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Old 6th March 2010, 09:14 PM   #76 (permalink)
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Re: Does free will exist?

We at least have the illusion of free will. We think we are making the choice, even if we arn't. If we somehow had a way to transfer our consciousness from our bodies and brains then we could possibly be free of biological determinism. I don't know. I'll always feel like I have a choice so I am not so bothered.
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Old 6th March 2010, 11:14 PM   #77 (permalink)
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Re: Does free will exist?

I think that if we wanted to transfer the mind into another host (I'm assuming you mean a non-biological one, Uraeus) we would have to transfer more than just our consciousness. It may be the part of us that is aware, but it isn't doing everything of ours of which we subsequently become aware.

At the risk of briefly pushing myself into the spotlight in this thread, I have to admit that many of the puns I type on the Chrons have just popped into my head (or, to be more accurate, have made themselves aware to my conscious mind). Most may be memories - I simply can't believe most of the simple word-plays have not been uttered before - but perhaps some are new to me (in the sense that I myself have not seen or heard them before, not that the thoughts are necessarily original to me). Either way, they appear in my head unbidden and I salve the pain by sharing it with the people here. I do, of course, sometimes strive for a pun. (Which are of worse quality, the unbidden or the engineered, I can't say.)

I would imagine that many people here associate me - the conscious being called Ursa - with punning, but it is usually not the aware me who's generating these puns. In these cases, my free will extends to no more than censoring the puns (my subconcious seems to have few boundaries when it comes to word play) and deciding whether to share them with others.



* Awaits a campaign for only the conscious Ursa to be transferred into another substrate. *
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Old 6th March 2010, 11:28 PM   #78 (permalink)
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Re: Does free will exist?

I'd like to transform myself into a taco.
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Old 6th March 2010, 11:32 PM   #79 (permalink)
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Re: Does free will exist?

I hope that's only food for thought (or thought for food), Dusty.
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Old 7th March 2010, 04:14 AM   #80 (permalink)
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Re: Does free will exist?

Was that a free will pun? Or a pun for free will?
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Old 7th March 2010, 04:57 AM   #81 (permalink)
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Re: Does free will exist?

Fated puns?
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Old 7th March 2010, 03:27 PM   #82 (permalink)
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Re: Does free will exist?

I can't take anymore of this pun-ishment. I'm going to use my free will and go. Maybe I'll go to the technology heading, and start a thread about having a free Wii.
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Old 7th March 2010, 04:28 PM   #83 (permalink)
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Re: Does free will exist?

Sometimes that is not a matter of free will, Chinook. (And in so many different ways....)
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Old 7th March 2010, 07:57 PM   #84 (permalink)
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Re: Does free will exist?

I rest my case. Fated puns indeed.
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Old 7th March 2010, 08:59 PM   #85 (permalink)
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Re: Does free will exist?

Is not a pun will a rotating firework? (thus setting Catherine, whoever she might have been, spunning in her grave.
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Old 8th March 2010, 10:10 AM   #86 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Re: Does free will exist?

I think there seems to be some confusion and mingling of different ideas going on.

Some people mentioned the idea of knowing and realising all of the possible reasons why we do certain things... I don't think that has anything to do with free will. That concept has more to do with the idea of absolute and total 'awareness', which is not the same as free will. (And, in my opinion, an impossibility.)

There was also some philosophical discussion regarding subconscious decisions. Well, that doesn't have to do with free will, either. That's just a question of consciousness, and how the human brain develops to learn and process various stimuli over time to aid it in certain situations, e.g. walking, breathing are just two examples of functions that our brain has learned to perform without any deliberate effort or focus on our conscious mind. In fact, breathing is not learned, it is one of the few acts which we are capable of from birth. Walking, though, is learned. But even though it's something that we have to be 'taught', it's not something we have to think about. Our brains have evolved in a way that these sort of essential activities are handled automatically, allowing us to focus our mental abilities on other, more pressing concerns, such as visiting the Chronicles Network.

Other animals whose brains are less developed than humans [insert joke here] do not have free will; all of their actions are based on instinct. Survival instinct, self-preservation, etc. A predator doesn't sit and look at a prey and wonder, "Gee, should I bother chasing that thing? I'm kind of tired. Plus, Lost is about to start. Maybe I'll just order in..."

Free will, conscious (and even sub-conscious) thought, higher levels of mental processing, self-awareness, communication... all of these are examples of abilities that our brains have developed over thousands of millenia that separate homo sapiens from other species of animal.

That, and boxer-briefs.

Thank [God/Genetics/Chaos Theory/Evolution/Aliens/Random Chance/WhateverYouThinkIsResponsibleForLifeOnEarth] for boxer-briefs.
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Old 8th March 2010, 10:28 AM   #87 (permalink)
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Re: Does free will exist?

The act of walking is probably semi-automatic.

Choosing to be walking is an act of free will**.






** - Even, to take an extreme example, when some guy with a gun is ordering you to walk. It's still your choice. Best to walk, though. But then your legs won't do as they're told. You begin to sweat. Will your life end here...?
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Old 8th March 2010, 10:37 AM   #88 (permalink)
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Re: Does free will exist?

That depends... Since your thug does not have free will, the choice of shooting you or not is not in his hands, and has long since been made by...
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Old 8th March 2010, 12:33 PM   #89 (permalink)
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Re: Does free will exist?

DA is treading roughly the territory I've been wandering over since last night, about the actual question of the title of this thread.

It doesn't ask "are we capable of independent thought and action" but if we have free will, and in that respect (though the answer is still inconclusive) there are the usual two answers.

Yes: Because we can choose our actions, yadda-yadda-yadda etc,

but more importantly,

No: Because we set ourselves up with a system of beliefs and morals that will ever-after inform our decisions.

I do not have sufficiently free will to make me hurt a cat, for example, or to become a Latin Lover or to play trombone with the LSO or to sit through an entire episode of Lost without saying "Oh, get on with it!" every five seconds.

I've inherited and learned behaviour patterns that deny me the luxury of these things while others around me have learned their own patterns which may permit one or all of them.

Is that their free will, then? No, because their learned behaviours have made it impossible for them NOT to be Latin Lovers or LSO trombonists or cat-de-Sades.

The path, then, as always, is the real mystery of Free Will, not the destination.
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Old 8th March 2010, 01:09 PM   #90 (permalink)
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Re: Does free will exist?

I think that is slightly illogical. I am not a latin lover because I'm not Latino, that isn't a choice thing, that about my parents and geography. I'm not a trombone player with the LSO because I haven't played Trombone to a good enough standard, though (unlike the latin lover example) I could practice Trombone until I was sufficiently good enough to try and get a seat on the LSO.
I have assumed that this discussion was about Free Will being the choice between two equally valid options, we can never say whether the option we chose is due to free will or just due to destiny or fate, a pre-destined future that is playing out without the option of choice. Logic would suggest that we do have a choice, but there is no proof because every choice if made becomes the only choice (its a time thing).

N'est pas?
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