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#44787 - 12/09/10 01:58 PM Free / Conscious Will
HeimiricIX Offline

Registered: 10/29/10
Posts: 75
Loc: Mexico City.
It is of my personal belief that Will and selfconsciousness are by definition unnatural, not natural or even anti-natural.

I reached this conclusion by watching nature complex yet highly mechanic behaviour and then watching the Apparently non-mechanic way in which the human mind acts and the fact that the mind can act against or in favor of nature's mechanic behaviour if he chooses to.

This, of course, is assumption, but I felt myself inclined towards believing it by apparent "free choice" and no doubt empowered by my ego.

I recently hold a discussion about this in a another forum in which the other side claimed that everything in the world is natural and that even our apparent consciousness was "planned" by nature as a way to make us succeed in front of other bigger, stronger species.

Instead of answering my own particular reasons to believe the contrary I did some research and found this.

It makes interesting claims on how everything that we believe is free will is actually not, however most of what is claimed are things that at least apparently it does not apply to minds that are awake, such as the one of a Satanist, since we usually first and foremost needed to "break" ourselves from our learning experiences to find us here and then for the rest of our lives we constantly are reevaluating our beliefs in order to learn more and not remain static our outadated in our views.

Well, to make the story short. Do you believe free will a natural-mechanic thing? Or a natural-non-mechanic thing in which we may assume (assume) that not everything in nature is mechanic? Or perhaps it is not natural in essence?

Not wanting to reach out for the most metaphysical ideas here yet any thoughts are more than welcome.

HeimiricIX - Made you look

#44793 - 12/09/10 04:08 PM Re: Free / Conscious Will [Re: HeimiricIX]
TheInsane Offline

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 356
While re-reading the post I made I realize that I might drift away a little from the topic (or actually widen it a little bit). I hope that’s cool with you all :P

To really make this thread relevant we need to define what ”natural” means and contrast that to that which is not natural. This has been discussed previously as well ( ). Your definition is that the natural universe looks mechanic in the way it works. This is also the traditional western scientific view. However since we started to do scientific research on the sub-atomic level we have come to see new ways in which nature works. If you were to ask a scientist today that person would work in a paradigm where the universe is not seen as mechanistic. I wonder how you stand in relation to modern physics since your basic view on the universe differs so much.

Personally I do not believe the Self, soul or will of a human is disconnected from nature. I deny self-atomism and thus do not agree with the notion that the Self is somehow of different origin from the body. I am Heraclitean in the way that I see everything as ever changing and this includes the soul. It is only through its continuous movement that it appears to be solid. It is all a flow of energy (with reservation that the word energy might be misleading). This is also how the natural world works. A stone appears to be solid and unchanging but in reality it changes at all times on the sub-atomic level.

In the other thread I wrote; “Our Self, like everything else, is like a wave on the ocean. It can seem distinct but by the time it hits the shore or dissolute in the big all the substance of the wave have been exchanged many times around. It is never the same even if it appears to be. Therefore one can never find ones Self, one can only create it and be it. To become what you are!”
In reality it is the energy in the water, or outside of it, that creates the visual of the wave and even this is ever changing. So while we can see and study the wave it is never ever solid and it is always a part of, and integrates with, its surroundings. It is never isolate and never had its origin somewhere else.

Like my original post I’d like to quote Bertrand Russel who wrote;

The same thing applies to the mind. We think and feel and act, but there is not, in addition to thoughts and feelings and actions, a bare entity, the mind or the soul, which does or suffers these occurrences. The mental continuity of a person is a continuity of habit and memory: there was yesterday one person whose feelings I can remember, and that person I regard as myself of yesterday; but, in fact, myself of yesterday was only certain mental occurrences which are now remembered and are regarded as part of the person who now recollects them. All that constitutes a person is a series of experiences connected by memory and by certain similarities of the sort we call habit.

This also corresponds to other great thinkers thoughts and ideas about the soul and the body such as Hermann Hesse (see the idea of a thousand selves in Steppenwolf) and Friedrich Nietzsche (se the idea of the self as an hierarchy that is your body in “Zarathustra”).

Basically I deny the dualistic outlook on life – the Christian/western worldview. My foundation lies in a concept of the world as interconnected and ever changing. There is no denying that it appears dualistic and things appear to be more or less solid but the deeper we go the more we realize this is not the case.

In regards to Free Will I do not think there is such a thing with a capital F. Does that mean I think everything is pre-determined? No, not really. I do think however that a lot of what we think are choices really aren’t and that we often do whatever is the only alternative depending on the causality on the macrocosmic level. However as I dwelled on earlier the microcosmic level does not seem to be causal at all. While we can predict a pool balls journey on the pool table if we know all the data, we cannot predict the movement of the energy that makes up the pool ball itself.

Basically I think our actions are the results from both a causal reality as well as a reality of chance and that there is some degree of choice thrown in as well (no one said reality would be easy to explain). To me the notion of a free will only had by humans (as far as we know) is putting us on a way to high of a pedestal, like the Setians with their constant talk of the Elect of Set. Man is just another animal, that is my firm belief. At the same time our consciousness and indeed scientific research makes it hardy to believe in a totally deterministic universe. To theorize in this field we do need a fair bit of belief since neither view has been proven to be the correct one. Anyway, what I wrote above is my take on it. In general its more eastern in approach and it is not built on dualism.

The Yale report was titled "free will is unnatural". That may be the case because I deny the existence of anything unnatural and thus I do not believe in a free will either. Its a fiction of the imagination ;\)

Edited by TheInsane (12/09/10 04:10 PM)

#44972 - 12/15/10 03:37 PM Re: Free / Conscious Will [Re: TheInsane]
HeimiricIX Offline

Registered: 10/29/10
Posts: 75
Loc: Mexico City.
Well, I have been reading a lot and while your opinion is interesting and respected, I have a few points to make here. Based entirely on my opinion.

A mechanistic nature, as I see it, is not an absolutely static nature, but a nature without any conscious change. There is no self-consciousness on nature, there is not a deciding mind behind it's constant changes, hence it is mechanic.

Now I have to disagree that the mind is mechanic in the way you quote Mr. Russell. While most of the time the mind does make mechanic choices, based not on our Will but on the situation it currently is (with the choices it currently has) there it comes a time when not based on memory nor habit, mind can think, imagine, create and be (I believe that If it couldn't I wouldn't have a job).

It does take the one that is looking for this to STOP in their usual habits, including their thinking habits and start to create something from scratch. This is something hard to do because we are not taught to actually think, just to daydream we are thinking and based on whatever situation is in front of us to recreate a supposedly "new" solution for a problem.

But if you actually Stop and Think. Instead of association we have thoughts that came from nowhere but the mind it is producing them, instead of reactions we have actions. Instead of memory we have the ability to construct today's thoughts for tomorrow to remember or for tomorrow to forget but definitely to modify today's actions.

Now, about having the human being in a high pedestal, I do not agree this sort of thinking does that, we are where we are supposed to be among other species regarding this particular subject. Are we another animal? Yes. Are we also different from those animals? Yes. Denying it would be ridiculous.

Let me give you an example. If we were to be talking about body strength, instead of self-conscious mind, then we would certainly not be at the top of that chain, but perhaps gorillas or elephants would be, is that putting them into a high pedestal as well? No, is just recognizing something. Having self-consciousness makes us different, yet that wouldn't make us win in a fight against a bear with out bare hands. Understand?

Now to finnish this, you are correct, I suppose, to theorize in this field would take to have a certain amount of belief, this then, is my view, and while I am still developing certain characteristics of it and other I still haven't found a satisfactory answer, so far I Believe it is correct.


PS: Thanks for your answer, it helped me think my views better.

Edited by HeimiricIX (12/15/10 03:47 PM)
Edit Reason: Minor addition.
HeimiricIX - Made you look

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