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Our concept of free will could all be an illusion, new research suggests.

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posted on May, 6 2016 @ 07:34 PM
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a reply to: BigBrotherDarkness

I pretty much agree with everything you just said.

I keep being told that if you can afford to be honest... to go for it. But there's a high price to pay for it.

That makes me really sad. I guess everyone's terrified of being honest and can't afford it or risk it because their lies hold their positions in life in place. Sounds like hell to me and I'd never ever subject myself to it willingly or consciously (I think we can be and are tricked into it in a sense sometimes).

Thanks for responding.




posted on May, 6 2016 @ 11:22 PM
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a reply to: geezlouise


every choice we make is predetermined by previous experiences and conditioning, which is another thing entirely than the article proposes but it's something.

Actually, it’s the same thing. Those previous experiences (or ‘conditioning’), together with your genetic history and the exigencies of the moment, completely determine every rational act you undertake.

To exercise free will, even if that were possible, would be to act irrationally.



posted on May, 6 2016 @ 11:26 PM
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a reply to: AVoiceOfReason


free will is essential to gather good experience.

So there’s a God?

Or did the universe develop this experimental capability naturally? What mechanism would make that possible?

Are you a believer in cosmological natural selection?



posted on May, 6 2016 @ 11:33 PM
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a reply to: Aphorism


But we are talking about persons.

In the absence of free will — which you cannot invoke because its existence is what we are discussing — what is it that constitutes a ‘person’ and distinguishes it from any other object?


what would be making that decision?

Decision-making algorithms written by evolution and conditioning, activated by environmental triggers.


If unconscious brain activity correlated with hand waving occurs before consciously deciding to wave the hand, I don’t see how that proves or disproves free will. Where does the unconscious end and the conscious begin? Whether conscious or unconscious, there is only one being making the choice, and that same being is the one acting. Nothing else is choosing the course of action for him; nothing else is deciding for him; nothing else is willing for him. He is his brain; he is his unconscious; he is his nervous system; and so on.

You’re focusing on the wrong part of the concept. You’re arguing the ‘free’; but without conscious decision there can be no ‘will’.

Come on. You have an interest in philosophy. Surely you must be aware that all but a few tenacious contrarians in the discipline discount free will, and have done so for decades?



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 12:44 AM
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This absence of Free Will ties in perfectly with the concept that from the moment our spirit/body is placed in our mother's womb, God knows everything we'll do in this life, and when this life will terminate, sending our spirit back to Him.

If this is true, we are indeed absent of Free Will capability.



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 01:15 AM
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a reply to: carewemust

So Calvinists believe.

Many Protestants on this thread probably don’t realize that free will is against the doctrines of their church.



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 01:23 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: carewemust

So Calvinists believe.

Many Protestants on this thread probably don’t realize that free will is against the doctrines of their church.


Is Free Will a concept conjured up by human ego? Does the Bible or Koran actually use those words.. or something similar, to state that men/women have the freedom to choose our actions?



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 01:41 AM
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a reply to: carewemust


? Does the Bible or Koran actually use those words.. or something similar, to state that men/women have the freedom to choose our actions?

Neither the Bible nor the Qur’an have very much to say on the subject. Both are very big on disobedience and its consequences, which suggests that humans are at least free to act in opposition to the will of God as they understand it. However, the Qur’an also insists that all history is already written in a Great Book, which means all actions must be predetermined and thus, by implication, that free will doesn’t exist. But religious texts are rarely written by philosophers, and I am sure the people who wrote the Qur’an did not see the logical contradictions implied therein.

No more did the authors of the Bible. Belief in prophecy surely equals belief in predestination. Calvin used this premise to develop the doctrine of 'election’, which states that souls must, due to predestination, be already saved or damned before they are even born. God’s omniscience enables Him to determine each individual’s fate in advance. Hence, He rewards the Elect with blessings and comforts in this life as well as the next. You can identify a member of the elect by his or her abundance of worldly goods, position in society, healthy sons and daughters and the other good things in his or her life.

This ridiculous doctrine has survived despite its obvious disagreement with observed reality. The faithful make excuses for God; here’s one of their favourites, taken from the bottomless American treasury of song.



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 02:20 AM
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Ladies and gentlemen. I have called this press conference together to announce that our investigations have suggested free will does not exist.

How this suggestion can be suspended from our own involvement (which is beholden to our conclusion and that our own investigations and conclusions are immune from that 'suggestion' in our research), is a question we cannot answer, except to say that our conclusion must be the result of conditioning, as per our conclusion...we realise that this presents us with a conundrum...how do we know our conclusion is the correct one?

Meanwhile, on the other side of town - Joe Normal who is laquering his kitchen, paints himself into a corner...but most of the floor is painted 😃

Å99
edit on 7-5-2016 by akushla99 because: ed it



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 03:26 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax

I think the notion of free will is a myth. I do not believe it exists. You'll get no disagreement from me on that point. Then again, I do not think its opposite exists either.

What distinguishes the person from any other object is its body. Admittedly, it's tempting for me to use the terms "will" or "decision-making algorithms"' or "awareness", but I don't find those nouns to signify any particular object in the world besides the organism itself.

I don't think there is a will, a conscious or unconscious, a mind, etc. Too much of a strict materialist I suppose. They serve alright as ideas, but as objects or persons they are wholly lacking. Body or biology suffices, for me at least, as the superior concept for discussions like these.

I think there are varying degrees of restraint and freedom, for instance a man can correct his stutter through practice. So I do not think it is a matter of free or unfree will, but rather of strong and weak wills.



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 03:54 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
Come on. You have an interest in philosophy. Surely you must be aware that all but a few tenacious contrarians in the discipline discount free will, and have done so for decades?

This doesn't pertain to your other points but, according to a recent survey, about 70% of (academic and analytic) philosophers believe we have free will of some sort or another.
edit on 7-5-2016 by FlyingPilchard because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 04:01 AM
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a reply to: FlyingPilchard
Don't believe what anyone says about free will - just look now to where your next thought appears - can you know what thought will arise prior to it arising?
The knowing of the thought happens at the same time as it appears - no one is separately doing it.



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 04:04 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax




No. I was responding to the post you addressed to me.


The same post where I said I don't subscribe to the concept of free-will...And find myself agreeing with soft-determinism. Seriously I don't even disagree with you,I pointed out a flaw in the approach. Criticism doesn't immediately equal dislike of an idea.



It does not matter what you believe concerning free will.


Apparently it does to you as you seemed to assume I believed in free-will...



What matters is the suggestion that without it there is no responsibility.


One more time...There's a higher probability one would be more accountable of their actions knowing they are mostly autonomous as opposed to their actions being the product of mostly external and internal influences.. This does not mean that free will and personal responsibility/accountability are conjoined.



And the idea that people may be conditioned like Pavlov's dogs.


I don't get what your problem is with Operant Conditioning,first it's permitting slavery(which BTW you never elaborated how that's possible) and now you just don't like the idea..? Parents use positive and negative reinforcement or punishment to encourage and/or discourage specific behaviors from their kids all the time.



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 05:09 AM
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"Even though I am of the opinion that research 'suggesting' that my actions and therefore thoughts are conditioned - I am intent on maintaining that my own 'conditioning' about the suggestion of the research - is somehow not..."

sounds legit...

Å99



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 10:33 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: AllIsOne


Ok, show me one (1) original thought you had today that was not based on conditioning.

Good luck with getting a straight answer!


Lol … ! So far no straight answer!



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 10:36 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: AVoiceOfReason

If the universe has a purpose, then presumably all elements within it are designed to serve a purpose. If an element is free to do as it pleases — act unpredictably — then it cannot be relied upon to serve the purpose for which it was invented.

Unless, of course, its purpose is precisely to introduce that element of unpredictability. But what purpose would that serve?


What if God's purpose is to experience (that is different from knowing!) all there is to experience within the framework of our material (atoms) reality?



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 10:45 AM
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originally posted by: Aphorism
a reply to: cuckooold

The concept of free will assumes we are not embodied, but something that controls the body. The concept of unfree will assumes that we are not embodied, but something that is controlled by the body. Both are assumptions, and both belong in myth.


I have no clue what you're trying to say? The concept of having no free will means that we are made of atoms that have the amazing ability to form a brain. That neural network creates the phenomenon of consciousness and the illusion of free will. In a physical, causal world (everything needs a "motor") free will, something out of nothing, cannot exist.

Again, the gorilla in the room is actually not "free will". It is the phenomenon of consciousness which science has not addressed unless you want to call philosophy science … ;-)



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 10:48 AM
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originally posted by: Galadriel
Incredible discussion. Posting so I can come back to read this easily. Did I chose to do that?


Once you start observing the "I" in your sentence you will come to a fascinating conclusion, but it is your path to do so ;-)



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 10:56 AM
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originally posted by: cooperton
Perhaps "free will" is like a child given an unplugged controller but thinking he is in control, all the while it is his Father who is actually playing the video game. Once the child begins understanding the game, he realizes he was never actually in control. The Father did this because he knew the child would have to first learn through observation before plugging in his controller. The game is truth.


Wonderful post :-)

As far as I know we can actually observe free will in animals, and homo sapiens is an animal too. Let's say flees are 100% governed by instinct/programming. Dogs maybe 95% percent, but it seems that they have some preferences and personalities. Primates seem to be more conscious and have more free will than dogs. What is the deciding factor? It's the structure of their brain.



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 11:30 AM
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originally posted by: nOraKat
Here is one idea -

We can say in a sense that an animal is more prone to "causality" or deterministic in the sense that they are swayed more strongly by their feelings/emotions and innate nature.. while a human may be less swayed. A human may be said to have more "tempered reason" or may exercise - deliberation.

I don't know if we can call this "freewill" but it is a distinguishable trait.


I posted something along the same line of thinking before I read your post. It's all based on the structure of the brain. The more evolved the brain, the more free will. And that in itself is deterministic.




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