Do we have free will?


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This is another in the fascinating series of cutting-edge Prager University videos. The University motto is:

"We teach what isn't taught."

You would never find ideas like this in the secular leftist government funded anti-American medrasas.

The video only been up two days and is already viral with 160,000 views.

Greg

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"We teach what isn't taught."

You would never find ideas like this in the secular leftist government funded anti-American medrasas.

The video only been up two days and is already viral with 160,000 views.

Greg

What is "you". What is "me"? Is there a mini-me inside my head. Some of the best scanning equipment in t he world has not seen a mini-me in my body.

What "mind"? Has a "mind" ever been found in the body of another person?

Can anyone outside my body detect the "immaterial" me?

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What "mind"? Has a "mind" ever been found in the body of another person?

There ain't no such thing as software. Proof: No software ever was found by dissecting a hard drive or a flash drive or a DVD.

Microsoft made billions by making something that doesn't exist. Software is crapdoodle. This OL website works by something that doesn't exist. Professional programmers make a living by making crapdoodle. Software development is fraud. All professional software developers should be thrown in jail for fraud.

Someone will say it is the software (operating system + applications) that animates a computer and brings it to life (in a manner of speaking). That is a pile of male bovine excrement. There is no ghost in the machine.

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"We teach what isn't taught."

You would never find ideas like this in the secular leftist government funded anti-American medrasas.

The video only been up two days and is already viral with 160,000 views.

Greg

What is "you". What is "me"? Is there a mini-me inside my head. Some of the best scanning equipment in t he world has not seen a mini-me in my body.

What "mind"? Has a "mind" ever been found in the body of another person?

Can anyone outside my body detect the "immaterial" me?

I understand your desperation. I am willing to help you understand that too plus "you," "me," "mind" and "thine" and for only a modest price. I can't guarantee success, but I'll do my best.

--Brant

https://paypal.com

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I understand your desperation. I am willing to help you understand and for only a modest price. I can't guarantee success, but I'll do my best.

--Brant

PayPal only

No you can't. I am an implacable empiricist. I dismiss anything not empirically testable as nonsense or fiddle faddle...

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I understand your desperation. I am willing to help you understand and for only a modest price. I can't guarantee success, but I'll do my best.

--Brant

PayPal only

No you can't. I am an implacable empiricist. I dismiss anything not empirically testable as nonsense or fiddle faddle...

Oh. I know. You see, you've never justified implacable empiricism. You have no tools to do that except the ones you steal and keep under the covers while you use them. Then you pull the covers off your head and say it's not implacable empiricism then pull the covers back over and hide from the following discussion until you pop back up and repeat yourself.

--Brant

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Oh. I know. You see, you've never justified implacable empiricism. You have no tools to do that except the ones you steal and keep under the covers while you use them. Then you pull the covers off your head and say it's not implacable empiricism then pull the covers back over and hide from the following discussion until you pop back up and repeat yourself.

--Brant

I don't have top justify what clearly works....

Science works. Science is empirical at the root. Science succeeds. Philosophy fails. Again and again and again....

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Oh. I know. You see, you've never justified implacable empiricism. You have no tools to do that except the ones you steal and keep under the covers while you use them. Then you pull the covers off your head and say it's not implacable empiricism then pull the covers back over and hide from the following discussion until you pop back up and repeat yourself.

--Brant

I don't have top justify what clearly works....

Science works. Science is empirical at the root. Science succeeds. Philosophy fails. Again and again and again....

And 2.57 cheers for reductionism.....

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Oh. I know. You see, you've never justified implacable empiricism. You have no tools to do that except the ones you steal and keep under the covers while you use them. Then you pull the covers off your head and say it's not implacable empiricism then pull the covers back over and hide from the following discussion until you pop back up and repeat yourself.

--Brant

I don't have top justify what clearly works....

Science works. Science is empirical at the root. Science succeeds. Philosophy fails. Again and again and again....

And 2.57 cheers for reductionism.....

Tell us again how the philosophy of science tells us how "Philosophy fails. Again and again and again...."

--Brant

empiricism is a philosophy

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.

Tell us again how the philosophy of science tells us how "Philosophy fails. Again and again and again...."

--Brant

empiricism is a philosophy

I am simply stating the facts. 3000 years and no workable answers to any of the questions. Either the methodology is wrong or the questions are poppy-cock. Or both.....

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I am simply stating the facts. 3000 years and no workable answers to any of the questions.

Really?

"Do to others as you would have them do to you."

So that's not a workable answer in your own life?

You're still avoiding a question I asked you:

Are you self aware?

Gerg

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I am simply stating the facts. 3000 years and no workable answers to any of the questions.

Really?

"Do to others as you would have them do to you."

So that's not a workable answer in your own life?

You're still avoiding a question I asked you:

Are you self aware?

Gerg

A fine heuristic to which I subscribe. It seems to produce the desired results which means a life generally free of strife... In a word, it works. Oh, Oh, pragmatic me!!!

Ba'al Chatzaf

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If anyone ever tells you of their own free will, that free will does not exist, then they are lying to make a point that they know is false even as they utter it. They KNOW their inner self exists. Schitzophrenics KNOW someone is inside them. It just isn't JUST them. Boo!

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Free will is what is left over after determinism has its sway. The resultant use of free will then help determine the future nature of determinism from which comes more free will making more effects. Etc. Thus (human) free will helps determine the future, however small, of the universe. Makes you wonder how much of the universe came from other free willed alien beings distorting the natural, unfettered flow of existence and the nature of observable reality. I wonder if the free will or the determinism of our universe came first. If the former, that's our God, but a God that no longer cares about what happens. Likely he's busy making more universes. Something to do with string theory?

Is there someone behind the screen?

--Brant

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I am simply stating the facts. 3000 years and no workable answers to any of the questions.

Really?

"Do to others as you would have them do to you."

So that's not a workable answer in your own life?

You're still avoiding a question I asked you:

Are you self aware?

Gerg

A fine heuristic to which I subscribe. It seems to produce the desired results which means a life generally free of strife... In a word, it works. Oh, Oh, pragmatic me!!!

But that did not come from scientists, Bob.

Science is completely mute on morality. The Golden Rule came from something of an even lower order than philosophy. It came from religion. You know, that irrational illogical fantasy that scientists mock.

By the way, did you believe your stupid jackass scientists when they've been telling you that cholesterol is bad for you for the last 40 years? Now they're telling you it isn't.

Sucker. :wink:

Greg

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Without free will our "moralist" would be out of business.

Science is an expression of integrity and integrity comes from morality. If one is rotten so too the other. No one and certainly no scientist is exempt from either. Many scientists are whores for money and prestige and some of those to the point of viciousness. If anyone calls you a "climate change denier" without using quotation marks, that's pure rot in action.

--Brant

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Science is an expression of integrity and integrity comes from morality. If one is rotten so too the other. No one and certainly no scientist is exempt from either. Many scientists are whores for money and prestige and some of those to the point of viciousness. If anyone calls you a "climate change denier" without using quotation marks, that's pure rot in action.

--Brant

Spot on, Brant.

Leftist "scientists" are just government funding whores.

Greg

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  • 5 years later...

I will watch those videos tomorrow and I have most likely posted these before but . . .  *Free Will* and some Objectivist background? Peter

Ayn Rand writes in Galt's Speech, "...that your character, your actions, your desires, your emotions are the products of the premises held by your mind—that as man must produce the physical values he needs to sustain his life, so he must acquire the values of character that make his life worth sustaining—that as man is a being of self-made wealth, so he is a being of self-made soul—that to live requires a sense of self-value, but man, who has no automatic values, has no automatic sense of self-esteem and must earn it by shaping his soul in the image of his moral ideal..."

Galt’s Speech, For the New Intellectual, 151. To grasp the axiom that existence exists, means to grasp the fact that nature, i.e., the universe as a whole, cannot be created or annihilated, that it cannot come into or go out of existence. Whether its basic constituent elements are atoms, or subatomic particles, or some yet undiscovered forms of energy, it is not ruled by a consciousness or by will or by chance, but by the law of identity. All the countless forms, motions, combinations and dissolutions of elements within the universe—from a floating speck of dust to the formation of a galaxy to the emergence of life—are caused and determined by the identities of the elements involved.

“The Metaphysical and the Man-Made,” Philosophy: Who Needs It, 25. Since things are what they are, since everything that exists possesses a specific identity, nothing in reality can occur causelessly or by chance.

Leonard Peikoff “The Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy,” Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, 108. Choice . . . is not chance. Volition is not an exception to the Law of Causality; it is a type of causation.

Free Will. That which you call your soul or spirit is your consciousness, and that which you call “free will” is your mind’s freedom to think or not, the only will you have, your only freedom, the choice that controls all the choices you make and determines your life and your character.

Galt’s Speech, For the New Intellectual, 127. To think is an act of choice. The key to what you so recklessly call “human nature,” the open secret you live with, yet dread to name, is the fact that man is a being of volitional consciousness. Reason does not work automatically; thinking is not a mechanical process; the connections of logic are not made by instinct. The function of your stomach, lungs or heart is automatic; the function of your mind is not. In any hour and issue of your life, you are free to think or to evade that effort. But you are not free to escape from your nature, from the fact that reason is your means of survival—so that for you, who are a human being, the question “to be or not to be” is the question “to think or not to think.”

A being of volitional consciousness has no automatic course of behavior. He needs a code of values to guide his actions.

Galt’s Speech, For the New Intellectual, 120. Man’s consciousness shares with animals the first two stages of its development: sensations and perceptions; but it is the third state, conceptions, that makes him man. Sensations are integrated into perceptions automatically, by the brain of a man or of an animal. But to integrate perceptions into conceptions by a process of abstraction, is a feat that man alone has the power to perform—and he has to perform it by choice. The process of abstraction, and of concept-formation is a process of reason, of thought; it is not automatic nor instinctive nor involuntary nor infallible. Man has to initiate it, to sustain it and to bear responsibility for its results. The pre-conceptual level of consciousness is nonvolitional; volition begins with the first syllogism. Man has the choice to think or to evade—to maintain a state of full awareness or to drift from moment to moment, in a semi-conscious daze, at the mercy of whatever associational whims the unfocused mechanism of his consciousness produces.

“For the New Intellectual,” For the New Intellectual, 14. Reason is the faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by man’s senses. It is a faculty that man has to exercise by choice. Thinking is not an automatic function. In any hour and issue of his life, man is free to think or to evade that effort. Thinking requires a state of full, focused awareness. The act of focusing one’s consciousness is volitional. Man can focus his mind to a full, active, purposefully directed awareness of reality—or he can unfocus it and let himself drift in a semiconscious daze, merely reacting to any chance stimulus of the immediate moment, at the mercy of his undirected sensory-perceptual mechanism and of any random, associational connections it might happen to make. When man unfocuses his mind, he may be said to be conscious in a subhuman sense of the word, since he experiences sensations and perceptions. But in the sense of the word applicable to man—in the sense of a consciousness which is aware of reality and able to deal with it, a consciousness able to direct the actions and provide for the survival of a human being—an unfocused mind is not conscious.

Psychologically, the choice “to think or not” is the choice “to focus or not.” Existentially, the choice “to focus or not” is the choice “to be conscious or not.” Metaphysically, the choice “to be conscious or not” is the choice of life or death . . . .

A process of thought is not automatic nor “instinctive” nor involuntary—nor infallible. Man has to initiate it, to sustain it and to bear responsibility for its results. He has to discover how to tell what is true or false and how to correct his own errors; he has to discover how to validate his concepts, his conclusions, his knowledge; he has to discover the rules of thought, the laws of logic, to direct his thinking. Nature gives him no automatic guarantee of the efficacy of his mental effort.

Nothing is given to man on earth except a potential and the material on which to actualize it. The potential is a superlative machine: his consciousness; but it is a machine without a spark plug, a machine of which his own will has to be the spark plug, the self-starter and the driver; he has to discover how to use it and he has to keep it in constant action. The material is the whole of the universe, with no limits set to the knowledge he can acquire and to the enjoyment of life he can achieve. But everything he needs or desires has to be learned, discovered and produced by him—by his own choice, by his own effort, by his own mind . . . .

That which [man’s] survival requires is set by his nature and is not open to his choice. What is open to his choice is only whether he will discover it or not, whether he will choose the right goals and values or not. He is free to make the wrong choice, but not free to succeed with it. He is free to evade reality, he is free to unfocus his mind and stumble blindly down any road he pleases, but not free to avoid the abyss he refuses to see. Knowledge, for any conscious organism, is the means of survival; to a living consciousness, every “is” implies an “ought.” Man is free to choose not to be conscious, but not free to escape the penalty of unconsciousness: destruction. Man is the only living species that has the power to act as his own destroyer—and that is the way he has acted through most of his history.

“The Objectivist Ethics,” The Virtue of Selfishness, 21. The faculty of volition operates in regard to the two fundamental aspects of man’s life: consciousness and existence, i.e., his psychological action and his existential action, i.e., the formation of his own character and the course of action he pursues in the physical world.

“What Is Romanticism?” The Romantic Manifesto, 100. A social environment can neither force a man to think nor prevent him from thinking. But a social environment can offer incentives or impediments; it can make the exercise of one’s rational faculty easier or harder; it can encourage thinking and penalize evasion or vice versa.

Rand wrote: “A process of thought is not automatic nor “instinctive” nor involuntary—nor infallible. Man has to initiate it, to sustain it and to bear responsibility for its results.”

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15 hours ago, jts said:

 

At the end of this more-or-less short video, this guy laments that, despite the earth-shattering news that free will doesn't exist, many people refuse to accept it just like many people refuse to accept the earth-shattering news of manmade climate change.

Damn their free will, their refusal, these dumb people!

:) 

yawn...

There's a book I read on emotions that dug deep into what this guy was saying, including the experiments he mentioned: How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett (remunerated Amazon referral link).

The book had a ton of great information in it about brain functions, but every other paragraph, Barrett felt compelled to repeat that free will does not exist. She tried to convince by repetition and there was a reason for that.

Her logic was the same as the guy above. It goes something like this. If certain decisions are seen to have been made by lower level parts of the brain before consciousness is even aware that a choice will be made, then ALL decisions are made before consciousness is aware them.

And that's just silly.

I see a red ant, so I conclude that all ants are red. I see another red and in another place at another time and that's proof positive that all ants are red.

That's an example of how this epistemological method works without the big words, paradox massaging and misdirection. Stripped down to its logic-method essence, it's silly.

(Barrett also kept going on about how she could never find what an emotion looks like, thus essentially concluding that emotions don't exist. She repeated that a lot, too. I bet the guy in the video is not far behind, or will soon catch up. :) )

Rand summed this mentality up perfectly in Atlas Shrugged by the title of the so-called scientific book: Why do You Think You Think?

Don't forget that, in the story, this book was not woo-woo. It was not religion. It was not satire. It was published under the auspices of the State Science Institute. It was sold to the public as science.

Just like the dude in the video and Barrett and others are doing.

Out here in real life, notice that every time you scratch beneath the "shocking truth" these attacks on the mind present in the name of science, you will find an authoritarian(s) at the root just salivating to exercise his or her free will on others. Scratch further and you will see such free will almost always seeks unfair money, and/or sex, and/or power. Yup. Age-old sack and pillage. Money, sex and power. 

:) 

In modern form, these egghead doofuses often do good work in specific details, but notice how they constantly preach their "shocking truth" and constantly tut-tut-tut about how people refuse to believe them. That's a strong indication that power over others is their fundament, their main desire, their intellectual driver, not truth, scientific or otherwise.

They seek to project the heroic story of the martyr while reaping the corrupt rewards of the conqueror.

Emotionally, they are not serious adults. Like Peter Pan, they never grew up. Socially, though, unlike Peter Pan, they like to loot, rape and destroy those who make them feel inferior, mostly those who produce. But they don't mind trashing other victims in a pinch. They are bullies at root and the individual volitional mind (free will) is their biggest fear.

Without power, they look harmless enough. But let them get power, especially by attacking the individual volitional mind, and evil use of money, sex and power is what they do. After a time, it's almost all they do.

Rand nailed that truth beautifully.

So beware of sweet poison in the name of science. Partake of it and you get looted and/or raped and/or destroyed. Your kids, too. And those you love.

Michael

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41 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Out here in real life, notice that every time you scratch beneath the "shocking truth" these attacks on the mind present in the name of science, you will find an authoritarian(s) at the root just salivating to exercise his or her free will on others.

 

41 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

So beware of sweet poison in the name of science. Partake of it and you get looted and/or raped and/or destroyed.

Reminds me of the atheists of the Matt Dillahunty variety, who are so logical in their takedowns of Christians, attacking apologists for finding biblical support for slavery, but then turn right around to trash libertarianism and Objectivism, while supporting communism and Antifa. So smart, so ready to root out authoritarianism and Nazism/ power-lust in Christians, yet so blind to their own power-lust and blind to the slavery of communism.

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