Charles and others
Please first read this post and specially the 2nd link in that post.
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Do you think we are free citizens in a democratic set up?
That is a fantastic question. This is one of the best questions I have received against “No Free Will”
Here is my answer/explanation and anticipated natural follow up questions from your side and my response to the anticipated questions.
Short and deep answer is NO.
Anticipated logical follow up question: Why then we do not like to live in North Korea or Iran or Saudi Arabia (SA)?
Counter Argument 1a
That is because we have illusion of free will. This illusion is comforting that is why we do not want to live in North Korea. Fewer legal and cultural restrictions in the West allow many more outcomes than in SA. As a result our illusion on Free Will gets falsely reinforced. The increase number of possibilities is not due to our free will but due to the increase number of permutation and combination.
On the surface it appears that we have freedom in the West than in SA but when you put this under the microscope then Free Will is nowhere in sight.
Counter Argument 1b
100 zillion molecules in a restricted box will produce fewer varieties than in less restricted box. This doesn’t make molecules have more Free Will in unrestricted box than in restricted box
Counter Argument 1c
How self delusion keep one happy: Example/Neuropsychological Case Study:
21 years old Robert is madly in love with his college freshman classmate, 20 years old Susan. Susan doesn’t have any feeling for Robert. Robert deluded himself that Susan also loves her. Robert keep registering in the same classes Susan takes because he can see her there. Robert even skips his required classes just to see her more often. Robert’s really enjoy her sight. His love for Susan and the enjoyment of it shows up even in the fMRI lab. There is no love or enjoyment in Susan’s brain when she sees Robert.
This case study is not about Free Will but shows that brain’s pleasure area can be falsely reinforce by illusion.
Counter Argument 1d
Then question is about the term you used “Free Citizens”
Did you mean we will have more free will in the West? Of course NOT.
If you meant more variety of outcome is possible in the West. Of course YES.
Counter Argument 2
If you know the laws of your country well, you can enjoy greater freedom than most other ignorant citizens. Same is true for natural laws too.
And yet, we can affect those bodily systems; the more you know about them, the better you will be at affecting their functioning.
Both of your above statements are only conditionally true. The condition is “If we know more”
Comparing two person A and B, whoever knows more about the laws of nature and apply his knowledge will satisfy more of his/her desires.
Again the above statement is true.
But you need to ask yourself what will make you know more?
There are reason behind one’s ability, desire, and action with the help of which he/she would learn more. And you and I have no control over that priori. This is a chain of “cause and effect”
If there were no gravity on Earth then we could float.
The statement is conditionally true. But what would make the gravity vanish in the first place?
Counter Argument 3
That is exactly my point. Smith from his own perspective does not know the truth which we spectators know. We, only AFTER knowing what the matrix is, can say anything better about it.
In our universe we know a lot more than Mr. Smith did. We know that there is “chain of cause and effect” and HUP. Neither of these creates free will. Therefore, given all the knowledge we must conclude there is no Free Will.
All I have been saying is that humans, scientists or philosophers, have not yet been able to understand the mechanism of choices/decisions. All we know is that they spring from some depths we have not yet been able to shine enough light in.
Counter Argument 4: This one is important.
Read your above statement very carefully. It has hidden assumption that we have Free Will, choice. Why should we assume they even exist?
All I have been saying is that humans, scientists or philosophers, have not yet been able to understand the mechanism of existence of Allah.[ Allah as all merciful, omnipotent, omniscience and who created hell and heaven.]
How is this different from the claims of existence of God? In another discussion, I have made it clear that by God I understand "the creator God" and I argue against him using reason and logic.
Here I am talking about the “Allah of Quran” with all its contradiction. Applying your logic of Free Will one can’t deny the existence of” Allah of Quran”.
In the above corollary I just “search and replace” choice/decisions with Allah.
I hope this should convince you.
I am agnostic about the ETs too. So far there is no evidence in favour of their existence. But I can't claim that they don't exist.
I talked about alien abduction and even alien visiting Earth as faith, as superstition, lack of judgement power, weak mind. Being agnostic about the mere existence of ET somewhere in the Universe is perfectly reasonable.
I wanted to address your love affair with Mysticism in a spate thread but I will address it here since you brought it up.
There have been some people who claim that they achieved the total wakefulness, and they have their own opinions about the issue. But of course their opinions are subjective which are of no value to us. Moreover, unlike the general run of the mill religious, miraculous persons, they also keep reminding us that we must not believe what they say simply because they are saying it. Their whole emphasis is on we following the process and knowing/experiencing the truth ourselves. Sounds pretty scientific attitude to me, with the difference that while a scientist can conduct an experiment and show it to us (without each of us having to conduct the experiments ourselves), they say that the experience is subjective and that we have to see/experience it ourselves; even this sounds pretty reasonable to me.
Taking LSD give you all kinds of experience. Near death experience gives you a lot to stupid stuff. Schizophrenic person experience all sorts of things.
Point is, in the world of reality and reason and science, self-experience is not sufficient
I repeat, self-experience is not sufficient.
We must doubt our own mind. Doubting one own sanity is one of the most important aspects of science why it is so successful. We know there is placebo effect. We can’t just go by our feelings –Even if my feeling is most genuine. Brains do malfunction. There are illusions. No one is immune to it.
Do not take the following one liner lightly.
“Qualified, 3rd Party, Double Blind, Successive Approximation, Statistical Methodology”
is the ONLY way to find the truth.
Ponder the implication of every term in this sentence.
Truth is the goal. Justice/fairness/symmetrical test is the mean.
Happiness can’t be and shouldn’t be the ultimate goal.
Only Truth should be the ultimate goal.
However, if someone is in love with the truth then he will get the happiness as well. But he must shoot for the truth with passion. Happiness will come as a by-product.
List your top 100 mystic people and top 100 most influential scientist/philosophers.
Which group have done more good for the world?
Some mystic lies, rest got malfunctioned brain.
Which group gave us more knowledge?
Which group gave us more understanding?
Which group cured more diseases?
Even Transcendental Meditation got bad rap now because of its false claims and money making schemes. The most sanitised version of these is “Mindful Meditation” or just simply “Meditation”
Even that has little effect. Yes, By Meditation you can temporarily (few minutes) lower your blood pressure or increase or decrease your heart rate by small amount. But there is not long term effect. Meditation has some positive effect. But by meditation you can’t increase your IQ significantly, or knowledge, a lot of practice, increase your understanding of nature.
Yes, stress has long term effect on health. Physical exercise has far more effect on mind and body.
Increasing your mental capacity.
The best way to sharpen your mind is to drop lies as soon as you can and collect truths.
This is easier said than done. Look, how difficult it is for you to drop the idea of Free Will or how difficult it is for a devout Christian to drop the lies of Jesus walked on the water or was raised from the death. Dropping lies is not as simple as is sound.
When one collect only truth in his mind then in effect his/her mind gets rewired according to this new information. After a lot of practice of always telling the truth like, there is no free will, no god, no hell or heaven, man did land on the moon, and it gets reinforced, and eventually pushed back to the subconscious level. As you know our subconscious mind is about 800 times faster than conscious mind. As a result next time when you encounter a problem, issue, puzzle, a choice/alternative option, your subconscious mind process the information even without your knowledge and comes up with an answer. We call this intuition.
So, collect truth and get smarter. You will increase your IQ as well.
For a smart brain we need two things. A lot of correct data and speed.
What is the aperture of consciousness?
Therefore, rewire your subconscious and even lower level neural networks with the truth and truth only.
The things that perturb us no end, don't seem to have any effect on them. They don't seem to lose their equanimity. They don't seem to be driven by motives which are driving forces for our lives.
Are they able to choose whether to get angry by insults or simply let them slide off the skin as water slides off the back of the duck? It seems so. Are they able to choose to be calm and fearless even in the face of violence and death? It certainly seems so.
No, wonder they achieve very little for themselves and for others. See “Mystic Crap” above.
Not a good idea. We do need passion. Without passion we will survive. Ignite your intelligence with passion. The key is the right mixture of passion and reason.
Passion is: no or very little processing but very fast.
Reason is: a lot of processing but slow.
We need both.
I am interested in knowing what makes them different.
Attempting know why they are different is fine.
But their state of mind is not desirable.
A person in comma, in vegetable state do not feel anger either.
These passionless Mystic people won’t climb Mount Everest nor will invent medicine.
Reason and passion both are necessary for human flourishment.
Passion is the drive, reason is the process, truth is the goal, happiness is the by-product. –Abdul Rahman 1980
35 years ago in my late teen I figure out there is No Free Will. Rest of the thing is history.
No god, no angel, no after life, no alien abduction, no mysticism was became easy.
I did not need today’s fMRI’s empirical data for the proof of No Free Will.
Simple logic and reason was sufficient for me to know for fact there is “NO FREE WILL whatsoever, ever, in any circumstances for anybody, anything, any entity. Period.”
Back in 1978-1979 fMRI did not even exist. Now fMRI is revealing the empirical data against Free Will.
Cognitive Dissonance/Consonance, Selfishness for MR, PR, and SR are very important concepts.