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Most of us minions believe free will exists

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We just don’t do much with it.

From ScienceDaily:

A new study tested whether people believe free will arises from a metaphysical basis or mental capacity. Even though most respondents said they believed humans to have souls, they judged free will and assigned blame for transgressions based on pragmatic considerations — such as whether the actor in question had the capacity to make an intentional and independent choice.

Across the board, even if they believed in the concept of a soul, people in a new study ascribed free will based on down-to-Earth criteria: Did the actor in question have the capacity to make an intentional and independent choice? The study suggests that while grand metaphysical views of the universe remain common, they have little to do with how people assess each other’s behavior.

14 Replies to “Most of us minions believe free will exists

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    News: but issues of impaired capacity — similar to blindness or deafness — have little to do with denying the existence or potential for that capacity. Hence, for instance age of consent or age to drive or age to drink or vote or marry without parental consent. Hence, also, issues of retardation, senility etc etc. KF

  2. 2
    humbled says:

    Free will is a matter of common sense and reality, no belief required.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    as to free will, the following experiments have shown that consciousness and free will are integral to quantum experiments.

    Wheeler’s Classic Delayed Choice Experiment:
    Excerpt: Now, for many billions of years the photon is in transit in region 3. Yet we can choose (many billions of years later) which experimental set up to employ – the single wide-focus, or the two narrowly focused instruments. We have chosen whether to know which side of the galaxy the photon passed by (by choosing whether to use the two-telescope set up or not, which are the instruments that would give us the information about which side of the galaxy the photon passed). We have delayed this choice until a time long after the particles “have passed by one side of the galaxy, or the other side of the galaxy, or both sides of the galaxy,” so to speak. Yet, it seems paradoxically that our later choice of whether to obtain this information determines which side of the galaxy the light passed, so to speak, billions of years ago. So it seems that time has nothing to do with effects of quantum mechanics. And, indeed, the original thought experiment was not based on any analysis of how particles evolve and behave over time – it was based on the mathematics. This is what the mathematics predicted for a result, and this is exactly the result obtained in the laboratory.
    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....choice.htm

    “Thus one decides the photon shall have come by one route or by both routes after it has already done its travel”
    John A. Wheeler

    Alain Aspect speaks on John Wheeler’s Delayed Choice Experiment – video
    http://vimeo.com/38508798

    Genesis, Quantum Physics and Reality
    Excerpt: Simply put, an experiment on Earth can be made in such a way that it determines if one photon comes along either on the right or the left side or if it comes (as a wave) along both sides of the gravitational lens (of the galaxy) at the same time. However, how could the photons have known billions of years ago that someday there would be an earth with inhabitants on it, making just this experiment? ,,, This is big trouble for the multi-universe theory and for the “hidden-variables” approach.
    http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2.....r.html.ori

    The Experiment That Debunked Materialism – video – (delayed choice quantum eraser)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xKUass7G8w

    (Double Slit) A Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser – updated 2007
    Excerpt: Upon accessing the information gathered by the Coincidence Circuit, we the observer are shocked to learn that the pattern shown by the positions registered at D0 (Detector Zero) at Time 2 depends entirely on the information gathered later at Time 4 and available to us at the conclusion of the experiment.
    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....ly-web.htm

    “It begins to look as we ourselves, by our last minute decision, have an influence on what a photon will do when it has already accomplished most of its doing… we have to say that we ourselves have an undeniable part in what we have always called the past. The past is not really the past until is has been registered. Or to put it another way, the past has no meaning or existence unless it exists as a record in the present.”
    – John Wheeler – The Ghost In The Atom – Page 66-68

    in the following experiment, the claim that past material states determine future conscious choices (determinism) is falsified by the fact that present conscious choices effect past material states:

    Experimental delayed-choice entanglement swapping – Oct. 2012
    Abstract: Motivated by the question, which kind of physical interactions and processes are needed for the production of quantum entanglement, Peres has put forward the radical idea of delayed-choice entanglement swapping. There, entanglement can be “produced a posteriori, after the entangled particles have been measured and may no longer exist”. In this work we report the first realization of Peres’ gedanken experiment. Using four photons, we can actively delay the choice of measurement-implemented via a high-speed tunable bipartite state analyzer and a quantum random number generator-on two of the photons into the time-like future of the registration of the other two photons. This effectively projects the two already registered photons onto one definite of two mutually exclusive quantum states in which either the photons are entangled (quantum correlations) or separable (classical correlations). This can also be viewed as “quantum steering into the past”.
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1203.4834

    Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past – April 23, 2012
    Excerpt: The authors experimentally realized a “Gedankenexperiment” called “delayed-choice entanglement swapping”, formulated by Asher Peres in the year 2000. Two pairs of entangled photons are produced, and one photon from each pair is sent to a party called Victor. Of the two remaining photons, one photon is sent to the party Alice and one is sent to the party Bob. Victor can now choose between two kinds of measurements. If he decides to measure his two photons in a way such that they are forced to be in an entangled state, then also Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair becomes entangled. If Victor chooses to measure his particles individually, Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair ends up in a separable state. Modern quantum optics technology allowed the team to delay Victor’s choice and measurement with respect to the measurements which Alice and Bob perform on their photons. “We found that whether Alice’s and Bob’s photons are entangled and show quantum correlations or are separable and show classical correlations can be decided after they have been measured”, explains Xiao-song Ma, lead author of the study.
    According to the famous words of Albert Einstein, the effects of quantum entanglement appear as “spooky action at a distance”. The recent experiment has gone one remarkable step further. “Within a naïve classical world view, quantum mechanics can even mimic an influence of future actions on past events”, says Anton Zeilinger.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-04-q.....ction.html

    “If we attempt to attribute an objective meaning to the quantum state of a single system, curious paradoxes appear: quantum effects mimic not only instantaneous action-at-a-distance but also, as seen here, influence of future actions on past events, even after these events have been irrevocably recorded.”
    Asher Peres, Delayed choice for entanglement swapping. J. Mod. Opt. 47, 139-143 (2000).

    You can see a more complete explanation of the startling results of the experiment at the 9:11 minute mark of the following video

    Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser Experiment Explained – 2014 video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6HLjpj4Nt4

    In other words, if my conscious choices really are just merely the result of whatever state the material particles in my brain happen to be in in the past (deterministic) how in blue blazes are my choices instantaneously effecting the state of material particles into the past?,,, These experiments from quantum mechanics are simply impossible on a reductive materialism (determinism) view of reality!

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Further notes:

    What Does Quantum Physics Have to Do with Free Will? – By Antoine Suarez – July 22, 2013
    Excerpt: What is more, recent experiments are bringing to light that the experimenter’s free will and consciousness should be considered axioms (founding principles) of standard quantum physics theory. So for instance, in experiments involving “entanglement” (the phenomenon Einstein called “spooky action at a distance”), to conclude that quantum correlations of two particles are nonlocal (i.e. cannot be explained by signals traveling at velocity less than or equal to the speed of light), it is crucial to assume that the experimenter can make free choices, and is not constrained in what orientation he/she sets the measuring devices.
    To understand these implications it is crucial to be aware that quantum physics is not only a description of the material and visible world around us, but also speaks about non-material influences coming from outside the space-time.,,,
    https://www.bigquestionsonline.com/content/what-does-quantum-physics-have-do-free-will

    Free will and nonlocality at detection: Basic principles of quantum physics – Antoine Suarez – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhMrrmlTXl4

    Henry Stapp on the Conscious Choice and the Non-Local Quantum Entangled Effects – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJN01s1gOqA

    How Free Will Works (In Quantum Mechanics) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMp30Q8OGOE

    In the following paper, it is shown that one cannot ever improve the predictive power of quantum mechanics by ever removing free will as a starting assumption in Quantum Mechanics!

    Can quantum theory be improved? – July 23, 2012
    Excerpt: Being correct 50% of the time when calling heads or tails on a coin toss won’t impress anyone. So when quantum theory predicts that an entangled particle will reach one of two detectors with just a 50% probability, many physicists have naturally sought better predictions. The predictive power of quantum theory is, in this case, equal to a random guess. Building on nearly a century of investigative work on this topic, a team of physicists has recently performed an experiment whose results show that, despite its imperfections, quantum theory still seems to be the optimal way to predict measurement outcomes.,
    However, in the new paper, the physicists have experimentally demonstrated that there cannot exist any alternative theory that increases the predictive probability of quantum theory by more than 0.165, with the only assumption being that measurement (*conscious observation) parameters can be chosen independently (free choice/free will assumption) of the other parameters of the theory.,,,
    ,, the experimental results provide the tightest constraints yet on alternatives to quantum theory. The findings imply that quantum theory is close to optimal in terms of its predictive power, even when the predictions are completely random.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-07-quantum-theory.html

    *What does the term “measurement” mean in quantum mechanics?
    “Measurement” or “observation” in a quantum mechanics context are really just other ways of saying that the observer is interacting with the quantum system and measuring the result in toto.
    http://boards.straightdope.com.....p?t=597846

    also related interest to Intelligent Design theory:

    Algorithmic Information Theory, Free Will and the Turing Test – Douglas S. Robertson
    Excerpt: For example, the famous “Turing test” for artificial intelligence could be defeated by simply asking for a new axiom in mathematics. Human mathematicians are able to create axioms, but a computer program cannot do this without violating information conservation. Creating new axioms and free will are shown to be different aspects of the same phenomena: the creation of new information.
    http://cires.colorado.edu/~dou...../info8.pdf

    Needless to say, finding free will to be ‘built into’ our best description of foundational reality, quantum mechanics, as a starting assumption, is VERY antithetical to the entire materialistic philosophy which holds that free will, like mind, is merely illusory:

    Sam Harris’s Free Will: The Medial Pre-Frontal Cortex Did It – Martin Cothran – November 9, 2012
    Excerpt: There is something ironic about the position of thinkers like Harris on issues like this: they claim that their position is the result of the irresistible necessity of logic (in fact, they pride themselves on their logic). Their belief is the consequent, in a ground/consequent relation between their evidence and their conclusion. But their very stated position is that any mental state — including their position on this issue — is the effect of a physical, not logical cause.
    By their own logic, it isn’t logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....66221.html

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Since our free will choices figure so prominently in how reality is actually found to be constructed in our understanding of quantum mechanics, I think a Christian perspective on just how important our choices are in this temporal life, in regards to our eternal destiny, is very fitting:

    Is God Good? (Free will and the problem of evil) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rfd_1UAjeIA

    I think C.S. Lewis sums up the ultimate ‘free will’ choice in excellent fashion:

    “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.”
    – C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

    If you think all this talk of an afterlife, heaven and hell, is just so much malarkey, well, number one, there are two very different ‘eternities’ revealed by physics:

    General Relativity, Special Relativity, Heaven and Hell
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_4cQ7MXq8bLkoFLYW0kq3Xq-Hkc3c7r-gTk0DYJQFSg/edit

    and number two, the ‘observational evidence’ for life after death is far stronger than the ‘observational evidence’ for Darwinian evolution (which is none).

    Near-Death Experiences: Putting a Darwinist’s Evidentiary Standards to the Test – Dr. Michael Egnor – October 15, 2012
    Excerpt: Indeed, about 20 percent of NDE’s are corroborated, which means that there are independent ways of checking about the veracity of the experience. The patients knew of things that they could not have known except by extraordinary perception — such as describing details of surgery that they watched while their heart was stopped, etc. Additionally, many NDE’s have a vividness and a sense of intense reality that one does not generally encounter in dreams or hallucinations.,,,
    The most “parsimonious” explanation — the simplest scientific explanation — is that the (Near Death) experience was real. Tens of millions of people have had such experiences. That is tens of millions of more times than we have observed the origin of species (or origin of life), which is never.,,,
    The materialist reaction, in short, is unscientific and close-minded. NDE’s show fellows like Coyne at their sneering unscientific irrational worst. Somebody finds a crushed fragment of a fossil and it’s earth-shaking evidence. Tens of million of people have life-changing spiritual experiences and it’s all a big yawn.
    Note: Dr. Egnor is professor and vice-chairman of neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65301.html

    “A recent analysis of several hundred cases showed that 48% of near-death experiencers reported seeing their physical bodies from a different visual perspective. Many of them also reported witnessing events going on in the vicinity of their body, such as the attempts of medical personnel to resuscitate them (Kelly et al., 2007).”
    Kelly, E. W., Greyson, B., & Kelly, E. F. (2007). Unusual experiences near death and related phenomena. In E. F. Kelly, E. W. Kelly, A. Crabtree, A. Gauld, M. Grosso, & B. Greyson, Irreducible mind (pp. 367-421). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

    Michaela’s Amazing NEAR death experience – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTcHWz6UMZ8

    Facts about NDEs – video clip on the site
    Excerpt: In 1982 a Gallup poll estimated that 8 million Americans have had a near-death experience and a more recent study, a US News & World Report in March of 1997, found that 15 million have had the experience.
    http://www.ndelight.org/index......;Itemid=63

    Dr. Jeffrey Long: Just how strong is the evidence for a afterlife? – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mptGAc3XWPs

    Verse and Music:

    Luke 23:39-43
    And one of the malefactors who was hanged railed against Him, saying, “If thou be Christ, save thyself and us!”
    But the other answering rebuked him, saying, “Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art under the same condemnation?
    And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds. But this Man hath done nothing amiss.”
    And he said unto Jesus, “Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy Kingdom.”
    And Jesus said unto him, “Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise.”

    Johnny Cash – Ain’t No Grave
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0MIFHLIzZY

  6. 6
    Acartia_bogart says:

    My cat has free will, so what is so special about it?

  7. 7
    Barb says:

    Acartia,

    My cat has free will, so what is so special about it?

    Does your cat contemplate how to use its free will in its own best interest? Or is it distracted by shiny objects?

    Your question is ridiculous. Animals operate primarily on instinct, not thought processes like humans. Your cat cannot plot revenge, appreciate the beauty of a sunset, or refuse to use force to defend itself if attacked. Humans can do all those things.

  8. 8
    Acartia_bogart says:

    @Barb: “Does your cat contemplate how to use its free will in its own best interest? Or is it distracted by shiny objects?”

    There are plenty of people who are distracted by shiny objects as well.

    What evidence do you have that my cat, or your dog, act primarily on instinct? My cat may not appreciate the beauty of a sunset, but he certainly appreciates laying on our patio in the morning when the sun comes up, soaking up the heat. How do you know that he does not perceive that as beauty in the same way that you can appreciate a sunset. Laying on the patio like he does certainly has no adaptive advantage.

    I question anyone who claims that they know how another animals brain works, how they think, when we cannot even do this for another human being.

  9. 9
    Dionisio says:

    Free will has to do with brain noise?

    http://www.laboratoryequipment.....cation=top

  10. 10
  11. 11
    Dionisio says:

    This is the alleged source of the information provided in post # 9:

    Spontaneous Neural Fluctuations Predict Decisions to Attend

    Ongoing variability in neural signaling is an intrinsic property of the brain. Often this variability is considered to be noise and ignored. However, an alternative view is that this variability is fundamental to perception and cognition and may be particularly important in decision-making. Here, we show that a momentary measure of occipital alpha-band power (8–13 Hz) predicts choices about where human participants will focus spatial attention on a trial-by-trial basis. This finding provides evidence for a mechanistic account of decision-making by demonstrating that ongoing neural activity biases voluntary decisions about where to attend within a given moment.

    Jesse J. Bengson, Todd A. Kelley, Xiaoke Zhang, Jane-Ling Wang, and George R. Mangun
    University of California, Davis

    Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

    Posted Online April 16, 2014.

    (doi:10.1162/jocn_a_00650)

    © Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  12. 12
    Dionisio says:

    There are plenty of people who are distracted by shiny objects as well.

    Who isn’t?

    At least sometimes, some of us, for reasons we can discuss later, can be aware of such a distraction, and even do something about it.

  13. 13
    Dionisio says:

    Please, allow me to replace this text:

    At least sometimes, some of us, for reasons we can discuss later, can be aware of such a distraction, and even do something about it.

    with this text:

    At least sometimes, some of us, for reasons we could discuss later, can be made aware of such a distraction, and even want to do something about it.

    But yes, naturally we may not be capable of being aware that we are distracted by shiny objects. Perhaps a supernatural event must occur before we can be aware of our foolishness. That’s material for discussion outside this thread, if someone writes a related OP first.

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    Dionisio, materialists are always trying to hide ‘in the noise’ of the brain. This is about the third or forth study I’ve seen along this line. The falsification to these studies comes, as Libet himself pointed out, from our ability to ‘veto’ the noise. ,,, But, as I pointed out in post 3, we can bypass the rhetoric of materialists for we have far greater proof from quantum mechanics itself that gives unambiguous proof that free will (and consciousness) are foundational to reality.

    Moreover, for materialists to deny they have free will is to undermine their ability to make the argument that they have no free will in the first place.

    Sam Harris’s Free Will: The Medial Pre-Frontal Cortex Did It – Martin Cothran – November 9, 2012
    Excerpt: There is something ironic about the position of thinkers like Harris on issues like this: they claim that their position is the result of the irresistible necessity of logic (in fact, they pride themselves on their logic). Their belief is the consequent, in a ground/consequent relation between their evidence and their conclusion. But their very stated position is that any mental state — including their position on this issue — is the effect of a physical, not logical cause.
    By their own logic, it isn’t logic that demands their assent to the claim that free will is an illusion, but the prior chemical state of their brains. The only condition under which we could possibly find their argument convincing is if they are not true. The claim that free will is an illusion requires the possibility that minds have the freedom to assent to a logical argument, a freedom denied by the claim itself. It is an assent that must, in order to remain logical and not physiological, presume a perspective outside the physical order.
    per ENV

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