• removedmembershiprc
    113


    I agree you do not need free will to quarantine criminals. I was simply relaying the argument that Daniel Dennett makes. And I do not agree with Daniel Dennett. However, free will is still a major factor in the way our society views individual humans, and I do believe this is problematic, because it pretends that humans could have done other than they did/do, and so views them through a distorted lens.

    And I like your statement about the uncaused having no information going into it, and therefore being random. I never thought of that before! However, I think this is a case against using the phrase "free will," because, as your sentence suggests, even what we would consider free, is not that at all. Hence, why don't people just stop pretending that this idea of free will is even coherent?
  • PoeticUniverse
    1.3k
    Hence, why don't people just stop pretending that this idea of free will is even coherent?rlclauer

    Because… such as we want to say "I love you" to a lover rather than something literal along the lines of that our love has to be so because our bonding hormones match. although it is kind understood that there can be chemistry between lovers.

    Seriously, though, it is that nature has led us into the illusion that when a thought comes along seemingly out of nowhere that we thought of it instantly in consciousness, thinking we have conscious agency.

    …Until, for some, informed by science, who realize that there is an opaque first storey of the neurological beneath our second story.
  • removedmembershiprc
    113


    It sounds like you and I are in agreement.

    Seriously, though, it is that nature has led us into the illusion that when a thought comes along seemingly out of nowhere that we thought of it instantly in consciousness, thinking we have conscious agency.

    I agree, "free" will is an illusion. There is no homunculus initiating causation that could be said to serve as some kind of driving force in our minds. We could have an executive function, but this is not a ghost in a machine, but rather, is itself another deterministic program which serves supervisory functions.

    …Until, for some, informed by science, who realize that there is an opaque first storey of the neurological beneath our second story.

    Could you elaborate on this?
  • PoeticUniverse
    1.3k
    …Until, for some, informed by science, who realize that there is an opaque first storey of the neurological beneath our second story.

    Could you elaborate on this?
    rlclauer

    'Storey' is like as used for the first storey of a house, while 'story', while having truth, has some illusion.

    We don't see the subconscious brain gears of neuron connections firing, introspectively, nor do we realize (until informed by science) that these figurings took some time, 300-500 ms, all of this finished by the time our consciousness (also a brain process) always sequential to it receives the product of the figurings, this scene also taking time to get painted, unified, and integrated seamlessly with the previous.

    We could have an executive function, but this is not a ghost in a machine, but rather, is itself another deterministic program which serves supervisory functions.rlclauer

    You hit on it well.

    As so, other or higher brain areas can then access the global result/qualia produced and represented in consciousness, and go deeper with it, if need be, this being part of why the brain evolved consciousness as useful. The brain developed its own symbolic internal language, using qualia symbols (which is quite amazing), and so it could be that these are good shortcut notation for the brain to continue on with, and also, as another part of usefulness, would be good to put into memory as a whole, to have more quickness when referenced.
  • removedmembershiprc
    113
    As so, other or higher brain areas can then access the global result/qualia produced and represented in consciousness, and go deeper with it, if need be, this being part of why the brain evolved consciousness as useful. The brain developed its own symbolic internal language, using qualia symbols (which is quite amazing), and so it could be that these are good shortcut notation for the brain to continue on with, and also, as another part of usefulness, would be good to put into memory as a whole, to have more quickness when referenced.


    This is very interesting to me. According to this, what we perceive as "the self," could just be the product of this symbolic communication within the brain. Perhaps what appears to be our "self" is also just another program in the brain, a kind of, compiler, or organizer of sorts. Either way, I think it is clear that these processes have evolved to continue the biological mechanics of the body, which is really several different systems working symbiotically (consider the influence of the gut microbiota).

    I think it is painfully clear to see, there is no driver, there is no "influencing spirit" and so what humans usually refer to as "free will" or that aspect of the collective organism that is our body, is really just the output of these several inputs, which themselves are causally determined, and thus, there is no such thing as a "free will" or an "agent which causes."
  • PoeticUniverse
    1.3k
    …there is no such thing as a "free will" or an "agent which causes."rlclauer

    All good stuff. Although reality isn't the way that some fantasize it to be, it appears to be the only way it could be and work (as a consolation prize), via the consistency of the fixed will (of the instant, which can ever progress to a new and better fixed will) helping us to survive.

    The 'I' of the moment would be the part of the self currently in the mind and the whole repertoire of the brain would be the whole 'self', potentially, I guess.

    Some people talk to themselves, which is perhaps a better fixed will talking to a previous lesser fixed will, or a higher self to a lower self, saying the likes of "What the Hell were you thinking when you did that!"
  • Possibility
    2.4k
    Is there anything I could be reading, particularly on that last sentence
    It doesn’t really matter to the past (that’s already been determined) - only to our experience of what lies ahead.
    — Possibility
    , that could help thoroughly explain the idea? Or are you sort of inventing it as you go along? (I hope that doesn't come across negatively, in my mind, all of the now-famous philosophers were "inventing it as they went along")
    ZhouBoTong

    In a lot of respects, I am piecing together an explanation as I go along, but the groundwork is all there in so many expressions of human experience - from the Jesus to The Lion King, letting go of (without completely discarding) past information in order to develop the future is nothing new, really. We have to be prepared to let go of what’s no longer relevant - without throwing the baby out with the bath water - and then find ways to piece together what’s left with the new information we’ve acquired along the way. As Carlo Rovelli says in ‘Reality is Not What You Think’:

    “When we acquire new information about a system, the total relevant information cannot grow indefinitely, and part of the previous information becomes irrelevant, that is to say, it no longer has any effect upon predictions of the future.

    In quantum mechanics when we interact with a system, we don’t only learn something, we also ‘cancel’ a part of the relevant information about the system.”


    I think you will see traces of this idea in the currently unanswered questions and developing theories across theoretical physics, abiogenesis and consciousness studies. Relating what we can measure/observe to what we subjectively experience requires a better understanding of this fifth dimensional aspect.
  • Possibility
    2.4k
    The concept of potentiality I'm familiar with isn't about any success. Success is a judgment. The acorn's potential is something we recognize by looking at it in context. The potential we're really seeing is that of the whole universe. There are thousands of ways the acorn could become a tree. We could think of this as thousands of possible worlds. In each one, the universe was just the way it needed to be to produce the tree in that possible world.

    Likewise there are possible worlds in which the acorn was eaten or buried (so as to plant a hickory tree in my boxwoods, which actually happened. :razz: )

    Among all of these worlds is a very special one: the actual world.
    frank

    I don’t disagree with this. Success is relative to value. As I mentioned to @PoeticUniverse, the ‘possible worlds’ theory implies an alternate physical reality that only confuses the way dimensions work. It’s not incorrect - it just makes it difficult to extrapolate without losing touch with our own experience.

    We could think of it as thousands of possible worlds, and que sera sera, we’re stuck in this one. But all that does is absolve us of responsibility for what happens in the future, even though we can easily predict it - we can see it coming from a long way off - and we can also see all those possible worlds where it could be occurring differently, if only something could change.... It’s no wonder anxiety and depression is at epidemic proportions.

    Can you move between these possible worlds?

    Can you hold an acorn and see yourself at the crossroads of thousands of possible worlds in relation to that acorn? This is what I mean by potential: we can’t ignore our position as an interactive observer.

    As I mentioned to @ZhouBoTong, the past, what is actual, is determined - but our will is free in relation to the future. Not what could be - but what can be, when we include ourselves.
  • Possibility
    2.4k
    According to this, what we perceive as "the self," could just be the product of this symbolic communication within the brain. Perhaps what appears to be our "self" is also just another program in the brain, a kind of, compiler, or organizer of sorts. Either way, I think it is clear that these processes have evolved to continue the biological mechanics of the body, which is really several different systems working symbiotically (consider the influence of the gut microbiota).

    I think it is painfully clear to see, there is no driver, there is no "influencing spirit" and so what humans usually refer to as "free will" or that aspect of the collective organism that is our body, is really just the output of these several inputs, which themselves are causally determined, and thus, there is no such thing as a "free will" or an "agent which causes."
    rlclauer

    Welcome to the discussion. I get what you’re saying. But I don’t think it’s a clear as you believe it is.

    I agree that the biological mechanics of the body consist of several different systems working symbiotically. Each system is to some extent aware of, connected to and collaborating with the others. But I think you’re making an assumption that they have evolved simply to ‘continue’ their various processes for as long as possible.

    There is more to our collaborating systems than mere biological mechanics. There is an elaborate information processing system, which relies not just on the symbiotic relationships within the organism, but relationships with the rest of the universe. This also consists of several different systems working symbiotically. But this system and these processes have not evolved to continue the biological mechanics of the body, but to acquire information about the entire system.

    Humans have not evolved to maximise continuation of the biological mechanics of the body. As individuals, we are some of the most fragile and vulnerable creatures on the planet, and it is only our advanced and collaborative information processing systems that give us any advantage at all. We can process and share more information about the universe in our first ten years of life than many of our ancestors could manage as a tribe in a century. That’s not an accident, and it isn’t geared towards survival.

    I’m not arguing against cause and effect, or determinism, for that matter. But the process by which we can predict future events from the information we have about past events is so far below our capacity as human beings that it’s almost laughable to reduce human experience to this.

    @PoeticUniverse talks about the progression and improvement of a momentarily ‘fixed will’ through education and self-reflection. It’s a creative way of relating our experience of agency to determinism without a will that is free, and I can see how it makes sense from that perspective. I wonder how one would explain the process of education’s influence on a ‘fixed will’ in anything other than metaphorical language, though.

    Personally, I’m trying to get away from metaphor, and look at how our experience of a will that is free fits into the context of cause and effect. Because we can’t pretend that it doesn’t feel free in the act of choosing, despite what science interprets from measurements and observation. And we simply don’t understand the brain, consciousness or the ‘self’ enough to discard experiences just because they don’t fit with what science can tell us. That’s how doctrine operates.
  • PoeticUniverse
    1.3k
    I wonder how one would explain the process of education’s influence on a ‘fixed will’ in anything other than metaphorical language, though.Possibility

    Memory:

    The past is never past, at least while we’re alive.
    Memories, while re-cognized and ephemeral,
    Still have a very basic core of persistence.
     
    How does this past remain,
    and what kind of substance
    Could there be that lives
    so completely outside time?
    What makes it so strong that it can ever survive
    The merciless climate of the well trafficked brain?
     
    In what storm’s eye does it reside, in the center
    Of the maelstrom of the change and growth of cells?
    What are these indestructible grains that persist
    Among the shifting sands of time, bare and alone?
      
    A memory returns from a taste of butterscotch,
    From which Grandma’s olden day’s home
    then arises,
    And then related connections further become.
     
    Reminiscence stirs connections within the mind,
    Each little germ of recollection ballooning
    Into a wondrous and glorious revelation.
      
    How do such apparitions reappear, sink and swell,
    Float and change,
    withering the acids of time’s reflux?

    We know why—prions. …
  • Possibility
    2.4k
    How do such apparitions reappear, sink and swell,
    Float and change, withering the acids of time’s reflux?

    We know why—prions.
    PoeticUniverse

    We know how... or why? Prion-like proteins suggest a start, to be sure - but ‘know’ is a bit of a stretch, don’t you think?

    Thanks for the prompt, though. I’m intrigued - although biochemistry is a difficult area for me to navigate. All those acronyms...and I’m not one to blindly accept the Scientific American interpretation. Any suggestions of writers in this area along the lines of Rovelli in physics?

    I think this is still consistent with fifth dimensional interaction: the way we access memory demonstrates significance irrespective of time; it isn’t structured chronologically, but rather in relation to hierarchies of value. Interestingly, thoughts, reasoning and feelings are also structured irrespective of time. Along with memory, these constitute our 5D experiences. The more aware we are of their value structures and of how they enable us to predict, prevent or predetermine potential events and actions, the more consciously we can interact with them in a way that ‘frees the will’.

    I’m thinking it’s not just how educational experiences become memory - but how 5D integrated information as memory, belief and logic interact with somatic and sensory information to form qualia as 5D experiential content: thoughts, feelings, reasoning and memories; how these can then integrate with and improve/alter our structures of memory, belief and logic; but also how conscious awareness of these processes can allow us more creative freedom in this area, opening the mind and challenging the accuracy of these structures (in a 6D context).

    I agree that CPEB-3 and other self-assembling proteins that function in a prion-like state demonstrate an important link between biochemistry, information processing and memory. This helps us to further develop our 4D mapping to include internal events. But, like those experiments you keep bringing up - the ones demonstrating a delay in conscious recognition of subconscious decisions - it’s the way the findings are interpreted that I’m wary of: reducing the five dimensional human experience to only what can be measured, to physical change over time, and declaring this to BE ‘what is real’ (and our qualia to be ‘illusion’), rather than recognise that these so-called ‘illusions’ point to further dimensional aspects of our reality that we have yet to map.
  • PoeticUniverse
    1.3k
    I think this is still consistent with fifth dimensional interaction: the way we access memory demonstrates significance irrespective of time; it isn’t structured chronologically, but rather in relation to hierarchies of value.Possibility

    Hey, yeah, it is; good collaboration!

    withering the acids of time’s reflux?PoeticUniverse

    I think the spellchecker changed 'weathering' or 'withstanding' to 'withering' here.

    CPEB-3Possibility

    In the brain, cpeb proteins are sturdy enough to resist time, they being virtually indestructible. Yet, they have plasticity, being free of the genetic substrate, to change their shapes, creating or erasing a memory. When we think, the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine are released by neurons, which switch the cpeb protein into its active state by changing their very structure. The activated cpeb marks a specific dendritic branch as a memory, recruiting the requisite mrna needed to maintain long-term remembrance.

    Memory obeys nothing outside of itself; however, prions have an element of randomness built into their structure due to the inscrutable laws of protein folding and stoichiometry, even becoming active for no reason, so, due to unpredictable and unstable prions, we have some essential randomness. Such contingency is just like Proust predicted: the remembrance of things past may not be the exact remembrance of things as they were.
  • Possibility
    2.4k
    I think the spellchecker changed 'weathering' or 'withstanding' to 'withering' here.PoeticUniverse

    Thanks - I did wonder about the withering...

    Memory obeys nothing outside of itself;PoeticUniverse

    I’m not sure that I agree with this entirely, nor with the ‘virtual indestructibility’ of these proteins. These claims appear to be premature. Experience tells me that even long-term memory is open to new information and adjustment when the right conditions are present - including the interaction of feelings, reasoning and creative thought. The plasticity of CPEB proteins, their potential to switch between monomeric and aggregating forms and their susceptibility to serotonin and dopamine levels seems to support this. I’m also intrigued by their capacity as a repressor OR activator of translation to aggregating forms. I’d like to read more on the serotonin/dopamine release, though - if you can point me towards the research you’re particularly referring to.
  • PoeticUniverse
    1.3k
    if you can point me towards the research you’re particularly referring to.Possibility

    I don't know, for all I have are some scratchy notes. …

    Our rememberings try to describe reality as it really was experienced, but, that sheer essence may elude, although some general outline remains. Then, too, we add to it, subtract from it And reconnect by association to the new. Lo, the subjective metes out our reality; while the objective lies furthest removed.

    Perhaps, we may have a memory that returns from a taste of butterscotch from which grandma’s home then arises, and then of connections further becoming. How do some crumbs, here, and of the past waft back as vapours unto our present? Do the senses of smell and taste, yet more fragile and more insubstantial, bear a unique burden of memory, as more enduring and faithful, rising up past the ruins of the rest? Just noting the butterscotch, back then, without its tasting, would not have made the mark.

    Everything is connected within the mind, each germ of recollection ballooning into a revelation. Time mutates some ancient pastimes, and so they are not wholly recaptured, and sometimes rather fallible, even altered more by the call to mind, yet they are there. A memory begins as a changing connection between two neurons; the strength of the synapse changes so that the neurons can communicate. Thus, the taste of memory also activates the neurons downstream to do with one’s childhood days. The neurons have been inextricably entwined, yet, too, reconsolidate upon recall.

    The memory making process need proteins for the cellular construction of remembrance, yet the life of a protein is but 14 days. And some hippocampal neurons die, and some are born anew, yet some memory seems immutable. Does the mind constantly reincarnate?

    Aye, our memories must be made of a material stronger than cells, and must be quite specific as well. While each neuron has but a single nucleus, it has a teeming mass of dendritic branches, connecting to other neurons at dendritic synapses, such as the branches of two trees touching in a forest. So, it is at these tiny crossings that memories are made. Not in the trunk of the neuronal tree, but in its sprawling canopy. What marks a specific branch as a memory? what molecule awaits the taste of butterscotch?

    It has to turn on mrna to help make the proteins.
  • removedmembershiprc
    113
    But I think you’re making an assumption that they have evolved simply to ‘continue’ their various processes for as long as possible.

    There is more to our collaborating systems than mere biological mechanics. There is an elaborate information processing system, which relies not just on the symbiotic relationships within the organism, but relationships with the rest of the universe. This also consists of several different systems working symbiotically. But this system and these processes have not evolved to continue the biological mechanics of the body, but to acquire information about the entire system.

    I’m not arguing against cause and effect, or determinism, for that matter. But the process by which we can predict future events from the information we have about past events is so far below our capacity as human beings that it’s almost laughable to reduce human experience to this.



    Thank you for welcoming me!

    I agreed with your criticism of my apparently reductionistic description of cogitation. I was merely trying to convey that I believe the consciousness that we experience is sort of a by-product of the brains efficiency maximizing symbol system, which it uses in information processing.

    I also accept your criticism of me claiming to understand the brain. We have only begun to develop good knowledge pertaining to neuroscience, and I am not pretending to understand every nuance thereof.

    The entire process of evolution seems to make things better at surviving. That is basically how it is required to function. It has two things, an environment, and an organism. The only medium of interaction between those is survivability. So I just cannot accept your argument that "human information processing is somehow geared for some higher thing than survival." In my opinion, your view is highly romantic, and sort-of theological. You are attempting to imbue an importance on human cognitive capacity, which I thing is not justified.

    If you are not arguing against cause and effect or determinism, why are you suggesting there is some higher order significance in human cognition? Is cognition a function of the brain and nervous system? If it is, is it not bound to the rules of cause and effect? And if that is the case, isn't imagining all of this higher order stuff just a lack of information. As Sam Harris argues, if we have perfect information about the brain and the physical state of every particle in the body, could we not predict outcomes of human behavior?
  • ZhouBoTong
    837
    As Carlo Rovelli says in ‘Reality is Not What You Think’:

    “When we acquire new information about a system, the total relevant information cannot grow indefinitely, and part of the previous information becomes irrelevant, that is to say, it no longer has any effect upon predictions of the future.

    In quantum mechanics when we interact with a system, we don’t only learn something, we also ‘cancel’ a part of the relevant information about the system.”
    Possibility

    I feel like these quotes can only be true...and they certainly add an interesting perspective to the discussion.

    but our will is free in relation to the future. Not what could be - but what can be, when we include ourselves.Possibility

    But I am still struggling to accept this. To be fair, I think there is still an aspect of what you are saying that I am not understanding.

    Are you saying that "will" emerges from a deterministic system, but once it emerges it is not subject to determinism?
  • Possibility
    2.4k
    The entire process of evolution seems to make things better at surviving. That is basically how it is required to function. It has two things, an environment, and an organism. The only medium of interaction between those is survivability. So I just cannot accept your argument that "human information processing is somehow geared for some higher thing than survival." In my opinion, your view is highly romantic, and sort-of theological. You are attempting to imbue an importance on human cognitive capacity, which I thing is not justified.rlclauer

    I recognise that what I’m proposing here is difficult to accept if you swallow survival and reproductive values as a complete explanation for evolution. But if you take a closer look at evolutionary theory, it fails to adequately explain even all animal behaviour, let alone the intricacies of human social dynamics. And we need to stop making apologist-style arguments about the ‘survival value’ of things like altruism simply because traditional theology is no longer a viable alternative.

    The sun seems to revolve around the Earth - but on closer inspection it was discovered that this theory wasn’t perfect. Try to keep an open mind.

    It’s a very simple dichotomous view to believe that the universe consists only of an organism and the environment against which it must battle for supremacy. Yours may not be a romantic view, but it’s more tradition-based than you’re making it out to be. It is this viewpoint that has driven humanity to all but destroy the balance in the environment that sustains our existence. Perhaps it’s time to rethink it.

    Human cognitive capacity IS important, if only because we’re the only species that has it. That doesn’t make humans more important, it makes us more responsible. When we prioritise survivability, we’re selling this capacity short, really.

    If you are not arguing against cause and effect or determinism, why are you suggesting there is some higher order significance in human cognition? Is cognition a function of the brain and nervous system? If it is, is it not bound to the rules of cause and effect? And if that is the case, isn't imagining all of this higher order stuff just a lack of information. As Sam Harris argues, if we have perfect information about the brain and the physical state of every particle in the body, could we not predict outcomes of human behavior?rlclauer

    I’m not sure the two are mutually exclusive. Sure, pure determinism says that there is only cause and effect, but it’s better to start there than simply imagine higher order stuff with no attempt to get back to ‘reality’, in my opinion. Following on from Sam Harris, if we could predict outcomes of our own human behaviour, could we not then reassess and restructure the causal conditions leading to our behaviour and effect change to the will - the same way we do with the external conditions? And isn’t that freedom, rendering the will unconstrained?

    While we’re arguing from the authority of Sam Harris, I’ll point out that he also said this:

    Look closely enough at your own mind in the present moment, and you will discover that the self is an illusion. The problem with a claim of this kind, however, is that one can’t borrow another persons contemplative tools to test it. To see how the feeling of ‘I’ is a product of thought - indeed, to even appreciate how distracted by thought you tend to be in the first place - you have to build your own contemplative tools. Unfortunately, this leads many people to dismiss the project out of hand: They look inside, notice nothing of interest, and conclude that introspection is a dead end. But just imagine where astronomy would be if, centuries after Galileo, a person were still obliged to build his own telescope before he could even judge whether astronomy was a legitimate field of inquiry. It wouldn’t make the sky any less worthy of investigation, but astronomy’s development as a science would become immensely more difficult. — Sam Harris, “Waking Up - Searching for Spirituality with Religion”

    Harris is prepared to explore beyond what science tells us through the realm of subjective experience. That’s all I’m doing here, and Harris was one of those who led me here. He also says: “The way we think about experience can completely determine how we feel about it.”
  • Possibility
    2.4k
    But I am still struggling to accept this. To be fair, I think there is still an aspect of what you are saying that I am not understanding.ZhouBoTong

    I think it’s a paradigm shift - and that’s not an easy process. That you’re prepared to try is appreciated.

    Are you saying that "will" emerges from a deterministic system, but once it emerges it is not subject to determinism?ZhouBoTong

    I guess what I’m saying is that what we refer to as ‘the will’ is what the deterministic system looks like from the fifth dimension: from an observer position beyond time. Once we fully develop the cognitive capacity to interact with and understand the universe from this position, then the will is potentially unconstrained.
  • S
    11.8k
    Were you under illusion that that's some sort of clever, knockdown argument? Because an obvious alternative answer which you haven't accounted for would be that it seemed to be voluntary, leaving open the possibility that it might not have been so.

    And besides, it isn't necessarily true that they can't be persuaded otherwise if they deny that they post here voluntarily.
  • removedmembershiprc
    113


    Fair enough, my view was a bit based on tradition and perhaps reductionistic. I appreciate your insight. I will have to reevaluate my arguments pertaining to deriving value for human conscious experience, even if it is something that is simply arising out of biological materialism and cause and effect. You have made an effective argument, if only in a pragmatic sense, where valuing human cognitive experience may not be idealistic or theologically-oriented.
  • ZhouBoTong
    837
    Once we fully develop the cognitive capacity to interact with and understand the universe from this position, then the will is potentially unconstrained.Possibility

    Any chance you have seen the South Park episodes about Imagination Land? These lines remind me of that.

    When you say "develop the cognitive capacity" are you referring to current individuals or future evolution? Are there intellectual exercises I can do to achieve this? Or when you say "develop" do you mean after a few thousand generations of positive evolution?

    Also, when you say 'unconstrained' do you mean "unconstrained except for the laws of physics?" or "truly, entirely, unconstrained"? The second option is why I thought of imagination land.

    Perhaps you mean it is unconstrained BECAUSE it is JUST in our imagination?

    Again, I apologize if none of these ideas have anything to do with what you are actually saying.
  • Possibility
    2.4k
    Any chance you have seen the South Park episodes about Imagination Land? These lines remind me of that.

    When you say "develop the cognitive capacity" are you referring to current individuals or future evolution? Are there intellectual exercises I can do to achieve this? Or when you say "develop" do you mean after a few thousand generations of positive evolution?
    ZhouBoTong

    To be honest, I’m not sure how much of what holds us back is due to cognitive capacity and how much is understanding how to access it. As I mentioned before, my two children, raised in the same household, have developed very different cognitive capacity to each other. And yet, the Bible has evidence of five-dimensional awareness from Genesis onwards, so we’ve actually been developing it for thousands of years already. We just suck at it. It’s fear mainly that keeps us from choosing awareness, connection and collaboration at every opportunity...

    Also, when you say 'unconstrained' do you mean "unconstrained except for the laws of physics?" or "truly, entirely, unconstrained"? The second option is why I thought of imagination land.

    Perhaps you mean it is unconstrained BECAUSE it is JUST in our imagination?
    ZhouBoTong

    I haven’t seen the South Park episode you mention, sorry. But I find it interesting the way we look at the laws of physics, as if they are what limit our capacity to achieve. The process of actualising our imagination starts with what is possible, and is then constrained by what potential we see in how we experience and collaborate with the universe that would enable us to achieve it. Only then would it be constrained by the time we have available, and finally by the laws of physics.
  • ZhouBoTong
    837
    To be honest, I’m not sure how much of what holds us back is due to cognitive capacity and how much is understanding how to access it. As I mentioned before, my two children, raised in the same household, have developed very different cognitive capacity to each other. And yet, the Bible has evidence of five-dimensional awareness from Genesis onwards, so we’ve actually been developing it for thousands of years already. We just suck at it. It’s fear mainly that keeps us from choosing awareness, connection and collaboration at every opportunity...Possibility

    As a history student, I can't help but be reminded of "the secret knowledge of the ancients" and those claims are almost always proved false...unless the "secret knowledge" was how to build a dome or something not so impressive. I get that you are approaching this rather rationally, but all this paragraph says to me is "they used to be able to do it, and we can't". I still don't even know what "it" is.

    But I find it interesting the way we look at the laws of physics, as if they are what limit our capacity to achieve. The process of actualising our imagination starts with what is possible, and is then constrained by what potential we see in how we experience and collaborate with the universe that would enable us to achieve it. Only then would it be constrained by the time we have available, and finally by the laws of physics.Possibility

    So I can't fly like superman because I don't believe I can fly like superman? Now that is from the movie Bulletproof Monk (although I would assume it is from some daoist teachings or something).

    I am not even sure that is what you are saying, but my other interpretation would be along the lines of "in our imaginations exist unlimited possibilities. We can analyze those possibilities to determine the best course of action. Once a course of action is selected, it is subject to the laws of the universe."
    But that doesn't seem to be saying anything much at all?

    Or on cognitive capacity: are we talking about something like the movie "Lucy"? You can see why I suck at philosophy with all these pop culture references, haha. In that movie, the girl took a drug that caused her brain to build from using only 10% of capacity to 100%. As she hit different levels, she gained powers. Is that the type of thing you are getting at?

    Despite my disbelief (or misunderstanding), if you ever stumble across a process that allows you to reach this higher capacity you refer to, I hope you share with the rest of us (or at least me, haha).
  • Possibility
    2.4k
    I get that you are approaching this rather rationally, but all this paragraph says to me is "they used to be able to do it, and we can't". I still don't even know what "it" is.ZhouBoTong

    Wow, I didn’t expect that interpretation. Sorry, I meant ‘we’ generally, as in including the Bible authors, not ‘we’ specifically in the modern era.

    We access fifth-dimensional awareness all the time: it’s generally anything we can do that animals can’t, from self-awareness and words to mathematics and other higher order thinking. We just don’t realise that’s what we’re doing. We even apply different value structures in relation to different events or experiences. There are certain words, for instance, that one would never use in certain settings. Some people behave markedly differently in various social situations, often without even realising it. Others can be open-minded in some areas of their life, but staunchly traditional or stubborn in others.

    There is more freedom now than previously to devise our own value structures, instead of overlaying entire ideologies acquired by being born within a certain nationality, ethnic group, religion, political viewpoint, etc. Logical and scientific value structures also interact more freely with ‘inherited’ beliefs and value systems than we’ve allowed before, enabling us to question, challenge and discard beliefs, or ‘cherry-pick’ from a wide range of value structures as our experiences allow.

    It is the experiences we have that provide us with information about alternative value systems, and lead us to wonder if there is such a thing as an objective value system relative even to human experience, let alone to all experiences in the universe across spacetime - or if, like time, even value/significance is entirely relative to the observer. For many, this is an invitation to impose our value structures onto others (whether moral, religious, political, nationalistic or logic/science based), to construct a value system to suit our own personal needs and let everyone else do as they like, or to enclose a ‘world’ (or collection of worlds) for themselves where all their interactions reinforce whatever value structures ‘work’ for them.

    But these are fear-based reactions that close the mind to further information. Because if value/significance is truly relative to the observer, then the value structures through which I currently experience the world are all limited and inaccurate. And there is a much broader and more accurate understanding of the universe still to be discovered by increasing awareness, connection and collaboration with observers and experiences vastly different from my own.

    I am not even sure that is what you are saying, but my other interpretation would be along the lines of "in our imaginations exist unlimited possibilities. We can analyze those possibilities to determine the best course of action. Once a course of action is selected, it is subject to the laws of the universe."
    But that doesn't seem to be saying anything much at all?
    ZhouBoTong

    This is maybe closer to what I’m saying. And you’re right, it doesn’t say much like this. But it’s where we ‘determine the best course of action’ that I think we’re falling well short of our potential. Best for whom or for what purpose? What are the value structures by which we determine ‘the best’? And how limited is our viewpoint in relation to alternative value structures, whether or not we agree with them? Who then would disagree that this is indeed the ‘best course of action’, and why? And does their viewpoint matter?

    There would undoubtedly be many who’d argue that this line of questioning serves to limit what can be done more than it removes constraints. Yes - it limits the harm that can be done, and encourages us to tread more carefully in the world. Our aim is not to simply do, but to develop, achieve and succeed together. If that means we do less or do it slower, it’s not necessarily less valuable overall. It only appears so from our limited viewpoint.
  • PoeticUniverse
    1.3k
    But it’s where we ‘determine the best course of action’ that I think we’re falling well short of our potential.Possibility

    Practice, practice, practice, for those with the will, along with some pausing, which allows for more creative solutions to appear, in lieu of reactiveness clobbering their space.
  • Fruitless
    68
    I think you are correct in where we do not have free will; see when we are born we have to construct a reality from our surroundings and therefore receive a biased view on our world and of people. So, we base decisions based on our experience and environment growing up. We do have the ability to choose though, you are correct.

    But that is all we have. No one on this earth or in history has free will. I argue it doesn't even exist.
  • Possibility
    2.4k
    I think you are correct in where we do not have free will; see when we are born we have to construct a reality from our surroundings and therefore receive a biased view on our world and of people. So, we base decisions based on our experience and environment growing up. We do have the ability to choose though, you are correct.

    But that is all we have. No one on this earth or in history has free will. I argue it doesn't even exist.
    Fruitless

    That depends on how you define free will. Until we understand our capacity to choose (to increase awareness, connection and collaboration) in every interaction, and then make use of it, then no - our will lacks the freedom it is capable of, and is subject to environment and experience. But that, too, is our choice.

    I maintain that the potential for a will that is free does exist. It is this potential that we glimpse whenever we struggle to number all the options laid out before us.
  • Possibility
    2.4k
    What is free will?Fruitless

    In my view:

    Will is defined as the faculty by which one determines and initiates action. In spacetime, we observe this as cause and effect, but the will doesn’t operate in spacetime. All cause and effect is determined and initiated according to what we refer to as potential: the capacity to develop and achieve.

    As humans, we’re able to perceive this potential by correlating information from previous interactions, allowing us not only to determine or predict an action based on causal structures, but to arrange the causal structures that will initiate a desired effect. This is the basis of all our scientific and creative achievements. What we’re doing here is manipulating the very faculty by which an action is determined and initiated - before that action occurs in spacetime.

    The more we understand about the causal structures of the unfolding universe, the more freedom we have to determine and initiate actions before they occur - even our own actions.

    In applying this freedom of the will to our own actions, it helps to describe the process of cause and effect in relation to a yes/no choice with every interaction:

    I choose to be aware.
    I choose to connect.
    I choose to collaborate.
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