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Author Topic: Do Humans Have Free Will?  (Read 145 times)
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December 02, 2019, 09:45:06 AM
 #1

The idea of free will originates from the concept that human neurophysiology allows for an individual to make a conscious choice about one's actions prior committing and executing that action. However, where does the "thought" of committing an action originate from?

Many argue that free will constitutes your inner consciousness which allow you to think of doing actions before you execute them. However, if any choice that an individual makes derives from consciousness, which is simply neuronal electrical firings deep within the cerebral cortex, mere repeated biochemical reactions, is that choice actually produced by free will of an individual?

Any thought that proceeds through your consciousness is a mere supplementation to your previous thought. Meaning, anything that you think of is a result of a previous neuronal action influencing another neuronal action producing a thought, which gives the perception of free will. At any given moment, you can't actually say what you're going to think of next until it happens. There isn't any thought process that goes into what you're going to think of next, it just happens.

You can try this experiment yourself. Think of any number randomly in your mind right now. Then ask yourself, at what point during your thought process did you single out that number? What internal factors within your consciousness allowed you to pick that number? Of course, external environmental factors could prime you to pick a certain number, but this doesn't lend credence to the idea that you yourself determined a number based upon your own free will. Point being, you did not and cannot originate the source of the number you just picked.


Any thoughts you had prior to picking your number is the action of firing neurons in which EEG electrical activity rises. This electrical activity within your brain influenced other neurons to fire causing your conscious to derive and produce a number. You cannot pinpoint nor did you control any of these neuronal firings within the process of selecting a number. Does this suggest free will is an illusion?

For free will to exist and for you to make a truly "conscious" decision would be for some you, whatever "you" may be, to be fully aware of all the internal factors within your mind, every neurotransmitter, every neuronal synapse, and every biochemical reaction occurring within your brain and manipulating these factors in order to produce some sort of output. Granted it isn't possible to have access to every neurotransmitter, every neuronal synapse, and every biochemical reaction occurring within your mind, how could free will exist?



The existence of free will, or the lack thereof, fundamentally changes how society should operate. If free will doesn't exist, should criminals be held accountable for their actions? This isn't as crazy as it might seem. The U.S. already accepts the plea of insanity in which an individual is not held responsible for a crime they commit by reason of mental illness. This does not mean the individual is not separated from society, but it does mean the individual is not held liable for their crimes. I am not advocating that we do not hold criminals liable for crimes, however it poses the question of why a criminal may act in the first place and whether any crime committed is truly the result of one's free will or is laid at the feet of determinism.




 
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December 02, 2019, 11:31:26 AM
 #2

free will is simply the ability to choose.
its the difference between deciding to take a shower or staying in bed stinking for days.

sub-consciousness is when repeating a choice/task. it becomes automated and like muscle memory

we do have free will because even though we dont consciously say breathe in breathe out. we do have the ability to over-ride the automated muscle memory to hold our breathe or hyperventiate at any time we choose.

in society having free will is about our choices. but politically/legally some choices do come with consequences

we have free will if in a healthy state of mind. but that is why in courts they have a 'clause' to not convict someone that is not mentally competent, but instead put them into a mental institution(patient not convict)

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December 02, 2019, 04:35:45 PM
 #3

Cause and effect controls what we call free will. The things you ate last night for supper change your electrolytes in your brain, so it makes different choices. There are all kinds of other stimuli that change your free will base.

There is free will. But it is totally different than what we generally think.

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December 02, 2019, 10:05:49 PM
 #4

Yes most Humans have free will, this can be seen in he area of choice and act of preference when it come to some certain matter, ideas, discussion, or National issues. And we  see people contradicts each other. Most of the time it may be personal. In the Bible God said " My thought for you is of good and not evil, to give you an expected end" This is the will of God for all His Followers. irrespective of what people say or do that is a free will of God for his followers. So also, like Adam has a free will to name every animal God created with its name,that is his free will, and what ever name Adam called the animal,that is the name such animals bears till date.It is  possible if Eve was allowed to name the animals as regarding her free will to do that, the names of some of the animals we have in the world today might be different.
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December 02, 2019, 11:48:21 PM
 #5

Again, the thing that is called free choice, is really controlled by stimuli build up over time, caused by biochemical activity in body and brain. It isn't free choice in the way we understand freedom. It is controlled by physics.

True free choice is basically the extent to which we accept God, spiritually... in a way that is unknown as to how it works. Then, God takes our free choice decision regarding our faith in Him, and provides the artificial free choice in the biochemical arena, and in what happens in our lives.

It's completely different than simple free choice... like which side of the bed should I get out on this morning. It is completely controlled by God regarding the results... not that it isn't free will or free choice in some of the basics regarding how much faith we have in God.

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December 03, 2019, 02:24:42 AM
 #6

For individuals, yes.
As multiple groups or even as a whole,no.
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December 03, 2019, 06:22:23 AM
 #7

I'm pretty sure what you've stated is the process of decision making, which isn't really considered as free will.

Process differs from the action, and then there's also the subconscious action where the process is forgotten and the action is just taken. Free will is basically you creating a decision, much like creating something, aka the result. The process of creation is the whatever thingy majig you said, that is imo only.

 
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December 03, 2019, 06:29:01 AM
 #8

Humans are (a little bit advanced) animals. Just like any other animal, they follow their instincts.

It is a very basic diagram:


source: https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html

Even animals want to experience "friendship, family, sense of connection", they only lack the top 2 parts of the pyramid.  (that's the part which makes us advanced)

One way or another we all follow this algorithm.




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December 03, 2019, 10:46:46 AM
 #9

I'm pretty sure what you've stated is the process of decision making, which isn't really considered as free will.

Process differs from the action, and then there's also the subconscious action where the process is forgotten and the action is just taken. Free will is basically you creating a decision, much like creating something, aka the result. The process of creation is the whatever thingy majig you said, that is imo only.


But the process of creation is what "free will" is described as. Whenever you choose to do something, like writing out the text you just typed, the decision on whether or not to write that was part of your "free will". How did you actually choose to write the post, though? Your cerebral cortex went through biochemical reactions which influenced your consciousness to create the post. On another note, free will tends to be more of an illusion more than anything. The feeling that you have when making decisions cloaks itself with the perception of free will when in reality its predicated on neuronal firings deep within the brain causing you to feel as if you're the one in control of the decisions you're making. The contemplation process isn't something that's organic or something that you can physically control.

 
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December 03, 2019, 11:06:36 AM
 #10

Free will is actually a controversial topic because what we have come to know as free will might have been fostered upon us by society, parent, economy, friends or government as the case maybe in our subconscious state. Some people have chosen a religion today thinking they have a free will to do that forgetting the fact that its actually because their parents are practicing that religion and have been raised in that path which means it was actually chosen for them. The same goes for the course other people study in school or the woman they marry, the career they followed among other things down to the political party one choose to support among other factors.

 
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December 04, 2019, 11:06:41 AM
 #11

I'm pretty sure what you've stated is the process of decision making, which isn't really considered as free will.

Process differs from the action, and then there's also the subconscious action where the process is forgotten and the action is just taken. Free will is basically you creating a decision, much like creating something, aka the result. The process of creation is the whatever thingy majig you said, that is imo only.


But the process of creation is what "free will" is described as. Whenever you choose to do something, like writing out the text you just typed, the decision on whether or not to write that was part of your "free will". How did you actually choose to write the post, though? Your cerebral cortex went through biochemical reactions which influenced your consciousness to create the post. On another note, free will tends to be more of an illusion more than anything. The feeling that you have when making decisions cloaks itself with the perception of free will when in reality its predicated on neuronal firings deep within the brain causing you to feel as if you're the one in control of the decisions you're making. The contemplation process isn't something that's organic or something that you can physically control.

^^ Absolutely.

The thing we are lacking is a way to subjectively/objectively analyze the soul (whatever that is). It is in the soul where the true free will resides.

The second thing we are lacking is a way to analyze how God converts our soul's free will into the activity that our soul is choosing. Why, most scientists don't have any kind of a handle on what God really is. Many think that He doesn't exist.

Personally, I think that the connection of the soul to the body is in a recently discovered part of the brain. Newly Discovered Brain Region Helps Make Humans Unique - https://www.livescience.com/42897-unique-human-brain-region-found.html.

I think that this part of the brain controls shapes - like the tetrahedron - and those that are far more complex. The shapes are made out of electrons and protons - and other brain chemicals - and play on the structure of the emptiness that we call empty space, or nothingness... something that we commonly know very little about.

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December 04, 2019, 01:07:49 PM
 #12

It is indeed something to be thought about but then will I be willingly think about will-power or your post made me do it?!

Well this can be a little complex but if we think it alright, free will does exist maybe not in a way that we perceive but it does because the fact that the neurones and all those stuffs involved in making a decision that we call as free will should not be actually doing the stuffs.

I mean those chemicals that are involved in our thought processes, what makes them obligated to do that? Why would my brain which is made up of fundamentally electron, proton and neutrons which are obviously dead particles are obligated to perform the act of thinking or making a chemical arrangement to make the final decision of my will?

Maybe we don't have a free will as we say but in us there is something that does have free will that control us.

To be honest I believe in the butterfly effect which simply states that the future is actually totally dependent on the past and every action. So every action I take is reaction to the past. But it must have started somewhere? It can't just start from nowhere. And if it does then the cause of that origin can be said to have free will because the origin might not choose to be the origin of something and then nothing would exist. And then the origin itself wouldn't have existed but it did which means it had no choice except to make a choice, and the choice had only one option.

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December 04, 2019, 02:54:12 PM
 #13

The idea of free will originates from the concept that human neurophysiology allows for an individual to make a conscious choice about one's actions prior committing and executing that action. However, where does the "thought" of committing an action originate from?

Many argue that free will constitutes your inner consciousness which allow you to think of doing actions before you execute them. However, if any choice that an individual makes derives from consciousness, which is simply neuronal electrical firings deep within the cerebral cortex, mere repeated biochemical reactions, is that choice actually produced by free will of an individual?

Any thought that proceeds through your consciousness is a mere supplementation to your previous thought. Meaning, anything that you think of is a result of a previous neuronal action influencing another neuronal action producing a thought, which gives the perception of free will. At any given moment, you can't actually say what you're going to think of next until it happens. There isn't any thought process that goes into what you're going to think of next, it just happens.

You can try this experiment yourself. Think of any number randomly in your mind right now. Then ask yourself, at what point during your thought process did you single out that number? What internal factors within your consciousness allowed you to pick that number? Of course, external environmental factors could prime you to pick a certain number, but this doesn't lend credence to the idea that you yourself determined a number based upon your own free will. Point being, you did not and cannot originate the source of the number you just picked.

Any thoughts you had prior to picking your number is the action of firing neurons in which EEG electrical activity rises. This electrical activity within your brain influenced other neurons to fire causing your conscious to derive and produce a number. You cannot pinpoint nor did you control any of these neuronal firings within the process of selecting a number. Does this suggest free will is an illusion?

For free will to exist and for you to make a truly "conscious" decision would be for some you, whatever "you" may be, to be fully aware of all the internal factors within your mind, every neurotransmitter, every neuronal synapse, and every biochemical reaction occurring within your brain and manipulating these factors in order to produce some sort of output. Granted it isn't possible to have access to every neurotransmitter, every neuronal synapse, and every biochemical reaction occurring within your mind, how could free will exist?



The existence of free will, or the lack thereof, fundamentally changes how society should operate. If free will doesn't exist, should criminals be held accountable for their actions? This isn't as crazy as it might seem. The U.S. already accepts the plea of insanity in which an individual is not held responsible for a crime they commit by reason of mental illness. This does not mean the individual is not separated from society, but it does mean the individual is not held liable for their crimes. I am not advocating that we do not hold criminals liable for crimes, however it poses the question of why a criminal may act in the first place and whether any crime committed is truly the result of one's free will or is laid at the feet of determinism.




If you can do what you want, eat what you want, go to the place you want to go or choose what you want without the necessity of getting someone's consent before doing such, then you have a free will. It is about self-choice.
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December 04, 2019, 03:04:12 PM
 #14

Free itself is an ambiguous word. Free is never really free.
Free comes with terms and conditions. Set by others and our environment and unconsciously set by our own experience and ideology.
Emotions bring on hormones and hormones bring on emotions.
People perceives free differently. Because we are to some extent always influenced by the ideas we've taken in.  We are never 100% free.

 
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December 04, 2019, 04:44:56 PM
 #15

Is there anything called absolute freedom?
And can it exist without responsibility?
If we are created, causal beings, can we have absolute free will or limited?
I think we have the freedom to choose, but there is no absolute freedom to do bad things and destroy ourselves and our lives.
Absolute freedom and free will don't exist without responsibility,

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December 04, 2019, 07:42:12 PM
 #16

alot of people think free will is about freedom. meaning do whatever you want without consequence. sorry but no

freewill is about having a choice. and ability to make choices
where some choices do come with consequences but you have the freewill to do it or not do it, but remember some choices do come with consequences

EG
being told at a bank to get down on the ground or be shot by a bank robber
you might initially think you are forced to get to the ground, meaning no fr will.. but actually you do have a choice..
A. get down on the ground.  
B. get shot
in fact you are not limited to the choices forced upon you.

you can also
C. get your gun out and shoot the robber
D. get gun out and say 'everyone get down were both robbing the bank' (winning the initial robber over to become your equal)
E. run for cover and find an escape
F. talk to the robber
g.h.i...  the list goes on

free will is about choice. but NOT having no consequence freedom

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December 04, 2019, 10:10:15 PM
 #17

Free will is about stating that you have free will, and feeling that you do, but having been programmed to state and feel this way.

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December 04, 2019, 11:25:14 PM
 #18

Yes, humans have free will. That's not the point. The point is that free will isn't something that anyone knows much of anything about.

When you get up in the morning, and you choose which side of the bed you get out on, or you choose which color tie to wear, or you choose which kind of cereal to have for breakfast, or the route you will go to work today, this isn't free will. Something prompted you to make the choices that you make.

It all has to do with cause-and-effect. You were pushed in a direction, and you succumbed to the push. Even in the Lord's Prayer we see C&E. "Lead us not into temptation," because whatever way God allows us to be directed, that's the thing we will do. So, we continue to pray, "...but deliver us from evil," so that we don't do anything wrong and get hurt by it, through being directed into temptation.

Our free will has to do with some tiny part of us that is directed in the direction of God. It has nothing to do with what we call our free choices.

When our free will is in the direction of faith in God, God directs us this way. But when we are weaker in faith, God directs us that way. Thank God that He is trying to save us, and build us up in life. Otherwise we'd have a lot more trouble than we do.

Our free will is based on our faith in God. The decisions we make in life are promptings that God prompts us to make. But He does the promptings according to what He sees in our free will faith.

Free will is absolutely different than anything we understand. Our choices in this life are artificial free will, based on our real free will, and the way that God moves life according to our real free will.

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December 05, 2019, 12:44:26 AM
 #19

Forgive my ignorance of other religious beliefs but, according to the Bible in the book of Genesis to be precise, man was the only animal God gave free will. That's why we are able to do as we like. Man exercised his free will by eating of the fruit for which he was forbidden to eat. This is in itself a crime being committed against the Creator by disregard for stipulated rule by means of taboos.

an athiest translation
the so called 'adams apple' is the thyroid gland in the throat area. which is the hormones which is the endocrine system which is the power behind the subconscious and conscious thoughts and making different organs function.
people and animals with thyroid issues have 'zombie' lethargic minds

cavemens thyroid function was low and they just acted on impulse mainly (low cognitive ability). with no real intellectual thought beyond basic desires and needs. evolution came when cavemens diets changed due to changes of animal/vegetation evolution to produce new fruits which fuelled the hormonal growth and their for made cavemen have more deeper thoughts and start planning their actions.

the subconscious mind is the impulsive automatic reacting side. many science people call the 'god' entity, peoples individual subconscious.. the conscious mind is the one which we make the choices from

EG your subconscious mind(god) is what you teach from as a child to automate thoughts like how to breath, walk and talk and then how to impulsively react to things like ducking when you hear loud explosions and not putting your hand into fire.
then your conscious(freewill) gets the ability to override the impulse and negotiate if the risk/reward benfits of choices to decide which option is best


...
any way because humans have more developed consciousness and fuelled by a better endocrine system we have more free will than other animals
that said we are not the only ones with free will. just some other animals have less free will because they are 'dumber'
and yes some humans who cant think straight and have trouble making their own choices feel like they have no free will. when in actual fact is they have less free will purely due to brain/body damage/disease/disability possibly due to birth defects or environmental impacts like diet, drugs or abuse.

this is why even courts recognise that some humans may not have the cognitive ability to defend themselves in court

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December 05, 2019, 09:30:46 PM
 #20

For individuals, yes.
As multiple groups or even as a whole,no.

I think we have our free will. But as a whole, you can't impose your free will on others' free will. It is subject to the majority, which is good for the whole. In the end, our free will is subject to limitations IMHO. If we have no limitation, then each one is pushing their own agenda, self-interest and finally greed.

 
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