You are a unique, discrete individual with free will and self ownership.

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Xepera-maSet

Re: You are a unique, discrete individual with free will and self ownership.
« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2018, 03:43:29 pm »
Unlocked . Be nice.

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Liu

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Re: You are a unique, discrete individual with free will and self ownership.
« Reply #31 on: November 11, 2018, 02:56:58 pm »
The thread was closed before I even had a chance to join the fun properly, so let's give it a try now:

In the beginning stages of this thread, I wrote that I don't believe in free will.
Some scientific evidence for it has been brought up, and some counter-arguments have been presented.
But I don't think we need the natural sciences for that question, the science of logic is quite enough.

Say that your will is actually fully independent from your physicality and even from "lower" parts of your psyche, as free as you can imagine.
Even if that was true, I would still say that it's not free will. Why? Because you still cannot change what it is that you want. You are still bound to your will, it flows out of your essence, being determined by it. Yes, you may say that you have changed your will before, but how did you do it? Because you wanted to! Because parts of your desires were stronger than others. And even if you were to change those desires, the very impulse to do so would still come from nothing but your state of wanting.
A free will not bound to causality is logically impossible.

It could be possible that logic simply doesn't apply to metaphysics like that, but if that's the case, then arguments won't help, we could never know it, it would be beyond our reasoning.

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Kapalika

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Re: You are a unique, discrete individual with free will and self ownership.
« Reply #32 on: November 11, 2018, 04:56:21 pm »
The thread was closed before I even had a chance to join the fun properly, so let's give it a try now:


I feel like this kind of argument is unknowable since we only choose what we choose and not something else. Hence we need to look to evidence rather than just logic.
https://kapalika.com

My religion is Satanism & Kashmir Shaivism via Vāmācāra

"We have none but evidence for the prosecution [against Satan] and yet we have rendered the verdict. To my mind, this is irregular. It is un-English. It is un-American; it is French." ... "We may not pay him reverence, for that would be indiscreet, but we can at least respect his talents." - Mark Twain
"God and the individual are one. To realize this is the essence of Shaivism." - Swami Lakshmanjoo

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Liu

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Re: You are a unique, discrete individual with free will and self ownership.
« Reply #33 on: November 11, 2018, 05:07:33 pm »
The thread was closed before I even had a chance to join the fun properly, so let's give it a try now:


I feel like this kind of argument is unknowable since we only choose what we choose and not something else. Hence we need to look to evidence rather than just logic.
But, how would you interpret the evidence, if not with logic?
What kind of evidence could there be that would not be disproven by it?

Re: You are a unique, discrete individual with free will and self ownership.
« Reply #34 on: November 11, 2018, 09:31:05 pm »
Over the last few decades, procedures for measuring, imaging and analyzing mental processes have grown in number and subtlety. During this same period, books for the general reader about the brain and its functions, consciousness, and will, thought and reasoning have proliferated. We have Daniel Dennett, Steven Pinker, Richard Dawkins, Cordelia Fine, Oliver Sacks, Michael Gazzaniga, Daniel Kahneman and scores of others explaining, and extrapolating from, new findings in neuroscience and almost always addressing the matter of free will.

Sam Harris, a Stanford graduate with a Ph.D. in neuroscience from U.C.L.A. “Free will is an illusion. Our wills are simply not of our own making. Thoughts and intentions emerge from background causes of which we are unaware and over which we exert no conscious control.” We assume that we could have made other choices in the past, Harris continues, and we also assume that we consciously originate “our thoughts and actions in the present. . . . Both of these assumptions are false.”

Harris prosecutes his orderly case by explaining what he sees as the illogic of our belief in free will, and the recent findings that have undermined that belief. Probably the most influential among these discoveries were the results of the famous EEG experiments conducted by the physiologist Benjamin Libet and others in the early 1980s. They showed that the brain makes decisions before consciousness becomes aware of them. As Harris puts it, “activity in the brain’s motor cortex can be detected some 300 milliseconds” — almost enough time for LeBron James to get off a shot ahead of the buzzer — “before a person feels that he has decided to move.”

To read the entire article: https://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/books/review/free-will-by-sam-harris.html

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Kapalika

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Re: You are a unique, discrete individual with free will and self ownership.
« Reply #35 on: November 11, 2018, 10:13:16 pm »
The thread was closed before I even had a chance to join the fun properly, so let's give it a try now:


I feel like this kind of argument is unknowable since we only choose what we choose and not something else. Hence we need to look to evidence rather than just logic.
But, how would you interpret the evidence, if not with logic?
What kind of evidence could there be that would not be disproven by it?


I said "rather than just logic". Logic is still part of the process and without looking at evidence we are working with an incomplete picture. It's why Plato and the like got so much wrong about the physical world, they believed they could figure out the world just by thinking about it.
https://kapalika.com

My religion is Satanism & Kashmir Shaivism via Vāmācāra

"We have none but evidence for the prosecution [against Satan] and yet we have rendered the verdict. To my mind, this is irregular. It is un-English. It is un-American; it is French." ... "We may not pay him reverence, for that would be indiscreet, but we can at least respect his talents." - Mark Twain
"God and the individual are one. To realize this is the essence of Shaivism." - Swami Lakshmanjoo

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Liu

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Re: You are a unique, discrete individual with free will and self ownership.
« Reply #36 on: November 12, 2018, 07:35:21 pm »
Over the last few decades, procedures for measuring, imaging and analyzing mental processes have grown in number and subtlety. During this same period, books for the general reader about the brain and its functions, consciousness, and will, thought and reasoning have proliferated. We have Daniel Dennett, Steven Pinker, Richard Dawkins, Cordelia Fine, Oliver Sacks, Michael Gazzaniga, Daniel Kahneman and scores of others explaining, and extrapolating from, new findings in neuroscience and almost always addressing the matter of free will.
Heh, I once wrote an essay for university were I took apart Steven Pinker's model of how language works in the brain with some counter-examples :mrgreen: Don't have that high of an opinion on him. Of the others I haven't read anything so far. From neurolinguistics at least I know that the general consensus is that we know pretty much nothing for sure so far.

Quote
Harris prosecutes his orderly case by explaining what he sees as the illogic of our belief in free will, and the recent findings that have undermined that belief. Probably the most influential among these discoveries were the results of the famous EEG experiments conducted by the physiologist Benjamin Libet and others in the early 1980s.
They showed that the brain makes decisions before consciousness becomes aware of them. As Harris puts it, “activity in the brain’s motor cortex can be detected some 300 milliseconds” — almost enough time for LeBron James to get off a shot ahead of the buzzer — “before a person feels that he has decided to move.”
A while ago I read that the measure instruments that were normally used for that before, like, 2005 or so tended to have some flaw that was only noticed then, so who knows whether those results were reliable.

I said "rather than just logic". Logic is still part of the process and without looking at evidence we are working with an incomplete picture. It's why Plato and the like got so much wrong about the physical world, they believed they could figure out the world just by thinking about it.
I can see your point in general, but I'm not sure whether that applies here.
I guess it depends on how you define free will - the way I define it would contradict logic, as pointed out above, but if you define it in a way that doesn't, then looking at evidence is quite reasonable - I wouldn't consider it free will then, but that might just be a matter of terminology.

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Little Beast

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I wouldn't consider it free will then, but that might just be a matter of terminology.

Nobel Peace Prize worthy comment. But since you haven't murdered anyone (that I know of) I guess you didn't earn that accolade. Yet.
I'll be a thorn in your side,
'Til you die
I'll be a thorn in your side
For All Ways

- Chvrches - We Sink

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Liu

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I wouldn't consider it free will then, but that might just be a matter of terminology.

Nobel Peace Prize worthy comment. But since you haven't murdered anyone (that I know of) I guess you didn't earn that accolade. Yet.
I can't make heads nor tails out of your post...
Got several ideas how to interpret it, and none makes sense.
So would you mind elaborating on what you were intending to say?