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Illusion of Freedom
Posted: 10 August 2012 07:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 106 ]  
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kikl - 10 August 2012 05:56 AM
toombaru - 09 August 2012 09:33 PM
kikl - 06 August 2012 09:35 AM
Wreck of M Deare - 06 August 2012 09:23 AM

Hello Jkernan


“I think the phrase “free will” confuses me.”
Actually, Jkernan, it confuses many people


Within the philosophy of Science, falsifiability or refutability is a quality or characteristic of a scientific hypothesis. You’ll note that in my previous post I did not refute the possibility of “free will”.  And there is a good reason for this—it’s called the “black swan problem”.  In Europe, prior to the age of exploration everyone knew swans were white – there were NO black swans.  But a negative statement is often difficult or impossible to prove.  Unless you’ve scoured the universe, you can’t be sure that something doesn’t exist.  A positive statement, on the other hand, can be proven—to demonstrate there are white swans, you simply produce a white swan.  This is why, when presenting a hypothesis, you must argue from the positive, in this instance, that there is free will.  The Scientific literature is rife with evidence for the influence of genetics, personal history, and environment on behavior, and despite arguments to the contrary, the predictability of behavior.  The difference, then, is that those approaching an issue from a Scientific viewpoint are never quite sure while those refuting Science are almost always “sure”.  The real danger with the concept “free will” is that it’s an explanatory fiction—why did this person commit a horrible crime? Well, he did it of his own free will—end of story, end of inquiry.  The question is which approach seems more rational to you.
 
Oh, and by the way, in 1790 black swans (Cygnus atratus) were discovered in Australia.

This is a complete misrepresentation of the present scientific situation.

“....despite arguments to the contrary, the predictability of behavior”

There exists no theory that may accurately predict human behavior. If so, then please present it! Why do we watch sports events like the Olympic games, if the outcome of the competition could easily be predicted?

“The difference, then, is that those approaching an issue from a Scientific viewpoint are never quite sure while those refuting Science are almost always “sure”“

This is not an dispute between “science” and “non-science”. The idea that there exists a free will is a scientific proposition. So proclaiming that anyone who differs from your opinion as being unscientific is cheap propaganda.

If you think that human behavior is completely predetermined without having a working theory that allows the precise prediction of human behavior, you are performing a leap of faith.

 

It is the brain, using its survival oriented program, that “decides” when presented with options.
The sense of self emerges after the so called decision and claims responsibility.
Given the choice between coffee or orange juice the brain processes innumerable factors that are deeply beyond personal awareness.
The brain “decides” for one or the other in the only way it can.
In that sense what it decides, even its change of mind, is inevitable but not predictable.

 

 

If the “decision” is inevitably determined by external factors then it is indeed predictable! All you need to know are the external factors. Sorry, you can’t wiggle your way out of this contradiction!


The “decision” is made based on internal factors.
The brain does not have access to its own wiring.
It is the brain’s accumulated elecrto-chemical connections that make it react the only way it can.
The concept “decision” is a misconception.
It a reaction not a decision.
There is no such thing as a decision and no such thing as a self to make it.

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Posted: 10 August 2012 08:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 107 ]  
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toombaru - 10 August 2012 07:20 AM

If the “decision” is inevitably determined by external factors then it is indeed predictable! All you need to know are the external factors. Sorry, you can’t wiggle your way out of this contradiction!


The “decision” is made based on internal factors.
The brain does not have access to its own wiring.
It is the brain’s accumulated elecrto-chemical connections that make it react the only way it can.
The concept “decision” is a misconception.
It a reaction not a decision.
There is no such thing as a decision and no such thing as a self to make it.

It really doesn’t matter whether you call the factors internal or external. If the factors determine the decision then the decision can be predicted on the basis of these factors. Your statement that a predetermined event is unpredictable is non-sensical.

“There is no such thing as a decision and no such thing as a self to make it.”

That is a faith based statement. It doesn’t rely on any forms of experience. In fact, it is contradictory to all the experiences of the self that we have. So who is being unscientific here?

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Posted: 10 August 2012 05:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 108 ]  
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kikl - 10 August 2012 08:32 AM
toombaru - 10 August 2012 07:20 AM

If the “decision” is inevitably determined by external factors then it is indeed predictable! All you need to know are the external factors. Sorry, you can’t wiggle your way out of this contradiction!


The “decision” is made based on internal factors.
The brain does not have access to its own wiring.
It is the brain’s accumulated elecrto-chemical connections that make it react the only way it can.
The concept “decision” is a misconception.
It a reaction not a decision.
There is no such thing as a decision and no such thing as a self to make it.

It really doesn’t matter whether you call the factors internal or external. If the factors determine the decision then the decision can be predicted on the basis of these factors. Your statement that a predetermined event is unpredictable is non-sensical.

“There is no such thing as a decision and no such thing as a self to make it.”

That is a faith based statement. It doesn’t rely on any forms of experience. In fact, it is contradictory to all the experiences of the self that we have. So who is being unscientific here?

 

Did you read Sam’s book on free will?
Is it your belief that a person makes choices?

 

 

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Posted: 10 August 2012 05:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 109 ]  
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toombaru - 10 August 2012 05:19 PM
kikl - 10 August 2012 08:32 AM
toombaru - 10 August 2012 07:20 AM

If the “decision” is inevitably determined by external factors then it is indeed predictable! All you need to know are the external factors. Sorry, you can’t wiggle your way out of this contradiction!


The “decision” is made based on internal factors.
The brain does not have access to its own wiring.
It is the brain’s accumulated elecrto-chemical connections that make it react the only way it can.
The concept “decision” is a misconception.
It a reaction not a decision.
There is no such thing as a decision and no such thing as a self to make it.

It really doesn’t matter whether you call the factors internal or external. If the factors determine the decision then the decision can be predicted on the basis of these factors. Your statement that a predetermined event is unpredictable is non-sensical.

“There is no such thing as a decision and no such thing as a self to make it.”

That is a faith based statement. It doesn’t rely on any forms of experience. In fact, it is contradictory to all the experiences of the self that we have. So who is being unscientific here?

 

Did you read Sam’s book on free will?
Is it your belief that a person makes choices?

 

 

No, I didn’t read his book.

Yes, it is my belief. This belief is based on my everyday experience. On what experience is your belief based?

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Posted: 10 August 2012 06:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 110 ]  
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kikl - 10 August 2012 05:22 PM
toombaru - 10 August 2012 05:19 PM
kikl - 10 August 2012 08:32 AM
toombaru - 10 August 2012 07:20 AM

If the “decision” is inevitably determined by external factors then it is indeed predictable! All you need to know are the external factors. Sorry, you can’t wiggle your way out of this contradiction!


The “decision” is made based on internal factors.
The brain does not have access to its own wiring.
It is the brain’s accumulated elecrto-chemical connections that make it react the only way it can.
The concept “decision” is a misconception.
It a reaction not a decision.
There is no such thing as a decision and no such thing as a self to make it.

It really doesn’t matter whether you call the factors internal or external. If the factors determine the decision then the decision can be predicted on the basis of these factors. Your statement that a predetermined event is unpredictable is non-sensical.

“There is no such thing as a decision and no such thing as a self to make it.”

That is a faith based statement. It doesn’t rely on any forms of experience. In fact, it is contradictory to all the experiences of the self that we have. So who is being unscientific here?

 

Did you read Sam’s book on free will?
Is it your belief that a person makes choices?

 

 

No, I didn’t read his book.

Yes, it is my belief. This belief is based on my everyday experience. On what experience is your belief based?


My beliefs are based research that indicates that there is no self and no free will.
Other than your feelings, is there any proof that you can offer to prove the existence of the self?
Where does it come from?
Do animals have selves?
What about worms?
At what point in evolution did humans acquire a self?
After a sperm and egg unite, how long before the self emerges?
Where does your grandmother’s self go as she slips into Alzheimer’s disease?
Where does the self go when its host organism dies?
Read Sam’s book, read Daniel Dennett, Stephen Pinker, or “The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity” by Bruce Hood.
There is a great deal of research available if you are willing to question your every day experience.
Your everyday experience tells you that the sun comes up in the morning and goes down in the evening.
When you are dreaming at night, your everyday experience tells you that the people you see are real.
Belief in the self and the soul arises from the same delusional misconception.

 

[ Edited: 10 August 2012 10:24 PM by toombaru]
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Posted: 11 August 2012 04:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 111 ]  
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No, I didn’t read his book.

Yes, it is my belief. This belief is based on my everyday experience. On what experience is your belief based?


My beliefs are based research that indicates that there is no self and no free will.

What research are you talking about? I know of know such research!

Other than your feelings, is there any proof that you can offer to prove the existence of the self?

I am not talking about feelings. I am talking about experience.

Where does it come from?

I don’t know

Do animals have selves?

Some probably do, yes!

What about worms?

Probably not.

At what point in evolution did humans acquire a self?

I don’t know. It probably has to do with the development of the brain. We lose our self consciousness, when our brain stops working.

After a sperm and egg unite, how long before the self emerges?

I don’t know. Again, the earliest point in time is when the brain starts to develop.

Where does your grandmother’s self go as she slips into Alzheimer’s disease?

She still has a self although her memory is impaired.

Where does the self go when its host organism dies?

It probably just vanishes!

Read Sam’s book, read Daniel Dennett, Stephen Pinker, or “The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity” by Bruce Hood.

I have listened to numerous of their talks and read their papers on the internet. None of this information provided any sound evidence that the self doesn’t exist. So, I think I am going to skip the read. Why should they hide their best arguments in public speech?

There is a great deal of research available if you are willing to question your every day experience.

Sure, but there is one conclusive argument: “I question, therefore I am.” Questioning presupposes the existence of my identity!

It’s a very old argument, it goes back to Descartes and it is still valid!

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Posted: 11 August 2012 08:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 112 ]  
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kikl - 11 August 2012 04:31 AM

No, I didn’t read his book.

Yes, it is my belief. This belief is based on my everyday experience. On what experience is your belief based?


My beliefs are based research that indicates that there is no self and no free will.

What research are you talking about? I know of know such research!

Other than your feelings, is there any proof that you can offer to prove the existence of the self?

I am not talking about feelings. I am talking about experience.

Where does it come from?

I don’t know

Do animals have selves?

Some probably do, yes!

What about worms?

Probably not.

At what point in evolution did humans acquire a self?

I don’t know. It probably has to do with the development of the brain. We lose our self consciousness, when our brain stops working.

After a sperm and egg unite, how long before the self emerges?

I don’t know. Again, the earliest point in time is when the brain starts to develop.

Where does your grandmother’s self go as she slips into Alzheimer’s disease?

She still has a self although her memory is impaired.

Where does the self go when its host organism dies?

It probably just vanishes!

Read Sam’s book, read Daniel Dennett, Stephen Pinker, or “The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity” by Bruce Hood.

I have listened to numerous of their talks and read their papers on the internet. None of this information provided any sound evidence that the self doesn’t exist. So, I think I am going to skip the read. Why should they hide their best arguments in public speech?

There is a great deal of research available if you are willing to question your every day experience.

Sure, but there is one conclusive argument: “I question, therefore I am.” Questioning presupposes the existence of my identity!

It’s a very old argument, it goes back to Descartes and it is still valid!


Well ok then.
It seems that your self will continue to believe in itself.
grin

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Posted: 11 August 2012 09:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 113 ]  
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There is a great deal of research available if you are willing to question your every day experience.

Sure, but there is one conclusive argument: “I question, therefore I am.” Questioning presupposes the existence of my identity!

It’s a very old argument, it goes back to Descartes and it is still valid!


Well ok then.
It seems that your self will continue to believe in itself.
grin

Please note that you were appealing to my WILL to QUESTION my identity. Therefore, you were assuming that I have a WILL.

This is something that I have accused Sam Harris’ of many times. He assumes what he is trying to disprove! This can be witnessed over and over again, when arguing with no-will and no-self proponents. The position is inherently contradictory.

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Posted: 11 August 2012 11:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 114 ]  
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kikl - 11 August 2012 09:02 AM

There is a great deal of research available if you are willing to question your every day experience.

Sure, but there is one conclusive argument: “I question, therefore I am.” Questioning presupposes the existence of my identity!

It’s a very old argument, it goes back to Descartes and it is still valid!


Well ok then.
It seems that your self will continue to believe in itself.
grin

Please note that you were appealing to my WILL to QUESTION my identity. Therefore, you were assuming that I have a WILL.

This is something that I have accused Sam Harris’ of many times. He assumes what he is trying to disprove! This can be witnessed over and over again, when arguing with no-will and no-self proponents. The position is inherently contradictory.

 

 

 

 

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
The sense of self is a brain program that evolved to help the organism survive and reproduce.
And it does indeed appear real to itself.
But so does the character that emerges in night time dreams.
Both use the same criteria to establish their imaginary existence.
Which is: I appear real to myself, therefore I must be real.
Philosophy starts of with the assumption that the self is real.
Descartes is wrong.
He should have said:
“I think I think, therefore I think I am”.
The self swirls into existence only in the synaptic-interface of the human brain.
The sense of I am exists only in the human mind.
It is the center of a conceptual overlay that exists only in the objectifying mind of man.
It cannot see its own essential emptiness.
Something else is needed.
Keep yourself as long as you can.
Defend it until your dieing day.
But know that it is source of the nagging fear that drives you through a personal dream of separation.
It’s just doing its job and it does it well.
Let me know how its doing in a hundred years.

 

 

 

 

[ Edited: 11 August 2012 11:31 AM by toombaru]
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Posted: 11 August 2012 11:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 115 ]  
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“The sense of self is a brain program that evolved to help the organism survive and reproduce.
And it does indeed appear real to itself.”

If the self is a product of evolution, then it must exist, mustn’t it?

“But so does the character that emerges in night time dreams.
Both use the same criteria to establish their imaginary existence.”

No no, Descarte’s meditation starts by doubting everything, even the existence of an outside world, because it all could be an illusion. It could all be a dream. Even so, this would not mean that the dream doesn’t exist and consequently, the I that is dreaming must also exist. Said differently: I doubt, therefore I exist! or “I dream, therefore I exist!”

“Descartes is wrong.
He should have said:
“I think I think, therefore I think I am”.”

Sounds weird to me! I think you are turning in circles here!

If you think that you are thinking, then you must be thinking! The object of your thought - your own thought - whatever they may be presume that you are actually thinking.

“The self swirls into existence only in the synaptic-interface of the human brain.
The sense of I am exists only in the human mind.
It is the center of a conceptual overlay that exists only in the objectifying mind of man.
It cannot see its own essential emptiness.
Something else is needed.”

Please note that you are presuming what you are trying to prove.

Keep yourself as long as you can.
Defend it until your dieing day.
But know that it is source of the nagging fear that drives you through a personal dream of separation.
It’s just doing its job and it does it well.
Let me know how its doing in a hundred years.”

The last part is an argumentum ad hominem.

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Posted: 11 August 2012 12:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 116 ]  
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kikl - 11 August 2012 11:45 AM

“The sense of self is a brain program that evolved to help the organism survive and reproduce.
And it does indeed appear real to itself.”
——————————————————————————————————————————
If the self is a product of evolution, then it must exist, mustn’t it?
——————————————————————————————————————————
Do the people in your dreams at night exist?
Where are your great-great grandparents right now?
The self exists only as a sense of self.
———————————————————————————————————-

 

“But so does the character that emerges in night time dreams.
Both use the same criteria to establish their imaginary existence.”
—————————————————————————————————————————————-
No no, Descarte’s meditation starts by doubting everything, even the existence of an outside world, because it all could be an illusion. It could all be a dream. Even so, this would not mean that the dream doesn’t exist and consequently, the I that is dreaming must also exist. Said differently: I doubt, therefore I exist! or “I dream, therefore I exist!”
—————————————————————————————————————————————
There is simply no way for the sense of self to grasp its own essential emptiness.
As I said it is a program that evolved to support the physical organism.
This can be seen, or not, depending on how each self is programmed.
Evidently the one in the body you call yours is digging its imaginary heals.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————

“Descartes is wrong.
He should have said:
“I think I think, therefore I think I am”.”
——————————————————————————————————————————————-

Sounds weird to me! I think you are turning in circles here!
———————————————————————————————————————————————-
All thought is circular and self referential.
——————————————————————————————————————————————

If you think that you are thinking, then you must be thinking! The object of your thought - your own thought - whatever they may be presume that you are actually thinking.
————————————————————————————————————————————————
Why is your self defending its own existence?
Do you think that it senses its own essential emptiness and perhaps the essential emptiness of all things?
If its reality were truly believed, there would be no reason to have this discussion.
—————————————————————————————

“The self swirls into existence only in the synaptic-interface of the human brain.
The sense of I am exists only in the human mind.
It is the center of a conceptual overlay that exists only in the objectifying mind of man.
It cannot see its own essential emptiness.
Something else is needed.”
———————————————————————————————————————————-
Please note that you are presuming what you are trying to prove.
————————————————————————————————————————————
We both are.
The mind of man is composed only of its own presumptions.
————————————————————————————————————————————-

Keep yourself as long as you can.
Defend it until your dieing day.
But know that it is source of the nagging fear that drives you through a personal dream of separation.
It’s just doing its job and it does it well.
Let me know how its doing in a hundred years.”
————————————————————————————————————-
The last part is an argumentum ad hominem.

—————————————————————————————————————-
No.
There is no assumption here that I am speaking “to the man”.
The “man” IS the argument.
One programmed mind is merely speaking to another programmed mind.
There is no person present….........anywhere.

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Posted: 11 August 2012 12:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 117 ]  
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—————————————————————————————————————-
No.
There is no assumption here that I am speaking “to the man”.
The “man” IS the argument.
One programmed mind is merely speaking to another programmed mind.
There is no person present….........anywhere.”

Let me show you where it is. According to you the following is true:

“I think I think, therefore I think I am”.”

You could also just state it more abstractly:

“I think X” is true. X is a placeholder for any kind of thought .

Whatever you put into the X as a placeholder, this presumes that “I think” is true. This presumes the existence of thinking and the existence of the “I” that is thinking. “I think” means simply: There exists an I that is performing the act of thinking. Otherwise you would have to say that “I think” is not true. If it isn’t then the I need not exist! But that is not what you are saying!

You can’t evade this conclusion by saying

“I think that I think that I think…..” ad infinitum.

There is no way out!

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Posted: 11 August 2012 12:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 118 ]  
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kikl - 11 August 2012 12:21 PM


—————————————————————————————————————-
No.
There is no assumption here that I am speaking “to the man”.
The “man” IS the argument.
One programmed mind is merely speaking to another programmed mind.
There is no person present….........anywhere.”

Let me show you where it is. According to you the following is true:

“I think I think, therefore I think I am”.”

You could also just state it more abstractly:

“I think X” is true. X is a placeholder for any kind of thought .

Whatever you put into the X as a placeholder, this presumes that “I think” is true. This presumes the existence of thinking and the existence of the “I” that is thinking. “I think” means simply: There exists an I that is performing the act of thinking. Otherwise you would have to say that “I think” is not true. If it isn’t then the I need not exist! But that is not what you are saying!

You can’t evade this conclusion by saying

“I think that I think that I think…..” ad infinitum.

There is no way out!

 


Is your self eternal?

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Posted: 11 August 2012 12:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 119 ]  
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toombaru - 11 August 2012 12:42 PM

... Is your self eternal?

I don’t know. I shall only know, once I die. But, if you ask me, what I believe: No, I don’t believe that the self is eternal. It probably ceases to exist once your brain is dead.

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Posted: 11 August 2012 01:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 120 ]  
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kikl - 11 August 2012 12:44 PM
toombaru - 11 August 2012 12:42 PM

... Is your self eternal?

I don’t know. I shall only know, once I die. But, if you ask me, what I believe: No, I don’t believe that the self is eternal. It probably ceases to exist once your brain is dead.

 


Which affects the ocean more….....a ripple or a tsumani?

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