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NonScientist

Please tell me we have free will

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You can be quite certain there is free will.  

Reality is an infinite number of orders of magnitude too chaotic for consciousness to be driven by any sort of chemical reaction or mechanical process.  The belief in preordination and predeterminism is caused by a belief in perception and physical "law".  

Apropos of nothing in particular you'll never see anyone who believes there is no free will lie down in front of a train to prove his point.  

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14 minutes ago, cladking said:

You can be quite certain there is free will.  

..some people after natural or unnatural disaster, accident, death of family member, say "God's will!" or "Allah's will!" (which is the same)... so, apparently, they are disagreeing with you..

 

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1 hour ago, cladking said:

Apropos of nothing in particular you'll never see anyone who believes there is no free will lie down in front of a train to prove his point.  

Maybe because that has nothing to do with free will. Oddly, you'll never see anyone who believes there is free will lie down in front of a train to prove their point, either. 

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I’ve been watching and reading a lot of stuff on this, and I conclude (for now) that it’s an axiom and a dead end topic. It leads to tons of riddles and paradoxes we don’t seem capable of solving. I just have to figure out a way to get this topic off my mind, because it’s literally driving me crazy. I’ve been in an existential crisis and funk for the past three days that has probably been the most uncomfortable of my life. I want it to end.

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What's stopping you from ending your funk and existential crisis now?

I’m reminded of an old saying... did you really have a bad day, or did you just have a bad 5 minutes that you milked all day. 

Will your worry make things better? If no, then there is no use worrying. If yes, then there’s still no need to worry. It’s a waste of your time and health. 

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4 hours ago, Sensei said:

..some people after natural or unnatural disaster, accident, death of family member, say "God's will!" or "Allah's will!" (which is the same)... so, apparently, they are disagreeing with you..

 

What any individual believes has no bearing on whether or not free will exists.  

It's irrelevant  whether or not a Deity exists. 

3 hours ago, Strange said:

Maybe because that has nothing to do with free will. Oddly, you'll never see anyone who believes there is free will lie down in front of a train to prove their point, either. 

If there's no free will what is stopping people from harming themselves?  There are plenty of miserable people yet very few wait for the train on its  tracks. 

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2 hours ago, iNow said:

What's stopping you from ending your funk and existential crisis now?

I’m reminded of an old saying... did you really have a bad day, or did you just have a bad 5 minutes that you milked all day. 

Will your worry make things better? If no, then there is no use worrying. If yes, then there’s still no need to worry. It’s a waste of your time and health. 

I’m basically over it now. I thought about it, and I decided that this thought having control over me is depleting my free will. If I have free will, then I can will myself into feeling better.

I DO genuinely believe in free will. Like I said before, will is not the same as ability. Throughout this funk I’ve been in, my will was to stop the funk, but I lacked the ability for a bit. But eventually I started overcoming it.

I actually don’t think determinism in itself means there is no free will. I could be consciously deciding my every thought/action, but it could still be determined by the laws of physics.

 I’m also going to keep researching this “backwards time referral” concept. It has been demonstrated in studies before. It’s very interesting.

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And yet you’ve remained in a funk for days without the ability to escape it. What type of freedom is that?

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2 minutes ago, iNow said:

And yet you’ve remained in a funk for days without the ability to escape it. What type of freedom is that?

No. I just said I’m better now.

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5 minutes ago, NonScientist said:

No. I just said I’m better now.

Is that example of lack of free will? i.e. somebody forced you to have better feeling.. ? ;)

 

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5 minutes ago, Sensei said:

Is that example of lack of free will? i.e. somebody forced you to have better feeling.. ? ;)

 

No, I convinced myself. I fought the harsh feelings.

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3 hours ago, NonScientist said:

No, I convinced myself. I fought the harsh feelings.

You resisted? Isn’t that in itself evidence of free will? You used the word convinced presumably against an overwhelming compulsion. Isn’t that in itself evidence of free will? I’m sorry if I’m being redundant? I thought of the Borg. Resistance is futile. Maybe not the most scientific approach? An imaginary species that states you have no free will, don’t resist, yet what is resistance if not free will?

 The compulsion was no longer controlling, the moment you convinced yourself to act in a manner that showed Free will.

Edited by jajrussel

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Personally when I throw a coin to make a choice I do exactly the contrary, but not always. I don't like a coin taking a decision for me.

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The question and answer may hinge on weather you have a choice. I recently faced an event where I willed an outcome knowing full well that consciously l had no choice I would liken it to  a coin toss I didn't care for it either. Post theory is that I had plenty of choices but made all the wrong ones, so maybe it wasn't as simple as a coin toss? Maybe it never really is? Now I presumably have  free will again, but they keep underscoring that at any second now, maybe not! Hmm...

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The idea of choice is really seductive, but when it comes with its own tyranny one has to question its value.

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Well, I have to say, after my week of delving into the scientific research and philosophy that has been done on free will, I’ve come out of it with a more confident belief in free will. I’ve also come to reject the notion that “billiard ball”, newtonian determinism can account for everything in the universe, which it clearly cannot, and no one disputes this.

I’ve also done quite a bit of looking into this “backward time referral” phenomenon, and it sure enough is very real, and has been replicated in probably a dozen different neuroscience studies that I’ve read so far, including the famous Libet study.

The Libet study also included experiments where (and I’m summarizing sloppily) Libet placed electrodes on the exposed brain of neurosurgery patients, and viewed their brain activity on EEG. He then conducted tests where he would stimulate a part of the person’s brain, and he noted that if the stimulation was sustained for 500ms, then there would be a conscious experience at the 30ms mark. He discovered that the 500ms of stimulation was the length of time required for “neuronal adequacy”. But he found that if stimulation was cut short of 500ms, then there would be no conscious experience at the 30ms mark. This is very strange, because seemingly the way to interpret this is that the conscious mind must know ahead of time whether or not neuronal adequacy will be achieved. If it isn’t, then the mind seems to not refer a subjective conscious experience.

This at the very least brings the belief that consciousness is “epiphenomenal” and “illusory” into question. But Libet himself concluded that our conscious mind actually lives in the near future, and refers our subjective experience backwards in time to the marker of each moment we experience (i.e. backward causality). This conclusion was actually never refuted. Some scientists were baffled by it, but no one has disputed this finding.

Libet also concluded that, while he still believed that the conscious mind was emerged from the physical brain, he believed his study showed that the mind is distinct from the physical brain. He concluded that the subjective referrals came entirely from the conscious mind, and that there was no evident neuronal basis to them. 

The backwards time referral phenomenon was also demonstrated other studies (and again I’m sloppily summarizing) which showed subjects various stimuli on the screen, and the subject’s showed the relating brain activity several seconds before the stimuli even appeared on the screen.

For me, this clearly means free will is real, but at the very least you can say this is interesting stuff. It shows that at least “billiard ball” determinism is not the whole picture in the universe, and if we showed that the mind ran on separate laws, it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve discovered a separate set of physical laws from Newtonian mechanics.

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I just faced one of those of course you have a a right to choose speeches. I did not say no, exactly.what I said is that I want to wait and think about it. Their response I assume was a standard legal response. They changed the wording from chose to refused so I felt pressured to change this apparently foolish choice I had made immediately. They also, started citing  policy that prevented me from participating in a program I was already participating in. They talk a good game, but there is only a similitude of free will designed to please the masses. Which can,so will be manipulated to control the individual. There is no free will in that manner. You can make choices. A teacher once taught me that. You might not have control of the choices,but you can choose.

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2 hours ago, jajrussel said:

A teacher once taught me that. You might not have control of the choices,but you can choose.

Yes, but which one?

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