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help me understand

 
NotaTrumpSupporter
 
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NotaTrumpSupporter
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16 February 2018 23:35
 

For the sake of argument, let’s just assume I am a ‘bear of very little brain’.  Explain this to me like i’m 6. No big words. Please.

Ok, so I fully get that genetics, chemistry, culture and society affect our behavior. No argument there. No man is an island. No one is truly master and commander of his/her own soul.

There’s a huge jump though, in my mind to the statement “there’s no free will”.

Listen, I just lifted my right big toe off the ground. I thought to myself, “go ahead, lift that big toe of the ground”, and lo, it did.

And now it is back on the ground. I just relaxed whatever muscles I used to lift it, and gravity did the rest. (I actually pushed a little bit into the floor just as a further assertion of my will!)

I have a lot of difficulty understanding how genetics, chemistry, societal cultural influences, etc, made it so I had no choice in the matter of lifting my toe from the ground… and then putting it back.

I understand that there is this discussion about how I didn’t understand my decision to lift my toe until after I actually made the decision. That seems to me an indication that we don’t understand our decision making processes completely, as opposed to an argument that we actually don’t have a decision making process.

I think sam just overstates his argument. He throws in this caveat often about how free will “as most people understand it” doesn’t exist. I don’t know how most people understand it. I just know that. . . my toe is lifted off the floor again. . . and now it is back down. And I did that all by my own self.

How far free will goes and how far genetics, chemistry, etc. limit that sense of free will is a wonderful topic for discussion. But to suggest that I had no choice but to lift my toe just seems silly to me.

Please, I’ve listened to him discuss this issue a thousand times now it seems, and I have grown so frustrated with no one addressing these questions I have.

 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
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17 February 2018 07:05
 
NotaTrumpSupporter - 16 February 2018 11:35 PM

For the sake of argument, let’s just assume I am a ‘bear of very little brain’.  Explain this to me like i’m 6. No big words. Please.

Ok, so I fully get that genetics, chemistry, culture and society affect our behavior. No argument there. No man is an island. No one is truly master and commander of his/her own soul.

There’s a huge jump though, in my mind to the statement “there’s no free will”.

Listen, I just lifted my right big toe off the ground. I thought to myself, “go ahead, lift that big toe of the ground”, and lo, it did.

And now it is back on the ground. I just relaxed whatever muscles I used to lift it, and gravity did the rest. (I actually pushed a little bit into the floor just as a further assertion of my will!)

I have a lot of difficulty understanding how genetics, chemistry, societal cultural influences, etc, made it so I had no choice in the matter of lifting my toe from the ground… and then putting it back.

I understand that there is this discussion about how I didn’t understand my decision to lift my toe until after I actually made the decision. That seems to me an indication that we don’t understand our decision making processes completely, as opposed to an argument that we actually don’t have a decision making process.

I think sam just overstates his argument. He throws in this caveat often about how free will “as most people understand it” doesn’t exist. I don’t know how most people understand it. I just know that. . . my toe is lifted off the floor again. . . and now it is back down. And I did that all by my own self.

How far free will goes and how far genetics, chemistry, etc. limit that sense of free will is a wonderful topic for discussion. But to suggest that I had no choice but to lift my toe just seems silly to me.

Please, I’ve listened to him discuss this issue a thousand times now it seems, and I have grown so frustrated with no one addressing these questions I have.

I agree.  Not everyone here subscribes to the idea that we do not have free will.  Personally, I believe that it is my decision whether or not to lift my toe from the ground.

IMO, to accept such an idea in its totality would mean that none of us is responsible for our own actions, and that nothing we do has any true meaning.

Sam Harris appears to live his life as if he has free will, and that others do the same.  For example, his website asks readers to “please consider subscribing to this website”, as if they could decide to do so.

FYI, there is much discussion of this issue on other threads under this topic that might interest you; many people have difficulty with this concept.

[ Edited: 17 February 2018 07:31 by Jan_CAN]
 
 
Jb8989
 
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Jb8989
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17 February 2018 07:40
 

First you have to imagine that genetics, chemistry, and cultural factors etc. all technically adhere to the same laws of nature. Then you have to imagine that the laws of nature are all encompassing, and that they have been since the beginning of time. Next you have to separate the perceptual experience of choice from what tecnically is considered will. Having no free will doesn’t mean that you’re not faced with conscious decisions, or that you can’t force your body to move, it just means that every environmental pressure that came before you experiencing making your toe move put you there with that thought.

 
 
Jb8989
 
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Jb8989
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17 February 2018 08:04
 
Jan_CAN - 17 February 2018 07:05 AM

IMO, to accept such an idea in its totality would mean that none of us is responsible for our own actions, and that nothing we do has any true meaning.

Being socially responsible and being biologically responsible might in the long run wind up being conceptually separable issues. The idea that all thoughts, emotions and actions are predetermined doesn’t mean that group behaviors can’t evolve and modulate for the better over time with the right systematic mechanism put in place. It’s an issue with at what cost? And meaning is manufactured, but that doesn’t make it any less meaningful.

 
 
GAD
 
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GAD
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17 February 2018 09:27
 

It’s very simple, everything you do is predicated on everything that came before you did it.

 
 
NotaTrumpSupporter
 
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NotaTrumpSupporter
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17 February 2018 11:13
 
Jan_CAN - 17 February 2018 07:05 AM
NotaTrumpSupporter - 16 February 2018 11:35 PM

For the sake of argument, let’s just assume I am a ‘bear of very little brain’.  Explain this to me like i’m 6. No big words. Please.

Ok, so I fully get that genetics, chemistry, culture and society affect our behavior. No argument there. No man is an island. No one is truly master and commander of his/her own soul.

There’s a huge jump though, in my mind to the statement “there’s no free will”.

Listen, I just lifted my right big toe off the ground. I thought to myself, “go ahead, lift that big toe of the ground”, and lo, it did.

And now it is back on the ground. I just relaxed whatever muscles I used to lift it, and gravity did the rest. (I actually pushed a little bit into the floor just as a further assertion of my will!)

I have a lot of difficulty understanding how genetics, chemistry, societal cultural influences, etc, made it so I had no choice in the matter of lifting my toe from the ground… and then putting it back.

I understand that there is this discussion about how I didn’t understand my decision to lift my toe until after I actually made the decision. That seems to me an indication that we don’t understand our decision making processes completely, as opposed to an argument that we actually don’t have a decision making process.

I think sam just overstates his argument. He throws in this caveat often about how free will “as most people understand it” doesn’t exist. I don’t know how most people understand it. I just know that. . . my toe is lifted off the floor again. . . and now it is back down. And I did that all by my own self.

How far free will goes and how far genetics, chemistry, etc. limit that sense of free will is a wonderful topic for discussion. But to suggest that I had no choice but to lift my toe just seems silly to me.

Please, I’ve listened to him discuss this issue a thousand times now it seems, and I have grown so frustrated with no one addressing these questions I have.

I agree.  Not everyone here subscribes to the idea that we do not have free will.  Personally, I believe that it is my decision whether or not to lift my toe from the ground.

IMO, to accept such an idea in its totality would mean that none of us is responsible for our own actions, and that nothing we do has any true meaning.

Sam Harris appears to live his life as if he has free will, and that others do the same.  For example, his website asks readers to “please consider subscribing to this website”, as if they could decide to do so.

FYI, there is much discussion of this issue on other threads under this topic that might interest you; many people have difficulty with this concept.

THANKS SO MUCH!!!

 

 
NotaTrumpSupporter
 
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NotaTrumpSupporter
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17 February 2018 14:31
 
Jb8989 - 17 February 2018 07:40 AM

First you have to imagine that genetics, chemistry, and cultural factors etc. all technically adhere to the same laws of nature. Then you have to imagine that the laws of nature are all encompassing, and that they have been since the beginning of time. Next you have to separate the perceptual experience of choice from what tecnically is considered will. Having no free will doesn’t mean that you’re not faced with conscious decisions, or that you can’t force your body to move, it just means that every environmental pressure that came before you experiencing making your toe move put you there with that thought.

remember, I’m a bear of very small brain.

Are you saying that I had no choice but to move my toe? Or that I did but that the choice was constrained.

Taking it a step further, would you say my great, great, great, great grand mother, through genetics had an influence on me moving my toe, but i was merely a spectator?

And one step beyond that, although I can’t influence at all my own decision to move my toe, 3 centuries from now, when my great, great grand child moves his or her toe, I will have an influence that? I can’t influence my own toe but I can influence the toe of a child yet to be born?

I think at some level of control over my toe. You’ll have to convince me my ancestors do and i don’t!

 

 
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17 February 2018 14:33
 
GAD - 17 February 2018 09:27 AM

It’s very simple, everything you do is predicated on everything that came before you did it.

But it isn’t. There’s no predicate to my moving the toe that made that a motion I was compelled to make. I just felt like it.

 

 
GAD
 
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17 February 2018 16:32
 
NotaTrumpSupporter - 17 February 2018 02:33 PM
GAD - 17 February 2018 09:27 AM

It’s very simple, everything you do is predicated on everything that came before you did it.

But it isn’t. There’s no predicate to my moving the toe that made that a motion I was compelled to make. I just felt like it.

Oh, but it is. There is nothing you can do that is not dictated by everything that came before it.

 
 
Jb8989
 
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Jb8989
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17 February 2018 16:38
 
NotaTrumpSupporter - 17 February 2018 02:31 PM
Jb8989 - 17 February 2018 07:40 AM

First you have to imagine that genetics, chemistry, and cultural factors etc. all technically adhere to the same laws of nature. Then you have to imagine that the laws of nature are all encompassing, and that they have been since the beginning of time. Next you have to separate the perceptual experience of choice from what tecnically is considered will. Having no free will doesn’t mean that you’re not faced with conscious decisions, or that you can’t force your body to move, it just means that every environmental pressure that came before you experiencing making your toe move put you there with that thought.

remember, I’m a bear of very small brain.

Are you saying that I had no choice but to move my toe?

That your choice was predetermined, but that it didn’t affect the feeling of it being a genuine decision.

 
 
NotaTrumpSupporter
 
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NotaTrumpSupporter
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17 February 2018 17:11
 
GAD - 17 February 2018 04:32 PM
NotaTrumpSupporter - 17 February 2018 02:33 PM
GAD - 17 February 2018 09:27 AM

It’s very simple, everything you do is predicated on everything that came before you did it.

But it isn’t. There’s no predicate to my moving the toe that made that a motion I was compelled to make. I just felt like it.

Oh, but it is. There is nothing you can do that is not dictated by everything that came before it.

just saying that doesn’t make it true. . . the assertion is as preposterous as the resurrection, but with fewer witnesses!

 

 
NotaTrumpSupporter
 
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NotaTrumpSupporter
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17 February 2018 17:14
 
Jb8989 - 17 February 2018 04:38 PM
NotaTrumpSupporter - 17 February 2018 02:31 PM
Jb8989 - 17 February 2018 07:40 AM

First you have to imagine that genetics, chemistry, and cultural factors etc. all technically adhere to the same laws of nature. Then you have to imagine that the laws of nature are all encompassing, and that they have been since the beginning of time. Next you have to separate the perceptual experience of choice from what tecnically is considered will. Having no free will doesn’t mean that you’re not faced with conscious decisions, or that you can’t force your body to move, it just means that every environmental pressure that came before you experiencing making your toe move put you there with that thought.

remember, I’m a bear of very small brain.

Are you saying that I had no choice but to move my toe?

That your choice was predetermined, but that it didn’t affect the feeling of it being a genuine decision.

I find it interesting you ignored the remainder of my questions. You make a very bold claim. That I had no choice but to move my toe. You back it up with. . . ?
What’s that quote from Hitchens? Outlandish claims require strong evidence or something like that.

 

 

 
Jb8989
 
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Jb8989
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17 February 2018 17:37
 
NotaTrumpSupporter - 17 February 2018 05:14 PM
Jb8989 - 17 February 2018 04:38 PM
NotaTrumpSupporter - 17 February 2018 02:31 PM
Jb8989 - 17 February 2018 07:40 AM

First you have to imagine that genetics, chemistry, and cultural factors etc. all technically adhere to the same laws of nature. Then you have to imagine that the laws of nature are all encompassing, and that they have been since the beginning of time. Next you have to separate the perceptual experience of choice from what tecnically is considered will. Having no free will doesn’t mean that you’re not faced with conscious decisions, or that you can’t force your body to move, it just means that every environmental pressure that came before you experiencing making your toe move put you there with that thought.

remember, I’m a bear of very small brain.

Are you saying that I had no choice but to move my toe?

That your choice was predetermined, but that it didn’t affect the feeling of it being a genuine decision.

I find it interesting you ignored the remainder of my questions. You make a very bold claim. That I had no choice but to move my toe. You back it up with. . . ?

Physics

 
 
NotaTrumpSupporter
 
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NotaTrumpSupporter
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17 February 2018 17:40
 
Jb8989 - 17 February 2018 05:37 PM
NotaTrumpSupporter - 17 February 2018 05:14 PM
Jb8989 - 17 February 2018 04:38 PM
NotaTrumpSupporter - 17 February 2018 02:31 PM
Jb8989 - 17 February 2018 07:40 AM

First you have to imagine that genetics, chemistry, and cultural factors etc. all technically adhere to the same laws of nature. Then you have to imagine that the laws of nature are all encompassing, and that they have been since the beginning of time. Next you have to separate the perceptual experience of choice from what tecnically is considered will. Having no free will doesn’t mean that you’re not faced with conscious decisions, or that you can’t force your body to move, it just means that every environmental pressure that came before you experiencing making your toe move put you there with that thought.

remember, I’m a bear of very small brain.

Are you saying that I had no choice but to move my toe?

That your choice was predetermined, but that it didn’t affect the feeling of it being a genuine decision.

I find it interesting you ignored the remainder of my questions. You make a very bold claim. That I had no choice but to move my toe. You back it up with. . . ?

Physics

So I titled this post “help me understand”. It really doesn’t seem like you have any interest in doing so. So why are you responding?

 

 
Jan_CAN
 
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17 February 2018 18:17
 

Although our perceptions of reality can be misleading or incorrect, they are not always so.  It is my understanding that there is no actual evidence of no free will, so it seems to be a matter of opinion, a philosophical hypothesis.

 
 
NotaTrumpSupporter
 
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17 February 2018 18:20
 
Jan_CAN - 17 February 2018 06:17 PM

Although our perceptions of reality can be misleading or incorrect, they are not always so.  It is my understanding that there is no actual evidence of no free will, so it seems to be a matter of opinion, a philosophical hypothesis.

I’m baffled as to how you can say there’s no evidence of free will. Have you not ever made a decision to do something and then done it? Do you believe that you had nothing to do with that event?

The thing as to which there is no evidence, that I can see, is that everything we do is compelled upon us by forces we don’t understand or perceive!

 

 
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