Free Will
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27-04-2010, 01:19 PM
 
RE: Free Will
I suppose that I'm arguing that free will is the ability to subvert 'natural' memes in place of artificial ones. Humanity is certainly reactive, but it is not strictly automaton like in nature; if it was, then I would likely not be having this conversation with you.
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27-04-2010, 01:43 PM
RE: Free Will
(27-04-2010 01:19 PM)Grassharpper Wrote:  Thanks Unbeliever--I think I'm getting a better grasp of this concept. As far as dreams changing my conception of what 'human' is, I guess I was referring to the ever-expanding variety of perspectives and perceptions that one can freely chose from when arriving in some of these intense and vivid awakenings. But that wouldn't prove free will as I'm now understanding this, but probably supports the opposite. I'll keep trying to wrap my head around this crap.

It is kind of a mind-bender when you start to think about it at first - not really because it doesn't make sense, but because you've been brought up your entire life to think that you have free will. It's not even something exclusive to theism. I know many atheists who support free will, though, like I said, I haven't seen anyone make a substantial case in its favor as of yet.

(27-04-2010 01:19 PM)Ceryle Wrote:  I suppose that I'm arguing that free will is the ability to subvert 'natural' memes in place of artificial ones.

Can you expand further on this? What do you mean by natural and artifical memes? How does it do this?

Quote:Humanity is certainly reactive, but it is not strictly automaton like in nature; if it was, then I would likely not be having this conversation with you.

Why?

"Sometimes it is better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness."
- Terry Pratchett
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27-04-2010, 04:10 PM
 
RE: Free Will
In the strictest sense of the word; everything is due the principle of causality. Beginning prior to the big bang, all the way up until a particular event takes place. Everything in between is merely a direct result of something having already occurred, infinitely evermore.

Similarly, if we look at yesterday, from todays perspective, then we can see that every event that did take place, was guaranteed to have occurred. There simply was no other alternative to what occurred, because it did occur. Tomorrow I could look back upon today, and see that although I had the option of not typing out this message, I in fact did do so; therefore any other possibility of what I could have done is null, because I did not do it; having chosen to type this message instead.

What I was speaking of, when I said free will, and the subversion of natural memes, was that although the events that would take place are already frozen in time, be they in the past or future, the range of options that we may choose for those events, is within the range of our subverting capabilities. In other words, we may perform an action, but the potential of the event itself, is only limited by biological, evolutionary, and universal parameters.

So...either I am actually making sense here, or I am full of crap and have gone down one of the strangest paths that I have followed to date; intellectually speaking.
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27-04-2010, 04:59 PM
RE: Free Will
(27-04-2010 04:10 PM)Ceryle Wrote:  In the strictest sense of the word; everything is due the principle of causality. Beginning prior to the big bang, all the way up until a particular event takes place. Everything in between is merely a direct result of something having already occurred, infinitely evermore.

Similarly, if we look at yesterday, from todays perspective, then we can see that every event that did take place, was guaranteed to have occurred. There simply was no other alternative to what occurred, because it did occur. Tomorrow I could look back upon today, and see that although I had the option of not typing out this message, I in fact did do so; therefore any other possibility of what I could have done is null, because I did not do it; having chosen to type this message instead.

Yes. But this part of your post stands at odds with what follows:

Quote:What I was speaking of, when I said free will, and the subversion of natural memes, was that although the events that would take place are already frozen in time, be they in the past or future, the range of options that we may choose for those events, is within the range of our subverting capabilities.

If everything is deterministic (follows causality), there can be no "subverting capabilities". To choose an action not mandated by causality would violate causality. Or am I misunderstanding what you mean by "subverting capabilities"?

"Sometimes it is better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness."
- Terry Pratchett
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27-04-2010, 05:05 PM
 
RE: Free Will
Subverting our evolutionary constraints.
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27-04-2010, 05:06 PM
RE: Free Will
(27-04-2010 05:05 PM)Ceryle Wrote:  Subverting our evolutionary constraints.

What?

"Sometimes it is better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness."
- Terry Pratchett
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27-04-2010, 05:10 PM
 
RE: Free Will
For example the ability to subvert the concept of self preservation, for the survival of the military.
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27-04-2010, 05:35 PM
RE: Free Will
(27-04-2010 05:10 PM)Ceryle Wrote:  For example the ability to subvert the concept of self preservation, for the survival of the military.

Okay. But how is this evidence of free will?

"Sometimes it is better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness."
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27-04-2010, 05:52 PM
 
RE: Free Will
What I was speaking of, when I said free will, and the subversion of natural memes, was that although the events that would take place are already frozen in time, be they in the past or future, the range of options that we may choose for those events, is within the range of our subverting capabilities. In other words, we may perform an action, but the potential of the event itself, is only limited by biological, evolutionary, and universal parameters.
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27-04-2010, 06:32 PM
 
RE: Free Will
I'm feeling inspired to throw in my two cents... Smile

I'm with Unbeliever in believing in determinism, insofar that our past experiences help us 'determine' our next decision for a similar situation.

However, what about situations that we have never found ourselves in? Unique ones that come up randomly that we have no frame of reference to assist us? If we have never been through a certain situation, how do we know what the right reaction is? Unfortunately, there have been so many different situations occur in this world that, one way or another, we have been exposed to them. This means that there would be rare situations that we would not have been exposed to at one point or another. I'm speaking from and adult perspective.

From a children's perspective, classic examples would be the carelessness that children (toddlers, specifically) display. For example, touching a hot surface, or not holding on to the bannister when climbing down the stairs...these are things our parents teach us how to avoid or teach us the consequences of when they see us about to get hurt. As a parent, I can say that you can't warn your kids of EVERY danger out there, so in some cases (hopefully not the most hurtful) it is 'live and learn' for the child. But, it is at that moment that free will diminishes and determinism kicks in...next time the child finds themselves in that same situation, they most likely take steps to avoid getting hurt...they 'determine' that it didn't feel good last time, likely this won't change this time around.

Random ramblings from the Man of Steel. Smile
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