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October 12, 2018

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Brian
"So we need to protect society from criminals, while not viewing them as "evil." That word makes no sense if free will is an illusion. (It also makes no sense if free will isn't an illusion.)"

We are them. They are us.
Whatever brought you to this notion, I agree!
Conditioning brings up memory. Associations.
You might have hated a movie, but if it made a strong impression, you will think of it.
When you plug in favorite as a search term in your brain, the mind first pulls up all movie associations based on strength of association, then sorts for association with positive feeling. So from those you may need to select using your higher brain which one you "think" you liked more.

Sometimes a day later you remember another movie you actually liked more. But it didn't make as strong / shocking association, so it isn't in the top tier for recall. Then your higher cognitive brain thinks "I guess I didn't like it as much."

Lots of research about attribution theory as well. How we attribute causes and responsibility. If course it's a rubber ruler. So if we keep putting molestors in the white house and on the Supreme Court at some point people attribute this as normal and OK, simply because it happened. Then they try to explain why it's OK, and that's mostly. Ad hoc invention to eliminate cognitive dissonance.

Is amazing how easily personal ethics can be distorted to explain events and maintain the sentiment that "all is as it should be."
Ie., we are not responsible to step in and help change it.


One more point.
When social psychologists inoculate subjects with education about these dynamics they don't make as many false attributions. They are not as readily influenced by pressures from authority or their own conditioning.

It is possible to learn to be more objective, internally driven, and consistent with a set of principles. That is all Mindfulness, gathering more information about what is going on both within us and around us.

It is possible to train the mind in principles that lead to more objective decision - making and action.

Education and the practice of such methods changes how we think, and helps us eliminate blind reaction in favor of aware and helpful response.

So I guess that after I called Rational thinking a prostitute, I owe her a humble apology. She has saved many from harmful actions.

Both honesty forces me to admit we aren't very close.

I agree

There is however limited free will

I did 5 Sam Harris videos now and found some basic errors
in reasoning
It brought me t the question :

Brian, do you believe in the moon landings ?

If you believe th question is un-related , you are wrong

777

Entirely agree about the ''No free will''!!
By the way..
Charan Singh came with that too..

And I like Sam's talks a lot.

It gives also sort of freedom to not have free will.. :0)

We don't have free will, but do we have will? What would will be other than intentional action? Granted, those intentional actions don't issue forth from a soul and aren't "free" because they are not a-causal or free of context.

But, consider your breath. I can manipulate my breath, speed it up, slow it down and stop it (holding my breath). My breathing can become altered on its own, or I can intentionally alter it when attention is directed to it.

My breathing can speed up under the stress of exercise or nervousness, or one can enact this effect intentionally. My breathing can stop on its own or I can stop it, albeit temporarily.

What is the difference between these two forms of the speeding up of one's breathing?


777 says: "I did 5 Sam Harris videos now and found some basic errors in reasoning
It brought me t the question :
Brian, do you believe in the moon landings ?"

Good question. This will show who the people are who can be easily convinced that something is true and then there is the opposite type of person who people love to call conspiracy theorists who believe the moon landing did not happen.

So what is the truth and why are each of us so conditioned in our belief systems.

Do we have a choice in what we believe or don't believe in? If there is no free will then we don't have any choice in anything in life, we are simply brain conditioned programmed human robots.

Jen: "Do we have a choice in what we believe or don't believe in? If there is no free will then we don't have any choice in anything in life, we are simply brain conditioned programmed human robots."

This is an interesting question that I often ask, Jen. Let's phrase this question in a slightly different manner: "Do we have a choice in what beliefs make sense to us and which do not?

Personally, what makes sense to me is not a matter of choice. In fact, it has absolutely nothing to do with choice. I couldn't just simply choose to genuinely believe in Thor, for instance. I could pretend to believe in Thor, but it would be disingenuous. I would have to be faking it. What makes sense to me is something I register and acknowledge, but not something I choose or have control over...and Thor doesn't make sense.

It may feel like you have chosen to believe in your particular worldview, but consider for a moment if you could believe in a worldview that makes less sense to you than another worldview? And, as mentioned, do you simply choose what makes sense or are the conditions for something's sensibility grounded in something other than pure arbitrary selection?

Hi JB,

You say: "It may feel like you have chosen to believe in your particular worldview, but consider for a moment if you could believe in a worldview that makes less sense to you than another worldview?"

Excellent question. Even though I tell myself that I don't particularly believe in anything, of course there are probably underlying subconscious understandings that I have which help me make sense of the world in my own way.

Whether I can make sense of another's worldview? I think I can understand other people's pov but whether I would like to adopt that view would be something I would reflect on at first.

You say: "What makes sense to me is something I register and acknowledge, but not something I choose or have control over."

This is true in some ways, there is also the possibility of changing one's viewpoint which does take quite a long time, for example, it took many years to change my belief system in following a Master.

You say: "... do you simply choose what makes sense or are the conditions for something's sensibility grounded in something other than pure arbitrary selection?"

This is a big question which needs some kind of balance between concrete and abstract thinking. How can I understand how I choose to make sense of my own world?

I'd love to hear what you make of this question you ask, its a bit too intellectual for me. My strongest sense of being is probably more about feelings and intuition which guide me in my life.


My breathing can speed up under the stress of exercise or nervousness, or one can enact this effect intentionally. My breathing can stop on its own or I can stop it, albeit temporarily.

But, a spontaneous will predicates that we control
our subconscious thoughts and impulses and that
we can override them. If you decide to stop breathing,
what gave rise to it? Can you be sure it was your will?

Were you aware of the thought flash that preceded
that impressive display? Or the one prior? Maybe you
lost a whole inner conversation inside your head. It
coulda nixed several other ways to demo your
enormous will power before settling on a Houdini
impression.

You didn't even know it was going on. You became
the stooge of your subconscious and didn't even
know it. Like a child screaming "I hit the ball" when,
his parent was carefully guiding his arm.

Dungeness: "If you decide to stop breathing,
what gave rise to it? Can you be sure it was your will?"

If I decide to hold my breath, the thought of holding my breath preceded it. But it is hard to say whether the thought itself directly gave rise to the act. The vast majority of thoughts are not "acted upon" and translated from thought to action.

Some thoughts are acted upon, some are not. Sometimes these thoughts are selected from among other competing thoughts. Is the selection process itself just another unbidden thought?

What is the difference between an intentional action and an unintentional action?

If absolutely all actions are generated by "unsconscious thoughts and impulses", then how can one distinguish between an intentional action and an unintentional action? It would seem that all acts would be unintentional acts, no?


If absolutely all actions are generated by "unsconscious thoughts and impulses", then how can one distinguish between an intentional action and an unintentional action? It would seem that all acts would be unintentional acts, no?

Scary, isn't it? Mindfulness offers some insights at times but I'd
say it's not definitive. The Dalai Llama has identified multiple
levels of thoughts/conversations going on in our heads during
meditation.

Meditating or not, when I feel I'm captaining my little ship
of thought and action, I'm pretty sure it's dubious.

All I can do is utter a sigh of relief when I don't embarrass
myself too badly with the outcome :)

Is Free Will an illusion?
(28 May, 2017)

Even if free will doesn't exist, some say we should allow a belief in it to remain.

https://bigthink.com/philip-perry/is-free-will-an-illusion-4

Brain scan studies have shown that we make decisions even before we’re consciously aware of them. 
.............................
There are two essential outlooks in physics when it comes to fate vs. free will. The first is presentism. Those familiar with Buddhism will recognize the phrase, there’s nothing but the eternal now. Here, the past and the future are only present in our minds. They don’t exist in out the real world. Reality is just one moment evolving into the next. This model allows for free will.
.............................
The second is eternalism. Here the past, present, and future aren’t the makings of our conscious mind. They’re as real as the dimensions of space. In the previous model, time travel isn’t possible. Here, it is. This is an entirely fatalistic view. The plan for the universe has already been written.


What would happen IF......

Science and society actually accepted

that there was no such thing as FREE WILL?

At the moment society firmly accepts free will, which is why you are held responsible for your actions, unless you are certified insane.

So if you are not responsible or accountable for your actions then you cant be punished for them.

Christianity would vanish overnight because there was no need for Jesus because there was no original sin, so no redeemer was necessary.

God would need to go into deep therapy because he thought Adam was free, and punished him.

There would be no prisons, no criminal courts.

all religions would disappear

I definitely believe in freewill... but also believe that people can be brainwashed and lose their ability think for themselves.

Feel like I now need to zoom out. Can’t see the forest. 🤯

Mind blown because I assumed atheists believed in free will too. Thought the whole notion of not having free will was part of a mystical “everything is karma” sort of ideology.

OK, I’m definitely not in on this one. 🤪


There are two essential outlooks in physics when it comes to fate vs. free will.

Mystics, such as Ishwar Puri, counter with a slightly different, hybrid
model. They say we live in a state beyond time/space recalling
events that have already been written.

Notionally, we call this state "now" but what that really means
is the near past. A few seconds is all. As soon as we remember
it, it's past. Gone, receding into the rear view mirror..

We beguile ourselves that there's a "future" by prefacing the
memories, (just "before" we recall them), with "fear, hope, or
anticipation". In actuality, they've already happened. So you
can time travel either way. View events in both the so-called
"past" and "future".

But the events have already happened so you can't change
them. Unless, of course, you dissolve the whole DVD memory
capsule you created ab initio. Bail out. Start over. Very deity-
like. Kinda like the minor/grand dissolutions of mystic cosmology.

This will show who the people are who can be easily convinced that something is true

Oliver Stone was/is a good history teacher

Who in America knows that they wouldn't exist , the USA either personally
without Monsieur Lafayette

Actually in Europe happened some honest mind bending about National
heros, many where triple murderers

May I further re-refer to the English math prof who was astonished by
the fact that the MRL scan operators knew a whole 6 seconds about what he had decided ( would decide) than himself

I m still curious about the percentage of American not believing in the moon landings anymore
It makes another person to deny it

My stepfather because he was liberated by Americans in 1945
from a camp
couldn't stand even to discuss the landings,
to the point that it made him vomiting

Would Brian vomit if the gihf exist ?
Or is it just the "way of the blogger" !

777

Trump would easily win the mid-terms by attacking the fake-believers
Don't tell him

Osho: "There would be no prisons"

Yes, there would still be prisons.

Individuals that are sick with communicable diseases are quarantined to eliminate the threat they pose to the public at large. Their free will, or lack thereof, has absolutely nothing to do with that calculation.

In the same way, individuals that are antisocial/violent would still need to removed from society until they were rehabilitated, should we ever know how to affect that transformation.

Prison would not be punishment but rather isolation from the larger population.

@jb
Prison is used as a punishment.
If you want to isolate some people for a different reason it would not be a prison.

It would be a different mechanism, with a different purpose.

Right now we cannot imagine such a society.

Our whole society is based on blame.

We constantly ask who is to blame

And the punishment is ready for them

"If you want to isolate some people for a different reason it would not be a prison.It would be a different mechanism, with a different purpose."

Which is why is mentioned an isolation from society and rehabilitation. These people would still be removed from society and held "aginst their will" for the good of the public. "Prison" is just a word. There would be no blame and no death sentences, but would otherwise be the same end result.

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