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

    The line of logic is simple:

    1. If the production of fiction is uninhibited by the laws of physics,
    2. and choices and decisions prior to enactment are fiction then
    3. Free will is fiction, uninhibited by the laws of physics.

    Thus freewill is as real as any other works of fiction, including works such as Beethoven's 5th, E=mc^2, The Laws of Thermodynamics, and so on...

    If we consider the sciences as being real then we must by virtue of the axiomatic logic consider freewill to be real as well..
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014
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  3. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    But the key is undoubtedly that freewill is a process. Noone would argue that freewill is an output, a "product", but rather the process that leads to an output.
    Sure, it might entail some imagination (another process) to generate the "options", but the actual choice is arrived at through a process. And thus it is the process that is key.
    If one has to choose between A and B, freewill is not the choice of A, or the choice of B, but in the way that choice is arrived at. What A and B are might influence that process, though.

    But lets say A and B are options that "defy the laws of physics"?
    Does me saying: "I can choose either between flying to the moon unaided, or swallowing mount Everest!" actually defy the laws of physics?
    If I then say: "Well, I'll choose to fly unaided to the moon!" does that then defy the law of physics? I have appeared to demonstrate my "freewill" in doing so, in reaching this choice.
    But no, I would certainly say not. Freewill is a process. It only when we try to make that choice real that we realise that it must adhere to the laws of physics, and why such a choice is actually impossible.

    I guess that we are fortunate to have sufficient capacity to generate mental simulations in which we can build a simulated universe in which the laws are different to reality. The same way a computer game can generate simulated worlds with utterly different physics to our own. But noone would be foolish enough to say that the computer is defying the laws of physics in doing so.

    So freewill, as a process is "real" the way any process is real: it is the reality of the interacting synapses, neurons, atoms, molecules etc.
    But there is clearly no freewill as a "product".
    So the OP is, as you stated, doomed from the outset until it can overcome this blatant flaw in approach: it is not what you choose from, but how you choose that matters.

    And even QQ managed to admit that he has "no dispute about 'process' being a biological function and must conform with the laws associated. None at all."
    And if he said it then it must be right, eh?

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

    bah! pure fiction!.... [chuckle]

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    As I posted earlier, a similar rhetorical question to demonstrate a point about process:

    "How many fictional choices does it take to lead to a fictional decision to travel and change a light bulb 10000 kms away?"
    A lifetime of creative fiction perhaps?
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014
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  7. Angelus Daughter Of House Ravenhearte Registered Senior Member

    Music and scientific theories are not fiction. The are acts of creation. An artist's mind was guided by reality to produce an actual physical construct. Whether this be notes on a staff or formulas on a page. As they pondered the possible solutions to how to arrange those notes or which forces fit on opposite sides of an equals sign their brain went through a series of changes representing each of the possible solutions considered and then passed over until they arrived at the one that they finally settled. Each of these brain states arose from previous ones in accordance with physical law. Never was there a moment when there was something fictional that then had to become reality, each note, each variable, was guided by physical law through that person's brain and that out to the rest of us. The same is true of fiction itself, actually, each character, each fantastic world, each plot, exists as patterns of neurons firing in an author's brain, patterns that arose because of the patterns that existed before them, and sensory input, and governed by physical law. Free will is an illusion of perspective, it is simply that name we give to how it feels to be a pattern recognition and generating machine of sophisticated complexity.
  8. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    So we can conclude that in your opinion the product of the imagination is fully determined by the laws of physics... yes?

    That creative works of literature are as determined by the laws of physics as the theoretical sciences are?
  9. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    Angelus has also suggested this, in as much as such things exist "as patterns of neurons firing in an author's brain...", the patterns being the process in operation.
    But the pattern, the process, adheres to the laws of physics (or whatever else one wishes to call the universal laws).
    With regard the question of freewill, this would absolutely be my view as well.

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  10. Angelus Daughter Of House Ravenhearte Registered Senior Member

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

    Just to follow through and to explore your thoughts a little,
    Do you consider both, creative works or literature and the sciences as "products" of the imagination?

    What limitations, if any, do these "laws of physics" impose upon the products of the imagination? [at any given moment prior to enacting them, if ever]
  12. Angelus Daughter Of House Ravenhearte Registered Senior Member

    The limitations are that no person can think or create anything that it is not in their nature to think or create. There are certain patterns in your brain, those patterns are changed by sensory input, and then those patterns cause you to act in certain ways. Some patterns are arrangements of notes, and other patterns manipulate those patterns, and then others lead you to record the result. Some are simulations of worlds unlike our own, and others lead you to write those visions down. What patterns any one person has in their minds is entirely dependent on their genetics and on the sensory input their brains have received. Patterns representing things that are not within the realm of our physical reality are still themselves patterns that exist well within those laws. It's a matter of abstraction. A computer can display an image that is unlike anything that could exist in reality, and yet that image is merely pixels of light on a screen, well within the laws of this world, and it is sent to that screen as 1s and 0s, and stored and transmitted as such. Also well within the laws of physics. The same is true of our minds, what the patterns of neurons represent is irrelevant, what matters is the patterns themselves, and those patterns exist in reality. As I said before, there is no moment before these things are enacted where they become reality, they are part of reality all along.
  13. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Thanks for your post:

    A couple of things...
    In the OP I mentioned the following:

    I do realize this is directly in conflict with what you are suggesting. Even if we take genetics for a moment your point could be debated using:
    "Years ago when the posted sentries of indigenous tribes of ..... failed to observe a fleet of European ships enter the bay and when they finally managed to observe them it was to late"
    I can not recall this effect which was thoroughly debunked.
    Suffice to say that the alleged limitations imposed by genetics, education, knowledge, and even belief systems does not appear to prevent observation [ thus thought ] of things that are beyond the scope of those alleged limitations.

    This is premised on the notion that if you are unable to think about it [ physically - hard wired processes] then you are unable to witness it.
    I believe this phenomena has been thoroughly refuted.
    If I can find the research I may post some links.

    My question:

    If as you say was correct then would it not severely limit the capacity of science or humans generally to observe phenomena outside the range of their alleged limitations?

    Based on the premise that we humans can observe "what there is to observe" with out limitations, therefore "think" about what there is to observe with out limitations, does this not suggest to you that the imagination is only "Oppressed" or "inhibited" by conditioning generated by instilled beliefs, emotional hubris and other forms of conditioning and not the Laws of Physics per see?
  14. Dazz Registered Senior Member

    Not directed to me but responding anyway.
    Hya. How you doing?

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    Not necessarily specially about non-enacted phenomena, since as we posses the pattern or code per say, we choose what to do with it.
    Althought if we use the computer allegory, we may recognize that whenever the computer is faced with coding or patterns it does not recognize or decypher, shit happens. Althought we are not machines and our creativity has proven itself already beyond any kind of measure, to ditch this clausule for good i may say that the pattern issued by Angelus on a recent post, is simply an analogy and does not represent accurately how vast human creation can be.

    How so? Isn't it already doing just that? Or maybe it is not revealing to itself the physical contraptions of the observable world around itself, like when we unconsciously think something when we see anything that triggers our instincts. It is looking but not seeing. We see a wall, we know that we can't cross it without hitting it. Besides the plethora of subjective exposition we may have suffered we still know that that wall is going to stand in my way, either if i decide (and try) to cross it or not.
  15. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Hi Dazz, doing good, I think!

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    Welcome to the thread!
    Indeed "vast" it is...
    It is rather sad, in my opinion and that of others, that we Humans can look upon our selves with such "pride" in our achievements and yet think of ourselves in such limiting terms simultaneously. Often it seems equating a human being with a computer or a robot/android, abet, a sophisticated one, tends to reinforce the belief that some how we are as limited by the analogies we create. A sort of psycho-somatically induced creativity straightjacket. The difference between an artificial intelligence and a human organic intelligence may appear to be relatively small [re: processing of data], but that small difference is massive when it comes to describing the nature of terms like life, imagination, consciousness, knowledge, choice, decisions, freedom, self animation & self determination etc. IMO
    The point I was attempting to make was directed to someone I believed to be considering that we humans are limited by:

    Which implied contextually, that "our nature" is defined according to his own interpretation of that nature premised on his belief in the limiting nature of the "laws of physics" which is the subject of contention to begin with.

    Key words:


    I countered by suggesting that our natures were:
    To simply describe a belief in determinism as the refutation is insufficient. IMO

    And yes, most of which is being discussed is axiomatic [ self evident ] but has to be open to debate regardless.

    I apologize to all those caught up in the heat that this thread has generated.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014
  16. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Would you care to elaborate/clarify on this...
  17. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    On what basis do you say that we are not machines? What more is there than just complexity that differentiates us from what you might consider a machine?
    Why do you think Angelus' post put a limit on, or inaccurately represent, the size/scope of human creation? Maybe you simply misunderstand what he means by what "is not in their nature to think or create"?
    And how would you link your statements to the nature of freewill?
  18. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
  19. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    "Complexity" would be my rational explanation.
    The problem with trying to differentiate by subjective things like emotion, intelligence etc, is that, at least to me, these are also just a matter of complexity.
    As would our ability to overcome our instinct.
    As would the process of freewill.
    But then I'm someone who thinks we're just a biological machine, governed by the laws of physics (or whatever one refers to the universal laws as).
    The kicker is in appreciating the complexity of that machine and all the wonders that it can do, and is capable of.
    Such as imagining, dreaming, reaching for more than they might think themselves capable of.
    All that wonderful stuff.
    And it is all governed by the laws of the universe.
    So I think the "nature" that Angelus refers to is far wider than that which we are aware / conscious of.
    In fact, I would say that anything we do is, by definition, within our nature.
  20. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    If we accept that the human mind has an Imagination, and that imagination is uninhibited by the "Laws of Physics" then by virtue of the observable existence of an Imagination one could conclude that the uninhibited nature of the imagination is a product of the "laws of physics" ~ laws that are waiting to be revealed.

    If imagination is what affords us our freewill then there is no reason to consider freewill to be in defiance of the "laws of physics" in fact one could consider that freewill is "enshrined" by the laws of physics.
  21. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    I can only repeat what I posted earlier:
    Two of the key differences between a machine [ even a biological one ] and a self determined human are FEAR and IMAGINATION. IMO

    This video demonstrates quite clearly, Fear and imagination in combination from a multitude of perspectives... [ including the authors and viewers]
  22. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Variation in responses can have the apperance of free choise... but just like wit human actions... thers no explanation of how Bolo is not simply a part of a casual chain.!!!

    Thers no "central headquarters" (near or far... lol) that i know of... but by ignorin external causes... an assumin that human actions begin wit the brain... then poof... jus like magic... free will

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

    I guess that is what imagination is often referred to... magic!

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    Imagination = freewill = magic! hmmmm.....

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