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Thread: Free Will and Evolved Behavior

  1. Top | #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronzeage View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayjay View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bronzeage View Post
    Let's suppose there is a totally omniscient being who understands and is aware of all the minute inputs which create the output of a particular decision. This being is also honest and without guile.

    I am faced with some simple choice and the being tells me which I will choose.

    Do I have to abide by the being's prediction?
    You don't have to, but you will. Because if you didn't, the being would not have been able to tell you what you will choose.

    This is like a simplified version of the Monty Hall problem. Game show host gives you two doors, behind one is a goat and behind the other one is a car. You choose one door, and the host opens the other to reveal a goat. Your chances of winning a car are 100%, even though you could have picked either door. How come?
    I don't see the parallel. Once the choice is made and the goat alternative is revealed, chance is no longer relevant.
    Ok, maybe the analogy was a bit flawed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bronzeage View Post
    In the case of the omniscient being's prediction, I now have a small piece of information which informs my choice. Why would that compel me to act as the being said I would?
    The omniscient being could have easily taken that piece of information into account when it made its prediction. In fact, it would have had to: otherwise it could not honestly make any prediction. This added piece of information may or may not compel you to make your choice (you could have decided in advance that you will choose X regardless of what the omniscient being says). The choice is as free as any choice you make. But we know what the choice is because that's what the scenario says.

  2. Top | #22
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    We don't choose how we think or what we think, conscious thought is being produced or generated by underlying neuronal activity even while it's being experienced.

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    Veteran Member Tigers!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    We don't choose how we think or what we think, conscious thought is being produced or generated by underlying neuronal activity even while it's being experienced.
    Does seem to give the racists (as an example) a way out.

    "It not my fault I had those thoughts or did those deeds. It was my uncontrollable neuronal activity."
    NOTE: No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

  4. Top | #24
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    things at time t........and what follows is determined......

    Who/what clocked time t?
    Something with a memory function that can conceive of a past, present, future self.

    If my future is predetermined can I still 'want' to be free at a given point of my life? Can my seeking be a state I'm in while moving across time? I may not have control over the outcome but can I still desire a more limitless life and consciously strive for one?
    Want, desire derived. Processing or cataloging not willful just play with what is already there. Not useful given what hasn't taken place yet. Still, using past to predict/prepare for future useful even though not freely made in determined world. Determining repetitive behavior eases costs permitting niche.

  5. Top | #25
    Deus Meumque Jus
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    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    things at time t........and what follows is determined......

    Who/what clocked time t?
    Something with a memory function that can conceive of a past, present, future self.

    If my future is predetermined can I still 'want' to be free at a given point of my life? Can my seeking be a state I'm in while moving across time? I may not have control over the outcome but can I still desire a more limitless life and consciously strive for one?
    Want, desire derived. Processing or cataloging not willful just play with what is already there. Not useful given what hasn't taken place yet. Still, using past to predict/prepare for future useful even though not freely made in determined world. Determining repetitive behavior eases costs permitting niche.
    Sounds about right. Sometimes I think of the world at large as a kind of theater which distracts us from our interior - the interior that really drives our lives. Need for calories, water, warmth, positive social relationships, regular and consistent stimulation, sex, and exercise fundamentally drives most of what we do, while the world distracts us from noticing.

    It feels so good too quell craving that we aren't inclined to dwell too much on the source and limitations of our own behavior.

    Personally I'm starting to internalize this more and more, feel ok with it, and recognize that inputs I source myself contribute to my well-being. It's fun to be successful, so why not be healthy and ride it out.

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Except for the healthy part pretty much my philosophy.

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    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tigers! View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    We don't choose how we think or what we think, conscious thought is being produced or generated by underlying neuronal activity even while it's being experienced.
    Does seem to give the racists (as an example) a way out.

    "It not my fault I had those thoughts or did those deeds. It was my uncontrollable neuronal activity."

    Why are they racists in the first place? How did they become to be racists? Are they looking for a way out? If they are looking for a way out, why can't they just drop their perception of other races through an act of 'free will' as their way out?

  8. Top | #28
    Veteran Member Tigers!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Tigers! View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    We don't choose how we think or what we think, conscious thought is being produced or generated by underlying neuronal activity even while it's being experienced.
    Does seem to give the racists (as an example) a way out.

    "It not my fault I had those thoughts or did those deeds. It was my uncontrollable neuronal activity."

    Why are they racists in the first place? How did they become to be racists? Are they looking for a way out? If they are looking for a way out, why can't they just drop their perception of other races through an act of 'free will' as their way out?
    You do not seem to accept 'free will' as existing so could they exercise it?
    NOTE: No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

  9. Top | #29
    Elder Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tigers! View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post


    Why are they racists in the first place? How did they become to be racists? Are they looking for a way out? If they are looking for a way out, why can't they just drop their perception of other races through an act of 'free will' as their way out?
    You do not seem to accept 'free will' as existing so could they exercise it?
    What exactly is free will?

  10. Top | #30
    Veteran Member Treedbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Tigers! View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post


    Why are they racists in the first place? How did they become to be racists? Are they looking for a way out? If they are looking for a way out, why can't they just drop their perception of other races through an act of 'free will' as their way out?
    You do not seem to accept 'free will' as existing so could they exercise it?
    What exactly is free will?
    Just like the concept of God, it is the pre-scientific explanation for why things are the way they are due to there being as yet no direct cause-and-effect relationship having been discovered, or else there are just so many factors that contribute to the effect that the relationships are obscured. Therefore it's a substitute for saying "I don't know" why something occurred. It's the "uncaused cause" for why animate objects act in certain as-yet unexplained ways. The "sense of free will" that rousseau talks about as an evolved awareness is an example of understanding feelings as a mode of knowledge, when how we feel about things is actually due to unconscious perceptions which result in a reduced or increased level of anxiety within the brain. "Free will", like the idea of a benevolent, all powerful God, is the feel-good substitute for understanding how the world works. And just like the idea of God it doesn't need a cogent definition.
    Last edited by Treedbear; 07-01-2020 at 03:28 PM.

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