Science and technology scare the ever-loving crap outta me these days...
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Well, I suppose, since the "dude" had the choice not to "go with it", but I dunno...without knowing the thoughts he had beforehand, I couldn't really tell you whether that decision was "spontaneous" or not.
I suppose you can't really escape choices, considering you're presented with them wherever/whenever you are, it's just that you don't always see them.
Maybe there is a such thing as free will, but we just don't know how to exercise it to its fullest extent...?
Hacking... Not breaking into websites hacking, I mean building a device to split particles you can't see, or trying to build a device that would let you shoot electrons at each other..
Hacking is the answer to life's questions. It is unfortunate, however, that all of the questions are answered with questions.
I'm sorry if you thought that was offensive, but really the discussion really does make me remember those experiences and some of the things I've read relating to them. I think what you are defining (and have defined in the past) as free will is a rhetorical conception.
As organic beings capable of self sustenance and reproduction, a certain level of pre-defined operation is essential to the continuation of life which allows for will free or otherwise. Having gone through those exposures/experiences which in a very real way disable many of those *features* of the mind I can definitely see their value.
When you consider the mass amount of data the senses take in, it would be an UNMITIGATED DISASTER if we were processing everything in real time with our conscious minds. This seems to be what you are defining as free-will. Further I would go so far as to say that the background processes (biologic control and subconscious thought) are what allows for the free will to be exercised. They free up the conscious to weigh the final outcomes of the background processes while the collection and filtering is done in the background.
When I quit drinking/drugging I got quite a lesson in free will when my backgroung processes were subverted. It was only free will at the top of the pyramid that allowed success in the matter.
So my point is free will is excercised in the conscious mind despite the subconscious "-> thought -> reactive thought -> subsequent thought" example above. Free will is what is excercised when you take the time to evaluate the thoughts that are actually coming to you and then choose your action or retrain your thoughts.
As organic beings capable of self sustenance and reproduction, a certain level of pre-defined operation is essential to the continuation of life which allows for will free or otherwise.
When you consider the mass amount of data the senses take in, it would be an UNMITIGATED DISASTER if we were processing everything in real time with our conscious minds. This seems to be what you are defining as free-will.
Yes, I'm aware that there are quite a few things that have to be autonomous in order for us to live at all...I wouldn't expect my heart to stop beating for no good reason (e.g. been stabbed, taken lots of suppressants, etc.), even if I wanted it to!
Mostly the whole "free will" problem I'm having is on a conscious level. Like, if you were presented a choice of whether you wanted to go to the movies with your girlfriend or stay home and do something by yourself, and you chose to stay home, was that choice really *yours*, or was it predetermined from the time of the Big Bang (or maybe even sooner than that) that you would make that choice?
Free will is what is excercised when you take the time to evaluate the thoughts that are actually coming to you and then choose your action or retrain your thoughts.
Is the "evaluation" deterministic, though? Is it performed by our minds, or something else? Do you see what I mean?
Originally Posted by brianL
Seriously, MrCode, you really need to stop thinking about all that abstract waffling bovine excrement we call philosophy.
I would, but it gets to me on a personal level; really I don't have much of a life...it's sad.
When I was a kid I used to look up at the blue dome of sky and wonder if there was something up in the sky looking down at everyone and pulling our sticks like in this game http://www.smlentertainment.com/calg...ckey_white.png that used to be in the arcades. That's as close to this line of thinking as I can get. It could be argued that the exact postion of each particle in the primordial mass that was the BigBang or the divine omnipotence of God have preordained every single action/reaction in the history of Everything, but since it's impossible to prove or even speculate in any kind of informed way, it's simply mental masturbation.
What if you considered the events in terms of the attraction between each event. (as the north pole of a magnet will attract the south, as current will flow between two locations with a difference in quantity of ions. +/-)
For example, consider the difference in your, as best described, "mood", when you encounter someone, perhaps at a gas station, and that person is remarkably dirty.
Then, compare that to your "mood" when you encounter your boss or some highly respected entity.
Try to compare both of those to a hypothetical case that you can probably determine, such as your "mood" when you, by chance, bump in to, or otherwise initiate a focused path for communication with, Bill Gates.
Depending on forces such as envy, fear, love, respect, reputation, anger, jealousy, etc, both of the target and of you, will all have their role in shaping your communications with the person.
A particularly fascinating occurrence is when observing the masses in their daily communications. How interesting it is that they mimic one another so..
Even more fascinating is that when you can control your own words, and you know how the target is forming his words, perhaps to the degree that you can recite information regarding the point of conception of the target's thought, then you can predict the responses of the target, or more interestingly, shape the mind of the target.
This can be achieved by managing your transmissions. Transmissions are both physical, audible, and wimsical. When spoofing an argument, the target really can't follow, but because the information seems like it is real information, then the target will begin to make arguments based on the information YOU SUPPLIED!
There is another force, however, which, when combined with the right mix of other forces, will compound the effect for unbelievable results.
That force is knowledge. Spoofing an argument with a very smart person yields interesting results, because more often than not, you CAN have them doubting their own existence.
Something else that comes to mind: do sociologists assume an axiom of free will ("noise in the signal", if you will), or do they assume that all social interaction is clean and predictable? Or does that have anything to do with it at all?
I'm trying to give you a feel for the system. I probe things to provoke results, then I can get a better understanding of the underlying concepts.
A key piece of information in my previous post is that the more intelligent the target, the more unpredictable the direction of the conversation. It is very possible that in the target's life, he/she had an inkling in the direction of some very important information that you may never have come across, and once being exposed to this, the forces can be effected.
You can give your energy to someone else, and they can use it against you. This is what happens when you accept responsibility for irresponsible actions in a corporate environment. You lose a lot of your energy.. Your power.. Your reputation is tarnished.
Lots of power is lost with each mistake, so it is understandable why most corporate owners are brutal more so than anything else.
It isn't that you've been lied to, it's just that you've never known.
I believe we have free will. Think about it. Do you think the development of language and science is pre determent? That we by random can test nature and reason how nature itself should behave. My behavior is determined within the boundaries of my knowledge and my abilities. So if everything is pre-determined, I would have to know things that I not yet don't know. There are processes in nature that is TRUE random. Radioactive decay for instance. Based on this, I make a thought experiment:
Lets assume that I don't have free will. I'm a student, and have a paper due in say one week. If we don't have free will, my result should be pre-determined since I have no way of influence my way of solving this paper. Lets say that my bed is in a room and a radioactive decay decides whether or not I should attend the university for the day. If the room seals down the day the topic of the paper is lectured, my grade for the paper will drop. And hence the result couldn't be pre-determined.
This thought experiment is just an extension of Schrödinger's cat thought experiment. It suggest that the universe it self and my actions in the future are indeterminate. So here is my little math expansion. If we don't have free will, and our actions can't be determined in the long future, then somewhere in between there need to be a boundary. A shift from where I go from being random and unpredictable to predictable. That would indicate that we should be able to predict our future within this boundary, but if we know what we are supposed to do, we could test if we have free will or not by trying to do something else then we are supposed to. Well, in theory however.
As newborn, we posses no deep knowledge. Since I now have a lot more knowledge now then when I was newborn (I like to think so at least :P) I must have learned these things. And since I can learn, I can learn to change behavior, and since I can change behavior, I am not pre-determined. Hence, I have free will. QED! Well, perhaps not QED in a formal way, since I can very little formal logic. But this was my two cents and thoughts on the matter.