"Free will is an illusion" Watch

kjdemaria
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What does everyone think about this? Also, would someone like to read my essay on this and give feedback? Thanks
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Martyn*
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Free Will was created and celebrated a long long time ago by society (i.e., religion and the state) to make people accountable for their actions. The philosophers looking at cause and effect attempted to wrestle with the problem of the Will, and found that man has misunderstood and misused it. Man's mistake was taking cause for effect and effect for cause which lead to this error of the freedom of the Will. Cause and effect does not explain anything, it is only useful in communication.
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Farm_Ecology
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I would be willing to read your essay on it.

Essentially I think the biggest problem of discussing Free Will is defining what it actually means.

I feel that in the way it usually is used, it doesn't really mean anything. And thus can't really exist.

In situations where it is used, it is either incompatible with current knowledge, or it's definition doesn't really fit the description 'free'.
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viriol
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I think on should consider whether one's definition of "free will" allows its (in)existence as a logical possibility...
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Substantia
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Standard hard determinist argument goes like this:

1)Just punishment and moral condemnation imply moral guilt.
2)Guilt implies moral responsibility
3)Moral responsibility implies freedom
4)Freedom implies the falsity of determinism.

Therefore if determinism is true, then we are not free = not responsible = ought not to feel guilty = ought not to be punished or morally condemned. Some hard determinists then go on to say that we should only use prisons for rehabilitation and public protection but not for punishment.

Traditionally compatibilists about free will will try and redefine freedom in a way so that even if determinism is true we can still be morally responsible. However this has proven to be quite difficult because each compatibilist account of free will must stand up to the scepticism of the hard determinists who have an arsenal of philosophical techniques to break it down and reveal inconsistency.

Peter Strawson in his famous essay 'freedom and resentment' managed to change the focus of the debate by discussing what we lose in our human interpersonal relationships if we embrace hard determinism. We all become patients to be handled, cured, trained or managed and we lose the right to emotions that make our relationships with each other human relationships. But he argued that even if we embraced hard determinism we would not be able to withdraw the feelings of guilt, love and resentment. The psychological compulsion to see ourselves and others as responsible agents is too strong to overcome. And therefore we should not look for the conditions that makes an agent free, but the conditions that make an agent an appropriate target for morally reactive attitudes.

My take on the matter:

When we hold somebody responsible we judge the reasons provided by the agent that explain their actions. As long as the agent has guidance control (physically free) moderately responsive to reasons (not insane) and they genuinely identify themselves with the reasons provided for their actions then they are appropriate/fair candidates for moral judgement. Identifying yourself with your reasons is an act of taking responsibility and seeing yourself as the cause of your actions.

The way I see it is that if we had Godlike knowledge of everybody's causal histories then it would be possible for us to withdraw our moral judgements of others, and to take the objective stance in all cases. But we don't know everybody's causal history, and seeing as we cannot rid ourselves of our morally reactive attitudes we must rely on the limited information that we have and try to only morally blame (or praise!) those
who deserve it most.

Consider this situation:

Person A: Shoots a man, person A is from a deprived impoverished background, he has suffered years of abuse from his parents, he has severe anxiety and often is in a state of delusion, he is forced to kill the man for food and money for his drug addiction.

Person B: Shoots a man, we know little of person B , he seems well mannered, reasonable, from a decent background and claims to have killed the man because he slept with his wife.

It would seem inappropriate to hold the same moral attitude towards person A and person B. Perhaps if we knew the entire causal history of person B we would think otherwise, but we don't and it would be incredibly difficult to withdraw our moral attitudes of resentment towards person B. Person B is an appropriate candidate for blame as he has identified himself with the reasons for his actions, he is reasons responsive and he has guidance control. Whereas person A clearly does not.
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Picnic1
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I don't know how many people experience deja vu but I do and I strongly do not believe that it is as a result of merely remembering similar memories.
I HAVE had those exact same experiences once (and no more than once) before.

It is odd of course. And it suggests that i do not fully have free will. It might even suggest, to my horror, that, like Groundhog Day, I should be attempting something entirely unexpected on the second occasion to 'break the spell'.

So my own experience suggests to me that, in certain points of my life at least, I probably have no free will. But I also feel that I was not meant to have free will at those points. Maybe I was being used to be part of other people's experience in those moments to give them the free will to do something differently to how they normally do things.

Whilst it is odd experience, I feel that nature chose to put me on a 'railyway' during these deja vu moments for the purpose of moving me on instead of how I might keep feeling compelled to go down the same kind of path in my usual day by day by the repetition of banality.

I am meant to move on, with the confidence and knowledge of all that I have learnt, and leave those behind me who would keep on selfishly dragging me in to the same past.

So nature, that has not, it seems, always allowed me free will in the past, now suggests it to me.
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Dmon1Unlimited
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i think we live in a deterministic universe, that not only accounts for physics, but also for what we think and feel... so yeah...
on a superficial level, you could say we have free will, on a deeper level, its all determinism baby...

i dont believe there is such a thing as a purely random chance, or that you randomly wore what you are wearing today. i believe you attained some sort of stimulus that resulted in you picking the clothes you are wearing... and this doesnt have to be the obvious 'watching a clothing advert' or something, it could even be something as seemingly nonsensical as waking up to a bright morning or something... we live in a sea of different stimuli that could potentially alter how we act... the main thing here is that you dont have to understand where this stimuli came from, to be under the influence of it... the same way you dont need to understand how helium changes your voice when you inhale a helium balloon, for it to happen.. it will happen whether you understand it or not
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wortandbeer
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I think people think this since neurological studies prove the brain doesn't operate on free choice.

Also, IMO a more valid point, is that cause and effect limit choice. The cause of an action has given effects, which in turn limit what choices can be made.
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Substantia
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(Original post by wortandbeer)
I think people think this since neurological studies prove the brain doesn't operate on free choice.

Also, IMO a more valid point, is that cause and effect limit choice. The cause of an action has given effects, which in turn limit what choices can be made.
Never happened.

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The conclusions drawn from these experiments are highly contentious. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroscience_of_free_will
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Will_to_power
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(Original post by wortandbeer)
I think people think this since neurological studies prove the brain doesn't operate on free choice.

Also, IMO a more valid point, is that cause and effect limit choice. The cause of an action has given effects, which in turn limit what choices can be made.
But your brain can work intentionally. I can get rid of my sad mood and make myself happier intentionally. Isn't it a kind of "free-will"?
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JohnPaul_
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We can still assume we don't have free will without blaming our actions on us as victims of biology.

Religion & Free Will contradict each other. Thank you lord for making me free. So much for freedom and the consideration of your will in the decision.

I think it's an illusion so long as we use our consciousness to determine what we call reality. We can't think a thought before we think of it. We cannot chose to chose what we in fact chose. But it's still partly comes from our mind as a whole wether our decisions are made conscious or not. So I make the assumption that we don't have free will and its merely an illusion, but my mind and body are still responsible for my actions therefore I will face the consequences.

That's free will in a nutshell for me.


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OMGWTFBBQ
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(Original post by Dmon1Unlimited)
i think we live in a deterministic universe, that not only accounts for physics, but also for what we think and feel... so yeah...
Just let me stop you there - modern Physics is nondeterministic.
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Dmon1Unlimited
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(Original post by OMGWTFBBQ)
Just let me stop you there - modern Physics is nondeterministic.
in what way?
look at the chaos in a ball bouncing on an oscillating table, as you increase the frequency of the table and observe how the ball bounces, it transitions into chaos where it*appears* unpredictable, but is this actually non deterministic? or is it the fact that this experiment is so complex that it *appears* chaotic and unpredictable?

look at a beam of electrons being fired at a double slit.... just because it makes a fringe pattern that gets corrupted if we attempt to see which slit the electron went through, does that mean we can say it is nondeterministic? it may be appear non deterministic from the point of view of our limited knowledge, but is it non deterministic as fact? as in we can never understand no matter how much science advances?

not understanding something =/= non determinism...
even outside the quantum world, classical physics is deterministic...
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Super Cicero
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#predestination
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JohnPaul_
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(Original post by Dmon1Unlimited)
in what way?
look at the chaos in a ball bouncing on an oscillating table, as you increase the frequency of the table and observe how the ball bounces, it transitions into chaos where it*appears* unpredictable, but is this actually non deterministic? or is it the fact that this experiment is so complex that it *appears* chaotic and unpredictable?

look at a beam of electrons being fired at a double slit.... just because it makes a fringe pattern that gets corrupted if we attempt to see which slit the electron went through, does that mean we can say it is nondeterministic? it may be appear non deterministic from the point of view of our limited knowledge, but is it non deterministic as fact? as in we can never understand no matter how much science advances?

not understanding something =/= non determinism...
even outside the quantum world, classical physics is deterministic...
Here here. Lawrence Krauss himself had made this point clear in his debates.


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Melancholy
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Farm_Ecology
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(Original post by Substantia)
Never happened.

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The conclusions drawn from these experiments are highly contentious. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroscience_of_free_will
If your referring to the Libet experiments, it's findings are irrelevant. What that experiment showed was whether or not we were aware of our decisions, not whether they were free or not.

Simply put, the brain does not operate with Free Will. All the evidence points to the brain functioning without Free Will, the brain is purely deterministic. There is nothing to suggest the brain needs a free agent to function, and there is no room for that agent to act if one did exist.
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Substantia
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(Original post by Farm_Ecology)
If your referring to the Libet experiments, it's findings are irrelevant. What that experiment showed was whether or not we were aware of our decisions, not whether they were free or not.

Simply put, the brain does not operate with Free Will. All the evidence points to the brain functioning without Free Will, the brain is purely deterministic. There is nothing to suggest the brain needs a free agent to function, and there is no room for that agent to act if one did exist.
Yeah I was mainly referring to the Libet experiments, and I agree that its findings are somewhat irrelevant to the free will debate (although still quite interesting!)

I also agree that in all likelihood the brain does function deterministically, but it is impossible to prove it. Furthermore it is impossible to prove that there is indeterminism in the brain, both claims are non falsifible and therefore I remain agnostic.
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Farm_Ecology
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(Original post by Substantia)
I also agree that in all likelihood the brain does function deterministically, but it is impossible to prove it. Furthermore it is impossible to prove that there is indeterminism in the brain, both claims are non falsifible and therefore I remain agnostic.
Actually it's pretty easy to prove. All brain activity is a result of cellular activity, which is deterministic. While there are likely to be some effects of quantum weirdness, there is simple nothing which could constitute free will in the way cells work.
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Substantia
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(Original post by Farm_Ecology)
Actually it's pretty easy to prove. All brain activity is a result of cellular activity, which is deterministic. While there are likely to be some effects of quantum weirdness, there is simple nothing which could constitute free will in the way cells work.
Actually there are quite a few people who would disagree with that statement. Most notably Robert Kane but also many other libertarians. I wouldn't say that a mechanism that gives us Ultimate responsibility is impossible, just unlikely.

Here are some proposed libertarian models:

http://www.informationphilosopher.co...ge_models.html

Note: I'm not a libertarian, but some of their ideas are at least plausible.
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