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Free Will is Not an Illusion

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posted on May, 13 2012 @ 07:06 PM
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Think of someone that you dislike. Let’s call this person X. Now, imagine that you were born with X’s “genetic material.” That is, imagine that you had X’s looks, body odor, inherent tastes, intelligence, aptitudes, etc. Imagine, further, that you had X’s upbringing and life-experiences as well; so, imagine that you had X’s parents growing up, and that you grew up in the same country, city, and neighborhood in which X grew up, etc. Would behave any differently from how X behaves? Most people realize, perhaps after a moment of startled pause, that the answer to the question is “No.” The question helps people realize that their thoughts and actions are determined entirely by their genetic and social conditioning. In other words, it helps people intuitively grasp the idea that free will is an illusion.


Source

The single most non-scientific idea accepted as fact today is that we do not have free will. The article gives no basis for the idea that we do not have free will, other than the opinion that X, or anyone with the same upbringing and genetic material as X, would lead the exact same life as X. Over and over and over again.

This is simply not the case. Not only is viewpoint this just an opinion, this particular opinion happens to be scientifically false. The truth of the matter is, not only would you live a life completely differently than X, X would live his own life completely differently if given the chance to do it over.

It is true that one's culture and genetic composition influence one's life, but this is completely different than absolute control over one's life and choices.

There are even multiple universes to take into account all of the different possibilities and choices that each of us can make, with an infinite number of alternate realities in our current time period, and an infinite number of futures that we could choose to experience. To begin with, here is some proof of alternate universes.

New Proof from Oxford: Alternate Universes Exist

Check this out, and read the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics for a preview on a new thread of mine that is going to appear soon. I did my senior thesis in psychology on a quantum theory of mind, that proves free will exists.

Wikipedia - Multiverse

Star and flag if you think it is important for the truth to get out on this vital subject, as believing (falsely) that no free will exists has dire consequences, both in every individual's life and world politics.

edit on 13-5-2012 by darkbake because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 13 2012 @ 07:10 PM
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"For what is man without desires, without free will, and without the power of choice but a stop in an organ pipe?"

Dostoevsky

He then goes on to explain how man would cease to function if he truly believed/knew he had free will.
and also, that if people didn't have free will, they would always go with the better choice for themselves, and we all know how often people choose poorly, despite knowing it will lead to a bad outcome.
edit on 13-5-2012 by Ghost375 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 13 2012 @ 07:15 PM
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Think of someone that you dislike. Let’s call this person X. Now, imagine that you were born with X’s “genetic material.” That is, imagine that you had X’s looks, body odor, inherent tastes, intelligence, aptitudes, etc. Imagine, further, that you had X’s upbringing and life-experiences as well; so, imagine that you had X’s parents growing up, and that you grew up in the same country, city, and neighborhood in which X grew up, etc. Would behave any differently from how X behaves? Most people realize, perhaps after a moment of startled pause, that the answer to the question is “No.” The question helps people realize that their thoughts and actions are determined entirely by their genetic and social conditioning. In other words, it helps people intuitively grasp the idea that free will is an illusion.


Well that blurb is completely invalid from the start. He has you make so many assumptions that you ARE in fact person X and the previous you ceases to be. There is absolutely no practical difference between free will and perceived free will. Even as a philosophical argument I can't find much use.
edit on 13-5-2012 by xFiDgetx because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 13 2012 @ 07:19 PM
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I read something like this a couple years back...

www.crystalinks.com...

It threw me off for a night while a pondered. I decided that it is the thought process of psychopaths. No free will means no responsibility. No responsibility means no guilt. No guilt = psychopathic.



posted on May, 13 2012 @ 07:23 PM
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It's paradoxical.

Imagine, everyone has an "epiphany" that they don't have free will. So then, somebody asks, "what do we do now?" which receives the reply, "We don't have a choice?" And then everyone just sits around, waiting...




posted on May, 13 2012 @ 07:30 PM
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man has free will or man has no free will. it's probably somewhere in the middle.
edit on 13-5-2012 by biggmoneyme because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 13 2012 @ 07:34 PM
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Originally posted by jlm912
It's paradoxical.

Imagine, everyone has an "epiphany" that they don't have free will. So then, somebody asks, "what do we do now?" which receives the reply, "We don't have a choice?" And then everyone just sits around, waiting...



it's more along the lines that our subconsciousness are connected together. the source has a plan, it manifest through all of us. but the source and the individual is like a continuum dont you think? they really are one, so both ways are right. in the ultimate perspective god alone is the doer, but from our superficial perspectives we are the doers and are completely accountable for our actions. both are true. it's like a reflection of the universe, different perspectives (levels of existence: our level, molecular, atomic ,subatomic, quantum) all ture but with their own different set of rules. i can pull you by your arm or you atoms, i'd do it too different ways but the result is that you get pulled



posted on May, 13 2012 @ 07:44 PM
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Originally posted by biggmoneyme

it's more along the lines that our subconsciousness are connected together. the source has a plan, it manifest through all of us. but the source and the individual is like a continuum dont you think? they really are one, so both ways are right. in the ultimate perspective god alone is the doer, but from our superficial perspectives we are the doers and are completely accountable for our actions. both are true. it's like a reflection of the universe, different perspectives (levels of existence: our level, molecular, atomic ,subatomic, quantum) all ture but with their own different set of rules. i can pull you by your arm or you atoms, i'd do it too different ways but the result is that you get pulled


This still boils down to the old "we are figments of another's imagination" statement, leaving us with yet no practical difference.
edit on 13-5-2012 by xFiDgetx because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 13 2012 @ 08:02 PM
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Originally posted by xFiDgetx

Originally posted by biggmoneyme

it's more along the lines that our subconsciousness are connected together. the source has a plan, it manifest through all of us. but the source and the individual is like a continuum dont you think? they really are one, so both ways are right. in the ultimate perspective god alone is the doer, but from our superficial perspectives we are the doers and are completely accountable for our actions. both are true. it's like a reflection of the universe, different perspectives (levels of existence: our level, molecular, atomic ,subatomic, quantum) all ture but with their own different set of rules. i can pull you by your arm or you atoms, i'd do it too different ways but the result is that you get pulled


This still boils down to the old "we are figments of another's imagination" statement, leaving us with yet no practical difference.
edit on 13-5-2012 by xFiDgetx because: (no reason given)


but even then, there is no way to satisfy the intellectual part of you that you're trying to satisfy. the truth is in the middle. and then theres only two other options. what else do you want?



posted on May, 13 2012 @ 08:13 PM
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Originally posted by biggmoneyme

Originally posted by xFiDgetx

Originally posted by biggmoneyme

it's more along the lines that our subconsciousness are connected together. the source has a plan, it manifest through all of us. but the source and the individual is like a continuum dont you think? they really are one, so both ways are right. in the ultimate perspective god alone is the doer, but from our superficial perspectives we are the doers and are completely accountable for our actions. both are true. it's like a reflection of the universe, different perspectives (levels of existence: our level, molecular, atomic ,subatomic, quantum) all ture but with their own different set of rules. i can pull you by your arm or you atoms, i'd do it too different ways but the result is that you get pulled


This still boils down to the old "we are figments of another's imagination" statement, leaving us with yet no practical difference.
edit on 13-5-2012 by xFiDgetx because: (no reason given)


but even then, there is no way to satisfy the intellectual part of you that you're trying to satisfy. the truth is in the middle. and then theres only two other options. what else do you want?


I'm not trying to satisfy anything. I'm completely satisfied with my free will wether it be real or perceived. I don't understand what you're asking of me in your last post. I really don't. I wasn't dissagreeing with you, just stating my opinion that there is no way to make the argument that isn't moot. From either side of the fence.
edit on 13-5-2012 by xFiDgetx because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 13 2012 @ 09:39 PM
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reply to post by biggmoneyme
 


I believe there are some things that are controllable by singular will while most is more-so by the collective, but not everything; something like the middle, as you stated. The free-will-illusion concept seems completely void of any willful control, at least in the way my source has described it. I can't bring myself to believe that. I've tried. But hey, that's just my "free-will gene" speaking, right?



edit on 13-5-2012 by jlm912 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 13 2012 @ 09:46 PM
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reply to post by jlm912
 


If free will didn't exist, self control would be non-existent, as well. I don't understand the reasoning that my own conflicting thoughts are an illusion, and that no matter what conflicting thoughts I have, the ones that are successfully transformed into actions in turn are predetermined. That's a null program for my mind.



posted on May, 13 2012 @ 10:13 PM
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Oh please! What about twins then my boy?! Everything is the same with them just as the article states.. it still doesn't discount the fact that one of the twins is a douchebag.

Everything about Mr.X has to be the same, even the same decisions. There are a few points this article needs to expand on. Nifty how the article points out to your childhood and no one except the kings and queens of old had any control over their childhood.

Childhood friends? Hm, you had free will. You gather input (external factors) and came to a personal decision as to whether you would continue being friends with them.

What i did notice is that the article states that if you are sheep, you no have free will. So this article doesn't apply to ATS members.. well some


Funny how the article doesn't mention any incidents when your old enough to make your own decision. Like, what f---in color i want my dodge charger.
edit on 13-5-2012 by cenpuppie because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 14 2012 @ 10:26 AM
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What does 'free' in this context mean?
Who/what is will?

Spend a day doing things against your will see what happens. (someone once told me they tried this). I could not because my will wouldn't let me ;P



posted on May, 14 2012 @ 10:56 AM
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reply to post by IAmD1
 


Those are excellent questions. I suppose you could take into consideration that genes and environment have much influence over our thoughts and actions. After all, you can only think and act in terms of what you know. Problem is that while our genes are basically a constant, our environments are ever-changing. The more environments we experience, the more influences there are on our thoughts. Now, when we experience two conflicting environmental factors, what determines our choice of which influence to act upon if not "free" will?

Say one's genes give him a particular taste for certain, say spicy foods, and he has encountered two different edibles in surrounding environment that each fall under that same category . If they are both practically equal in nutrition and liked equally and both immediately available to said person, what then decides which dish is eaten?

And what accounts for abstract thoughts?

Such as if no animal flew, would humans still have envisioned the concept of flying?



posted on May, 14 2012 @ 12:04 PM
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Originally posted by jlm912
I read something like this a couple years back...

www.crystalinks.com...

It threw me off for a night while a pondered. I decided that it is the thought process of psychopaths. No free will means no responsibility. No responsibility means no guilt. No guilt = psychopathic.


That there is no real free will do not mean there is no responsability/guilt/karma. You can have percieved free will that is an illussion and have a destiny. What if someone knows exactly how you work and all input you will have from your enviroment and how you will change according to the input? What if this someone is cheating and giving you input that you should not get to make you evolve to an even nicer being and more harmonious? Just because you realize that you do not have real free will do not mean you will not have to pay karma for your actions. You can live in a state of knowing that free will is an illusion and still play the game that there is free will.



posted on May, 14 2012 @ 12:10 PM
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Originally posted by biggmoneyme

Originally posted by jlm912
It's paradoxical.

Imagine, everyone has an "epiphany" that they don't have free will. So then, somebody asks, "what do we do now?" which receives the reply, "We don't have a choice?" And then everyone just sits around, waiting...



it's more along the lines that our subconsciousness are connected together. the source has a plan, it manifest through all of us. but the source and the individual is like a continuum dont you think? they really are one, so both ways are right. in the ultimate perspective god alone is the doer, but from our superficial perspectives we are the doers and are completely accountable for our actions. both are true. it's like a reflection of the universe, different perspectives (levels of existence: our level, molecular, atomic ,subatomic, quantum) all ture but with their own different set of rules. i can pull you by your arm or you atoms, i'd do it too different ways but the result is that you get pulled


I would not have written it as you do since I am me, but I have the same core idea about this in my head as I think you do. Cool



posted on May, 14 2012 @ 03:01 PM
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Originally posted by jlm912
reply to post by IAmD1
 


Now, when we experience two conflicting environmental factors, what determines our choice of which influence to act upon if not "free" will?

Say one's genes give him a particular taste for certain, say spicy foods, and he has encountered two different edibles in surrounding environment that each fall under that same category . If they are both practically equal in nutrition and liked equally and both immediately available to said person, what then decides which dish is eaten?

And what accounts for abstract thoughts?

Such as if no animal flew, would humans still have envisioned the concept of flying?


Next time you have two conflicting environmental factors facing you, be mindful of what you do, how you make a 'choice'. Do you choose one over the other, choose both, let someone else give you ideas to help you make a choice or do you simply leave it until one stands out more? I think just being mindful of what occurs might answer your question.

Both fruit can not occupy the same space at the same time, one will inevitable be easier to reach. Which you 'chose' depends on your conditioning?? (just thoughts)Reach in this instance could also be exchanged for shine slightly brighter, be picked more often by others around, be the one you did or did not pick the last time. So many factors of previous experiences might influence which one is picked.

What is abstract thought? Is there any thought that has no basis in and on related thoughts? What if abstract thinking is just a way of sorting out relationships between the thoughts and experiences we already have had and testing those relationships. Since we do not have lifespans and immortality that allows us to experience everything physically then maybe abstract thought serves as a virtual experience simulation. Doing what experience would do without the danger to our physical bodies actually trying it would. The reason they are brought into conscious awareness is that the conscious observing awareness sort of works like pain. It plants triggers that we can react to in order to defend our mechanism as and when the need occurs. I see nothing free about it in terms of choices.

How ever I have one nut I can't crack in this (for me) and that is how we seem to be able to over ride emotion with thought and vice versa. Those two ways of choosing emotional or mental might be what gives rise to the apparent free will that we experience. The mental never understands how the emotional works and the emotional just don't care how the mental thinks.lol Which one is the stronger and who (what mechanism) determines which one rules any given situation?

If you empty your mind and just let it run on it's own what will it show you?

I know nothing and love thinking about it.




posted on May, 14 2012 @ 06:05 PM
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reply to post by apushforenlightment
 


But if I was to be manipulated in that way, whether to be nicer or worse, then it would not be my own will nor my responsibility. I would essentially have no choice in the matter. I would merely be a tool of an indirect source of will in that situation, but I'd still be the recipient of the ultimate consequence?

So "Guns kill people?" or more directly, "bullets kill people?" or the shot person for allowing the bullet to manipulate their body in such a way? or is the blood responsible for the kill because it was manipulated to leave the body?

Where was the choice? Where was the will enacted while an alternative was present?



posted on May, 14 2012 @ 06:19 PM
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And I can freely will to play the "free will game"?




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