The Delusion of "Free Will"

Discussions on a ranges of philosophical issues including the nature of truth and reality, personal identity, mind-body theories, epistemology, justification of beliefs, argumentation and logic, philosophy of religion, free will and determinism, etc.
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Audacity
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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

Postby Audacity » Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:49 pm

Kenny wrote:
Audacity wrote:
Kenny wrote:If the action originated from my mind, it didn’t come from anywhere else. I was born with a brain and I evolved to become what I currently am; a person capable of original thought, and the ability to act on my own without any outside influence; thus free will.
Ken

I can't pretend to know how the brain (mind) develops or necessarily operates other than to say there's a whole lot of "because of this, then this" going on. All of which "began" as a zygote that led to an enormous amount of causes effects, which inevitably ended up in a person having to do "this" rather than "something else." It's all connected, and all dependent on causes and effects. In fact, as may be apparent, everything that happens, no matter where or what shape it takes, physical or mental, is driven by cause. Causes that are inevitable generators of their particular effects.


But if all those causes that originated from the Zygote (as you call it) originated within the person carrying out the action, seems to me this dispels your claim of no free will.

Ken

I purposely put quotation marks around "began" because, while it's pretty much the beginning stage of an individual, those cause/effect events that occurred there aren't the only ones. A vast number of others impinge on and affect a person as he ages. And if I gave the impression they were the only ones, it wasn't my intent. In any case, I don't see why what I said might suggest it dispels my claim of free will.

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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

Postby Audacity » Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:06 pm

Nessa wrote:
Audacity wrote:
RickD wrote:And what do you do to teach them how to be responsible for the choices they make?

They all became adults before I concluded that free will is an illusion, and unfortunately none have any interest in philosophy. However, your question is an interesting one. I can only say that despite the fact that free will is illusory I, like everyone else, go through my day-to-day life as if it wasn't---I can't help it. :mrgreen: And recognizing that the illusion is the modus operandi we've all been beset with I have no reason to try to persuade them any differently. It would be difficult and do them no good. So, live and let live, as it were.


Nessa wrote:You hold your cards pretty close to your chest..

Ages?

Yes, all three of them, two women and a man, have ages. ;)


:lol:

You said that while your kids were children that you believed in freewill.

Where? Care to point it out?

. . .Why do you now consider free will just an illusion?

I considered it and it didn't make sense, yet it holds everyone in its thrall.

And why would we be so "programmed" to believe in free will to the point that we can't just help it even if we 'know" it's not true?

If this is the case I have no idea why. As for myself, I obviously haven't been "programmed" to believe in free will, but rather to recognize it as an illusion after realizing it's not true.

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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

Postby Nessa » Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:11 pm

Audacity wrote:
They all became adults before I concluded that free will is an illusion, and unfortunately none have any interest in philosophy.


Consider it pointed out.

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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

Postby Audacity » Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:13 pm

Philip wrote:
Audacity: The hows and particulars of the cause/effect chain are typically unknown and even unknowable.


Philip: And so you know this is unknowable HOW? y:-?


Audacity: The demonstrated limited ability of the human brain.


Er, so you figured out that the cause/effect chain is typically unknown or unknowable via YOUR limited human brain? y:O2 Wow, that's something I have high confidence in.

Audacity: So it is highly unlikely anyone could point them out.


Or perhaps LIKELY, eh - given our limited human brains? :lol:

Audacity: Responsibility in which it's reasonable to assign praise or blame, nope. However, whether or not any of it matters to anyone would be pure speculation. I simply don't know who it matters to and does not matter to.


Let me guess - if for no particular reason, I suddenly smacked you upside your head, I'm pretty sure it would matter to you, and that you would blame me in anger, right?

Audacity: Yet, because the human mind is caught in the illusion of free will it will readily assign such responsibility and praise and blame various acts.


So, to you - and everyone - whether free will is an illusion or not - the perception matters AND you and everyone else reacts as if it exists. So, does the so-called "illusion" even matter? Because the world functions as if everyone on the planet believes in free will - well, except for a certain brand of Calvinists. :pound:

Audacity: Honestly, you sound like you're afraid of the fact that free will doesn't exist, particularly in light of your conclusion that it's an irrelevant opinion.


Why would I be afraid of someone's opinion that has no factual basis, particularly one who believes our human brains are so "limited," that we cannot see that free will "doesn't" truly exist. But YOURS is apparently unlimited enough to know this is an illusion? What, are you some special human that has these brilliant insights? Guess what - perhaps, just maybe, your limited human brain has it wrong. Ah, but if that is the case, you'll never know it, right? And after pissing enough people off and repeatedly getting clobbered for it, you might just start to think that you might aught reconsider your assertion belief about free will. What is it they say, perception may not be reality, but for the person perceiving it, it becomes THEIR reality - whatever UNreality it might be.

Anyway, there's a fellow on here who just loves cake - he's really gonna love you! :fruitcake: Because something tells me the supply is going to be unlimited. :D

Sorry to have rattled your cage so hard.

Have a good day.

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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

Postby Nessa » Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:20 pm

Audacity wrote:As for myself, I obviously haven't been "programmed" to believe in free will, but rather to recognize it as an illusion after realizing it's not true.


But you seem subject to something, right? You cant help yourself but go along with the charade of free will.

If free will doesnt exist why cant you just say to hell with free will... I'm going to follow what is true?

Do you consider yourself a prisoner?

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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

Postby Audacity » Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:24 pm

Nessa wrote:
Audacity wrote:
They all became adults before I concluded that free will is an illusion, and unfortunately none have any interest in philosophy.


Consider it pointed out.

Thank you. I really misread what you said. aargh! :brick:
Last edited by Audacity on Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

Postby Nessa » Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:28 pm

What I'm getting at is if you dont have free will to say to hell with pretending then why does that thought even cross your mind? Why does the cause conflict with your desires?

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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

Postby Audacity » Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:43 pm

Nessa wrote:
Audacity wrote:As for myself, I obviously haven't been "programmed" to believe in free will, but rather to recognize it as an illusion after realizing it's not true.


But you seem subject to something, right? You cant help yourself but go along with the charade of free will.

If free will doesnt exist why cant you just say to hell with free will... I'm going to follow what is true?
Good question, and the simple answer is: What can I say? I have no choice.

Do you consider yourself a prisoner?

Not at all. If nothing else, so far I regard the illusion of free will to be a far better personal and social "reality" in which to live than not. I say "so far" because I haven't examined the ramifications of living without the illusion, which could very well be worse than living in it.
Last edited by Audacity on Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

Postby Audacity » Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:51 pm

Nessa wrote:What I'm getting at is if you dont have free will to say to hell with pretending then why does that thought even cross your mind? Why does the cause conflict with your desires?

Not sure what desires you're referring to, but I don't know the "whys."

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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

Postby Nessa » Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:05 am

Audacity wrote:
Nessa wrote:What I'm getting at is if you dont have free will to say to hell with pretending then why does that thought even cross your mind? Why does the cause conflict with your desires?

Not sure what desires you're referring to, but I don't know the "whys."


Is there some desire to follow what you believe? In this case the belief of no free will.

Do you (at least partly) wish to live by what you feel is true regardless of whether you are able to or not? At least find out what it would be like?

So perhaps you see free will as some kind of invented social brainwashing to help us in some way?

Who came up with the idea of free will anyway? Why would such a concept even enter our minds?

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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

Postby Nicki » Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:25 am

I'm starting to see Audacity's point in a way. We are influenced by so many different things. Suppose I decide to eat some ice cream, just because I want to. Where does my wanting to come from? I'm influenced by past experience which tells me I like it; the idea of having it now came into my mind for some reason - perhaps it's been high in my subconscious that I have ice cream in the freezer and I'd like to eat it sometime because I'm quite greedy by nature (this is not too far from the truth). Oh, and there's hunger, but ice cream doesn't seem quite the right thing to eat to me when I'm actually hungry.

What if I decide not to eat it? Perhaps I'm influenced by my received knowledge of the unhealthiness of ice cream; maybe I have to do something else to do soon and won't really have time; maybe I want to leave more of the rest for someone else (influenced by the knowledge that they could be upset if they miss out or happy if there's enough for them), maybe physically and mentally I just don't feel like ice cream (unlikely though that is with me - having said that I do manage not to scoff all ice cream as soon as it's available; that doesn't usually seem appropriate). Anyway, there are reasons for everything we do; the question is whether, deep down, they all come from outside ourselves and from our own physical and mental processes which we don't consciously control, or whether we really do have a conscious hand in it. I'm not saying I agree that free will's a delusion, but I can kind of see both sides of it now...

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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

Postby Audacity » Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:32 am

Nessa wrote:
Audacity wrote:
Nessa wrote:What I'm getting at is if you dont have free will to say to hell with pretending then why does that thought even cross your mind? Why does the cause conflict with your desires?

Not sure what desires you're referring to, but I don't know the "whys."


Is there some desire to follow what you believe? In this case the belief of no free will.
Not at all.

Do you (at least partly) wish to live by what you feel is true regardless of whether you are able to or not? At least find out what it would be like?
No.

So perhaps you see free will as some kind of invented social brainwashing to help us in some way?
not at all.

Who came up with the idea of free will anyway? Why would such a concept even enter our minds?
You've got me. In any case, I think this is enough about me.

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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

Postby Audacity » Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:37 am

Nicki wrote:I'm starting to see Audacity's point in a way. We are influenced by so many different things. Suppose I decide to eat some ice cream, just because I want to. Where does my wanting to come from? I'm influenced by past experience which tells me I like it; the idea of having it now came into my mind for some reason - perhaps it's been high in my subconscious that I have ice cream in the freezer and I'd like to eat it sometime because I'm quite greedy by nature (this is not too far from the truth). Oh, and there's hunger, but ice cream doesn't seem quite the right thing to eat to me when I'm actually hungry.

What if I decide not to eat it? Perhaps I'm influenced by my received knowledge of the unhealthiness of ice cream; maybe I have to do something else to do soon and won't really have time; maybe I want to leave more of the rest for someone else (influenced by the knowledge that they could be upset if they miss out or happy if there's enough for them), maybe physically and mentally I just don't feel like ice cream (unlikely though that is with me - having said that I do manage not to scoff all ice cream as soon as it's available; that doesn't usually seem appropriate). Anyway, there are reasons for everything we do; the question is whether, deep down, they all come from outside ourselves and from our own physical and mental processes which we don't consciously control, or whether we really do have a conscious hand in it. I'm not saying I agree that free will's a delusion, but I can kind of see both sides of it now...

Good for you for keeping an open mind.

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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

Postby Kurieuo » Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:18 am

Re: my original post and Sam Harris, it seems he presents incomplete evidence re: readiness potential. Whether he was purposefully misleading his audience, I expect given he understands this fields entirely, being somewhat of an Atheistic philosopher and also in neuroscience, he was definitely presenting a one-sided argument. Easy to do, when there's no one you're debating to just give your beliefs in the most convincing way.

Here is a video, which refutes much of Harris' argument regarding our brain's making a decision (readiness potential) before we actually choose Option A or Option B. Other experiments have been done, and that readiness potential exists regardless of whether or not we choose an option. We also have the ability to veto a decision, so if we're drawn towards a decision, then we can actually decide "no" and stop.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GB5TNrt ... s-&index=2
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

Postby Nessa » Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:45 am

There is a huge difference between being greatly influenced and still having a choice and not having a choice at all...

Kinda feels a bit like the argument some homosexuals use of being born a certain way and not having a choice but to be with the same sex.

Tho if a child molesterer had that same logic then who would accept it?

Completely take away our choice and you are dehumanising people.

Being able to choose is a huge part of what makes us human.


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