Free Will

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Free Will

#1  Postby The Doctor » Mar 06, 2010 6:14 pm

Does free will exist? I'm interested in how you think it relates to the problem of evil.
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Re: Free Will

#2  Postby YanShen » Mar 06, 2010 10:24 pm

Libertarian free will doesn't exist. Since we are nothing more than the result of particles obeying the laws of nature. Whatever those laws may turn out to be.
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Re: Free Will

#3  Postby wonka08 » Mar 07, 2010 2:02 am

I don't think that Free Will in accordance with the Christian God could exist. If he is omniscient then he would know every decision of every person past and in the future. So our decisions would already be decided for us in the future, we're just following them.
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Re: Free Will

#4  Postby xrayzed » Mar 11, 2010 7:15 am

The Doctor wrote:Does free will exist? I'm interested in how you think it relates to the problem of evil.

In the sense of complete volitional autonomy, categorically not. We are all subject to conditioning, and are heavily influenced by circumstances.

Whether we have some degree of free will, or whether this is merely an illusion, is much harder to answer.
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Re: Free Will

#5  Postby FBM » Mar 18, 2010 10:57 am

Seems most likely to me that the sense of free will is closely related to the sense of agency that is produced in the parietal lobe (left, IIRC). I don't see any reason to think that it corresponds to anything in particular; it's just a sensation.

There's the work that Libet did that strongly suggests that decisions are made prior to conscious awareness of them. More recently, John-Dylan Haynes, et al, did some experiments that seem to show that decisions can happen unconsciously up to 10 seconds prior to conscious awareness of them. http://brainandlearning.blogspot.com/2008/04/do-we-have-freewill.html
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Re: Free Will

#6  Postby katja z » Mar 18, 2010 11:34 am

FBM wrote:Seems most likely to me that the sense of free will is closely related to the sense of agency that is produced in the parietal lobe (left, IIRC). I don't see any reason to think that it corresponds to anything in particular; it's just a sensation.

There's the work that Libet did that strongly suggests that decisions are made prior to conscious awareness of them. More recently, John-Dylan Haynes, et al, did some experiments that seem to show that decisions can happen unconsciously up to 10 seconds prior to conscious awareness of them. http://brainandlearning.blogspot.com/2008/04/do-we-have-freewill.html


That's interesting. The "power of the veto" is an intriguing concept. So the solution-seeking process would be unconsciouss (meaning that reliance on gut feeling or "intuition" is a perfectly reasonable strategy?), but "the conscious I" would still decide whether to act on the outcome or not. This would make free will very limited, yet still more than "just a sensation" as you suggest in the first paragraph. Thoughts?
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Re: Free Will

#7  Postby Ilovelucy » Mar 18, 2010 11:39 am

katja z wrote:
FBM wrote:Seems most likely to me that the sense of free will is closely related to the sense of agency that is produced in the parietal lobe (left, IIRC). I don't see any reason to think that it corresponds to anything in particular; it's just a sensation.

There's the work that Libet did that strongly suggests that decisions are made prior to conscious awareness of them. More recently, John-Dylan Haynes, et al, did some experiments that seem to show that decisions can happen unconsciously up to 10 seconds prior to conscious awareness of them. http://brainandlearning.blogspot.com/2008/04/do-we-have-freewill.html


That's interesting. The "power of the veto" is an intriguing concept. So the solution-seeking process would be unconsciouss (meaning that reliance on gut feeling or "intuition" is a perfectly reasonable strategy?), but "the conscious I" would still decide whether to act on the outcome or not. This would make free will very limited, yet still more than "just a sensation" as you suggest in the first paragraph. Thoughts?


Many have said in the wake of Libet that we might not have free will but we do have free "won't".
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Re: Free Will

#8  Postby katja z » Mar 18, 2010 11:44 am

Ilovelucy wrote:Many have said in the wake of Libet that we might not have free will but we do have free "won't".

As long as it's free something :grin:
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Re: Free Will

#9  Postby Comte de St.-Germain » Mar 18, 2010 1:35 pm

FBM wrote:There's the work that Libet did that strongly suggests that decisions are made prior to conscious awareness of them. More recently, John-Dylan Haynes, et al, did some experiments that seem to show that decisions can happen unconsciously up to 10 seconds prior to conscious awareness of them. http://brainandlearning.blogspot.com/2008/04/do-we-have-freewill.html


More accurately, certain kinds of choices can be reliably predicted with brain imaging technology up to 10 seconds prior to conscious experience. This is rather amusing, since the previously maximum measured time was used by some proponents of Quantum Consciousness to save free will by sending signals back in time.

Anyway, Libet offered the idea of the veto himself. It has been rather solidly rebuked in an experimental setting as well. In any case, it was demolished in philosophy before it was in science.
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Re: Free Will

#10  Postby Ilovelucy » Mar 18, 2010 2:13 pm

katja z wrote:
Ilovelucy wrote:Many have said in the wake of Libet that we might not have free will but we do have free "won't".

As long as it's free something :grin:


Actually, my whole problem isn't with the "will" or "won't" bit, but with the "free" bit. I don't think it really matters so much about whether a choice was decided "freely" as it is to be confident in saying that even though the choice was determined, it was still our choice.
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Re: Free Will

#11  Postby katja z » Mar 18, 2010 3:05 pm

Comte de St.-Germain wrote:
Anyway, Libet offered the idea of the veto himself. It has been rather solidly rebuked in an experimental setting as well.

Do you have any links? I'd be interested in reading up on this.
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Re: Free Will

#12  Postby Audley Strange » Mar 18, 2010 4:00 pm

The Doctor wrote:Does free will exist? I'm interested in how you think it relates to the problem of evil.


No it doesn't. There is no such thing as evil, so, no relation, no problem.
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Re: Free Will

#13  Postby Nocterro » Mar 18, 2010 4:12 pm

Audley Strange wrote:
The Doctor wrote:Does free will exist? I'm interested in how you think it relates to the problem of evil.


No it doesn't. There is no such thing as evil, so, no relation, no problem.


How are you defining "evil" here?
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Re: Free Will

#14  Postby Audley Strange » Mar 18, 2010 4:15 pm

Nocterro wrote:
Audley Strange wrote:
The Doctor wrote:Does free will exist? I'm interested in how you think it relates to the problem of evil.


No it doesn't. There is no such thing as evil, so, no relation, no problem.


How are you defining "evil" here?


I'm not, it doesn't exist thus it can't be defined.
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Re: Free Will

#15  Postby Nocterro » Mar 18, 2010 4:18 pm

Audley Strange wrote:
Nocterro wrote:
Audley Strange wrote:
The Doctor wrote:Does free will exist? I'm interested in how you think it relates to the problem of evil.


No it doesn't. There is no such thing as evil, so, no relation, no problem.


How are you defining "evil" here?


I'm not, it doesn't exist thus it can't be defined.


Then why does practically every dictionary in the world define it?
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Re: Free Will

#16  Postby Audley Strange » Mar 18, 2010 4:20 pm

Nocterro wrote:
Audley Strange wrote:
Nocterro wrote:
Audley Strange wrote:
The Doctor wrote:Does free will exist? I'm interested in how you think it relates to the problem of evil.


No it doesn't. There is no such thing as evil, so, no relation, no problem.


How are you defining "evil" here?


I'm not, it doesn't exist thus it can't be defined.


Then why does practically every dictionary in the world define it?


I'm sure they'll define unicorn too.
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Re: Free Will

#17  Postby Nocterro » Mar 18, 2010 4:23 pm

Are you now going to claim that "unicorn" cannot be defined?

Why is it the case that something must exist to be defined? Surely we can define all kinds of non-existent things, given that the definition does not include "...and exists".
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Re: Free Will

#18  Postby Audley Strange » Mar 18, 2010 4:29 pm

Nocterro wrote:Are you now going to claim that "unicorn" cannot be defined?

Why is it the case that something must exist to be defined? Surely we can define all kinds of non-existent things, given that the definition does not include "...and exists".


You can define whatever you want real or otherwise if you are so inclined. Shit go nuts, make mouth noises until something sounds good and then define it and tell people that it means something if you want. You asked me how I was defining it. I don't think it exists so I'm not going to waste time trying to. You want the definition, make one up or rely on your precious dictionaries. I don't have to.
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Re: Free Will

#19  Postby Black36 » Mar 18, 2010 4:32 pm

wonka08 wrote:I don't think that Free Will in accordance with the Christian God could exist. If he is omniscient then he would know every decision of every person past and in the future. So our decisions would already be decided for us in the future, we're just following them.

Hey Wonka,

Why do you equate knowing the future with controlling the future?
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Re: Free Will

#20  Postby Black36 » Mar 18, 2010 4:35 pm

Audley,

Does good exist?
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