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Free Will Is Real - Scientific American Blog Network


Long, but very interesting article.

#Philosophy #Science #Free Will #Consciousness #Reductionism #Physics #Biology
I didn't have to look his one up. Free will versus determinism. Universal human sentience or self-awareness is a dubious proposition. Think about how predictable human behavior is. Yet not everyone is locked into predictable behaviors. Taking responsibility for one's behavior comes from free attention, not free will. I'm not a determinist per se. I don't think it wise to assume every person is self-aware, just because the lights are on.
Resetting the time continuum? Time collapses around a microburst of memory processing nearest the moment of death. Sometimes we can have such insights at convenient moments before death, and change a course in life before unfortunate consequences. "That little voice in your head."
It is this particular conception of free will that is troubling to many people (including me) because without having a fundamentally physical root, the only way to grant it is by assuming some extra-natural source.
no, thats an either-or fallacy that assumes there isnt a third option. and the third option exists. before i read it in the article, i guessed he was going to talk about natural emergent phenomena. determinists are constantly peddling a circular argument that whatever happens is ultimately predictable and deterministic-- if its not predictable, they say "we just havent figured out why it is yet. but everything that happens is ultimately deterministic." well no, you dont get a line of credit to prove your point, based on the promise that you will be proven right sooner or later.
David Hofstedder in "Godel Esher Bach" The Eternal Golden Braid poses the question, "Does everyone have the same size soul?" This is an unpopular viewpoint to take in the free will discussion. Are we emergent phenomena? Is the self is a computation encountering the limits of awareness. Paying attention to physical reality is more important than imagination, thus unfortunate behaviors can be avoided. People are more than heteronomous machines programmed to think their imaginations will save them.
It's a meaningless question until and unless we can quantify what a "soul" is enough to answer the question of whether we even have one, or whether it's just a concept that we made up to rationalize elevating ourselves.
@Phil Stracchino An Ignostic says exactly that. We are not qualified to make judgments about obscure subjects like god, the soul or the existence of a free will. But isn't that what we are here to discuss? Soul Food.
Yo. Ignostic here. :)
Cool. Me too. (Said very sheepishly.)
However, awareness of our lack of certainty about the subjects does not in any way impede us from assessing and judging the soundness of the arguments made, and calling out when they are dependent at crucial steps upon handwavium.
I give you a big hand wave on that one. What?
awareness of our lack of certainty about the subjects does not in any way impede us from assessing and judging the soundness of the arguments made, and calling out when they are dependent at crucial steps upon handwavium.
be careful that you dont turn argument from ignorance into "proof" that we are wrong about everything. thats whats dawkins types do, and its why theyre so obnoxious and love fallacy so much. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_fallacy
The argument of ignosticism is not that common arguments are wrong per se. It's more that they are irresolvable, because the parties arguing have made too many unsupported assumptions about the nature of what they are arguing about, have failed to come to a clear and mutually agreed understanding of what the words they toss around mean, and expect everyone to simply assume without proof or evidence that their underlying maxims are true.
Semantics sometimes is the issue. Now don't make me separate you. What?
Hi, @Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠)! This thread sure did spur some interesting replies/discussion. Thanks for participating. :)
This is an interesting discussion, based on an interesting monograph. At the risk of derailing a bit, and since it's caturday, I'll contribute this (only semi-facetiously):

Anyone thinking there is no free will has never had a cat.

And, with humble apologies, now I will return to simply reading subsequent developments here, unless and until I have something more substantive to contribute. Please carry on, this whole post has been quite enlightening.
@Rob Anybody I'll just say then that I am owned by a cat. People don't have cats. Cats have people.
@UnclePirate (Stan McCann) I was trying to avoid the debate about who owned whom. I've been owned by far too many at this point in life to think otherwise.
I am owned by a cat. People don’t have cats. Cats have people.
Much #Truth in this statement. :)
@Phil Stracchino wrote: There is substantial scientific speculation that the root of consciousness is ultimately a quantum phenomenon.

And if/when there's a preponderance of evidence supporting the quantum nature of consciousness, I'll revise my beliefs. Till then, though, I'm going to stick with the current preponderance of evidence.
Life is more than an emergent phenomenon of computations. We are analog and binary both. And then some third variance I haven't named. Save the homunculus for your virtual avatar. They want to be alive too.