Illusion of Freedom

 
 
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nv
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16 August 2012 21:28
 
toombaru - 16 August 2012 07:09 PM

Seriously, if you have free will, why don’t you choose to live your entire life in blissful happiness?
Why don’t cleanse your mind of those nagging little habits that you know are destructive?
Why not exorcise fear and hate from your thoughts?
Why not become a perfect human being?

Toombaru, are you basing your opinion about human will (to avoid the excessively used religious term, “free will” for just a moment) on certain conclusions coming from brain-function research carried out by neuroscientists? If so, then do you also assume that today’s neuroscientists know all there is to know about how our brains operate? If not, then how can you be so confident in your opinion?

 
 
 
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toombaru
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17 August 2012 00:37
 
nonverbal - 16 August 2012 09:28 PM
toombaru - 16 August 2012 07:09 PM

Seriously, if you have free will, why don’t you choose to live your entire life in blissful happiness?
Why don’t cleanse your mind of those nagging little habits that you know are destructive?
Why not exorcise fear and hate from your thoughts?
Why not become a perfect human being?

Toombaru, are you basing your opinion about human will (to avoid the excessively used religious term, “free will” for just a moment) on certain conclusions coming from brain-function research carried out by neuroscientists? If so, then do you also assume that today’s neuroscientists know all there is to know about how our brains operate? If not, then how can you be so confident in your opinion?


Free will or choice is a conceptual misconception.
The brain witnesses the results of its own reactions and labels its observations “choice”.
Do some research on the reality of the self.
Once its unreality is understood the question of free will becomes moot.
Free will is an extension of the egoic delusion or personal autonomy.
Actually you can be glad that human beings do not anything resembling freedom of choice.
If they dd, we would have killed each other off eons ago.

 
 
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kikl
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17 August 2012 02:58
 
toombaru - 17 August 2012 12:37 AM

  ...Do some research on the reality of the self.
Once its unreality is understood the question of free will becomes moot.
...

I have proved the reality of the self. If you didn’t understand the argument, then please go back and read it.

Here’s the way Wikipedia explains it:

“Cogito ergo sum (French: “Je pense donc je suis”; English: “I think, therefore I am”) is a philosophical Latin statement proposed by René Descartes. The simple meaning of the phrase is that someone wondering whether or not he or she exists is, in and of itself, proof that something, an “I”, exists to do the thinking.”

The proof is very simple, straight forward and irrefutable. If I know anything at all, it is the existence of myself. Nothing can be more certain to me.

 
 
 
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toombaru
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17 August 2012 07:52
 
kikl - 17 August 2012 02:58 AM
toombaru - 17 August 2012 12:37 AM

  ...Do some research on the reality of the self.
Once its unreality is understood the question of free will becomes moot.
...

I have proved the reality of the self. If you didn’t understand the argument, then please go back and read it.

Here’s the way Wikipedia explains it:

“Cogito ergo sum (French: “Je pense donc je suis”; English: “I think, therefore I am”) is a philosophical Latin statement proposed by René Descartes. The simple meaning of the phrase is that someone wondering whether or not he or she exists is, in and of itself, proof that something, an “I”, exists to do the thinking.”

The proof is very simple, straight forward and irrefutable. If I know anything at all, it is the existence of myself. Nothing can be more certain to me.

 

The self uses the self to prove the existence of the self and considers that proof.
Descartes was wrong.
All philosophical speculation is delusional.

 
 
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kikl
Total Posts:  122
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17 August 2012 07:58
 
toombaru - 17 August 2012 07:52 AM
kikl - 17 August 2012 02:58 AM
toombaru - 17 August 2012 12:37 AM

  ...Do some research on the reality of the self.
Once its unreality is understood the question of free will becomes moot.
...

I have proved the reality of the self. If you didn’t understand the argument, then please go back and read it.

Here’s the way Wikipedia explains it:

“Cogito ergo sum (French: “Je pense donc je suis”; English: “I think, therefore I am”) is a philosophical Latin statement proposed by René Descartes. The simple meaning of the phrase is that someone wondering whether or not he or she exists is, in and of itself, proof that something, an “I”, exists to do the thinking.”

The proof is very simple, straight forward and irrefutable. If I know anything at all, it is the existence of myself. Nothing can be more certain to me.

 

The self uses the self to prove the existence of the self and considers that proof.
Descartes was wrong.
All philosophical speculation is delusional.

You obviously do not understand the proof. The proof merely relies on the experience of thinking. So it begins with an observation, namely “I am thinking”, and thereby comes to the conclusion: “I exist” What’s so hard about understanding that?

 
 
 
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toombaru
Total Posts:  800
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17 August 2012 08:11
 
kikl - 17 August 2012 07:58 AM
toombaru - 17 August 2012 07:52 AM
kikl - 17 August 2012 02:58 AM
toombaru - 17 August 2012 12:37 AM

  ...Do some research on the reality of the self.
Once its unreality is understood the question of free will becomes moot.
...

I have proved the reality of the self. If you didn’t understand the argument, then please go back and read it.

Here’s the way Wikipedia explains it:

“Cogito ergo sum (French: “Je pense donc je suis”; English: “I think, therefore I am”) is a philosophical Latin statement proposed by René Descartes. The simple meaning of the phrase is that someone wondering whether or not he or she exists is, in and of itself, proof that something, an “I”, exists to do the thinking.”

The proof is very simple, straight forward and irrefutable. If I know anything at all, it is the existence of myself. Nothing can be more certain to me.

 

The self uses the self to prove the existence of the self and considers that proof.
Descartes was wrong.
All philosophical speculation is delusional.

You obviously do not understand the proof. The proof merely relies on the experience of thinking. So it begins with an observation, namely “I am thinking”, and thereby comes to the conclusion: “I exist” What’s so hard about understanding that?


Your mind is made up…......................literally.

 
 
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kikl
Total Posts:  122
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17 August 2012 08:16
 
toombaru - 17 August 2012 08:11 AM
kikl - 17 August 2012 07:58 AM
toombaru - 17 August 2012 07:52 AM
kikl - 17 August 2012 02:58 AM
toombaru - 17 August 2012 12:37 AM

  ...Do some research on the reality of the self.
Once its unreality is understood the question of free will becomes moot.
...

I have proved the reality of the self. If you didn’t understand the argument, then please go back and read it.

Here’s the way Wikipedia explains it:

“Cogito ergo sum (French: “Je pense donc je suis”; English: “I think, therefore I am”) is a philosophical Latin statement proposed by René Descartes. The simple meaning of the phrase is that someone wondering whether or not he or she exists is, in and of itself, proof that something, an “I”, exists to do the thinking.”

The proof is very simple, straight forward and irrefutable. If I know anything at all, it is the existence of myself. Nothing can be more certain to me.

 

The self uses the self to prove the existence of the self and considers that proof.
Descartes was wrong.
All philosophical speculation is delusional.

You obviously do not understand the proof. The proof merely relies on the experience of thinking. So it begins with an observation, namely “I am thinking”, and thereby comes to the conclusion: “I exist” What’s so hard about understanding that?


Your mind is made up…......................literally.

That should not be astonishing to you because according to your deterministic theory, my mind must be made up. consequently, I wonder why you try to argue with me in the first place!? The whole act of arguing with me seems to suggest that you don’t really believe that the mind is made up.

 
 
 
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toombaru
Total Posts:  800
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17 August 2012 08:56
 
kikl - 17 August 2012 08:16 AM
toombaru - 17 August 2012 08:11 AM
kikl - 17 August 2012 07:58 AM
toombaru - 17 August 2012 07:52 AM
kikl - 17 August 2012 02:58 AM
toombaru - 17 August 2012 12:37 AM

  ...Do some research on the reality of the self.
Once its unreality is understood the question of free will becomes moot.
...

I have proved the reality of the self. If you didn’t understand the argument, then please go back and read it.

Here’s the way Wikipedia explains it:

“Cogito ergo sum (French: “Je pense donc je suis”; English: “I think, therefore I am”) is a philosophical Latin statement proposed by René Descartes. The simple meaning of the phrase is that someone wondering whether or not he or she exists is, in and of itself, proof that something, an “I”, exists to do the thinking.”

The proof is very simple, straight forward and irrefutable. If I know anything at all, it is the existence of myself. Nothing can be more certain to me.

 

The self uses the self to prove the existence of the self and considers that proof.
Descartes was wrong.
All philosophical speculation is delusional.

You obviously do not understand the proof. The proof merely relies on the experience of thinking. So it begins with an observation, namely “I am thinking”, and thereby comes to the conclusion: “I exist” What’s so hard about understanding that?


Your mind is made up…......................literally.

That should not be astonishing to you because according to your deterministic theory, my mind must be made up. consequently, I wonder why you try to argue with me in the first place!? The whole act of arguing with me seems to suggest that you don’t really believe that the mind is made up.


I discuss simply because I, like all minds, have no choice.
The self is a program evolved to believe that it is real.
It helps the organism survive and reproduce.
Its is composed entirely of swirling mnemonic debris.
It is the imaginary center of the brain’s conceptual overlay.
Where was your mind before the body was born?
Where will it go when the body dies?

 

 
TheCoolinator
 
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TheCoolinator
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08 September 2012 00:28
 

I hate agnosticism.  I believe that it is usually evidence of not having sufficiently thought through an issue.  Unfortunately, I can’t shake my ambivalence on this topic.  I find the certainty of Dr. Harris and others on this point as obnoxious as the certainty of the theists.  Harris failed to convince me in FW that there is no freedom of thought, but he did prevent me from continuing to assume that it does exist. 


I think those who deny free will are calling the game early.  I worry that they may be doing so disingenuously, since the absence of free will would provide a short cut to winning the debate on atheism.  They don’t need a short cut, they’ve already won.  Hopefully I’ll soon have a chance to get around to the ‘Illusion of Self’ that he has been promoting on his main page as that may help me to make a determination. 


It seems to me that the case against free will rests on the ever narrowing scope of control that we have over ourselves which is relentlessly being whittled down by neurology.  But no matter how limiting our biology and environment prove to be on this score, it does not follow that the end result will be zero control.  If we have any self generated control whatsoever, it seems to me that that will provide all the room we need to allow for free will.  Sam seems convinced that free will = zero, and he is a neurologist while I am not.  However, though I have been convinced that the amount of control I intuitively feel is illusory (Kahneman) I have yet to be convinced that all control is an illusion.

 
 
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toombaru
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08 September 2012 10:42
 
TheCoolinator - 08 September 2012 12:28 AM

I hate agnosticism.  I believe that it is usually evidence of not having sufficiently thought through an issue.  Unfortunately, I can’t shake my ambivalence on this topic.  I find the certainty of Dr. Harris and others on this point as obnoxious as the certainty of the theists.  Harris failed to convince me in FW that there is no freedom of thought, but he did prevent me from continuing to assume that it does exist. 


I think those who deny free will are calling the game early.  I worry that they may be doing so disingenuously, since the absence of free will would provide a short cut to winning the debate on atheism.  They don’t need a short cut, they’ve already won.  Hopefully I’ll soon have a chance to get around to the ‘Illusion of Self’ that he has been promoting on his main page as that may help me to make a determination. 


It seems to me that the case against free will rests on the ever narrowing scope of control that we have over ourselves which is relentlessly being whittled down by neurology.  But no matter how limiting our biology and environment prove to be on this score, it does not follow that the end result will be zero control.  If we have any self generated control whatsoever, it seems to me that that will provide all the room we need to allow for free will.  Sam seems convinced that free will = zero, and he is a neurologist while I am not.  However, though I have been convinced that the amount of control I intuitively feel is illusory (Kahneman) I have yet to be convinced that all control is an illusion.

 


The root of the problem lies within the concept “free swill” or for that matter the word “will”.
The objectifying mind labels its perceptual input and then mistakes its own labels for reality.
When it observes its own actions, they appear to originate from it own “choices”.
Actually the neurons in the brain react to their uniquely evolved survival program and the sense of self emerges downstream from that process to claim the “choice”.
The sense of being a separate, volitional entity is a dream…...a conceptual overlay.
Find out how substantial the self is and the issue of free will becomes moot.


Hey…..........that’s a good name for a baby.


grin

 
TheCoolinator
 
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TheCoolinator
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08 September 2012 17:35
 
toombaru - 08 September 2012 10:42 AM

The root of the problem lies within the concept “free swill” or for that matter the word “will”.
The objectifying mind labels its perceptual input and then mistakes its own labels for reality.
When it observes its own actions, they appear to originate from it own “choices”.
Actually the neurons in the brain react to their uniquely evolved survival program and the sense of self emerges downstream from that process to claim the “choice”.
The sense of being a separate, volitional entity is a dream…...a conceptual overlay.
Find out how substantial the self is and the issue of free will becomes moot.


Hey…..........that’s a good name for a baby.


grin

There is nothing wrong with the model, but that doesn’t give it a claim to truth - only internal consistency.  As I see it, there is the same significant problem with both sides: What evolutionary path could lead to the emergence of [an illusion of/the existence of] free will?  It would need serve a purpose, or be a vestige of some faculty evolved for some other purpose.  Clearly, our neurological processes are creating one or the other,but I have yet to run across an argument that can help me to prefer one over the other.  The only proposition I find convincing thus far is that we don’t have enough evidence to make the call.

 

 
TheCoolinator
 
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TheCoolinator
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08 September 2012 17:36
 

What am I doing wrong to make my comments double post so often?

 
 
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toombaru
Total Posts:  800
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08 September 2012 18:28
 
TheCoolinator - 08 September 2012 05:35 PM
toombaru - 08 September 2012 10:42 AM

The root of the problem lies within the concept “free swill” or for that matter the word “will”.
The objectifying mind labels its perceptual input and then mistakes its own labels for reality.
When it observes its own actions, they appear to originate from it own “choices”.
Actually the neurons in the brain react to their uniquely evolved survival program and the sense of self emerges downstream from that process to claim the “choice”.
The sense of being a separate, volitional entity is a dream…...a conceptual overlay.
Find out how substantial the self is and the issue of free will becomes moot.


Hey…..........that’s a good name for a baby.


grin

There is nothing wrong with the model, but that doesn’t give it a claim to truth - only internal consistency.  As I see it, there is the same significant problem with both sides: What evolutionary path could lead to the emergence of [an illusion of/the existence of] free will?  It would need serve a purpose, or be a vestige of some faculty evolved for some other purpose.  Clearly, our neurological processes are creating one or the other,but I have yet to run across an argument that can help me to prefer one over the other.  The only proposition I find convincing thus far is that we don’t have enough evidence to make the call.

 

 

The persona probably emerged when the mind of man first objectified its perceptual input.
Babies don’t really have the sense of a separate self until we fill them up with words.
The brain creates and sustains an imaginary pseudo-reaity.
It colors in a psychological center that individually and en mass defends an imaginary kingdom.
The self is a phantom, totally composed of the brain’s swirling mnemonic debris.
The sense of self, (the I am, the ego, etc) appearing to be a substantial entity offers tremendous advantages to the biological organism.
Its presence helps insure the survival and propagation of the organism’s gene pool.
It is the reason that humans (for the time being) dominate the earth.
It spins out and wraps its self in innumerable religions and philosophies as a way to substantiate its own imaginary existence.
The brain is not programmed to grasp the self’s essential emptiness and will resist any attempt to undermine its own little movie.
There appears to be a condition in which the self loses its opacity and the brain no longer buys into its own raucous screeching.
When the charade is seem, its game over.
This apperception is impossible to grasp by using the very tool out of which the dilemma emerges.
It’s a hell of a problem that doesn’t even exit.

 

 

 
TheCoolinator
 
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TheCoolinator
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08 September 2012 22:01
 
toombaru - 08 September 2012 06:28 PM

The persona probably emerged when the mind of man first objectified its perceptual input.
Babies don’t really have the sense of a separate self until we fill them up with words.
The brain creates and sustains an imaginary pseudo-reaity.
It colors in a psychological center that individually and en mass defends an imaginary kingdom.
The self is a phantom, totally composed of the brain’s swirling mnemonic debris.

Why?

toombaru - 08 September 2012 06:28 PM

The sense of self, (the I am, the ego, etc) appearing to be a substantial entity offers tremendous advantages to the biological organism.
Its presence helps insure the survival and propagation of the organism’s gene pool.

How?

toombaru - 08 September 2012 06:28 PM

It is the reason that humans (for the time being) dominate the earth.
It spins out and wraps its self in innumerable religions and philosophies as a way to substantiate its own imaginary existence.
The brain is not programmed to grasp the self’s essential emptiness and will resist any attempt to undermine its own little movie.
There appears to be a condition in which the self loses its opacity and the brain no longer buys into its own raucous screeching.
When the charade is seem, its game over.
This apperception is impossible to grasp by using the very tool out of which the dilemma emerges.
It’s a hell of a problem that doesn’t even exit.

What?

 
 
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toombaru
Total Posts:  800
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08 September 2012 22:51
 
TheCoolinator - 08 September 2012 10:01 PM
toombaru - 08 September 2012 06:28 PM

The persona probably emerged when the mind of man first objectified its perceptual input.
Babies don’t really have the sense of a separate self until we fill them up with words.
The brain creates and sustains an imaginary pseudo-reaity.
It colors in a psychological center that individually and en mass defends an imaginary kingdom.
The self is a phantom, totally composed of the brain’s swirling mnemonic debris.

Why?

toombaru - 08 September 2012 06:28 PM

The sense of self, (the I am, the ego, etc) appearing to be a substantial entity offers tremendous advantages to the biological organism.
Its presence helps insure the survival and propagation of the organism’s gene pool.

How?

toombaru - 08 September 2012 06:28 PM

It is the reason that humans (for the time being) dominate the earth.
It spins out and wraps its self in innumerable religions and philosophies as a way to substantiate its own imaginary existence.
The brain is not programmed to grasp the self’s essential emptiness and will resist any attempt to undermine its own little movie.
There appears to be a condition in which the self loses its opacity and the brain no longer buys into its own raucous screeching.
When the charade is seem, its game over.
This apperception is impossible to grasp by using the very tool out of which the dilemma emerges.
It’s a hell of a problem that doesn’t even exit.

What?

 

Perhaps we could approach this by you offering evidence that supports the existence of self.