1. Post #121
    A major fallacy that keeps being stated is that

    X is made up of atoms
    X's state can be predicted
    Humans are made of atoms
    Humans can be predicted

    This is a syllogism in much the way that

    A rock is not living
    A rock is made out of atoms
    A human is made of atoms
    A human is not living

    The issue is that there is a false predication that something acts in the same way despite it being from the same basic parts. It is affirming the consequent.

    If the position of rocks can be predicted then human action be be predicted
    The position of rocks can be predicted
    Human action can be predicted

    It is good to realize that the use of fallacy doesn't mean that free will exists, but it does mean that the argument doesn't work.
    That's not affirming the consequent. Affirming the consequent is an argument of the form:

    P -> Q
    Q
    Therefore, P

    That would have to be something like:

    If something is made of atoms, then its position can be predicted
    A human's position can be predicted
    Therefore a human is made of atoms

    None of those arguments were of that form. Your complaint is one against inductive reasoning.

  2. Post #122
    Neolk's Avatar
    November 2007
    1,047 Posts
    The fact that in any given moment I can decide to type "rat" or "acorn" or whatnot seems to be proof enough for me.

    Now some of you may say: "ah but don't you see? Thats the facade, its your biochemistry doing XYZ."

    If I 'believe' I have the ability to enact my fate, and the result happens, it might as well be free-will for all intents and purposes.

    Edited:

    Also consciousness is not a chemical reaction.

  3. Post #123
    Also consciousness is not a chemical reaction.
    Then what is it?

  4. Post #124
    The Kakistocrat's Avatar
    November 2011
    1,353 Posts
    The fact that in any given moment I can decide to type "rat" or "acorn" or whatnot seems to be proof enough for me.

    Now some of you may say: "ah but don't you see? Thats the facade, its your biochemistry doing XYZ."

    If I 'believe' I have the ability to enact my fate, and the result happens, it might as well be free-will for all intents and purposes.

    Edited:

    Also consciousness is not a chemical reaction.
    That believe is a chemical reaction. and how is consciousness not a chemical reaction? consciousness is created by our brains, which is one giant chemical computer.

  5. Post #125
    Neolk's Avatar
    November 2007
    1,047 Posts
    Then what is it?
    Consciousness exists grounded within reality but is on its own plane. It most certainly is not simply a chemical reaction because that would mean to imply that if one could replicate these experiments in a closed environment they would be able to create a conscious being.

    The fact of the matter is that there is not even close to being enough scientific data to do more than assert that actions are little more than just electrons firing off in other directions.

    And if actions and emotions were nothing more than brain states, then it would logically make sense that brain states would necessarily follow actions. If this was true, then everyone diagnosed with depression but not treated would either attempt suicide, or no one would.

  6. Post #126
    The Kakistocrat's Avatar
    November 2011
    1,353 Posts
    Consciousness exists grounded within reality but is on its own plane. It most certainly is not simply a chemical reaction because that would mean to imply that if one could replicate these experiments in a closed environment they would be able to create a conscious being.

    The fact of the matter is that there is not even close to being enough scientific data to do more than assert that actions are little more than just electrons firing off in other directions.

    And if actions and emotions were nothing more than brain states, then it would logically make sense that brain states would necessarily follow actions. If this was true, then everyone diagnosed with depression but not treated would either attempt suicide, or no one would.
    conscious exists in it's own "plane"? do you have any evidence to back up that claim? and there's more evidence supporting our theory then yours. we do know brains are electrical. also, no two brains have identical reactions. It isn't a closed experiment, results may very.

  7. Post #127
    Gold Member
    johnlmonkey's Avatar
    March 2010
    6,763 Posts
    Determinism is the only philosophy on free will I can agree with. I mean it makes sense, everything else in the universe is subject to cause and effect, why wouldn't our will? Many studies have shown that the mind can make decisions subconsciously seconds before a person makes a conscious choice.

  8. Post #128
    Gold Member
    Contag's Avatar
    July 2010
    11,828 Posts
    everything else in the universe is subject to cause and effect
    is it?

  9. Post #129
    Consciousness exists grounded within reality but is on its own plane.
    What reasoning or evidence supports this assertion? Is it even possible to support the assertion with evidence? If consciousness is not physical, by what means to you intend to prove this claim? Certainly it can't be investigated scientifically.

    It most certainly is not simply a chemical reaction because that would mean to imply that if one could replicate these experiments in a closed environment they would be able to create a conscious being.
    Yes. I don't see why not. We may not be able to create a conscious being at the moment, but I don't see why it is impossible in principle.

    The fact of the matter is that there is not even close to being enough scientific data to do more than assert that actions are little more than just electrons firing off in other directions.
    I think this is the closest thing in your post to being correct. Neuroscience is a very new field of study, but I think regardless that all evidence points toward consciousness being an entirely material phenomenon. All other phenomena as far as I know have materialistic explanations, or appear to be explainable materialistically, so I think it would take some rather extraordinary evidence to justify that the claim that consciousness is an exception.

    And if actions and emotions were nothing more than brain states, then it would logically make sense that brain states would necessarily follow actions. If this was true, then everyone diagnosed with depression but not treated would either attempt suicide, or no one would.
    Depression is a label for a broad variety of patterns of mental function. That you are depressed does not mean you suffer exactly the same illness as every other depressed person, or that it will manifest in the same way, or that you will act in the same way because of it. The brain may be mechanistic, but it is by no means simple. It responds to stimuli in a very complex and subtle way. No two people are exactly alike physically, nor do they exist in the same external physical conditions, so regardless of whether two people are depressed, it doesn't instantly determine whether or not they will kill themselves. I could say that two mathematical functions pass through the point (0,0), but it doesn't make them the same function.

  10. Post #130
    Gold Member
    Contag's Avatar
    July 2010
    11,828 Posts
    If free will doesn't exist, how would we make our social structure compatible with that?

  11. Post #131
    Rehabilitative criminal law. On a personal level, trying to understand why people do things we don't like and accounting for it rather than immediately leveling blame.

    Although any social structure is compatible with the idea of lack of free will, since lack of free will implies that our social structure is not actually determined by us. It will be what it will be.

  12. Post #132
    Gold Member
    Contag's Avatar
    July 2010
    11,828 Posts
    I suppose the trite and inevitable question is why bother, then?

  13. Post #133
    Why bother what?

  14. Post #134
    Gold Member
    Contag's Avatar
    July 2010
    11,828 Posts
    Why bother what?
    Why bother with anything?
    If we're set on rails of determinism why bother with notions of freedom?

  15. Post #135
    dgg
    I ❤ Angel Beats
    dgg's Avatar
    October 2005
    25,203 Posts
    The fact that in any given moment I can decide to type "rat" or "acorn" or whatnot seems to be proof enough for me.

    Now some of you may say: "ah but don't you see? Thats the facade, its your biochemistry doing XYZ."

    If I 'believe' I have the ability to enact my fate, and the result happens, it might as well be free-will for all intents and purposes.

    Also consciousness is not a chemical reaction.
    That is a logical response from you because you are thinking about free will, and naturally you want to believe you have free will and thus you think about the fact that you can think about rats and acorns, but that is only because that is what you thought of because you thought of free will. Which as you can see is your brain doing A because it was faced with B in the setting of C with a past of D.

    As I've mentioned earlier. Free will is an illusion that allows us to "choose" a better destiny, an attitude that regards free will as obsolete will just not give a fuck because "it was all meant to be this way anyways". Basically the whole discussion around free will is unecessary since we should act as if it exists anyways, but it's too interesting to let go.

    Haven't ever pondered about consciousness, but I would assume that is just our brain confirming for itself that it is actually living and doing things.

    Consciousness exists grounded within reality but is on its own plane. It most certainly is not simply a chemical reaction because that would mean to imply that if one could replicate these experiments in a closed environment they would be able to create a conscious being.

    The fact of the matter is that there is not even close to being enough scientific data to do more than assert that actions are little more than just electrons firing off in other directions.

    And if actions and emotions were nothing more than brain states, then it would logically make sense that brain states would necessarily follow actions. If this was true, then everyone diagnosed with depression but not treated would either attempt suicide, or no one would.
    You wouldn't just have to replicate experiments in a closed environment. You would need a human being being born by the same person at the same time at the same place in the same environment with the same people around it and with the same childhood. And I'm not talking about similar kind of people here, everything has to be completely identical down to a scale of impossible measurements, at least for now (and probably forever).

    But there is currently no reason to think otherwise, and like johnnymo said, there is really nothing else that doesn't follow that pattern. I think it's quite odd and stupid that people place human beings above everything else, although most of them even admit we've just evolved from apes (as far as we currently theorize and believe).

    No, because everyone has a completely different past and current. Their life situations are completely fucking different causing completely fucking different responses and actions towards their depression. A depressed porn star and a depressed cashier will have very different life situations causing very different reactions towards it, because there are billion other factors to account for. The easiest place to start with is the childhood and their genes.

    I suppose the trite and inevitable question is why bother, then?
    Because if you don't everything will go to hell.

    Why bother with anything?
    If we're set on rails of determinism why bother with notions of freedom?
    Previously covered this in this post. But take this other quote from one of my earlier posts on page 3 as well:

    Free will is something that doesn't exist but should be treated as if it does. You chose your own set destiny. If you go with the attitude that "everything happens for a reason so I just won't give a fuck" you "chose" to make bad decisions. Free will is an important illusion that makes your destiny better.
    People ponder about the meaning of their life all the time and the only actual conclusion they have ever come to is that there is no reason, so they'll just have to live to live to be happy and get kids that can bring the generations coming. Life is pointless, but why give a fuck? You live and your very existence is so impossible to explain you should just be thankful enough that you do exist.

  16. Post #136
    Bat-shit's Avatar
    October 2010
    11,142 Posts
    Yeah, sure, we learned how to split atoms 3000 years before christ.

    Oh wait, no we didn't.


    The only reason human beings are making all these tools and shit is because we have thumbs. That's the only reason. We could grip things and use them in ways no other animal can. Thus we could make tools out of rocks and sticks.


    But I'm really not going to argue with you at all if you are so retarded to bring in splitting atoms next to the discovery of rocks as weapons.
    Thanks for telling me that they didn't split atoms 3000 (or 3000 years before christ) years ago when they were using rocks as weapons.

    But stones as a weapon and splitting an atom just shows the variety of stuff human mind and body can do. I'm not arguing over anything here. Might as well call you retarded for whatever retarded reason like you telling me the most obvious shit, like the usefulness of our thumb or whatever the fuck.

  17. Post #137
    dgg
    I ❤ Angel Beats
    dgg's Avatar
    October 2005
    25,203 Posts
    Thanks for telling me that they didn't split atoms 3000 (or 3000 years before christ) years ago when they were using rocks as weapons.

    But stones as a weapon and splitting an atom just shows the variety of stuff human mind and body can do. I'm not arguing over anything here. Might as well call you retarded for whatever retarded reason like you telling me the most obvious shit, like the usefulness of our thumb or whatever the fuck.
    That's what you implied with your post.

    And it can do it because it's progressed and gathered more information that it can combine and try out and end up with new inventions. It is not in any way proof of free will, but rather proof that the influence of A and the observation of B causes C which is basically how everything works, everything is built upon everything else and that's the basic principle of the way we learn and act and do everything we do.

  18. Post #138
    Gold Member
    Robbobin's Avatar
    June 2007
    7,926 Posts
    That's not affirming the consequent. Affirming the consequent is an argument of the form:

    P -> Q
    Q
    Therefore, P

    That would have to be something like:

    If something is made of atoms, then its position can be predicted
    A human's position can be predicted
    Therefore a human is made of atoms

    None of those arguments were of that form. Your complaint is one against inductive reasoning.
    The 2nd argument was something like affirming the consequent, but that wasn't the one relevant to the discussion

    Edited:

    A crudely put argument against free will would be something like this:

    1) X is an atomic structure -> X is predeterimined
    2) humans are atomic structures
    3) therefore they are predetermined
    4) X is predetermined -> it has no free will
    5) therefore humans have no free will

    I can object to 1 and 4 - the only ones that count. So this crude rendition of the deterministic argument is faulty.

    (I'm not using a strawman here; I'm not trying to say anything about the more justified deterministic arguments.)

  19. Post #139
    Gold Member
    Turnips5's Avatar
    January 2007
    6,968 Posts
    Consciousness exists grounded within reality but is on its own plane. It most certainly is not simply a chemical reaction because that would mean to imply that if one could replicate these experiments in a closed environment they would be able to create a conscious being.
    And why do you think this is impossible?

  20. Post #140
    Gold Member
    Robbobin's Avatar
    June 2007
    7,926 Posts
    One of my lecturers last year opened my eyes to the fact that consciousness can actually be reduced down to a system of flag waving. Imagine trillions of people all waving flags, performing the same function as the brain (imagine we could recreate this function). According to the functionalist account of consciousness, this system of flag waving is in and of itself a conscious entity. Frankly I love this idea; I don't see why so many people abhor to the possibility of consciousness not having to be squidgy.

  21. Post #141
    One of my lecturers last year opened my eyes to the fact that consciousness can actually be reduced down to a system of flag waving. Imagine trillions of people all waving flags, performing the same function as the brain (imagine we could recreate this function). According to the functionalist account of consciousness, this system of flag waving is in and of itself a conscious entity. Frankly I love this idea; I don't see why so many people abhor to the possibility of consciousness not having to be squidgy.
    Have you given Gdel, Escher, Bach a look? You'd like it.

  22. Post #142
    Gold Member
    Robbobin's Avatar
    June 2007
    7,926 Posts
    Have you given Gdel, Escher, Bach a look? You'd like it.
    Still no! I remember you telling me about it a while ago and it sounds really fascinating! I'll look into it now.

  23. Post #143
    Gold Member
    CrashLemon's Avatar
    November 2007
    937 Posts
    -snip-

  24. Post #144
    Gold Member
    Turnips5's Avatar
    January 2007
    6,968 Posts
    One of my lecturers last year opened my eyes to the fact that consciousness can actually be reduced down to a system of flag waving. Imagine trillions of people all waving flags, performing the same function as the brain (imagine we could recreate this function). According to the functionalist account of consciousness, this system of flag waving is in and of itself a conscious entity. Frankly I love this idea; I don't see why so many people abhor to the possibility of consciousness not having to be squidgy.
    I love this idea too. It doesn't necessarily make it true, but I don't see many problems with it, other than we don't actually know how specific the conditions needed for consciousness are.

  25. Post #145
    Bat-shit's Avatar
    October 2010
    11,142 Posts
    That's what you implied with your post.

    And it can do it because it's progressed and gathered more information that it can combine and try out and end up with new inventions. It is not in any way proof of free will, but rather proof that the influence of A and the observation of B causes C which is basically how everything works, everything is built upon everything else and that's the basic principle of the way we learn and act and do everything we do.
    Alright well that's a good way to put it..

    Anyway.. what's there left to say? Our brains are simply miraculous if you think of all the things we've built.

  26. Post #146
    Gold Member
    PederPauline's Avatar
    February 2007
    688 Posts
    If a computer can't do what it's not programmed to do, how can we?
    Assuming our consciousness is physical, we are just more advanced computers.

  27. Post #147
    dgg
    I ❤ Angel Beats
    dgg's Avatar
    October 2005
    25,203 Posts
    Alright well that's a good way to put it..

    Anyway.. what's there left to say? Our brains are simply miraculous if you think of all the things we've built.
    Existence is miraculous. But using our abilities and using our bodies to the extent they can be used is not all that miraculous. It does however seem miraculous to most of us.

    If a computer can't do what it's not programmed to do, how can we?
    Assuming our consciousness is physical, we are just more advanced computers.
    Well, we can't.

  28. Post #148
    Gold Member
    Luxo's Avatar
    February 2008
    4,102 Posts
    "If the brain were so simple we could understand it, we would be so simple we couldn't."
    - Lyall Watson

  29. Post #149
    Gold Member
    Contag's Avatar
    July 2010
    11,828 Posts
    "Lyall Watson is a bit of a nutjob, as evidenced by the following bookcover (reading it causes brain damage and is not recommended)"
    - Contag, this post


  30. Post #150
    Gold Member
    Luxo's Avatar
    February 2008
    4,102 Posts
    "Lyall Watson is a bit of a nutjob, as evidenced by the following bookcover (reading it causes brain damage and is not recommended)"
    - Contag, this post
    I can assume this is speaking from personal experience?

  31. Post #151
    Thoughtless's Avatar
    September 2011
    689 Posts
    "Lyall Watson is a bit of a nutjob, as evidenced by the following bookcover (reading it causes brain damage and is not recommended)"
    - Contag, this post

    But he does have a point, it's very difficult for a complex system to understand itself.

  32. Post #152
    dgg
    I ❤ Angel Beats
    dgg's Avatar
    October 2005
    25,203 Posts
    But he does have a point, it's very difficult for a complex system to understand itself.
    Yes and no.

    I completely agree with the saying though. But I think it applies more to details, to get that 100% understanding about how everything about it works and what causes it to work and such. But understanding how it works in the very basics should be possible.

    Don't think I would ever label anything as impossible to understand though. Pretty much everything we have made and use today was deemed impossible at some point, the limit for what's impossible and what is possible is stretched every day. Computers may be restricted from the programmers knowledge, but it can do more with the programmers knowledge than the programmer him/herself, so who knows, information going back and forth between humans and computers could at some day possibly map the whole human brain and how it works. Unlikely, yes, possible, I would assume so.

  33. Post #153
    Japanese Cerberus
    Dennab
    August 2011
    8,076 Posts
    Do we live in a world without hypothetical questions?
    There you go.

  34. Post #154
    Do we live in a world without hypothetical questions?
    There you go.
    Thank you for this utterly irrelevant post

  35. Post #155
    Gold Member
    Dennab
    January 2005
    4,680 Posts
    i'm going to ignore the extreme pseudo intellectualism in this thread and just chip in my two cents

    it makes no sense to me that an action I take now determines an action I'll take at an arbitrary point in the future and that's just the way it is. I understand the concept being discussed - that no matter what action I take, I do it because the context of the situation that has developed dictates no other "right" path for me to take, so I'll only do that - but I think it's ignorant to believe that since there's no way of observing it let alone falsifying it. that isn't to say that free will is different in that respect, but I know I have the right to choose from moment to moment, which in my opinion counts for more than this blather about physics dictating biochemistry and biochemistry dictating our mind therefore the laws of nature dictates our intelligence and consciousness. Basically, I can only take seriously what I experience.

  36. Post #156
    but I think it's ignorant to believe that since there's no way of observing it let alone falsifying it.
    doesn't make a whole lot of sense to try to claim that it's irrational not to believe in free will by rejecting a basic assumption of the sciences: that everything has a material cause

  37. Post #157
    dgg
    I ❤ Angel Beats
    dgg's Avatar
    October 2005
    25,203 Posts
    i'm going to ignore the extreme pseudo intellectualism in this thread and just chip in my two cents

    it makes no sense to me that an action I take now determines an action I'll take at an arbitrary point in the future and that's just the way it is. I understand the concept being discussed - that no matter what action I take, I do it because the context of the situation that has developed dictates no other "right" path for me to take, so I'll only do that - but I think it's ignorant to believe that since there's no way of observing it let alone falsifying it. that isn't to say that free will is different in that respect, but I know I have the right to choose from moment to moment, which in my opinion counts for more than this blather about physics dictating biochemistry and biochemistry dictating our mind therefore the laws of nature dictates our intelligence and consciousness. Basically, I can only take seriously what I experience.
    But having the right to chose isn't the same as being able to chose.

    We always have choices, but there is only one choice we will take, and it is pre-determined by the past combined with the present.

  38. Post #158
    God's Pimp Hand's Avatar
    May 2010
    1,380 Posts
    We always have choices, but there is only one choice we will take, and it is pre-determined by the past combined with the present.
    When people are repeatedly given a handful of choices and still happen to choose the same option time and time again, they do it not because they lack free will, but because there's rarely any reason for them to pick a different choice. Life is short, and usually there's only a few ways to achieve the optimal level of happiness that a person perceives they can attain, so naturally the range of choices a person will make throughout their life will seem rather small and rigid. But do not mistake that for lack of free will.

  39. Post #159
    When people are repeatedly given a handful of choices and still happen to choose the same option time and time again, they do it not because they lack free will, but because there's rarely any reason for them to pick a different choice. Life is short, and usually there's only a few ways to achieve the optimal level of happiness that a person perceives they can attain, so naturally the range of choices a person will make throughout their life will seem rather small and rigid. But do not mistake that for lack of free will.
    You're missing the point. Regardless of the "choice" the that was made, it was the only possible outcome. It's like flipping a coin. While it's in the air, you think that coin flip could come out either way. But it couldn't. From the moment it went up into the air, the conditions of the universe and the way it was flipped dictated exactly what the outcome of that coin toss would be. Even before it was flipped, other factors determined how it would be flipped. It's the same way with the human mind. It may be sensitive and difficult to predict, but it still obeys physical laws.

  40. Post #160
    dgg
    I ❤ Angel Beats
    dgg's Avatar
    October 2005
    25,203 Posts
    You're missing the point. Regardless of the "choice" the that was made, it was the only possible outcome. It's like flipping a coin. While it's in the air, you think that coin flip could come out either way. But it couldn't. From the moment it went up into the air, the conditions of the universe and the way it was flipped dictated exactly what the outcome of that coin toss would be. Even before it was flipped, other factors determined how it would be flipped. It's the same way with the human mind. It may be sensitive and difficult to predict, but it still obeys physical laws.
    This this this this this this this this and this.