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View Poll Results: If you were forced to chose, would you say free-will exists (in some form)?

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  • Yes. Free will exists in some form.

    18 72.00%
  • No. Free will does not exists in any form.

    3 12.00%
  • Screw You! I will not be forced to decide.

    4 16.00%
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  1. #41
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Well, I'm not certain that follows. You may be inclined to think things through, in which case you do not have a choice.
    Uh huh.

    (Talk about an evolutionary dead-end.)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  2. #42
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Economica View Post
    Dude, all you're doing here is revealing that if you weren't restrained by your ethics, you can see yourself going Nazi. If you want to say it's inevitable for all of us, you're going to have to back it up.
    Me? I'm an ENTP. I actually don't mind a disordered society all that much.

  3. #43
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Economica View Post
    Dude, all you're doing here is revealing that if you weren't restrained by your ethics, you can see yourself going Nazi. If you want to say it's inevitable for all of us, you're going to have to back it up.
    I think I addressed this sufficiently in my mosquito example.

    If free will doesn't exist, and we operate from our programming, then everything is reduced to a matter of power -- which programmed robot can enact its will over the others. The outcome is fully dependent on power.

    Hence, the Nazis. They did it because they could. (Well, actually, in the end, they couldn't ... because we bombed the living daylights out of them. Another implementation of power.)

    Does that make sense?

    Note: If your programming does not permit you to use your power, you'll eventually be at the mercy of something else that DOES wield its power more forcefully.

    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Me? I'm an ENTP. I actually don't mind a disordered society all that much.
    I don't either... as long as it doesn't get in my way too much.

    But there's still order in the chaos. I think Wildcat is talking about this somewhere -- the illusion of chaos (?), in reference to fractals?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    What about when it does affect you?

    Your response is little more than the reflexive response to a mosquito sucking the blood out of your arm. You swat it to make it stop. But why should you? Why is your right to avoid discomfort more important than the mosquito's right to feed? It's not, if there is no free will. You're simply killing it because you have the power to triumph over the mosquito; and if it had to power to defeat you and suck out all of your blood, it would.
    Exactly.

    And yet we rebel against that, some of us almost violently? Why?
    Beats me. I personally find that the lack of some grander meaning with life is the tough part to swallow whereas I don't bat an eye at the reduction of life to a power struggle. (A cynic would say that that's what the world is already like anyway even though 99% pay lip service to some form of ethics.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Hence, the Nazis. They did it because they could. (Well, actually, in the end, they couldn't ... because we bombed the living daylights out of them. Another implementation of power.)
    The Nazis did it because they could, as did every other homocidal leadership out there, some of whom (less disputably than the Nazis) subscribed to ethics. Ethics historically haven't done a very good job of preventing those with power from abusing it. (Me, I believe in creating incentive structures that induce people to cooperate with each other. )

    Note: If your programming does not permit you to use your power, you'll eventually be at the mercy of something else that DOES wield its power more forcefully.
    Correct. Is this scenario supposed to scare me into believing in free will or something?

  5. #45
    Oberon
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    In any given population there will be a few individuals who desire to impose their will on the rest of the population. Absent any restraining internal impulse or external constraint, they will do so. In some cases they will do so in spite of external constraints, yielding what Nietzche called the Ubermensch, somewhat inadequately translated as "Superman."

    Absent free will, the rise of the occasional Superman is both inevitable and meaningless, I think.

  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    In any given population there will be a few individuals who desire to impose their will on the rest of the population. Absent any restraining internal impulse or external constraint, they will do so. In some cases they will do so in spite of external constraints, yielding what Nietzche called the Ubermensch, somewhat inadequately translated as "Superman."

    Absent free will, the rise of the occasional Superman is both inevitable and meaningless, I think.
    Why is it inevitable? Assuming that the others can restrain him in a scenario with free will, what's stopping them in the scenario without it?

  7. #47
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Economica View Post
    Correct. Is this scenario supposed to scare me into believing in free will or something?
    No. Because I'm exploring the ramifications of this; and while it might seem like I have an opinion, I actually don't. If free will doesn't really exist, then how do I intellectually reconcile reality with the world I would rather live in (which pretends it does)? Since, um, that seems to be what I'm compelled to do by my nature?

    I have no idea.

    And I would also like to have some sort of coherent understanding of the entire structure... which I probably never will. I just get stymied at this point. There are inconsistencies I cannot quite weed out.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  8. #48
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    And I would also like to have some sort of coherent understanding of the entire structure... which I probably never will. I just get stymied at this point. There are inconsistencies I cannot quite weed out.
    All naturalistic views eventually boil down to pre-programming. It is the degree of complexity that is the trick.

    The irony I see is that religion tends to believe in both - God's plan is set, but he'll judge you... and you have choice, but God knows what path you'll take, oh, except, God also set everything in motion, but no, he's not responsible for your actions.

    [/rant]

    In any case, morality and ethics is nothing more than making decisions based upon a set of conditionings that you have undergone.

    Free will can be seen in so many ways... from moment 0 onward, programming/reactions, finite choices, quantum views...

  9. #49
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Economica View Post
    Why is it inevitable? Assuming that the others can restrain him in a scenario with free will, what's stopping them in the scenario without it?
    Oh, interesting question. I am talking way too fast on this thread, and using far too much intuition. I must stop and think a bit.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    The irony I see is that religion tends to believe in both - God's plan is set, but he'll judge you... and you have choice, but God knows what path you'll take, oh, except, God also set everything in motion, but no, he's not responsible for your actions.
    Well, I agree with that -- faiths want to have their communion wafer and yet eat it too.

    In any case, morality and ethics is nothing more than making decisions based upon a set of conditionings that you have undergone.
    So how are those who rebel against and overthrow the system conditioned, once the system has become stable and everyone is conditioned in the same way? Wouldn't all the dissenters have been conditioned away?

    Or are you saying there is just a genetic (not environmental) influence involved in the dissenters?

    (I don't know. Things seem to become less consolidated and diverse, not moreso. Or at least it continues to fluctuate, I suppose. And eventually the dissenting genetics would be "killed off" by the system as well, wouldn't they?)

    Or perhaps the treatment of those who normally would go along with the system, if the system ends up being abusive, would push them into dissenting to avoid pain...

    [headspin]
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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