Free will ~ A product of imagination

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Quantum Quack, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    From the day a person is born he builds a fictional reality with fictional rules and fictional laws. His choices are governed by those fictional determiners that he has allowed or created for himself over time.
    Two strangers at a club,
    Girl dancing with man. (based on a true story btw)
    All getting hot and goo-ey,
    Man thinks he is in like Flyn and the Girl, towards the end of dance, asks:
    "What star sign are you?"
    The man replies,
    "I am a Sagi!?"
    Girl replies:
    "Oh no, not another Sagi, I can't possibly go with a Sagi"
    Man asks,
    "Why not?"
    Girl says as she dumps him on the dance floor:
    "My last three lover's were Sagi's and no way am I going to get into another one"

    Fictional rules built into fictional laws creating fictions choices and fictional decisions.

    The deterministic processes are fictional... a product of the imagination

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  3. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    I think Compatibilism (note the spelling, Sarkus!

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    ) has its place.
    But it depends on what one is trying to deem compatible.
    If it is a genuine free will and determinism then I would disagree: I think them incompatible.
    But if it is something like moral responsibility and determinism then there is scope, but one can achieve that through merely accepting "responsibility" and "morality" as only having sensible meaning at the level (or above) at which consciousness emerges.
    I.e. It only has meaning when dealing with what one is conscious of.
    And as such issues of morality would, in my view, be unaffected by whether freewill is genuine or not, as at the conscious level they are identical positions.
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  5. Intersect Registered Member

    the world is random and anything resembling -causality- is only an approximation of what nature really is.

    QM experimental observation indicates that the world is more based on randomness with the ability to predict probabilities, not outcomes.

    For this thread the philosophical question of free will doesn't depend on the causal nature of the world.

    A better way to phrase the question is: If your actions are predetermined or a result of probability, can your actions ever actually be attributed to you?

    this is snip
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014
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  7. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Welcome to Sciforums!

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    your link to google books

    Can I ask?
    How do you feel what you wrote about causality relates to the product of the imagination?
  8. Intersect Registered Member

    I believe imagination is intrinsically able to be influenced showing randomness yet also retains an approximation of structured similarity to perfect non-randomness in that it depends on memory, memories change each time when attempting recall even if they seem not to(look at savants as a example of a more accurate versus non accurate memory pertaining to what they are good at memorizing )yet this to is random as well creating the illusion of perfect non-randomness perhaps proving an arbitrary nature to the function of the approximation of structured similarity as well

    some memory indifferent yet closely similar studies,im sure theres more pages on this

    sorry cant post links yet but if you type "memories not the same"in search you will get many results
  9. Motor Daddy Valued Senior Member

    Your actions are defined in the past. You ate pizza last night. You drank water 1 hour ago. You decided to go outside and sit on the bench. You sat on the bench for 1 minute, and now it's now, and there you are, on the bench.

    Notice how I didn't say it was me on the bench? Because it wasn't, it was you. Notice how I didn't say I decided to sit on the bench? Because I didn't, you did.
  10. Intersect Registered Member

    That works for me, in how it relates to training to identify what a pizza is why I should eat it what a bench is and its simple purpose (which could be concluded by the need for rest yet depends on an environment in the first place to train the mind to know that purpose) and its relation to memory and recall

    Also look into "Language deprivation experiments" done usually to infants by Emperor Frederick II,James IV,and modern examples due to child abuse..

    Emperor Frederick II failed as all fifty infants died.

    James IV failed as the children depended on others to survive

    and also search on "feral isolated children raised by animals" I stress the isolation part or in how they learned how to survive by observing animals

    How this relates to notion of "freedom" and of its purported relational dependency to capacity in the accumulation of knowledge automation being dependent ultimately on biological restraints seems a logical fallacy..

    (when I say automation as an automatic function im meaning we are addicted to knowledge we cannot stop reacting to things we hear or see or read etc btw,if im free why cant I control or even stop this automatic function of reactions?or even permanently so?)

    rather than "freedom", the capacity of the idea of freedom does not undo the damage of isolation and what of this relating as well to information theory? Or many worlds theory? That people use to say they have proven freewill exists?

    a time window of learning as a template for future compatible learning being damaged irreparably that lacks the freedom of will element to correct its mental dehumanization being claimed to be not true in favor of personal ideology in favor of freewill to correct it versus evidence seems disingenuous to the debate at best
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014
  11. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    I do understand the thrust of what you are writing, I believe.
    I do have a question that would be nice for you to consider and possibly respond to.

    Do you equate freedom with freewill?
    ...Can you elaborate on what you feel is the distinction if any?
  12. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    If I may ask a fundamental question:
    "What is freedom and freedom from what"?

    As far as I can imagine, we are totally restricted by our environment from which we cannot escape, just like all physical objects.
    We can never be free from gravity, the need for oxygen, water, atomic and molecular interactions, etc. What free will we have is being able to make certain choices within a strictly controlled environment and even then those choices are conditioned or compelled reactions to sets of circumstances.
  13. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Do you think decisions you fantasize about like for instance what car to buy "if only you had the money" would fall under that description?
    or choices that exist sometime into the future and are merely imaginary and fictional until acted?

    A young child may decide to be an astronaut when he grows up and works his entire youth towards that objective... but never makes it and becomes a flight controller instead...
  14. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Yes I held that same view for a long time. My example always was: "building a dam to prevent future flooding", a free choice based on future expectations, but as you observed, that goal may never materialize. So while we may believe we are makig free choices, they are always predicated on existing circumstances. Today we have a flood, so we must build a dam for future flooding (such as Katerina which overwhelmed everything anyway) or "I saw the rocket and I want to become an astronaut, unfortunately they stopped all grants and I could not afford formal education".
    Are these random events, or can they be predicted with great accuracy? Please not I choose weather and human foibles as a basis for argument.

    Yet, I do believe in a certain indeterminism for future events. IMO, there is just too much going on in the universe, that precise mathematics required for pre-determinism is unattainable. Theoretically, perhaps, practically, I am not so sure.
  15. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    well let's take your example and do some work with it...

    Plan to build a dam. (katerina)
    1. The need for a dam is purely qualified speculation. The future is essentially unknown and unknowable.
    2. The fear of future flooding is pure speculation [ paranoia ] because it, future flooding, hasn't happened yet nor can any one say with certainty it will happen. [ The universe may very well self destruct tomorrow ]
    Dramatic unforeseen events (climate change*?) may render the building of the dam, moot, futile, impossible or irrelevant.

    Anything else?

    The plan to build the damn is based on a fantasy of future causality... a fiction. IMO
    The choice to build of not there fore is governed primarily on how much the decision makers believe their own fears [ paranoia ] - I use the word paranoia as the fear for the future is always an exercise in probability which in turn is governed by historical data peppered with fear and due to the inherent lack of certainty for the future.

    Therefore choices and decisions in this case of dam building are fictional and pure fantasy strongly influenced by fear and become only "fact" or "real" upon enactment of those decisions.
  16. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Interesting, I see it from the opposite viewpoint. The ability to anticipate the future (from history and past experience) and take preventive measures now rather than later would IMO come as close to free will as can be.

    Yes, and this uncertainty allows for "best judgement", i.e. choice. These are not Compulsory, nor are they Deterministic. What are they?
    Similar the Global Climate Change we are witnessing today, no?

    Thus we need not do anything? i.e Fatalism" or do we "chose" Activism now in order to prevent a future disaster which is almost sure to come?

    Your recommendation is ?
  17. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    I guess the whole point of science is to placate our fear of the unknown so that we can make better predictions on the future. yet prediction [fiction] is all they can ever remain, due to the infinite nature of unknown causality.

    in line with the thread's OP that "Freewill is a product of the imagination" , a fiction, a fantasy of choice until enacted. It is only when enacted [actioned] that determining causation comes to bear and determines whether the choices fantasized about are feasible, practical and of any value (oppression). Until actioned the choices and decisions made are fantasy, fiction, and subject to change of mind and heart at any time prior to actioning. [Thus freewill as a product of imagination is evident IMO]
    I do understand where you may have been coming from... BTW but wish to offer an alternative perspective with the view to some time in the future offering it as a candidate solution to the current and historically lengthy philosophical debate on the reality of freewill.
  18. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    As to another interpretation of your post, personally the only thing I can say is "Change in inevitable" Being good or bad change depends on the outcome. Certainly our ability to adapt to change is being tested...

    I like this... and find it ironic that ignorance of the future affords greater freedom to make those choices.
    A Buddhist monk meditating in a Soma cave up in the Himalayas would probably nod his head and say "It is only knowledge that imprisons you and the fear of "not knowing" that drives you." [chuckle]
  19. Intersect Registered Member


    yes thats my personal view on the freedom side of will as based on causal indeterminacy versus acausal indeterminacy,sorry for any confusion on the matters.

    I also believe its plausible to have a set of advancing multiplying absolute truths created by human contributions that can set the grounds for an ethical agency not having to be free this might imitate the illusion of free if emotion applies values to it and utilize it in the first priority as a filter for choices

    In my personal view of what choices mean I see it as analogies to computers and software like watson that can make choices, it can have neuralnets that can be fuzzynets ,random noise that perturbs any NN types adapting function making them to work inefficiently yet similar to human neuronal simplicities..

    Another question id like an answer to is how indeterminate is the randomness of the noise or if it can be proven to not be as random as once thought? And what is its speed in influence?

    Is it slow in its influences allowing causation to give a higher order to information retention and use,or is it arbitrary going from fast to slow , when it is fast in influence causing no causation in informational acquisition..

    Is it extremely slow as if it having no influence at all taking weeks to see any random indeterminate results which reflects its dependency on reflecting an external environment?


    google has a 1 trillion neuralnet computer the human brain has 86billion neurons this to may answer age old questions and many other sites I can link you toward

    Also there are synthetic neurons and synthetic brains that are not NN that could answer this question when they gain sentience etc if its properly made similar to a human brain eventually like darpa synapse using memristors seen a documentaries in news also saying Russians getting into memristor synthetic brain tech as well.

    ***and not to confuse the meaning of what I mean when I say "choice" ,I believe there is a difference in the meaning of "freewill"in its interpretation (its free agency) and the word "choice" I believe they are starkly different and can lead to confusion based on peoples diffrent backgrounds ( neurobiologist versus physicist versus mathematician etc etc), note I did not say "free choice" or just the word "will" by itself minus the "free"

    this often confuses me when the word "freedom" or "free" is applied to being identical to the word "choice", as it can make me choose different interpretations based on confusion if it lacks description breaking it down analytically showing granularity..

    (which I appreciate on your part for breaking what you mean down)
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  20. Intersect Registered Member

    there may be some truth to that as it reminds me of adaitism , sunyata and Pratityasamutpada..

    In adaitism everything is connected and a part of non dual pantheistic*consciousness of Brahma which is said to be the true self of all experience,although there are variations on this ..

    In Buddhist sunyata "emptiness" is neither dual or non-dual it is perfect neutrality,the ultimate aspirations of love is to be interpreted as a service to enlighten people about Sunyata as bodhisattvas as to end suffering , misconception of the meaning of "void" can be confused with "nothingness"..

    Keep in mind though the traditional Buddha never taught meditation as means to attain enlightenment.. Although Buddhism has missconceptions...

    These sites covers it better then I could as im neither a buddhist or a hindu..

    Hindu versus Buddhist views
  21. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    The more I hear the (freeflowing) mixing of Natural Laws with Spiritual Entities (metaphysical events), the greater my admiration for David Bohm. He did manage to create a state of "wholeness" where everything has an energetic connection throughout the universe, and therefore cannot be excluded from consideration. Which is what science actually is doing through more and more specialization. Bohm argues for the opposite approach by starting to consider larger "potentials" inherent in such systems. Just my layman's observation.
  22. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    I am prompted to write:

    "To a painter, a blank canvas is nirvana"

    And something he craves to fill with his creation... (sound familiar?)

    The product of the imagination is essentially about filling the void, the nothingness with our ideas, fantasies (including decisions and choices)
    In doing so we create our future as those ideas ultimately manifest into reality as either enacted or requited fantasy (dreams) or discarded due to frustration caused by causal circumstance.
    I believe that the Buddhist teaching is essentially about perceiving the void [ nirvana ] with out the desire to fill it with our thoughts and fantasies. To cease thinking and behold the void [ nirvana ] with our polluting it with out attachments.
    "To be a painter who is happy that the canvas remains eternally blank"

    Once this is achieved as part of an "innate state" of existence the ultimate challenge of becoming the void is presented.

    Whilst I am fairly confident in the above interpretation I respectfully make no claim with the above. However it is with in my personal experience that the above is so.

    The mere desire to become that void and enter/become nirvana [Brahma] in itself defeats every attempt.

    So that said imagination driven by attachment and "freely creative" is both edges of a paradoxical sword. As creativity is manifested by our management of that paradox. It is this paradox that generates freewill [ freedom to choose between choices] and simultaneously it "traps**" us in a state that requires us to exercise freedom to choose at all times even when we may believe we are not doing so.

    ** this I refer to as "the Reality trap" or "Taoist trap" which is associated with the desire to escape it (re:Samsara ).
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2014

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