"Is Free Will An Illusion?" Discussion

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Arcadian
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"Is Free Will An Illusion?" Discussion

Postby Arcadian » 25 Apr 2012 21:54

Rebecca's article "Is Free Will an Illusion?" was quite thought provoking for me.

http://www.world-of-lucid-dreaming.com/is-free-will-an-illusion.html

After reading it I've formed my own opinion and want some feedback.

So, it comes down to Free Will vs Determinism.

Before reading the article I stood on the free will side. Now I'm more towards the middle of the road and not quite convinced everything is pre-determined, for which I'll explain..

I think determinisms' best argument was supported from quantum physics. If the mind is made up of particles, and particles adhere to the laws of physics, then our mind's actions are predetermined. In theory this makes sense. However, when taking the Libet experiment into account, determinism isn't so sound. I liked the Libet experiment because although it proved there is no independent "being or mind" inside of us that gives us free will, it proved that there is an independent "being or mind" that can veto an action. So we have "free won't", not "free will"...

But isn't "free won't" a type of free will? I think so. And this is what's keeping me on the middle of the fence, leaning toward free will over determinism. I'm also aware of many of our actions being pre-determined, hence not giving us 100% free will.

For example in this quote:" Everyone believes himself a priori to be perfectly free, even in his individual actions, and thinks that at every moment he can commence another manner of life. ...But a posteriori, through experience, he finds to his astonishment that he is not free, but subjected to necessity, that in spite of all his resolutions and reflections he does not change his conduct, and that from the beginning of his life to the end of it, he must carry out the very character which he himself condemns..."

~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Wisdom of Life

BUT until the portion of the Libet experiment resulting in a "free won't" can be proven inaccurate, I remain undecided..Thoughts anyone?
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Summerlander
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Re: "Is Free Will An Illusion?" Discussion

Postby Summerlander » 26 Apr 2012 19:53

I opened a topic about it on obe4u.com. Check it out:

http://forum.obe4u.com/index.php?topic=1061.0
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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Jack Reacher
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Re: "Is Free Will An Illusion?" Discussion

Postby Jack Reacher » 27 Apr 2012 06:56

You should check out my other topic in this subforum called the big bang thought experiment( or something like that).

Its kinda best not to think too much about stuff like this otherwise you start questioning whether you have a self, whether identity is an illusion etc etc and you just become another nihilist.

I believe in free will even though I have no reason to, no real argument. It just seems countter intuitive not to. You should also look up Dualism vs Physicalism. Once you start thinking more about the qualitative aspects of the universe, your perspective on determinism changes. I personally dont think the mind can be reduced to physical particles.

Here is a weird wacky idea had once when I was stoned that sort of allows free will and determinism to exist. Basically by choosing your future, you create your past. Not specifically your past, but the past of the universe that allowed your future that you created to exist. Basically future events depend on the past events, but if the past is unknown to the individual then you could sort of create your own past to create your future.

In otherwords you basically select one of the infinite possible big bangs available to create your future. You cant change the past that is already known, so your control over your future is limited.

I base this on absolutely nothing, but it does show that determinism kind of has a flaw because of the whole big bang problem, that is how nothing can come from something and start the whole pointless physical process.
"There is theoretical abstraction, and then there is true abstraction."

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Rebecca
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Re: "Is Free Will An Illusion?" Discussion

Postby Rebecca » 17 May 2012 00:53

Jack Reacher wrote:I base this on absolutely nothing, but it does show that determinism kind of has a flaw because of the whole big bang problem, that is how nothing can come from something and start the whole pointless physical process.


I don't think anyone said the big bang came from nothing, it came from a singularity, which is something. :)

There is a BBC Horizon documentary that tackles this if you're interested. It highlights all the current theories of What Happened Before The Big Bang? http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00vdkmj

It's got to be fairly speculative stuff but it does open your mind up to other possibilities about the start of our universe, most suggesting it is a continuation or offshoot of some other universe. Scary!!!

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Summerlander
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Re: "Is Free Will An Illusion?" Discussion

Postby Summerlander » 17 May 2012 13:46

Yes, I remember that. After all, even a singularity had to come from something or somewhere. I think we as human beings find it hard to grasp the concept of eternity and the possibility that something has always existed in one way or the other.

It has also been suggested that everything in the universe adds up to zero. There is an analogy where the zero is like a surface, a ground if you like. Dig a hole and you get a black hole. The depths of the hole are below the ground. The Earth that you dug up forms a heap. The heap is the universe that we see today: stars, planets, galaxies, quasars etc.
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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Peter
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Re: "Is Free Will An Illusion?" Discussion

Postby Peter » 18 May 2012 06:19

it always amuses me that we cannot explain some things but try to and there is a fundamental issue here that I can never get past. I feel we are blocked from full understanding or limited in our ability to understand concepts like eternity or an expanding universe.

i do like the hole in the ground example as it captures what we know and what we dont
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torakrubik
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Re: "Is Free Will An Illusion?" Discussion

Postby torakrubik » 26 May 2012 23:43

Determinism is generally rejected as a valid scientific theory, and the random element linked somewhat to quantum physics supports this. However, it's tricky to say at this stage whether this uncertainty extends to the inner workings of the human mind and grants 'free will' entirely.

P.S. the horizon documentary that Rebecca posted a link to is excellent. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in the universe or just wants food for thought :)
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