|Feb10-12, 10:56 AM||#35|
How physicists handle the idea of Free Will?
Free will goes along with consciousness. We are only 'conscious' of having made a decision long after it's been made (hundreds of ms delay) so why get hung up as to whether you have any responsibility for the decision? Your brain got on and decided without your conscious help anyway. All you can do, rationally ist to justify it post hoc.
|Feb10-12, 11:00 AM||#36|
Blog Entries: 1
|Feb10-12, 11:04 AM||#37|
I like to view my consciousness at the 'chairman of the board' presenting board decisions to the world and justifying them. He gets all the glory and more pay than anyone else.
|Feb10-12, 12:02 PM||#38|
And yet the subconscious gets the blame...seems a little lopsided to me
|Apr20-12, 05:49 AM||#40|
|Apr20-12, 09:18 AM||#42|
And I also agree with Doc Al that a random event would be equivalently useless to the idea of free will. Thus, free will is a supernatural idea.
I think some people might be confusing free will with willpower. Willpower is the ability for an organism to do what it wants to do despite its own (or external) challenges. But free will is about whether the organism really ever chose its wants.
|Apr20-12, 09:20 AM||#43|
Imagination in straitjacket
|Apr20-12, 12:32 PM||#44|
I think the answer is, if you have to ask what free will means, then you don't believe in it. Free will exists only as a gap in our knowledge.
|Apr20-12, 02:27 PM||#45|
Well, going back to the OP question, there seems to me to be a simple choice:
a) accept physics in its present form as a complete description of all that is, in which case you must accept free will is impossible according to physics and is merely an illusion
b) accept the existence of free will, thereby accepting that physics in its present form is not a complete description of all that is.
I don't think it's provable either way, despite what either side of the debate might say.
I guess most physicists would opt for (a) professionally (but probably run their personal lives as though b were the anwser). If (a) were true, perhaps biology might account for it. Natural selection is frequently invoked to account for a biological phenomenon in terms of the survival/selective advantage the phenomenon conveys. What, I wonder, would be the evolutionary advantage of the illusion of a non-existent free will?
(I choose b - or is it just an illusion that I chose it?)
|Apr20-12, 03:18 PM||#46|
Would one of the people that understands what free will is please describe a thought experiment that determines whether or not free will is being exercised in some chosen situation?
|Apr20-12, 04:33 PM||#47|
People who go on hunger strike and starve to death fighting for a (higher) cause or principle. People who commit suicide over injustice or emotional pain.
Can the interaction between these elements that make up the human body produce emotional pain(why would they care?):
Elements referred above were taken from here:
|Apr20-12, 05:12 PM||#48|
But what people seem to be missing is that this happens before the action too. The mind works in anticipatory fashion (as made explicit in modern theory, such as the "bayesian brain" model).
So like a board, at an attentive level you form the goals and expectations. You produce a context in which certain things are predicted and habitual/automatic level responses are permitted. Then afterwards, back at the board level, you get to assess and make strategic changes.
The "freewill" experiments everyone talks about - Libet's mostly - are widely misinterpreted because the subjects are quite conscious beforehand of the way they are expected to perform the task. They are mentally prepared in a specific "hands off" state. The chairman of the board has basically said I want my finger to twitch, but I don't want to give a specific order on the moment it happens.
So part of the task demand is a few moments of suitable delay where the subject is in fact consciously thinking "I'm not thinking about making it happen, it's just going to happen, and it hasn't happened yet so I'm doing it right - oh it just happened, and so I've now done what was asked."
|Apr20-12, 09:29 PM||#49|
When you get into the realm of trying to choose actions based upon desired outcomes it is easier to argue that your actions are pre-determined based upon past experience or the current environmental state but even then its not absolutely so. A good example of this is when you have multiple courses to choose from that will all result in the acquisition of a desired result. Those choices are pre-selected(pre-determined) based upon the past but it is your choice, which, if any, action you choose to obtain the end result.
|Apr20-12, 09:39 PM||#50|
trying to be sarcastic...but i find it interesting how such mundane things can become so complex when applied to a philosophical filter.
|Apr20-12, 09:46 PM||#51|
Free-will is free because you, through the assertion of willpower, can choose(free), using your own mind ,to change the way that you think. For example... I can sit here in my room and shut off the lights and play a loud white noise and think about things in a manner that I choose until my thought processes change. Through my own independent free will actions I have affected all future thought processes and through this process I have exerted a continuation of my free will. Buddhism is a good example of how people use their own mental faculties to change their minds...but we all do it everyday...all day long and when you don't consciously do it but rather just respond to your environment you can fall into a pattern that makes free-will seem as if it is an impossibility.
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