Hard Determinism and Freewill

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posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 08:46 AM
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I could shread this OP to pieces, but I don't feel like my efforts would be appreciated especially when someone who is exploring free will automatically discerns the belief of God.If you are on the search for truth, and light how can you ignore a certain field of study. Wish you the best on you/re journey. It's a dark road you are on.




posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 09:05 AM
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reply to post by bo12au
 


I think its a dark road too..
There is free will, doubt it not lol for he who doesn't believe in free will, is no better than a computer... Are you like a computer OP?



posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 09:15 AM
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1- This thread assumes that all religions known to man are made by and only by man. Any arguments from any religious perspectives will be politely ignored.



posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 09:17 AM
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reply to post by TheAlmo
 


Don't worry... I am working on another thread about religion. For now, let's focus on freewill and science


If you don't have anything to say that is related to freewill in the light of science, then, please leave.
edit on 12-10-2011 by TheAlmo because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 09:19 AM
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reply to post by bo12au
 


Shred my OP into pieces huh? I am sure you're going to use one gigantic bible.



posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 09:38 AM
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reply to post by TheAlmo
 


Come on Almo, do you really believe in that nonsense, we have no free will?
Science is always changing, maybe one day it will get the big picture, there is scientific studies that say there is free will. Here is a link



posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 10:59 AM
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Almo, I think your argument would be stronger if you threw out the "hard determinism". Predicting our brain behaviour is like predicting the weather; a butterfly in one spot can influence weather far away. When the butterfly is a tiny particle governed by quantum mechanics it makes the brain extremely unpredictable.

But I think our brains can be unpredictable without implying some metaphysical spirit using free will.

Here is the link to an experiment showing quantum mechanics is used in our sense of smell:

www.popsci.com...



posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 12:25 PM
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reply to post by Manula
 


I don't "believe" anything". I wrote two pages so no one will tell me that I believe. In the OP, you can find the logic I based my claims on, which I also mentioned that I am totally ready to reject if given proper arguments, ones that don't include "come on" in them.

I see you brought a link but you didn't tell me where that fits in my argument. I can get some experiments that prove we don't have freewill as well. What I am expecting you to do with that link is to tell me where its logic fits in my argument. Which part of my thread is actually wrong?
edit on 12-10-2011 by TheAlmo because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 01:15 PM
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reply to post by Manula
 


Even though I don't agree with your approach, "throwing a link and saying nothing", I will tell you my problems with that link.

1- The technology used in that experiment is very primitive and results can be very misleading because it measures levels of activity. Your brain activity can rise for countless reasons. So, the machine doesn't actually know what you are thinking. In other words, to quote from this experiment:



"It's possible that what are now correlations could at some point become causal connections between brain mechanisms".


2- The article you linked says, in a confident tone as if it's final and official: Free will is not an illusion after all. And then after you read, it turns out that they are just scratching the surface. Which eliminates the credibility of the source. How can you be so sure of something that requires extensive research and testing. Again I will quote from the same link:



This month, a raft of projects will get under way as part of Big Questions in Free Will, a four-year, US$4.4-million programme funded by the John Templeton Foundation in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, which supports research bridging theology, philosophy and natural science. Some say that, with refined experiments, neuroscience could help researchers to identify the physical processes underlying conscious intention and to better understand the brain activity that precedes it.


So, on one side - a four year program that costs 4.4 million dollars that claims to be unsure of the results, and on the other side, one experiment that claims it has it all.
edit on 12-10-2011 by TheAlmo because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 01:17 PM
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Originally posted by TheAlmo
reply to post by Dragonfly79
 


I really can't relate the upper half of your comment to any of what I said in the OP. What do you want to say?


Robots do not pick up brushes to paint their surroundings, unless they are programmed to do so. Howcome humans started to paint, it wasn't there in their programming but somehow they started to do that. Just as they started doing many other things which can't be explained unless there is something that can combine things to create something which is new to itself. Otherwise we would still only be using sticks and stones, not more than what nature produced like caves, but not houses like we know now.


The second half:



"The laws of physics do not have to be the same as the laws of the psyche"


The psyche is itself nothing but electrical signals and chemical reactions as far as we're concerned.


There is no 'we', is there? It's a tactic used by cult leaders, don't speak as one person but pretend you're with a group. I understand many people speak like that nowadays which I consider a problem but obviously others don't seem to care.


Right... except that it is because that's my example and I said that it would be delicious, be it Arab food, American food, or anything. Delicious food is delicious because you were raised to like its taste... there's a reason for you loving the taste of delicious food... a scientific deterministic reason that can be traced back to your ancestors, evolution, and eventually cosmological reasons. Which you have no control or choice of neither of them.


What I meant was what if you sat there on the couch and your spouse made food which smelled great like frenchfries but then turned out to be something completely different and you lose all taste because of it. There's no difference between a Chinese or American brain, just looking at the physiology, but it's likely both respond differently to different dishes. Not to start a nature vs nurture debate but I would say there's something wrong here since all brains have the same physiology but there's something in there with a taste and distaste.



I can't see how you got the 'culty' smell since all I am saying here is based on facts...


They are based on (very convincing) theories, not facts. As you stated yourself, subject to change. It's just not the truth.


but I will explain what I mean. If you're walking in the street the pavement was broken and you hit it with your leg and fell down. What's gonna happen the next time you come near that very spot? You will try to avoid it because what is equivalent to an operating system in your brain updated the information about this specific spot. That's what I mean by automatically updatable.


Clear, I was thinking about how that would work when reading information and critical thinking. Didn't mean to go the direction of religion vs science. Personally I embrace both, but view it all as theoretical, even many scientific articles may be based on actual observation but interpreted by one's programming leading to different theories.
edit on 12/10/2011 by Dragonfly79 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 01:32 PM
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reply to post by cloudyday
 




Predicting our brain behaviour is like predicting the weather


I am not trying to predict brain behavior, dude. I am saying it is very hard to predict, but, it's not unpredictable... because the brain, when we examine it, we find that it's all electricity and chemistry. This is all we can find now. There could be more, but, we didn't find anything more than just those two. And, coincidentally, we know for sure that those are enough for all our brain functions because we can already see what a machine that we created like the computer can do with just electricity. It's now not far fetched that everything in your brain is nothing but electricity. I encourage you to see documentaries on the brain and see the effect of electricity on how you brain works. I would recommend BBC's documentary on the brain. There's actually a woman who's having brain surgery, they ask her to count to ten (her head is open and they are working directly on the brain) and she starts counting and when the doctor electrically induces one part of her brain she stops counting. Just like a robot. Exactly like a robot that you unplugged one of its wires.

Everything you know is stored in your brain like a hard drive, not in the spirit world. Every function your mind performs has a place in the brain. Speech, smelling, seeing, identifying faces... everything. It's all electricity and chemistry and we don't seem to be finding more than just those two. And those two conform to laws of nature and they are extremely loyal in doing so.



a butterfly in one spot can influence weather far away


That's chaos theory. It doesn't mean that some stuff can happen with no reason. It means that some times the causality chain can get extremely complicated that you won't be able to link the outcome to initial conditions. The causal route is there, we just can't find it because it's too much for our mental ability.



posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 02:40 PM
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reply to post by TheAlmo
 


The point I was trying to make is that our brains and our environment are made of particles governed by quantum mechanics. Brains probably evolved to harness the uncertainty of quantum mechanics so that people would be unpredictable enough to be creative. We don't need free will or a soul to explain unpredictable human behaviour.



posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 02:50 PM
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reply to post by Dragonfly79
 




Robots do not pick up brushes to paint their surroundings, unless they are programmed to do so. Howcome humans started to paint, it wasn't there in their programming but somehow they started to do that. Just as they started doing many other things which can't be explained unless there is something that can combine things to create something which is new to itself. Otherwise we would still only be using sticks and stones, not more than what nature produced like caves, but not houses like we know now.


This argument, the way I see it, tries to prove that we have a creator/designer; which is not the our topic.



There is no 'we', is there? It's a tactic used by cult leaders, don't speak as one person but pretend you're with a group. I understand many people speak like that nowadays which I consider a problem but obviously others don't seem to care.


Yes there is a "we" and it refers to humanity. Still not sure about cult leaders and tactics though... it all sounds like you're finding reasons to say the word "cult". Obviously, when I say "we" I don't mean a certain cult... do you think I am saying "as far as we, determinists, are concerned" or what? And that determinists are a cult and I am part of it? If that's the case, I mean humanity, and if you say that I can't speak for humanity because I am just one person, that could be true if I said something like "we like country music" or "we hate George Bush". What I CAN say however is things like:

"we invented the computer" and "we live in 2011"... and what I said which is: we -humanity- can only see electrical signals and chemical reactions in the brain. That's what we can find and see and experiment with. There could be more, yes, but that's ALL we can see now, which is also all I need for my argument.



What I meant was what if you sat there on the couch and your spouse made food which smelled great like frenchfries but then turned out to be something completely different and you lose all taste because of it. There's no difference between a Chinese or American brain, just looking at the physiology, but it's likely both respond differently to different dishes. Not to start a nature vs nurture debate but I would say there's something wrong here since all brains have the same physiology but there's something in there with a taste and distaste.


It doesn't matter. If they both respond equally or differently to the dish it will mean in both cases that there is a reason for the similarity of the difference. What I am saying is that if you create two copies of a human being, both with exactly the same memory and the same everything and you put them in separate but identical room they will act exactly the same as if it's a mirror, assuming that the experiment conditions are perfect and there isn't the slightest difference between the two rooms, not in temperature, pressure, lighting conditions, or shape. If the two rooms are exactly the same, it will be like a mirror. If you change one of the copies or any of the parameters of the experiment then it would make sense that they won't behave similarly. So, the whole Chinese/American/Food/Taste thing is full of parameters that insures that they won't ever behave the same way. Even identical twins don't qualify for such an experiment.



They are based on (very convincing) theories, not facts. As you stated yourself, subject to change. It's just not the truth.


No no... you see, my theory, is based on facts. I didn't say that my theory is a fact. It is based on facts. Meaning that my logic uses facts like consistency of laws of physics. You can use the same set of facts to come up with different theories, one of which, my very interesting theory as you called it.
edit on 12-10-2011 by TheAlmo because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 12 2011 @ 04:58 PM
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reply to post by Manula
 




Testimonies, they are evidence too, accepted in court of law.


Right but I'm not asking for evidence that would be accepted in the court of law, I'm asking for scientific evidence or some kind of logical proof. Testimony is not hard evidence, people see all sorts of things, from Elvis to Nessie to elves and beyond. We cannot simply accept those as evidence. To my knowledge no conclusive evidence of a soul or an afterlife has ever been found.



A lot of people have experienced out of body experiences


A lot of people claim to have been visited by angels, or aliens, or insert supernatural claim here, but claiming to be visited, or having a personal experience, is not evidence to the rest of us. I assure you it is a subject I've already researched plenty.




The body is the vehicle but it is the soul that commands.


Yes but you said the soul has free will, that free will is useless if we accept the OPs premise that the body must conform to causality. The soul would only be able to choose an action that conforms to determinism.



Life comes from the soul.


First you must demonstrate that a soul exists, THEN you must demonstrate that life without a soul is impossible. But if you hold this position I have to ask, does bacteria have a soul? Bacteria is alive right? Where in the cell structure of a bacteria is the soul located?



then our actions and words are expressions of free will.


If the brain and body are bound by causality and their actions are determined it wouldn't matter if the soul had free will, it wouldn't be allowed to choose an action for the body that violates cause and effect. Unless you want to argue against the OP's claim that free will for the body and mind is impossible.
edit on 12-10-2011 by Titen-Sxull because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 04:07 AM
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Originally posted by TheAlmo
reply to post by Dragonfly79
 

This argument, the way I see it, tries to prove that we have a creator/designer; which is not the our topic.


I can see how you can interpret that but that wasn't my intention. I've thought about the question over and over, reality can be seen from both perspectives but what's in front of us (life in general) doesn't need to change wether a creator/designer exists or not. Your response would indicate you can not think of anything other than there being a creator/designer or something else.

It's a fact someone in the evolution of humanity started to express something which is like art, it might also be hunters becoming better at hunting and passing this knowledge on by means of identifying different animals to hunt, hunting tactics etc. Other animals did not do this like humans did. What made their programming different, what is the cause for that to have happened, why didn't other animals do something similar?



Yes there is a "we" and it refers to humanity.


No, it refers to a group of likeminded scientists who seek to convince others science is the way to go and if you're not one of them well you must belong to the unintelligent animals and you'll be excluded by society, ridiculed and officially declared mentally ill if you're not careful (which is just a modern version of excommunication but I'll try not to digress to religion again).

But forget about it, doesn't need to play a role in this discussion. I just see a generation of people being brainwashed by a group of people who do not seem to be organized yet but who all preach scientific dogma's which is all good except when it comes to subjects like a hereafter or there being more to this existence than the physical, which is usually quickly ridiculed. Which bothers me even though I should know better and just refrain from responding but I can't help myself, the prospect of a society where everyone is only concerned about mundane things acting like robots without any power over their own minds (or programming) worries me.

Maybe scientists simply fear it, maybe some have aversions to religion because of personal negative experiences, maybe some have profits to gain by research getting published, maybe some just want to belong to a group which appears sincere, just and good for all of humanity in the long run, maybe some just can't be bothered to invest time in what appears to be something not worthwile. There are a number of reasons why people would want to exchange faith with science, religion used to provide a sense of security by the prospect of heaven, science provides the sense of security that if you get sick there might be a cure. Just trying to understand the mindset here.


"we invented the computer" and "we live in 2011"... and what I said which is: we -humanity- can only see electrical signals and chemical reactions in the brain. That's what we can find and see and experiment with. There could be more, yes, but that's ALL we can see now, which is also all I need for my argument.


That's all true, I try to follow scientific research but just because something isn't proven by 'science' doesn't mean it's nonexistant. If more accept there is no such thing as free will, that is how humanity will become, or at least the Western societies once dominated by empirical science. I would just find it such a waste and a bad ending for humanity. People need more control over their own mind instead of being told they have little control as determined by science.


It doesn't matter.


What I was trying to say is if there was no such thing as free will, all of humanity, regardless of location (barring geographical differences like mountains/rivers/deserts etc) would respond to eachother in the same way so all the different cultures would have turned out the same. But it didn't. Why did some people choose God back then while others chose Gods and others just 'forces of nature' (animism) and yet others choose to completely ignore that all and instead only choose to see the physical? Obviously programming has evolved differently, whether or not it was created or designed there must be some cause for this.


no... you see, my theory, is based on facts.


To me those facts are interpretations of phenomena, nothing more. Ofcourse one cannot grow another organ nor will the brain evolve in one lifetime to accomodate the ability to see more phenomena, if there are any. Just saying there could be functions of the brain no one has tapped into simply because everyone keeps telling this is all there is. Once all religion/faith/beliefs have been wiped out and replaced by scientific dogma's there will be little chance any human will ever find out if there is more to life, maybe they will simply forget about having a choice or not even know it at all and just do whatever they are told. In the end accepting and understanding one's own free will is having a certain control over the experience of this life, forfeit it and all you become is something which only reacts to life, without having any choice how to react to it.
edit on 13/10/2011 by Dragonfly79 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 06:36 AM
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reply to post by Titen-Sxull
 


Look you guys have a religion: Science.
The truth only comes from science? Scientists are always changing, science is always changing, its a way to study things, that can be wrong, and often is, for me science reveals the truth that it can see at a given moment. Who said it can always see the whole truth?
If a person is telling you something, it is worthless if not studied by science?
That´s ridiculous...
Science is a way to try, and i mean to try to see the truth, it is not the only way, you can feel the truth, you can see it with your own eyes, you can see it in the eyes of others.
Science wants to see the truth but its very limited and its always changing.
Today something is true in science, tomorrow the same science will say it is false.
So science is what it is, a limited way to understand reality, it has done a lot for humanity, but some people see it as the only way to get to facts which is wrong.
Open your mind, there is a lot out there beyond scientific studies...



posted on Sep, 30 2012 @ 03:54 PM
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Brilliant, it's all true.
And well-presented responses to those who seemed offended at the premise, whose responses were largely emotional if not downright bizzarre and paranoid in the claims about 'scientists' ('if you're not one of them well you must belong to the unintelligent animals and you'll be excluded by society, ridiculed and officially declared mentally ill if you're not careful.' What?), or the assertion that the proof for a soul is just obvious because you can feel the truth of it. Nonsense.
If you're positing a soul, then you're just simply moving the borders back again, but whatever the new borders encompass still are subject to cause and effect. And like it's been pointed out already, for something to interact with the body, it has to be subject to the laws of the body.
The web of cause and effect still gives rise to it and acts upon it so any thought of free agency is just an illusion due to scale.

If you have a computerised vehicle, programmed to run around objects in a room, it seems to have the choice to respond to obstacles, but that is the resullt of its programming (cause and effect). Then if you take over control of the vehicle through remote control (which is what you are saying the soul is doing if you believe in a soul) then it may appear you are executing your free will on the vehicle. But you are subject to the limits and constraits of the vehicle. You have the appearance of free will, within certain limited options. Which is just what the original computer had.

So it's a meaningless circular argument to introduce another element into the body to account for the illusion of free will, you still end up with the same basic elements of the problem, you are just inventing more and more complexity in trying to run away from the inescapable truth of the matter.

And really importantly for those that object to this idea -
if we have no free will, then WE HAVE NEVER HAD FREE WILL, and everything that has come before, and is happening now, has been the result of life doing its thing - us and all our culture included.
So how does accepting this argument change anything other than ridding yourself of the demon of another useless superstition?

So claims of people turning into robots, or not thinking for themselves, are completely missing the point and are more due to the reaction of an ego that feels a little miffed to find out it's not a special, eternal, superhuman magic pixie after all.

The first chapter of a book called 'Wisdom Of The Infinite' says it really well...

(continued...)



posted on Sep, 30 2012 @ 03:57 PM
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  Cause and Effect
A leaf detaches from high up in a tree and gently floats to the ground. As you watch it meander lazily downwards, its path seems random and aimless, as though whim and fancy were dictating its every move. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. For when you examine the matter more closely, you begin to see that every aspect of the leaf's descent is determined by innumerable causes. Whim and fancy never enter the picture at all. The structure, mass and aerodynamic properties of the leaf; the height of the tree; the surrounding air temperature, humidity and pressure; the presence of a breeze; the strength of the earth's gravity; the friction between the leaf's surface and the air molecules - all of these elements, and more, combine to determine the leafs precise path. There is not a single aspect of its journey, no matter how insignificant or minute, which is not fully determined by its causes.

The same is true for the leafs prior growth on the branch, and for the tree that originally grew out of the ground, and for the creation of the ground itself. Indeed, it is true for everything that happens in the Universe.
All phenomena, without exception, are created, nurtured and destroyed by causation. Everything from the formation of stars and galaxies to the creation and annihilation of subatomic particles to the endless variety of living processes is a product of cause and effect. The infinite complexity of Nature that we see around us is nothing other than the infinite simplicity of causation.
There are no exceptions in this regard, despite what modern physicists say. Nothing is so unique in this world, or so unnatural, that it dwells outside of Nature's causal web. Anything that happens in this world is caused to happen, including everything that happens inside us. The blood coursing through our veins, our muscles expanding and contracting, the chemical processes inside our cells, the electro-chemical impulses in our brains - all are causally created. So too our thoughts, beliefs, decisions, and emotions. Nothing is immune from it.  

Where do we begin and end?
It is often assumed that our skin forms a boundary between what is inside our bodies and the rest of the Universe. But as far as causation is concerned, it is as though this boundary does not even exist. The air that we exhale from our lungs easily finds its way into the cells of trees and plants. Our voice slides effortlessly from our larynx into the ears of those around us. The heat inside our bodies increases the surrounding air temperature to a small degree. The viruses in our sneezes create infections in the bodies of others. The decisions formulating in our brains influence the behaviour of others and exert ever-widening consequences in society. All of these examples demonstrate the obvious truth that the boundary between the world and ourselves is non-existent. The causal processes inside our bodies merge seamlessly with the causal processes in the outer environment to form one vast sea of causation. In a very real sense, "we" are not even there.

The same is true for every kind of boundary you care to imagine. None of it is real in the face of causation. If you want to open your mind to the majesty of the Infinite, then you need to understand this point thoroughly. Study it as though your life depended upon it - which, in a deeper sense, it does. Give yourself over to it, absorb your whole consciousness in it, allow it to permanently alter your mind. It is literally the key to the Kingdom of Heaven. Don't throw it away!


See? Life is still special and awesome, despite the fact that you don't really exist.
edit on 30-9-2012 by delusion because: (no reason given)





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