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Free will does not exist (Beware)

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Tosen
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Free will does not exist (Beware)

Post by Tosen » October 28th, 2018, 6:33 pm

All of you might wonder how can I be so bold to claim something as titanic as this? Well let me express this first: I refuse to accept it, but there is literally no way out. It is easily proven empirically, but neuroscientists tend to just ignore it. This is a phenomenological truth, which means that you can self-affirm it. Digest this carefully, this not rational nor logical, (I say this for all you rationalists or logicians) it just is this way. Therefore, understand that it does not have to follow any rational explanation for it, it's just a brute truth sadly.

This truth can be proven two ways: Empirically and phenomenologically.
Phenomenology is your conscious awareness of the -here and now-. Meaning you are aware that you are reading this right now. You are consciousness, without awareness you don't exist, as there is nothing to be aware at. So it is of a subjective kind, as it is your experience of the -here and now-. So, why is there no free will? By a very close examination of your current awareness, one can self-affirm that one does not think thoughts, instead one perceives thoughts. Thoughts come from nothingness (by this I mean they come from nowhere,literally) this means that you do not conjure thoughts at all. This is a big jump of awareness to become conscious of this. So I will offer three simple exercises:
1. Stop thinking for 5 minutes, time yourself.
2. Predict a thought.
3. Think of a word, animal or thing. Ask yourself then, why did I choose this thought?

Normally the first test is enough, but I include the others because the implications of this are very profound. I will return to the phenomenological aspect once more in a bit.
Empirically this can be proven by monitoring brain activity. It is revealed that all brain activity just come and goes. It is a constant causal chain reaction, one event following the other endlessly. There is no single unit or commander that conduces all nerve impulses to one cognitive action or process. It is just continuous brain activity. Sam Harris explained this well, search one him if you wish to understand this further.

Back to phenomenology. There is no correlation between one thought to another, they all appear in consciousness indiscriminately. I can make you aware of the subtlety of this phenomena, given you have good memory to recall it. I will give one example on our day to day life while having a conversation with someone else. Have you ever had this moment where you say: "Oh, you suddenly reminded me of _______!", or: "This may be random, but a thought just occurred in my mind ", then you say whatever popped into your mind. Study the flow of a conversation, and how people jump to one topic to another. Monitor how all thoughts come into your mind whilst you converse with the individual. This has many, and many repercussions to one's self.

Sadly, this creates a duality that I call Mind vs Self . Self being your conscious awareness of there -here and now- and mind being that fleshy substance that thinks for us. So, what is left? You are entirely determined. Your passions, your thoughts, your personality, your temperament, even your fears, sufferings, sexuality, dislikes, vices, hatred, the person whom you love, all of it.

Ask yourself(These are examples): Did I choose to like philosophy as opposed to education? Did you choose to like pop music as opposed to rap music? Did you choose to produce erotic feelings for your loved one? Phenomenologically, all of this is absurd. All emotions that you feel in any moment also appear in consciousness and are felt in the body, but you do not choose what to feel at any given moment. I will leave this part of the discussion here as I could be lengthy with this. This goes even further, Did I choose to become aware? Heck no. The ignorant in this case is a blissful lad.

Ok so here comes the good part, at least. It is inherently paradoxical because in essence there is no free will in anything that I am "thinking". Even in this very present moment. It is all highly illusory. Even if you decide this moment to stop reading and go do something else. But, even it being illusory, you are conscious of the illusion, so therefore you are in a way free. Yes, it is paradoxical. You aren't really free of course, but becoming aware that thoughts and emotions come and go, means that you can consciously make an illusory decision to stop thinking about something or ignore an emotion. Whatever it may be.

Basically this is the paradoxical war between mind and self that all of us battle until death. How will you ladies and gentlemen react to this? Fare well.

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Burning ghost
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Re: Free will does not exist (Beware)

Post by Burning ghost » October 29th, 2018, 12:44 am

A few sentences in and you’ve not defined what you mean by “free will” and seemingly dismissed what is “logical” or “rational”.

Basically you’re a hard determinism then?
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Eduk
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Re: Free will does not exist (Beware)

Post by Eduk » October 29th, 2018, 4:18 am

You should have kept reading BG.
Tosen. First of all not knowing where me thoughts come from proves that I don't know where they come from. It doesn't follow that this lack of knowledge proves knowledge that I know I don't have free will.
Unknown means unknown.

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Burning ghost
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Re: Free will does not exist (Beware)

Post by Burning ghost » October 29th, 2018, 4:31 am

Eduk wrote:
October 29th, 2018, 4:18 am
You should have kept reading BG.
Tosen. First of all not knowing where me thoughts come from proves that I don't know where they come from. It doesn't follow that this lack of knowledge proves knowledge that I know I don't have free will.
I did skim the rest. I didn’t say I stopped reading.

The lack of clarified terms simply multiplied. The issue of what is meant by “choice” is a key issue (it can be framed in many different ways.) If I have two apparent choices and pick one to find out that one choice was false did I “choose” in the same way as if there were two viable choices - it is an “illusion” or “delusion”?

The position set out is either everything is determined or nothing is determined. “Choice” apparently has no meaning, yet it is used to argue against “choice,” or at least “free choice” (which wasn’t mentioned anywhere I could see?)

If I tell you I always call apples “wingwomers” and then say I ate a “wingwomer” an hour ago ou understand what I mean. If I say “choice” doesn’t mean anything, or use the term “choice” without specifying how it can be used differently and clarifying how I am using it, then how am I to offer anything to the discussion?

First and foremost I ask for clarification of terms. In what ways does Tosen understand the term “free will” and in what ways is Tosen willing to accept the use of the term. If “free will does not exist” then what is Tosen talking about?
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Eduk
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Re: Free will does not exist (Beware)

Post by Eduk » October 29th, 2018, 7:00 am

I agree with your summary BG.
Personally I don't really know what a choice is. Which is what a lot of arguments about free will seem to boil down to. People want a type of free will which is inexplicable.
Unknown means unknown.

Karpel Tunnel
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Re: Free will does not exist (Beware)

Post by Karpel Tunnel » October 29th, 2018, 8:24 am

Tosen wrote:
October 28th, 2018, 6:33 pm
There is no correlation between one thought to another, they all appear in consciousness indiscriminately.
Then this holds for your argument, which is a written down set of thoughts also. IOW if this statement is correct, about you for example, and you believe it to be true, you should no longer be sure that your argument makes any sense or that it applies to other people. Since your arguement 1) had to appean in your consciousness and 2) has to seem to make sense to you and 3) eliminates the possibility that you have an ability to check the argument effectively, know its scope, and so on.

My pointing this out in no way, of course, demonstrates free will. It is just a problem that arguments such as this face in regards to the person making the argument and the argument itself.

Tosen
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Re: Free will does not exist (Beware)

Post by Tosen » October 30th, 2018, 12:42 am

Eduk wrote:
October 29th, 2018, 4:18 am
You should have kept reading BG.
Tosen. First of all not knowing where me thoughts come from proves that I don't know where they come from. It doesn't follow that this lack of knowledge proves knowledge that I know I don't have free will.
Like I said, this is not a rational thing. It doesn't follow any premises, it's not an argument, it doesn't have logic or one of that. It is a present examination of one's consciousness . When I say that thoughts come from nowhere is that in reality we are not "thinking". You have to closely examine how thoughts appear in consciousness, which is why it is an illusion. Watch Sam Harris and how he talks about free will and possibly you will get it. And repeat those exercises that I mentioned once more.

Tosen
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Re: Free will does not exist (Beware)

Post by Tosen » October 30th, 2018, 1:34 am

Burning ghost wrote:
October 29th, 2018, 4:31 am
Eduk wrote:
October 29th, 2018, 4:18 am
You should have kept reading BG.
Tosen. First of all not knowing where me thoughts come from proves that I don't know where they come from. It doesn't follow that this lack of knowledge proves knowledge that I know I don't have free will.
I did skim the rest. I didn’t say I stopped reading.

The lack of clarified terms simply multiplied. The issue of what is meant by “choice” is a key issue (it can be framed in many different ways.) If I have two apparent choices and pick one to find out that one choice was false did I “choose” in the same way as if there were two viable choices - it is an “illusion” or “delusion”?

The position set out is either everything is determined or nothing is determined. “Choice” apparently has no meaning, yet it is used to argue against “choice,” or at least “free choice” (which wasn’t mentioned anywhere I could see?)

If I tell you I always call apples “wingwomers” and then say I ate a “wingwomer” an hour ago ou understand what I mean. If I say “choice” doesn’t mean anything, or use the term “choice” without specifying how it can be used differently and clarifying how I am using it, then how am I to offer anything to the discussion?

First and foremost I ask for clarification of terms. In what ways does Tosen understand the term “free will” and in what ways is Tosen willing to accept the use of the term. If “free will does not exist” then what is Tosen talking about?
I can understand why this is confusing because it is at first. First of all, philosophy is rational endeavor. So if you're trying to find some "logic" or a sufficiently rational explanation for this you will not find it here as this is a matter of a different nature. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear with my language. By free will I meant the process of "thinking" in itself is not willfully done by us. You can prove this to yourself through those various exercises that I numbered though it may take time. Read carefully again why I say that we are determined. We are determined because we do not choose what we think, or nothing at all on a radical sense. So therefore every "choice" that we make is just an illusion, because we are not actually thinking but perceiving thoughts. The illusion is so stupefying but it is what it is.To discover this truth is not to examine the rationality of the claim, it is to become conscious of it. But if you want understand this from a conceptual way then examine this premise: "Everything appears in consciousness". Thoughts, emotions, actions, reality itself is manifesting through consciousness; this implies that everything just appears in our consciousness and we have no control of that which appears in consciousness. Again, you have to elevate your awareness to get this. Another premise could be: 'Consciousness is consciousness of something but not of itself", this means that we are always aware of something but not aware of awareness itself. Because awareness is always directed towards something. Could be of yourself, you reading this screen, your own thoughts, etc. In a sense it's like directing your attention. You can direct your awareness to feel how your tongue is pressed against your palate, or direct your awareness on breathing itself or blinking. These are things that are there but we are not aware until we direct our awareness to it. So, on a more fundamental manner, existentially, you are consciousness of something. Those two premises are a conceptual way of thinking about it but of course you have to think about your own consciousness to get it, precisely because it is not rational, it is just your awareness. Go watch how Sam Harris explains free will, maybe you can understand from him. All choice is illusory, but it is still a conscious illusory choice. You see the rationally paradoxical nature of this? This is why it is hard to encapsulate it with an explanation because I am essentially describing the phenomena of consciousness with thoughts, when this is an experiential phenomena. You experience it first and then explain it with language and thoughts. It's like someone explaining their romantic feelings to another person. Essentially, people experience or feel emotions and later they describe it phenomenologically how they perceived those emotions. They might say: "This person is always present in my mind no matter what I do, I also get butterflies in my stomach when I see him/her. Every time I look at her I instantly smile with no hesitation. My cheeks turn red every time I talk to him" This person fundamentally, though he/she is not aware of it, is describing phenomena(In this case feelings and thoughts) as it appears in consciousness. I will end it with that explanation so you can digest it however you like. I reiterate this again, it might take time to become aware of it.

Tosen
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Re: Free will does not exist (Beware)

Post by Tosen » October 30th, 2018, 2:02 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
October 29th, 2018, 8:24 am
Tosen wrote:
October 28th, 2018, 6:33 pm
There is no correlation between one thought to another, they all appear in consciousness indiscriminately.
Then this holds for your argument, which is a written down set of thoughts also. IOW if this statement is correct, about you for example, and you believe it to be true, you should no longer be sure that your argument makes any sense or that it applies to other people. Since your arguement 1) had to appean in your consciousness and 2) has to seem to make sense to you and 3) eliminates the possibility that you have an ability to check the argument effectively, know its scope, and so on.

My pointing this out in no way, of course, demonstrates free will. It is just a problem that arguments such as this face in regards to the person making the argument and the argument itself.
This is precisely the problem that hard rationalist philosophers will not get. Truth for rationalists is all about the rationality and logic of an argument (Which I don't know why because logic/reason is only analytical and cannot certify truth). Which is why I said at the start that this is not rational, it's not a claim nor an argument at all. This is awareness, you become aware of this. You experience it. Sigmund Freud was the first one to discover this through empirical data, by seeing how his neurotic patients when hypnotized could recall memories that when the patient left that state of trance, they could not recall it consciously. So he said, wait a minute, these people are being influenced by something beyond their control, then he called it the unconscious. Then he later examined personally(Phenomenologically) how this unconscious part is the prime mover of what we are in life. He was close but I don't think he reached the point of knowing that there's absolutely no free will, though he did know we are determined by uncontrollable/unconscious forces. He was one step away for realizing this.

One way that I like to prove it to people is by asking them why do they like what they like. Why did you fall in love with your girlfriend? I continue to ask "why" to all answers and they will not be able to answer me because there is no such thing! You simply like the thing you like and hate the thing you hate and that's it. This is a tough pill to swallow and not really comprehensible if you don't experience it.

Also i'm not the only one that has become aware of this. Research Sam Harris and how he explains free will if you wish to understand it from his mind.

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Re: Free will does not exist (Beware)

Post by Burning ghost » October 30th, 2018, 2:28 am

None of that helps in the slightest.

You simply cannot “prove” that free will does not exist without setting out a rational claim with precise definitions. What ‘ve done is express, vaguely, your opinion.

As an example:
appears in consciousness
What does that mean? Where is this “consciousness” you speak of? If it has no “where” to it then how can you claim something “appears” to it or “how” something appears to it?
These are things that are there but we are not aware until we direct our awareness to it
But if “we” don’t direct “our” awareness then “who” does?

This is a little like saying I didn’t kill them, it was the drugs I took that comprimised my decision making. If I was to torture you and manipulate your biochemistry into reacting to certain cues then you are not really to be held to account for your actions.
This is why it is hard to encapsulate it with an explanation because I am essentially describing the phenomena of consciousness with thoughts, when this is an experiential phenomena.
I can certainly sympathise with that! This is the very reason I am being so insistant with the need for concise definitions.

Note: I am quite happy to accept that I have no “free will” in some circumstances when the term is contextually framed in a certain light. The issue I have is anyone suggesting that all given human contexts “free will” is completely delusional.

A common example of expressing the manner in which we use the term “choice” is this ... You are give two doors to go through, you pick one. You arbitrarily pick the door (your choice.) It turns out that one of the doors is nothing other than a painting on a wall so when you approach you realise apparent choice was no choice at all. So even though you chose one door initially as you begin to approach them you see that our choice was not a choice at all. In this situation we can easily see that depending on how we “choose” to interpret the situation you made a choice and you didn’t make a choice.

You appear to be choosing to interpret the words a certain way so that choice makes it appear to you that you never made a choice at all. The the arbitrary appearance after the matter of the fact means you’re completely rudderless.

I would say that many of thr decisions we make in life often suffer from lack of conscious examination. In those cases people repeat the same mistakes blaming the arbitrary nature of nature rather than contending with the burdensome idea that what they think and do may actually have a serious causal effect (that said I understand you’re sidestepping the morality of the situation, which then begs the question what the use is of trying to make subjective claims appear to be objective claims - the original endeavor of the phenomenological investigation was to feel out a possible science of subjectivity.)
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Re: Free will does not exist (Beware)

Post by Eduk » October 30th, 2018, 3:18 am

Tosen considering you don't think you are a rational free agent can you please give me your driving licence because it doesn't seem that you believe you should have the responsibility.
Unknown means unknown.

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Re: Free will does not exist (Beware)

Post by Karpel Tunnel » October 30th, 2018, 5:30 am

Eduk wrote:
October 30th, 2018, 3:18 am
Tosen considering you don't think you are a rational free agent can you please give me your driving licence because it doesn't seem that you believe you should have the responsibility.
Try driving by choosing all your actions rationally. IOW no intuition. Without intuition we don't even know when to stop analyzing. When our arguments make sense. I would not argue that we are not rational free agents. But we are certainly not only rational. If we are only rational, then we cannot do anything. We wouldn't even know how to apply the conclusions we reach to the world or action in it with rational argument/thinking alone. We couldn't even decide on the semantic scope of a word.

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Re: Free will does not exist (Beware)

Post by Eduk » October 30th, 2018, 5:43 am

Can you give me your licence too Karpel, please.

At the end of the day, for good or bad, when you drive a car 'you' take the responsibility for your actions. Otherwise I could just drive with my eyes closed and after the accident say it's ok my mind forced me to close my eyes and I intuitively listened so it's not my fault, la la laaa.
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Re: Free will does not exist (Beware)

Post by Karpel Tunnel » October 30th, 2018, 6:30 am

Eduk wrote:
October 30th, 2018, 5:43 am
Can you give me your licence too Karpel, please.

At the end of the day, for good or bad, when you drive a car 'you' take the responsibility for your actions. Otherwise I could just drive with my eyes closed and after the accident say it's ok my mind forced me to close my eyes and I intuitively listened so it's not my fault, la la laaa.
Sure, I take responsibility for my actions, but my actions are based in large part on intuition, that is non-rational processes. And even arguments like these, good sound versions, include non-rational components. Axioms, the scope of semantics, qualia regarding things like 'I have checked my logic enough' 'I am using that word with the correct scope' 'we are on a collision course' 'it would be best to slow down' 'something odd about the traffic pattern ahead', one's ability to go for minutes (MINUTES) without consciously thinking about driving, especially on highways YET making decisions to change lanes, slow down and more, 'qualia related to interpreting the other person's points' and more, are all intuitive, and include non-rational evaluations. Irrational is pejorative, so I avoid it. There are many people who think they can navigate life purely logically without intuition and emotions. They are confused. See Damasio on emotions and rationality for a neuroscientists take on it.

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Re: Free will does not exist (Beware)

Post by Karpel Tunnel » October 30th, 2018, 6:32 am

And if you think Eduk, that you are a free agent. What is this in distinction from? Machines that are not free? You haven't become a free will believer have you? Me, I black box that.

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