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Invisiblebuttonion
Calmly Watching

Registered: 04/04/02
Posts: 303
Loc: Kansas
Freewill vs. Determinism: ....???
    #1444883 - 04/10/03 12:14 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

So? freewill vs. determinism?

So we understand the physical universe through ?laws? that science has found to be accurate in predicting future physical events- these laws provide models that tell us that certain events give rise to other events- one thing causes another. At the same time, you and I assume that we have freewill. Maybe not intellectually, but at a level of subjective experience, we assume that we have free control over our actions- how can we not? So the unanswered question is, are humans somehow exempt from the causal chain that we have come to rely on to predict the rest of the universe? Are we that special?

I have found no way to reconcile this discrepancy (and neither have the majority of philosophers as far as I know). I have to think that it is going to take a paradigm shift of a huge magnitude to account for it. But how does everyone else account for it? Is freewill just a necessary delusion, have we somehow transcended determinism, or something else?


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Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein


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OfflineMitchnast
Trial by Madness
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Re: Freewill vs. Determinism: ....??? [Re: buttonion]
    #1444891 - 04/10/03 12:17 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

night vs day
up vs down.
yin vs yang.

one does not exist withough the other. trite?
think about it :smile:


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Invisiblebuttonion
Calmly Watching

Registered: 04/04/02
Posts: 303
Loc: Kansas
Re: Freewill vs. Determinism: ....??? [Re: Mitchnast]
    #1444903 - 04/10/03 12:20 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

So two sides of the same coin? ...What is the coin?


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Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein


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OfflinePhred
Fred's son
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Registered: 10/19/00
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Re: Freewill vs. Determinism: ....??? [Re: buttonion]
    #1444948 - 04/10/03 12:35 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

buttonion writes:

So the unanswered question is, are humans somehow exempt from the causal chain that we have come to rely on to predict the rest of the universe? Are we that special?

The causal chain holds only for inanimate matter -- i.e. those entities to which the laws of entropy apply. Living entities of a certain complexity have free will -- it is not restricted to humans. Does a prion or a virus have free will? No. Does a cat? certainly. Does an amoeba? Maybe.

I have found no way to reconcile this discrepancy (and neither have the majority of philosophers as far as I know).

To the best of my knowledge, the only philosophers who have reconciled this discrepancy are those who propose that although volition exists in this universe (as an attribute of living entities which exist in the universe), and it acts on other entities of this universe (through its agents; the afore-mentioned living entities), it is not of this universe -- or at least not entirely.

pinky


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Invisiblebuttonion
Calmly Watching

Registered: 04/04/02
Posts: 303
Loc: Kansas
Re: Freewill vs. Determinism: ....??? [Re: Phred]
    #1444992 - 04/10/03 12:47 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

But one could argue that the ?freewill? that we observe in cats and humans is the result of a highly adaptive mechanism (the nervous system) which modifies its behavior in response to a variety of complex stimuli to maximize its ability to achieve certain goals. Is this freewill?


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Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein


Edited by buttonion (04/10/03 12:56 AM)


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Anonymous

Re: Freewill vs. Determinism: ....??? [Re: buttonion]
    #1445150 - 04/10/03 01:19 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

i once reached this cold conclusion about life, and i couldn't shake it. it is very sound. disregarding spiritual input or the suppose "beyond", our brain and its thoughts can be mathematically derived, through the atoms and their reactions.

i would sometimes feel like laying down somewhere and not moving. not moving for anything. if this world is based on determinism, then i have no choice in lying here and doing nothing. if i go outside and kill someone, i couldn't have changed that either. the thought of having no free will, releases a sense of freedom in me that makes me enjoy life in a different way. i don't have to worry about trying to live up to something in a world where nothing exists. imagine the peace of mind...not having to form "who" you are. you just are. no wrong, no right.... nothing.


Edited by Anonymous (04/10/03 01:20 AM)


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Anonymous

Re: Freewill vs. Determinism: ....??? [Re: buttonion]
    #1445185 - 04/10/03 01:25 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Cats and other animals are on one side of a huge divide and we as humans are on the other.

We have conceptual abstraction which culminates in true conciousness. Not only are we self-aware but we alone can think about thinking.

Hence, we are outside the restrictive paradigm as Pinky noted.


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Anonymous

Re: Freewill vs. Determinism: ....??? [Re: ]
    #1445201 - 04/10/03 01:31 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

We have conceptual abstraction which culminates in true conciousness. Not only are we self-aware but we alone can think about thinking.

yes, we are far superior to animals, but couldn't that be due to our larger and more complex brain? our idea of who we are comes from the interaction of our thoughts in our brains. these thoughts and actions are made up of atoms. we may "think" we can pick where to go out on friday night, but do we really have the power to defy mathematical and chemical law when it comes to the interaction of subatomic particles?


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Invisiblesilversoul7
Chill the FuckOut!
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Registered: 10/10/02
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Re: Freewill vs. Determinism: ....??? [Re: buttonion]
    #1445202 - 04/10/03 01:32 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

I consider myself a soft determinist. I believe we have free will over rather trivial matters, such as whether or not to pick up a coin we see on the sidewalk, but that our overall destinies are mapped out at least to a certain degree.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Anonymous

Re: Freewill vs. Determinism: ....??? [Re: ]
    #1445252 - 04/10/03 01:41 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

A larger and more complex brain may be necessary for a mind but it may not be a sufficient cause for one.

Do we know that a complex brain has to have a consciousness?

No, we do not.

If all we are is chemicals then there is no free will.

But consciousness isn't made of chemicals, now is it?


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Freewill vs. Determinism: ....??? [Re: buttonion]
    #1445434 - 04/10/03 02:28 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

buttonion writes:

But one could argue that the ?freewill? that we observe in cats and humans is the result of a highly adaptive mechanism (the nervous system) which modifies its behavior in response to a variety of complex stimuli to maximize its ability to achieve certain goals.

One could argue that, but not convincingly. Living entities of a certain complexity exhibit volitional behavior. The fact that such an entity has a complex adaptive mechanism (constructed of tiny particles, each of which obey the laws of physics) doesn't alter the fact that it is not the mechanism which calls the shots, it is the consciousness.

Purple monkey dishwasher.

pinky


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Anonymous

Re: Freewill vs. Determinism: ....??? [Re: ]
    #1445438 - 04/10/03 02:30 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

But consciousness isn't made of chemicals, now is it?

no it isn't. it is the RESULT of the chemicals. a million neurons acting out billions of chemical reactions is all very measurable, and predictable. if these same actions are what defines our consciousness, then they too can be measurable and predictable. if a conscious is not acted on by some outside, "unnatural" force, than our very existence is based on an intricate code of relating a slice of your consciousness to a certain chemical reaction that takes place in your brain.


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OfflineAislingGheal
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Re: Freewill vs. Determinism: ....??? [Re: ]
    #1445889 - 04/10/03 09:26 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)


"Millions of neurons acting out billions of chemical reactions is all very measurable, and predictable." Is that so? If so then these processes should correlate to measurable, predictable human behavior. Who has a model for this? If someone has such a model has it been accurate 100% of the time? If so I've never come across it, it would definitely change my view of things. I side with Freewill because every theory of Determinism concerning human consciousness or human behavior is not 100% accurate or even close. If I'm wrong please enlighten me.


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"I hate having to pick between the lesser of two evils. But I'm glad Obama was elected. McCain was another war monger. I'd rather deal with our country going into debt than trying to take on afghanistan...oh wait FUCK!" - Fungus_tao


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Anonymous

Re: Freewill vs. Determinism: ....??? [Re: AislingGheal]
    #1445977 - 04/10/03 10:34 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

of course we don't have it mapped out yet... we are just beginning to understand our consciousness. i am going by the premise that our conscious is made up of the interactions of chemicals in our brain, if that is true, which is the only basis we have for life, then our brains should theoretically be able to be derived mathematically.


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OfflineWaldarbeiter
can you eat it?

Registered: 03/07/02
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Re: Freewill vs. Determinism: ....??? [Re: buttonion]
    #1446157 - 04/10/03 12:14 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

I believe that at the beginning of the universe, time was not there, as nothing moved, evrything was stable.
So was everything already invented (their idea at least).
The next step was that IT (which was just there like anything else) created the matter, which had to follow rules.....that was the beginning of time.
Nowadays I believe that our bodies, which have to follow that rules, are connected with the big "IT".

So if you think about it,  free will and Determinism both are existent .
The free will has created the rules, which lead to determinism.

So we are free, but the future has already been determined by IT (of which everyone of us is part of).

hope you understand what I mean.Although my theory might be wrong (which it is more likely than not) I believe it anyway... that's my way :wink:   


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OfflineWaldarbeiter
can you eat it?

Registered: 03/07/02
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Re: Freewill vs. Determinism: ....??? [Re: ]
    #1446172 - 04/10/03 12:20 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

should theoretically be able to be derived mathematically.

theoretically, yes. But that stuff has to do with electricity in our brain cells.
The problem is that you can't tell the exact position of an electron at a certain point of time; all you can tell is the region where the electron is probably located...


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: Freewill vs. Determinism: ....??? [Re: buttonion]
    #1446304 - 04/10/03 01:19 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Freewill? Me no think so.

Are you free to prefer chocolate over strawberry; the opposite sex to the same sex? Did you choose the time and and place of your birth? Your physique, sex, nationality, your talents?

Can one "choose" to be a musician or a mathematician, if that is not their prediliction?

Most people meet their mate in school or work or other area of close proximity. This may consist of a dozen to a few hundred people which is quite a narrow "choice".

I frequently "push people's buttons" here on the shroomery and they respond in a Pavlovian manner with anger. Is this reflex a choice?

Over 90% of the world's population "chooses" the religion of their parents.

Other than suicide or the obviousness of slow self-poisoning; how many of us choose the time and means of our death?





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The proof is in the pudding.


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OfflinePhred
Fred's son
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Registered: 10/19/00
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Re: Freewill vs. Determinism: ....??? [Re: Swami]
    #1446334 - 04/10/03 01:32 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Swami writes:

Are you free to prefer chocolate over strawberry; the opposite sex to the same sex? Did you choose the time and and place of your birth? Your physique, sex, nationality, your talents?

Oh, please. Free will is not equivalent to omnipotence. Of course one cannot choose the time and place of one's birth. That doesn't change the fact that one has free will. I am surprised to see you of all people try to slide that one by us.

Can one "choose" to be a musician or a mathematician, if that is not their prediliction?

Of course one can. There is no guarantee that one will be a competent mathematician or musician, however -- as the pop charts demonstrate so amply.

Most people meet their mate in school or work or other area of close proximity. This may consist of a dozen to a few hundred people which is quite a narrow "choice".

That doesn't change the fact that they are free to mate or not.

I frequently "push people's buttons" here on the shroomery and they respond in a Pavlovian manner with anger. Is this reflex a choice?

The fact that some people choose to indulge in semi-reflexive behavior rather than expend the necessary effort to exhibit self-restraint does not alter the fact that they can exhibit it.

Over 90% of the world's population "chooses" the religion of their parents.

And 100% of the world's population "chooses" the mother tongue of those who raise them during their early years. What's your point?

Other than suicide or the obviousness of slow self-poisoning; how many of us choose the time and means of our death?

The fact that one can suicide demonstrates quite clearly that free will exists. If one eliminates suicide, then once again your argument merely invalidates the concept of omnipotence, not free will.

A disappointingly sloppy effort, Swami -- I can tell your heart's not really in it. Having difficulties at home? Anything we can do to help?

pinky


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Invisiblebuttonion
Calmly Watching

Registered: 04/04/02
Posts: 303
Loc: Kansas
Re: Freewill vs. Determinism: ....??? [Re: Phred]
    #1446413 - 04/10/03 01:54 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

One could argue that, but not convincingly. Living entities of a certain complexity exhibit volitional behavior. The fact that such an entity has a complex adaptive mechanism (constructed of tiny particles, each of which obey the laws of physics) doesn't alter the fact that it is not the mechanism which calls the shots, it is the consciousness.




Please illustrate to me how "the consciousness" and not the mechanism calls the shots- How do you know that consciousness is not an epiphenomemon? i.e., that all mental phenomena are entirely caused by physical phenomena in the central nervous system, and themselves have no effects, mental or physical.



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Concepts which have been proved to be useful in ordering things easily acquire such an authority over us that we forget their human origins and accept them as invariable.- Albert Einstein


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Anonymous

Re: Freewill vs. Determinism: ....??? [Re: Waldarbeiter]
    #1446438 - 04/10/03 02:03 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

The problem is that you can't tell the exact position of an electron at a certain point of time; all you can tell is the region where the electron is probably located...

i'm not claiming there is a formula out there that can describe events in your mind. i'm saying those electrons HAVE a mathematical background, along with the reactions that take place between them and other molecules. there is no "free will" when it comes to chemical reactions, electricity, and other laws of nature, all of which make our brain.

i.e
you are deciding if you want to go to the mall or not. this "thinking" leads to a series of reactions in your brain, that concludes you are not going to the mall. you may think you consciously made that decision, but everything that went on in your head was a series of reactions that can all be measured. does your "free will" act on your brain in a way that it defies science? if not you have NO free will.




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