• kindred
    35
    Seems to me I can control what I can or can’t do or decide to do or not do in the future. For example I did not shoplift today … does this mean I have a choice over my actions or is this merely an illusion?

    How could it be an illusion though, seems to me I have an array of choices. Tomorrow for example I have the choice of either of either having or not having breakfast …does this not imply that I have free will? If so why not ?
  • LuckyR
    438


    Excellent question. Either things are as they appear and you truly choose between options, or your act of choosing is an illusion, that is you go through the motions of "choosing", but it's not really a "choice" since you are destined to always "choose" a particular "optionć due to your brain-state at the moment of choosing.
  • kindred
    35
    but it's not really a "choice" since you are destined to always "choose" a particular "optionć due to your brain-state at the moment of choosingLuckyR

    But that’s not free will. Free will is simply the ability to choose between different courses of action or inaction.

    Let’s say I have two brainstates of whether to have breakfast in the morning Yes and No what you’re saying is that my choice was influenced by my brain state…well let’s dig a little deeper …what is and constitutes a brain state ? What if I was to introduce external events such as flipping a coin …clearly this is not a brain state but a random external event…
  • Fire Ologist
    493
    It occurred to me that as soon as it is proven to me that I do NOT have free will, that I will still have to give my consent to never ask the question again.

    Seems to me we either must have free will, or we will never be able to KNOW we do not have free will without a lingering acquiescence to that fact, and so a lingering agency.

    But I don’t like the idea of a “will” as an organ like a “liver” or faculty of the mind even. We “are willing” and out of those acts we construct what we will to construct. There is an agent, but it is in the act of doing something that we simultaneously are doing something that we are willing to to do. You can’t really separate the specific act from the willing act when you are acting on your “free will”.

    Not really a formed idea yet, but me I’m willing to keep considering.

    Consent is the better word. Take all the determined forces around us completely out of our control that wash us down the speeding river into the violent ocean, and just give your consent (or not) to the same ride that was going to happen anyway. That’s where the will is born.
  • LuckyR
    438

    No it's definitely not. That's Determinism. And no, your "choice" isn't "influenced" by your brain-state, it's determined by your brain-state.

    You can choose to flip a coin, you can choose to follow through with the choice determined by the coin or you can choose to go against what the coin is telling you to choose. Thus there are choices within choices. But in a Determinist universe, all of these choices feel like choices (to you), yet were always going to end up being the "choice" determined by the chemical, electrical and anatomic state of your brain at the moment of choosing. Thus not a "real" choice as most folks understand the definition of the word.
  • kindred
    35


    Determinism seems flawed in that regard because it looks backwards to the present and says the sum of all my choices lead to me having or not having my breakfast.

    Please note that I haven’t had my breakfast yet…this means the future is undetermined yet I’ll be damned because whether I do or don’t, once that decision has been made (whether to have breakfast or not) then it appears that I didn’t really have a choice…yet the choice was there.

    Bit of a conundrum indeed.
  • AmadeusD
    2k
    Determinism seems flawed in that regard because it looks backwards to the present and says the sum of all my choices lead to me having or not having my breakfast.kindred

    It does this forwardly too. We just don't know the outcomes because we don't have the calculating power or access to the data (in fact, we might have teh calculating power come to think of it).

    If evolution has provided a brilliant illusion, as so many believe, that we make choices proper, this would acceptable on current understandings, as would free will. I don't think its a conundrum at all. You essentially play a little film in your head about making a choice you've already made.
    Libet seemed to 'discover' this fact though that's been thrown out mostly from what I can tell.
  • NotAristotle
    276
    Yes, you really do. But to appreciate the argument -- the argument is not that the illusion is what seems to be the case to you, rather, some may argue that the illusion is that we actually do have those choices.

    due to "counter-predictive mechanisms" built into the deterministic thesis we can never know our own future no matter the computing power, that is so even if one accepts determinism as true.
  • NOS4A2
    8.6k


    You do. Each of us wills, controls, determines, decides, etc. our actions for the simple fact that nothing else does.
  • Vera Mont
    3.8k
    does this not imply that I have free will? If so why not ?kindred

    Yes, but it's an illusion. Your body and brain make the decisions a split second before you're actually aware of them.
    But it doesn't matter: You experience the preceding indecision, consider the options, then act on what has been decided. Other people judge your actions as if you had been free to do otherwise.
    You may as well believe in free will, since we live as if we had it.
  • Tarskian
    301
    does this not imply that I have free will? If so why not ?kindred

    If the physical universe is completely predictable from its (unknown) theory, then there is no free will.

    If it isn't, then it means that there is more than one universe that interprets the same theory. The existence of inexplicable truths such as free will therefore implies that our universe is part of a multiverse.

    The universe of the natural numbers is replete with inexplicable truths. Therefore, it is certainly not far-fetched to believe that they also exist in the physical universe.

    If the theory of the physical universe contains a copy of Robinson's Q fragment of arithmetic theory, then the physical universe is guaranteed to contain inexplicable truths and to be part of larger multiverse. So, a copy of the theory of the physical universe would reveal the answer.

    In terms of religion, if free will exists, then there is also a heaven and a hell. Conversely, if there is no heaven or hell, then there is also no free will.
  • NOS4A2
    8.6k


    Are you not your brain and body?
  • Vera Mont
    3.8k

    Sure. But the brain-body is an iceberg: most of it is beneath the level of consciousness.
  • NOS4A2
    8.6k


    If the “body and brain make the decisions”, and you are the body and brain, how are you not making decisions?
  • 180 Proof
    14.7k
    How could it be an illusion though, seems to me I have an array of choices.kindred
    "An illusion" is that which is not what it seems to be. "An array of choices" is, in fact, only some predictions based on inertia, biases, assumptions, incomplete / incorrect information and do not determine (cause) actions or outcomes (effects).
  • flannel jesus
    1.7k
    Seems to me I can control what I can or can’t do or decide to do or not do in the future. For example I did not shoplift today … does this mean I have a choice over my actions or is this merely an illusion?kindred

    If you chose to not shoplift today, did you have an explicit thought process that led to that choice?
  • Lionino
    2.1k
    If it isn't, then it means that there is more than one universe that interprets the same theory. The existence of inexplicable truths such as free will therefore implies that our universe is part of a multiverse.Tarskian

    Complete gibberish.
  • Tarskian
    301
    Complete gibberish.Lionino

    The argument is based on model theory. The original phrasing is probably even more impenetrable:

    (In this context, we can use "models" and "universes" interchangeably.)

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%B6wenheim%E2%80%93Skolem_theorem

    Löwenheim–Skolem theorem

    In mathematical logic, the Löwenheim–Skolem theorem is a theorem on the existence and cardinality of models, named after Leopold Löwenheim and Thoralf Skolem.

    The precise formulation is given below. It implies that if a countable first-order theory has an infinite model, then for every infinite cardinal number κ it has a model of size κ, and that no first-order theory with an infinite model can have a unique model up to isomorphism.

    As a consequence, first-order theories are unable to control the cardinality of their infinite models.

    Specifically, for arithmetic theory, there are several ways in which to prove the existence of alternative universes ("models"), the simplest of which is in my opinion Godel's incompleteness theorem:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-standard_model_of_arithmetic

    In mathematical logic, a non-standard model of arithmetic is a model of first-order Peano arithmetic that contains non-standard numbers.
    ...
    From the incompleteness theorems

    Gödel's incompleteness theorems also imply the existence of non-standard models of arithmetic. The incompleteness theorems show that a particular sentence G, the Gödel sentence of Peano arithmetic, is neither provable nor disprovable in Peano arithmetic. By the completeness theorem, this means that G is false in some model of Peano arithmetic. However, G is true in the standard model of arithmetic, and therefore any model in which G is false must be a non-standard model.

    The arithmetical multiverse contains an infinite number of universes, one of which is the universe of the natural numbers.

    Any first-order theory that can express a Godel sentence, i.e. an unpredictable truth, will necessarily be interpreted by a multiverse and not a single universe.

    Free will must by definition be a Godelian fact. It must be essentially unpredictable. Otherwise, it is not free will to begin with. If the theory can predict it, it is not free will.
  • Lionino
    2.1k
    Again, complete gibberish. Gödel has nothing to do with multiverses.

    Go ahead and solve the following operation:

    ▽×(2xy,2yz,2xz)
    Lionino

    Let's see if that post-grad talk about math is backed by undergrad knowledge.
  • Tarskian
    301
    Again, complete gibberish. Gödel has nothing to do with multiverses.Lionino

    You fail to understand the discussion about non-standard models of arithmetic.

    Let's see if that post-grad talk about math is backed by undergrad knowledge.Lionino

    Parts of model theory are my personal interest. It is my hobby. I am semi-retired. I can royally afford to spend my days reading up on what I like. Of course, I did not waste my time on additional degrees. Why would I?

    By the way, how do you make money from your post-grad? Is it about the $12/hour as an associate assistant student tutor? Do you actually have any money? Or have you had to apply for student debt relief because of your overall poor finances?

    By the way, I am not interested in vector calculus. I am using model theory to make a particular point. Who the hell cares about your irrelevant question? If you do not want to meaningfully engage, why don't you talk with someone else? For example, go and discuss student debt relief with the suicide prevention hotline.
  • Outlander
    2k


    So basically, things outside of our control exist and are "a thing". That's correct. I had no control over who my biological father impregnated and where and what circumstances I was raised in prior to receiving an education that allowed me to think properly for myself. Meaning, if I happened to have been raised in a household without a consistent presence of food in fridge, I very well may likely turn out to be a thief. If the opposite is true, and I happened to have been raised in a household with more sports cars in the front yard then there are fingers on my hand, I would likely have turned out to be a person of admirable morality. None of that matters when we are given opportunity to choose morality or immorality. Or at least, environment to foster and develop a distinction between the two.
  • Vera Mont
    3.8k
    If the “body and brain make the decisions”, and you are the body and brain, how are you not making decisions?NOS4A2
    By the fact your conscious awareness, which is only in the top 10% of the brain, doesn't know all the processes that lead to a decision, only the final result. Yes, it's 'you' deciding, but you can't have decided differently.
    It doesn't matter. We feel as if, think as if and act as if we were making original, independent decisions, so we may as well believe it.
  • Pantagruel
    3.4k
    but you can't have decided differently.Vera Mont

    Ok. I believe that I make decisions based on a process of reasoning. This belief is itself (per now) a process of reasoning. So you are saying that this process of reasoning now is completely determined? In what sense can that possibly be true? Or is it only true if I come to a decision? i.e. I "decide" now that I am free. So I am wrong? I "decide" that I am determined. I am right? Kant says the "idea of freedom" is sufficient to freedom.
  • Lionino
    2.1k
    You fail to understand the discussion about non-standard models of arithmetic.Tarskian

    There is nothing to understand. You are writing gibberish about free will and Gödel.

    Parts of model theory are my personal interest. It is my hobby. I am semi-retired. I can royally afford to spend my days reading up on what I like. Of course, I did not waste my time on additional degrees. Why would I?Tarskian

    This is the same script run by the clinically online on welfare everytime they are pressed about their non-existant qualifications.

    By the way, I am not interested in vector calculus.Tarskian

    The crank cannot solve a simple mental computation that every single person in science and technology learns in their undergrad. And yet he insists that he understands things that would only be taught to people in mathematics post-grad.

    No one who seriously studies foundations of mathematics is ignorant of nabla and the cross product operator — it is like solving quadratic equations and not knowing how to calculate the area of a triangle. Unserious crank rambling nonsense about a field he hasn't been introduced to.
  • Tarskian
    301
    This is the same script run by the clinically online on welfare everytime they are pressed about their non-existant qualifications.Lionino

    I am considered a ultra-high net worth individual. What about you?

    The crank cannot solve a simple mental computation that every single person in science and technology learns in their undergrad.Lionino

    Vector calculus was not a subject in my degree. It is of absolutely no use in operations research. They may teach it elsewhere, but so what? By the way, how much money have you already made from vector calculus?

    And yet he insists that he understands things that would only be taught to people in mathematics post-grad.Lionino

    I became stinking rich from writing code that deals with elliptic-curve cryptography (ECDSA) at a point at which no university even taught it. At that point, (only some) universities dealt with RSA and DSA (if even) which is the old system based on the intractability of prime-number factorization. Some part of ECDSA was actually still patented, which created trouble and still does till this day. That is one reason why we can only now start using Schnorr signatures.

    Post-grads are people who don't make money and who will never make money. I don't want to be compared to them.

    No one who seriously studies foundations of mathematics is ignorant of nabla and the cross product operator — it is like solving quadratic equations and not knowing how to calculate the area of a triangle. Unserious crank rambling nonsense about a field he hasn't been introduced to.Lionino

    There are plenty of degrees that don't deal with vector calculus. Furthermore, vector calculus has nothing to do with the foundations of mathematics. So tell me, how much money have you in the meanwhile made from vector calculus?

    Seriously, you are more stupid than you think.

    I choose the subjects that I want to talk about. I choose the subjects that I want to investigate. Why would you choose them for anybody else? What have you got to show for? Seriously, what is your net worth?

    So, how much student debt do you still drag along? Will you ever be able to pay it off? If you can't sleep at night, and if the antidepressants no longer work, seek help.
  • Lionino
    2.1k
    I am considered a ultra-high net worth individual. What about you?Tarskian

    You write like someone who is on welfare. The words "ultra-high net worth" have never come out of the mouth of a rich person.

    Vector calculus was not a subject in my degree. It is of absolutely no use in operations research.Tarskian

    Yeah, I would imagine that someone in "operations research" does not know basic calculus or can't even go to an online calculator to plug it in like any high schooler would.

    Post-grads are people who don't make money and who will never make money. I don't want to be compared to them.Tarskian

    The supposedly pious believer turns out to be a degenerate who needs to lie to online strangers about his Calvinistic god: money. Not shocking.

    I became stinking rich from writing code that deals with elliptic-curve cryptography (ECDSA) at a point at which no university even taught it.Tarskian

    No, you didn't. Good job confessing your economic status, which no one is interested in or asked about, by compensating.

    By the way, how much money have you already made from vector calculus?Tarskian

    Vector calculus is essential for the operation of the machine you use to write uneducated nonsense on.

    Furthermore, vector calculus has nothing to do with the foundations of mathematics.Tarskian

    No shit.

    Seriously, you are more stupid than you think.Tarskian

    Did you win many pizza coupons at the "operations research" department, SEAsia sexpat?
  • Tarskian
    301
    You write like someone who is on welfare. The words "ultra-high net worth" have never come out of the mouth of a rich person.Lionino

    You are truly ignorant, aren't you?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-net-worth_individual

    It is a standard term in financial services. People in private banking need a way to distinguish between the rich, the very rich, and the extremely rich. It is obvious that they would never talk to you. You are clearly not even on the lowest rung of the ladder. Otherwise you would know.

    No shit.Lionino

    Again, you don't know what you are talking about.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foundations_of_mathematics

    Foundations of mathematics

    This has been called the foundational crisis of mathematics.

    The resolution of this crisis involved the rise of a new mathematical discipline called mathematical logic that includes set theory, model theory, proof theory, computability and computational complexity theory, and more recently, several parts of computer science.

    Model theory deals with the foundations of mathematics. Vector calculus does not. It is even irrelevant to the foundations of mathematics.

    Did you have many pizza coupons at the "operations research" department, SEAsia sexpat?Lionino

    With your ad hominems, you just prove that you are stupid.

    I don't care about operations research. That was decades ago. I have never used it in any shape or fashion. There was no money in it. So, why bother?

    The supposedly pious believer turns out to be a degenerate who needs to lie to online strangers about his Calvinistic god: money. Not shocking.Lionino

    For a starters, I was raised a Catholic. I don't mind Calvinism, but I can hardly be called one. Furthermore, I believe that the reformation most predictably failed. It raised serious issues with the Holy Apostolic Church, but it did not solve them in any way.

    In this world, every living being will have to put in effort to survive. So, every person, especially every man, will have to make money. I just turned out to be much better at that than most other people. That is why I am wealthy. No other reason. If you are going to do something, you could as well do it properly.

    You obviously have to do that too. So, how good are you at it?
  • Vera Mont
    3.8k
    Kant says the "idea of freedom" is sufficient to freedom.Pantagruel
    That's a nice position to take outside a prison cell.
    Of course you're not wrong. If you believe it, you experience it and it's true for you.
    The fact that 13 billion years of atomic interaction have led up to your existence, your environment and your reasoning process need not intrude on that experience. We didn't witness all that, don't know about the details. It doesn't intrude on my experience, or most other people's.
  • Pantagruel
    3.4k
    That's a nice position to take outside a prison cell.Vera Mont

    Or inside. Consider Boethius.
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