Posted: Nov 29, 2016 2:53 pm
by GrahamH
Fenrir wrote:
archibald wrote:

In one of the experiments I linked to, the researcher found that the brain makes a decision before (up to 7 seconds before) the brain's owner becomes aware of it, to the extent that the researchers can predict, significantly above chance, what the brain's owner will do before he or she either does it or is conscious of having decided to do it.

That appears to undermine the idea of free will, and I would love to hear how it does not.

I don't see how this undermines the possibility of free will. Just because I am not conscious of making a decision does not mean I did not. Much is happening below the surface, so what if I'm not directly aware of it?

Unless you cobsider my subconscious as not part of me.

Some people make much of "conscious choosing", even to the extent that they take it as obvious that we have free will because we have this experience of making a choice. If the choice is made before consciousness of choosing that concept of free will is undermined. Can you have "unconscious choosing"? Perhaps, but the whole concept gets pretty vague by that stage. What is will if not conscious thought preceding action?

The boundaries become pretty vague as well. It might seem reasonable to extent "me" to include the brain, and the body. Why not include encounters the body has leading up to decision? Why not include your deep past? Aren't your genes "you"? What about all the people I know?

What all the other people I don't know but have encountered however minimally?