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Thu Aug 1, 2019, 08:40 AM

We do not have free will.

We do not have free will.

We only have allowed will.

God has the power to 'change mens hearts' and has been given credit for doing so.

81 replies, 4890 views

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Reply We do not have free will. (Original post)
keithbvadu2 Aug 2019 OP
trotsky Aug 2019 #1
Mariana Aug 2019 #6
hurl Aug 2019 #19
AtheistCrusader Aug 2019 #33
hurl Aug 2019 #35
in2herbs Aug 2019 #2
keithbvadu2 Aug 2019 #9
Dr Hobbitstein Aug 2019 #11
keithbvadu2 Aug 2019 #12
Dr Hobbitstein Aug 2019 #13
keithbvadu2 Aug 2019 #14
AtheistCrusader Aug 2019 #34
DetlefK Aug 2019 #3
Dr Hobbitstein Aug 2019 #4
sinkingfeeling Aug 2019 #5
keithbvadu2 Aug 2019 #10
Voltaire2 Aug 2019 #17
Dr Hobbitstein Aug 2019 #23
Voltaire2 Aug 2019 #24
Girard442 Aug 2019 #7
keithbvadu2 Aug 2019 #8
MarvinGardens Aug 2019 #15
Cartoonist Aug 2019 #16
Voltaire2 Aug 2019 #18
uriel1972 Aug 2019 #20
Cartoonist Aug 2019 #25
qazplm135 Aug 2019 #27
uriel1972 Aug 2019 #36
qazplm135 Aug 2019 #37
uriel1972 Aug 2019 #39
qazplm135 Aug 2019 #42
trotsky Aug 2019 #43
qazplm135 Aug 2019 #44
trotsky Aug 2019 #45
qazplm135 Aug 2019 #47
trotsky Aug 2019 #53
qazplm135 Aug 2019 #55
trotsky Aug 2019 #56
qazplm135 Aug 2019 #57
trotsky Aug 2019 #58
Cartoonist Aug 2019 #46
OriginalGeek Aug 2019 #31
Voltaire2 Aug 2019 #32
qazplm135 Aug 2019 #38
uriel1972 Aug 2019 #40
qazplm135 Aug 2019 #41
Voltaire2 Aug 2019 #60
qazplm135 Aug 2019 #61
Voltaire2 Aug 2019 #62
qazplm135 Aug 2019 #63
Voltaire2 Aug 2019 #66
qazplm135 Aug 2019 #67
Voltaire2 Aug 2019 #68
qazplm135 Aug 2019 #74
Jim__ Aug 2019 #64
Voltaire2 Aug 2019 #65
Jim__ Aug 2019 #69
Voltaire2 Aug 2019 #70
Jim__ Aug 2019 #71
Voltaire2 Aug 2019 #72
Jim__ Aug 2019 #73
uriel1972 Aug 2019 #21
keithbvadu2 Aug 2019 #22
qazplm135 Aug 2019 #28
keithbvadu2 Aug 2019 #30
wasupaloopa Aug 2019 #52
watoos Aug 2019 #26
LuvNewcastle Aug 2019 #29
FiveGoodMen Aug 2019 #78
Iggo Aug 2019 #48
keithbvadu2 Aug 2019 #49
Major Nikon Aug 2019 #50
wasupaloopa Aug 2019 #51
keithbvadu2 Aug 2019 #54
Act_of_Reparation Aug 2019 #59
lonely bird Aug 2019 #75
SHRED Aug 2019 #76
paleotn Aug 2019 #77
keithbvadu2 Aug 2019 #79
Pendrench Aug 2019 #80
keithbvadu2 Aug 2019 #81

Response to keithbvadu2 (Original post)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 08:41 AM

1. Within the context of belief in an all-powerful god...

you are correct.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #1)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 08:56 AM

6. The Bible tells us that God has interfered with free will.

For example, he hardened Pharoah's heart several times, to prevent him from ordering the release the Hebrew slaves, because God wasn't ready to stop torturing the Egyptian people.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #1)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 06:18 PM

19. Agreed

Free will is incompatible with the concept of foreknowledge.

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Response to hurl (Reply #19)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 06:12 PM

33. Why? People still sometimes make bad decisions with perfect foresight.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #33)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 10:09 PM

35. Depends on what you mean by foresight

Having foresight to confidently guess about an outcome is not what I'm calling foreknowledge, which is absolute certainty about what will occur in the future.

For the sake of argument, let's say some deity already knew the outcome of your choice before it is made... In this case, you are incapable of making a different choice from what is foreknown. In that scenario, it's not a choice as much as a script. Free will has left the building.

That said, I do not believe foreknowledge is an actuality. It's just a belief held by some theists. I am not saying that we do have free will in the absence of foreknowledge, only that foreknowledge would preclude free will if it existed.

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Response to keithbvadu2 (Original post)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 08:44 AM

2. Disagree, but you are welcome to your belief. nt

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Response to in2herbs (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 11:17 AM

9. Then you are more powerful than God.

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Response to keithbvadu2 (Reply #9)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 12:12 PM

11. I can honestly say I'm more powerful than your god.

 

I exist, he does not.

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Response to Dr Hobbitstein (Reply #11)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 12:34 PM

12. See post #1.

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Response to keithbvadu2 (Reply #12)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 12:37 PM

13. Cool story.

 

Speaking of stories, your god is a fairy tale.

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Response to Dr Hobbitstein (Reply #13)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 01:02 PM

14. Not a problem.

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Response to keithbvadu2 (Reply #9)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 06:12 PM

34. A single carbon atom is more powerful than god.

Because carbon exists.

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Response to keithbvadu2 (Original post)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 08:48 AM

3. In that vein:

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Response to keithbvadu2 (Original post)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 08:50 AM

4. Not true.

 

I have plenty of free will.

Like the free will to reject your god, and all the gods worshipped before yours.

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Response to Dr Hobbitstein (Reply #4)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 08:55 AM

5. +100

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Response to Dr Hobbitstein (Reply #4)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 11:57 AM

10. Yep! See post #1.

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Response to Dr Hobbitstein (Reply #4)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 04:14 PM

17. How do you know that 'rejection of god(s)' is an act of free will,

and not entirely determined by the state of the universe at the time you think you made a choice?

To be clearer, I am talking about 'conscious decisions' as acts of 'free will'.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #17)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 07:52 PM

23. Because I made said conscious decision. nt

 

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Response to Dr Hobbitstein (Reply #23)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 08:58 PM

24. Did you sleep on it first?

Just curious.

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Response to keithbvadu2 (Original post)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 09:14 AM

7. Since no one knows what free will is...

...it’s really hard to decide whether we have it or not.

I made this statement of my own free will — or did I?

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Response to Girard442 (Reply #7)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 11:16 AM

8. If it stays, your statement is allowed.

If it stays, your statement is allowed.

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Response to keithbvadu2 (Original post)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 01:17 PM

15. You are right.

I am allowed to do anything permitted by the laws of physics.

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Response to keithbvadu2 (Original post)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 01:41 PM

16. Only atheists have free will

All others walk around trembling with fear because they know God is looking over their shoulder and will send them to Hell if they disobey.

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Response to Cartoonist (Reply #16)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 04:15 PM

18. except this atheist who thinks 'free will' is an entirely dubious concept in a material universe.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #18)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 06:54 PM

20. How can your will be "Free"

if you are bound by your material circumstance and upbringing? How can I exert my "Free Will" if I am tied up in bias and flawed perceptions?
I agree with you Voltaire2.

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Response to uriel1972 (Reply #20)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 08:02 AM

25. Within bounds

Of course there are restrictions. You don't have the free will to turn yourself into a butterfly. Does that mean you don't have free will?

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Response to uriel1972 (Reply #20)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 09:18 AM

27. Because free doesn't necessarily mean unconstrained

In this context.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #27)

Sun Aug 4, 2019, 06:02 PM

36. If it is bound, why call it free?

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Response to uriel1972 (Reply #36)

Sun Aug 4, 2019, 06:29 PM

37. because words can have subtlety

you can be free to do something, and not free to do others.
You can have freedom of speech with constraints on shouting fire in a crowded theater.
You can have freedom of movement but not be allowed to go to Area 51.
You can have freedom of religion but not be allowed to perform human sacrifices in the name of Cthulu.

See, pretty easy concept.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #37)

Sun Aug 4, 2019, 11:57 PM

39. true...

however the use of the term "Free" will to excuse God seems to require an unbound will.
I am well aware of nuance and finesse, and I still don't think we have "Free Will" even in the context you use, since research shows we reach for what we want before we can form the the conscious thought of wanting it.

In that light, what does "will" mean? Desire? Fear? The complexity of the human mind is more than enough to give the illusion of "Will", free or otherwise.

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Response to uriel1972 (Reply #39)

Mon Aug 5, 2019, 09:56 AM

42. no it doesn't

"the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion."

That's not necessarily unbound. It's not talking about the ability to literally do anything. You are always constrained by the laws of physics. I don't have the free will to fly off. I don't have the free will to breathe in space. However, I am not constrained by "fate." I have discretion. Now, that discretion may be constrained by my personal mental issues from how I was raised and my life experiences to some extent, but that's neither necessity nor fate.

Research also shows that we retain veto power over a decision. Again, the part that might illusory is the idea that we are a single whole entity as opposed to a series of sub entities making collective decisions and presenting them (and yes even starting them in some simple cases because the dangers of life require faster movement in the physical space) but given the "executive I" the chance to override.

Which happens all of the time. You start to reach for something or step in a direction and then you think, wait a minute, no I don't want that or to do that or whatnot and you change direction.

And nothing about that suggests anything about much more complicated or deeper thoughts that don't involve something as massively simple as "lift your arm." That could be nothing more than efficiency of use of limited brain power. There's no need to involve the "boss" in every single little action. Imagine how distracted you would be if you literally had to think about moving your legs for each step. Every single fine motor action. The processing power your executive conscious would have to use. You'd never get anything more complicated done.

I think you are reading a lot into a single study.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #42)

Mon Aug 5, 2019, 03:23 PM

43. "Research also shows that we retain veto power over a decision."

Please provide a link to this research.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #43)

Mon Aug 5, 2019, 03:41 PM

44. It's literally the same study he is citing:

"Despite his findings, Libet himself did not interpret his experiment as evidence of the inefficacy of conscious free will — he points out that although the tendency to press a button may be building up for 500 milliseconds, the conscious will retains a right to veto any action at the last moment. According to this model, unconscious impulses to perform a volitional act are open to suppression by the conscious efforts of the subject (sometimes referred to as "free won't". A comparison is made with a golfer, who may swing a club several times before striking the ball. The action simply gets a rubber stamp of approval at the last millisecond."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroscience_of_free_will#cite_ref-Libet_2003_52-0


Benjamin Libet is the one who did the study that showed that things started in motion to move one's hand before the conscious mind registered doing so.
http://openurl.ingenta.com/content?genre=article&issn=1355-8250&volume=10&issue=12&spage=24&epage=28

Additionally, plenty of criticism of the study that the ability to finely time the moment of brain activity with the moment of "will" is fairly sketchy at best. It is not remotely universally accepted that Libet found what he thinks he found, but again, even he does not believe this means there is no free will.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #44)

Mon Aug 5, 2019, 04:22 PM

45. That's only in the context of actions studied. You are suggesting a much broader interpretation.

If everyone has the same free will to choose to do an action (or not), why are children who were abused more likely to grow up and abuse others?

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Response to trotsky (Reply #45)

Mon Aug 5, 2019, 06:30 PM

47. I didn't say

Everyone has the same free will in the manner you are saying. I specifically said it was not without constraint and then specifically listed that upbringing and personal issues can be those constraints.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #47)

Tue Aug 6, 2019, 08:33 AM

53. Then people don't have the same free will.

If "upbringing and personal issues," as you admit, can determine a person's reaction/decision in a situation, then how can any choice we make truly be called "free?"

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Response to trotsky (Reply #53)

Tue Aug 6, 2019, 10:46 AM

55. People usually have different constraints

Prisoners don't have the same freedom others do.
Members of the military don't have the same free speech rights as civilians.
Oppressed minorities don't have the same freedoms as minorities.
Someone in a coma, someone severely mentally ill...

Pointing out that everyone doesn't, in reality, have the EXACT same free will is not nearly as meaningful in this context as you seem to think.

And lack of the exact same free will in practice does not equate to there is no free will just like restrictions on free speech for some (or all) does not equate to there is no free speech. It equates to what I have, repeatedly, said...we have free will but it's not unconstrained by various realities of life whether that be personal issues or external forces or the laws of physics.

This is yet another time I have said the same thing to the same response to you, so if you do this a third time I'm not responding.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #55)

Tue Aug 6, 2019, 11:16 AM

56. You're writing a lot of words to try and distract from the fact that you want it both ways.

An actual constraint on free will would be your earlier example of not being able to fly, no matter how much you want to. No one can. That's what makes it a reasonable limit, because it applies to everyone.

But a person who was abused as a child is going to be more likely to choose to abuse others. This is not a "constraint," this is an event in a person's past that they couldn't control which is affecting their "free" choice in life. Other people who were loved and nurtured as children are much less likely to grow up to be abusers. They simply don't "choose" to abuse at anywhere near the same rate.

(It's very important to note here that this particular example is really damaging to Christian theology - a person is MORE LIKELY to "choose" to sin if they experience things outside their control.)

You have ceded enough ground in this debate to kill free will on your own. You just refuse to acknowledge it. I can understand why you threaten to withhold further responses.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #56)

Tue Aug 6, 2019, 11:42 AM

57. Yawn

Yeah it's not my fault you either can't or won't understand my point, and I don't have a ton of interest in trying to clear it up for you anymore.

So feel free to continue the internet battle. I'm done talking to a wall.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #57)

Tue Aug 6, 2019, 11:52 AM

58. Actually, it is your fault, as I pointed out.

You've allowed that there are constraints on free will, but you are (intentionally, I surmise at this point) trying to equivocate on what "constraints" can mean while still insisting everyone has free will.

(Hint: free will ain't free if an experience you couldn't control will determine the choices you make later.)

The insults were unnecessary. I do not feel that I am stupid, or incapable of understanding, or that I should be compared to "a wall."

I am sorry you were unable to communicate your thoughts clearly. I will welcome a further response if you wish, but please do not respond with another insult.

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Response to uriel1972 (Reply #36)

Mon Aug 5, 2019, 04:54 PM

46. First off

All things are bound by reality. You are not free to use magic for example. You are not free to bench press 200 lbs if you are a 98 lb weakling. You are not free to fly without aid.

2
When you come to a fork in the road, you can either go left or right. If one believes that God, the universe, or your community, has already made that decision for you, then that sounds like an uninspired life.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #18)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 02:48 PM

31. I've been wondering if this is a valid position:

"Everything that has ever happened was inevitable."


The proof is that it happened.


Unlike the portfolio in my 401k, perhaps in the future computers will be powerful enough to use past performance to predict future results.


This is what I believe but I can't decide if it's because I'm a simpleton or a genius.

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Response to OriginalGeek (Reply #31)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 05:00 PM

32. I start from the assumption that we exist

in a universe that functions to the best of our knowledge as described by physics. That includes our experience of consciousness. There really is no room in that for a ‘free conscious choice’, your choice was determined by the state of the universe at the moment you made that choice.

As far as I’m concerned ‘free will’ is a theological construct used to impose moral sanctions on people, to justify other hideous behaviors used to punish immorality.

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Response to OriginalGeek (Reply #31)

Sun Aug 4, 2019, 06:31 PM

38. quantum physics kills that

you can't have randomness, which we know exists at the quantum level, and have inevitability at the same time in the sense you are talking about.

Look if you set a crash course into the sun, it's inevitable your ship is going to burn up and you are going to die.

But it was not inevitable that you'd do that.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #38)

Mon Aug 5, 2019, 12:03 AM

40. Quantum physics breaks down at the atomic level...

Newtonian physics breaks down at the quantum level. There's still a heck of a lot we don't know. It may turn out that the "Indeterminate" nature of Quantum physics becomes "determinate" at a deeper level. Or it may not.
Why is one example inevitable, the ship into the sun, but not the decision inevitable? since the decision is just as bound by physics as the rocket. Our thoughts are the product of electrical impulses and chemical responses at the atomic level. They would be subject to the same physics as the rocket.

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Response to uriel1972 (Reply #40)

Mon Aug 5, 2019, 09:49 AM

41. our decisions

are likely, at least in part, to be in fact quantum in nature.

We know that randomness is indeed a thing, and we know the quantum affects the macro.

Thus the decision isn't inevitable. All sorts of things can intervene, just like some folks don't commit suicide the first time, or ever, and others do, or wait til the second or third try. It's not inevitable that they do it, but once they pull the trigger, or do an act which is extremely likely to result in death then that inevitability goes pretty high.

Death is inevitable...now...then again, if the species is still around and advanced enough, it may not be inevitable in the future.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #38)

Thu Aug 8, 2019, 07:36 PM

60. if your claim is that "free will" emerges from quantum (or other) randomness

then we have to define free will again, because "random events" are not my understanding of what "free will" means.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #60)

Thu Aug 8, 2019, 08:31 PM

61. Considering his claim was about

Inevitability and my response was that randomness destroys inevitability then no my response was not about free will directly.

But yes in order to have free will you cannot have determinism. If things are inevitable there is no free will. But if there is randomness, then things are not inevitable, which at least then allows for free will.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #61)

Thu Aug 8, 2019, 08:34 PM

62. No it allows for random events.

Is a roulette wheel an example of free will?

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #62)

Thu Aug 8, 2019, 09:15 PM

63. Again...

In order to have free will, things cannot be determined in advance, yes or no?

The answer is yes. If things are determined in advanced, then you cannot act any other way, thus no free will.

If there is true randomness, then things cannot be determined in advance. Certainly not far enough down the line to encompass all of the myriad choices a human makes in a lifetime.

A sets the condition for C by negating B which is required for C to exist. This is not something I pulled out of my ass. It's a pretty common philosophical argument. A prime example is linked below.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~cristian/crispapers/Freewillrand.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwjF8oyuzfTjAhUDb60KHf_DD_IQFjAGegQIAhAB&usg=AOvVaw0ViGI4uNOLw8Qpu_tLV3VY

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #63)

Fri Aug 9, 2019, 03:11 PM

66. Yes your mythical free will requires some level of non-determinism.

But Brownian Motion and quantum non-determinism do not demonstrate that free will exists, they simply demonstrate non-determinism.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #66)

Fri Aug 9, 2019, 04:19 PM

67. See this is why I rarely bother with this

You don't discuss to listen or understand, and you mischaracterize since I didn't say randomness means free will, I said randomness is required for free will to exist.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #67)

Fri Aug 9, 2019, 04:20 PM

68. Yes, so where is the evidence for free will?

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #68)

Fri Aug 9, 2019, 06:56 PM

74. So all of these trained experts

Working hard to figure out the concept, does it exist, does it not exist, does it partially exist, how does it work...

They are all wasting their time yes. Because there's zero evidence for free will yes?

I mean they must be raging idiots to put all this thought and evidence into something for which there is zero evidence.

I'm sorry but I can't take this question seriously because it isn't a serious question.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #60)

Thu Aug 8, 2019, 09:17 PM

64. Yes randomness can be a component of free will.

I can cite 2 papers that discuss this issue. The first, Towards a scientific concept of free will as a biological trait: spontaneous actions and decision-making in invertebrates, is from December 2010 and documents the use of randomness in the brains of fruit flies as an aid in escaping predators. A very brief excerpt:

Together with Hume, most would probably subscribe to the notion that ‘tis impossible to admit of any medium betwixt chance and an absolute necessity’ [75]. For example, Steven Pinker (1997, p. 54) concurs that ‘A random event does not fit the concept of free will any more than a lawful one does, and could not serve as the long-sought locus of moral responsibility’ [76]. However, to consider chance and lawfulness as the two mutually exclusive sides of our reality is only one way to look at the issue. The unstable nonlinearity, which makes brains exquisitely sensitive to small perturbations, may be the behavioural correlate of amplification mechanisms such as those described for the barrel cortex [74]. This nonlinear signature eliminates the two alternatives, which both would run counter to free will, namely complete (or quantum) randomness and pure, Laplacian determinism. These represent opposite and extreme endpoints in discussions of brain functioning, which hamper the scientific discussion of free will. Instead, much like evolution itself, a scientific concept of free will comes to lie between chance and necessity, with mechanisms incorporating both randomness and lawfulness. The Humean dichotomy of chance and necessity is invalid for complex processes such as evolution or brain functioning. Such phenomena incorporate multiple components that are both lawful and indeterminate. This breakdown of the determinism/indeterminism dichotomy has long been appreciated in evolution and it is surprising to observe the lack of such an appreciation with regard to brain function among some thinkers of today (e.g. [2]). Stochasticity is not a nuisance, or a side effect of our reality. Evolution has shaped our brains to implement ‘stochasticity’ in a controlled way, injecting variability ‘at will’. Without such an implementation, we would not exist.


The second is from July 2019, Neurocognitive free will, and discusses neural processes that appear to be at least partially random and can participate in free will decisions by passing somewhat randomly selected remembered events, one-by-one, to conscious processing to aid in decision making. An excerpt:

Whether or not we describe a system as ‘random’ often depends on whether we see it as arising from deterministic (pseudo-random) or indeterministic sources. Neurocognitive free will offers inroads for each of these sources. There is a finite precision on cognitive abilities, which is a result of a trade-off between computational accuracy and the metabolic cost of information processing (e.g. [52]). This can lead to sensory noise when information from external stimuli is transformed into a neural representation [53,54]. At smaller scales, neural precision is limited by channel noise—the random opening and closing of ion channels—and synaptic noise—derived from probabilistic vesicle release and the random motion of ligand-gated ion channels [55].

The above mentioned compatibilist sources of noise are consistent with a deterministic universe and may be all that cognition has access to when it turns up the noise. Nonetheless, a complete discussion of neurocognitive free will cannot yet discount the possibility that neural systems amplify quantum indeterminism [14,56,57]. Neural systems are commonly characterized as having a sensitive dependence on initial conditions of arbitrarily small size [58,59]. If ‘arbitrarily small’ includes quantum level influences (see [57,60,61]), then two brains wired such that they would forever remain identical in a deterministic universe could eventually diverge in an indeterministic universe.

Perhaps ironically, neurocognitive free will localizes the volumes that have been written comparing compatibilist and libertarian free will to this rather subtle distinction of where the noise comes from. This may not matter for adaptive purposes [62]. Unless my adversary has the omniscience of Laplace's demon—who can perfectly predict all deterministic futures—then the ability to amplify quantum noise is not ultimately necessary to outwit adversaries or explore, but it may nonetheless satisfy architectural constraints on building minds like ours.


I don't believe anyone knows the answer as to whether or not we have free will. But we all expend a tremendous amount of energy everyday making conscious decisions. It's difficult to see how that energy expenditure on an illusion leads to a selective advantage over a purely non-conscious, deterministic process. People also think that randomness can't be an element of free will. The cited papers make a strong case that it can be.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #64)

Fri Aug 9, 2019, 03:04 PM

65. again this just reduces free will to "non-deterministic' behavior.

That is almost completely distinct from the moral concept of free will we derive from our christian heritage. There is no evidence for the latter.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #65)

Fri Aug 9, 2019, 04:21 PM

69. No, it doesn't. It introduces conscious control into the search and deliberation processes.

From the 2nd citation:

Before getting to the design features, it is useful to first define what I mean by conscious control as we will revisit this idea throughout. Conscious control processes are effortful, they focus attention in the face of interference, they experience information in a serial format (one thing at a time), they can generate solutions that are not hard-wired, and they operate over a constrained cognitive workspace—working memory—to which ‘we’ have access and can later report on as a component of conscious awareness [16–20]. When additional tasks are added to consciously effortful tasks performance suffers. Effortful processes sit in contrast to automatic processes, which are fast and parallel, and do not require conscious awareness. Effortful tasks can be made automatic through repetition (like reading and driving [21]) and when they become automatic they suffer less from the addition of a secondary task. Effortful and automatic processes are typically thought to sit at opposite ends of a continuum and the evidence provided below shows that they can influence one another.

The relationship between effortful processing (sometimes called executive processing) and conscious control is well documented (e.g. [16,18,22]). If we identify effortful consciousness with the self and this effortful self plays a role in satisfying the design features of free will discussed in further detail below, then what people mean by and want from free will are satisfied by our neurocognitive capacities.

...

What matters more for free will is where the decision to modulate variability comes from. If conscious control in any way influences unpredictability, then consciousness is in the loop that governs future behaviour. One way to examine this is to investigate the ability to generate unpredictable behaviour when conscious control is impaired. Consider random number sequence generation tasks, where people are asked to produce unpredictable sequences (e.g. [63]). If individuals in a random sequence generation task are simultaneously exposed to another task that competes for effortful attention—such as n-back tasks requiring memory for an ever-changing sequence of letters—their random sequences become increasingly predictable (e.g. [64,65]). People under time pressure or who suffer from unwanted thoughts also produce more predictable sequences [66], as do individuals with impairment in areas of the brain associated with executive control [63,67,68]. This evidence strongly implicates effortful conscious control in the mediation of unpredictability, whatever its source.1 The question we now face is how this unpredictability is used in the service of the will.

...

According to Wolf [73] ‘One wants to be able to choose in light of the knowledge of one's options and in light of the comparative reasons for and against these options' (p. 92). Wolf [73] claimed that these reasons are acquired through rational deliberation. This involves investigating alternatives to satisfying a goal and accessing cognitive information about those alternatives. Evidence for this was provided above in relation to memory retrieval from distributed representations. But the evidence goes much further.

...

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #69)

Fri Aug 9, 2019, 04:25 PM

70. except that when neurologists go looking for this alleged 'conscious control' what they find instead

is 'unconscious control' followed by 'conscious narrative'.


In a study just published in Psychological Science, Paul Bloom and I explore a radical—but non-magical—solution to this puzzle. Perhaps in the very moments that we experience a choice, our minds are rewriting history, fooling us into thinking that this choice—that was actually completed after its consequences were subconsciously perceived—was a choice that we had made all along.

Though the precise way in which the mind could do this is still not fully understood, similar phenomena have been documented elsewhere. For example, we see the apparent motion of a dot before seeing that dot reach its destination, and we feel phantom touches moving up our arm before feeling an actual touch further up our arm. “Postdictive” illusions of this sort are typically explained by noting that there’s a delay in the time it takes information out in the world to reach conscious awareness: Because it lags slightly behind reality, consciousness can “anticipate” future events that haven’t yet entered awareness, but have been encoded subconsciously, allowing for an illusion in which the experienced future alters the experienced past.


https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/mind-guest-blog/what-neuroscience-says-about-free-will/

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #70)

Fri Aug 9, 2019, 04:52 PM

71. From your citation: "The illusion may only apply to a small set of our choices ..."

"... that are made quickly and without too much thought."

The more complete citation:

It remains to be seen just how much the postdictive illusion of choice that we observe in our experiments connects to these weightier aspects of daily life and mental illness. The illusion may only apply to a small set of our choices that are made quickly and without too much thought. Or it may be pervasive and ubiquitous—governing all aspects of our behavior, from our most minute to our most important decisions. Most likely, the truth lies somewhere in between these extremes. Whatever the case may be, our studies add to a growing body of work suggesting that even our most seemingly ironclad beliefs about our own agency and conscious experience can be dead wrong.


Even if someone proves that some short term decisions are made unconsciously and then later interpreted by the subject to have been made consciously, that would only demonstrate that under certain conditions, what we believe are our conscious choices are illusions.

Suppose tomorrow is payday and I am trying to decide how much of my paycheck to put in the bank. I consciously weigh my financial situation and my need for cash over the next week. I don't see any correlation with the situations described in that citation and my mulling over my options. Now, at some point, after I have consciously studied all the options, some unconscious process in my brain may push a decision of option A into my conscious. But that decision is based on the options and weights that I have consciously raised and evaluated. So I consider it a decision freely and consciously made.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #71)

Fri Aug 9, 2019, 04:54 PM

72. yeah because of the limitations of the investigative tools (fMRI) only simple experiments can be

conducted. The problem is that there are now many such experiments and they keep showing the same results.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #72)

Fri Aug 9, 2019, 05:30 PM

73. The limitations of the investigative tools constitute limitations on what you can learn ...

... from those tools.

The problem is that there are now many such experiments and they keep showing the same results.


Have these experiments tested any decisions that have important consequences for the people being tested? Have they tested simple decisions like financial decisions I've described in post #71? If not, I'm not sure what implications these experiments have for those types of decisions.

We all carry out hundreds of experiments every day when we freely make conscious decisions. I haven't seen any evidence that those decisions are illusory. And, I haven't heard any explanations for why our brains should evolve such energy expensive processes that are only illusory, or why those processes would be selectively advantageous.

Again, from your citation:

The illusion may only apply to a small set of our choices that are made quickly and without too much thought.

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Response to keithbvadu2 (Original post)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 07:33 PM

21. Did you really think this through?

What this means is this excremental excuse for a creation; all the rape, murder, disease, famine, violence, injustice and death are all "God's Will". All God's fault, all the blame is theirs.

Did you really think this through?

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Response to uriel1972 (Reply #21)

Thu Aug 1, 2019, 07:45 PM

22. "Within the context of belief in an all-powerful god..."

I was taught that God is all-knowing; past, present, and future.

He knew what was going to happen and let it happen.

He gets credit for 'changing mens hearts' - the things he did not let happen.

Otherwise, you got it right... "God's Will".

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Response to keithbvadu2 (Reply #22)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 09:19 AM

28. Then we are all puppets

And nothing we do matters.

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Response to qazplm135 (Reply #28)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 10:54 AM

30. For those who believe in an all-powerful God.

For those who believe in an all-powerful God.

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Response to keithbvadu2 (Reply #22)

Tue Aug 6, 2019, 07:58 AM

52. I was taught that in Ctholic school. I never believed it. It was made up. When ever something

 

illogical resulted from the made up stuff another illogical thought was created to cover it.

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Response to keithbvadu2 (Original post)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 08:19 AM

26. Most people don't have free will

 

because they allow their subconscious mind, their ego, to run their lives. Few people are conscious, enlightened, but there are some.

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Response to keithbvadu2 (Original post)

Fri Aug 2, 2019, 09:38 AM

29. Isaiah 45:7

"I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things."

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Response to LuvNewcastle (Reply #29)

Sat Aug 10, 2019, 12:32 AM

78. Yes, he seems to have created an awful lot of evil!

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Response to keithbvadu2 (Original post)

Mon Aug 5, 2019, 08:22 PM

48. "We do not have free will." Quite possibly true.

"We only have allowed will. God has the power to 'change mens hearts' and has been given credit for doing so." Obvious bullshit.

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Response to Iggo (Reply #48)

Mon Aug 5, 2019, 08:44 PM

49. Not a problem. You don't have to believe in an all-powerful God.

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Response to Iggo (Reply #48)

Tue Aug 6, 2019, 07:48 AM

50. ...

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Response to keithbvadu2 (Original post)

Tue Aug 6, 2019, 07:52 AM

51. So you are not responcible for your actions since you did not use your free will to choose to do

 

them

Was it god or the devil that made you do it?

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Response to wasupaloopa (Reply #51)

Tue Aug 6, 2019, 10:02 AM

54. What free will?

God supposedly created the devil so it goes back to God's will.

If you think the devil made you do it, it was with God's approval.

You may have chosen to do it but God knew it beforehand and allowed it.

If you believe in an all-powerful God.

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Response to wasupaloopa (Reply #51)

Tue Aug 6, 2019, 03:17 PM

59. Maybe it was norepinephrine.

Or epigenetics.

Free will is a fairy tale.

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Response to keithbvadu2 (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2019, 12:10 AM

75. We are a function of decisions we make, decisions we do not make...

Decisions others make and do not make.

As complexity increases it becomes harder to make a prediction of the magnitude and direction of a response to an action. The asymmetrical spherical system of the whole.

We can crave a chocolate chip cookie. Our mouth may water. Our brain may tell us that we need that cookie (as opposed to wanting it). Yet we may exert our will and say that we will not take it. Or we may because our spouse made them for the first time knowing we like them and so to please our spouse we take one.

Free will is a concept created to justify scriptural texts that appear to make deity appear less than, well, deity.

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Response to keithbvadu2 (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2019, 12:14 AM

76. When's your God going to take responsibility

 

For this mess?

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Response to keithbvadu2 (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2019, 12:14 AM

77. Like you're god

It can’t be completely ruled out, but is extremely unlikely.

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Response to paleotn (Reply #77)

Sat Aug 10, 2019, 12:56 AM

79. No! I'm not Mitt Romney in his future.

No! I'm not Mitt Romney in his future.

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Response to keithbvadu2 (Original post)

Mon Aug 12, 2019, 02:13 PM

80. Hi keithbvadu2 - thank you for posting this very interesting topic.

Since it was posted, I've been delving more into this topic, and I happened to come across the following article:

https://www.iep.utm.edu/foreknow/

I figured that it might be of interest to others who are also interested in further exploration.

As you will see, at the end of the article (under References and Further Reading) there is a listing of Dissenting views - I have not had time to read them yet, but I hope to soon.

Thank you again - wishing you well and peace!

Tim

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Response to Pendrench (Reply #80)

Mon Aug 12, 2019, 03:27 PM

81. Thanks. Your article dives deep into the subject.

Thanks. Your article dives deep into the subject.

As brief as it is, trotsky's post #1 frames it the best.

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