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Poll: Do you have free will?
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YES, I DO have free will, in the sense that it is ultimately up to me, or ultimately my choice, which actions I take and when.
53.85%
14 53.85%
NO, I do NOT have free will, in the sense that it is NOT ultimately up to me, and NOT ultimately my choice, which actions I take and when.
46.15%
12 46.15%
Total 26 vote(s) 100%
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Does free will exist?

Does free will exist?
https://academic.oup.com/scan/article/9/...6/1618943/

"These results were not explained by psychopathology or severity of depression or anxiety symptoms, or by gender, level of neuroticism, parental psychopathology, negative life events, antidepressant use or decreased mPFC volume in the CEM group. These findings indicate mPFC hypoactivity in individuals reporting CEM during emotional and neutral memory encoding and recognition. Our findings suggest that CEM may increase individuals’ risk to the development of psychopathology on differential levels of processing in the brain; blunted mPFC activation during higher order processing and enhanced amygdala activation during automatic/lower order emotion processing. These findings are vital in understanding the long-term consequences of CEM."
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Does free will exist?
(10-04-2019, 09:04 PM)SYZ Wrote: By this definition of the unconscious, which is the original and historic one, contemporary social cognition 
research on priming and automaticity effects have shown the existence of sophisticated, flexible, and
adaptive unconscious behaviour guidance systems. These would seem to be of high functional value,
especially as default behavioural tendencies when the conscious mind, as is its wont, travels away from
the present environment into the past or the future. It is nice to know that the unconscious is minding
the store when the owner is absent.

Yes, but....

Instincts typically work within developmental windows.  Hungers and emotions are consciously monitored, at least in adults.  And unconscious habits are typically built up by previous conscious efforts, whether guided by others or intended by one's own planning.  It's not like our unconscious habits were always unconscious.  Very often, in learning them they were excruciatingly conscious.  That is simply not taken into account by such generalizations.  Further, just because conscious monitoring is reduced to a minimum in certain situations doesn't mean "the owner is absent."  I can listen to the radio and still drive the car.  I just switch my attention back and forth.

And this is a critical point for our discussion of free will.
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Does free will exist?
(10-04-2019, 04:07 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote: Actually the conversation is stalled as you have no evidence at all for any of your assertions, and never reference anything you claim.

I have presented the evidence of common observations, all of which you call illusory.  You are still trying to explain an emergent function with reductionism in my opinion.

Oh well....   hobo

(If it wasn't clear from what I said before, I am asserting that reductionism, emergentism, determinism, and free will are all philosophical interpretations of the scientific evidence, and that psychotherapies are based on such interpretations. Philosophers, at least, can recognize what is merely philosophy when they see it. Why can't you?)
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Does free will exist?
(10-04-2019, 09:37 PM)Alan V Wrote:
(10-04-2019, 04:07 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote: Actually the conversation is stalled as you have no evidence at all for any of your assertions, and never reference anything you claim.

I have presented the evidence of common observations, all of which you call illusory.  You are still trying to explain an emergent function with reductionism. 

Oh well....   hobo

All you have to do, very simply ..... demonstrate with science how your "common observations" are supported by science. 
You can't, you didn't. 

Instead you dishonestly toss poo ("reductionism" LOL). 
Oh well.
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Does free will exist?
Are these people conscious ?
https://www.brainline.org/article/emotio...ain-injury
If they are conscious, and consciousness is what drives decisions, then why would there even be any problem ?

LOL
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Does free will exist?
(10-04-2019, 10:29 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote: All you have to do, very simply ..... demonstrate with science how your "common observations" are supported by science. 
You can't, you didn't. 

Instead you dishonestly toss poo ("reductionism" LOL). 
Oh well.

First of all, when I quoted scientific studies which supported free will, you dismissed them out of hand.  That discouraged me from that tactic.

Second, when have I ever challenged you on the science, that I need to demonstrate some "counter science"?

Third, I have challenged certain philosophical interpretations of the science, as over-extrapolations from limited studies.

Fourth, if I have gotten sloppy in my responses, I apologize.  But you must realize you give me very little reason to care what the hell you think.

Finally, you think your opinions trump mine for some reason, but you are just some random person on the internet as far as I can tell. I have my own sources of information who I respect much more, and I have summarized many of their ideas for you. You're welcome.

Poop Tongue Wink
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Does free will exist?
Again ...

Self Preservation.

What does that even mean? Does it exclusively mean to protect ourselves from death? Or, could it also mean to protect ourselves from the greatest harm, even if that harm is greater than death?

Why does the soldier jump on the grenade to protect his fellow soldiers, dying in the process? What motivates him to sacrifice his life? Was it because of some sense of bravery? Insanity? Death wish? Or could the reason be far more primal?

Pain.

What does that even mean? Aside from the pain of an exterior physical injury, we also get other forms of pain. Is fear a form of pain? Does it make us feel uncomfortable and stressed? If so, how is it any different than any other kind of emotional pain? And what do we do about it? We do the same thing we do for any other kind of pain; we try alleviate it.

If the soldier who jumped on the grenade felt intense fear for his fellow soldiers, is it not possible that he sacrificed his life to alleviate the pain of his fear? In nano seconds, that soldier made a choice to either save his own life, or sacrifice it for his fellow soldiers. 

Where did that decision come from? 

That soldier was fully conscious of his actions. Where he made the decision to jump on the grenade, other soldiers may not have made that same decision in the same nano seconds.

No two of us are alike. If we have a certain life threatening situation, we could place person 1, 2, 3 etc in the exact same position in that life threatening situation and the decisions they each make may not be the same. In fact, with an infinite amount of persons in that situation, the chances of all of them making the same decisions are virtually nil.

Why? If we are all compelled by determinism, why then would many of those decisions be different from each other? Are we determined to make a personal decision? If so, how can it be determinism if it's personal/individual?

And what do we really know about the extent of our consciousness? Where does it end and where does the subconscious begin? What is a 'reaction?" Has a decision been made in nano seconds to react to external stimuli? 

If decisions are made from the subconscious and manifested through the conscious, does it mean that the choices we make in the subconscious are not first influenced by the conscious? After all, the input is external and enters the consciousness first, then it enters the subconscious only ro re-emerge from the conscious again. The input has never left the consciousness. It exists there simultaneously as it does in the subconscious. 

What this means is the decision making could originate in the consciousness, then within nano seconds it enters the subconscious as perhaps some verification process, and then re-emerges back in the conscious and then is physically expressed.

External Stimuli->Consciousness->Subconsciousness->Consciousness->Physical Expression.

My feeling is a more holistic position.

That seems quite reasonable to me.

Comments?
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Does free will exist?
(10-05-2019, 01:58 AM)Alan V Wrote: First of all, when I quoted scientific studies which supported free will, you dismissed them out of hand.  That discouraged me from that tactic.

You never did. If you think you did, point to them. 

Quote:Second, when have I ever challenged you on the science, that I need to demonstrate some "counter science"?

Nice try there bud ... you never posted ANY science in support of, or to counter, what I posted. You posted NO SCIENCE. Since that is a fact, ALL your assertions are without support. You supported nothing. All you did was make assertions and feeble (utilitarian and ad populum) arguments. It's not "counter science" that's missing from you, it's ANY science.

Quote:Third, I have challenged certain philosophical interpretations of the science, as over-extrapolations from limited studies.

The majority position of science is what I posted over and over, and you did not and cannot refute any of it, WITH science. All you can do is re-assert your poo-tossing "reductionist" shit. 
The fact is now, there are all kinds of studies, not "limited" studies. You just don't know what they are or where they are. After all you're still back in the "reductionist" era.

Quote:Finally, you think your opinions trump mine for some reason, but you are just some random person on the internet as far as I can tell.  I have my own sources of information who I respect much more, and I have summarized many of their ideas for you.  You're welcome.

My opinions do trump yours. They are supported by science which I presented here.
Your summary and the ideas have been proven wrong. Here. They're worthless ... certainly not worth the "thank you" you imagined. 
I posted multiple references that REFUTE you and your (secret un-posted) "sources of information" have. 
I am a random person on the internet, but I have the facts that prove your opinions to be wrong. I also work in a related field, (which is actually neither here nor there, if one can present support for the facts, which I have), and you, clearly, not only know nothing about brains and how they work, you don't know anything of the current state of the science. Your current knowledge is SO limited that all you can do to respond is call someone a "reductionist" (from the OLD OLD outdated paradigm) and that is the entire scope of your knowledge. Put me back on ignore. PLEASE.
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Does free will exist?
(10-04-2019, 09:33 PM)Alan V Wrote: Hungers and emotions are consciously monitored, at least in adults...

Interesting.   My sleep dysphasia (lack of 24HR circadian rhythm) means I seldom get
a hunger response. I actually work to a set timing, rather than any trigger for hunger.
I also lack a noticeable thirst response, and have to remind myself to drink water during
the day (or night). I often sleep for 20+ hours, and can easily go for 24 hours with no
food or drink, with no repercussions from that.

And I certainly don't/can't "monitor" my emotions..... oh that I could LOL.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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When one looks in the mirror, one can easily ascertain one's emotions based on facial expression. Unless you're autistic.
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(10-06-2019, 01:33 AM)Phaedrus Wrote: When one looks in the mirror, one can easily ascertain one's emotions based on facial expression. Unless you're autistic.

When you have a "blank stare" what are your emotions ?
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Does free will exist?
(10-06-2019, 01:56 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote: When you have a "blank stare" what are your emotions ?

Either RBF or stoic or just little to no activity in the grey matter.
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Does free will exist?
(10-06-2019, 01:57 AM)Phaedrus Wrote:
(10-06-2019, 01:56 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote: When you have a "blank stare" what are your emotions ?

Either RBF or stoic or just little to no activity in the grey matter.

Or the opposite, ... so utterly shocked and in turmoil that one does not know how to react. 
In other words, one cannot tell anything by looking in the mirror.
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Does free will exist?
Maybe you can't.
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Does free will exist?
(10-06-2019, 01:18 AM)SYZ Wrote:
(10-04-2019, 09:33 PM)Alan V Wrote: Hungers and emotions are consciously monitored, at least in adults...

Interesting.    My sleep dysphasia (lack of 24HR circadian rhythm) means I seldom get
a hunger response. I actually work to a set timing, rather than any trigger for hunger.
I also lack a noticeable thirst response, and have to remind myself to drink water during
the day (or night).  I often sleep for 20+ hours, and can easily go for 24 hours with no
food or drink, with no repercussions from that.  

And I certainly don't/can't "monitor" my emotions..... oh that I could LOL.

Are you sure it's called "sleep dysphagia" ? Dysphagia is normally a swallowing or speech disorder. It could be, I've never seen the docs write that.

Hunger and emotions are not "consciously monitored". 
The sensation of hunger arises secondary to chemical signals from a number of sources including the GI system, and virtually the entire system is not in the conscious realm. 
What eventually rises into consciousness is the result of an entirely subconscious (known) chemical/hormonal process. There are all kinds of events which can replace hunger in consciousness as subconscious processes rate various incoming signals as more or less important. If a serious threat is perceived or even a non-serious threat is mistakenly judged to be serious, hunger is replaced by what is judged (subconsciously) to be more important.

"The hypothalamus senses external stimuli mainly through a number of hormones such as leptinghrelinPYY 3-36orexin and cholecystokinin; all modify the hypothalamic response. They are produced by the digestive tract and by adipose tissue (leptin). Systemic mediators, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα), interleukins 1 and 6 and corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) influence appetite negatively; this mechanism explains why ill people often eat less." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunger_(mo...nal_state) 
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(10-06-2019, 01:13 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote: I posted multiple references that REFUTE you and your (secret un-posted) "sources of information" have. 

As I just pointed out, I previously posted references to scientific studies which you dismissed out-of-hand.  So the above assertion is a lie which you like to repeat for some reason.  If you lie about some things, why not others? You are incautious at minimum and offensive to boot. How can you assume you carry any authority with me?

There are scientific studies which support free will which I referenced back in my post #347 and which I re-referenced on several occasions. The relevant information is bolded:

(08-04-2019, 05:07 PM)Alan V Wrote: The author [philosopher Alfred Mele] offers three definitions of free will which are most commonly used:
1) The supernatural concept is that free will depends on a soul. Materialists oppose this definition of course, but most philosophy professors do not define free will this way either. Perhaps surprisingly, according to survey studies of thousands of people, neither do a majority of people who actually believe in souls.
2) An ambitious concept is that free will is a deep openness to more than one option. In other words, even if all circumstances were the same a person could still decide differently.
3) A more modest concept is that free will means making consciously reasoned decisions without undue forces determining those decisions. Some say this is too modest, though it is still one of the most popular definitions in common usage.
The author claims that science has not disproved either the second or third definition, and that in fact some studies prove that the third form of free will exists, even if the jury is out on the second.

The author [philosopher Alfred Mele] concedes that “deciding freely depends on deciding consciously,” and cites scientific evidence regarding various free will issues, including conscious decision-making. “There’s evidence that lowering people’s confidence in the existence of free will increases bad behavior” through reducing incentives to control bad behaviors (Vohs and Schooler 2008, Baumeister et al. 2009). There is also evidence that belief in free will promotes personal well-being (Dweck and Molden 2008). Most importantly, making conscious decisions to do something had significant effects on behaviors, according to over 94 independent tests of implementation intentions (all done before 2006). People who consciously form intentions to do something at a certain place or time, or in a certain situation, are much more likely to do it. So science shows that conscious intentions are sometimes effective.

Look up implementation intentions if you doubt this.

(10-06-2019, 01:13 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote: I am a random person on the internet, but I have the facts that prove your opinions to be wrong.  I also work in a related field, (which is actually neither here nor there, if one can present support for the facts, which I have), and you, clearly, not only know nothing about brains and how they work, you don't know anything of the current state of the science. Your current knowledge is SO limited that all you can do to respond is call someone a "reductionist" (from the OLD OLD outdated paradigm) and that is the entire scope of your knowledge. Put me back on ignore. PLEASE.

As long as you assert that the science definitively proves that consciousness is a mere causally ineffective epiphenomenon, I will say you are wrong and have made extrapolations beyond what the science presently states. Some science supports the causal efficacy of consciousness.

Not surprisingly, some scientists who make philosophical interpretations of scientific studies do a poor job if it because they are not trained philosophers.

Ignore me if you want, but stop lying about me. (Why are you trolling me?)
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(10-06-2019, 01:33 AM)Phaedrus Wrote: When one looks in the mirror, one can easily ascertain one's emotions based on facial expression. Unless you're autistic.

I guess that explains why I can't ascertain my emotions based on my facial expressions in a mirror at all (nor by any other means, for that matter), then.
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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Does free will exist?
(10-06-2019, 10:54 AM)Alan V Wrote: As I just pointed out, I previously posted references to scientific studies which you ignored out-of-hand.  So the above assertion is a lie which you like to repeat for some reason.  

All you have to do is point to the SCIENCE you claim to have posted. It's not here. You are lying. There are no referenced scientific studies in post 347. There are general assertions and no specific references. Since you don't know anything about how science is done or how science is referenced it's not surprising. It's not there. There are no specific studies there. Fail. 

Quote:There are scientific studies which support free will which I referenced back in my post #347 and which I re-referenced on several occasions.

There are not, and you referenced NO SPECIFIC anything. 

Quote:Here is the relevant information, bolded:

The author [philosopher Alfred Mele] offers three definitions of free will which are most commonly used:
1) The supernatural concept is that free will depends on a soul.  Materialists oppose this definition of course, but most philosophy professors do not define free will this way either.  Perhaps surprisingly, according to survey studies of thousands of people, neither do a majority of people who actually believe in souls.
2) An ambitious concept is that free will is a deep openness to more than one option.  In other words, even if all circumstances were the same a person could still decide differently.
3) A more modest concept is that free will means making consciously reasoned decisions without undue forces determining those decisions.  Some say this is too modest, though it is still one of the most popular definitions in common usage.
The author claims that science has not disproved either the second or third definition, and that in fact some studies prove that the third form of free will exists, even if the jury is out on the second.

Fail and fail again. Mele (a philosopher) is not a scientist. This garbage is not science and is DISMISSED As you were told his definitions were based on a random survey of the uneducated public. It's totally worthless. Your desperate clinging to this garbage shows how utterly weak and desperate your argument is. You have already been told what is wrong with this Mele shit. IT IS NOT SCIENCE. It's worthless assertion by someone who is not an expert in the field who then tries to demonstrate it's "USEFUL" but does not demonstrate it's TRUE. What the author "claims" without supporting data is irrelevant and dismissed. Science does not have to "disprove" anything. If he's asserting something, he has to prove it. He has not proven that pink sparkly unicorns don't exist .... see how that works.

Quote:The author [philosopher Alfred Mele] concedes that “deciding freely depends on deciding consciously,” and cites scientific evidence regarding various free will issues, including conscious decision-making.  “There’s evidence that lowering people’s confidence in the existence of free will increases bad behavior” through reducing incentives to control bad behaviors (Vohs and Schooler 2008, Baumeister et al. 2009).  There is also evidence that belief in free will promotes personal well-being (Dweck and Molden 2008).  Most importantly, making conscious decisions to do something had significant effects on behaviors, according to over 94 independent tests of implementation intentions (all done before 2006).  People who consciously form intentions to do something at a certain place or time, or in a certain situation, are much more likely to do it.  So science shows that conscious intentions are sometimes effective.

Fail again. And again and again. The "confidence" in some "thing" is not the "thing". How "confident" were people that the Earth was flat or that there is a god ? Confidence is total bullshit. It's totally irrelevant what the "confidence" in something is, if it is a flawed concept in the first place. You AGAIN are employing the Utilitarian argument, (no wonder you never addressed this, you don't even know what this is and means) .... that the "thing" is real or good because you get a good outcome. The ends justify the means. That is what Mele is saying. I hope you are not so stupid that escapes you. Apparently it did Mele. Conscious "intentions" may be (obvious they are) effective, ... that is NOT the question here. The question is where do they come from. They are not formed from nothing, or "out of the blue". Consciousness does not operate independently. 95 % of brain activity (which is where conscious intentions COME FROM), is unconscious and subconscious. The impetus for the intentions comes from the 95 % of brain activity which is unconscious and subconscious. Of course conscious decisions get implemented. You don't even get what this discussion is all about. The question is not about the implementation of intentions, it about WHERE THEY come from in the first place. Asserting there is free will, does not make it true.

Quote:As long as you assert that the science definitively proves that consciousness is a mere causally ineffective epiphenomenon, I will say you are wrong and have made extrapolations far beyond what the science presently states.
[quote]

What you, some random guy on the internet, with no knowledge or expertise in science, no knowledge of brains and how they work, have to say on the subject is totally irrelevant. You have no authority and without SPECIFIC science anything you say has been proven to be worthless. You have totally moved the goalposts here. I never said consciousness was "a causally ineffective epiphenomenon" That is a lie. What I have been talking about all along are the myriad of elements (the 95 %) that go into what eventually become a conscious intention. The discussion is not about effective intentions. It's about their origins. They do not arise from nothing. They arise from unconscious and subconscious brain activity which has been proven here over and over. Your arguments are SO weak and ineffective that now you are CHANGING the goal-posts and talking about effectiveness instead of origins. We're not so stupid we can't see your obvious dishonest tactic.  

[quote]Not surprisingly, some scientists who make philosophical interpretations of scientific studies do a poor job if it, because they are not trained philosophers.

LMAO. It's because they know nothing, like you, about the present state of the science. Their philosophy is not the problem. You clearly are not a trained philosopher.

Quote:Ignore me if you want, but stop lying about me.  (Why are you trolling me?)

It's not about you dear. THE SCIENCE YOU CLAIM IS missing. I don't suffer fools, and your posts are total bullshit. If you don't want someone to refute your garbage, stop posting garbage. (Nice try at playing a victim ... since your arguments have failed, here we have not only deflection by changing the goal-posts, but also victim-hood). Poor baby.

Yeah, you got nothing.
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Does free will exist?
(10-06-2019, 03:21 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:
(10-06-2019, 01:18 AM)SYZ Wrote:
(10-04-2019, 09:33 PM)Alan V Wrote: Hungers and emotions are consciously monitored, at least in adults...

Interesting.    My sleep dysphasia (lack of 24HR circadian rhythm)...

Are you sure it's called "sleep dysphagia"? Dysphagia is normally a swallowing or speech disorder. It could be, I've never seen the docs write that.

You're right;  I described my sleep condition incorrectly (or my auto-correct did LOL).  It should've
been dyssomnia.  I have a combination of advanced sleep phase disorder (ASPD) and delayed
sleep phase disorder (DSPD), sometimes called N-24 sleep disorder, for non-24 hour—or a "rolling"
sleep pattern.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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(10-06-2019, 12:38 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote: Yeah, you got nothing.

You're a funny guy.  Everyone who follows you on this forum likely understands that you offer hard-hitting and dismissive critiques of anyone you disagree with.  It's not just me.

But they also know me, that I am a good-faith contributor who tries to be honest and also tries to express myself carefully.  So I am writing my responses for them, since I've given up on you.  That's why I won't bother with the counter-science since you can't be bothered to look it up yourself and will only dismiss it out-of-hand too.

Anyone who says science has disproven free will is saying that science can be definitive about a philosophical concept.  While this is possible, this is why the opinions of philosophers are relevant to the discussion.  I have not made the counter-argument based on my own authority as a philosopher, since I am not one and have lots of doubts about them.  I made it based on the book I read by philosopher Alfred Mele, who I keep referencing.

I do assume you know a great deal more about the brain science than I do.  But I am not arguing that point.  I am arguing whether the science is definitive.  My opinion is that until scientists offer an explanation for consciousness that preserves appearances rather than dismissing them out-of-hand as mere illusions, the science can't possibly be definitive.  I have offered any number of appearances which you could have explained to me, but since you have only been dismissive rather than explanatory, you only emphasize this point in my opinion.

So until you address the arguments which I have actually been making, you can have no real idea whether I've "got nothing."

A good fish is not a bad cake.
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(10-07-2019, 11:50 AM)Alan V Wrote: My opinion is that until scientists offer an explanation for consciousness that preserves appearances rather than dismissing them out-of-hand as mere illusions, the science can't possibly be definitive. 

What appearance? The appearance of "free will"?
What evolutionary advantage would a complete awareness of inner workings have?

Do you think a cuttlefish knows exactly how it changes colors and handles camouflage? Or do they just do it intuitively, as if it's a simple matter-of-fact thing?
Like us, moving an arm or a leg.... do we think of all the individual electric signals that need to be sent down all the individual nerves to all the individual muscle fibres? or do we, at best, think of the whole portion of the arm or leg moving and voilá, it moves??

There's a layer of abstraction of sorts which separate the conscious awareness from the actual inner workings, but that inner working is, in my opinion, what drives consciousness itself. If one short circuits one neuron pathway, consciousness changes accordingly... even if we can't really tell what happens in detail...
I can't imagine it being any other way, unless one postulates a disembodied consciousness, which it seems no one is doing, here.

A layer of abstraction doesn't mean a disconnect between the "lower layers" and the "higher" ones. It just means that the lower ones are somehow hidden from the higher ones, giving it the appearance of there being no lower layer, but it's the lower layers that do most (if not all) of the work of the higher layers.


A simple analogy (which will be incomplete, due to absence of any precise analogy) is a Sum in a standard processor unit in any calculator, computer, or whatever...
A Sum uses many logical gates, most of which are ANDs. An AND gate performs a relatively complex boolean operation with two inputs and one output and uses many transistors to work. A transistor is a sort of electronic switch that simply allows or disallows the flow of current.
Since humanity designed all these, one can easily understand the progression. But imagine you are given an intel processor and told to probe it to figure out how it works... all while that processor is running some operating system, like Windows 10 and a whole bunch of other programs inside it...
From dead units, you can find out all about the miniature transistors... but what about the gates? and the operations and the play between the CPU and the memory and storage and peripherals... and... and...and... and how to explain the windows and the videos and the games?! It's not a simple task. Just like it's not a simple task to reverse engineer the brain. I'd wager that the brain is even more difficult, due to all the interconnectivity and the variability introduced by the different activation levels on each neuron.
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(10-07-2019, 09:03 PM)pocaracas Wrote:
(10-07-2019, 11:50 AM)Alan V Wrote: My opinion is that until scientists offer an explanation for consciousness that preserves appearances rather than dismissing them out-of-hand as mere illusions, the science can't possibly be definitive. 

What appearance? The appearance of "free will"?
What evolutionary advantage would a complete awareness of inner workings have?

I have been arguing that there is no summation of causes in the human brain at the level of reasoning about different possible choices.  Instead, we select between options.  Reasons are not the same thing as causes.

In other words, for free will to work we would not need consciousness of all non-conscious processes.  Free will is not the same thing as freedom.  We have free will even if we only have two bad choices.

I've been articulating a whole string of appearances along with these.
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Apparently, my bowels have free will, behaving independently of how I want them to.
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(10-07-2019, 09:29 PM)Phaedrus Wrote: Apparently, my bowels have free will, behaving independently of how I want them to.

In that case, I think there are simpler explanations.   hobo
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(10-07-2019, 09:12 PM)Alan V Wrote:
(10-07-2019, 09:03 PM)pocaracas Wrote:
(10-07-2019, 11:50 AM)Alan V Wrote: My opinion is that until scientists offer an explanation for consciousness that preserves appearances rather than dismissing them out-of-hand as mere illusions, the science can't possibly be definitive. 

What appearance? The appearance of "free will"?
What evolutionary advantage would a complete awareness of inner workings have?

I have been arguing that there is no summation of causes in the human brain at the level of reasoning about different possible choices.  Instead, we select between options.  Reasons are not the same thing as causes.

In other words, for free will to work we would not need consciousness of all non-conscious processes.  Free will is not the same thing as freedom.  We have free will even if we only have two bad choices.

I've been articulating a whole string of appearances along with these.

(my bold)
That is the sort of thing that we argue against.... if it's "FREE will", it must be within what constitutes freedom, no? Freedom of will, freedom of choice, freedom of reasoning, freedom of bounds.
If your will is bound, and I don't mean by the available options, but rather by the way the individual brain is structured to think in a particular [apparently] deterministic way, then the reasoning taken from the available options to a particular choice is actually not free, but rather it might make more sense to say it is railroaded.

What I mean is that your reasoning sits atop the neural network of the brain. So your available options will be somehow encoded in some pattern within the brain. The brain will then work its way through them to decide which one to choose. All the while, this brain activity is perceived as you reasoning. The way your brain processes these "patterns" is very likely deterministic, so the choice you end up making is inherently deterministic, but subject to your brain's unique state before and during the decision making process.
This state is non-reproducible, given that the mental state is always in flux and, if you're faced with a similar choice in the future, you will have memory and experience from this previous choice, not to mention any other tidbit of experience that may influence your future decision making.

Given this, I don't disagree that our brain is capable of reasoning over any options it has available - in that respect, it is free. However, it seems to be bound by deterministic processes that direct how such reasoning occurs within, or, to use my previous jargon, at a lower layer of abstraction.
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