First  Prev  1  2  3  4  Next  Last
Life ....?
46535 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
Offline
Posted 3/13/07
^ Good, good.
Believe me, I try to use Occam's Razor as much as possible, but logain's question had two parts, this is where I'm focusing:

But then is free will just an illusion created by our human intellect which fails to comprehend how our mind works and how just random probability gives off the grandeur of free will ? I want to know what you guys think ?


And the forums are getting boring, my brain needs some exercise.

167 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
30 / www.crunchyroll.com
Offline
Posted 3/13/07
what fascinates me about life itself is that on an atomic level, tangible, individual elements were able to combine with each other and create fully functional beings which can comprehend the completely intangible...
in my opinion it is that which makes us alive
as far as inhuman life: what makes that alive is its ability to recognize its needs and retrieve such necessities from nature
288 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
29 / M / Washington DC
Offline
Posted 3/13/07

But then is free will just an illusion created by our human intellect which fails to comprehend how our mind works and how just random probability gives off the grandeur of free will ? I want to know what you guys think ?


Free will is such an utterly intangible, ephemeral concept. It is difficult to debate the nature of something we are not even sure exists. But humans are, by nature, curious beings and have an almost undeniable urge to understand that which appears beyond our understanding. I am by no means an advocate of willful ignorance, however, I do not WANT to understand free will, nor do I think free will SHOULD EVER be understood. Possessing a full understanding of the nature of anything gives the possessor the ability to alter that thing to suit his desires. Two examples: (1) Scientists conducted research on radiation and the nature of the atom for nearly a century before figuring it out, and what's the first thing they do with that knowledge? Build a bomb. (2) People have been debating the nature of heredity and (later) genetics since at least the time of Aristotle. The very first mammalian genome to ever be fully mapped was that of a particular species of mouse. What was the first thing done done with this knowledge? Scientists began altering the DNA in lab mice just to see what would happen (remember the mouse with a human ear growing out of its back?).

Can you imagine the results of someone who possessed intimate knowledge into the workings and mechanisms of free will, and had the desire to use that knowledge for selfish ambitions? Do the words "PANDORA'S BOX" mean anything to you?

Interesting. This is the first time I've ever killed a forum thread. Were my words so effective that no one could argue with them? Damn, I'm good.

*Edited by mauz15
364 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / F / UK
Offline
Posted 2/22/08
... is a song by YUI
4963 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / F / cebu
Offline
Posted 2/22/08
life is how you define it.....
943 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
36 / core
Offline
Posted 2/22/08
i guess it depends. if you're human "life" would mean a lot of things to you e.g. freedom/free will and life processes but in animals life is about survival of the fittest, the basic law of nature and probably, life.

edit: free will is a utopian concept
1448 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / F / pepsi vending mac...
Offline
Posted 2/22/08
many concepts like free will was imposed on us. there is no absolute freedom of will. you always have the peramiters of where you are. you cannot just jump un in the air and float off, but you can jump down and fall. the need to survive is intrinsic to all living things. how you do so is always diffrent, but from birth you are being effected by your surroundings,altering the way you think.

another problem is that humans think so highly of themselves. for some reason humans like to think that the world ends if you die. they literaly say that, the world is ending. but it is just the humans.

but what is to say that life is free will? sure by a basic standard of science we have a definition for life. but life could mean somthing diffrent. like exsisting. here i am see, i'm alive. i have life.
think about the phrase 'get a life' its implications are diffrent but than why the word choice?

could life be that there is a start and an end? or is it based off of having a soul??

me, i think it is a large combination of things that difine life. but the main one to me at lease is change. with the passing of fashion and friends, getting your hair cut, aging.
941 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
26 / M / Malaysia
Offline
Posted 2/22/08
Tons of long post here.

I tend to leave these kind of question to some one else.

There's a lot of questions like this like,
Which came first? The chicken? Or the Egg?

Well I could care less really, I love having eggs AND chicken.
154 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
M / MK
Offline
Posted 7/3/08 , edited 7/3/08

henz_lan wrote:

^I can claim that that doesn't exist either [free will on a individual level that is]. We are purely a result of everything that has gone to make us; basically our genes and our environment.
Everything we do is a result of one of these things.
An old idea I learnt at middle school regarding "defining life", is the following;

Life must;
Move
Respire
Sense
Nutrition (ie. eat)
Excrete
Reproduce
Grow

(known as the the 7 life processes)

These all appear to be things governed by genes (though of course we can't eat if our environment contains no food). On this premise alone it can be claimed that life does not require free will, only these inherent qualities/characteristics.

Commenting upon the idea of "random probability giving the illusion of free will" as logain said previously; There is no such thing as pure randomness. All "random" occurences are governed by very precise probabalistic laws, such as the wave functions describing uncertainty or half lives describing (purely random on an atomic level) radioactive decay. Thus, everything is ordered, and free will must be coming from something which is not "physical" in nature, as all physical objects are governed by the deterministic (causal) laws of physics.

If free will comes from something "non-physical" then we can never find it. On the whole it is much easier to work with the presumption that there is no such thing as free will. If we consider it to exist then any form of medical investigation or psychological test will be plagued by the problem "that might have been caused by free will". Fortunately no large random variable has been found in most medical experiments, giving evidence against the existence of free will.

Returning the problem of defining life; I believe that life cannot be defined. Currently our computers are more "intelligent" than living animals such as sea-slugs, however we do not consider them living.
Why don't we consider them living?
Let's take a look at which of the 7 life processes they have;

Movement - Yes, there are moving parts in my laptop, such as the fan and the DVD Drive which are purely automatic (controlled by the computer itself)

Respiration - This is the most difficult to determine. If we consider the whole system then at some point (in a power station) chemical energy is transfered into electricity, which is in turn used in the computer in the same way as glucose (chemical energy) is used to make ATP (serving the role of electricity for cells). It all depends upon your definition of respiration. However, having found life forms which respire using sulphur, I will claim that computers (as part of the larger electricity network) respire.

Sense - my computer can sense, that is it can receive information from outside, I would claim that key presses are a crude form of touch sensitivity.

Nutrition - well, what do we mean by nutrition, if electricity is the food form of a computer then yes it does, or we might mean the fuel used at the power station. Still following the answer for respiration, yes, computers can "eat" (again as part of the larger electricity network)

Excrete - Heat is a form of excretion, my computer produces heat, so it excretes.

Reproduce - My PC can't do this, however it can reproduce it's own data (equivalent to DNA) on a hard disk when presented.

Grow - again this only applies to the data, which can grow, given the correct nutrient sources (the internet / CDs)

From this it seems that computers are getting pretty close to being "alive" we've got to watch out! Then again, our definitions of "life" will always stem from our experience of it. There may be many different forms of life out there in the universe which do not follow our "rules".


These questions are about people:
What if you have an eating disorder?
What if you have a breathing problem?
What if you have a movement/joint/ligament problem?
What if you have a digestive problem?
What if you have a growing problem (so you don't/stop grow[ing])?
What if you have a problem with your reproductive organs?
What if you are deaf/blind/mute/can't smell/can't sense (feel)?

Does this mean then that they dont have life?
548 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
24 / M / A GPS helps
Offline
Posted 7/3/08
Scientifically well its all blood, respiration, and oxygen. Philosophy...well its how you go by...
3617 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
F / on crunchy roll,...
Offline
Posted 7/3/08

henz_lan wrote:

^I can claim that that doesn't exist either [free will on a individual level that is]. We are purely a result of everything that has gone to make us; basically our genes and our environment.


i also think that, even on an individual level, free will doesn't exist anymore. like one person said, it was taken away by the government. then you mentioned environment, which basically revolves around the government these days. so one could argue that free will has disappeared completely. one could also argue that all this is the fault of the modern day government.
67 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
29 / M / Singapore
Offline
Posted 7/3/08
I like to think that, technically, we still have free will. Except for the physically impossible, you may actually do anything you want. Its just that there will be consequences. You can decide to commit crime, thats your freedom, but you will be punished by the law. By deciding not to commit crime, youve also exercised your own freedom.

And 1 question to henz_lan regarding his post about computers being alive: Does that mean that when I turn off the computer, it is "dead" and when I turn it on, its "alive"?
2633 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
26 / M / New York City, NY
Offline
Posted 7/4/08
Technically, there is no free will since all your decisions, emotions, and thoughts are rooted in a casual relationship with your experiences. However, there are so many factors affecting those actions we might as well say we have free will.
Posted 7/9/08 , edited 7/9/08

bokuwakowaii wrote:
These questions are about people:
What if you have an eating disorder?
What if you have a breathing problem?
What if you have a movement/joint/ligament problem?
What if you have a digestive problem?
What if you have a growing problem (so you don't/stop grow[ing])?
What if you have a problem with your reproductive organs?
What if you are deaf/blind/mute/can't smell/can't sense (feel)?

Does this mean then that they dont have life?


You've completely misunderstood the meanings of the "life processes".

If you have an eating disorder you still eat! If your disorder results in you eating nothing, you die, and therefore are not alive.

If you have a breathing problem you still breathe, it's not like asthmatics don't breathe, they still "respire", and thereby don't "expire".

You must still have some form of movement, complete bodily paralysis would result in death. Your heart, digestive system, lungs, etc. need to keep moving. (though of course there are modern medical techniques which can keep you alive by artificial respiration, heart pumps etc.

If you have a digestive problem you still ingest, if the problem is bad enough, you die.

If you have a growing problem you still grow. Your cells still replace themselves when they are injured, if they didn't you'd die.

If you have a reproductive problem the concept fails. However considered at a species level the species is alive, therefore as a member of it which is carrying out all the other processes you are alive. Mules are, however, not alive by this definition.

If you have no sensation then your reflexes would fail (for example the swallow reflex) resulting in death.


acotis wrote:
And 1 question to henz_lan regarding his post about computers being alive: Does that mean that when I turn off the computer, it is "dead" and when I turn it on, its "alive"?


In future please use the "quote" function; it notifies me when someone is making a direct reply, I noticed this post purely by accident.

I would claim that even when off the computer is still "alive". It still reacts to stimuli (the power button), still consumes power (the system clock).

You can "kill" the computer by removing the backup battery, replacing it will "resucitate" the computer.


In reply to kyu (see first page);

Life need not be composed of what we think of as cells. Fungal hyphae are "a-cellular" (at least they are not cells in the same way as a yeast organism is a cell).

Heat is a form of movement, if heat is absent, movement is absent and the 7 life processes are contravened.

Life need not be carbon based. Silicones are another group of compounds which are formed from long chains of silica. They could quite easily be the basis for living organisms.
16324 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
27 / M / Bangalore,India
Offline
Posted 7/9/08

animoo_x wrote:

free will doesnt exist anymore. we've given up so much of our free will to the government and state in return for them to govern us and make decisions for us as a country or body.


Voltaire once said that it's dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.
First  Prev  1  2  3  4  Next  Last
You must be logged in to post.