1. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    08 May '07 17:052 edits
    I experience myself as making decisions and choices between choice A or B. I choose A over B in the awareness that B is also a possible choice. I experience myself as being in control of my choice and being responsible for it. If it is the right choice I am to be given credit , if the wrong choice blame.

    I also experience myself as making the choice B and then choosing A at the last minute , thereby convincing me that B really is a possible choice. I even feel guilt and pleasure as a result of my good/bad choices. I expect others to hold me to account over my choices and I expect others to be accountable.

    I experience myself as being aware of my competing desires and wants and also aware that I can imagine myself doing A or B. I feel the tension between these two possibilities as I agonise over my important choices. If I am a world leader I feel the gravity of my decisions and pay special attention to trying to make the right one. Everything about my experience is consistent with me having free will.

    I experience myself as not being forced (on many occasions) to make one choice or the other , almost as if I really am free to choose either way. It feels as if there is often a reason x why I choose A but that this reason x is not enough to say that A was inevitable. So x only becomes the reason for choosing A AFTER I make that choice and not before. I seem to choose the reason x rather than the reason x forcing me to choose. Curious.

    There's something gone wrong with cause and effect because the reasoning behind my decision is not enough to determine my choice. So who's choosing ? Me and me alone? How does causality get interfered with so? I could say its randomness thats doing it , but that doesn't fit because my choices aren't random but reasoned instead.

    So what am I to conclude? If Descartes said "I think therefore I am" can I say "I choose freely therefore , I have free will"?

    Do I dismiss these experiences as illusionary? Who's in control here? Me? How can this be ?

    If I am programmed by nature then how can I be free? If I am not programmed by nature then what am I , supernatural? How can I be more than just a complex worm pre-programmed to choose A over B?

    If my real choices are due to random indeterminacy then how come they don't feel like they are? If I go by my experiences then the argument is overwhelmingly in favour of reasoned free will , but intellectually there is nothing but determinism and randomness , and my choices don't feel random nor do they feel determined. It feels as if I am making a free choice for a reason not random pot luck. It feels as if I REALLY can choose between A or B and that this is not a random choice but a rational choice.

    Either there is something very , very different between me and the worm (and not just that my mind is more complex) or I am just a complex worm who is under nature's illusionary spell , tricking me into thinking I am in control when logically I cannot be.

    How very queer!
  2. Hmmm . . .
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    08 May '07 17:341 edit
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    I experience myself as making decisions and choices between choice A or B. I choose A over B in the awareness that B is also a possible choice. I experience myself as being in control of my choice and being responsible for it. If it is the right choice I am to be given credit , if the wrong choice blame.

    I also experience myself as making the choic into thinking I am in control when logically I cannot be.

    How very queer!
    (1) I think one might have to distinguish between having “a reason” for making a choice and “reasoning” about it. The “reason” for making a choice may well be based on emotion, for example.

    (2) The “reason” may well have been subconscious prior to the choice, only becoming consciously apparent (if it does) after the fact.

    For example— I am walking the ridge behind my house, not paying close attention to my surroundings, when I suddenly realize I am about to step on a rattlesnake. The survival response kicks in (fight, flight or freeze); I immediately, and without conscious reflection, freeze, and wait until the snake crawls away—or I stomp it—or I flee (possibly the worst choice depending on how close the snake is, and depending on what kind of footwear I have: always boots up on the ridge).

    Only afterwards do I analyze (reason about) my chosen course of action, whether it was a “right” or a “wrong” one (e.g., I am now in the ambulance on the way to the hospital to be treated for snakebite). Or perhaps my initial freezing allows me a moment to reflect...

    Did I choose? Was my act simply random? Was it strictly determined? Was it motivated by fear? Was it informed by “instinct?” Does that make it less of a choice?

    What is the “I” that is involved in such a decision?

    If external circumstances impinge at all on my ability to choose—e.g., the rattlesnake, or gravity—does that mean that I have no freedom at all to choose? Or do I still have a range of freedom within conditional constraints (both internal and external)?

    Camus wondered if the only completely “free” act is to escape all existential conditionality by committing suicide... But even then, such a choice is made from within that very existential conditionality.

    _______________________________

    I will say that if everything is strictly determined (strict determinism), the illusion is complete: I still think I am choosing, on the basis of some evidence presumably, to believe that...
  3. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    08 May '07 18:49
    Originally posted by vistesd
    (1) I think one might have to distinguish between having “a reason” for making a choice and “reasoning” about it. The “reason” for making a choice may well be based on emotion, for example.

    (2) The “reason” may well have been subconscious prior to the choice, only becoming consciously apparent (if it does) after the fact.

    For example— I am walking ...[text shortened]... lete: I still think I am choosing, on the basis of some evidence presumably, to believe that...
    For example— I am walking the ridge behind my house, not paying close attention to my surroundings, when I suddenly realize I am about to step on a rattlesnake. The survival response kicks in (fight, flight or freeze); I immediately, and without conscious reflection, freeze, and wait until the snake crawls away—or I stomp it—or I flee (possibly the worst choice depending on how close the snake is, and depending on what kind of footwear I have: always boots up on the ridge).

    Only afterwards do I analyze (reason about) my chosen course of action, whether it was a “right” or a “wrong” one (e.g., I am now in the ambulance on the way to the hospital to be treated for snakebite). Or perhaps my initial freezing allows me a moment to reflect...

    Did I choose? Was my act simply random? Was it strictly determined? Was it motivated by fear? Was it informed by “instinct?” Does that make it less of a choice?

    What is the “I” that is involved in such a decision? ---VISTED

    I would say that in your scenario your actions were probably determined because your reactions were largely instinctive and governed by your primitive brain . There is no room to choose in this scenario. However believing in free will does not neccesitate that I believe all choices are free only that some are (particularly important ones like shall I choose God or not)
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    08 May '07 22:29
    You might be interested the Journal of Consciousness Studies website at
    http://www.imprint.co.uk/online_index.html

    I'm not sure if there is anything specifically about free will but it's certainly related and probably of interest.

    I'm slowly working through
    http://www.imprint.co.uk/chalmers.html

    --- Penguin.
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    09 May '07 03:39
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    ...free will does not neccesitate that I believe all choices are free only that some are (particularly important ones like shall I choose God or not)
    This thing about us having free will is not an original topic on RHP.

    I am one who believes that, in the context of religion, there is no such thing as 'free will'. We are all compelled to 'love' God; we are forced to worship God etc. Religious people argue that God gives us the freedom to choose him or not. If not, then God would respect our wishes; since we reject Him, He lets us have our way by not welcoming us into His Kingdom. Hence we're free to make our own choices. If we do something which is contrary to what God demands of us, then that too amounts to our free will. In that way, whatever negative outcome that might result from the choices that we make, we have ourselves to blame.

    That sounds fair enough to me. But that is not the end of the story. There are many, many cases where the choices made by one person may have serious consequences that affect others too. For example, a suicide bomber who blows himself up in a crowded place. Of course we can say that this guy probably deserved to die, because he made the choice to detonate the bomb on his body. Fine, but what about those around him who also perished in the explosion? Surely their death had nothing to do with their free will? What free will did they have?
  6. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    09 May '07 18:22
    Originally posted by ckoh1965
    This thing about us having free will is not an original topic on RHP.

    I am one who believes that, in the context of religion, there is no such thing as 'free will'. We are all compelled to 'love' God; we are forced to worship God etc. Religious people argue that God gives us the freedom to choose him or not. If not, then God would respect our wishes; si ...[text shortened]... n? Surely their death had nothing to do with their free will? What free will did they have?
    We obviously don#t have free will all the time , just enough to be able to choose God's ways or not.
  7. CA, USA
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    09 May '07 19:44
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    I experience myself as making decisions and choices between choice A or B. I choose A over B in the awareness that B is also a possible choice. I experience myself as being in control of my choice and being responsible for it. If it is the right choice I am to be given credit , if the wrong choice blame.

    I also experience myself as making the choic ...[text shortened]... into thinking I am in control when logically I cannot be.

    How very queer!
    Right away I experenced myself outside my body .. looking in.
    Again!
    It was 1967, Big Sur, CA and the Purple Owsley given me by the man himself.

    Are you "experenced?" .. because you seem to be straight trippin'

    You choose everything. You may choose not to choose, but that's a choice too .. to abdicate.
    That would make you a victim .. an easy out that many, many choose.

    You can be a victim of life or you can try to steer the ship through all the BS that life will thrown at you .. your choice.
    It's not so much the cards your dealt .. it's the way you play them.
    ................................

    "So what am I to conclude? If Descartes said "I think therefore I am" can I say "I choose freely therefore , I have free will"? "

    You have to "conclude" for yourself. That's part of the deal with being a human-being.
    You decide .. you must.
    You choose and then you take responsibilty for that choice .. and then you move on to the next choice ... ad infinitum
    .............................

    "Do I dismiss these experiences as illusionary? Who's in control here? Me? How can this be ?"

    You deal with those experences the best you can. You're in control unless you give it up.

    "HOW CAN THIS BE?"
    Some people say God is responsible .. others will tell you the mudpuddle/lightningbolt/Piltdown Man theory.

    Regardless .. IT IS! You're here. Your aware of yourself and your mortality. You have a finite amount of time to walk the Earth in this carnation.
    ................................

    "If I am programmed by nature then how can I be free? If I am not programmed by nature then what am I , supernatural? How can I be more than just a complex worm pre-programmed to choose A over B?"

    You're unique. One of a kind and (I believe) created for a purpose.
    Think about it.
    Figure it out.
    Maybe drift a little South of that intellect to your heart on occasion.
    ........................

    "How very queer?"

    Indeed, what a long strange trip it's been.
  8. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    09 May '07 20:43
    Originally posted by jammer
    Right away I experenced myself outside my body .. looking in.
    Again!
    It was 1967, Big Sur, CA and the Purple Owsley given me by the man himself.

    Are you "experenced?" .. because you seem to be straight trippin'

    You choose everything. You may choose not to choose, but that's a choice too .. to abdicate.
    That would make you a victim .. an easy out that ...[text shortened]...

    "How very queer?"

    Indeed, what a long strange trip it's been.
    You missed the point. The entire post was rhetorical. I believe in free will and personal responsibility and believe we can be more than programmed.
  9. CA, USA
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    09 May '07 20:57
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    You missed the point. The entire post was rhetorical. I believe in free will and personal responsibility and believe we can be more than programmed.
    YOU missed the point!

    Take the acid.
  10. Standard memberknightmeister
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    09 May '07 21:00
    Originally posted by jammer
    YOU missed the point!

    Take the acid.
    Tell me what the point was and I will tell you whether I missed it. The point of my thread was to engage with those who think determinism and free will can co-exist.
  11. CA, USA
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    09 May '07 21:09
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Tell me what the point was and I will tell you whether I missed it. The point of my thread was to engage with those who think determinism and free will can co-exist.
    Sounds like a good thread.
    When are you going to start it?

    This one starts out as a teenage rant and goes downhill from their.

    Here's a thought .. why not just pose a simple question in the first place rather than unravel 400 words while saying nothing at all?
  12. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    09 May '07 21:38
    Originally posted by jammer
    Sounds like a good thread.
    When are you going to start it?

    This one starts out as a teenage rant and goes downhill from their.

    Here's a thought .. why not just pose a simple question in the first place rather than unravel 400 words while saying nothing at all?
    You bothered to count them?

    If there wasn't something that engaged you on this thread then you wouldn't be here. But was it a free choice that you made to try and wind me up or was it determined? Maybe you experienced yourself as choosing to respond but alas it was illusionary?

    Now do you have a lucid point to make or not?
  13. CA, USA
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    09 May '07 21:53
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    You bothered to count them?

    If there wasn't something that engaged you on this thread then you wouldn't be here. But was it a free choice that you made to try and wind me up or was it determined? Maybe you experienced yourself as choosing to respond but alas it was illusionary?

    Now do you have a lucid point to make or not?
    I'm still waiting for your first lucid point. Do you have one?
  14. Standard memberknightmeister
    knightmeister
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    09 May '07 23:50
    Originally posted by jammer
    I'm still waiting for your first lucid point. Do you have one?
    Ok , pot noodle version coming up.....

    "how can one claim rational free will and reasonable control over our actions without reference to something supernatural? It doesn't add up "
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    10 May '07 07:26
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Ok , pot noodle version coming up.....

    "how can one claim rational free will and reasonable control over our actions without reference to something supernatural? It doesn't add up "
    Referring to the supernatural does not solve anything at all. It merely states that we are not entirely part of the universe. However it in no way solves the issues you are having problems with. I think the real problem is your desire not to be entirely natural. Some sort of phobia.
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