Or are you locked in a causal chain, in which your response was inevitable?
Now that you have responded, I was referring to you.
Did you respond of your own free will, or did you respond because you are you locked in a causal chain, in which your response was inevitable?
What difference does it make for a frog, that is caught by a snake, that it can choose to crock or not?
I read the title of the thread. I chose to enter it. After I entered it, I realized what you were up to.
Lo and behold, we have yet another meaningless thread. Everything begins with choice.
As for "free will"? The human will is a part of who we are and yes it's free.
For the record, the only thing that I was "doing" was raising a question about Free Will, without being explicit about it.
You just think it is.
It's very unlikely that we 'consciously' choose to do or think anything. Much more likely is that all our choices are decided for us behind the scenes (via our brain structure and the feedback it receives) and then thoughts emerge into our conscious brain, so it feels like it's been a free choice.
If it wasn't for consciousness of any level, we would be inanimate objects.
The Human will in the construct of human consciousness is free. It comes with consciousness, just like the human conscience comes with consciousness as well.
You have to make a choice. When you put actions behind that choice, it is willed. Humans use it all the time when acting in any manner. Some times instinctive/reactionary actions take place. Those are simply reflexes. No choice.
There's never any choice...not in any circumstances. We can no more control our decisions than we can the workings of our blood cells.
Just because we experience consciousness, it doesn't follow that we must have free will. We don't 'create' our conscious experience through will, it's created for us by biological mechanisms and we act in accordance with what that mechanism dictates.
I'm sorry, there are a lot of factors which go into making some decisions and being conscious of the repercussions is one of these. This may come from previous experience or simply common sense. To say we cannot control our decisions because of biological mechanisms is a bit far fetched in my opinion.
The sentence, "To say _we_ cannot control _our_ decisions because of biological mechanisms is a bit far fetched in my opinion,"implies that we are separate from our biological organisms.
Randy, being 'conscious of the repercussions' is part and parcel of the mechanism. We know there will be repercussions for certain actions because our brains have that kind of feedback stored from previous experience, learnt knowledge etc.
There are really only two factors involved in decision making- the genetic structure of our brain and the feedback it receives.
You've never witnessed anyone who acted without thinking about the repercussions their actions might entail? In anger the pros and cons may not be considered at all. This is true for those who may normally stop and think before acting.
In some cases there is no stored knowledge to help make the decision and in this scenario a snap judgement must be made. It may be a bad choice but a decision has been made nonetheless. We call this a guess.
That's all true but again, how people act depends on the two factors I mentioned. If we all had exactly the same brain structure and experienced exactly the same input, we would all make the same choices. There would be no separate entity called 'free will' to come in and alter our decisions.
As far as I know there has never been such a case where everyone had the same brain structure or the same input on a large scale to test your theory. But you are welcome to it just the same.
Will is never free. Not when consequences are involved in any decision making process. Just my view, of course.
Well, it's a thought experiment. If those who don't believe our choices are biologically determined are right, then they should be able to explain how it is we could make different decisions to another person if we had exactly the same brain and input as that person.
Hypothetical scenarios cannot be examined in such a case. But how about this? Two identical brains with equal input doesn't necessarily mean the bodies are identical too, does it? Suppose one body's taste buds send a "tastes good" signal to the brain while another body sends a "bad taste" signal?
Yes, this is considered input, but just like some like liver and some hate it, they both like ice cream. Physical differences play a part in the equation too, not merely the brain. So in order for your theory to be viable, they must have identical bodies also. I do understand what you are saying though.
I have to agree with Ella here. The buds just sent the signals to the brain, it is the brain that identify it as good or bad. If every other factor is the same, then the brains will interpret it the same, just like two identical computers that give the same result for the same input.
Sure, it sounds simple, but what if the two identical brains with different bodies have different handicaps, one crippled, one normal. Getting to the top of a hill can be achieved by walking up the stairs for one, but the other has to take a ramp instead. The same input to the brains of each cause a different decision from the particular person. They have to make different choices because of their different bodies. Same input to the brain as to getting up the hill, but different decisions have to be made to attain the summit.
I think the experience part comes their. The information stored in one brain is that it can't climb the stairs.
I have studied in physiology that though normally rats are afraid of cats, if a particular area is destroyed(I forgot which) the rats may go and attack cats. The information that 'cats are dangerous' are genetically stored.
So in your example, the information that a crippled cannot climb stairs have been got there either by self experience, seeing others or simply by deduction. So if we can remove that information we can make the cripple climb the stairs, but the brain will again get the information by deduction the moment it sees the steps.
I add 2 more examples for I'm not sure I'm clear enough. A person who was deaf from birth can never talk even if his voice box is normal. A person who is deprived of visual stimulas at the crucial age can never see even if his every visual pathway is normal, because brain failed to study.
I have met those who could talk normally even though they were born deaf, and perhaps even better, grammatically speaking, than those who weren't.
I didn't mean write or communicate, I meant speech. A person who is born deaf(should be complete deaf) cannot talk because he has never heard a sound. If a deaf person can 'talk' that means he was not born deaf.
I've talked to a few profoundly deaf people -- born deaf -- who could "talk," in the sense that they were able to successfully produce sounds which were roughly equivalent to the sounds that a hearing person produces.
However, since the experience was different -- with no auditory input -- it might have produced different neural pathways. I honestly don't know.
I tend to agree with you, and so do most neuroanatomists.
I'm tending to agree with you too Ella. From what I've been reading this week on the construction of our brains, the latest scientific thinking is that we have no free will, it is merely an illusion. Our thoughts originate in the unconcious some 10ms - 10s before our unconscious decides to let our concious be aware of them.
This of course has a potentially huge impact on religious thought.
How do you know who I was talking to Cags? Did you notice a quote somewhere?
Hey Randy, sorry to tell you but Forum Decorum would say that you were talking to the OP and none of the participants of the thread.
Posting directly to the thread without a quote automatically means you're talking to the poster(OP) of the thread. Since you didn't include a @ in your post, again it reverts back to you posting to the OP(the person who posted the thread).
I chose to be locked in a causal chain, so I'm not sure what to say.
The choice exists only till you choose, then you must accept the involvement of its outcome.
To ask ""Did you "choose" to respond to this forum?"" is a topic for Quantum Jumping, where one might choose a path not taken from any past choice(I don't prescribe to this).
But then, I just might answer with, "I'm here aren't I?"
I'm glad you don't prescribe to Quantum Jumping, as it seems to me pseudoscience dressed in mystical clothing.
I have no idea. I don't "believe" in Free Will, but the question is still open.
As a believer in Jesus Christ, a time may come, as prophesied for some, when Antichrist forces might, might or might not being free will components, come to make me choose between denying my belief in Jesus Christ, or to have my head cut off. How should I choose?
Is that sentiment the alternative to free will?
So that is your answer, as a product of deliberation.
I am sorry, i will not discuss this issue further with you.
I make it a point not to chat with teenagers using thier mother's computer without permission.
I'm glad to have struck a point you were unable to scale. You see, achievement requires much purposeful deliberation.
Respectfully, I am not sure that you "struck a point" that Janesix was unable to scale, but rather that you struck the same point repeatedly, while apparently expecting a different response.
Until I have irrefutable evidence to the contrary, I expect the best from strangers. Not everyone is so trusting, or so patient.
You took the bait by not letting it go unanswered. Bravo and for your reward, I reply thusly: Repeating things in different ways, I find necessary when a response fails to grasp the point.
The bait was for Janesix btw, though you'll do nicely. I caught my quarry.
Speaking personally, as I don't believe in the supernatural or prophecy, neither possibility concerns me.
Understand that, whether Free Will exists, or whether it doesn't, all of my responses will be the same, whether I am merely proceeding as if it exists, or whether it actually exists.
Either way, I don't know the answer.
Is this to say, by virtue of not having a second choice to revoke the first, that makes it fate?
I should say, whether or not the possibilities you're not concerned with, may or may not have anything to do with supernatural influence
, yet they could still exist, presenting a dilemma.
They might be a concern me in the sense of ultimately affecting me, but they aren't a concern in the sense of causing me worry.
Assuming that Free Will exists, then some worries might conceivably be, but not all of them. Many worries are entirely irrational things.
Rationality is not the subject, but while you've brought it up, rational is synonymous with deliberation, both agents of choice. See the hole you're digging for your argument?
To quote myself:
If Free Will exists, then everything continues in exactly the same manner that it would if free Will did not exist.
Where do you suppose the concept of "Free Will" came from?
I theorize that we have no choice but to believe in Free Will (no pun intended).
Assume for a moment that we _don't_ have Free Will; that it has never existed, despite the near-universal belief that it does.
On your deathbed, after having lived a successful life in which you were married -- and in love -- with the person who is now holding your hand as you slip into nonexistence, you learn, irrefutably, that Free Will didn't exist.
Would you suddenly love your spouse less? Would your life suddenly become less happy?
I'm not asking whether you would feel disquiet. You probably would. I'm asking whether the love and the happiness you experienced would suddenly be less real. Your children, who love you and are weeping at your imminent death, they _don't_ know that Free Will is a fiction. Is their love suddenly less real?
Love and happiness are causalities of determinant choices. Disbelief in free will can't make it go away if indeed it exists. No, it happens to be a thorn in the druthers of the Atheist, who can't bear the thought that personal destination is a responsibility to be held accountable for. Without free will, God can't judge, so there's the rub. As long as there can be no free will, the Atheist can argue no God.
And one doesn't win arguments by ignoring reason, especially when it's been approached from numerous angles for clarity. And again, if changing one's mind is a free will choice, perhaps the Atheist becomes stuck on the perpetual treadmill of denial to secure finality.
I grow weary hammering you with the bleeding obvious, but fear not, it is for this reason I use my free will and choose to be here.
So for the sake of clarity, let me repeat:
If changing one's mind is a free will choice, perhaps the Atheist becomes stuck on the perpetual treadmill of denial to secure finality. Otherwise, the Atheist might meet with salvation. What would that do to one's vanity?
And so, the essence of this forum is defined.
That would be relevant if I were engaged in an argument.
Believe it or not, the question isn't settled, whether you acknowledge that or not. I've read your reasoning, and I understand your reasoning. It isn't something that I haven't encountered numerous time before.
Two days ago, I bought a book on this very subject. I haven't read it yet, so I can't make any extensive comments on it.
I've liked other books by Sam Harris, and I'm looking forward to this one.
It is linked here:
http://www.amazon.com/Free-Will-Sam-Har … 1451683405
Here is an observation that Harris makes within the first pages:
I won't make an appeal to authority, but I will say that Harris's logic seems sound to me.
Publication Date: March 6, 2012
A BELIEF IN FREE WILL touches nearly everything that human beings value. It is difficult to think about law, politics, religion, public policy, intimate relationships, morality—as well as feelings of remorse or personal achievement—without first imagining that every person is the true source of his or her thoughts and actions. And yet the facts tell us that free will is an illusion.
In this enlightening book, Sam Harris argues that this truth about the human mind does not undermine morality or diminish the importance of social and political freedom, but it can and should change the way we think about some of the most important questions in life."
New publishing, very nice. But one-by-one: A good start until it resolves it's dissimulation with, "the facts tell us that free will is an illusion". He might have well stated, "the facts tell us that everything came from nothing". Dear Mr. Forum Creator, if intelligence is an illusion, what can we make of the empirical process? Further, when he states, "this truth about the human mind". Such statements reveal the usurping of unfounded truth, as unassailable. And here, "does not undermine morality". Either he is unwittingly revealing an obvious agenda, or he thinks ill of the spiritual minded masses' ability to discern. And here we have it, "can and should change the way we think about some of the most important questions in life", http://youtu.be/4t6HZKrLdNI When dark things slither from beneath rocks, let the light suffer them.
The term "argument" should be defined among gentlemen as presented in Dictionary.com:
1. an oral disagreement; verbal opposition; contention; altercation: a violent argument.
2. a discussion involving differing points of view; debate: They were deeply involved in an argument about inflation.
3. a process of reasoning; series of reasons: I couldn't follow his argument.
4. a statement, reason, or fact for or against a point: This is a strong argument in favor of her theory.
5. an address or composition intended to convince or persuade; persuasive discourse.
You see? Unless you invasion our discourse as defined by #1, then yes, you have been engaged in arguing your points.
The term "argument" should be defined among gentlemen as presented in the Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition: "To give evidence, furnish proof, that."
I am arguing now, and I did subsequent to your "one doesn't win arguments by ignoring reason" post. Our dialogue prior to that barely qualified as Show N Tell.
Further, it is ludicrous to claim that I was arguing anything when I made clear my own uncertainty:
"I have no idea. I don't 'believe' in Free Will, but the question is still open."
"Either way, I don't know the answer."
I have NO IDEA whether we have Free Will, as should have been plain from one of my earliest posts:
"For the record, the only thing that I was "doing" was raising a question about Free Will, without being explicit about it."
Whether you understand this or not, and whether you believe it or not, I participate in forums to learn, not to argue. Often, argument is the medium, but that is not my purpose in frequenting HubPages.
He might have told us that the facts tell us that everything came from nothing, if the origin of the universe had been his topic. However, he didn't, so no thank you, I've had my fill of red herring.
Harris is either presenting facts, or he isn't. He tells you what he has resolved as true, and then he explains why. He either persuades you, or he doesn't. Of course, he has underlying motives -- an agenda -- or he wouldn't have written the bloody book. Do you commonly write books without motive? Do you post to HubPages without motive?
You certainly aren't tentative in your own assertions of truth, based on the evidence of your intemperate language, "I grow weary hammering you with the bleeding obvious." if it was bleeding obvious, we wouldn't be having this discussion, unless you are so arrogant as to believe that there is no possibility of your own error (which unsurprisingly seems to be what you are accusing Harris of).
Oh, you work me so.
The creation emittance was allegorical to his hope that the reader might have indifference toward his process of indoctrination and I eat herring, not shovel it.
Concerning him presenting facts? He isn't, else his resolved truth would indeed be unassailable, which truth, in and of itself, will continue to defy him of this. Did I mention motive? I don't remember having done so, but if you're trying to point out that I sin, even within my aruments, you're right on the mark.
Please forgive my intemperance. Vanity is relentless to rule. Fact is, I'm up for the fight and will not faint and the only thing bleeding is my dry wit. Arrogance? What else is new? Again, I tip my hat to able vanities. I hope we can avoid rehashing these matters, for the sake of progress. Otherwise, I might view it as an intentional distraction.
Your use of the term "error" seems without context. If I must deal with it as is, then you-win-I-lose, cheater! Pearl Jam - Indifference
Thing is, you're not witty or clever. Merely obnoxious.
And you're short winded, kind of a hit-n-run mentality and how dare you devilishly confuse wit, being synonymous with humor, for twisting that intent of the word with "witty or clever". Those are entirely your word usage, introduced in accordance with your own inadequacy to communicate.
My apologies if I do offend.
In my worldview, there are no unassailable truths, but I don't begrudge someone - in a formal argument -- pretending that there are.
In a formal argument, one often begins with a statement like this one:
"Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its doohickey allotment to manufacturers of thingamajigs."
Harris was writing a formal argument in a style appropriate for a general audience. I still don't begrudge him his pretense of unassailable truths.
You mentioned motive when you mentioned agenda, which is the same thing. The word "agenda" means "underlying motive," which is the phrase that I used.
I forgive you for your intemperance.
As for my use of the term "error" being without context, how so? The sentence which contained it provided its context.
Let's go last first here. When you referred to my own error, you failed pointing out the error. Reading minds isn't one of my talents and thanks for your Christ like quality of forgiveness.
And so I did mention "agenda". My apologies again.
As you point out,
"Harris was writing a formal argument in a style appropriate for a general audience. I still don't begrudge him his pretense of unassailable truths."
Mr. Harris should be called out on this maneuver.
I'll cry uncle on the "argument" issue.
And last but by no means least, In my, Heavenly Father's Kingdom view, all His truths are and forever shall be unassailable.
I see now that my phrasing may have been confusing.
My sincere apologies.
I wrote, "If it was bleeding obvious, we wouldn't be having this discussion, unless you are so arrogant as to believe that there is no possibility [of your own error.]"
Replace the words in brackets with "that you were mistaken."
Ahhh, I see it so clearly now. Thanks for idiot proofing it for me. Fact is, past and future errors are a given. I don't know of a single topic where I'm considered the best mind on. So yea, stay on your toes and you might find a few. Ever been on an Easter Egg hunt?
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