1. Post #241
    Stagan's Avatar
    January 2010
    121 Posts
    Of course twins would to something different. unless their lives were completely identical in every way, they would make different choices. And don't you see? You are a biochemical reaction. Your choices are decided by chemical reactions in the brain. Your thoughts are results of chemical reactions. There is no choice, only an illusion.
    Well, since i am a biochemical reaction, and the biochemical reaction makes the choice, it is technically me making the choice. Choices are decided by things happening in my brain. Mine, me. The thoughts there completely unique to anybody else's. Therefore, i would class choice as a reality, simply because of it's individuality. Perhaps in animals of lesser cognitive function, choice is an illusion, but the human brain, in all it's complexity must handle it differently.

  2. Post #242
    The Kakistocrat's Avatar
    November 2011
    1,353 Posts
    When I say you are a biochemical reaction, I say that because your personality, your thoughts, your ideas are all part of the illusion created by the brain, just like you choices. and choice in animals is the same as in humans. the only difference is in how complex the reaction is.

  3. Post #243
    Stagan's Avatar
    January 2010
    121 Posts
    When I say you are a biochemical reaction, I say that because your personality, your thoughts, your ideas are all part of the illusion created by the brain, just like you choices. and choice in animals is the same as in humans. the only difference is in how complex the reaction is.
    That's a pretty solid argument, but i just find it hard to comprehend that all which humans have achieved over time is the result of a grand illusion.

  4. Post #244
    dgg
    I ❤ Angel Beats
    dgg's Avatar
    October 2005
    26,478 Posts
    I would say that free will exists as long as your definition of "free" is not "able to modify the outcome." We are free to chose, but the decision we will ultimately come to is predetermined.
    That is exactly what free will is. An illusion of being able to chose, the choice is there but the choice you make is predetermined. You formulated it perfectly.

    That's a pretty solid argument, but i just find it hard to comprehend that all which humans have achieved over time is the result of a grand illusion.
    It's not hard at all.

    We discover things and we experiment with them with other things, and as such we learn how they work and then we use that knowledge on other things and learn how they work and before you know it (many many thousand years) we are able to split atoms.

  5. Post #245
    What the fuck. I can choose to sit over here in this chair, or i can sit over there in that chair. I define that as free will. I make the choice, not some biochemical reactions.
    Lol no sorry

    Edited:

    Well, since i am a biochemical reaction, and the biochemical reaction makes the choice, it is technically me making the choice. Choices are decided by things happening in my brain. Mine, me. The thoughts there completely unique to anybody else's. Therefore, i would class choice as a reality, simply because of it's individuality. Perhaps in animals of lesser cognitive function, choice is an illusion, but the human brain, in all it's complexity must handle it differently.
    People make this argument all the time and I have to ask what sense it makes to call the brain's evaluation of choices by itself "free will." It's just confusing the issue, and there's no point to it.

  6. Post #246
    dgg
    I ❤ Angel Beats
    dgg's Avatar
    October 2005
    26,478 Posts
    People make this argument all the time and I have to ask what sense it makes to call the brain's evaluation of choices by itself "free will." It's just confusing the issue, and there's no point to it.
    What I react to the most is how people distinguish ourselves from animals. I just never get it, why are we so different from animals? Why are we so much more special than animals?

    Superiority complex, goddamn you. It's almost the same difference as a hobo and a billionaire.

  7. Post #247
    Yeah, we're not different than animals at all except in the complexity of our brains. It doesn't change anything in terms of us having any actual choice.

  8. Post #248
    Well, since i am a biochemical reaction, and the biochemical reaction makes the choice, it is technically me making the choice. Choices are decided by things happening in my brain. Mine, me. The thoughts there completely unique to anybody else's. Therefore, i would class choice as a reality, simply because of it's individuality. Perhaps in animals of lesser cognitive function, choice is an illusion, but the human brain, in all it's complexity must handle it differently.
    This argument massively depends on this. If you take the physicalist account of the mind to be correct, that's one aspect of it, if you don't then you are lead to another conclusion.

    I personally disagree with this, I don't believe that the brain is all that makes the mind/us, thus the free will debate is somewhat different for me.

  9. Post #249
    dgg
    I ❤ Angel Beats
    dgg's Avatar
    October 2005
    26,478 Posts
    I personally disagree with this, I don't believe that the brain is all that makes the mind/us, thus the free will debate is somewhat different for me.
    Then the question is, what makes us?

  10. Post #250
    Gold Member
    Occlusion's Avatar
    March 2008
    6,632 Posts
    Um, since the brain is essentially a neural network of electricity, couldn't we say that (since electrons are quantum particles) that their randomness enables free thought.

  11. Post #251
    Then the question is, what makes us?
    Well then, that's the right question.

  12. Post #252
    Gold Member
    Block's Avatar
    December 2006
    781 Posts
    Um, since the brain is essentially a neural network of electricity, couldn't we say that (since electrons are quantum particles) that their randomness enables free thought.
    Is a random will a free will?

  13. Post #253
    dgg
    I ❤ Angel Beats
    dgg's Avatar
    October 2005
    26,478 Posts
    Well then, that's the right question.
    ...

    So you're making a claim that there is more than the brain that makes us but you have not a single theory or explanation for it?

    Edited:

    Um, since the brain is essentially a neural network of electricity, couldn't we say that (since electrons are quantum particles) that their randomness enables free thought.
    Why do you believe quantum particles are random?

    Just because we haven't figured out how they actually work yet doesn't make them random, they are just currently labeled as such since they SEEM random.

  14. Post #254
    ...

    So you're making a claim that there is more than the brain that makes us but you have not a single theory or explanation for it?

    Edited:



    Why do you believe quantum particles are random?

    Just because we haven't figured out how they actually work yet doesn't make them random, they are just currently labeled as such since they SEEM random.
    I'm sorry if I'm not willing to throw out some badly thought out explanation for something I don't understand properly. I never claimed I had a solution.

    All I'm saying is, I do not believe that physicalist accounts for the mind work.

  15. Post #255
    Benstokes's Avatar
    October 2009
    1,861 Posts
    IF the mind is purely physical (which I personally believe that it is, since there is no evidence to the contrary and no elements of the mind that have not been explained by physical sciences as of yet) then our brain is run purely by physical reactions, and by extension our decisions must be predetermined. That said, if you consider that pile of neurons and reactions to be "us," which I do, then we still have free will in the sense that it is "us" making the decisions. Whether or not that qualifies as free will depends on your definition of the word free.

  16. Post #256
    Thoughtless's Avatar
    September 2011
    689 Posts
    ...

    So you're making a claim that there is more than the brain that makes us but you have not a single theory or explanation for it?

    Edited:



    Why do you believe quantum particles are random?

    Just because we haven't figured out how they actually work yet doesn't make them random, they are just currently labeled as such since they SEEM random.
    They might as well be random, as one particle cannot be in exactly the same energy state as any other in the universe, there are too many options for them to be predictable.

    Another point I am going to bring to the debate is that you are not the same person you where a year ago, any matter that has stayed behind only stayed due to chance and that a lot of your brain is dedicated to keeping this illusion of cohesion between events. Just thinking about all the information and data our brain keeps from being processed by our conciseness and changed just to keep up these necessarily illusions is immense, Did you know you have a massive blind spot on your eye, where your optic never touches the back of your eye, and you never notice it. Just thinking about it makes my head hurt, and I suppose that's another defense against us breaking down completely.

  17. Post #257
    Gold Member
    AK'z's Avatar
    January 2011
    29,824 Posts
    This is the kind of discussion that makes people feel insignificant and dull.

    The way to defeat it is by talking about the mind. Science is baffled and in my opinion, forever will be.

  18. Post #258
    Thoughtless's Avatar
    September 2011
    689 Posts
    This is the kind of discussion that makes people feel insignificant and dull.

    The way to defeat it is by talking about the mind. Science is baffled and in my opinion, forever will be.
    Science isn't baffled by the mind, It's just scientists have to use their brain to look at how their brain works, and that's difficult.

    That's why physiology is a soft science, you are studying something that your brain is stopping you from studying.

  19. Post #259
    Gold Member
    AK'z's Avatar
    January 2011
    29,824 Posts
    Science isn't baffled by the mind, It's just scientists have to use their brain to look at how their brain works, and that's difficult.

    That's why physiology is a soft science, you are studying something that your brain is stopping you from studying.
    The fact that we can't extract the mind, makes it impossible for anyone to explain it.

    Psychology is indeed a soft science, interesting but not enough to give me the answers I need.

  20. Post #260
    Benstokes's Avatar
    October 2009
    1,861 Posts
    The fact that we can't extract the mind, makes it impossible for anyone to explain it.

    Psychology is indeed a soft science, interesting but not enough to give me the answers I need.
    We can't go out and touch the sun either, that doesn't mean we can't explain it; we can observe the effect it has and extrapolate from similar processes that are easier to observe directly. The human mind may be hard to study, but it certainly isn't impossible. We're doing quite well already, and I'm sure we'll get even better at it in the future.

  21. Post #261
    Gold Member
    johnlmonkey's Avatar
    March 2010
    6,816 Posts
    I don't think we have free will. I believe in determinism which basically states that, like the rest of the universe, our minds are subject to cause and effect. Thusly we do not decide, our minds simply give us the illusion that we have will as an evolutionary aid for survival. Its really extraordinary, some tests have been done that show that subconsciously the mind can make a choice as early as 7 seconds before we're even aware we've made a choice consciously.

  22. Post #262
    Gold Member
    AK'z's Avatar
    January 2011
    29,824 Posts
    We can't go out and touch the sun either, that doesn't mean we can't explain it; we can observe the effect it has and extrapolate from similar processes that are easier to observe directly. The human mind may be hard to study, but it certainly isn't impossible. We're doing quite well already, and I'm sure we'll get even better at it in the future.
    Yes we can. Photons from the sun are hitting us, therefore we can touch a part of the sun.

    Edited:

    and back to the mind, yes we can superficially judge people's actions. But only we ourselves can experience the glory.

    Edited:

    in our own way.

  23. Post #263
    matsta's Avatar
    September 2009
    347 Posts
    I define choosing as actually making a choice, not having your choice determined by some god or chemical reaction. And since our choices are made by a chemical reaction, we have no free will. Whenever we have to make a choice, the answer is already determined.
    1. Are you actually saying that chemical reactions make choices?
    2. If not, then does the concepts of choice exists for you? Define choice and the necessary conditions in which a choice can be made.

    Edited:

    Is a random will a free will?
    Actually, I use this argument against the traditional definition of free will. Somehow most people believe that free will is choosing something disregarding any influence that determines what we chose. AS I said before that wouldn't even work as a concept:

    If we choose we do it based on our beliefs and the circumstances or we do it randomly.
    If we do the first, then our choice is determined by them.
    If we do the second then 'we' don't choose.

    Freewill is to be defined only by choosing in a determined circumstance according to our beliefs. And that DOES happen.

  24. Post #264
    We can't go out and touch the sun either, that doesn't mean we can't explain it; we can observe the effect it has and extrapolate from similar processes that are easier to observe directly. The human mind may be hard to study, but it certainly isn't impossible. We're doing quite well already, and I'm sure we'll get even better at it in the future.
    This is having blind faith, something most people would disagree with.

    Also, as far as explaining consciousness, I'm not so sure we're doing 'quite well'

  25. Post #265
    Benstokes's Avatar
    October 2009
    1,861 Posts
    This is having blind faith, something most people would disagree with.

    Also, as far as explaining consciousness, I'm not so sure we're doing 'quite well'
    That statement is not based upon faith, and it is certainly not blind. The more questions science answers, the more new questions we discover. That has been the case since we started thinking critically about our surroundings. Just because the nature of consciousness is complicated and difficult to examine does not mean that we will never make any progress, that it is unexplainable. In a handful of decades we have made huge leaps in the fields of psychology, neurology, and biochemistry which have all given us a better picture of how the human mind functions. This isn't some great mystery; it is simply one of the more recent frontiers of science, and all evidence and observation of past trends points to us overcoming this one just like all of the others we have conquered. It is not, as far as we know, magical, and therefore our knowledge of it can be improved upon.

  26. Post #266
    This is having blind faith, something most people would disagree with.

    Also, as far as explaining consciousness, I'm not so sure we're doing 'quite well'
    Working under a theoretical assumption (e.g. consciousness has wholly physical causes) based on previous data (nothing supernatural has been shown to exist) which may not be provable yet because the study of related phenomena is still in its infancy, but continuing to use it because it has not been shown to be wrong, is not blind faith. It is how science works.

  27. Post #267
    Benstokes's Avatar
    October 2009
    1,861 Posts
    Working under a theoretical assumption (e.g. consciousness has wholly physical causes) based on previous data (nothing supernatural has been shown to exist) which may not be provable yet because the study of related phenomena is still in its infancy, but continuing to use it because it has not been shown to be wrong, is not blind faith. It is how science works.
    THANK you. That's exactly right.

  28. Post #268
    dgg
    I ❤ Angel Beats
    dgg's Avatar
    October 2005
    26,478 Posts
    I'm sorry if I'm not willing to throw out some badly thought out explanation for something I don't understand properly. I never claimed I had a solution.

    All I'm saying is, I do not believe that physicalist accounts for the mind work.
    I'm still asking what you think actually makes the mind work.

    I think it's silly to claim that people have blind faith and such and then you seem to do the exact same. Believeing that the brain is affected by something else as well but having no theories for it (or at least not sharing them).

    "No, the mind must be affected by something else, but I have absolutely no idea what, whatsoever and I will not even attempt to understand what that other thing is whatsoever". That's what I'm hearing right now.

  29. Post #269
    Gold Member
    MrWhite's Avatar
    March 2010
    3,594 Posts
    Not to completely derail the current conversation and the progression thereof (I merely mean to add on to it since it seems rather stagnated currently), but think about this:

    If, in fact, the human consciousness (or illusion of such) and it's choice-making processes are completely controlled by physically observable and alterable chemical reactions, would it then be possible to modify these chemical reactions in such a way as to modify one's choices?
    ...
    In typing the above, I think I just answered my own question. Wouldn't psychoactive drugs be a great example of the modification of the illusion of free choice? Free choice is based on a set of chemical processes, and by introducing a new process or modifying an existing one, one could observe a change in choice-making.
    ...
    I need to sleep. I always get this way when I'm sleep deprived. It's horrible for my faith, as I start questioning myself and my own choices. Ouch. My head.

  30. Post #270
    Dennab
    August 2011
    3,194 Posts
    so what are they? and if they are derived from physical phenomena, why doesn't physics apply to them? I am made of atoms, and as such anything that affects atoms affect me. why is it not the same for minds?

    Edited:



    Exactly. Unless there is such thing as a soul, there is no free will.
    A soul and a conscious are interchangeable, and there is definitely such thing as a conscious.

  31. Post #271
    dgg
    I ❤ Angel Beats
    dgg's Avatar
    October 2005
    26,478 Posts
    Not to completely derail the current conversation and the progression thereof (I merely mean to add on to it since it seems rather stagnated currently), but think about this:

    If, in fact, the human consciousness (or illusion of such) and it's choice-making processes are completely controlled by physically observable and alterable chemical reactions, would it then be possible to modify these chemical reactions in such a way as to modify one's choices?
    ...
    In typing the above, I think I just answered my own question. Wouldn't psychoactive drugs be a great example of the modification of the illusion of free choice? Free choice is based on a set of chemical processes, and by introducing a new process or modifying an existing one, one could observe a change in choice-making.
    ...
    I need to sleep. I always get this way when I'm sleep deprived. It's horrible for my faith, as I start questioning myself and my own choices. Ouch. My head.
    Simply changing the way it works wouldn't make it independent though, it would just make it different.

    Instead of being predetermined to say yes in a situation you are predetermined to say no.

    And the fact that your brain was going to be changed with psychoactive drugs was predertimened as well, so nothing actually changed.

  32. Post #272
    Bat-shit's Avatar
    October 2010
    12,981 Posts
    Our brain and the biochemistry created the things we choose from? Like which chair to sit on, or which educational route to go for, or whatever.

    Same goes for your normal animals like dog, they sometimes choose to do dumb or funny things. It's their brain that allows them to do stuff ("making choices") and humans are exactly the same, except there are a Hell of a lot more choices for us to choose from.

    So free will or no free will, our brains are something quite miraculous. It's the key to all of this, even this debate and the choice of words we use to debate.

  33. Post #273
    Benstokes's Avatar
    October 2009
    1,861 Posts
    Our brain and the biochemistry created the things we choose from? Like which chair to sit on, or which educational route to go for, or whatever.

    Same goes for your normal animals like dog, they sometimes choose to do dumb or funny things. It's their brain that allows them to do stuff ("making choices") and humans are exactly the same, except there are a Hell of a lot more choices for us to choose from.

    So free will or no free will, our brains are something quite miraculous. It's the key to all of this, even this debate and the choice of words we use to debate.
    True, except I'd use the word "amazing" or "unlikely" rather than miraculous, to keep the tiller from pointing due religious debate.

    That said, how is this relevant to the discussion?

  34. Post #274
    matsta's Avatar
    September 2009
    347 Posts
    We can't go out and touch the sun either, that doesn't mean we can't explain it; we can observe the effect it has and extrapolate from similar processes that are easier to observe directly. The human mind may be hard to study, but it certainly isn't impossible. We're doing quite well already, and I'm sure we'll get even better at it in the future.
    Actually, 'the human mind' can be studied in terms of some*thing*, but not in terms of a subject. That's what I said when compared a third-person wit ha first-person point of view. We CAN study the human mind in terms of an object we perceive as a third-person observer, but we may never be able to completely understand subjective experience in terms of it.

  35. Post #275
    Benstokes's Avatar
    October 2009
    1,861 Posts
    Actually, 'the human mind' can be studied in terms of some*thing*, but not in terms of a subject. That's what I said when compared a third-person wit ha first-person point of view. We CAN study the human mind in terms of an object we perceive as a third-person observer, but we may never be able to completely understand subjective experience in terms of it.
    I see your point, but just because we can't be entirely subjective doesn't mean we can't meaningfully study the human mind. It makes it more difficult, sure, but it's still entirely possible.

  36. Post #276
    matsta's Avatar
    September 2009
    347 Posts
    I see your point, but just because we can't be entirely subjective doesn't mean we can't meaningfully study the human mind. It makes it more difficult, sure, but it's still entirely possible.
    Actually, imo, it makes it impossible. There are things in subjectivity which even the most detailed third-person (or so called 'objective') analysis can't gasp just because it IS A THIRD-PERSON ANALYSIS and tries to draw itself back from subjectivity.

    Edit:

    It must be clear that I'm not at all saying that we can't conclude that some facts about ourselves are true. I'm saying that we can only conclude them as long as they are 'objective' facts, that's how science works.

  37. Post #277
    I'm still asking what you think actually makes the mind work.

    I think it's silly to claim that people have blind faith and such and then you seem to do the exact same. Believeing that the brain is affected by something else as well but having no theories for it (or at least not sharing them).

    "No, the mind must be affected by something else, but I have absolutely no idea what, whatsoever and I will not even attempt to understand what that other thing is whatsoever". That's what I'm hearing right now.
    Believing that the mind is affected by something else? I said that I didn't believe that the physicalist account was necessarily true, and that the brain was that what defined us and was the mind.
    Anything else you've said, has been layered on by you.
    So, let me put this crystal clear for you dgg.

    "I do not believe that the physicalist accounts for consciousness are necessarily correct, and that consciousness or personal identity are the mere result of chemical reactions".

    Just because I don't believe something is true because of flaws in the explanation provided by it, does not necessitate I have an alternative.

    Edited:

    Working under a theoretical assumption (e.g. consciousness has wholly physical causes) based on previous data (nothing supernatural has been shown to exist) which may not be provable yet because the study of related phenomena is still in its infancy, but continuing to use it because it has not been shown to be wrong, is not blind faith. It is how science works.
    You're having faith in the solution of the problem eventually, based on the fact that you believe another aspect of the problem has been ruled out.
    I do not believe there is anything but faith in this solution, because I don't believe that science has made any headway into the problem of consciousness or identity, or the science has successfully ruled out non-physical explanations or other explanations of consciousness.

    I am also not the only one who has questions about the way science functions in this respect.

  38. Post #278
    Bat-shit's Avatar
    October 2010
    12,981 Posts
    True, except I'd use the word "amazing" or "unlikely" rather than miraculous, to keep the tiller from pointing due religious debate.

    That said, how is this relevant to the discussion?
    How is it not relevant? Our brains are like no other.

  39. Post #279
    Benstokes's Avatar
    October 2009
    1,861 Posts
    Actually, imo, it makes it impossible. There are things in subjectivity which even the most detailed third-person (or so called 'objective') analysis can't gasp just because it IS A THIRD-PERSON ANALYSIS and tries to draw itself back from subjectivity.

    Edit:

    It must be clear that I'm not at all saying that we can't conclude that some facts about ourselves are true. I'm saying that we can only conclude them as long as they are 'objective' facts, that's how science works.
    Oh, well yes, now that I see what you're saying a little more clearly, I agree. Just like anything else, we will only be able to observe objectively.

    How is it not relevant? Our brains are like no other.
    Our brains are certainly more developed than that of other creatures, but I don't see how that matters in a discussion about free will; if humans have free will, dogs must have it as well and vice versa. We both make decisions by the same processes, even if ours are more complex.

  40. Post #280
    Bat-shit's Avatar
    October 2010
    12,981 Posts
    So it's almost like we have a free will. If you don't go by the weird definition of it, we have a free will.

    The only thing that restricts our free will is handcuffs or a prison cell or something like that. Imo anyway.