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I have this idea about "free will"

 
 
Treya
 
Reply Mon 3 Jul, 2006 06:42 am
It's simple really:

I chose to write this... Smile
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,407 • Replies: 32
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material girl
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jul, 2006 07:04 am
I want to be slimer but I choose to eat the wrong things.
Why is this?
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yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jul, 2006 07:59 am
maybe the self is composed of many parts. the part that does the talking & thinking may want one thing, but the part that eats wants something else.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jul, 2006 08:01 am
Re: I have this idea about "free will"
hephzibah wrote:
It's simple really:

I chose to write this... Smile

What if your choice had been determined?
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Treya
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jul, 2006 08:34 am
So Joe... what IS it that would determine my decision?
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jul, 2006 08:43 am
hephzibah wrote:
So Joe... what IS it that would determine my decision?

I haven't a clue. But then that puts me in the same position as you in relation to your claims regarding free will.
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jul, 2006 08:46 am
Alternate theories:

1. It's all semi-random firings of the neurons.

2. You've been programmed to type on the computer through behavioral modification....
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Treya
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jul, 2006 08:57 am
joefromchicago wrote:
hephzibah wrote:
So Joe... what IS it that would determine my decision?

I haven't a clue. But then that puts me in the same position as you in relation to your claims regarding free will.


touche!
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Treya
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jul, 2006 08:58 am
DrewDad wrote:
Alternate theories:

1. It's all semi-random firings of the neurons.

2. You've been programmed to type on the computer through behavioral modification....


Ok. Fair enough... but do these theory's have any more evidence to support them than those who say there is a free will?
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Treya
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jul, 2006 09:05 am
Oh yeah... I have another question...

If all this is programmed through behavior modification then why do we have the capacity to think in the manners we think in?
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jul, 2006 03:57 pm
http://www.qi-whiz.com/category/export/html/151

Smile
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djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jul, 2006 05:32 pm
hephzibah wrote:
Oh yeah... I have another question...

If all this is programmed through behavior modification then why do we have the capacity to think in the manners we think in?


it's all part of the program

and no program is perfect, the odd glitch here and there might even lead you to believe you're thinking for yourself
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Doktor S
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jul, 2006 06:14 pm
What do you believe 'will' to be?

And what, precisely do you believe the will is free from?
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djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jul, 2006 06:17 pm
i believe free willy was a truly awful movie
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Treya
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jul, 2006 08:54 pm
djjd62 wrote:
hephzibah wrote:
Oh yeah... I have another question...

If all this is programmed through behavior modification then why do we have the capacity to think in the manners we think in?


it's all part of the program

and no program is perfect, the odd glitch here and there might even lead you to believe you're thinking for yourself


Oh, so you mean it wouldn't be "choosing" to feel sorry for myself if I put on some sad country songs and had myself a good 'ol pity party?
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Treya
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jul, 2006 08:58 pm
Doktor S wrote:
What do you believe 'will' to be?

And what, precisely do you believe the will is free from?


Hmmm... well dok... "will" as in a choice. To say yes. To say no. To sleep for five hrs or eight hrs. To have chocolate ice cream or strawberry...

Free from limitations. Free to not be completely controlled by anything necessarily.

Is anyone going to give my other question a go?

Quote:
If all this is programmed through behavior modification then why do we have the capacity to think in the manners we think in?
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jul, 2006 09:04 pm
material girl wrote:
I want to be slimer but I choose to eat the wrong things.
Why is this?


Because you want to eat the wrong things more than you want to be slimmer.

When the balance changes, you will change.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jul, 2006 09:05 pm
I'm not sure "free will" is an either-or proposition.
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neologist
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jul, 2006 10:45 pm
We are all subject to a certain degree to limitations of cause and effect.
Nevertheless, we remain aware of our underlying free will and free moral agency.
Epictetus wrote:
Who, then, remains unconquerable? He whom the inevitable cannot overcome.
Shakespeare wrote:
This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are
sick in fortune,--often the surfeit of our own behaviour,--we
make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars; as
if we were villains on necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion;
knaves, thieves, and treachers by spherical pre-dominance;
drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforced obedience of
planetary influence. - King Lear I,ii
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Treya
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jul, 2006 08:29 am
Very good point Neo. I agree. Thank you for bringing that out.

To all who are following this or participating:

I could have said it better to say free from limitations as in free from the choice being hindered based on the cause and effect. Example: It's a week until pay day. You are out of gas. If you don't work, you don't get paid. You have to feed your family. What do you do? Do you steal gas? Do you ask someone to borrow some money? Or do you just call in to work and say, "Sorry, I can't get there."?

There's one cause for all this, but three very different effects for each possible solution. You steal gas, it costs you nothing, but if you get caught you're probably looking at jail (more lost time from work) and fines. You borrow money, you have what you need for now, but then come payday you are $20 less than what you should be and you need that $20. You don't go into work you only get 1/2 a paycheck, which totally ruins your budget for the month.

This is ultimately why I asked this question:

"If all this is programmed through behavior modification then why do we have the capacity to think in the manners we think in?"

I can agree that to a certain extent we are programmed through behavior modification. There are certain things that everyone does that comes purely out of how they were brought up and the circumstances surrounding that. However, I find it very difficult to believe that everything I do is based on some sort of programming. Then really the majority of my brain is a waste. Thoughts, feelings, touch, smell, taste, hearing. What is the point of having any senses at all if we are only going to do what we are programmed to do?

What's the point of preferring shrimp over lobster, or "thinking I do", if really I don't have a choice because somehow it was programmed into my brain that I would have that preference? Why not just give me a metal shell and send me out looking for the wizard of OZ so I can see if he would be kind enough to grant me a brain? To say we are "programmed" would then also mean that who we like and don't like is programmed as well. Which for me seems a bit far fetched considering my line of work. There are many VERY "unlikable" characters within my profession.

Staff and kids alike. Yet, somehow I manage to get along with all of them... How is that possible if it is programmed who I will like and not like? Did my wires get crossed somewhere along the line? And how about this... I've heard it said that "christianity" programmed me once I "found religion" or whatever. Now, I can agree with a certain amount of "programming" so to speak. They like to call it "teaching". Which I guess could work too. However, in case no one has noticed, I'm not your "typical christian guru". Yes, I hold similar thoughts, beliefs, idea's, and perceptions. However the influence of those things on me is much different than most. How I respond to those things is much different than most. Are we again talking about crossed wires here?

Ultimately this is my theory... Please know I'm not saying this to make anyone angry, though I think it most definitely might. But I feel it needs to be said, none-the-less. To say we are "programmed" in my opinion is not all together too different from the "christians" saying "the devil made me do it". It takes the responsibility off of me for my actions, because after all "I only treat you bad because I was programmed to do so, you see". It offers an excuse to behave in a certain way or do certain things because ultimately I can't help myself since it's just part of my "programming".

In my job I do a lot of "behavior modification" with the kids I work with. Again, a sort of programming or teaching, however ultimately they make the decision of whether or not their behaviors will change or stay the same. I don't control that. They do. I can't force them to realize that hitting someone every time you get mad will only get you in more trouble. And a lot of times their thinking is so altered by their home environment that they can't see that either. All they see is this is how mom and dad did it, so this must be the way it's done. However, my question still remains as to, how can their behavior be "modified" if they don't choose to see things any other way? It can't. It won't. Because ultimately they have the choice as to how they view the world. How they view life. How they view relationships.

So one last question then: Since behaviors can be modified, does that then mean that our "programming" is faulty?
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