Free will or no free will?

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Do we, as humans, have a free will?

Yes
8
50%
No
3
19%
Don't care (and I also say that this will be the majority of the votes)
5
31%
 
Total votes : 16

Free will or no free will?

Postby Iorek » Tue May 22, 2007 4:12 pm

Do you guys think you determine your own existence, or that you're an arbitrary existence of molecules? What about how man-made medications can dictate who we are?

Has anyone here ever been anti-depressants or ADD medications? In my experience, being on such things causes a complete shift in personality and who I am. Wow, does that ever freak me out.

My opinion: The chemicals in your brain determine you more than you determine yourself.

This is not intended to be the same as "Theist or Atheist." Nor is it a copy of some video game plot. Nor is it an attempt to convert anyone. Just interested in hearing your opinions.
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Postby Sarcasm » Tue May 22, 2007 4:18 pm

A person's biochemistry determines most of his basic behavior before he is even born, that much is true, but genetically insignificant advanced behaviors such as faith are shaped by society, a person's nature is both N&N.

If you are talking about the nature of choice in reality then yes, we have very little choice and only at key moments.
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Postby Teenr0cker » Tue May 22, 2007 7:56 pm

Where'd that ADD thing come from? You mean shit like Adderall or Ritalin? I know a few people on the stuff. Let us refer to wiki, but if you don't care for that shit, I'll summarize what I gleaned from it below:

Effects

Amphetamine, both as d-amphetamine (dextroamphetamine) and l-amphetamine (or a racemic mixture of the two isomers), is believed to exert its effects by binding to the monoamine transporters and increasing extracellular levels of the biogenic amines dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin.

It is hypothesized that d-amphetamine acts primarily on the dopaminergic systems, while l-amphetamine is comparatively norepinephrinergic. The primary reinforcing and behavioral-stimulant effects of amphetamine, however, are linked to enhanced dopaminergic activity, primarily in the mesolimbic DA system. Amphetamine binds to the dopamine transporter (DAT) and blocks the transporters ability to clear DA from the synaptic space.


So it allows more dopamine to remain in a neural system or what-have-you. At least, I am led to believe this. More dopamine means more neurotransmitters, so...that'd be good, I assume?


So if one took enough Adderall or other amphetamine, one could extend their abilities to concentrate? Sounds like a good enough reason for college kids to try to buy/sell the stuff. But is an ability to focus on things that seem boring in a "natural" state a 'complete shift in personality and who' you are? Well it does affect your brain, and I believe that's where shit goes down (none of that spiritual stuff), so yeah, I guess you can be changed by pills.


My friend, who takes Adderall in specific on a daily basis, knows he changes. He accepts his change, however, because he is noticeably more enjoyable while on the medication. He's better in school and much more alert and witty. He's a changed person with the medication. He knows this and when I asked about it once, he said he didn't mind the possibility of two personalities and such. He did a little fight club thing, saying the natural him was "jack" and the adderall him was "Tyler Durden," the image of improvement in a platonic sense. He reasoned as such:

If Jack knows that taking the pill will change him to Tyler, why does he continue to do it? Doesn't he want to preserve his existence? Well, Tyler's a deal smarter and more capable than Jack, and Jack enjoys those weekends when his work is already done because Tyler's quite productive. So Jack takes the pill, knowing for a while he will be Tyler, but he'll be productive for a bit, and sooner or later, he'll be back to Jack because you can't double-dose without serious health risks, so Tyler won't take the pill to preserve himself.


I think it's a mutual interest between these two hypothetical persons...I don't doubt the situation exists on a level, just not as extreme as one could imagine after seeing "Fight Club". Their mutual dependence on each other is what also makes their life as a whole a more enjoyable experience. By accepting that change, life has improved for him. And who knows? Some say you grow out of ADD, so perhaps he may find himself a bit less like Jack and a bit more like Tyler every day until the two are balanced out.

My friend and I have very odd conversations.
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Postby Aegis » Tue May 22, 2007 8:54 pm

Fight Club: One hell of an awesome movie.

With that out of the way...

It is my personal belief that experiance shapes a person more than genetics, but in actuality I don't think that we know enough about the human brain yet to say that with any great certainty. I am, however, fairly sure that most of one's decisions are made based on one's previous experiances relating to the subject being decided on and the possible reprecussions of the decision. Even if, however, people are shaped primarily by their experiances instead of their genetics, it still all boils down to outside factors. This is because even if someone makes a choice to change themselves, that choice itself probably originated from some outside factor.

[/psuedoscience from someone who really doesn't know what they're talking about]
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Postby Telephalsion » Wed May 23, 2007 1:15 am

I believe humans have free will.
The fact that we can think means that we can also think outside the box, and we can do anything from building lego to suicide.

Yes, chemicals change us, it's because we are emotional beings, and because of that, our feelings can often overpower our thoughts. The very fact that you noticed a shift means that you still have thought and consideration in your head.

I take eyedrops, they lower both my eye pressure due to my glaukoma, and as a side effect, my blood pressure. And I think the beta-blockers can dull my emotions.
Not too sure about that emotion thing. But at any rate, I have free will, I can choose not to use the medicine, I can choose to take another medicine.

I think it depends on how you define free will, I suppose.

And Aegis has a point, everything is connected and your thoughts are influenced by your surroundings and memories.
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Postby Angel_OA » Wed May 23, 2007 3:49 am

Humans have the ability of free will. It's just a fact.
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Postby Sarcasm » Wed May 23, 2007 4:25 am

Angel: How so? every single thing works on mathematics and the only possibility for "free" will is that if we use randomized factors, and even then its not truly our choice but a random event, we can believe or disbelieve as much as we like but the fact remains that if you look at it from the scientific point of view everything is already set, the thought argument is rather ridiculous because nothing stops thoughts to be pre-determined themselves.

That said, does the fact things are set truly matters? we do not know the outcome and just live on, in most cases Truth is ironically just another useless fact.

Soon-Not-Teenr0cker: No one said that chemicals effecting you are a bad thing, but as you pointed out its simply a fact, we are nothing but sophisticated meat computers.
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Postby Porter » Wed May 23, 2007 6:05 am

I just decided of my own free will to have sex with my girlfriend. Doing it reverse cowgirl is not a destiny, it is a choice.
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Postby MusashiEX » Wed May 23, 2007 9:41 am

That's the point. How do you know that it was YOU who decided to control your life? Could it not have been something that was controlling your brain to tell you that you are in control?
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Postby EmperorJeramyu » Wed May 23, 2007 10:39 am

Porter...

I love you so much.

Hump me.
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Postby Iorek » Wed May 23, 2007 11:33 am

Sarcasm wrote:Angel: How so? every single thing works on mathematics and the only possibility for "free" will is that if we use randomized factors, and even then its not truly our choice but a random event, we can believe or disbelieve as much as we like but the fact remains that if you look at it from the scientific point of view everything is already set, the thought argument is rather ridiculous because nothing stops thoughts to be pre-determined themselves.

That said, does the fact things are set truly matter? we do not know the outcome and just live on, in most cases Truth is ironically just another useless fact.

Soon-Not-Teenr0cker: No one said that chemicals effecting you are a bad thing, but as you pointed out its simply a fact, we are nothing but sophisticated meat computers.


If that's the case, shall we all just pretend you asked to go out for ice cream?
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Postby Sling » Wed May 23, 2007 11:36 am

Some kid I know believes the devil gave us free will.
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Postby MusashiEX » Wed May 23, 2007 1:30 pm

It may very well be true. God does not want us to deviate from what he deems to be moral.
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Postby Sling » Wed May 23, 2007 2:05 pm

His reasoning was becuase the serpant lured Eve to eat the apple, but if she had no free will, Eve wouldn't have been able to make the choice to take and eat it.
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Postby Iorek » Wed May 23, 2007 3:53 pm

So? That doesn't mean that Eve wasn't created with free will by God. The devil didn't give anyone anything but sorrow (according to Christianity) through sin (aka eternal damnation) and natural disasters, etc.

By the by, Christianity also states that when a person goes to hell, God is leaving them to their free will, instead of "irresistibly drawing them to perfection" like he does his saints.
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