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Thread: There is free will or we are we predestined?

  1. #1 There is free will or we are we predestined? 
    Universe Supervisor dapifo's Avatar
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    Are the decisionsof the human being the result of physical laws?

    Last studies says that decisions are taked before we realize. them Does it mean that they are only the result of physical laws?


    So scientists, led by neuroscientist John-Dylan Haynes, located with precisionconcrete signs of brain activity up to 10 seconds before participants wereaware of their own choice.

    According to what Haynes said to the magazine NewSientist , this study has shown that "our decisions are predetermined unconsciously a long time before our own conscience the launch."

    As early as 1983, the American neuroscientist Benjamin Libet proposed that"decisions taken by any subject are first carried out in the unconsciousand subsequently transferred to the conscious, and that the subject's beliefthat its decision depends on your will is due only to the retrospective view ofthe process.
    "


    Last edited by dapifo; June 22nd, 2012 at 08:38 PM.
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    I see few interest in this field...posibly I have to introduce it in other cathegory...Fisics, technologic,...??

    Because the idea is to discuss about the impossibility of existing a entity (object, being,....robot) that could think by it self independent ... and, by contrast, any decision can be taken is merely a reflection of the physical laws that operate within these beings.

    Will we be able to develop an intelligent robot!!


    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking". George S. Patton
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    Does it mean that they are only the result of physical laws?
    Not at all. Just think for a minute. A dozen people are in one place and they all see or sense something new in the shared environment.

    All of these people should display the neurological activity under discussion 10 or so seconds before they initiate any action. Given what you know about people, how likely is it that every single one of them will take exactly the same action?

    Even if it is something life-threatening, we all know that one or more will not run or hide like the majority. Some of those who run/hide will pick up a child in the group. Some of those who don't run/hide might act to delay the threat to the others even at mortal danger to themselves. Others might act as decoys.

    Then think of another group of a dozen in the same situation, but make half of them trained soldiers. Fewer running, more protecting, more fighting.

    No. These are not 'physical laws' in the mechanistic sense. These are human attributes that ensure we can act quickly and we don't have to consciously think through every response to every stimulus. We learn how to act effectively. Our speedy brain gives us a head start on putting what we've learned into effect.
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    The question of whether we have free will is still unsettled. Some scientists say yes, some no.

    Personally, I do not think it matters. If it is all some response to stimuli going on in our subconscious minds, as long as we believe we have free will, it matters not a jot.
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  6. #5  
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    Last studies says that decisions are taken before we realize. them Does it mean that they are only the result of physical laws?

    Of course it means that--there is no other way to generate thoughts. It's also no surprise our unconscious brain sometimes comes up with a solution before our conscious one--a trait that served us very well in our ancestry to get our bodies prepared for fighting, running, doing something bold to save a loved one, recognizing a face, or the parted grass that might contain something ready to eat us (e.g. lion) etc. Reaching a different solution, or becoming aware of the conflicting thoughts is quite noticeable as well. None of these are issues of freewill, since they are all in our brains unique to us--
    our brains, our thought processes--our decisions.
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    Simply put, as I see it neither. We are conceived with a set off genes and who we become is entirely dependant on the effect of the environment (chaotic and random) on those genes. There is no "soul" or such that can act independantly from that. Each person reacts differently, because they have different genetics and had a different set of environmental factors acting on them. We do have the illusion of free will and it is something we can't avoid imo, even when we know it to be an illusion.
    Last edited by KALSTER; June 24th, 2012 at 04:30 PM.
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    Lets ask the question in another way .... have animals (monkey, dog, ant, octopus, mussels, mites, ....) free will? ...

    Or they are governed by instinct, which is only a consequence of the stimuli it receives produced by the physical laws of their bodies ... brains.(?)
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    I think this is a very interesting topic. Nearly anything having to do with the brain is, at least in my opinion.

    Regarding the title of this post, I think a more appropriate term to describe what influences behavior would be "predisposed" instead of "predestined". This study better defines a couple steps in the flow of data and how it is processed by decision making algorithms in our brain, but I don't necessarily think that means that free will is an illusion. These decision making algorithms are the combined result of our genetics and our life experiences, starting from the time we are born. Although most individuals are unable to access memories from infancy, experiences from then are still stored in the brain and used throughout the course of our entire lives to process new experiences. This lecture is quite engaging and addresses some of these points (it's rather long but very interesting if you have the time to watch) - Development of Human Personality.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saturn
    , but I don't necessarily think that means that free will is an illusion
    Depends on how you define free will I guess.

    As to dapifo's question, we are animals, only smarter than the rest. If our personalities are formed by our genetics and the effect of the environment on it, we really have no influence on our choices separate from that influence. Is that free will as most people define it? I don't think so.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dapifo View Post
    Lets ask the question in another way .... have animals (monkey, dog, ant, octopus, mussels, mites, ....) free will? ...

    Or they are governed by instinct, which is only a consequence of the stimuli it receives produced by the physical laws of their bodies ... brains.(?)
    We are animals who use our brains as well. There is no difference.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Saturn
    , but I don't necessarily think that means that free will is an illusion
    Depends on how you define free will I guess.

    As to dapifo's question, we are animals, only smarter than the rest. If our personalities are formed by our genetics and the effect of the environment on it, we really have no influence on our choices separate from that influence. Is that free will as most people define it? I don't think so.
    This is true. You make a very good point...I doubt that most people would take such a thing into account when considering what free will means to them. It seems to me that the presence of some influences do not conflict with the conventional definition of free will though (at least as I understand it). Although we have little to no control over what these influences that dictate our decision making processes are, we do have some control over how we respond to some of them. The decision-making functions in our brains generally return choices that are compatible with survival, safe, smart, and logical (at least with respect to the experiences it bases its logic upon - this tends to be fairly subjective), but I think many people are capable of ignoring or defying them.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saturn View Post
    I think this is a very interesting topic. Nearly anything having to do with the brain is, at least in my opinion.

    Regarding the title of this post, I think a more appropriate term to describe what influences behavior would be "predisposed" instead of "predestined". This study better defines a couple steps in the flow of data and how it is processed by decision making algorithms in our brain, but I don't necessarily think that means that free will is an illusion. These decision making algorithms are the combined result of our genetics and our life experiences, starting from the time we are born. Although most individuals are unable to access memories from infancy, experiences from then are still stored in the brain and used throughout the course of our entire lives to process new experiences. This lecture is quite engaging and addresses some of these points (it's rather long but very interesting if you have the time to watch) - Development of Human Personality.
    Thank for the You Tube references...I will try to see them...althought I heve some problems with the sound of my PC.

    My opinion is that we (hunams) are not different to animals...and that we act deppending of (I you want) very complex phisics laws....but at the end only physical laws.

    The only thing that may contradict this hypothesis is the existence of a "soul" to be out of physical laws. It is possible that something is out of physical laws?
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking". George S. Patton
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    The only thing that may contradict this hypothesis is the existence of a "soul" to be out of physical laws. It is possible that something is out of physical laws?
    Hence untestable and not even a hypothesis.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    The only thing that may contradict this hypothesis is the existence of a "soul" to be out of physical laws. It is possible that something is out of physical laws?
    Hence untestable and not even a hypothesis.
    Then we agree that humans (like animals and other beings) aren´t free will nd that we are predestinated or "predisposed".

    But also if a "soul" exist...we aren´t free will because, in this case, there are many possibilities of the existence of a God... and God know every thing... also what we will do !!!
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking". George S. Patton
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Does it mean that they are only the result of physical laws?
    Not at all. Just think for a minute. A dozen people are in one place and they all see or sense something new in the shared environment.

    All of these people should display the neurological activity under discussion 10 or so seconds before they initiate any action. Given what you know about people, how likely is it that every single one of them will take exactly the same action?

    Even if it is something life-threatening, we all know that one or more will not run or hide like the majority. Some of those who run/hide will pick up a child in the group. Some of those who don't run/hide might act to delay the threat to the others even at mortal danger to themselves. Others might act as decoys.

    Then think of another group of a dozen in the same situation, but make half of them trained soldiers. Fewer running, more protecting, more fighting.

    No. These are not 'physical laws' in the mechanistic sense. These are human attributes that ensure we can act quickly and we don't have to consciously think through every response to every stimulus. We learn how to act effectively. Our speedy brain gives us a head start on putting what we've learned into effect.
    I don't view this as a disproof of Determinism.

    Say that you and I were each handed $100 USD (or whatever currency). With my background, I respect that as a large enough amount of money not to totally blow it, but a small enough amount to not bother saving it. My response is different from, say, yours- who for this example will be a starving bum under a bridge. $100 for you is a relative fortune.

    Our decisions were therefore determined by our senses of reality. We still had a mechanical response, but its prediction requires more then a cursory examination.


    -------------------
    That said, I'd be interested in knowing if the study suggests a form of precognition. Say I pull a knife out of nowhere during the study's interview process. Naturally, you recoil. Does the study allege that brain activity was occurring 10 seconds before the presentation of the stimulus?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    The only thing that may contradict this hypothesis is the existence of a "soul" to be out of physical laws. It is possible that something is out of physical laws?
    Hence untestable and not even a hypothesis.
    A creation level event for the universe which thusly created physical laws is indeed outside of physical law. Conversely, the idea that there never was a creation level event and existence has always existed is ALSO outside of physical law. So yeah. There's at least one thing out there that doesn't fit the mold.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClaimingLight View Post
    That said, I'd be interested in knowing if the study suggests a form of precognition.
    Absolutely not. All it shows is that there is a delay between us making a decision and becoming consciously aware of it. It was still us that made the decision.

    Say I pull a knife out of nowhere during the study's interview process. Naturally, you recoil. Does the study allege that brain activity was occurring 10 seconds before the presentation of the stimulus?
    I believe that part of the nervous system operates much faster. But it would still show that your brain was aware of the knife, and initiated the reaction, before you were consciously aware of the knife. (But still after the knife appeared.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClaimingLight View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    The only thing that may contradict this hypothesis is the existence of a "soul" to be out of physical laws. It is possible that something is out of physical laws?
    Hence untestable and not even a hypothesis.
    A creation level event for the universe which thusly created physical laws is indeed outside of physical law. Conversely, the idea that there never was a creation level event and existence has always existed is ALSO outside of physical law. So yeah. There's at least one thing out there that doesn't fit the mold.
    We aren't talking about the creation of the universe--we're talking about the physical laws which are responsible for how we and every other animal think on the planet--a process by which there's no reason whatsoever to even consider superstitious mumbo jumbo like "souls," or processes outside of our brains and it's perceptions of out environment.
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    It is unknown.

    There is no way to tell, if your actions aren't predestined.

    Look at a coin. Does it going head or tails have anything to do with luck? no. It's the movement of your fingers, your actions, etc.

    We could be that coin. But maybe we are the electron (being everywhere, and totally unpredictable)

    So if we can't see the tredmill, we can't know for sure our actions are our own. As all our thoughts would be controlled as well. Do you think we are mere puppets, or do you think we are puppeteers?
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    Do you think we are mere puppets, or do you think we are puppeteers?
    We are both, quite capable of being able to recognize and choose between numerous thoughts. Free will does not in anyway conflict with the idea of deterministism--infact it largely depends on it because random external and external actors would erode our responsibility for our throughts--that is both the logical conclusion and in large part how it's defined in Western law.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ClaimingLight View Post
    That said, I'd be interested in knowing if the study suggests a form of precognition.
    Absolutely not. All it shows is that there is a delay between us making a decision and becoming consciously aware of it. It was still us that made the decision.

    Say I pull a knife out of nowhere during the study's interview process. Naturally, you recoil. Does the study allege that brain activity was occurring 10 seconds before the presentation of the stimulus?
    I believe that part of the nervous system operates much faster. But it would still show that your brain was aware of the knife, and initiated the reaction, before you were consciously aware of the knife. (But still after the knife appeared.)
    I would be inclined to agree. Still, I don't see much of a point to this study without the hope to garner new information. Was anyone under the impression that our conscious mind was receiving the information first?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Do you think we are mere puppets, or do you think we are puppeteers?
    We are both, quite capable of being able to recognize and choose between numerous thoughts. Free will does not in anyway conflict with the idea of deterministism--infact it largely depends on it because random external and external actors would erode our responsibility for our throughts--that is both the logical conclusion and in large part how it's defined in Western law.
    What gives you the impression that external actors and events are random? If a fly were able to think and it had a moment to lament before it was hit by the windshield of my car, it might curse its misfortune and wonder why it had to be subjugated to something so random.

    Of course, I had been planning that trip for a week. After dealing with my bad job for a year. After settling for that bad job out of high school. After not taking all of school that seriously. After growing up in a poor neighborhood. After being born. After my parents met.
    ....
    After the universe was created.

    To an observer who had all of the information, none of what transpired would appear random. It doesn't matter IF that observer actually exists or not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClaimingLight View Post
    I would be inclined to agree. Still, I don't see much of a point to this study without the hope to garner new information. Was anyone under the impression that our conscious mind was receiving the information first?
    That is an interesting question. I wasn't very surprised at the result because, at the time I had been doing a lot of thinking about how it is that we think that we have instantaneous control over our movements and yet it takes several hundred milliseconds (a noticeable delay) for us to send motor commands to our fingers, say.

    It seemed to me that our conscious mind was somehow delaying awareness of the decision by a certain amount, delaying the visual stimulus of the movement by a bit less, and the sensory inputs from the fingers even less, etc. so these could all be integrated into a single concurrent event. I think this was stimulated by something I read about research which indicates that the brain runs "simulations" of actions before or as they are carried out. This may be a way of coping with these delays between stimulus and action.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClaimingLight View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Do you think we are mere puppets, or do you think we are puppeteers?
    We are both, quite capable of being able to recognize and choose between numerous thoughts. Free will does not in anyway conflict with the idea of deterministism--infact it largely depends on it because random external and external actors would erode our responsibility for our throughts--that is both the logical conclusion and in large part how it's defined in Western law.
    What gives you the impression that external actors and events are random?
    That was one form--they don't have to be random at all. For example if I held a gun to your head and "forced" you to make a decision, you usually wouldn't be help legally liable for your actions because I in effect removed your free will. If however, you were brought up in a crappy household and kill someone the courts would find all those experiences because they were part of your memories, thought processes, perceptions and bad decision are your freewill in a form unacceptable to society--you'd be held responsible. And more important even if your mental processes were completely deterministic if raised in that crappy house, it would still be freewill because it is your brain that make those bad choices.
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    I will make a very simple statement that may clarify the discussion.

    I suppose that we can all agree that if there was not life in the universe, everything is governed by physical laws.

    With the emergence of life (elementary or not) can begin to raise doubts and questions about:

    If you only have plants (trees, mushrooms, ...) in the universe, I suppose all will agree that everything would also be governed by the laws of physics. The plants have no power of "free choice" or "free will" and they move by biological laws (chemical and physical). Or is there anyone who believes otherwise?

    What about animals (mussels, ants, worms, lizards, mice, lions, ...)? ... I guess everyone will agree that they are guided by instinct. What is instinct? ... Perform an action after computing (biological-chemical-physical) information (stimuli, ..) external. For me they would be governed also by the laws of physics. The animals doesn´t have "free will". Or is there anyone who believes otherwise?

    What about the human?
    ... It's an animal?. That distinguishes men from animals?: The capacity for consciousness, reasoning, abstraction, ... Where do these differences come from? ... Are these differences sufficient to establish that man has "free will"? ... Or are simply a higher state of evolution of animals, but is still governed by the laws of physics?

    The capacity for consciousness, reasoning, abstraction, ... can be understud as a consequences of the biological-chemical-physical laws?...or only could be understud with the existence of a "soul".
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    We are are not a "higher state of evolution" of animals. We are animals.

    We've just taken the intelligence, tool using and communication abilities that we share with more animals than we knew and developed them far beyond others. But we have not transformed ourselves into not-an-animal.

    And we are still evolving just like every other animal, but it's slow enough that we can't see it happening. We're not fruit flies are we.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    We are are not a "higher state of evolution" of animals. We are animals.

    We've just taken the intelligence, tool using and communication abilities that we share with more animals than we knew and developed them far beyond others. But we have not transformed ourselves into not-an-animal.

    And we are still evolving just like every other animal, but it's slow enough that we can't see it happening. We're not fruit flies are we.
    OK...OK...So for you, the humans are not "free will"?...isn´t it?
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    So for you, the humans are not "free will"?
    Quite the contrary.

    One of the great advantages we have from our intelligence and especially our communication abilities - in teaching each other and each successive generation about the things we have learnt - is that we greatly expand our options and choices in many situations. The more we can know and the more skills we can acquire, the more likely it is that different people with different sets of knowledge and skill will have other options for behaviour in any given situation. Because none of us can know everything nor can any one person have every kind of skill set.

    That might not amount to "free will" as many people imagine the expression. But it's so close that it's not worth any effort to find any better way to describe it.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    I feel compelled to say we have free will.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I feel compelled to say we have free will.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I feel compelled to say we have free will.
    Of course, we are all free to disagree.
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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    OK...let's see if I understand:

    Animals (less humans) do not have ·free will".... they act by the instint

    Humans:

    - We are animals but we have "free will" because we are able to associate and to transmit knowledge through the generations.

    Do you think this is a difference with other animals?.. there are not other animals with this attribute? I think that there are a lot of anomals that transmit knowledge through the generations.


    But why do you think that this difference make us 2free will"?
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking". George S. Patton
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    I think that there are a lot of anomals that transmit knowledge through the generations.
    Not a lot. If you watch chimps carefully you'll see that when a mother is using a stick or a straw to extract termites from a nest she does nothing to teach her infant how to do it. The little one works by imitation and trial and error only. If they lack the wit or the desire to imitate then the mother doesn't urge them to participate.

    A human parent would break the task down. Urge the infant to come away from whatever they were doing. Provide suitably selected sticks for junior to practise the get-the-termite skill for a while. Then get junior to select or trim some sticks and give guidance on which would be best for the purpose. Then eventually leave junior to do the whole thing alone.
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    For adelady.' Haven't noticed any children getting witcherry grubs lately. Is this a dying art? What are Children learning at school these days? Just socialising? One aspect of learning that's always bothered me, History and Geography lessons are wasted on the young. Ask a young person ( in Australia ), where Australia is? They can't answer. Ask again, what is an Empire? This one does get some response. An Empire is the Man who calls the rules at an AFL Match. Now this is from 14 year olds. OK. Lets socialise the Kids--good luck with this, and then, when they turn 14, start Educating them. Theres every chance a Portal may have opened giving access to some of the brains cells. So it's Child Minding Services until They are 14. Then some attempt should be made to impart knowledge that they might find useful as they age and perhaps mature. Like, how to cut lawns. Clean House. Cook. westwind.
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    Haven't noticed any children getting witcherry grubs lately. Is this a dying art?
    I think it's the death of the backyard woodpile of mallee roots.

    Though I suspect that a lot of parents wouldn't know a witchetty grub if it was wearing a witchetty grub team T-shirt. Remember, a whole 25% percent of the population was either not born in Australia or the parents weren't born in Australia.

    One aspect of learning that's always bothered me, History and Geography lessons are wasted on the young.
    Sorry, I disagree here. When I was a kid, we were taught geography in line with principles well-established by Piaget relating to child development. We learnt first about familiar things, our neighbourhood and our capital city. Then moved steadily outward. Our state. Our country. The Empire/Commonwealth. Then the world. A bit too much Britain and Europe. But I just loved those nifty templates for drawing the outlines and features of various continents. Of course, when we had the term tests, we had to draw the Murray-Darling or the Yellow River or the Rhine /Amazon/ Nile freehand from memory. But it was a good background, even if I sometimes have to check the details of the course of the Danube or the Yangtze or the Mississippi. Colouring red in all those countries of the commonwealth across the globe was fun too.

    The history wasn't so wonderful. Didn't get to Australian history properly until years 6/7 - though I suppose we'd had a bit from geography with all those explorers naming rivers and 'mountains' after themselves and their mates.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Haven't noticed any children getting witcherry grubs lately. Is this a dying art?
    I think it's the death of the backyard woodpile of mallee roots.

    Though I suspect that a lot of parents wouldn't know a witchetty grub if it was wearing a witchetty grub team T-shirt. Remember, a whole 25% percent of the population was either not born in Australia or the parents weren't born in Australia.

    One aspect of learning that's always bothered me, History and Geography lessons are wasted on the young.
    Sorry, I disagree here. When I was a kid, we were taught geography in line with principles well-established by Piaget relating to child development. We learnt first about familiar things, our neighbourhood and our capital city. Then moved steadily outward. Our state. Our country. The Empire/Commonwealth. Then the world. A bit too much Britain and Europe. But I just loved those nifty templates for drawing the outlines and features of various continents. Of course, when we had the term tests, we had to draw the Murray-Darling or the Yellow River or the Rhine /Amazon/ Nile freehand from memory. But it was a good background, even if I sometimes have to check the details of the course of the Danube or the Yangtze or the Mississippi. Colouring red in all those countries of the commonwealth across the globe was fun too.

    The history wasn't so wonderful. Didn't get to Australian history properly until years 6/7 - though I suppose we'd had a bit from geography with all those explorers naming rivers and 'mountains' after themselves and their mates.
    OK...OK...if we accept that the humans are different to animals in to associate and to transmit knowledge through the generations.. then why do you think that this difference make humans "free will" while animals are not ?
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking". George S. Patton
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    then why do you think that this difference make humans "free will" while animals are not
    Simple really.

    Think about a group of animals/people. Something happens in the surroundings - a stranger appears, music starts playing, a branch falls from a tree. With a group of animals the responses are pretty predictable. They might hide or run away, if it's the kind of grouping that relies on an alpha male he and a couple of his mates might go through their standard aggressive stance or threat display or chase intruders routines. They might be confused or curious about the music or the falling branch - if a brave soul ventures close some of the others might join in or the whole lot could run off before any other response had a chance.

    Now look at people. What happens in a group of people may be instigated by instinctive biological responses, but their actual behaviour will be governed by the training and experience of group members (or the lack of it). Just change the training and background of the group. They might be .....
    - trained emergency personnel
    - dancers / musicians
    - forestry/farm workers
    - office workers on holiday
    - athletes
    - a scouting or guiding troop

    What we see with people is that the groups will respond quite differently to these various stimuli depending on the skills and the previous learning of the group members. Everyone has similar instincts, just as animals do, but the range of resulting behaviours will differ according to the choices they make. And those choices are among all the options they have available by virtue of learning, training and experience.

    And if you really want to see free will, just make a group half and half , say farm workers and holidaymakers, or dancers and athletes. We would be completely unsurprised if such groups behaved in entirely different ways from each other - and from any of the homogeneous groups. We'd also be unsurprised if such mixed groups had some members eagerly relying on the ones they thought had more skill/experience while a few refused to follow the lead of those who knew the best way to go. Nor would we be surprised if some changed their minds or allowed others to persuade them into cooperating with the larger group.

    If we're free to act, free to follow others' lead or not, free to abstain from action, free to change our minds about our initial choices, I'd call that free will.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    Apes display similar cultural and individual differences in their response to circumstance. But I think of them as my cousins anyway.
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    We all think of them as your cousins, too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    then why do you think that this difference make humans "free will" while animals are not
    Simple really.

    Think about a group of animals/people. Something happens in the surroundings - a stranger appears, music starts playing, a branch falls from a tree. With a group of animals the responses are pretty predictable. They might hide or run away, if it's the kind of grouping that relies on an alpha male he and a couple of his mates might go through their standard aggressive stance or threat display or chase intruders routines. They might be confused or curious about the music or the falling branch - if a brave soul ventures close some of the others might join in or the whole lot could run off before any other response had a chance.

    Now look at people. What happens in a group of people may be instigated by instinctive biological responses, but their actual behaviour will be governed by the training and experience of group members (or the lack of it). Just change the training and background of the group. They might be .....
    - trained emergency personnel
    - dancers / musicians
    - forestry/farm workers
    - office workers on holiday
    - athletes
    - a scouting or guiding troop

    What we see with people is that the groups will respond quite differently to these various stimuli depending on the skills and the previous learning of the group members. Everyone has similar instincts, just as animals do, but the range of resulting behaviours will differ according to the choices they make. And those choices are among all the options they have available by virtue of learning, training and experience.

    And if you really want to see free will, just make a group half and half , say farm workers and holidaymakers, or dancers and athletes. We would be completely unsurprised if such groups behaved in entirely different ways from each other - and from any of the homogeneous groups. We'd also be unsurprised if such mixed groups had some members eagerly relying on the ones they thought had more skill/experience while a few refused to follow the lead of those who knew the best way to go. Nor would we be surprised if some changed their minds or allowed others to persuade them into cooperating with the larger group.

    If we're free to act, free to follow others' lead or not, free to abstain from action, free to change our minds about our initial choices, I'd call that free will.
    It is really an original theory. At least I did not know, and I had not even occurred.

    But, first of all, do you believe that this ability (to be able to associate and to transmit Knowledge Through the Generations) is the only thing that makes man to be "free will" as opposed to animals?... or there are other tings?

    For me culture is only "software"... and you can obtain it in two way:

    - By learnig because some body teach it to you (tehe case you mencion)
    - And by the own experince

    By these two way you can arrive to the same level of knolege. Posssibly the first is better and faster.

    But if we see a man (and any animal) as a fisical thing, you have there "hardware" (the body, neurones, gens,...) and "software" (conscient or inconcient knowledge, memory,...)

    Decision making is nothing more than a diagram were you have a box (rectangle) in which you have some "inputs" and result in an "output".

    For some, these "inputs" we can get different "outputs" depending on how compute the box (rectangle) the "inputs".

    Obviously the box of a human is much more complicated than that of an animal and we should see whatthere are differences (in "software" as in "hardware").

    HARDWARE: Parts of the brain that are distinct fro animals: pre-frontal cortex (area for reasoning and planning), area of speech, ...)

    SOFTWARE: Culture,...is possible the unique distinct from animals (Memory, Unconscious,... aren´t?)

    But I thing that always the decision process is only fisical process that have into account all these factors....
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking". George S. Patton
    "Science does not know its debt to imagination". Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    Apes display similar cultural and individual differences in their response to circumstance. But I think of them as my cousins anyway.
    You're right.

    That was the long version of my view that "free will" is an emergent property like intelligence. It just happens to 'emerge' from intelligence - and the learning that the combination of intelligence and social structures makes possible.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Apes display similar cultural and individual differences in their response to circumstance. But I think of them as my cousins anyway.
    You're right.

    That was the long version of my view that "free will" is an emergent property like intelligence. It just happens to 'emerge' from intelligence - and the learning that the combination of intelligence and social structures makes possible.
    OK... ut it doesn´t garanty the free will...the only think is that the contens of the "box" will be more complex, and the outputs more variable...and dificult to predict.

    But be carefull, it is different to be able to predict that to be predestined...
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking". George S. Patton
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    I like to speculate in these ways when it comes to free will.

    the universe is a system which has a resolution high enough for an advanced organism such as us to be able to learn the system and use it in whatever way.

    or

    if we think of the universe as an infinite multiverse with no beginning and no end than there could be a chance that we actually drift freely through this infinity of possibilities, each of us. This would mean that all of us (except maybe a few?) are unaware that we actually travel in more dimensions than just 3d plus time which is the common dillusion.

    I would take more time to elaborate this more but im too lazy atm. Sorry for that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bulle View Post
    I would take more time to elaborate this more but im too lazy atm. Sorry for that.
    That really is a major disappointment!
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    G'day Guys,
    First time posting on any internet forum whatsoever. Very is a interesting topic as this very question changed my philosophy on life while recovering from a broken collar bone et al around 12 years ago. I used to think my free will was an illusion caused by the physicality of my body. My sense of self was the result of my physical body. This is until I was going over in my mind the concept of training, and the importance of visualization in training. When you train something physically (I'll use the example of a back sault; gymnastics) then you MUST first visualise it. This is actually very difficult, especially if you have no similar frame of reference to go by, because you MUST go through all the steps in correct order in your mind before you are able to perform it. Once you actually try it physically you will know how complete your visualisation was by how well you performed your new skill. Then obviously you must train it again and again for it actually be a skill you can call on without "thinking" about it. My point is that the key, or driving force, behind any physical activity is actually mental. The mind says jump so the body jumps. This is the process I used to prove to myself that I have free will. I can either choose to do that hard work to learn and perfect a technique or I can choose not to put that work in and not learn the new technique. I say that any physical training is not physical as all, it is just another way of study or learning. In this case though our study is learning how to better use our own body. Once we know how to do something in our mind, the physical body simply becomes something that can carry out in the physical world what the mind has learned how to do. So yes, I think we have free will.

    One interesting point that I would like to add in regards to humans and animals. I think the main thing that separates us is that humans are capable of rational thought. We can take a concept and think it through to it's logical conclusion. There are other animals that pass on knowledge through generations (killer whales for example pass on techniques to their young for hunting, amongst other things) but human culture is, as I see it, far more advanced. I truely feel, however, that its our ability to rationalise that really separates us from the rest of the animals. We learn our culture as a survival mechanism when we are young, but as we get older we can question the validity of what we have been told and if it is found to be lacking in truth then we can change our views accordingly. Most animals are almost purely, I feel, stimulus/response driven and are capable of a very limited, if any, ability to think ahead along a thought process of any meaningful length or conclusion.

    I hope you can understand what I am trying to say here and I hope it makes some sense to you.
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    Everything is cause and effect so yes, complete determinism is likely the case.

    The uncertainity principle in physics is a weak argument imo.

    If we had a device that could track all reactions - the actions that precede them would likely cause the exact same of actions-reactions if we had a 100 paralell universes to measure.
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    I think that only "uncertainity principle" and "Chaos theory" can break with the "deterministic theory" ... and with the predestination of humans...

    But they does not break with the lack of "free will"...These uncertainties and its amplification, give some randomness of events, but the brain still will always react according to a physical process (Depending of Both hard and software).
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking". George S. Patton
    "Science does not know its debt to imagination". Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    It doesn't break the lack of free will anyhow....because even if completely determined we have free will--they are not in conflict.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    It doesn't break the lack of free will anyhow....because even if completely determined we have free will--they are not in conflict.
    I don´t think so !!!.... I think that our brain...our neurons....our atoms....our quarks....our streams.... make the decisions for us always...depending on: The inputs (stimuli,...) we recive and our hard (boby, brain,...) and soft (knowhow, memmory, culture, unconscious,...).

    But in a deterministic frame...we could forsee them.

    Although in a non-deterministic frame...this decisions are more unmanageable and unpredictable.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking". George S. Patton
    "Science does not know its debt to imagination". Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    I think that our brain...our neurons....our atoms....our quarks....our streams.... make the decisions for us always
    The operative word is "I." That's why it's free will.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    I think that our brain...our neurons....our atoms....our quarks....our streams.... make the decisions for us always
    The operative word is "I." That's why it's free will.
    No....because our brain...our neurons....our atoms....our quarks....our streams.... ("We" or "I") they just follow physics laws.... Only there is ONE output for ONE input !!!!... although there was a lot of possibilities ... just there is ONE possible output... That is not "free will" for me.

    Tree will, for me, is that you have the possibility of deciding between several possibilities....by free...not depending only in physics laws.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking". George S. Patton
    "Science does not know its debt to imagination". Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    dapifo

    We cannot tell the difference. And if we cannot tell the difference, then what does it matter?
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    first off the physical laws don't work like mathematical functions....one input doesn't necessarily result in one output.

    That is not "free will" for me.
    Fine I guess, but I'm not even sure of what would be the use for any other definition, unless your trying to think of your brain as some kind of external agent who gets to decide things happening in your brain, even in the face of it being obvious that what ever choices your brain percieves are just another part of your brain and thus part of the thinking process--as long as it's yours, your free to choose even if one conclusion is inevitable. In any case, even if deterministic we know it's not completely predictable through chaos theory.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    dapifo

    We cannot tell the difference. And if we cannot tell the difference, then what does it matter?
    I tell the difference very clear...(!!??)
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking". George S. Patton
    "Science does not know its debt to imagination". Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    (The common sense)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    first off the physical laws don't work like mathematical functions....one input doesn't necessarily result in one output.

    That is not "free will" for me.
    Fine I guess, but I'm not even sure of what would be the use for any other definition, unless your trying to think of your brain as some kind of external agent who gets to decide things happening in your brain, even in the face of it being obvious that what ever choices your brain percieves are just another part of your brain and thus part of the thinking process--as long as it's yours, your free to choose even if one conclusion is inevitable. In any case, even if deterministic we know it's not completely predictable through chaos theory.
    The basic difference is that you are not deciding or chosing....your brain is doing it before you realize...following physics laws... and only one output is possible...except that intervention of the uncertainty principle ... and give it a touch of randomness .. but this will be only randomness... not free will.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking". George S. Patton
    "Science does not know its debt to imagination". Ralph Waldo Emerson

    "Why settle with the known models and patterns (but not underlying laws) of Our Universe , if we might understand them better if we could puzzle out them from outside its limits?"
    (The common sense)
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    Dunno about you guys, but when I make choices, it feels exactly like those are my free will choices, and not dictated by outside factors. That does not for a moment prove I have free will, but from my personal view point, it is exactly the same, since I have no way of knowing it is not free will.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Dunno about you guys, but when I make choices, it feels exactly like those are my free will choices, and not dictated by outside factors. That does not for a moment prove I have free will, but from my personal view point, it is exactly the same, since I have no way of knowing it is not free will.
    OK, it is clear that this is the way that people realize it... but here we are in a Philosophy forum and we have to be able to realize it better...and these concepts are very different !!!
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking". George S. Patton
    "Science does not know its debt to imagination". Ralph Waldo Emerson

    "Why settle with the known models and patterns (but not underlying laws) of Our Universe , if we might understand them better if we could puzzle out them from outside its limits?"
    (The common sense)
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    "Free will" is one of those things that gives philosophy a bad name, in my mind. Like solipsism. Or those schoolboy arguments that the universe was created 5 minutes ago and just made to look 13b years old. Utterly devoid of value.
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    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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    Quote Originally Posted by dapifo View Post
    The basic difference is that you are not deciding or chosing....your brain is doing it before you realize...following physics laws... and only one output is possible...except that intervention of the uncertainty principle ... and give it a touch of randomness .. but this will be only randomness... not free will.
    You seem to be saying that there is a "you" which is separate from your brain. Is that what you think?
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    The whole problem with free will is that hardly anyone understands what it means.
    There is no standard for what "free will" is supposed to be.
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  62. #61  
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    I thik that is better to read WIKIPEDIA....

    Free will - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking". George S. Patton
    "Science does not know its debt to imagination". Ralph Waldo Emerson

    "Why settle with the known models and patterns (but not underlying laws) of Our Universe , if we might understand them better if we could puzzle out them from outside its limits?"
    (The common sense)
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    If everything is determined from the beginning then time is not needed.
    The fact that we experience time demonstrates our free will. )
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    I just found this today:

    New brain research refutes results of earlier studies that cast doubts on free will


    (Medical Xpress) -- When people find themselves having to make a decision, the assumption is that the thoughts, or voice that is the conscious mind at work, deliberate, come to a decision, and then act. This is because for most people, that’s how the whole process feels. But back in the early 1980’s, an experiment conducted by Benjamin Libet, a neuroscientist with the University of California, cast doubt on this idea.

    He and his colleagues found in watching EEG readings of volunteers who had been asked to make a spontaneous movement (it didn’t matter what kind) that brain activity prior to the movement indicated that the subconscious mind came to a decision about what movement to make before the person experienced the feeling of making the decision themselves. This, Libet argued, showed that people don’t have nearly the degree of free will regarding decision making, as has been thought. Since then, no one has really refuted the theory. Now new research by a European team has found evidence that the brain activity recorded by Libet and other’s is due to something else, and thus, as they write in their paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that people really do make decisions in their conscious mind.

    Go to the link for more.

    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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    The real problem here is that we dont know what consciousness is...
    We know how it feels but cant explain it,cant make a model of it.

    It seems as if a moment in time is determined by the immediate preceeding moment...
    Suppose mind is a function of two consecutive moments then the deterministics gets more complicated.

    My point is that a complete determination of next future moment needs to include decisions made by mind and its not certain that the totality of preceeding moments suffices to predict the actions of the mind if it (for example) is a function of all preceding moments together with the present moment.

    Nature has had a tendency to surprise us with its ingenious construction...I think it will continue to do so.
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    My point is that a complete determination of next future moment needs to include decisions made by mind and its not certain that the totality of preceeding moments suffices to predict the actions of the mind if it (for example) is a function of all preceding moments together with the present moment.


    Predictability and determinism aren't as connected as you might believe and it's important to clarify what you mean here. We know from choas theory that many natural phenomena are deterministic but can't be predicted beyond a certain point simply because we'd need a exact information down to the molecular level, and perfect physical models to do so. Hurricanes, blizzards, astronomy molecular clouds, solar flares, lightning strikes, the long fall of a goose feather, and many other phenomena are like this--it seems very likely the brain is complex enough to likewise be both deterministic and unpredictable (beyond certain limits).
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    My point is that a complete determination of next future moment needs to include decisions made by mind and its not certain that the totality of preceeding moments suffices to predict the actions of the mind if it (for example) is a function of all preceding moments together with the present moment.


    Predictability and determinism aren't as connected as you might believe and it's important to clarify what you mean here. We know from choas theory that many natural phenomena are deterministic but can't be predicted beyond a certain point simply because we'd need a exact information down to the molecular level, and perfect physical models to do so. Hurricanes, blizzards, astronomy molecular clouds, solar flares, lightning strikes, the long fall of a goose feather, and many other phenomena are like this--it seems very likely the brain is complex enough to likewise be both deterministic and unpredictable (beyond certain limits).
    Hi Lynx! Nothing wrong in your post. Sensible points on "Predictability and determinism": In the neighbour thread:The Poor Claim That God Does Not Exist I harass atheists a little. I begin by proving theres a god which offend their sensibilities so they wont agree that everything has a cause !
    That motive fits in rather well with predictability and prederminism dont you think? Damn im too sleepy to get out of the text ]Sorry Im rambling.Where was I? Yeah! I claim that there are no uncaused things (that this is THE basic assumption of science)...show me any example of uncaused things and prove me wrong...I might be seen as arrogant and careless but I assure you that in secret Im humble and careful...Good Night.
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    We have free will for future events but no real free will for the present. For example, one can plan to (and)take a trip somewhere 20 years from now and I don't think that their choice would be Influenced by genetics and external stimuli enough to say that it wasn't a choice made by free will. But in the present one's choices probably are limited to external influences and genetic adaptative responses. I'm not saying this as fact or anything like that at all just my take on it while I'm high on acid, meth and zoplicone
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    We Have Free Will!

    This includes the option of surrendering our will freely, which many opt for.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dapifo View Post
    Are the decisionsof the human being the result of physical laws?

    Last studies says that decisions are taked before we realize. them Does it mean that they are only the result of physical laws?


    So scientists, led by neuroscientist John-Dylan Haynes, located with precisionconcrete signs of brain activity up to 10 seconds before participants wereaware of their own choice.

    According to what Haynes said to the magazine NewSientist , this study has shown that "our decisions are predetermined unconsciously a long time before our own conscience the launch."

    As early as 1983, the American neuroscientist Benjamin Libet proposed that"decisions taken by any subject are first carried out in the unconsciousand subsequently transferred to the conscious, and that the subject's beliefthat its decision depends on your will is due only to the retrospective view ofthe process.
    "
    Predestination = Gravity (as example metaphor)
    Thus: Jumping through muscles a short space upwards = Free Will to choose.
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    1 What is the answer to my next question?
    2 You answer: X.
    3 I then ask you: What is not X?
    4 And you have no correct answer!
    5 At 3 I demonstrate my free will.
    6 At 4 I prove you cant see into the future.
    7 QED
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  72. #71  
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdW View Post
    1 What is the answer to my next question?
    2 You answer: X.
    3 I then ask you: What is not X?
    4 And you have no correct answer!
    5 At 3 I demonstrate my free will.
    6 At 4 I prove you cant see into the future.
    7 QED
    Sorry my friend but I can see a flaw in that logic, it based on the presumption the subject will answer 'x' at stage 2.
    Suppose I the subject give the answer at stage 2 as: "my answer is the correct answer for the question asked".
    “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sigurdW View Post
    1 What is the answer to my next question?
    2 You answer: X.
    3 I then ask you: What is not X?
    4 And you have no correct answer!
    5 At 3 I demonstrate my free will.
    6 At 4 I prove you cant see into the future.
    7 QED
    Sorry my friend but I can see a flaw in that logic, it based on the presumption the subject will answer 'x' at stage 2.
    Suppose I the subject give the answer at stage 2 as: "my answer is the correct answer for the question asked".
    Hi! Its good to see you! But I aint gonna give you your diploma yet

    Are you saying that "my answer is the correct answer for the question asked" IS the first answer?
    Then this is the second question:Whats your name?

    The alleged answer:"my answer is the correct answer for the question asked"
    is only a faulty description or prediction of the answer. Its NOT the answer in itself.
    (Good try though )

    I proved there is a god, and now proved that we have free will
    in the sense that no one can know our future and communicate it to us.
    What is there left to prove, I wonder? That theres no market for truth?
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  74. #73  
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    Logic... molested.
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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    Are well worth a try, let me have another crack at that answer how about: "Sorry I don't understand the question".
    sigurdW likes this.
    “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.”

    Bertrand Russell
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post
    Are well worth a try, let me have another crack at that answer how about: "Sorry I don't understand the question".
    I also sometimes cheat a little:
    The proof of the existence of god
    has a flaw that really aint a flaw:

    Once upon a time
    there was a somewhere
    that wasnt.
    And there was someone
    who also wasnt.

    But that someone
    created existense
    somewhere else
    in a place
    that never was...

    How plausible is this story?

    (I wont sit on the solution:
    Existence is Relative )
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  77. #76  
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    Upon a stony earthen glade
    Once in an ever-greened fortune
    I have cleared those that were not
    And yet foreseen the closure

    One flaw my mind holds clearly
    Fine, silver, twinkling injustice
    For you, nay, for I, and for myself
    We see with eyes solution face
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    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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  78. #77  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    I think that our brain...our neurons....our atoms....our quarks....our streams.... make the decisions for us always
    The operative word is "I." That's why it's free will.
    Fail argument Lynx. (That is if I understood you correctly)

    Just because he says "I think" doesent mean he actually has a choice to believe what he believes. If 100% determinism is true, then even what you believe or think is simply a reaction.

    I find people's attachment to their "Soul" or self - as some primitive self preservation instinct. If determinism is true then every personality is just a product of events. Even expressions made, and self reflection over ourselves is nothing but experiences we have no control over.

    Now look at this:

    1) Jeff believe we dont have free will.
    2) Bob believes that we do have free will.

    Now lets say we go back in time and their minds are switched at birth. Jeff (Now bob) and bob (Now Jeff). Nothing would change. The object "Jeff" would still believe in determinism and "Bob" would still believe in free will. Because the experiences that made them - would go down the same path.

    A human mind is nothing special. We are still very likely complete slaves to cause and effect.

    I do agree that arguing over it is pointless. Either we do have it or we dont, but we cant prove either yet. However the world does seem to behave completely deterministic - so Id say the chance of free will being false is about the same chance a god doesent exist.
    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    I do agree that arguing over it is pointless. Either we do have it or we dont, but we cant prove either yet.
    Bah!
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    I'm just really wondering about the whole concept of free will, sure we seem to have it on a basic level. I mean we can decide what we're having for dinner or where we are going to go on holiday, but we haven't got any choice whatso ever about the important things. We never had a choice about where we were born, to whom or which time we were born into. We don't really have a choice on how long we'll live for, maybe 100+ if we're lucky. We don't even know if there is anything after death nevermind have a choice on it. It just makes me think is free will all it's cracked up to be?

    Lets suppose we had free will over the really big stuff. Whether we live for 80 years or maybe a million, whether we are born into the dark ages or maybe a 1000 years from now in bright technological future. I just wonder if we would be ready and able to really make these decisions.

    We could really even take it one step further with some really big choices, perhaps say we can decide whether after our natural lives on earth we simply disappear into nothingness with all we are, all that we've been and all we've seen just gone forever. Or maybe perhaps we could choose to continue our existence after death some where else and simply go on forever, would we really want that responsibility of choice?

    I guess am trying look at just how much free will we really need. How much do we need?
    “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.”

    Bertrand Russell
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    Hmmm there is a lot that is 'predestined' for us it seems, that we have little control over.

    Will is free within its boundaries. Will can push the boundaries back.

    What is will... it is the power of a person to want and to act towards that want. Free will is the power of a person to act for themselves, or under thier own guidence, for thier own wants and needs. Without the will having been influenced by others.

    If somebody will act for the good, then lets hope they have all the will in the world.

    Without will, we would want and do nothing, we wouldn't have the will to live.

    'Free will' probably doesn't exist in any pure form, but relative free will does. Free will is surely a self serving quality and if used with the knowledge that to serve others is also to serve yourself, then it is good for all. But when the individual wants things that hurt others then it isn't so desirable that they exercise thier free will.

    We have the free will to strive for the ability to make those choices you mention.

    The relative free will we do have would play a part in adaptions and evolution in my opinion... We should should maintain relative free will.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Last studies says that decisions are taken before we realize. them Does it mean that they are only the result of physical laws?

    Of course it means that--there is no other way to generate thoughts. It's also no surprise our unconscious brain sometimes comes up with a solution before our conscious one--a trait that served us very well in our ancestry to get our bodies prepared for fighting, running, doing something bold to save a loved one, recognizing a face, or the parted grass that might contain something ready to eat us (e.g. lion) etc. Reaching a different solution, or becoming aware of the conflicting thoughts is quite noticeable as well. None of these are issues of freewill, since they are all in our brains unique to us--
    our brains, our thought processes--our decisions.
    Maybe it is how we are defining this free will for ourselves, the jailor is free to come and go but not while he is in the confinements of the prison walls. Someone who does not know he is in prison exersises the options within the prision walls and sees them as free will. On the other side of the equation he does not know he has an option outside of the walls unless some one from the other side communicate to him that he does not have free will.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post
    I'm just really wondering about the whole concept of free will, sure we seem to have it on a basic level. I mean we can decide what we're having for dinner or where we are going to go on holiday, but we haven't got any choice whatso ever about the important things. We never had a choice about where we were born, to whom or which time we were born into. We don't really have a choice on how long we'll live for, maybe 100+ if we're lucky. We don't even know if there is anything after death nevermind have a choice on it. It just makes me think is free will all it's cracked up to be?

    Lets suppose we had free will over the really big stuff. Whether we live for 80 years or maybe a million, whether we are born into the dark ages or maybe a 1000 years from now in bright technological future. I just wonder if we would be ready and able to really make these decisions.

    We could really even take it one step further with some really big choices, perhaps say we can decide whether after our natural lives on earth we simply disappear into nothingness with all we are, all that we've been and all we've seen just gone forever. Or maybe perhaps we could choose to continue our existence after death some where else and simply go on forever, would we really want that responsibility of choice?

    I guess am trying look at just how much free will we really need. How much do we need?
    The question arises can one have free will within the bounds of limitations?
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Hmmm there is a lot that is 'predestined' for us it seems, that we have little control over.

    Will is free within its boundaries. Will can push the boundaries back.

    What is will... it is the power of a person to want and to act towards that want. Free will is the power of a person to act for themselves, or under thier own guidence, for thier own wants and needs. Without the will having been influenced by others.

    If somebody will act for the good, then lets hope they have all the will in the world.

    Without will, we would want and do nothing, we wouldn't have the will to live.

    'Free will' probably doesn't exist in any pure form, but relative free will does. Free will is surely a self serving quality and if used with the knowledge that to serve others is also to serve yourself, then it is good for all. But when the individual wants things that hurt others then it isn't so desirable that they exercise thier free will.

    We have the free will to strive for the ability to make those choices you mention.

    The relative free will we do have would play a part in adaptions and evolution in my opinion... We should should maintain relative free will.
    QFY, we do live in a world where whole is equated with division, I think you are very right about how we express this free will. We may think objectively but our responce to answering any questions posed to us is subjective. If there were no boundaries for relative free will, there would be no need for control of anything.
    In the final analysis the only tool man has that is workable is the control of him/herself.
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    Yes, that last comment resonates with me and makes me think... our Will or free will is like the thing which underlies all of out personal 'tools' and abilities. If our arms are like 360 diggers, then our free will is the key which switches on the ignition. A rather crude similie. It's like our minds and bodies are a huge variety of tools and instruments that can perform various different duties... but our free will is the man who decides to pick up these tools up and starts to work with them.
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