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The greatest proof of free will…
Posted: 25 February 2011 06:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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VYAZMA,

You wrote:

And if it all could be shown that we do have free-will through these processes then great! I’ll believe it.

The bold word is not unproblematic. If I understand you correctly, if science would prove we have free will, then you will believe it. I ask you to think how that would look like. I’ll give you two:

- with a new kind of photography it is possible to see a kind of tube coming into the head, which has different patterns and colours, and dependent on that it can be predicted what a person will feel and do in about 300 ms afterwards

- a central part of the brain is found which interferes with the building up of action potentials that lead people in actions. It is a mystery however where its energy comes from, and what the conditions are for how its signals are generated, and in what forms

Both ways are kind of magic, but hey, you asked me to take the idea that science can show that we have free will seriously. I honestly cannot find non-magic ways. My simple point is: the idea that science can discover that we have free will is an impossible idea, i.e. it leads to believe in magic.

Are you unfamiliar with those terms GdB? or are you just being quirky because I am able to factor consciousness and memory and the like into the equation?
After all consciousness and memory are electrical/chemical impulses-therefore they are matter. They are in the equation.
Did you think consciousness and memory was ethereal or mystical?

Again: you wrote:

Without consciousness and memory and the like we are nothing more than rocks with different molecular chains basically

So I ask again: what are we when we add consciousness and memory? Did you want to say ‘nothing more than electrical/chemical impulses’? So I put some chemicals in a glass, put some electrical currents through, and voila, I made consciousness?

I’ve said it a few times in the mother of all threads: persons, belief, wishes etc are functions of the brain. But they are very complex functions. They give rise to consciousness, memory and free will: the capability to act, based on our wishes and beliefs. What do you need additional that so that you would call it free will. What would the extra be, that science must detect to call it free will? That I can want what I want? How do I detect that?

Firing neurons are not conscious. But the system of the brain in its complex interrelationship of neurons and different brain areas is.

[ Edited: 25 February 2011 07:28 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 25 February 2011 01:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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GdB - 25 February 2011 12:13 AM
StephenLawrence - 25 February 2011 12:07 AM

The world could have been in a state 1,000 years before your birth such that you’re going to do something really dreadful.

C’mon, Stephen. How can me still be me, that you can identify me, if I am different because 1000 years before something has changed?

That’s the situation GdB, you’re gonna find it very hard to swallow and maybe you won’t swallow but you are not a compatibilist.

If the world had been appropriately different 1,000 years before your birth you would be going to put six live squirrels into a microwave tomorrow and put it on full power for five minutes and then eat them, and after you’d be going to rape two women and strangle them with skipping rope.

Now obviously you are fortunate that the world was not in that state, as are the squirrels and the women!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You are simply in denial about this as are most but not all (so called) compatibilists.

Stephen

[ Edited: 25 February 2011 01:56 PM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 25 February 2011 03:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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GdB - 25 February 2011 12:13 AM
StephenLawrence - 25 February 2011 12:07 AM

The world could have been in a state 1,000 years before your birth such that you’re going to do something really dreadful.

C’mon, Stephen. How can me still be me, that you can identify me, if I am different because 1000 years before something has changed?

And that is also my answer to this:

StephenLawrence - 24 February 2011 12:56 PM

Even GdB is not really a compatibilist. Even Gdb doesn’t accept that if the world was appropriately different 1,000 years before his birth he would be a rapist, for instance.

Yeah!
If my father hadn’t been a rapist, I wouldn’t be here to harass you’all with my idiot political ideologies.

It’s kind of weird isn’t it to assume the result of some minor change 1000 years ago. maybe none of us would be here.

We are a product of the circumstances since the beginning are we not? The next moment is a product of all the moments which came before. The next moment maybe determined but it is certainly not predictable. There is simply too much interaction between unique chains of events to allow any more then a generalized prediction.

Any way so I think I’m clarifying your point to Stephen. If you change something in the past then there would be no me to exist. There would be someone/something else. Maybe a rapist or serial killer but that individual wouldn’t be me.

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Posted: 25 February 2011 06:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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GdB - 23 February 2011 12:44 AM

Pssst Stormy Fairweather… you are right. Look into the infamous longest thread, the mother of all threads.
Or here...
Don’t let VYAZMA hear it… He falls in semantic trap himself… thinking that he denies something when he denies the incoherent idea of free will as an uncaused cause…

Hasn’t everything that could be said about free will already been said in that thread?

Including this?

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Posted: 25 February 2011 07:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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We are not communicatively compatible GdB. I think you are missing some nuances of the English language.
So I will ask you this question GdB…
Seeing as how it is fact that consciousness has not existed in the past, we know it has evolved up to this point.
At what point in the history of species did consciousness start to form? And when did consciousness overtake evolution as the causal force for direction or choice?

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Posted: 25 February 2011 08:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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I know that Occam must be excited to see this useless topic pop up yet again. LOL

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Posted: 25 February 2011 11:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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Gnostikosis - 25 February 2011 03:53 PM

Any way so I think I’m clarifying your point to Stephen. If you change something in the past then there would be no me to exist. There would be someone/something else. Maybe a rapist or serial killer but that individual wouldn’t be me.

Well, if that’s the point then in fact it’s wrong.

In a deterministic model you have numerous options, all the things you can do if you so choose.

How could you select all the options you do not select? Answer: They are options you would select if circumstances were appropriately different.

How could circumstances be appropriately different now. Answer: if circumstances had been appropriately different in the past they would be appropriately different now.

That’s determinism, that’s what compatibilist free will is supposed to be compatible with.

Stephen

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Posted: 26 February 2011 12:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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Jackson - 25 February 2011 06:04 PM

Hasn’t everything that could be said about free will already been said in that thread?

Perhaps but so what?

Libertarian Free will skepticism is like skepticism of other things such as God, homeopathy, psychics and so on.

Yes the same things get said over and over but the battle is important.

Libertarian Free will is the big one because there are so many believers and so few skeptics and because it’s such a significant motivator of human behaviour.

Stephen

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Posted: 26 February 2011 01:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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VYAZMA - 25 February 2011 05:57 AM

Write4U-

The hand is a voluntary and externally directed influence. While this may still be deterministic to the sand, it certainly voids any previous deterministic influence or condition. Thus the argument for 1000 year pre-determination would be false.
IMO, the future is uncertain and may be altered by any random or free-will influence until the very quantum event where it becomes manifest reality (the present).

Write, I’m a little shocked here. There is no hand! The hourglass is an analogy.
What would the hand represent in the analogy?
The hourglass is a symbol of the universe, or a symbol of all matter and time. It’s a rough analogy. So what is your hand a symbol of in the analogy?
There is no hand shaking the universe Write…
No it voids out things being motionless for 1000 years. It was determined the hand would come along and shake the glass.
What is the hand a symbol of in the analogy?

Why is the hourglass an analogy. To me it is a real question. You brought it up as an example of predetermination and free will.
To switch the example to the universe does not alter my answer. In this case the hand would be the nurseries of stars and black holes where unimaginable forces create completely random results. Those are the cosmic hands at work shaking the universal hour glass.
(I don’t believe in the “hand of god”)

[ Edited: 26 February 2011 01:24 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 26 February 2011 01:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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VYAZMA - 25 February 2011 07:23 PM

We are not communicatively compatible GdB. I think you are missing some nuances of the English language.
So I will ask you this question GdB…
Seeing as how it is fact that consciousness has not existed in the past, we know it has evolved up to this point.
At what point in the history of species did consciousness start to form? And when did consciousness overtake evolution as the causal force for direction or choice?

No, no, no that is too easy. You did not answer one single question of mine, and now I must answer your question? What do you think of such a reaction:

We are not communicatively compatible VYAZMA. I think you are missing some nuances of analytical thinking.
So I will ask you this question VYAZMA…
Seeing as how it is fact that a human zygote is not conscious, but we know an adult is conscious.
At what point in the history of this individual did consciousness start to form? And when did consciousness overtake the organism as the causal force for direction or choice?

I think you should be able to answer this. And you should be able to transfer the answer to the evolution, including possible differences.

I did 2 things in my previous mail: argue that no scientific result will convince you ever, so your sentence ‘And if it all could be shown that we do have free-will through these processes then great! I’ll believe it.’ is not truthfully. And I argued that your use of ‘nothing more’ just does not fit in sentences like ‘Without consciousness and memory and the like we are nothing more than rocks with different molecular chains basically’. It is the the very complex process occurring in the brain, that gives rise to mental processes.

Here is another one for you:
“What is a computer?”
“Well, basically it is silicon, a tiny bit polluted”
“Ha, ha! Did you ever see silicon computing? You are ridiculous! We know the chemical and physical behaviour of silicon. That is not computing!”

PS Jackson, you are completely right. VYAZMA asked me exact this question before, and I answered according similar lines…

[ Edited: 26 February 2011 02:53 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 26 February 2011 03:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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Hmm… free will, sentience, juicy fruit…

I am, therefore I think I am.

Reality exists, the challenge is understanding it.

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Posted: 26 February 2011 06:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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No, no, no that is too easy. You did not answer one single question of mine, and now I must answer your question? What do you think of such a reaction:

We are not communicatively compatible VYAZMA. I think you are missing some nuances of analytical thinking.
So I will ask you this question VYAZMA…
Seeing as how it is fact that a human zygote is not conscious, but we know an adult is conscious.
At what point in the history of this individual did consciousness start to form? And when did consciousness overtake the organism as the causal force for direction or choice?

I think you should be able to answer this. And you should be able to transfer the answer to the evolution, including possible differences.

I did 2 things in my previous mail: argue that no scientific result will convince you ever, so your sentence ‘And if it all could be shown that we do have free-will through these processes then great! I’ll believe it.’ is not truthfully. And I argued that your use of ‘nothing more’ just does not fit in sentences like ‘Without consciousness and memory and the like we are nothing more than rocks with different molecular chains basically’. It is the the very complex process occurring in the brain, that gives rise to mental processes.

About the topic of this thread: an agnostic is somebody who does not know if ‘a’ god exists. To clarify my position and confuse the discussion: I am a methodological agnostic, but I am pretty sure god does not exist. When I read the descriptions here, I think I am an ignosticist. But if there is a coherent definition, I might be a ‘weak atheist’.  -GdB

Word, words, words…
That’s your words GdB. From the thread where we argued about me being 100% sure there is no god. So you can’t be 100% sure that god doesn’t exist, but you can be 100% sure that science will never figure out how the brain works? That’s rich…
Interestingly though, I was only joking when I brought up the part about science ever discovering free-will. I was half joking. I’m guessing you didn’t get the humor. It’s like a form of incredulous sarcasm. It was humor that I used to emphasize the real importance of neurological science in exploring the mechanics of consciousness. I was deferring to science in that humor. Kind of like saying I would “eat my hat” if science could prove “free-will”.  I do know that you keep pressing that issue about me mentioning “discovering free-will” repeatedly now. It’s probably because you can’t catch the finer nuances of the English language. That’s probably contributed to an extra 20 or so pages on the other thread as well.
That’s not the main vein of this argument. You aren’t staying on track. You keep obfuscating and circling around a la PsikeyHacker. Yes, it’s starting to seem that way.
I gotta go to work…I’ll be back.

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Posted: 26 February 2011 08:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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VYAZMA - 26 February 2011 06:22 AM

I gotta go to work…

Hey, it is saturday!

VYAZMA - 26 February 2011 06:22 AM

That’s your words GdB. From the thread where we argued about me being 100% sure there is no god. So you can’t be 100% sure that god doesn’t exist, but you can be 100% sure that science will never figure out how the brain works? That’s rich…

Conceptual analysis, VYAZMA, conceptual analysis. What never can be empirical, will never be empirical.

VYAZMA - 26 February 2011 06:22 AM

You keep obfuscating and circling around a la PsikeyHacker.

That is an insult! Oh, well not quite, PsikeyHacker sometimes makes good points. As long as 9/11 is not involved…

VYAZMA - 26 February 2011 06:22 AM

You aren’t staying on track.

Pardon me? Who starts from nowhere asking questions about evolution and consciousness? What is the track then, according to you?

I have another question for you: obviously, you think that determinism cannot together with free will. Then what is missing? What would count as free will? What is exactly the ‘thing’ you are denying?

I think that your idea about free will is the same as Bryan’s. But where Bryan denies that he introduces some ‘magical stuff’, you say, because magical stuff does not exist, that free will does not exist. You are both wrong, because your concept of free will is wrong.

[ Edited: 26 February 2011 09:48 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 26 February 2011 03:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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If there is anything in this reality that is spiritual, it is the neccessity of accepting your own existance.

You must believe in yourself, because without that single presumption nothing can be proven to you.

And such a presumption includes free will, else it can never be proven either.

Of course, you are still free to deny it, your own existance, evolution or anything else you wish.

You can even deny being kicked in the nuts hurt…

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Posted: 26 February 2011 05:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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Write4U-

Why is the hourglass an analogy. To me it is a real question. You brought it up as an example of predetermination and free will.
To switch the example to the universe does not alter my answer. In this case the hand would be the nurseries of stars and black holes where unimaginable forces create completely random results. Those are the cosmic hands at work shaking the universal hour glass.
(I don’t believe in the “hand of god”)

I was going to take this track too. But the simple analogy is easier. Aren’t those stars and black holes just part of the grains of sand in the glass?
I mean you say unimaginable forces. What’s that? Yes alot of that stuff is unknown…are they still naturalistic forces? I don’t know. I’d like to think they are. But when the idea of naturalistic forces gets strung way out into the nether reaches of quantum unknowns etc..then how do we interpret that here on Earth? I don’t think we need to as long as we focus on consciousness and what we perceive.

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