NY Times Article Says Believing in Free Will is Good For You

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whitcomb
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NY Times Article Says Believing in Free Will is Good For You

Post by whitcomb »

One of the topics in MBT that I found interesting was the question of Free Will. Tom, if I understand him correctly, asserts that Free Will is not only a reality but also a necessity for consciousness evolution. Public opinion and experimental results confirm this view, although Establishment scientists have not caught up, according to a recent article. It would seem that most people around the world agree that Free Will is real, according to an article in The New York Times, dated March 21, 2011
Do You Have Free Will? Yes, It’s the Only Choice.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/22/science/22tier.html The article also affirms the value of Free Will--studies, its says, show that believing in Free Will
. . . guides people’s choices toward being more moral and better performers.
But the article also implies that many psychologists and neuroscientists reject the idea of Free Will. Why do you think that is?
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Re: NY Times Article Says Believing in Free Will is Good For

Post by Ted Vollers »

Whitcomb,

I would suspect that it is for the same reason that quantum physicists get into their impasse in real understanding when they deal with quantum behavior and treat it as mechanism only: shut up and calculate. In general scientists have this problem dealing with mechanism. For instance a neurologist can tell you all sorts of things about areas of the brain where different and relatively specific processes or comparisons are made. One then tends to believe that if only you kept poking at neurons with electrodes long enough you could map out all the functions of which human minds are capable. However there has been no indication of where consciousness resides as such or actual structures which produce it. When one keeps finding mechanism at the end of every thread of inquiry, one tends to loose contact with and belief in consciousness and just kind of ignore it. When one keeps finding mechanism as the explanation for things as they are, you again loose belief in free will as you think you have reached the end of the thread in mechanism only. If it is just chemistry and switching, mechanism, there is 'obviously' no free will. A mechanism can do only what its design, its circuitry, permits it to do.

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Re: NY Times Article Says Believing in Free Will is Good For

Post by MojiDoji »

So in short, minds are created by brains, which are physical objects functioning by (mostly) known processes, ergo the mind is controlled by physical processes and so is deterministic.
whitcomb
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Re: NY Times Article Says Believing in Free Will is Good For

Post by whitcomb »

This same conflict between the established behavioral scientists and the proponents of Free Will can be seen in the life of Dr. Viktor Frankl whom Tom has praised. Frankl was imprisoned by the Nazis and concluded from that experience that humans can learn to rise above wretched experiences and that life is more about choices rather than conditions. This champion of self-determination was opposed by most of the behavioral science Establishment which thought that his views were heresy. For a little more information about this, see the link below.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.h ... A961958260
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Re: NY Times Article Says Believing in Free Will is Good For

Post by bette »

To Love, and to be Loved.
Bette
All That Is
what is?
Consciousness.
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Re: NY Times Article Says Believing in Free Will is Good For

Post by jordantc »

I tend to think of it like a giant maze, and we're the rats. There's different sizes of cheese scattered, different kinds, some is Gouda, some is moldy, and theirs lots of other hungry rats too. In order for their to be a choice, that choice must first exist as a possibility, carefully planned out by the scientist conducting the research. It doesn't mean the maze is closed, it tends to build as you go, although necessarily out of your perception. Then you got the antirats, that are always trying to trick you, claiming their moldy cheese they have is the good stuff, and also the rats that have gotten lost in their own wrong turns.
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