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Can you prove you are not mind controlled?

  1. Nov 10, 2005 #1
    Is it possible to say that we are not a bi-product of some extremely advanced civilizations technology, and we are just biological computers... I really don't like this idea, i just had this pop into my head one day and me and my friends started discussing it, and we came to the conclusion that no one can prove that they have free thought. It's kinda funny, but i hate it. Just figured I'd post it because we talked about it for hours, and I assumed some people might enjoy it here.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 10, 2005 #2
    sounds like one of your friends has been reading hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy.

    can you prove that we don't have free thought? :)
  4. Nov 10, 2005 #3
    nope, the most i could say was that we are programmed by the way our culture and society works, along with our family life and religious systems. By the way, i did also note, that once you are aware of that, you can then begin to change it, and think outside of it.
  5. Nov 10, 2005 #4
    Perhaps the Earth is just a petri dish and we are simply a test in an isolated environment.

    It makes me wonder if we are just a biological test to see if we can make it to another isolated mass and cultivate it.
  6. Nov 10, 2005 #5
    I don't think we can prove what our reality is.
    Have your heard of 'the brain in a vat'.
    Very interesting;

    http://www.answers.com/brain in a vat
  7. Nov 10, 2005 #6


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    Is that so? in very direct way, your education is also conducent to your becoming aware of this, and to your need to "change it", so what you think you do "outside of it" is also part of the decrees by your environment (culture, society, family life, etc.).
  8. Nov 10, 2005 #7


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    The best part about this conclusion is that people only care about things they can prove. :biggrin:

    I guess we could always test the free will theory by raising somebody who isn't influenced by culture around them.
  9. Nov 13, 2005 #8
    Isn't this basically what we do to God? Christian fundamentalists will hold onto the fact that for some reason they KNOW that God is making hurricanes take lives. whereas, those caught in between will blame God, and hold much resentment... and those at the highest level will transcend every single one of these aspects, and accept the occurances for "natural distasters"... influenced only by action/reaction... paranoia... still think we are a test? Or just some funny thing happened in our pasts that gave us this belief in a God that spoke to us from the heavens... and occasionally let himself be seen as "chariots of fire"... (glowing disks).... HMM... :-/
  10. Nov 13, 2005 #9


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    To be honest i'm not sure i have free will, i may just be aware of what i'm going to do before i do it. Before i can clap my hands my brain needs to send a signal to the appropriate muscles to cause hand-clapping. The brain activity that produces these signals, also produces some other signals (residue) which flows around the brain, which, over time, are associated with hand-clapping (the feeling i'm going to clap my hands). Hence i know i'm going to clap my hands before i clap them, but that doesn't imply that i'm causing the hand-clapping. Something to think about.
  11. Nov 13, 2005 #10
    I think you hit the nail on the head. I don't think we can assume free will just because we have some degree of awareness of our experiences.

    Should we ask, what impact evolution has on our degree of awareness. Some may rule out evolution as a factor. But, can we consider all experiences from moment to moment to be a constant form of evolution? Some have said that we are a product of our enviorment. If this is the case, everything could be a result of cause and affect. If cause and affect is the underlying reason for how and why things happen the way they do, then pre-determined events can't be ruled out.

    Another consideration would be the time factor. If the timeline from past to future is moving at light speed, and we function at a speed somewhat less than that in the present, is not all actions pre-determined from past events? including all forms of human inter-action such as planning or those things pre-programmed such as fight or flight.

    Just my thoughts.....John
  12. Dec 2, 2005 #11
    show me the mind and i will control it. go on show me. where is it?
  13. Dec 10, 2005 #12
    If and advance civiltion was controlling then we whouldn't be discussing this they probally want to make sure Humans don't some overthorw there central progaming and take over there computer and use it to take control of them.
  14. Dec 19, 2005 #13
    That is possibly the dumbest thing I've heard since attending a 9th grade honours biology class. Sorry bud. There's no way in hell anything we experience could apply to a higher being that was hypothetically controlling us. And since they are SUPERIOR to you, you can't fathom what they're doing and why. Even if they "told" you chances are you wouldn't understand. A higher being would have reason to allow this conversation to be happening in the case that they were curious as to what our thought process is, including everything we do and how we express is it, paired with how others respond to it. Make sense?
  15. Dec 25, 2005 #14


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    Hi. I've heard this question posed before usually in the context of asking whether or not we can 'know' we have free will. I would say there's no proof in the strict sense, that we are either free or determined. If someone were controlling us, for the sake of argument, can we not also ask if someone might be controlling them? And then we could extend that further ad infinitum. Maybe we're really asking "Is free-will possible anywhere in the universe."
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