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The Concept of "Free will" is a lie!!

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posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 01:53 AM

Originally posted by SpeakerofTruth
Well, quantum mechanics is used more in an efort to understand physical systems, which really aren't physical at all, but that is an entirely different subject.
Just what exactly it has to do with judment and the decision making process is a mystery to me.

However,Euclid, you made some good points, particularly the "many-worlds" theory...

[edit on 15-8-2008 by SpeakerofTruth]

Well, a physical system is no different than a non-physical system. All systems have logic, gates, flow controls, inputs, outputs, results, et cetera. It doesn't matter if the system is biological, mechanical, inorganic, organic, a galaxy, solar system, et cetera. A system is a system.

Judgement is a sub-function of the decision makning process which is a sub-process of conscious-awareness. Quantum mechanics plays into that because all of reality as we experience it is built up from the quantum information patterns that exist in the multiverse. Conscious awareness is implicitly connected with quantum mechanics.

Any physicist will tell you that just "watching" a physics experiment "effects" the outcome of experiment.... and there have been a lot of research done in that area and they all, so far as I have read, concluded that eventually physics will need to include "consciousness" as part of the physical model of any unified theory.


posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 03:03 AM

So in effect we DO in fact have free-will to choose..... among an infinite number of multiple choices (quantum states) that already exist. Thus allowing an adherence to a strict deterministic series of events and free-will to choose from a number of pre-existing/pre-determined choices.

euclid: I see where you're coming from and I agree with you, if the Many-Worlds Interpretation turns out to be true . However, that is all hypothetical at this particular point in time (unless I am mistaken and MWI is in fact more widely accepted as truth? In which case I apologize, I'm not up-to-date nor do I contemplate most of physics)

Evil Genius: Simply because choices can be predicted does not mean that they are not of free will. It simply means that in order to act on a will the brain must go through required, observable steps.

I'd also like for someone to attempt to argue against my interpretation of what free will, in essence, is. A debate can sincerely begin by arguing against the premise (going against euclid I speak from a philosophical standpoint).

SpeakerofTruth, I believe that when I challenged your main premise of the definition of free will I provided a sound argument against your entire OP.

[edit on 16-8-2008 by Alexander_Supertramp]

posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 03:32 AM
reply to post by Alexander_Supertramp

Alex, I agree with your definition. It seems to integrate into my model rather well.

There have been a number of experiments conducted over the years that validate the MWI/parallel universes theory and/or parts of it. The LHC will add to that base of verification - if it doesn't destroy us.


[edit on 16-8-2008 by euclid]

posted on Aug, 16 2008 @ 03:35 AM
reply to post by euclid

That's good to hear, it's actually been a favorite theory of mine for a while..I always thought it would explain quite a great deal of mysteries. But I'm definitely no expert in physics. It's good to hear scientists are willing to still think outside the box when it comes to reality.

posted on Aug, 17 2008 @ 02:44 AM
I can only conclude that there is a balance of free will. You are free to make decisions which will lead you to one fate or another. Trying to decide wether or not those actions are influenced seems rather subjective. The argument is rather vague when I look back, because I am free to make actions. Even though choices are limited, I still have choices. Even if I don't want to choose either, I suppose the freedom is still yours. Even choosing not to choose. You can argue that this is truly free or not, but it's like trying to ask wether or not there is a God. Your not going to get a definite answer period. Even in a world of infinite possibilities. We can however foresee probabilities. There are things that influence our thoughts. In fact, they may determine how free we are. I suppose it is a manner of your ability to be free in that sense. Do you want to go through life at the mercy of struggling for freedom, or living and learning from your experiences and making decisions? What does it mean to truly be free? Then you may have an answer.

posted on Aug, 17 2008 @ 10:32 AM

Originally posted by freakngeckos
Do you want to go through life at the mercy of struggling for freedom, or living and learning from your experiences and making decisions? What does it mean to truly be free? Then you may have an answer.

That's actually a very pertinent point. I suppose that the reason that I have my doubts about the validity of "free will" is because of how I "choose" to live my life. Most people don't think about the consequences of their actions. If they see something that interests them, they do it and deal with the consequences later. For people like that, I assume "free will" seems very real.

However, for someone like me who over-analyzes everything, the concept of "free will" is questionable at best. One of my handicaps has always been,. and probably always will be, is that I really am not one to take chances. If something is not almost 100% assured, I don't mess with it.

This is something that has effected my entire life. I mean, from relationships to job career, my insistence on something being a sure thing has effected it... I have a friend of mine who once told me, "You can't keep living like this. If you don't take chances, you'll never have a damn thing in life." I suppose it fell on deaf ears because I still don't venture very far outside of my comfort zone.

Perhaps all of this is an explanation as to why I doubt the validity of the concept of "free will." I don't know.

posted on Aug, 17 2008 @ 12:28 PM
Wow, I really thought this thread was going to go in a different direction.

My argument FOR this topic is as follows:

Let's look back a few decades..

A young boy is born in upstate New York. His family raises him, and showers him with love. He is surrounded by, and supported by a many caring people. Both his family and those around him say that all men are created equal, regardless of race, creed, or background. So, as he grows older, he has no reason to question these teachings. Why would his loving family misdirect him? So this becomes his steadfast belief.

Now, during the same time period, a young boy is born in Georgia. His family loves him and supports him. They are very warm, and comforting. They raise him with kindness. But this boy is taught that people of African heritage are evil. They are the equivalent of beasts given the form of man, and them trying to gain freedom or talk to white children is the same as a horse trying to do such. So, any freedom preaching blacks are akin to rabid beasts and need to be put down. This boy has no reason to question what he is taught, because his family, his pastor, they all say these things, so it must be true.

These are two very different points of view. The subconscious mind develops faith in what it has experienced either first hand or through teaching. When we accept something with our conscious minds, the subconscious filters reality through that lens.

Hitler himself didn't think he was a monster. He believed that he was restoring and protecting the Fatherland, preserving the master race of God, and doing the world an important service. Many under Nazi control also accepted similar ideas. They didn't believe they were evil, or their leadership was evil. They simply wanted to believe that military action was keeping them safe, and that their government was providing security, both financial and social.

This is how people from all walks of life can be resolute on their points of view. Sure, we have the "free will" to accept programing or not, but so rarely do we use this ability when it is coming from a trusted source. People can easily be convinced of damn near anything under certain circumstances, and they will never question it. They develop Faith based off of their experience, and interpret experience through what programing they have accepted.

While many believe they are "free", they have no idea their very thoughts are being controlled by their most trusted of sources. It is very much like the Matrix, though an illusion, no one saw through it.

People go about their lives, all the while being manipulated from behind the scenes.

Good thread though, I was pleasantly surprised by the direction it took.

posted on Aug, 17 2008 @ 01:49 PM
reply to post by TheGreySwordsman

Greyswordsman, you kind of pinned my whole point down. We tend to make decisions and such based on outside sources and influences. I mean, I suppose there are different ways of looking at it, but that is how I am increasingly coming to see our situation.

posted on Aug, 17 2008 @ 02:10 PM
Here is a strange theory in regards to free will. I don't particularly agree with it, but it is indeed a strange take on the whole issue.

The Objectivist Theory of Free Will
Imagine we are at a murder trial. Randy Smith is accused of killing his Aunt Millie. The defense admits that on the night of the murder, Smith had an argument with his Aunt, that he took a pistol out of his jacket and shot her. She died of the gunshot wound. Smith knew that the gun was loaded, that Millie was directly in front of it, and that he was pulling the trigger. He was not insane at the time, there were no abnormal chemicals in his brain, and he was not acting in self-defense. He killed her knowingly, intentionally, and unjustifiably.

Nevertheless, Smith maintains, he cannot be held responsible for his action, because, in the strongest sense, he could not help it. It was, he says, physically impossible for him to avoid shooting his Aunt. He argues:

Physics teaches us that all physical changes transpire in accordance with the laws of nature. Now my firing of the gun, along with my aunt's ensuing death, were physical events. So, if the dictates of science are to be accepted, these events were ultimately the outcome of events occurring in (say) 2 million B.C., together with the laws of nature. But it is not up to me what went on 2 million years ago. And it is not up to me what the laws of nature are either. Therefore, the consequences of these things, including my present actions, are not up to me either.(1)

Is this argument valid? If it is, parallel reasoning also applies to every human action, whether for good or ill. If so, then literally no one can control anything.

Come again?

[edit on 17-8-2008 by SpeakerofTruth]

posted on Aug, 17 2008 @ 03:50 PM
To be honest with you on a more personal standpoint, I believe that I come in counter with obsticles every day. I observe nature because I am taught to do so, and because my mind drives me to. Learning from experience and from my own assertions. In order to understand free will we will have to understand what it means to truly be free. When I look at those things in nature, I see obsticles being overcome. I see things in nature that are in fact, creating the freedom in which they seek.

I see a child, who does not know the world. Why? That child is not able to understand the complexities of the workings of these things. That child is not free, because in order to survive I must teach it and raise it. But one day that child will have to learn mistakes on it's own, and I cannot control it's every action. Until that point it is my human responsibility and obligation, it is the survival of my species that I ensue it's survival. I must apply knowledge to this child, and give it the ability to seek life. Or else, is that child free? Does it know the challenges it faces and that it will have to indeed make it's own choices?

In order to be free we must determine what truly makes us free and what gives us a sense of freedom. In order to be free, we must free ourselves. There will always be obsticles to overcome. We have to find a way to overcome them. No one can hand it over to you all at once. This is not an answer, but simply a way of understanding (which in fact may lead you to some conclusions).

I was raised in a rather limited environment. I grew up in the mountains of Tennessee. In the early nineties they were still living with the mentality of people who lived in the fifties and sixties. It was secluded and hidden from the rest of the world. I was in and out of this area until the end of the nineties and still live near there because of the benefits of seclusion. However, I did not get a good education from the system. I had to homeschool a lot. Most of what I know is independent from others. I have a diploma, where two thirds of my class did not (I was not in the top of my class though lol, I was however ostracized a bit). Out of those years I did move around a lot, that held me back substantially (and helped at the same time). I did not live in one place long enough to really learn much. Just to drive me on my own.

They say there is a price for freedom, they take it for granted you know. Freedom is in the mind, wether it be your understanding of freedom or the ability to do whatever you wish. It depends on the same thing. The fact that you either take action, or you don't. Your not free to do them unless you take action. When we wake up and look at the world, we are free. When we go out and look for a way to find a better life, we are free. When we do not, we are not free. Those obsticles are going to be there, we have to constantly overcome obsticles. In a way, they are part of what gives us that freedom.

posted on Aug, 17 2008 @ 04:18 PM
reply to post by SpeakerofTruth

It's really a much more involved subject than most people would imagine. They believe that simply by being allowed to do things by law, and being alive and able to interact that they have free will. But when you look at it, it all makes sense.

I mean, really. Nothing exists without outside contribution. Everything can only exist in very limited conditions. People, animals, minerals, without certain conditions met, that physical form would not exist. All things require a certain number of outside factors to promote it's existence. Paper can't just be. It has to be manufactured, it needs to be dry, but not too dry, or too moist. It is very fragile, and must be treated gingerly. People are the same, so are animals, plants, minerals. Even the elements can only manifest themselves if other factors come into play.

So it is natural that our minds can only come to conclusions based on experience. It needs outside factors upon which to compare, and draw conclusions. We are entirely defined by other sources.

posted on Aug, 18 2008 @ 04:09 PM
reply to post by SpeakerofTruth

I think ultimately the scenario you provided in that quote is a non sequitur. The influence of history is sort of like gravity. If we were close to Jupiter or Saturn their gravitational field would effect the planet Earth in more overt ways then the way they influence it now from the far away positions; in the same sense the further you go back in history the less influence it has on the present set of conditional choices people can choose from.

The context of historical influence is limited to a general influence through time; as an example: if a particular dragonfly didn't dip itself into a particular pool of pond-scum and then dip into another pool of pond-scum a fe miles away. The actions of the dragonfly transferred a particular set of organisms that would not have otherwise met the result being that the building blocks of human life would never have occurred (if you believe in evolution - I don't I'm just using it to illustrate my point). The extent of the influence is only that of existence.... not of the subsequent actions taken by lifeforms many billions of years later.

The local present set of conditional choices people can choose from have more effect than the events of the distant past over which they have no influence.


posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 04:44 PM

Originally posted by SpeakerofTruth
What the brain perceives and what is real are two opposite things.

I wouldn't have said "opposite", just "possibly different".

If I "see" a man dying on a sidewalk, I have to make up my mind whether to help or not.

I imagine most people here (ats) would first ask themselves "is he REALLY dying or just pretending?"

Originally posted by WEOPPOSEDECEPTION
It is always "now". The only thing you can change is the future, which doesn't exist. The now cannot be changed.

The future does exist, but only as a human concept and surely it's possible to change the "now"......

When I woke up to my alarm clock, I willingly changed the future from my past by setting it.
The then present "now" WAS changed when it went off. (although I also chose to wake slowly and employed mans greatest invention since alcohol and hit the "snooze" button).

Originally posted by SpeakerofTruth
Honestly, how many times have you made a decision to do anything that wasn't determined by exterior circumstances.

Well said.

Being as we are all part of something greater than ourselves it would be impossible to make a decision without imput from the source.

Originally posted by eNumbra
Then we should punish their parents shouldn't we?

No, just educate them and teach them responsibility for their contributions to this world.

Originally posted by eNumbra
If you can't change the now, since it's already here, how are you going to change the "future"?

By using the "now" to influence something other than the "now" of course.


Enough, my head hurts!

Thanks to my friend "Speaker Of Truth", you started a good one here.

Or should that were influenced to?

posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 09:27 PM
Thank you, Merbot.

Obviously, no one objectively knows whether free will is a fact or not;however,I think it is a topic that needs to be discussed and understood. Without some kind of understanding, we can't expect to ever know.

posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 09:37 PM
Free will is not about whether we drive a BMW or a Chevy. It isn't about whether we live in a mansion or a hut. Often those decisions are based on our circumstances. Free will is how we chose to live as people. It's about whether we will act selfishly or selflessly. Will we help others or leave them to struggle on their own? Will we climb the corporate ladder by stepping on others or will we be known for our integrity? These are the decisions that we make every day. We can choose to hurt or help. This is free will.

posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 10:46 PM
reply to post by SpeakerofTruth

Free Will is a moral truth. It is an absolute. We are free to do anything we want. We can run naked thru the streets, drive on the wrong side of the road, slap our friend when they irritate us...we are absolutely free to choose any action we a are capable of performing. Even though there are terrible consequences, we can still do whatever we want. It is just that most of us want order and comfort.

Many people here discuss the constraints of our decision making processes. Since we are educated and experienced we can determine which action will bring more discomfort and which action will have the least resistance. Just because we choose the easy way...does not mean it is not a free choice.

Also most people try to choose goodness. Passion, Rage and impulsiveness affect our decision making process, but never the rage some do pick up the gun, in passion some do rip their clothes off and in impulsiveness some people do run into the street to chase something. Those are willful decisions.

Thoughts are also free. We decide what we will think about, in what we are interested. The simple act of making a to do list can direct willful thought. Prayer and meditation are also practices of willful thought. So is memorization and studying.

posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 12:58 PM

Originally posted by Missing Blue Sky

Thoughts are also free. We decide what we will think about, in what we are interested.

Do we? Really? Apparently, you have never had a random thought pop into your mind and wonder, "Where did that come from?"

Again, morality is more of an issue of conditioning than it is free will.

[edit on 21-8-2008 by SpeakerofTruth]

posted on Aug, 22 2008 @ 11:17 AM
reply to post by SpeakerofTruth

So if a thought "pops into your head" from outside yourself, It must have and origin.

Possible origins: God, Satan, Aliens, Government Mind Control, ESP, repressed memory, etc.

If you believe any or all of the above possibilities exist, you are free to reject, disagree or accept the thoughts that "pop into your head".

Now touch your nose...if you have strong free will you resisted my demand. We can exercise our free will just as we exercise our bodies. Most people here on this forum surely have very strong free will, because they study, evaluate and carefully make decisions on a wide variety of topics. I would suggest others who are spoonfed by the mainstream media have weaker wills because of the pavlovian way the media treats them. They go with the flow, without a second thought, but ulitimately they are the ones responsible for that decision to not investigate other options. They have free will to go with the flow.

[edit on 8/22/2008 by Missing Blue Sky]

posted on Aug, 22 2008 @ 11:39 AM
reply to post by freakngeckos

Your choices are only limited by as much as your imagination is limited.

Free Will is infinite.

posted on Sep, 8 2008 @ 02:07 PM
reply to post by SpeakerofTruth

Free-will vs. determinism
Its well debated among the scholars, papacy, rabbinacle sect of Judaism, as well as from the rest of the theocratic establishment.

We have free-will at any point in time though as time presses on and our experiencial learning accumulates to wisdom....we gain a broader set of choices to choose from.

For example at age 10 I might only see 5 ways to react to a situation due to my limited experience in 'my' world to date.
At age 30, on the other hand, my set of choices may increase to 15 ways to react to the same situation....assuming one were have the precise scenario of which is not possible therefor one can not prove this via scientific method since the 'environment' has changed from when one was 10 to when one was 30.

Does wisdom acquired through time from experiential learning and observation of others cause/effect scenarios not increase one's set or choice of options? Of course it does.

This is an issue which requires one's sapience for guidance. Relying on 'another' to decide for you is a violation of your own sapience though counsel should often be sought from those who have demonstrated knowledge and wisdom in the past.

In the end, only 'we' intuitively know what is right for us, therefor we should choose to exercise our own free-will from what we discover within.

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