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(io9)   Free will doesn't exist. So, Fark Admin on duty tonight, green this. It's not subby talking, it's SCIENCE   (io9.com) divider line 86
    More: Interesting, motor cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, scientific evidence, nature news  
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2300 clicks; posted to Geek » on 15 Jan 2013 at 9:30 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-15 08:30:51 AM
I'm going to have to go ahead and disagree.  For example, you can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice, but if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.   Alternatively, you can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill.   Myself, I believe will choose a path that's clear, I will choose free will.
 
2013-01-15 08:39:25 AM
You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice
 
2013-01-15 08:39:45 AM

I_Am_Weasel: I'm going to have to go ahead and disagree.  For example, you can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice, but if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.   Alternatively, you can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill.   Myself, I believe will choose a path that's clear, I will choose free will.


Motherfu...well, that's one way to begin the day with a friendly voice.
 
2013-01-15 08:46:00 AM

GAT_00: I_Am_Weasel: I'm going to have to go ahead and disagree.  For example, you can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice, but if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.   Alternatively, you can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill.   Myself, I believe will choose a path that's clear, I will choose free will.

Motherfu...well, that's one way to begin the day with a friendly voice.


It's OK guys, philosophers and ploughmen, each must know his part, to sow a new mentality.
 
2013-01-15 08:46:44 AM

Ennuipoet: GAT_00: I_Am_Weasel: I'm going to have to go ahead and disagree.  For example, you can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice, but if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.   Alternatively, you can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill.   Myself, I believe will choose a path that's clear, I will choose free will.

Motherfu...well, that's one way to begin the day with a friendly voice.

It's OK guys, philosophers and ploughmen, each must know his part, to sow a new mentality.


Closer to the heart?
 
2013-01-15 08:48:11 AM

I_Am_Weasel: I'm going to have to go ahead and disagree.  For example, you can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice, but if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.   Alternatively, you can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill.   Myself, I believe will choose a path that's clear, I will choose free will.



All preordained, a prisoner in chains
 
2013-01-15 08:55:35 AM
You don't need scientific evidence of this. Free will is basically impossible at a logical level.
 
2013-01-15 09:09:42 AM

DamnYankees: You don't need scientific evidence of this. Free will is basically impossible at a logical level.


You have chosen not to be cool so you shall be cast out.
 
2013-01-15 09:14:10 AM

GAT_00: DamnYankees: You don't need scientific evidence of this. Free will is basically impossible at a logical level.

You have chosen not to be cool so you shall be cast out.


Look at you, judging people, as if you're some sort of moral authority.  Are you a priest?  Maybe of Syrinx?
 
2013-01-15 09:39:30 AM
Sure it does. I saw it.

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2013-01-15 09:43:37 AM
Wave function collapse

or

3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-01-15 09:54:01 AM
an increasing number of neuroscientists have started to tackle the issue head on - quite literally

So they actually threw their bodies at a physical manifestation of the issue? Really?
 
2013-01-15 09:55:32 AM
"If mittens chose to save baby penguin based on his beliefs, and mittens' beliefs are not in his direct control, does mittens really have free will?"

images1.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2013-01-15 10:07:18 AM
There isn't a minus one big enough for getting that song stuck in my head at midnight.
 
2013-01-15 10:11:16 AM
Well, it depends on what you think of as 'free will'. Your brain made the decision based on the inputs it had and its state beforehand. I think most people would think that your brain making its decision is free will.

If you want to go claim that free will is that you can do whatever you want and your brain is somehow not being ruled by the laws of physics, then of course you don't have it.
 
2013-01-15 10:12:53 AM
It seems to be a more complicated argument of conscious versus unconscious freewill. If you get into a habit of making decisions in a certain way and you unconsciously make that choice a little quicker in the future, it can still be considered free will.
 
2013-01-15 10:21:24 AM

Cythraul: Closer to the heart?


Somewhere around there at least.
 
2013-01-15 10:29:20 AM
"That's the joke. The Queen announces the decision, and she thinks that
her subjects are obeying her commands, but in reality, they have already
been told what to do. They're already reaching for their glasses of water."


Second Person, Present Tense by Daryl Gregory

=Smidge=
 
2013-01-15 10:30:24 AM
All this really shows is that consciousness of having made a decision lags a bit behind the decision-making process itself. We already knew that.
 
2013-01-15 10:35:15 AM
If you believe in free will, understand that you are, by definition, believing in something supernatural.

Everything your body does, all the way back to the nerve impulses that trigger it, to the brain potentials that preceded that impulse, to the sensory inputs that started the cascade of potentials: all of that is governed by the laws of physics (and by the chemistry and biology that derive from them). If you believe that Something Else exists that somehow, inside the head, can nudge those processes so that a different outcome occurs from what would have happened without it, and if you believe that Something Else is not itself governed by physical laws, that there is room in there for a "choice" or a "decision" or anything else you consider the hallmark of free will somewhere between physical inputs and physical outputs: that Something Else is essentially supernatural.

I'm not saying that free will doesn't exist; I am asking that we be clear what its existence requires, namely the belief that there is more to existence than is governed by physical law.

/Logically speaking, it's no more irrational to believe in a Big Wizard In The Sky than it is to believe in a Little Wizard In The Head.
 
2013-01-15 10:39:26 AM

czetie: If you believe in free will, understand that you are, by definition, believing in something supernatural.

Everything your body does, all the way back to the nerve impulses that trigger it, to the brain potentials that preceded that impulse, to the sensory inputs that started the cascade of potentials: all of that is governed by the laws of physics (and by the chemistry and biology that derive from them). If you believe that Something Else exists that somehow, inside the head, can nudge those processes so that a different outcome occurs from what would have happened without it, and if you believe that Something Else is not itself governed by physical laws, that there is room in there for a "choice" or a "decision" or anything else you consider the hallmark of free will somewhere between physical inputs and physical outputs: that Something Else is essentially supernatural.

I'm not saying that free will doesn't exist; I am asking that we be clear what its existence requires, namely the belief that there is more to existence than is governed by physical law.

/Logically speaking, it's no more irrational to believe in a Big Wizard In The Sky than it is to believe in a Little Wizard In The Head.


So Sigmund Freud is a god as well?
 
2013-01-15 10:49:13 AM
I'm getting a Rush out of this article....
 
2013-01-15 11:05:29 AM
Fools Rush In Where Angels Fear to Tread.
 
2013-01-15 11:11:07 AM
So.. Scientists have discovered lag?
 
2013-01-15 11:15:24 AM

czetie: If you believe in free will, understand that you are, by definition, believing in something supernatural.

Everything your body does, all the way back to the nerve impulses that trigger it, to the brain potentials that preceded that impulse, to the sensory inputs that started the cascade of potentials: all of that is governed by the laws of physics (and by the chemistry and biology that derive from them). If you believe that Something Else exists that somehow, inside the head, can nudge those processes so that a different outcome occurs from what would have happened without it, and if you believe that Something Else is not itself governed by physical laws, that there is room in there for a "choice" or a "decision" or anything else you consider the hallmark of free will somewhere between physical inputs and physical outputs: that Something Else is essentially supernatural.


At the quantum level, however, physics as we currently know it ceases to be entirely deterministic. There comes a point when we have to start speaking in probabilities, rather than in known quantities. Some of these probabilities are skewed hard enough to be useful -your computer is already full of parts that rely on quantum effects, even though "quantum computers" as we tend to think of the term are still way over the horizon- but things still run counter to expectation all the time, and this has to be accounted for.

A lot of the brain's functionality works based on electrical impulses: a level of physics where these sorts of effects can become significant. The ability to run counter to expectation makes free will possible. Of course, this alone isn't enough to prove that free will actually exists, but it does mean that classical physics alone aren't enough to disprove free will. The question remains open.
 
2013-01-15 11:16:42 AM

czetie: If you believe in free will, understand that you are, by definition, believing in something supernatural.

Everything your body does, all the way back to the nerve impulses that trigger it, to the brain potentials that preceded that impulse, to the sensory inputs that started the cascade of potentials: all of that is governed by the laws of physics (and by the chemistry and biology that derive from them). If you believe that Something Else exists that somehow, inside the head, can nudge those processes so that a different outcome occurs from what would have happened without it, and if you believe that Something Else is not itself governed by physical laws, that there is room in there for a "choice" or a "decision" or anything else you consider the hallmark of free will somewhere between physical inputs and physical outputs: that Something Else is essentially supernatural.

I'm not saying that free will doesn't exist; I am asking that we be clear what its existence requires, namely the belief that there is more to existence than is governed by physical law.

/Logically speaking, it's no more irrational to believe in a Big Wizard In The Sky than it is to believe in a Little Wizard In The Head.


That is very well stated.
 
2013-01-15 11:20:34 AM

Millennium: At the quantum level, however, physics as we currently know it ceases to be entirely deterministic. There comes a point when we have to start speaking in probabilities, rather than in known quantities. Some of these probabilities are skewed hard enough to be useful -your computer is already full of parts that rely on quantum effects, even though "quantum computers" as we tend to think of the term are still way over the horizon- but things still run counter to expectation all the time, and this has to be accounted for.

A lot of the brain's functionality works based on electrical impulses: a level of physics where these sorts of effects can become significant. The ability to run counter to expectation makes free will possible. Of course, this alone isn't enough to prove that free will actually exists, but it does mean that classical physics alone aren't enough to disprove free will. The question remains open.


"Indeterminism," the article mentions.

Those quantum spooky and strange behaviors are still governed by physical laws, even if we don't completely understand them yet. Free will still suggests that we are able to apply an external force to those quantum reactions in our brain in a way that leads further reactions that wouldn't otherwise happen.
 
2013-01-15 11:24:06 AM

jonny_q: Those quantum spooky and strange behaviors are still governed by physical laws, even if we don't completely understand them yet. Free will still suggests that we are able to apply an external force to those quantum reactions in our brain in a way that leads further reactions that wouldn't otherwise happen.


I think you're working with a different definition of 'free will' than most people will agree with. Just because there is one outcome that is going to happen doesn't mean that you had no control. That'd be like arguing the CPU has no control over a computer. Yes, it will always give the same outputs given the same inputs and state but it's certainly in control.
 
2013-01-15 11:28:41 AM
I've had a pet theory about free will that hit me a few months ago. This may sound like stoner talk, but bear with it for some interesting thoughts.

What if free will is a type of experience, but not actually real from the viewpoint of the big picture that is out of reach for natural human perception?

First I'll just list off some of my assumptions:
-Being humans we have limited empirical sense of the world around us.
-Our behavior is predetermined according to the laws of physics which govern the biochemical reactions in our body and nervous system.
-Our brain has the ability to record new information when it is encountered (e.g. walking down the street and you see a new model car you've never seen. The memory sticks out in your mind and viola, new information in yo brain)
-Biochemical structures and processes cause information to be recorded, and new information recorded in the brain changes the predetermined course of the brain that was in place before the new information appeared.

The idea:
Humans are not omniscient and daily encounter new things in the environment which create new behavior that could not have been predicted by ourself or others. In addition, it is possible to create "information about information". For instance, you may memorize the phrase "I want to learn new things" which "programs" your own brain to be able to occasionally remember to change your predetermined behavior to non-determined learning and exploration.

Along with meta-information, information can be created spontaneously (subjectively surprising/unexpected information). The human brain interprets the world around it and each person interprets it a bit differently, which provides a personal experience that no one else can quite replicate. The world with it's physical structures consists of information. Each person has their very own two-part combination of a unique interpretation of the world and the actual information from the world. These two things combine into unique, new information that is recorded in the brain. This new info from the interpretation/environment combo appears spontaneous and almost "magical" from our limited and varied viewpoints. Just like any other information, the brain records it and then the deterministic course of behavior becomes changed.

The craziest part is that the concept of free will and choices is itself information. What if in the distance past, pre-humans didn't have free will? But then they slowly evolved language abilities. Meanwhile, one group of these pre-humans suddenly had an epiphany related to concepts of "choices" and free will. Nothing magical, just a coincidence of things in the environment and a person with a slightly different brain structure due to random genetic differences. Once the "free will" idea appeared spontaneously, all that person had to do was start talking about to everyone.

Voila, free will out of thin air and in a deterministic universe. An omniscient being could zoom out and see all in the universe, and spontaneous free will would be seen as an obvious illusion. However, to humans free will is as real as the desk I'm in front of me because with limited perceptions, free will is an experience.

One cool concept that pops out of this line of thinking is that creativity = the creation of novel information = free will = change oneself or others. Which means that free will doesn't allow for creativity, but creativity enables free will.
 
2013-01-15 11:35:38 AM

Millennium: All this really shows is that consciousness of having made a decision lags a bit behind the decision-making process itself. We already knew that.


Also, doesn't it make logical sense that movement takes an unconscious action BEFORE a conscious one? Isn't that the whole point of reflexes, such as jumping out of the path of a car? You are reacting to things that are happening too fast for your conscious mind to process. In this instance, you've made a "conscious" decision to move and your unconscious mind prepares itself accordingly.

czetie: If you believe in free will, understand that you are, by definition, believing in something supernatural.

***snip***


Or there is a way that "consciousness" fits into the laws of physics, but we cannot define it yet, whereas there is no necessity for a divine being to exist. We may in fact discover that you are right, and there is no free will, at that point, you would be correct.
 
2013-01-15 11:46:03 AM

roc6783: Or there is a way that "consciousness" fits into the laws of physics, but we cannot define it yet, whereas there is no necessity for a divine being to exist. We may in fact discover that you are right, and there is no free will, at that point, you would be correct.


ntorus demands that you read his post.
*crosses arms*
 
2013-01-15 11:49:44 AM

torusXL: ntorus demands that you read his post.*crosses arms*


wat i can't type

That would be "torusXL" demands.
 
2013-01-15 11:57:57 AM
I remember this game.

xu4.sourceforge.net
/Ho eyo he hum
 
2013-01-15 11:59:36 AM

torusXL: torusXL: ntorus demands that you read his post.*crosses arms*

wat i can't type

That would be "torusXL" demands.


I'm going to call that the "Men in Black Marble" theory.
 
2013-01-15 12:02:29 PM
subwizard: So, Fark Admin on duty tonight, green this.

i2.kym-cdn.com

nature made me post this, woah
 
2013-01-15 12:03:17 PM

Millennium: A lot of the brain's functionality works based on electrical impulses: a level of physics where these [quantum] sorts of effects can become significant. The ability to run counter to expectation makes free will possible. Of course, this alone isn't enough to prove that free will actually exists, but it does mean that classical physics alone aren't enough to disprove free will.


That's a popular argument, and it does help in one important way, but on closer inspection it really doesn't change the fundamental assertion of the supernatural.

The implication is that free will occurs when an indeterminate quantum process falls this way rather than that way. But it still requires that Something outside of the normal physical process -- in this case, a quantum process -- influences the outcome. Without the intervention of free will the process would still fall one way or the other non-deterministically, producing an output in accordance with the quantum probabilities, and from the outside would look exactly like free will to an observer unable to know in advance what the probabilities were. In other words, it replaces determinism with randomness, not with choice.

However, it does help in one important way. If your claim is that quantum processes in the brain provide an opening for the free will to "put a thumb on the scales", so to speak, by tipping the quantum process one way or the other, then you have the interesting possibility that free will can affect an otherwise physical process without the sleight of hand being revealed in any breach of physical law, because any single quantum event is non-deterministic, so long as the overall quantum probabilities are respected.

The question remains open.

If you mean the question of free will, I agree completely. Conversely, the question of whether free will is supernatural is not open, IMO. Allowing for quantum indeterminacy by itself only introduces randomness, not choice. Personally I like to believe that free will can operate by nudging quantum events at key moments, but I can't deny that this is still a belief in something supernatural that does the nudging.
 
2013-01-15 12:04:50 PM
If physicalism is true, you most certainly do not have free will; you're just your brain, and your brain is a physical system. We have essentially no evidence that physicalism isn't true, and lots of evidence that it is. We're just machines. That's not so bad.

That being said, I always thought the argument that "if you don't have free will no one is responsible for their actions so we can't punish them" is stupid. We have free will "from our perspective" - we can't see the inner workings of our brains and know what we're about to do. Plus, if we're just systems, then systems that need to be locked up to avoid harming other systems should be.
 
2013-01-15 12:09:42 PM

Lord Dimwit: If physicalism is true, you most certainly do not have free will; you're just your brain, and your brain is a physical system. We have essentially no evidence that physicalism isn't true, and lots of evidence that it is. We're just machines. That's not so bad.

That being said, I always thought the argument that "if you don't have free will no one is responsible for their actions so we can't punish them" is stupid. We have free will "from our perspective" - we can't see the inner workings of our brains and know what we're about to do. Plus, if we're just systems, then systems that need to be locked up to avoid harming other systems should be.


Oh, man, this isn't happening, it only thinks its happening. -Han Solo
 
2013-01-15 12:12:07 PM

czetie: The implication is that free will occurs when an indeterminate quantum process falls this way rather than that way.


You're just making a bunch of pseudo-science assumptions and babble.

The subatomic particles that make up our brains are constantly being measured by things like ambient heat and kinetic collisions, so they probably are unable to hang out in superpositions. And so far there's been no evidence that quantum wave collapses cause behavior and thoughts. Show some evidence from a reputable source and maybe I'll rethink that.

Even if quantum wave collapse affected things, wouldn't we just be acting completely random? I mean, true random number generators work by using quantum effects. Quantum effects truly are random as far as scientists have found so far. And believe me, they have been looking REALLY HARD and for a LONG TIME.
 
2013-01-15 12:23:20 PM

roc6783: czetie: If you believe in free will, understand that you are, by definition, believing in something supernatural.

***snip***

Or there is a way that "consciousness" fits into the laws of physics, but we cannot define it yet, whereas there is no necessity for a divine being to exist. We may in fact discover that you are right, and there is no free will, at that point, you would be correct.


Actually, I do believe in free will; I'm just very upfront that doing so is to believe in the supernatural.

So to be clear (rather than provocative): it's perfectly possible that free will exists but that a divine being doesn't. In fact, that's my own preferred belief system. The point I was trying to make is that it's illogical to criticize belief in the divine on the grounds of the supernatural, as some Farkers do, without equally criticizing belief in free will on the same grounds. Both or either could be right or wrong, but both require equally a belief in something that operates beyond the laws of physics. (My criticism of belief in the divine is that the proposed divine beings appear, on the evidence generally presented for them, to be either indistinguishable from chance or complete dicks.)

However, it is also possible that "consciousness" exists without free will. What we call consciousness may turn out to be nothing more than an elaborate narrative that the brain tells itself about the purely physical outcomes of other brain processes, basically little more than a voice chasing the rest of the brain around about two tenths of a second behind the real action, going "yeah, I meant to do that! And that!". It may be entirely incidental to the real purpose of the brain, which is to survive well enough to propagate its genes, (much like a panel of ESPN analysts "explaining" that Team A won the football game because "they wanted it more", when in fact they won because they scored more points.) In that sense "consciousness" may be entirely within physical laws -- and that is true whether or not free will exists on top of consciousness.
 
2013-01-15 12:31:04 PM

czetie: However, it is also possible that "consciousness" exists without free will. What we call consciousness may turn out to be nothing more than an elaborate narrative that the brain tells itself about the purely physical outcomes of other brain processes, basically little more than a voice chasing the rest of the brain around about two tenths of a second behind the real action, going "yeah, I meant to do that! And that!".


I don't buy this argument at all. Regardless of it you thought about it first, the reasons for your actions are still the same and still determined by you.

Think about it this way. If you accidentally stick your hand into scalding hot water you will, without a conscious thought, jerk your hand away. If I ask you 'Why did you jerk your hand away?' you'll tell me because it was scalding hot. The reason that you told me and the reason you did it are the exact same, even if you weren't aware of the reason while you performed the action.
 
2013-01-15 12:41:30 PM

czetie: If you believe in free will, understand that you are, by definition, believing in something supernatural.

Everything your body does, all the way back to the nerve impulses that trigger it, to the brain potentials that preceded that impulse, to the sensory inputs that started the cascade of potentials: all of that is governed by the laws of physics (and by the chemistry and biology that derive from them). If you believe that Something Else exists that somehow, inside the head, can nudge those processes so that a different outcome occurs from what would have happened without it, and if you believe that Something Else is not itself governed by physical laws, that there is room in there for a "choice" or a "decision" or anything else you consider the hallmark of free will somewhere between physical inputs and physical outputs: that Something Else is essentially supernatural.

I'm not saying that free will doesn't exist; I am asking that we be clear what its existence requires, namely the belief that there is more to existence than is governed by physical law.

/Logically speaking, it's no more irrational to believe in a Big Wizard In The Sky than it is to believe in a Little Wizard In The Head.


What distinction can be drawn between a physical chain reaction and a Little Wizard anyway? Should we expect any difference at all between the actions dictated by a chemical states established by genetic coding and modified by the environment over time and actions dictated by a Little Wizard who's making decisions based on innate personality modified by experience?
 
2013-01-15 12:57:05 PM

czetie: roc6783: czetie: If you believe in free will, understand that you are, by definition, believing in something supernatural.

***snip***

Or there is a way that "consciousness" fits into the laws of physics, but we cannot define it yet, whereas there is no necessity for a divine being to exist. We may in fact discover that you are right, and there is no free will, at that point, you would be correct.

Actually, I do believe in free will; I'm just very upfront that doing so is to believe in the supernatural.

So to be clear (rather than provocative): it's perfectly possible that free will exists but that a divine being doesn't. In fact, that's my own preferred belief system. The point I was trying to make is that it's illogical to criticize belief in the divine on the grounds of the supernatural, as some Farkers do, without equally criticizing belief in free will on the same grounds.

***snip***


I said "We may in fact discover that you are right, and there is no free will, at that point, you would be correct." Just because you say, "free will is supernatural in origin, therefore, you cannot believe in free will, yet criticize people who believe in divine beings." That's begging the question as your initial premise has no supporting evidence, yet it must be true for your conclusion to be true. If you have some sort of evidence beyond your own opinion, please feel free to share it.
 
2013-01-15 12:57:28 PM

torusXL: czetie: The implication is that free will occurs when an indeterminate quantum process falls this way rather than that way.

You're just making a bunch of pseudo-science assumptions and babble.

The subatomic particles that make up our brains are constantly being measured by things like ambient heat and kinetic collisions, so they probably are unable to hang out in superpositions. And so far there's been no evidence that quantum wave collapses cause behavior and thoughts. Show some evidence from a reputable source and maybe I'll rethink that.

Even if quantum wave collapse affected things, wouldn't we just be acting completely random? I mean, true random number generators work by using quantum effects. Quantum effects truly are random as far as scientists have found so far. And believe me, they have been looking REALLY HARD and for a LONG TIME.


That's a really compelling argument... against things I didn't actually say. In fact, in your second paragraph you're actually agreeing with me and don't even know it because you're so busy being snarky and acting smart.

I'm not saying that "quantum wave collapses cause behavior and thoughts". I'm saying:

Step 1. It's possible (not proven) that there are quantum processes in the brain. In fact, it's well established that quantum processes do play a role in such things as some bird's navigation, where the quantum state is preserved for a surprisingly long time. See Wired, for example, for a lay write up. Now this is a long way from proving that quantum effects exist elsewhere in the brain, but it does pretty solidly dispose of assertion that quantum superpositions can't persist for usefully long periods inside biological systems. They can and they do. (They also play a role in photosynthesis, as an aside).

Step 2. Even if quantum processes do play a role in the brain, by itself that doesn't get you any further because it just replaces determinism with quantum probabilities, not free will. I said this pretty clearly, at least for anybody with a modicum of reading comprehension. You even agreed with it without realizing that I'd said it. So well done.

Step 3. HOWEVER, the existence of quantum superpositions in the brain would open the possibility for something other than a physical process to nudge the collapse one way or the other, and that this nudging would be the essence of what we call "free will". Since any given collapse appears to be truly random (as you yourself said) it would be impossible to prove that a given collapse had been nudged from what it "should" have been -- and this is a critical distinction between a quantum system and a purely classical one. It would only be possible to tell if one could observe a large number of collapses in a brain and discover whether collectively they diverge from the random. (There are two possible get-outs here: if somebody ever did measure quantum processes in the brain, we might catch "the wizard at work" and see non-random distributions; or there might be "rules" that ensure that the overall effect still appears random even though individual events are not, which in turn might have the effect of placing limits on how much free will you can exercise.)

Step 4. IF all of the above is true, then BY DEFINITION the thing doing the nudging would be supernatural, since its decision of which way to nudge is not itself determined by physical laws.

In short: If free will exists, even if it is exercised through hypothesized quantum processes, it's still supernatural.

Now, if you're done being mad as hell about things that I didn't say but which obviously bother you enormously, you're welcome to respond to what I actually did say.
 
2013-01-15 12:57:55 PM

roc6783: Just because you say, "free will is supernatural in origin, therefore, you cannot believe in free will, yet criticize people who believe in divine beings" doesn't make it so.


FTFM
 
2013-01-15 01:04:03 PM

adenosine: czetie: However, it is also possible that "consciousness" exists without free will. What we call consciousness may turn out to be nothing more than an elaborate narrative that the brain tells itself about the purely physical outcomes of other brain processes, basically little more than a voice chasing the rest of the brain around about two tenths of a second behind the real action, going "yeah, I meant to do that! And that!".

I don't buy this argument at all. Regardless of it you thought about it first, the reasons for your actions are still the same and still determined by you.

Think about it this way. If you accidentally stick your hand into scalding hot water you will, without a conscious thought, jerk your hand away. If I ask you 'Why did you jerk your hand away?' you'll tell me because it was scalding hot. The reason that you told me and the reason you did it are the exact same, even if you weren't aware of the reason while you performed the action.


I'm not sure what point you're trying to make?

Unconscious actions certainly exist. The open question is whether free choices exist, determined by a "you" that is somehow distinct from the physical processes of your brain. It may turn out that explanations such as "I went to the opera because I like Wagner" are exactly as descriptive and no more indicative of free will than "I pulled my hand out because the water was scalding hot".

In other words, you're confusing the difference between unconscious and conscious actions with the difference between determined and free actions.
 
2013-01-15 01:04:11 PM

czetie: In short: If free will exists, even if it is exercised through hypothesized quantum processes, it's still supernatural.


You've pulled so much out of your ass that I can't believe you haven't yet turned inside out.

Quantum processes are a physical process. They're about as supernatural as when I take a shiat and the turd disappears in the toilet because it slipped down into the drain too far.
 
2013-01-15 01:04:35 PM

BigLuca: Wave function collapse

or

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 700x296]


www.jonathanrosenbaum.com

so then we are controlled by aliens? that is deep
 
2013-01-15 01:10:12 PM
IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED THAT YOUR COGNATIVE PROCESSES WILL LEAD TO ANTI-SOCIAL OUTCOMES 76% OF THE TIME.

YOUR IMMEDIATE TERMINATION IS DEMANDED FOR THE BETTERMENT OF SOCIETY.

HAVE A NICE DAY!
 
2013-01-15 01:15:47 PM
everything is how god intended. there is no reason for me to prey, or get upset and kids getting murded in school or my grandma who died to a drunk driver

god has a plan, he has it all figured out. I dont know why christans get so upset, its his plan
 
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