Yet another post on "Free Will"
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05-12-2015, 02:39 PM
RE: Yet another post on "Free Will"
(05-12-2015 02:32 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(05-12-2015 02:21 PM)wallym Wrote:  If I asked you to believe in God, could you do it?

Sure. Not a problem. Would I? Why would I?

Let's say a specific Cow in Idaho facing north provides ample reason why you should believe in God. You won't have a problem believing that either, I assume.

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05-12-2015, 02:42 PM
RE: Yet another post on "Free Will"
(05-12-2015 02:39 PM)wallym Wrote:  
(05-12-2015 02:32 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Sure. Not a problem. Would I? Why would I?

Let's say a specific Cow in Idaho facing north provides ample reason why you should believe in God. You won't have a problem believing that either, I assume.

I'd have to meet with The Cow face-to-snout first.

#sigh
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05-12-2015, 02:45 PM
RE: Yet another post on "Free Will"
I don't believe in "free will" for the reasons you have stated 666, however I still think we are allowed a certain amount of flexibility, which to me I can only describe as "emerging and adaptation" but at the crux is a self serving, survival mechanism. I will give you two examples.

1: The person is 40 years old and has smoked cigarettes for 20 years. They have learned and programmed themselves to smoke and perceive smoking as having positive benefits in their lives (Gives them something to do, relieves stress, keeps weight off etc etc) Yet one day, they decide to stop. The justification that may be used (life extension) was always known but overlooked. Where does free will fit in here? As it goes against twenty years of programming?

2: As a youngster the person has an negative encounter with a dog. They have learnt, based upon past experience that dogs = danger = fight or flight. When confronted with a dog their sympathetic nervous response kicks in and their body reacts to the perceived threat. However the person can keep consciously control and steady their breathing and gain some semblance of control back. How does free will work here? As it goes against everything known.

I feel so much, and yet I feel nothing.
I am a rock, I am the sky, the birds and the trees and everything beyond.
I am the wind, in the fields in which I roar. I am the water, in which I drown.
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05-12-2015, 02:47 PM
RE: Yet another post on "Free Will"
(05-12-2015 02:42 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(05-12-2015 02:39 PM)wallym Wrote:  Let's say a specific Cow in Idaho facing north provides ample reason why you should believe in God. You won't have a problem believing that either, I assume.

I'd have to meet with The Cow face-to-snout first.

False! We've already established you can just choose to believe what I'm telling you.

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05-12-2015, 02:59 PM (This post was last modified: 05-12-2015 03:20 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Yet another post on "Free Will"
(05-12-2015 02:47 PM)wallym Wrote:  
(05-12-2015 02:42 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  I'd have to meet with The Cow face-to-snout first.

False! We've already established you can just choose to believe what I'm telling you.

I've stipulated that I can believe anything I will, you got nothing to do with it or any influence whatsoever. The question is what is this will? And what are its limitations.

#sigh
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05-12-2015, 03:32 PM
RE: Yet another post on "Free Will"
(05-12-2015 02:59 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(05-12-2015 02:47 PM)wallym Wrote:  False! We've already established you can just choose to believe what I'm telling you.

I've stipulated that I can believe anything I will, you got nothing to do with it or any influence whatsoever. The question is what is this will? And what are its limitations.

You using your will to believe me when I tell you the cow facing north is a good enough reason to believe in God has nothing to do with me. It's just you applying your will to believe something you currently don't.

It'd be weird if there were limits on that. You could believe in a God, but not in the north facing cow? Personally, I don't think your initial analysis on your ability to believe in God on demand is accurate.

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05-12-2015, 05:37 PM
RE: Yet another post on "Free Will"
(05-12-2015 02:45 PM)bemore Wrote:  I don't believe in "free will" for the reasons you have stated 666, however I still think we are allowed a certain amount of flexibility, which to me I can only describe as "emerging and adaptation" but at the crux is a self serving, survival mechanism. I will give you two examples.

1: The person is 40 years old and has smoked cigarettes for 20 years. They have learned and programmed themselves to smoke and perceive smoking as having positive benefits in their lives (Gives them something to do, relieves stress, keeps weight off etc etc) Yet one day, they decide to stop. The justification that may be used (life extension) was always known but overlooked. Where does free will fit in here? As it goes against twenty years of programming?

2: As a youngster the person has an negative encounter with a dog. They have learnt, based upon past experience that dogs = danger = fight or flight. When confronted with a dog their sympathetic nervous response kicks in and their body reacts to the perceived threat. However the person can keep consciously control and steady their breathing and gain some semblance of control back. How does free will work here? As it goes against everything known.

My point is IT DOESN'T. Free Will is only a very seductive illusion.

If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.--Voltaire.

"To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." --Thomas Paine.
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05-12-2015, 06:23 PM
RE: Yet another post on "Free Will"
(05-12-2015 05:37 PM)666wannabe Wrote:  
(05-12-2015 02:45 PM)bemore Wrote:  I don't believe in "free will" for the reasons you have stated 666, however I still think we are allowed a certain amount of flexibility, which to me I can only describe as "emerging and adaptation" but at the crux is a self serving, survival mechanism. I will give you two examples.

1: The person is 40 years old and has smoked cigarettes for 20 years. They have learned and programmed themselves to smoke and perceive smoking as having positive benefits in their lives (Gives them something to do, relieves stress, keeps weight off etc etc) Yet one day, they decide to stop. The justification that may be used (life extension) was always known but overlooked. Where does free will fit in here? As it goes against twenty years of programming?

2: As a youngster the person has an negative encounter with a dog. They have learnt, based upon past experience that dogs = danger = fight or flight. When confronted with a dog their sympathetic nervous response kicks in and their body reacts to the perceived threat. However the person can keep consciously control and steady their breathing and gain some semblance of control back. How does free will work here? As it goes against everything known.

My point is IT DOESN'T. Free Will is only a very seductive illusion.

I understand your driving point that free will does not exist in the terms used to describe it today and I agree with you. However I have given you two examples that go against the model you have suggested.

In the case of the smoker I gave. Our sub-conscious does not know the difference between what is "good" or "bad". Even though we consciously know that smoking is bad for your health and will probably decrease your life span, the smoker continues to smoke because they perceive the action to be of some benefit (secondary gains)

There comes a day when they decide to stop, they choose to justify their choice (Health, financial etc) and go against years of learned behaviour to make that change. So this is where your model breaks down.....

If you are to use Libets model of experiments then the answer to my smoking question is that you have decided to stop smoking, before you consciously decide to.

Whilst I think Libets models show how our brains work alongside our nervous systems, I fail to see how it answers critical choices that we make consciously.

I feel so much, and yet I feel nothing.
I am a rock, I am the sky, the birds and the trees and everything beyond.
I am the wind, in the fields in which I roar. I am the water, in which I drown.
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05-12-2015, 11:49 PM
RE: Yet another post on "Free Will"
(05-12-2015 03:32 PM)wallym Wrote:  Personally, I don't think your initial analysis on your ability to believe in God on demand is accurate.

You would be wrong.

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06-12-2015, 12:29 AM
RE: Yet another post on "Free Will"
(05-12-2015 06:23 PM)bemore Wrote:  Whilst I think Libets models show how our brains work alongside our nervous systems, I fail to see how it answers critical choices that we make consciously.

Those choices are still affected by the chemical balance of your brain, and these entirely uncontrollable factors greatly influence (if not outright control) your decision making. Free Will could very well be nothing more than the illusion of choice and post hoc rationalization. The reasons why we think we make decisions are not the actual (or at least, only) factors in the decision itself, but rather our reasons are simply our after-the-fact rational. Combine this with studies that showed that active MRI scans can predict with a high degree of accuracy the choice that a person will make a few seconds before they are consciously aware of their choice, and there is a lot more to be said about just how little conscious control we actually have over our decision making.

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