What, Exactly, is "Free Will?"
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18-09-2013, 02:35 PM
RE: What, Exactly, is "Free Will?"
(18-09-2013 02:08 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  I think I agree with all the above.

Holy... Big Grin

(18-09-2013 02:08 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Why? That isn't a struggle for creatures without god. That's the way it should have evolved.

I should have clarified: As a theist, I struggled with...

(18-09-2013 02:08 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  God grants such gifts at times. Watch a movie and see. Smile Or read about people who through "surges of adrenalin" lift cars off trapped children with their hands.

Those aren't gifts, or even supernatural. Show me a 50 pound child lifting a car of him/herself. That would defy both biology and basic physics, and you'd have a case for your statement. "Lifting a car" is actually "tilting a car." The amount of force required to tilt a car is big, but it's not superhuman. Spend an hour at a gym and you'll see average looking people move hundreds of pounds while not under duress. It's not a stretch to think adrenaline would augment that strength.

(18-09-2013 02:08 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  That sounds great but what does it mean or imply? God gave us EXACTLY the free will you outlined.

It implies that if something is "given" to you, it's not really "freedom." Kind of like someone sitting in a jail cell saying "I've been given the freedom to roam around in here." At least, that's my interpretation.

(18-09-2013 02:08 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  But there are certainly also options one has control over. For example, you just said you object that "god" allows a strong person to impose THEIR WILL over the weak. So how did they do so without exercising THEIR WILL? Are you saying some hurt the weak by accident or fate?

The problem is that if free will is so important that god will not intervene, then by default only the physically strong and powerful truly have free will. The weak are screwed.

(18-09-2013 02:08 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  And it also ignores science that suggests we indeed make conscious and subconscious and even unconscious choices.

An unconscious choice is not really a 'choice,' is it? I'll let the brain science people answer this one...

(18-09-2013 02:08 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  PS. Jesus died for god's sin, so he paid for which he is culpable.

I'd paste another Spock picture here but I can't find the appropriate reaction.

If Jesus died for our sins, why is there still sin? If man was created from dust, why is there still dust? If Americans came from Europe, why are there still Europeans?
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18-09-2013, 02:38 PM (This post was last modified: 18-09-2013 02:42 PM by Raptor Jesus.)
RE: What, Exactly, is "Free Will?"
In order for people to have "free will", in the modern day Christian context of "free will", then "God" will have to have given up at least some of his power, which means "God" ceases to be all powerful. There is what "he" has choosen for how he wants the universe to be, but allows man to do things differently than he designs, at least in a small way. In order to do that "God" must give up that portion of power, "his" control over the universe, and give it to man. (caveat/of course this is all bullshit)

Unless, in order for "God" to remain all powerful, "God" controles everything everyone does, but does it in such a way as to give us the illusion of "free will", but really we only think we have it because "God" directs it to make it seems as thought we made our own choices. In that way "God' remains all powerful, and all knowing. If he doesn't, he's not.

A) "God" is all knowing/all powerful = there is no such thing as "free will"
B) We have "free will" = "God" is not all knowing/not all powerful

( C) There is no "God")

...
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18-09-2013, 02:55 PM
RE: What, Exactly, is "Free Will?"
There is no such thing as "free will" at all. There is such a thing as "individual will".

Your choices are predetermined by the hardware and software in your brain.

The hardware is determined by your genes, your personal ancestral evolution. The software is comprised of the sum total of all your experiences and what you have learned.

These two work together to come up with solutions to all things you encounter. The way they function together is unique to you, as your genes are unique and your experiences are unique.

People mistake this uniqueness for freedom.

Yes, you make choices every day. They are based on what your hardware permits and what your software contains. Since others don't make the exact same combination of choices, you may figure that this is due to "free will". It is not. You can only work with what you've got.

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18-09-2013, 05:37 PM
RE: What, Exactly, is "Free Will?"
I'm going through Sam Harris's hour long video on Free Will and I will be making a few comments along the way.

He says "The popular conception of free will seems to rest on two assumptions"
1) Each of us is free to behave differently than we did in the past,
You became a fireman but you could have become a policeman. You chose chocolate but you could have chosen vanilla
2) We are the conscious source of our thoughts and actions
Your experience of wanting to do something is the cause for you to do that something.
You desire to move and then you move.

He goes on to say that both of these assumptions are untrue.
Either our wills are determined by a long chain of prior causes and we're not responsible for them or they are the product of chance and we're not responsible for them or some combination of chance and determinism

It is at this point I will jump in and say that I think he's creating a strawman of what free will is.
Free will is the ability to make a choice. We make thousands of them every day and if we couldn't, we wouldn't be able to get out of bed.
Without free will, we can't consider the consequences of our actions

Our will, the choices we make, are not determined by a long chain of prior causes.
A man who has been exercising for the past year has made a conscious choice to not have any ice cream.
He walks into an ice cream shop and feels the temptation to purchase a small scoop of his favorite ice cream.
His prior actions have been to not buy the ice cream. He hasn't bought ice cream because he considered what this action would do to his exercise plan. He is free to get the ice cream. His brain has the desire to get the ice cream. It even has the flavor of ice cream all picked out, but where there is free will, there is also SELF CONTROL. He ultimately has to make the choice. Part of his brain is telling him to stick to his plan. Another part is urging him to get just a small dish "You can workout extra hard tomorrow".

He can even take the choice out of his hands if he wants. He can flip a coin and decide to abide by a random chance that he has no control over. He can even decide after the coin is flipped to ignore the coin toss if he doesn't like the outcome.

Somewhere along the line, he will make a choice and for the sake of argument, let's say he decides to break his plan and get some ice cream. He always gets his favorite, chocolate swirl with chocolate covered peanuts mixed in. As he is about to order, he sees a sign show casing a new flavor. At this moment, something changes in his choices. He ponders breaking his plan and if he's going to break it, it should be with something he's never had before.

As he steps up to order a scoop of this NEW ice cream, the young man behind the counter says "What be your poison" ? in a pirate accent.
The word poison triggers all kinds of reactions in his brain. Unconsciously his mind might flash to last Halloween when he dressed up as a pirate and the feelings of how much fun he had could be at the forefront of his desire OR consciously he could be remembering his original pledge to his exercise plan, cutting out all "poisons" that make his workouts less effective..

What he ultimately decides will be his choice because he is free to make a choice. He can use his self control to curb his desires or take a break from it all and enjoy the moment.
We don't have to be the authors of our thoughts to have the self control to say or not say any thing that comes to our mind.
If we spoke every random thought out loud, we would be social out casts. We wouldn't last long at our jobs, more than likely cussing our bosses out the moment we felt like it. We make choices about what to say and when to say it or to say nothing at all, when on the inside our minds are screaming out to tell the person in front of us in the check out lane, "OMG did you even look in a mirror before you stepped out in public. Like WTF" ? or "I noticed that you like pineapples. Is there anyway you could give me a hand job before my ice cream melts"

Self control is the way we exercise free will.

Going swimming and holding your breath under water is an example of self control over the desires of what your body wants to naturally do.
Your lungs want to take in new air. You are consciously stopping them.

A person is responsible for conscious decisions they make when they are fully aware of the consequences of those actions.
A person can also be responsible for actions they don't take. Such as the cases of people who don't intervene when someone is being raped
or a parent who refuses to get their child medical treatment, but instead prays them to death.
(My new bumper sticker - if you believe god made hospitals, then you shouldn't turn away from god's work)

Ok, back on point.

If someone has no choice but to do everything I tell them to do (from some futuristic brain surgery), he or she has no free will.
If I tell someone to do something, he or she has the choice to either do it or not do it. He or she has free will.

That's about it.

PS. If I had gone through all of the hour long video from Sam Harris, this post would be 5 pages long.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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18-09-2013, 06:02 PM (This post was last modified: 18-09-2013 06:07 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: What, Exactly, is "Free Will?"
Whatever it is, it is not what I think it is, not what I think it is at all. It's an entirely different beast which I think may be even more elegant than I can imagine and indicate I am likely much much more than I think I am. Neuroscience of free will

(18-09-2013 05:37 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  Self control is the way we exercise free will.

That's "free won't". Turns out it may be just as illusory as "free will". There Is No Free Won’t: Antecedent Brain Activity Predicts Decisions to Inhibit.

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18-09-2013, 06:20 PM (This post was last modified: 18-09-2013 07:37 PM by TheGulegon.)
RE: What, Exactly, is "Free Will?"
(18-09-2013 02:55 PM)Dom Wrote:  There is no such thing as "free will" at all. There is such a thing as "individual will".

Your choices are predetermined by the hardware and software in your brain.

The hardware is determined by your genes, your personal ancestral evolution. The software is comprised of the sum total of all your experiences and what you have learned.

These two work together to come up with solutions to all things you encounter. The way they function together is unique to you, as your genes are unique and your experiences are unique.

People mistake this uniqueness for freedom.

Yes, you make choices every day. They are based on what your hardware permits and what your software contains. Since others don't make the exact same combination of choices, you may figure that this is due to "free will". It is not. You can only work with what you've got.

Then what should we call it when a person is free to make all those predetermined "choices"?
As opposed to when the choices are made for them by others with their own predetermined reactions to stimuli? (and possibly their own predetermined opinions on what the subject's final choice should be? idk)
I'm thinking of something like prison, but I'm sure there's some other way to take away all the choices save the one you wish the subject to "think" about, &/or mull over. (or even take away every decision save the one that won't cause severe harm to the subject....I wouldn't think being predispositioned 'not to die' would count, but again, idk).

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18-09-2013, 08:10 PM
RE: What, Exactly, is "Free Will?"
(18-09-2013 06:20 PM)TheGulegon Wrote:  
(18-09-2013 02:55 PM)Dom Wrote:  There is no such thing as "free will" at all. There is such a thing as "individual will".

Your choices are predetermined by the hardware and software in your brain.

The hardware is determined by your genes, your personal ancestral evolution. The software is comprised of the sum total of all your experiences and what you have learned.

These two work together to come up with solutions to all things you encounter. The way they function together is unique to you, as your genes are unique and your experiences are unique.

People mistake this uniqueness for freedom.

Yes, you make choices every day. They are based on what your hardware permits and what your software contains. Since others don't make the exact same combination of choices, you may figure that this is due to "free will". It is not. You can only work with what you've got.

Then what should we call it when a person is free to make all those predetermined "choices"?
As opposed to when the choices are made for them by others with their own predetermined reactions to stimuli? (and possibly their own predetermined opinions on what the subject's final choice should be? idk)
I'm thinking of something like prison, but I'm sure there's some other way to take away all the choices save the one you wish the subject to "think" about, &/or mull over. (or even take away every decision save the one that won't cause severe harm to the subject....I wouldn't think being predispositioned 'not to die' would count, but again, idk).

Well, that's just freedom.

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18-09-2013, 08:24 PM
RE: What, Exactly, is "Free Will?"
Free will is something we tell ourselves we have so we can assign blame to others, punish people, reward people and to remain convinced that we have ultimate power over our actions, thoughts, words, etc. Forget God, Free Will is the great illusion.

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18-09-2013, 08:29 PM
RE: What, Exactly, is "Free Will?"
(18-09-2013 08:24 PM)Dark Light Wrote:  Free will is something we tell ourselves we have so we can assign blame to others, punish people, reward people and to remain convinced that we have ultimate power over our actions, thoughts, words, etc. Forget God, Free Will is the great illusion.

I think that's right. Thumbsup

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18-09-2013, 08:36 PM (This post was last modified: 18-09-2013 09:08 PM by TheGulegon.)
RE: What, Exactly, is "Free Will?"
(18-09-2013 08:10 PM)Dom Wrote:  
(18-09-2013 06:20 PM)TheGulegon Wrote:  Then what should we call it when a person is free to make all those predetermined "choices"?
As opposed to when the choices are made for them by others with their own predetermined reactions to stimuli? (and possibly their own predetermined opinions on what the subject's final choice should be? idk)
I'm thinking of something like prison, but I'm sure there's some other way to take away all the choices save the one you wish the subject to "think" about, &/or mull over. (or even take away every decision save the one that won't cause severe harm to the subject....I wouldn't think being predispositioned 'not to die' would count, but again, idk).

Well, that's just freedom.

There could never be an equal number of predispositions accumulated for two different choices that appear on both ends of a decision/logic tree's final 2 path's to take? I know there are a few black & white choices I don't really care all that much about enough to even make a choice at all, but would do so randomly, if I absolutely had to. And might even make the decision to make THAT decision, or leave it to another to make, based on a flip of the coin.
I'm not trying to be an ass, I'm just asking. It just seems like free will would come into play when your predispositions left you with an "I don't give a shit one way or the other" attitude toward the choices.
Specifically when the choice made has no bearing, or consequence, on you, personally. Effectively leaving 0 + or - stimuli for you to have to react to, or avoid, or seek out.

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