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

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posted on May, 9 2016 @ 03:09 PM

originally posted by: BlackProject

originally posted by: neoholographic

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.

This is just a post full of hyperbole. You offer nothing in the way of evidence that supports anything you're saying. Science has shattered this notion with things like the Free Will Theorem and the death of local realism.

You're swimming up a creek without a paddle and this paddle is called scientific evidence. You offer none to support your claim.

This is basically your belief and nothing else. It has nothing to do with religion or people panicking about free will. These are just asinine statement used to prop up your arguement because you have no evidence to support anything you're saying.

Free Will has to exist and that's a statement based on current scientific understanding. Start with the Kochen–Specker theorem.

In quantum mechanics, the Kochen–Specker (KS) theorem,[1] also known as the Bell-Kochen–Specker theorem,[2] is a "no go" theorem[3] proved by John S. Bell in 1966 and by Simon B. Kochen and Ernst Specker in 1967. It places certain constraints on the permissible types of hidden variable theories which try to explain the apparent randomness of quantum mechanics as a deterministic model featuring hidden states. The version of the theorem proved by Kochen and Specker also gave an explicit example for this constraint in terms of a finite number of state vectors. The theorem is a complement to Bell's theorem (to be distinguished from the (Bell-)Kochen–Specker theorem of this article).

The theorem proves that there is a contradiction between two basic assumptions of the hidden variable theories intended to reproduce the results of quantum mechanics: that all hidden variables corresponding to quantum mechanical observables have definite values at any given time, and that the values of those variables are intrinsic and independent of the device used to measure them. The contradiction is caused by the fact that quantum mechanical observables need not be commutative. It turns out to be impossible to simultaneously embed all the commuting subalgebras of the algebra of these observables in one commutative algebra, assumed to represent the classical structure of the hidden variables theory, if the Hilbert space dimension is at least three.

The Kochen–Specker proof demonstrates the impossibility that quantum mechanical observables represent "elements of physical reality". More specifically, the theorem excludes hidden variable theories that require elements of physical reality to be non-contextual (i.e. independent of the measurement arrangement). As succinctly worded by Isham and Butterfield,[4] the Kochen–Specker theorem "asserts the impossibility of assigning values to all physical quantities whilst, at the same time, preserving the functional relations between them."

This is a very important finding and it's part of what was used in the Free Will Theorem. What this showed was that observables in quantum mechanics don't become elements of physical reality until a measurement occurs.

So a conscious observer can choose which observable he/she is going to measure even if they're in separate space-time regions. The Conscious observer is choosing to measure something that doesn't exist until it's measured.

So the the Conscious Observer has to have free will because they're choosing to measure an obersavable that doesn't have an existence in physical reality until measured. There's no other "object" out there that can choose which observable will be measured. This becomes even more profound because the observable only exists in the Consciousness of the observer prior to measurement.
edit on 9-5-2016 by neoholographic because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 9 2016 @ 06:48 PM
It is noteworthy that many of the posts denying the free will position are loathe, to the point of outright exclusion - if not the use of anecdote (in the form of personal opinion and experience or religion) avoid openly and fully agreeing with the OP - because if the premise is true, so must the conclusion - and if both of these are true, research into free will is pointless, and the defence of non-free will is just as pointless - because...True/True...


posted on May, 9 2016 @ 07:40 PM
a reply to: BigBrotherDarkness

I'm not quite sure what your stance really is here.

If "everything just is what it is in the nature of it without any help" as you say, then we're creatures of concept and that's just how it is. Cause we are part of that everything, too, and it's clear that our nature is concept/imagination/grasping for the possibilities of the future. It is what it is. I'm not hating on it.

Or, you can un-conceptualize yourself (ignore all imaginations of possible futures, which are just concepts and not reality as you say) and live with the wild beasts in the field until you become like them... which kind of resembles some anti-social characteristics and even drug addict mentalities (they want their "now" fix and don't take the future into consideration).

Not sure which direction you want to go in. Either way whatever it is, "everything just is what it is in the nature of it without any help" and you'll go into whatever direction you go into because "it is what it is."


I wrote, on this same subject about how most people upon house hunting will walk into a dirty run down place and not have the imagination to see what it could possibly be.

They'll only see the "now" state that it's in and they won't be able to overcome the present. Or, if they at all consider the possibility of the house becoming beautiful, the imagined amount of work and effort it might take to get there may overwhelm them and cause them to resign before even committing to any project.

And I think people's lives are like houses... and that most people don't have the vision or the drive or the imagination to see how it could get any better. So, they need help from those who do. And it's the people who have the vision and the sight who rise up and become great leaders or just influential people- because when they show you the dirty run down house, they also show you the steps it will take to change it and make it better... laying it all out for you, making none of it mysterious, making all of it feel possible and within arms length and not that much work at all.

When you present a problem to the people, always present a solution along with it... one that they can understand. And they will feel better about taking those baby steps into a better future. Right?
edit on 9-5-2016 by geezlouise because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 9 2016 @ 09:16 PM
a reply to: AVoiceOfReason

What you believe is not relevant to the conversation, I'm afraid. We are trying to identify, if possible, what is real.

posted on May, 9 2016 @ 09:39 PM
Would deja vu be evidence against free will? Its a universal phenomenon and shouldn't be ignored. How could we "remember" an instance before we have chosen what to do in that instance?

Also, wouldn't genuine free will imply no limits on our "decisions"? Perhaps such a realization is liberation / Moksha
edit on 9-5-2016 by cooperton because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 9 2016 @ 10:09 PM
a reply to: Astyanax

didnt just say that my beliefs arent relevant? i think that regarding the universe as a virtual reality with a main function of evolution is a pretty valid observation.

posted on May, 10 2016 @ 02:25 AM

originally posted by: stabstab
When I was about 15 I ran through the Ape caves with a small flash light like a bat out of hell for a long ways and actively chose not to fall and destroy my noggin.
I then nearly froze to death/drowned a few hours later when I jumped into a freezing cold river off a rope swing.
Seems pretty free to me. We are free to do anything exciting or stupid in life until the lights go out.

But this is a perfect example of why we can question free will. I don't believe in what ifs or near death, there is only either this or that, and we don't get to determine for ourselves which it is, the concept of free will as precipitated by our bodily brain in given situations serves as to not make us feel lead by the hand by something else.

If we were able to comprehend it, I would expect humanity to come to the conclusion that everything that is and will be was determined at the exact moment the Big Bang occured. From that point on the rest is just icing to keep us facinated.

posted on May, 10 2016 @ 04:13 AM
a reply to: neoholographic

In the ask any question you want about physics tread, I think it was one of our resident scientists was seeming to have an existential crisis day from such recent theorums and measuring spin down... Im not sure if he/she were taking it as some sort of omen. But seemed sort of excited but overwhlemed at the possibilities of reality and what was going on when measuring.

posted on May, 10 2016 @ 04:33 AM
a reply to: geezlouise
my stance is actually cross legged about 8 to 10 hours a day... but indeed we are a part of that through cause and effect of our contact or actions in the world. The key is of course is intent, not everyone lives with intent. Some think living without intent is to not have a purpose, but as anyone alive knows, as soon as you can communicate youll be given one... first by parents, then by society in some manner or even religions or a combination of all 3... so is it any wonder people often feel lost or with no free will? Whats is their purpose or reason for living or being... people are very happy to quickly define it for you, instead of you define it for yourself.

Youre obviously pretty excited about the future possibilities of advancement of science and like 1960s popular mechanics stated... wed be in flying cars and orbiting houses like the Jetsons by now. But, reality unfortunately has a way of tossing a huge wrench in our child like wonder and possibility with limitations tat come from those very concepts themselves...

So its like take my hand and fly out the window Wendy but at the same time no matter where one ends up... there are the same adversities just in a different form... the parental figures in Wendys world become the captain hook and his crew to pirate or rob ones sense of wonder and freedom away. When its systems that do this and all in opposition based on such trival things? One has to brave the crocodile to retrive the clock to find out when, or just become timeless where it doesnt even matter, as you can make your vision of the future happen for yourself... through interior design of your dwelling, bondo shaped on your mode of transportation.

Of course many people stuck into roles and expectations? Youd seem like a loon but gosh darn it youd be happy living some symbolence of what youd like reality to be like yes? So why not... just pretend everyone else is just a robot stuck in roles and programming that dont get it... eccentricity after all does make the world go round.

In escence there is no bigger picture but you can coose watever picture you like that makes you happy and fulfilled. Nothing wrong with the bubble just ask hubble.

posted on May, 10 2016 @ 05:40 AM
I will take cold hard measurement over personal opinion anyday...unfortunately, the research in the OP is more opinionated than it has the sense to be...and utilising it (as if confirmation of a subjective opinion) is particularly gauche.

It is no surprise that non-free willers will gravitate to a thread about research that 'seems to', 'perhaps', 'maybe' - 'suggests' that free will may be an illusion.

Let's look at the definition of confirmation bias -

In psychology and cognitive science, confirmation bias (or confirmatory bias) is a tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions.

The 'reality' of the situation and our ability to divorce our personal opinion/interpretation of the information so that it does not confirm one's preconceptions - is glaringinly apparent in Adam Bears' assessment of the 'research'...because...

"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.

Adam Bear, clearly, must be beholden to this very same statement - especially in the very moment that he experienced the choice to make comment, because his mind was rewriting history, fooling himself into thinking that this choice to comment in such a way - that was actually completed after its consequences were subconsciously perceived - was a choice he had made all along...

The interpretation of the research is bunkum - fortunately hedging terms are liberally sprinkled to hide the taste of how silly it could be.


posted on May, 10 2016 @ 10:38 AM
a reply to: AVoiceOfReason

didnt just say that my beliefs arent relevant?

Mine aren't either, you know. Our beliefs are on the table. They are bets we've taken. We're trying to work out what the truth is.

I looked at your earlier post again. It's not really on topic, is it? It's all about your views on cosmology. Hardly relevant. Hence my reply.

posted on May, 10 2016 @ 12:35 PM
a reply to: BigBrotherDarkness

But you seem to think that the "help" is somehow outside of the "everything" that is.

It's not outside. The "help" that you're silently raging against is part of the everything that is. It's on the inside. That's what I'm trying to say. Cause you're acting like it's unnatural or outside of the everything but it's not. It is what it is. It's part of our universe, too.

posted on May, 10 2016 @ 01:19 PM
a reply to: geezlouise

Im not raging I can assure you, if you knew my mind youd see yourself...

Im more in the machine but not part of the machine like a fleck of dust stuck to the cooling unit, but at the same time have been in some way shape or form been no different than every single part of it.

and off I go...

posted on May, 10 2016 @ 04:47 PM
a reply to: Astyanax

well the simulation doesnt serve a purpose without free will. this was my point i made that pretty clear.

posted on May, 10 2016 @ 10:57 PM
a reply to: AVoiceOfReason

But this 'simulation' is just a fashionable theory you've cottoned on to. We are not discussing our preferred brands of epistemology in this thread; we are discussing free will.

posted on May, 11 2016 @ 02:45 AM
a reply to: Astyanax

Why yes, yes 'WE' are...So, all those prepared to admit that thier opinions and any response they make is NOT the result of having been 'fooled': and "that it was NOT a choice that they had made all along" - raise your hand now...

edit on 11-5-2016 by akushla99 because: ed itch

posted on May, 11 2016 @ 02:57 AM
a reply to: akushla99

The buddha spoke about raising and lowering hands in the surganama sutra if youd rather read about such gesturings... but he was describing upside down thinking or living, if youre inclinded to research further... that doesnt really mean youre laying down on the subject or willing too its just to turn a phrase.

posted on May, 11 2016 @ 04:05 PM
a reply to: Astyanax

yeah and im talking about why i think free will is fundamental to the universe. what is your point?

posted on May, 11 2016 @ 09:39 PM
a reply to: AVoiceOfReason

The point is we're not talking about beliefs, period.

You believe that life would be meaningless without free will so therefore there must be free will? That's pretty much B.S. if I dare say so (since you want to talk about beliefs so much, I will comment) because they are not dependent on one another except for in your own twisted personal belief-system, which is what this thread isn't about. This thread was an attempt to look at free will scientifically(not taking into consideration anyones personal beliefs or spirituality). So we're trying to stick to what we know, like biologically, within our physical experiences, etc. I honestly can't help but take the behavioral psychology approach to this topic- mainly because of what I said earlier; no one decision can be isolated unto itself. There's always a reason, a root, a conditioning behind the decision. Even if the decision seems irrational to others, there's always a reason that makes sense to the individual...

Here, I tried to give you a hand. And I am trying to be as gentle as I can, but if you persist then I'm gonna have to judge you.

Sorry if I'm not helping, lol.

posted on May, 11 2016 @ 10:48 PM
a reply to: geezlouise

"This thread was an attempt to look at free will scientifically" Quote geezlouise

...a really, really bad attempt, because apparently the science is in hahaha

All you, or anyone needs to do, if they credit the gaucheness espoused in the OP (which amounts to the negation of free will) is raise your hand...

'all those prepared to admit that thier opinions and any response they make is NOT the result of having been 'fooled': and "that it was NOT a choice that they had made all along" - raise your hand now...'

...really folks - it's not a trick of semantics...

edit on 11-5-2016 by akushla99 because: naming rights

edit on 11-5-2016 by akushla99 because: spel ling bees

edit on 11-5-2016 by akushla99 because: of tricks

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