Free Will

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Og
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Post by Og » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:07 pm

zoe wrote:1) Future states of our universe are defined by a combination of two things: 1) the previous state of the universe, and 2) the laws of physics that govern how one state moves to the next.
2) Humans have not always existed and are a product of said universe.
3) Humans lack the ability to control any previous state of the universe.5
4) Humans lack the ability to control the laws of physics.
5) Therefore, humans are unable to affect any future state of the universe
I was with him until that last statement. I don't think it actually follows.

Since I, the human, am the current state of the universe, the unfolding of things certainly depends upon me! I certainly can affect the future of the cosmos and we all do this every day.

To me, this screams about how my sense of self is somehow artificially bound by the western ego/soul concept I have been raised on, not that I am somehow a soul riding in a robot that I cannot control.
Last edited by Og on Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by CarmelaBear » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:17 pm

We affect the universe in which we live, which is somewhat limited.

Just saying.

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Post by cadfael » Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:51 pm

I think Voltaire showed quite well that we do not have free will in his book Candide. I do not remember this aspect of the book clearly. In the story Candide has a choice bettween being beat by thousands of soldiers, or being shot in the head with a lead ball. Either choice he makes he is in bad shape. If he had free will he would not choose either. He would choose to be free of these choices.Does he escape this maddness due to an earthquake? I can't remember.

These threads remind me of the dialogues of Plato.

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Post by CarmelaBear » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:31 am

Two weevils?

Most elections are like that.

Terrible.

:?
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Post by romansh » Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:10 am

cadfael wrote:I think Voltaire showed quite well that we do not have free will in his book Candide. I do not remember this aspect of the book clearly. In the story Candide has a choice bettween being beat by thousands of soldiers, or being shot in the head with a lead ball.
Funnily enough this is not what the free will debate is about. It's not about choosing between horrible situations or between choosing between vanilla and chocolate ice cream. It is about the mechanism of making choices ...

How can we be independent of our experience and our chemistry ... etc.
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Post by Andreas » Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:24 am

And funnily enough one can maintain two attitudes towards life, lets say for example positive or negative. The opposites are infinite and how well we are able to "control" them shapes the choices we make in life to a certain degree at least.

In my experience the more I look in depth such concepts the more chaotic and paradoxical they become.
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Post by romansh » Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:35 pm

Andreas wrote:And funnily enough one can maintain two attitudes towards life, lets say for example positive or negative. The opposites are infinite and how well we are able to "control" them shapes the choices we make in life to a certain degree at least.

In my experience the more I look in depth such concepts the more chaotic and paradoxical they become.
That we can maintain two apparently paradoxically opposite positions is not at issue here Andreas. This issue is how we do it.
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Post by Andreas » Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:56 am

I don't understand this, Rom. What do you mean how we do it?
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Post by romansh » Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:33 am

Andreas wrote:I don't understand this, Rom. What do you mean how we do it?
How we maintain a paradox.

How we make choices.
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Post by Andreas » Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:02 am

No I got that. I just didn't get what you meant by it. :P

Anyway..
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Post by romansh » Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:51 pm

Andreas wrote:No I got that. I just didn't get what you meant by it. :P
We maintain paradoxes and make choices through cause and effect.

The chain of cause and effect can be described at different levels from psychology to quantum phenomena.
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Post by Andreas » Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:01 am

Sure one action will lead to another but what this action will be is not chosen by us? I don't see how causality contradicts free will.
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Post by romansh » Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:40 pm

Andreas wrote:Sure one action will lead to another but what this action will be is not chosen by us? I don't see how causality contradicts free will.
What is your definition of free will?

Mine would be something like to act independently of our environment?

No one is arguing that we don't make choices. But I am asking can we make choices freely? Are our choices independent of our body chemistry? Or do we have a homunculus controlling our body chemistry. Of course this is a ridiculous concept (for most of us). Does chemistry in a beaker have free will? Does chemistry packaged inside of any cell within our bodies have free will? How many cells do we have to clump together to get free will?

We make free choices the same way a river chooses its meandering path over a plain.
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Post by romansh » Sat Sep 07, 2013 12:53 am

CarmelaBear wrote:Well, then, maybe anything at all can be a drug....

:shock:
Funnily enough this is my point.
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Post by zoe » Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:54 am

But in general, I would say that we have constructed some arbitrary and self-serving lines between ourselves and the world, between man and animal, man and machine. These could crumble in the face of technological advances. Interestingly enough, sometimes I get this response to my talking about personhood, even legal, for artificial agents, where people say I’m denigrating humans. My response is, no, not really, I think thinking like this could help us treat animals better! Samir Chopra
This is mainly about autonomous intelligent agents but I thought it might fit here.

http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/go-hack-yourself/
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