Andy Murray vs Facundo Arguello, Monday, Estimated time - 4:00pm BST - Discuss the match
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Free will

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Pity you can't phone your genes and suss out the enviroment . Very Happy... I jest.
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If you ask me to think of a few tennis players, I'll probably choose based on a mix of those I find the most interesting and those I've recently thought about based on news I've read. Is that so interesting?
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If you ask me to think of a few tennis players, I'll probably choose based on a mix of those I find the most interesting and those I've recently thought about based on news I've read. Is that so interesting?

No, but it's an example of how thoughts simply arise unconsciously. People don't seem to notice that thoughts often just spring into consciousness.
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If you ask me to think of a few tennis players, I'll probably choose based on a mix of those I find the most interesting and those I've recently thought about based on news I've read.
Yep, long term or short term memory.... I find memory astonishing.
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I have no problem accepting we don't have control over some of the thoughts we think but going from that to saying I don't have control over my actions, after I've had time to scrutinise and internally debate those spontaneous thoughts, is a big jump.

The theory has a decent amount of logic which makes it compelling but I'm left wanting strong scientific evidence to back it up. The fact our brains can be seen apparently choosing our decisions before we consciously make them does not lead me to conclude we have no free will nor do I consider it particularly significant evidence for the claim. I frankly don't trust our ability to interpret that data yet as our understanding of the brain is still rather lacking.
[ Last edit by Mark April 05, 2012, 08:32 PM ] IP Logged
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I have no problem accepting we don't have control over some of the thoughts we think but going from that to saying I don't have control over my actions, after I've had time to scrutinise internally debate those spontaneous thoughts, is a big jump.

Yes, but the way you scrutinise and parse thoughts and claims is entirely down to biology and environment. In other words, how you think is a result of prior causes.

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The theory has a decent amount of logic which makes it compelling but I'm left wanting strong scientific evidence to back it up. The fact our brains can be seen apparently choosing our decisions before we consciously choose them does not lead me to immediately to believe that is sufficient evidence of no free will. I frankly don't trust our ability to interpret that data yet as our understanding of the brain is still rather lacking.

We have a pretty full understanding of the brain, actually. What we do not have a firm grasp on is consciousness. That aside, what evidence do you require? As I see it, you shouldn't need evidence. Logic gets you there unequivocally. It's a mystery to me that this point is apparently difficult to grasp. If every single thought and action is the result of prior causes (which it is), how can you have free will?

Also, why is that not strong evidence? It demonstrates that decisions are made before we are even consciously aware of making them. That utterly undermines free will.
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So if you genetically can't decipher  logic .... Then what?
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Also, why is that not strong evidence? It demonstrates that decisions are made before we are even consciously aware of making them. That utterly undermines free will.
If you interpret that observation as meaning we are not actually making those decisions, then who or what is in your opinion?
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If you interpret that observation as meaning we are not actually making those decisions, then who or what is in your opinion?

Your brain is. You are not consciously making those decisions.
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Your brain is. You are not consciously making those decisions.
Would you say that suggests the brain is a sentient organism separate and of a higher level than we consider our soul/consciousness? 
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Would you say that suggests the brain is a sentient organism separate and of a higher level than we consider our soul/consciousness? 

No, I think consciousness is a product of the brain. It's our best guess to this point.
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Your brain is. You are not consciously making those decisions.
Great, will tell my better half , when I come home after a night out worse for wear, I did,nt do this consciously ... blame my brain..... see where that gets me. Think
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Well, if this theory is true it's the biggest thing since Darwinism but I don't buy it yet. I hope it gets the attention it deserves from the scientific community though.
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Working on my Masters so that I can better pick and choose a job to suit my needs.

Don't hold your breath about that one btw - you'll then just get told you're overqualified and under-experienced Smile
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^^I second that Mark.
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