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-   -   Is there no such thing as "choice"? If there is, how is there? (http://forums.thetechnodrome.com/showthread.php?t=59582)

Andrew NDB 02-12-2018 12:24 PM

Is there no such thing as "choice"? If there is, how is there?
 
https://img00.deviantart.net/b7dd/i/...en-d4anslb.jpg

If we accept that we as people are but the sum of our memories (the breadth of our lives, what has been absorbed into our brains from the people we've met, experiences we've had, books we've read, bad TV we've watched and everything else) -- and we kind of have to, don't we? -- is there really any actual "choice"? i.e., if I decide to go to the store at lunch time and grab a bag of Fun Yuns... is it not because basically the conscious sum of all of my memories is compelling me to do that?

I mean, you can throw things like brain chemistry and different chemical balances or imbalances within the body out there as possible variables... but even then, these aren't things under our control either.

Unless you're religious, of course. If you're religious the answer will be "Of course there's a choice, you have a soul." But if you don't subscribe to that...?

TurtleWA 02-12-2018 12:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andrew NDB (Post 1745880)
https://img00.deviantart.net/b7dd/i/...en-d4anslb.jpg

If we accept that we as people are but the sum of our memories (the breadth of our lives, what has been absorbed into our brains from the people we've met, experiences we've had, books we've read, bad TV we've watched and everything else) -- and we kind of have to, don't we? -- is there really any actual "choice"? i.e., if I decide to go to the store at lunch time and grab a bag of Fun Yuns... is it not because basically the conscious sum of all of my memories is compelling me to do that?

I mean, you can throw things like brain chemistry and different chemical balances or imbalances within the body out there as possible variables... but even then, these aren't things under our control either.

Unless you're religious, of course. If you're religious the answer will be "Of course there's a choice, you have a soul." But if you don't subscribe to that...?

Isnít this similar to the popular philosophical debates surrounding free will?

ProphetofGanja 02-12-2018 12:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TurtleWA (Post 1745883)
Isnít this similar to the popular philosophical debates surrounding free will?

Yeah, I think this is essentially that.

And Andrew's right, people typically put everything either on God and religion or natural law and instinct, claiming that either divine destiny or the natural order of things determine the outcome of everything, but I think both of those points of view severely discount the impact that sheer random chance has on our universe. Everything that's ever happened is just part of a chain reacton that's been going on for an infinite leng th of time. Something happened before the Big Bang, we just can't understand it yet. Maybe the entire universe retracted itself back into a single point and then everything exploded outwards all over again, like a ball bouncing.

Sumac 02-12-2018 12:54 PM

There is no choice. Only Chaos.

Which means our choices are irrelevant, since we can't predict how our actions will impact surrounding world in the long run and how actions of others, even random people, will impact our lives.
But we still can make them and hope that our plans and dreams won't be disrupted by random accidents. Still it's better alternative than any other idea.

Concept of "fate" is abhorrent and basically makes you every choice meaningless, since whatever, you do or don't do, you end with the same result.

And religions / religion-like views are just fairy tales for scared minds and basically present your whole life as a trial for psychopathic deities. Which is just a tool of manipulation of masses by priests and fanatics.

TurtleWA 02-12-2018 01:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sumac (Post 1745886)
And religions / religion-like views are just fairy tales for scared minds and basically present your whole life as a trial for psychopathic deities. Which is just a tool of manipulation of masses by priests and fanatics.


FredWolfLeonardo 02-12-2018 01:05 PM

Modern science denies that there is any such thing as choice, as with anything else supernatural.

Despite this however, most scientists believe in choice because it is the foundation of Western Society.

There are many of our daily beliefs science goes against, but is a certain level of acceptance of those beliefs. If you believe in free will and God, you're good but if you believe in Creationism and Miracles, you have some explaining to do.

CyberCubed 02-12-2018 01:07 PM

There is choice. Right now I decided to open up a can of Coca Cola instead of drinking some Orange Juice. Otherwise I would have picked up the Orange Juice.

10 minutes from now I'm going to log off to play a videogame, if I had no choice I couldn't do that.

Andrew NDB 02-12-2018 01:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CyberCubed (Post 1745891)
There is choice. Right now I decided to open up a can of Coca Cola instead of drinking some Orange Juice. Otherwise I would have picked up the Orange Juice.

Why wouldn't that just be because of who you are as a person (i.e., derived from your collective memories, colored by brain chemistry or what-have-you), after reading this thread, that is what made you do that?

Quote:

10 minutes from now I'm going to log off to play a videogame, if I had no choice I couldn't do that.
What makes you certain?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sumac (Post 1745886)
There is no choice. Only Chaos.

Which means our choices are irrelevant, since we can't predict how our actions will impact surrounding world in the long run and how actions of others, even random people, will impact our lives.
But we still can make them and hope that our plans and dreams won't be disrupted by random accidents. Still it's better alternative than any other idea.

Concept of "fate" is abhorrent and basically makes you every choice meaningless, since whatever, you do or don't do, you end with the same result.

It's not quite the same thing as "fate," though it basically is, for all intents and purposes. It's one of those things that's... best not to think about or dwell on too much, for obvious reasons.

CyberCubed 02-12-2018 01:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andrew NDB (Post 1745892)
How do you know that for sure?

What makes you certain?
.

Because I can do it or change my mind. There is no way some force of will already made every single one of your actions preordained.

In fact just because I read this thread I am now going to do something completely different than what I was planning.

plastroncafe 02-12-2018 01:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FredWolfLeonardo (Post 1745889)
Modern science denies that there is any such thing as choice, as with anything else supernatural.

Despite this however, most scientists believe in choice because it is the foundation of Western Society.

Got any citations for this?

Andrew NDB 02-12-2018 01:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CyberCubed (Post 1745894)
There is no way some force of will already made every single one of your actions preordained.

"Force of will" isn't quite right... it's basically the opposite as that.

Quote:

In fact just because I read this thread I am now going to do something completely different than what I was planning.
Again, wouldn't that just be because of who you are as a person (i.e., derived from your collective memories, colored by brain chemistry or what-have-you), after reading this thread, that is what made you do that?

FredWolfLeonardo 02-12-2018 01:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plastroncafe (Post 1745895)
Got any citations for this?

First of all, I am not of the beliefs I am describing. I am religious and believe in choice, the soul and creationism as you already know.

Second of all, You can always google the studies if you want to do more research.

Thirdly, Science is founded on the empirically observable. There is no room for anything that is not empirically observable and testable. It takes the assumptions that only the physically observable exists and does not dwelve into supernatural matters. So everything (including our minds) are governed by the natural laws cause/effect and we have no more choice than an ant driven by instinct, or even any more choice than a PLANT.

plastroncafe 02-12-2018 01:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FredWolfLeonardo (Post 1745898)
First of all, I am not of the beliefs I am describing. I am religious and believe in choice, the soul and creationism as you already know.

Second of all, You can always google the studies if you want to do more research.

Thirdly, Science is founded on the empirically observable. There is no room for anything that is not empirically observable and testable. It takes the assumptions that only the physically observable exists and does not dwelve into supernatural matters. So everything (including our minds) are governed by the natural laws cause/effect and we have no more choice than an ant driven by instinct, or even any more choice than a PLANT.

So that's a No then.
Okay.

Papenbrook 02-12-2018 01:37 PM

Just to clarify ...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by CyberCubed (Post 1745891)
There is choice. Right now I decided to open up a can of Coca Cola instead of drinking some Orange Juice. Otherwise I would have picked up the Orange Juice.

You did mention, multiple times in fact, that you tend to gorge down cans of soda.

Quote:

Originally Posted by CyberCubed (Post 1665958)
No to either, my poison is soda.

I drink like 3-4 cans of either Coca Cola or Pepsi every single day. Someone told me this is just as bad as people who smoke or drink alcohol every day. Am i going to an early grave by drinking soda?

They wouldn't let kids drink it if it was bad for you, right?

Quote:

Originally Posted by CyberCubed (Post 1518329)
Its very sad indeed. This is why I don't smoke, drink, or do drugs. My only problem is drinking way too much soda, which I hope to cut down on.

Oh well, drinking Coca Cola and Pepsi is a far less evil than the above.

Quote:

Originally Posted by CyberCubed (Post 1694996)
I don't think I've touched alcohol in like...10 years. I just generally drink soda.

Quote:

Originally Posted by CyberCubed (Post 1651042)
I'm not addicted to anything but I drink soda every single day. Either Coke or Pepsi. Does that count?

Quote:

Originally Posted by CyberCubed (Post 1328548)
I drink at least one can of soda every day and one full liter of Pepsi/coke every night for dinner for the last 15 years.

Soda isn't like smoking, alcohol or drugs...it's not going to kill you.


Is ... that really all you drink?

I'm not trying to judge your habit, but how do you manage to drink soda every single day? Do you have a personal diet?

plastroncafe 02-12-2018 01:38 PM

I knew a woman back at school who actually got scurvy from her diet of mostly junk food and soda.

FredWolfLeonardo 02-12-2018 01:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Papenbrook (Post 1745901)
You did mention, multiple times in fact, that you tend to gorge down cans of soda.

Is ... that really all you drink?



reminds me of the cutscenes of an old Japanese PS1 game where some random guy does nothing but frink and rave about Pepsi as you go between levels.

Sumac 02-12-2018 02:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FredWolfLeonardo (Post 1745898)
Thirdly, Science is founded on the empirically observable. There is no room for anything that is not empirically observable and testable. It takes the assumptions that only the physically observable exists and does not dwelve into supernatural matters. So everything (including our minds) are governed by the natural laws cause/effect and we have no more choice than an ant driven by instinct, or even any more choice than a PLANT.

It's a rather strange argument.

While, our desires depends on our brain chemistry, we can change those desires. And unless, our choices are somehow "pre-recorded" on some kind of schedule inside our minds, this idea sounds somewhat like its missing something.

Perhaps, the right answer would be - our choices depend on our brain chemistry, but our brain chemistry is fickle, which in turn makes our choices unpredictable.

Andrew NDB 02-12-2018 02:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sumac (Post 1745912)
It's a rather strange argument.

While, our desires depends on our brain chemistry, we can change those desires. And unless, our choices are somehow "pre-recorded" on some kind of schedule inside our minds, this idea sounds somewhat like its missing something.

Perhaps, the right answer would be - our choices depend on our brain chemistry, but our brain chemistry is fickle, which in turn makes our choices unpredictable.

Yeah, but that still falls under the realm of "things out of our control," i.e., from no independent "choice" of our own.

FredWolfLeonardo 02-12-2018 02:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sumac (Post 1745912)
It's a rather strange argument.

While, our desires depends on our brain chemistry, we can change those desires. And unless, our choices are somehow "pre-recorded" on some kind of schedule inside our minds, this idea sounds somewhat like its missing something.

Perhaps, the right answer would be - our choices depend on our brain chemistry, but our brain chemistry is fickle, which in turn makes our choices unpredictable.

The physicalist would argue that the changing of our choices is merely the re-wiring of our brain chemistry, something that we have no control of as in science, we are the product of our brain chemistry and not the other way around.

One of the main arguements against free will in modern science is how electrical signals pulse through the human brain seconds before any conscious decision is even made.

If everything is deterministic and subject to cause and effect, why should we be any exception?

Prowler 02-12-2018 02:17 PM

What kind of thread is this :lol:

Sure, memories are valuable but the reason we have them is because we made them. granted a lot of our experiences were a product of us being obliged to do them(going to school, for example), but still. And ofc a lot of our choices and preferences are influenced by our peers and society.

How about another food for thought: for all we know, every day of our life could be the very last one.

Quote:

Originally Posted by plastroncafe (Post 1745903)
I knew a woman back at school who actually got scurvy from her diet of mostly junk food and soda.

I occasionally drink an orange juice or a lemonade in order to avoid that. That being said, my diet does not consist of junk food and soda.


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