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### Re: Free will is real

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:48 pm
Henry: No, it was directed at the person who wrote the OP. My first comment referenced some science that made the underlying premises in the argument false. I was then asked what I thought of the OP's argument, and I stated that while the conclusion may be true, it is not justified by the argument, since the argument contained at least one false premise. My first two posts on here were not directed at you.

### Re: Free will is real

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:13 pm
bahman wrote: Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:24 pm We are all sure about the fact that thought precedes act and the fact that they are different. There is therefore a point in which there is neither thought nor act. Lets call this point the decision point. This point cannot be affected by thought because otherwise it is a part of chain of thought. Therefore decision is free.
The will is considered free if there is no process determining the outcome that could be predicted by any method within the universe; in other words, the process is random and effectively causeless since the causes cannot be known, whether that be by imprecision or inability to gather information without affecting the information we're gathering.

Does randomness exist?

It took a while, but hidden variable theory was eventually disproved by John Bell, who showed that there are lots of experiments that cannot have unmeasured results. Thus the results cannot be determined ahead of time, so there are no hidden variables, and the results are truly random. That is, if it is physically and mathematically impossible to predict the results, then the results are truly, fundamentally random. http://www.askamathematician.com/2009/1 ... andomness/

Obviously everything has a cause, but it's impossible to determine the cause without affecting what we're measuring, which produces an infinite regression of: info + our affectance on the info + our affectance on the info of our affectance on the info + ..... forever.

We are not objective observers of the universe and it's impossible to objectively discern causes within it. My mind is in my head and my head is in my mind and so on forever.

So I would say our will is free to the extent that it cannot be predicted and is fundamentally random, but it ultimately is determined by something.

### Re: Free will is real

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:17 pm
bahman wrote: Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:24 pm We are all sure about the fact that thought precedes act and the fact that they are different. There is therefore a point in which there is neither thought nor act. Lets call this point the decision point. This point cannot be affected by thought because otherwise it is a part of chain of thought. Therefore decision is free.
The decision point you spake of will pass, and causational affects will overtake it.

As many before me in this thread pointed out, there is a huge difference what WE can predict and what is PREDICTABLE.

Free will would cause completely random acts, and they don't happen. You can always reason out the eventuality of any act by suggesting why it happened.

Even madmen's actions that seem to be random and reasonless, can be threaded up and back and if you add components of their madness to the chain of reason, then the action becomes clearly caused, not random at all.

### Re: Free will is real

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:36 pm
bahman wrote: Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:24 pm We are all sure about the fact that thought precedes act and the fact that they are different. There is therefore a point in which there is neither thought nor act. Lets call this point the decision point. This point cannot be affected by thought because otherwise it is a part of chain of thought. Therefore decision is free.
You’ve asked several people to comment on your argument, so I thought I would, too. My comment is the same as Science Fan’s, but restated in what may be plainer terms.

Your argument appears to be as follows:

Premises:
1. Reason precedes action, and reason and action are not the same thing. (This statement is false, because there is no thought when action is reflexive.)

2. There is a time called decision time when there is no thought and no act. (True, but it would be better to call this ‘pre-decision time’ or ‘idle time’.)

3. Idle time is not part of thought. (True)

4. Idle time is not affected by thought. (True)

5. If 1, 2, 3 & 4 are true, then decision is free (i.e. free will exists).

Conclusion (from 1, 2, 3 & 4):

Decision is free (i.e. free will exists).

Do you see that since 1, 2, 3 & 4 are not all true, your argument does not prove its conclusion, nor any other conclusion.

### Re:

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:39 pm
henry quirk wrote: Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:03 pm Sci,

Since your argument is based on at least one false premise, your argument cannot justify your conclusion. Your conclusion may be right, but your argument cannot justify it when based on at least one false premise.

...directed at me?

If so: I'm not seein' how this...

There are a number of instances where neuroscience has shown behavior occurs without any thought. Like a person who hit their thumb with a hammer, they will move their hand away after the hit. When asked why they did this, they will say because it hurt. Yet, the thumb is actually moved away before any pain occurs. Or, touch your finger to your nose and see if you think the feeling of contact occurred simultaneously, as opposed to the feeling that the finger was touched occurred after the nose was touched, because the nerve route was longer for the finger?

While science has yet to show that free-will does or does not exist, despite the new-atheist community fixated on the claim that science has ruled out free-will, it is an open question. In fact, the vast majority of neuroscientists don't even want to spend time addressing it because they are too busy struggling with how the brain actually works. But, even though free-will remains as an open question, we still know that numerous human actions occur without any thought directing them. Like reflexes, as another common example.

...has any bearing on this...

As a real, flesh and bone, free will, I think it makes a whole whack of difference.

If I'm bio-automata (more specifically, if I can be convinced I'm nuthin' but bio-automata) then any objections I have to being used as resource or instrument are baseless.

If, however, I'm a free will (an agent in the world; self-owned, self-directing [autonomous]) then my objections to being used, directed, devalued have foundation.

I thought you would be pleased. If there's no 'free will' then there is no point in having laws. You could have the anarchistic society you crave.

### Re: Free will is real

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:26 am
Science Fan wrote: Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:33 pm There are a number of instances where neuroscience has shown behavior occurs without any thought. Like a person who hit their thumb with a hammer, they will move their hand away after the hit. When asked why they did this, they will say because it hurt. Yet, the thumb is actually moved away before any pain occurs. Or, touch your finger to your nose and see if you think the feeling of contact occurred simultaneously, as opposed to the feeling that the finger was touched occurred after the nose was touched, because the nerve route was longer for the finger?

While science has yet to show that free-will does or does not exist, despite the new-atheist community fixated on the claim that science has ruled out free-will, it is an open question. In fact, the vast majority of neuroscientists don't even want to spend time addressing it because they are too busy struggling with how the brain actually works. But, even though free-will remains as an open question, we still know that numerous human actions occur without any thought directing them. Like reflexes, as another common example.
It seems that you are talking about reflex which is an unconscious act. We are however talking about conscious decision which contains thought, decision and act.

### Re: Free will is real

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:46 am
Serendipper wrote: Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:13 pm The will is considered free if there is no process determining the outcome that could be predicted by any method within the universe; in other words, the process is random and effectively causeless since the causes cannot be known, whether that be by imprecision or inability to gather information without affecting the information we're gathering.
No, that doesn't follow. It doesn't follow that a decision which is free is random. A decision is determined by mind.
Serendipper wrote: Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:13 pm Does randomness exist?

It took a while, but hidden variable theory was eventually disproved by John Bell, who showed that there are lots of experiments that cannot have unmeasured results. Thus the results cannot be determined ahead of time, so there are no hidden variables, and the results are truly random. That is, if it is physically and mathematically impossible to predict the results, then the results are truly, fundamentally random. http://www.askamathematician.com/2009/1 ... andomness/

Obviously everything has a cause, but it's impossible to determine the cause without affecting what we're measuring, which produces an infinite regression of: info + our affectance on the info + our affectance on the info of our affectance on the info + ..... forever.

We are not objective observers of the universe and it's impossible to objectively discern causes within it. My mind is in my head and my head is in my mind and so on forever.

So I would say our will is free to the extent that it cannot be predicted and is fundamentally random, but it ultimately is determined by something.
I don't have any argument against random will yet.

### Re: Free will is real

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:52 am
commonsense wrote: Sun Apr 01, 2018 11:36 pm You’ve asked several people to comment on your argument, so I thought I would, too. My comment is the same as Science Fan’s, but restated in what may be plainer terms.

Your argument appears to be as follows:

Premises:
1. Reason precedes action, and reason and action are not the same thing. (This statement is false, because there is no thought when action is reflexive.)

2. There is a time called decision time when there is no thought and no act. (True, but it would be better to call this ‘pre-decision time’ or ‘idle time’.)

3. Idle time is not part of thought. (True)

4. Idle time is not affected by thought. (True)

5. If 1, 2, 3 & 4 are true, then decision is free (i.e. free will exists).

Conclusion (from 1, 2, 3 & 4):

Decision is free (i.e. free will exists).

Do you see that since 1, 2, 3 & 4 are not all true, your argument does not prove its conclusion, nor any other conclusion.
We are not talking about reflex which is an unconscious act. We are talking about conscious free decision.

### Re: Free will is real

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:53 am
-1- wrote: Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:17 pm The decision point you spake of will pass, and causational affects will overtake it.
We are talking about the point of decision.

### Re: Free will is real

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:57 am
bahman wrote: Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:52 am We are not talking about reflex which is an unconscious act. We are talking about conscious free decision.
'Conscious' meaning self-conscious? I am making a decision and at the same time reflect 'that I am now making a decision'.

I find it quite difficult to do this. As I write this post, I do not find the words and - at the same time - reflect that 'I am now choosing words' or 'I am going to press this letter on that keyboard'. It is more that I already have a thought on the subject and I realise that thought in words, without any awareness of language, or of the act of pressing keys on a keyboard. I might suddenly become aware of these aspects, if I mistype a word, or one of the keys sticks, but that would be a distraction from the act of writing this post. (This is Heidegger)

Suppose I try to deliberately set up a situation where I make a self-conscious choice. Take a sip of coffee or do not take a sip of coffee. I find that if I am self-conscious about that choice I cannot make it. Normally, I would respond to the presence of the coffee. My taking a sip - or not - would be a realisation of that response. But if I am self-conscious, then I am thinking about myself, rather than the coffee. There is nothing to respond to, nothing to make a decision about. In order to respond to the coffee I have to forget the 'making a decision' part.

So I am doubtful that we ever make 'a decision' in the sense of some discrete process that can be separated from the general stream of consciousness. I have written this post to express opinions that I already had. I already had an opinion about coffee before I made this particular cup. I cannot point to any point in my life where I made a decision about those things.

### "My first two posts on here were not directed at you."

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 3:25 pm
Yeah, that's what I thought...just wanted to be sure.

#

"I thought you would be pleased. If there's no 'free will' then there is no point in having laws. You could have the anarchistic society you crave."

No free will (me [you, him, her], just a bio-robot, a philosophical zombie) then law, being pleased, society, anarchistic 'anything', love, kindness, empathy, etc., are all meaningless.

### Re: Free will is real

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:30 pm
bahman wrote: Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:52 am We are not talking about reflex which is an unconscious act. We are talking about conscious free decision.
I'm sorry I missed that (others who posted before me seemed to have had the same misunderstanding). Good argument after all.

### Re: Free will is real

Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:53 am
bahman wrote: Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:46 am
Serendipper wrote: Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:13 pm The will is considered free if there is no process determining the outcome that could be predicted by any method within the universe; in other words, the process is random and effectively causeless since the causes cannot be known, whether that be by imprecision or inability to gather information without affecting the information we're gathering.
No, that doesn't follow. It doesn't follow that a decision which is free is random. A decision is determined by mind.
What's the mind determined by?

### Re: Free will is real

Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:18 am
Serendipper wrote: Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:13 pm
bahman wrote: Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:24 pm We are all sure about the fact that thought precedes act and the fact that they are different. There is therefore a point in which there is neither thought nor act. Lets call this point the decision point. This point cannot be affected by thought because otherwise it is a part of chain of thought. Therefore decision is free.
The will is considered free if there is no process determining the outcome that could be predicted by any method within the universe; in other words, the process is random and effectively causeless since the causes cannot be known, whether that be by imprecision or inability to gather information without affecting the information we're gathering.

Does randomness exist?

It took a while, but hidden variable theory was eventually disproved by John Bell, who showed that there are lots of experiments that cannot have unmeasured results. Thus the results cannot be determined ahead of time, so there are no hidden variables, and the results are truly random. That is, if it is physically and mathematically impossible to predict the results, then the results are truly, fundamentally random. http://www.askamathematician.com/2009/1 ... andomness/

Obviously everything has a cause, but it's impossible to determine the cause without affecting what we're measuring, which produces an infinite regression of: info + our affectance on the info + our affectance on the info of our affectance on the info + ..... forever.

We are not objective observers of the universe and it's impossible to objectively discern causes within it. My mind is in my head and my head is in my mind and so on forever.

So I would say our will is free to the extent that it cannot be predicted and is fundamentally random, but it ultimately is determined by something.
I endorse Serendipper's argument which is possibly more concisely and clearly stated as anything else I've read on the topic.

I'd like to add that other animals , probably, do whatever action they do because mostly because their physiologies and environments cause them to do it, but humans' acts are caused by not only physiologies and environments but very significantly by layers upon layers of thinking, even when the thinker's mood is an impulsive one.

### Re: Free will is real

Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:02 pm
Local hidden variable theories were disproven. But it's unknown whether or not determinism still stands in the nonlocal sense.

On some level I'm with Einstein on this one: I suspect that dice is not being played, the world is fully deterministic. I think belief in free will is just some religious superstition and it's really getting old now.

But from our point of view things really are apparently random, and to a certain degree unpredictable.

I would advise against falling into infinite regressions when thinking about this; there is no sign of a duality of brain and mind in the quantum world, that could lead to such infinite regressions.