chewybrian wrote: ↑November 11th, 2018, 11:31 am
Tosen wrote: ↑November 10th, 2018, 3:41 pm
There is evidence right here my friend. Sam harris provides a phenomenoloical example (Through our Subjective experience) and then cites various experiments that prove it.Deny it or accept it at will. Most of you haven't read the EMPIRICAL DATA that I offered in this forum. Come back and then critique it.
I watched the video with all the open mind I could muster, but I see nothing remotely approaching proof there. He is simply asserting opinion in a factish tone, and attacking a straw man version of free will in which higher consciousness makes and executes every decision. We all know we have unconscious processes going on under the surface all the time, and subconscious ideas of which we may be unaware, or barely aware.
The fact that a muscle twitches in anticipation of a signal from the brain does not mean that there is no consciousness directing the action, or that consciousness is fully disconnected from unconscious or subconscious activity. If I am having difficulty breathing, I will become fully aware of it in short order. If not, I am probably fully unaware unless I decide to focus on breathing. I can switch to manual control and take over most minor decisions at my discretion, just as the owner of a business can man the cash register or take over any other spot in the corporate structure. Tasks may move up and down the ladder of consciousness based on my perception of the urgency of their resolution. I may consider issues in my subconscious, at the direction of my higher consciousness, and then become aware of the resolution when my subconscious is done working on the problem. How often do you try to recall some memory and fail, only to have it pop back in your head hours later? Your subconscious went to work on it while you went on to something else. People can even learn while they are asleep!
I imagine that higher consciousness, free will, the 'soul' is part of a cohesive system, in which it acts like the CEO of the corporation. Other elements may act at its discretion, like the marketing director pursuing directives given to her. Some elements act while the CEO is fully unaware of them, as the janitor mopping the floor at some remote branch of the company. Such multitasking seems essential to survival (or at least it was). Nothing Harris said made a dent in this model. We know WHAT it is doing (freely making decisions), but we don't know HOW. The timing of the signals to the body or the 'rising up' of ideas is not inconsistent with free will. We may, sometimes unknown to us, have asked for the idea to be considered. Or, if not, we still must consider its worth and whether to act on it and how to act if we do.
We don't have to have complete or correct information about our environment or complete control over our body or even our minds to act freely. We need only be free enough to choose between two or more alternative actions of which we are aware. Since Harris is trying to prove a negative, it only requires one instance in which this happened for him to be proven wrong. I am satisfied that I have made decisions every day of my life, as are most people. So, he is wrong.
"We all know we have unconscious processes going on under the surface all the time, and subconscious ideas of which we may be unaware, or barely aware."
-Not really. The only ones who become aware of this notion of there being a 'subconscious
" phenomena of our minds is by paying good attention to your own consciousness like you have. This is is a phenomenological analysis, but even so we probably wouldn't have been able to realize it ourselves without getting educated about it first. It's a reason why this term (With what I know) has not appeared on ancient philosophical/scientific books is because of how psychology/science has progressed in our time. Remember that Harris correlated his own conscious description of his mind(Phenomenology) with empirical findings and both analysis imply one another. Meaning that it ended on a causal, materialistic and predetermined phenomena. Ultimately all of reality is truly predetermined, even it if feels like it's not.
"The fact that a muscle twitches in anticipation of a signal from the brain does not mean that there is no consciousness directing the action, or that consciousness is fully disconnected from unconscious or subconscious activity"
- This is a faulty analogy to illustrate what Harris tried to explain. It's not that it "twitches" because it "anticipates" a signal. There is no anticipation at all and no conscious directing
of the signal. A thought occurs subconsciously first, then we have the false sense
that we consciously did it
. I have more empirical evidence for this if you still wish to deny the evidence Sam Harris provided. Please watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmI7NnMqwLQ
. It's only 2 minutes long.
The model you proposed of the soul being part of a cohesive system of unconscious, subconscious and conscious awareness is entirely an illusion. I was there at one point by the way, on this same model. When you become aware of this, everything is unconscious. Consciousness is merely that which is watching
everything that is happening right now. You are very close to discovering this for yourself, but your phenomenological analysis is incomplete.
"I am satisfied that I have made decisions every day of my life, as are most people. So, he is wrong."
-Well, I kinda am too satisfied, but this to is not a total product of myself. But, becoming aware of this like Sam Harris and I did is not entirely negative. Because we, as a self, a conscious self
, can know that thinking is not our doing. So now you can have in a limited sense, more control over your life. Because even if there is no free will, there is awareness
of that. So we still paradoxically decide things, but we only between thoughts that appear in consciousness, not decide what thoughts to think in themselves. This is one of the fundamental reasons why everyone is different, how every mind is different. Why they like this or that, hate this or that. If you truly had the luxury of deciding
what you like, go and forcefully decide to produce joyful feelings by killing someone. Some serial killers adore killing people, but did they decide to feel happy when doing this? Nope.Their minds just like it. This is why Sam Harris calls these type of people biological errors. Free will is a gamble. Do you decide when do you have a "crush" on someone? Do you decide when produce feelings of sexual attraction or love to any other human being? Sure sexuality may be a different topic as it is genetic/biological in nature, but the same principle applies either way if everything is pre-determined. These examples are emotional states, and some people understand this quite easily. But it doesn't end on emotions alone (Understanding this is a medium level of awareness), it elevates on to thoughts themselves. That is the highest level of awareness. I will say this, it is not an opinion, I wish it was so it could be easily refuted.