Seeing Things Differently -DanP the apologist excuse.

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I Have Questions
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Re: Seeing Things Differently -DanP the apologist excuse.

Post by I Have Questions »

Robert Sapolsky is one of the most revered scientists alive today. He made his name from his work studying wild baboons in Kenya, unpicking how their complex social lives lead to stress and how that affects their health.

His most recent focus, however, has been on something rather different – a book that comprehensively argues that free will doesn’t exist in any shape or form.

As he writes: “We are nothing more or less than the sum of that which we could not control – our biology, our environments, their interactions”.
https://www.newscientist.com/article/23 ... -sapolsky/
In terms of my orientation, my basic approach is you look at a behaviour and someone has just done something that’s wonderful or awful or ambiguously in-between or in the eyes of the beholder, but some behaviour has happened, and you ask, “Why did that occur?” and you’re asking a whole hierarchy of questions. You’re, of course, asking, “Which neurons did what, ten milliseconds before?” but you’re also asking, “What sensory stimuli in the previous minutes triggered that?” but you’re also asking, “What did this morning’s hormone levels have to do with how sensitive your brain would be to those stimuli?”

You’re also asking, “What have the previous months been, trauma, stimulation, whatever, in terms of neuroplasticity?” and before you know it, you’re back to adolescents and your last gasp of constructing your frontal cortex, and childhood and foetal environment and it’s epigenetic consequences, and of course, genes. Amazingly, at that point, you have to push further back. What sort of culture were your ancestors inventing and what sort of ecosystems prompted those inventions, because that was influencing how your mother was mothering you within minutes of birth, and then, you know, some evolution thrown in for good measure.
Basically, his point is that the choices you make are not made by free will in the moment, they are the result of various conditioning factors that work together to produce the choice. You make your choices subconsciously as a result of those conditioning factors in the split seconds before you feel like you’ve used free will to make a choice.

Another, relevant question to the topic of free will, is do people with narcissism, sociopathic, or psychopath I personality disorders exercise free will?
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Imwashingmypirate
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Re: Seeing Things Differently -DanP the apologist excuse.

Post by Imwashingmypirate »

I Have Questions wrote:
Wed May 15, 2024 6:46 am
Robert Sapolsky is one of the most revered scientists alive today. He made his name from his work studying wild baboons in Kenya, unpicking how their complex social lives lead to stress and how that affects their health.

His most recent focus, however, has been on something rather different – a book that comprehensively argues that free will doesn’t exist in any shape or form.

As he writes: “We are nothing more or less than the sum of that which we could not control – our biology, our environments, their interactions”.
https://www.newscientist.com/article/23 ... -sapolsky/
In terms of my orientation, my basic approach is you look at a behaviour and someone has just done something that’s wonderful or awful or ambiguously in-between or in the eyes of the beholder, but some behaviour has happened, and you ask, “Why did that occur?” and you’re asking a whole hierarchy of questions. You’re, of course, asking, “Which neurons did what, ten milliseconds before?” but you’re also asking, “What sensory stimuli in the previous minutes triggered that?” but you’re also asking, “What did this morning’s hormone levels have to do with how sensitive your brain would be to those stimuli?”

You’re also asking, “What have the previous months been, trauma, stimulation, whatever, in terms of neuroplasticity?” and before you know it, you’re back to adolescents and your last gasp of constructing your frontal cortex, and childhood and foetal environment and it’s epigenetic consequences, and of course, genes. Amazingly, at that point, you have to push further back. What sort of culture were your ancestors inventing and what sort of ecosystems prompted those inventions, because that was influencing how your mother was mothering you within minutes of birth, and then, you know, some evolution thrown in for good measure.
Basically, his point is that the choices you make are not made by free will in the moment, they are the result of various conditioning factors that work together to produce the choice. You make your choices subconsciously as a result of those conditioning factors in the split seconds before you feel like you’ve used free will to make a choice.

Another, relevant question to the topic of free will, is do people with narcissism, sociopathic, or psychopath I personality disorders exercise free will?
I think my dad exhibited psychopath and narcissistic tendencies. When my mum asked why he said because he could. He went on to marry someone else who he did abuse but to a lesser extent. She didn't stay with him long. He is now with someone else but I don't know anything of that because I've blocked him on social media. He is raising (although she is an adult now) the granddaughter of the woman on his own he married after we left. I can't get my mind round that. He calls her his daughter. I doubt he is abusive to her because why would she be there when she has her own family? I just don't get it. I think when he was angry he behaved as though possessed. The energy coming from him was thick. His face bright red. My mum said his eyes would go black. I don't recall ever seeing that but I believe her. Did he have free will when he lost it? I don't know but I do know that he could have had free will enough to apologise when he calmed down but he was never in the wrong. He told me mum he didn't expect the plate to break when he smashed it over my head. But he didn't talk to me about it and say hey I didn't mean that. He left me to cry for my mum in my room while she was too scared to come to me. Eventually maybe after at least half an hour he must have got sick of it and let her come to me and I had a lump on my head. She said she wanted to come to me but couldn't and comforted me.

He clearly wasn't afraid of getting into trouble because he did these things in front of my mum and to her. I think he just liked being cruel. We weren't allowed to hug my mum. I still tap my head on hers when I say night if she's visiting or we visit. I used to run and tap her head with mine to say goodnight and even that got a growl. Probably why I get overwhelmed now when people hug me. I guess to answer your question, I think he did have choice but I think maybe he enjoyed some of the things he did. He made me abandon our dog. Then complained that I didn't even get upset. I was very upset. I just didn't show it. Talked to my mum about it later and I'm still upset. That was 20 years ago. Imagine being disappointed that you didn't manage to make your kid cry? Pretty sure he knew what he was doing. Triggered myself sorry. Ha.

I do think there is an element of conditioning. And what goes on in your life affects choices. Some people feel they have no choice in some situations because they lack knowledge of other options. Or they can't see past perhaps a dire situation to rationalise. I think we have choice that is limited by outside factors. So not entirely free will.
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Morley
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Re: Seeing Things Differently -DanP the apologist excuse.

Post by Morley »

I Have Questions wrote:
Wed May 15, 2024 6:46 am
Robert Sapolsky is one of the most revered scientists alive today. He made his name from his work studying wild baboons in Kenya, unpicking how their complex social lives lead to stress and how that affects their health.

His most recent focus, however, has been on something rather different – a book that comprehensively argues that free will doesn’t exist in any shape or form.

As he writes: “We are nothing more or less than the sum of that which we could not control – our biology, our environments, their interactions”.
https://www.newscientist.com/article/23 ... -sapolsky/
In terms of my orientation, my basic approach is you look at a behaviour and someone has just done something that’s wonderful or awful or ambiguously in-between or in the eyes of the beholder, but some behaviour has happened, and you ask, “Why did that occur?” and you’re asking a whole hierarchy of questions. You’re, of course, asking, “Which neurons did what, ten milliseconds before?” but you’re also asking, “What sensory stimuli in the previous minutes triggered that?” but you’re also asking, “What did this morning’s hormone levels have to do with how sensitive your brain would be to those stimuli?”

You’re also asking, “What have the previous months been, trauma, stimulation, whatever, in terms of neuroplasticity?” and before you know it, you’re back to adolescents and your last gasp of constructing your frontal cortex, and childhood and foetal environment and it’s epigenetic consequences, and of course, genes. Amazingly, at that point, you have to push further back. What sort of culture were your ancestors inventing and what sort of ecosystems prompted those inventions, because that was influencing how your mother was mothering you within minutes of birth, and then, you know, some evolution thrown in for good measure.
Basically, his point is that the choices you make are not made by free will in the moment, they are the result of various conditioning factors that work together to produce the choice. You make your choices subconsciously as a result of those conditioning factors in the split seconds before you feel like you’ve used free will to make a choice.

Another, relevant question to the topic of free will, is do people with narcissism, sociopathic, or psychopath I personality disorders exercise free will?
Do people have free will in how they respond to criticism or a bit of raillery? Or are they programmed into predictable responses?

A fellow I know compulsively sorts everyone online into either believers in a 'creator God,' or hopelessly nihilistic atheists. This same fellow has a seeming inability to read source material--even that he himself quotes or links to. Does even he have the ability to exercise free will?



edit: Because I apparently don't proofread before I post.
Last edited by Morley on Wed May 15, 2024 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Doctor Steuss
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Re: Seeing Things Differently -DanP the apologist excuse.

Post by Doctor Steuss »

drumdude wrote:
Wed May 15, 2024 1:19 am
doubtingthomas wrote:
Tue May 14, 2024 11:53 pm
I can only speak for myself. I am Jesus Christ.
Your free will is impressive! :lol:
"Thy will, not my will be done."

*shrug*
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Imwashingmypirate
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Re: Seeing Things Differently -DanP the apologist excuse.

Post by Imwashingmypirate »

Doctor Steuss wrote:
Wed May 15, 2024 2:47 pm
drumdude wrote:
Wed May 15, 2024 1:19 am
Your free will is impressive! :lol:
"Thy will, not my will be done."

*shrug*
Is he is jesus then it kinda might be his will be done :)
doubtingthomas
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Re: Seeing Things Differently -DanP the apologist excuse.

Post by doubtingthomas »

MG 2.0 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2024 3:18 am
This post along with others I’ve seen from you cause me to think that you have delusions of grandeur. You’re not alone. Hitler was like that. Time will tell, if it already hasn’t, whether or not Trump suffers from the same.

You’re in good company. 😉

Regards,
MG
Please don't call my religious beliefs delusions; I've had strong personal experiences.
"I have the type of (REAL) job where I can choose how to spend my time," says Marcus. :roll:
MG 2.0
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Re: Seeing Things Differently -DanP the apologist excuse.

Post by MG 2.0 »

Imwashingmypirate wrote:
Wed May 15, 2024 1:00 pm
I do think there is an element of conditioning. And what goes on in your life affects choices. Some people feel they have no choice in some situations because they lack knowledge of other options. Or they can't see past perhaps a dire situation to rationalise. I think we have choice that is limited by outside factors. So not entirely free will.
I agree with this. Thank you for sharing what is a ‘rough go of it’ in your personal life.

Free will can have its limitations due to a number of things. IHQ names a few.

It’s also a proven fact that our actions and thoughts have precursor functions in the brain.

I do think, however, that free will exists and that we are responsible for our thoughts and actions within the parameters of the limits that our environment or biology place upon us.

Regards,
MG
MG 2.0
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Re: Seeing Things Differently -DanP the apologist excuse.

Post by MG 2.0 »

Morley wrote:
Wed May 15, 2024 1:22 pm

A fellow I know compulsively sorts everyone online into either believers in a 'creator God,' or hopelessly nihilistic atheists. This same fellow has a seeming inability to read source material--even that he himself quotes or links to. Does even he have the ability to exercise free will?
I can only speak from my own experience. Although I also am one that believes in a creator God I am under no illusion that others do not share that belief. Speaking for myself I would also say that I would think it foolhardy to look at everyone online that doesn’t believe as I do to be hopelessly nihilistic atheists. I have communicated with those that are not theists. I have communicated with those that are Christian. I have communicated with those that I have no knowledge or awareness of what they might personally subscribe to as any personal beliefs in a higher power other than themselves.

I know people that I have personally interacted with online that seemingly have the ability to diagnose and get inside someone else’s head and determine whether or not they are this or that. I think I have given reason to take under consideration during my participation on this thread and on another within the last few days that it is very possible that we really cannot have a complete awareness of anything other that what is going on inside our own mind.

And for some that is even a challenge.

In answer to your question, Morley, as to whether or not this person you know online has the ability to exercise free will? I don’t know that this is the time or place in which anyone of us can determine that. Or even should. As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, polarization has become of extreme concern in our society and also within the realm of religious discussions. As we look for reasons to look at the ‘other’ as being deficient or worthy of ridicule because they don’t think and act as we do we contribute to the disharmony that we see.

We ought to try and douse fires, not fan the flames.

Regards,
MG
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Morley
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Re: Seeing Things Differently -DanP the apologist excuse.

Post by Morley »

MG 2.0 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2024 4:48 pm
Imwashingmypirate wrote:
Wed May 15, 2024 1:00 pm
I do think there is an element of conditioning. And what goes on in your life affects choices. Some people feel they have no choice in some situations because they lack knowledge of other options. Or they can't see past perhaps a dire situation to rationalise. I think we have choice that is limited by outside factors. So not entirely free will.
I agree with this. Thank you for sharing what is a ‘rough go of it’ in your personal life.

Free will can have its limitations due to a number of things. IHQ names a few.

It’s also a proven fact that our actions and thoughts have precursor functions in the brain.

I do think, however, that free will exists and that we are responsible for our thoughts and actions within the parameters of the limits that our environment or biology place upon us.
MG, I think you've hit upon an interesting point. A constrained free will is vastly different than a wholly free will.

What percentage of free will do you put the average human being as having, in our day-to-day behaviors?

Personally, my estimation for the average that each of us exercises would be at significantly less that 2%. I'd be interested in what you think and why think it.
MG 2.0
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Re: Seeing Things Differently -DanP the apologist excuse.

Post by MG 2.0 »

doubtingthomas wrote:
Wed May 15, 2024 4:41 pm
MG 2.0 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2024 3:18 am
This post along with others I’ve seen from you cause me to think that you have delusions of grandeur. You’re not alone. Hitler was like that. Time will tell, if it already hasn’t, whether or not Trump suffers from the same.

You’re in good company. 😉

Regards,
MG
Please don't call my religious beliefs delusions; I've had strong personal experiences.
I’m not one to doubt your belief and reasons to think you’ve had experiences that are meaningful to you. I do question your beliefs in regards to thinking that you are Jesus Christ.

I think you might consider using another manner of communicating/delivery for announcing your second return other than this backwoods forum/board. 🙂

For those that are challenged in recognizing facetious language…my last comment was an example of that. I have gotten myself into trouble recently by being facetious and others not recognizing it and taking me too seriously.

Regards,
MG
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