Free Will

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romansh
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Post by romansh » Sun Nov 09, 2014 6:02 pm

zoe wrote:Roncooper wrote:
The people who believe in free will are not claiming that science is on their side.
Then how do they claim they have free will? (on what basis?)
Really..... a rhetorical question?
Not rhetorical at all Zoe.

Though to be honest I am not all that hopeful that I will get a reply.

There is a problem with this whole debate ... I cite a piece of evidence against the concept of free will ... in this case a rephrasing of the second law of thermodynamics. Ron interprets it as claiming that science is on their side.

I can cite all the scientific textbooks I want that we live in a deterministic world. We might not see or understand the details; and even the universe at its root may be indeterministic. But if our supposed free wills are a result of aggregated quantum fluctuations then so be it. It is not what I had in mind when I say free will.
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Post by zoe » Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:04 pm

Not rhetorical at all Zoe.
The people who believe in free will are not claiming that science is on their side.
Rom, belief is not enough? So..... I ask a rhetorical question, my thought being it is the same question you asked.
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Post by romansh » Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:47 pm

zoe wrote:
Not rhetorical at all Zoe.
The people who believe in free will are not claiming that science is on their side.
Rom, belief is not enough? So..... I ask a rhetorical question, my thought being it is the same question you asked.
If you think you won't elicit an answer from me for your rhetorical question ... you don't know me. ... ;)

There may well be people that belief alone is enough.

Personally I prefer a coherent explanation of the data that informs my thought.

But all this gets us into debate around the meaning of knowledge, belief, faith and thought.
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Post by zoe » Mon Nov 10, 2014 12:02 am

But all this gets us into debate around the meaning of knowledge, belief, faith and thought.
Agreed. That is what we need to get beyond.
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Post by nandu » Sun May 17, 2015 6:06 am

Hello. I have been AWOL from this site for some time.

The following is a very interesting short book;

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/176904.Free_Will

You can find my review of the same here:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1 ... tion=false

Cheers!
Nandu
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Post by nandu » Sun May 17, 2015 6:07 am

Hello. I have been AWOL from this site for some time.

The following is a very interesting short book;

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/176904.Free_Will

You can find my review of the same here:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1 ... tion=false

Cheers!
Nandu
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Post by nandu » Sun May 17, 2015 6:08 am

Hello. I have been AWOL from this site for some time.

The following is a very interesting short book;

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/176904.Free_Will

You can find my review of the same here:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1 ... tion=false

Cheers!
Nandu
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Post by romansh » Sun May 17, 2015 8:21 pm

What a birthday present yesterday.

A long dormant thread reawakened.

I read Thomas Pink's book a while back ... did not find it convincing but, your blog is an accurate summary of the free will conundrum.

The interesting thing is, coming to terms with determinism and a lack of free will does, or at least can, lead us to two Eastern philosophical positions - dependent origination and the not self (ie as opposed to an intrinsic self).

I can recommend Sam Harris's Free Will. It argues against.

And Daniel Dennett's Freedom Evolves. Here Dennett argues for a compatibilist free will; unconvincingly in my opinion. I don't find Dennett an easy read.

And below is a spat with Dennett and Harris.
http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the- ... tes-lament
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Post by nandu » Mon May 25, 2015 11:23 am

Rom,

I was not able to post, and tried multiple times. Hence the three posts.

The VSI (Very Short Introduction) series is excellent - the only problem is it presents only one side of the debate. BTW, you can read my views on a similar book on consciousness by Susan Blackmore on the link below:

https://nandakishorevarma.wordpress.com ... blackmore/

And, HAPPY {belated} BIRTHDAY!!!
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Post by romansh » Tue May 26, 2015 2:43 am

I must admit I like Susan Blackmore. :)

Like free will, I think consciousness is an illusion.

That does not mean the phenomena are not real, just that they are not what they seem.

And in the case of free will ... it becomes a definition game.
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Post by nandu » Tue May 26, 2015 6:20 am

I agree that Free Will is a matter of definition.
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Post by romansh » Wed May 27, 2015 12:57 am

nandu wrote:I agree that Free Will is a matter of definition.
I understand and agree.

Nevertheless if cause and effect is true, then this has some interesting ramifications for our everyday perceptions of our "self".

Just imagine every action, thought and desire being a result of a mesh of cause and effect, whether that cause is determined or indetermined.

Regardless how we define free will ... this possibility does not go away.
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Post by Roncooper » Sat May 30, 2015 2:46 am

I hope this posts. I think it is really cool that the last working thread is Rom's free will thread.

I have been thinking about what would make very intelligent people turn their backs on the fact that they make choices every day, and instead choose a theory based on the behavior of billiard balls that cannot be proved for the human situation.

My current thoughts are that these very intelligent people are the victims of tyrannical society, which has forced intellectuals into a prison of practicality.

The intellect must serve the king. None of this unauthorized thinking. The intellect must deny it's own reality and it's own path. It must be part of the machine.
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Post by nandu » Sat May 30, 2015 11:32 am

Roncooper wrote:The intellect must serve the king. None of this unauthorized thinking. The intellect must deny it's own reality and it's own path. It must be part of the machine.
That is not the argument against Free Will, Ron.
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Post by romansh » Sun May 31, 2015 1:41 am

Roncooper wrote: I hope this posts. I think it is really cool that the last working thread is Rom's free will thread.
Sweet irony
Roncooper wrote: I have been thinking about what would make very intelligent people turn their backs on the fact that they make choices every day,
The issue is not whether or not we make choices Ron. We plainly do.

It is how and exactly what makes those choices.
"That's right!" shouted Vroomfondel, "we demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!"
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