"I think therefore I am." Descarte's most basic tenet of free will. But how "free" is it?The more I study this and make observations of the people around me, the more I am convinced that free will is nothing more than an illusion.

 

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke.

 

Now let me rephrase Clarke's third law in context of this discussion:

 

"Any sufficiently complex memoryplex is indistinguishable from free will."

 

Note the phrase memoryplex, not memeplex. I'm referring here to our collective memories from the earliest retained memory right up to this instant. That instant has now passed (a few milliseconds ago) and as you continue to read, those instants are similarly passing into your collective memoryplex.

 

If our decisions are based on what we know (assuming that we're not mentally ill) and what we know is the memories we have formed, then free will simply isn't.

 

I've thought about this for some time now and I'm only summarising here, but if this is correct, it has frightening implications. For instance, what you've just read, based on what you already know, has influenced you - and you have no choice in what you're about to do: reply, ignore, digest, etc... everything is based on your experience to date plus this last few dozen words of argument.

 

So how "free" is your will?

Tags: free will

Views: 128

Replies to This Discussion

on a side note, I just realized its interesting that what I just mentioned is a common tactic of theists when they try to convert people.  It might end up being arguments from personal experience, but since its not a debate, I don't think it would be a problem.

 

 

I'll stop discussing it on here and save it for the group.

Count me in, Park.

 

We might also discuss, here or elsewhere, how Disney Channel's young stars go so far off the rails. The part of my hypothesis that deals with this suggests that these children are, in essence, pandered to to such a degree that they form memoryplexes which are completely unsuitable for the adult world - even in entertainment.

Examples include McAuley Culkin, LiLo and Miley Cyrus.

I'm also concerned that ordinary kids are being affected by a diet of children's entertainment where the children featured are hitting miles above their weight purely because the adult writers are not producing child-sensitive material.

And Park - cheer up, the world's about to end!

Glad to hear your in! 

might I say, about the disney star thing~ they seem to go off of the rails because not only do they become a commodity, but their constant responsibility to their parent corporation is immense.  Not to mention they are exposed to the lunacy that is hollywood/entertainment industry, the heartland of scientology; I fear that wacky religion is only the tip of the iceberg.

I think the "insufferable child star" stereotype is fallacious~ they end up being subservient to  many many people who are involved in each production; in turn they develop an authority complex... and when they reach an age where they are actually cut off from that constant authority, they don't know how to react, and thus end up going off the deep end.

 

thats pure conjecture on my part.

Glad to see you've opened the group - just tell me where to sign! Should invite Richard Healy and Zac Polk - for some different, but thoughtful perspectives.

 

There's an old addage - you reap what you sew. It's probably biblical in origin, but I don't care - something in the bible are fair... it's the rest that's bullshit.

 

I think these poor children - seen as commodities by the parents and studios - are cash cows and the exposure to this unreality damages them permanently. The Olsen twins are an interesting pair to study in this regard.

 

These examples lend much credence to this theory - that we're controlled (largely) by our memoryplexs - and it's very much a case of garbage in, garbage out.

 

I am now gonna pour my collective garbage into that pit of a bed and listen to some radio comedy - the way only the British can do it!

Hey guys, group is up.  Just go to the "groups" tab and search "reforming," it should be the first one that pops up (out of 5)

 

again, group is called "reforming counter apologetics"

I've heard this idea before and see why you seem to think that it is a revelation, but each of us are a sum of our experiences plus our genetic attributes that points us in a particular way of thinking. All you have done is be successful in concluding that one can expect to react in a similar way with the same stimuli. The keyword is "similar". The difference is to some degree based on genetics and that is where the free will comes in. All of us are unique genetically so that when we are influenced by a stimulus, we have our own individual responses.

Whether you want to call this free will is up to you. Quite frankly, I find discussing such topics often useless because the evolution of human language is still so primitive which makes conveying ideas to others often a waste of time. After all, we create our language based on usage not on what is real. Until we create a repertoire of words that better reflect reality instead of our perception of it then we might be able to communicate well enough with each other so that we will understand each other clearly. If this happened, we might  actually evolve at the same rate socially as we have technologically

Of course, most don't understand that there is a difference between our perception of reality and actual  reality. Probably has a lot to do with defining ourselves as something special in relationship to everything outside our own physical bodies. We are insignificant in the greater scheme of things. In all likelihood, we will become extinct due to some catastrophic event just like so many other species on the planet. No we aren't special and the world doesn't revolve around us. Our perceptions are fallible so we need to question our perceptions and compare them with what we actually know to be accurate.

Bottom line is this. Your conclusions are based on your perceptions while using primitive communication skills that we all possess because of our faulty language. Most of us are ignorant of this because we seem to think that our perceptions are infallible. Obviously, they are not.

Forgive me if I don't respond to your response.

Not at all - and who said it was a revelation?

 

Forgive me if I don't give a fuck about your opinions then.

Nice comment. Language and definition are integral to philospohy and the source of much frustration and ignorance. But I do believe it is possible to define words objectively by retaining only the essential qualities of a thing and omitting its particular measurements of these qualities. People refuse to do this because of their emotional committment to their underlying principles. In the case of choice, freedom is not an essential aspect. Dependence is. Choice is only relatievly free and one can only have relative control. Freedom and control are relative terms describing a relationship between entities. Choice is dependent. Therefore choice is easy to understand as a causally determined mental calculation where there was previously only a probability.

Also, it is our judgment that is fallible, not our senses. Our senses do only what they are built to. They do not make decision or comparisons to be valid or true, they only convey pieces of the environment. Our brains however can incorrectly interpret these signals, but the signals cannot be incorrect in and of themsleves.

Thank you for this. I have been reading, hoping to learn, and your reply has stated it in a way that I understand the argument. Thanks.

Thank you for letting me know, I get frustrated when I explain things to people and they seem crystal clear to me and then they insist something irrational. I appreciate it.

Also, it is our judgment that is fallible, not our senses.

 

We don't really know that...and in fact we know many ways in which are senses are limited. 

SG,

We don't know that? Contradiction. Senses are primary, axiomatic, and are necessary for knowledge. If your senses aren't valid how do you know that? With what are you verifying that statement? Proof that relies on reducing concepts to sense-perceptual evidence? Senses are valid and relay only the information presented to them. They do not interpret and change the information at all. If we did not have reliable instruments to perceive the world, knowledge would not be possible, nor would cognition. This has nothing to do with the fact that our senses are limited. What would an unlimited sense be, anyway? See everything? Hear everything? Smell with your eyes? 

RSS

Support Atheist Nexus

Donate Today

Donate

 

Help Nexus When You Buy From Amazon

Amazon

AJY

 

© 2014   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service