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Thread: Free Will ? yes, no, or maybe

  1. #101  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    "Traveling" with one L is American spelling and "travelling" with two L's is the British way.
    In most of Canada you can find both spellings.
    Is it the same with "modeling" and "modelling"? When I worked at a 3D Modeler for a living, I always used one 'L', but I saw it both ways.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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  2. #102  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    "Traveling" with one L is American spelling and "travelling" with two L's is the British way.
    In most of Canada you can find both spellings.
    Very well. I accept this correction and proffer my apologies to whypie for blindly trusting the spell check on this unit.

    I should know better than to trust anything related to language, given regional variances.
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  3. #103  
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    There are a lot of small differences between American and British spelling. Like humour vs humor, plough vs plow, or the horror of key instead of quay.
    Quay - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary

    We used to go with the British spelling most of the time in Canada but lately we are using more American spellings. The ones that get me the most are the deliberate mispelling of words for trade names which then become accepted and replace the original word.
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  4. #104  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    There are a lot of small differences between American and British spelling. Like humour vs humor, plough vs plow, or the horror of key instead of quay.
    Quay - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary

    We used to go with the British spelling most of the time in Canada but lately we are using more American spellings. The ones that get me the most are the deliberate mispelling of words for trade names which then become accepted and replace the original word.
    Do these 'deliberate differences' constitute 'free will' or are they inevitable?
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  5. #105  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scienceofdesign View Post
    If Ecktart Tolle is correct
    Calling on woomeisters doesn't help any argument you wish to put forward.

    The universe is then a paradox, one that freewill and determinism MUST be odds with in order for this unique thing we call existence to be possible. Without this contradiction, in a sense, we wouldn't exist.
    Whut?
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  6. #106  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scienceofdesign View Post
    If Ecktart Tolle is correct
    Calling on woomeisters doesn't help any argument you wish to put forward.

    The universe is then a paradox, one that freewill and determinism MUST be odds with in order for this unique thing we call existence to be possible. Without this contradiction, in a sense, we wouldn't exist.
    Whut?
    I've never actually read any of Ecktart Tolle's books. I googled his philosophy. "Awareness is the space in which thought exists." Hmm, okay, if you want to define awareness that way. Except, "the most significant thing that can happen to a human being [is] the separation process of thinking and awareness."

    How do people come up with this stuff? As a writer, I'm a little jealous.
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  7. #107  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    How do people come up with this stuff? As a writer, I'm a little jealous.
    So far as I can tell there are two ways to do it.
    1) Become utterly deluded, or
    2) Lose your personal integrity.

    In the spirit of Monty Python, I suppose I could add: decide that everyone else is a sheep who deserves fleecing 1.

    1 This allows (possibly) maintenance of integrity because you're the only one that counts therefore whatever you do is right.
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  8. #108  
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    There are a lot of small differences between American and British spelling. Like humour vs humor, plough vs plow, or the horror of key instead of quay.
    Quay - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary

    We used to go with the British spelling most of the time in Canada but lately we are using more American spellings. The ones that get me the most are the deliberate mispelling of words for trade names which then become accepted and replace the original word.
    Do these 'deliberate differences' constitute 'free will' or are they inevitable?
    I suppose you could say languages are chaotic and defy any sort of determinism, which suggests both free will and inevitability.
    Much like the course of a philosophy thread.
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  9. #109  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    "Traveling" with one L is American spelling and "travelling" with two L's is the British way.
    In most of Canada you can find both spellings.
    Is it the same with "modeling" and "modelling"? When I worked at a 3D Modeler for a living, I always used one 'L', but I saw it both ways.
    Yup (yep) {yes}
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  10. #110  
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Every person exercising 'free will' simultaneously is going to result in gridlock in some locations.
    Yes, even if there are traffic lights and cops at the intersections.

    So where are people on the idea of limited free will, ie you get to choose and decide but those decisions are restricted by the conditions you are subject to?
    This is my personal interpretation of 'free will'. We all have options available to us, but the number of options and outcomes is affected by so many other variables that in many cases, it would seem that we really have no choice in matters. As children, most decisions in our life are made by others. As adults, many decisions are determined by governments and regulating bodies, so the extent of our 'autonomy' is ever within parameters not of our own making.

    The very fact that we were born was not of our free will and the autonomous functions that enable homeostasis are also beyond our control although we are capable of influencing, to some degree, our breathing and heart rates with practice.
    If you're a teller at a bank, and a bank robber points a gun at your head and tells you to fill up a bag full of cash for them, you technically still have a choice, but the two options in front of you vary so much in benefit that you would be very unlikely to just plain say "no" and let them shoot you. Free will? Yes, technically.

    If you're starving to death and someone places a morsel of food in front of you and tells you to do something that you feel to be wrong or dishonorable, and you can eat the morsel, that's a harder choice. But if you weren't very hungry, then it would be an easy choice. Sometimes our backgrounds afflict us with psychological hungers. But it seems a bit of a stretch to say that our backgrounds deprive us of free will.

    Do all our choices have to be easy choices in order for free will to be considered real? Or do they all have to be difficult choices between options that are near in benefit? Or does it matter?
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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  11. #111  
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    Again, free from what? The concept itself seems logically flawed. Even if one were posit some supernatural or non-deterministic element in us, unconstrained by external or internal limits or forces, on what would this source of free will base its choices, decisions and actions? If not environmental stimuli, physiological needs, past learned experiences, the influence of society and culture and family, emotional states, habits, novelty seeking, rewards, threats to safety, etc, what would cause this source of free will to act or not act that would be different than in our deterministic model of the brain? I suppose you could toss in a bit of quantum like randomness, neurons that fire or don't fire by chance, but randomness is not generally what people are hoping for in terms of free will. Randomness would seem to provide less autonomy rather more autonomy, although it might still be desirable to those who don't like the idea that their fate has already been determined.

    That said, I don't think one has to completely abandon the concept of volition, for several reasons. One is the idea of "top down control." Top down control in the brain is already known to function in decision making processes. There is not necessarily a contradiction in the idea of "the whole constraining the parts." There is a wealth of two way tracts, up and down communication in the brain. Here is a brief explanation of top down control :

    “Complex information that is represented at higher stages of processing influences simpler processes occurring at antecedent stages. The role of top-down influences is then to set the cortex in a specific working mode according to behavioral requirements that are updated dynamically. In effect, these ideas reverse the central dogma of sensory processing, with a flow of information from higher- to lower-order cortical areas playing a role equal in importance to the feedforward pathways. The construction of a subjective percept involves making the best sense of sensory inputs based on a set of hypotheses or constraints derived by prior knowledge and contextual influences. Conversely, the top-down expectations and hypotheses are set by feedforward information, the sensory evidence. Under this view, there is no starting point for information flow.” (Gilbert and Sigman, journal Neuron) bolding mine.


    The second reason I think volition is still a valid concept is that there are neurological disorders in which people lose the desire to talk, think, choose or act, such as akinetic mutism, which I believe involves damage to the anterior cingulate. A patient who recovered from this condition, later told neuroscientist VS Ramachandran that she could understand all of his questions and directions perfectly but just had no desire to respond. In that sense, there is a biological basis for "will" even if it not entirely free or acasual.
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  12. #112  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Or does it matter?
    That is probably the best question to ask.
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  13. #113  
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Or does it matter?
    That is probably the best question to ask.
    I would agree.

    There is no choice we make that is completely free from other influences, except perhaps the very first time we are faced with more than one option.

    I don't know about you, but my memory does not go quite that far back.

    Apparently, I 'tinkled' through my baptism outfit when the cold water touched my forehead, so I have it on anecdotal evidence that I demonstrated my opinion of religion very early in life.

    (Of course some might attribute this to be merely a reflex to the cold water, lol, but is choice really anything more than a conditioned response?)
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  14. #114  
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    Quote Originally Posted by umbradiago View Post
    First, it seems as though we do have free will. Until we begin to wonder how this manifests itself. I can chose to do this, or say that, but is that exercising free will or not ?
    Do we make dinner because we know the time for dinner is near, or is it hunger ? (definitely not a 'choice').
    Do we procreate to replenish the species, or because we like to have sex ? You tell me.
    Do we have children because they're so cute (and costly) ? Or because we want to leave some lasting form of ourselves to posterity ? Is a desperate "stab" at immortality ?
    Do we practice faith for much the same reason ?
    Did I write this on purpose ? I think so. But what is that purpose and why do I feel compelled to ask it ?
    Do I wish I had some answers as well as questions ? Probably
    Most new studies point to genetics now. There was time many doctors and scientist pointing to chemical imbalance as motive to emotions and why people do the things people do be good or bad. Now the chemical imbalance for free will, why people do the things some people do and actions was base on chemical imbalance.


    I hardly hear people talking about chemical imbalance these days. The chemical imbalance seem to been fast explanation of emotions and why people do the things people do.


    No idea what happen to the chemical imbalance theory.
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  15. #115  
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    No idea what happen to the chemical imbalance theory.
    It's about as dead as the thread you're responding to.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  16. #116  
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    Finally I believe I have free will because I have no choice.
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  17. #117  
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    Quote Originally Posted by whypie View Post
    Finally I believe I have free will because I have no choice.
    Who chose your belief?
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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