Is free will all or nothing?

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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby mitchellmckain on August 21st, 2017, 2:47 pm 

DragonFly » August 21st, 2017, 1:14 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain » August 21st, 2017, 12:17 pm wrote: There is absolutely no doubt that everything displayed on the screen happens AFTER the events in the processor. Can we therefore conclude that nothing displayed on the screen has any causal impact on what happens in the processor?


I'd say RJG is not referring to "what happens" in the future but to what went into the present display.


LOL How can that possibly matter. The future becomes the present and then the past. If the conscious mind affects the future then how in the world can to possibly think that the conscious mind does not affect the present?

If the point is no more than saying that it all takes time and is not instantaneous, then fine. But what I cannot understand is thinking this somehow means there is no free will. The argument is plain bizarre.

DragonFly » August 21st, 2017, 1:31 pm wrote:I'll see if I can better devise a better approach to free will, but the dilemma is ever that the dependence of the will on our true and unique self data is a good thing, it's opposite a bad thing of a nightmare of randomness.

The randomness simply pokes a hole in the idea of absolute time-ordered causality in which there can be no free-will, for in such a case there would be little difference between our life and a video-tape. At the very least, we can say that when the future, rather than being a fixed sequence of events, is a superposition of possibilities, then this looks a lot more like free will than the deterministic universe. No this is not a complete answer, but it is an important building block.

It can be granted that even defining free will in a logically consistent manner presents some difficulty. Doing so within the premise of time-ordered causality is frankly impossible. But resorting to rhetoric about illusions is hardly the only philosophical possibility. Nonstandard causality thus present the possibility of looking at free will as an example of becoming the cause of our actions, and the fact is that this well fits our experience. We choose not only our actions but also our reasons for doing them. Restricted to a time-ordered type of causality it is unavoidable that this is going to look like randomness.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby DragonFly on August 21st, 2017, 3:51 pm 

mitchellmckain » August 21st, 2017, 1:47 pm wrote:LOL How can that possibly matter. The future becomes the present and then the past. If the conscious mind affects the future then how in the world can to possibly think that the conscious mind does not affect the present?


No joke. The display sequentially followed the now completed processing behind it, whether we have presentism or have traversed eternalism.

The result in the conscious mind or its correlation in neurons or both may affect the future as an input later.

mitchellmckain » August 21st, 2017, 1:47 pm wrote:If the point is no more than saying that it all takes time and is not instantaneous, then fine. But what I cannot understand is thinking this somehow means there is no free will. The argument is plain bizarre.


The argument is no conscious control. The will is ever able to will and is "free" to operate as it is in that sense.

mitchellmckain » August 21st, 2017, 1:47 pm wrote:The randomness simply pokes a hole in the idea of absolute time-ordered causality in which there can be no free-will, for in such a case there would be little difference between our life and a video-tape. At the very least, we can say that when the future, rather than being a fixed sequence of events, is a superposition of possibilities, then this looks a lot more like free will than the deterministic universe. No this is not a complete answer, but it is an important building block.

It can be granted that even defining free will in a logically consistent manner presents some difficulty. Doing so within the premise of time-ordered causality is frankly impossible. But resorting to rhetoric about illusions is hardly the only philosophical possibility. Nonstandard causality thus present the possibility of looking at free will as an example of becoming the cause of our actions, and the fact is that this well fits our experience. We choose not only our actions but also our reasons for doing them. Restricted to a time-ordered type of causality it is unavoidable that this is going to look like randomness.


The 'randomness', if any, would be the other shoe dropping, as the opposite, if we reject the seemingly undesired shoe of the will having to do what it does.


How about "nonstandard causality"? How can we free the will from its nature? How can we retain shame and blame?

1) To have free will via conscious control, we need conscious methods to not rely on the brain but to have its own repertoire of brain-results-knowledge that is higher and better than the brain’s but still reflects the consistency of who we are in the self of the brain.

This doesn’t seem to make sense. It's kind of the idea behind a soul, but it seems to either have to duplicate the brain or have to ignore the brain.

2) To have free will via conscious control, we need reality to split into all possible decisions paths.

I’m not sure what good this does, even if it clones the person in a block universe having All possible events.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby RJG on August 21st, 2017, 5:46 pm 

mitchellmckain wrote:No matter what the time gap, it is frankly both silly and willfully blind to think that these conscious reports to human awareness go nowhere and have no effect on human action.

Correct. I do not deny causality at all. I believe cause and effect, and causal ‘chain reactions’ do actually happen. But be careful not to assume that we have any control or say-so over any of these causal events, just because we consciously witness them.

Remember, because of the time delay, our view of reality is of ‘past’ events. There is a time lag between real events happening in ‘real-time’ and our mental conscious awareness of these events. What we see now (are conscious of) has already happened! There is nothing we can do to change the past. Whether we see a single cause and effect, or a continual chain reaction of cause and effects, they are all in the ‘past’!

As an analogy, imagine watching a ‘live’ broadcasted baseball game on TV. But of course, there is a 1-7 second time lag on all so-called ‘live’ broadcasts (due to transmission delays, etc). So what you see is actually in the ‘past’ (by 1-7 seconds). As the game proceeds, you are witnessing ‘chain reactions’ of cause and effect. In real-time back at Fenway Park, Big Papi just hit a home run, but you don’t know it yet. There is nothing you can do in the next 1-7 seconds to change the reality of his home run, even though you haven’t seen it yet on your TV.

Another analogy is to imagine that you are watching your own life unfold on a virtual reality TV, but instead of 1-7 second time delay, it is delayed by >200ms. Welcome to consciousness!


mitchellmckain wrote:
RJG wrote:P4. Free-will is “conscious control”. It is the conscious ability to cause/control events (including bodily reactions).

This premise not only can be rejected, it should be rejected. Even if our ability to cause/control events were unconscious that is no warrant whatsoever to dismiss free-will.

Can worms (and other non-conscious entities) have free-will? …or is free-will only limited to ‘conscious’ entities?

mitchellmckain wrote:But as we have demonstrated, no matter how much of the process is going on "under the hood" (so to speak) in the unconscious mind, this does not mean the conscious mind is not causally involved.

Unfortunately, the conscious mind sits behind a time delayed window, and therefore cannot "causally" interact with objects on the other side (reality side).
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby thinker4life on August 21st, 2017, 6:19 pm 

RJG » August 21st, 2017, 11:22 am wrote:
RJG wrote:My (logically derived) statements are based on the logical fact that “instantaneous” processing/detecting/sensing is impossible.

thinker4life wrote:If you "logically derived them" from somewhere, you seem to be hiding the part of their logical derivation... can you share that with us?

You must have not understood what I wrote. Here are the logically derived statements in premise/conclusion format:

    P1. “Instantaneous” detection/sensing is not logically (nor scientifically) possible, including human conscious awareness (sensing/detecting). A ‘time delay’ is an unavoidable fact.

    P2. None of our conscious processes are ‘exempt’ from this ‘time delay’, as all processes consume time.

    C1. Therefore, we are only conscious of ‘past’ events. ‘Everything’ that we are conscious of, has already happened.

    P3. If everything that we are conscious of, has already happened, then it is too late to cause/control them.

    C2. Therefore, conscious causation/control is impossible.

    P4. Free-will is “conscious control”. It is the conscious ability to cause/control events (including bodily reactions).

    C3. Therefore free-will is impossible.

...maybe this helps make it more understandable?


It does. I see now what you're trying to convey and think I can point out a flaw in your argument, though of course you're welcome to try to challenge my assertion.

The definition of "conscious" is "aware of one's own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc."

Note that the concept one's "conscious" mind is separate from a sentient being being "conscious". For example, we as sentient beings have self-awareness, we observe through our senses, and there are complex biological and chemical processes that happen for our "conscious" mind to be aware of something. I would argue that it's theoretically possible (and in fact that I have proved) that there is a "decision making black box" which is non-deterministic that happens before our conscious mind is aware of it, but that is part of our "consciousness" as a sentient being. Note the definition of the dictionary version of conscious does not include any timing factors, its just a matter of self-awareness, and our self awareness at this moment in time (of the past) may be able to impact this "black box" (let's call it the decision making black box of a sentient being... Let's leave open that this decision making system may be deterministic or non-deterministic, though I will claim that I have proven its non-deterministic).

Here's the key thing you're missing -- the black box can make a decision based on all the past history the conscious mind is aware of, which includes many things. If this black box is non-deterministic (as I claim I've proven), then there is the possibility that the black box makes a free will decision before the being conscious mind becomes aware of it. Thus disproving your assertion that a time delay proves free will doesn't exist. The free will decision is, in essence, made before our "conscious mind" is aware of it, by a "black box decision making process" which occurs earlier on.

Your point does prove something though, we can't make free will decisions based on things we have not come to awareness of in the conscious mind. I agree with that assertion. I disagree, however, that saying there's a delay between the time a free will decision is made and the time we become self-aware of what that free decision was biologically and chemically that the existence of free will is disproven, and I hope I've given a good explanation of it... Though admittedly I feel like I rambled a little. Feel free to poke holes and I will try to patch them up.

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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby RJG on August 21st, 2017, 6:58 pm 

thinker4life wrote:Here's the key thing you're missing -- the black box can make a decision based on all the past history the conscious mind is aware of, which includes many things. If this black box is non-deterministic (as I claim I've proven), then there is the possibility that the black box makes a free will decision before the being conscious mind becomes aware of it. Thus disproving your assertion that a time delay proves free will doesn't exist. The free will decision is, in essence, made before our "conscious mind" is aware of it, by a "black box decision making process" which occurs earlier on.

Essentially it seems you are saying that “free-will” is “unconscious (non-deterministic) decision making”, whereas I say “free-will” is simply “conscious control”. If that is your definition/understanding, then I can’t disagree with you.

It almost sounds like your understanding of “free-will” is equivalent to my understanding of “auto-reaction” responses. I believe humans operate like every other entity in this universe; they experience bodily reactions and auto-react accordingly. And because humans possess 'memory', they also have the special ability to recognize their experiences (bodily reactions). This experience of recognition is called consciousness. Just my 2 cents.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby mitchellmckain on August 21st, 2017, 7:34 pm 

RJG » August 21st, 2017, 4:46 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:No matter what the time gap, it is frankly both silly and willfully blind to think that these conscious reports to human awareness go nowhere and have no effect on human action.

Correct. I do not deny causality at all. I believe cause and effect, and causal ‘chain reactions’ do actually happen. But be careful not to assume that we have any control or say-so over any of these causal events, just because we consciously witness them.

If you do not deny the causal link between conscious decisions and our subsequent actions then you haven't made a case against free-will. I do not assume we have control over events -- that is not the meaning of free will. But we certainly do more than witness events, by our decisions we demonstrably alter the course of events, even if it is not always in the direction we desire.

RJG » August 21st, 2017, 4:46 pm wrote:Remember, because of the time delay, our view of reality is of ‘past’ events. There is a time lag between real events happening in ‘real-time’ and our mental conscious awareness of these events. What we see now (are conscious of) has already happened! There is nothing we can do to change the past. Whether we see a single cause and effect, or a continual chain reaction of cause and effects, they are all in the ‘past’!

This doesn't change the fact that these 'past' events are causally linked to conscious decisions even further in the past.

RJG » August 21st, 2017, 4:46 pm wrote:As an analogy, imagine watching a ‘live’ broadcasted baseball game on TV. But of course, there is a 1-7 second time lag on all so-called ‘live’ broadcasts (due to transmission delays, etc). So what you see is actually in the ‘past’ (by 1-7 seconds). As the game proceeds, you are witnessing ‘chain reactions’ of cause and effect. In real-time back at Fenway Park, Big Papi just hit a home run, but you don’t know it yet. There is nothing you can do in the next 1-7 seconds to change the reality of his home run, even though you haven’t seen it yet on your TV.

Another analogy is to imagine that you are watching your own life unfold on a virtual reality TV, but instead of 1-7 second time delay, it is delayed by >200ms. Welcome to consciousness!

I can see why you are shifting from the the computer example to one with even greater time delays in order to add even more obfuscation of the issue. But the fact is that you have not addressed my point in the slightest. By your ridiculous argument a computer will do the exact same things even without a display screen, as if the display screen on my computer played no role in my writing of the this post.

RJG wrote:P4. Free-will is “conscious control”. It is the conscious ability to cause/control events (including bodily reactions).
mitchellmckain wrote:This premise not only can be rejected, it should be rejected. Even if our ability to cause/control events were unconscious that is no warrant whatsoever to dismiss free-will.

Can worms (and other non-conscious entities) have free-will? …or is free-will only limited to ‘conscious’ entities?

Is your equivocation between unconscious and non-conscious intentional?

RJG » August 21st, 2017, 4:46 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:But as we have demonstrated, no matter how much of the process is going on "under the hood" (so to speak) in the unconscious mind, this does not mean the conscious mind is not causally involved.

Unfortunately, the conscious mind sits behind a time delayed window, and therefore cannot "causally" interact with objects on the other side (reality side).

I have shown this to be incorrect. The time delayed window only means that causal interation takes time not that no causal interaction occurs. The foolishness is making the claim that free will is about being able to do anything without limitations. Who do you imagine has such a delusion, I wonder. Free will is primarily about deciding who we are. It is certainly NOT about a freedom to decide what happens, let alone a freedom to decide what is happening now right at this instant.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby DragonFly on August 21st, 2017, 9:32 pm 

I thought I'd become a temporary word referee, not that there is any such position here, as well as some responses.

mitchellmckain » August 21st, 2017, 6:34 pm wrote:If you do not deny the causal link between conscious decisions and our subsequent actions then you haven't made a case against free-will.


Mitch, RJG was careful to say that decisions are not made at the conscious level, but prior.

mitchellmckain » August 21st, 2017, 6:34 pm wrote:This doesn't change the fact that these 'past' events are causally linked to conscious decisions even further in the past.


Same here; RJG doesn't indicate conscious decisions.

mitchellmckain » August 21st, 2017, 6:34 pm wrote:I can see why you are shifting from the the computer example to one with even greater time delays in order to add even more obfuscation of the issue. But the fact is that you have not addressed my point in the slightest. By your ridiculous argument a computer will do the exact same things even without a display screen, as if the display screen on my computer played no role in my writing of the this post.


To be clear, one needs to carry on the analogy in the domain in which it began, such as a computer obtaining information from a screen is more like our senses obtaining info.

mitchellmckain » August 21st, 2017, 6:34 pm wrote:But as we have demonstrated, no matter how much of the process is going on "under the hood" (so to speak) in the unconscious mind, this does not mean the conscious mind is not causally involved.


It does if the consciousness of the finished brain process is subsequent. We don't logically see consciousness as concurrent once we get informed by science of the neurological processing beneath. Mere introspection can't get at it.

mitchellmckain » August 21st, 2017, 6:34 pm wrote:The time delayed window only means that causal interation takes time not that no causal interaction occurs. The foolishness is making the claim that free will is about being able to do anything without limitations. Who do you imagine has such a delusion, I wonder.


I wonder, too, since no one said that we'd be able to do anything.

mitchellmckain » August 21st, 2017, 6:34 pm wrote:Free will is primarily about deciding who we are.


Now we're cooking. The will, whether free or fixed, whether conscious or subconscious, chooses according to our nature and goals.

mitchellmckain » August 21st, 2017, 6:34 pm wrote:It is certainly NOT about a freedom to decide what happens, let alone a freedom to decide what is happening now right at this instant.


More good cooking. True, the will can't enforce its goal, but it can only head in that direction. And, true, the happenings of this instant have already been formed and presented to us in consciousness, partly by our will and partly by external events. Long live the past, for that's where our conscious ever resides.


So, if all we meant by free will was that the will is usually free to operate, then that's trivial and we all would have gone home.

If all we meant by free will was that the objects in conscious can get remembered in memory and thus go on as input to the will in one's future, then that's trivial and we all would have gone home.

But we didn't go home because we're trying to find a way not to be robots (yes, even me), this non robotic way presumed to be consciousness itself making decisions in real time or at least in real time controlling and/or interacting/contributing with/to the subconscious voting by the neural assemblies. We are kind of stuck wondering what mechanism our consciousness would use to vote to make decisions or at least give input, which had better not be analogous to how the brain decides, for then we only run into the same dilemma or have to duplicate what the brain already knows, which is silly. Is is ever seen possible for the will to both be a first cause and to be true to oneself?

My last, mad example of conscious control run amuck:

3. In presentism, in which the past is gone and the future is not yet, there is only the 'now' progressing, based on what just was, and in this scheme it seems impossible to have free will in this time mode, as noted by mm. When I looked into eternalism, the problem became worse, for the future already exists, already decided and predetermined, and thus the whirling of our gears in our brains isn't really making future or having any effect at all. So, then, in eternalism the brain is a hoax, and so we are just dreams of Brahman…
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby mitchellmckain on August 22nd, 2017, 12:13 am 

DragonFly » August 21st, 2017, 8:32 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain » August 21st, 2017, 6:34 pm wrote:If you do not deny the causal link between conscious decisions and our subsequent actions then you haven't made a case against free-will.


Mitch, RJG was careful to say that decisions are not made at the conscious level, but prior.

mitchellmckain » August 21st, 2017, 6:34 pm wrote:This doesn't change the fact that these 'past' events are causally linked to conscious decisions even further in the past.


Same here; RJG doesn't indicate conscious decisions.

You are oversimplifying the discussion.
1. It has been granted that some portion of decision making process is "under the hood" in the unconscious mind. But this changes nothing with regards to existence of free will.
2. Nevertheless, RJG cannot deny the longer term causal role of the conscious mind in the decision making process as well any more than he can deny the role of the computer display terminal in interaction going on between computer and operator.

DragonFly » August 21st, 2017, 8:32 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain » August 21st, 2017, 6:34 pm wrote:I can see why you are shifting from the the computer example to one with even greater time delays in order to add even more obfuscation of the issue. But the fact is that you have not addressed my point in the slightest. By your ridiculous argument a computer will do the exact same things even without a display screen, as if the display screen on my computer played no role in my writing of the this post.

To be clear, one needs to carry on the analogy in the domain in which it began, such as a computer obtaining information from a screen is more like our senses obtaining info.

No, that would be missing the point. Even if the computer does not obtain any information from a screen directly, the display still eventually plays a causal role in the operation of the computer via the human operator. It is in fact why we have display screens in the first place. It is hard to even imagine making posts on a forum or playing a computer game without them.

DragonFly » August 21st, 2017, 8:32 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain » August 21st, 2017, 6:34 pm wrote:But as we have demonstrated, no matter how much of the process is going on "under the hood" (so to speak) in the unconscious mind, this does not mean the conscious mind is not causally involved.

It does if the consciousness of the finished brain process is subsequent. We don't logically see consciousness as concurrent once we get informed by science of the neurological processing beneath. Mere introspection can't get at it.

But this is not how human beings govern the living of their lives. Whether human are capable of doing things unconsciously is irrelevant. Arguing against constant conscious control of every action is another strawman.

Indeed, the primary role of free will is to program ourselves so that we can operate on automatic much of the time. Various skills like walking, driving, skiing and riding a bicycle become so automatic that we do them without much conscious thought. But the process by which we learned to do those things is an entirely different matter.

DragonFly » August 21st, 2017, 8:32 pm wrote:I wonder, too, since no one said that we'd be able to do anything.

Now we're cooking. The will, whether free or fixed, whether conscious or subconscious, chooses according to our nature and goals.

More good cooking. True, the will can't enforce its goal, but it can only head in that direction. And, true, the happenings of this instant have already been formed and presented to us in consciousness, partly by our will and partly by external events. Long live the past, for that's where our conscious ever resides.

So, if all we meant by free will was that the will is usually free to operate, then that's trivial and we all would have gone home.

If all we meant by free will was that the objects in conscious can get remembered in memory and thus go on as input to the will in one's future, then that's trivial and we all would have gone home.

All of which indicates that "whether the thing exists" has, as usual, been a distraction from the real question which is "what is the thing exactly." If we had stopped wasting our time with the first non-question then perhaps we would have made a lot more progress finding things we could actually agree about.

DragonFly » August 21st, 2017, 8:32 pm wrote:But we didn't go home because we're trying to find a way not to be robots (yes, even me), this non robotic way presumed to be consciousness itself making decisions in real time or at least in real time controlling and/or interacting/contributing with/to the subconscious voting by the neural assemblies. We are kind of stuck wondering what mechanism our consciousness would use to vote to make decisions or at least give input, which had better not be analogous to how the brain decides, for then we only run into the same dilemma or have to duplicate what the brain already knows, which is silly. Is is ever seen possible for the will to both be a first cause and to be true to oneself?

I am reminded of the situation of relativity where over the distances in which we live our lives such effects are capable of unaided human perception. Likewise when we usually talk about consciously controlling our actions we are not talking about time scales where these time delays are relevant.

DragonFly » August 21st, 2017, 8:32 pm wrote:My last, mad example of conscious control run amuck:

3. In presentism, in which the past is gone and the future is not yet, there is only the 'now' progressing, based on what just was, and in this scheme it seems impossible to have free will in this time mode, as noted by mm.

Objection. I have not noted any such thing. What you have described is an entirely different thing from the strictly time-ordered view of causality in which I acknowledge that free-will would be impossible and could only be represented by an instance of a-causality or randomness.

I see no problem with a view which employs both presentism AND nonstandard ideas of causality, and in that case there would be no difficulty with the idea of free-will.

DragonFly » August 21st, 2017, 8:32 pm wrote: When I looked into eternalism, the problem became worse, for the future already exists, already decided and predetermined, and thus the whirling of our gears in our brains isn't really making future or having any effect at all. So, then, in eternalism the brain is a hoax, and so we are just dreams of Brahman…


But there are alternatives to these two views. The one suggested by QM is that the future only exists as a superposition of possibilities.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby DragonFly on August 22nd, 2017, 1:55 am 

mitchellmckain » August 21st, 2017, 11:13 pm wrote:But there are alternatives to these two views. The one suggested by QM is that the future only exists as a superposition of possibilities.


The following may or may not apply:

Excerpt From: Werner Loewenstein. “Physics in Mind.” iBooks.

“Why Our Weltanschauung Is So Narrow: An Unexpected Lesson for Philosophy”

“The decoherence proposal has come a long way in the past few years and, in the hands of Zeh, Erich Joos, Wojciech Zurek, Murray Gell-Mann, Jim Hartle, and others, has grown into a comprehensive theory. It is a theory that leaves hardly anything untouched, and not just physics. Its reach goes well beyond, to what once was the domain of philosophers: epistemology, the theory of knowledge.

“This brings us back to our center of interest, the issue of whether the quantum wave gets entangled with consciousness. In that regard, the decoherence theory gives us a freedom of thought the founders of quantum theory never had. To many of them, such an entanglement seemed a Hobson’s choice (e.g., Wigner’s proposal). What else was one to make of the fact that the wave function evaporated whenever a human observer got in on the act? Somewhere between the microscopic and macroscopic the abracadabra had to happen, and the conscious brain seemed just the place for it. Well, as Aristotle famously said, “There’s many a slip ’twixt cup and lip.”

“Decoherence theory changed all that. What once seemed a dire necessity is no longer so. Quantum decoherence goes on at immense speeds in our earthly atmosphere, and wave function collapse ordinarily is over long before a human observer or measuring device intrudes.

“Or look at it the information way. The environment then suddenly metamorphoses from an innocuous particle hinterland into a voracious information sinkhole. And as it gobbles up those immense amounts of bits coming onto us from all points of the compass, it drastically curtails our view of the world outside—much more so than all our sensory systems combined. It is nature herself who acts as censor here and sees to it that we have but the narrowest perception of reality.

“No human observer is necessary for the wave-function collapse. In a sense it is the environment that performs the observations and measurements here—and it does so in almost no time at all—as it turns all the coexisting quantum states into one single macroscopic counterpart (see figure 17.2b).

“That is an epistemological twist philosophers hardly expected—and to tell the truth, neither did physicists. But it’s the former who are the professed mavens of epistemology and, historically, its custodians. Well, no longer. Epistemology has come of age and joined the ranks of science.”

“On the Possibility of Quantum Coherence in the Brain

But philosophy aside, to the student of consciousness, decoherence theory provides a welcome breath of fresh air. It cuts the ground from under the notion of an obligatory entanglement of the quantum world with our mind and at one stroke makes hypotheses about consciousness based on wave-function collapse less appealing, if not unnecessary.

"In any event, to those intent on quantum-mechanical hypotheses of consciousness, it offers sobering constraints, holding exuberance in rein. I was not exaggerating when I said that decoherence ordinarily takes almost no time. In our earthly atmosphere the timescales of decoherence ordinarily are unimaginably short—on the order of 10-13 seconds or less. And if they are that short where air molecules are the main decoherent agents, they will be still shorter in an environment like the brain, swarming with water molecules and inorganic ions; the calculated decoherence times here range from 10-13 to 10-20 seconds—a far cry from the physiological timescales of consciousness, 10-2 to 10-1 seconds.”
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby RJG on August 22nd, 2017, 10:56 am 

mitchellmckain wrote:But we certainly do more than witness events, by our decisions we demonstrably alter the course of events, even if it is not always in the direction we desire.

1. Do you agree that ‘everything’ (and I mean EVERYTHING!) that we are conscious of, has ALREADY happened? ...Yes/No?

2. Can we “alter” the 'past'? ...Yes/No?


mitchellmckain wrote:
RJG wrote:Can worms (and other non-conscious entities) have free-will? …or is free-will only limited to ‘conscious’ entities?

Is your equivocation between unconscious and non-conscious intentional?

There is no equivocation here. You have already implied "un-"conscious entities can have free-will, so how about "non-"conscious entities, like worms, and thermostats? Can they have free-will? …or is free-will only limited to 'conscious' entities (that can become unconscious)?


mitchellmckain wrote:Even if our ability to cause/control events were unconscious that is no warrant whatsoever to dismiss free-will.

mitchellmckain wrote:I do not assume we have control over events -- that is not the meaning of free will.

mitchellmckain wrote:
RJG wrote:P4. Free-will is “conscious control”. It is the conscious ability to cause/control events (including bodily reactions).

This premise not only can be rejected, it should be rejected.

My comments here on this topic, are based on the premise that “free-will” is “conscious control”. If we can’t consciously control the events that we are conscious of, then we don’t have free-will. Very simple and straightforward!

You seemingly dismiss both the requirements of “consciousness” and “control” in the definition of free-will. So then, please tell us WHAT is free-will? Can you give us your succinct definition?

If we don’t have a common understanding of “free-will”, then it is pointless and non-sensical for us to continue discussing this topic using our own differing meanings. Wouldn’t you agree?
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby DragonFly on August 22nd, 2017, 2:38 pm 

Conclusion:

Many have already shown that there can be no free will: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/06/theres-no-such-thing-as-free-will/480750/

The content of consciousness cannot be First, it having to derive from what it represents—information processing in the brain unto a unified result, and so consciousness is sequential and subsequent, appearing after a short time has passed; thus consciousness is not ever able to originate its own objects or will all by itself (what mechanism would it use?). Everything in consciousness had to first go through the brain's processing.

Blame and judgement day fall, and perhaps religion. The courts have to reconsider "responsibility".

Remember, thought, that the fixed will is dynamic, it able to change continuously, to a new, larger-range fixed will with more knowledge to draw on. Learning provides for more informed choices, whether toward good or towards bad.

Faced with the new information of no free will of no conscious control and that the will must ever do as it must, barring disruption, the will must now decide if the truth is to be told or if it is to be kept secret.

Well, people have different wills that lead to many diverse actions, this somewhat disguising that the will is fixed, but the point is that truth has a way of coming out, regardless of trying to keep a lid on Pandora's box of surprises, albeit our folk wisdom view of human nature takes a big hit.

For philosophers, truth is a primary aim, and so I'd think they must tell.

What left that's good?

Experience is still a plus of existence.

Consistency of will aids one's survival, which seems to be always what everything is about.

We're happy not to have the opposite of consistency, which would be all 'random', satisfied because consistency is the only way thing can be.

There is compassion for those who are stuck in a bad will state, this hopefully replacing self-harmful agitation towards them.

Blame gets replaced by rehabilitation.

We would still confine harmful wills to protect society; we would even disrupt harmful hurricanes by seeding if we could.

Preachers/Teachers of any discipline, many of whom already dishonestly state "maybe's" as fact and truth take another dent.

We gain humility to replace the pride that we were some kind of mini first causes originating our own destiny, with original 'doing'. Now it is seen that rather, the universe does us, just as it does everything else. We are bio-electro-chemical organisms, just as organic as anything in nature. Hubris fades; prospects of a Big Reward fade.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby RJG on August 22nd, 2017, 3:09 pm 

Wow. ...beautifully said DragonFly!
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby thinker4life on August 22nd, 2017, 4:47 pm 

DragonFly » August 22nd, 2017, 1:38 pm wrote:Conclusion:

Many have already shown that there can be no free will: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/06/theres-no-such-thing-as-free-will/480750/

The content of consciousness cannot be First, it having to derive from what it represents—information processing in the brain unto a unified result, and so consciousness is sequential and subsequent, appearing after a short time has passed; thus consciousness is not ever able to originate its own objects or will all by itself (what mechanism would it use?). Everything in consciousness had to first go through the brain's processing.

Blame and judgement day fall, and perhaps religion. The courts have to reconsider "responsibility".

Remember, thought, that the fixed will is dynamic, it able to change continuously, to a new, larger-range fixed will with more knowledge to draw on. Learning provides for more informed choices, whether toward good or towards bad.

Faced with the new information of no free will of no conscious control and that the will must ever do as it must, barring disruption, the will must now decide if the truth is to be told or if it is to be kept secret.

Well, people have different wills that lead to many diverse actions, this somewhat disguising that the will is fixed, but the point is that truth has a way of coming out, regardless of trying to keep a lid on Pandora's box of surprises, albeit our folk wisdom view of human nature takes a big hit.

For philosophers, truth is a primary aim, and so I'd think they must tell.

What left that's good?

Experience is still a plus of existence.

Consistency of will aids one's survival, which seems to be always what everything is about.

We're happy not to have the opposite of consistency, which would be all 'random', satisfied because consistency is the only way thing can be.

There is compassion for those who are stuck in a bad will state, this hopefully replacing self-harmful agitation towards them.

Blame gets replaced by rehabilitation.

We would still confine harmful wills to protect society; we would even disrupt harmful hurricanes by seeding if we could.

Preachers/Teachers of any discipline, many of whom already dishonestly state "maybe's" as fact and truth take another dent.

We gain humility to replace the pride that we were some kind of mini first causes originating our own destiny, with original 'doing'. Now it is seen that rather, the universe does us, just as it does everything else. We are bio-electro-chemical organisms, just as organic as anything in nature. Hubris fades; prospects of a Big Reward fade.


You've come to the wrong conclusion, and you have been unable to refute my logical proof of free will at any step along the process. Try reading it and understanding it. Quoting a news article of someone who claims there is no free will based on the arguments I already debunked in the neuro space is a little silly, since I already debunked that claim and nobody refuted my debunking. I have a clear and concise definition in the proof, which I've quoted in this thread.

I know you like the idea you're not responsible for your own actions, I'm sure that feels great because you're not responsible for all your mistakes. Unfortunately, unless you can refute my proof, I've proven that you and only you are responsible for the decisions you've made and will make in your life. You can pretend you're not responsible, and you can make decisions as if you have no free will, and imitate someone who doesn't have free will, but you do have the capability whether you like it or not. Try reading my proof and refuting any premise or logical step along the way, rather than just re-stating you're right over and over again.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby RJG on August 22nd, 2017, 5:10 pm 

thinker4life wrote:Try reading my proof and refuting any premise or logical step along the way, rather than just re-stating you're right over and over again.

Thinker, as you know, I have a problem with your starting definition of free-will. When someone talks about doing something of “their own free-will” or making a “conscious choice”, they are talking about a deliberate and intentional choice, not one that is “unknowingly” or “unpredictably” made.

So if your proof proves “unpredictability exists”, then I don’t see how this equals “free-will exists”. I still don’t understand how "unpredictability" has ANY bearing on free-will. "Predictability" is just a 'third-party' observer.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby Braininvat on August 22nd, 2017, 5:34 pm 

You've come to the wrong conclusion, and you have been unable to refute my logical proof of free will at any step along the process. Try reading it and understanding it. Quoting a news article of someone who claims there is no free will based on the arguments I already debunked in the neuro space is a little silly, since I already debunked that claim and nobody refuted my debunking. I have a clear and concise definition in the proof, which I've quoted in this thread.

I know you like the idea you're not responsible for your own actions, I'm sure that feels great because you're not responsible for all your mistakes. Unfortunately, unless you can refute my proof, I've proven that you and only you are responsible for the decisions you've made and will make in your life. You can pretend you're not responsible, and you can make decisions as if you have no free will, and imitate someone who doesn't have free will, but you do have the capability whether you like it or not. Try reading my proof and refuting any premise or logical step along the way, rather than just re-stating you're right over and over again.

-- thinker4life


T4L - Dragonfly's last 3 postings constitute a useful review of the modern debate on free will, and deserve more of your careful attention and respect than you are giving them. You appear to have a very high opinion of your own theory, combined with what appears to be a beginner's knowledge of this field of philosophy. Finally, telling someone they favor a determinist position because of a personal moral weakness - that they are seeking to evade responsibility - is an ad hominem that has no place in a philosophy forum. Please see our forum guidelines on ad hominems.

Also, please understand: we live busy lives. The fact that a member has not gone over your paper line-by-line is not a personal affront. Many problems in your paper may relate to subtle flaws in the definition of terms, or prior assumptions that haven't been explicitly addressed, which would require a lot of time and effort to explain. It's always a strong clue, when someone says they hav found an easy solution, that is perfect and simple in its logic, to a thorny philosophic issue that the greatest minds of the last few centuries have been unable to lay to rest. Sadly, this lack of humility is almost always paired with a very incomplete knowledge of the field.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby thinker4life on August 22nd, 2017, 9:42 pm 

RJG » August 22nd, 2017, 4:10 pm wrote:
thinker4life wrote:Try reading my proof and refuting any premise or logical step along the way, rather than just re-stating you're right over and over again.

Thinker, as you know, I have a problem with your starting definition of free-will. When someone talks about doing something of “their own free-will” or making a “conscious choice”, they are talking about a deliberate and intentional choice, not one that is “unknowingly” or “unpredictably” made.

So if your proof proves “unpredictability exists”, then I don’t see how this equals “free-will exists”. I still don’t understand how "unpredictability" has ANY bearing on free-will. "Predictability" is just a 'third-party' observer.


I think you feel that my definition of free will is defining randomness as free will... that's actually not what it's doing, so let me try to politely guide you in the direction of understanding what I've written:

Here's my definition of free will:

6. Free will is defined as:
A) Nondeterminism - That multiple potential outcomes are possible when a person makes a decision
B) A being’s conscious effort to make one of them more likely has a statistical impact on the likely outcome of which possibility the being experiences. In layman’s terms, if you choose to try to do something, it's more likely to happen.

A) is important because if there are not multiple possible outcomes, then will can't be 'free' -- free assumes there's some level of choice. If the world is deterministic, there's no choice. Yes, I reject compatibilism on this basis. Any version of "will" that doesn't include "choice" is not "free will" by my definition. Someone else can define free will differently, but the definition of free will compatiblists use is meaningless to me, and wrong according to my proof that the world is not deterministic.

B) If there is a possibility that the world is not deterministic (I later prove this), the concept of free will requires that there are sentient beings making decisions, part B simply describes that we can say 'free will' exists if and only if we can prove that the concept of a sentient being (or conscious being) can impact the probabilistic outcome of their future.

So you seem to understand part A, but be completely ignoring part B. Does this more detailed explanation of the definition make sense to you?

Can you at least agree I have sufficiently proven that non-determinism is true - that is that randomness and/or free will influence the future. Eg - that the future is not simply a deterministic result of the acting laws of physics?
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby thinker4life on August 22nd, 2017, 9:57 pm 

Braininvat » August 22nd, 2017, 4:34 pm wrote:
You've come to the wrong conclusion, and you have been unable to refute my logical proof of free will at any step along the process. Try reading it and understanding it. Quoting a news article of someone who claims there is no free will based on the arguments I already debunked in the neuro space is a little silly, since I already debunked that claim and nobody refuted my debunking. I have a clear and concise definition in the proof, which I've quoted in this thread.

I know you like the idea you're not responsible for your own actions, I'm sure that feels great because you're not responsible for all your mistakes. Unfortunately, unless you can refute my proof, I've proven that you and only you are responsible for the decisions you've made and will make in your life. You can pretend you're not responsible, and you can make decisions as if you have no free will, and imitate someone who doesn't have free will, but you do have the capability whether you like it or not. Try reading my proof and refuting any premise or logical step along the way, rather than just re-stating you're right over and over again.

-- thinker4life


T4L - Dragonfly's last 3 postings constitute a useful review of the modern debate on free will, and deserve more of your careful attention and respect than you are giving them. You appear to have a very high opinion of your own theory, combined with what appears to be a beginner's knowledge of this field of philosophy. Finally, telling someone they favor a determinist position because of a personal moral weakness - that they are seeking to evade responsibility - is an ad hominem that has no place in a philosophy forum. Please see our forum guidelines on ad hominems.

Also, please understand: we live busy lives. The fact that a member has not gone over your paper line-by-line is not a personal affront. Many problems in your paper may relate to subtle flaws in the definition of terms, or prior assumptions that haven't been explicitly addressed, which would require a lot of time and effort to explain. It's always a strong clue, when someone says they hav found an easy solution, that is perfect and simple in its logic, to a thorny philosophic issue that the greatest minds of the last few centuries have been unable to lay to rest. Sadly, this lack of humility is almost always paired with a very incomplete knowledge of the field.


Hi Brainvat,

I have not only considered Dragonfly's postings, where he re-stated the same opinion that I politely refuted all 3 times, but I refuted his argument 3 times without him being able to point out any flaw in me refuting of the argument. I did so even in excruciating detail with careful wording so as to make it as easy to understand as possible. He simply re-stated the same argument claiming it to be true when I had already refuted it several times. If that's the best that literature has to offer on free will, I'm sorry but its not much to offer and you'd be better off spending your time on my proof rather than arguments that claim that because free will decisions are observed afte the decision is made it refutes the possibility of free will. Such an argument is trivially disprovable, and both Mitch and I have already disproved it each in our own ways several times. I'd like to move on to a conversation more meaningful, which is what I've written about. I'm happy to refute his argument again in more words, but do expect some reciprocation in terms of having him consider my ideas since I have considered and refuted his. I understand we're all busy... I'm very busy too, but considering that I've made time to carefully read his perspective and respond to it, I expect him to reciprocate and do the same for me. If he can't refute my argument in a meaningful way, I expect him to recognize that he may have learned something he didn't know. I feel these are reasonable expectations, but if you don't that's fine.

I agree I made a mistake in my phrasing. Instead of phrasing the comments I had towards dragonfly I should have phrased them generally towards society as he did. Ironically I hold myself responsible for this free will decision to not carefully phrase my response, but I regret to inform you that you and Dragonfly can not hold me personally responsible, because according to your paradigm that was not a choice I made, it was what I was pre-determined to do. So try not to have hard feelings about it, ok? When I convince you free will is real, you can consider using your free will to accept my sincere apology for the act, until then I'm sure you'll do whatever comes most naturally to you.

And Brainvat, if my claim is correct, and nobody has been able to disprove it including you, I'm the most knowledgeable person of the last few millennia on this subject, so saying I don't know anything about it is a little silly. Saying I haven't spent time studying flawed definitions like compatibilism is something I consider as a compliment, as I can reject a compatibilist's definition of free will quickly and easily and have logically proven determinism wrong in my proof, which is required for a compatibilist version of free will. If my proof is right - and nobody has disproved it yet - compatibilism and even determinism isn't even worth studying anymore, its just a complete waste of time like lamarckian genetics. I'm happy to continue to refute any of your prized knowledge of modern philosophical literature on free will, bring it on and I will gladly debate it with you. Prove my proof wrong, and I will start to assume a little more humility on the subject, until then I'd argue I know more about it than you.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby thinker4life on August 22nd, 2017, 9:57 pm 

Braininvat » August 22nd, 2017, 4:34 pm wrote:
You've come to the wrong conclusion, and you have been unable to refute my logical proof of free will at any step along the process. Try reading it and understanding it. Quoting a news article of someone who claims there is no free will based on the arguments I already debunked in the neuro space is a little silly, since I already debunked that claim and nobody refuted my debunking. I have a clear and concise definition in the proof, which I've quoted in this thread.

I know you like the idea you're not responsible for your own actions, I'm sure that feels great because you're not responsible for all your mistakes. Unfortunately, unless you can refute my proof, I've proven that you and only you are responsible for the decisions you've made and will make in your life. You can pretend you're not responsible, and you can make decisions as if you have no free will, and imitate someone who doesn't have free will, but you do have the capability whether you like it or not. Try reading my proof and refuting any premise or logical step along the way, rather than just re-stating you're right over and over again.

-- thinker4life


T4L - Dragonfly's last 3 postings constitute a useful review of the modern debate on free will, and deserve more of your careful attention and respect than you are giving them. You appear to have a very high opinion of your own theory, combined with what appears to be a beginner's knowledge of this field of philosophy. Finally, telling someone they favor a determinist position because of a personal moral weakness - that they are seeking to evade responsibility - is an ad hominem that has no place in a philosophy forum. Please see our forum guidelines on ad hominems.

Also, please understand: we live busy lives. The fact that a member has not gone over your paper line-by-line is not a personal affront. Many problems in your paper may relate to subtle flaws in the definition of terms, or prior assumptions that haven't been explicitly addressed, which would require a lot of time and effort to explain. It's always a strong clue, when someone says they hav found an easy solution, that is perfect and simple in its logic, to a thorny philosophic issue that the greatest minds of the last few centuries have been unable to lay to rest. Sadly, this lack of humility is almost always paired with a very incomplete knowledge of the field.


Hi Brainvat,

I have not only considered Dragonfly's postings, where he re-stated the same opinion that I politely refuted all 3 times, but I refuted his argument 3 times without him being able to point out any flaw in me refuting of the argument. In other words, I DID give it VERY careful attention, and my response was summarily ignored, which was not appreciated. Both Mitch and I responded in excruciating detail with careful wording so as to make it as easy to understand as possible. He simply re-stated the same argument claiming it to be true when we both refuted it several times.

If that's the best that literature has to offer on free will, I'm sorry but its not much to offer and you'd be better off spending your time on my proof rather than arguments that claim that because free will decisions are observed after the decision is made it refutes the possibility of free will. Such an argument is trivially disprovable, and both Mitch and I have already disproved it each in our own ways several times. I'd like to move on to a conversation more meaningful, which is what I've written about. I'm happy to refute his argument again in more words, but do expect some reciprocation in terms of having him consider my ideas since I have considered and refuted his. I understand we're all busy... I'm very busy too (quite frankly probably more busy than the average person on this site), but considering that I've made time to carefully read his perspective and respond to it, I expect him to reciprocate and do the same for me. If he can't refute my argument in a meaningful way, I expect him to recognize that he may have learned something he didn't know. I feel these are reasonable expectations. If you don't, I'd like to hear your rationale.

I agree I made a mistake in my phrasing. Instead of phrasing the comments I had towards dragonfly I should have phrased them generally towards society as he did. Ironically I hold myself responsible for this free will decision to not carefully phrase my response, but I regret to inform you that you and Dragonfly can not hold me personally responsible, because according to your paradigm that was not a choice I made, it was what I was pre-determined to do. So try not to have hard feelings about it, ok? When I convince you free will is real, you can consider using your free will to accept my sincere apology for the act, until then I'm sure you'll do whatever comes most naturally to you.

And Brainvat, if my claim is correct, and nobody has been able to disprove it including you, I'm the most knowledgeable person of the last few millennia on this subject, so saying I don't know anything about it is a little silly. Saying I haven't spent time studying flawed definitions like compatibilism is something I consider as a compliment, as I can reject a compatibilist's definition of free will quickly and easily and have logically proven determinism wrong in my proof, which is required for a compatibilist version of free will. If my proof is right - and nobody has disproved it yet - compatibilism and even determinism isn't even worth studying anymore, its just a complete waste of time like lamarckian genetics. I'm happy to continue to refute any of your prized knowledge of modern philosophical literature on free will, bring it on and I will gladly debate it with you. Dragonfly's argument has been refuted several times if you read me and Mitch's past posts, but if some part of our comments wasn't clear, please drill down on the part you feel was unclear and we will clarify our perspective.

Prove my proof wrong, and I will start to assume a little more humility on the subject, until then I'd argue I know more about it than you.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby Positor on August 22nd, 2017, 10:37 pm 

In case anyone has not seen it, thinker4life's 'proof' is here.

I am currently reading it.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby DragonFly on August 22nd, 2017, 11:39 pm 

thinker4life » August 22nd, 2017, 8:42 pm wrote:6. Free will is defined as:
A) Nondeterminism - That multiple potential outcomes are possible when a person makes a decision.


One outcome among all those potential outcomes able to be considered by the will comes out at the end; none of the other outcomes make it, for these other candidates lose the neural election of that instant, and so they weren't really possible as outcomes at all. Maybe next time, with a changed will.

That's what the will does—it sifts the best from the rest. We don't exactly know what is 'best' to the will; many think it is in general to provide for the organism's continuance—to promote future, but beyond those usual needs, it seems that it also must reflect your nature specifically. Surely, though, your will made the decision and so the decision belongs to you. Wills choose.

thinker4life » August 22nd, 2017, 8:42 pm wrote:B) A being’s conscious effort to make one of them more likely has a statistical impact on the likely outcome of which possibility the being experiences. In layman’s terms, if you choose to try to do something, it's more likely to happen.


The conscious effort, or anything of consciousness, obtains from the neurological, and so if a goal is already underway, like learning to drive a car or to learn tennis, the neurological keeps pushing the goal, which result you keep on feeling in consciousness, even to the exclusion of other thoughts, for the neurological keeps on checking this, checking that, etc. Consciousness only has room for a few things at a time.

thinker4life » August 22nd, 2017, 8:42 pm wrote:A) is important because if there are not multiple possible outcomes, then will can't be 'free' -- free assumes there's some level of choice.


Only one possible outcome, chosen as it had to be. Strictly speaking, there may be times when the will gets disrupted from taking its normal course if affected by something 'random'; so, it seems that wills may then be unpredictable even in principle in those particular cases.

thinker4life » August 22nd, 2017, 8:42 pm wrote:If the world is deterministic, there's no choice.


Well, there's 'choice', but it wholly depends on the inputs and the will's processing method, so not just any old direction comes out, but one preferred direction. Since it happens subconsciously, your delayed consciousness is as a tourist along for the ride, dependent on vast stores of subconscious information and a hundred trillion neural connections contributing. Some don't like the sound of this arrangement, yet who would want to give up this dependence and have…what? …instead…as an alternative.

thinker4life » August 22nd, 2017, 8:42 pm wrote:Can you at least agree I have sufficiently proven that non-determinism is true - that is that randomness and/or free will influence the future. Eg - that the future is not simply a deterministic result of the acting laws of physics?


Determinism would only be mostly true, but it seems that very seldom would the will get overruled by 'random', due to decoherence averaging out or 'random' getting swamped by overwhelming votes, but, if so and when so, the future ain't what it used to be.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby DragonFly on August 22nd, 2017, 11:44 pm 

thinker4life » August 22nd, 2017, 8:57 pm wrote:I'm the most knowledgeable person of the last few millennia on this subject


Thanks for the humor (my will couldn't resist).
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby Positor on August 23rd, 2017, 12:23 am 

This 'proof' seems to be a kind of Many Worlds theory. Here are a few comments I have:

The laws of the universe themselves determine exactly which universe we see, but our decision is certainly – in many cases – one of the most influential factors in shaping the 3-space mass-energy configuration we enter into in 5-space and ultimately observe.

So which is it – the laws of the universe (multiverse?) alone, or partly our decision? If 'we' make different decisions at the corresponding time in different 4-spaces – all as a result of free will – how can free will privilege one particular decision (one particular 4-space) over the others? If it is asserted that free will enables us to make a decision within a 4-space, it does not follow that free will permits us to choose between different 4-spaces. The ability to choose to cross over into a different region of 5-space would involve a kind of meta-freewill, and this point has not been addressed. If we only live in 4 dimensions, how can the 5th dimension have any bearing on us?

If we consider the actual 4-space in which we find ourselves (in accordance with the "laws of the universe"), any indeterminism could be accounted for by quantum randomness over which we have no control. The existence of indeterminism does not prove free will.

Now a skeptic may say that the decision was already made for you, because in the reality you observe you made the choice you did, but that's an after-the-fact determination. And it's true that after-the-fact history is deterministic – only one history existed...but by our definition of free will above, we've proven that a person's decisions actually do influence the probabilistic outcome of the reality they experience, which was our definition of free will.

But that was just a definition. You can't prove anything by a mere definition. It has not been clearly demonstrated that anything corresponding to that definition actually exists.

For situations in which it is hypothesized a person's conscious decision has a high probability of affecting what they do, we can record a person's decision and the expected outcome.

We can record their decision and the expected outcome, yes – but this does not prove that the decision was really conscious. Their 'consciousness' of it might be epiphenomenal.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby thinker4life on August 23rd, 2017, 6:14 am 

DragonFly » August 22nd, 2017, 10:39 pm wrote:
thinker4life » August 22nd, 2017, 8:42 pm wrote:6. Free will is defined as:
A) Nondeterminism - That multiple potential outcomes are possible when a person makes a decision.


One outcome among all those potential outcomes able to be considered by the will comes out at the end; none of the other outcomes make it, for these other candidates lose the neural election of that instant, and so they weren't really possible as outcomes at all. Maybe next time, with a changed will.


This is the definition, not the proof. Its just stating that non-determinism is something I need to prove in my paper to prove my definition of free will. We've already refuted your timing argument. A free will decision can easily be made earlier and manifest moments later. There's no logical reason to doubt that the effects of a free will decision will be observed after a free will decision is made. The free will decision is not a scientifically-determinable thing... Its not calculable, and its not predictable (that's what I claim I've proven), but to understand the proof you have to read more than the definition. If you want to refute the definition, refute the definition, if you want to refute the proof (which is what you're doing above), quote parts of the proof, as Positor has done, and I can address your points as they relate to that part of the paper.

That's what the will does—it sifts the best from the rest. We don't exactly know what is 'best' to the will; many think it is in general to provide for the organism's continuance—to promote future, but beyond those usual needs, it seems that it also must reflect your nature specifically. Surely, though, your will made the decision and so the decision belongs to you. Wills choose.

I agree the will sifts the 'best' (according to that sentient being's judgement) from the rest. I also agree my will made the decision. However I claim it does so non-deterministically because of "decisions" made by a "sentient being".

To claim that a being always uses its will to provide for the organism's continuance ignores the behavior of war heros who sacrifice their lives to save others, and people who, unfortunately, choose to commit suicide.

thinker4life » August 22nd, 2017, 8:42 pm wrote:B) A being’s conscious effort to make one of them more likely has a statistical impact on the likely outcome of which possibility the being experiences. In layman’s terms, if you choose to try to do something, it's more likely to happen.


The conscious effort, or anything of consciousness, obtains from the neurological, and so if a goal is already underway, like learning to drive a car or to learn tennis, the neurological keeps pushing the goal, which result you keep on feeling in consciousness, even to the exclusion of other thoughts, for the neurological keeps on checking this, checking that, etc. Consciousness only has room for a few things at a time.

thinker4life » August 22nd, 2017, 8:42 pm wrote:A) is important because if there are not multiple possible outcomes, then will can't be 'free' -- free assumes there's some level of choice.


Only one possible outcome, chosen as it had to be. Strictly speaking, there may be times when the will gets disrupted from taking its normal course if affected by something 'random'; so, it seems that wills may then be unpredictable even in principle in those particular cases.

As I stated in the paper, both randomness and free will can explain non-determinism. The very strong "illusion of free will" that we feel and sense in our lives is very distinguishable from randomness we observe. So I argue that by Occam's razor that free will is a better explanation of non-determinism than randomness. If you feel your life's decisions -- like when you choose to drink a glass of water - are randomly determined and out of your control - I would be quite surprised and you'd be the first person I know to feel this way.
thinker4life » August 22nd, 2017, 8:42 pm wrote:If the world is deterministic, there's no choice.


Well, there's 'choice', but it wholly depends on the inputs and the will's processing method, so not just any old direction comes out, but one preferred direction. Since it happens subconsciously, your delayed consciousness is as a tourist along for the ride, dependent on vast stores of subconscious information and a hundred trillion neural connections contributing. Some don't like the sound of this arrangement, yet who would want to give up this dependence and have…what? …instead…as an alternative.

I agree with most of what you said - the conscious observation of the person is, after the free will decision is made, along for the ride with a delay of miliseconds. but notice you're not surprised at those decisions as you would be if you were simply 'along for the ride', so its possible that your conscious brain (this is what I suspect) is directing the prior free will decision, which creates not only the illusion of free will but the reality of it. None of what you said contradicts the definition of free will as I stated. The hundreds of trillion neural connections all contribute as the consciousness steers the free will decision, its simply that there's "something more" playing into the conversation as well -- a non-deterministic "entity" that we think of as ourselves, or a "sentient being". I don't know if you realize this, but you seem to want to worship science as if its all knowing and all perceiving and all predicting.... what I've proven is there's more to this world than science. Its a small corner of the world, admittedly, science answers most of our questions and is the best way to answer most questions, but I have another paper that shows that science can't accurately answer all questions in the world... Its based on Godel's too so you may have picked up that implication from this paper as well. That said I'm side-tracking and should stay focused on your comments. Pardon the digression.
thinker4life » August 22nd, 2017, 8:42 pm wrote:Can you at least agree I have sufficiently proven that non-determinism is true - that is that randomness and/or free will influence the future. Eg - that the future is not simply a deterministic result of the acting laws of physics?


Determinism would only be mostly true, but it seems that very seldom would the will get overruled by 'random', due to decoherence averaging out or 'random' getting swamped by overwhelming votes, but, if so and when so, the future ain't what it used to be.

I think I already addressed that people are good observers of random behavior, and none of us feel that all our actions are randomly decided, so if I have sufficiently proved that the world is non-deterministic (feel free to criticize that part of the proof), I think the easy part of the proof is to say that our perception of free will is a more logical explanation than randomness for our perceptions. If you disagree on this point I may not bother arguing with you, we'll probably just agree to disagree. If you feel your life is more likely guided by randomness than your own decisions, that's not something that I can make you feel differently about.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby thinker4life on August 23rd, 2017, 6:30 am 

Positor » August 22nd, 2017, 11:23 pm wrote:This 'proof' seems to be a kind of Many Worlds theory. Here are a few comments I have:

The laws of the universe themselves determine exactly which universe we see, but our decision is certainly – in many cases – one of the most influential factors in shaping the 3-space mass-energy configuration we enter into in 5-space and ultimately observe.

So which is it – the laws of the universe (multiverse?) alone, or partly our decision? If 'we' make different decisions at the corresponding time in different 4-spaces – all as a result of free will – how can free will privilege one particular decision (one particular 4-space) over the others? If it is asserted that free will enables us to make a decision within a 4-space, it does not follow that free will permits us to choose between different 4-spaces. The ability to choose to cross over into a different region of 5-space would involve a kind of meta-freewill, and this point has not been addressed. If we only live in 4 dimensions, how can the 5th dimension have any bearing on us?

First, thanks Positor for taking the time to read and actually comment on my proposed proof. I appreciate the effort and time you put into it, and will reciprocate with at least as much if not more effort.

When I first wrote the proof I felt it was necessary to talk about 5-space, I no longer do... I think I can entirely remove the multi-verse theory and still have a solid proof... So with that caveat aside, I'll try to address your feedback but if the multi-verse theory is too much to believe I can simplify the proof (I've been meaning to do this, but alas time is short and I've been focused on other papers until someone gives a good critique of this one)

That said, you asked about the way the 5th dimension has bearing on us -- As I described the 5th dimension its "parallel universes" -- which means that a free will decision "moves" us from one parallel universe (all these universes have the same laws of physics... I have another paper on higher dimensional-spaces if that's of interest) to another, essentially moving us in 5 space. Now I get to the way it impacts us -- When we move from one plane of 5 space to another, we experience a different 4 space. If you're familiar with linear algebra, a higher dimension space can be mapped onto a lower dimension space, and the lower dimension space only sees its own dimensions. We observe 3 dimensions at any given time, and can perceive 4 dimensions... so using a more tangible example, if you are deciding to pick up a glass of water and take a drink or not, whether you do or not will move you into a different plane of 5-space, in one of those planes you drank the water in the other you didn't... Each 5-space plane is very similar to the other, but with a slight difference. I'm arguing that free will navigates which of those 5-space realities we experience. I feel like the multi-verse theory is the more complete argument, but as I said if you have problems with it I'm happy to write an alternative method for disproving determinism which I think will be less descriptive but also less controversial.
If we consider the actual 4-space in which we find ourselves (in accordance with the "laws of the universe"), any indeterminism could be accounted for by quantum randomness over which we have no control. The existence of indeterminism does not prove free will.

I agree with you, proving non-determinism does not alone prove free will, it only proves the first of my two-part definition of free will. It introduces the possibility that randomness (as you suggest) or free will (or some combination of the two) determines the future along with the laws of physics. I then go on in the proof to argue that by Occam's razor, free will is a better explanation for our perception of free will than randomness, since we can observe and we experience random behavior, but our actions feel anything but random. Note that the paper does not address whether randomness determines the future or not. I personally believe it does contribute to the future, but I haven't proven randomness as a contributor, just free will. I'd like to work on randomness in the future, if you have suggestions for proving randomness influences the future as well I'm all ears.

Positor » August 22nd, 2017, 11:23 pm wrote:
Now a skeptic may say that the decision was already made for you, because in the reality you observe you made the choice you did, but that's an after-the-fact determination. And it's true that after-the-fact history is deterministic – only one history existed...but by our definition of free will above, we've proven that a person's decisions actually do influence the probabilistic outcome of the reality they experience, which was our definition of free will.

But that was just a definition. You can't prove anything by a mere definition. It has not been clearly demonstrated that anything corresponding to that definition actually exists.

I can see how you could have read that as me claiming that my definition proved something, that's not at all how I meant it. Sorry I didn't mean that the definition proved it, I meant that the paper proves the definition true, and therefore the paper proves that a person's decisions impact the probabilistic outcome.

Sorry for the confusion.
For situations in which it is hypothesized a person's conscious decision has a high probability of affecting what they do, we can record a person's decision and the expected outcome.

We can record their decision and the expected outcome, yes – but this does not prove that the decision was really conscious. Their 'consciousness' of it might be epiphenomenal.


I don't remember saying this or so it in my post, were you quoting someone else?

Edited to fix the quotes
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby thinker4life on August 23rd, 2017, 6:31 am 

DragonFly » August 22nd, 2017, 10:44 pm wrote:
thinker4life » August 22nd, 2017, 8:57 pm wrote:I'm the most knowledgeable person of the last few millennia on this subject


Thanks for the humor (my will couldn't resist).


Your welcome, I like to make people laugh, even if its at me... at least you get some entertainment value :-)

That said, consider the possibility you may be wrong... science is always supposed to consider that possibility, isn't it?

Also don't forget, SOMEONE has to be the most knowledgeable on this topic. If you claim someone else is, tell me their name and I will research their writing and try to debunk or support their thought process in this forum.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby neuro on August 23rd, 2017, 9:19 am 

I have the impression that thinker4life takes any objection to his "proof" of free will as an argument against free will.
I think this should be made clear to him: if one finds a flaw in his reasoning, that does not mean they do not believe that free will is possible; they simply do not believe thinker4life has "proven" it.

In addition to this, I would like to offer two considerations:

1. The (B) part of thinker4life's definition of free will ("B) A being’s conscious effort to make one of them more likely has a statistical impact on the likely outcome of which possibility the being experiences. In layman’s terms, if you choose to try to do something, it's more likely to happen.") is not a definition of "free will", it simply is a definition of "will": a conscious agent has the possibility to change the probabilities of the outcomes of a situation. This has nothing to do with their "will" being "free".
So, the definition begs the point: "free(?) will is based on the fact that will can change the set of probabilities".
If the "effort" actually arises from an internal fight among physiological and neurological processes and drives, then the "choice" is caused by something that cannot be called "free" will.
The "conscious effort" may simply be a feeling that arises from the fact that some of the drives that are in conflict are more "elevate" or "moral" or "noble", and therefore appear to be (more "mine" and) heroically struggling against more instinctual drives.

2. The scepticism of most people here on thinker4life's "proof" is not a negation of free will, but rather a feeling of uncertainty and inconsistency that goes back to Schopenauer and any moral philosopher or psychologist after him. I believe it is important to understand the anguish that hit him in considering that:
Everything presses and strives towards existence…Let any one consider this universal desire for life, let him see the infinite willingness, facility, and exuberance with which the will to live presses impetuously into existence under a million forms everywhere and at every moment… In such phenomena, then, it becomes visible that I am right in declaring that the will to live is that which cannot be further explained, but lies at the foundation of all explanation… (Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation)

and that this same will can be felt inside ourselves as an irresistible force, which however we can not and could never win, because man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills.
I can do what I will: I can, if I will, give everything I have to the poor and thus become poor myself—if I will! But I cannot will this, because the opposing motives have much too much power over me for me to be able to. On the other hand, if I had a different character, even to the extent that I were a saint, then I would be able to will it. But then I could not keep from willing it, and hence I would have to do so.


In conclusion, thinker4life, either you prove that you can will what you will, or you won't have proven FREE will.

And this is the reason why I believe the title of this thread makes a lot of sense: I do not believe it is an all-or-none matter.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby thinker4life on August 23rd, 2017, 11:30 am 

neuro » August 23rd, 2017, 8:19 am wrote:I have the impression that thinker4life takes any objection to his "proof" of free will as an argument against free will.
I think this should be made clear to him: if one finds a flaw in his reasoning, that does not mean they do not believe that free will is possible; they simply do not believe thinker4life has "proven" it.

not my impression at all. Mitchel had concerns with my proof but believes in free will. I understand someone could believe in free will and still find fault in my proof, and welcome them to try. Anyone trying to shoot holes in my proof will only either make it stronger or prove me wrong, either result I'm happy with because I've learned something. If I didn't want criticism I wouldn't share it openly.
In addition to this, I would like to offer two considerations:

1. The (B) part of thinker4life's definition of free will ("B) A being’s conscious effort to make one of them more likely has a statistical impact on the likely outcome of which possibility the being experiences. In layman’s terms, if you choose to try to do something, it's more likely to happen.") is not a definition of "free will", it simply is a definition of "will": a conscious agent has the possibility to change the probabilities of the outcomes of a situation. This has nothing to do with their "will" being "free".
So, the definition begs the point: "free(?) will is based on the fact that will can change the set of probabilities".
If the "effort" actually arises from an internal fight among physiological and neurological processes and drives, then the "choice" is caused by something that cannot be called "free" will.
The "conscious effort" may simply be a feeling that arises from the fact that some of the drives that are in conflict are more "elevate" or "moral" or "noble", and therefore appear to be (more "mine" and) heroically struggling against more instinctual drives.


Neuro - I think what you're saying is that my proof may be right, but people could dispute whether my definition of free will really is a definition of free will at all. They may call what I've proven something other than free will. Specifically you say: "If the "effort" actually arises from an internal fight among physiological and neurological processes and drives, then the "choice" is caused by something that cannot be called "free" will."

I would say my definition not only does not preclude that there is a fight amongst physiological and neurological processes and drives, I'd argue that to preclude them would be silly, we know that physical and neurological processes and drives influence at the very least the probability cloud of what is possible, and in turn at the very least what free will decisions can be made within the probability cloud of what's possible. Whether they influence the will or not itself I have neither proven nor pretend to know. I don't understand why you say that "neurological and physiological processes and drives" being involved would preclude free will. If those processes are non-deterministic, my proof and definition are sound... and you can call a non-deterministic self-perceiving entities "decisions" something other than "free will" if you choose, I've just defined it as free will because it seems like a logical definition to me.

if you agree that I have proven the world is non-deterministic, and you agree I have proven that "something" "non-deterministic" "causes" probabailistic outcomes to be more likely or less likely, I honestly don't care if you want to call it something other than free will. That was all I have proven. If you'd like to take my definition of free will and define it as "illusion of free will," you're more than welcome to call it that. For me, the definition I provided is how I define free will. Its possible that you will interpret the findings of the two statements I've proven true have some other definition you prefer to attach to them other than free will. You have the free will (by my definition) to call it whatever you want :-)


2. The scepticism of most people here on thinker4life's "proof" is not a negation of free will, but rather a feeling of uncertainty and inconsistency that goes back to Schopenauer and any moral philosopher or psychologist after him. I believe it is important to understand the anguish that hit him in considering that:
Everything presses and strives towards existence…Let any one consider this universal desire for life, let him see the infinite willingness, facility, and exuberance with which the will to live presses impetuously into existence under a million forms everywhere and at every moment… In such phenomena, then, it becomes visible that I am right in declaring that the will to live is that which cannot be further explained, but lies at the foundation of all explanation… (Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation)

and that this same will can be felt inside ourselves as an irresistible force, which however we can not and could never win, because man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills.

Studies of Buddhist monks show that they can cultivate their thoughts so that they actually control what thoughts arise... Which I believe would refute your claim that a man can't will what he wills. If you want me to look up studies because this is unfamiliar territory to you let me know and I'll do some internet crawling to support my claims.

I can do what I will: I can, if I will, give everything I have to the poor and thus become poor myself—if I will! But I cannot will this, because the opposing motives have much too much power over me for me to be able to. On the other hand, if I had a different character, even to the extent that I were a saint, then I would be able to will it. But then I could not keep from willing it, and hence I would have to do so.


In conclusion, thinker4life, either you prove that you can will what you will, or you won't have proven FREE will.

And this is the reason why I believe the title of this thread makes a lot of sense: I do not believe it is an all-or-none matter.


I agree with you Neuro, I don't think its an all or nothing matter. I believe free will is limited to:
A) A choice amongst a set of probabilistically likely outcomes made possible by nature and nurture (the laws of physics) (The idea of unlimited free will (I believe called liberatarian free will?), is easily discarded if you realize you can't bend a spoon with your mind)
B) Those who believe they have it (those who don't simply do what comes most naturally to them, they don't exhibit the force of will and simply choose the most probabilistically likely decision in any given situation)

The reason I wrote the proof is I don't like to see people doing B... Sometimes it can result in people being satisfied with a less happy life because they haven't put forth their best effort. My goal in sharing the proof with people is to inspire people to use the strength of their will to do good in the world, for themselves and for society. I think if people know they can significantly shape their own future, it is empowering. My primary goal in life is to empower others, so this paper is right on point with that goal.

To address the quandary you mention, you're sort of evaluating the person after the fact and saying they must have made that decision. That's not quite a logical way to approach it. Let me explain:

Many people have acquired large amounts of wealth. Some have chosen to donate even as much as billions of dollars of their wealth, to the point that they have a modest few hundred million left (the founder of the Duty Free stores we see in airpots donated almost all of his wealth to charity, for example). Was he born a saint, or did he choose to be giving? I'd argue my proof says he had both the option to be like the people who have earned considerable wealth and don't make donations, or to make the donations, he chose to make the donations. Once he's made that decision you can call him a saint because he gave up much of his wealth, but society shows us not everyone makes that choice. So there are two possibilities:
1) Either the choices people make are ultimately pre-determined by the laws of physics (determinism)
or
2) The choices people make are non-deterministic decisions made by sentient beings.

I think I've proven that #2 is true. But again you're welcome to refute any part of my proof if you'd like. I will patch up any holes you shoot in it that I can, or admit it's wrong if I can't patch it up. I'm not afraid to be wrong, I've been wrong many times in my life and will be many more... Its just that on this particular topic, no one has given a convincing argument as to why free will doesn't exist flat out that Mitch or I were unable to clearly refute, and I have what I think is a very logical (albeit slightly complex, requiring a little linear algebra knowledge) proof of the two statements that I use to define my version of free will. So for now I stand by my claims, but I welcome any and all arguments to the contrary.

I like our conversations much better when I don't take things personally... Its a personal goal to take criticism less personally, and I think I got caught up in that earlier... Trying to do better let me know if I'm succeeding.

Kind regards,
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby RJG on August 23rd, 2017, 11:35 am 

thinker4life wrote:Here's my definition of free will:

6. Free will is defined as:
A) Nondeterminism - That multiple potential outcomes are possible when a person makes a decision
B) A being’s conscious effort to make one of them more likely has a statistical impact on the likely outcome of which possibility the being experiences. In layman’s terms, if you choose to try to do something, it's more likely to happen.

Thinker, here are some of the initial problems that I see:

1. Definition -- Your definition does not match that which is commonly understood as free-will. Free-will is commonly understood as the conscious power/ability to ‘determine’ (choose/cause/control) something. Your inclusion of “nondeterminism” seems a bit suspect. To me, it appears that you have created a “strawman” (named “free-will") so that you can then prove that "free-will" (this strawman) exists.

2. Part B of your definition is logically flawed (…Neuro also spotted this logical error) -- you pre-assume the conclusion (“beg the question”) with your “if you choose to try to do something, it’s more likely to happen” statement. You are pre-assuming that ‘free-will’ exists in the first place so as to then be able to do this “choosing”.

3. "Conscious effort" -- A) conscious effort requires free-will, which begs the question again! and B) conscious effort is logically impossible. It is not logically possible to consciously 'do' anything, including consciously doing/exerting "effort". Everything that we are conscious of, is of a past event, there is no opportunity to do/cause anything, as the doing/causing has already been done.

4. The 'fatal' problem (imo) is that your entire underlying argument is based on flawed logic --

    P1. Free-will is non-deterministic.
    P2. Non-determinism exists.
    C1. Therefore free-will exists!

    With this same logic, we could also prove that ‘ghosts’ and ‘flying pigs’ exist’:

    P1. Ghosts are invisible.
    P2. Invisibility exists.
    C1. Therefore ghosts exist!

    P1. Flying pigs are brown colored.
    P2. The color brown exists.
    C1. Therefore flying pigs exist!

*******

neuro wrote:In conclusion, thinker4life, either you prove that you can will what you will, or you won't have proven FREE will.

Great point.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby Braininvat on August 23rd, 2017, 12:20 pm 

DragonFly » August 22nd, 2017, 8:44 pm wrote:
thinker4life » August 22nd, 2017, 8:57 pm wrote:I'm the most knowledgeable person of the last few millennia on this subject


Thanks for the humor (my will couldn't resist).


That was worth a chuckle or two. He has already shown he does not understand compatibilism or quantum decoherence, so I feel no need to pursue this further.

And both Neuro and RJG seem to have noticed the logic problem in T4L's proof. Well done.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby DragonFly on August 23rd, 2017, 1:22 pm 

thinker4life » August 23rd, 2017, 5:14 am wrote:We've already refuted your timing argument. A free will decision can easily be made earlier and manifest moments later.


You didn't show what would control the will to not do its normal will or what the mechanism is for this 'what'?.

thinker4life » August 23rd, 2017, 5:14 am wrote:I also agree my will made the decision. However I claim it does so non-deterministically because of "decisions" made by a "sentient being".


That's not a good "because"; it gives a sentient being some unspecified special power. The claim remains a claim.

thinker4life » August 23rd, 2017, 5:14 am wrote:To claim that a being always uses its will to provide for the organism's continuance ignores the behavior of war heros who sacrifice their lives to save others, and people who, unfortunately, choose to commit suicide.


You slipped in "always". "In general" doesn't mean "always". Apparently, the specifics of the individual can rule.

thinker4life » August 23rd, 2017, 5:14 am wrote:If you feel your life's decisions -- like when you choose to drink a glass of water - are randomly determined and out of your control - I would be quite surprised and you'd be the first person I know to feel this way.


More slipperiness. I said that 'random' would be rare, and that's even if it is so that it can even get through or matter. It seems possible, so I allow for it.


thinker4life » August 23rd, 2017, 5:14 am wrote:its possible that your conscious brain (this is what I suspect) is directing the prior free will decision, which creates not only the illusion of free will but the reality of it. None of what you said contradicts the definition of free will as I stated. The hundreds of trillion neural connections all contribute as the consciousness steers the free will decision, its simply that there's "something more" playing into the conversation as well -- a non-deterministic "entity" that we think of as ourselves, or a "sentient being".


What higher/better method does consciousness use to make its standalone will that can direct/steer the neural will by being smarter?

thinker4life » August 23rd, 2017, 5:14 am wrote:I think I already addressed that people are good observers of random behavior, and none of us feel that all our actions are randomly decided, so if I have sufficiently proved that the world is non-deterministic (feel free to criticize that part of the proof), I think the easy part of the proof is to say that our perception of free will is a more logical explanation than randomness for our perceptions.


Totally "not determined" is, well, not ever determined by anything, which equals completely random always.

How does the will become free of itself? How does its probability set get altered/steered by some higher authority? Sentience? A soul? A seer? Dwelling on the topic?

And of course dwelling on something in the extreme can bring on thoughts of the same, even to the point of a persistent thought problem that dogs you all the time.
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