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Brain gives us illusion of free will

Discussion in 'The Philosopher' started by Norsemaiden, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. Norsemaiden

    Norsemaiden barbarian

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    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121450609076407973.html?mod=blogs

    How does the brain make up its mind then would you say?
    When we are undecided about something should we just not bother thinking and wait for our brain to just tell us? We have the power to try doing that - but then nothing will most likely happen. So we have to decide consciously to ponder further. Therefore there is some thought going on beyond this ten second subconscious process. Also - ten seconds is a long time. We often have to react much faster than that to something sudden. Or has there been some kind of psychic premonition of the event?
    The experiments mentioned shows that there is some credibility to the report, but these questions remain unanswered wouldn't you say?
    The idea that we make better choices when distracted than when concentrating seems very doubtful to me. From personal experience I would say that is not true.
     
  2. Scavneck

    Scavneck Ominous Bloodvomit

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    I think it's a relative matter

    but I think it's true, I think we spend those 10 seconds trying to understand our choice and to not make it

    not having a pre made choice is a sign of lack of self esteem, or that something is wrong with the person, that the person has paradoxes or anxiety or whatever, I see that through my self
     
  3. razoredge

    razoredge Member

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    Seems questionable to me. Maybe before we give an answer but then I believe I have answered questions faster than 10 seconds as well. THen I suppose they could say that was from an already predetermined ideal on a particular question. Maybe more psycho babble as someone looks to make a mark ?
     
  4. Silver Incubus

    Silver Incubus Dead Hands Justin

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    Seems to be in line with what I have read and hear about the subject. Even the change in the persons physiology happnes before they are aware of the answer.

    hell look at my quote\/
     
  5. metalhead713

    metalhead713 New Metal Member

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    If we don't think and wait for the brain to tell us, nothing will happen. You have to initiate the act of making the decision, or at least attempting to. I think that it's possible for the brain to have made a decision, and then back it up with what happens in those 10 seconds, and after it is supported, it is sent to the upper levels of conciseness.
     
  6. Scavneck

    Scavneck Ominous Bloodvomit

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    Exactly, and it's not an illusion of free will, it's still my brain right? So it's still my choice..
     
  7. razoredge

    razoredge Member

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    but isnt "my" and "my brain" just as one ?
     
  8. Silver Incubus

    Silver Incubus Dead Hands Justin

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    It is possible to figure out how your decisions are made and then eliminate your choice of free will. Your are a stimulus machine that is only inclined to do one thing over another based on previous experience, and how that experience(seeing, touching, feeling emotions, hearing, smelling, tasting) was interpreted by your brain.

    But I still think free will exists, just not all the time
     
  9. Kvasira

    Kvasira New Metal Member

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    This is one reason I don't like certain fields of psychology - always trying to dissect the human being into nothing more than a machine. It deprives us of our sense of freedom as individuals and enslaves us into some pre-planned predictable web of science experiments. It's not a feeling any one of us should have. We are all free to make our own choices in life it's something that makes us uniquely human. It should be encouraged, not degraded.

    The areas of the brain light up before a decision has been made. Could this be attributed to anticipation? We anticipate that a decision will be made soon, and this fires off neurons in the brain. It doesn't prove a specific choice has been made before we're aware of it, but simply that the increased brain activity means we're about to make a choice?
     
  10. judas69

    judas69 god is in the radio

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    Your premise incorrectly presupposes its own conclusion.

    Consciousness is not, the foremost part in the decision making process, as is evident in the study.
     
  11. Blowtus

    Blowtus Member

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    Things in us happen without our awareness of them, and sometimes decisions are made partially because of such. I don't see that this negates the idea that is free will. Whether or not 'free will' exists really depends on how you want to define it I think. Quantum objects don't have free will, but quantum objects make up that which we categorise 'human', which when perceived as a single entity does exhibit 'free will'.
     
  12. Cythraul

    Cythraul Active Member

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    So even if humans don't have free will we nevertheless ought to encourage the making of free choices? It makes no sense to encourage something that is impossible. Ergo, it makes no sense to claim that we ought to encourage such a thing. Do you think there is some kind of ethical advantage to burying one's head in the sand?
     
  13. Kvasira

    Kvasira New Metal Member

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    If anything I'd say living with the notion of free will opens up the world of possibilities and living in a predetermined box is more like burying your head in the sand.
    I don't claim free will is impossible and therefore I feel am not encouraging something that doesn't exist.
     
  14. Cythraul

    Cythraul Active Member

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    Not really, pal. Denying a well-established scientific truth is pretty much the definition of burying one's head in the sand (on the assumption that the nonexistence of free will is a scientific truth, of course).

    It really doesn't matter what you feel since the truth value of the claim "free will doesn't exist" is not dependent upon how you feel about it. You can't vindicate nonsensical normative beliefs through wishful thinking.
     
  15. judas69

    judas69 god is in the radio

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    If you fully embrace the idea that we like all things, are interdependent and interconnected with all other things and not merely this limited fleshy spec of self-awareness we think we are, it wouldn't make much sense to say you did not choose this, when you are this.
     
  16. razoredge

    razoredge Member

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    I exhibit and apply to free will, sometimes it agrees with the specs other times it does not. Fuck all else independent thought is the path I will always follow.
     
  17. Cythraul

    Cythraul Active Member

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    How would it not make sense? I don't quite understand what point you're trying to make here. The idea that we are interdependent and interconnected with all other things tends to militate against the idea of free will. Moreover, if it were demonstrated that free will is nonexistent, then there would be no sense in claiming that one can freely choose to "fully embrace" some idea. That you can "make a choice" to embrace some view of the world is not inconsistent with the idea that there is no free will.

    Again, I don't quite understand the point you're trying to make so maybe my comments are a bit off the mark.
     
  18. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

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    All men are bound by certain psychological chains, whether they be religion, history, culture, morals, etc. I think that limiting ourselves to such bounds makes us more predictable. We have the choice to break free of these limitations, but many of them are so vehemently instilled within us that their influence has nearly made such decisions involuntary. We have to realize that we are not even in control of all of our thoughts; they are also influenced by what has come before us. This is why so many people are so easily influenced by media propaganda and subliminal advertising. Noam Chomsky has written a good deal on this matter.

    I personally believe that we have free will, but you cannot act freely until you truly acknowledge and understand all the cultural limitations put upon you by hundreds (maybe even thousands) of years of tradition. Whether or not any of us will ever be able to do this is unknown.
     
  19. razoredge

    razoredge Member

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    But doesnt looking at any given situation in its entirety give one the ability to make an independent decision or even a non conclusive one ? Myself in conversation I often get alot of flack for taking to long to come to a decision. I fail to see how this correlates to my mind already having made a decision when its spinning in circles spying the entire circumstance up. Granted other times I dont have to think at all but those would be circumstances I have already gone through this process with.
     
  20. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

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    Yes, I believe so. But many people don't look at a situation in its entirety; not because they don't want to deal with all the angles, but because they don't even realize that some are there. Many people don't even realize all the things that influence them. It takes a great deal of thought and logic to separate oneself entirely from the world, and many of us are unable to do it.
     

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