2 1

LINK The great free will debate | Bill Nye, Michio Kaku, Robert Sapolsky, Steven Pinker & more - YouTube

The last speaker makes the best point, imo, so science should check itself concerning it. Free Will is determined by whatever our NN tells us to do.

rainmanjr 8 Oct 27

Enjoy being online again!

Welcome to the community of good people who base their values on evidence and appreciate civil discourse - the social network you will enjoy.

Create your free account


Feel free to reply to any comment by clicking the "Reply" button.


I cannot resist a quick eye roll, because this debate is largely semantic. Much depends on how one defines free will. Clearly we make choices in our lives. We individually use cognition to arrive at those choices. That is far more than instinctual reflex. will.

However, we are shaped and influenced by countless environmental and experiential factors, most of which fly under the radar of our awareness. So none of us is conscious of all the factors or reasons that lead up to our choices. So... there is no such thing as absolute freedom and no such thing as absolute free will.

So we have free will in practice, and it serves us no constructive purpose to try to act as if we don't. At the same time, we are never absolutely independent and never objective in our reasoning.

On a separate point, I completely disagree with Dennet's assertion that humans' decision-making process is fundamentally different than that of other animals. We ARE animals, and the differences in our thinking are by degree, not categorically set apart. Other higher developed animals employ reason in varying ways and by varying degrees, and some also seem to have a degree of self-awareness. As alluded to above, our own self-awareness is not without significant limits.

100% agreed. Our NN, whether one believes my theory of it or not, makes decisions based on its sensate nature and then delivers that decision to our vocabulary center and then we have an idea. Children 1-3 demonstrate how one can not have thought without vocabulary so there's the citation. We can, and do, have sensations and emotions but not thought. Therefore, I do not believe in Free Will. Only the illusion of it (as is the case for all things).

@rainmanjr interesting. I wonder what counts as vocabulary or language ability. Higher apes, dolphins, even some lesser animals like dogs and parrots, have demonstrated they can learn to grasp signals that represent various meanings, whether thos signals are vocalized words, hand signs, or other physical cues. That is learned language. Just because a dog, for instance, lacks the mouth and throat structures or dexterity to replicate verbal words does not mean they are incapable of grasping vocabulary meaning.


I heard somewhere that the classic Greek position was that we don't know I we have 'free will' or we don't. (Sorry I don't have a source for that.)

So since I don't have any way to test if my will is free or not, I might as well assume to myself that it is free. That's the choice that I've made as long as I've been able to think about the question.😋

Good choice, I reckon

You can include a link to this post in your posts and comments by including the text q:630679
Agnostic does not evaluate or guarantee the accuracy of any content. Read full disclaimer.