Do we have free will?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Nobeliefs, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    I don't know it, because I consider it quite possible to have a theoretical understanding of something that belies the practical: e.g. I know that stage illusionists are not performing magic, even if I can't work out how they are doing the illusions they do.
    Not so - your objections are, to me, "mere objection and emotion" because that is all you put forward. It simply isn't about your philosophy because when I call you/others out you do not support your statements with arguments from your philosophy but instead just object or argue from emotion. If one says "This leads to X and I don't believe X"... where is the underlying argument if not from personal incredulity. Yes, that incredulity might stem from a philosophical position - but within the argument as stated there is nothing of the sort. Are we therefore meant to guess, perhaps?
    Also not true. You are now trying to hand-wave away my dismissal as being due to an issue of underlying philosophy, yet the objections are due to what you/others write, the logic of the argument you put forward - not the underlying assumptions.
    Maybe at the core of any disagreement is the fundamentally different assumptions, but that is irrelevant to the issue of whether one argues from emotion / personal incredulity. You are trying to conflate one with the other, which is disingenuous, not to mention logically flawed. The issue is not that I may disagree with your arguments, with your philosophy, and you with mine, but that arguments presented to either put forward your case or to dispute mine stem from personal incredulity or from emotion. It is also irrelevant whether that incredulity or emotion comes from actual arguments/logic you might have, but if you can't present it as anything other than personal incredulity or emotion then don't be surprised if that is how others see it.
    If someone is going to post that they disagree, or can't accept a position, then they should at least explain why they disagree or can't accept it - provide the logic. If all they have is a gut feel, or that the other position is abhorrent, then all they have is personal incredulity or an appeal to emotion - and it will be treated accordingly.

    So stop trying to excuse the manner in which one may make an argument just because they hold a certain underlying/different philosophy. It doesn't wash. A logically fallacious argument is a logically fallacious argument regardless of ones philosophy.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
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  3. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    I do agree that Libet found only what he was looking for, as opposed to the facts. I thought you were generally talking about something actually succeeding at operating under the guise of science. Sarkus does not. Sarkus has been known to equivocate terms with personal definitions, and his whole approach is vulnerable to making science, itself, suspect, which completely undermines any pretense at science.
     
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  5. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    Science really has nothing to do with free will - and all the appeals to things like molecular motion, electricity and quantum mechanics are nothing but frivolous attempts to try to bring science into the picture. They are nothing more than, as one poster put it, "red herrings." Worse than worthless, they are nonsensical and only add confusion.

    So let's look at another aspect that the free will deniers, like the OP, are actually setting up without even realizing it.

    Without free will, there is no justification whatsoever for having an established society! NONE!! If no one has the freedom to decide their own actions then there's no purpose at all to try and establish/maintain law and order. That also means that criminals - ALL criminals!! - cannot be held responsible for their crimes. And that includes the nutcase that shot and killed 20 children and 6 teachers at the Sandy Hook school.

    So what these idiots are really saying is that we should really give up on trying to be civilized and let chaos reign the world.

    I find that to be both extremely stupid and idiotic! (But, of course, those deniers aren't intelligent enough to understand.)
     
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  7. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    I do not use personal definitions, but merely am more precise with the understanding of terms being used that differ in meaning between the layman's usage and the more precise scientific or philosophical meanings.
    If you feel I do use personal definitions, feel free to provide evidence of such.
     
  8. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, you can close your discussion to anything that possibly provides counters to your position, but in doing so you limit your discussion only to those who will agree with you.
    Science has everything to do with free will, and to say otherwise is akin to sticking your fingers in your ears and bleat "I am not listening! La la la la!"
    Why does it mean that? We are no more free to operate outside of the illusion of free-will (if that is what it is) than we are able to operate outside our genuine free-will (if it is genuine). Either way we remain bound by our free will. Free will becomes merely an illusion - not that it does not exist, just that it exists differently than as perceived.
    Appeal to emotion, and pretty cheap.
    However, society is already reaching conclusions that we are not always responsible (even holding free will to be genuine) for our actions - the "fat gene" - the urge to go to war - addictive personalities etc.
    Furthermore our experience of our actions does not change merely because we understand differently, we can not suddenly start acting as though free will does not exist - because we will always perceive our actions to be free.
    Appeal to emotion and to consequence, and strawmen abound.
     
  9. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    Nah, I do not want to get caught up in your "illusion is real" nonsensical equivocation.
     
  10. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    If you can't understand that illusions are real, merely misperceptions by us of that reality (i.e. the perception does not match reality) then the issue is not with the words.
     
  11. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    Just as I said - you deniers aren't intelligent enough to understand the truth. Instead, you want to keep on trying to sell your "illusion is real" nonsense. Your problem, not mine.
     
  12. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    Argument ad populum. People will go to great lengths to justify/excuse their own failings. Like denying free will to remove all personal responsibility.
     
  13. rodereve Registered Member

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    Yes, another logical fallacy, attack their intelligence instead of their arguments (lol)

    There is nothing wrong with trying to explain free will -or anything really- through scientific method. In other words, you're calling to trust your instincts or feelings instead. This is a science forums, and in the science & society section. Does it not seem very appropriate? I find it hilarious that you are trying to argue for a civilized society, but you cannot even remain civil in your argument of it.
     
  14. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

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    Whatever.

    The point I'm making here is that if you want to think you are nothing but a pre-programmed robot and unable to make ANY choices in your life, then I feel sorry for you and think your beliefs are * extremely stupid! That whole premise borders on insanity.

    But if that's what you really want, then deal with it. I've grown very tired of trying to show you how foolish it is - therefore, I've no more interest in the subject.
     
  15. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    There is also a fear of being a person, a fear of being an individual - or at least the fear of sticking out, a fear of not fitting in; along with these fears comes the lack of not knowing how to be a person, an individual, how to cope with not fitting in.

    A generalized reductionist approach can give the appearance of easing that fear, as with it, all differences are written off as insubstantial.
     
  16. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Please provide a single example of a person who has denied free will in order to remove all personal responsibility?
    Furthermore, you continue to equate considering free will illusory with claiming it non-existent, with denying it.
    But then optical illusions clearly don't exist once you know they're illusory, and magicians suddenly stop doing things on stage?
    Oh, no, that's right, I'm just equivocating.

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  17. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

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    Again, not playing your semantic games. Give it a rest.
     
  18. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Things that exist differently than commonly perceived usually do not get labeled "mere illusions". Cause and effect, for example.

    There's nothing "mere" about whatever it is we call freedom of will - even if it isn't some magic property outside the rest of physical reality.
     
  19. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    What you say applies for formal fallacies, but not for the informal ones. You are usually accusing me of the informal ones, mind you.

    An ad hominem is not always fallacious, nor is an appeal to emotion always fallacious. There is plenty of cases where a person's qualifications make the difference in the weight of their words, or where the presence or absence of an emotion determines the relevance.
    For example, just try, as an ordinary citizen, to veto the decision of the president of your country, or marry someone you don't love.

    If we were to go by your reasoning, then the vast majority of human culture and life in general ought to be dismissed as fallacious appeals to emotions, ad homs etc.
     
  20. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Ad hominems and such are always logically fallacious - but the circumstance may dictate acceptance of such an argument for practical reasons, as you example. Unless one is discussing practical considerations, in which case one can bring in any amount of subjective positioning, then arguments should ideally remain logical. And where practical considerations are to be considered then there must be an understanding of the difference between practical acceptance of a position and considering the position to be true.
     
  21. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Such labelling is apt within context.
    And out of curiosity, why do you state cause and effect as an example?
    You misinterpret the emphasis of "mere"... I am not calling free will "mere" but the illusory nature. To me free will and consciousness are at the pinnacle of complexity and mystery within our universe.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  22. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Only within the reductionist paradigm in which personhood is deemed non-substantial (and merely an emergent property).
     
  23. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Not at all: do you not appreciate any difference between the theoretical and the practical, and that what may be theoretically possible might not be practical due to constraints irrelevant to the theoretical?
     

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