Brain workings and freedom

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
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Belindi
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Belindi » May 5th, 2018, 4:46 am

Eduk wrote:
I would still require a standard evidence based approach even from a very powerful being.
Thousands believe they have found evidence. I pay you the compliment that you never will. You will however find kindness, truthfulness, faithfulness, mercy, wisdom, and knowledge among human beings.

Eduk
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Eduk » May 5th, 2018, 5:05 am

Sorry Belindi I can't follow your point. Why would it compliment me to never find evidence? And how is that related to positive traits such as those you mentioned? And lots of people believe lots of things.
Could you speak more plainly please.

Belindi
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Belindi » May 5th, 2018, 5:34 am

Eduk wrote:
May 5th, 2018, 5:05 am
Sorry Belindi I can't follow your point. Why would it compliment me to never find evidence? And how is that related to positive traits such as those you mentioned? And lots of people believe lots of things.
Could you speak more plainly please.
Because I have formed an opinion that you are not gullible.

The beautiful traits that I mentioned do exist and you can find them when you seek them. These traits may be personified as God among us. God among us , i.e. the immanent God, needs to be nurtured by us as it is not powerful in the worldly sense.

Eduk
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Eduk » May 5th, 2018, 9:05 am

I have nothing against poetry Belindi.

Gertie
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Gertie » May 5th, 2018, 10:24 am

kordofany wrote:
April 28th, 2018, 10:42 pm
Do you think we control the way the brain works to think? If the answer is no.. Do you think we're free?
Free will is a conundrum. Until we understand the relationship between between 'mind' and 'body' we don't know the answer, or even if free will is a coherent concept.

CIN
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by CIN » May 5th, 2018, 11:15 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
May 5th, 2018, 12:40 am
Conclusions that are logical depend on the truth of the premises, which in this case would include the metaphysics and current best understandings of how things arise.
But since we don't currently know how universes arise, we cannot rule out the possibilities that they either arise from nothing (uncaused cause) or arise in an infinite series (infinity of causes). So I don't think these questions can be resolved by appealing to any kind of logic; it's an empirical matter. Obviously both an infinity of causes and an uncaused cause are highly counter-intuitive, but then so are relativity and quantum physics. The world does not shape itself to conform to our intuitions.

Karpel Tunnel
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Karpel Tunnel » May 5th, 2018, 12:01 pm

CIN wrote:
May 5th, 2018, 11:15 am
Karpel Tunnel wrote:
May 5th, 2018, 12:40 am
Conclusions that are logical depend on the truth of the premises, which in this case would include the metaphysics and current best understandings of how things arise.
But since we don't currently know how universes arise, we cannot rule out the possibilities that they either arise from nothing (uncaused cause) or arise in an infinite series (infinity of causes). So I don't think these questions can be resolved by appealing to any kind of logic; it's an empirical matter. Obviously both an infinity of causes and an uncaused cause are highly counter-intuitive, but then so are relativity and quantum physics. The world does not shape itself to conform to our intuitions.
i agree completely

CIN
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by CIN » May 5th, 2018, 4:07 pm

Gertie wrote:
May 5th, 2018, 10:24 am
Free will is a conundrum. Until we understand the relationship between between 'mind' and 'body' we don't know the answer...
I can't see that understanding this relationship would make a difference. Consider:

1) If my action was fully determined by previous causes, then I could not have done other than I did, so I had no free will.
2) If my action was fully undetermined by previous causes, then it was entirely random and unconnected with anything that preceded it, including my wishes and intentions, so it is simply something that happened to me, not something I did: and again, therefore, I had no free will.
3) If my action was partly determined and partly undetermined, then it was partly the result of previous causal elements over which I had no control, and partly the result of random and unpredictable elements over which I also had no control, and again, therefore, I had no free will.
1), 2) and 3) exhaust the available possibilities.
Conclusion: I have no free will.

Belindi
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Belindi » May 5th, 2018, 5:36 pm

Eduk wrote:
May 5th, 2018, 9:05 am
I have nothing against poetry Belindi.
I don't know if that was meant to be a criticism, or just your usual stern scepticism. Myths are more than poetry. What myths do what poetry rarely does is give us a story. often a fiction, that explains how we should live. Some myths become enshrined in religions.

Eduk
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Eduk » May 5th, 2018, 7:17 pm

I just meant that saying our good traits are a personification of God is basically poetical. Like saying we love with our hearts. I have nothing against this kind of talk, so long as it supposed to be real (i.e. our hearts are actually just muscles incapable of love).
Also you seem to have a lesser idea of poetry than me. I think it does all the things you claim myths do.

Eduk
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Eduk » May 5th, 2018, 7:18 pm

*so long as it is not supposed to be real.

Belindi
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Belindi » May 6th, 2018, 3:58 am

Eduk, I see what you mean by your comment on 'personification'. There are basically two sorts of language, the poetic and the explicit. One would not use poetic language for instructions on how to assemble a flat pack wardrobe.

Eduk
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Eduk » May 6th, 2018, 4:54 am

I now want to see a sketch involving flat pack furniture and poetic instructions :)

CIN
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by CIN » May 6th, 2018, 5:58 am

Eduk wrote:
May 6th, 2018, 4:54 am
I now want to see a sketch involving flat pack furniture and poetic instructions :)
You do realise that the poetic instructions would be in Swedish?

Gertie
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Re: Brain workings and freedom

Post by Gertie » May 6th, 2018, 12:20 pm

CIN wrote:
May 5th, 2018, 4:07 pm
Gertie wrote:
May 5th, 2018, 10:24 am
Free will is a conundrum. Until we understand the relationship between between 'mind' and 'body' we don't know the answer...
I can't see that understanding this relationship would make a difference. Consider:

1) If my action was fully determined by previous causes, then I could not have done other than I did, so I had no free will.
2) If my action was fully undetermined by previous causes, then it was entirely random and unconnected with anything that preceded it, including my wishes and intentions, so it is simply something that happened to me, not something I did: and again, therefore, I had no free will.
3) If my action was partly determined and partly undetermined, then it was partly the result of previous causal elements over which I had no control, and partly the result of random and unpredictable elements over which I also had no control, and again, therefore, I had no free will.
1), 2) and 3) exhaust the available possibilities.
Conclusion: I have no free will.
Isn't this formulation excluding the possibility of us (our mental states) being a source of causation? Which is one way of describing free will, the issue in question.

So if my action isn't fully determined by previous causes, it is either random, or caused by my willing it (mental causation) based on my wishes and intentions or whatev. Effectively starting or interrupting a causal 'chain'.


And there are causes and causes :). There's the argument that physical bodily processes can (theoretically) account for all my behaviour, through understood laws of nature.
This would appear to leave no room for free will.

Then there are psychological causes and motivations, which you could argue do leave room for choice. Certainly we know the experience of weighing up options and deciding one way or another what to do, then doing it. Would you call that free will?

My comment was really addressing the first type of causal problem - if our physical behaviour is fully accounted for by physical causes, then there is no role for mental causation (will), so our mental states are presumably redundant baggage.
However, if there is some fundamental monist relationship between our bodies and minds for example, as perhaps suggested by neural correlation, then mental states are playing a role. A further argument for mental causation is that it seems jolly useful. The brain is basically our decision-making organ, and the particular way our mental states have evolved (in tandem with our brains) seems to be based on their utility - think of our reward system. Or our ability to rationalise, imagine different outcomes/consequences. If our mental states were irrelevant to our behaviour (useless epiphenomena), why would that be? It's a conundrum.

So at present we have the problem that our behaviour seems over-determined, we can account for actions by giving a physical or a psychological account. Until we understand how that can be, what that fundamental mind-body relationship is, we can't know if free will is even a coherent concept imo.

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