Free Will
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15-01-2013, 01:19 AM
Free Will
Anyone have any links for neuroscience studies on free will?

also

Do you think we have Free Will, and Why?

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15-01-2013, 01:33 AM
RE: Free Will
As an atheist in a free country I do, yes. If I lived in a country such as N Korea, I'd have a limited version of it. If I lived in a world where religion held true, then I wouldn't; then there's only god's will. You can't very well have both, although christians say otherwise.
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15-01-2013, 01:54 AM
RE: Free Will
Google Scholar is a good resource.

As for my opinion on free will.... yes, we do have it. And, in the interest of full disclosure, I haven't studied it from a biological standpoint at all and I haven't studied it a lot from a philosophical standpoint. The reason why is that seems to me to be an a priori conclusion. Plus, I have never heard or read a convincing (or even thought provoking) argument for determinism.

In fact, the very act of arguing for determinism is a proof of free will. If everything is fore ordained and human beings are simply lumps of carbon that have no more ability to change their trajectories than a rock rolling down a hill, what possible sense does it make to argue anything with anyone?

From a psychological position determinism is a convenient vehicle to a) forgive one's abusers their evil doing and, or b) forgive one's own evil doing.

What say you?
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15-01-2013, 01:55 AM
RE: Free Will
Check out Sam Harris. Google his name and "Free Will" and you'll get a good place to start. Maybe read a book of his. Then check the bibliography for related sources if you wanna dig deeper. And since we're skeptics (well, I am; I don't know if you are), google stuff looking for neuroscientists who disagree with Mr. Harris. Read their stuff.

After that I'm stuck. I dunno crap about neuroscience, but I'm seriously man-crushed on Sam Harris; I put him right up there on a pedestal next to Carl Sagan, Alexander Alekhine, and Gandalf.

Note to self - I gotta get a chick up on one of those pedestals or you'll all get the misimpression that I'm gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Second note to self - don't put her next to Gandalf, I think that dude is a closet horn-dog.

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15-01-2013, 03:14 AM
RE: Free Will
Thanks for the recommendation. What little I've read of Sam's arguments for determinism have been less than compelling.

Determinist arguments fail in their utterance. e.g. "You cannot change your mind but you should change your mind about free will and believe in determinism".

You might as well call someone and tell them that phones don't exist.
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15-01-2013, 06:35 AM
RE: Free Will
You can look up the Libet Experiments. There are many articles about that and videos as well.

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15-01-2013, 03:04 PM (This post was last modified: 15-01-2013 03:54 PM by Adenosis.)
RE: Free Will
(15-01-2013 01:33 AM)Ape_Linkin Wrote:  As an atheist in a free country I do, yes.

This reminds of of people that say "Well as a Christian..." Which really means "Well as a hypocrite" Tongue

(15-01-2013 01:54 AM)bbeljefe Wrote:  As for my opinion on free will.... yes, we do have it. And, in the interest of full disclosure, I haven't studied it from a biological standpoint at all and I haven't studied it a lot from a philosophical standpoint. The reason why is that seems to me to be an a priori conclusion. Plus, I have never heard or read a convincing (or even thought provoking) argument for determinism.

In fact, the very act of arguing for determinism is a proof of free will. If everything is fore ordained and human beings are simply lumps of carbon that have no more ability to change their trajectories than a rock rolling down a hill, what possible sense does it make to argue anything with anyone?

From a psychological position determinism is a convenient vehicle to a) forgive one's abusers their evil doing and, or b) forgive one's own evil doing.

What say you?

I certainly don't think 'the very act of arguing for determinism' is proof of free will. How does it?

My understanding of the universe is that it is governed by a set of laws, the laws of nature. Everything obeys these laws (at least I have seen no reason to believe some things are outside of them) and so the molecules inside the brain must also follow these laws. I see the brain as an extremely complex system of molecules that simply follow the laws of nature and nothing else. People might say that doesn't make sense, but really, how does the opposite make sense?

The organisms with genetic information that had better systems in place for doing things like food gathering, for communicating and overall for reproducing had their genomes passed down. The systems don't need to be (and aren't as far as we know) outside the laws of nature to work. So if we could develop accurate enough theories with 'equations' we would be able to determine exactly how a specific system (Brain) would react to a specific experience. The complexity of the brain means there would be an unimaginably large set of variables which makes it practically impossible. I think because of this complexity people are driven to believe in free will. It almost reminds me of the belief in god, things are too complex to be here without a god!

People will also say that they are making decisions consciously, but are they? Isn't the subconscious neurological activity 'processing' the 'decisions' and THEN it reaches conscious awareness. So our ability to consciously make decisions (or make decisions at all) would be an illusion.

Thing is, beliefs have strong influence on us, so someone that reads this might decide to do something like, not drink for awhile once they get thirsty in an attempt to prove this wrong. But if this view is right then the experience of reading this opinion may just add a new variable to the 'decision' making of the brain, causing it to 'prove' it's belief by doing something different like setting aside a urge that would normally be fulfilled. Problem is I don't know how this would be proven one way or the other.

Hope that all makes sense, That's my opinion on free will Tongue

Btw, I put decision(s) and processing in ' ' because I think they are just our interpretation of complecated, yet natural processes if that makes any sense. I don't think there are decisions really, just the output of the brain which is based on previous input and output(past experience) as well as the current input(the current situation).

(15-01-2013 01:55 AM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  Check out Sam Harris. Google his name and "Free Will" and you'll get a good place to start. Maybe read a book of his. Then check the bibliography for related sources if you wanna dig deeper. And since we're skeptics (well, I am; I don't know if you are), google stuff looking for neuroscientists who disagree with Mr. Harris. Read their stuff.

After that I'm stuck. I dunno crap about neuroscience, but I'm seriously man-crushed on Sam Harris; I put him right up there on a pedestal next to Carl Sagan, Alexander Alekhine, and Gandalf.

Note to self - I gotta get a chick up on one of those pedestals or you'll all get the misimpression that I'm gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Second note to self - don't put her next to Gandalf, I think that dude is a closet horn-dog.

Yeah, I've watched like, ALL the videos of Sam Harris on youtube and I'm currently reading 'The Moral Landscape'. I'm trying to find his book 'Free Will' but i cant find it!! Driving me crazy.

(15-01-2013 06:35 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  You can look up the Libet Experiments. There are many articles about that and videos as well.

Thanks, I'l check them out.

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15-01-2013, 04:03 PM
RE: Free Will
Bucky knows about this... he can probably help you out.

The answer being "no" because IRC there was something about us doing stuff before the brain had the chance to interpret what "it" was.

Might be wrong, though.

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15-01-2013, 04:06 PM
RE: Free Will
(15-01-2013 04:03 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  Bucky knows about this... he can probably help you out.

The answer being "no" because IRC there was something about us doing stuff before the brain had the chance to interpret what "it" was.

Might be wrong, though.
IRC?

What like reflex arc?

Also, wtf is your signature? hahah

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15-01-2013, 04:42 PM
RE: Free Will
(15-01-2013 04:06 PM)Aspchizo Wrote:  
(15-01-2013 04:03 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  Bucky knows about this... he can probably help you out.

The answer being "no" because IRC there was something about us doing stuff before the brain had the chance to interpret what "it" was.

Might be wrong, though.
IRC?

What like reflex arc?

Also, wtf is your signature? hahah
Sorry, IFC is an Internet acronym for "if I recall correctly". Actually, it's "IIRC". Oops, my bad.

And my sig is Benny Hinn using the Coat of Righteousness on sinners.

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