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

    There is an interesting point to make from your words above... to extend it a little.
    Thinking in Pantheistic terms God (the universe) works it's influence upon humans by way of "Inspiration" and not determinism.
    Of course to the determinist the very idea of inspiration is anathema to thieir position.

    [a definition that says very little about this huge word]

    It is, to me, in-congruent that the term "inspiration" has no mention in most philosophy and yet it is the primary source of insight and progress for all of their writings.

    To be inspired invokes the need to be free to choose. With out freedom inspiration becomes a deterministic or controlling influence and not one that is offered unconditionally with out obligation of acceptance or use.

    ie: "The physical universe has inspired science unconditionally, throughout history with it's mysteries" and certainly did so unconditionally without any obligation placed upon science. The nature of the ego, a state of personal identity and therefore responsibility requires that it be the master of it's own destiny and for this to be accomplished the imagination works by inspiration and not determinism.

    I would like to see how the term "Inspiration" fits in with the deterministic schools of thought as I believe currently it features naught.
    Inspiration also allows for Joy, Happiness, fulfillment, personal esteem, gratitude and a whole host of human emotions and sentiments.
    For joy, happiness etc to be real they have to be free of deterministic coercion.
    If the determinist view is that free will is an illusion then so to must be the inspired emotions that we as humans treasure so much.
    That an individual can be coerced by determining influences into loving another for example. Therefore in the determinist school love as a reality is unattainable and become merely a mechanical attraction instead.

    So we have a several new (to this topic) key words:
    Inspiration, unconditionality. joy, happiness, fulfillment, personal esteem, gratitude
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2014
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  3. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    Not sure why you felt the need to bring the issue of God into the debate: there are atheists who believe in the reality of freewill.
    Or alternatively the concept of God arose from an already quite animated imagination.

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    First, you really do need to clarify/define what you mean by "natural determinism", and how there might be an "unnatural determinism"?
    Second, the paradox only arises due to fallacious logic on your part: atheists accept that the concept of God exists, and is as real as much as the concept of the celestial teapot is real.
    These concepts exist within whichever philosophy one holds to: determinism, indeterminism, probabilism etc.
    There is certainly no paradox, unless you try to equate the reality of the concept to a reality beyond being a mere concept (I.e. The physical reality, for want of a better phrase).
    So atheists don't have imagined ideals?
    Are you trying to suggest that atheists don't have imagination, or at least at the same level as religious folk?

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    How does adhering to a religion, where one advocates one's moral compass, one's notions of right and wrong etc, equate in any way to requiring more imagination?
    Your comments in this regard are not only baseless but come across as derogatory toward atheists and arrogant.

    Perhaps you can try to support your notions.
    And please clarify what you mean by "natural determinism".
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  5. wellwisher Banned Banned

    The concept of God, according to atheism, is considered a product of the imagination. The claim is there is no basis for this in hard reality provable by science and natural laws. This imaginary God, who tells people what is right and wrong, via ancient documentations, is what gets atheism all upset, if taught in schools. Atheism claims to be of science, which is more about the world as determined by science and natural laws. Am I missing something? I am comparing the degree of imagination, using the atheist claim religion is more imaginary than its belief in science. This does not preclude imagination in atheism, but their own definition limits their imagination in comparison.

    Religion takes one away to magical places, not provable by science, and does not place practical or natural science limits (box) on the imagination. God is all knowing, all seeing, all feeling, all thinking, all doing, etc. The accepted range of imagination is wider in religion, with more detachment from science and natural determinism. The Muslim suicide bomber expects 72 virgins waiting for him. He uses more imagination in daily life, praying and meditating that which atheist consider of the imagination. This wider imagination opens the door to free will in a wider range of things, not all that edify.

    Atheism also has imagination, but they tend to limit (box) their imagination to reasonable extrapolation of natural determinism and science. Science fiction, UFO's and Big Foot, all stay within the realm of natural laws and applied science, but stop short of full unbridled imagination. This line in the sand is needed or else atheism would be accused of being a religion; loophole needed to stay on the other side of separation of church and state. This loophole places a limit on the degree of free will and choice; limited by the box chosen.

    The religious may choose to become atheists later in life, but once an atheists, the imagination box, prevents one from choosing the other way. The Catholic church accepts most of science, but science cannot accept the church, because the imagination is not wide enough for such free will. I like to keep my mind and imagination wide open and not use a box designed by those hostile to imagination.

    If you look at conservatism, they tend to believe in individual freedoms and small government. This is due to more individual imagination, often from religion, allowing one to cope/adapt even when there is restrictive determinism. Liberalism which tends to slant atheist, prefer a large government defining determinism for all, since the lower level imagination is not designed for the needs of freedom; needs more adaptability and will power at the individual level. Big government will institute determinism, with less individual choice; limiting free will. This appeals to those who lack imagination and free will; easier to keep herded and not wander from the box. Atheism can up its game, by going outside this box, and looking around.
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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    IMO that is a premature conclusion. It has nothing to do with imaginary abilities (such as theoretical sciences); Science does not forbid imagination, it tests imagination and more often than not the tests reveal the imaginary part and the hypothesis is falsified. Such is the case with the imaginary biblical God, IMO.

    Seems to me that everyone is actually talking about the same thing, Causality, but both GR and QM seem to rule out the need for a motivated intelligence, fundamental to existence in physical reality.
  8. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    Other than equating atheism with science, you mean?
    How does it limit it?
    If you fallaciously equate atheist with scientist then you may (and I have no interest in heading down the red herring) have scope to say that while practicing science one should limits one's imagination to what is feasible in order to be more efficient: there is no point imagining that we can flap our arms and fly to the moon unaided etc.
    But this is a fallacious equivocation.
    Atheists are not all scientists, and even scientists do not practice science 100% of the time.
    Everyone is capable of the same imagination as the next person.
    If you think atheism limits it then you need to read more.
    So the Discworld is a real place, provable by science???
    Ever heard of Fantasy?
    Is this controlled / owned / limited to the religious?
    Where is your evidence for this unsupported assertion?
    I can just as easily imagine anything that a religious person can.
    The difference is in the conviction to which they hold the imagined subject to be real outside of their imagination.
    The conviction that it is more than just a concept.
    Maybe we have a differing idea of what the imagination is, but this is just a ridiculous statement.
    There is a difference between the ability to imagine, and the conviction one has that something is more than just the imagined concept.
    There is no line.
    Just go and read some fantasy books, with magic, gods, parallel realities et al.
    Or are you going to claim that all such authors are religious?

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    Ah, and the arrogance shows itself more openly.
    You are religious, therefore you want to consider yourself superior, it seems.
    Nothing you have said supports any of your claims.
    They are just wild assertions aimed at promoting religion.
    And they are woefully flawed.
    And from this I can only ask again that you define what you mean by "natural determinism", and actually what you mean by "determinism" in general, as it seems to be vastly different than the usual notion of philosophical determinism that has otherwise been discussed.

    But this is only the third time of asking you to define/explain what you mean.
    How many more times do you need before you bother to do so?
  9. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    There is one thing, of which I have no doubt about, and that is the imagination is highly reactive to "fear". Paranoia and other creations manifest throughout history as the fear requires them to. IMO
    Religion whether that be worshiping a monotheistic deity or a "swallow tailed frog" in the swamp is a product of imagination premised on perceived reality but governed to a huge extent by fear.

    Science also is governed by deep seated fear. The whole point of science is to gain more and more control and thus order in what WAS a pretty challenging and unpredictable universe. So that one day science can claim the title of GOD with out the religious associations.
    The use of the scientific method is all about mitigating fear as well.
    Fear is not that easy to conquer nor is it easy to master as evidenced in a history of humanities reactions to it and strategies to over come it.
    From building cities to waging war etc... all associated with the imaginations receptiveness to fear. [especially the fear of the unknown]

    I feel "wellwisher" you raise some good but unfortunately yet to be defined points, however to convey them in a hostile environment such as here at sciforums with out the preparation and research can prove rather intimidating as the fear level demonstrated here is so high that relaxed discussion, free of intimidation's, is virtually impossible.
  10. wellwisher Banned Banned

    In terms of fear and the imagination, there is natural fear, which helps an animal to survive against threats from the environment. Animal fear is triggered in real time, by sensory stimulation. This could be sight, sound, smell, touch, taste, etc. The trigger will change the blood supply, with adenine, while also activating firmware for fight/flight response, based on species. The lion will react differently, than the deer, based on its firmware.

    Humans are someway unique, in that we can extrapolate real time or sensory fear via the imagination. If one was afraid of a little fuzzy kitten, that by all objective standards is harmless and offers no objective threat, this fear would be an example of our imagination and a projection overlaying sensory input. What is triggering the instinctive fear and (firmware) is a composite of sensory and imagination and not just the reality/sensory object of the kitten. This composite can still activate adrenaline and still cause the firmware to become triggered. If this is a phobia, the projection is stemming from the unconscious center. If this is learned behavior, because you saw this in the movies, it is being generated by the personal unconscious. All it takes is neural signals to the imagination.

    The primary basis for projected fear, in the human imagination, apart from natural fear, is connected to law of good and evil. Law based memory is a binary type of memory in that to know a law you need to know both the good and the bad. The good side of the law tells up the preferred behavior, while the bad side of the law data is learned so we can know what to avoid. Associated with the bad side of law is fear due to punishment.

    When the brain writes memory to the cerebral matter, the hippocampus, which is located in the center of the brain, adds tags to memory. The hippocampus contains time keeper and place keeper cells which help us to perceive the flow of time and position in 3-D space. Space-time, the concept, may well be a projection based on the integration of hippocampus tags. The memory is also tagged with emotional valence. For the animal this is useful since it can remember the food object in time and space, as well as have an emotional tag of whether it was tasty or not, whether it was near another animals territory and has a fear tag. Humans are still animals that use the same tag system.

    With respect to the binary of law, this contains two tags, one of which is the induced fear connected to the evil side of the law memories. This is created by fear of punishment and hell if you do the bad stuff. Law is unique to humans and as we add more and more laws into memory, there is more memory with fear association sitting in the unconscious mind. This will begin to impact reality with projection. New ideas almost always trigger the fight or flight reaction in people (attack or avoid) because the law unconsciously says there will be hell to pay if you disobey the law of consensus thinking (attack and shunning).

    In ancient traditions, the firmware was projected into the characters of mythology to become semi-conscious. These characters have powers that transcend humans (conscious mind) and even the laws of nature (imagination). Mythology will contain both hero and villain characters. These are molded by the law binary. They also have half human and half animal characters due to firmware overlap.

    The firmware/mythology polarization could be the good and evil witch, due to the impact of law on the unified natural firmware. The natural firmware becomes even better as the good witch, since the good sides of law teaches progressive behavior. While the firmware becomes worse or bestial via the knowledge of evil which contains twisted things taught via the law. When natural firmware is being activated (fight/flight) the output may no longer be natural, but will be have been modified; internal mythology.

    My mind generates a lot of ideas. This stems from the firmware connected to meaning. This firmware generates output in my imagination that comes and goes. I need to write it down or else it will ebb and flow and be gone. Sometimes other firmware overlap, and add more of an emotional irrationality to the imagination. I allow it to flow, unchecked (95%), since I am not sure where it is going, until after if is gone. It is a learned skilled that I continue to practice. It gives me an opportunity to see the firmware in action.

    Part of free will is learning to differentiate the imagination and projection from the natural versus cultural firmware, as well as be aware of the shadow created by the dark side of law. If not, there will be more unconscious determinism.
  11. wellwisher Banned Banned

    The imagination allows will power, by offering unbridled divergence from natural relationships. However, the imagination is also a two edged sword, in that it can also be used to diminish will power, by adding additional potential to natural impulses (marketing and media), or it can associate fear, to prevent willful resistance to the inertia of conditioning.

    Let me offer an example of diminishing will power in culture. As an example, let us consider the PC language police. From a practical POV, words, amount to noises/sounds that humans can make. Words are sounds that are given an association we all agree upon. In current culture, these noises have an amplified power to control the emotions of a wide range of humans. This lack of will power over noises is worse than ever, requiring laws. This seems to impact liberals the most, implicit of liberals losing will power over time, faster.

    If I call you a slur word, but in a language you are not familiar with, the sound association will not register. It is a specific noise that is conditioned. It is like using a clicker to make a dog sit, with many humans unable to not to sit on command. There is so little control over the sit command, at the level of will power, laws are there to make sure the ground has no tacks or little rocks to hurt the butt. It is entertaining to watch. But in the imagination of the will less, this all seems so important, people can't see the conditioned clicker effect.

    When I was a child, the children were taught sticks and stones can break my bones by names can never hurt me. This simple chant allowed even small children of the past, to have at least some willower over the clicker of words/noises, beyond most liberal adults have, today. Others, like myself, go along out of fear, in the imagination, due to the PC police. Not jumping when the clicker sounds is not a crime in a real sense, but since it will demonstrate will power, this is taboo and will be punished to assure conformity to the program. All must jump to the clicker without thinking.

    One can also see this in sex education. Abstinence requires the most will power, since it needs to willfully resist an urge, which is both natural and socially amplified through media and advertising; constant stimulation. In sex education in schools, abstinence is always low and not high in teaching priority, since it implies will power, and this will not reach many of the students who respond better to the clicker.

    This low bar of will power is due to programming in the imagination, created by media, advertising, propaganda and spin mythologies. Lack of will power in the masses has an advantage to those who are in power or need to peddle product. It makes it easier to manipulate, in terms of impulse and social conformity inductions; clicker. If you teach will power in all things, everyone has the power to resist in all ways.
  12. Dazz Registered Senior Member

    That's some serious shenanigans.
    But i think you mistook will power for free will, derailed a bit per say.

    You know, it gets complicated when, instead of creating borders and drawing lines to make it easier to inspect the limit between imagination and free will, more stuff is tossed into the pot for greater intricacies.

    Does the lack of will power represents or reflects lack of free will altogether? Meaning if, one that has no will power, has no free will. Since, for you to have will power, must have free will as to struggle against an oppression or anything. Even if that oppression is your instinct, that you can overcome, by choosing to overcome.


    Seriously, where has this thread gone to?
  13. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Are ther causes for imagination... or is it uncaused.???
  14. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    what do you mean by cause and or causes?
  15. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Sometimes sensory deprivation can be causal to an active imagination. As I understand it, SD may even lead to madness from lack of stimulus. But I would propose that the more sensory information is available the more sophisticated the imagination is able in using that information. Look at the field of Sci-Fi and how far our imagination has travelled beyond the heavens where the gods used to live".
  16. wellwisher Banned Banned

    If you look at science fiction, although the technology always gets better, the monsters get scarier, and the special effects get more realist, human nature tends to regress or stagnate. People dress up like in Rome or the wild west, but have advance tools. War and survival scale up and many scenarios have humans almost exterminated by worse and worse adversaries from machines to aliens. Science fiction seems to have the human brain firmware going backwards in favor of technology, acting as prosthesis.

    I would guess this is all calculated to make money. If you had a scenario in science fiction, of the life of an advance and very peaceful futuristic culture, this could be somewhat boring at the box office, for those who crave excitement and the need for tech. They may not even need technology if the mind is so advanced. To make money, you would need to add love affairs for the ladies. But there is no real need for special effects and the males may not go to the movie.

    The special effects, and all the new tech excitement, is more plausible in an adversarial situation. A less advanced mind needs all the extra prosthesis. You also need the lowest of humanity to help wreck and destroy, and for them to give a reason for the advanced to get dirty so all the tech comes out of the closet for the latest special effects.
  17. Dazz Registered Senior Member

    I believe that imagination is instinctive. Instincts have a cause? Let's take a guess and go out on a limb...

    As far as we know, if you fear snakes and has a grasp of science whatsoever, you must probably know that we share some very ancient ancestor with our cousins primates. So far so good? Nice.
    They much likely have instincts just as ours, and these instincts may arise in shapes and forms even though we had not received any kind of previous stimuli during our sentient life.
    So, to put the point straight. Our imagination can be an instinct as any other we may have you would care to mention.
    Is it uncaused nevertheless?
    We wouldn't have evolved fear of snakes if snakes weren't a shit worth of being noticed. To clarify, affirming that, most mammals have somewhat of an imagination, dogs dream, monkeys play around, hell, some say animals may display human emotions, so, it is not entirely absurd to assume they also have somewhat of an imagination thing going on in their heads.
    Still on the instincts field. If nature decided that, somewhere in the past, humans needed imagination, for whatever purpose, it hence is not, "uncaused".

    I can elaborate a little more later when my phone battery is charging btw.
  18. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Wit imagination bein caused... then imagination does not give rise to will bein free... its just anuther link in the causal chain given rise to the illusion that will is free.!!!
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014
  19. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Yes, imagination is probably an evolutionary process of the "fight or flight" impulse. But IMO all of imagination lies within the "mirror neural network" which every mobile living thing seems to posess. MNN stores the memories and allows for recognition and adaptation to the environment.

    But, IMO, every memory stored is learned. Imagination allows us to "anticipate" certain events from memories of seemingly urelated events.
    "There were fire breathing dragons in them days."
  20. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    the preoccupation with machine like supposition may be simply due to the effect of the determinist school of thought that diminishes human freewill to that of a machine. It could also be a subconscious compensation artistically rendered due to the ever increasing oppression we humans are experiencing from the evolution of machine automation.. computer generated decisions etc in Government and other regulatory regimes.

    So human inevitably appear in these future-istic situations as being automatons or machine like and we can give the determinist school of thought a lot of credit for achieving that. [not to mention the current pandemic of depression in the Western world possibly being heavily influenced by the sense of futility of freedom against the machine re: Pink Floyd, Beatles, and various other musical groups]

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

    Can you see a distinction between the terms "caused, determined, influenced and inspired"?
  22. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    why do you think that Clueless?

    what do you have to say about this [mentioned earlier]
    which suggests that causality as you refer to it actually generates the freewill and not inhibits it.
  23. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    The capacity to imagine uninhibited by the laws of causality is caused by the laws of causality [the laws of physics]
    The capacity to imagine things free of causality, is caused by the laws of physics...

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