Free Will

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Roncooper
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Post by Roncooper » Mon Jun 13, 2016 3:24 am

Rom wrote
So what causes you to misrepresent my position Ron?
Now this I really don't understand.

I have edited this post. If you are misrepresented bu your own words, then I guess that just makes you human, like the rest of us. I promise not to use your words against you.
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Post by Roncooper » Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:09 pm

I watched the video. It was entertaining. I an not fond of arguments by exception.

The brain, in my opinion, is a data acquisition and control system. It also includes data processing and some analysis, like any other modern detection system. The fact that it can be fooled, or that it doesn't work correctly when it is broken shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.

It detects reality and provides a sophisticated stream of information about the environment for the use of the whole organism, or the Self(in Jungian terms).

I do not believe that human consciousness is separate from the human body. The body is an integral component of the human being. Mind body dualism comes from the misinterpretation of the relationship between the whole and its parts.

However, I do not believe that physical reality is all that there is because that view does a terrible job at explaining reality. A single beatific vision can change a person's life, or the lives of a community, or society.

How does the brain do that?
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Post by romansh » Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:18 am

Roncooper wrote:Rom wrote
So what causes you to misrepresent my position Ron?
Now this I really don't understand.

I have edited this post. If you are misrepresented bu your own words, then I guess that just makes you human, like the rest of us. I promise not to use your words against you.
But we don't exist. We are delusions.
Where did I say we don't exist or that we are delusions?
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Post by Roncooper » Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:54 am

You have said that we do not exist as separate entities. You have said consciousness doesn't exist or is an illusion. You have said that our inner life is a delusion.

I'm not going to look these up because as I said, I promise not to use your words against you. How about visa versa?
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Post by CarmelaBear » Wed Jun 15, 2016 6:25 am

Let's see. Our bodies feel substantial enough. They are made of atoms. But wait. Only 5% of the stuff in our "universe" is made of atoms. 23% is dark matter and 73% is dark energy. We gave the exotic dark energy and matter a set of names, and we have no earthly idea what they are all about. Like UFO's, we know the phenomenon exists, we know it is mysterious, and we know we co-exist with the unknown.

"Will" is a name we offer up to the gods of mystery. Can we agree that no one has gone beyond naming what we actually and really do experience? Ethics and morality and the notions of sin and crime and love and hate are all founded on the dogmatic belief that choice not only exists, but it is something we can be forced to own and to accept as the basis for and justification for suffering that goes artificially far beyond any otherwise natural consequences of human conduct.

Our human conduct, whether individual or social or corporate or political or military, is something that can causally precede natural consequences. Or, in the real world, we artificially learn we must answer to another, more forceful power. We can be required to answer for our existence and behavior through overwhelming violence or the credible threat of violence. In a world where my own personal market-state is capable and willing--no, morally required to--force you to give up your life and freedom to satisfy my need for fossil fuels and nuclear weapons, your will to exist belongs to me, my corporations and my leaders. You get what's left...the illusion of freedom. You can decide whether to eat cake or to storm the Bastille.

~
Last edited by CarmelaBear on Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by romansh » Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:57 pm

Roncooper wrote: You have said that we do not exist as separate entities.
True ... but we do exist as connected entities. I what way is that saying we don't exist?
Roncooper wrote: You have said consciousness doesn't exist or is an illusion.
I have not said consciousness does not exist; but I have said it is not what it seems, (an illusion).
I have clarified my use of the word illusion many times Ron.
Roncooper wrote: You have said that our inner life is a delusion.
Absolutely false. I am careful to avoid the word delusion.
Roncooper wrote: I'm not going to look these up because as I said, I promise not to use your words against you. How about visa versa?
Rhetoric Ron. I prefer evidence
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Post by romansh » Wed Jun 15, 2016 2:02 pm

CarmelaBear wrote: You can decide whether to eat cake or to storm the Bastille.
Yes, but not independently of cause. Not independently of our body chemistry or of the environment that shapes it; both in a genetic sense and a societal sense.
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Post by Roncooper » Thu Jun 16, 2016 2:40 pm

Rom,

In truth you did use delusion to describe human experiences, but I am not going to waste my time looking up the exact comments. It is not important.

you posted,
CarmelaBear wrote:
You can decide whether to eat cake or to storm the Bastille.


Yes, but not independently of cause. Not independently of our body chemistry or of the environment that shapes it; both in a genetic sense and a societal sense.
All I can say is so what. How does this preclude my freedom to choose? I can think about real life problems and choose a course of action. I might make a good choice or a bad choice, but I choose.

Thinking back over the last three years I have thought about three arguments, one for free will and two against.

The one for free will is from Kant. It states that the intellect is free because it is not limited by what is, but can think about what ought to be. This is a compelling argument

The first one against free will is based on energy and the laws that explain how it works. This argument fails because we consume energy when we think. Decisions burn calories.

The second argument against free will is based on cause and effect. I can make a reasoned choice or an emotional choice. I can make a random choice or an arbitrary choice. I can choose for the fun of it, and somehow, magically, my choices are inevitable.

I can choose to set the cruise control at 56 mph or 57 mph and somehow I am compelled to make that choice. I don't buy it. Explain how the universe forces me to choose 57 over 56?

Before there can be a science based argument against free will based on cause and effect there would have to be a conservation law for cause and effect and there isn't one. The intellect can choose between outcomes without violating any known laws of physics.

In my opinion Kant wins, His argument is clear and concise.
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Post by CarmelaBear » Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:47 pm

Roncooper wrote:
The one for free will is from Kant. It states that the intellect is free because it is not limited by what is, but can think about what ought to be. This is a compelling argument

The first one against free will is based on energy and the laws that explain how it works. This argument fails because we consume energy when we think. Decisions burn calories.

The second argument against free will is based on cause and effect. I can make a reasoned choice or an emotional choice. I can make a random choice or an arbitrary choice. I can choose for the fun of it, and somehow, magically, my choices are inevitable.

I can choose to set the cruise control at 56 mph or 57 mph and somehow I am compelled to make that choice. I don't buy it. Explain how the universe forces me to choose 57 over 56?

Before there can be a science based argument against free will based on cause and effect there would have to be a conservation law for cause and effect and there isn't one. The intellect can choose between outcomes without violating any known laws of physics.

In my opinion Kant wins, His argument is clear and concise.
If intellect resides partly in a fragile, mortal brain and partly in a section of the nature of the species that is governed by atomic and dark or invisible reality, then both consciousness and choice are outside the Newtonian laws of physics. If our essence is too complex or unnknown for definition or accurate observation, then there is no ground upon which to question what we experience as free will. The will can be thwarted and subverted and conned, but the experience of it remains intact despite all challenges.

~
Once in a while a door opens, and let's in the future. --- Graham Greene
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Post by Roncooper » Wed Jun 22, 2016 12:47 pm

Carmela,

I agree. The mystery is bigger than science.
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Post by romansh » Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:27 pm

Roncooper wrote: In truth you did use delusion to describe human experiences, but I am not going to waste my time looking up the exact comments. It is not important.
Another falsehood Ron.
But you are right you would be wasting your time.
Roncooper wrote: All I can say is so what. How does this preclude my freedom to choose? I can think about real life problems and choose a course of action. I might make a good choice or a bad choice, but I choose.
We are discussing the nature of reality, not recounting the perceptions of what we think goes on in our conscious mind.
Roncooper wrote:The one for free will is from Kant. It states that the intellect is free because it is not limited by what is, but can think about what ought to be. This is a compelling argument
Can your mind think about what ought to be independently of the biochemistry that goes on to form your opinions.
Roncooper wrote:The first one against free will is based on energy and the laws that explain how it works. This argument fails because we consume energy when we think. Decisions burn calories.
Actually the energy gets moved around and "diluted".
Roncooper wrote:The second argument against free will is based on cause and effect. I can make a reasoned choice or an emotional choice. I can make a random choice or an arbitrary choice. I can choose for the fun of it, and somehow, magically, my choices are inevitable.
I am not claiming that choices are predetermined. Just that they are a result of cause and effect.
Your reasoned or emotional choice are both a result of biochemistry are they not?

I don't think you could make a random choice realistically. The human mind is poor at doing random.

Test yourself here ...

http://faculty.rhodes.edu/wetzel/random ... ml#imagine
Roncooper wrote:I can choose to set the cruise control at 56 mph or 57 mph and somehow I am compelled to make that choice. I don't buy it. Explain how the universe forces me to choose 57 over 56?

Forces? The universe is just unfolding.
Explain to me how you choose without using biochemistry.
Roncooper wrote:Before there can be a science based argument against free will based on cause and effect there would have to be a conservation law for cause and effect and there isn't one. The intellect can choose between outcomes without violating any known laws of physics.
Yes you keep saying this, but then for this to be true, differences in energy and overcoming activation energies would have to seen as not being causes.
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Post by romansh » Sun Jun 26, 2016 11:50 pm

Roncooper wrote:Carmela,

I agree. The mystery is bigger than science.
Is there a more accurate method on understanding the mystery than science?
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Post by Roncooper » Mon Jun 27, 2016 3:04 am

Rom wrote,


Is there a more accurate method on understanding the mystery than science?
I agree that science is the best method for understanding that part of reality where it applies. My guess is that its domain is something like 10% of the mystery.

The intellect is completely clueless about a majority of things and science only applies to a small percentage of the realm of the intellect.

If you believe that science can answer almost all questions then you need to study the scientific method. It has severe limitations.
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Post by romansh » Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:33 pm

Roncooper wrote:Rom wrote,
Is there a more accurate method on understanding the mystery than science?
I agree that science is the best method for understanding that part of reality where it applies. My guess is that its domain is something like 10% of the mystery.

The intellect is completely clueless about a majority of things and science only applies to a small percentage of the realm of the intellect.

If you believe that science can answer almost all questions then you need to study the scientific method. It has severe limitations.
Firstly Ron, I don't think you speak accurately about everybody's' intellect.

Yes intuition and the like have a place. But I think a bit of intellectual (scientific method) thought does not go amiss here. But here I am speaking of the method of science, observe, hypothesize, observe, verify hypothesis ... iteratively. Some scientists may very well over confident in their "truth". Fundamentally science is agnostic at its core when it comes to knowledge.

We can build skyscrapers, go to the moon and back based on an incomplete Newtonian world view. Relativity has its place as does quantum mechanics, even if those two theories are currently incompatible. Psychology and the social sciences are in their infancy, but ultimately the rigour will increase. Some people like Susan Blackmore (as I understand her) are advocating that introspection be made a bit more scientific as neuroscience by itself won't cut it.

If you think the scientific method is limited, then I would argue so is your thinking at least with respect to the capabilities of science.

And finally I hope you are not offended if I don't take your scientific coaching to heart. It is just that I can't get past your comment, "... life violates the second law of thermodynamics."
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Post by Roncooper » Fri Jul 01, 2016 7:36 pm

Rom wrote.
If you think the scientific method is limited, then I would argue so is your thinking at least with respect to the capabilities of science.
The scientific method is limited to simple, repeatable, physical processes. This is a small subset of reality. It can only detect physical changes.

The intellect can use reason and trial and error to figure out how to accomplish something without the scientific method. This is a larger subset, but most of reality is beyond the intellect.

The intellect has nothing meaningful to say about love, beauty, will, and consciousness. It belittles them because they are beyond its reach. Reason can help these qualities, but more often than not it is a hindrance.

And finally I hope you are not offended if I don't take your scientific coaching to heart. It is just that I can't get past your comment, "... life violates the second law of thermodynamics."
Unlike you my memory still works and I remember posting this. I also remember explaining it. I will do so again.

The second law of thermodynamics assumes that there is no energy source within the closed system. A living thing brings in energy from outside and can become more orderly in this way.

I can't believe I had to explain this.
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. -Isaac Newton
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