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I don't understand how the word 'will' is being used posted 03 November 2008 in NeuropathI don't understand how the word 'will' is being used by Tilberian, Commoner

Quote: "Cnaiür":3g8q7k9f
How do you explain near-death experiences, where people speak of seeing themselves leave their body, such as those who die on the operating table and see their body being operated on and watch doctors electrocute them back to life, which causes them to jerk back into their own body. Are these people deluded? Dreaming? Or, is that their soul that temporarily left their physical body? [/quote:3g8q7k9f]

Yes, these people are hallucinating. It has even been defined as a particular type of hallucination that occurs when the brain is starved for oxygen (resulting in the tunnel of light etc). The wilder claims that people have seen and heard things that they could not have sensed from where their bodies were lying have been debunked or suffer from chronic lack of evidence.

Quote: "Cnaiür":3g8q7k9f

Topics of consciousness and the soul has been around for thousands of years. Modern science is still playing catch up with their gadgets and math.[/quote:3g8q7k9f]

We have made more progress in understanding brain function and consciousness with the "gadgets and math" of the last fifty years than in the entire history of humanity prior. Modern science is not playing catch-up; it is giving us real understanding where before there was only superstition, speculation and faith. And it is worth noting that the idea of a soul dates from the old methodology, not the new one.

Quote: "Cnaiür":3g8q7k9f

And black holes are just a theory, nothing more. Its amusing to witness people believe in these and not believe in a soul. Perhaps, they are just caught in the event horizon of the black hole in their conditioned brain.[/quote:3g8q7k9f]

OK, then, YOU tell me what the object is in Cygnus X-1 that is blasting out x-rays at a rate that cannot be explained any other way. As you answer, keep in mind that black hole theory predicted this discovery BEFORE it occurred. You might also want to reference the observations of black holes at the centre of galaxies eating the stars around them.

Then you will want to show me equivalent empirical evidence for the existence of souls. And present a fully fleshed-out theory, with accompanying math, describing just what a soul is.

Bottom line: there is reams of evidence, theoretical and otherwise for the existence of black holes. There is none for souls. That is why I believe the former exists and not the latter.

Quote: "Cnaiür":3g8q7k9f

Free Will is real, and one of the greatest gifts we have. Test this reality out by making a decision right now. Choose to reply or not. Choose to get up from that chair or not. Choose to recall a happy memory or a sad one or no memory.[/quote:3g8q7k9f]

But the decision was not even before me until you just put it there. The only reason I am facing a question of free will right now is because of outside input from you. Without your statement, there IS no decision. Further, you would not have placed the decision before me if we were not having this conversation. You see? Everything is contingent on what has gone before. How can free will exist in a universe of total contingency?

Even in making the decision, I am using brain states and mental tools that are only in place because of a cascade of previous causes. I might get up if I feel restless, but the feeling of restlessness comes from some unconscious place. I might decide to resist restlessness and sit still, but I will have reasons for that as well that will lie beyond my control.

Quote: "Cnaiür":3g8q7k9f

Even God made the decision to create, and made the decision to pass on free will to his creations. [/quote:3g8q7k9f]

Spare me your medieval fantasies. There is no God.

Quote: "Cnaiür":3g8q7k9f

To think free will is an illusion is to delude yourself into being powerless, and to wipe away responsibility from your own actions. Stand up and be a man. You have the free will to decide.[/quote:3g8q7k9f]

If you had read my original post to Callan you would see that I acknowledge that free will does not exist on one level, but must be deemed to exist on another. While we can see that all human actions are contingent on uncontrolled factors, and therefore not free in the absolute sense required for theological notions of good and evil, we can also see that the inputs into the human decision-making process are so numerous and so complex that we simply have no hope of ever figuring them all out. The behaviour of complex systems appears chaotic, and so it is with the human mind. Given that pre-existing mental states can resist outside input and guide human behaviour, it is a social necessity for us to create a mental state in people that will resist outside impulses to do wrong. One way in which we do this is to inculcate in children the idea that they are in control of their actions and that they must use that control to make appropriate choices between established standards of right and wrong. The idea that we are in control is a fiction, but a useful one that allows us to live together according to rules. However, once we grow up, we can look the fiction in the face and decide to follow rules because we understand the greater need for an orderly society, not because we are still slaves to a childish myth.

Quote: "Cnaiür":3g8q7k9f

You also have the free will to nullify free will as merely an illusion. The irony is amazing, isn't it. You decide.[/quote:3g8q7k9f]

I think I have shown that we can understand free will as an illusion but still see the need to treat ourselves and others as independent entities that have responsibilities. view post


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