The illusion of free will - Sam Harris

Jeremy F Kreuz

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
I watched a presentation by Sam Harris on the illusion of free will - based on his recent book ´free will ´ and thought it had many points in common with the points being discussed on the forum on cognitive science.

the presentation can be watched here:

http://keentalks.com/illusion-free-will/
 

Kisito

Jedi Council Member
I was always sad with the free will, Laura's readings tended to put this obvious fact suspends it. Because I was persuaded that the past was determined and that it was enough of time so that the future finds itself in past and what it becomes definite. I had concluded that from it the future gave us the illusion of a free will because we don't know it. Yet(now) in time everything comes out and the future was determined to become past, thus determined. However Sam Harris's thesis specialist in neurosciences leaning on this science doesn't prove either that the free will doesn't exist.

Observations made by means of the magnetic resonance imaging determined this: the cervical machine makes "its" decision from 300 milliseconds till 10 seconds before it reaches(affects) the conscious level. Harris concludes that from it " our decisions are not of our manufacturing ". Of billion information never reach(affect) our consciousness... It effectively would question the free will, if we leave the postulate which the man has only a body. Except what we call consciousness, is only a level little raised(little brought up) by our consciousness, because according to chakras for some we shall possess seven bodies and seven states of consciousness, and it not very probable that we become aware of the last one. Place where the real decisions of the free will would be taken...
 

Artex

The Force is Strong With This One
I'm late to this particular party, as I'd set aside contemplating free will. I just assumed I had it, until I read Harris's book. Even then it remained a concept, until the "choose a city/movie" thought experiment. Pick any city or movie title, and realize that any title or city you know that didn't occur to you to choose means you were not free to choose it. Why would some names occur to you and not others? Is this really evidence that we don't have free will, or does our freedom happen "above" our conscious state? Is our higher self practicing free will and we simply aren't aware of it until we "wake up?"
 

Joe

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
I'm late to this particular party, as I'd set aside contemplating free will. I just assumed I had it, until I read Harris's book. Even then it remained a concept, until the "choose a city/movie" thought experiment. Pick any city or movie title, and realize that any title or city you know that didn't occur to you to choose means you were not free to choose it. Why would some names occur to you and not others? Is this really evidence that we don't have free will, or does our freedom happen "above" our conscious state? Is our higher self practicing free will and we simply aren't aware of it until we "wake up?"
That simply means that the amount of free will you have is determined by the amount of information you have and then your ability to apply it which turns it into knowledge. So we can ditch the term free will and replace it with information/knowledge. So Harris' idea that we have no free will (it's not really his of course, and has been pondered for millennia) is the same as saying we do not have unlimited information/knowledge, which isn't exactly a ground-breaking statement, but rather self-evident. Of course, it doesn't mean we have NO information/knowledge, just that it's limited, and we can gain more through effort. So saying we have no free will is actually totally wrong, we have limited free will, which isn't a fundamentally bad thing, because the whole point of growing is growth in knowledge. If you already had unlimited knowledge, you might not be motivated to do much.
 

Artex

The Force is Strong With This One
I have come here seeking knowledge. :) I have begun applying the Cs distinction between information and knowledge starting several months ago. What a difference that makes!

I agree that having unlimited knowledge would be much like having the cheat code for a video game. Without a struggle, you learn more slowly, while at the same time, if one has unlimited knowledge it may indicate that one is hanging out in the wrong density.
 
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