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Free will and the frustrator

personperson Don't believe everything you thinkthe liminal space Veteran

Its been a while since we've had a free will thread and I ran into this video which added an idea I hadn't heard before.

Its already been decided if you will or won't watch the video. :confounded:

Comments

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Thank god it has been decided. I would hate for schrodinger's cat [google it] to in fact be an uncertain monkey.

    'Mind the gap', as they say on London underground ...

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran
    edited June 2016

    I have complete knowledge of all the initial conditions and I've just hooked up my handy super powerful super computer so I can predict with perfect accuracy what you will do next.

    You will open the spoiler tab and read this!

    But if you had foreknowledge of your actions could you then be a frustrator and not do that action? So your action, or inaction, is deterministic but maybe foreknowledge isn't possible.

    upekkalobsterpegembara
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    O.o

    silver
  • upekkaupekka Veteran

    @person said:
    I have complete knowledge of all the initial conditions and I've just hooked up my handy super powerful super computer so I can predict with perfect accuracy what you will do next.

    You will open the spoiler tab and read this!

    But if you had foreknowledge of your actions could you then be a frustrator and not do that action?

    Insightful

    So your action, or inaction, is deterministic but maybe foreknowledge isn't possible.

    to know whether the action or inaction is deterministic
    and
    to know whether foreknowledge is possible

    read 'the wings to awakening' by thunnisaro bhikkhu (page 9 to page 15)

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    That is a good illustration @person.

    The situation is at present that I have and have not pressed the spoiler buttton.
    In other words there is no way of knowing the contents, without knowing the contents.
    Maybe I will press the button in a while. Maybe not. If not then I do not know. If I do then I know ... Do I have to press the button. Only the future will tell ... and we can not ...

    Next ... telling an untold truth ... paradox for beginners ... of any two options choose the third etc etc ...

  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited June 2016

    @person said:
    Its been a while since we've had a free will thread and I ran into this video which added an idea I hadn't heard before.

    Its already been decided if you will or won't watch the video. :confounded:

    Just like getting your test results. Although the result is predetermined you can't know it until you open the envelop.

    Or the subconscious decision to open the envelop has been made before it become conscious to you. Decisions are being made but not necessarily by you although it may appear to be so.

    No- one is driving your life. It’s all on automatic pilot. It’s like flying in the aircraft at 10,000 meters, going into the cockpit, and seeing there’s no pilot at the controls. That would scare a lot of people. But that’s what life is like.

    When you realise there’s no-one there pushing the buttons, clicking the mouse, steering the wheel, or controlling in any imaginable way, you stop complaining, because there’s no-one to complain to. You just go back to your seat and shut.
    Nice scenery; shut up! No more craving. No more ill will. Peace and happiness at last!

    FREEDOM is realising you are out of control.

    http://www.zycling.org.uk/news/entry/the-simile-of-the-driverless-bus-by-ajahn-brahm

    _"Any fabrications whatsoever...

    "Any consciousness whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every consciousness is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'

    "Seeing thus, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with form, disenchanted with feeling, disenchanted with perception, disenchanted with fabrications, disenchanted with consciousness. Disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, he is fully released. With full release, there is the knowledge, 'Fully released.'_

    Anattalakkhana Sutta

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    @upekka I remember reading something by him on free will several years ago, it wouldn't hurt to revisit a Buddhist take on the subject.

    @pegembara
    I think I'd disagree slightly with Ajahn Brahm's conclusion. There may not be a central controller at the wheel but its not like our actions are haphazard or random. So I think the processes work together to create decisions and take actions.

  • @person said:

    I think I'd disagree slightly with Ajahn Brahm's conclusion. There may not be a central controller at the wheel but its not like our actions are haphazard or random. So I think the processes work together to create decisions and take actions.

    "It’s all on automatic pilot. It’s like flying in the aircraft at 10,000 meters, going into the cockpit, and seeing there’s no pilot at the controls. "

    Seems about right to me. The processes work together like autopilot. Otherwise the plane would have crashed. Nothing is random as an example- an apple seed cannot possibly grow into an orange tree. It also needs water, sunshine etc. That is conditionality at work.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    @pegembara said:

    @person said:

    I think I'd disagree slightly with Ajahn Brahm's conclusion. There may not be a central controller at the wheel but its not like our actions are haphazard or random. So I think the processes work together to create decisions and take actions.

    "It’s all on automatic pilot. It’s like flying in the aircraft at 10,000 meters, going into the cockpit, and seeing there’s no pilot at the controls. "

    Seems about right to me. The processes work together like autopilot. Otherwise the plane would have crashed. Nothing is random as an example- an apple seed cannot possibly grow into an orange tree. It also needs water, sunshine etc. That is conditionality at work.

    Yeah, I'm just talking about when at the end he concludes "FREEDOM is realizing you are out of control". The wording makes it sound not just like there isn't a central controller but that there is no control at all.

    pegembara
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I just watched the video.
    I didn't understand a bloody thing.

    silver
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    I decided I couldn't be bothered to watch the video, but only realised this after I had made the decision. :p

    personkarasti
  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    I haven't watched it yet and so unless I do watch it, nobody will ever know if I will or not.

  • upekkaupekka Veteran
    edited July 2016

    IF i didn't watch it
    because
    the foreknowledge informed that what comes in front of eyes is just 'colours/ elements/ form' and if 'you = foreknowledge' watch it', 'i = foreknowledge' would add what would be seen into 'me = my previous foreknowledge'

    if so you = foreknowledge wouldn't have free will to react afterwards

    so

    i = 'my' foreknowledge didn't have free will when i decided 'not to watch video'

    and

    same goes with those who watched it

    foreknowledge without Right View /knowledge of reality has no free will

    foreknowledge with Right view/ knowledge of reality has free will

  • zenffzenff Veteran
    edited July 2016

    Didn’t watch it.
    That was predictable/ I'm lazy.

    I suppose it’s a problem if the Wales team knew in advance – with absolute certainty - that they would win the EC. As a result they wouldn’t work hard enough and they would lose their next game. But how can they lose if it was certain that they would win?

    The point is _ I think - that there is no such thing as absolute foreknowledge. We can understand processes and laws of nature. On that basis we can make predictions and some of them are very close to certainty. But we cannot travel in time and know in advance. We can only make predictions.

    Expectations (predictions) can influence behavior and make the outcome of one particular decision harder to predict. But that doesn’t mean it involves a free will. Behavior is predictable like the weather. We can predict with high certainty that the summer will be warmer then the winter, but it is less certain if today in two weeks it will be a sunny day.

    person
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    @zenff said:
    Didn’t watch it.
    That was predictable/ I'm lazy.

    I suppose it’s a problem if the Wales team knew in advance – with absolute certainty - that they would win the EC. As a result they wouldn’t work hard enough and they would lose their next game. But how can they lose if it was certain that they would win?

    The point is _ I think - that there is no such thing as absolute foreknowledge. We can understand processes and laws of nature. On that basis we can make predictions and some of them are very close to certainty. But we cannot travel in time and know in advance. We can only make predictions.

    Expectations (predictions) can influence behavior and make the outcome of one particular decision harder to predict. But that doesn’t mean it involves a free will. Behavior is predictable like the weather. We can predict with high certainty that the summer will be warmer then the winter, but it is less certain if today in two weeks it will be a sunny day.

    So the idea is that if we had total knowledge of the initial conditions of the weather and had a powerful enough tool to process all the subtle and not so subtle factors we could indeed predict the exact weather weeks or years ahead of time. In principal they argue the only limiting factor to our ability to predict the future is our intellectual capability.

    The video doesn't make an argument against determinism, it just says that having knowledge (or quality predictions) of the future changes outcomes. One of the stumbling blocks people have for understanding determinism is they think that it means the future is set in stone or predetermined.

    Since people can see thoughts and emotions arising in themselves in the present, then with proper knowledge of behavior modification and understanding the likely future outcome that comes with following our mental arising, that predictive knowledge acts as a determinative cause in changing the flow of causes. So its not removing the chain of cause and effect, its freeing us from the past and eliminates fatalism.

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    So the whole point is that if we knew all the variables we would be able to rightly predict events.

    The problem is there is no way to get all the variables.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran
    edited July 2016

    @David said:
    So the whole point is that if we knew all the variables we would be able to rightly predict events.

    The problem is there is no way to get all the variables.

    I feel like that is a valid argument as well. There is something known as Heisenberg's Uncertainty Prinicple which says that not having complete knowledge of all the variables isn't due to our lack of intellectual or computing power but a fundamental characteristic of nature, that on the quantum level objects can't be known in both their location and movement at the same time. It doesn't mean indeterminism ( that not every event has a cause) though

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    There is also chaos theory, the "butterfly effect": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_theory

  • upekkaupekka Veteran

    @David said:

    >

    The problem is there is no way to get all the variables.

    yes, even if the consummation of the development of physical science is there, there is no way to know how the consciousness of individuals worked a moment ago and how the consciousness of individuals are working right now

    so whatever the prediction we (scientists or astrologists or people like us) make wouldn't be 100% accurate

    in Buddha's Teaching, it says there are six elements at work (earth, fire, water, air, space and consciousness) in cosmos

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:
    There is also chaos theory, the "butterfly effect": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_theory

    That is the reality in practice, for anything we as limited humans can make predictions for.

    @upekka said:

    @David said:

    >

    The problem is there is no way to get all the variables.

    yes, even if the consummation of the development of physical science is there, there is no way to know how the consciousness of individuals worked a moment ago and how the consciousness of individuals are working right now

    so whatever the prediction we (scientists or astrologists or people like us) make wouldn't be 100% accurate

    in Buddha's Teaching, it says there are six elements at work (earth, fire, water, air, space and consciousness) in cosmos

    I think the idea of knowing all the initial conditions and powerful enough calculations to perfectly predict the future is just a thought experiment, not the sort of thing we could actually do. Its probably only valuable in philosophy to try to figure out if we have free will or not.

    upekkalobster
  • RuddyDuck9RuddyDuck9 MD, USA Veteran

    @lobster said:
    That is a good illustration @person.

    The situation is at present that I have and have not pressed the spoiler buttton.
    In other words there is no way of knowing the contents, without knowing the contents.
    Maybe I will press the button in a while. Maybe not. If not then I do not know. If I do then I know ... Do I have to press the button. Only the future will tell ... and we can not ...

    >

    What.... Schroedinger's Buddha? Or Buddha's Cat?

    lobster
  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    @person said:

    @SpinyNorman said:
    There is also chaos theory, the "butterfly effect": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_theory

    That is the reality in practice, for anything we as limited humans can make predictions for.

    @upekka said:

    @David said:

    >

    The problem is there is no way to get all the variables.

    yes, even if the consummation of the development of physical science is there, there is no way to know how the consciousness of individuals worked a moment ago and how the consciousness of individuals are working right now

    so whatever the prediction we (scientists or astrologists or people like us) make wouldn't be 100% accurate

    in Buddha's Teaching, it says there are six elements at work (earth, fire, water, air, space and consciousness) in cosmos

    I think the idea of knowing all the initial conditions and powerful enough calculations to perfectly predict the future is just a thought experiment, not the sort of thing we could actually do. Its probably only valuable in philosophy to try to figure out if we have free will or not.

    This is why it is not considered scientific.

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