Free Will


#41

AFAIK, the experiments conducted by Libet and other studies like it didn’t show this. What we would need to have seen in the data for this to be true would be multiple occasions where the sub-conscious brain is activated, but no action is performed. Instead what we see is the subconscious brain firing up once before any action is performed, suggesting the former rather than the latter.

Wait, how are you defining free will? If it’s simply the ability to perceive choice and act in a fashion that is aligned with one of those choices, then sure. But that tells us nothing about the agency behind that choice, which is what free will is about.


#42

If we take an objective view based on science, from what we know so far, there are immutable physical laws governing the universe, and from the world of quantum physics, we have what, as far as we can tell, is complete randomness; no pattern has been observed. This would suggest that the universe is predetermined and/or free will is an illusion.

In practice, though, consciousness definitely makes it feel like we have free will. I can make what feels like a conscious decision.

Ultimately, though, my current assumption, until I see evidence otherwise, is that everyone’s path in this world is “predetermined” as much as true random influence is predetermined. The universe takes only one path.

How does this affect my other beliefs? Well, it doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t, say, be punished for breaking laws. The point of punishments is to discourage people from breaking the laws, not the punishment itself. The disbelief in free will, however, does make me more sympathetic to other people, even if they have done bad things. While they had the thoughts of making a conscious decision to commit a crime, they are still essentially along for the ride and those thoughts are just sensations like anything else they experience.


#43

Last time I checked up on the science, basically there is no such thing as free will…but there’s a caveat, if a person believes they have free will they will effectively emulate it, essentially behaving as close as possible to an entity that has free will, the brain literally will do that. It’s kinda crazy


#44

Libet himself;[quote]
The finding that the volitional process is initiated unconsciously leads to the question: Is there then any role for conscious will in the performance of a voluntary act (Libet, 1985)? The conscious will (W) does appear 150 msec before the motor act, even though it follows the onset of the cerebral action (1W) by at least 400 msec. That allows it, potentially, to affect or control the final outcome of the volitional process. An interval msec before a muscle is activated is the time for the primary motor cortex to activate the spinal motor nerve cells, and through them, the muscles. During this final 50 msec, the act goes to completion with no possibility of its being stopped by the rest of the cerebral cortex.)
The conscious will could decide to allow the volitional process to go to completion, resulting in the motor act itself. Or, the conscious will could block or “veto” the process, so that no motor act occurs…

…we showed experimentally that the veto of a planned act was possible even during the last 100-200 msec before the expected time of the action.
[/quote]

Free as in not constrained by causal determinism.


#45

Fair enough. Although it doesn’t state whether or not the veto is preceded by any shifts in cerebral activity, I’ll assume that this is because no data was found to support it. I would still argue that because consciousness as far as we understand it is a physical process though, it is still therefore subject to the laws of nature and therefore ultimately out of our control (just slightly less out of our control however).


#46

I feel that the distinction is entirely arbitrary and relies on a concept of a ghost in the machine, some sort of abstract “person.” it implies that human beings exist separately from their will and biological essence, which I see no reason to believe they do.


#47

Some time ago I developed a simple test that proves to those that I spoke to on free will that they had it. It gives you and irrefutable result that shows that you have a free will.

If you truly believe that you do have a free will then it might be worth it for you to take that really short and simple test just for your own self-knowledge. Let me know.


#48

Let me repeat what I just put to another poster.

Some time ago I developed a simple test that proves to those that I spoke to on free will that they had it. It gives you and irrefutable result that shows that you have a free will.

If you truly believe that you do have a free will then it might be worth it for you to take that really short and simple test just for your own self-knowledge. Let me know.


#49

Perhaps. I also give you my invitation to prove that you do have a free will.

Some time ago I developed a simple test that proves to those that I spoke to on free will that they had it. It gives you and irrefutable result that shows that you have a free will.

If you truly believe that you do have a free will then it might be worth it for you to take that really short and simple test just for your own self-knowledge. Let me know.


#50

No thanks


#51

There is absolutely no way free will could exist from a scientific stand-point.


#52

So? Just because what I do originates within my brain doesn’t mean I have any control over it.

So, people have free will because people do thing? Because that’s absolute bullshit.

No, it doesn’t. It shows that I did something, but not that I had any control over it.

Demonstrated by whom?

I really fucking appreciate how you fucking copied and pasted the same fucking thing to three different people in three different posts. Well fucking done, it’s not like this could have been done in one post or anything.


#53

How so?


#54

The brain is a set of semi-autonomous agents,


#55

I don’t see how this means human action is pre-determined.


#56

lack of free will is not predetermination. This is a conflation.

The idea of free will relies on an implied single entity ie your concept of you solely deciding and choosing things, when its actually multiple semi-autonomous agents making independent calculations and coordinating with each other (and sometimes competing each other). You are an autonomous entity but free will as we describe it does not exist, You also do not have concious control or the ability to manipulate these agents, ie your sex drive cannot be changed, it however influences the rest of your brain,


#57

I accept your free willed choice.


#58

If not you, then who?

Not because they do things. Because they choose to do things.

In this case, you choosing to call it B.S. just tells me that you have yet to dither out that you have a free will.

Again, if not you then who?

Do you kiss your mother with that potty mouth?

Whoever is putting those words in your mouth is quite an idiot. You might want to find whoever is making your choices for you of grammar and slip some manners into him, her, or it. Whoever you blame is making you look really stupid and vulgar.


#59

Clever


#60

So you are saying that there is no mind/ consciousness that really exists to do the choosing?

How do you account for immediate subjective experience then? It seems to me as a somewhat of a starting point that I am conscious. Surely you can’t deny that there is something that it feels like to be you, you experience the colour blue for example. Yet this reductionist account - that consciousness is a bunch of smaller parts that we objectively observe - doesn’t account for that subjective experience. If I were to ask what is it like to be you, and you responded by explaining the physical properties of the individual parts that supposedly make up your sole single entity, I wouldn’t be any wiser to what it’s like to be you.