Free will and god?
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25-11-2013, 12:03 AM
RE: Free will and god?
(24-11-2013 12:03 PM)Stevil Wrote:  But a person that believes in "free will" must believe that the "mind" has control and can exert force on the physical thus being a cause.

If and only if they define free will in contra-causal terms. There is no good reason to define free will in contra-causal terms. Contra-causal free will is incoherent.

Quote:This has every bearing on free will. If the "mind" is merely a conscious observer then it has no ability what-so-ever to make any decisions. It merely thinks it is making decisions. Which is why it is often described as the "illusion of free will".

If you want to do something and are able to do it and you do it then you have made a decision to do it. If you didn't want to do it you would have decided otherwise. There is no sense in which action that is unmotivated by anything represents freedom.

Quote:So without contra-causal free will we are no more capable of making any choices then a rock is capable of making any choices. The difference between us and the rock is that we think we are making choices where-as the rock is not fooled into this thinking.

A rock has no wants or needs. The error in your thinking is the idea that uncaused behaviour is free behaviour. That is an incoherent idea.

Quote:The metaphysical "self", the "conscious mind" is incapable of making choices, incapable of controlling the brain.

The absurdity of your argument can be shown by considering the alternative. Suppose your "conscious mind" could control the brain (whatever that idea means). How would you decide how to make it behave? What would motivate your executive decisions?

Quote:Thus we are merely meat based machines, the only "choices" we can make are very similar to the choices a computer program makes.

You are in effect arguing that if a choice has a reason, a motive, a cause it is not a choice. But a a meaningful and effective choice is one that is responsive. A random action that has not been determined by anything isn't a choice it is a random behaviour. In what sense is a random behaviour that is dissociated from all conceivable antecedents in the face of decision situation consistent with freedom?

Quote:In reality a computer program cannot make any choices it merely obeys its programming.

A computer program can be written to make choices, there are many such software. Many AI--e.g. in games--make choices. By your account of free will an AI is free if it exhibits a series of random behaviours that have no relationship to its environment. So a robot to you is free if it just does random things; if we use a source of genuine randomness and make that the driver of the robots behaviour then we have created something with free will?
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25-11-2013, 01:33 AM
RE: Free will and god?
(24-11-2013 12:39 PM)Stevil Wrote:  "WTF" you say as you realise that you aren't controlling the game, that instead it is the computer that is controlling your "mind" making you think it is you that is making the choices, making you "think" that you are controlling the game.

It is false to analogise your brain with an external influence. You are your brain.

Quote:This is what Chippy is referring to as "contra-causal" free will.
He recognises that "contra-causal" free will does not exist, because it is the machine that controls rather than the "mind".

Contra-causal free will doesn't exist because it is an incoherent concept. Your error is to assume that because humans don't have contra-causal free will they have no free will.

Quote:But it seems Chippy sees value in describing the "free will" of the character in the game, as if the character has the ability to choose to go right or left, or if something is forcing it to go in only one direction e.g. an unbeatable monster with big laser guns to the left.

Your analogy doesn't work. Human's have wants and their satisfaction can be frustrated by external coercion, compulsion, addiction, poverty, material shortages etc. If A did what she wanted then A acted freely. The ultimate origin of the wanting is irrelevant as all rational action is motivated by something.

Quote:But as we know the character makes no choices,

Only if you define the notion of a choice out of existence, as you have. Your idea that if a choice is motivated by anything it isn't free is misguided.

Quote:there is a program controlling the character. This program includes rules e.g. if likelihood of death to the left then go right. If right and left are valid options then run "random generator" sub program to decide which direction to go. The choice is thus already made because the program was written long ago. There is no spur of the moment decision being made instead the character is merely following the rules.

There is no "program" or pupper-master in life. Also, any (real) randomness is inconsistent with strict determinism so your analogy also fails on that account also.
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25-11-2013, 02:36 AM
RE: Free will and god?
(25-11-2013 01:33 AM)Chippy Wrote:  It is false to analogise your brain with an external influence. You are your brain.
No analogy is perfect, it merely served my purpose of explaining that the machine is autonomous and always obeys the laws of nature. The abstract concept of the mind (or self) is merely a conscious observer.

(25-11-2013 01:33 AM)Chippy Wrote:  Contra-causal free will doesn't exist because it is an incoherent concept.
It is not an incoherent concept. It exactly matches reality (in so far as we understand reality)

(25-11-2013 01:33 AM)Chippy Wrote:  Your error is to assume that because humans don't have contra-causal free will they have no free will.
The way you define the self (the brain) and free will (ability to think you are making decisions) in my opinion is viewing life, decision making from a conceptual viewpoint. Of course "life", "love", "hate", "purpose", "free will", "self", "moral obligation" all can only exist within an abstract conceptual viewpoint. When we get to the reality viewpoint "atoms", "electrons", "electromagnetic waves", "radioactive decay", "quantum fluctuations", "Probability wave functions" then life, emotions, self and choice do not make coherent sense.

You and I are merely looking at this from different viewpoints. I hold that free will and even life are merely illusionary, that every atom, every particle does as it must due to the natural forces influencing them. In reality we have no ability to change or influence things, we only do as we must.


(25-11-2013 01:33 AM)Chippy Wrote:  Also, any (real) randomness is inconsistent with strict determinism so your analogy also fails on that account also.
As I have already stated, I don't have to think everything is determined in order to reject the idea of free will. The predictably random events at the quantum level are not influenced or controlled by a person's will power thus free will has no influence over that either.
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26-11-2013, 03:14 AM
RE: Free will and god?
(25-11-2013 02:36 AM)Stevil Wrote:  I hold that free will and even life are merely illusionary,

Every dialogue with you, even if it doesn't start idiotically, will eventually become idiotic. That is consistent with you being an idiot as opposed to being an intelligent person that occasionally posts idiotic things. It's your consistent idiocy that commands respect. What I think is actually illusory is your intelligence. You are like a mirage. You promise something of substance but eventually the journey ends at the same place: idiocy. And I feel the fool for following. But if you look at my early posts in this thread I expressed a concern that we would eventually arrive where we have.

So you've figured out the life is merely an illusion?

There is a point in a discussion with an idiot that one risks participating in the idiocy and becoming an idiot--at least temporarily. I think we have definitely reached that point. Well done debasing another thread with your stupid posts.
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26-11-2013, 04:01 AM (This post was last modified: 26-11-2013 04:48 AM by Stevil.)
RE: Free will and god?
(26-11-2013 03:14 AM)Chippy Wrote:  There is a point in a discussion with an idiot that one risks participating in the idiocy and becoming an idiot--at least temporarily. I think we have definitely reached that point. Well done debasing another thread with your stupid posts.
Talking to you is just pointless. You have your philosophy and just think you are right, if anyone disagrees, you merely resort to personal attacks. It is so predictable and such a bore.

I understand what you are trying to assert with your insistence on free will, on morality, on the specialness of life, but it only holds water in a conceptual view abstract from reality.
When we actually take an objective scientific view of reality, even life becomes impossible to pin down http://www.astrobio.net/exclusive/344/defining-life.
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26-11-2013, 06:45 AM (This post was last modified: 26-11-2013 06:57 AM by houseofcantor.)
RE: Free will and god?
^Old married couple. Dodgy

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26-11-2013, 06:55 AM (This post was last modified: 26-11-2013 08:32 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Free will and god?
(26-11-2013 06:45 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  ^Old married couple. Dodgy


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26-11-2013, 06:58 AM
RE: Free will and god?
I don't know where that k came from. Angel

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26-11-2013, 08:31 AM
RE: Free will and god?
(26-11-2013 06:58 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  I don't know where that k came from. Angel

Got ya before you edited it... Wink But I'll be nice....



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26-11-2013, 11:00 AM
RE: Free will and god?
In regards to this question of Free will, I suppose it really depends on which school of thought people subscribe to.

From a scientific point of view, if you have accepted The Big Bang as the origin of existence, then Free Will cannot mathematically exist. The reasoning is because all things have been predetermined from the first strike that ignited the Big Bang, much the same way as striking the cue ball in a pool game and knowing what the outcome will be. It's like a domino effect; one thing is the cause of the next thing, and so on.

However, if you are from the school of thought (such as I am) that existence itself has never been created and will never be destroyed, and that all matter and energy in existence is in a constant sate of eternal flux, then it is possible that Free Will can exist as long as order has not come out of chaos.

Where ever there is order, there can be no free will. Order is the catalyst of the domino effect. It's all about Randomness and Determinism. If, for the most part, existence is random, then Free Will can exist within the randomness. However, when order is created by any external means, then all things have become predetermined from that point on.

In the final analysis, Free Will can both exist and not exist at the same time, depending on the circumstances.

How can anyone become an atheist when we were all born with no religious beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were ...
BORN THIS WAY
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