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Author Topic: Is there free will or are we slaves of our dna?  (Read 1115 times)

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kav

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Is there free will or are we slaves of our dna?
« on: October 11, 2016, 04:06:42 PM »
Free will could all be an illusion, scientists suggest after study shows choice may just be brain tricking itself Research adds to evidence suggesting 'even our most seemingly ironclad beliefs about our own agency and conscious experience can be dead wrong.

Free will might be an illusion created by our brains, scientists might have proved.
Humans are convinced that they make conscious choices as they live their lives. But instead it may be that the brain just convinces itself that it made a free choice from the available options after the decision is made.
The idea was tested out by tricking subjects into believing that they had made a choice before the consequences of that choice could actually be seen. In the test, people were made to believe that they had taken a decision using free will – even though that was impossible.
The idea that human beings trick themselves into believing in free will was laid out in a paper by psychologists Dan Wegner and Thalia Wheatley nearly 20 years ago. They proposed the feeling of wanting to do something was real, but there may be no connection between the feeling and actually doing it.

The new study builds on that work and says that the brain rewrites history when it makes its choices, changing our memories so that we believe we wanted to do something before it happened.
In one of the studies undertaken by Adam Bear and Paul Bloom, of Yale University, the test subjects were shown five white circles on a computer monitor. They were told to choose one of the circles before one of them lit up red.
The participants were then asked to describe whether they’d picked the correct circle, another one, or if they hadn’t had time to actually pick one.
Statistically, people should have picked the right circle about one out of every five times. But they reported getting it right much more than 20 per cent of the time, going over 30 per cent if the circle turned red very quickly.
The scientists suggest that the findings show that the test subjects’ minds were swapping around the order of events, so that it appeared that they had chosen the right circle – even if they hadn’t actually had time to do so.

The idea of free will may have arisen because it is a useful thing to have, giving people a feeling of control over their lives and allowing for people to be punished for wrongdoing.
But that same feeling can go awry, the scientists wrote in the Scientific American magazine. It may be important for people to feel they are control of their lives, for instance, but distortions in that same process might make people feel that they have control over external processes like the weather.
The scientists cautioned that the illusion of choice might only apply to choices that are made quickly and without too much thought. But it might also be “pervasive and ubiquitous — governing all aspects of our behaviour, from our most minute to our most important decisions”.
“Whatever the case may be,” they write, “our studies add to a growing body of work suggesting that even our most seemingly ironclad beliefs about our own agency and conscious experience can be dead wrong.”
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/free-will-could-all-be-an-illusion-scientists-suggest-after-study-that-shows-choice-could-just-be-a7008181.html


 
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scepticus

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Re: Is there free will or are we slaves of our dna?
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2016, 06:03:53 PM »
If not “ Free Will “ what is it ?  They don’t say.

How can any decision be “ impossible “ ? It may be right- it may be wrong - but it HAS been taken so it is possible to make a decision.
People don’t know the difference between feeling something should be done and actually doing that something ?

People might feel  that they have control over the weather ?
 This site might not exist because it may be  a trick of  our brain ?

The Paper is utter rubbish kav, and is far from “ scientific “ but that opinion may be a trick of my brain !
 
 
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Scarface

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Re: Is there free will or are we slaves of our dna?
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2016, 01:46:02 AM »
I'd like to believe in free will.  It certainly feels like I have the ability to choose.  But, there is nothing in science or physics that allows this to be true.  Even quantum physics allows for randomness at best.  But there is also no explanation in physics that explains why we have conscious experiences either.  It's really weird when you think about it.  How can a bunch of particles swirling around, popping in and out of existence be responsible for a thought or free will.  So far, science has failed to answer this.
 
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Reyth

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Re: Is there free will or are we slaves of our dna?
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2016, 03:49:08 AM »
How many monkeys with lab equipment would you need to have human consciousness created by them in 1000 years?  There is no ACTUAL proof that the world has actually been around for as many as 10,000 years!!

Scientists haven't been able to actually create a single thing from nothing but I need to believe their theories about DNA?

Maybe if I was a slave of my DNA, I could be properly farmed as a worker for the government... :shrug:
« Last Edit: October 12, 2016, 03:52:21 AM by Reyth »
 

Bayes

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Re: Is there free will or are we slaves of our dna?
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2016, 09:06:17 AM »

The Paper is utter rubbish kav, and is far from “ scientific “


Agreed. Science is a wonderful thing and has given us countless benefits, but why do the most obvious, common sense notions need to be "validated" or questioned by some geek in a lab coat?

In other news: Sky blue, water wet.  ;D

Scientists sometimes seem to forget that science cannot start from nothing; certain things have to be taken for granted - such as the idea that we have free will. If we didn't then the so called "scientific" pronouncements would be as meaningless as anything else.
 

dobbelsteen

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Re: Is there free will or are we slaves of our dna?
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2016, 10:03:52 AM »
It is not the DNA that influence our decisions. It are the particular features how our mind reacts on the environment and psychologits can create situations that a human make decisions outside the brain.

Illusionisten use these features to believe us that we make a free decision.
 

MickyP

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Re: Is there free will or are we slaves of our dna?
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2017, 09:32:53 PM »
Interesting topic Kav.
As human beings progress, science and medicine are constantly being reinvented. As we discovered more about our world  our history is corrected. Discoveries about our universe also fall into the "We will correct it as we learn and discover" syndrome.

Does free will exit? Yes, I believe it does. I also believe that free will is limited in the life that we live. The impact of living a life not of our free will has a devastating effect on our psychological makeup. Slavery in whatever form suffocates free will. As free men we are slaves to the constitution of our respective countries. We are slaves to the companies we work for. We create slaves of ourselves to live a better life. Some choices are ours but most are laws written by other men to contain out freedom of choice. Traditions, cultures and religions also restrict our ability to exercise our free will.

This leads me to a question I was once asked; "Is there a right and wrong decision?" I answered Yes but the discussion led me to believe otherwise. People make decisions based on all the information they have available to them at the time of making the decision. It is neither right nor wrong. The decision at this time is based on information at hand and influenced by circumstances and potential benefits. Only after the fact is the value of the decision revealed when more information becomes available. Low value = bad decision and high value = good decision. When it comes to making decisions, good and bad are evaluations after the fact. Hindsight determines whether a decision was right or wrong.

In order to understand exactly why scientists believe that free will is an illusion created by the brain it is important for them to fully disclose their scientific definition of free will in the context of the world we currently live in.

 
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MrPerfect.

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Re: Is there free will or are we slaves of our dna?
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2017, 10:35:29 PM »
Free will? For slaves? Interesting...
   
 

Reyth

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Re: Is there free will or are we slaves of our dna?
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2017, 10:38:55 PM »
My beef is more with mainstream modern scientists who have abandoned classical training and common sense.  Technology is great but in the end, its worthless.
 

kav

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Re: Is there free will or are we slaves of our dna?
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2017, 11:03:40 PM »
The dilemma could be put this way.
Is this YOUR choice? Or is it the result of some chemical reaction in your brain ordered by your DNA.
Now the question is "what is YOU"? Are you just (an automaton of) your dna or are you something of higher order? (independent and autonomous consciousness,  psyche or whatever)
 
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Reyth

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Re: Is there free will or are we slaves of our dna?
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2017, 11:09:20 PM »
I do not need my body to exist.  I am just closely and tightly tied to it.  This of course, is proper according to nature.
 

MickyP

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Re: Is there free will or are we slaves of our dna?
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2017, 11:43:11 PM »
Free will? For slaves? Interesting...
   

I enjoy your sense of humour at times.
We are all slaves to the systems that govern us. Our minds are conditioned through propaganda fed to us as fact. There is oppression of people all over the world and it is in different forms.
Oppression in any manner limits the natural free will of people.
Free will is freedom of choice. How much of that do we actually have in our entire life no matter how long or short it may be?

 

MickyP

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Re: Is there free will or are we slaves of our dna?
« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 12:14:40 AM »
Kav, DNA is not a separate entity with a will of its own. Chemical reactions in the body occur when instructed and triggered to do so. Who commands the instruction? The instruction must come from somewhere. We are energy in scientific terms and we are spirit in religious terms. Both are eternal and the body we exist in is temporary. We will continue to exist beyond the demise of our human form.

There must be an inherent instinct that assists in body functions. Our bodies fight germ invasions long before we realise we are sick. On the other hand this could be part of our own capacity that we are not aware of.

Why do we only use such a small percentage of our brain capacity? Is this a design error?

 

Jesper

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Re: Is there free will or are we slaves of our dna?
« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 05:28:50 AM »
We at least must pretend we have a free will, for so many reasons.    "Alsob"
 
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MrPerfect.

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Re: Is there free will or are we slaves of our dna?
« Reply #14 on: Yesterday at 07:15:29 AM »

Why do we only use such a small percentage of our brain capacity? Is this a design error?
   Do you REALLY wanna know?  If you knew the answer, would you like to change ?