40
   

Is free-will an illusion?

 
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Fri 31 Aug, 2012 06:08 am
@Cyracuz,
Excellent !
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 31 Aug, 2012 08:19 am
@ughaibu,
Quote:
"Cause and effect" is a phrase with no clear or consistent meaning.
True, as with “free will"

Quote:
As such, it is neither a threat to free will
Then why so much conbtroversy

Quote:
nor something that can be meaningfully said to be exceptionless.
Yet no exceptions have been encountered. The more closely controlled an experiment—that is the fewer and more consistent the determinants—the more nearly certain is the outcome
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Fri 31 Aug, 2012 05:31 pm
@Cyracuz,
My problem with the concept of free will is that I do not see an agent who exercises that will . When I observe myself I (and "myself" and "I" are grammatical necessities, not empirical events I see conflicting internal drives, some of which "win out" and manifest as choices and desires that are acted upon. But I am a force of nature that generates choices; I am not an ego-self that freely chooses or selects between options.
Razzleg
 
  2  
Reply Fri 31 Aug, 2012 11:40 pm
At this point, i have responded to so many "free will v. determinism" forum discussions that the contrast seems tired; and i have yet to see a single post in this thread that inspires a fresh response. Why don't "Free will v. determinism" thread-starters search for the older forum headings before diving into this topic? They might save themselves some frustration, or if that seems unlikely -- they might save the rest of us some typing and time.

On the other hand, if it is simply a matter of casting a vote: Krumple is the only contributor to this thread making a relevant argument that i would endorse. i am not sure we would agree on all particulars, but it seems to me that everything K has said, so far, is both accurate and relevant (in contrast to most of the figurative posturing that has taken place n this thread.)
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Sep, 2012 12:47 am
@Razzleg,
Razzleg wrote:
On the other hand, if it is simply a matter of casting a vote: Krumple is the only contributor to this thread making a relevant argument that i would endorse. i am not sure we would agree on all particulars, but it seems to me that everything K has said, so far, is both accurate and relevant (in contrast to most of the figurative posturing that has taken place n this thread.)


Thank you Razz. I figured there was only one person on this forum who actually appreciated my posts, all the rest seem to want to burn me at the stake. It's nice to see there is another who can stomach what I have to say.

As far as that goes, I really don't know where else to take the topic. To be honest I actually think part of the problem is that, reality might not be this black and white on the subject of free will and determinism. It just might be a bit of both, which is why we have no clear cut precise thing that is obvious. I have never really been a big fan of duality arguments because both sides tend to have pros and cons.

So I say limited choice and determined effects? It's like a bit of the cause and effect stance that most determinism use and not full free will. I really don't have any other way to put it. What do you think about this idea?
Razzleg
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Sep, 2012 12:54 am
@JLNobody,
JLNobody wrote:

My problem with the concept of free will is that I do not see an agent who exercises that will . When I observe myself I (and "myself" and "I" are grammatical necessities, not empirical events I see conflicting internal drives, some of which "win out" and manifest as choices and desires that are acted upon. But I am a force of nature that generates choices; I am not an ego-self that freely chooses or selects between options.


Damn you, JLN, you win. Smile You've engaged me enough to make another response on this topic.

You used the word "internal drives", by this i assume that you discern them from "external somethings". Perhaps these "externals" could be characterized as causes, movements, motives, etc. i don't know exactly how you want to characterize "it". But the fact that you want to recognize a distinction between internal and external events, re: "observation", seems to indicate that this categorical separation is relevant to "you" within this debate.

JLNobody wrote:

But I am a force of nature that generates choices; I am not an ego-self that freely chooses or selects between options.


i agree with this statement enthusiastically, but half-heartedly.

A species-model struggles against its conditions to procreate, but an individual, with or without ego, struggles against its conditions to access its possibilities. But it encounters "free" possibilities only in so far as it recursively evaluates those options/variables.
0 Replies
 
Razzleg
 
  2  
Reply Sat 1 Sep, 2012 01:06 am
@Krumple,
Krumple wrote:

Razzleg wrote:
On the other hand, if it is simply a matter of casting a vote: Krumple is the only contributor to this thread making a relevant argument that i would endorse. i am not sure we would agree on all particulars, but it seems to me that everything K has said, so far, is both accurate and relevant (in contrast to most of the figurative posturing that has taken place n this thread.)


Thank you Razz. I figured there was only one person on this forum who actually appreciated my posts, all the rest seem to want to burn me at the stake. It's nice to see there is another who can stomach what I have to say.

As far as that goes, I really don't know where else to take the topic. To be honest I actually think part of the problem is that, reality might not be this black and white on the subject of free will and determinism. It just might be a bit of both, which is why we have no clear cut precise thing that is obvious. I have never really been a big fan of duality arguments because both sides tend to have pros and cons.

So I say limited choice and determined effects? It's like a bit of the cause and effect stance that most determinism use and not full free will. I really don't have any other way to put it. What do you think about this idea?


i agree, the reality upon which the debate is framed is not black-and-white, at all. Both classical "determinist" and classical "free-will" arguments have been largely invalidated by contemporary philosophy and science. If one wishes to perpetuate the debate, one must take a more sophisticated position between the two extremes, as you have done; re: an active subject within a dynamic environment. i don't know if you will agree with that sort of diagnostic summary -- but nonetheless, there is room for individual agency within a causal frame, of some type, there.
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Sep, 2012 01:24 am
@Razzleg,
Razzleg wrote:
an active subject within a dynamic environment. i don't know if you will agree with that sort of diagnostic summary -- but nonetheless, there is room for individual agency within a causal frame, of some type, there.


Well I think to get into the individual agency is going to be more controversial of a topic than free will / determinism. Believe it or not, I stand with JLN on this one. Although I do think we have slightly different ways of describing it.

I actually do think there is a self, however; it is not permanent in any way. It is a constantly changing phenomena but we have this nagging persistent experience of memory that tries to solidify the self into something more substantial. So I say there is a self but it is nothing more than a hologram.

If you don't mind me getting a little zen. I see the self like a cloud. You know the cloud is there, you can see it, and it is different than the sky. However; it is constantly changing just too slow to really notice. But you have never seen one stick around. They dissipate and the elements that make them up break apart. In fact you really can't call the cloud one thing because it is made up of several different things that are culminating into what we consider a cloud to be. I think the self is similar, a collection of elements that appear to be an actual thing but there really is nothing actually there.

I know this outlook is not popular and I bet a lot would disagree with it. But I think that is part of the problem. Our egos love their existence and love themselves up to the point they refuse to acknowledge it's own inevitable fate. So to make themselves feel better about it, they need the self to be a more substantial thing. This is where all these discussions start. It comes down to what has value and what does not and where should we put that value?
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Sep, 2012 01:48 am
The problem of free will is not just the problem of agency which also is, but essentially the problem of "discretionarity", that means, the problem of choosing otherwise under the same internal and external circumstances, which I find unacceptable among logical honest debaters...in that sense a free choice is nothing different from a necessary complex and delayed reaction regarding the level of knowledge "you" presently have on something and the programming you are built into to act according to your best interest...mind you that sometimes "best interest" is not always clear but highly complex like for instance when you give your life for your child...same exact situation same exact outcome time and again...for me consciousness is not decision making but rather the awareness on an unstoppable natural chain of reactions where the very "you" or "you's" are an integrated part flowing along...whatever emergent personality wins internal debates in a chain of reactions to the environment and to the genome it didn't act like you at large as a referee decided which were going to be the wining part...the whole process is natural and pretty much automatic...hell what is it hard to get on this reasoning ???
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  0  
Reply Sat 1 Sep, 2012 09:51 am
@Razzleg,
Quote:
i have yet to see a single post in this thread that inspires a fresh response.
Would it be at all fresh, Raz, to suggest that the problem is not one of logic but semantics
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  2  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 02:14 pm
There has been much discussion over the years (on abuzz and here on A2K) about the question of free-will and determinism. Frankly, I see this to be a false debate. I do not see an ego agent who exercises free-will and I do not see "causes" and "effects" as discreet entities, as the essential elements of a deterministic universe. The processes of change are far more complex.
Actually, the only reason I participate in these debates is the opportunity they afford to deny the notions of agency and ego-self.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 03:09 pm
@JLNobody,
I love that reply.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 04:24 pm
@JLNobody,
Quote:
Actually, the only reason I participate in these debates is the opportunity they afford to deny the notions of agency and ego-self.


The ONLY reason????
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 05:46 pm
@Frank Apisa,
I am not referring to all the A2K threads, only those that endlessly repeat the debate about free-will and determinism.
I participate in A2K mainly because of the people, including you Francisco.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 05:52 pm
@JLNobody,
I know that, JL, which was the reason I was busting your chops about the "only."

Keep on fightin' the good fight!
0 Replies
 
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 10:39 pm
@JLNobody,
I noticed that there is either a new thread or someone revived another thread on free will and determinism.
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Sep, 2012 09:45 am
@JLNobody,
Well whatever I am ranting about time to time I also have become acquainted and used to the people on A2K, and yes that is an excellent reason to show up and see how things have evolved specially with those we often disagree as paddling the back of each other hardly produces any development of significance...I appreciate the fact people can disagree as long a genuine effort of clarification is in place to prevent a monologue...I like to believe as far as it concerns me that such effort is mostly attempted with some success...
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Sep, 2012 11:53 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Glad to read this post. Smile
0 Replies
 
Razzleg
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Sep, 2012 12:08 am
@JLNobody,
I've been away from the forum for a few days, real world stuff, and feel strangely guilty for it. I only have time for one overly-long (tl; dr) post tonight, and (for some reason) i picked this thread to torture. i extend my sympathies to any readers. i can only beg indulgence for my likely mis-types and garbled thoughts.

JLNobody wrote:

My problem with the concept of free will is that I do not see an agent who exercises that will . When I observe myself I (and "myself" and "I" are grammatical necessities, not empirical events), I see conflicting internal drives, some of which "win out" and manifest as choices and desires that are acted upon. But I am a force of nature that generates choices; I am not an ego-self that freely chooses or selects between options.


In my extremely short memory, i don't recall you and i getting into this particular debate, but i am not sure that "agency" requires an "ego". If anything, i see "ego" as a product of agency, not the other way around. i'll qualify that comment further, as i go along in this post.

What i want to say, at this point, is that it is that the "I"-force-of-nature that i identify as the source of agency, not the "theater of the internal debate" . That "internal debate" seems to me to be a (possibly pre-emptive) mental strategem to manage negative individual results.

Krumple wrote:

Razzleg wrote:
an active subject within a dynamic environment. i don't know if you will agree with that sort of diagnostic summary -- but nonetheless, there is room for individual agency within a causal frame, of some type, there.


Well I think to get into the individual agency is going to be more controversial of a topic than free will / determinism. Believe it or not, I stand with JLN on this one. Although I do think we have slightly different ways of describing it.

I actually do think there is a self, however; it is not permanent in any way. It is a constantly changing phenomena but we have this nagging persistent experience of memory that tries to solidify the self into something more substantial. So I say there is a self but it is nothing more than a hologram.


Hey, K, in many ways, i agree that "individual agency" is a more controversial topic than "fee will v. determism" (insofar as it is more complicated), but only exactly as it is a more subtle variation on a similar theme. i also agree with you regarding the way i view the self as a variable entity. But while i am willing to concede that the self changes, that is not to say that its changes are uncoordinated with its vital source. A hologram fades only if it does not receive multiple projections...the question i am pursuing is: what are the points originating that projection?

JLNobody wrote:

There has been much discussion over the years (on abuzz and here on A2K) about the question of free-will and determinism. Frankly, I see this to be a false debate. I do not see an ego agent who exercises free-will and I do not see "causes" and "effects" as discreet entities, as the essential elements of a deterministic universe. The processes of change are far more complex.
Actually, the only reason I participate in these debates is the opportunity they afford to deny the notions of agency and ego-self.


Here is an errant example of agency: i am walking along, confidently, i trip, i fall, and my arms reach out to catch myself (to mitigate my impact). Those cushioning arms represent my agency. i did not decide to extend them, that action reflects a certain version of self-preservation (ie, not self-motivated, but self-reliant). That action does not prove the subject to be immune from accident, nor dis-putive as to cause, but it does prove efficacious to self-preservation.

Agency does not seem to me to be a product of "consciousness", or even "self-consciousness". In other words, agency precedes consciousness/ ego. What say you?



Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Sep, 2012 02:46 am
@Razzleg,
Razzleg wrote:
But while i am willing to concede that the self changes, that is not to say that its changes are uncoordinated with its vital source. A hologram fades only if it does not receive multiple projections...the question i am pursuing is: what are the points originating that projection?


I am not certain about your question here. Are you asking for what makes up this self? How is it the self seems to be a real thing and if it is not a real thing then what is it? I am going to assume that this is what you are referring to with your question.

It really is simple. It comes down to how the mind functions. I actually think the best way to describe it is by removing the parts. For example if you had all of your senses damage or removed could you perceive the world or even your self? No because the senses are the only way we connect with reality, remove them and we have no way of determining anything at all.

Get rid of your eyes and you can no longer see objects. Get rid of your hearing and you can no longer hear sounds. Get rid of your sense of touch and you would not be able to feel anything from the body. Get rid of taste buds and you wouldn't be able to taste anything. Get rid of sense of smell and you wouldn't be able to smell anything. We would have no way of experiencing reality if we had lost all of these, however; we would still have the mind and the thoughts that fill the mind.

Now let's go really extreme with this. What if you were born without the five senses, no eye, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no ability to feel sensations? You would never develop an identity. You would never learn that the world even exists. You would never know your mother or father. You wouldn't know what a god was. You wouldn't even know what you are. Because it is only by our senses that we develop and learn and get conditioned for what things are that we are experiencing.

So what happens is. There is an object, which I call the sense data. Like the color red for the eyes is the sense data red. When our eyes sense the color red the data get's processed by our brains. Initially we don't see it as red yet, we just have a sense of the data, which comes in the form of a feeling or sensation within the brain. We find it pleasant, unpleasant or are indifferent to it. The sense data must exists first or else there is nothing to perceive at all. If nothing exists then your senses wouldn't even sense anything.

What comes next is perception. We perceive the color red but don't label it yet, all there is the data color in this example. What follows after perception is the impulse response to the color, these are usually habits that develop in response to the sense data interaction. At this point is where we create opinions, likes or dislikes about the sense data.

Finally we have consciousness or discernment of the sense data. This is where we solidify the sense data into something we think to be real. We label it, categorize it and store the data for future use into memory.

These five steps happen very quickly, almost too quick to actually discern but they can be examine and you can test weather or not I am right. It takes a bit of practice but it can be done.

However; after all that said, there is absolutely no where in any of this that shows there is something fundamentally under it all. All it is, is a culmination of parts. Break any one of these parts and the whole system stops. For example.

Destroy the eye and there is no eye consciousness. We would never be able to perceive the color red with destroyed eyes. The reason is because the sense data needs the sense organ to get to the brain. If it can not reach the brain the brain does not respond to the data at all.

This is true for all the senses. This is why there would be nothing if you were to remove all the senses. We wouldn't be able to determine anything. Some would try to argue that we would but it is because they haven't actually investigated the process to see and verify for themselves that this is actually how it works.

Razzleg wrote:

Agency does not seem to me to be a product of "consciousness", or even "self-consciousness". In other words, agency precedes consciousness/ ego. What say you?


From my previous description, there is no place for agency at all. It is a mistaken illusion that arises only because of this process. These five steps once they come together give the impression that there is agency but there is none. The reason I can say this, is because if you remove any one of the steps where is the agency? It is no where to be found at all. Not even in the smallest portion can it be found.

It is like a cloud in the sky. What is a cloud? It is the coming together of water vapor which have become tiny pieces of ice that are light enough to remain in the air. They tend to clump together and this is why clouds appear to have shapes. But really a cloud isn't anything. It is just a combination of parts and if you remove any of the parts, it no longer is a cloud. The self is just like this. In fact is is bad to say, the self is just like that when there really is no agency to begin with. It is just the coming together of five parts to give the appearance of a self.
 

Related Topics

How can we be sure? - Discussion by Raishu-tensho
Proof of nonexistence of free will - Discussion by litewave
morals and ethics, how are they different? - Question by existential potential
Destroy My Belief System, Please! - Discussion by Thomas
Star Wars in Philosophy. - Discussion by Logicus
Existence of Everything. - Discussion by Logicus
Is it better to be feared or loved? - Discussion by Black King
 
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 07/23/2021 at 07:05:49