Free Will

on fundamental matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind and ethics.

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Re: Free Will

#13261  Postby surreptitious57 » Apr 04, 2019 2:10 pm


I should have said that there is less gravity on the Moon not none
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Re: Free Will

#13262  Postby Destroyer » Apr 04, 2019 2:58 pm

Anyway, just to clarify: all bodies that contain lifeforms that have awareness that makes choices and have aims are totally dependent upon electrical stimulus/neurons for their motivations. Therefore, despite the ability to have aims and make choices, those lifeforms are nevertheless under the constraints of those impulses
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Re: Free Will

#13263  Postby scott1328 » Apr 04, 2019 4:01 pm

Destroyer wrote:Anyway, just to clarify: all bodies that contain lifeforms that have awareness that makes choices and have aims are totally dependent upon electrical stimulus/neurons for their motivations. Therefore, despite the ability to have aims and make choices, those lifeforms are nevertheless under the constraints of those impulses

Plants are lifeforms with no neurons and they do perfectly fine.

Give it a rest with these sweeping generalizations. You are generalizing from a very tiny sample set.
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Re: Free Will

#13264  Postby surreptitious57 » Apr 04, 2019 4:08 pm

Destroyer wrote:
Anyway just to clarify : all bodies that contain lifeforms that have awareness that makes choices and have aims are totally dependent upon electrical stimulus / neurons for their motivations. Therefore despite the ability to have aims and make choices those lifeforms are nevertheless under the constraints of those impulses

But are these physical constraints actually greater than the moral constraints that affect our free will decisions ?
I think not for free will is ultimately about choices and especially moral choices rather than the firing of neurons
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Re: Free Will

#13265  Postby LucidFlight » Apr 04, 2019 4:15 pm

Moral constraints determined by a population of humans with neurons firing inside their heads?
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Re: Free Will

#13266  Postby GrahamH » Apr 04, 2019 4:21 pm

surreptitious57 wrote:
Destroyer wrote:
Anyway just to clarify : all bodies that contain lifeforms that have awareness that makes choices and have aims are totally dependent upon electrical stimulus / neurons for their motivations. Therefore despite the ability to have aims and make choices those lifeforms are nevertheless under the constraints of those impulses

But are these physical constraints actually greater than the moral constraints that affect our free will decisions ?
I think not for free will is ultimately about choices and especially moral choices rather than the firing of neurons


"moral constraint's" don't directly act on humans there are no moral constraints out in the world, so something in humans must be impacted by sensory stimuli, construct moral evaluations and I'd suggest it's the material structure of neurons that does that, "makes decisions" and acts on them.

If one conluded that this all electrical activity between networks of neurons one might ponder whether "moral constraints" or signals in brains" are driving decision making.
Why do you think that?
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Re: Free Will

#13267  Postby surreptitious57 » Apr 04, 2019 4:25 pm

LucidFlight wrote:
Moral constraints determined by a population of humans with neurons firing inside their heads

It does sound rather strange but only because free will is usually framed as a moral or philosophical question rather than
a neuroscientific one. But you cannot exercise free will without a functioning brain so the neurons are actually necessary
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Re: Free Will

#13268  Postby surreptitious57 » Apr 04, 2019 4:33 pm

I think that moral choices come more from evolutionary psychology rather than neuroscience
Neuroscience can explain the mechanics but evo psy can explain why we make moral choices
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Re: Free Will

#13269  Postby Destroyer » Apr 04, 2019 7:39 pm

scott1328 wrote:
Destroyer wrote:Anyway, just to clarify: all bodies that contain lifeforms that have awareness that makes choices and have aims are totally dependent upon electrical stimulus/neurons for their motivations. Therefore, despite the ability to have aims and make choices, those lifeforms are nevertheless under the constraints of those impulses

Plants are lifeforms with no neurons and they do perfectly fine.

Give it a rest with these sweeping generalizations. You are generalizing from a very tiny sample set.

This discussion is about life with free will i.e. having the awareness to make conscious choices and determine one's aims. I don't think that you will find plants falling into that category.
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Re: Free Will

#13270  Postby Destroyer » Apr 04, 2019 7:45 pm

surreptitious57 wrote:
Destroyer wrote:
Anyway just to clarify : all bodies that contain lifeforms that have awareness that makes choices and have aims are totally dependent upon electrical stimulus / neurons for their motivations. Therefore despite the ability to have aims and make choices those lifeforms are nevertheless under the constraints of those impulses

But are these physical constraints actually greater than the moral constraints that affect our free will decisions ?
I think not for free will is ultimately about choices and especially moral choices rather than the firing of neurons

Where exactly do we measure these moral constraints?
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Re: Free Will

#13271  Postby GrahamH » Apr 04, 2019 7:50 pm

Destroyer wrote:
scott1328 wrote:
Destroyer wrote:Anyway, just to clarify: all bodies that contain lifeforms that have awareness that makes choices and have aims are totally dependent upon electrical stimulus/neurons for their motivations. Therefore, despite the ability to have aims and make choices, those lifeforms are nevertheless under the constraints of those impulses

Plants are lifeforms with no neurons and they do perfectly fine.

Give it a rest with these sweeping generalizations. You are generalizing from a very tiny sample set.

This discussion is about life with free will i.e. having the awareness to make conscious choices and determine one's aims. I don't think that you will find plants falling into that category.


It doesn't look that way to us, but how would we know? Plants communicate with each other, move and respond to stimuli. Maybe they are conscious. Maybe they choose which way to grow or when to flower. Getting well into the woo zone some people claim that talking or thinking kindly to plants affects how they grow.
I don't believe that, but I don't see how we would be able to tell definitively if plants have free will.

I also note that this definition of free will with conscious choices and aims is not the only one we have seen in this topic. Some don't mention awareness or aims at all.
Why do you think that?
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Re: Free Will

#13272  Postby Destroyer » Apr 04, 2019 7:58 pm

GrahamH wrote:
Destroyer wrote:
scott1328 wrote:
Destroyer wrote:Anyway, just to clarify: all bodies that contain lifeforms that have awareness that makes choices and have aims are totally dependent upon electrical stimulus/neurons for their motivations. Therefore, despite the ability to have aims and make choices, those lifeforms are nevertheless under the constraints of those impulses

Plants are lifeforms with no neurons and they do perfectly fine.

Give it a rest with these sweeping generalizations. You are generalizing from a very tiny sample set.

This discussion is about life with free will i.e. having the awareness to make conscious choices and determine one's aims. I don't think that you will find plants falling into that category.


It doesn't look that way to us, but how would we know? Plants communicate with each other, move and respond to stimuli. Maybe they are conscious. Maybe they choose which way to grow or when to flower. Getting well into the woo zone some people claim that talking or thinking kindly to plants affects how they grow.
I don't believe that, but I don't see how we would be able to tell definitively if plants have free will.

I also note that this definition of free will with conscious choices and aims is not the only one we have seen in this topic. Some don't mention awareness or aims at all.


Humans can believe whatever they want... There are even more complex definitions of life that includes language and self-awareness to remove plants from the picture altogether.
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Re: Free Will

#13273  Postby surreptitious57 » Apr 04, 2019 8:31 pm

Destroyer wrote:
surreptitious57 wrote:
Destroyer wrote:
Anyway just to clarify : all bodies that contain lifeforms that have awareness that makes choices and have aims
are totally dependent upon electrical stimulus / neurons for their motivations. Therefore despite the ability to
have aims and make choices those lifeforms are nevertheless under the constraints of those impulses

But are these physical constraints actually greater than the moral constraints that affect our free will decisions ?
I think not for free will is ultimately about choices and especially moral choices rather than the firing of neurons

Where exactly do we measure these moral constraints ?

Morality is an abstract concept and so is not something that can be measured
However it does exist because it is a consequence of evolutionary psychology
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Re: Free Will

#13274  Postby felltoearth » Apr 04, 2019 9:53 pm

At what point is language developed enough to sufficiently support free will?
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Re: Free Will

#13275  Postby GrahamH » Apr 05, 2019 8:15 am

felltoearth wrote:At what point is language developed enough to sufficiently support free will?


Why would you need language to have free will?
Why do you think that?
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Re: Free Will

#13276  Postby Svartalf » Apr 05, 2019 9:33 am

GrahamH wrote:
felltoearth wrote:At what point is language developed enough to sufficiently support free will?


Why would you need language to have free will?

language per se, not, but its development is an indicator of mental ability and of self awareness. As such, it show how sentient you have become, and that you have evolved from mechanical animal to free willed sentient.

Yeah, I know even animals have a degree of self awareness and that the 'mechanical animal" view of things is wrong, but do dogs and other beast truly have free will too?
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Re: Free Will

#13277  Postby Destroyer » Apr 05, 2019 9:49 am

surreptitious57 wrote:
Destroyer wrote:
surreptitious57 wrote:
Destroyer wrote:
Anyway just to clarify : all bodies that contain lifeforms that have awareness that makes choices and have aims
are totally dependent upon electrical stimulus / neurons for their motivations. Therefore despite the ability to
have aims and make choices those lifeforms are nevertheless under the constraints of those impulses

But are these physical constraints actually greater than the moral constraints that affect our free will decisions ?
I think not for free will is ultimately about choices and especially moral choices rather than the firing of neurons

Where exactly do we measure these moral constraints ?

Morality is an abstract concept and so is not something that can be measured
However it does exist because it is a consequence of evolutionary psychology

It is neither moral constraints, lifeforms, consciousness, Self-awareness, or any other form of intelligence that governs the movement of mass. It is entirely the forces of gravity and electro-chemical impulses that rule the movements of physical bodies. The efficacy of such movements can be measured. All else is just wishful thinking.
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Re: Free Will

#13278  Postby GrahamH » Apr 05, 2019 9:50 am

Svartalf wrote:
GrahamH wrote:
felltoearth wrote:At what point is language developed enough to sufficiently support free will?


Why would you need language to have free will?

language per se, not, but its development is an indicator of mental ability and of self awareness. As such, it show how sentient you have become, and that you have evolved from mechanical animal to free willed sentient.

Yeah, I know even animals have a degree of self awareness and that the 'mechanical animal" view of things is wrong, but do dogs and other beast truly have free will too?


There are a lot of arbitrary criteria for free will being assumed here from human experience as if that is all essential.


By one definition free will that was recently presented, elaborated a bit, requires:
awareness (what is the situation, senses, interpretation)
aim (objective, on various timescales from next step to intermediates to long term)
judgement (evaluate possible aims to select most favourable action
Make the move
Do we need to insert language in there? I don't think so.

Why wouldn't dogs have free will, if we have it?
They have awareness. They can sense the world and understand something about what is happening or what is potentially about to happen (e.g. Walkies).
They seem able to convey desires to go out, to get food, to be petted and so on, so they have aims.
They seem to select between options (e.g. chase the ball, chase the squirrel or have a crap)
They surely don't need to have a internal monolog abut it.
Why do you think that?
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Re: Free Will

#13279  Postby LucidFlight » Apr 05, 2019 10:10 am

Does an amoeba have free will to move around its environment, or is it simply displaying a freedom of movement? Perhaps there is some combination of these? It is alive, after all.
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Re: Free Will

#13280  Postby GrahamH » Apr 05, 2019 10:12 am

LucidFlight wrote:Does an amoeba have free will to move around its environment, or is it simply displaying a freedom of movement? Perhaps there is some combination of these? It is alive, after all.


Who knows? One can't tell if one's own choices are free will so deciding for other organisms is impossible.


The amoeba is said to be one of the simplest organisms to show behavior. By this I mean that its spontaneous activity is modified and modulated by changes in the environment. It responds adaptively to various kinds of physical and chemical stimuli and wages battle with both predators and prey.

https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.10 ... -1962-7_13



One criteria could be whether you believe an organism can in any sense plan ahead so it decides based on what may happen rather than what has already happened. I don't know how that would be possible with amoebae.
Why do you think that?
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