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DukePaul
2011-Oct-09, 12:31 AM
To me it seems that the only true freedom people will ever have is the freedom to be fooled. Thinking that you will be free and secure by giving others control through written or unwritten codes of behavior has proven to be unreliable again and and again. Foolish to think that your good intentions are the common good. Thinking that governments built on "Law" will in deed "protect" your goodness. Thinking that scriptures or your deeper understanding of the unsocial criminal mind will in the end prevail. Maybe I'm foolish to think that the natural world is based on competition and control of others so one can be "free". Animals eat each other, steal from each other and do what ever at takes to control its life but only man seems to think that other people will not destroy me, steal from me or try to control me if there is a "law" or Government or "good" science that incorporates your "common good" intentions. Maybe the freedom to be fooled is a way for us to deal with our lack of freedom in the end.

grapes
2011-Oct-09, 01:07 AM
I'm pretty sure that no one is going to eat me. I mean... :)

Chuck
2011-Oct-09, 03:47 AM
But didn't evolution by natural selection determine that our behavior was optimal?

danscope
2011-Oct-09, 04:41 AM
Simply follow the " Golden Rule " and you will do well . We enjoy a wealth of freedom and access to education and opportunity never dreamed of in the past. It remains for you to respect and appreciate that freedom as you go through life and advance in years . You need to live well
by your own good deeds and not by the example too often seen on television. A great man often said " So long and make it a good day ."
Another great man once said " If you look for the bad in people , you shall surely find it . "
Each day is an opportunity to make it a good day, and live in the light.

Luckmeister
2011-Oct-09, 04:43 AM
To me it seems that the only true freedom people will ever have is the freedom to be fooled. Thinking that you will be free and secure by giving others control through written or unwritten codes of behavior has proven to be unreliable again and and again.

Would you rather have anarchy? You wouldn't like it.

Compromises in personal freedom come with the territory in a civilized world. Much of my adult life has involved dealing with those compromises and finding ways to ameliorate their effect on my choices.

There is no free lunch in having both freedom and security. Life is sometimes a Shangrila and sometimes a hell on Earth. Striking a balance somewhere between the two is the best we can hope for. My choice has been to embrace the challenge of making it work for me and those I care about.

ETA: Also what Danscope said. The Golden Rule sounds trite to many but if you follow it, you'll sleep better at night.

profloater
2011-Oct-09, 05:44 AM
surely freedom for a thinking being is introspection? The ability to reflect on experience and perhaps reach conclusions or perhaps invent novelties. In so doing you may fool yourself but that is not the central point. Physical freedoms may be taken away but while your mind still works you remain free to explore the permutations of your memory and imagination.

HenrikOlsen
2011-Oct-09, 03:11 PM
Internally, thinking.
Externally, your one true freedom is the freedom to starve to death. (if you do it out of the way so it doesn't bother anyone)

Everything else is a bonus feature of living in a society.

Noclevername
2011-Oct-09, 07:32 PM
But didn't evolution by natural selection determine that our behavior was optimal?

Evolution doesn't determine what's optimal. It's a result of Whatever Works. It's like using Mapquest-- it doesn't show the most efficient or fastest route, it just goes with the first route it finds that gets you there.

profloater
2011-Oct-10, 09:53 AM
The debate about freedom (free will) versus determinism (fate) is as old as... well it's very old at least back to the ancient Greeks. The new discoveries last century about uncertainty reopened the fundamentals of that debate and now neuroscience shows our decisions tend to appear in the subconscious before we become conscious of them. The very ancients interpreted this as influence from gods but we are free to take a view about whether our subconscious is part of our personality and thought processes even if they are somehow out of conscious control. It must be that a large part of our decision process is deterministic and the impression that we have free choice may be an illusion as we are told the passage of time is. Is the impression of freedom valuable to us as opposed to the impression of constraint? It seems to be, people will fight for it.

Chuck
2011-Oct-10, 02:54 PM
When faced with a decision, my brain models the outcomes of possible actions that are available to me using my knowledge of the way the world works. Then it chooses one that leads to a probable outcome that I like. The models aren't perfect of course, and there can be surprises, but this procedure gets me through the day. The illusion of free will might come from my memories of the models for actions not taken. I was considering their consequences and it seems like I could have chosen a different one, but the same brain that modeled them also rejected them. When looking at it that way, I don't see how I could have chosen any action other than the one I did. But I still find it possible to regret some decisions.

Luckmeister
2011-Oct-10, 04:11 PM
When faced with a decision, my brain models the outcomes of possible actions that are available to me using my knowledge of the way the world works. Then it chooses one that leads to a probable outcome that I like. The models aren't perfect of course, and there can be surprises, but this procedure gets me through the day. The illusion of free will might come from my memories of the models for actions not taken. I was considering their consequences and it seems like I could have chosen a different one, but the same brain that modeled them also rejected them. When looking at it that way, I don't see how I could have chosen any action other than the one I did. But I still find it possible to regret some decisions.

You've left out the role emotions play in the decision-making process. If you can eliminate that factor from messing with your logical decisions, you're a better Spock than I am. :)

profloater
2011-Oct-10, 06:29 PM
You've left out the role emotions play in the decision-making process. If you can eliminate that factor from messing with your logical decisions, you're a better Spock than I am. :)Ha logic will get you nowhere, it is only emotion that enables any kind of decision between near infinity of possible actions at any one moment. There is no logical reason for staying alive in the face of certain death, only emotional rewards. Logic is the essential tool for making progress as driven by emotion. That's why it is called free will.

Luckmeister
2011-Oct-10, 07:31 PM
Ha logic will get you nowhere, it is only emotion that enables any kind of decision between near infinity of possible actions at any one moment.

In my experience, logic and emotion have often been equal competing factors in decision-making. Sometimes emotion prompts me to act one way and logic prefers another. I then make the choice of which I will follow.


There is no logical reason for staying alive in the face of certain death, only emotional rewards.

There's a third one -- survival instinct, which can override both logic and emotion.

Cougar
2011-Oct-10, 07:39 PM
...only man seems to think that other people will not destroy me, steal from me or try to control me if there is a "law" or Government or "good" science that incorporates your "common good" intentions.




"Ethical rules... were not originally invented by some enlightened human lawgiver. They go deep into our evolutionary past. They were with our ancestral line from a time before we were human." -- Carl Sagan

"Pessimism as a belief not only becomes a passive set of predictions about the future but also plays a dynamic role in ensuring the deteriorating quality of tomorrow's world." -- H.J. Morowitz

Luckmeister
2011-Oct-10, 07:45 PM
"Ethical rules... were not originally invented by some enlightened human lawgiver. They go deep into our evolutionary past. They were with our ancestral line from a time before we were human." -- Carl Sagan

"Pessimism as a belief not only becomes a passive set of predictions about the future but also plays a dynamic role in ensuring the deteriorating quality of tomorrow's world." -- H.J. Morowitz

Wow, Cougar. You found two very appropriate quotes for this thread, IMO.

profloater
2011-Oct-10, 07:46 PM
In my experience, logic and emotion have often been equal competing factors in decision-making. Sometimes emotion prompts me to act one way and logic prefers another. I then make the choice of which I will follow.



There's a third one -- survival instinct, which can override both logic and emotion. I think the survival instinct counts as an emotion, of course it is logical to survive from the selfish gene point of view. It is a very strong emotion which can overcome you suddenly in emergency and redirect all other emotional drives.
If you analyse your freedom of action you have to make choices all the time but they clearly drop below the normal radar of consciousness so that most of the possible actions do not occur to you, until a bug gets in your pants, then you discover some possible actions that you were ignoring before!

Luckmeister
2011-Oct-10, 08:49 PM
Hey, how did we get into the Big Don bug thread? :lol:


If you analyse your freedom of action you have to make choices all the time but they clearly drop below the normal radar of consciousness so that most of the possible actions do not occur to you, until a bug gets in your pants, then you discover some possible actions that you were ignoring before!

That's true of course. but it doesn't take a bug down my pants for me to be weighing what I want to do with what makes sense to do. I consciously make those choices often each day.

Cougar
2011-Oct-11, 12:56 PM
Wow, Cougar. You found two very appropriate quotes for this thread, IMO.

Thanks for noticing. :)

danscope
2011-Oct-11, 09:24 PM
" Once the hard steel edge of logic has been considered , the wise and the good..." temper "their considerations with the logic of human consideration, coloring their decisions with their heart. We all suffer when steeled logic is the only consideration , and will always be
the poorer for that , now and in the future."
...... Fezziwig