The best explanation of free will ever

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Webwanderer
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Re: The best explanation of free will ever

Post by Webwanderer » Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:47 pm

karmarider wrote:What I am suggesting is the same thing Sam Harris is suggesting, that the choice made in the brain is not a sentient free-will choice. The child molester has no choice, given the conditions.
So are you now saying that the brain has no choice, but conscious being as individualized perspective does? I have never considered myself just a brain. I never really considered that brains were conscious in an of themselves. It seems more likely that the brain is a kind of focusing mechanism through the storage of relative information. And while choices may be made based on that stored information as conditioning, especially to the degree that one is identified with the information itself rather than an awareness of the information, that does not mean that a freer range of choice is not available to one who recognizes the conditioning.

The absence of free will does not preclude the idea that consciousness is outside the brain. It does not suggest it either. That's a different inquiry.
You may see it as a different inquiry, but the issue is free-will and choice as it relates to conscious being, not as it relates to a specific and limited origin such as the brain. If you want to say the brain, which is so much organized mush, has no free will I might agree. If you are equating the brain with conscious being I have a different point of view.

WW

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Re: The best explanation of free will ever

Post by rideforever » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:16 pm

There are a lot of interesting things going on here, if you consider the context.

We live in a nihilistic world. Modern movies for instance, well the killers in them kill for no reason, or for pleasure, or because they can justify it in their heads ... and no-one goes to jail. And Sam Harris' conclusion that 'free will does not exist' is part of this movement.

It's a feeling of being lost, powerless, meaningless.

The way our culture is now, we are severed in every way from the source. And it no surprise that people feel desperate. And nihilism comes into play.

Nicola Tesla was a scientist a hundred years ago when things were free-er - when culture wasn't so constrained. He thought free energy existed and could be harnessed by man.

But today's 'scientist' is a desperate thoughtless sellout of a creature. A corporate slave rationalising his internal processes. Harris is right IMO that human thought is a rationalisation. Science is a rationalisation, as it is a branch of thought.

But science could be much more than this - if you can find any scientists who aren't retarded by the culture they were born into.

As for 'free will'. What does it even mean ? In the Hollywood movie of how life should be you see a free person smiling as he walks down Main Street on the way to work, choosing this or that. And in this dumb picture the man has 'free will'. Is anybody not living in a dream ?

All this talk of child-molesters is interesting. "Free Will" is a cornerstone of our justice system that takes the poor and disadvantages and severes them from human contact in places where homosexual rapes are common ... especially in the States. The brutal ugliness of it is plain. So perhaps under all this debate is a feeling that this is not a good way for justice to prevail; that a poor person will obviously have to do thing a rich person wouldn't. And these experiments are a rationalisation for this feeling.

And although I agree with this feeling I think you can just come out and say "The Justice System is a vicious brutality that serves onto to show the total ugliness of how mankind is now." You don't need to do an experiment to say that.

As you pass through our education, from school to university to employment, anybody who asks difficult questions is eliminated. Put on the outskirts. Not published. Unfunded. Any big changes would upset the establishment. Too many people are making too much money out of selling what we currently know : if you disturb that status quo, the CIA might turn up and kill you. That is the reality.

I was reading the other day that we are angels that have fallen far. And it seems to me that this could be the case. And that's why I am willing to try LoA - because it gives you a sense again of being One.

It seems to me the only rational thing to do is open your heart to the divine and pray for salvation.
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Re: The best explanation of free will ever

Post by ZenCowgirl » Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:12 pm

I am interested in the subject line of this thread.

Then I was interested in the video because I mistakenly thought it was 18 minutes. Instead it is an hour and 18 min. When I was on about minute 14 or 15 or 16 I thought . . . What a lot of wind to say ... what? That we can tell why people do things or think things if we look for causes? Of course we can find causes if we look for causes. It is tautological. Does this "scientist" not know his Heisenberg? Maybe I missed what kernel falls out at the end of all his words, but to have to listen to them all over again makes me feel weary.

I do not find that he reveals anything. Nor did I cotton to the little inside snide comments that can be translated as, "See how clever I am?"

Freedom IS an illusion. What is not an illusion? What is distinct about the illusion of freedom from other illusion is that it is the illusion most dear to us. To find "causes" for illusions is downright silly. Why have to find the particular reason why someone did some particular bad act if I can just blanket all acts with "well, there would be a cause were I to search for it." Why bother with the search - just forgive. But it does not work that way. Forgiveness is a process that happens in the heart. Thinking we found a cause for an act is a process that happens in the head. The head does not melt the heart. The heart melts on its own when the head - acedes to cough syrup to get to the end of a sentence, if I may use the particulars of this "lecture."

The (illusion of) morality is a domain logically separate from (the illusion of) causation. Logic itself is an illusion, but within it are logical domains - and he does not get to say that by focussing on causation he demolishes morality. In fact he ends up saying that morality exists because it "matters" to be moral. How can that be if the "causes" of immorality are still operative - do they not "matter?" How did he get to be the judge? Is not the search for balance in everyone's heart, mirrored in what lies between the ears?

To recognize the dearness of the illusion of freedom allows us a sense of balance with the pursuit of justice. We have the phrase "leap of faith" to describe what we do when we "leap" from "science" to "morality."

Rideforever's bringing in Tesla is interesting. I just completed a brief essay on free will and I will use Rideforever's Tesla reference as the cherry on the banana split.well, there would be a cause were I to search for it.

I'm still listening to the QA - "when we have the technology to prevent evil" - LOL!

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Re: The best explanation of free will ever

Post by Natalie » Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:26 pm

I have often questioned the immense sense of wellbeing the notion of ‘no doer’ gives me and my lack of resistance at accepting this notion. Every time I have felt emotional ‘relief’, the causes have turned out to be crutches. I really haven’t come to an understanding about the forces/motives driving my lack of resistance and total acceptance of this notion of no free-will. I understand this is a very touchy subject which can evoke a lot of apprehension and even fear.

My purpose when providing this link was to introduce Sam Harris to those of you, who like me, didn’t know who he was. I think his ability to express complex ideas in incredibly simple terms is extraordinary.

WW I feel ok not knowing where consciousness originates or if neural activity responds or not to greater origins. I am ok with not knowing and not feeling a desire to seek an answer, but every time I hear an intelligent argument on the subject of free-will,such as San Harris’, I feel driven to share it in the hopes it will provide others the peace and comfort it provides me.

Natalie

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Re: The best explanation of free will ever

Post by karmarider » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:10 pm

Webwanderer wrote:So are you now saying that the brain has no choice, but conscious being as individualized perspective does?
No.

I don't know about an an external consciousness or the external origination choices. I'm very comfortable with not getting into any of those spiritual ideas.

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Re: The best explanation of free will ever

Post by karmarider » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:38 pm

rideforever, you're presenting a lot of ideas, so I'm not sure what you're saying.

But whatever you're saying, you're saying with a lot of anger.

You seem to like the Buddha, so I'll paraphrase him to say that anger, like a hot coal, is just as easy to drop. Watch, allow, let go.

If it's not anger, I apologize for pointing it out.
rideforever wrote:It seems to me the only rational thing to do is open your heart to the divine and pray for salvation.
The basic problem with life is the context of fear. This context of dissatisfaction, what the Buddha calls dukkha, comes very early in life. The consequences of this inner atmosphere of fear and dissatisfaction seem to be highly individual, but it does seem to make most people resistant, defensive and antagonistic to their own existence.

It is this context of dissatisfaction which motivates some of us to search for spiritual solutions. We try to find satisfaction in religion and spirituality and practices and beliefs and particular viewpoints.

So it can seem somewhat like a cruel joke when we realize that it is the context of dissatisfaction itself which motivates us to seek. With this realization, the search stops. Some people call this "surrender" or the "end of seeking."

We can simply eliminate the context of dissatisfaction, and heal from its effects.

Seeking, searching, believing, or "salvation" were never necessary. Nor effective.
Last edited by karmarider on Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The best explanation of free will ever

Post by karmarider » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:45 pm

Natalie wrote:...My purpose when providing this link was to introduce Sam Harris to those of you, who like me, didn’t know who he was...
Thanks. I enjoyed it.

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Re: The best explanation of free will ever

Post by Natalie » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:52 pm

Looking for 'causes' behind people's behaviors is not why I spent an hour and eighteen minutes watching this video. This has actually never occurred to me.......to look for causes. I am simply fascinated by the question 'Do I have free-will?, that's all.

I have always sensed I don't have it, not sure why or where this sense comes from. That sense is now stronger, not because I think free-will is an illusion, which it is and I do, but because Science has discovered that the thought of the cup of coffee I am consciously intending to brew in a few minutes, was actually preceded by neural activity not conscious to me, activity which I didn't author. The significance of this discovery has blown my mind.

Again, I am not sure why I find this topic so fascinating. As a side note, Sam Harries is a hottie and I didn't mind listening to him for over an hour.

I highly recommend the youtube video "The God Debate" where Sam Harris debates Christian apologist William Craig at Notra Dame. I don't have a problem with atheists. I figure returning to the same place I was before my parents conceived me is not a terrible thing.

Love and Light,

Natalie

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Re: The best explanation of free will ever

Post by smiileyjen101 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:01 pm

Natalie thanks for the link, it's interesting. I'm only half way through it and have written tons of notes and notes, part way through I noticed (because I'm aware of 'process' and 'content' and the art of logos, pathos and ethos in persuasive communication) he switched his argument from a grounding/setting in process - (neurological) to coming to a conclusion in content - (being able to define morality) means we do not have freedom of will in that which we are given opportunities to experience and respond, and this is an incompatible switch, in my humble opinion, one does not necessarily mean the other.

So far most of what he's outlining in process is the same as I was outlining in the Being Human thread about time about how the slower brain processing in this dimension makes all things in the past, and our thoughts and actions as a response to stimuli, the experience of which is in a past moment and thoughts and actions dependent on where we focus our attention, which 'stimuli' we notice and make sense of and how we then react to that perception of minutiae of stimuli.

But, as ww points out he is assuming there is only the human experience and maybe does not understand that this is a 'modified', slowed down version of who we really are - the essence that breathes life into being human form.

But he assumes too much. For example, being a 'willing' participant in viewing/hearing his talk, when he said pick a city I immediately picked Berlin - for absolutely no reason more than it was the first 'city' that passed the test of being one. I used a very short intuitive selection process for me I'm aware of 'opening up' and then testing against known selection criteria - it would have been less than a second that I 'chose' Berlin - I have no attachment to Berlin, I hadn't eaten German food, I hadn't read anything in the news about it, I've never been there, I have absolutely no preference (personal) I merely picked a city that satisfied the criteria of being a city as he asked us to do. That he interprets this choice as a personal one is wrong. Had he asked us to pick a city of personal significance I would have had two criteria to tick off in the selection process.

Yes his point that I didn't pick a city that I didn't know the name of is valid (duh?) this is why the natural law of 'according to their knowledge' is relevant when considering natural consequences and how things are 'allowed' to happen, which for me speaks to what is wrong with our justice system.

That he then went on to assume that the process of selection was a more unconsciously deductive one than it was for me was erroneous. I understand my processing and in willing / open situations I allow inspiration / creation to 'pause' and will 'select' either consciously/personally, or creatively/impersonally. In this situation I chose creatively/impersonally.

How about you? What process did you go through and how quickly on hearing him say 'pick a city'?

That he also assumes we did not pick our parents, or the opportunities of our experiences, in my experience is also erroneous and limiting.
I have always sensed I don't have it, not sure why or where this sense comes from. That sense is now stronger, not because I think free-will is an illusion, which it is and I do, but because Science has discovered that the thought of the cup of coffee I am consciously intending to brew in a few minutes, was actually preceded by neural activity not conscious to me, activity which I didn't author. The significance of this discovery has blown my mind.
From whence the stimuli processing that resulted in your desire (unmanifest) and intention (rising energy)) into action (energy in form) to make and consume a cup of coffee is a simple processing of co-creation in energy within your body - in biological terms even without the mental application your body interpreted 'lack' and your brain processed desire and solution. It is within the realm of the physical part of 'you'.

This has nothing to do with free will in higher self understanding of moral issues that impact on consciousness. Now, if you started having a debate with yourself over the ethics of the production of the coffee, maybe, but not in responding to a biological stimuli.

And for me this is where he is missing the point.

He keeps saying you cannot know what constitutes your responses to stimuli - I would hold that to be false - in it's highest sense if you recognise the energy of fear and you recognise the energy of love you can - with attention - absolutely follow those flows back to their source and choose without being blindly influenced by one or the other.

He mixes human 'judging' of morality with consciousness and for me justice is truly blind on our planet. But it chooses - our societies choose to be blind in order to make enemy, obstacle or means to an end of people, situations and things, The victim/victor states are one in the light there is no need for judgement or punishment there is only opportunity to experience and the natural consequences of that.

He also keeps saying you do not choose your parents, your genes, your opportunities for experience and yet he says life is lived within the 'natural laws' ... I guess maybe we have different understanding of the natural laws :wink:

An interesting musing for me is this notion I have of when time stands still to allow you to do this. In a sense neurologically / biologically I appear to be able to stand outside of time on some level of my consciousness and willingly process 'stuff'. That I was aware of it pre-nde precludes that as a pre-requisite. That these moments being important to the 'all' being shown in my life review in the light holds some stronger 'resonance', and yet its still not totally 'personal'.

I do agree with him that 'free will' is not what people think it is, and in some ways he is going in the right direction. I look forward to finishing watching the video to see where he takes it.

I also would love to discuss with him his notions of responsibility, as different to response ability.
.It also has merit as a discussion if it leads to more conscious application of 'laws' with regard to notions of crime and punishment - I am an absolute fan of 'restorative justice' which is only just beginning to emerge in some of our societies - it truly does stay within understanding of the natural laws, and according to their knowledge, and implemented in love, not fear as most of our justice system is currently.

His stuff about being able to 'sense' someone's intentions is also discussed in the Being Human thread in terms of being aware of what is and isn't your 'business' and the ethical - not moral because that's externally imposed notions, but the resonance of ethical behaviours with this ability.

Did anyone notice the maybe 3/25ths of a second uncomfortableness/slight embarrassment he experienced and a sense of concern for disagreeing with someone whose opinion he cares about who was sitting in the front of the audience and slightly to his left, when he mentioned 'including chants' having an impact on consciousness? I'll get the time code for you to have a look - this is part of the awareness of perception that we can hone, if we are willing. He was most vulnerable at that point. It suggests to me he is 'open' to exploring different ideas.

He'd certainly be someone I'd love to be at a dinner party with :wink:
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Re: The best explanation of free will ever

Post by Webwanderer » Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:55 pm

karmarider wrote:
Webwanderer wrote:So are you now saying that the brain has no choice, but conscious being as individualized perspective does?
No.

I don't know about an an external consciousness or the external origination choices. I'm very comfortable with not getting into any of those spiritual ideas.
I'm certainly okay with you being comfortable in whatever way brings you peace and happiness. However, just because you have chosen to limit the scope of possibilities for the origin of consciousness and the capacity for choice, does not negate its existence.

There is ample evidence that the brain is not the origin of consciousness but merely a conduit through which to experience this physical world on its own terms. It may well be that the original conscious choice when it comes to the human experience was simply to come here to start with, a choice made prior to the brains formation. What evidence? NDE's for one - and many thousands of them. These are people without a dog in the fight. There was no Darwinism for them to support, no prior agenda to make a case for. They just simply had a death experience that gave them a renewed and clearer perspective on their true nature.

WW

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Re: The best explanation of free will ever

Post by karmarider » Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:50 am

Webwanderer wrote:...However, just because you have chosen to limit the scope of possibilities for the origin of consciousness and the capacity for choice, does not negate its existence.
Yes, of course. These viewpoints are valid. They are just not within my experience.

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Re: The best explanation of free will ever

Post by rideforever » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:24 am

karmarider wrote:..
I was pointing out to you that you were using thought poorly. And you seem to like thought - hence you like this video of Sam Harris.

I don't know if thought has value, or what value, but I can see sometimes some glaring logical errors - so I pointed them out to you. You don't respond to those. In fact you make some new contradictions :

You say that seeking is ineffective, but also say that once we have come to the point where we realise the context of fear, then we no longer suffer. But these are opposite points of view !!! You can also consider Buddha's life - one long life of seeking, no ?

Would you call Bodhidharma angry ? With his spine-curdling passion in the "Wake Up Sermon" and "Bloodstream Sermon" ? Or Sivananda when he says "DON'T LIVE LIKE A WORM !" Or the old zen masters sneaking up on their students an whacking them with a stick on their back ?

"Anger" ... it's just another thing to hide behind. "Don't make any noise, I am sleeping like the Buddha !!"

Except the Buddha didn't sleep. He was on the razor's edge.

Arise! Arise, Riders of Theoden!
Spears shall be shaken, shields shall be splintered!
A sword day... a red day... here the sun rises!
Death ! Death ! Death !
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Re: The best explanation of free will ever

Post by rideforever » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:31 am

ZenCowgirl wrote:Why bother with the search - just forgive.
Well I can only agree wholeheartedly with you with all you say.

I have the feeling that humans can operate in a vastly higher way, where they just connect directly through the heart and through consciousness ... and all these pitiful mind explanations are just dust swept away.

All these scientific explanations are so unsatisfactory. Just another thought in your head. How can they help - ultimately ?

To know something conceptually is easy because it costs nothing, just read another article, another book. There is no risk to you, and little gain.
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Re: The best explanation of free will ever

Post by Webwanderer » Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:49 pm

Written by one who has found his own path. And I agree that passion is not anger. It is the driving force of exploration that would not otherwise be engaged. It is not based in fear and resistance, but in curiosity and love for ever greater clarity. We may not always agree on substance and minutia, but on the value of conscious expansion it seems we are one.

WW

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Re: The best explanation of free will ever

Post by arel » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:42 pm

He is a great speaker. To me his point is exceedingly obvious, that there is no free will for the person. So if he refers to "I or you don't have free well" addressing identification with the body then I would agree with him. I wouldn't be saying the same if I identify myself as the self-aware presence that includes this human experience. There does seem to be limited choice what one creates as that.
What I say is only my viewpoint.

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