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Can we consciously reprogram our subconscious so that it makes a different set of decisions, thus reclaiming free will?
... convert lesbians and gay men to heterosexuality by techniques including aversive treatments, such as "the application of electric shock to the hands and/or genitals," and "nausea-inducing drugs...administered simultaneously with the presentation of homoerotic stimuli,"
It's a nice paradox - in a deterministic world we have no choice but to act as if we have free will
Form another point of view, looking at the same process, it can be said that you don't have free will because what happens is just a complex series of causes and effects, a combination of internal states and external influences going through complex and extended processing to produce a result. There will be a deterministic events (hopefully the majority) and random events involved.
But even if one never figures out the whole predestination question, the interplay between the conscious and subconscious is still intriguing.
I read about this one experiment -it was set up like a card game. The people in the experiment had to play a high or low card, depending on what they thought was going to come up in the deck. They weren't told whether the numbers in the deck they were playing against were random or not. In actuality, there was a pattern to the numbers in the deck, and if you figured it out, you could play the right card and "win." But the pattern was complex enough that most people could not identify it before the game was over. However the researchers discovered that most people got a lot better at the game over time, and won a lot more, even though they said they couldn't see a pattern, or didn't think there was one ("I was just guessing" "I got lucky there at the end"). The researchers saw this as evidence that the participant's brain's had started to figure out the pattern before they were actually conscious of it. That's rather interesting when you think about it. Math is supposed to be one of those higher level thinking, pre-frontal cortex, tasks along with other kinds of logic and reasoning, not a "subconscious" activity. The sub-conscious has long been thought of as the domain of primitive, animal appetites and urges, emotions, aggression, neurosis, etc. But the more I read about problem solving, recognition of patterns and other brain activity below conscious awareness, the more I pay attention to my "gut feelings" about situations, which in the past I had always regarded as irrational or unreliable at best.