Dr H video: "You don't have free will, but don't worry"

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Dr H video: "You don't have free will, but don't worry"

#1

Post by notFritzArgelander »

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Re: Dr H video: "You don't have free will, but don't worry"

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Post by Lady Fraktor »

The jury in my head has gone into recess on this question. ;)
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Re: Dr H video: "You don't have free will, but don't worry"

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Post by notFritzArgelander »

Lady Fraktor wrote:
Sat Oct 10, 2020 7:39 pm
The jury in my head has gone into recess on this question. ;)
The jury in my head ruled on this decades ago. In the sentence "I have free will" the "I" is also an illusion. I was persuaded by David Hume's 1740 A Treatise of Human Nature:
“For my part, when I enter most intimately into what I call myself, I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never can catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe any thing but the perception…. If any one, upon serious and unprejudic'd reflection thinks he has a different notion of himself, I must confess I can reason no longer with him. All I can allow him is, that he may be in the right as well as I, and that we are essentially different in this particular. He may, perhaps, perceive something simple and continu'd, which he calls himself; tho' I am certain there is no such principle in me.”
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Re: Dr H video: "You don't have free will, but don't worry"

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Post by bobharmony »

The initial set of conditions I am working from make me want to reject the lack of "free will". This is going to take a while to work through. Some of it is curiously seductive, I need to go through in more detail.

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Re: Dr H video: "You don't have free will, but don't worry"

#5

Post by chasmanian »

nFA,

how about this for a possibility?:

the "I" is our ego, created by ourselves, and yes it is an illusion.
we use our egos, to interact with physical reality.

but free will does exist. it is not an illusion.
we have free will.
we have the power, and the choice in any moment to choose our thoughts, beliefs and actions.
we have the choice, and power to choose from a large range of possibilities.

I'm very interested in your thoughts.
and value them highly.
and say all of this with the greatest respect, and not challenging you at all. :)

I am a simple minded man, still trying to figure out a few
of the great mysteries of life.
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Re: Dr H video: "You don't have free will, but don't worry"

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Post by notFritzArgelander »

bobharmony wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 3:48 am
The initial set of conditions I am working from make me want to reject the lack of "free will". This is going to take a while to work through. Some of it is curiously seductive, I need to go through in more detail.

Bob
This is completely understandable. The real seduction or self flattery, if you will, is the idea that we have a free will. I am not sure that I am quite as rejecting of the idea of free will as Prof. Hossenfelder. Agains the idea that there is no free will I have experiences in which I surprise myself by doing something that differs from my expectations based on long observation of habits. Those experiences are not explained by her very cogent reductionist argument.

I am much more certain that I reject the idea of free will much more strongly than most folks with whom I've been acquainted. In the sense used by most folks free will is an overblown myth. Folks are very highly conditioned "wet robots" most of the time.
chasmanian wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:00 am
nFA,

how about this for a possibility?:

the "I" is our ego, created by ourselves, and yes it is an illusion.
we use our egos, to interact with physical reality.

but free will does exist. it is not an illusion.
we have free will.
we have the power, and the choice in any moment to choose our thoughts, beliefs and actions.
we have the choice, and power to choose from a large range of possibilities.

I'm very interested in your thoughts.
and value them highly.
and say all of this with the greatest respect, and not challenging you at all. :)

I am a simple minded man, still trying to figure out a few
of the great mysteries of life.
I experience a little bit of free will as I noted above in this post. Occasionally I surprise myself be doing something unaccustomed by habit. But mostly I am predictable. I follow my conditioning.I sincerely believe that moments of free will manifesting are few and far between, quite precious.

I have to say that I am not committed to reductionism as most physical scientists are. The particle matter of an object does not explain its function, how it works. You can arrange the same atoms in different forms and have it behave and function quite differently.

In my kitchen drawer there are knives, forks, and spoons made of the same material. They function differently. Reduction to atoms can't deal with that. Similarly, I think that is possible for computer systems to be recursive, self referential and self modifying. Humans can engage in therapeutic or spiritual programs to relax the grip of the past upon them. The function of doing that permits some tiny lever by which we can freely exercise a choice. When I do that, it feels authentic to me.

So there is a lot to what she says, but the extent of validity of her argument has limitations of which she seems unaware.
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Re: Dr H video: "You don't have free will, but don't worry"

#7

Post by notFritzArgelander »

A little more elaboration about illusions......

The Subjective Ego or "I" is certainly one. Hume introspects and finds phenomena that are continually churning so finds the "I" to be an illusion.
Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of our language. – L. Wittgenstein (Philosophical Investigations)
So for me "I" is a convenient pronoun to point at the ensemble of experiences of nFA. Nothing more. I'm content with that "I" being an illusion.

Some of those experiences though involve surprise at "choices". That almost never happens. But when it admitedly rarely does, doesn't that falsify the reductionist idea that there is no free will?
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Re: Dr H video: "You don't have free will, but don't worry"

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Post by Graeme1858 »

Perhaps the surprising choices are only surprising at a conscious level and your subconscious isn't surprised at all. It's all still choices based on conditioning with no free will at all.

But then, I was bound to say that!

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Re: Dr H video: "You don't have free will, but don't worry"

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Post by notFritzArgelander »

Graeme1858 wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 6:10 am
Perhaps the surprising choices are only surprising at a conscious level and your subconscious isn't surprised at all. It's all still choices based on conditioning with no free will at all.

But then, I was bound to say that!

Regards

Graeme
No doubt. :lol: However the ability of the subconscious to be surprised is debatable. :) Surprise, after all, is by definition not subconscious. ;) Anyway no surprise here. :( :lol:
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Re: Dr H video: "You don't have free will, but don't worry"

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Post by chasmanian »

nFA,

thank you for your very excellent thoughtful replies. (thank you too Graeme.)

what follows is all my opinion. :)

my opinion, my experience of myself is that I am indeed conditioned to the max.

but I also believe it is possible that I can break out of the conditioning, should I desire.

it is my choice.

I have free will to choose.

no one else is making me choose one thing or the other.

I''m the chooser.

I am indeed a creature of habit.

but I can choose to change habits.

thats the way I see it.

thank you again for all of your thoughts about this. they are super interesting and helpful to me. :)

Charlie
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Re: Dr H video: "You don't have free will, but don't worry"

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Post by Voyageur »

chasmanian wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:20 am

but I also believe it is possible that I can break out of the conditioning, should I desire.

it is my choice.

I have free will to choose.

But who is the "I" that breaks out of the conditioning? Do you perceive that "I" as separate from the conditioned self you acknowledge yourself to be?

Or is it the same "I" , the same self, also conditioned, but at a deeper, more subtle level?

Or is there no "I" at all, no essential, permanent "self?"

The answer to my questions is, I think, "Turtles" (All the way down).
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Re: Dr H video: "You don't have free will, but don't worry"

#12

Post by Star Dad »

If there is no free will then the concept of a predefined and programmed universe is reality. I don't think (think being the operative word) that there is some master being who set up the rules, logic, and coding for this universe and is just observing the outcome.

I make decisions all the time. Some of them very important in the larger scheme of life - my own and, in the past, the world. 99.99% of my decisions have no effect on the universe, perhaps any more than a tiny ripple in a vast ocean. Still I make these decision based on data provided at the time and I hope for the best outcome. Since we cannot predict with certainty the outcome of any decision, the results, while usually predictable, are subject to randomness.

I maintain that we do have free will - otherwise what's the point of this grand experiment called life? Was I pre-destined to be sitting in my den creating astronomical instruction for young girls by a decision I made 50 years ago? So many things happened in between that fateful decision that I made to attend a specific university instead of opting for a different one, I find it impossible to have predicted this outcome among the possible billions of others. So either we have absolutely no free will (the thought of which I abhor) or we have total free will given the circumstances in our surrounding environment.

As an engineer I look at the glass not as half full or half empty - but as being too large.

Note: I am most definitely not a philosopher.
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Re: Dr H video: "You don't have free will, but don't worry"

#13

Post by Voyageur »

Is saying "free will does not exist" the same as saying "everything is predetermined?"

Is saying "free will does exist" the same as saying that ANY given decision is possible to us at any time, under the physical/temporal constraints of the moment, of course?

Let's say my friend calls me and says her car broke down and asks me to come get her. I go, of my own "free will." As I am driving there, a deer runs in front of my car. I crash and die. Was my death the result of my free will to go out to help my friend? If you say yes, then was my death predetermined, because being the person I am I could not refuse to help a friend? I still have the free will to say no, but 64 years of conditioning makes the odds of that minuscule. So how free am I?

How inevitable was the crash? Were all of those events pre-determined? If so, dating from when? The creation of the universe? Or were they influenced by other decisions and random events that simply unfolded unpredictably? Or were they predictable? If we had a big enough computer to input ALL data, was my death the inevitable outcome of all possible contributing factors? E.g., someone planned to go out that day, but got sick and made the free decision to stay home. If they had gone out, the deer would have run in front of their car. Are our free wills in conflict with the universe? Will every piece of data input result in the computer spitting out the only possible outcome, the crash? In that case, you could say that all is predetermined, but with my dying breath, I still say I made the choice freely to go out.

I do not have the answers to these questions, but I tend to think there is no permanent self or "I" to possess absolute free will. There is enough of a pattern established in my consciousness that leads me to certain actions or choices, but I think there are limits. Saying there is no absolute free will is not the same as saying I can do any bad or selfish thing and it isn't my fault, because, hey, everything is predetermined. That I do not agree with at all. I prefer to take the responsibility of making wise and good choices, but not sure I can say that proves I have absolute free will.
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Re: Dr H video: "You don't have free will, but don't worry"

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Post by AntennaGuy »

There are realities and practicalities. As scientists, we value (and should value, if we are to have scientific integrity!) the pursuit/elucidation of objective truth. As humans, we value (and should value, if we are to love humanity!) the pursuit/optimization of happiness. But what if there are critical comforting beliefs about the universe, even if ultimately provably false via methodical scientific methods, that serve positive purposes in advancing human happiness? In my youth, I would argue with some highly-devout people who believed some things (in particular, these were truly harmless things, from any practical perspective) that I felt had no basis in science. Then, I stopped doing that. All I was accomplishing, by encouraging them to have doubts in their (again, truly harmless) beliefs, was making them less happy! Perhaps free will is like that. I don't think it hurts us to believe in it, even if it (quite possibly) doesn't exist. On the other hand, I can imagine many people using rejection of the notion of the existence of free will as a tool with which they can do great harm, and excuse unacceptable behavior. Science is neither good nor bad; it just is. It empowers us to both great accomplishments and great calamity. Giving everyone on the planet detailed instructions about how to create dangerous biological weapons would make everyone smarter! (about how to make dangerous biological weapons). So... is doing that a good idea? Hmm. Maybe encouraging everyone to reject free will isn't a great idea either? Just my two cents. No offense intended to anyone. Thanks.
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Re: Dr H video: "You don't have free will, but don't worry"

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Post by metastable »

I believe day to day human experience isn’t base reality, but rather our brain’s simulation of reality. We can’t observe the universe we can only observe our own simulation of it. Consequently whatever each individual believes (free will or not) is true for them, because each individual effectively lives within a separate observable universe.
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Re: Dr H video: "You don't have free will, but don't worry"

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Post by AntennaGuy »

metastable wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:49 pm
I believe day to day human experience isn’t base reality, but rather our brain’s simulation of reality. We can’t observe the universe we can only observe our own simulation of it. Consequently whatever each individual believes (free will or not) is true for them, because each individual effectively lives within a separate observable universe.
Hmm. Does that hypothesis allow you to make any predictions that can be tested? If so, let's do those tests.
Meanwhile: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solipsism
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Re: Dr H video: "You don't have free will, but don't worry"

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Post by notFritzArgelander »

AntennaGuy wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 5:08 pm
metastable wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:49 pm
I believe day to day human experience isn’t base reality, but rather our brain’s simulation of reality. We can’t observe the universe we can only observe our own simulation of it. Consequently whatever each individual believes (free will or not) is true for them, because each individual effectively lives within a separate observable universe.
Hmm. Does that hypothesis allow you to make any predictions that can be tested? If so, let's do those tests.
There’s also ambiguity in the term “base reality”. It could mean the Kantian “things in themselves” or noumena or it could mean the consensus phenomenal representation or etc.
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Re: Dr H video: "You don't have free will, but don't worry"

#18

Post by metastable »

AntennaGuy wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 5:08 pm
metastable wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:49 pm
I believe day to day human experience isn’t base reality, but rather our brain’s simulation of reality. We can’t observe the universe we can only observe our own simulation of it. Consequently whatever each individual believes (free will or not) is true for them, because each individual effectively lives within a separate observable universe.
Hmm. Does that hypothesis allow you to make any predictions that can be tested? If so, let's do those tests.
Meanwhile: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solipsism
I predict an individual photon can only be measured once, consequently 2 individuals can’t take separate measurements and agree on the energy or vector.
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Re: Dr H video: "You don't have free will, but don't worry"

#19

Post by AntennaGuy »

metastable wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 5:15 pm
AntennaGuy wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 5:08 pm
metastable wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:49 pm
I believe day to day human experience isn’t base reality, but rather our brain’s simulation of reality. We can’t observe the universe we can only observe our own simulation of it. Consequently whatever each individual believes (free will or not) is true for them, because each individual effectively lives within a separate observable universe.
Hmm. Does that hypothesis allow you to make any predictions that can be tested? If so, let's do those tests.
Meanwhile: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solipsism
I predict an individual photon can only be measured once, consequently 2 individuals can’t take separate measurements and agree on the energy or vector.
Ha ha! That's pretty clever of you, I'll give you that. I guess I should have been clearer. Now predict something that hasn't already been tested by other people and/or explained by other theories that did not require believing what you believe. Predict something novel. Predict something unexpected. Predict something no one has thought to measure yet, but could be measured if one simply constructed the apparatus to do so. Get the idea? Predict something where nobody else can actually know/predict the result unless they use your idea to lead them to it.
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Re: Dr H video: "You don't have free will, but don't worry"

#20

Post by notFritzArgelander »

AntennaGuy wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 5:22 pm
metastable wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 5:15 pm
AntennaGuy wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 5:08 pm

Hmm. Does that hypothesis allow you to make any predictions that can be tested? If so, let's do those tests.
Meanwhile: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solipsism
I predict an individual photon can only be measured once, consequently 2 individuals can’t take separate measurements and agree on the energy or vector.
Ha ha! That's pretty clever of you, I'll give you that. I guess I should have been clearer. Now predict something that hasn't already been tested by other people and/or explained by other theories that did not require believing what you believe. Predict something novel. Predict something unexpected. Predict something no one has thought to measure yet, but could be measured if one simply constructed the apparatus to do so. Get the idea? Predict something where nobody else can actually know/predict the result unless they use your idea to lead them to it.
You are very kind. I would likely say "predict something relevant to your hypothesis", no 'surprise' there. :)
Scopes: Refs: Orion ST80, SV 80EDA f7, TS 102ED f11 Newts: Z12 f5; Cats: VMC110L, Intes MK66,VMC200L f9.75 EPs: KK Fujiyama Orthoscopics, 2x Vixen NPLs (40-6mm) and BCOs, Baader Mark IV zooms, TV Panoptics, Delos, Plossl 32-8mm. Mixed brand Masuyama/Astroplans Binoculars: Nikon Aculon 10x50, Celestron 15x70, Baader Maxbright. Mounts: Star Seeker III, Vixen Porta II, Celestron CG5, Orion Sirius EQG
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