What, Exactly, is "Free Will?"
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22-09-2013, 04:01 PM
RE: What, Exactly, is "Free Will?"
(22-09-2013 03:16 PM)black_squirrel Wrote:  To all those who claim to control me. Force me to quote a full sentence of the bible, if you want to prove your claim.

Pfff, maybe I will, maybe I won't. I'm known to act erratically at times. Of course... I did make you post this.

You are a slave to the laws of the universe. You bend to the laws of physics in the same way you bend to me.

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22-09-2013, 04:19 PM (This post was last modified: 22-09-2013 08:35 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: What, Exactly, is "Free Will?"
(21-09-2013 08:02 PM)Free Wrote:  I would think there are two schools of thought in regards to the issue of free will.

But ... does it actually exist?

That depends ...

In my humble opinion, it all goes back to whether or not if you believe that the Big Bang was the origin of existence. If you think it was, then existence- as we know it- is finite because it has a beginning. If it had a beginning, then everything that has occurred throughout history is the direct result of the first spark igniting the Big Bang, and everything that has ever happened in history has been predetermined.

Essentially, this means that nothing is random, and therefore ... there can be no free will. History is merely a chain reaction and everything happened exactly as it should have due to the very first spark.

But on the other hand ...

If you come from the school of thought that the universe is infinite, and that the Big Bang was merely one instance in an infinite series of Big Bangs, then nothing can be predetermined, and therefore everything is random chance. In this case, free will exists for the simple reason that it could not have been influenced by determinism.

And since we have not actually found any boundary to the universe as of yet, the evidence appears to indicate at this time that the universe is infinite.

Therefore at this point in time according to the current state of our knowledge, if we had to keep score in regards to the question of whether or not free will exists, the score would be close, and look like this:

Free Will Exists: 1
No Free Will: 0

I agree with the outcome, not at all with the reasoning.
Just because there was a Big Bang, that in no way excludes "randomness". If real randomness, (by definition) is part of the structure of this universe, your first premise is out. If a "super-structure of non-randomness" is part of a super-structure of multiverses, that doesn't preclude non-randomness there. Either one could be either way.

The point is, according to religious Moral dogma, (the ones I know about anyway), a moral choice involves "full knowledge", and "full consent". If we are not consciously aware of all the elements of a decision at the time it's made, the Moral choice argument is crap.

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22-09-2013, 08:27 PM
RE: What, Exactly, is "Free Will?"
Nothing is random. Random is an idea. It is something we use when figuring out the math is just too damn hard.

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22-09-2013, 08:35 PM
RE: What, Exactly, is "Free Will?"
(22-09-2013 07:15 AM)black_squirrel Wrote:  I cannot speak for others, but I DO have free will.
Try to control me and you will be unsuccessful.

The problem is that 'you' do not control 'yourself'. I do not need to control you, you do not control yourself, and neither do I control the authorship of my own thoughts.

Your thoughts, the basis of your actions, simply emerge out of your consciousness without you authoring them. Your subconscious is controlled by the chemical reaction in your brain, something you also do not consciously control. You may think you control your thoughts and actions, such as posting here on this forum, but the basis for those thoughts that lead to those actions; you did not author those thoughts either. That would require you to think your thoughts before you think them.

And as Bucky has said, in light of this information, the moral arguments from freewill fall apart under this paradigm.

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22-09-2013, 08:36 PM
RE: What, Exactly, is "Free Will?"
(22-09-2013 08:27 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  Nothing is random. Random is an idea. It is something we use when figuring out the math is just too damn hard.

Actually that's very true. There are only probabilities.

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22-09-2013, 08:48 PM
RE: What, Exactly, is "Free Will?"
(22-09-2013 04:19 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(21-09-2013 08:02 PM)Free Wrote:  I would think there are two schools of thought in regards to the issue of free will.

But ... does it actually exist?

That depends ...

In my humble opinion, it all goes back to whether or not if you believe that the Big Bang was the origin of existence. If you think it was, then existence- as we know it- is finite because it has a beginning. If it had a beginning, then everything that has occurred throughout history is the direct result of the first spark igniting the Big Bang, and everything that has ever happened in history has been predetermined.

Essentially, this means that nothing is random, and therefore ... there can be no free will. History is merely a chain reaction and everything happened exactly as it should have due to the very first spark.

But on the other hand ...

If you come from the school of thought that the universe is infinite, and that the Big Bang was merely one instance in an infinite series of Big Bangs, then nothing can be predetermined, and therefore everything is random chance. In this case, free will exists for the simple reason that it could not have been influenced by determinism.

And since we have not actually found any boundary to the universe as of yet, the evidence appears to indicate at this time that the universe is infinite.

Therefore at this point in time according to the current state of our knowledge, if we had to keep score in regards to the question of whether or not free will exists, the score would be close, and look like this:

Free Will Exists: 1
No Free Will: 0

I agree with the outcome, not at all with the reasoning.
Just because there was a Big Bang, that in no way excludes "randomness". If real randomness, (by definition) is part of the structure of this universe, your first premise is out. If a "super-structure of non-randomness is part of a super-structure of multi universes, that doesn't preclude non-randomness there. Either one could be either way.

The point is, according to religious Moral dogma, (the ones I know about anyway), a moral choice involves "full knowledge", and "full consent". If we are not consciously aware of all the elements of a decision at the time it's made, the Moral choice argument is crap.

Firstly, you must understand that if the universe is infinite, then it follows that it is also eternal. If the universe is both infinite and eternal, then there is absolutely no structure whatsoever. It is mathematically impossible for universal structure to exist when there is no beginning, no ending, and no boundaries.

Hence again, in an infinite/eternal universe the master is always chaos in which randomness rules. In this scenario, order can come from chaos in the form of free will.


But if we accept the Big Bang as the origin of existence, then everything that has happened throughout history has happened exactly the way it was supposed to happen. It is not unlike playing a game of pool in which one ball strikes another ball a certain way, and the outcome will always be precisely what it should be. It cannot be changed no matter what you do. The ball will always go exactly where it should go because of the way it was originally hit.

That is not free will because the result has been predetermined.

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22-09-2013, 11:08 PM
What, Exactly, is "Free Will?"
(22-09-2013 08:35 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(22-09-2013 07:15 AM)black_squirrel Wrote:  I cannot speak for others, but I DO have free will.
Try to control me and you will be unsuccessful.

The problem is that 'you' do not control 'yourself'. I do not need to control you, you do not control yourself, and neither do I control the authorship of my own thoughts.

Your thoughts, the basis of your actions, simply emerge out of your consciousness without you authoring them. Your subconscious is controlled by the chemical reaction in your brain, something you also do not consciously control. You may think you control your thoughts and actions, such as posting here on this forum, but the basis for those thoughts that lead to those actions; you did not author those thoughts either. That would require you to think your thoughts before you think them.

And as Bucky has said, in light of this information, the moral arguments from freewill fall apart under this paradigm.

I AM my counsciousness, my subconsciousness and the chemical reactions of my brain. These things cannot control me, because they ARE me.
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23-09-2013, 12:39 AM (This post was last modified: 23-09-2013 03:14 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: What, Exactly, is "Free Will?"
(22-09-2013 11:08 PM)black_squirrel Wrote:  I AM my counsciousness, my subconsciousness and the chemical reactions of my brain. These things cannot control me, because they ARE me.

Then you have to realize that you don't control you either, not consciously. And if your actions are being influenced by things you cannot control, by those base chemical reactions at the level of your neurons, where comes your freedom of will?

If you don't control the neurons that determine the choices you make, how are you really choosing? Simply put, you are not, and your freewill is an illusion; a mental and social construct. It's just as illusory as the solidity of objects; they only appear solid because we lack the perception to view them at the atomic level, even though we know atoms are mostly empty space.

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23-09-2013, 09:20 AM
RE: What, Exactly, is "Free Will?"
(23-09-2013 12:39 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(22-09-2013 11:08 PM)black_squirrel Wrote:  I AM my counsciousness, my subconsciousness and the chemical reactions of my brain. These things cannot control me, because they ARE me.

Then you have to realize that you don't control you either, not consciously. And if your actions are being influenced by things you cannot control, by those base chemical reactions at the level of your neurons, where comes your freedom of will?

If you don't control the neurons that determine the choices you make, how are you really choosing? Simply put, you are not, and your freewill is an illusion; a mental and social construct. It's just as illusory as the solidity of objects; they only appear solid because we lack the perception to view them at the atomic level, even though we know atoms are mostly empty space.

But I DO control the neurons in my brain. Depending on what I decide to think on, neurons will fire in different parts of my brain.

The solidity of objects is not more of an illusion than the "empty space" on the atomic level. The solid perception is validated when we hit a wall with our fists.
The "empty space" perception is validated by shooting tiny particles at a wall.
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23-09-2013, 11:32 AM
RE: What, Exactly, is "Free Will?"
(23-09-2013 09:20 AM)black_squirrel Wrote:  But I DO control the neurons in my brain. Depending on what I decide to think on, neurons will fire in different parts of my brain.

The solidity of objects is not more of an illusion than the "empty space" on the atomic level. The solid perception is validated when we hit a wall with our fists.
The "empty space" perception is validated by shooting tiny particles at a wall.


No, you don't control them, any more than you can control the beating of your heart or the release of your hormones or adrenaline. Your thoughts, consciousness, memories, and experiences can have an effect on those neurons, but even then you cannot be sure of what affect and to what extent. Are you making red blood cells right now? Your body is. Are you responsible for the decision to do this? I don't think so, and if your body stopped doing this, you would be a victim of biology and not of your own freewill.

I could ask you what your favorite videogame, or movie, or book is. I would ask you this and then after second, thoughts will just start to arise out of your subconscious. You don't have control over whichever of the hundreds (if not thousands) of possible choices you are aware of that will ultimately arise. Say you picked a movie like Star Wars. Well, why didn't you pick one of the other movies you had been thinking about? Why did you choose Star Wars over Die Hard or Terminator? Why didn't you choose another movie that your are aware exists, like Jurassic Park or Independence Day, but that didn't happen to arise in your thoughts?

If you do not know what your brain is going to do next, you are not in control of your brain. The same reasoning applies to a soul if one wishes to posit one.

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