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 Post subject: Free Will Revisited
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:12 pm 
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I was distressed at Tom's use of the notion of free will when it was introduced in the trilogy, especially when he did so without initially explaining what on earth he meant by his use of the words. I was troubled because I had come to have a degree of confidence in his comprehension and exposition of truth, his clarity of thought. How free will fit into either truth or clarity was not apparent. When I finally arrived at his operational definition of the words, I was both relieved and irritated. Relieved because what he said made sense, but irritated wondering why he used the terms "free will" to describe the "ability to make choices in order to effect self-modification in the pursuit of evolution profitability." Choices are made, but they are hardly free from the myriad of limited factors that influence any particular choice. Using free and will together is as nonsensical as saying something is hot cold, or high low. A will wills what it wills, it is not "free" to will what it does not will, at least not at any given moment. The will can, and often does, change as new data is received and processed, consequences evaluated. For someone as painfully precise as Tom Campbell, I do not understand why he persists in using the problematic notion of free will that, to many if not most readers, carries considerable baggage. Perhaps I can come to understand his usage of the terms.


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 Post subject: Re: Free Will Revisited
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:28 pm 
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Tom's books were written for those unfamiliar with essentially any of the concepts. The were written interactively based upon responding to questions and misunderstandings from the initial readers, continuing to expand them from different viewpoints to attempt to get the point across. Perhaps you would be happier with Tom's model of reality on the MBT Wiki. http://wiki.my-big-toe.com/index.php/Th ... _Link_Page Within those pages is provided the 'primitives' for the concept of free will. Free will is necessary to the development of Consciousness. That is also explained there.

Ted


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 Post subject: Re: Free Will Revisited
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:45 pm 
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Hi JBorlaug and welcome to Tom's MBT discussion forums. It sounds a little like the MBT concept of Decision Space in your description of your understanding of the MBT free will concept. Welcome again.
Love to you and yours,
Bette

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 Post subject: Re: Free Will Revisited
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:24 am 
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Ted Vollers, Thank you for your response. To clarify, what I am saying is that the process labeled by Tom as "free will" can be argued as necessary for the development of consciousness. The label, however, is not necessary and, I assert, not helpful. I have examined notions of free will within philosophical and theological contexts, particularly as it provides the perception of legitimacy for punishment, whether meted out in PMR by formal or informal structures of society, or elsewhere by a divine judge. Punishment is deemed to be legitimate only to the extent that the recipient is responsible for the offending actions, and it is mistakenly believed that responsibility requires that the person freely chose the particular action as an act of free will. The decision, or compulsion, of residents of "the pile" in Robert Monroe's narratives clearly acted from what could be termed bondage, not freedom. Neither is it an act of freedom when the former Bishop, now in NPMR, cannot be without those who continue to genuflect in his presence, at least for the time. All are still responsible for actions taken or decisions made consistent with their wills, however unfree the wills are, when freedom is understood as the ability to be other than what it is. Tom, it seems quite evident, makes a very good case that one of the major factors limiting the will is ignorance, aka the personal belief system. What is essential in Tom's argument, is that the individual is free to chose between competing alternatives, consistent with the will at that moment, not that the will itself is free to be other than what it is. Since free will has historically been understood to mean the ability to be other that what it is, its use by Tom in his model seems inappropriate.


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 Post subject: Re: Free Will Revisited
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:44 am 
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JBorlaug a former Bishop who "dies" out of this Virtual Reality is NOT a Bishop in NPMR. Free will doesn't help develop consciousness free will and Consciousness come together as a team. So you believe in the anthropomorphized limited ideal of god rather than know All That Is is Consciousness?
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 Post subject: Re: Free Will Revisited
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:08 pm 
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JBorlaug,

If you read the model as referenced above and understand it, you will see the context for Tom's use of the term free will. The primitives as I referred to it. That will include its use for ourselves as IUOCs providing the 'mind' for the Virtual Reality beings that we see when we look in a mirror. This has nothing to do with any kind of religious excuse for their model of reality and justification for punishment. Remember the problem with comparisons of apples and oranges.

Ted


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 Post subject: Re: Free Will Revisited
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:26 pm 
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bette, I don't know how you thought I said anything about a personal belief in God, let alone anything regarding the nature of such an entity or reality. As to your assertion that a person cannot continue a self-delusion begun in PMR while in NPMR, you apparently have knowledge that I do not possess. There are many individuals who have written or spoken on claimed travels in NPMR who report to have witnessed persons who continue to live in fantasies consistent with their belief systems. Are you saying that these persons could not have witnessed what they allege?


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 Post subject: Re: Free Will Revisited
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:44 pm 
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JBorlaug wrote:Ted Vollers, Thank you for your response. To clarify, what I am saying is that the process labeled by Tom as "free will" can be argued as necessary for the development of consciousness. The label, however, is not necessary and, I assert, not helpful. I have examined notions of free will within philosophical and theological contexts, particularly as it provides the perception of legitimacy for punishment, whether meted out in PMR by formal or informal structures of society, or elsewhere by a divine judge. Punishment is deemed to be legitimate only to the extent that the recipient is responsible for the offending actions, and it is mistakenly believed that responsibility requires that the person freely chose the particular action as an act of free will. The decision, or compulsion, of residents of "the pile" in Robert Monroe's narratives clearly acted from what could be termed bondage, not freedom. Neither is it an act of freedom when the former Bishop, now in NPMR, cannot be without those who continue to genuflect in his presence, at least for the time. All are still responsible for actions taken or decisions made consistent with their wills, however unfree the wills are, when freedom is understood as the ability to be other than what it is. Tom, it seems quite evident, makes a very good case that one of the major factors limiting the will is ignorance, aka the personal belief system. What is essential in Tom's argument, is that the individual is free to chose between competing alternatives, consistent with the will at that moment, not that the will itself is free to be other than what it is. Since free will has historically been understood to mean the ability to be other that what it is, its use by Tom in his model seems inappropriate.
I used this information to form my comments. I also asked a question and assumed the Bishop had "died."
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Bette

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 Post subject: Re: Free Will Revisited
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:57 pm 
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Bette was no doubt speaking of the belief by some that they continue to be what they are here and now after transferring to NPMR as being a delusion, not a true thing. Yes, we know that many delusions are carried into NPMR. They are still delusions.

I think that Bette is asking for clarification as to whether because you refer to arguments based upon religion, are you an adherent or just speaking for arguments sake of the religious viewpoint. Bette is not much up for religions.

I don't find your point entirely clear. Tom tends to use words that seem to him to be the most appropriate available. Tom is a physicist, not a philologist. Thus he has his own special usage for entropy and intent/Intent (with a capital I sometimes used on this board to discriminate). Better than making up a word entirely. Then he adds clarifying language in his discussions. I don't personally, as an engineer, see a better alternative. Thus we get into this discussion of you finding context for free will that you feel makes it an inappropriate term for this usage. Do you know of something else that would make a better alternative? The concept Tom wishes to convey have no matching words in English or any language that convey the exact meaning desired to be conveyed. His root definition of free will comes from the free will possessed by proto IUOCs to receive, interpret, manipulate and put data back out onto the RWW with full free will. To an IUOC under most circumstances, there is full and perfect free will and it doesn't matter if it "hare lips granny" what it chooses to do. When you get an IUOC serving as the digital mind of an entity depicted in PMR, you get the concept of decision space added in since the rule set of the VR prevents some choices and other considerations make further limits on choices desirable. But within the decision space available to that entity, there is still free will among choices. There are some choices that may have better or worse attachments to them and consequences from them but those are still possible choices. One can even make "dumb mistakes" as part of free will or otherwise decide against ones best interest. Still what do you call it but free will?

Ted


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 Post subject: Re: Free Will Revisited
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:06 pm 
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Bette, I may have been a bit abrupt, perhaps even harsh, in response to your speculative leap ascribing to me certain beliefs. Your intention may have been to engage rather than confront what you inferred from what I wrote. Inferences, I suspect, reveal more of the person drawing them than the one from whom drawn. Ted suggests you have an aversion to religion, or perhaps religions. The major religions currently on our planet have certainly earned considerable derision, except for Buddhism, which isn't so much a religion as a philosophy. The irony is that there is always the danger of becoming a religious zealot in opposing religion. Also, there has always been the occasional gem of spiritual enlightenment hidden within the dung heap of religion.

Ted, I do not claim to be an expert on the notion of free will. I am, however, aware to a degree of the more than 350 years of serious discourse on the subject. Those who assert the self-evident truth of free will do so, I strongly suspect, in ignorance of that discourse, and/or from a belief system that requires the truth of the concept to support a doctrine of justice. I underestimated the dogmatic defensiveness that my critique elicited. It would greatly surprise me if Tom Campbell were to claim infallibility in his choice of labels for aspects of his Big Toe.


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 Post subject: Re: Free Will Revisited
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:32 pm 
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JBorlaug,

No one is making a 'dogmatic defense' of the use of the words 'free will'. It was explained why they were used as it is in technical detail on the Wiki and in terms of Tom's typical usage of special terminology. I stated that I did not see a good alternative to the choice. I don't care if you reference 3,500 years of discussion, none of that is relevant to what I stated, or at least certainly not demonstrated, nor have you offered any alternative that you consider better. Do you have a better terminology to offer that fits the usage more appropriately? If you did, would it be sufficiently understandable to 'ordinary people' to be useful? My Big TOE was not written as a technical treatise in an academic discipline subject to full academic scrutiny but as a work of popular explication. Do you fully understand Tom's usage? Do you have some particular technical specialty or academic background from which you are making your statements that might clarify them since you do not seem to be offering clarification?

Ted


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 Post subject: Re: Free Will Revisited
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:21 pm 
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Free will is a perfectly good word to use when it is opposed to determinism, neither is there any problem when it is in direct relation to the concept of decision space. When every possible action, event and decision can be projected into the future based on a probability model, where every fork in the road can be assigned some probability of occurrence, the notion of free will and decision space makes sense.

Tom has in several different interviews and probably in a few presentations, explained what he mean by free will, he clearly states that free will is not the absurd idea that it means one can do anything or decide anything imaginable, only within the constraints of the physical reality and ones level of awareness can one make a choice, hence decision space.

I know no other word that can portray the same concept of free will as it is used in My Big TOE, do you?

Two related threads, if you haven't read them: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6126 , viewtopic.php?f=14&t=5842


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 Post subject: Re: Free Will Revisited
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:20 pm 
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Ted, It certainly seems you have settled this issue, and put me in my place at the same time. But after all, you are site admin and I am just a beginner. However free will may have been used or understood by any humans prior to its inclusion in My Big Toe is of no consequence, no relevance, otherwise you would care, and as you say, you do not. And you are neither dogmatic nor defensive, because you say you are not. I thank you for this demonstration of open-minded skepticism in pursuit of truth. It has been quite enlightening.


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 Post subject: Re: Free Will Revisited
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:24 pm 
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Choices are just a solution to uncertainty, because there is uncertainty, choices are free as opposed to inevitable.


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 Post subject: Re: Free Will Revisited
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:28 pm 
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JBorlaug,

You are apparently very easily "put in your place". You have not actually ever really said anything specific and defined what your 'place' is or what your personal 'baggage' is although it clearly must exist from the attitude you take. You have invoked a 350 year history of discourse as if that were somehow significant when you have not really referred to any part of it other that some things totally irrelevant, and very clearly so, to the discussion. You state that you "have examined notions of free will within philosophical and theological contexts, particularly as it provides the perception of legitimacy for punishment" but Tom is not using the term 'free will' in this context as I pointed out. I have referred you to a pretty concise description of how exactly Tom is using this term but you give no indication of having read, understood nor of ever applying or being willing to consider the concepts. I have invited you to suggest some different term that you consider more appropriate to apply on the basis of clarification of your position but you have chose not to do so. Now you express injury and intimidation while never providing logical content to back up or clarify what you have been trying to state from the beginning. You frankly appear to be here to produce a trumped up argument and profess injury as being a beginner when you are asked to put flesh on the complaint that you have some philosophical disagreement for not clearly stated reasons as to the use of the term, free will. Perhaps if you actually made a clear statement, within the context of what Tom actually has to say, we would be convinced by the brilliance of your argumentation. That would be a desirable alternative to attempting to baffle us with . . . stone walling.

Ted


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