Free will test of people with "split brain" (aka "alien hand" syndrome).
(This is something that I've linked to a few months ago. But it seems like a very popular topic - understandably so. Also, this was suppose to be a reply to another comment. But the original post for that comment is of a different subject altogether. And instead posting an unrelated topic in that post, I thought it best to create this new post.)
I think some people can't objectively assess the question on whether we have free will because they are limiting "reaction to external stimuli" to actions like breathing, eating, drinking, having sex, moving where you are pushed, rolling down a hill. etc.
I believe that "reaction to external simuli" include everything that our whole body and our brains are capable of doing: talking to someone, signing up to a website, reading a book, choosing which book to read, falling in love with that other person, picking up an umbrella because rain was forecast, working out the hypothenuse of a triangle, determining stock market trends, determining climate trends, etc.
Studies of "Alien hand syndrome" show that, when the connections between the two brains are damaged or was removed for medical purposes (e.g. treat a mental disorder), one side of our bodies will react (e.g. pick-up the pen on the table) to a test independent of the other side - and WITHOUT us being able to describe that reaction.
IF we have free will, how can it be explained that people with split brains, when shown only their left eye a name of an object (I.e. the right eye is covered), and asked which word they see, the person will say "I see nothing". But at that same time, at that same moment in time, in that same test, the person's left hand will move to pick up the object named.
It suggests that the right brain SAW the name of the object and SAW the object on the table - and therefore reacted to the test. The right brain, although separated from the left brain, is A functioning brain ON ITS OWN.
But the person couldn't answer the question "what did you see?" because the left brain didn't see anything (because the right eye was covered). And, because of the split brain, the right brain couldn't pass the information along to the left brain, which controls speech - causing the person to answer "I didn't see anything".
This suggests that our thoughts could be the RESULTS (the BYPRODUCTS) of our reactions to external stimuli. And not the other way around. I.e. our thoughts do not direct our reactions to external stimuli.
Just to clarify something here, in case it's not common knowledge anymore. The left side of our brains control the right side of our bodies. And vice-versa.
Jump to about 1m into this video where CGP Grey explains the test and the results. Or watch the whole thing. It's interesting.
And jump to 3m and 15secs of this video which also explains the test above. Or watch the whole thing. It's interesting.
And a third video talking about the same subject - but with references to Sam Harris' thoughts and ideas:
I'll leave you to form your own conclusions to this, of course. But please, do not reply without considering the tests. Deny the tests, if you wish, but accept that act as denial - rather than a product of your critical thinking.
(I'll tag @Loudpaintings to this, because this was a reply to one of his comments elsewhere that was addressed to me.)
It seems that I have no issues at all with any of this information, except the idea that we are still making choices. Would it not seem like our mundane restriction of "choice" based on our vastly influenced stimuli would be an illusion as well?
I am still confused how superdeterminism can be reconciled with choice. To say we have "no" free will but still make choices seems like a paradox to me.
Otherwise, I am fine with everything else. Am I missing something? That is the only part I don't understand. Thanks man!