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Its Pretty
July 19th, 2013, 05:54 PM
Well I have been thinking quite a bit lately... and it occurs to me that humans may not have free will. It may be just an illusion. What do you think? Do we really have any choice at all or is it just mass and momentum? Neurons and electrons?

Its Pretty
July 20th, 2013, 05:21 AM
bump because <1 posts :(

FrostWraith
July 20th, 2013, 03:08 PM
Well, pretty much every mental procedure can be attributed to chemistry. Any "choices" we make are simply the neurons in our brain following the laws of science. Make of that what you will.

Avatia
July 23rd, 2013, 08:31 PM
Well, pretty much every mental procedure can be attributed to chemistry. Any "choices" we make are simply the neurons in our brain following the laws of science. Make of that what you will.

A choice is a neuron in our brain following the laws of science?

Lono
July 23rd, 2013, 08:37 PM
What does a religious question have to do with this site? Shoot, I cannot blog or post about accupressure points. But, since this thread is not removed, yes people always have the right to choose. If one wants to be homeless, be homeless. If one wants to try a different sexual orientation, one can always try. If one wants to leave their country, walk or swim to another one. No stopping anyone from exerting their free will; however, laws and law enforcement may interfere with illegal free will options from going on and on by the same person or persons.

Cygnus
July 23rd, 2013, 10:23 PM
I believe our free will is limited by the laws of science, however within those laws we are free.

LouBerry
July 23rd, 2013, 10:37 PM
It's my choice whether or not I'm going to start doing drugs. Sure, some people are hardwired to be more addicted then others, but it's they're choice to start doing them. It's my choice to have sex. It's my choice to believe in God. It's my choice to cut myself when I'm upset. I do have choices.

Moondust
July 23rd, 2013, 10:42 PM
Uh, yeah. We do.
If not, then Loki was right and the Avengers fought for nothing XD
We discover who we are through the choices we make. We make them based on what we think seems logical based on the information we have stored. Everybody is different, so nobody follows 1 rule.

Avatia
July 23rd, 2013, 10:47 PM
Uh, yeah. We do.
If not, then Loki was right and the Avengers fought for nothing XD
We discover who we are through the choices we make. We make them based on what we think seems logical based on the information we have stored. Everybody is different, so nobody follows 1 rule.

A person makes a choice based on what they think seems logical, but this is based on information they have stored.

Would you say this implies that we do not have free will, considering the information we have stored is the true conjurer of our choices?

LouBerry
July 23rd, 2013, 10:54 PM
A person makes a choice based on what they think seems logical, but this is based on information they have stored.

Would you say this implies that we do not have free will, considering the information we have stored is the true conjurer of our choices?

Then why do people make bad choices that they know they shouldn't do, and that undoubtedly lead to bad outcomes? Like, you might know that having unprotected sex is bad. You could get a STD or end up a parent. Not good things, but maybe you do it anyway. It's because you had a choice.

Moondust
July 23rd, 2013, 10:58 PM
A person makes a choice based on what they think seems logical, but this is based on information they have stored.

Would you say this implies that we do not have free will, considering the information we have stored is the true conjurer of our choices?

It depends on what you consider to BE free will in the first place. Our mind is what we use to make our body move. I mean, anybody can go against what information in the mind and make a completely different action. I suppose there's more to it then that... I mean of course when people say " follow your heart" I'm like "WAT!" because the heart doesn't make our body do anything, but then again, babies do things like cry for food simply because it's instinct, so it's not even information in it yet. I suppose nobody will ever be able to know exactly.

Avatia
July 23rd, 2013, 11:04 PM
Then why do people make bad choices that they know they shouldn't do, and that undoubtedly lead to bad outcomes? Like, you might know that having unprotected sex is bad. You could get a STD or end up a parent. Not good things, but maybe you do it anyway. It's because you had a choice.

If they truly know that it is bad, and for someone to know that something is bad means that they think that the negatives outweigh the positives, then it wouldn't be done. Since it is the case that they still do it, they must not think that the negatives outweigh the positives, since, if they truly believed it, they wouldn't do it.

Show me a case that you can conceive of where someone genuinely believes that a decision is not what they should do in any way, but yet, it is done.

I would wager that it wouldn't be possible, because by necessity, if they do it, they had a reason to do it. I do give you the floor to try to think of such an example, though.

It depends on what you consider to BE free will in the first place. Our mind is what we use to make our body move. I mean, anybody can go against what information in the mind and make a completely different action. I suppose there's more to it then that... I mean of course when people say " follow your heart" I'm like "WAT!" because the heart doesn't make our body do anything, but then again, babies do things like cry for food simply because it's instinct, so it's not even information in it yet. I suppose nobody will ever be able to know exactly.

Then what do you consider to be free will?

As well, is instinctual information not an information?

Jess
July 23rd, 2013, 11:05 PM
Yes we have free will.

Avatia
July 23rd, 2013, 11:10 PM
Yes we have free will.

Do explain the case for it, darling.

LouBerry
July 23rd, 2013, 11:11 PM
If they truly know that it is bad, and for someone to know that something is bad means that they think that the negatives outweigh the positives, then it wouldn't be done. Since it is the case that they still do it, they must not think that the negatives outweigh the positives, since, if they truly believed it, they wouldn't do it.

Show me a case that you can conceive of where someone genuinely believes that a decision is not what they should do in any way, but yet, it is done.

I would wager that it wouldn't be possible, because by necessity, if they do it, they had a reason to do it. I do give you the floor to try to think of such an example, though.

That isn't true.

I had unprotected sex with my boyfriend, Seth. I knew it was a bad idea, the whole time I knew it was wrong, but I still did it.

Avatia
July 23rd, 2013, 11:13 PM
That isn't true.

I had unprotected sex with my boyfriend, Seth. I knew it was a bad idea, the whole time I knew it was wrong, but I still did it.

And what is the reason you still did it?

LouBerry
July 23rd, 2013, 11:15 PM
And what is the reason you still did it?

Because I had a choice, and I made the wrong one.

Avatia
July 23rd, 2013, 11:17 PM
Because I had a choice, and I made the wrong one.

For what reason did you make that wrong one?

We could say, "I have a choice between writing this response and not writing this response." This does not tell us why I chose to write the response, yeah?

Moondust
July 23rd, 2013, 11:17 PM
If they truly know that it is bad, and for someone to know that something is bad means that they think that the negatives outweigh the positives, then it wouldn't be done. Since it is the case that they still do it, they must not think that the negatives outweigh the positives, since, if they truly believed it, they wouldn't do it.

Show me a case that you can conceive of where someone genuinely believes that a decision is not what they should do in any way, but yet, it is done.

I would wager that it wouldn't be possible, because by necessity, if they do it, they had a reason to do it. I do give you the floor to try to think of such an example, though.



Then what do you consider to be free will?

As well, is instinctual information not an information?

Free will is not being forced to do something, and rather doing as you please, and it's not instinct, but rather a feeling that even someone so young feels because he/she knows already something needs to be done about it. Like, how is a broken heart information? There is no effect from the outside world to make a person feel it. P.S are you genuinely trying to understand something, or are you being a troll just to waste our time with question after question no human can answer -_- ?

The-Chosen-Hero
July 23rd, 2013, 11:17 PM
I believe in free will because I am religious. Even if I weren't I still believe in free will

Gigablue
July 23rd, 2013, 11:22 PM
We don't have free will. Everything can be explained by neurochemical interactions in the brain. These in turn are the result of basic chemical properties. There is some inherent amount of randomness in nature, meaning that even if we knew everything in perfect detail, we couldn't accurately predict people's actions. However, this is not due to free will, but rather random processes on the subatomic scale. Free will is simply an illusion created by the brain to make us feel in control.

LouBerry
July 23rd, 2013, 11:23 PM
For what reason did you make that wrong one?

We could say, "I have a choice between writing this response and not writing this response." This does not tell us why I chose to write the response, yeah?

It comes down to some personal information about mine and Seth's sex life that I do not wish to share with you. But, I wasn't "caught up in the moment" or anything like that, I knew the whole time that it was wrong.

Avatia
July 23rd, 2013, 11:26 PM
Free will is not being forced to do something, and rather doing as you please, and it's not instinct, but rather a feeling that even someone so young feels because he/she knows already something needs to be done about it. P.S are you genuinely trying to understand something, or are you being a troll just to waste our time with question after question no human can answer -_- ?

And if what I please is only a matter of what I've been convinced or persuaded to be pleased by - am I still free in my will to do it, or am I made to do it, but I still happen to be glad to?

This would appear to be a freedom to do as I'm made to, more than a freedom of myself to the will.

Like, how is a broken heart information? There is no effect from the outside world to make a person feel it.

How do we know when we have a broken heart? Do we not require some sort of information that lets us know of this feeling? Don't I get a pain in my chest (information) and a sadness in my mind (information)?


P.S are you genuinely trying to understand something, or are you being a troll just to waste our time with question after question no human can answer -_- ?

I am genuine. I also don't believe that no human can answer them.

It comes down to some personal information about mine and Seth's sex life that I do not wish to share with you. But, I wasn't "caught up in the moment" or anything like that, I knew the whole time that it was wrong.

And so, this personal information of yours is a weight that pulled you to do it, in place of not doing it.

LouBerry
July 23rd, 2013, 11:33 PM
And so, this personal information of yours is a weight that pulled you to do it, in place of not doing it.

No. This personal information didn't make me do it. I could have said no, and I have in other situations. There is no "This is exactly why it happened". I was faced with a decision, and I weighed my options, figured out what was best for me , then did the opposite.

Avatia
July 23rd, 2013, 11:38 PM
No. This personal information didn't make me do it. I could have said no, and I have in other situations.

But you didn't, and so, why did you not?

There is no "This is exactly why it happened". I was faced with a decision, and I weighed my options, figured out what was best for me, then did the opposite.

And so we have a case of the opposite to what you think would be best being the most appealing choice for you at the time.

We don't have free will. Everything can be explained by neurochemical interactions in the brain. These in turn are the result of basic chemical properties. There is some inherent amount of randomness in nature, meaning that even if we knew everything in perfect detail, we couldn't accurately predict people's actions. However, this is not due to free will, but rather random processes on the subatomic scale. Free will is simply an illusion created by the brain to make us feel in control.

And then, these chemical properties, what is their determining factor?

Which processes at the subatomic scale are you referring to?

But if we don't have free will, then how is it an illusion created by the brain? Seems we do have free will by your reasoning, since having an illusion is still the having of something.

Moondust
July 23rd, 2013, 11:43 PM
And if what I please is only a matter of what I've been convinced or persuaded to be pleased by - am I still free in my will to do it, or am I made to do it, but I still happen to be glad to?

This would appear to be a freedom to do as I'm made to, more than a freedom of myself to the will.



How do we know when we have a broken heart? Do we not require some sort of information that lets us know of this feeling? Don't I get a pain in my chest (information) and a sadness in my mind (information)?




I am genuine. I also don't believe that no human can answer them.



And so, this personal information of yours is a weight that pulled you to do it, in place of not doing it.

Huh, I feel like emotions and thought are somehow separated( ok, I don't know if this is true, so call me stupid if you want, but just saying what I think)
Because when I was lonely I didn't base it off of any information other than nobody wanted to be with me. People are always trying to be "fearless" when "bravery" is all they need, because without fear there is no life because there is no balance. Maybe thought and emotion are to be added to one another, since bravery is adding perseverance and a reason to face it anyway, and fearlessness is not feeling anything when you see something like death. So maybe thought and emotion are separate, but constantly being added to one another to make a conclusion. I dunno, maybe I'm just rambling.

Avatia
July 23rd, 2013, 11:47 PM
Huh, I feel like emotions and thought are somehow separated( ok, I don't know if this is true, so call me stupid if you want, but just saying what I think)

Emotions and thought are separated. However, emotions and thought are both still driven by some sort of information, aren't they?

If there was no information behind your emotions, then how would it be determined that they are emotions? Same for thought.

If you still don't believe me, here's a thought experiment:

Consider some information in your brain for which you have no information in your brain about.

Because when I was lonely I didn't base it off of any information other than nobody wanted to be with me. People are always trying to be "fearless" when "bravery" is all they need, because without fear there is no life because there is no balance. Maybe thought and emotion are to be added to one another, since bravery is adding perseverance and a reason to face it anyway, and fearlessness is not feeling anything when you see something like death. So maybe thought and emotion are separate, but constantly being added to one another to make a conclusion. I dunno, maybe I'm just rambling.

Your ramblings are fine. Don't worry about it.

LouBerry
July 23rd, 2013, 11:47 PM
But you didn't, and so, why did you not?



And so we have a case of the opposite to what you think would be best being the most appealing choice for you at the time.




No. I already said that I knew I shouldn't do it, and I honestly didn't really want to.

It had something to do with me taking something Seth said as a challenge, so you could argue that that kind of behavior is part of my personality, but it really isn't, except with Seth, so you could argue that well, maybe I'm programed to be like that with my mate, but I haven't been with anyone else, so you could say that it's just natural with our two personalities that we act the way we do, but sometimes we don't, depending on how much we try to communicate our thoughts and feelings, so you could then make another argument, and I will say no, because blah blah blah, and you will never be right and I will never be right because neither of us really has any proof, just opinions, so are we done here?

Avatia
July 23rd, 2013, 11:54 PM
No. I already said that I knew I shouldn't do it, and I honestly didn't really want to.

It had something to do with me taking something Seth said as a challenge, so you could argue that that kind of behavior is part of my personality, but it really isn't, except with Seth, so you could argue that well, maybe I'm programed to be like that with my mate, but I haven't been with anyone else, so you could say that it's just natural with our two personalities that we act the way we do, but sometimes we don't, depending on how much we try to communicate our thoughts and feelings, so you could then make another argument, and I will say no, because blah blah blah, and you will never be right and I will never be right because neither of us really has any proof, just opinions, so are we done here?

Oh, but we do have proof. You did do what you did - this is a necessary truth.

If you did what you did, then there must be a reason that you did not do something else.

This reason that you did not do something else, what is it?

Let's say you have a choice in a vacuum.

A or B.

Why choose A?
Why choose B?

If there is no pull for either of them, then you would never make a choice.

However, the very moment you have even a microscopic pull towards one over the other, that is the one that will be chosen, because otherwise the situation is simply in an equilibrium, where, there's no justification to choose one over the other, and so, one is not chosen over the other.

It'd be like if I have a stone, perfectly balanced on the head of a needle. What is the reason that it would ever go out of balance and fall towards any particular direction? If there is no force to move it from the balance, it will forever stay in that balance, and will not fall.

LouBerry
July 23rd, 2013, 11:57 PM
Oh, but we do have proof. You did do what you did - this is a necessary truth.

If you did what you did, then there must be a reason that you did not do something else.

This reason that you did not do something else, what is it?

Let's say you have a choice in a vacuum.

A or B.

Why choose A?
Why choose B?

If there is no pull for either of them, then you would never make a choice.

However, the very moment you have even a microscopic pull towards one over the other, that is the one that will be chosen, because otherwise the situation is simply in an equilibrium, where, there's no justification to choose one over the other, and so, one is not chosen over the other.

It'd be like if I have a stone, perfectly balanced on the head of a needle. What is the reason that it would ever go out of balance and fall towards any particular direction? If there is no force to move it from the balance, it will forever stay in that balance, and will not fall.

Even if I gave you a reason, you wouldn't believe it. You're set in your ideas, and I'm set in mine. The reason I didn't do something else is complicated, and it goes into that big long paragraph I just wrote, we could go on and on about my little choices here and there, but neither of us is going to cave.

Moondust
July 23rd, 2013, 11:59 PM
Emotions and thought are separated. However, emotions and thought are both still driven by some sort of information, aren't they?

If there was no information behind your emotions, then how would it be determined that they are emotions? Same for thought.

If you still don't believe me, here's a thought experiment:

Consider some information in your brain for which you have no information in your brain about.



Your ramblings are fine. Don't worry about it.

Gosh, I ought to become the world's most awesome Psychologist just to figure this one out 8^D
Maybe it's the development from even the time a person is old enough to sense thing like smell, sight, touch and sound. Maybe it's the environment a person is in that decides what kind of information is stored. Like, growing up most of my life in a house in a forest makes me puzzled when I see people being scared to go into the woods after the sun gets low( uh, it is pretty creepy, but not if you bring a flashlight and the right clothing) and I winder what makes a certain sound or smell or even touch appealing. I mean, what makes people prefer a certain song and some hate it? So maybe thought is based off of what we consider to be safe, depending on what we grew up thinking to be so, as a sort of defence.

Avatia
July 24th, 2013, 12:01 AM
Even if I gave you a reason, you wouldn't believe it. You're set in your ideas, and I'm set in mine. The reason I didn't do something else is complicated, and it goes into that big long paragraph I just wrote, we could go on and on about my little choices here and there, but neither of us is going to cave.

I would 'cave', given the following:

A situation is presented to some person such that a choice is given between two or more options, each option being exactly as desirable to the person as any of the others, but only one of the options is chosen.

It can be entirely conceptualized here, as well. I don't want you to come to my house with someone and give them these options. My point is that, such a situation is simply impossible by necessity, and so I would love to be given a non-contradictory idea of this situation, if someone could provide it.
I have not been given one such example yet, and I cannot conceive of one, myself, so I leave it to the more intelligent people to imagine me such a situation.

Gosh, I ought to become the world's most awesome Psychologist just to figure this one out 8^D
Maybe it's the development from even the time a person is old enough to sense thing like smell, sight, touch and sound. Maybe it's the environment a person is in that decides what kind of information is stored. Like, growing up most of my life in a house in a forest makes me puzzled when I see people being scared to go into the woods after the sun gets low( uh, it is pretty creepy, but not if you bring a flashlight and the right clothing) and I winder what makes a certain sound or smell or even touch appealing. I mean, what makes people prefer a certain song and some hate it? So maybe thought is based off of what we consider to be safe, depending on what we grew up thinking to be so, as a sort of defence.

Mhm. Well-reasoned and thoughtfully considered. I applaud you. What does this make you think of free will?

LouBerry
July 24th, 2013, 12:08 AM
I would 'cave', given the following:

A situation is presented to some person such that a choice is given between two or more options, each option being exactly as desirable to the person as any of the others, but only one of the options is chosen.


Like, I wanted to have sex but at the same time I didn't want to have sex, because honestly having sex is really stupid and I knew that but I also wanted to do it anyway for my complicated reason? So I chose to have sex anyway?

Avatia
July 24th, 2013, 12:11 AM
Like, I wanted to have sex but at the same time I didn't want to have sex, because honestly having sex is really stupid and I knew that but I also wanted to do it anyway for my complicated reason? So I chose to have sex anyway?

But then this would violate the,

"each option being exactly as desirable to the person as any of the others".

Moondust
July 24th, 2013, 12:13 AM
*brain meltdown :0* whew! All this discussion has now made my mind shut down, so I think I'm gonna listen to a TON of music to see if I can bring it back from the brain-grave.
Thanks for giving me some really good things to ponder over :3

Avatia
July 24th, 2013, 12:14 AM
*brain meltdown :0* whew! All this discussion has now made my mind shut down, so I think I'm gonna listen to a TON of music to see if I can bring it back from the brain-grave.
Thanks for giving me some really good things to ponder over :3

Enjoy your music, dear. Thank you for taking the time to contribute so much to the conversation. I hope to see you again, soon.

jayyy-lmao
July 24th, 2013, 05:17 AM
I think there are some things that will happen. Some things we can't choose, they're predetermined as such, but we can choose when given a choice. Whether that choice is influenced by anything else, I don't know. But we can choose.

LouBerry
July 24th, 2013, 02:16 PM
But then this would violate the,

"each option being exactly as desirable to the person as any of the others".

No it wouldn't. There was a reason I wanted to, and a reason I did not. Neither of the choices overpowered to other, I just chose.

Avatia
July 24th, 2013, 02:35 PM
No it wouldn't. There was a reason I wanted to, and a reason I did not. Neither of the choices overpowered to other, I just chose.

And why did you choose?

LouBerry
July 24th, 2013, 04:10 PM
Because I had to. There was a situation that called for a decision.

Avatia
July 24th, 2013, 11:00 PM
Because I had to.

You "had to" do it - this does not read congruently with free will.

There was a situation that called for a decision.

And so then, do you see how you've just found for us that it was situation that called for your decision, and not your own free will?

CosmicNoodle
July 25th, 2013, 05:06 PM
My view on free will is very askew, i believe in the illusion of it but don't believe it actually exists, i am a firm believer in T.O.E (Theory of everything), the theory of everything is the thought that everything can be predicted to 100% accuracy by taking into account absolutely every valuable possible from the speed and position of atoms (which is impossible due to the Hindenburg uncertainty predicable) to the amount of dust on Jupiter, ye when i say everything i mean it, this leads me to believe that due to one event another happens and another causing massive chains of events to occur that will decide what happens next (much like the internals of your Computer or Phone, the next set of binary output is determined by the last and so on and so forth). But if i go much further i am getting into Philosophy if i have not already. Can you see where i am coming from on this?, if not it is a shame because it is a fascinating subject when you look into it. Unfortunately such a equation does not exist at the moment due to its mind boggling complexity and is massively debated in the mathematical and theoretical physics world as the weather it is possible or not, even if i have said nothing helpful i strongly suggest you spend some time thinking about what i have said because it is fascinating!

Gigablue
July 25th, 2013, 05:20 PM
My view on free will is very askew, i believe in the illusion of it but don't believe it actually exists, i am a firm believer in T.O.E (Theory of everything), the theory of everything is the thought that everything can be predicted to 100% accuracy by taking into account absolutely every valuable possible from the speed and position of atoms (which is impossible due to the Hindenburg uncertainty predicable) to the amount of dust on Jupiter, ye when i say everything i mean it, this leads me to believe that due to one event another happens and another causing massive chains of events to occur that will decide what happens next (much like the internals of your Computer or Phone, the next set of binary output is determined by the last and so on and so forth). But if i go much further i am getting into Philosophy if i have not already. Can you see where i am coming from on this?, if not it is a shame because it is a fascinating subject when you look into it. Unfortunately such a equation does not exist at the moment due to its mind boggling complexity and is massively debated in the mathematical and theoretical physics world as the weather it is possible or not, even if i have said nothing helpful i strongly suggest you spend some time thinking about what i have said because it is fascinating!

That wouldn't work for two reasons. First, due to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, we con never know all the variables with prefect accuracy. However, even if we somehow could, we couldn't make accurate predictions. If we lived in a classical universe, we would be able to. Unfortunately, we live in a quantum, not classical universe. Events on the quantum level are inherently random, and can be acausal. We can make statistical predictions based on calculating probabilities, but not absolute ones.

However, I don't think that makes a difference in terms of free will. Everything is either due to cause and effect, or due to acausal processes. There is no reason that humans would somehow act as agents free from these processes. We act the way we do because of physical processes in the brain. These processes give us the illusion of a free choice, but we don't have one.

I think the idea of free will is dependant on dualism. If humans are purely material, the idea of us acting as agents free from cause and effect is absurd. In order for free will to even be possible, dualism would have to be correct, and the evidence just doesn't support it.