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.