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Author Topic: Do humans have free will?  (Read 29868 times)

Offline Bill S

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Do humans have free will?
« Reply #25 on: 25/12/2010 20:55:57 »
Is this proof that we have free will?

I posted something which many people would find ridiculous, but which everyone has chosen to ignore. 

Free choice, free will, you saw it here.  [8D]
 

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SteveFish

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« Reply #26 on: 25/12/2010 23:31:34 »
Shrunk
"Do humans have free will?" This question is nonsense because one can't say whether it is true or not unless the notion of free will is well defined. Otherwise it is just mental masturbation.
 

Offline sliffy

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« Reply #27 on: 29/12/2010 20:15:43 »
sorry for my bad english...

i think that we are living in a world which is regulated by rules (phisical)... i don't see any entity which is independent from the rules... not even us, people...

if we know the current condition of a system which works in accordance with rules than we can compute its condition in the future... that's why i see the whole universe's future determined... i don't say that we or the designer has the ability to compute the future but it's determined

you may say that the designer can interfere... i say yes, but he lives in an upper level which should be determined as well...

so the free will is illusory only... nobody is responsible for his decisions... we are just robots in the theatre
« Last Edit: 29/12/2010 20:43:40 by sliffy »
 

SteveFish

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« Reply #28 on: 29/12/2010 21:23:34 »
Here is my problem with this whole free will issue. When looking at the “lowest,” most automatic of our brain functions, such as body homeostasis, movement control, balance, and so on, it is easy to understand this as determined because the brain mechanisms just take in sensory information and output an action without conscious thought. At the highest levels of brain function that include consciousness, cognition, emotion, and decision making, all the output of the much more complicated brain processing is based on sensory data, inborn and learned proclivities, and memory, so they are also determined. This is abundantly clear when looking at people who have suffered some kind of brain damage. Nobody can be free of this or would even want to be free of this. This is also determinism. Even in instances where one makes the decision to do something random because there is no basis for a decision is a determined action. What does anyone think is a thought or action that is outside of one’s brain processes or that they think would demonstrate free will? The free will/determinism issue is a false dichotomy.
« Last Edit: 29/12/2010 21:25:39 by SteveFish »
 

Offline QuantumClue

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Do humans have free will?
« Reply #29 on: 29/12/2010 21:49:30 »
I believe determinism exists. Indeterminism is a concept where meaning does not exist. Using logical thought, since our universe follows a principle of least action ∫ Mv ds = ∫ p dq would have our universe work the most efficient way. Efficiency would result in some type of meaning, reducing a concept to its most simplistic form.

Because of this, one must assume that indeterministic universes cannot exist at this lower component of understanding.
 

Offline Christina

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Do humans have free will?
« Reply #30 on: 30/12/2010 09:34:11 »

if we know the current condition of a system which works in accordance with rules than we can compute its condition in the future... that's why i see the whole universe's future determined... i don't say that we or the designer has the ability to compute the future but it's determined

so the free will is illusory only... nobody is responsible for his decisions... we are just robots in the theatre

WHAT? OK, seems we need to define our terms here prior to any discussion on whether humans have free will. Obviously, we can't do Anything we want just because we want to; I am not free, for example, to jump over tall buildings in a single bound. However, given the choice between doing something that I desire to do and one I don't necessarily feel like doing, and assuming that I have the physical and mental capacity to do either, I've been known to totally forget about Newton's 3rd law and do the thing I FEEL like doing.  I am generally a hedonist, and although I may well know that said choice will eventually lead to a negative result, I exercise my free will to seek my pleasure now and deal with the effects at some future date.

"God" may have prior knowledge of the course that I will choose to follow, but he'll only have knowledge of the future that I CHOSE. It's almost as if he first turns to the last page of the autobiography he's reading, so even as he reads he knows what will eventually happen. But that does not mean that he caused the book to end as it does.

This human had the free will to make stupid decisions for years despite of her education and intellect. I wish that I had chosen to do things a bit differently, but without the freedom to make my own choices I might as well be a television set. [8D]
 

SteveFish

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« Reply #31 on: 30/12/2010 15:57:05 »
Christina, just going against what you think might be the best choice is not free will. You made your choice because you felt like it and there is a reason and history to your feeling. If we define free will as ones ability to make bad choices it makes the free will question trivial and suggests that self centered teenagers and criminals have the most free will. Steve
 

Offline sliffy

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« Reply #32 on: 31/12/2010 14:02:28 »
Christina,

yes, you have free will... you can decide... but your decisions are computable so your free will is illusory
just think of a robot >> does it have free will? yes, it can decide and act free but it makes decisions by it's sense organs and it's program... that's why it's decision are computable and it hasn't real free will >> like us

we also have sense organs (ear, eye...) and program (dna) ...


 

Offline yor_on

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« Reply #33 on: 31/12/2010 22:58:45 »
No, its good arguments but its still a clock work universe building on the concept that if we only knew it all. The only way to know it all is actually to look at what already happened. The problem being that even when we do so if we are three persons we will get three versions. I say free will exist, even though circumstanced by our beliefs and ideas etc etc.

Assume that you decide to do what you do by throwing a dice first, letting that symbol define you action? Assume also that the you don't know what the choices are, being someone else's? Your free choice is to be in this game or not. What happens once you join is a very free expression of that first choice. And there is no way for you to backtrack the action to your actual 'state of mind'. And I can easily think up any number of reasons to why you might join :) Also we have 'bifurcations' coming at some point in time, impossible to backtrack, and 'many paths' etc. I think indeterminacy is 'built in' in our universe.
 

SteveFish

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« Reply #34 on: 01/01/2011 02:01:27 »
Yor_on, your post is so difficult to understand that I have to think that it is meaningless. Perhaps someone would like to interpret it for me (Geezer?) so that I might be able to respond. Steve
 

Offline Geezer

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« Reply #35 on: 01/01/2011 04:57:42 »
I think Yoron is simply pointing out that "Life is but a bag o'shells."

(Sorry about the poor pun, I should have said "Life is but a bagatelle")
 

Offline sliffy

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« Reply #36 on: 01/01/2011 10:03:07 »
yor_on,

my native language is not english, please explain your opinion more detailed... i'd like to understand

1. imagine the whole universe working by it's rules but without material... is it's future determined?  i guess yes... it would remain as it is... vakuum forever

2. imagine the universe with 1 elektron only... push the elektron and let it move... is the future of the universe determined? i guess yes... even you could compute the elektron's position in the future

3. why do yu think that the result is not the same if the universe is filled with material? with planets and living being on them? the universe's condition in the future is determined because of the working rules... i think
« Last Edit: 01/01/2011 10:05:09 by sliffy »
 

SteveFish

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« Reply #37 on: 01/01/2011 16:38:40 »
So, Yor_on thinks that because there are many choices in life and, because once a choice is made it is impossible to backtrack, that the universe is indeterminate, and Geezer interprets this, in turn, as meaning that life is but a trifle. I am confused.
 

Offline sliffy

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« Reply #38 on: 01/01/2011 17:08:24 »
it seems that the number of choices is infinity... but it isn't... your choice is computable >> there is one path in the time only... one event follows the other

do you think that animals have free will?
i think no... they have neither... they are bio robots as well... not so complex like us of course but they make decisions based on their inputs as well (eye, ear and other sense-organs...)
« Last Edit: 01/01/2011 17:10:17 by sliffy »
 

Offline yor_on

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« Reply #39 on: 01/01/2011 17:20:58 »
Okay, it might have to do with my choice of English. Look at it this way then. We have an indeterminacy in all things physical, do you guys agree?

If you do, do you agree to that humans fall under the 'physical' category too?

If you, as me, think we all belong to a physical system called 'SpaceTime' and also accept the indeterminacy, what the he* does that have to do with free will?

To me the equivalence is there. Free will is something where you can't say what's going to happen just by looking backwards, when it comes to an individual.

But when using statistics we will still find certain patterns that makes it possible to plan ahead. And that makes us no different to the indeterminacy seen at a QM level that then still express itself in stable patterns like what we call 'matter'.

It's easy to prove 'free will' at a individual level, not as easy when looking at statistics as we then see this tendency of things to recur and 'stabilize'  :)

But let me turn it around, anyone ever proved the statement that you can 'predict' what a human will do, anywhere? Don't you think governments would love that idea? So perfectly behavioristic :)
 

Offline sliffy

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« Reply #40 on: 01/01/2011 17:31:42 »
yor_on,

you don't understand me... i don't say that god or anybody else can compute the future
i say that the whole system works by rules and that's why the world and our fate is determinated

we are talking about 2 things
1. you say that we have free will because we can decide between "a" or "b"
yes, i agree with that

2. i say this kind of free will is illusory because we are working by rules so our decisions are computable
« Last Edit: 01/01/2011 17:35:37 by sliffy »
 

Offline yor_on

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« Reply #41 on: 01/01/2011 17:53:18 »
Nope.
Not on the individual plane.

Turn your question around instead.
Is there anywhere in history we could say that one man/womans free will have made a big difference to us?

If there is, do that mean that one 'particle' can decide the behavior of a pattern?
 

Offline sliffy

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« Reply #42 on: 01/01/2011 18:06:43 »
i understand your question but i don't understand your meaning

Is there anywhere in history we could say that one man/womans free will have made a big difference to us?
we are talking about free will... i say there is no free will so in my opinion your question has no sense

i suggest let's start with the roots...

1. do you agree that everything in our universe work by rules?
« Last Edit: 01/01/2011 18:08:43 by sliffy »
 

Offline yor_on

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« Reply #43 on: 01/01/2011 18:12:24 »
Do you know them?
==

Look I think my point of view is simple.
Not difficult to comprehend.

And I've given what I see as good examples to why free will should exist.
Both expressed in negatives as positives.

As for what rules that steer this SpaceTime, that's a open question.
I do not have the answer.

And if you think you have?
Present them.
« Last Edit: 01/01/2011 18:15:46 by yor_on »
 

Offline yor_on

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« Reply #44 on: 01/01/2011 18:18:06 »
I can give you a hint for what I expect to steer them though.

Constants.
 

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« Reply #45 on: 01/01/2011 18:36:42 »
Yor_on. I agree with Sliffy. The inability of a government to predict human behavior only gives people some freedom from government, not free will. The inability to predict the future does not equate to free will. I presume that some of your invocation of indeterminate nature of the physical world has something to do with quantum mechanics. If so, you should state this up front so somebody might actually understand what you are talking about. I am not sure at all that the indeterminate properties of particles has any effect whatsoever at the level of reality that brains work in, or that if it did that it would have any importance to this discussion. Steve
 

Offline yor_on

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« Reply #46 on: 01/01/2011 18:42:27 »
Steve, I made my statement already. This is the second time you tell me that you don't understand what I'm saying :)

That's okay with me.
Just do your thing.
 

Offline sliffy

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« Reply #47 on: 01/01/2011 19:05:58 »
the rules are phisical rules
some of them know we already... a lot of them we have to discover
 
 

Offline yor_on

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« Reply #48 on: 01/01/2011 19:11:16 »
Sliffy, your question seems to come down to the question if SpaceTime can be seen as a 'whole process' where all things ultimately have to be 'accounted for' as they took place inside this 'closed system'. Looked at that way I will direct you to 'bifurcations' and then you should look at 'Feigenbaums constant'.

What you see there is non-linearity impossible to backtrack but still inside a 'linearity' represented by this Feigenbaum constant.

And the constant is the really interesting part here.
Once we thought the world to be a linear thing, steered by 'forces'
Then we realized that the linearity was like islands inside non-linearity.
Now we start to find that it is like dolls inside dolls inside dolls ins...

So I think free will exist, for sure.
But I don't know if it makes a difference.
Can you see my point better now?
« Last Edit: 01/01/2011 19:26:18 by yor_on »
 

Offline Joe L. Ogan

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« Reply #49 on: 01/01/2011 19:28:31 »
Everyone has limitations, i.e. Physical. intellectual, financial,  etc. etc.  Within those limitations, one has free will to act as one sees fit.  Thanks for comments.  Joe L. Ogan
 

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