Author Topic: neither free will nor predestination exist.  (Read 1199 times)

Sir_Nuttingham

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« Reply #30 on: January 26, 2007, 09:15:45 PM »
Quote from: "BGMA"
Here's a rough view of "scientific" determinism vs. free will that I heard somewhere on the net:

Picture a worm in the dirt near a sidewalk.  Pour a lot of water around.  The worm will crawl to the sidewalk.  Let it dry.  The worm will crawl back toward the dirt.  All worms will likely do the same, with very little variation.  A worm has almost no free will.

Picture a squirrel.  Pen the squirrel in a yard with a tree and some food and a dog on a leash.  The squirrel will take the food or climb the tree or test the limits of the dog.  There might be a little variation, but not much, from squirrel to squirrel.  A squirrel's brain is more complex than that of a worm, and the squirrel has many more options of action to choose from, but still not many.  A squirrel only has a little free will.

Picture a person, confronted with another person.  Now you have someone with hundreds of options of how to react to every single situation.  Some of those options are very unpredictable.  The threshhold necessary for a person to change from one choice of action to another is very small, possibly in some cases so small that quantum differences in the actions of atoms in the brain could push a person from one decision to another.

Additionally, a person is extremely sensitive to their surroundings, such that infinitesimally small differences in the surroundings can lead to major changes in course of action.  Finally, much of a person's actions happen after hundreds of complicated feedback loops within the brain, all of which can give rise to many different courses of action.  If I hit your knee in the right spot, you will kick, a non-free-will action.  But if I call you a jerk, you can laugh or call me a name or grimace or walk away or hit me or act confused or quietly seethe, and all of those actions can happen in a hundred different ways.  People have a lot of free will.



I don't think this proves that humans have a higher level of free will than worms and squirrels nor that it proves that humans have free will at all. It just shows that in contrary to worms, humans have experience and memory to define their most logical next act. Worms don't have memory, therefor they will only act using instinct and their senses, where as I stated, humans have experience and memory as cumulative factors. A squirrel problaby has a little more reliability on experience and memory, but not the wide range that humans have.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Sir_Nuttingham »

Mastriani

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« Reply #31 on: January 27, 2007, 12:32:49 AM »
Quote from: "donkeyhoty"
Masty, you're out of your element.  The empirical evidence you state does not prove anything regarding free will vs. determinism.  It only adds weight, albeit not much, to your position that they are both false.  A more widely held theory, the string theory, has adherents that find it to be deterministic and others that find it to be indeterministic.  The only empirical evidence that can debunk free will vs. determinism is the understading ot the entire universe, and that is not forthcoming.

You are a fundamentalist simpleton.  You fail to respond to direct questioning and evidence contrary to your opinion.  Like a recent fundie, saukhasi, you disavow or disregard the refutations of your beliefs.  You choose instead to rely on empty rhetoric.
Quote from: "Mastriani"
Mine is the exercise of reiterating what is known/expounded/researched by others, (i.e. professionals and academics).
 Actually yours is the excercise of the fundie, take a theory that supports your belief and contend it is the end all and be all, while disregarding anything to the contrary.

I will now be presumptuous and speak for everyone here.  We neither want nor need your empty contributions.  Don't go away angry, just go away.


LMMFAO, now you are so arrogant as to "speak for everyone here" ....

You are so bereft of logic and knowledge, you can't see that you have not presented a single scintilla of information or evidence.  Not once.  Inquiring is neither proposition, nor rebuttal.

Present a refutation.  Anything, at all.  

String theory is nothing more than mathematical conjecture, is not "widely accepted" and fails on the "what is in evidence".  Currently, string theory does not even have a solid foundation, as the mathematicians can't even decide the number of dimensional likelihoods that are not only possible, but provable.

What is known in evidence directly contradicts "free will" as a possibility, because the hominid is incapable of making a choice, the conscious is superceded by the physical.  If the conscious does not have the primary instance of "choice" under its control, then no "choice" can be made.  Simply that you don't accept that, is not refutation.

Metaphysics, interstellar teapots, and any other forms of conjecturist imagination are of no use.  No self-respecting atheist would resort to such things, unless, they aren't an atheist whatsoever.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Mastriani »
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McQ

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« Reply #32 on: January 27, 2007, 12:41:19 AM »
This thread has taken some interesting (and nasty) turns. I first want to ask Mastriani if you would please present some evidence to the assertion you made in your first post in this topic: A simple study of mirror neurons will end this: before you "decide" to do anything, your brain has already informed you that it is necessary to do, autonomously.

There is still much speculation on mirror neurons and their functions. This is a very new and inadequately studied field. It is very early and presumptuous to make any conclusions like this. Cite specific primary studies that reach this conclusion.

Additionally, unless everyone agrees what type of "Free Will" we are talking about, then any discussion is pointless. First, we would have to all agree to define Free Will in a mutually acceptable context.

I agree with many of the points made by Mastriani, although I find his tone unduly pedantic. And yes, he is overusing and probably misusing the word "Hominid".

Mastriani, perhaps you could try to discuss this topic without the sarcasm and condescension? It doesn't make you look smarter, more "alpha", or more correct. I think you can make some excellent contributions to this thread, but your valid points are overshadowed by the tone. You only lose ground and create unnecessary animosity when you do this.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by McQ »
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Whitney

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« Reply #33 on: January 27, 2007, 02:07:20 AM »
Quote from: "Mastriani"
As far as the "determinism" aspect, that is pure hyperbolic conjecture.  The simplest denunciation is logic: in order for "determinism" to be an actual process, the exigency of an objective observer, with a direct point of view perspective on all situations, yet outside the first person affectee, that has the capacity to act as the agent of cause for "determinism", must be met.  Since no such entity has been shown to be in evidence, it is also dismissed.


I have always been under the impression that determinism refers to the idea that everything we do is beyond our actual control.  Predestination is what refers to a being of some sort causing this deterministic process.  Natural selection doesn't have to have a being orchestrating it for us to consider it a mechanism of evolution.  In this same way determinism, if it is what really occurs, is the mechanism through which our actions occur.

As McQ pointed out...it would be very helpful to know what definition of free will everyone is actually think of when they discuss "free will."  I view free will as the ability to choose between two or more choices without restraint from an outside force.  If the way the world is makes it so that when there appears to be multiple choices we are only capable of selecting a certain option; then we don't have free will.  

Environment certainly affects what we will choose but it's not absolutely taking away the ability to choose other options and even what sort of environment we are in can be the result of choice (do I hang out with the bad kids or the good kids when both groups will accept me?).

I would think that if mirror neuron truly are controlling our decisions that we would make the same choice every time we were placed in the same situation...yet even someone who live a very ritualistic life will sometimes do something different when nothing about the typical situation appears to have changed.  I'd also like to see the studies; especially since you are the first person I've heard claim they prove free will doesn't exist.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Whitney »

Kestrel

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« Reply #34 on: January 27, 2007, 04:34:33 AM »
Mastriani,
I find your vocabulary impressive and your syntax impeccable.
Which is why, when you present what you feel is a fact, such as:
Quote from: "Mastriani"

Bottom line: There is no free will.  We choose nothing, it is done for us.

…I am left being more than reasonably confident, that you mean exactly what you say.
However, when I read your reply to donkeyhoty, the problem of your “bottom line” became evident. Not wanting to make an assumption, I asked questions about your response, figuring you would clear up my misunderstanding. Instead you consistently pulled farther away from your stated bottom line. Which tells me you have almost zero confidence in your bottom line, or your bottom line is in fact, incomplete and in need of adjustment.

Here’s why;
The best response to donkeyhoty’s query, given your stated bottom line would have been;
Quote
…………………….

That is to say, the best response, the only response is no response.

I believe it was earlier in this thread where ImpaledSkier asked in response to a no free will position, “What’s the point”? And he is right in asking. The answer of course, is that for sentience, having no free will, there is no point. In fact the act of posting your statement actually cancels it out. The act itself makes the statement self refuting.

Instead of saying nothing to donkeyhoty’s post, you answered with admitted sarcasm and what you called “instinctual valuation”. Which is just a pretty way of saying, contempt.

You see, my point is that in your answer to donkeyhoty’s post, you hold him accountable for the very thing that your bottom line states, he cannot be held accountable for. More than that, you hold him in contempt. But the contempt thing is a separate issue.
(Any further comment in that area I’ll hold in reserve.)

How do you explain the difference between your bottom line and your contradictory actions?
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Kestrel »
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Kestrel

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« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2007, 04:48:42 AM »
For my part, I define free will as any decision that can be carried out without interference by natural occurrence* or by conflicting decisions of another individual.

*As a believer, natural includes the action of a deity.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Kestrel »
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Mastriani

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« Reply #36 on: January 27, 2007, 05:31:25 AM »
McQ,

Your assumption on my usage of the term hominid is incorrect, to wit:

Quote
Certain morphological characteristics are still used conventionally (though incorrectly) to support the idea that hominid should only denote humans and human ancestors, namely bipedalism and large brains. These points of departure between human beings and the other great apes are important, but taxonomically do not divide us into separate families. Genetics, rather than morphology, is the critical test of relatedness and in this respect humans and the other great apes ought to be of the same family. Indeed, the terms hominid and "great ape" are now effectively coterminous. However, anthropologists use the term to mean humans and their direct and near-direct ancestors, despite the changes in the understanding of hominoid taxonomy that have happened in the past several decades.


The only morphological characteristic that separates us from the other, more simian primates, is the extent of imagination in tool making.

Hominid stands, as in usage.

I find your post amusing, as you repeat my name on three different occasions in bold, and slant the monologue towards my linguistic semantics not being prompted or provoked.  But, there is no surprise in this at all.

Although expected, it is also amusing in peculiar fashion, that no one seems able to mount a counter proposition.  It seems that the onus of responsibility rests solely with me, regardless of the fact no one else has presented anything factual in refutation.

As far as my hierarchical standing within sociality, you are not sufficiently equipped in "intimate" knowledge of my person to have any chance at a valid claim of denial.  Summarily, my body is my record of my standing as an alpha specimen, the damage speaks for itself.  Intelligence will only get you to the prey, violence of the reptilian mind is what lifts one to the apex.

I will not be around tomorrow, but may have time on Sunday to provide the verbose post you require.

laetusatheos,

I'm not certain "predestinationism" is actually a valid philosophical position?  As far as the "determinism", you are correct on my partial error, as my mind jumped at "theological determinism" as the sum whole of the term.  Point conceded.

You may have another point of contention on the issue of "free will" in definition.  After checking my resources, "free will" is often misused where "free action" is more applicable.  We'll have to see where that finds its logical conclusion.

Kestrel,

How you advance from: "There is no free will. We choose nothing, it is done for us."

To:
"That is to say, the best response, the only response is no response."

Summarily, it is beyond me.  It appears to be non sequitur.  You'll have to explain your reasoning, I simply fail to see the logical line of that assertion.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Mastriani »
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McQ

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« Reply #37 on: January 27, 2007, 06:00:03 AM »
Mastriani, if you paid attention to posts, you'd see that it is my custom, and the custom of many others in many forums to put in bold print, the names of those to whom they are speaking. This is to reduce confusion when posts get lengthy, as people don't always know who the message is for.

Your messages were not provoked to sarcasm. You simply acted like an arrogant jerk. I couldn't care less about your unwarranted boasting and chest beating, except to have it illuminate the apparent inadequacies you feel about yourself. The more you boast, the more I know you're full of shit.

And you do use hominid incorrectly. Thank you for clearing up that much. Perhaps before you take on someone in a forum you should do your own homework, just in case the person you're dealing with might have expertise in an area where you're trying to bullshit your way through.

And like all internet bullies (they're so pathetic) and bully wannabees, you just make wrong assumptions and bad judgments about others.

I tried to meet you on common ground in the hope of real discourse, but if you just want to come to this forum to piss and fight, then you will not last long.

Oh, and make no mistake. I don't care if you post again at all, let alone a verbose post that I never asked for. That  is a couple of straw men you've tried to throw at me. Tsk-tsk.

Now, back to the subject at hand: how about citing some studies to support your assertion?
And then get serious about trying to define what you mean by free will.

It amuses me when a new person comes bursting into a forum trying to intimidate members who really wouldn't care if he was face down in a lake.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2007, 03:47:50 PM by McQ »
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Kestrel

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« Reply #38 on: January 27, 2007, 06:50:22 AM »
Quote from: "Mastriani"
Kestrel,

How you advance from: "There is no free will. We choose nothing, it is done for us."

To:
"That is to say, the best response, the only response is no response."

Summarily, it is beyond me.  It appears to be non sequitur.  You'll have to explain your reasoning, I simply fail to see the logical line of that assertion.


Alright. I'll try it this way;
If there is no free will, no choice as is your claim, then there is no convincing. An individual cannot read your post and make a choice to agree or disagree with it. Your stance alleviates any personal responsibility, period. You might as well say that you are a programmed robot. You've actually talked yourself into a box. One that prohibits reasonable intellectual movement. Your bottom line, even states that you cannot take personal responsibility for your stance!

Yet you do take responsibility, voiding your bottom line.

Look Mastriani, I'm going to hazard a guess here, that you are fully prepared to hose down this thread in ubermensch-terone. And that stuff is a bitch to get out of ones hair.

Work with me here a bit longer, K?
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Kestrel »
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Big Mac

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« Reply #39 on: January 28, 2007, 01:11:32 AM »


Worst thread ever!

Sorry I couldn't resist, Mastriani, but you remind me of CBG off of the Simpsons. I'm not sure about physical appearance because I haven't see you but you remind me of him when I read your posts.

I disagree, there is always free will but the choices are rarely ever equal in weight. For example...

You are chained to a wall. You have a few choices, among them are trying to break your bonds or just lay in a semi-comatose state and just take the abuse of your captors while they give you Indian rub burns, purple nurples, and Bangkok after Bangkok.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Big Mac »
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donkeyhoty

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« Reply #40 on: January 28, 2007, 10:23:01 AM »
Quote from: "Master Debater"
Although expected, it is also amusing in peculiar fashion, that no one seems able to mount a counter proposition.
 To what?  You have yet to propose anything of value besides mirror neurons(worth $1.05), and your belief that this evidence outweighs all other evidence to the contrary.  

Furthermore, your refutation of string theory proves my point in refering to you as a fundie.  You discount all other evidence and refuse to believe that your own ideas are not widely held, or false, or may turn out to be false.

Quote from: "McQ"
...who really wouldn't care if he was face down in a lake.
Don't we have enough pollution in our water?
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by donkeyhoty »
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donkeyhoty

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« Reply #41 on: January 28, 2007, 10:34:37 PM »
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~uctytho/dfwIntroIndex.htm

Everything you never wanted to know about free will v determinism.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by donkeyhoty »
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Kestrel

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« Reply #42 on: January 30, 2007, 07:28:33 PM »
Did our friend take his mirror neurons and go home?
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by Kestrel »
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McQ

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« Reply #43 on: January 30, 2007, 08:24:37 PM »
Quote from: "Kestrel"
Did our friend take his mirror neurons and go home?


Maybe he's reading another Wikipedia reference on something in order to become an "expert", just like with all the other shit he pretends to be an expert in.

Gee that was sarcastic of me. Does that mean I'm being a virtual alpha male? Is that a breach of social contract theory? Or was that an ad hominem attack?
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by McQ »
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donkeyhoty

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« Reply #44 on: January 30, 2007, 11:08:37 PM »
McQ, to wit:  
I think that is all three.  
Congratulations, you hit the trifecta.  Please proceed to the customer help desk to procure your free t-shirt.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 01:00:00 AM by donkeyhoty »
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