argument against free will

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

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seeds
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Re: argument against free will

Post by seeds » Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:33 am

Heligany wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:19 am
No your example is not about free will but about deciding to do something... these are not the same thing.

Free will requires no causal chain (determinism) and nothing you are saying, including colouring a letter orange, is outside that... you did that to try to prove a point: so for a reason not random and outside causality.

The problem is that even if you could find an action outside of causality it would still not prove free will: as for free will to be involved the self has to be the trigger not randomnes

The difficulty is that free will is used in different ways outside of philosophy, especially in law, where it is routinely conflated with mere will (unimpeded decision making)...this muddies the waters.

Sam Harris explains it well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FanhvXO9Pk (it starts at 6.00, lots of waffle before that)
Hi Heligany (welcome to the forum).

I have a lot of respect for Sam Harris, however, he doesn’t even believe in the existence of the self (or more specifically, that the self is an illusion founded upon neural processes). Therefore, it is no wonder that he would be against the idea of the existence of free will if, indeed, there is no existing “agent” to wield such an attribute.

If this was an argument against the existence of God, then you could use Harris (and his personal biases) as a reference for that also.

Nevertheless, I acknowledge your “free will” to choose anyone you so desire to support your assertions.

Needless to say, you will no doubt insist that what you have done is not an instance of free will, but was the result of a causal chain. Whereas I, on the other hand, will insist that we need to be sensible about the question of free will and try not to over-think it to the point of being pathologically obsessive over what qualifies as free will.

I suggest that we avoid looking for some kind of Platonic definition of what free will entails and keep it as simple as the very first line of Wiki’s definition:
Wiki wrote: Free will is the ability to choose between different possible courses of action unimpeded.
The point is that for all practical purposes, whenever we make a personal choice in the process of “deciding to do something” when confronted with a variety of contrasting options, it is about as close to having free will as the universe will allow.
_______

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Re: argument against free will

Post by -1- » Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:11 pm

seeds wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:39 am
-1- wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:20 am
No self-contradiction there. There is no freedom; only an illusion, or "feeling" of freedom.
Wasn’t the fact that you personally chose to respond to this one particular post of mine an example of genuine free will on your part?

Wasn’t the fact that I personally chose to color one of the letters orange in my reply back to you an example of genuine free will on my part?

If not, then please give a clear description of the literal underlying mechanism that made our actions a product of determinism, as opposed to free will choice.
Okay, seeds, you offered your right in friendship.

I must tell you: argumenting, according to my opinion at least, consists of making statements and refuting or supporting other's statements. Statements can only be proven wrong or right if they have a truth value. Questions do not have a truth value. They can't be proven true or false.

Therefore I respectfully ask you that when you attempt to refute or support my statements, you put them in a statement form.

I can't even begin to address questions by others. That is not what I can do in a debate.

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Re: argument against free will

Post by -1- » Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:23 pm

seeds wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:33 am
Wiki wrote: Free will is the ability to choose between different possible courses of action unimpeded.
Unimpeded by what? Everything is impeded. Every action, thought, happening, occurrence. They are impeded by excluding those venues of further movement at every point in time, which are preempted by one venue each time, the eventual venue, of choice by causes.

If the statement "unimpeded" was taken literally when choosing between different possible courses of action, that is, impeded by outside influence, then reality would be multi-threaded. That is, if I am deciding at the food counter at the cafeteria whether to have French fries or onion rings with my hamburger, then if the choice was unimpeded by INTERNAL CAUSES as well as well as outside causes, then the reality of the world would split, and I would eat onion rings in one reality, and French fries in the other reality. That is simply not the case, so there is a cause which makes me decide whether to have French fries or onion rings. You contend it is free will that makes me decide. But if it is really a free will then what is the reason for its decision? Will it randomly decide? Then it's not free, but relies on random choices. Relying on randomness is not relying on or making a choice between alternatives. So free will need to have a reason to decide by one or by the other, if it is to avoid randomness. If free will needs a reason, then it is no more random, and it is no more free; reason is the "impeding element" in my decision.

waxberry4@gmail.com
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Re: argument against free will

Post by waxberry4@gmail.com » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:02 pm

bahman wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:38 am
waxberry4@gmail.com wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:58 pm
bahman wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:21 pm
I have an argument in favor of free will: A Thought precedes the related act. This means that the thought and the act cannot coexist at the same point therefore there exist a point between them, mute point or decision point, at which one neither think nor act. The point is mute therefore it cannot be consciously affected by thoughts. Therefore the decision is made at the mute point is free.
Then how does the decision take place? It can't be caused by itself.
It is uncaused meaning that it is not related to options. You are making the decision since you are a free agent.
An uncaused decision is not free; it's random. A genuinely free agent must be self-caused, which according to Spinoza, can only be God.

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bahman
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Re: argument against free will

Post by bahman » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:06 pm

waxberry4@gmail.com wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:02 pm
bahman wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:38 am
waxberry4@gmail.com wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:58 pm


Then how does the decision take place? It can't be caused by itself.
It is uncaused meaning that it is not related to options. You are making the decision since you are a free agent.
An uncaused decision is not free; it's random. A genuinely free agent must be self-caused, which according to Spinoza, can only be God.
Random? You know that wanted it.

gaffo
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Re: argument against free will

Post by gaffo » Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:10 am

bahman wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:21 pm
I have an argument in favor of free will: A Thought precedes the related act.
nonesequitor since the original thought was not via freewill.

the thought - just appeared - any actions from it may be "freewill" but not freewill since the thought itself was not created via any choice by the individual (it's author or not? (maybe just feed into the individual) - not known/knowable.

gaffo
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Re: argument against free will

Post by gaffo » Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:13 am

waxberry4@gmail.com wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:58 pm
bahman wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:21 pm
I have an argument in favor of free will: A Thought precedes the related act. This means that the thought and the act cannot coexist at the same point therefore there exist a point between them, mute point or decision point, at which one neither think nor act. The point is mute therefore it cannot be consciously affected by thoughts. Therefore the decision is made at the mute point is free.
Then how does the decision take place? It can't be caused by itself.
the decision related to the original though - is "Feed" into the individual as well (same thing) - and so no such thing as freewill.

gaffo
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Re: argument against free will

Post by gaffo » Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:15 am

-1- wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:20 am
seeds wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:14 pm
mysterious existence wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:49 pm
i'm arguing that what i just said is evidence against free will. please feel free to challenge my argument and correct any mistakes i might have made.
You have given some good examples to support your claim (although it’s kind of amusing that you are mounting an argument against free will, yet you end it with this: “...please feel free to challenge my argument...” :D).
No self-contradiction there. There is no freedom; only an illusion, or "feeling" of freedom.
agree

gaffo
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Re: argument against free will

Post by gaffo » Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:20 am

seeds wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:39 am
mysterious existence wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:49 pm
i'm arguing that what i just said is evidence against free will. please feel free to challenge my argument and correct any mistakes i might have made.
seeds wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:14 pm
You have given some good examples to support your claim (although it’s kind of amusing that you are mounting an argument against free will, yet you end it with this: “...please feel free to challenge my argument...” :D).
-1- wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:20 am
No self-contradiction there. There is no freedom; only an illusion, or "feeling" of freedom.
Wasn’t the fact that you personally chose to respond to this one particular post of mine an example of genuine free will on your part?

Wasn’t the fact that I personally chose to color one of the letters orange in my reply back to you an example of genuine free will on my part?

If not, then please give a clear description of the literal underlying mechanism that made our actions a product of determinism, as opposed to free will choice.
_______
why not assume all your thoughs and actions were fed to you?

seems more apt to me personally. all my thought "come to me" by some means outside of my choice of which thought to have before i have it.

maybe you are different than me though. you decide which thoughts (and so have freewill) to have before you have them.

gaffo
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Re: argument against free will

Post by gaffo » Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:23 am

bahman wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:36 am
-1- wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:31 am
bahman wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:21 pm
I have an argument in favor of free will: A Thought precedes the related act. This means that the thought and the act cannot coexist at the same point therefore there exist a point between them, mute point or decision point, at which one neither think nor act. The point is mute therefore it cannot be consciously affected by thoughts. Therefore the decision is made at the mute point is free.
Memory will carry the thought's decision to carry out the decision in the related act.

The mute point does not have the effect of erasing the decision. It is only a passage of time, but memory is perfectly capable of carrying on the decision made by thought.

Your argument is invalid, Bahman, inasmuch as it is not proof or evidence of "free" will.
We are just aware of options when thoughts cannot help us to decide. Decision of course is not free when it is based on a thought.
decisions (options) are just other forms of thought. so nope no freewill.

gaffo
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Re: argument against free will

Post by gaffo » Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:26 am

Heligany wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:19 am
No your example is not about free will but about deciding to do something... these are not the same thing.

Free will requires no causal chain (determinism) and nothing you are saying, including colouring a letter orange, is outside that... you did that to try to prove a point: so for a reason not random and outside causality.
exactly.

not a huge fan of Sam Harris, but sometime he offers insight (usually not, and overrated IMO - but that is just my opinion on the guy - he more insightful than the average dick).

gaffo
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Re: argument against free will

Post by gaffo » Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:30 am

Heligany wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:19 am
No your example is not about free will but about deciding to do something... these are not the same thing.

Free will requires no causal chain (determinism) and nothing you are saying, including colouring a letter orange, is outside that... you did that to try to prove a point: so for a reason not random and outside causality.

The problem is that even if you could find an action outside of causality it would still not prove free will: as for free will to be involved the self has to be the trigger not randomnes

The difficulty is that free will is used in different ways outside of philosophy, especially in law, where it is routinely conflated with mere will (unimpeded decision making)...this muddies the waters.

Sam Harris explains it well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FanhvXO9Pk (it starts at 6.00, lots of waffle before that)
I see you are new here and only posted 3 times.

Welcome to the forum and look forward to more posts from you.

gaffo
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Re: argument against free will

Post by gaffo » Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:37 am

seeds wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:33 am

I have a lot of respect for Sam Harris, however, he doesn’t even believe in the existence of the self (or more specifically, that the self is an illusion founded upon neural processes).
_______
I share his view of the self - but oddly enough unlike me he affirms neurons/brain/science as Truth outside of "self".

when he should be as I - a Solipsist.

of course he is me........

gaffo
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Re: argument against free will

Post by gaffo » Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:45 am

seeds wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:33 am

If this was an argument against the existence of God, then you could use Harris (and his personal biases) as a reference for that also.


_______
not really, Sam affirms the concept of "Thoughts being fed to him" - and yet denies God and is an atheist like myself.

but somehow he affirms via Faith of reality (neurons/brain/science/etc - the whole world) -as real/reality outside himself.

so his views IMO are muddled. partly right, but still wrong.

lol.


I deny a belief in God - how my thoughts pop into my head? no clue - via God? maybe, or just another part of me.

either way such understanding is beyond my current ability and shall continue to doubt God exists out of pique.

gaffo
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Re: argument against free will

Post by gaffo » Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:49 am

seeds wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:33 am

The point is that for all practical purposes, whenever we make a personal choice in the process of “deciding to do something” when confronted with a variety of contrasting options, it is about as close to having free will as the universe will allow.
_______
I concur with your pragmatism.

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