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A Happy Slave Doesn't Require Total Freedom

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Postby humphreys » Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:41 am

How does one commit a good or a bad act without physically doing something?

Why won't you answer?
"All of our behavior can be traced to biological events about which we have no conscious knowledge: this has always suggested that free will is an illusion."

- Sam Harris
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Postby greeney2 » Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:07 pm

I answered, you just can't compute what I said. :wall:
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Postby humphreys » Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:55 pm

Where? Show us the answer.

Here is the question:

How does one commit a good or a bad act without physically doing something?

Your answer goes here:

.............................................................................................
"All of our behavior can be traced to biological events about which we have no conscious knowledge: this has always suggested that free will is an illusion."

- Sam Harris
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Postby greeney2 » Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:37 pm

Having a tantrum are you? :hand:
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Postby at1with0 » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:47 pm

:o
"it is easy to grow crazy"
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Postby frrostedman » Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:55 pm

I know a biblical answer but, I'll leave it up to you guys...
"But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about Jesus being a great teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to." C.S. Lewis
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Postby at1with0 » Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:17 am

Call me crazy but I think that the types of thoughts we allow ourselves to have can sometimes be good and bad acts that have no physical component other than what's going on inside our bodies (the brain in particular). Even the ten commandments include a couple of laws that are based solely on thought choices. Cognitive behavioral therapy is based on the premise that thought patterns are behaviors and some such behaviors can lead to suffering or not, depending. So there is a biblical support for this premise as well as scientific support for this premise, for whatever that's worth.
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Postby humphreys » Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:07 am

Thoughts can be good or bad for us, but outside of the Bible, I don't see that a thought can actually be declared good or bad (as in evil). It's more of a personal thing rather than a Universal "good" or "evil" thing.

Even still, the majority of good and bad acts would still be physical acts, right?

If we have no control over our physical actions, I don't see that we can be said to have "free-will", going by any reasonable definition.

You just cannot remove physical acts from the equation, and if the thought "I will move my arm" is predetermined in the brain before I consciously think it, as the Libet experiments imply, then I cannot see a place for free-will.

Scientifically speaking there is no mechanism by which free-will can exist. We are subject to physical laws just like a rock is, albeit in a far more complex and unpredictable sense.
Last edited by humphreys on Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
"All of our behavior can be traced to biological events about which we have no conscious knowledge: this has always suggested that free will is an illusion."

- Sam Harris
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Postby at1with0 » Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:14 am

As a percentage, thought acts and physical acts both occur with statistical significance.

One thing that stands out for me is that there is at least the illusion that I have full freedom in my mind to commit any thought acts I want. Do the experiments explain why that freedom feels so genuine? :mrgreen:
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Postby humphreys » Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:17 am

at1with0 wrote:One thing that stands out for me is that there is at least the illusion that I have full freedom in my mind to commit any thought acts I want. Do the experiments explain why that freedom feels so genuine? :mrgreen:


The theory would be that "will" is a byproduct of the brain's processing.

Evolutionarily speaking, I don't know that there is a theory for why that "illusion" might exist, but it probably has something to do with consciousness itself, because without consciousness, there is no feeling of will.
"All of our behavior can be traced to biological events about which we have no conscious knowledge: this has always suggested that free will is an illusion."

- Sam Harris
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