Free will illusion?

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Reply Fri 20 Jun, 2008 08:16 pm
I read about the benjamin libet stuff on conscience. WHat is this theory of free will being an illusion. I believe that I at some point in my action I can choose to stop or continue the action. I have choice. I believe that my choices are based upon why I would make the choice, and therefore one could say that a choice is a retrospect of all reasons. That doesn't mean that choices are already made for me, or don't exist, so what is this idea that free will is an illusion?!
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sat 21 Jun, 2008 01:03 am
@Holiday20310401,
Libet thought there was room for free will.
 
de budding
 
Reply Sat 21 Jun, 2008 03:03 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Quote:
I believe that I at some point in my action I can choose to stop or continue the action. I have choice. I believe that my choices are based upon why I would make the choice, and therefore one could say that a choice is a retrospect of all reasons


I don't think choice alone is the key to free will because then you should be able to find freedom in a prison by choosing to twiddle your thumbs, choosing looking left over looking right etc. What seems to be more the case is an innate judgment of the size and variety of our current palette of choices. Imprisonment seriously limits the palette down to the size of minor, personal choices of action and thought and the power to plan a situation and fulfill the plan is gone because- firstly, the only information and materials for planning in a prison are the ones in our own head and then even after the small personal choices of thought are made (planning in your head in the prison) you don't have the capacity to fulfill them (ideally). Is this the feature of prison that makes it imprisoning? A prisoners wish to leave the cell and see her spouse is part of a larger, less focused urge to have the ability to leave the cell in order to have a larger palette of choice- one encompassing plans of action outside the cell walls, any specific examples no matter how compelling (seeing a spouse, being home, eating cake) are confabulations to keep us sane by having goals and focus (or something, I'm no psychologist).

Any way this perspective implies freedom is not in choice but in planning and preparation, this way when a limited choice is presented (peas or carrots?) we have a larger ****nal (< lol was a.r.s.e.n.a.l- hah! Very Happy) of information to call upon and we don't have to rely on the very limiting personal preference which depends on personal experience which is of course extremely subjective and no good to your palette of choice.

A alternative is to destroy the palette of choice completely with conviction! Know what is right, what you want and go forth to do it- this way even Sisyphus can find freedom by choosing to push the rock up the hill after it rolls back down, by making it his quest and choice through blind conviction he denies all, albeit through delusion.

Dan.
 
No0ne
 
Reply Sat 21 Jun, 2008 04:37 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401 wrote:
I read about the benjamin libet stuff on conscience. WHat is this theory of free will being an illusion. I believe that I at some point in my action I can choose to stop or continue the action. I have choice. I believe that my choices are based upon why I would make the choice, and therefore one could say that a choice is a retrospect of all reasons. That doesn't mean that choices are already made for me, or don't exist, so what is this idea that free will is an illusion?!



Why did you type this post?

Because you wanted to type this post?

Or

Because another wanted you to type this post?


If you typed this post because of your own choice of wanting to, therefore it would be your will, and not the will of another making you do somthing..."hence your free will"

Yet you could be said the will of another led you to your action, yet you still have a "free will" choice to do it, or not to do it.

There are meany way's to effect a choice, by making the choice's limited or predictable.(Making an illusion of free will)

Yet your choice is your own, it depend's how much you are effected by the action's or thought's of another.

So...it could be said that some people have more free will than anotther, or more power over there self, action's, thought's, and choice's.

"slave's" have no free will, there will was the will of there master's, hence same gose for those that follow any religious movement, there will mainly follow's the will of there "god", and not there own, for they have made there will the will of there "god" therefore giving up power over there self, action's, thought's, and choice's. And also making there choice's limited and predictable, therefore making there free will just an illusion of free will, and not truly "free" will.

So this is one, of about ten point's of view and perception's of how free will can be seen as an illusion.

Dont know if this is the one pointed out by the person you speak of.

(Yes all choice's are made from you or another, yet it's your choice in which choice you pick, not another's)

(It's safe to say that's it's not a theory, but an effect created by cause and effect of are action's with other people and thing's within this existence, bound by are perception of such.)

But other's could disagree:rolleyes:
 
Renn
 
Reply Mon 14 Jul, 2008 04:23 pm
@No0ne,
I thought the whole theory of free will being an illusion is the idea that your genes...mean that every choice you make in life is already determined at birth. Free Will Vs. Determinism. That although I felt like I was making the decision to join a philosophy forum, my biological make-up meant that the decision infact, was an illusion because it was predetermined.

I suppose there are other angles to theories where free will doesn't exist but that is the one I hear most.
 
Lazarius
 
Reply Mon 14 Jul, 2008 04:32 pm
@Renn,
Your genes only determine your perchant to wards genetic illness and predisposition to familial disease. There are many aspects to 'choice' (Not counting Quantum Theory of Probability and Decisions).

Do not forget that people sometimes mistake 'free will' as only the inevitable, and often confuse it with concepts like 'destiny' and 'fate' which are also very different ideals.
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Mon 14 Jul, 2008 06:19 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday,
Have you ever had a moment after having made a choice where you smacked your head and said to yourself "man I didn't even think of that!"? Free will in and of itself can not have causation. It has to be an uninfluenced choice from a pool of all possible choices. In the above example the limitation of your experience, faulty memory, and/or a variety of other phenomena restricted you from choosing from a pool of all possible choices, giving the choice you did make a causal connection to experiential influence, lack of experiencial influence, cultural norms and biases, personal norms and biases, perhaps physical restraints due to factors like learning dissabilities or physical handicap. An intersting book on Free Will is The Problem of The Mind by Flannagen
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Mon 14 Jul, 2008 06:41 pm
@GoshisDead,
And if we had an ultimate pool of choices to choose from, meaning unlimited knowledge that can be conceived in an instant, would a choice really be a choice? Having the ability to choose is based on having perspective on relative instances but in an infinite perspective choice is relatively undefined. Choice would have to become either linear, or acausal. What a great way to know the future. Not really free will because free will or being free would mean a limited insight. If we have infinite knowledge then all actions would have to be based 100% on the insight of the knowledge. There is no room for the self to be a premise of such causation. Free will should imply coexisting with intentions. 'Intentions' is relative, not linear; intentions would not exist with a future predetermined for al choices would coexist with what is already known to happen, which is what is produced from an infinite pool of choices.

We are better off with a mind than that of some divinity. We are better off living in the ignorance of most insight than having complete insight, and therefore ironically, no control of one's own actions.

Also, just a bit off topic but .... this would imply that if such a divine being of omnipotence, like God, would not be possible unless God had 100% control over all of life's choices. It would imply that God is the container if it exists and is the force driving the force of causality sort-to-speak.

What free will should truely imply is being constrained in every aspect in some way however minimal, but at least not be constrained by wisdom.
[CENTER]
But this is just based upon my limited insight on the matter, I'm sure you'd have a lot more to say in contradiction to it all. Laughing
[/CENTER]
 
paulhanke
 
Reply Mon 14 Jul, 2008 09:26 pm
@Renn,
Renn wrote:
Free Will Vs. Determinism.


... that's really the crux of the matter - but did you go far enough in describing determinism? ... that is, what of free will in a universe where the current state of the universe was entirely determined at the Big Bang?

Some think that quantum fluctuations are a way out - that is, "free will" happens when quantum waves collapse in the brain ... but is that really "free will" or just random chance?

Daniel Dennett has a different take on free will ... in his view, a completely determined universe can still evolve creatures with "free will" - from his perspective, free will is advantageous to creatures that must act in the real world based upon limited information in order to survive ... the upshot of this view, however, is that this kind of free will is an illusion - an omniscient being with perfect information would be able to see through the illusion, but we are neither omniscient nor do we have access to perfect information ... but just like Kant's views on perception and reality (whether what we perceive is reality or not, for all practical purposes what we perceive might as well be reality), whether we really have free will or not, for all practical purposes we might as well have free will.

An alternative is that the universe is not deterministic ... but in what sense could there be "mathematics" or "science" is a non-deterministic universe?
 
Renn
 
Reply Tue 15 Jul, 2008 02:16 am
@Lazarius,
Lazarius wrote:
Your genes only determine your perchant to wards genetic illness and predisposition to familial disease. There are many aspects to 'choice' (Not counting Quantum Theory of Probability and Decisions).

Do not forget that people sometimes mistake 'free will' as only the inevitable, and often confuse it with concepts like 'destiny' and 'fate' which are also very different ideals.


Yes but its the more radical side of the theory. ^^


Quote:
An alternative is that the universe is not deterministic ... but in what sense could there be "mathematics" or "science" is a non-deterministic universe?


Well we can't 'choose' our 'fate' or 'destiny'. But what I mean is that the free will illusion theory is saying that every choice we make in life... whether it be to study maths or to not get married, is determined already at birth because of your genes. Not that whether you are going to get hit by a bus at the age of 20 is determined. Though I bet some radical philosopher in support of this theory might say that your genes made you clumsy and gave you poor eyesight but that is to much on the whole, what is inevitable idea...

I don't personally believe the idea as I'm more on the nurture side of what affects people when they are making decisions.

I was looking at it more from a free will point of viewish in humans and/or other creatures with free will. Mathematics and science is more a cause and effect... you have the number 2, you multiply it by 3 and as a result you get 6, 2 days later, I don't think the number 2 will decide to have an output of 5 in the same scenario. If the free will Vs. Determinism debate exists in mathematics and science (talking about the concepts etc. not scientists or people.) then I think it is overstretching the idea.

(ack, wanted to say more but yet again, have to go, to school. yay)
 
Lazarius
 
Reply Tue 15 Jul, 2008 02:02 pm
@Renn,
Renn wrote:
Yes but its the more radical side of the theory. ^^ )


I am a very radical man. *High cheekboned smile*



Renn wrote:
Well we can't 'choose' our 'fate' or 'destiny'. But what I mean is that the free will illusion theory is saying that every choice we make in life... whether it be to study maths or to not get married, is determined already at birth because of your genes. )


Well, I do not place much belief in this theory as I find it impossible to understand how any cognitive future decisions could be omnipresent in genes at birth.

Well, you do remember all those theories regarding the fact that IF someone had advanced knowledge of any given event. and tried to change it, they would in essence be setting up the scenario 'causing' the event.

I wrote a post on another forum about what I called a 'tangent theory' - I'm still working it out and it has so many 'holes' in it as yet..BUT I settled on one distinguishing factor.

In a scenario as the one I mentioned above, where you had advanced knowledge of a event and tried to change it using YOUR OWN free will (Because you did not like the reality of it):

You are in essence doing an Act in the future, in order to TAKE your rightful place in the past (Or the present as we see it).



Renn wrote:
I don't personally believe the idea as I'm more on the nurture side of what affects people when they are making decisions. )


I may just drop the scroll and post a massive Nature Vs. Nurture thread, if there is not already one. I plan to go in-depth about that.

Renn wrote:

(ack, wanted to say more but yet again, have to go, to school. yay)


Well, get back from school soon, there is important substance to debate!


Lazarius
 
No0ne
 
Reply Tue 15 Jul, 2008 02:10 pm
@Renn,
Renn wrote:
I thought the whole theory of free will being an illusion is the idea that your genes...mean that every choice you make in life is already determined at birth. Free Will Vs. Determinism. That although I felt like I was making the decision to join a philosophy forum, my biological make-up meant that the decision infact, was an illusion because it was predetermined.

I suppose there are other angles to theories where free will doesn't exist but that is the one I hear most.


Ya, you shouldnt have seen the one that I spoke of, since I had just made it up when I wrote it:rolleyes:

But a fact is a fact, and the truth is the truth;)
 
No0ne
 
Reply Tue 15 Jul, 2008 02:14 pm
@Lazarius,
Lazarius wrote:
Your genes only determine your perchant to wards genetic illness and predisposition to familial disease. There are many aspects to 'choice' (Not counting Quantum Theory of Probability and Decisions).

Do not forget that people sometimes mistake 'free will' as only the inevitable, and often confuse it with concepts like 'destiny' and 'fate' which are also very different ideals.



There are unknown variable's that the gene's and Quantum Theory of Probability and Decisions dont know, therefore making them flawed an unable to fully dictate your action's or control your action's from birth to death...

So I'm sure that are gene's dont hold all the finite amount of variable's that we would encounter from birth to death... nor would some one's table of quantum probability and decision's include all the variable's that a person could or would encounter from birth to death...

So it's safe to say that there all still just a "theory" and not a plain fact...

Albert. Einstein made a puzzle that was ment to show that probability is allway's flawed due to unknown variable's, and he also said only 2% of people that read his puzzle would know that, that's what it was trying to teach...

Dont know if you all heard of it, it's the one about "who own's the fish"
 
No0ne
 
Reply Tue 15 Jul, 2008 02:37 pm
@No0ne,
Mainly it's out side interference that make's the unknown variable's...

Or a flawed analyzation of the situation, therefore a corrupted list is created of all the dictation of what you will do from birth to death...

It would be way diffrent if everyone was born at the same time...

Hence person (A) is born, then person (B) is born, person (B) effect's the life of person (A)...

Person (A)'s gene's didnt know that person (B) would be born and effect person (A)'s life...

So that very fact, show''s that and I quote "free will illusion theory is saying that every choice we make in life... whether it be to study maths or to not get married, is determined already at birth because of your genes" is false....

Sadly a simple mathmatical variable simualtion show's that the gene's could not know that the unknown variable's of person (B) would effect the predetermined life of person (A). (and also disprove's that theory of free will illusion)

Intelect:rolleyes:
 
socrato
 
Reply Sun 27 Jul, 2008 09:48 pm
@No0ne,
I don't get it. I can choose to eat whenever I plz, wherever, however, with whoever and whatever. Whats the problem, isn't this freedom?
 
No0ne
 
Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2008 02:23 pm
@socrato,
socrato wrote:
I don't get it. I can choose to eat whenever I plz, wherever, however, with whoever and whatever. Whats the problem, isn't this freedom?


You freedom depends on the thing's that your allowed or "free" to eat...

Hence freedom has been limited by another or your self, or nature.
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2008 03:41 pm
@No0ne,
Can you choose not to be hungry?
 
de Silentio
 
Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2008 07:31 pm
@GoshisDead,
You can choose to cut out your stomach, therefore choosing not to feel hunger and choosing death at the same time.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Mon 28 Jul, 2008 11:16 pm
@de Silentio,
Could you be hungry without other people to limit your hunger in the first place. Well rather the first thing needed is other people for one's own existence and virtue, the way a species and society functions nowadays.

So who cares if you re limited or tainted by the actions of others. One could not act without another action, otherwise at least, actions would have no meaning if it were to only be a prelude to another one of one's own actions.

So lets stop saying we don't have free will, it is like a positive illusion rather than false.
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Tue 29 Jul, 2008 11:58 am
@Holiday20310401,
The main problem with the debate about free will is one that stems from a judeo-christian judgment standpoint. If one is to be judged for ones sins then it is necessary that one has a non-causal utterly free will. This is not to say that their aren't influences (temptation) only that at the core there is nothing causing or limiting choice on a sub-conscious level e.g. genetics, habituation, upbringing, cultural norm and the like.

So if we are to allow for the sub and epi-conscious restrictions upon our will then of course we have free will, if we are not allowing for these free will becomes debatable because the aregument is traditionally not so much whether free will exists, it is what are the ramifications of doctrine and dogma if it doesn't.
 
 

 
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