On 14 Mar 2012, at 21:34, John Mikes wrote:

Craig and Brent:
"Free Will" is not a matter of faith. One does not "believe "IN" it, or not". (Of course this is a position in my (agnostic) worldview - my 'belief' ha ha).

In "pure ideal science" there is no act of faith, except in the rationality of the opponents. In applied science there is always some act of faith, in the very sense of the subject matter. So I think I agree with you. Unlike consciousness, which we all know very well, despite we cannot define it, free-will is more problematic because many people propose different and often incompatible definitions.
Many definitions of it are contradictory.


We are part of an infinite complexity with limited capabilities to accept influence from the infinite factors (if those ARE factors indeed, not just 'relations')

I am not sure what you mean by "to accept". What you say make sense with "perceive" or "realize" *all* infinite influences, but some can be, at least if by "we" you mean us the Löbian entities (machines or non-machine).



Our mental activity (assigned in our limited conventional sciences to the brain)

I would say, assigned by theory or hypothesis. The idea that the mental activity results from the brain activity is an hypothesis or a theory, not a convention. If it was a convention, I would go to the dentist for my headache, and perhaps to the neuropsychiatrist or psychologist for my teeth holes.


is pondering consciously and unconsciously, including arguments we know of and arguments (not yet?) known. The result may not be deterministic because we are not a simpleton machine (sorry Bruno, emphasis here is on simpleton)

We are not simpleton is a big generalization, and humans have often been known to be gullible and foolish (as I see "simpleton" means in the dictionary).



so we may have 'options' - choices, but not 'freely at all. We have the power to choose disadvantegously, even knowingly so.

OK.




We know only a portion of the factors (aspects, I almost wrote: components) in the infinite complexity (call it God, or nature, totality, wholeness, or even everything) and surely misunderstand even those. We "humanize" knowledge into terms and qualia we can understand and use. Such is our 'model' of the world. Our mental work is influenced by the 'model-content' AND also by facts (?) beyond our knowable circle.

OK. Thats the motor of science. Theories just put light, and shadows on what we explore.



Decisionmaking is a complex procedure using the known and unknown influences into a result within the givens.

OK.



I repeat my original position: "FREE WILL" is the reins to keep human slaves in line by fear of violating the 'rules of power' (religious, or political/economic) WILLFULLY and undergoing to a punishment later on. The concept of SIN.

Interesting suggestion, it might be related. The concept seems to me to be a generalization of responsibility, which might be useful to decide if someone need some medical treatment, or need to be just isolated (for the protection of the neighborhood), or need some punishment (?). The frontier is fuzzy, but there are clear in and out case, a bit like the mandelbrot set).

Eventually it relies on the difference between the error and the lie. The first should be encouraged, because it needs to be done to progress, the second should be discouraged in most situations, I think.

We have partial control.

Bruno




On Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 6:00 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
http://pss.sagepub.com/content/22/5/613.abstract

Abstract

       The feeling of being in control of one’s own actions is a
strong subjective experience. However, discoveries in psychology and
neuroscience challenge the validity of this experience and suggest
that free will is just an illusion. This raises a question: What would
happen if people started to disbelieve in free will? Previous research
has shown that low control beliefs affect performance and motivation.
Recently, it has been shown that undermining free-will beliefs
influences social behavior. In the study reported here, we
investigated whether undermining beliefs in free will affects brain
correlates of voluntary motor preparation. Our results showed that the
readiness potential was reduced in individuals induced to disbelieve
in free will. This effect was evident more than 1 s before
participants consciously decided to move, a finding that suggests that
the manipulation influenced intentional actions at preconscious
stages. Our findings indicate that abstract belief systems might have
a much more fundamental effect than previously thought.


Has anyone posted this yet? Hard to explain what brain correlates are
doing responding to an illusion...

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