Scientists attempt to prove that free will is an illusion

Well here is another Deskarati hobby-horse. We do like it when science starts to question preconceptions. This one is a favourite of ours. First we thought that we lived in the centre of a flat world. Then, that we were the centre of the solar system and always that we had some special way of commanding matter to do what we decide. All this flying in the face that nowhere else in the known universe does this happen, just to us, thinking mamals on the third rock from the sun. (Sorry, I did say hobby-horse) – Deskarati –

 Let’s say you’re approaching a fork in the road, and at the very last minute you decide to take the right fork. Common sense says that you made at active decision to take the right fork — a decision you made more or less a split second before you shifted your body ever so slightly in the direction of said fork.

But recent research reveals that decisions such as these may have much deeper neurological roots — so deep, in fact, that scientists can observed patterns of brain activity that allow them to predict the outcome of decisions like these long before a person is even conscious of his own decision. In other words, scientists have thrown a serious wrench in the works of the notion of free will.

Nature’s Kerri Smith writes:

As humans, we like to think that our decisions are under our conscious control – that we have free will. Philosophers have debated that concept for centuries, and now [neuroscientist John-Dylan] Haynes and other experimental neuroscientists are raising a new challenge. They argue that consciousness of a decision may be a mere biochemical afterthought, with no influence whatsoever on a person’s actions. According to this logic, they say, free will is an illusion.”

In the words of Patrick Haggard, a neuroscientist at University College London: “We feel we choose, but we don’t.”

Read more about one scientists’ efforts to prove that free will is an illusion over at Nature

via Scientists attempt to prove that free will is an illusion.

This entry was posted in Science. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Scientists attempt to prove that free will is an illusion

  1. “…..As humans, we like to think that our decisions are under our conscious control – that we have free will…..”

    I didn’t think free will is an illusion per se. I think the self is an illusion, or rather, a very shallow interpretation of who and what we really are. We are far more complex/ simple than just our conscious idea of ourselves (our self reflection) and the will is also equally as complex/ simple.

    The main stumbling block is our absurd notion that we (as physical bodies and as consciousness itself) exist as separate entities from the rest of the universe. That we are ‘particles’ if you like. We are not. We are ‘waves’ (or better yet, we are both!)

    Therefore decisions are not singular, momentary events (although decisions might focus around something which we interpret as a singular, momentary event). Decisions are more like streams of energy, flowing between different levels of conscious awareness and expressing themselves with fluctuating intensities.

    Eventually science will have to accept that consciousness is not so much a ‘self aware state existing within a brain’ but rather the universe itself is made out of consciousness, and that we are more like focused portions of that greater more encompassing consciousness.

    Therefore free will (decision making) can be seen as a ‘joint effort’, if you like, between energy existing as universal consciousness and energy existing as ultra personal self reflecting consciousness (all all that lies in between).

    Free will could be compared to a story which exists as an abstract universal idea, a plot for a novel, the novel itself and a movie based on the novel. In this hectic modern world most of us live exclusively in the heavily edited down and simplified movie version (or perhaps just the trailer for that movie!). But with a more thoughtful, meditative and disciplined life (IOW with greater *attention*) we can access the novel and even the original abstract idea of our stories too. From these wider perspectives this ’cause and effect’ (action/ reaction) reality become more of an ‘is’ reality. Or, to put it in true scientific terms, everything becomes a lot more ‘Yoda’ 😉

    I believe those who currently run the world (and I’m not talking presidents and prime ministers) are well aware of where and how ‘free will’ operates in this regard and that is WHY they have created a society based exclusively on keeping us in the separate, self reflecting, simplified, disconnected, movie version of reality. Schools, culture, the media, entertainments are ALL designed to keep us in this state. And we are told that this is where free will originates from (instead of telling us that this is just the realm where free will is expressed and observed by the conscious mind). They tell us: This is freedom! This is where all the action is! Stay focused on this state!

    This means we are kept focused on watching our reactions – while believing we are actually making decisions. And this makes us all extremely controllable.

    As crazy man David Icke puts it, we are taught to stare at the movie screen and think that that is where the action is …. it is not, the action is where the projector is.

    One could flip all that around and say that our civilisation (with it’s social hierarchies, culture, rulers and ‘linear’ and ‘instrument based’ science etc) is merely a reflection of our limited, narrow movie-like conscious state and that we created our own prison.

    It’s a chicken and egg scenario….

    But even our lumbering western science is now having to bring consciousness into the equation and admit that reality is not as ‘real’ (fixed) as it once thought.

    This will hopefully lead us into a new era (phew, I nearly said ‘new age’! LOL) where ‘magic’ will exist once more. ‘Magic’ is really just that which science and culture has not yet fully accounted for.

    The more I look at the world the more I believe it probably is run by magicians. One might call them black magicians, and this is true……. but I would rather call them just bad magicians! 😉 (‘bad’ as in second rate). I mean just look at them!

    Humanity as a whole can do a far better job, and we *will* …. as soon as we break out of this ‘spell’ cast by our rulers which tells us that reality is solid, we are all individuals with a free will that only operates in the conscious moment, that we have no power, that there is no magic, and that (what we currently call) technology is the only way we can evolve as a society and make ‘progress’.

    All of these assumptions are holding humanity back and even helping to destroy civilisation.

    The fact that free will exists at a deeper level shows us NOT that we are less in charge, but that we operate at a far deeper level than we have been trained to believe.

    It is through such false beliefs that have allowed our rulers to hijack our hidden resources – our very capacity to literally create reality from our own subconscious and imagination – and use this power (our power) to create their world for them …. our consciousness is literally being ‘hacked’.

    To quote a phrase picked up on by this video below “our imagination has been captured”

    This is Freeman and his wife Jamie discussing how we have been hacked in this way. Consider them to be mad scientists……. who may actually be on to something!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szwvjyiGBSk

    (sorry, a very rambling comment!)

Comments are closed.