Free will

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Re: Free will

Postby Bill » Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:18 pm

romansh wrote:Here's a physicist's blog on free will.


I suppose it is the right sort of stuff for a blog: it certainly would not pass muster if she submitted it for peer review as a serious study on the topic,
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Re: Free will

Postby romansh » Sat Jan 23, 2016 6:24 pm

Bill wrote:
romansh wrote:Here's a physicist's blog on free will.

I suppose it is the right sort of stuff for a blog: it certainly would not pass muster if she submitted it for peer review as a serious study on the topic,

From the blog:
The paper was rejected by several journals. Not because anyone found anything wrong with it. No, the philosophy journals complained that it was too much physics, and the physics journals complained that it was too much philosophy. And you wonder why there isn’t much interaction between the two fields.
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Re: Free will

Postby Bill » Sun Jan 24, 2016 8:02 am

Those blasted conspirators get everywhere nowadays - even into academia - that seems to be her theory.

Repeating an opinion over and over as self evident fact does not turn it into a fact supported with evidence. It just gets very tiresome.

I have no fundamental problem with being given a higher authority to make a case that cannot be made locally, but I do wish that the higher authority actually has something new to say. Or has some evidence to offer.
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Re: Free will

Postby romansh » Sun Jan 24, 2016 5:56 pm

romansh wrote:Here's a physicist's blog on free will.


One of the interesting things in blog is the physicist notes that depending on whether free will exists it affects how we interpret aspects of quantum phenomena.

I have come across this before in popular science articles.
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Re: Free will

Postby romansh » Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:39 am

Bill wrote: A bit like the free-will debate: since neither side can make an irrefutable case, both sides will continue to have the correct belief for evermore.


There is a complication here Bill.

While there is no irrefutable proof ... I agree, there is a whack load of evidence. And that evidence is cause and effect.
If we think of free will as making choices independently of cause, then it is difficult to see how we can have free will in this sense.

Also our default factory setting seems to be that of actively having a belief in free will. When someone questions the validity of those settings then we seem to have an emotional response from believers.

Also when if we approach the subject agnostically we can readily admit we don't know or at least can't be sure. But in the morning when we get up, either we will have a belief in free will or we won't. I think it behooves us to explore both sides of this conundrum. I think most of us have experienced living with a belief in free will. But if we claim to be agnostic on the matter, should we not examine the other side: ie a lack of belief in free will?
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Re: Free will

Postby Bill » Sat Apr 02, 2016 5:23 pm

The ultimate irony is being told that "believers" of free will are driven by emotion: suggesting the other side is only concerned with cold, hard fact.

And yet those who dare suggest that the case against free-will is not solid are subject to scorn and sad head-shaking.

The past is determined, the future is probablistic and until one of several choices are made, a cause has more than one possible effect. Using the casue and effact argument to "dispoprive" free will is without substance.

When a case with some substance can be made, then the agnostic will havings omething new to consider. Until then all we face is the same old argments trottted out repeatedly as if consitant repetition adds weight to a case. I would have thought you would have seen how futule this is, Rom. having yurself watched Chap use the same tactic to try to show you that evolution is without merit.
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Re: Free will

Postby romansh » Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:49 am

Bill wrote: The ultimate irony is being told that "believers" of free will are driven by emotion: suggesting the other side is only concerned with cold, hard fact..

Here I think we have a typical response to people replying in an emotional way. I certainly did not mean to, nor do I think "believers" are driven by emotion. At least no more so than I am. I just find discussing the lack of free will elicits an emotional response at times.
Bill wrote:And yet those who dare suggest that the case against free-will is not solid are subject to scorn and sad head-shaking..

If there is any scorn, it is on the poorly thought out defence of free will.
Bill wrote:The past is determined, the future is probablistic and until one of several choices are made, a cause has more than one possible effect. Using the casue and effact argument to "dispoprive" free will is without substance..

Here the science is not exactly accurate, at least according to some quantum physicists. The past is also probabilistic according to our current interpretations of quantum mechanics in its various forms. In the same sense so is the future. But we seem to accept the past is a result of cause and effect, and yet we seem to have doubt the future will also be a result of cause and effect.

This brings us to the ever elusive now. According to psychologists/neuroscientists the human "now" is blend of the last two to three seconds. In sports eg catching a ball our now is 50 ms into history. So in large part if not completely our now appears to have been determined, using your vernacular.

The fact that the future is probabilistic in a quantum mechanical way does not help the case for free will. The fact we can express the likelihood of future and past events in probabilities also does not help the arguments for free will.
Bill wrote:When a case with some substance can be made, then the agnostic will havings omething new to consider. Until then all we face is the same old argments trottted out repeatedly as if consitant repetition adds weight to a case. I would have thought you would have seen how futule this is, Rom. having yurself watched Chap use the same tactic to try to show you that evolution is without merit.

Yes I keep addressing your "same old arguments" and you keep ignoring what I say. While you claim not to have any belief in free will or not, your words speak louder than your claims. Somewhere on this site (or perhaps a previous reincarnation) you claimed you would rather not have been born if everything was "pre" determined. This does not seem to me a disinterested and solely logical approach to the subject.

Just ignoring and dismissing without rigour what has been presented is a Chap like tactic. I really wish you would engage in the discussion.
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Re: Free will

Postby Bill » Sun Apr 03, 2016 10:45 am

Rom - I have discussed your case in great detail and yet I am repeatedly asked to do so again. I see nothing for either of us for me to keep repeateing myself

For, to be frank, I do not think your case is worth going over a second time.

In short, I am tired of being taken to task for not treating a bad case as if it were the elixir of life, wrapped in ironclad logic and topped with a raspberry of disdain to all non-believers. I would have expected you to have thought that I have absolutely no choice in the matter, being naught more than a mid point of an inevitable chain of cause and effect.

Bring a fresh case to the forum - not the same old one but recanted by a newly-discovered true-believer google has found- and any fresh case will examined on its merits. It is not that we (me and the hundred other members who have abandoned this thread) ignore previous attempts to persuade, just that we are bone tired of listening to it all over again.
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Re: Free will

Postby romansh » Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:37 am

Bill wrote: That you think the existence of Free Will can be proven or disproven by scientific evidence is your worldview, but no one else's. If someone wishes to believe or not believe in anything whatsoever (and the belief is harmless) no other person has the right to tell them that are not entitled to hold that belief.

No I don't think free will can be proven. You repeat this canard often. Science does not prove stuff, it hypothesises finds corroborating evidence and drops a hypothesis like a hot potato when conflicting evidence is confirmed.

Regarding disproof I think we can disprove certain phenomena, eg luminiferous ether can be discounted because of the Michelson Morley experiment.

Then we play the game where you claim that I suggest no one has the right to hold particular beliefs. And yet in my world view, I think people can't help but have the beliefs they do. Bill I wish you would stop misrepresenting what I am saying.
Bill wrote:I agree that there is no irrefutable evidence that proves the existence of free will and none that that proves its non-existence. Hence, I have no grounds on which to dismiss or accept its existence.

And yet you seem to accept the existence of free will? Show me where you have argued against those that believe free will exists?
You seem to argue for all the trappings that go with free will, eg morality, evil, guilt etc.

Bill wrote:Not having grounds to dismiss a position does not mean that its opposite is invariably supported and evidence must be produced to justify such support.

No, but your default settings do seem to be a belief in free will.
Bill wrote:I have never once said that free will exists, only that the "evidence" provided by some strident members of the "There Is No Free Will" Brigade (think Og) is capable of alternative interpretations or amount to special pleading. It is not my fault inadequate evidence has been provided: but I am under no obligation to prove that free will does, in fact, exist.

Here you misrepresent Og as well. He has stated that we can't prove the absence of free will. That evidence is inadequate for you and perhaps many others is irrelevant.
The evidence convinces me to reconsider other options to believing in free will. Are you suggesting the evidence provided so far has not been enough for you to reconsider your belief in free will?
Bill wrote:I do not think it is a matter of Forum policy that anyone who refuses to kneel before the banner of any worldview is thereby forced to issue acceptable evidence to show why they may be permitted to continue to be heretics.

It is not a matter of forum policy that ideas cannot go unchallenged either, or is it?
Bill wrote:We are here for all persuasions, not just those on a list of ones that are allowed.

Yes ... exactly.
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Re: Free will

Postby Bill » Sat Apr 16, 2016 3:43 pm

I see several different sorts of challenges that go on in our discussions from a polite "Why do you hold that point of view?" at one end to the more in-your-face demand of "How can you possibly justify having such an unwarranted belief?" at the other.

Og was the first on this forum to opine "Free Will could only exist in defiance of the laws of thermodynamics". A position never properly explained, but trotted out by others as The Golden Rule of there being No Free Will.

The ultimate irony is that I am told that I have no choice in the opinions that I hold, but since they do not conincide with yours, I am unjustified in holding them.

Please let me say this one last time, and let me retire in peace: I have never said that I believe free will exists, I have neither cause, evidence or logic to reconsider a belief that I do not have, and the case that there is no free will is vapid, inconsequential and non-sequitir proffered as first rate logic.

And if you believe I have no free will, why on earth do you keep asking me to change my mind?
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