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Do Humans Have Free Will?

Rezzealaux
Posts: 2,251
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6/22/2009 11:09:10 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
Define "Free Will".
: If you weren't new here, you'd know not to feed me such attention. This is like an orgasm in my brain right now. *hehe, my name is in a title, hehe* (http://www.debate.org...)

Just in case I get into some BS with FREEDO again about how he's NOT a narcissist.

"The law is there to destroy evil under the constitutional government."
So... what's there to destroy evil inside of and above the constitutional government?
patsox834
Posts: 406
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6/22/2009 12:28:22 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/22/2009 11:09:10 AM, Rezzealaux wrote:
Define "Free Will".

Yeah, that's what I was gonna say, as well -- this argument often ends up being unclear, because people can have varying definitions. Really, just what constitutes free will is a debate in and of itself.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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6/22/2009 5:25:25 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
I do. Don't know about the rest of you fellows, as I haven't experienced any alternatives available to you :).
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
TheSkeptic
Posts: 1,362
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6/22/2009 7:51:35 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/22/2009 5:25:25 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
I do. Don't know about the rest of you fellows, as I haven't experienced any alternatives available to you :).

Humean freedom =/= Libertarian freedom.

That being said, I believe free will is a silly concept - a mere illusion.
Logical-Master
Posts: 2,538
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6/22/2009 7:58:07 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Depends on how far you're looking at reality. If you think logic is absolute, no. . . as cause and effect contradicts "free will." If you don't think logic is absolute and acknowledge that our perception and knowledge of existence is far too limited to be making such conclusions . . . then maybe. Either way, it's surprisingly not something I'm too concerned with.
TheSkeptic
Posts: 1,362
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6/22/2009 8:40:04 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/22/2009 7:58:07 PM, Logical-Master wrote:
Depends on how far you're looking at reality. If you think logic is absolute, no. . . as cause and effect contradicts "free will."

Quantum mechanics being true does not mean the laws of logic aren't absolute.

If you don't think logic is absolute and acknowledge that our perception and knowledge of existence is far too limited to be making such conclusions . . . then maybe.

Well, I think we can make such a conclusion :)
patsox834
Posts: 406
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6/22/2009 11:34:43 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/22/2009 5:25:25 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
I do. Don't know about the rest of you fellows, as I haven't experienced any alternatives available to you :).

I mean, I'm not big on this debate (I've never even been in it -- I've only read), but by the definition I think you're going by, wouldn't mere biological imperatives be an "alternative?"
philosphical
Posts: 1,643
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6/23/2009 4:00:41 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
humans themselves have free will do to whatever we wish. whether or not we get chased down and thrown into jail for it is a different thing. either way we have the free will and availability to make a decision
Your mouths writing checks that your @ss can't cash!
threelittlebirds
Posts: 142
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6/23/2009 4:53:31 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/22/2009 5:25:25 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
I do. Don't know about the rest of you fellows, as I haven't experienced any alternatives available to you :).

Experiencing alternative choices doesn't contradict determinism, that's why free will is so often called an illusion.
brian_eggleston
Posts: 3,347
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6/23/2009 5:20:57 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/23/2009 4:53:31 PM, threelittlebirds wrote:
At 6/22/2009 5:25:25 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
I do. Don't know about the rest of you fellows, as I haven't experienced any alternatives available to you :).

Experiencing alternative choices doesn't contradict determinism, that's why free will is so often called an illusion.

Profound reasoning but chaos theory is a a very good and demonstrable argument against it!
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threelittlebirds
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6/23/2009 6:10:24 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/23/2009 5:20:57 PM, brian_eggleston wrote:
Profound reasoning but chaos theory is a a very good and demonstrable argument against it!

"This happens even though these systems are deterministic, meaning that their future dynamics are fully defined by their initial conditions with no random elements involved."
http://en.wikipedia.org...
TheSkeptic
Posts: 1,362
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6/23/2009 7:09:38 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
"This happens even though these systems are deterministic, meaning that their future dynamics are fully defined by their initial conditions with no random elements involved."
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Exactly, not to mention that even if indeterminism is true (which I believe to be so), it does not grant free will. Randomness is not free will.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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6/23/2009 7:09:52 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/22/2009 7:51:35 PM, TheSkeptic wrote:
At 6/22/2009 5:25:25 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
I do. Don't know about the rest of you fellows, as I haven't experienced any alternatives available to you :).

Humean freedom =/= Libertarian freedom.
Didn't quite look into what Hume was advocating. I know that at this moment I can choose from multiple alternatives. Which alternatives are present might have been determined by something else, but

If you think logic is absolute, no. . . as cause and effect contradicts "free will."
Logic and causality are two different things.

I mean, I'm not big on this debate (I've never even been in it -- I've only read), but by the definition I think you're going by, wouldn't mere biological imperatives be an "alternative?"
What do you mean? If there is an option to "obey or disobey" the "imperatives," maybe, but then they wouldn't be worthy of the name "imperatives." If they were actual "imperatives, no, there would be no alternative.

whether or not we get chased down and thrown into jail for it is a different thing.
Well yeah, this was a metaphysics thread, not a politics one :).

Experiencing alternative choices doesn't contradict determinism, that's why free will is so often called an illusion.
Constantly experiencing alternative choices when a creature cannot survive without being able to rely on their experiences being reliable most of the time inductively supports the premise which contradicts determinism. Something should never be called an illusion until it is established as false. And then you gotta answer the question of how you've survived with such constant delusions. Is there an IV drip?

Gotta agree that chaos theory does not contradict determinism though, though I'm not sure something stating "Some things look chaotic" is a theory, which seems to basically be what chaos "theory" is :)
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
TheSkeptic
Posts: 1,362
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6/23/2009 7:10:38 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/23/2009 3:34:29 PM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
If you don't have free will, how can you come up with the concept of free will?

The existence of free will is not necessary for the capacity to reason. By your same logic, a super-advanced computer can't have even a modicum of intelligence.
TheSkeptic
Posts: 1,362
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6/23/2009 7:12:49 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Didn't quite look into what Hume was advocating. I know that at this moment I can choose from multiple alternatives. Which alternatives are present might have been determined by something else, but

But what? If you submit that your desires/motives for decision are casually determined, agreeing of course that mental events can be broken down into physical processes as well, then there is no free will.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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6/23/2009 7:19:59 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/23/2009 7:12:49 PM, TheSkeptic wrote:
Didn't quite look into what Hume was advocating. I know that at this moment I can choose from multiple alternatives. Which alternatives are present might have been determined by something else, but

But what? If you submit that your desires/motives for decision are casually determined
I didn't submit that actually. I submitted that the available options were determined. I did not submit that the means for picking among them was determined.

agreeing of course that mental events can be broken down into physical processes as well
If by physical processes you mean processes that somehow interact with matter, sure. If by physical processes you mean things reducible to nothing but the forms of matter and energy we have so far observed existing, whether that is known to be true relies on someone successfully reducing it to that. If by physical processes you mean deterministic processes, the same as above and my experiences I take as evidence against the notion.

Now, certainly, some motives make sense and some don't. But it's up to me whether I choose to think about whether they make sense, or evade such thought ^_^.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
LB628
Posts: 176
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6/23/2009 8:42:05 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/23/2009 8:16:19 PM, theLwerd wrote:
Free Will is a [very detailed, almost impossible to unravel] illusion.

Edited.
TheSkeptic
Posts: 1,362
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6/23/2009 8:48:24 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
I didn't submit that actually.

Yeah, it was just a phrase of rhetoric heh.

I submitted that the available options were determined. I did not submit that the means for picking among them was determined.

Then exactly how does this "process for picking among them" work? How does it escape the deterministic process that everything else has been influenced by?

Erm, I didn't respond to the rest because I don't think it was meant to be a different point than the one you just stated above. Unless I read wrong...
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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6/23/2009 9:08:09 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/23/2009 8:48:24 PM, TheSkeptic wrote:
I didn't submit that actually.

Yeah, it was just a phrase of rhetoric heh.

I submitted that the available options were determined. I did not submit that the means for picking among them was determined.

Then exactly how does this "process for picking among them" work? How does it escape the deterministic process that everything else has been influenced by?
I determine how much I'm going to think. I am an entity, not an event, no other cause came before that (Though sperm+egg made it possible, it didn't make it certain).
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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6/23/2009 9:12:02 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/23/2009 8:42:05 PM, LB628 wrote:
At 6/23/2009 8:16:19 PM, theLwerd wrote:
Free Will is a [very detailed, almost impossible to unravel] illusion.

Edited.

... Sort of.

Put [very] simply, everything that happens is the result of a prior incident or the laws of physics/nature. We have no control over any event. Even the choices that we make have been determined by previous states, thus giving us no true free will. Additionally, even at the anatomical psychological level [in addition to the philosophical] it can be argued that we do not have any control over our own behaviors and thoughts. Since everything we do is instigated by the functions of our brain, there are biological reasons why we choose certain behaviors. Etc.
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TheSkeptic
Posts: 1,362
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6/23/2009 9:44:28 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
I determine how much I'm going to think.

Again, that does nothing to substantiate your position. "Determining how much you think" is the same as "the means of choosing among options". As it currently seems, there's no reason to believe that these means, however they are conducted, can escape the chain of deterministic causes.

I am an entity, not an event, no other cause came before that (Though sperm+egg made it possible, it didn't make it certain).

And what's so special about being an entity? Dogs are entities. Abstract objects are entities.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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6/23/2009 10:00:55 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/23/2009 9:44:28 PM, TheSkeptic wrote:
I determine how much I'm going to think.

Again, that does nothing to substantiate your position. "Determining how much you think" is the same as "the means of choosing among options". As it currently seems, there's no reason to believe that these means, however they are conducted, can escape the chain of deterministic causes.
There is my experience. There is no reason to ignore it I think :).


I am an entity, not an event, no other cause came before that (Though sperm+egg made it possible, it didn't make it certain).

And what's so special about being an entity? Dogs are entities. Abstract objects are entities.
They don't apparently reason, so as far as I can tell are stuck with the "don't think" option :).
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
TheSkeptic
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6/23/2009 10:34:16 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
There is my experience. There is no reason to ignore it I think :).

Experience? How does that validate anything, especially free will?

They don't apparently reason, so as far as I can tell are stuck with the "don't think" option :).

Perhaps, but you still haven't given me a reason for why being an entity allows you to be exempt from the law of causality. Rationality does not grant free will.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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6/23/2009 10:40:45 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/23/2009 10:34:16 PM, TheSkeptic wrote:
There is my experience. There is no reason to ignore it I think :).

Experience? How does that validate anything, especially free will?
I thought I outlined that earlier in the thread? Humans don't survive if their experiences don't provide them with valid information most of the time. And i experience alternatives available to me constantly.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
TheSkeptic
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6/23/2009 11:36:22 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
I thought I outlined that earlier in the thread? Humans don't survive if their experiences don't provide them with valid information most of the time. And i experience alternatives available to me constantly.

Heh sorry, but I'm completely confused as to what your argument is. I'm lost to how "experiencing alternatives", or perhaps being aware of different options, leads to free will.
Ragnar_Rahl
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6/24/2009 8:47:32 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
1. Humans who survive have experiences that accurately reflect reality most of the time.

2.I survive.

3. I experience free will all of the time

4. I most likely have it.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.