us to regret past actions and leading to contrition. For the reason that we do not author our genomes (therefore also brains), upbringing and external events that have an impacts on us, the concept of retributive justice, or just desserts, makes no sense other than being emotionally driven and undergirded by an illusion of absolute autonomy.
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    10. #10
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      Finally! determinist view is interesting too! may i ask why do you think we dont author our genomes unconsciously, given that on a determinist view your subconscious creates everything on dreams, why do you think its different from now? I agree that your view is correct (all are) but im really interested on opinions that need to prove a difference between "dreams" and "reality".
      Also, the regret as past actions being impossible to change is not true in a scientific way as past can be changed, given the quantic properties of time, which also appears to not flow in one direction unless the viewpoint defines so, given the retarded election experiment and the math proof they provide. I think you need to reject these claims to base your view on scientific data (unless you dont think so, ofc)
      I know that im seeing the determinist and the actual scientific views as equal and that may not be true for every person, sorry if thats the case.
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      I'm an existential Spinoza with a lot to tell,
      Ready to deny Aquinas and Pascal
      In their assertion of Hell,
      As Sartre pointed out,
      our existence precedes essence,
      So we invent our purpose instead,
      We shouldn't have needed Nietzsche to tell us,
      'God is dead! God is dead!'

      Leibniz said we live in the best possibility,
      Voltaire scoffed at the twat
      When he observed the world is a liability,
      Darwin failed to find divinity and intelligence,
      Upon examining the forensics of natural selection with due diligence,
      The oldest science is geometry
      Mathematics is applicable to astronomy
      If the universe is cause-and-effect,
      Then there is no free will and no real autonomy

      So I hope you get the gist
      Like Spinoza I'm a determinist
      Nothing lost, nothing gained,
      Everything remains the same,
      Plain and simple simply plain,
      Still I play the same old game
      Overtly numb, surpassing pain
      Wishing just to feel again
      I try in vain to make it wane
      Inflamming all which I maintain
      Seeking release, searching for peace,
      From this savage masochistic beast

      Unfortunately our world is not uncorrupted
      It is multicoloured with personalities
      And all sorts of hidden agendas,
      The introvert and the monogamist
      Are safer than the extrovert and the polygamist,
      The former would like a thrill
      The latter would like to chill
      As Kant proposed seek the moral ideal
      Regardless of how it really makes you feel

      There is no heaven
      And there is no hell
      Truth is a tough cookie to sell
      The libertarianism of Crusius was so wrong,
      Wolff's counterargument is the theme of this would-be song




      We are just part of a system of unfolding events—a universe that follows cause-and-effect. As far as we are all aware, regardless of what some unpopular scientific hypotheses say about subatomic particles traveling to the past, the arrow of time flows one way from our pragmatic, quotidian sense. Even if we had the means to alter the past and desired to do so, we would still act under the influence of 'after the fact'—the impact of the primordial past would impact our brains with a desire to change things and beget a new past (but such has never been done as it would undoubtedly create a scenario akin to the Grandfather's Paradox). But this is besides the point and does not conflict with the deterministic worldview whatsoever.

      Ergo, there is no such thing as free will. A subject with a strong mind that accepts this—and embraces it—is already, in some sense, free. A strong mind doesn't wrap itself around hereafter fantasies for comfort either. As a hard determinist, I have to say this: free will is an incoherent concept. On a classical level, we can be sure that the universe is deterministic—it follows cause-and-effect and we are part of such construct. Not even quantum mechanics, with its probability framework, escapes determinism kick-started since the Big Bang. (And I am not surprised that superdeterminism is seeing a revival in quantum theory as one of the latest issues of NewScientist shows.) Even if randomness was objectively real at the quantum level, it would not confirm any sort of free will to be the case for everyone of us sane people lives under the constraints of language and social norms; good luck trying to speak gibberish for the rest of your life! (You are not free to do that without experiencing an overwhelming loss of meaning and a sense of wasting your life—not to mention the sense of urgency you will soon get to communicate to others that you are not feeling well or you are too sick to move and need help lest you perish.)

      In fact, even if one posits the existence of a soul, the notion of free will is still incompatible. The soul's urges to do something are just as mysterious and certainly dependable on what happens environmentally and how one feels about it. Likewise, a soul is also no explanation for a life force or consciousness. One would also have to ask how a soul gets to be conscious. The soul proposition is a copout because it does not even begin to address the awareness problem. So, you are as free to decide your next move as you are free to decide what card you will play next. The decision outcome is constrained by the rules of the game, how things pan out, how one feels about how the game is going, and, of course, the hand that one has been given (which one did not pick).

      You did not pick your genome, your gender, your family, what happens to you, or what country you are born. All of these things are beyond your control and you merely behave accordingly because all that you are is atoms and molecules following cause and effect. Free will is an illusion. It isn't real. I would go as far as to say that it is an absurd concept. Someone who is a manic depressive cannot help this, due to his or her brain states, and such may beget a 'decision' to end one's life. But this is not a decision from free will. It is an urge that one could not help. Brain states dictate that the will to die is stronger than the will to live in such cases. We have will, but it isn't free. As the neuroscientist Sam Harris once put it:

      'You can decide what you decide but you cannot decide what you will decide.'

      Or as the late intellectual Christopher Hitchens once quipped:

      'Yes, we have free will ... Because we have no choice.'
      Last edited by Summerlander; 03-22-2022 at 09:57 PM. Reason: Additional
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    12. #12
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      First of all, my most sincere congratulations for the poem, its truly amazing!! Thank you for your explanation, i understand your view much better. I agree that the cause and effect are above time, in fact, one could see it as everything surrounding you influences/ causes your decisions, or could argue that the only difference between cause and effect is our view on it (the experiment i mentioned changes the past applying a new view that defines the past actions, changing it but also not changing the past as they dont change the particle itself, just the view, so paradoxes dont apply) Both views are correct and, as you said, the diffumination of past and present doesnt enter in conflict with your view.

      I also suppose that you dont need to define a difference between dreams and reality, as the mind, conscious or not, is still limited by cause and effect even if you are the cause of everything you see while dreaming. I may have a minor disagreement regarding the choice of genetical conditions as in dreams, if you are the cause of them, you are free to choose or change them, even if your choice is influenced by external factors, you still have the choice. If you accept that you may need to argue why its different here, but it also isnt an inconvenient for the main point anyway.

      It still has a problem tho: if you accept that we dont have any free will, giving the full influence of our decisions to everything surrounding us, you are giving power to decide or free will to everything, even in a minimal way. In fact, if we apply that to each thing, saying that nothing has free will as every other thing influences their decisions, you are saying that you cant decide for you, but yu can decide for everything else, in a minor or major way. If you can decide on everything thats free will
      like when i throw a stone the stone has no free will, but i have as im deciding to throw it. My decision is influenced by other things, then giving the decision power to them, but the decision power is still there and needs to be attached to something. One can argue that the stone itself is influencing your decision instead just by being there, as everything around you influences your decisions. The point is that the hard determinist view gives(theoretically) the full decision power of oneself to everything else, and that may have some advantages, like no regrets for actions for example, and its correct, just saying you can change that if you want to have more decision power if you want, like on dreams. One cant change anything in a dream if he thinks he cant.

      PD: I find the recent crap some "motivational" guys are saying about "if you dont take responsability over your actions and believe in your own capabilities you will be behind those who do" pretty disgusting. I think, ofc that these statements are true for you if you believe so, but selling them like a life solution is quite inmoral imo.
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    13. #13
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      Yes, the self-help industry is an insidious nightmare. And if you don't succeed, the 'gurus' will blame you for not implementing their recipes well enough. Avoid them like the plague. I do like Stoicism as it does have some good advice, but I wouldn't say it's infallible or foolproof. Example: A short guy on Married at First Sight was a classical case of a fellow who did all he could to make himself attractive to the opposite sex as advised by so-called experts: good career and lots of money to confer status (tick), clothes and ankle boots to make him look taller (tick), be an absolute charming gentlemen (tick) ... But in the end it amounts to nothing if you pair off with the wrong person! The woman candidate they presented him with for a long-term loving relationship was immediately disappointed with his physique, did not appreciate breakfast made and the fact that he carried and unpacked her luggage for her, laughed to producers about his height and boots, accused him of being fake when he was only trying to impress her and make her feel comfortable, accused him of getting rich only to make up for his shortcoming, and eventually cheated on him with another fellow who was tall, narcissistic and went to the gym on a daily basis.

      Dreaming will not salvage the concept of free will as it is characterised by a brain state of sleep with some consciousness and diminished mental faculties where we are duped by narratives that happen upon us. Even when we manage to closely experience the dream we wish to experience via dream incubation, we are still left wondering about what made us come up with the specifics of our plan in waking life. If we incubate a dream about time travel, for instance, we may wonder why we picked such a theme to begin with and not something like space travel. We might even trace back our train of thought to discover that the reason why we became keen on experiencing time travel in a dream to begin with was because we watched the Back to the Future trilogy a few days ago.

      And if you think lucid dreaming might save the day for autonomy, think again ... 'The sailor does not control the sea!' as Robert Waggoner once said, and being lucid in a dream is merely akin to being awake in the real world. An increase in the quality of consciousness is not necessarily an increase in control over one's actions relative to perceived events. As in waking life, so is the case that when lucid in the dream world we are still driven by urges. Sometimes certain urges are so overwhelming that they override the desire to execute a plan of action that was devised prior to the induction of the lucid dream. This explains those times when you wish to experiment with dream food but end up getting sidetracked by a strong urge to have sex!

      'It takes a certain kind of humility to accept that we, as humans, are very much at the whims of the chemical makeup of our brains. We like to believe that we are special, that we can "think our way out of anything". However, if truth be told, thinking can only ever get us so far. You need only to spend a little time considering those afflicted with mental illnesses to realise that a brain that is chemically imbalanced can powerfully affect the mental functioning and rational abilities of the individual to whom it belongs.'

      ~Daniel Love, Are You Dreaming?

      Many people will find it hard to accept that there is no free will because it makes judicial punishment, or any form of punishment for that matter, seem immoral. Despite our attachment to the erroneous notion of free will, most of us are well aware of the fact that brain disorders alone can trump our best intentions in mind. Sam Harris said it well in his Free Will thesis:

      'Without free will, sinners and criminals would be nothing more than poorly calibrated clockwork, and any conception of justice that emphasised punishing them (rather than deterring, rehabilitating, or merely containing them) would appear utterly incongruous. And those of us who work hard and follow the rules would not "deserve" our success in any deep sense. It is not an accident that most people find these conclusions abhorrent. The stakes are high.'

      And then he goes on to say about free will (or our sense of it):

      'Free will is an illusion. Our wills are simply not of our own making. Thoughts and intentions emerge from background causes of which we are unaware and over which we exert no control. We do not have the freedom we think we have.'
      THE PHASE = waking consciousness during sleep hybridisation at 40Hz of brainwave activity conducive to lucid dreaming and autoscopy.

    14. #14
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      Not only are we not the conscious source of our thoughts and actions in the present, we also would have behaved exactly the same as we did in the past, contrary to popular belief and no matter how much we may regret certain actions. If we went back in time with the neurophysiology that we possess at present (the one that has the regretful memory of certain past events) we would indeed be able to act differently. But not because of free will. Because we would have brain states with extra experience and thus capable of using that as a point of reference—and provided that we remember those past events, too. Recalling, as everyone knows, doesn't happen when we want to.

      Furthermore, science comes in with experiments such as that of Benjamin Libet's (as shown in the documentary provided by VVilliam). An EEG showed activity in the brain's motor cortex arising 300 milliseconds before a person feels that he has decided to move. Other labs extended the experiment using functional magnetic resonance imaging. In Free Will, the experiment is described as follows:

      'Subjects were asked to press one of two buttons while watching a "clock" composed of a random sequence of letters appearing on a screen. They reported which letter was visible at the moment they decided to press one button or the other. The experimenters found two brain regions that contained information about which button subjects would press a full 7 to 10 seconds before the decision was consciously made. More recently, direct recordings from the cortex showed that the activity of merely 256 neurons was sufficient to predict with 80% accuracy a person's decision to move 700 milliseconds before he became aware of it.'

      I would even argue that even if cerebral activity happened at the same time as the conscious decision, it would still not give credit to the free will notion for obvious reasons (from cosmological determinism to environmental influences on sentient beings). One might, however, decide that free will, even if illusory, is too strong and too important to discard—as in the philosophy of compatibilism. However, I do feel that ignoring facts that blatantly don't care about people's feelings is not the answer.

      As we've mentioned in didactic statements regarding free will, choice is 'pre-decided' by our physiology without awareness. Consciousness merely hijacks the responsibility because it is the spotlight where things are seen to emerge in perception. Consciousness is like a supermarket that brands the Fairtrade product with its own logo. But it did not make it despite selling it as its own. The product was made abroad, which is analogous to the chemical processes that we are not conscious of and do not control, which in turn are influenced by external factors such as the environment and course of events.

      Our will is not free. Unless, of course, libertarians have a valid refutation besides their wishy-washy, insubstantial and obdurate asseverations. Thus, I maintain. Our will is not free and choice is constrained by urges we do not control. You are either going to feel like eating chocolate or you won't. You will either eat it if you feel down and need to perk up (or whatever) or you don't (perhaps you're allergic).

      Feel free to expound opposing views ...
      Last edited by Summerlander; 03-24-2022 at 05:46 AM. Reason: Additional
      THE PHASE = waking consciousness during sleep hybridisation at 40Hz of brainwave activity conducive to lucid dreaming and autoscopy.

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      I believe consciousness does impact our choices. Sometimes I feel I could go either way with a decision, and in some alternate reality, perhaps I went the other way. Our own consciousness gives us the ability to make choices differently, however, as we don't always use our consciousness. You could argue that the things that cause us to not use our own consciousness to make a decision (such as being tired, giving in to temptation, giving in to emotion, etc.) would always result in our decision being made that way. I disagree. I think that they influence our decisions, but that we do exert our own consciousness on the process.

      Additionally, growth is another factor. Peoples' consciousness grows at different rates throughout their lifetime. This growth happens in response to life experiences (especially adverse ones). However, it is our acceptance of the life lessons, and our own capacity for learning, that drives the rate of growth. This is also dependent on our prior consciousness and our own willingness. I could see this as varying - even if our environment and anatomy (brain) stayed the same.

      Moral of the story: we don't always use our consciousness, but we do have it. This gives us free will.
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      And I disagree back ...

      Mobile phones are influencing the way people use their brains to the point where latter generations struggle to recall information and have reduced attention spans compared to older generations. Ever since it was discovered that Einstein had twice as many glial cells in his brain than the average person, neuroscientists set their eyes on the 'dark matter' of the brain, so to speak, in a bid to find out what makes a genius. As numerous as neurons are, they only make up about 15% of the brain while the surrounding stuff that mediates synaptic connections and strengthens and severs connections between nerve cells are glia. Glia also communicate with one another like telephones in the cerebral structure and reach far deeper into the brains of humans than any other human mammal. Poor teenagers go through a pruning stage where their brains get rid of old cells to make room for new ones—during this stage they cannot help but be moodier, less empathetic, irritable and more erratic as they feel like the world is out to get them. Our forebrains don't become fully insulated by mielin until around the age of twenty and the human brain doesn't become fully developed until the age of twenty-five.

      What about psychotherapy? They call it the talking cure but does psychotherapy really work? It can certainly aid conquering post-traumatic stress disorder! This topic is broad but it can be fun to learn about as it is very educational and germane to human psychology. Expert Victoria Lemle Beckner from the Department of Psychiatry, UC San Francisco, believes everyone could do with this type of therapy. If this is true, we all live with multiple inhibitions and cannot possibly be free in what we would really like to do.

      Many of us share the same problems—substance-use disorders are the most common, for example. There are other disorders such as anxiety dominating one's life, social phobias, panic attacks, OCD, PTSD, etc. There are also mood disorders such as bipolar and major depression. Other less common disorders include eating (out of kilter), psychotic, lack of impulse-control, personality and sexual disorders, etc. These can all affect the course of our lives and can't be easily dismissed.

      There are common life stressors such as losing a job, divorce, death of a loved one, etc. These can have life/psychological tolls such as becoming withdrawn or our plans/dreams are put on hold so we can cope. Psychological tolls have their physiological correlates and statistics reflect this when they show that people with high levels of depression have a low survival rate. There is a mind-body connection: when stressed, the brain releases hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol (which activate the body to cope with stress as part of the stress-alarm system technically known as HPA—hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis) but over time chronic stress is not good for the body, leading to ageing and brain lesions—the stress accelerates the shortening of telomeres (speeding up senility) and the brain becomes increasingly more inflamed.

      Again, I pose the question: Where is free will? Take the smoker's will power, for instance. Someone who has tried to quit after ten years has finally managed to do it. Why did he not do it after five? Because he did not have the will power. His will to quit was not as strong as his will to smoke. His brain chemistry did not permit this until after ten years. What made him quit? Perhaps he used patches to help him. Perhaps his family urged him to stop due to health or finance. Perhaps someone close to him died of cancer. Whatever it was, it was not free will—it was changes in his physiology effected by the environment.
      Last edited by Summerlander; 04-19-2022 at 01:22 AM. Reason: Additional
      THE PHASE = waking consciousness during sleep hybridisation at 40Hz of brainwave activity conducive to lucid dreaming and autoscopy.

    18. #18
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      Again, I pose the question: Where is free will? Take the smoker's will power, for instance. Someone who has tried to quit after ten years has finally managed to do it. Why did he not do it after five? Because he did not have the will power. His will to quit was not as strong as his will to smoke. His brain chemistry did not permit this until after ten years. What made him quit? Perhaps he used patches to help him. Perhaps his family urged him to stop due to health or finance. Perhaps someone close to him died of cancer. Whatever it was, it was not free will—it was changes in his physiology effected by the environment.
      What you are referring to here is the will-power. That has to be different from "Free Will".

      At what point do you think an individual will can be free?

      And if there is no point you can speak of, then the constraints of the universe are that which determines how far one can use their power of will.

      Those constraints are not applicable to dreaming or alternate experiences and death has never been established as the end-game.

      Recent GMs point to the idea that the universe being mindful - always has alternatives available in which the exercise of one's will power becomes more variable.

      From what I can gather, even the will of a Cosmic Mind is regulated based upon the particular environment properties - although I imagine that to the Universal Mind - that would not be here nor there, a 'problem' and any alternate reality experience it could devise for itself would be just as awesome.

      So there comes a position whereby having an illusion of free will is not a "problem" as one realizes one's environment is also pre-destined yet at the same time appears to go on forever...
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    19. #19
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      I dont understand why the influence of other things in our actions implies we dont have free will. our chemical brain processes decide our actions, ok. We can agree that they have power over our actions. Our brains have the power to decide, we dont. ?? We are our brains. If our brain processes have the power to decide, we have it. We as humans are a bunch of cells, flesh, bones, processes, etc. How on earth our neurons have the power to decide and we dont? its like saying we are not our brains. Take it ndaway then ad see what happens. Its like saying that a compound of circuits, keys and a screen that its exactly like a computer is not a computer. The computer cant decide, the bunch of etc. decides over him.

      Its harder to accept/believe that things around us are part of us too, and then, they influence our decisions, but its still our free will. You can say that our brain processes are influenced by things around us to negate free will by telling that we are not these things, even if its impossible to defend by any means rather than the view itself. (matter is energy, but you can see it as different things, this doesnt mean your affirmation is less correct) But saying that we are not our brains or that our brains are external to us is a bit extreme, that scientist may need to explain it a bit more.

      Also, to clarify we are referring to "conscious free will", as the guy trying to quit smoke made a conscious choice to quit and he couldnt consciously quit, for example, not taking into account that he may unconsciously chosen otherwise. By definition, if unconsciousness it the things that we are not conscious about/we dont perceive the every single thing in the universe is our unconscious mind. And we are also setting a time limit to the decisions, as everything can be achieved given infinite time (for example, quitting in two seconds) We are also assuming that time exists and that it flows on a one sided deterministic way, things that are also undefendable without a view that accepts it (any method will show otherwise) I repeat, it doesnt weaken the view, at least from my side.

      Then, from our debate, we can say that a person is free to do something if the thing that one sees as (the person) is capable of consciously exert a full influence on making the decision and fullfilling that decision on the time limit he put. I think we can agree on that definition, please tell me if not.

      Edit: that guy is also rejecting life, btw. Saying that a human is an undefined thing outside their body and the body seen as a compund of atoms when each is not alive in a scientific way also accepts that the compound itself is not alive. In his view, we are as alive as mechanical processes that arent viewed as life. Thats quite uncommon in a scientist as science tends to at least consider things alive after the cell or some arbitrary limit like being born, reproduce and die :/
      Last edited by thel; 04-20-2022 at 06:02 PM.
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      I don't think that not everyone with a mental illness truly has free will. Of course, that depends on the severity of the diagnosis. Then again people don't choose to have a mental illness.

      You can't make assumptions about others' free will unless you know exactly what is going on, in their lives. (IMO)

      So, Do you think humans are born with free will, or do you think it's learned?
      Last edited by Lang; 04-21-2022 at 10:10 PM.
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      Every living creature reacts to its environment—if it didn't, it wouldn't be alive and would not survive. And even their reactions don't always guarantee survival. The fact that we have to constantly be on the move throughout our lives negates free will. (Hence why I made the distinction between will and free will.)

      We don't oversee the work of billions of neurons and the trillions of synaptic connections between them. In fact, we are entirely unconscious to the very real action that goes on inside our brains. We are completely clueless about which parts of the cortex light up and when or why. The many molecules and cells that make up our brain create a locus of experience. Make no mistake about it: we are not exactly our brains—we are what it feels like to be a brain; in other words, we are the experience generated by the brain. We are consciousness (which comes on or goes off depending on what the brain is doing). And the absence of consciousness doesn't mean an absence of brain!

      Consciousness, as demonstrated by Libet's experiment above, does nothing in terms of control if it is the last to know about motor cortex decisions relevant to movement. And let's not forget the complex actions carried out by somnambulists in deep delta sleep. Sleepwalkers don't require consciousness.
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      hmm, then a computer is not exactly its components, but the experience of being a computer generated by its components, like us. For us to be consciousness, a computer needs to be conscious too. Its consciousness may go up and down, or dissapear temporally, but it exists, like us. The following conclusion of everything having consciousness is clear. I would suppose you agree with it, but im not sure as on your mention on the babel library you said that the books werent conscious (maybe you meant temporally) Could you please clarify, im a bit lost

      To the main point, if the processes are consciousness too, we may give consciousness full power instead of no power as everything, like a human or a computer, is consciousness or the perception of itself, in other words. Free will itself is consciousness by this point. You may not agree because you can see a difference between "phisical things" like us or a computer and "abstract things" like free will by saying one group is consciousness and the other is different, even if an apple is consciousness and consciousness is indeed quite an abstract thing.
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    23. #23
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      Quote Originally Posted by HumbleDreamer View Post
      I don't think that not everyone with a mental illness truly has free will. Of course, that depends on the severity of the diagnosis. Then again people don't choose to have a mental illness.

      You can't make assumptions about others' free will unless you know exactly what is going on, in their lives. (IMO)

      So, Do you think humans are born with free will, or do you it's learned?
      The way I see it is from the idea that 'once upon a time' there was just the one consciousness which had no free will because it was also omni-et al.

      In order to give itself an experience of having free will, it created this universe and lost itself within its creation.

      And in doing so, at a certain 'point' in the universe, it could experience having free will. That "point" has something to do with the human form being in the presice exact position to enable the experience of free will to be had.

      That is also why this universe is so huge, whichever way we look at it - through the telescope or the microscope...being right in the middle of it all, has enabled this experience of free will to happen....
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      Sorry for barging in here (I haven't read the whole thread, only the first few posts)! It is such an interesting issue however, that I want to chip in.

      In my (ever evolving) view, there is no such thing as a universe not produced entirely through imagination. In other words, our dreams, astral projections, thoughts, and our everyday lives are spent creating and gazing at our own imagination. There is no physical world.

      There is also no such thing as time not produced entirely by imagination. Time has no objective reality or meaning. Cause and effect is meaningless, since there is no before, and no after.

      The entirety of everything, we could call it God, but that is of course only a word, exists at once everywhere. Everything just "is". We have free will, or alternatively (which is exactly the same thing) God has free will. What we do is what we imagine, others don't imagine it for us, and therefore everything in our lives is our own doing.

      The thing I have not worked out yet is how we manage to imagine together; it clearly makes things more interesting if we can share in each others imagined worlds (rather than being utterly alone for all eternity). But how we manage to actually pull off that wonderful coordination still escapes me.
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      So ... is this the real universe, or is it just a preliminary study?

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      Quote Originally Posted by thel View Post
      hmm, then a computer is not exactly its components, but the experience of being a computer generated by its components, like us. For us to be consciousness, a computer needs to be conscious too. Its consciousness may go up and down, or dissapear temporally, but it exists, like us. The following conclusion of everything having consciousness is clear. I would suppose you agree with it, but im not sure as on your mention on the babel library you said that the books werent conscious (maybe you meant temporally) Could you please clarify, im a bit lost

      To the main point, if the processes are consciousness too, we may give consciousness full power instead of no power as everything, like a human or a computer, is consciousness or the perception of itself, in other words. Free will itself is consciousness by this point. You may not agree because you can see a difference between "phisical things" like us or a computer and "abstract things" like free will by saying one group is consciousness and the other is different, even if an apple is consciousness and consciousness is indeed quite an abstract thing.
      I'm not sure a functional computer is conscious other than observing that it consists of two main components: the hardware and the software. In some sense, this is analogous to sentient beings such as us having a fleshy consistency and multifaceted consciousness; however, software is not consciousness because the former is not characterised by a first-person ontology like the latter. Everybody who isn't blind can witness and experience the photons emanating from the computer screen (which is the software telling you the machine is on) but we cannot tell that a person is conscious just by looking at them because experience can only be subjectively verified. Not even their behaviour can clue you in when we know that a person lying still can be more aware than a sleepwalker moving about and performing complex tasks. Behaviourism as evidence for consciousness is utterly false.

      When I was talking about the Library of Babel, I meant that the books were objectively meaningless because their words were churned out by a random process. Whatever meaning assigned to them only existed in the human minds that read them because by nature we make associations which are relevant to us. The story is merely describing people with teleological aspirations lost in a nihilistic world.

      Some may argue that consciousness is a fundamental of existence and necessarily primary if anything is to be said to exist. The verdict is still out. Until we unravel the mysterious nature of subjective experience, the verdict will be out on consciousness: what is the truth? Panpsychism? Epiphenomenalism? Dualism? Eliminativism?

      Unfortunately, the uncertainty is still strong on this subject ...
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      THE PHASE = waking consciousness during sleep hybridisation at 40Hz of brainwave activity conducive to lucid dreaming and autoscopy.

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