Does Physics disprove the existence of free will?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by M.I.D, Oct 2, 2018.

  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    30,828
    Sorry about the late edit - second thoughts about useful posting.
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,122
    That's third time you have asserted what my stance is.


    OK, you must be referring to this:
    I did not realize that my meaning here could be construed in more than one way (particularly the disparaging terms 'magical' and 'soul-thingy').

    All right I'll own that.

    Let me clarify the unspoken part:

    ...and it's hard to argue against without resorting to some magical element, such as a soul-thingy. Since magic and soul-thingies are preposterous, that is obviously not an acceptable answer.


    Clearly, it was not so obvious...

    Does that clarify my stance?
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    30,828
    It was clear.
    Do you see that my description was accurate? I'll highlight:
    and compare:
    If one does not assume, suppose, require, etc, that freedom of the will is supernatural, that entire matter becomes irrelevant.
    The natural, nonmagical, real world nature of any existing freedom of will has been stipulated to on this forum.
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,122
    That description in is not accurate. I do not require freedom of the will to be supernatural. Full stop.

    You follow up by making a second erroneous inference:
    Still no.

    I think most of this wheel-spinning would vanish if you simply stuck to describing your own argument, rather than attempting to describe mine.
    If you think I'm implying something, ask. I'll answer. Better?
     
  8. geordief Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,470
    To refute my claim that it is futile to claim that we have free will or ,in contradistinction that our thoughts and actions are predetermined in a physical or( perhaps metaphysical?) way can anyone devise an experiment that would distinguish between the two interpretations of any particular thought and action ?

    In other words is this a scientifically based discussion or just speculation?
     
  9. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,122
    One can suppose freedom of will is non-existent. Then too, the matter becomes irrelevant.

    I am not sure what you are attempting to do here. Are you saying that the existence of freedom of will has been decreed by the forum?
     
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    30,828
    Unless the accuracy of the supposition is questioned - as in this thread.

    Notice the difference between supposing and not supposing something.
    No. Wtf?
     
  11. geordief Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,470
    Dave :your quotes in post #106 are crosswired. Is that the forum software or is it your mistake?

    Iceaura did the same thing a while back (post#92) so I am thinking it is poor software ,at least in part.

    It is very confusing to follow the to and fros when the quotations are attributed to the wrong party
     
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    30,828
    Your argument against it does.
    Here:
    You require that humans"beat" physical reality in order to have freedom of will.
    You argue as if a given physical setup, repeated exactly, exhibiting the same given behavior, somehow conflicted with freedom of will - as if the will, to be free, would have to be able to contravene the workings of physical law, alter sequences of cause/effect without changing anything about the causes.
     
  13. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,857
    Can I ask both you and DaveC to please define what you think "free-will" is?
    I wager that your disagreement is driven by differences in what you are trying to claim exists or not, and found it interesting that you declined his request to seek an agreed definition.
     
  14. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,122
    That is entirely possible. Iceaura has started using the phrase 'freedom of will' and the even simpler 'will' as opposed to 'free will'. I'm not sure if that is a clarification or a moving of the goalposts.
     
  15. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,122
    No, I am positing a problem with the notion of free will, as I see it.
    The solution is not yet apparent. That's what we're trying to do here.

    Don't stuff a conclusion down my throat. That is highly argumentative and not constructive.

    Thus, we need a common definition. I asked for a consensus several dozen posts back, but it was ignored.
     
  16. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 71 years old Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,067
    Free will

    Ability to make choices unimpeded

    Only constrained by physics

    Good enough???

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  17. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,857
    My own current view is that it is an emergent property and thus only really has meaning when applied to (or above) the level of complexity at which it arises. I fully understand what you are saying in that if the universe is deterministic, or even probabilistically so (to allow for randomness in outcome), there is zero way to break the causal chain of things adhering to the various laws of physics etc. And thus there is simply no scope for that system, no matter how complex, to not act according to those laws, laws which are, as per the premise, (probabilistically) deterministic.

    But does this mean no "free-will"?
    It seems to. It seems to hint that whatever we might deem to be an existent free-will is in fact merely an illusion of what it claims to be,
    But is this correct?

    There is another "free-will" that obviously exists. The ability to choose, to select from among available options, and to do so without randomness. We exhibit this freewill every day: what to eat, when to do things, where to go, what to say.
    This free-will exists because it is defined in terms that only give it meaning within the realm of conscious thought, within the realm of other emergent properties, patterns of patterns arising due to the complex nature of the system.
    We might define it as a "choice", the ability to "select", or to "decide", but all of these must again be referring to the realm of conscious thought, or else we might start deeming a thermostat to have free-will.
    Outside of this realm, the notion of this free-will doesn't just break down but it loses meaning. It only has meaning while the likes of "choice" have meaning. While consciousness has meaning.

    And personally I am of the opinion that one can not be conscious without some element of this free-will. It is really, to me, just an aspect of consciousness. Without it you have the passenger just along for the ride but no ability to do anything... pure instinct, reaction. And it might be a case of the simpler the consciousness the simpler the free-will, etc.

    But heck, my views on the matter keep changing.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    I just don't think you two are necessarily talking about the same thing.
     
    cluelusshusbund and DaveC426913 like this.
  18. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,122
    Nope.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  19. geordief Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,470
    Interesting post. I think you might agree that the good thing about this subject is that it allows us to talk about it in a fun/serious way without too much worrying whether there will be any "final" answer.

    Of course some religions can take it far more seriously and seemingly they did(but I imagine they started from the "answer" backwards....)
     
  20. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 71 years old Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    10,067
    Well I do not see a replacement suggested

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  21. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    30,828
    It's a waste of time until the supernatural take has been recognized as a supernatural take and dismissed, as an assumption of an argument or anything else. See the response to Michael's attempt, in 115.

    That is not a logical stance, but an assumption - a framing assumption, within which the kinds of questions and misreadings my posts have been drawing (with terms like "wtf?" too often, maybe, but christ almighty these are simply posts with words in them) are the only "disagreements".

    So your patient and less cryptic response in 114 is welcome - but when you see the response, maybe my own blunter take will be forgiven.
    Ya think? I am refusing to talk about supernatural anything. That's it. That's experience talking.

    Here's a touchstone:
    If one is talking about cause and effect at the level of the will, one of the causes is the content of dreams - their imagery, their content as experienced (pattern as registered) by and within the deciding mental agency.

    If.

    If one insists on cause/effect, "Newtonian determinism", and so forth, in this context, the following is the case by theory and observation:

    Dreams have causality, at that logical level. Neurons do not.
    Neurons are substrate - and more than one level separated.
     
  22. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,122
    It has been dismissed. It was never a contender.

    The options are: free-will is a natural emergent phenomenon, or it does not exist at all (an illusion).

    Interesting that you would say that, since it was you who first introduced the word.

    In fact, not only did you first introduce the word, you used it no less than five times (posts 9, 39, 49 and 60), before anyone else took the bait.

    No one else except you has been using the word.

    Your assertion, above is demonstrably, emphatically false.


    So. If you don't want to talk about it, and no one else wants to talk about, can we drop it?
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
  23. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    30,828
    Ok.
    So we aren't going to see anything like this, any more, on this thread:
    That entire line of argument has been dropped, and will not appear ever again.

    Agreed.
     

Share This Page