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FREE-WILL?

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Tim Nonzero

FREE-WILL?

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Considering its such a fundamental and controversial question in philosophy, religion and law, I think its about time we did a thread on Free-Will... so here it is!Ok, Free-will: for or against? Results (total votes = 16):Free-Will exists&nbsp11 / 68.8%&nbsp Free-Will doesn't exist&nbsp3 / 18.8%&nbsp Don't know&nbsp2 / 12.5%&nbsp 
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Mr. P

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Re: FREE-WILL?

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Shoot...I thought it said Free Willy!Mr. P. The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.I came to get down, I came to get down. So get out ya seat and jump around - House of PainHEY! Is that a ball in your court? - Mr. PI came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
Tim Nonzero

Re: FREE-WILL?

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Damn I was worried about that! I've tried talking to the guys at work about it but all I get is free willy jokes!
Tim Nonzero

Re: FREE-WILL?

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Quite some time ago I came to the conclusion that free-will doesn't exist but is merely an assumption or an illusion. I surmise that my every action, every choice, every thought, is not down to my own determining, stemming from some abstract state which matter cannot touch... but is a random sequence of cause and effect. Most people I've scratched the issue with instinctively find determinism pretty hard to grasp, but that is where I believe the logic lies. Its an emotive issue to a human and is of the utmost importance in religion so perhaps this has inherently debased the layman's ability to look at it objectively. Quantum theory and its observation of purely random fluctuations at the atomic level upset traditional determinism *slightly* but it did nothing for free-will either. I challenge any free agents to explain the means by which their 'will' is free. I find it physically impossible in the laws of the universe around us. Tim
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Interbane

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Re: FREE-WILL?

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I believe the vast majority of the universe to be deterministic, yet I believe there are 'forms' that deal with chance. Quantum Mechanics seems a logical place for chance to exist, issuing causality that prevents the absurd idea of me writing this sentence having an unbreakable causal link to the big bang. Parsimoniously, our complex present coming to exist through the lack of chance is not as simple as attributing it to chance. That statement I'm sure is debatable, yet once the idea is fleshed out I'm sure you'll agree.EDIT - Reduce the singular action of any person as far as theoretically possible and you'll stop above the point where I assume chance to exist. On the other hand, follow a causal chain from the point of randomness(quantum mechanically) all the way through to a person's action, and you may see that chance affects our actions via the butterfly effect. Edited by: Interbane at: 11/29/04 7:57 pm
Doc Tiessen

Re: FREE-WILL?

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Hey Interbane,I agree with you. I also believe that many things in the universe are deterministic... but randomness does indeed exist... it can be that it is small... at the quantum level... but as you said... even if it is very tiny, the consequences can blow up like the butterfly effect.So, yes I believe that randomness exist because the universe is only nearly deterministic. The more you simplify, the more predictable it will appear to be. But God lies in the details.You want an experimental proof? Ok, just measure anything you like several times... for example the distance between your eyes and your nose... how many times do you get exactly the same result for exactly the same measurement? You might get 2.567 2.610 2.582 centimeters. But why did you only measure four digits? You will never get exactly the same result. Only if you simplify... by using only to significant digits, then you might get the impression that you are getting the same result. Approximately 2.6 cm. But if you consider more and more digits, you will always get slightly different results.And if you remember my early posts, I had defined randomness as when identical conditions can lead to different results. Randomness and free will are very tightly linked. However, the existance of both is rather an axiome, a scientific premise. It is not possible to provide definitive evidence. You can choose to believe or not. You either choose determinism or free will. This are the two options. Diversity is Good!
Tim Nonzero

Re: FREE-WILL?

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Hi allI certainly agree that there (probably
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Chris OConnor

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Re: FREE-WILL?

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Free-Will exists - this was my choice.But, with that said, I should add that I think there are many factors influencing our behavior that most us do not or cannot understand.I'm on the way out the door right now, so I don't have enought time to adequately respond to this poll, but it is an excellent discussion topic.Chris
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Re: FREE-WILL?

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Tim: "Free-will is an old axiom but perhaps it has lost its value and has become a hindrance, grossly simplifying everyday people's perceptions."Yet on the other hand, assuming that free will is limited or nonexistant and acting on that assumption are two different things. From our collective perspectives, the complexity is so great that many peoples actions reflect free will. How can we claim to trace cause and effect of actions back to a curable source? Also, if my example came across as an idea that would attribute very little 'free will' to our actions, let me expand on it. The stimulation part in the acronym "laser" is due to a natural phenomenon called synchrony. A domino effect is caused by the 'state' of certain (I think it's electrons), affecting the state of all the other electrons in a system. The end result is that the electrons emit a photon as energy. If the original few states of these photons were to vary due to a certain chance is what the critical state required to emit a photon is, the end result would vary with every 'cyclic' emission.Inside our brains, electrons are the message carriers in each neuron, and neurotransmitters bridge the gaps. If the energy level needed to fire off and electron included an amount of chance, then a domino effect may occur.I believe that that 99% of everything I do is predetermined. Yet I do think that 1% free will(or even less) is more than sufficient to change the course of every day.While walking down the sidewalk and casually taking steps, one random electron fires in the motor control portion of my brain, causing an imperceptible twitch in my leg, which lengthens my stride a minute amount. A woman walking the toward me has the same thing happen to her, and her stride lengthens during one step. Upon passing each other, the minute variance has lead to our hands brushing, causing me to look over my shoulder. Is this a poor example of free will? Yes, but I like the example. I can give others if it doesn't satisfy. Others that are more attuned to the decision making process.
Tim Nonzero

Re: FREE-WILL?

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For some reason my previous post seems to have died. I'll do it again...Interbane: "assuming that free will is limited or nonexistant and acting on that assumption are two different things. From our collective perspectives, the complexity is so great that many peoples actions reflect free will. How can we claim to trace cause and effect of actions back to a curable source? "Practically putting free-will under the spotlight will be limited affair. But to a degree we have learned to embrace cause and marginalize choice as civilizations have become more advanced. Today we have areas in law and rehabilitation that take into account the deeper reasons why people commit crimes and whatever else. This is what I'm talking about; I'd like to see more of that in every area of life. Much of the media is miles behind in regard to this. I think I'm just trying to say that it would be progressive for people to see themselves and others in a more causal, less independent way... it would bring us closer to that elusive freedom! Don't get me wrong, I believe in accountability when the floodgates of experience are open to a person... such as our Political top brass. Interbane: "The stimulation part in the acronym "laser" is due to a natural phenomenon called synchrony. A domino effect is caused by the 'state' of certain (I think it's electrons), affecting the state of all the other electrons in a system. The end result is that the electrons emit a photon as energy. If the original few states of these photons were to vary due to a certain chance is what the critical state required to emit a photon is, the end result would vary with every 'cyclic' emission."I've never heard this theory before, got any links more comprehensively describing it? Are you saying that we might have evolved a way to harness and exploit a cyclic quantum condition in order to attain 'free-will' by way of emitting a photon stimulant? At the minute it sounds more like a way the brain functions and interacts with randomness, but I see no prerequisite for independence or freedom in that. Sorry if I'm off the scent on this, bare with me. I've heard scientists postulate that the mind operates like a biological quantum computer but never really understood how.Interbane: "I believe that that 99% of everything I do is predetermined. Yet I do think that 1% free will(or even less) is more than sufficient to change the course of every day." I'd agree with that, I'm still looking for the 1%.Interbane: "While walking down the sidewalk and casually taking steps, one random electron fires in the motor control portion of my brain, causing an imperceptible twitch in my leg, which lengthens my stride a minute amount. A woman walking toward me has the same thing happen to her, and her stride lengthens during one step. Upon passing each other, the minute variance has lead to our hands brushing, causing me to look over my shoulder. Is this a poor example of free will? Yes, but I like the example. I can give others if it doesn't satisfy. Others that are more attuned to the decision making process."I don't want to be awkward but I still can't see a 'free' action in that. I can see a truly random action with meaningful consequences however, which I don't deny happens.Cheers Tim
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