Free will or not?
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13-02-2015, 02:53 PM
RE: Free will or not?
(13-02-2015 12:18 PM)Dom Wrote:  
(13-02-2015 11:09 AM)Free Wrote:  Agreed.


Somewhat agree. Violent behavior may need to result in seclusion, with a job that does not interact with others.


I think it's relevant, since the OP is looking for answers.

If we go deeper into the question of Free Will or No Free Will, we perhaps should examine what would be considered the most basic attribute that exists within all sentient life.

Personally, I am of the opinion that the single most basic attribute of all sentient life is "self preservation." We are compelled to preserve our existence by all means possible, but we can also be compelled to extinguish our existence due to one reason only:

Pain.

From the very basic need to preserve ourselves, we only do two things to sustain our preservation:

1. Increase our pleasure.

2. Decrease our pain.


Self preservation is an unavoidable selfish act, but it can be countered by making a free will choice to end self preservation due to a high extent of pain, be it physical, or emotional.

Every last thing we do is a selfish act. We cannot ever perform a "selfless act." It is impossible for any sentient life to do anything that is not in its own best interests.

Therefore, we go through life either decreasing our pain, or finding ways to increase our pleasure. Whether we take our own lives via suicide to decrease the pain, or give a million dollars to charity to make ourselves feel the pleasure, all we do is simply one or both of those two things.

Therefore, we do have choices based upon the current environment. We can choose to override our sense of self preservation and die, or we can chose to live our lives via increasing our pleasures and decreasing our pains.

If an infinite an eternal universe is a reality- which I think it is- then everything is random, and the free will to make the choices I have noted above exists.

You are a random bundle of attributes. These attributes determine what you will do in any given situation. The situations are random. While there are innumerable possibilities, you still have no free will.

This does not make sense to me.

Since we have the ability to make an either/or choice, or choose to make no choice at all, we are employing reasoning to our decision making. If the possibilities are innumerable as you suggest (and I agree), then this suggests an origin of randomness.

Free will is best defined as an ability to choose based upon available information. In my previous pain/pleasure scenario, one could reason how much pain one wishes to decrease. For example, an investor might try to cut his losses today in an effort to avoid a greater loss in the future.

He makes a choice based upon available information. Now, if everything is random as presupposed, then the information he has would have come at him in random fashion, and then he exacts order out of the chaos, then makes a decision in favor of his own best interests.

Hence, if information required to make a decision is random, then to make a choice is dependent upon the available random information. The greater or lesser the information may be, will directly influence the choice that is made, and change it to certain degrees.

Therefore, it would appear to me that any and all abilities to make a choice depend upon available information. With no information at all, no choice can be made. But, with any degree of information at all, we have an option to choose our course of action.

It is the input of random amounts of information that invoke the free will to make a choice.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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13-02-2015, 04:12 PM
RE: Free will or not?
(13-02-2015 02:53 PM)Free Wrote:  
(13-02-2015 12:18 PM)Dom Wrote:  You are a random bundle of attributes. These attributes determine what you will do in any given situation. The situations are random. While there are innumerable possibilities, you still have no free will.

This does not make sense to me.

Since we have the ability to make an either/or choice, or choose to make no choice at all, we are employing reasoning to our decision making. If the possibilities are innumerable as you suggest (and I agree), then this suggests an origin of randomness.

Free will is best defined as an ability to choose based upon available information. In my previous pain/pleasure scenario, one could reason how much pain one wishes to decrease. For example, an investor might try to cut his losses today in an effort to avoid a greater loss in the future.

He makes a choice based upon available information. Now, if everything is random as presupposed, then the information he has would have come at him in random fashion, and then he exacts order out of the chaos, then makes a decision in favor of his own best interests.

Hence, if information required to make a decision is random, then to make a choice is dependent upon the available random information. The greater or lesser the information may be, will directly influence the choice that is made, and change it to certain degrees.

Therefore, it would appear to me that any and all abilities to make a choice depend upon available information. With no information at all, no choice can be made. But, with any degree of information at all, we have an option to choose our course of action.

It is the input of random amounts of information that invoke the free will to make a choice.

What you "choose" is predetermined by - well - you, the complete you.

So, there you are, you do research on the stock (if your unique properties allow/propel you to do so, and in the depth you are prone to do ) and the information is analyzed by your brain. (How much research you are likely to do already influences the "decision". Before you even start thinking your unique composition of traits has decided to research in depth or not.)

Your brain is however not limited to the information gleaned by your research or lack thereof. Many, many other factors come into play and get thrown onto that pile of info you collected. Your hormonal balance, which influences risk taking. The chemical balance in your brain, more seratonin and you will calmly take more risk, more adrenalin and you may get swept up in a rash decision, etc etc. Your general health or any specific health issues or disorders play into the decision to take risk or not. Your mom saying to play it safe or your dad saying no risk/no gain plays into it. And that is just scratching the surface of what all your wonderful brain utilizes to hand you a decision. Your brain knows everything you have long forgotten, i.e. what is not in your conscious mind anymore. You can't formulate it in a thought anymore, but you have a "gut feeling". That is about as aware as you will ever be of all the brain activity in the background - gut feelings which are influences from genes, chemicals and impressions you filed away long ago.

Everything you are is random - random genes, random physical attributes, random early environment, random nurture. Everything around you is equally random.

How random Free deals with the random events is predetermined by the composition of each. The random composite that is you encounters the random composite that is a stock. The outcome is predictable. (Or would be if we knew enough about how we function). You either shrug your shoulders and declare you don't buy stock, you consider it gambling. You may buy it because you are prone to gamble. The stock may have perfect properties for rising soon, but your risk taking tendencies are silenced because ill health influences risk taking. The name of the stock may even evoke distant childhood memories connected to a similar sounding word. All of this and much more influences your decision.

We are all evolutionary experiments, all different from each other to see which traits will better serve the survival of the species. Your decisions are predetermined by the unique, random composition of traits that make up Free.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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13-02-2015, 04:24 PM
RE: Free will or not?

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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13-02-2015, 04:24 PM
RE: Free will or not?
(13-02-2015 04:12 PM)Dom Wrote:  Your decisions are predetermined by the unique, random composition of traits that make up Free.

If this were true then one could not choose to change their mind upon the arrival of new information.

The ability to chose absolutely depends on current information. Certainly our random composition of traits influence our decision making, but they can not predetermine it because they do not have foreknowledge of future information.

The employment of free will to make a decision always happens in real time, and not from the random composition of traits that make us uniquely who we are, and real time decision making happens with real time information.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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13-02-2015, 04:26 PM
RE: Free will or not?
(13-02-2015 04:24 PM)Free Wrote:  
(13-02-2015 04:12 PM)Dom Wrote:  Your decisions are predetermined by the unique, random composition of traits that make up Free.

If this were true then one could not choose to change their mind upon the arrival of new information.

the ability to chose absolutely depends on current information. Certainly our random composition of traits influence our decision making, but they can not predetermine it because they do not have foreknowledge of future information.

The employment of free will to make a decision always happens in real time, and not from the random composition of traits that make us uniquely who we are, and real time decision making happens with real time information.

It is how you react to the current info that is predetermined. Whether you are flexible enough to change your mind is predetermined.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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13-02-2015, 04:30 PM
RE: Free will or not?
I am not talking about "fate". We are clear about that, right? I agree there is no such thing as predetermined fate because of the randomness.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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13-02-2015, 04:37 PM
RE: Free will or not?
(13-02-2015 04:26 PM)Dom Wrote:  It is how you react to the current info that is predetermined. Whether you are flexible enough to change your mind is predetermined.

I disagree. I can agree that the traits we acquired through life experience influence the choices we make with the current info, but they do not force us to make a choice beyond our control.

The average human is always flexible enough to change his/her mind, but any character traits we acquired through life experience can only influence- not force- the decisions we make with real-time information.

For example, a person who says, "Okay because of this new information, I will do as you suggest, but I do so against my better judgement" is making a decision against his life experience and acquired traits.

He is making a decision based solely upon new information, and suppressing his acquired traits to do so.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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13-02-2015, 04:39 PM
RE: Free will or not?
(13-02-2015 04:30 PM)Dom Wrote:  I am not talking about "fate". We are clear about that, right? I agree there is no such thing as predetermined fate because of the randomness.

Oh yes, I would never put "fate" upon you. We both know how stupid it is, so that never crossed my mind.

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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13-02-2015, 05:26 PM
RE: Free will or not?
The same laws that govern the entire universe will govern the brain; which is one with the cosmos.

The way I see it, the brain is a machine that will calculate and execute actions. Sensory input will provide variables for immediate consideration. However, the algorithms themselves are also dynamic. These algorithms will determine actions, but, the same exact set of variables given at a different place in time will be input into a unique algorithm, resulting in a potentially different result.

Memory and consideration of "choices" are likely illusory products of changes in the dynamic algorithms that are an individual. The ability to see multiple outcomes is not really evidence of choice or decision making. I think we act in the only way we can, as determined by the physical laws governing all of nature.

If the multiverse exists, then we do not forge a path based on decision. Instead, we are like recording devices, only capable of remembering the path we've taken. Every version of "you" will remember a set of events as "choices", but regardless of the perceived ability to decide, varying outcomes will likely only be products of quantum fluctuations causing the tiniest of variations in subatomics, both in the brain (affecting dynamic algorithms), and in the environment (affecting sensory input/variables).

But that's just the way I see it.
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13-02-2015, 05:56 PM
RE: Free will or not?
(13-02-2015 05:26 PM)WeAreTheCosmos Wrote:  The same laws that govern the entire universe will govern the brain; which is one with the cosmos.

The way I see it, the brain is a machine that will calculate and execute actions. Sensory input will provide variables for immediate consideration. However, the algorithms themselves are also dynamic. These algorithms will determine actions, but, the same exact set of variables given at a different place in time will be input into a unique algorithm, resulting in a potentially different result.

Memory and consideration of "choices" are likely illusory products of changes in the dynamic algorithms that are an individual. The ability to see multiple outcomes is not really evidence of choice or decision making. I think we act in the only way we can, as determined by the physical laws governing all of nature.

If the multiverse exists, then we do not forge a path based on decision. Instead, we are like recording devices, only capable of remembering the path we've taken. Every version of "you" will remember a set of events as "choices", but regardless of the perceived ability to decide, varying outcomes will likely only be products of quantum fluctuations causing the tiniest of variations in subatomics, both in the brain (affecting dynamic algorithms), and in the environment (affecting sensory input/variables).

But that's just the way I see it.

Quote:The ability to see multiple outcomes is not really evidence of choice or decision making.

They are mutually exclusive. That we can see multiple outcomes only gives us options from which to chose. The act of chosing from those options will always be based upon what is in our own best interests, or what we perceive to be in our own best interests.

Yet we can chose something that we percieve as not being in our own best interests. As in my example to Dom, one can make a choice even when his gut feeling tells him it's wrong. Those who make these types of choices are still doing so according to their own best interests because of faith in the random variable. In other words, he's taking a gamble.

For example, an investor has two choices. He can play it safe and make a little money, or he can take a gamble on a long-shot and make a ton of money. His gut instinct and life experience tell him he will likely lose his money on the long-shot, so why does he take the gamble anyway?

He makes the choice to gamble because he is compelled by his lust for more money. On another day, he would not take that gamble, but the random variables of the moment gave him the information to make the gamble.

Choices are always made in real-time, and not predetermined. Sure, they are influenced by previous life experience and the acquired traits, but they are not controlled by them.

Choices are controlled by the will to preserve ourselves.

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