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Human Instinct and Free Will

Trausti

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Humans are animals. For a long time we used religion or other excuse to mark a clear line between us and other other animals. But we are animals. The behavioral genetics of non-human animals gives way to a wide range of inherit instincts - some rather fascinating.



What I am curious about are behavioral instincts in humans. We know that there are innate reflexes - like the Moro reflex. Yet, I think we sometimes fool ourselves when we believe - because we have the highest cognition among animals - that our behavior or choices arise from free will. What if it does not always come down to free will? What if we do things not because we have made the choice to do those things, but because our genes have imposed that we act so?
 

untermensche

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I don't think you will get specific behaviors. Human psychology is too complicated.

But you will get certain compulsions, like the sexual instinct.

But how the sexual instinct is expressed will not be the product of genes because it takes place in specific cultural contexts which the human is aware of.
 

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Humans are animals. For a long time we used religion or other excuse to mark a clear line between us and other other animals. But we are animals. The behavioral genetics of non-human animals gives way to a wide range of inherit instincts - some rather fascinating.

What I am curious about are behavioral instincts in humans. We know that there are innate reflexes - like the Moro reflex. Yet, I think we sometimes fool ourselves when we believe - because we have the highest cognition among animals - that our behavior or choices arise from free will. What if it does not always come down to free will? What if we do things not because we have made the choice to do those things, but because our genes have imposed that we act so?

Anything that makes you happy. Pleasure and pain is the method by which our genes try to control us, aka instincts. If you ever chose happiness over pain you've chosen slavery over freedom.

It's that simple. The same neurotransmitters can be found in every species on the Eukaryotic branch. So a molusc might get happy for different reasons than you. But they very likely feel happy in the same way. Also, they might also feel that they're the only species who truly understands the meaning of life and that all over species are mostly controlled by instinct.
 

fromderinside

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Humans are animals. For a long time we used religion or other excuse to mark a clear line between us and other other animals. But we are animals. The behavioral genetics of non-human animals gives way to a wide range of inherit instincts - some rather fascinating.

What I am curious about are behavioral instincts in humans. We know that there are innate reflexes - like the Moro reflex. Yet, I think we sometimes fool ourselves when we believe - because we have the highest cognition among animals - that our behavior or choices arise from free will. What if it does not always come down to free will? What if we do things not because we have made the choice to do those things, but because our genes have imposed that we act so?

Anything that makes you happy. Pleasure and pain is the method by which our genes try to control us, aka instincts. If you ever chose happiness over pain you've chosen slavery over freedom.

It's that simple. The same neurotransmitters can be found in every species on the Eukaryotic branch. So a molusc might get happy for different reasons than you. But they very likely feel happy in the same way. Also, they might also feel that they're the only species who truly understands the meaning of life and that all over species are mostly controlled by instinct.

I am a Watsonian/Skinnerian only in this respect: emotive attributions and anthropomorphizations do not advance science.

Why not go with approach/withdraw, a  T. C. Schneirla observation, as criticism of both approach/avoid and emotional response.

This meaning of life thing is not science. It is the stuff of belief and self centered analysis.
 

Trausti

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I don't think you will get specific behaviors. Human psychology is too complicated.

Exercise behavior does seem to be genetic/inherited.

First, individual differences in physical activity traits are significantly influenced by genetic factors, but genetic contribution varies strongly over age, with heritability of leisure time exercise behavior ranging from 27% to 84% and heritability of sedentary behaviors ranging from 9% to 48%.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25034445

We find that BMI and obesity are strongly correlated among biological parent-child pairs, but there are no significant intergenerational associations in these health traits among adoptive parent-child pairs. The intergenerational elasticity of BMI for children to their parents is 0.2 in the matched biological sample, but indistinguishable from zero for adopted children with a standard error more than three times as large as the coefficient. Under reasonable assumptions, these findings indicate that the intergenerational transmission of BMI and obesity occurs primarily through genetic mechanisms.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1570677X1630106X?np=y

Hence, the desire to exercise or keep in shape may not be a matter of free will but instinct.
 

untermensche

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Exercise behavior does seem to be genetic/inherited.

First, individual differences in physical activity traits are significantly influenced by genetic factors, but genetic contribution varies strongly over age, with heritability of leisure time exercise behavior ranging from 27% to 84% and heritability of sedentary behaviors ranging from 9% to 48%.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25034445

Utter nonsense.

"ranging from 27% to 84%"??

In other words meaningless.

This is a game of trying to find statistical correlations between genes and things in the world, things like human behavior. Utter nonsense.

I can make statistical correlations between genes and the zodiac signs, with college football scores, with woman's fashion styles. With anything since there are so many genes. I just have to look at enough genes.

Correlations of these kinds are totally meaningless.

What has meaning is finding a gene, showing what it does, and then showing how what it does has some influence on behavior.

This nonsense of making statistical correlations between genes and human behaviors is a stupid game for idiots.
 

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As far as I know, humans can over-ride any 'instinct', so are they instincts in the animal sense? Similarly, what evidence other than self-consciousness have we for any 'free will'?
 

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As far as I know, humans can over-ride any 'instinct', so are they instincts in the animal sense? Similarly, what evidence other than self-consciousness have we for any 'free will'?

1) How could you possibly know that the choices you never took were ever available to you? I think it's more helpful to think of our brains having competing urges. One will release more dopamin or serotonin than the other's. So that will be selected. But you will perceive it as you choosing, weighing pros and cons... perhaps using your rational faculties.

2) If the choice is between happiness or pain, is that really a choice at all? To anybody who has experimented with drugs or even suffered a mental health issue that requires medication, they know that choice is an illusion. We will systematically behave differently on or off the drug. Is that really freedom?

I just realized that I've sidled into a free will debate and that wasn't my intention. I can't think of any more boring subject.
 

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As far as I know, humans can over-ride any 'instinct', so are they instincts in the animal sense? Similarly, what evidence other than self-consciousness have we for any 'free will'?

Self consciousness has its own source mechanism, neural networks/structures. To which self consciousness has no conscious access.
 

braces_for_impact

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It seems to me that our consciousness is more along for the ride and gives justification for our choices. Where our thoughts and preferences comes from, no one really knows. Doubtless instinct is part of it. We do seem less instinctive than the a lot of the rest of the animal kingdom. As DrZoidberg said:

I think it's more helpful to think of our brains having competing urges. One will release more dopamin or serotonin than the other's. So that will be selected. But you will perceive it as you choosing, weighing pros and cons... perhaps using your rational faculties.

True Dat
 

DBT

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Rational faculties are subject to the same underlying process that gives rise to all conscious thoughts and feelings, decisions and actions.
 

Speakpigeon

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This nonsense of making statistical correlations between genes and human behaviors is a stupid game for idiots.
If it's for idiots then it's probably correlated to their genetic make-up. :D
EB
 

Speakpigeon

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I just realized that I've sidled into a free will debate and that wasn't my intention. I can't think of any more boring subject.
Which is good evidence you don't have free-will. :p
EB
 

Speakpigeon

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I think it's more helpful to think of our brains having competing urges. One will release more dopamin or serotonin than the other's. So that will be selected. But you will perceive it as you choosing, weighing pros and cons... perhaps using your rational faculties.
No free-will, no rational faculties properly speaking.
EB
 

Speakpigeon

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I'm not free to renounce the idea of free-will. Like Popeye/Trump said: I am what I am.
EB
 

Treedbear

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I just realized that I've sidled into a free will debate and that wasn't my intention. I can't think of any more boring subject.
Which is good evidence you don't have free-will. :p
EB

Right. One more time then ...
C: Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this parrot what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.
O: Oh yes, the, uh, the Norwegian Blue...What's,uh...What's wrong with it?
C: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. 'E's dead, that's what's wrong with it!
O: No, no, 'e's uh,...he's resting.
C: Look, matey, I know a dead parrot when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.
O: No no he's not dead, he's, he's restin'! Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue, idn'it, ay? Beautiful plumage!
C: The plumage don't enter into it. It's stone dead.
O: Nononono, no, no! 'E's resting!
C: All right then, if he's restin', I'll wake him up!
(shouting at the cage)
'Ello, Mister Polly Parrot! I've got a lovely fresh cuttle fish for you if you show...(owner hits the cage)
O: There, he moved!
C: No, he didn't, that was you hitting the cage!
O: I never!!
C: Yes, you did!
O: I never, never did anything...
C: (yelling and hitting the cage repeatedly) 'ELLO POLLY!!!!!
 

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As far as I know, humans can over-ride any 'instinct', so are they instincts in the animal sense? Similarly, what evidence other than self-consciousness have we for any 'free will'?

"override" is a word. no need for a hyphen.. no one (not no-one) is in the doghouse (not dog-house) over using a proper compound word.

Anyway, "in the animal sense" is unnecessary.. in that it is not a real distinction. Perhaps you may have meant "in the self-aware sense", in that degrees of awareness vary between the animals. Humans are very complicated animals, with the highest degree (that we know of) of awareness, but we're animals nonetheless. I know... most Christians have some problem with that very fundamental fact... but one might as well argue the sky is green and the grass is blue.

to answer your excellent question, though... none. There is exactly no evidence there exists this thing called "free-will", outside of our ability to understand our own conscious thought processes.
 

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As far as I know, humans can over-ride any 'instinct', so are they instincts in the animal sense? Similarly, what evidence other than self-consciousness have we for any 'free will'?

"override" is a word. no need for a hyphen.. no one (not no-one) is in the doghouse (not dog-house) over using a proper compound word.

Anyway, "in the animal sense" is unnecessary.. in that it is not a real distinction. Perhaps you may have meant "in the self-aware sense", in that degrees of awareness vary between the animals. Humans are very complicated animals, with the highest degree (that we know of) of awareness, but we're animals nonetheless. I know... most Christians have some problem with that very fundamental fact... but one might as well argue the sky is green and the grass is blue.

to answer your excellent question, though... none. There is exactly no evidence there exists this thing called "free-will", outside of our ability to understand our own conscious thought processes.

No evidence?

What you just wrote is evidence of free will.

You have a lot of evidence for free will.

Try to move your finger with your mind. Move it in a manner of your choosing and at a time of your choosing.

If you can do it, how is that not free will?

What is the proof the clear evidence of free will is in fact not free will?
 

DBT

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It's the underlying unconscious process of choosing that determines the choice that is made conscious in the form of thought and action that is the problem for free will. We have 'will' a desire or impulse to act, but will can't be described as 'free will' because it directs nothing, itself being shaped and formed by unconscious processes from inputs, memory function, etc, to thought and action.
 

untermensche

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It's the underlying unconscious process of choosing that determines the choice that is made conscious in the form of thought and action that is the problem for free will. We have 'will' a desire or impulse to act, but will can't be described as 'free will' because it directs nothing, itself being shaped and formed by unconscious processes from inputs, memory function, etc, to thought and action.

It is the "mind" that puts the movement in action and determines the extent and timing of the movement. The brain makes the movement smooth.

And despite the "mind's" unknown mode of production it is still the apparent mover.

Hard to say it is underlying undefined "processes" when the timing and manner is a decision of the mind.

It just seems an evasion from the truth; We don't know.

But there is evidence available to us to show the body can be moved "freely" by the "will". "Freely" being defined as; Not coerced.

"Will" not defined at all.
 

Juma

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It's the underlying unconscious process of choosing that determines the choice that is made conscious in the form of thought and action that is the problem for free will. We have 'will' a desire or impulse to act, but will can't be described as 'free will' because it directs nothing, itself being shaped and formed by unconscious processes from inputs, memory function, etc, to thought and action.

It is the "mind" that puts the movement in action and determines the extent and timing of the movement. The brain makes the movement smooth.

And despite the "mind's" unknown mode of production it is still the apparent mover.

Hard to say it is underlying undefined "processes" when the timing and manner is a decision of the mind.

It just seems an evasion from the truth; We don't know.

But there is evidence available to us to show the body can be moved "freely" by the "will". "Freely" being defined as; Not coerced.

"Will" not defined at all.

Then any insect has free will because they act without being coerced.
 

DBT

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It's the underlying unconscious process of choosing that determines the choice that is made conscious in the form of thought and action that is the problem for free will. We have 'will' a desire or impulse to act, but will can't be described as 'free will' because it directs nothing, itself being shaped and formed by unconscious processes from inputs, memory function, etc, to thought and action.

It is the "mind" that puts the movement in action and determines the extent and timing of the movement. The brain makes the movement smooth.

And despite the "mind's" unknown mode of production it is still the apparent mover.

Hard to say it is underlying undefined "processes" when the timing and manner is a decision of the mind.

It just seems an evasion from the truth; We don't know.

But there is evidence available to us to show the body can be moved "freely" by the "will". "Freely" being defined as; Not coerced.

"Will" not defined at all.



Nah, mind is what the brain is doing. You are what the brain is doing.

Mind is not the controller of the states and inputs of the brain.

Mind does what the brain is doing. You are what the brain is doing, neural architecture, inputs and memory function determines behavioral output, whether coerced by circumstances or not.

The latter just means the input of information, the weighing of cost to benefit ratio, shifts the balance in favour of an option you/the brain would not normally have taken...hence you feel coerced. Which has nothing to do with the ill defined concept of free will.
 

untermensche

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It is the "mind" that puts the movement in action and determines the extent and timing of the movement. The brain makes the movement smooth.

And despite the "mind's" unknown mode of production it is still the apparent mover.

Hard to say it is underlying undefined "processes" when the timing and manner is a decision of the mind.

It just seems an evasion from the truth; We don't know.

But there is evidence available to us to show the body can be moved "freely" by the "will". "Freely" being defined as; Not coerced.

"Will" not defined at all.

Nah, mind is what the brain is doing. You are what the brain is doing.

Are you claiming you can't move your finger, your entire body, with your "mind"?

I can. Any time I want and in a manner of my mind's choosing.

This phenomena of being able to move at "will" is not so easily evaded by the meaningless point that somehow the brain is involved.
 

untermensche

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It is the "mind" that puts the movement in action and determines the extent and timing of the movement. The brain makes the movement smooth.

And despite the "mind's" unknown mode of production it is still the apparent mover.

Hard to say it is underlying undefined "processes" when the timing and manner is a decision of the mind.

It just seems an evasion from the truth; We don't know.

But there is evidence available to us to show the body can be moved "freely" by the "will". "Freely" being defined as; Not coerced.

"Will" not defined at all.

Then any insect has free will because they act without being coerced.

So?

But all we really know, in terms of a "mind", is ourselves.

And when I move my finger at "will" there is no coercion. Nothing is forcing me to do it. It is appropriate to external circumstance not some activity in the brain.
 

Juma

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Then any insect has free will because they act without being coerced.

So?

But all we really know, in terms of a "mind", is ourselves.

And when I move my finger at "will" there is no coercion. Nothing is forcing me to do it. It is appropriate to external circumstance not some activity in the brain.

That is just "by will". Why bother with "free"?
 

iolo

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Then any insect has free will because they act without being coerced.

So?

But all we really know, in terms of a "mind", is ourselves.

And when I move my finger at "will" there is no coercion. Nothing is forcing me to do it. It is appropriate to external circumstance not some activity in the brain.

As I understand it, if you are, for instance, ordered to move your finger, the muscle-action is well on the way before you make a conscious decision to obey.
 

untermensche

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So?

But all we really know, in terms of a "mind", is ourselves.

And when I move my finger at "will" there is no coercion. Nothing is forcing me to do it. It is appropriate to external circumstance not some activity in the brain.

As I understand it, if you are, for instance, ordered to move your finger, the muscle-action is well on the way before you make a conscious decision to obey.

Calling any action in the brain an "order" is pure speculation.

There is continual brain activity. None of it understood in terms of the generation of the "mind".

If one is conscious.
 

untermensche

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So?

But all we really know, in terms of a "mind", is ourselves.

And when I move my finger at "will" there is no coercion. Nothing is forcing me to do it. It is appropriate to external circumstance not some activity in the brain.

That is just "by will". Why bother with "free"?

Our experience of "will" appears entirely free to us.

We feel we are responding to circumstances in the world, our coherent picture of the world, not some underlying coercion.

So for us to merely use the concept "will" implies the notion of freedom.

We use the word to describe certain experiences.

Our freedom to move. Our freedom to express ideas. Our freedom to imagine any number of things.

To humans all those activities comprise what is described as "will".

It really is not possible for a human to imagine "will" and not see it as free or imagine some way it could not be free.
 

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That is just "by will". Why bother with "free"?

Our experience of "will" appears entirely free to us.

We feel we are responding to circumstances in the world, our coherent picture of the world, not some underlying coercion.

So for us to merely use the concept "will" implies the notion of freedom.

We use the word to describe certain experiences.

Our freedom to move. Our freedom to express ideas. Our freedom to imagine any number of things.

To humans all those activities comprise what is described as "will".

It really is not possible for a human to imagine "will" and not see it as free or imagine some way it could not be free.

Thus your definition of "free will" is nothing but "will".
 

iolo

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As I understand it, if you are, for instance, ordered to move your finger, the muscle-action is well on the way before you make a conscious decision to obey.

Calling any action in the brain an "order" is pure speculation.

There is continual brain activity. None of it understood in terms of the generation of the "mind".

If one is conscious.

I wasn't so calling. I mean that someone else says 'Raise one finger!' and it starts to happen well before you make a conscious decision. I agree that very little is understood, yet, but since I don't find any reason to believe in 'free will' it doesn't desperately bother me. I'd have thought it was more a problem for those who do have that belief.
 

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Calling any action in the brain an "order" is pure speculation.

There is continual brain activity. None of it understood in terms of the generation of the "mind".

If one is conscious.

I wasn't so calling. I mean that someone else says 'Raise one finger!' and it starts to happen well before you make a conscious decision. I agree that very little is understood, yet, but since I don't find any reason to believe in 'free will' it doesn't desperately bother me. I'd have thought it was more a problem for those who do have that belief.

What starts?

My finger always moves immediately as I order it to move with my mind.

You are merely labeling some activity as the "start".

Pure speculation.
 

iolo

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I wasn't so calling. I mean that someone else says 'Raise one finger!' and it starts to happen well before you make a conscious decision. I agree that very little is understood, yet, but since I don't find any reason to believe in 'free will' it doesn't desperately bother me. I'd have thought it was more a problem for those who do have that belief.



What starts?

My finger always moves immediately as I order it to move with my mind.

You are merely labeling some activity as the "start".

Pure speculation.
The beginnings of the necessary nervous impulses start. I can't recall the detail, but I think you'll find that it's based on pretty solid research several years back. Nothing moves 'immediately', obviously.
 

Malintent

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"override" is a word. no need for a hyphen.. no one (not no-one) is in the doghouse (not dog-house) over using a proper compound word.

Anyway, "in the animal sense" is unnecessary.. in that it is not a real distinction. Perhaps you may have meant "in the self-aware sense", in that degrees of awareness vary between the animals. Humans are very complicated animals, with the highest degree (that we know of) of awareness, but we're animals nonetheless. I know... most Christians have some problem with that very fundamental fact... but one might as well argue the sky is green and the grass is blue.

to answer your excellent question, though... none. There is exactly no evidence there exists this thing called "free-will", outside of our ability to understand our own conscious thought processes.

No evidence?

What you just wrote is evidence of free will.

You have a lot of evidence for free will.

Try to move your finger with your mind. Move it in a manner of your choosing and at a time of your choosing.

If you can do it, how is that not free will?

What is the proof the clear evidence of free will is in fact not free will?

The 'proof' is in the inability to define either "free" or "will" in a meaningful way to continue discussion.
If I were to have moved my finger, it would not have been "free will", it would have been YOU imposing some kind of will upon me. Did you forget that you "told" me to move my finger? If I don't move it, I am perhaps "free", but I haven't exerted any "will".
 

Trausti

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http://www.gwern.net/docs/genetics/2016-plomin.pdf

Perhaps "instinct" and behavioral genetics are synonymous. Anyway, our genes may have more power over us than we think.
 

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What starts?

My finger always moves immediately as I order it to move with my mind.

You are merely labeling some activity as the "start".

Pure speculation.
The beginnings of the necessary nervous impulses start. I can't recall the detail, but I think you'll find that it's based on pretty solid research several years back. Nothing moves 'immediately', obviously.

I'm very familiar with what you're talking about.

The conclusions you mention were never made by the original researcher.

They are speculations made by others.

Nobody has any idea what the "beginnings of the necessary nervous impulses" are.

There is constant activity in the brain. Labeling some part of it "necessary beginnings" is an empty phrase.
 

untermensche

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No evidence?

What you just wrote is evidence of free will.

You have a lot of evidence for free will.

Try to move your finger with your mind. Move it in a manner of your choosing and at a time of your choosing.

If you can do it, how is that not free will?

What is the proof the clear evidence of free will is in fact not free will?

The 'proof' is in the inability to define either "free" or "will" in a meaningful way to continue discussion.
If I were to have moved my finger, it would not have been "free will", it would have been YOU imposing some kind of will upon me. Did you forget that you "told" me to move my finger? If I don't move it, I am perhaps "free", but I haven't exerted any "will".

Nonsense.

You move it at the timing of YOUR choosing and the manner of YOUR choosing.

Or you decide to not move it, another expression of your "will".

The conversation can't move forward if you deny clear evidence.
 

skepticalbip

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The 'proof' is in the inability to define either "free" or "will" in a meaningful way to continue discussion.
If I were to have moved my finger, it would not have been "free will", it would have been YOU imposing some kind of will upon me. Did you forget that you "told" me to move my finger? If I don't move it, I am perhaps "free", but I haven't exerted any "will".

Nonsense.

You move it at the timing of YOUR choosing and the manner of YOUR choosing.

Or you decide to not move it, another expression of your "will".

The conversation can't move forward if you deny clear evidence.

:hysterical:

If it was nonsense then all you have to do is give a clear, precise, unambiguous definition of "free will".

I have never seen those who seem to enjoy arguing about free will that are willing to.
 

DBT

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Nah, mind is what the brain is doing. You are what the brain is doing.

Are you claiming you can't move your finger, your entire body, with your "mind"?

I am saying, quite obviously, that it is ultimately the brain that performs these functions....partly through generation of conscious mind and largely unconsciously.
I can. Any time I want and in a manner of my mind's choosing.

Only because 'your' brain is producing both 'you' and your experience of conscious agency.....which, fine while the brain is functional, is ultimately an illusion.
 

untermensche

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Nonsense.

You move it at the timing of YOUR choosing and the manner of YOUR choosing.

Or you decide to not move it, another expression of your "will".

The conversation can't move forward if you deny clear evidence.

:hysterical:

If it was nonsense then all you have to do is give a clear, precise, unambiguous definition of "free will".

I have never seen those who seem to enjoy arguing about free will that are willing to.

I did. Those that can read probably picked it up.

Freedom is without coercion.

And the example of "will" is the ability to move at a time and in a manner of the "mind's" choosing.

Moving the finger at a time and in a manner the mind desires is evidence of "freedom of will".

The "mind" can direct the body to move.

How this is not "freedom of will" is what needs explanation.

But explanation is not what you do.
 

untermensche

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Are you claiming you can't move your finger, your entire body, with your "mind"?

I am saying, quite obviously, that it is ultimately the brain that performs these functions....partly through generation of conscious mind and largely unconsciously.

Why exactly would you "unconsciously" move your finger randomly?

Why do these movements correspond to random and capricious decisions of the "mind" based on a conception of the world?

What you are claiming is not rational nor is there any evidence to support it.

I can. Any time I want and in a manner of my mind's choosing.

Only because 'your' brain is producing both 'you' and your experience of conscious agency.....which, fine while the brain is functional, is ultimately an illusion.

That is not any kind if explanation. It is an evasion.

The "mind" (most likely a product of some kind of activity in the brain) is able to influence other parts of the brain, based on conceptions of the world, to move the body.

It is impossible for us to know how the "mind" does it.

Since we have no idea what the "mind" is.
 

Malintent

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The 'proof' is in the inability to define either "free" or "will" in a meaningful way to continue discussion.
If I were to have moved my finger, it would not have been "free will", it would have been YOU imposing some kind of will upon me. Did you forget that you "told" me to move my finger? If I don't move it, I am perhaps "free", but I haven't exerted any "will".

Nonsense.

You move it at the timing of YOUR choosing and the manner of YOUR choosing.

Or you decide to not move it, another expression of your "will".

The conversation can't move forward if you deny clear evidence.

Deny clear evidence of what? You are the one that put the idea of moving my finger in my head... I was not free to avoid that consideration. That entire process was completely beyond my control... the consequence of all that (which you started, and I merely walked though the mental steps leading down those stairs you basically pushed me down) is called a decision. I may have decided one way or another, but there was exactly zero "freedom" to it.

Try this... Don't think of a black cat.

You were free to either think of a cat or not... but you did... because you are not really free.

the Matrix has you.
 

untermensche

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Nonsense.

You move it at the timing of YOUR choosing and the manner of YOUR choosing.

Or you decide to not move it, another expression of your "will".

The conversation can't move forward if you deny clear evidence.

Deny clear evidence of what? You are the one that put the idea of moving my finger in my head... I was not free to avoid that consideration. That entire process was completely beyond my control... the consequence of all that (which you started, and I merely walked though the mental steps leading down those stairs you basically pushed me down) is called a decision. I may have decided one way or another, but there was exactly zero "freedom" to it.

Try this... Don't think of a black cat.

You were free to either think of a cat or not... but you did... because you are not really free.

the Matrix has you.

How exactly is moving your finger "beyond your control"? Are you paralyzed?

That makes no sense.
 

skepticalbip

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:hysterical:

If it was nonsense then all you have to do is give a clear, precise, unambiguous definition of "free will".

I have never seen those who seem to enjoy arguing about free will that are willing to.

I did. Those that can read probably picked it up.

Freedom is without coercion.

And the example of "will" is the ability to move at a time and in a manner of the "mind's" choosing.

Moving the finger at a time and in a manner the mind desires is evidence of "freedom of will".

The "mind" can direct the body to move.

How this is not "freedom of will" is what needs explanation.

But explanation is not what you do.

That is hardly unambiguous. The whole argument (as I have seen) over freewill is exactly what is considered "coercion". Is coercion someone holding a gun to another's head, social pressure, suggestion, cause and effect, etc.?

And this isn't even getting into the ridiculous arguments over "mind" - which no one seems to want to agree on a definition before arguing.

Such arguments are nonsense until everyone involved in the argument agree on the unambiguous definitions of the terms used.
 

untermensche

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I did. Those that can read probably picked it up.

Freedom is without coercion.

And the example of "will" is the ability to move at a time and in a manner of the "mind's" choosing.

Moving the finger at a time and in a manner the mind desires is evidence of "freedom of will".

The "mind" can direct the body to move.

How this is not "freedom of will" is what needs explanation.

But explanation is not what you do.

That is hardly unambiguous. The whole argument (as I have seen) over freewill is exactly what is considered "coercion". Is coercion someone holding a gun to another's head, social pressure, suggestion, cause and effect, etc.?

And this isn't even getting into the ridiculous arguments over "mind".

You may want to avoid the crucial arguments, but that is just a prejudice.

We make real world decisions with our "minds". That is the decision maker in many cases.

We don't decide with our "mind" to have a sex drive. But we decide with our "mind" who we have sex with.

We don't decide all things with our "minds" but for things like direction of locomotion across a room we use our "minds", our desire and our conceptions of the room.

If we want to talk about "freedom of will" we have to talk about the "mind". You can't just talk about the brain as if the "mind" doesn't exist and the "mind" is not making considered decisions based on the external world.

There is no way around it.
 

DBT

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I am saying, quite obviously, that it is ultimately the brain that performs these functions....partly through generation of conscious mind and largely unconsciously.

Why exactly would you "unconsciously" move your finger randomly?

Where did you get random from? Motor actions are faster than conscious thought and deliberation, and often bypass conscious thought altogether.

If a boxer had to consider his moves consciously he'd be knocked out in no time. If you stood considering your options when a speeding car is bearing down on you, you'd probably be road kill.

Even when the conscious is active (a brain activity) motor actions are initiated micro seconds before conscious report.

I have provided the relevant material, neuroscience, etc, for you in past threads but you merely brush it aside or ignore what it's telling us.

You just repeat your belief in mind as the agent as if mind is independent from the brain.

Evidence shows the reverse is true, that the mind is what brain does. Nothing more, nothing less. The state of the brain is the state of mind, which is the state of you as a conscious entity. An entity shaped and formed by a brain.

Consequently, you have no argument and you have no case.
 

untermensche

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Why exactly would you "unconsciously" move your finger randomly?

Where did you get random from? Motor actions are faster than conscious thought and deliberation, and often bypass conscious thought altogether.

Nonsense. You have no idea how fast a thought moves because you have no idea, anatomically and physiologically, what a thought is.

You are pulling things from your ass and trying to pass them off as knowledge.

If a boxer had to consider his moves consciously he'd be knocked out in no time. If you stood considering your options when a speeding car is bearing down on you, you'd probably be road kill.

Hand waving.

This is about a simple conscious movement.

Why are you trying to change the subject?

Even when the conscious is active (a brain activity) motor actions are initiated micro seconds before conscious report.

The "conscious is active"?

You are now babbling.

I don't believe your nonsense. The original researcher didn't believe this nonsense.

You are merely assigning agency to brain activity you don't understand. Ignorance piled upon ignorance.

The human can move based entirely on conceptions of the world. To do this requires the freedom to do it.
 

Speakpigeon

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Nonsense.

You move it at the timing of YOUR choosing and the manner of YOUR choosing.

Or you decide to not move it, another expression of your "will".

The conversation can't move forward if you deny clear evidence.

Deny clear evidence of what? You are the one that put the idea of moving my finger in my head... I was not free to avoid that consideration. That entire process was completely beyond my control... the consequence of all that (which you started, and I merely walked though the mental steps leading down those stairs you basically pushed me down) is called a decision. I may have decided one way or another, but there was exactly zero "freedom" to it.

Try this... Don't think of a black cat.

You were free to either think of a cat or not... but you did... because you are not really free.

the Matrix has you.
Yes, but it couldn't not have me. The Matrix is not free either.
EB
 

Juma

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Where did you get random from? Motor actions are faster than conscious thought and deliberation, and often bypass conscious thought altogether.

Nonsense. You have no idea how fast a thought moves because you have no idea, anatomically and physiologically, what a thought is.

You are pulling things from your ass and trying to pass them off as knowledge.

If a boxer had to consider his moves consciously he'd be knocked out in no time. If you stood considering your options when a speeding car is bearing down on you, you'd probably be road kill.

Hand waving.

This is about a simple conscious movement.

Why are you trying to change the subject?

Even when the conscious is active (a brain activity) motor actions are initiated micro seconds before conscious report.

The "conscious is active"?

You are now babbling.

I don't believe your nonsense. The original researcher didn't believe this nonsense.

You are merely assigning agency to brain activity you don't understand. Ignorance piled upon ignorance.

The human can move based entirely on conceptions of the world. To do this requires the freedom to do it.

What the fuck are you doing writing these posts? You are not discussing since you really doesnt care what others write.. Do you belifve thst there are an audience for your posts out there somewhere? Uou are so wrong, the only one enjoying your posts is wokld be you, but I'm not sure even you do.
 
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