Consciousness and free will.

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

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RG1
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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by RG1 »

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
raw_thought wrote:I confess I am confused. Are you agreeing with me? That there is no free will?
When you suggested that I study more (about group think etc) I got the impression that you were disagreeing with me.
It is obvious that there is such a thing as "free will", the trick is to figure out what that means in a universe where the necessity of cause and effect are king.
Obvious? How so? The only thing obvious is that we have been brain washed into believing this fantasy. Logically it is not possible.

Raw_thought is logically correct. If one interprets free-will as a 'conscious choice' then free-will is not possible.
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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by Hobbes' Choice »

RG1 wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
raw_thought wrote:I confess I am confused. Are you agreeing with me? That there is no free will?
When you suggested that I study more (about group think etc) I got the impression that you were disagreeing with me.
It is obvious that there is such a thing as "free will", the trick is to figure out what that means in a universe where the necessity of cause and effect are king.
Obvious? How so? The only thing obvious is that we have been brain washed into believing this fantasy. Logically it is not possible.

Raw_thought is logically correct. If one interprets free-will as a 'conscious choice' then free-will is not possible.
Yet we do make conscious choices. Such as right now, whether or not to continue with this thread. And the fact that no one is stopping me, or compelling me, means its free. (PLEASE READ ON).

On the plain facts the view that I am acting as I will is "obvious" enough. What is less obvious that what is also true that all may actions are determined by antecedent causes. I don't think it makes sense to say otherwise. How else can I make a choice if it is not governed by my learning, motivation, environment, genetics, etc.. If it were not then what the fuck would I have to choose from?
In the ordinary sense of "free will", then, it is completely compatible with determinism. And some of the smartest philosophers such as David Hume asserted that thought.
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RG1
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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by RG1 »

RG1 wrote:If one interprets free-will as a 'conscious choice' then free-will is not possible.
Hobbes' Choice wrote:Yet we do make conscious choices. Such as right now, whether or not to continue with this thread. And the fact that no one is stopping me, or compelling me, means its free.
Hi Hobbes, maybe you are conscious of your actions (aware of what you are doing) in continuing with this thread, but this in no way means that you are consciously “choosing” to continue on with this thread. Being ‘aware’ of something does not mean being in ‘control’ of it.

As the OP stated, “One cannot be conscious of a thought before one thinks it.” In other words, our thoughts are something that we ‘experience’ and NOT something we dictate. We can’t create a new thought without first thinking (…and we can’t think without thoughts, …and… …and…). Bottom line, our thoughts cannot dictate what we think!

So what does it mean to ‘make’ a "conscious choice"? What is involved in performing the act of ‘making’ a choice? Does it take (conscious) thoughts to make a (conscious) choice? If so, then did you ‘choose’ these thoughts that determined your choice?

A. If you say YES, -- then you run into infinite regress, an illogical, impossible position. (…kicking-the-'choice' can-down-the-road).

B. If you say NO, -- then it was actually these “un-asked for” thoughts that determined your choice. If you had no control over these thoughts, then you had no control over the choice that was made by these thoughts.

If ‘logic’ has any value to you, then the impossibility of making a "conscious choice" is staring you in the face.

As further confirmation of this impossibility, try to recall that magical moment in time where you actually did ‘make’ the choice. Don’t guess or assume you made the choice just because you got from point A to point B. Be totally honest and try recall that actual moment of choosing. You will never find (recall) it, because it NEVER happened. It is not logically possible.

Bottom line --- there is NOTHING within us to do any 'choosing'. Our (so-called) choices are determined by the reasons we (unconsciously) 'possess', and NOT by the reasons we (consciously) 'choose'. "Consciously choosing" is an impossibility.
David Handeye
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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by David Handeye »

RG1, as you well stated thinking and thought are the same thing, there is no thought without thinking, and there's no thinking without something thought. But if our thoughts cannot dictate what we think, our thinking is to dictate our thoughts, as if I don't think of "X", how could "X" dictate to be thought to me? Mine is the choice of thinking it. Consciously. Am I wrong?
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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by Hobbes' Choice »

RG1 wrote:
RG1 wrote:If one interprets free-will as a 'conscious choice' then free-will is not possible.
Hobbes' Choice wrote:Yet we do make conscious choices. Such as right now, whether or not to continue with this thread. And the fact that no one is stopping me, or compelling me, means its free.
Hi Hobbes, maybe you are conscious of your actions (aware of what you are doing) in continuing with this thread, but this in no way means that you are consciously “choosing” to continue on with this thread. Being ‘aware’ of something does not mean being in ‘control’ of it.

As the OP stated, “One cannot be conscious of a thought before one thinks it.” In other words, our thoughts are something that we ‘experience’ and NOT something we dictate. We can’t create a new thought without first thinking (…and we can’t think without thoughts, …and… …and…). Bottom line, our thoughts cannot dictate what we think!

So what does it mean to ‘make’ a "conscious choice"? What is involved in performing the act of ‘making’ a choice? Does it take (conscious) thoughts to make a (conscious) choice? If so, then did you ‘choose’ these thoughts that determined your choice?

A. If you say YES, -- then you run into infinite regress, an illogical, impossible position. (…kicking-the-'choice' can-down-the-road).

B. If you say NO, -- then it was actually these “un-asked for” thoughts that determined your choice. If you had no control over these thoughts, then you had no control over the choice that was made by these thoughts.

If ‘logic’ has any value to you, then the impossibility of making a "conscious choice" is staring you in the face.

As further confirmation of this impossibility, try to recall that magical moment in time where you actually did ‘make’ the choice. Don’t guess or assume you made the choice just because you got from point A to point B. Be totally honest and try recall that actual moment of choosing. You will never find (recall) it, because it NEVER happened. It is not logically possible.

Bottom line --- there is NOTHING within us to do any 'choosing'. Our (so-called) choices are determined by the reasons we (unconsciously) 'possess', and NOT by the reasons we (consciously) 'choose'. "Consciously choosing" is an impossibility.
The point about me saying "please read on" was a suggestion that you read on.
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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by Hobbes' Choice »

RG1.

You're making a paradox of a false dichotomy.
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RG1
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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by RG1 »

Hobbes' Choice wrote:RG1.

You're making a paradox of a false dichotomy.
How so?
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RG1
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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by RG1 »

Hobbes' Choice wrote:The point about me saying "please read on" was a suggestion that you read on.
I did. The interpretation of "free-will" is the buggar. In your usage (interpretation/definition), it is compatible with determinism. But if free-will is interpreted as "conscious choice", then it is not compatible, (nor possible!).
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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by Hobbes' Choice »

RG1 wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:The point about me saying "please read on" was a suggestion that you read on.
I did. The interpretation of "free-will" is the buggar. In your usage (interpretation/definition), it is compatible with determinism. But if free-will is interpreted as "conscious choice", then it is not compatible, (nor possible!).
It's only not possible because of the false dichotomy you set up.

You rely on a dichotomy between choosing, thinking and acting from a determined position.
I'm simply trying to suggest to you that whatever we might mean by "conscious", when we choose, as we do, then that act is deterministic, means that your "consciousness dichotomy" is false.

Consciousness is a practical useful and meaningful term as is choice. Making a conscious choice, and being aware of such thinking is an indelible part of our experience within which determinism has to comply; hence compatibilism.
Last edited by Hobbes' Choice on Thu May 28, 2015 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RG1
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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by RG1 »

David Handeye wrote:RG1, as you well stated thinking and thought are the same thing, there is no thought without thinking, and there's no thinking without something thought. But if our thoughts cannot dictate what we think, our thinking is to dictate our thoughts, as if I don't think of "X", how could "X" dictate to be thought to me? Mine is the choice of thinking it. Consciously. Am I wrong?
Hi David, well, to be more precise and to put simply, ‘thinking’ is not possible, but ‘experiencing thoughts’ are.

Thinking (the ability to knowingly construct one’s own thoughts to then experience) is not logically possible due to ‘infinite regression’. Where do my thoughts come from? Do I actually, knowingly create, construct, dictate, author, or choose which thoughts that I shall then experience? If so, then does this ‘act’ (of creating, constructing, dictating, authoring, or deciding) itself require thoughts? Simply put “thoughts cannot dictate thoughts” without falling into a never ending infinite regress. Creating or constructing one’s own thoughts (i.e. “thinking”) is not logically possible. Therefore we are left with only the ability to ‘experience’ the thoughts that we do.
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RG1
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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by RG1 »

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
RG1 wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:The point about me saying "please read on" was a suggestion that you read on.
I did. The interpretation of "free-will" is the buggar. In your usage (interpretation/definition), it is compatible with determinism. But if free-will is interpreted as "conscious choice", then it is not compatible, (nor possible!).
It's only not possible because of the false dichotomy you set up.
? Please explain.

Certainly changing the definition of free-will to fit a desired outcome (compatible/not-compatible with determinism) are the games people play. I thought I was careful in saying "if free-will is interpreted as 'conscious choice', then...".
Last edited by RG1 on Fri May 29, 2015 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
raw_thought
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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by raw_thought »

If free will is defined as "conscious choice" then it is impossible
I do not think "unconscious choice" is an example of free will. *
If consciousness cannot choose what we think (as I showed in the OP) then free will is impossible.
* Please give me an example of an unconscious choice that is also an example of free will.
David Handeye
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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by David Handeye »

RG1 wrote: Hi David, well, to be more precise and to put simply, ‘thinking’ is not possible, but ‘experiencing thoughts’ are.

Thinking (the ability to knowingly construct one’s own thoughts to then experience) is not logically possible due to ‘infinite regression’. Where do my thoughts come from? Do I actually, knowingly create, construct, dictate, author, or choose which thoughts that I shall then experience? If so, then does this ‘act’ (of creating, constructing, dictating, authoring, or deciding) itself require thoughts? Simply put “thoughts cannot dictate thoughts” without falling into a never ending infinite regress. Creating or constructing one’s own thoughts (i.e. “thinking”) is not logically possible. Therefore we are left with only the ability to ‘experience’ the thoughts that we do.
Hi RG1,
I find very interesting your statement that "thinking is not possible but experiencing thoughts are", possible; it sounds like Kant, l'appercezione trascendentale, the "I think" which cannot think of himself.
bergie15
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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by bergie15 »

Choices are done consciously; there is no such thing as an unconcious choice. You are aware of the things that you do, and are aware of the choices you make.
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Re: Consciousness and free will.

Post by HexHammer »

bergie15 wrote: Choices are done consciously; there is no such thing as an unconcious choice. You are aware of the things that you do, and are aware of the choices you make.
No, there's a term called "alien hand" where the subconsciousness will take control over your hand, the same with people entering a psychosis or are sleep walking, where the subconsciousness takes control.
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