Yet another post on "Free Will"
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07-12-2015, 01:50 PM (This post was last modified: 07-12-2015 01:54 PM by true scotsman.)
RE: Yet another post on "Free Will"
(07-12-2015 12:37 PM)wallym Wrote:  
(07-12-2015 11:24 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  I said my confidence in my ability to reason, not my reason to choose reason. Reason is a skill that must be learned and honed as I said. It is not automatic. It took me a long time for several reasons. I did not have the knowledge that I do now. I did not have a rational philosophy. I was philosophically unarmed so to speak and vulnerable to the fraud which is theism. I had no theory of concepts (where is one to be found in the Bible? Its concern is with faith, not reason). I also had been threatened throughout my childhood with going to Hell. That's a powerful motivator. I also was indoctrinated into a set of doctrines that was explicitly anti-reason. All of these factors stunted my growth as a person and kept me in fear and ignorance. I should say that when I integrated the concept of the primacy of existence, the decision was then easy, but it took years of study to get to that point, study that I was made to feel fearful for undertaking.

Theism can not stand for one second on a rational view of reality and theists know this which is why they promote faith and denigrate reason. Fortunately I escaped. I wish I had been taught the rational philosophy I now have when I was young lad instead of a pack of lies.

Definitely interesting. I can see why free will being real would be so important to you. Out of curiosity, have you looked into it much in terms of the physics and neuroscience and all that jazz, or are you mostly just going on intuition. In that it 'seems' like I was free to choose A or B, so I must have freely chosen it.

My view is that we're artificial intelligence. Big Blue (famous chess computer) had all possible moves to choose from, but I don't think you'd consider Big Blue to have free will in choosing it's plays.

Again, I think it is a fundamental error to compare a human to an artificial intelligence. There is no rational basis to do so. As far as the physics angle, I am aware of it. I don't think we know enough about the brain works yet. I am not going on intuition though. The fact that I have free will is directly observable through introspection. As far as brain states being present before we are aware of them, this is exactly what I would expect. Our brains automatize a lot of the processes that we do. in the process of thinking just as I sometimes drive home without remembering if I looked for oncoming traffic at the last turn. This has become automatized. For instance when someone tells me that Christianity is true, I know longer have to think about it because I know that it violates the primacy of existence. Now this process of evaluation has become automatized. Similarly with concept formation. Ayn Rand was once asked what she did in forming a concept. She answered that she didn't know because she had never considered it. So she said that she needed to observe herself forming a concept. She did that and 45 minutes later she came back with the answer of measurement omission. Now at some point in her cognitive development she learned to differentiate groups of units from others according to their similarities and integrate them by the process of measurement omission but she had long ago automatized this process. It happened without her awareness of it, she was doing it subconsciously. By observing what she did introspectively she made a vital discovery and solved the problem of universals, but she had to do this by choice. She had to selectively attend.

This is why I say the locus of free will is the conceptual faculty. One of our most fundamental choices is to think or not to think. I don't think Big Blue has that choice, therefore no free will. I wonder if Big Blue was able to do something like break the rules of chess or swipe all the pieces off the board in frustration. I doubt it. I could choose to do that or not play at all. Could Big Blue?

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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07-12-2015, 04:25 PM
RE: Yet another post on "Free Will"
(07-12-2015 01:50 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  ...
Before I part, one last question:

Does your confidence on the issue worry you at all given how common a belief it is in the neuroscience field that Free Will is an illusion? Do you think you know something they don't or haven't considered?

Hell, after all, was a ludicrous idea. And you (and I) both bought into that fully for years. Free will is at least intuitive on the surface. How hard do you think it would be to shake a seemingly intuitive belief that is probably held by 99+% of people?

If scientists came to the consensus it was an illusion, would you believe them?

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07-12-2015, 06:17 PM
RE: Yet another post on "Free Will"
(06-12-2015 08:37 AM)wallym Wrote:  
(05-12-2015 11:49 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  You would be wrong.

Seems like it'd be easy enough to prove that if you'd just listen to the cow.

The Sacred Cow listens to me. Tongue




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07-12-2015, 06:30 PM
RE: Yet another post on "Free Will"
(07-12-2015 04:25 PM)wallym Wrote:  How hard do you think it would be to shake a seemingly intuitive belief that is probably held by 99+% of people?

You mean like I exist as something other than a superficial temporary bundle of perceptions? It's easy to shake. Much more difficult to counter it, it has caused me decades of consternation and consideration. God is easy to believe in, GirlyMan not so much.

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07-12-2015, 07:55 PM
RE: Yet another post on "Free Will"
(07-12-2015 04:25 PM)wallym Wrote:  
(07-12-2015 01:50 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  ...
Before I part, one last question:

Does your confidence on the issue worry you at all given how common a belief it is in the neuroscience field that Free Will is an illusion? Do you think you know something they don't or haven't considered?

Hell, after all, was a ludicrous idea. And you (and I) both bought into that fully for years. Free will is at least intuitive on the surface. How hard do you think it would be to shake a seemingly intuitive belief that is probably held by 99+% of people?

If scientists came to the consensus it was an illusion, would you believe them?

Nah. If they're right then I have no choice about what I believe and I don't tend to worry about things that are outside of my control. Tongue

In all seriousness though, I'm confident that the scientists don't have the full picture yet because I know that the validity of consciousness is axiomatic. Notice that your question to me assumes that I have free will. You asked me if scientist could prove to me that free will is just an illusion would I change my belief. In essence the scientists would be saying: I've got proof that what you think of as free will is an illusion, now change your belief accordingly. But if they are right, I have no ability to do this. My beliefs are determined. Notice that they would have to assume the very thing they are trying to prove false. This is how you can tell a true axiom from an non axiomatic concept such as God or the bible is the word of God.

If what I observe through introspection is an illusion then what I'm perceiving is not real and does not actually exist. But consciousness is the faculty which perceives that which exists, not what doesn't actually exist. If you think about it you'll observe that any attack on man's mind is self refuting because the validity of the mind is an axiom. You will end up having to assume the very thing you are seeking to deny in denying it.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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07-12-2015, 08:10 PM
RE: Yet another post on "Free Will"
(07-12-2015 07:55 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  If what I observe through introspection is an illusion then what I'm perceiving is not real and does not actually exist. But consciousness is the faculty which perceives that which exists, not what doesn't actually exist. If you think about it you'll observe that any attack on man's mind is self refuting because the validity of the mind is an axiom. You will end up having to assume the very thing you are seeking to deny in denying it.

You think that the mind is axiomatic, that it is a premise so self-evident as to be incontrovertible. I find it arguable and do not stipulate to it.

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07-12-2015, 08:48 PM
RE: Yet another post on "Free Will"
(07-12-2015 08:10 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(07-12-2015 07:55 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  If what I observe through introspection is an illusion then what I'm perceiving is not real and does not actually exist. But consciousness is the faculty which perceives that which exists, not what doesn't actually exist. If you think about it you'll observe that any attack on man's mind is self refuting because the validity of the mind is an axiom. You will end up having to assume the very thing you are seeking to deny in denying it.

You think that the mind is axiomatic, that it is a premise so self-evident as to be incontrovertible. I find it arguable and do not stipulate to it.

Yes Girly, I do. Consciousness is axiomatic and so is the validity of the mind. It meets all of the tests of an axiom. It's conceptually irreducible. It names a truth which is perceptually self evident. It is truly fundamental and universal. It is implicit in any statement of knowledge and it would have to be accepted in order to deny it. So yes the concept consciousness is axiomatic just as the validity of consciousness is. If the mind is not valid then neither are any of our concepts including any used in denying the validity of consciousness. Just try to deny it without relying on it. Even if scientists one day des over the exact mechanism that causes it its status as an axiom would not change.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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07-12-2015, 09:19 PM (This post was last modified: 07-12-2015 09:28 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Yet another post on "Free Will"
(07-12-2015 08:48 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(07-12-2015 08:10 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  You think that the mind is axiomatic, that it is a premise so self-evident as to be incontrovertible. I find it arguable and do not stipulate to it.

Yes Girly, I do. Consciousness is axiomatic and so is the validity of the mind.

Validity applies to arguments, not premises. Soundness applies to self-evident incontrovertible premises. I do not find the premise that I exist in the ordinary sense of the word incontrovertible. It is not axiomatic.

(07-12-2015 08:48 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  It names a truth which is perceptually self evident. It is truly fundamental and universal.

Been looking for one for decades. I'm not sure there is such a thing. I'm starting to think there can't be such a thing.

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07-12-2015, 10:35 PM
RE: Yet another post on "Free Will"
Help me understand the Axiom of Consciousness. I googled it. So if someone says "It's sunny out" then there must be something conscious to make the claim.

Let's say all life on earth is evaporated. And all that is left is a sony walkmen and an iPhone. The tape in the Walkman is just a recording that says "Siri, is it raining?" And the iPhone responds "Yes outdated tape machine, it is raining out."

What am I missing?

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07-12-2015, 10:54 PM (This post was last modified: 07-12-2015 11:15 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Yet another post on "Free Will"
(07-12-2015 10:35 PM)wallym Wrote:  Help me understand the Axiom of Consciousness. I googled it. So if someone says "It's sunny out" then there must be something conscious to make the claim.

Why? Easy enough for a home weather station to monitor the environment and report that "It's sunny out." without being conscious of it.

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