It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Free will and perception...

page: 2
0
<< 1    3 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on May, 28 2005 @ 12:36 PM
link   

It's that ability to "see" that sets us apart from other species.


And where did you learn the ability to 'see' how an animal perceives, do tell?




posted on May, 29 2005 @ 11:32 AM
link   

Originally posted by slank
I argue we are an often clever, but rarely an intelligent species.


Well said, very well said. But I think we're more intelligent than you make us out to be. Mankind as a whole, not the individual.


And where did you learn the ability to 'see' how an animal perceives, do tell?


X-Ray vision, duh!

You can see it, for example, from the relative rarity that animals use tools. Humans use tools all the time, in fact, our entire life consists of tools we've created for our own use. A tiger hunts, kills, and eats its prey. We build fences to keep cows inside, use guns to kill them, machines to process and package them, trucks to ship them, money to acquire them, and forks and knives to eat it. We take our surroundings, and rather than leaving them static, we, for better or for worse, change them and use them.



posted on May, 29 2005 @ 12:52 PM
link   
Just to toss this in the mix... man is not the only species that can deny its instincts. Ever been to the circus and watched a lion jump through a hoop of fire? I could offer other examples but I am sure you can think of many.

Sure, lemmings are present in human form as well, and we are not so distant from our animal friends as one might choose to think. We are the Naked Ape (Desmond Morris and well worth a read if this discussion interests you) Our relationship to the world arround us is very much related to our internal unconscious instincts just as the domesticated wolf in your neighbors yard keeps you awake yapping at the world in defiance. We are creatures of habit and evolved behaviors. We can choose to be civilised and attempt to deny our instincts, but with only limited sucess.

Below the surface, we are all reacting as the human animal does. Here is one thing to consider... in all cultures and in all parts of the globe, when two humans walking down the path encounter eachother, and recognise the face of the other, there is a pattern of behavior that results known as the eyebrow flash, where upon recognition, the facial expression is one of rasing the eyebrows for an brief moment. This is an instinctual and totaly unconscious behavior. Apes do it too. We all do it yet most never notice it either in themselves or in the face of the person they meet. it is a social signal of.." hey I know you.. you are part of my tribe.. you and I are on friendly terms and there is no hostility or competition here... all is well" Just like the subordinate wolf who lowers its head and exposes its neck upon meeting a dominant wolf, we all have these instinctual behaviors and many are totaly unaware of them. Free will or perception there is truth in both.



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 12:56 AM
link   
For a moment imagine we were able to clone humans. If we put 2 clones into identical enviroments, with identical conditions would they react the same to changes, or tests? Our memories or past experiences affect our judgement and make us think differently, so I think logically they would react the same. What else would affect our decision making skills?



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 08:46 AM
link   

Originally posted by Charlie Murphy
For a moment imagine we were able to clone humans. If we put 2 clones into identical enviroments, with identical conditions would they react the same to changes, or tests? Our memories or past experiences affect our judgement and make us think differently, so I think logically they would react the same. What else would affect our decision making skills?


Well, it depends on the circumstances of the cloning, but possibly, assuming everything is exactly equivalent. A small change could make all the difference.

And, terapin, that isn't to say no animal can do the same, just that no animal does it with the extreme regularity as we do, nor by choice.



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 04:28 PM
link   
.
Maybe free will is like a muscle, with exercise it becomes stronger.

If you are doing what someone else wants you to, is it still free will? ie. did you choose to do what they wanted you to?

Does a feeling of compulsion to do something at some point no longer amount to free will? ie. Is an addict exercising their free will or not?

What about a new car model? At first you thought it was ugly, but with time you came to like it? Does the fact that your view on it has changed make it or not make it your free will? Were you seduced by advertising and friends attitudes into liking it, Or is your will/attitude something that can change?

It almost comes down to the very question of what we are and are not.
I think we are too stupid, for now, to figure this one out.

Do genetic inclinations constitute free will or are they in opposition to it? [BTW i think clones have a strong tendency to act/react/behave the same way, Identical twin studies tend to bear this out].
.



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 06:08 PM
link   

Originally posted by Amorymeltzer

You can see it, for example, from the relative rarity that animals use tools. Humans use tools all the time, in fact, our entire life consists of tools we've created for our own use. A tiger hunts, kills, and eats its prey. We build fences to keep cows inside, use guns to kill them, machines to process and package them, trucks to ship them, money to acquire them, and forks and knives to eat it. We take our surroundings, and rather than leaving them static, we, for better or for worse, change them and use them.


This took an ungodly amount of years, we started off using simple rocks as hammers just like an otter would to open an oyster. We used simple sticks as weapons to ward off enemies just like Chimpanzees do with a leopard.

Sorry to pick an older post I just felt I'd share.



posted on May, 30 2005 @ 06:36 PM
link   
Genetics is certainly a plan and guidline, but its not the concrete, end-all determinant. Even clones under identical stimuli would result in different people.

Indentical twins have allegedly identical DNA, and I have siblings who are as such. They have the same DNA, the same parents and home, and yet have different aptitudes, hobbies, and even significant variation in appearance.

The universe is inherently chaotic.

[edit on 30-5-2005 by Zaknafein]



posted on May, 31 2005 @ 06:21 AM
link   
Not to take the discussion back to basics or anything, but, with all of these different opinnions, who actually beleives in free will. I do. Maybe someday animals will have free will like man. WHo knows?



posted on May, 31 2005 @ 11:17 AM
link   

Originally posted by Tom Sawyer
Not to take the discussion back to basics or anything, but, with all of these different opinnions, who actually beleives in free will. I do. Maybe someday animals will have free will like man. WHo knows?


I certainly beleive there is free will. But the thing is, my definition of free will is probably different than someone else's. I think we should lay out a common definition of free will before we delve any further.

I bring this up because if free will, and this is a definition I found in the dictionary, is:

"The power of making free choices that are unconstrained by external circumstances or by an agency such as fate or divine will."

then ultimately i disagree.

How can you make an "unconstrained" choice that is not influenced by external factors?

If i was in a life and death situation, i will chose life. Lets say i was hanging over a cliff. No net, no ropes. I have the choice to let go and die or pull myself up and live. I would choose to live....wouldnt you? Isnt the environment i was put into(me hanging on to the cliff) dictating my free will. Obviusoly i can choose to die, but i dont because of my instincts to live. Nature gave me those instincts. therefore nature is dictating my free will in that scenario.

I have no "absolute" free will....this is what ia m getting at.



posted on May, 31 2005 @ 05:33 PM
link   

Originally posted by LuDaCrIs

Originally posted by Tom Sawyer
Not to take the discussion back to basics or anything, but, with all of these different opinnions, who actually beleives in free will. I do. Maybe someday animals will have free will like man. WHo knows?


I certainly beleive there is free will. But the thing is, my definition of free will is probably different than someone else's. I think we should lay out a common definition of free will before we delve any further.

I bring this up because if free will, and this is a definition I found in the dictionary, is:

"The power of making free choices that are unconstrained by external circumstances or by an agency such as fate or divine will."

then ultimately i disagree.

How can you make an "unconstrained" choice that is not influenced by external factors?

If i was in a life and death situation, i will chose life. Lets say i was hanging over a cliff. No net, no ropes. I have the choice to let go and die or pull myself up and live. I would choose to live....wouldnt you? Isnt the environment i was put into(me hanging on to the cliff) dictating my free will. Obviusoly i can choose to die, but i dont because of my instincts to live. Nature gave me those instincts. therefore nature is dictating my free will in that scenario.

I have no "absolute" free will....this is what ia m getting at.


If nature gave us the instincts to live, and we choose to die( such as people committing suicide) then isn't that free will? If I am hungry but I choose not to eat(such as people dieting) than isn't that free will?

I think you are saying that we only have two choices and making either does not constitue as free will. Any other creature does not decide wether to eat, die or whatever. They will only have one choice. We can go against our instincts, and I think the ability to choose to follow them or not is free-will.



posted on May, 31 2005 @ 06:09 PM
link   

Originally posted by TheJeSta
This took an ungodly amount of years, we started off using simple rocks as hammers just like an otter would to open an oyster. We used simple sticks as weapons to ward off enemies just like Chimpanzees do with a leopard.


Well, yeah, but there's a big difference in the level of usage and advancement. I suppose it's all a moot point since we evolved, they didn't. If they used the tools like us they'd be like us i.e. us.

Free will exists, and animals exercise it, just far less than humans like to think we do. Sheeple show a surprisingly enormous lack of free will, opting instead to deal with a daily routine with very little change present at all.



posted on May, 31 2005 @ 06:30 PM
link   
I love the topic although it is one that has no real answer but great for debate.
What is Free Will? I will add What is inteligence?
I think that they are actualy different facets of the same thing.
Here is my reasoning. The perception of free will and inteligence are just markers on how we react to the environment around us.
How is this different than what animals display? Examples have been given in this discussion on how some animals can and do use tools to get what they want need. This ability is closely linked with instinct as the tools are used for shelter, protection, food procurement.
What differs in humankind is that when we are presented with the exact same situation and environment that the tool using animals are in. We take those self same options that the animal has and we "see" that there are more options. Instead of using the stick to poke in the anthill to get food, let's use it to poke the eye of our enemy.
Put a bunch of these sticks together and make a shelter etc.
We have the ability to "see" beyond the immediate and are allowed to plan for the future. That is the difference that we have between ourselves and toher animals.
Is this Free Will? Is it intelligence? Or is it just our instincts perseiving a wider variety of options than animals?



posted on May, 31 2005 @ 06:54 PM
link   
Although, there have been many offshoots to the original question, I felt compelled to post to the question "isnt free will the reaction to a certain set of environmental parametres."

It occurs to me that environment always constrains the choices one encounters, it doesn't always constrain the outcome. For instance, ever see the movie "Alexander"? The hero is presented with a conundrum of how to untie the gordian knot. Alexander surpasses the other heroes of Greek mythology by untying the Gordian knot by slicing through it with his sword. Another example, although this dates me, is the Beatles Norwegian Wood. (Look up the lyrics because my fear of copywrite prohibits me from quoting.)

Anyway, the point being that it's the ones of us who don't let environment (see einstein) constrain us who define humanity. Otherwise, we're just a bunch of hyper intelligent apes.

Finally, given the right definition of a problem (so called free will is nothing more that a reaction to the environment around us), any solution to a problem is confined by its parameters. Ludacris is making Plato's "allegory of the cave" argument. When we extend our thought process beyond the shadow, past the fire, and past the figures making the shadow - to the essense of existence, that's when we're truly human.



posted on May, 31 2005 @ 11:42 PM
link   
.
Free will is the ability to do [or not do] anything your choose.
That would imply God-like powers.

In reality we have some decision making ability, and as others have indicated this is contextual.

When our minds are presented with or create an array [short or long] of various choices we can [in theory] select one of them.
But we have all sorts of emotional biases, trained responses, perceptions, time & energy limits, and any number of influences that affect us.

Having a clear thought process allows for the most objective decision making process.
Also with a nimble, articulate and richly resourced thought process [and a little time] you can add options to your original array, creating a potentially more satisfactory option to select.

Free will in action - An ape was put in a cage with 7 ways to escape, The ape chose an 8th way to escape.

[edit on 31-5-2005 by slank]



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 02:09 AM
link   
It seems as if every one is making the assumption that instinctual action is some how a bad thing. Just ask the squirrel I ran over today, perhaps if he had had better instincts he would have ran OFF the road instead of rapidly back and forth.


The idea of acting on instinct alone sounds very attractive. I go to work and pick a fight with the guy I work with, just to let every one know I am the dominant male. Then I could walk around the place urinating just mark my spot. After that, around 9-ish, I would probobly feel like napping a bit. And look out if I'm in the mood to mate!

I do realize, though, that social norms dictate that I restrain myself. But who made these norms anyways! Free-will? I am what I am what I am.



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 06:31 AM
link   
By responding to this thread, i beleive, we are all excersising our free will.
Also, by not spelling words the correct way, i am using my free will.
I choose my own actions. I think that this is the deffinition of free will.



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 01:22 PM
link   

Originally posted by kenshiro2012
I love the topic although it is one that has no real answer but great for debate.

Very true....but iam not looking for the "right" answer here. Frankly i dont beleive there is one. I am mainly looking at what peoples thoughts are on the subject. And you have done this...greatly appreciated.


Kenshiro2012
What differs in humankind is that when we are presented with the exact same situation and environment that the tool using animals are in. We take those self same options that the animal has and we "see" that there are more options. Instead of using the stick to poke in the anthill to get food, let's use it to poke the eye of our enemy.
Put a bunch of these sticks together and make a shelter etc.
We have the ability to "see" beyond the immediate and are allowed to plan for the future. That is the difference that we have between ourselves and toher animals.
Is this Free Will? Is it intelligence? Or is it just our instincts perseiving a wider variety of options than animals?


Do u think maybe some animals will be able to possess the intellectual power...to "see". I think with enough time the answer is yes.


I choose my own actions. I think that this is the deffinition of free will.


So what sets us apart from certain animals like chimps and dolphins? They have sex for pleasure, for example. That isnt instinctual, is it? Just like us.



posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 02:50 PM
link   
I suppose free will could simply be the ability to react to stimuli via thought processes. I suspect being "self-aware" may also be a requirement. How complicated the matter of free will goes may depend upon the development of your higher mental facilities. I think that we only get a taste of what free will is. I feel that complete free will would not be a reaction to the envirnment because the envirnment would be whatever you want. Ever have a dream where you realise you were dreaming but you didn't wake up? Whenever that happens to me, I can shape everthing how I see fit. It's rare, but I love it when it happens. I can fly, cause explosions, whatever my imagination can come up with. That's true freedom to me! As soon as I become "self-aware" in a dream state it's like I'm a god.
As far as REAL LIFE goes I think free-will exsists but with physical and self-induced limitations. OK, enough rambling...




posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 11:01 PM
link   
.
The idea that humans 'see' options the animal may not indicates that much of how we perceive things has to do with our imaginations [as well as other mental state aspects].

The amount of raw input data [photons received, audio waves sensed, etc] affects what gets to our brain, but the huge, majority of perception is an interpretive process. A small part of this may be truly original thought, but i think much of it is what we learn [remember] from doing, observing, reading about, or seeing and re-arranging those things in our minds. Our minds in fact work in a realm of fiction, the land of what ifs. Mental energy and emotion can have a huge effect on how well we use our imaginations [as a tool] to deal with the real world. Depressed people, even if they think there might be a way of doing something, may not even consider it worth the effort. Overly excited people may take actions that rely on fantasy notions and not tangible physics [probably with few successful outcomes]. Im not sure what the best decision making process is, but it is probably the mind that is [hyper?] active, agile, and has a pretty clear focus on desired outcomes.

There is the other side of the coin. Too many options. If you have been buying a product and suddenly there are 3 new types and each in 7 different flavors do you end up with choice overload? Can you simply be overwhelmed by too many options? I guess you would have to decide which differences were insignificant, but that could burn up a lot of time and energy.

Maybe sometimes it is nice not to have to bother to choose. Any of several good options will do.

It is probably most satisfactory to use your free will [ability to choose] when and where it will do you the most good. But that means you have to figure out where it will.
.



new topics

top topics



 
0
<< 1    3 >>

log in

join