Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Article  Strongest neuroscience arguments in free will debate + FW and the Game of Life

C C Offline
A severely mentally ill person might be an example of an individual indulging in random behavior and speech much of the time. Which is to say, adhering to little or no pattern and predictable routine hardly seems to qualify as an illustration of "will". The latter entails regulated organization, otherwise social activists could campaign for floating debris tossed about and meandering on a sea as possessing it.

If we contend free will is the capacity to make decisions/choices or do things outside of one's usual personality, interests, and habits  -- then that occasionally happens. The brain/body's functioning is not totally coherent or without mishaps, regardless of a context of absolute determinism or adequate determinism.

If we contend free will is being allowed to make decisions or do things according to one's usual personality, interests, and habits (compatibilism), then that often happens. Exceptions would be situations like enslavement, where one could very rarely accommodate personal norms and preferences.

If we contend free will is some radical requirement like having the liberty to magically configure one's own physical and psychological identity from the start (rather than that falling out of prior processes and circumstances we have no control over), then that's circularity. One would have to already exist with an established set of certain properties, decision-making abilities, and preferences in order to accomplish that fantasy scenario.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Strongest Neuroscience Arguments in the Free Will Debate

KEY POINTS: Our brains have biases and proclivities—shaped by our genes, and further shaped by experience and learning. We can’t choose our genes, but perhaps we can choose the experiences that shape our predispositions. Or perhaps those choices are determined by our predispositions and circumstances beyond our control.

In Part 1 of this two-part series on the free will debate, we contrasted a position of hard determinism, represented by the biologist Robert Sapolsky, and a defense of free will by the neurogeneticist Kevin Mitchell. The positions of these two experts are representative of the most neuroscientifically-informed arguments for and against free will... (MORE - details)

Quantum Mechanics, Free Will and “The Game of Life”

EXCERPTS: . . . So what does The Game of Life have to do with free will and quantum mechanics? Here’s what. Conventional cellular automata, including Life, are deterministic, meaning that each state of the automaton dictates the next state. The automata lack the randomness, or wiggle room, that might allow for choices, free will.

Conventional cellular automata are also local, in the sense that what happens in one cell depends on what happens in neighboring cells. But according to quantum mechanics, nature seethes with nonlocal “spooky actions.” Remote, apparently disconnected things can be “entangled,” influencing each other in mysterious ways as if via ghostly filaments. Moreover, there is a random element to nonlocal effects. Wiggle room!

Two questions: Can cellular automata incorporate nonlocal, random entanglements? And if so, might these cellular automata lend support to free will? The answers to these questions are “Yes” and “Maybe,” respectively. Researchers have created cellular automata that incorporate quantum effects, including nonlocality. There are even quantum versions of The Game of Life. But experts disagree on whether these models bolster the case for free will... (MORE - missing details)

Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Article Social Justice for Neanderthals: What debate about our cousins reveals about us C C 0 74 Sep 30, 2023 05:45 PM
Last Post: C C
  The many meanings of Schrödinger's cat + Two astrophysicists debate the multiverse C C 0 62 Feb 25, 2022 08:19 PM
Last Post: C C
  The Ongoing Debate on God has Ended Ostronomos 25 736 Dec 31, 2021 05:39 AM
Last Post: Syne
  Quantum mechanics, free will & the Game of Life (John Horgon) C C 47 1,279 Feb 22, 2021 06:39 PM
Last Post: Syne
  How ad hominem arguments can demolish appeals to authority C C 1 221 Jul 27, 2019 07:57 PM
Last Post: Syne
  Arguments for god from a former atheist Syne 49 9,229 Sep 8, 2018 06:12 PM
Last Post: Syne
  Are we free? Neuroscience gives the wrong answer - Daniel Dennett C C 2 1,009 Dec 18, 2016 08:30 PM
Last Post: Yazata
  Some Arguments from Parmenides Yazata 1 847 Mar 10, 2016 05:09 AM
Last Post: C C
  How Aesthetics Reveals the Limits of Neuroscience C C 0 543 Oct 10, 2015 06:12 PM
Last Post: C C
  The Shrinking World of Ideas: Neuroscience Is Ruining the Humanities C C 2 1,336 Nov 27, 2014 07:02 PM
Last Post: Yazata

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)