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romansh

Free Will

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I will not answer another question or continue my basic psychology class until you reciprocate.

If you ask a question, you should also respond to a question.

When someone makes a thoughtful and informative post, they should get a thoughtful and informative answer.

Simply asking questions without answering any or failing to provide any positive support for your position is not a mutually beneficial conversation.  The one-sidedness must stop.

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3 hours ago, romansh said:

You well may like the idea thormas. God like - We can make choices - independent of our biases, education, experiences, environment, evolution and the universe in general.

Well, you have swung to the other side and are now an absolute free choicer. You go, Rom.

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1 hour ago, romansh said:

Please provide a link - because I missed where your provided the evidence? Unless you mean this?

With exception supposed revelation, are all the attributes listed not based in chemistry and physics? 

I had chemistry with my wife - is that what you mean? Regardless, it was a totally my decision, no influences, no hesitation, no strings attached - and I'm sticking to this truth. 

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1 hour ago, thormas said:

I had chemistry with my wife - is that what you mean? Regardless, it was a totally my decision, no influences, no hesitation, no strings attached - and I'm sticking to this truth. 

No not at all.

What is evident from your reply (and that of others) is that those of us who believe in free will are totally oblivious of all the subliminal outside of us ... eg pheromones. We are also seem to be denying eons of evolutionary development. eg when we start courting do we respond to the widened pupils of our potential loved ones. I know when I first started courting my wife, my hormonal system was on a different regulatory pathway compared to when I was not courting.

1 hour ago, thormas said:

Well, you have swung to the other side and are now an absolute free choicer. You go, Rom.

well my apologies it should have read:

God like - We can make choices - independent of our biases, education, experiences, evolution, environment and the universe in general?

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2 hours ago, Burl said:

I will not answer another question or continue my basic psychology class until you reciprocate.

If you ask a question, you should also respond to a question.

When someone makes a thoughtful and informative post, they should get a thoughtful and informative answer.

Simply asking questions without answering any or failing to provide any positive support for your position is not a mutually beneficial conversation.  The one-sidedness must stop.

I went back through all your posts in this thread  to before Christmas Burl. You did not pose a single question; based the use of a question mark.

Edited by romansh

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1 hour ago, romansh said:

No not at all.

What is evident from your reply (and that of others) is that those of us who believe in free will are totally oblivious of all the subliminal outside of us ... eg pheromones. We are also seem to be denying eons of evolutionary development. eg when we start courting do we respond to the widened pupils of our potential loved ones. I know when I first started courting my wife, my hormonal system was on a different regulatory pathway compared to when I was not courting.

well my apologies it should have read:

God like - We can make choices - independent of our biases, education, experiences, evolution, environment and the universe in general?

Humor Rom - just a bit of humor on a rainy Saturday...........

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4 minutes ago, thormas said:

Humor Rom - just a bit of humor on a rainy Saturday...........

Well it might be humour thormas, but it is humorously avoiding the point :) 

Been snowing here.

Edited by romansh

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1 hour ago, romansh said:

Well it might be humour thormas, but it is humorously avoiding the point :) 

Been snowing here.

Well, Rom, the intention was humor not avoidance and it is a Saturday, the weekend!

Plus we seem to have said it all (for now) and to be at an end  ...........

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On 4/7/2018 at 10:37 AM, romansh said:

Joseph ... I do understand the power of words. I also realize we are all ignorant in some respect. In a free will sense, I am totally ignorant (or perhaps unaware) of the chemistry that is me on a moment basis. While I have been made aware that it [chemistry] is there and it is what underpins the lively discussions that go in what passes as my mind. 

I don't get a sense that anyone is uneducated here. So they are not ignorant in that sense. I think most are quite thoughtful in the academic sense, so they are not ignorant in that sense. Do we know all? Definitely not, So we are ignorant in that sense.

Ignorance is not a sin, 

I would agree with you that we all are all ignorant in some respects. I don't suppose that  anyone here would disagree with that. And yes, ignorance is not a sin. But the fact still  remains that although one is allowed to claim ignorance for oneself, we cannot have a civil and  beneficial conversation  with one applying that word to another in a discussion where two disagree. It is considered rude and unnecessary to an argument or debate. I think i have said enough for you to get the idea of my point..

Joseph(as Moderator) 

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On 7 April 2018 at 10:24 PM, romansh said:

You claim mankind is not completely dependent chemistry and physics of making decisions. Fine, Can you give example of how a decision might be made independent of physics and chemistry?

 
Tough one. I think our language is ill equipped to define what may exist in the universe that is independent of physics and chemistry. So I'm going to ramble for a bit, if you'll indulge me, because I can't deny that there is something...
 
We often refer to it as 'something else', something undefined, unexplained, strange or surreal, a sensation, a gut feeling, a sense we can't put into words. We struggle to observe it, measure it or quantify it objectively, and often dismiss it because it exists only within the subjective experience itself, and is changed by the act of observation or measurement. Perhaps it is that 'wave of potentiality' inherent in each particle, oscillating continually in spaces between molecules, between elements of matter, between life forms and objects. Perhaps it is 'life' in action.
 
We tend to think of the universe in terms of subjective experiences that we can share with others. If I experience something, I know it is real only if that experience is verified by others. The more people I can share it with, the more real it seems. If others can't relate to what I communicate then they doubt the experience, and I begin to wonder myself if I really experienced it at all. This is the basis of science.
 
The key is communication. If I see a flash of light move briefly across the sky at night and disappear, then I turn to others around me and ask "Did you see that?"
"See what?"
"That bright flash moving across the sky."
"Where?"
"Over there, above that clump of trees."
"When?"
"Just a second ago."
"Oh - no, I was looking at my phone."
"Oh."
Then someone else speaks up. "I thought I saw something, too."
"You did?"
"There was a flash out of the corner of my eye. In that direction."
"Yes! It was moving down like this, and then it disappeared."
"What was it?"
"Maybe it was a meteor?"
"Probably. It makes sense."
 
The flash of light could very well have been a meteor, or it could have been something else. But it is an experience successfully shared through communication, and that makes it 'real'. 
 
But sometimes we respond to something in our subjective experience that we fail to share or verify convincingly with others.
 
David Eggers' novel The Circle illustrates this purely subjective element of experience, and its rapidly decreasing importance in a world that relies more and more on sharable data. 
 
A crucial turning point in the novel comes when the main character must justify her decision to paddle on the river alone, without sharing the experience with others. She is unable to articulate the value of her unique experience, where she encountered a group of seals, and eventually accepts that her actions were dangerous, selfish and anti-social. For those of us who acknowledge the value of such an experience independent of any sharable data, her capitulation at this point is tragic.
 
Society may be rapidly approaching that point where you can no longer trust your own experience - as if you didn't really go on that holiday or swim with dolphins unless you've posted a selfie on Instagram to prove it, and it's almost considered selfish or anti-social to not share everything.
 
But the experience of paddling with seals or swimming with dolphins can't be fully expressed in a selfie, a tweet, or even a conversation. There is an element to the experience that can't be recorded or measured, satisfactorily explained with physics or chemistry, or proven to exist. Admittedly, you won't understand quite what I'm talking about unless you've perhaps swum with dolphins yourself, and even then you may not have been fully in the moment, or your own experience may have had a different focus. 
 
I'm think maybe what we insufficiently describe as the 'beauty' or the 'magic' of such an experience exists only in the space between molecules that are actively participating in that particular place and time. You're either conscious of it at the time, or you're not. And once the moment has passed, your memories (the retrievable data in your mind) can only point to the experience without recapturing it entirely. The subjective value of the experience leaves no trace in your physiology that can be reliably attributed to anything other than a 'feeling' or 'emotion', which we then reduce to chemistry and physics. But every possible method you have available to objectively share this subjective value with others feels incomplete, insufficient. Something isn't covered. And yet it is that 'something' more than anything measurable, that has changed you. Your view of the world is different, your decisions affected, even in some small way, by the experience.
 
The closest you may get to sharing such an experience is through artistic expression: fine art, literature, dance, music, sculpture, theatre, film, etc. In this way you can attempt to fabricate a subjective experience for others that approximates your own. 
 
Looking at pictures of Michelangelo's David, for instance, or reading a book on the subject, is so far removed from the lived experience of standing at the statue's feet imagining a young man at the turning point of his career, embarking on a task that many 'greater men' had abandoned, using nothing but a questionable method of approach, his courage and his raw potential. The parallels are striking, and the result is nothing short of a masterpiece. The experience is as if thousands of years and thousands of miles were condensed into the truth of humanity carved into this block of stone, humanity in the process of conquering its sense of fragility and realising its own awesome potential. But many people don't share this experience at the feet of David. Does that make mine less credible? If I make decisions based on this experience, can it be reduced to chemistry or physics, or is there something else there?
 
Is inspiration perhaps independent of physics or chemistry...?
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15 hours ago, possibility said:
 
Is inspiration perhaps independent of physics or chemistry...?

I don't think so. I have no evidence of inspiration that is somehow not a product of my brain which chemistry and physics.

Please feel free to share your evidence.

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On ‎2018‎-‎04‎-‎11 at 12:13 PM, JosephM said:

I would agree with you that we all are all ignorant in some respects. I don't suppose that  anyone here would disagree with that. And yes, ignorance is not a sin. But the fact still  remains that although one is allowed to claim ignorance for oneself, we cannot have a civil and  beneficial conversation  with one applying that word to another in a discussion where two disagree. It is considered rude and unnecessary to an argument or debate. I think i have said enough for you to get the idea of my point..

Joseph(as Moderator) 

Just to be clear Joseph I did not describe anyone as ignorant nor did I say anyone's belief was ignorant.

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12 hours ago, romansh said:

Just to be clear Joseph I did not describe anyone as ignorant nor did I say anyone's belief was ignorant.

That may be in your mind but just to be clear here..... The inference was there in my mind and the mind of others you were addressing so take my advice and refrain from using words that are not necessary to the conversation.

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Thomas and Burl,

I would be interested in reading a short summary response of your opinion/view on  "What  you see as the underlying causes of our will?"

Thanks in advance for any summary response you might give .

Joseph (as Member)

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I think the underlying impetus of will is motivation.  This includes inter alia biological, social, spiritual and psychological drive states.

I would not use the verb cause, as not all motivation has a cause.  Motivation is inherent in the organism.  It is relatively active or inactive.

The primary characteristic of motivational states is that they arise spontaneously by deprivation, and become inactive when satiated.

Edited by Burl

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8 hours ago, JosephM said:

Thomas and Burl,

I would be interested in reading a short summary response of your opinion/view on  "What  you see as the underlying causes of our will?"

Joseph, as previously mentioned this is not a burning issue for me and I place it along side of the belief that all (we included) is illusion. Further, I don't think either position or belief is in sync with the experience of most human beings.There is a common acknowledgement (conscious or unconscious because a great many human being simply go about there lives and don't bother with such discussion as many of us here) and agreement (affirmation) with Descartes: " I think therefore I am."  For most, as it is for me, the experience is simply that, 'I' am: I am me and I am not illusion. And, the further common experience is, 'I am the captain of my ship.'  Most of us recognize influences (see below) but also recognize, accept and defend the idea that I am the maker of decisions, I am the one who decides. I think there is a wisdom in the lived experience of men and women and I think some of us (myself included at times) are too much in our heads.

So, as I said earlier in this thread:

"I accept that I am not a absolute first cause but I also, acknowledging the paradox, accept that I have freedom." In this statement, I am not denying prior experience, genetics, physical limitations, strings, or the coffee that makes one jittery if they have too much or cranky if they don't have any - I am saying they do not so determine one to remove all true (free) choice. All behavior is not determined; there is personal agency (i.e.. free will). Free choice (and, with it, culpability, responsibility, accountability) is real and most of us accept and live this even while acknowledging that which influences us.

I am neither reifying or deifying consciousness or experience: I just do not accept that environmental and behavioral determinism are absolute or that free choice is illusory.  Determinists reduce all to a physicalism or a naturalism and reduce personal agency to nothingness. I disagree: "this is a position I find impossible to believe" and not worthy (for me) of serious consideration. I accept and respect it is for others but it is not my position or belief.

Perhaps it might be helpful, if this is an established position you hold that is important to you, to present your case and let others react/comment.

tom

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Thanks for the summation Thomas. I see where you are coming from. I have no problem with your view.

Thanks again,

Joseph

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