Free will is delusion

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Yousef zam's picture
Free will is delusion

I'm quite unsure of whether we get to choose our own thoughts, words, fate or not? Science suggests that we are only aware of a tiny fraction of information that our brains function in each moment. We are definitely not aware of the neurons that predate our consciousness of a coming physical or mental activity. In other words, neuroscientists can detect an activity in your brain ahead of time before you find out yourself that you've decided to move or do any other activity. They get to catch the thought before it enters the consciousness region. All of our behavioral changes can be linked to biological events upon we have zero conscious knowledge. there is something inside of your head motivating certain set of nerve cells and enzymes to come into existence and in turn create a certain thought into your head?

Looking forward to hear ideas across the room.

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Nyarlathotep's picture
When someone tells me I don't

When someone tells me I don't have free will, I normally respond by throwing out a nasty torrent of insults and slanders towards them. When they become upset and demand to know why I would do such a thing, I just shrug my shoulders and tell them: "Have you already forgotten that I don't have freewill? Please don't be upset with me, that is what the chemicals told me to do!."

Moral of the story: even people who claim to believe we don't have freewill, act as if we do...

Yousef zam's picture
Can I ask you a question? Why

Can I ask you a question? Why do you get upset and throw out a nasty torrent of insults and slanders when somebody tells you that you don't have Freewill? Why do you react or behave in a particular way in response to a certain event ? You get upset when somebody tells you that you have no Freewill whereas other people wouldn't feel the same if they were in your position. why does your brain happen to have different thinking abilities than mine? Why do you get upset so easily while I dont ? Why am I asking you why? and why isnt what iam saying sensible to you or vice versa? Why what might seem sensible or fun to me is not the same to you ? You have no control over how you brain functions nor over the kind and amount of thoughts it generates.

Yousef zam's picture
tyese are the kind of

tyese are the kind of questions you need to ask yourself to estimate how much of Freewill you've got as a human being. One more question, why do you think the way you think?

Travis Hedglin's picture
You are right about the fact

You are right about the fact that we may, in fact, not actually have free will. It is possible that every event and thought we ever experience is predetermined entirely by what has preceded it, to the point that there is no chance or choice, but would it really matter?

Despite it being a possibility, we would still have to live as if choice and chance do exist if we are to survive, making the whole exercise one of mental masturbation. It is rather like solipsism in that way, it is entirely possible that cars don't exist outside our perception of them, but that does not mean we should take turns running across the interstate.

Travis Paskiewicz's picture
I guess if you wish to

I guess if you wish to believe in fatalism... than you can't change it.

Yousef zam's picture
true story and that's why

true story and that's why religions still exist.

Yousef zam's picture
There is an infinitely number

There is an infinitely number of things that you have no control over. let's say that your brain is the original source where thoughts get generated. This generator of thoughts is independent of your conciousness and works solely in accordance to your DNA and since you don't get to pick your parents you don't get to pick your DNA either. This ideology is kinda related to the notion of a human universe which is nothing more than a tiny part of the complete universe. With our human being senses, we can only perceive or sense the human universe and can never exceed the boundaries set by our human internal and external senses. For us to be able to explore the complete universe, we need to be provided with extra new senses, different thoughts generators.

mysticrose's picture
But, we are free to decide

But, we are free to decide whether we are going to do or bad things,

Travis Paskiewicz's picture
As far as genetics go, I

As far as genetics go, I think Ivan Pavlov and later B.F.Skinner expounded on his theories, finding that a person's behavior has stronger links to his or her past experiences.

The human genome, while pretty varied, has measurable variances. But generally it is only small variances. For example, I read a report some time ago from scientists who were trying to find a definitive link between genetics and high intelligence using cumulative readings from some the extended family of high profile scientists. The end result was that they only averaged like 4-7% higher IQ scores when including the high IQ relative, and only 2-4% when excluding them.

Does genetics play a role? Sure. But if the difference between a genius' bloodline and the average population is only 2-4%, it's not a huge difference. You could easily even the odds with 2-4% more effort.

No, I would go with Pavlov and Skinner's initial ideology. The main difference between people is that though they have essentially the same brain, the experiences and ideas they are exposed to make a far more pronounced impact.

I'd also reference several studies that tried to provide a link between violence in the media and violent behavior. I can't remember all the report, but the end result showcased that subjects were asked questions in regards to possible confrontation scenarios, and the prefrontal cortex (responsible for thought and planning) as well as the amygdala (responsible for emotion and impulsive behavior) were monitered. After watching several violent movies, the subjects were again asked questions regarding confrontation. They were able to show a marked increase of amygdala activity and a slight decrease of prefrontal cortex activity. But when asked more questions regarding confrontation 6 hours after exposure the results were almost exactly similiar to the results before exposure, with 12 hours proving a complete return to normal. Which indicates that even though the mind was provided a stimulating experience, it ultimately returned to a previous existing mode of function rather quickly.

However, each persons pre-existing "normal" slightly varied. As to what created this "normal" or why each persons varied, was something the scientists could not answer with the MRI brainscans. I would end by saying, that though science has made some leaps and strides in understanding the brain and it's functions by monitoring, they are about as close to being able to predict a person's actions as palm readers are to predicting the future. Fatalism, whether we are destined to do something, is merely an idea for the lazy to not try to exert an effort.

Yousef zam's picture
Perhaps Freewill is a

Perhaps Freewill is a relative concept. The environment in which you happen to be born is a major factor that cannot be neglected. It goes without saying that people behave distinctively in accordance to where they come from and what calture they belong to. However, the issue that should be called into question regarding this relative concept is how big of an influence our genome has when compared to that of external conditions? How effective is your upbringing on your brain character and its capability of producing variable thoughts?

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
An other aspect that has been

An other aspect that has been neglected is time.

What makes you think that the information you are getting is in the time you think you got it?
Do the scans show just that our brains could all be set on a time delay?

Another possibility is that our brain is just a receiver, like a radio. The actual thinking could be done somewhere else.
Just a possibility.

There are tons of things we do not know and tons of other possibilities that could explain the results we are getting.

The real question is, what does this have to do with religion?

Yousef zam's picture
That's an excellent point and

That's an excellent point and is the reason I wanted to bring up this subject. If we all admit that behavioral changes are predetermined by the human genome, then we are sort of faced with an unsolvable paradox within the body of all religions. The whole idea of God testing human beings and torturing them for disobedience is built on the assumption that God has got no restrictions on our freedom of choice and decision-making. Assuming that God exists, how can he simply torture people and send them to hell when he is the one responsible for providing them with bad human genomes ?

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
You do not need to fall for

You do not need to fall for conclusions on assumptions and hypothesis to show how flawed and evil Theism is.

So this subject will lead nowhere.

Why don't you instead focus on the concept of death itself.

A deadline for which we have to follow some rules or accept Jesus or god in time.

Which loving father gives a deadline to his son, and after which there is no forgiveness or mercy but torture for eternity.

The concept of an infinite punishment for a finite crime is in itself EVIL in nature.

No loving person would even dream of something like that but whoever invented the theistic god, did not have love in mind but how to control the people.

Valiya's picture
I believe there is free will,

I believe there is free will, and that we are responsible for our decisions. However, if I were to extrapolate on your concept of no freewill… here is how I see the logical fallacy in it.

If you say there is no freewill, you are also suggesting that that there is no such thing as logical reasoning. So, I just take it that you are saying what you are saying because that’s what you are supposed to say, not because there is any reasoning behind it.

And if you think that god punishing us for our sin in unjust, and I think otherwise…it’s just a matter of our genes making us think and say so. There is no greater logic to it than that. If you find this hard to agree with… well, that’s how you have been programmed to react.

Suspend free will…and you will instantly end up in an heady regress of self-contradictions.

Yousef zam's picture
Well I am definitely obliged

Well I am definitely obliged by the way my brain functions. This obligation is not optional. What you need to understand is that logical reasoning and the ability to change ones mind is also part of your human genome. I am saying what I am saying because I am supposed or programmed to literally say that but on the other hand, you're listening to me because you're also programmed to listen to this particular kind of dialogue. Even being choosey and undetermined is part of your human genome.

Valiya's picture
Exactly... that's what i am

Exactly... that's what i am saying if you believe there is no free will...

But i believe in free will... hence, i am not caught up in your sort of self contradictions... according to me you even trying to present arguments here is foolishness... in my viewpoint, even when you are presenting your case against freewill you are actually exercising freewill... a contradiction... but in your viewpoint, your arguments are the result of a predetermined fatalism and has no relation to logic...and if i reject your argument, well, that's also a game of fate... and so on it goes on in an endless regress.

That's A Fallacy's picture
I agree with Valiya on that

I agree with Valiya on that there is free will, but I can never be sure. But you're changing the topic. You say that free will needs to exist because sin couldn't exist without it. This is, in addition to saying believing in one uncertain thing validates another, a complete matter of opinion. And also, I have a ton of things I could say to that entire third paragraph, but if you want to argue about that, make a new topic, not just plaster it on an argument about free will.

Valiya's picture
Logical Fallacies

Logical Fallacies

I am not justifying free will on the basis on sin... i am just trying to say that rejecting free will leads to more self contradictions than if you accepted it.... there will be no room for reasoning in a world suspended of free will

Michee's picture
i think free will exist but

i think free will exist but up to a point

John Davies's picture
We have an illusion of Free

We have an illusion of Free Will but everything we do has been caused by forces beyond and before ourselves in nature and nurture. We have consciousness, but after the event of unconscious processes. As such we are not responsible for our actions in the way that systems of Justice that assume Free Will hold us responsible. However, acting in some ways as if we have Free Will is a useful way of affecting behaviour modification, as because we are, effectively, complex self-referencing loops in a causal chains, we are concentrated loci of causations at which change can be most effectively achieved. It follows from the absence of true Free Will that punishment and reward are not moral acts. What are moral are the most effective means to achieve morally desirable outcomes. An example of a consequence of that conclusion would be that on occasion it would be more moral to be good to someone who has done bad than it would be to simply punish them. If, and only if, it would modify their behaviour to make them a better person it would be a better investment than counteractive revenge.

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