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A Happy Slave Doesn't Require Total Freedom

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Postby humphreys » Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:20 am

Notably we are also quite aware that probably the vast majority of our thoughts are clearly out of our control, and occur at an unconscious level.

As someone who meditates I'm sure you are aware of the billions of thoughts that are going on in the background you do not become aware of until you quiet your mind.
"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 6:41 pm

That's all true but something to consider is that I can choose to fantasize about genocide or serial killing to no end and indulge in such thoughts over and over and I can choose not to continue thinking something. It may be hard but it is possible. Now you have the freedom with which you can agree or disagree...

What would be nicer, tidier, and cleaner would be if the universe were completely deterministic which would entail that free will is an illusion.
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Postby humphreys » Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:26 am

The Universe does not appear to be deterministic due to the uncertainty principle, but is a random Universe any more free?

I can program a robot to act with precise instructions, I can also program him to be random, in neither case does he personally have freedom.
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Postby at1with0 » Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:25 am

Your talk of a programer smells like ID. :mrgreen:

What if you program it to be able to tamper with its programming?
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Postby humphreys » Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:34 am

at1with0 wrote:What if you program it to be able to tamper with its programming?


Interesting thought!

It would still be deterministic I think because the tampering itself would be determined as would its outcome, unless it was tampered with randomly (like a mutation?) and by chance it still worked, but that would still be random and not free, imo.

True free-will seems to require an outside agent, like a soul.
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Postby at1with0 » Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:45 am

Well getting it to randomly change itself would be difficult given that the randomness generators are actually only pseudo-random.

I made a video a while back involving this. It was supposed to simulate three neurons firing in the brain. It looks random but it's really coming from algorithms that are 100% deterministic and not free. But freedom seems present sure enough as the results are quite unpredictable.



You can mute it... I just put something silly in there in the audio track.

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Postby humphreys » Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:47 am

You can access truly random data online that comes from the decay of an atom, although you have to pay for it, it's not too hard.
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Postby humphreys » Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:57 am

Good video summing up my thoughts on free-will here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf9eGUWG ... re=related
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Postby at1with0 » Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:01 pm

humphreys wrote:You can access truly random data online that comes from the decay of an atom, although you have to pay for it, it's not too hard.


It's very hard to prove something is random.
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Postby humphreys » Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:04 pm

I agree, impossible, actually!

The decay of an atom is seemingly impossible to predict by known laws anyway, and if it is caused we have no clue what by, so it's the very best we can do.
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