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Is the concept of 'free will' an illusion ?

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Scientists believe that free will could be due to fluctuations in the background noise of the brain.

Scientists at the Center for Mind and Brain at the University of California have recently discovered that the choices we make may actually be influenced by the background activity of the brain.

Read More: http://www.unexplain...ill-an-illusion

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Well, a scorned Wife or (Neural noise) can influence my brain activity! My Sweet Heart has a powerful means to direct my autonomous choices.

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"Free will" is never more than accepting one of a very few possible choices and deciding which one of the choices is sensible.

We are not only limited by our prejudices but also by circumstances.

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How would this background noise work? Kinda an internal randomizer? We do seem to behave as though we have real reasons, at least most of the time.

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Politicians must have very noisy brains .

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How would this background noise work? Kinda an internal randomizer? We do seem to behave as though we have real reasons, at least most of the time.

What is called background noise here should be better called "prejudices", that is things you think to know.

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I really don't want to comment on this thread...

Doh!

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How would this background noise work? Kinda an internal randomizer? We do seem to behave as though we have real reasons, at least most of the time.

Sounds like the old subliminal advertising trick to me. If you ask someone to look at something first, you are already limiting the freedom of choice.
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I really don't want to comment on this thread...

Doh!

But JC, isn't your statement a comment?
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I dunno; I don't see my mind as functioning in so particulate a manner, as though what it does is answer one multiple choice question after another, trying to be as right as possible. Sometimes I write in my own answer even though it is not in the choices provided. That would be free will.

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It's a good thing those scientists did not ask those volunteers to express their freewill other than preforming a series of random actions with cues leading up to the execution of the actions.

I mean just imagine if the volunteers instructions would have been do what you feel like doing when the cues pop up. There might have been chaos with people looking all sorts of directions, eating toast or learning how to make cheese or conversing with invisible gnomes.

It is almost as if telling a herd animal like humanity to follow directions without thinking about doing something else will somehow lead to predictable results.

Almost......

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The first question for me is, how are people defining free will? Because it seems alot of people do not count a choice as free will if emotions and past experiences effect the choice.So I guess in those peoples eyes the only thing that would have free will would be some emotionless, experienceless ever existing god?

At the same time though you could look at it as everything is a reaction of something else. You make decision on your experiences but you dont control what your experiences are from the start and then from the first point on words your decisions effect your future experiences. So in a way its all cause and effect and everything thats going to be done is destined to already be done.

Just depends on how you want to look at it :)

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Being that our free will is governed by political powers that dictate our free will in the form of laws and rules. So in reality there is no free will, just certain guidelines in which we can live by, not to say that all of these are bad, however I do believe that free will is an illusion to a degree. That's just my opinion though!

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Being that our free will is governed by political powers that dictate our free will in the form of laws and rules. So in reality there is no free will, just certain guidelines in which we can live by, not to say that all of these are bad, however I do believe that free will is an illusion to a degree. That's just my opinion though!

You may want to do some research about what free will is.

Because it is closer to the ability you have to decide to write that post or kick the wall or teach yourself Dutch or do any of a hundred thousand other activities at any given time predicated upon your desire to do them.

And rules don't really alter free will, otherwise we would have no courts or prisons, just rules that people follow for the sake of following them.

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Commander Shepherd certainly had free will

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Irony: Everyone has free will.....within certain defined boundaries lol

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Even if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice! I will choose free will.

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Posted (edited)

But JC, isn't your statement a comment?

Yup, to much damned background noise overruling my free will... ;)

Edited by Junior Chubb

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Where did the "background noise" come from? If they don't know, perhaps it is from processing of sense input. So a person processes whether they heard,see,feel,smell anything from the left or right, and then makes a decision. I'd have to read the whole report to know if these guys actually understand the background noise or not.

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There is a famous poem from Robert Frost, 'The Road Not Taken'. When I was younger I naively thought to myself that I had free will as to which path to take when the paths diverged. Now as I am older, I realize that there is no such thing as free will, only the illusion of it. We are all on our directed paths. We are just electrons flowing through our predetermined copper wire.

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There is a famous poem from Robert Frost, 'The Road Not Taken'. When I was younger I naively thought to myself that I had free will as to which path to take when the paths diverged. Now as I am older, I realize that there is no such thing as free will, only the illusion of it. We are all on our directed paths. We are just electrons flowing through our predetermined copper wire.

I still say that you could have had a choice but you took the path that your previous experience told you was "better".

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There's no such thing as free will.

Every 'choice' we make has been determined by prior events and cannot be made independent of that.

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Posted (edited)

how about we define it like this : free will is the ability to ignore one's order and do what we want. It doesn't matter where our choice comes from. As long as we don't submit to someone's order, we are free

Edited by FlyingAngel

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You may want to do some research about what free will is.

Because it is closer to the ability you have to decide to write that post or kick the wall or teach yourself Dutch or do any of a hundred thousand other activities at any given time predicated upon your desire to do them.

And rules don't really alter free will, otherwise we would have no courts or prisons, just rules that people follow for the sake of following them.

While I agree with you that we all have the ability to perform any action we would like to at any given time, I was merely stating that there are human boundaries put in place that create certain repercussions for our actions. I guess that could be said even if those boundaries weren't set. Eh, like I said just my opinion, each are entitled to their own, such as yourself. That is the beauty of free will no?

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"Free will" is never more than accepting one of a very few possible choices and deciding which one of the choices is sensible.

We are not only limited by our prejudices but also by circumstances.

But, the choices we make are influenced by the ones you made before that choice. Circumstances are also dictated by earlier choices.

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