Consciousness and free will.

Is the mind the same as the body? What is consciousness? Can machines have it?

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raw_thought
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Consciousness and free will.

Post by raw_thought » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:10 am

It seems to me that consciousness is required for free will to exist. In other words I have to consciously decide something for it to be a free will act.
1. Cause always precedes effect.
2. One cannot be conscious of a thought before one thinks it.
3. Therefore, one cannot consciously cause one's thoughts!
Since we cannot consciously determine our thoughts (our decisions) free will is impossible in all situations!

raw_thought
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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by raw_thought » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:15 am

Of course a materialist cannot believe in free will.* What makes the OP interesting is that even if one believes that consciousness is not material, one can still not believe in free will!!!
* 1. My brain causes my thoughts.
2. My brain causes my thoughts by sorting over 100,000,000 nerve messages a second.
3. I am not smart enough to consciously sort 100,000,000 of anything in one second.
4. Therefore, I am not smart enough to think my own thoughts!

surreptitious57
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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by surreptitious57 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:27 am

raw_thought wrote:
One cannot be conscious of a thought before one thinks it
That is true though they are formulated before one is actually aware of them
The time differential is rather infinitesimal but it does impact up on free will
The fact that it is not noticeable is what ironically maintains the illusion of it

raw_thought
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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by raw_thought » Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:26 pm

If the thought is formulated before one is conscious of it, it follows that consciousness cannot determine what one thinks.

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Rilx
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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by Rilx » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:18 pm

raw_thought wrote:If the thought is formulated before one is conscious of it, it follows that consciousness cannot determine what one thinks.
Only formulated thoughts are conscious; consciousness doesn't determine anything, it gives thoughts their phenomenal (=conscious) form. It's you who think, consciousness represents your thoughts.

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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by raw_thought » Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:48 pm

I agree that consciousness does not create our thoughts.* However, that means we lack free will. I am not responsible for unconscious decisions.
* that was the point behind the OP.

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Rilx
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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by Rilx » Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:39 pm

raw_thought wrote:I am not responsible for unconscious decisions.
Yes you are, they are your decisions. Free will is not of unconscious "decisions" which you need in everyday life; it is of future scenarios which unconscious immediate acts only implement. When you have decided to go shopping you don't need to decide to move your feet at every step. Those unconscious steps don't contradict your conscious free will - they manifest it.

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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by raw_thought » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:02 pm

So you are saying that if a rock hits my head and I become unconscious, I am responsible for my twitching?

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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by raw_thought » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:04 pm

In your example, you consciously decided to go shopping.

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Rilx
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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by Rilx » Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:59 am

raw_thought wrote:So you are saying that if a rock hits my head and I become unconscious, I am responsible for my twitching?
That's due to external nerve stimulation, like pain or other sensory stimuli. If you unconsciously seek becoming hit by a rock, then you are responsible.

When we use concepts 'conscious' and 'unconscious' in a commensurate way - speaking on the conscious-unconscious axis so to say - it's irrelevant to speak of solely biological functions like blood circulation, even though you can call them "unconscious".

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Rilx
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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by Rilx » Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:09 am

raw_thought wrote:In your example, you consciously decided to go shopping.
That's right, by my free will I can add. But I don't move my feet consciously; they do their part in realising my free conscious decision. I'm totally responsible for my walking.

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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by raw_thought » Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:15 pm

Agreed. However,the causal chain began with a conscious decision. Without that conscious decision there would be no free will.

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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by raw_thought » Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:18 pm

Unconsciously seek being hit by a rock? So, if I have a TBI ( Tramatic Brain Injury), I become unconscious, and I walk aimlessly (like a sleep walker) I am responsible for walking into an area where people are throwing rocks?
It was my decision to walk into that area?

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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by Wyman » Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:17 pm

raw_thought wrote:It seems to me that consciousness is required for free will to exist. In other words I have to consciously decide something for it to be a free will act.
1. Cause always precedes effect.
2. One cannot be conscious of a thought before one thinks it.
3. Therefore, one cannot consciously cause one's thoughts!
Since we cannot consciously determine our thoughts (our decisions) free will is impossible in all situations!
1. Cause always precedes effect.
2. One cannot give birth before one delivers the baby.
3.Therefore, giving birth cannot cause babies to be delivered!
Since we cannot have babies by giving birth, humanity will cease to exist in a hundred years!

One cannot be the best runner in the race before he beats all the others.
Therefore, being the best runner cannot cause someone to beat the other runners!

raw_thought
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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by raw_thought » Fri May 01, 2015 12:49 pm

You are saying that the delivery precedes giving birth.
Therefore one cannot give birth before delivery.
If you are saying that giving birth and delivering a baby are simultaneous, then the analogy with thinking a thought is a false analogy.
Actually, I think giving birth precedes the delivery. But that is a superfluous point. The fact is that delivery and birth cannot be simultaneous and still have a workable analogy.

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