16
   

What is free will?

 
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Jul, 2013 03:44 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil, I find your statement* provisionally acceptable--at least it's consistent with things I like in Nietzsche's point of view:
(pardon my self-indulgent editing)
* "you are...driven by billions of processes that you are not aware of and that totally condition what emerges in your [consciousness]... moment by moment....[It} conditions what"you" are [and is] totally absent of your own willing..."you" are the top emergent process [within]...a vast ecosystem of causal relations that merge you ...in the world [sic]..."
Very Happy

Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Jul, 2013 03:58 pm
@JLNobody,
I know what you are aiming at J...Wink
None of it changes that the "you" point of view exists...
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Jul, 2013 04:00 pm
@JLNobody,
Does that mean you don't take responsibility for your own actions, because 'you're' not the one who's making all your decisions and actions? Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Drunk Drunk Drunk Drunk

Why don't you murder someone, then claim in court your actions are not you!
Also,
Quote:
"you are...driven by billions of processes that you are not aware of and that totally condition what emerges in your [consciousness]... moment by moment....[It} conditions what"you" are [and is] totally absent of your own willing..."you" are the top emergent process [within]...a vast ecosystem of causal relations that merge you ...in the world [sic]..."


Please invite me to your trial; I'm very interested in how the court resolves your claims. Mr. Green
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Jul, 2013 04:08 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Quote:
Does that mean you don't take responsibility for your own actions, because 'you're' not the one who's making all your decisions and actions? Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Drunk Drunk Drunk Drunk

Why don't you murder someone, then claim in court your actions are not you!
Also,


Haven't I heard this somewhere before? Oh yea it is what some theists say to atheists about morality and not believing in a God isn't it? Rolling Eyes
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Jul, 2013 04:22 pm
@Olivier5,
I don't know from where did you took the idea that a deterministic world is meaningless as on the contrary it is bound n defined to be all the meaning it can be...do you have the need to build something, add something to the corpus of reality in order to feel important is that it ? Similarly I don't know why do you think that mind is such a "mattering" special phenomena, don't you like the "movies", eh ? Very Happy
...the world is the world, it is what it is...certainly it mustn't please your conceptual frame to be whatever it must be.
Again it as been explained more then once and you even did agree that indeterminism is not the answer to free will nor can it give any valid account of agenticity at play through randomness, therefore I had concluded you must be a determinist compatiblist although I suspect you haven't give much thought about what is to be your position on that regard. Make up your mind.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Jul, 2013 05:01 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Quote:
I don't know from where did you took the idea that a deterministic world is meaningless as on the contrary it is bound n defined to be all the meaning it can be

It's full of information, but how do you account for human knowledge of such information? What is 'knowledge' in your world?

Maybe our world views are compatible after all. My world is full of info too, and the role of minds is to decode and make sense of it.
0 Replies
 
tomr
 
  2  
Reply Sun 21 Jul, 2013 12:53 pm
@reasoning logic,
Quote:
Insects, birds, fish and animals can move from one place to another for various different reasons that are not associated with free will.

This is a good point. Which creatures are endowed with free will? Do monkeys and chimpanzees have it. The behavior of ants and insects can be reproduced very convincingly with the aid of deterministic computer programs.

I look at it this way. Every electrical system we can make runs off deterministic laws. Quantum Mechanics doesn't touch any of it. The only thing QM is good for is too add randomness into the system. The rules we use for circuits are V=IR and Kirchoff's laws and others. If the brain is an electrical system that is producing your consciousness how can someone possibly have free will?

So that's what I'd like to know at this point. For those that think they have free will, how do you justify a deterministic electrical system (the brain)producing non deterministic effects(free will)?

As I see it. You either have to deny the brain produces consciousness, or that the brain is an electrical system in the sense we think about it in neuroscience.
cicerone imposter
 
  0  
Reply Sun 21 Jul, 2013 12:57 pm
@tomr,
1. Not all brains are created equal
2. Brains operate subjectively
3. Your "deterministic electrical system" only looks at one factor of the brain
4. Some people don't have "any" brains
5. Some people confuse objective and subjective
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jul, 2013 01:56 pm
@tomr,
The brain is first and foremost an hormonal system.
tomr
 
  3  
Reply Sun 21 Jul, 2013 02:13 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Quote:
1. Not all brains are created equal
2. Brains operate subjectively
3. Your "deterministic electrical system" only looks at one factor of the brain
4. Some people don't have "any" brains
5. Some people confuse objective and subjective

This is what is so aggravating about this debate. If you ask one very specific question you get 5 only semi-related ideas. This is not just directed at you CI, it has been my experience in general, like it is impossible to get a straightforward answer and progress logically down some path. Nothing directly addresses the specific question I asked. I need this basic information to understand your justifications.

1. Not all brains being equal structurally. So what? What is the point here. There are a million different computer designs. They all work a little different but they do essentially the same things.
2. Brains operate subjectively. Do they? I thought the brain operates objectively. But it generates the mind which is subjective.
3. Then what are the other factors of the brain? I need this information.
4. Is this about me? MRI isn't in yet. Or do you mean people with brain damage.
5. These are concepts that I don't confuse.
tomr
 
  2  
Reply Sun 21 Jul, 2013 02:34 pm
@Olivier5,
Quote:
The brain is first and foremost an hormonal system.

I am not sure what you mean by this. Are you suggesting that your thoughts correspond to the transfer of hormones in your brain. That is not what modern neuroscience tells us. It would be much slower than electrical signals across axons. Or what are you talking about. Explain. Why not just be straight forward and answer my question fully. If you have a problem with me associating conscious activity with electrical activity in the brain then explain why. Don't make me guess at why hormones might take that function.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jul, 2013 02:34 pm
@tomr,
...smile n nod...Wink
tomr
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jul, 2013 02:42 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Very Happy Smile Wink Wink Smile Very Happy Very Happy Smile Wink Wink Smile Very Happy ...
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jul, 2013 02:55 pm
@tomr,
Neurons only use electricity to transmit information inside a neuron -- there are exceptions, some fish neurons can transmit an electrict signal directly to another neuron, but not in humans. In our brain, any info transfer between neurons goes through neurotransmitters, which are essentially hormones.

The system is extremely complex so let's not go into too much detail. You can have the basics here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neurotransmitter
A neuron sends an info to a synaps, which translates it into a chemichal signal emitted for a dendrite, which receives it and fires up the neuron, or inhibit it or some other effect. The connection between neurons is chemical, not electric.

The point is relevant because hormonal systems produce analog signals that can be modulated almost ad infinitum by other elements of the hormonal soup present near a synapse. These other neurotransmitters modulating the primary signal can come from the neuron sending the signal, or from another neuron controling that synaptic connection.

Classic hormonal systems that discharge within the blood stream (endocrine system) are complex, paradoxal at times, 'odd' as Fil would put it, and their outcome notoriously difficult to explain and predict. But an hormonal system of such vast complexity as the human nervous system defies all previsions and previsionists.

If it was an electric system, we would already have a pretty good idea of how it works.
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jul, 2013 03:02 pm
@Olivier5,
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_are_hormones_and_neurotransmitters_different_from_each_other
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jul, 2013 03:05 pm
@tomr,
The brain works on chemicals. That's the reason why drugs can affect how any individual reacts to different drug stimulants.

Some suffer from mental illness, and most are treated with drugs.

There's nothing predetermined about how the brain functions in its understanding of objective and subjective reality. They are perceived by the subjective brain of each individual.

For many, their god is objective. You wouldn't be able to convince them otherwise.
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jul, 2013 03:06 pm
@reasoning logic,
There is a difference in the definition but it's basically the same thing: a chemical messenger. In fact some hormones double up as neurotransmitters.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jul, 2013 03:27 pm
In any case, the point is not whether the world is predetermined or not. That's a metaphysical question. The heart of the issue as I see it is: Do ideas matter?

I think they do: look around you and you will find much that is the product of a series of human ideas: buildings, cars, the ipad or computer you're typing on. The very ideas you are typing are ideas, and you care about them as much as I do.

If human ideas matter, if they can artificialize this world as much as they have, it must mean something powerful is happening in the world of ideas.

How do you account for that in a world of machines? How do you account for subjects and their knowledge?

Do androids like mechanical sheep?
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Jul, 2013 03:43 pm
@Olivier5,

Quote:
There is a difference in the definition but it's basically the same thing: a chemical messenger. In fact some hormones double up as neurotransmitters.


Are you sure it's not just a question of the release mechanism that determines whether or not a given molecule is a neurotransmitter or a hormone. So, in the case of adrenaline, it's a hormone when the adrenal gland releases it into the bloodstream and it goes to the heart or the lungs OR it's a neurotransmitter when it is released from a stimulated presynaptic nerve cell and acts on it's neighbouring postsynaptic cell. ?????? Question Question Question Question Question Question

Quote:
In fact some hormones double up as neurotransmitters.


But not all??? Question Question Question Question Question
tomr
 
  2  
Reply Sun 21 Jul, 2013 03:58 pm
@Olivier5,
Quote:
Neurons only use electricity to transmit information inside a neuron -- there are exceptions, some fish neurons can transmit an electrict signal directly to another neuron, but not in humans. In our brain, any info transfer between neurons goes through neurotransmitters, which are essentially hormones.

The system is extremely complex so let's not go into too much detail. You can have the basics here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neurotransmitter
A neuron sends an info to a synaps, which translates it into a chemichal signal emitted for a dendrite, which receives it and fires up the neuron, or inhibit it or some other effect. The connection between neurons is chemical, not electric

We better try to understand how these neurotransmitters work so we can understand what it means for the original question. And calling neurotransmitters hormones is not technically correct or the Wikipedia page would have started off, "Neurotransmitters are a class of hormones...". But I can see why you make that connection. The ideas are similar.

I will agree with you that what is happening is not an electrical system in the sense that it is the flow of electrons through wires. But even with neurotransmitters, a voltage has to pull them across the gap of the synapse. So the rules of electrical systems will apply to the flow of neurotransmitters.

Wikipedia-Electrical Synapse wrote:
Compared to chemical synapses, electrical synapses conduct nerve impulses faster, but unlike chemical synapses they do not have gain (the signal in the postsynaptic neuron is the same or smaller than that of the originating neuron). Electrical synapses are often found in neural systems that require the fastest possible response, such as defensive reflexes. An important characteristic of electrical synapses is that most of the time, they are bidirectional, i.e. they allow impulse transmission in either direction.[3] However, some gap junctions do allow for communication in only one direction.


So the key purpose of a having chemical synapses is to control electrical gain. Which is an increase or decrease in the amplitude of the electrical signal across the switch of the synapse. It gives a larger range of signals but is still within the realm of deterministic electronics. This is a common feature in manmade electronics.

I will admit that considering the ways neurotransmitters can affect the signals between neurons is significant. But the unpredictability/complexity of a system does not make it free. Even chemical interactions are electrical in nature and if you consider them quantum mechanical then they are Random. I still see nothing that gets us free will in this. Where is the free will coming from?
 

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