Bucky and freewill
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19-10-2014, 09:51 AM
RE: Bucky and freewill
(19-10-2014 08:52 AM)Chas Wrote:  I have not claimed there are no constraints. You have not defined free will.

There is no meaningful "definition" I can think of, (so we agree I think ?)
If there are any constraints, the term "free" is a misnomer.
The word "will" is also misleading.

(19-10-2014 08:52 AM)Chas Wrote:  Untrue but relevant. Choices we make alter our connections.

Future changed connections are irrelevant to a present choice.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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19-10-2014, 10:19 AM
RE: Bucky and freewill
(19-10-2014 09:51 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(19-10-2014 08:52 AM)Chas Wrote:  I have not claimed there are no constraints. You have not defined free will.

There is no meaningful "definition" I can think of, (so we agree I think ?)

Almost. I think we could make a better working definition.

Quote: If there are any constraints, the term "free" is a misnomer.
The word "will" is also misleading.

But it's a term we are stuck with.

Quote:
(19-10-2014 08:52 AM)Chas Wrote:  Untrue but relevant. Choices we make alter our connections.

Future changed connections are irrelevant to a present choice.

But we don't know that those changes are deterministic, which means past changes may not be, etc.

We still don't know enough about how the brain and mind work to make a determination about what is commonly called free will, the ability to make conscious choices that are not predetermined..

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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19-10-2014, 10:54 AM
RE: Bucky and freewill
(19-10-2014 07:20 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(19-10-2014 07:04 AM)Dom Wrote:  Your brain has your ancestor's experiences and your own experiences at it's disposal to base decisions on.

It only knows what it knows, it can't know what it hasn't been given.

Hence, all decisions are made on a specific, select collection of factors unique to you.

Whether it's nature that guides the decision, or nurture, it still boils down to the same thing - your decision, your "will", is based on only what you personally have stored on your brain and hence is predictable and not free will. You have a limited range of possible decisions.

It is, however, unique to you.

We make new neural connections all the time, we are not completely constrained by the past. We make new inferences, draw new conclusions.

Yes, the nurture part continues to grow. (in most people Tongue)

You were still bound to learn golf, given the unique combination of reactions your brain produced when you were confronted with the possibility. Your nature and nurture worked together and you personally felt it was something you wanted to do.

Similarly, you were bound to stop when you realized you were bad at it, or whatever compelled you to stop. Golf did not match well with your nature or nurture, so it was discarded.

And yes, we really do need a good definition of free will. If it is something independent of your brain, you may have an argument. If it is the brain itself, you don't IMO.

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19-10-2014, 11:00 AM
RE: Bucky and freewill
(19-10-2014 10:54 AM)Dom Wrote:  
(19-10-2014 07:20 AM)Chas Wrote:  We make new neural connections all the time, we are not completely constrained by the past. We make new inferences, draw new conclusions.

Yes, the nurture part continues to grow. (in most people Tongue)

You were still bound to learn golf, given the unique combination of reactions your brain produced when you were confronted with the possibility. Your nature and nurture worked together and you personally felt it was something you wanted to do.

Similarly, you were bound to stop when you realized you were bad at it, or whatever compelled you to stop. Golf did not match well with your nature or nurture, so it was discarded.

I temporarily stopped because I was still recovering from a blow Achilles tendon. Weeping

Quote:And yes, we really do need a good definition of free will. If it is something independent of your brain, you may have an argument. If it is the brain itself, you don't IMO.

False dichotomy. It is of the mind and the mind is an emergent property of the brain.

The definition has to address the correct level of explanation.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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19-10-2014, 11:02 AM
RE: Bucky and freewill
Even if a system isn't 100% deterministic it can still function in a similar way to one that is.

Take an artificial neural network for example. It does not really make any difference if you add in a probability of a spike being released by a neuron when the voltage reaches a threshold because the functionality of the neural net comes from the average firing rates of large collections neurons relative to one another. It all tends to average out.

It's the same with gases. You can talk about heat, but this is just an average. What you're actually referring to is the distribution of energy of different particles zipping around randomly in a specific area.

When you're scuba diving it makes no difference whether those particles are bouncing around your air tank in a deterministic or stochastic way. What matters is how much air you have left and your rate of consumption.
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