Do Rats (and everyone else) have free will

Studies of mental functions, behaviors and the nervous system.

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Re: Do Rats (and everyone else) have free will

#81  Postby igorfrankensteen » Nov 29, 2014 8:11 pm

A couple of observations to consider, from an Historian's viewpoint...

first off, I have witnessed many times now, how current day researchers become enamored of some new research tool, and think that they have found THE answer needed to learn all things. They then leap to proclaim that they've "worked it all out now," and that we can all move on to discussing the consequences of the reality they declare that we live in. Then after a while...

ANOTHER research tool turns up, and further pushes the envelope of detectable activity, and we get a whole NEW episode of the "we've REALLY got it sussed THIS time!"

What I'm thinking of with that, is how this particular thread was triggered by a study which relies on the belief of the researchers, that they have correctly recognized where to look in a brain, to know what is or is not the first response or activity. That current model of human brain activity might or might not be correct and complete. Until it is known mechanically, what triggers what and why, it is a matter of assumption or deduction (neither being as reliable as actual knowledge) that we are dealing with.

My other small point is, that a different key phrase is needed in place of "free will," if one doesn't want to deal with moral or religious or other value-oriented concerns. I saw a lot of similar, but importantly differing definitions of "free will" mentioned in the other posts here.

And in particular on that, the fact that the study and thread is concerned with whether "free will" exists or not, does directly imply a value to the concept of Free Will, which has not been directly addressed. It is important that whatever value the thread starter is concerned with, BE directly discussed, or the only thing people CAN do, is flounder around with side issues.
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Re: Do Rats (and everyone else) have free will

#82  Postby DavidMcC » Nov 30, 2014 3:18 pm

Spearthrower wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
That doesn't answer the question.


Does that mean you think Jesus is a sunbeam?

Eh?? :scratch:
This thread is becoming non-sensical.


Precisely.

...Non-sensical, mainly because you brought Jesus into it!
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Re: Do Rats (and everyone else) have free will

#83  Postby Spearthrower » Nov 30, 2014 4:52 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:

Does that mean you think Jesus is a sunbeam?

Eh?? :scratch:
This thread is becoming non-sensical.


Precisely.

...Non-sensical, mainly because you brought Jesus into it!


No David - it's because you entirely misread the post.

I recapitulated Ughaibu's post which I was arguing against, and you asked me a question which implicitly asks whether I support the very position I was arguing against.

I tire of this with you - it's not the first thread, and I am sure it won't be the last - so I decided to respond in kind.

So yes, my response was indeed nonsensical because I was emulating the nonsense of your post - it's a case example and you can see from your own reaction to apparent nonsense why I also reacted to apparent nonsense by saying:

Spearthrower wrote:Who me?

Try reading it again, David.


If you would care to look back and read the post you replied to with the nonsensical non-sequitur and realize that you misread it, we can reboot from there. I guess that won't actually happen, but life is full of surprises, eh?
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Re: Do Rats (and everyone else) have free will

#84  Postby DavidMcC » Dec 01, 2014 1:29 pm

Spearthrower, my question regarding computer free will had nothig to do with anything ughaibu said, only with what you said in reply to him, in post #72. I wasn't paying any attention to ughaibu, but statements you make in reply to him have to stand on their own merit.
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Re: Do Rats (and everyone else) have free will

#85  Postby mindhack » Dec 01, 2014 1:44 pm

Selective reading has its downsides.
(Ignorance --> Mystery) < (Knowledge --> Awe)
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Re: Do Rats (and everyone else) have free will

#86  Postby Spearthrower » Dec 01, 2014 1:52 pm

DavidMcC wrote:Spearthrower, my question regarding computer free will had nothig to do with anything ughaibu said, only with what you said in reply to him, in post #72. I wasn't paying any attention to ughaibu, but statements you make in reply to him have to stand on their own merit.



So you do actually think Jesus was a sunbeam! :o
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Re: Do Rats (and everyone else) have free will

#87  Postby Spearthrower » Dec 01, 2014 1:59 pm

Spearthrower wrote:
ughaibu wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:
ughaibu wrote:If plants make and implement conscious choices from amongst realisable alternatives, then plants have free will.
I thought there might just be a little more to it than the first formulation! :)
My first post on this thread is number seven.


That as may be, Ughaibu - I was only responding to the quotation I cited - that all that's needed to evidence free will is that an agent can control some of their actions. Many objects we wouldn't attribute free will to can control some of their own actions.


Having experienced this with David before, I think I will ensure some clarity for others reading - even then, of course, I don't expect David to accept what is manifestly apparent to anyone with a reasonable level of reading comprehension.

I responded to Ughaibu's position which I summarized as being 'all that's needed to evidence free will is that an agent can control some of their actions' - clearly, that's not my position, that's me providing a synopsis of the one Ughaibu stated.

My rebuttal to that is that 'many objects we wouldn't attribute free will to can control some of their own actions' - i.e. that Ughaibu's account is insufficient because there are things which control their own actions which we would not infer have free will.

And of course, David's Jesus Sunbeam response:

DavidMcC wrote:
Does that mean that you think computers can have free will? :o


Clearly, that doesn't follow from anything I've said - in fact, it's precisely the contrary to what I was arguing - that the ability to control some actions does not infer free will.

This is entirely typical and entirely expected. To be clear, I am not accusing David of serial misrepresentation, just serial miscomprehension.
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Re: Do Rats (and everyone else) have free will

#88  Postby DavidMcC » Dec 01, 2014 2:39 pm

Whatever.
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