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Ryan

Free Will.

33 posts in this topic

Do I have it?

honestly I never cared or really understood the question of it until like two months ago.

now I can't stop thinking about it.

or perhaps I'm just upset that I can't stick to meditating when I wake up in the morning.

like even if I leave myself notes on my bedroom door I will look at it, go piss, make coffee, and surf YouTube until I have to go to work.

I have zero focus. I have Zero. Focus.

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Posted (edited)

Will in general is an interesting thing. Sometimes I have more than is healthy, other times less.

 

I suspect that from an extra dimensional perspective it doesn't exist at all.

 

When I want to form new habits I tend to treat myself like a dog. Rewarding the habit. In your scenario I'd not allow myself coffee till after meditation and throw in a bit of chocolate or something.

 

Free will, yes and no.

Edited by miiyoo
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Posted (edited)

You're just being lazy dude i do the same shit. i have to really make myself do productive things. Free will definitely exists. You can do the shit you know you should or be a lazy bitch, either way you make the decision. In the end it doesn't really matter.

Edited by AngoGoblogian
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After reading the Kybalion, I would say I definitely don't.

But the potential is there, and perhaps on occasion it sparks up and becomes alive in me.

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Damn I need to re-read the Kybalion. That's what really got me into everything. 

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Posted (edited)

From reading Sam Harris's book recently I can offer one of his arguments against free will that I hadn't thought of before.

Lets say you go to the fridge to grab something to drink. You see a beer but decide against it in favor or water and you drink water. It did not occur to you to drink orange juice even though that was a possibility. You are not free to choose what did not occur to you and therefore the options you believe you have are presented to you by your mind first, not by your free will to do so.

 

I don't believe in free will at all. Not at all. I came to my decision slowly and fearfully and I think the idea is a corrosive and invasive one. Once you've considered it it will become more and more difficult to reject as time goes on. It also takes some courage to accept and at times it's frustrating because the phenomena can't be observed as it's happening. Only looking back can we see free will as an illusion.

In the present mind free will is so deeply rooted, like the sense of self, that to witness the illusion would almost defy the laws of physics. Your decisions come from the unconscious a few hundred milliseconds before you become consciously aware of them. Even being told of your decision right before you make it by some all observant machine wouldn't leave enough time to fact-check the premonition before the choice was 'made' by the conscious mind. If your decision could be displayed right in front of your eyes the instant it was created, in the time it would take to read the display your choice would've surfaced from unconscious to conscious. And so the illusion of free will might stay an illusion forever due to lag. I can't think of how we could speed it up.

Edited by Clarion
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1 hour ago, Clarion said:

From reading Sam Harris's book recently I can offer one of his arguments against free will that I hadn't thought of before.

Lets say you go to the fridge to grab something to drink. You see a beer but decide against it in favor or water and you drink water. It did not occur to you to drink orange juice even though that was a possibility. You are not free to choose what did not occur to you and therefore the options you believe you have are presented to you by your mind first, not by your free will to do so.

 

I don't believe in free will at all. Not at all. I came to my decision slowly and fearfully and I think the idea is a corrosive and invasive one. Once you've considered it it will become more and more difficult to reject as time goes on. It also takes some courage to accept and at times it's frustrating because the phenomena can't be observed as it's happening. Only looking back can we see free will as an illusion.

In the present mind free will is so deeply rooted, like the sense of self, that to witness the illusion would almost defy the laws of physics. Your decisions come from the unconscious a few hundred milliseconds before you become consciously aware of them. Even being told of your decision right before you make it by some all observant machine wouldn't leave enough time to fact-check the premonition before the choice was 'made' by the conscious mind. If your decision could be displayed right in front of your eyes the instant it was created, in the time it would take to read the display your choice would've surfaced from unconscious to conscious. And so the illusion of free will might stay an illusion forever due to lag. I can't think of how we could speed it up.

shit, when you compare it to the illusion of self it all kind of makes sense but it's still such a mind fuck.  

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Posted (edited)

"Free will" is a concept and "no free will" is also just a concept. If you feel like you have free will and are happy with life in general, then there's no problem. And even if you're not happy there isn't really an actual problem even then, except according to thoughts that are being believed somehow. Anyway, if you feel like you don't have free will take the inquiry deeper and see who is it that has no free will. And a seeing can occur that the inquirer is also a kind of a concept but this is not to be taken as a mere belief. It can just show itself, self evidently, as naked reality. And if nothing happens then that's just how things seemingly are at the moment. It's not right or wrong. And nothing really needs to happen anyway since reality is the case all the time.

Alan Watts explained it pretty nicely. He talked about how a bee colony works in harmony because the individual bees feel free in doing what they're doing as integral aspects of that larger dynamic. So it's not about getting stuck within a statement like "I have no free will" but to let life flow the way it wants to flow. It's just a simple state of affairs of being content and at ease in one's skin, so to speak. And this ease comes to the fore when the mixing up of identity with the thinker and the doer is suddenly noticed. If ease isn't felt right now it doesn't matter, it isn't serious. Things are serious only to the image you have of yourself, the mistaken identity, but that image doesn't really matter either. It's not a problem in reality.

Edited by K.O. Ok
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3 hours ago, K.O. Ok said:

"Free will" is a concept and "no free will" is also just a concept. If you feel like you have free will and are happy with life in general, then there's no problem. And even if you're not happy there isn't really an actual problem even then, except according to thoughts that are being believed somehow. Anyway, if you feel like you don't have free will take the inquiry deeper and see who is it that has no free will. And a seeing can occur that the inquirer is also a kind of a concept but this is not to be taken as a mere belief. It can just show itself, self evidently, as naked reality. And if nothing happens then that's just how things seemingly are at the moment. It's not right or wrong. And nothing really needs to happen anyway since reality is the case all the time.

Alan Watts explained it pretty nicely. He talked about how a bee colony works in harmony because the individual bees feel free in doing what they're doing as integral aspects of that larger dynamic. So it's not about getting stuck within a statement like "I have no free will" but to let life flow the way it wants to flow. It's just a simple state of affairs of being content and at ease in one's skin, so to speak. And this ease comes to the fore when the mixing up of identity with the thinker and the doer is suddenly noticed. If ease isn't felt right now it doesn't matter, it isn't serious. Things are serious only to the image you have of yourself, the mistaken identity, but that image doesn't really matter either. It's not a problem in reality.

I like it.

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I'd recommend Sam Harris's book to just about anyone. Very short and packed with good arguments. If nothing else I would absolutely call myself a 'free will' skeptic. Much like God, scientifically these are not things you actually need to disprove- they've never been positively proven in the first place. Without the fact that we call something "free will" and it vaguely relates to our experience, there's no real evidence of it. When on earth does free will happen? At one point in our world filled with atoms bumping into each other and firing axons does some magical "free-will" occur that stops everything on a dime for you to 'decide'... whatever that means. 

Another thing that Sam Harris points out is that it is not worth being ambivalent. I tend to not think of these things because... hey, what the fuck is it gonna change right!? 

But in reality it could and should radically change the way we perceive each other, particularly those we consider to have wronged us. Murderers, criminals. These are people that, even if you include some sliver of free-will, deserve a mountain of empathy that we as society purposefully withhold. It doesn't mean we don't deal with people seriously, especially those who could hurt again, it doesn't mean you don't imprison some people... but we can stop treating these people with such limitless rancor. Pointless hatred. They should be treated like what they almost certainly are: Extremely unfortunate beings. 

 

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10/10 post jay 

 

everyone keeps mentioning Sam Harris but I don't really like him but I can understand his point but I won't probably read any of his books.

 

 

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On 10/01/2017 at 0:06 AM, JayDP said:

Murderers, criminals. These are people that, even if you include some sliver of free-will, deserve a mountain of empathy that we as society purposefully withhold.

...

Extremely unfortunate beings. 

Years ago I realized how lucky I am that I never had to resist the urge to murder or rape anybody. Murderers and rapists, maybe they resisted that urge a bunch of times? And I just get to enjoy a less-violent nature without having earned it. I've stolen stuff and I don't feel bad about it, but that's a whole other ballgame.

Sadly, we meet belligerent resistance with your idea. People love to have a safe (socially acceptable) place to put their hostility. When an act of terrorism or pedophilia comes up in conversation people get physically excited, talking about the violent things they want to happen to the culprit (more rare is sympathy for the victim!). So whenever you express sympathy for the culprit, you receive some of that hostility. They label you complicit. You're spoiling their fun.

---

I believe in free will and determinism, but I also believe they're both an illusion built on that deeper, indescribable medium of the universe. If I have the choice to date Lisa or Rachel, it is inevitable which one I will choose... The choice is already made even if I don't know yet which one. But I am also totally "free" to choose either one. I think it's not a contradiction, because my ignorance of the future is part of the deterministic process (part of the equation). I think I'm just saying that at a certain point I yield to the illusion.

But I agree that analytically free will is incoherent. Free from what? And it's impossible for you to choose the other thing. You can do whatever you want in the future, but there's no way you could have done otherwise in the past.

Someone above mentioned the illusion of selfhood, which is also central. Who is choosing? Ever see that YouTube video about how the left and right brains might each have its own consciousness? Maybe they both think they are the chooser/decider.

Edited by pattmayne
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Here's a question that I think can't be overlooked:

If we think that determinism Trump's "free" will, how do we incorporate quantum mechanics? Quantum mechanics Trump's determinism (or, determinism is just massive statistics). Brian Cox said that the universe is inherently random. I think that just means randomness is the foundation for our mathematical understanding of the universe.

So, even though determinism is solid and the big world is predictable, there is ultimately a deeper process that decides these things. Chains within chains.

How does this effect the discussion?

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4 hours ago, pattmayne said:

Brian Cox said that the universe is inherently random.

"Brian Cox" might think that there is an actual Brian Cox and an actual universe. That would already be a huge and blind assumption.

That assumption -statement above contains a paradox of course. It assumes that there could be an actual "non-existing Brian Cox" who would or wouldn't have a certain view of things, which would be just as silly an assumption as any other. There don't need to be conclusions, just an open but a critical eye to subjective views.

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I love that every thread in this place has the potential to descend into superfluous deconstruction of anything other than the original topic. At what point can we stop arguing about the true nature of my coffee table and just let it be.

Edited by Thel
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All quantum randomness means to me is that, probably you could never literally flip a switch and with all the knowledge in the universe predict the happenings of the future.

Now I guess that's a big deal BUT it doesn't make you free. Reading from a script or having your response tied to a complicated dice roll doesn't make you any more free than the other. 

Edited by JayDP
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19 minutes ago, Thel said:

I love that every thread in this place has the potential to descend into superfluous deconstruction of anything other than the original topic. At what point can we stop arguing about the true nature of my coffee table and just let it be.

This seems like the only arguing post in this thread to me.

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3 minutes ago, JayDP said:

BUT it doesn't make you free

That's exactly what I'm saying!

First we deconstruct the self: How can "you" be free if there are only a succession of thoughts and no SELF to CHOOSE?

Then we ascribe it to determinism: Nothing is truly chosen, it's all neurons and physics.

THEN we take away determinism: There are no objects to follow the rules of physics. Just incomprehensible math, and we can't see anything beyond randomness.

So the idea of free will is ridiculous, like three levels deep of dissolving beliefs and illusion upon illusion.

19 minutes ago, Thel said:

At what point can we stop arguing about the true nature of my coffee table and just let it be

But that's what I'm trying to tell you!!!! Who are "we" to "let" "what "BE?" MAAANN???

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2 hours ago, Thel said:

I love that every thread in this place has the potential to descend into superfluous deconstruction of anything other than the original topic. At what point can we stop arguing about the true nature of my coffee table and just let it be.

This is the argument from every eye rolling girl I've met. Why even talk about space? You're never gonna go there!? Oh my god you guys are going tooo deep now. Somebody better rein in this conversation.

The point is to discover whether or not everything you do and everything you use to give yourself identity is based on a massive conspiracy. A machine-like universe that creates your environment with a few basic forces and leaves you tumbling through life like a roller coaster that ultimately drops into the abyss. Whether or not you choose to listen and accept ideas in this topic... not up to you. So I can't stay mad at your unproductive contribution to the thread. Your atoms are just doing what they do.

luv ya

Edited by Clarion
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2 hours ago, Thel said:

I love that every thread in this place has the potential to descend into superfluous deconstruction of anything other than the original topic. At what point can we stop arguing about the true nature of my coffee table and just let it be.

Lol I agree. Sometimes it becomes too much and you'll never truly know anyway so just let go. I mean i love to have meaningful conversations where we explore our world and how it works and what it all means but at what point can we stop taking ourselves so seriously and joke around. @Thelrelationship of command is one my favorite albums ever btw 

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53 minutes ago, Clarion said:

This is the argument from every eye rolling girl I've met. Why even talk about space? You're never gonna go there!? Oh my god you guys are going tooo deep now. Somebody better rein in this conversation.

The point is to discover whether or not everything you do and everything you use to give yourself identity is based on a massive conspiracy. A machine-like universe that creates your environment with a few basic forces and leaves you tumbling through life like a roller coaster that ultimately drops into the abyss. Whether or not you choose to listen and accept ideas in this topic... not up to you. So I can't stay mad at your unproductive contribution to the thread. Your atoms are just doing what they do.

luv ya

I have no problem with the topic of this thread. Questioning free will is a great topic and certainly an evergreen one here on this forum, however I have nothing to add in that context. I fully support being open minded but I often see people conflate that concept with forgoing any critical thought.

Pattmayne paraphrased Brian Cox's work and then explained how that has influenced his view of the topic and wanted to know what other people thought about it.

K O OK responded by questioning the existence of Brian Cox and the universe and claiming that it doesnt matter either way because no conclusions should be drawn.

 

This hyper deconstruction of every concept beyond the point of recognition is a fucking thought virus. It's not uncommon but I've grown quite tired of it so I like to poke and prod it and see where it starts to fall apart.

So please pardon my unruly atoms.

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We have no choice but to forgive you =]

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Free will and fate/pre-determinism both exist depending on where you're standing; whether you're identified with the doer or the watcher.

Every action and decision one could supposedly makes comes from identification with he who is deciding. Were we slowed down enough to break down that process by getting to the root of the motivation behind that process then we would see its in some form or another desire running off making us zig this way or zag that way.

Edited by ShoeBoy
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