Do we have free will? (originally posted on Science & Society)

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by Nobeliefs, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. Nobeliefs Registered Member

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    Sorry for my english, i'm not american... You're little "evidence" (sensation of control) is extremely fragile and may be only an ilussion, simply by far not enough to be so convinced that FW is real... On the other hand, the fact that the "macroscopic universe" is deterministic is indeed a much better evidence to think the contrary. Some people think that even if the universe isn't deterministic there is no room for free will, who knows.. So let's be honest, we don't know the answer and it's ridiculous to be convinced of one thing or the other.. The question is, wich one is more consistent with our knowledge about the universe? I think free will as an ilussion, maybe i'm wrong, maybe you're wrong or maybe both... Again, it is ridiculous to incline to one side or the other, a reasonable position is just in the middle..

    "And there is indirect evidence for free will, as the belief in free will has a measurable impact on moral choices"...

    haha, then you will find "indirect evidence" for anything.. Indirect evidence for Gods, ghosts, miracles etc... none sense...
     
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  3. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    First, I can see why you did not bother to quote what you were supposedly responding to, as you seem to think that allows you to get away with straw man arguments and avoiding any inconvenient points. No worries, I have rectified that for you.

    Where did I say that "sensation of control" was the sole evidence? I did not, as this is a straw man. Macroscopic systems can display indeterministic behavior as well, especially when quantum effects are amplified to do so in the macro domain. So this refutes your hasty generalization that 'the "macroscopic universe" is deterministic'. And you cannot call free will illusory without also casting doubt on anything else perceived by the same faculties, including the entire macrocosm.

    And why would you retreat from a seeming denial of free will to an agnostic position? Perhaps you know the weakness of your own argument. You cannot both criticize me for taking a position while taking the opposing position yourself. And no, "the middle" is an appeal to moderation, which is a logical fallacy.

    The indirect evidence for free will are through scientific studies, which cannot be said of the examples you use as an appeal to ridicule.
     
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  5. Nobeliefs Registered Member

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    You're wrong... seems you like quarrel more than a decent debate.. what is the sense of a discussion if there is no sharing and explanation of ideas and concepts?

    I'm just criticizing what you have mentioned, you dindn't mention more than "universally self-evident to humans"..
    You said : "Simple. In science we do not doubt the self-evident without significant evidence to the contrary. Denial of genuine free will (universally self-evident to humans) is thus equivalent to the claim that the sun does not exist, necessitating equally extraordinary evidence."

    By the way, in science we don't doubt something if this is supported by tons of evidence, such as evolution and relativity.. Free will isn't supported by tons of evidence, as far as I know there is no evidence....

    You're talking about indeterministic behavior on macroscopic systems, then give me some specific examples (a,b,c), and what are you're references? I don't know about a proven influence of quantum effects on macroscopic events. As far as I know, they are just speculations. If i'm wrong let me know, and please give me you're references...


    From the begining I've been in the middle... My question again is wich answer is more consistent with our knowledge of the universe? ... As I said in the first post: "I don't find any good reason to think that FW is real", but that doesn't mean that i'm convinced... The middle is a reasonable position when there is considerable uncertainty. If you're inclined, or even worst convinced about one option or the other, you're falling into the blind world of belief (or just foolishness) wich is not so far from being religious..

    Wich indirect evidence? wich scientific studies? references??...

    I think it doesn't matter whether or not the universe is deterministic. Free will implies control at some point, and control implies violation of cause and effect... Indeterminism doesn't mean that control is possible..
     
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  7. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    If you wanted a discussion then you would refrain from straw men and actually address my points. Seems this is just poisoning the well.

    The self-evident does not require "evidence" of its existence, hence the name "self-evident". Only things that are not immediately evident require supporting evidence, and the self-evident requires just as much evidence to show it other than it appears. You do not seem to have but a naive understanding of how science works.

    A quantum random-number generator is an example of a macroscopic use for quantum indeterminacy, and there are many examples of macroscopic quantum phenomena.

    No, you would have to be delusional to dismiss the self-evident without sufficient evidence against it being real. The burden of proof is yours (or others who deny free will) to show that it does not genuinely exist. It is actually closer to religious belief to deny what is readily apparent without evidence to the contrary, and it is not scientific to deny the self-evident otherwise.

    Indeterminism does not necessitate free will, but who is arguing that it does? Indeterminism implies causes we cannot account for. And how does control violate causation?

    http://scienceblogs.com/cognitivedaily/2008/04/changing_belief_in_free_will_c.php
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17835-free-will-is-not-an-illusion-after-all.html
    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/13/is-neuroscience-the-death-of-free-will/
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/22/science/22tier.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
    http://psp.sagepub.com/content/35/2/260.short
     
  8. Nobeliefs Registered Member

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    27
    What!? YOU seem to misunderstand the scientific method!. Considering free will as something "self-evident" is just ridiculous, and even if true there's no reason to be convinced.. Evidence is the base of the scientific method, if something isn't based on it then it's bullshit..
    So, what do you mean by self-evident?... "self-evident" was the earth as the center of the universe, the flatness of the earth, the circular movements of the planets, etc... Convinced of the "self-evident", that's not scientific but foolishness..

    "Science is best defined as a careful, disciplined, logical search for knowledge about any and all aspects of the universe, obtained by examination of the best available evidence and always subject to correction and improvement upon discovery of better evidence. What's left is magic. And it doesn't work." James Randi

    "...It is scientific only to say what is more likely and what less likely..." Richard Feynman

    "To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method


    The quantum number generator is cool... Ok, "macroscopic" quantum behavior under extreme temperatures.. But i think that's irrelevant in this case, would be diferent if there are biochemical processes directly influenced by the aparent randomness of quantum mechanics, and as far as I know there are some hypotheses but no one is proved yet..

    "Readily apparent"... apparent, just because of a sensation created by your brain? A brain wich evolved in a way not to tell you the truth but to perceive some useful aspects of reality, and in many cases this interpretations of reality turn out to be illusory.
    Evidence suggests that sensations are not a good "source" to rely on....

    Any simple or complex effect is conditioned by it's causes.. If that's always the case, control can not exist..

    How can these articles be indirect evidence for free will?... It is not so easy to draw conclusions about Free will, i think it can't be proved or disproved with that kind of experiments, maybe that's beyond our capacity...
     
  9. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    4,571
    Of course control can exist if the cause is from selective conditioning. Determinism covers such a wide range of emergent complexities that there are latent non-interfering conditions and potentials which "become" causal when a certain threshold has been crossed.
    Witness Hiroshima, was that a purely deterministic event or were there unexpected potentials (including human potentials) at work along the way.
     
  10. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    3,515
    First, it is incoherent to say free will being self-evident is "ridiculous, ... even if true", as it is universally so for humans. If the self-evident is "bullshit" then what is your evidence that free will is other than it appears? Self-evident is what all observations are until significant evidence shows it to be otherwise. So where is the compelling evidence that free will is other than observed? The scientific method does not justify making a negative claim (free will does not exist/is illusory) as that can only be demonstrated exhaustively, which is not feasible. The scientific method requires a positive claim, such as a specific theory for how the perception of free will should arise.

    Where is this supposed theory?

    Denying observation without any compelling evidence to the contrary is foolish and unscientific. Where is your "best available evidence"? We are not justified in making guesses contrary to observation just because we are faced with a lack of available, measurable evidence.

    Probably the most concrete and detailed suggestion of how quantum mechanics in its present-day appearance can play a role in brain processes is due to Beck and Eccles (1992), later refined by Beck (2001). It refers to particular mechanisms of information transfer at the synaptic cleft. -http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-consciousness/#4.4

    There is no such thing as "proof" in science, only in mathematics. Reference your own Feynman quote above.

    Hasty generalization from some specific examples of illusion to something yet to be demonstrated as such, i.e. unsupported conjecture. Where is your evidence specific to free will?

    Vague arm-waving in lieu of the evidence you lack and hypocritically demand of any opposing view.

    So you have no evidence to doubt the observation, nor can you otherwise account for why a belief in free will should have positive correlates in behavior or why the brain should spontaneously reorganize itself. You have essentially admitted to having no valid argument at all, and you seem to be resorting to a false compromise to quell your cognitive dissonance.
     
  11. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    Temperatures into the Planck epoch?
     
  12. kx000 Valued Senior Member

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    The wish to exist decelerates a free will. No free will, no wish to be.
     

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