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

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posted on May, 7 2016 @ 11:44 AM
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originally posted by: Itisnowagain
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.






no one is separately doing it.



Not true. Because one can focus thoughts and think of i.e. only medical words or football jargon. How is that possible if nobody is in charge and all thoughts are just surfacing randomly?

In my opinion the whole free will discussion is for naught and we're just moving the goal posts. We first have to address the question of consciousness.




posted on May, 7 2016 @ 12:37 PM
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a reply to: Astyanax

You said:

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?

Is this a serious question?

A person can choose which state will be measured like angular momentum or spin. How many objects can do this?

How many objects can gather information, be self aware that they're gathering information and then make a decision?

How can you quantify what information will be used and how that information will be weighed when making a decision? A person has Free Will because they can choose what information they accept when making a decision. They can weigh that information and even lie to themselves in the face of information they may not agree with.

How do you quantify this? It has to be free will especially when you look at things like the death of local realism and the free will theorem.

I recently bought a new truck and I had to decide on whether to buy another truck or switch to a car. It took me about a week to make the decision and the way I weighed the information and the information I used to make the decision can't be quantified and has to be a free choice. Someone else making the same choice may look at things differently, have different information and weigh that information differently. This can't be quantified and the person is free to weigh the information and make a choice.

There was a recent study on gut decisions. The study showed how gut decisions can be better than prolonged decisions in areas like business. If there was no free will, there wouldn't be any quantitative difference when it comes to making decisions. If there's no free will why should prolonged decisions be any different than gut decisions?

Scientific Proof That Your Gut Is Best At Making Decisions


New research suggests that trusting your gut may be more valuable than parsing a pile of facts.


www.fastcompany.com...

Trusting your instincts really does work, say scientists. You'll be right 90% of the time.


For centuries scientists have studied how both instinct and intellect figure into the decision-making process.

A new study has shown that forced to choose between two options based on instinct alone, participants made the right call up to 90 percent of the time.

Professor Marius Usher of Tel Aviv University's School of Psychological Sciences and his fellow researchers say their findings show that intuition was a surprisingly powerful and accurate tool.


www.dailymail.co.uk...

The point here is, there's a quantitative difference here because of free will. People have the free will to look at information and weigh that information. A person can make a gut decision at the end of a work day but go home and start talking to people and thinking about it more and then they may come to another decision. The reason this can be bad sometimes is because people "think" things through and sometimes they overthink it.

Again, free will. How many objects can overthink things? In some cases you have to make a snap decision and there's no time to "think" about the decision. If there was no free will, why would snap decisions be any different than prolonged decisions? Again, free will allows a person to think about these decisions and weigh the information subjectively.



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 01:34 PM
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a reply to: neoholographic

You really think you have free will?

Your understanding of free will is that you have a choice, yes you have a choice. However that choice is swayed by many other variables in your life. Whether you like it or not, freewill is what we think we obtain but the realism is that we only act on our current knowledge of the world around us and past decisions, all thrown into a pot of unconscious choice.

Everything you come to be now, is due to your upbringing, the surroundings you have lived within and the things you have seen and heard, make you, who you are. Therefore everyone is handicapped to making choices solely on what we know.

There is a science to this and its pretty basic. The governments that control the people they govern are all too well up on this notion.



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 04:16 PM
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originally posted by: BlackProject
a reply to: neoholographic

You really think you have free will?

Your understanding of free will is that you have a choice, yes you have a choice. However that choice is swayed by many other variables in your life. Whether you like it or not, freewill is what we think we obtain but the realism is that we only act on our current knowledge of the world around us and past decisions, all thrown into a pot of unconscious choice.

Everything you come to be now, is due to your upbringing, the surroundings you have lived within and the things you have seen and heard, make you, who you are. Therefore everyone is handicapped to making choices solely on what we know.

There is a science to this and its pretty basic. The governments that control the people they govern are all too well up on this notion.


...errr...what?

So, if I hear it right - everyone responding to a thread with an OP subject (research) that 'suggests' that free will may be an illusion (and assuming that all subscribe to it's conclusion) whether they have read the research or not - the researchers who conducted and appraised the research - cannot claim to know (because of the suggestion of the research)?

...because, if anyone can unravel that, they will find that the research is bunkum - apparently and obviously demonstrated by its own conclusion - otherwise, themselves and/or anyone maintaining that it is so is imagining that they are immune from its own conclusion, which is what non-free willers are projecting onto free-willers - that is the suggestion of the research so far...as result of
"Everything you come to be now, is due to your upbringing, the surroundings you have lived within and the things you have seen and heard, make you, who you are. Therefore everyone is handicapped to making choices solely on what we know." Quote BlackProject

The question is...

What mental gymnastics must one perform to remove oneself from the implication, to maintain that it is both True (for those that are 'conditioned' to imagine it) - and False for those who hold their own opinion on it (up to and including the researchers who are publishing the 'suggestion')?

i.e.

If it is true - nobody is immune from its implication - regardless of their position.

Å99
edit on 7-5-2016 by akushla99 because: adddddd



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 10:42 PM
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a reply to: AllIsOne

Then He is a ruthless hedonist who uses His creatures for cattle and deserves not our worship but our censure.



posted on May, 7 2016 @ 10:48 PM
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a reply to: neoholographic


A person can choose which state will be measured like angular momentum or spin. How many objects can do this?

Any object that has evolved or been designed to do so.

But thanks for the most absurd definition of personhood ever offered!


edit on 7/5/16 by Astyanax because: of lols



posted on May, 8 2016 @ 12:16 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax

I love you. It was predestined.



posted on May, 8 2016 @ 12:34 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: pl3bscheese

How does that invalidate the thesis? The point is not that action precedes thought. It is that unconscious decision precedes conscious thought. You can chew things over all you like, but the results of your chewing are nevertheless predetermined.


Is that a serious question? Or a serious answer? No, that's not the point of the thesis. There is no "point" there is evidence which supports or attempts to disprove assumptions. You don't even get it right. The study clearly showed that when enough time is given to process the event correctly, ie... conscious thought is available... that we make a reasonable decision. It also showed that when we're not given enough time, we take a short-cut and then come up with a story to explain it after the fact. Whoopity-doo, let the assumptions follow to fit your pre-conceived notions.



posted on May, 8 2016 @ 02:41 AM
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a reply to: AllIsOne

Placing the mind is obviously a very good practice, as it is right where you want it to be and in essence where you place it there you are also, it is called concentraition. If you wish to control you mind or see how well you do? Sit down in a relaxed position place it on a single object or word and do not let it move off of that... if it moves off pull it back until you can keep it there on that single object or word until it is effortless... this will lead to a very concentraited state.

If you wish to control it more? Leap off of the oject or word into no word or object and all... or basically into no thought, beyond all conceptual arisings. Once youve managed that? Keep going until no thought arises as you go about the normal everyday business you need to accomplish dwelling in pure mental quiessence or an absence of the conceptual.

Senses still function, but they do not grasp and essentially the mind is set free.

So free will in all honesty has nothing to do with thought at all but the will or power over the mind one holds. Will is strength of mind... if you are helpless to thoughts, cravings, or any sensory function? Then one is said to be weak willed. Choice of course what one wants to be weak or strong willed too of course as an individual with tastes and desires... but complete will over ones own mind and body?

Must be practiced to truely be free... although there is some symbolence of having it already in choices. When the mind is fully under ones own will then those tastes and desires really matter not any longer and one isnt tossed about emotionally or frustraited with logic of any sort. Things are just as they appear to be without any requirement of thought... interaction of course is ones choice based on whatever function or purpose one wants to put it too, or as you already do place it on.

If you go through what I suggest as a personal experiment and make it back full circle, its likely youll be a whole other person and know placing it at that point and time? It will be truely free will.



posted on May, 8 2016 @ 07:32 AM
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a reply to: pl3bscheese

Perhaps you misunderstand the sense in which I use the word 'thesis'. The thesis here is that free will is an illusion. The argument is that decision precedes awareness. Are you objecting to the evidence on the grounds of poor experimental design or procedure, or are you saying the evidence doesn't support the argument?



posted on May, 8 2016 @ 11:00 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax

what difference does it make? im conscious and i think the universe is conscious. i believe its function is to make universes. big bang, growth and evolution, then heat death. and you start over again, but each time its a little bit better, more efficient. whether or not there is a god doesn't even matter. we know things evolve and reduce entropy. whether that is by means of a consciousness or not doesn't matter.



posted on May, 8 2016 @ 11:54 AM
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originally posted by: pl3bscheese

originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: pl3bscheese

How does that invalidate the thesis? The point is not that action precedes thought. It is that unconscious decision precedes conscious thought. You can chew things over all you like, but the results of your chewing are nevertheless predetermined.


Is that a serious question? Or a serious answer? No, that's not the point of the thesis. There is no "point" there is evidence which supports or attempts to disprove assumptions. You don't even get it right. The study clearly showed that when enough time is given to process the event correctly, ie... conscious thought is available... that we make a reasonable decision. It also showed that when we're not given enough time, we take a short-cut and then come up with a story to explain it after the fact. Whoopity-doo, let the assumptions follow to fit your pre-conceived notions.


Exactly!

This was why I showed the study on gut decisions. If there wasn't any free will why would there be a quantitative difference between gut decisions and prolonged decisions. The common denominator is you have the free will to think about your decision and subjectively weigh different pieces of information.

Also, these split decisions aren't random or free of conscious experience. For instance, the split decision of a 20 year Firefighter will be better than my decision when fighting a fire because he has 20 years on the job. The split decision's of a Police Officer in chasing down a criminal will be better than mine because he has 20 years on the job.

The point is, you can't take a study like this on and make the ridiculous leap that there's no free will when every other Scientific study suggest otherwise from the Free Will Theorem to the death of local realism.

So because people in this study thought they were making a choice means nothing. The fact that people make choice based on instinct when there's not enough time to think about the choice their about to make doesn't say anything about Free Will. It just says we have the ability to make split decisions when we have to.



posted on May, 8 2016 @ 11:59 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax

Both.



posted on May, 8 2016 @ 03:42 PM
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originally posted by: pl3bscheese
a reply to: Astyanax

Both.


Correct

From the article -

"Perhaps in the very moments that we experience a choice, our minds are rewriting history, fooling us into thinking that this choice - that was actually completed after its consequences were subconsciously perceived - was a choice that we had made all along," writes one of the researchers, Adam Bear, over at Scientific American.

"But it's one of the first tests of an hypothesis that was first put forward by psychologists almost 20 years ago, and it's worth further investigation."

🎶one of these things is not like the others🎶

Å99



posted on May, 8 2016 @ 06:56 PM
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originally posted by: neoholographic
Exactly!

This was why I showed the study on gut decisions. If there wasn't any free will why would there be a quantitative difference between gut decisions and prolonged decisions. The common denominator is you have the free will to think about your decision and subjectively weigh different pieces of information.

Also, these split decisions aren't random or free of conscious experience. For instance, the split decision of a 20 year Firefighter will be better than my decision when fighting a fire because he has 20 years on the job. The split decision's of a Police Officer in chasing down a criminal will be better than mine because he has 20 years on the job.

The point is, you can't take a study like this on and make the ridiculous leap that there's no free will when every other Scientific study suggest otherwise from the Free Will Theorem to the death of local realism.

So because people in this study thought they were making a choice means nothing. The fact that people make choice based on instinct when there's not enough time to think about the choice their about to make doesn't say anything about Free Will. It just says we have the ability to make split decisions when we have to.


You are again confusing free will to decision making. There is no such thing as gut decisions, that is what some are led to believe but that is our inbuilt fight or flight. To decide to go rescue someone in a house fire, is a choice of whether you think you will rescue that person or die in the process. Is it worth dying, for the unknown. Those are not gut decisions, nor are they free will, they are choices to live or die.

I think most people panic at the idea you may not have free will, as it is like telling a religious person, god does not exist. It takes away the only credible notion of being alive, doesn't it.

If I said here are 3 colored balls to choose from, pick only one. You may choose let's say the red ball. Maybe because red is your favorite color. You could then argue well if you let me do it again, I would choose a different color. However now you would be choosing a new color because the last one you do not want to pick up again. To show change.

You could keep this spiral going forever and it is pretty much our lives as we know it.




posted on May, 8 2016 @ 10:04 PM
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its really conditioning... between the animal self and the self society over time of belief has deemed that we are not animals in conflict with each other.

An animal does not think twice unless it was bitten then twice shy... but instinct drives their basic behavoir... tons of religion saying no devine and special and lets get that animal nature under foot and live in the conceptual world apart from our animal world and self is all it has boiled down too.

Of course get a bunch of college kids out on a friday night and the animal self becomes much more apparent... in violence and mating rituals wit a little social lubricant to make both easier a task in occuring.

Now if we look at intention(if youre the sort to have any instead of just simply doing)... there intentions of positive or negative... the thing to note, is people are quicker to act out in a negative intent as in lash out or zero to bitch as the saying goes in the blink of an eye. But say if its a positive intention, like donate some clothes to the homeless shelter that could mean years to happen or may never even occur. But intent is intent right? Why is the space of action between something negative likely to occur quicker than something positive? Obviously, thats the animal nature that must make snap judgements... of course a drunk with his jealous hackles up shoulders forward forehead slightly dipped and tense on the balls of their feet with hands in a fist like pose means any moment now its shtf time...

Theres obviously a huge wall that has been built in societies for 1000s of years between being simply an animal and something else... animals dont have delusions of a conceptual nature but due to humanity denying being animals to live in the illusory conceptual world is of course going to be delusional.

Its pretty sad what weve done to ourselves really... in making ourselves the aliens here.



posted on May, 8 2016 @ 10:37 PM
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a reply to: pl3bscheese

Very well. Tell us why.



posted on May, 9 2016 @ 10:41 AM
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originally posted by: AllIsOne
Not true. Because one can focus thoughts and think of i.e. only medical words or football jargon. How is that possible if nobody is in charge and all thoughts are just surfacing randomly?

Because all is one.

edit on 9-5-2016 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 9 2016 @ 11:43 AM
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a reply to: BigBrotherDarkness

Idk who you're exactly responding to but I just spent a lot of time recently contemplating (and writing) about how we are different from animals.

In short, it has to do with our ability to imagine the future. Why do we cook our food? Because we store our food for longer durations than any other animal. Does the lion kill the gazelle and think to itself, "next month there might not be much meat around... we should set this aside. Salt it!" NO! Yet, we have. That's what we do... we're seeing and living in the future.

Humans have "culture" and animals do not, where our culture is the future. The beast of the fields live in the moment, in the "now" and though some animals show signs of having some kind of foresight and hindsight... their sight isn't strong enough to change their behavior the way it has changed us. In short, our brains/intelligence/imagination makes us different... we can see far into the future, unlike the animals of the earth.

For some reason all of this really touches me deeply... it fills me up with appreciation, awe, and a sense of wonder that we have come so far and are now living in the future, basically. I for one want to remain a time traveler, instead of become blind like the beasts of the field. But, this doesn't touch base on other things... like the subject of honesty, for one. We all still defecate and we all still pick our noses no matter what culture we have. We are still subject to the physical laws of nature and even to our own bodies. I do find that some people are a bit unrealistic in their ideas about what it means to be a human being... just cause we are time travelers living in the future, it doesn't mean we're not subject to the same physical laws of the universe that animals are.

I apologize if this derails the thread but I felt compelled because it's all been a recurring theme in my little pea sized brain... and it's all connected anyhow in the robotic command(basic "animalistic" instinct) to survive. The different ways of survival that we each individually decide is best for us (that includes that some people might decide that pretending like you don't poop better ensures a partner thus better ensures the procreation of the species and etc. and basically this means people can begin to believe in outlandish ridiculous lies that dehumanize instead of humanize by accidentally trying to survive the best way they know how) is all subject to environmental cues and genetics... again, we are subject to the physical laws of the universe. We have no free will!
edit on 9-5-2016 by geezlouise because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 9 2016 @ 01:48 PM
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a reply to: geezlouise

anyone wanting to read it... but now specifically you. How do we differ? Consciousness, though obviously humans and animals have both... the difference in consciousness however? The conceptual. Animals to not try to define themselves or the world nor act like they are separate from it in a world of conceptual make believe... we as humans do, and thats why all concepts born of consciousness are considered ignorance or illusion. We use made up words to define things and experience and either agree or disagree with the illusion of concepts weve created.

of course this conceptual is based on the formation of ideas to define or explain contact with various matter in which the 6 senses come into contact with... the mind becomes preoccupied with these formations of concept due to contact and judge them... this is actually right on the line between human and animal but animals adapt and learn from that contact and more experience of that contact they learn how to deal with it when it arises in their sense experiences and evolve to it if it is an adversity or ignore it if it is nothing to adapt to unless curious... like when humans that took over habitats for urban sprawl say animals are encroaching... perhaps the animals could say the same thing, in their curiosity and seeing if there is someway to adapt to this new environmental adversity... like leopards walking into government buildings in various parts of the world.

So honestly seeing ourselves as something different? has just been many many many generations adapting to adversity using concepts so much that at one point declared themselves most special of all and created belief systems to even further cement the divide... when its painfully obvious weve simply conditioned ourselves and continue to condition ourselves conceptually in various ways.

A concept isnt reality it is a belief with a name to communicate and in essense? It is simply grasping... this grasping has become vocation of various sorts, but at the heart of all that grasping is a sense to control the direction of the future for various purposes... the animal experiences in the moment it is wary or brave due to past not unlike ourselves based on contact as previously mentioned.

At the center of our made up conceptual world there is greed, aversion, and delusion the delusion is ego based and a shared individual belief based on systems of greed or adversion... the adversary is multiple and sometimes invented for various intent or purpose of some agenda... whether that agenda is one of beneficial or detriment? really depends on its intent.

This is basically where concept swings back around and becomes various forms of ideology yet is still what? A made up conceptual illusion that can be agreed on aruged over but obviously communicated... doesnt make it any more real or truthful when everyting just is what it is in the nature of it without any help...

Hope this clarified and obviously anyone else reading this was obviously welcome to do so. If yourself or anyone else is interested in what I have mentioned above it is found as the 12 links of dependent origination... they are called dependent because to arise they need eachother to support their arisings instead of simply being apart from such delusion of concept of an illusory reality outside of actual reality beyond word definition or concept.



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