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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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

#46

Post by Audacity » Sun Dec 11, 2016 7:31 pm

Kenny wrote: So if I understand you correctly, you believe all action are a result of “cause and effect” meaning every action is the result of something else outside mankind. Is this correct?
Outside? Not at all. Mankind is often a member of the chain of causes and effects.
If not, please explain where I’ve gone wrong; if so, how do you know the origin of the cause of action “X” (for example) is not from within the person himself whom you claim does not have free will?
Knowledge of a cause is unnecessary, and in a lot of cases the cause is unknowable. However, this doesn't mean the effect is without cause. Our ignorance has no bearing on the cause/effect operation.

PS A car could (in theory) go down a road by hovering above it without wheels, tracks, or other moving devise in contact with the road
Yeah, it wasn't an airtight analogy for sure, but the best I could come up with off the top of my head. *shrug*

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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

#47

Post by Audacity » Sun Dec 11, 2016 7:37 pm

Nessa wrote:If a bear murders someone and a human also murders someone, is the human responsible for his actions any more than the bear is?
Murder is a legal term that only applies to humans. However, if you want to say

"If a bear kills someone and a human also kills someone, is the human responsible for his actions any more than the bear is?"

Then, No. Nor is the bear responsible for his actions any more than the human is. Each are the agent inflicting the killing.

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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

#48

Post by Nessa » Sun Dec 11, 2016 7:46 pm

Audacity wrote:
Nessa wrote:If a bear murders someone and a human also murders someone, is the human responsible for his actions any more than the bear is?
Murder is a legal term that only applies to humans. However, if you want to say

"If a bear kills someone and a human also kills someone, is the human responsible for his actions any more than the bear is?"

Then, No. Nor is the bear responsible for his actions any more than the human is. Each are the agent inflicting the killing.
Pretty much what Sam Harris believes as far as I can tell.

He told this story about a bear killing someone vs a human killing someone. He put forth the idea if people could see that the human was no more at fault than the bear then the victim might have less suffering long term.

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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

#49

Post by Audacity » Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:18 pm

Kurieuo wrote:Auda, I (at least I think it is really me) actually appreciate your honesty. It is refreshing to see someone who understands and sticks with their position.
Thank you.
It is clear to me however, that everyone believes we have a mind. Even if you don't believe in "free will", surely no one is silly enough to think we are not conscious beings.
I would hope not.
If you go that far down the rabbit hole, then that'd really blow my mind. What I mean is your "superficial 'the mind decides'" is not so superficial, but "mind" (or better put, "consciousness"), is a reality experienced by everyone.

When I said,

..........."an answer that goes beyond the superficial "the mind decides," Or "my decisions are my own,"

I was speaking of answers in which this is all that is said, and without further elaboration.
Now, to provide a less "superficial" answer, I'd challenge you to consider what science does know with causation on the quantum level. Think double-split experiment, where if the slits, or even one slit, are unobserved we have electrons making a wave line pattern through both. Yet, if observed then we see the effect of such sub-atomic particles makes a particle dot pattern. So then, a reasonable conclusion to be drawn is that the observer isn't just passive, but affects reality.
Yup, but hardly relevant.
Now all this may sound to some far out, and results of QM do seem astounding, and yet it is what it is. BUT, surely it isn't as far out as rejected that we aren't determined products of a physical world such that we must completely reject free will, and along with it concepts that would be illusory such as "morality", "responsibility", "justice", "fairness", "love", "goodness" and any other feature that would require free will.
I think you may have a typo here, which make it dificult to pin down what you're saying.

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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

#50

Post by Audacity » Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:34 pm

Nessa wrote:Also if Audacity is right then what about forgiveness?

If we are not responsible for our own choices then why should we ever need to say 'Sorry' anymore
than a bear should.
We shouldn't, but we do because we've come to accept the illusion of free will and act accordingly. And despite the fact that rationally it makes no sense to blame or praise, even I do it. I've been conditioned to and am unable to do any differently. I applaud people for their accomplishments despite the fact that on reflection it is apparent they had no choice in the matter and couldn't have done any differently, and I condemn people for their bad acts despite the fact that on reflection it is apparent they couldn't have done any differently. I live in the illusion just like other people because I can't help not doing so.

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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

#51

Post by Kenny » Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:41 pm

Kenny wrote: So if I understand you correctly, you believe all action are a result of “cause and effect” meaning every action is the result of something else outside mankind. Is this correct?
Audacity wrote:Outside? Not at all. Mankind is often a member of the chain of causes and effects.
Or perhaps the originator of many of the causes and effect.
If not, please explain where I’ve gone wrong; if so, how do you know the origin of the cause of action “X” (for example) is not from within the person himself whom you claim does not have free will?
Audacity wrote:Knowledge of a cause is unnecessary, and in a lot of cases the cause is unknowable. However, this doesn't mean the effect is without cause. Our ignorance has no bearing on the cause/effect operation.
[/quote]
I asked about the origin of the cause. My point is, if the origin of the cause is from within mankind, this would dispel your claim that free will is an illusion. Again, my question is, if I preform action “X” how do you know this action didn’t originate from my mind which is a part of me?

Ken
Last edited by Kenny on Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

#52

Post by Kurieuo » Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:50 pm

Audacity wrote:
Now all this may sound to some far out, and results of QM do seem astounding, and yet it is what it is. BUT, surely it isn't as far out as rejected that we aren't determined products of a physical world such that we must completely reject free will, and along with it concepts that would be illusory such as "morality", "responsibility", "justice", "fairness", "love", "goodness" and any other feature that would require free will.
I think you may have a typo here, which make it dificult to pin down what you're saying.
I believe you're right. Let me re-word, and that add some.

Surely it isn't as far out (believing that mind has a causal effect upon physical world structures), than believing something that goes against all our intuition -- that we don't have any free will or choice. If we reject "free will" than so too all those other concepts humanity has just intuitively come to accept such as "morality", "responsibility", "justice", "fairness", "love", "goodness" and any other feature that would require free will. It just seems to much to lose what seems so obvious, all because we must remain loyal to physicalism.

In other words, the physical world doesn't just determine us, but we -- consciousness -- also determine the physical world. This is also supported, for example, with those who suffer a stroke and lose motor functions. Yet, through their will, exercises and hard work, their brain is able to re-map new pathways to give them the desired result they're trying to achieve. Mind over matter. Matter is important, because it's our interface with the physical world, and our physical bodies. Yet, the matter is just a tool of the mind. An extension of such, rather than the physicalist approach where the mind is an extension of the brain.

Now, whether or not you agree, and I doubt you will, at least this is how free will can actually be logically possible. We need to be able to rise above the mechanical process, control the physical to some degree. Such I believe has support in QM, as well as certain cognitive scientific studies, people who have little brain matter, and NDEs where the brain stops functioning yet the person is still conscious.

Such does not immediately mean "soul" but rather that consciousness just taking on a new form at death. Some ideas being theorised are that something happens on a quantum level, there's some binding that happens with consciousness and the physical body its coiled with. When that physical structure dies e.g., the brain, uncoiling happens and consciousness starts transitioning into a different state. When a person is revived, the mind returns to the body it is coiled with. I'm not saying this is how it is, but science has provided some new possible and interesting insights.

Really, given how little we know about how consciousness works, or why it even appears at all, no one can seriously close the door on free will. Unless they're adamantly decided that physicalism is it. Keep in mind physicalism is derived somewhat from materialism but just has physical laws added to it. Physicalism is therefore considered the new Naturalism. But, what if "Nature" also has a third dynamic, which isn't so mechanical, one which we experience everyday and see in other living lifeforms -- consciousness?
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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

#53

Post by Nessa » Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:55 pm

Audacity wrote:
Nessa wrote:Also if Audacity is right then what about forgiveness?

If we are not responsible for our own choices then why should we ever need to say 'Sorry' anymore
than a bear should.
We shouldn't, but we do because we've come to accept the illusion of free will and act accordingly. And despite the fact that rationally it makes no sense to blame or praise, even I do it. I've been conditioned to and am unable to do any differently. I applaud people for their accomplishments despite the fact that on reflection it is apparent they had no choice in the matter and couldn't have done any differently, and I condemn people for their bad acts despite the fact that on reflection it is apparent they couldn't have done any differently. I live in the illusion just like other people because I can't help not doing so.
So, who or what is pulling your strings, Audacity?

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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

#54

Post by Audacity » Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:17 pm

Kenny wrote:
Kenny wrote: So if I understand you correctly, you believe all action are a result of “cause and effect” meaning every action is the result of something else outside mankind. Is this correct?
Audacity wrote:Outside? Not at all. Mankind is often a member of the chain of causes and effects.
Or perhaps the originator of many of the causes and effect.
That all depends on where you want to stop in going back to assign cause.
If not, please explain where I’ve gone wrong; if so, how do you know the origin of the cause of action “X” (for example) is not from within the person himself whom you claim does not have free will?
Audacity wrote:Knowledge of a cause is unnecessary, and in a lot of cases the cause is unknowable. However, this doesn't mean the effect is without cause. Our ignorance has no bearing on the cause/effect operation.
I asked about the origin of the cause. My point is, if the origin of the cause is from within mankind, this would dispel your claim that free will is an illusion.
Why? A whole lot of causes and effects occur in the mind.
Again, my question is, if I preform action “X” how do you know this action didn’t originate from my mind which is a part of me?
And well it could, which then raises the question of what caused your mind to generate the action? Just because an action comes from the mind doesn't mean it's uncaused. If it is uncaused then where did it come from?


NOTE: YOUR FORMATTING KIND OF WENT AWRY, and I've done my best to make it work. If I've missed something feel free to post again.

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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

#55

Post by Audacity » Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:34 pm

Kurieuo wrote:
Audacity wrote:
Now all this may sound to some far out, and results of QM do seem astounding, and yet it is what it is. BUT, surely it isn't as far out as rejected that we aren't determined products of a physical world such that we must completely reject free will, and along with it concepts that would be illusory such as "morality", "responsibility", "justice", "fairness", "love", "goodness" and any other feature that would require free will.
I think you may have a typo here, which make it dificult to pin down what you're saying.
I believe you're right. Let me re-word, and that add some.

Surely it isn't as far out (believing that mind has a causal effect upon physical world structures), than believing something that goes against all our intuition -- that we don't have any free will or choice. If we reject "free will" than so too all those other concepts humanity has just intuitively come to accept such as "morality", "responsibility", "justice", "fairness", "love", "goodness" and any other feature that would require free will. It just seems to much to lose what seems so obvious, all because we must remain loyal to physicalism.
Because the lack of free will flies in the face of some of our most cherished concepts is certainly disconcerting, but this doesn't invalidate it. Things aren't true or false just because we don't like them.
In other words, the physical world doesn't just determine us, but we -- consciousness -- also determine the physical world. This is also supported, for example, with those who suffer a stroke and lose motor functions. Yet, through their will, exercises and hard work, their brain is able to re-map new pathways to give them the desired result they're trying to achieve. Mind over matter. Matter is important, because it's our interface with the physical world, and our physical bodies. Yet, the matter is just a tool of the mind. An extension of such, rather than the physicalist approach where the mind is an extension of the brain.

Whether or not a chain of cause/effect occurs in the mind (conscious or unconscious) or outside is immaterial to its validity.
Now, whether or not you agree, and I doubt you will, at least this is how free will can actually be logically possible. We need to be able to rise above the mechanical process, control the physical to some degree. Such I believe has support in QM, as well as certain cognitive scientific studies, people who have little brain matter, and NDEs where the brain stops functioning yet the person is still conscious.

So why do these events, whatever they may be, occur if they aren't caused?

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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

#56

Post by Audacity » Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:36 pm

Nessa wrote:
Audacity wrote:
Nessa wrote:Also if Audacity is right then what about forgiveness?

If we are not responsible for our own choices then why should we ever need to say 'Sorry' anymore
than a bear should.
We shouldn't, but we do because we've come to accept the illusion of free will and act accordingly. And despite the fact that rationally it makes no sense to blame or praise, even I do it. I've been conditioned to and am unable to do any differently. I applaud people for their accomplishments despite the fact that on reflection it is apparent they had no choice in the matter and couldn't have done any differently, and I condemn people for their bad acts despite the fact that on reflection it is apparent they couldn't have done any differently. I live in the illusion just like other people because I can't help not doing so.
So, who or what is pulling your strings, Audacity?
Far, far too many to pin down.

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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

#57

Post by Kenny » Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:41 pm

Opps
Last edited by Kenny on Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

#58

Post by Kenny » Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:04 pm

Kenny wrote:
Kenny wrote: So if I understand you correctly, you believe all action are a result of “cause and effect” meaning every action is the result of something else outside mankind. Is this correct?
Audacity wrote:Outside? Not at all. Mankind is often a member of the chain of causes and effects.
Or perhaps the originator of many of the causes and effect.
Audacity wrote: That all depends on where you want to stop in going back to assign cause.
I said originated from mankind.
If not, please explain where I’ve gone wrong; if so, how do you know the origin of the cause of action “X” (for example) is not from within the person himself whom you claim does not have free will?
Audacity wrote:Knowledge of a cause is unnecessary, and in a lot of cases the cause is unknowable. However, this doesn't mean the effect is without cause. Our ignorance has no bearing on the cause/effect operation.
I asked about the origin of the cause. My point is, if the origin of the cause is from within mankind, this would dispel your claim that free will is an illusion.
Audacity wrote:Why? A whole lot of causes and effects occur in the mind.
I said originated from the mind
Again, my question is, if I preform action “X” how do you know this action didn’t originate from my mind which is a part of me?
Audacity wrote: well it could, which then raises the question of what caused your mind to generate the action? Just because an action comes from the mind doesn't mean it's uncaused. If it is uncaused then where did it come from
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
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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

#59

Post by Nessa » Mon Dec 12, 2016 1:55 am

It's just silly really.

If you have two closed mystery boxes sitting front of you.. and you can only pick one... you um and ah for several minutes when all along you had no choice but do what you were always going to do. Might as well just save time and do the first thing that comes into your mind.

There is no point taking the time to think anything over if what you are going to do is already set in concrete. It's a fatalistic mentality that removes personal responsibility.

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Re: The Delusion of "Free Will"

#60

Post by Audacity » Mon Dec 12, 2016 1:12 pm

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.

I know this may sound trite, but It's the nature of the entire universe, of which we are participating members. Cause/effect is the ruling determinant of all actions (some subatomic events perhaps excluded). We do what we do because . . . . . . . and the "cause" in "because" is alerting us to the fact.

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