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Does free will exist?

zmikecuber
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11/2/2015 7:36:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Discuss.
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"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
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11/2/2015 7:38:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
In particular, I'd like to hear determinists explain how determinism and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle are compatible.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
kp98
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11/2/2015 9:02:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
That is a lot easier than 'does free wll exist'!

Basically, strict determinism would mean that for any given starting configuration the result will invariably be X, with no way to alter that outcome.

Allowing for quantum effects means that for any given starting configuration the outcome will be (e.g) X 40% of the time, Y 50% of gthe time and z 10% of the time, with no way to alter the ratio of the outcomes nor influence any particular outcome.

So if your brain is configured a certain way you are not 'determined' to act in just one way, but you are determined to act according to the available options in strict proprortion with no control over what you do on any particular instance.

Whether you are determined to act in just one fixed way or are determined to act in one of two or three ways according to fixed odds that you have no control over makes no real difference to the free will debate - it's a red herring as far as that it concerned.
fire_man
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11/2/2015 9:57:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/2/2015 7:36:11 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
Discuss. : :

The "free will" idea has been discussed in this forum many times with no one being able to produce evidence that it is true or not.

I know that I don't have any free will because I have learned how we were created. It's impossible that we can be at the place we want to be at any given point in the future. If we had free will, then that would be possible.

Have you ever had your plans changed by someone else? This should prove that you have no free will.
SNP1
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11/2/2015 10:23:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I would agree that if presentism or the growing block models are true that quantum mechanics can be used to make a case for the possibility of free will.

However, if eternalism (or the shrinking block model) is true, then the future already exists and thus there is a specific future and the future cannot be different, and thus free will does not exist.
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fire_man
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11/2/2015 10:40:57 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/2/2015 10:23:59 PM, SNP1 wrote:
I would agree that if presentism or the growing block models are true that quantum mechanics can be used to make a case for the possibility of free will.

However, if eternalism (or the shrinking block model) is true, then the future already exists and thus there is a specific future and the future cannot be different, and thus free will does not exist. : :

Here's a biblical line to show you that the future was planned.

Acts 4:
27: for truly in this city there were gathered together against thy holy servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,
28: to do whatever thy hand and thy plan had predestined to take place.

Isaiah 44
6: Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: "I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.
24: Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: "I am the LORD, who made all things, who stretched out the heavens alone, who spread out the earth -- Who was with me? --
SNP1
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11/2/2015 10:42:54 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/2/2015 10:40:57 PM, fire_man wrote:
At 11/2/2015 10:23:59 PM, SNP1 wrote:
I would agree that if presentism or the growing block models are true that quantum mechanics can be used to make a case for the possibility of free will.

However, if eternalism (or the shrinking block model) is true, then the future already exists and thus there is a specific future and the future cannot be different, and thus free will does not exist. : :

Here's a biblical line to show you that the future was planned.

Why should I care about what the Bible says about "free will"/the future?

Acts 4:
27: for truly in this city there were gathered together against thy holy servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,
28: to do whatever thy hand and thy plan had predestined to take place.

Isaiah 44
6: Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: "I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.
24: Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: "I am the LORD, who made all things, who stretched out the heavens alone, who spread out the earth -- Who was with me? --
#TheApatheticNihilistPartyofAmerica
#WarOnDDO
fire_man
Posts: 23
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11/2/2015 10:49:07 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/2/2015 10:42:54 PM, SNP1 wrote:
At 11/2/2015 10:40:57 PM, fire_man wrote:
At 11/2/2015 10:23:59 PM, SNP1 wrote:
I would agree that if presentism or the growing block models are true that quantum mechanics can be used to make a case for the possibility of free will.

However, if eternalism (or the shrinking block model) is true, then the future already exists and thus there is a specific future and the future cannot be different, and thus free will does not exist. : :

Here's a biblical line to show you that the future was planned.

Why should I care about what the Bible says about "free will"/the future?

The Bible doesn't speak but I do. Everything we experience was planned long before we woke up in a body and started experiencing life. If you're interested, I can tell you how everything was created.

Acts 4:
27: for truly in this city there were gathered together against thy holy servant Jesus, whom thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,
28: to do whatever thy hand and thy plan had predestined to take place.

Isaiah 44
6: Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: "I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.
24: Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: "I am the LORD, who made all things, who stretched out the heavens alone, who spread out the earth -- Who was with me? --
ShabShoral
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11/3/2015 12:46:02 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/2/2015 7:38:18 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
In particular, I'd like to hear determinists explain how determinism and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle are compatible.

Why are you assuming that they must be compatible? I'm totally fine with discarding all of nondeterministic physics.
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ShabShoral
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11/3/2015 12:48:10 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/2/2015 7:36:11 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
Discuss.

If there is no free will, one's conclusions are out of one's control. Therefore, one can hold a false belief and be unable to recognize it as such. The only way to ensure certainty is to posit a way to choose to know something for certain. If this choice is nonexistent, the statement "man has no free will" is rendered unprovable.
"This site is trash as a debate site. It's club penguin for dysfunctional adults."

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"Your idea of good writing is like Spinoza mixed with Heidegger."

~ Dylly Dylly Cat Cat

"You seem to aspire to be a cross between a Jewish hipster, an old school WASP aristocrat, and a political iconoclast"

~ Thett the Mighty

"fvck omg ur face"

~ Liz

"No aspect of your facial structure suggests Filipino descent."
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Socraticdeathwish
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11/3/2015 10:21:05 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
As no one has done it yet, I will paraphrase Hitchens "Yes, I believe in free will, I have no choice but to."
zmikecuber
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11/4/2015 12:49:10 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/2/2015 10:23:59 PM, SNP1 wrote:
I would agree that if presentism or the growing block models are true that quantum mechanics can be used to make a case for the possibility of free will.

However, if eternalism (or the shrinking block model) is true, then the future already exists and thus there is a specific future and the future cannot be different, and thus free will does not exist.

I don't think eternalism makes free will impossible. The question is essentially: Are we able to do what we don't do? And of course, it's possible that the universe exists another way... but it's our free will which determines which way the universe IS.

In other words, the universe exists as a 4d space/time block, and the reasons why some things are the way they are is because of free will. Remember, something doesn't necessarily need to precede something else in time in order to cause it. There doesn't have to be a passing of time at all for something to cause something else.

A concrete structure causes the building to stand, regardless of whether or not time really passes or if time is a 4d space block.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
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11/4/2015 12:50:05 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/3/2015 12:46:02 AM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 11/2/2015 7:38:18 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
In particular, I'd like to hear determinists explain how determinism and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle are compatible.

Why are you assuming that they must be compatible? I'm totally fine with discarding all of nondeterministic physics.

For reals?
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
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11/4/2015 12:51:46 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/3/2015 12:48:10 AM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 11/2/2015 7:36:11 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
Discuss.

If there is no free will, one's conclusions are out of one's control. Therefore, one can hold a false belief and be unable to recognize it as such. The only way to ensure certainty is to posit a way to choose to know something for certain. If this choice is nonexistent, the statement "man has no free will" is rendered unprovable.

Good argument. I think this shows that any attempt to prove the proposition "there is no free will" is self-defeating. Rationally, you must either just accept there is no free will, or you must try and reason to that conclusion, in which case, that would only be worthwhile if you had free will in the first place.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
ShabShoral
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11/4/2015 2:03:13 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/4/2015 12:50:05 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/3/2015 12:46:02 AM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 11/2/2015 7:38:18 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
In particular, I'd like to hear determinists explain how determinism and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle are compatible.

Why are you assuming that they must be compatible? I'm totally fine with discarding all of nondeterministic physics.

For reals?

Why not?
"This site is trash as a debate site. It's club penguin for dysfunctional adults."

~ Skepsikyma <3

"Your idea of good writing is like Spinoza mixed with Heidegger."

~ Dylly Dylly Cat Cat

"You seem to aspire to be a cross between a Jewish hipster, an old school WASP aristocrat, and a political iconoclast"

~ Thett the Mighty

"fvck omg ur face"

~ Liz

"No aspect of your facial structure suggests Filipino descent."
~ YYW
kp98
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11/4/2015 2:08:21 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I wondered what that post was trying to say! Congrats on unravelling it.

But I wonder if it's right.

The point of a logical proof or disproof is that it does not depend on what you want it to be. I cannot will pythagoras theorem to be false, so the truth of a proof or disproof of free-will is likewise independent of my will.

In any case even if we are 'determined', it is only in the sense that the outcome of WW2 was determined by the laws of quantum physics back at the big bang. There are so many layers of complexity that even if our will is not entirely 'free' (if that means anything), what we do have is in reality indistinguishable from free-will.

It is not clear what we would truly gain from a hypothetical 'free-will' over what we undoubtedly do have. What is missing from our 'quasi-free' will that 'truly-free' will would be any different? And if quasi-free and truly-free are the same, why not just say we have free will?
Sidewalker
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11/4/2015 3:49:05 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/2/2015 7:36:11 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
Discuss.

Almost every argument against Free Will presupposes determinism without establishing determinism as a fact. Determinism is not a conclusion of science, on the contrary, science has demonstrated conclusively that reality is not deterministic. The philosophical doctrine of determinism is nothing more than an archaic and failed concept that is unscientific and completely faith based.

Despite the fact that it has been demonstrated conclusively that reality is not deterministic, the unfounded belief in determinism remains prevalent because mathematics, logic, and deductive reasoning are deterministic systems, but G"del's proof has explanatory power regarding the inability to directly map these symbolic tools to reality.

The attempt to deny the self-evident experiential reality of human consciousness and the associated fact that we are morally responsible causal agents is a very extraordinary claim, and extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The unfounded and completely faith-based belief in determinism doesn"t constitute extraordinary evidence by any stretch of the imagination.

The strongest argument for the existence of free will is that we all observe it during every conscious moment, it is a fundamental and significant part of our experiential reality at all times, hence it is self-evident. Consequently, the denial of free will is necessarily a rejection of the very concept of empirical evidence, and the argument against Free Will becomes a rejection without "proof", which eliminates induction as valid. These two aspects of the approach clearly reject the very basis of science and scientific knowledge, leaving nothing but detached abstractions that have nothing whatsoever to do with the real world.

Philosophy is concerned with saying something which is true or significant, science with doing something which is effective. Science is about the real world, grounded in perceiving and doing, the argument against Free Will is completely abstract and invalidates both perception and doing, it is a complete rejection of science as valid, and philosophically it amounts to a rejection of the very basis of truth and significance.

In the end, there is no valid basis upon which the rejection of Free Will can be said to be true of reality.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Illegalcombatant
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11/4/2015 8:52:52 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/4/2015 12:51:46 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/3/2015 12:48:10 AM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 11/2/2015 7:36:11 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
Discuss.

If there is no free will, one's conclusions are out of one's control. Therefore, one can hold a false belief and be unable to recognize it as such. The only way to ensure certainty is to posit a way to choose to know something for certain. If this choice is nonexistent, the statement "man has no free will" is rendered unprovable.

Good argument. I think this shows that any attempt to prove the proposition "there is no free will" is self-defeating. Rationally, you must either just accept there is no free will, or you must try and reason to that conclusion, in which case, that would only be worthwhile if you had free will in the first place.

Why is trying to prove there is no free will self defeating ?
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
kp98
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11/4/2015 10:24:26 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
science has demonstrated conclusively that reality is not deterministic.

I missed that memo.... when was that proven? In any case quantum effects don't allow for free will. The fact that what happens next is not completely fixed but has a 40% change of being X and a 60% chance of being Y doesn't give me any more freedom of choice or action than I had before... quantum effects may mean my life is ruled by dice throws, but it's not me throwing the dice.

I think Godel is also a red herring. Godel showed that not everything that is true can be proved. It's not clear to me that "G"del's proof has explanatory power regarding the inability to directly map these symbolic tools to reality." Maybe, maybe not. I think it's relevance and signficance is questionable.

The strongest argument for the existence of free will is that we all observe it during every conscious moment,

I agree that is does seem like we have free-will, but then it seems that the sun goes round the earth.

Funny enough I think Sidewalker and I agree that free-will is probably real! But it is very hard to create a solid defence for it.
Sidewalker
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11/6/2015 2:39:17 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/4/2015 10:24:26 AM, kp98 wrote:
science has demonstrated conclusively that reality is not deterministic.

I missed that memo.... when was that proven?

Maybe you just weren"t paying attention, it"s been the case for well over a hundred years. Determinism was just a thought experiment 200 years ago, what LaPlace proposed was that, IF reality is completely circumscribed by Newtonian mechanics (and it isn"t), the motion of every particle in the universe can in principle be predicted from exact knowledge of its position, momentum, and the forces acting on it (and it can"t). The two most prevailing scientific theories, Relativity Theory and Quantum Physics are explicit that reality is not the Newtonian World Machine that Laplace believed in, and Heisenberg showed us that even in principle, adequate knowledge of a particle"s position, momentum, and the forces acting on it are impossible, the requisite exactness of those quantities just doesn"t occur in the real world. Determinism requires Newton"s autonomous and absolute Euclidean space along with an autonomous absolute time that passes uniformly, but those assumptions have been proven false for a century.

Determinism requires the causal closure of the material world, science has not even come close to establishing the causal closure of the material world and pretty much has abandoned any further attempts to do so. My point was that the old idea that Newtonian physics translates into a mechanistic and deterministic model of the universe was never demonstrated, and that point stands unchallenged.
The fact is, physical determinism has never been logically valid because physical science is not a logically conclusive process, it"s an empirical endeavor and empirically speaking, the physical evidence has never justified the assumption of determinism by any stretch of the imagination.

In any case quantum effects don't allow for free will. The fact that what happens next is not completely fixed but has a 40% change of being X and a 60% chance of being Y doesn't give me any more freedom of choice or action than I had before... quantum effects may mean my life is ruled by dice throws, but it's not me throwing the dice.

The point being that quantum effects don"t allow for determinism, neither does Relativity, the presupposition that determinism somehow refutes Free Will is strictly an unwarranted matter of faith, and it certainly isn"t enough to justify the extraordinary claim that we don"t have Free Will.

I think Godel is also a red herring. Godel showed that not everything that is true can be proved. It's not clear to me that "G"del's proof has explanatory power regarding the inability to directly map these symbolic tools to reality." Maybe, maybe not. I think it's relevance and signficance is questionable.

Not if you recognize what determinism really is, it"s fundamentally a belief in the causal closure of the physical world, it necessitates an axiomatic system that is consistent and logically complete and Godel showed that to be impossible. His Incompleteness Theorem is analytically perfect and rigidly deductive and therefore philosophically conclusive as far as logic and science are concerned. It states categorically that no axiomatic system is, or can be, complete without reference to a higher system in which that system must be embedded. G"del proved that the ideal of determinism is therefore impossible, which is to say that it is logically and scientifically impossible to devise a set of axioms from which all the phenomena of the external world can be deduced.

The strongest argument for the existence of free will is that we all observe it during every conscious moment,

I agree that is does seem like we have free-will, but then it seems that the sun goes round the earth.

Funny enough I think Sidewalker and I agree that free-will is probably real! But it is very hard to create a solid defence for it.

Self-evident facts don"t require a defense, and it"s even harder to create a logical basis upon which to refute it. As I said, denial of Free Will is an extraordinary claim, and a baseless presumption of determinism doesn"t cut it by any stretch of the imagination.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Sidewalker
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11/6/2015 3:57:00 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/2/2015 9:02:40 PM, kp98 wrote:
That is a lot easier than 'does free wll exist'!

No it isn"t, determinism and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle are not compatible, and there"s nothing "easy" about an impossible task.

Basically, strict determinism would mean that for any given starting configuration the result will invariably be X, with no way to alter that outcome.

Allowing for quantum effects means that for any given starting configuration the outcome will be (e.g) X 40% of the time, Y 50% of gthe time and z 10% of the time, with no way to alter the ratio of the outcomes nor influence any particular outcome.

So if your brain is configured a certain way you are not 'determined' to act in just one way, but you are determined to act according to the available options in strict proprortion with no control over what you do on any particular instance.

Whether you are determined to act in just one fixed way or are determined to act in one of two or three ways according to fixed odds that you have no control over makes no real difference to the free will debate - it's a red herring as far as that it concerned.

That has nothing to do with Heisenberg"s Uncertainty Principle.

But the real problem here is that you are completely discounting the primary experiential reality of consciousness in an attempt to reduce our behavior to a purely physical state, and that dog just doesn"t hunt.

Consciousness has causal influence due to its content, not solely because of the physical aspects of its neural correlates.

The argument is refuted by the fact that human beings are purposeful beings, so we are subject to both physical causality and teleological causality, which means we are free and responsible causal agents and we can change our conduct for reasons that are not included in the purely physical causation

A conscious state includes a desire or intention, it includes the ability to envision a future state and establish a strategy for attaining that state. That makes it more than a purely physical state, it is a conscious state with reference to a future possibility, and no such reference is part of any purely physical state. Such conscious states can have causal effect to bring about further states for the sake of values and purposes, and intents, values, and purposes are not reducible to the purely physical state of your argument.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
kp98
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11/6/2015 6:21:22 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
You make some interesting assertions, Sidey, but are sometimes a bit light on justifying them in your posts. I hope to discuss things more, such as

Consciousness has causal influence due to its content,
Do you mean consciousness has causal influence over matter?

But before we go too far afield, the OP asked 'does free will exist' and followed up with a question about quantum effects - a lot of people seem to pin their hopes for free will on QM.

AFAIK, quantum effects do not weaken determinism in such a way as to allow free-will 'by the back door'. Our future actions may be unpredictable thanks to qm, but our actions aren't any more 'subject to will alone' than if classical physics was true.

I'm not commiting myself either way on whether free will does exist or not... I only want to point out that qm does not provide a quick fix to the apparent conflict between determinism and free will.
Sidewalker
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11/6/2015 1:29:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/6/2015 6:21:22 AM, kp98 wrote:
You make some interesting assertions, Sidey, but are sometimes a bit light on justifying them in your posts.

Shouldn"t I be the one saying that? As I"ve already pointed out, to question Free Will is to question the experiential reality of every waking moment, it is to challenge the validity of every moral and legal system found in every known time and place where humans have existed. If not on the completely unfounded belief in determinism without any evidence whatsoever, on what basis do you question Free Will?

I hope to discuss things more,

Me too.

such as

Consciousness has causal influence due to its content,
Do you mean consciousness has causal influence over matter?

Yes, that is what I mean. I"m talking about the self-evident experiential reality that gives rise to science and logic, I"m saying that the future is not beyond our control, that right here in the material world we can have some effect on our personal and corporate tomorrows, which is to say that we are free to plan the future, and that our resultant intentions make a real difference in the world. We are conscious causal agents and consequently, human effort can in fact, alter outcomes in the material world.

But before we go too far afield, the OP asked 'does free will exist' and followed up with a question about quantum effects - a lot of people seem to pin their hopes for free will on QM.

I presume that"s because Quantum Physics conclusively lands on the presumption of determinism with both feet, and the unwarranted presumption of determinism is the only basis on which the existence of Free Will is challenged,

Myself, I tend to go with the fact that our state of conscious awareness is a feature that trumps all others in the matter of epistemic authority.

AFAIK, quantum effects do not weaken determinism in such a way as to allow free-will 'by the back door'. Our future actions may be unpredictable thanks to qm, but our actions aren't any more 'subject to will alone' than if classical physics was true.

"Weaken determinism", seriously, there is no evidence whatsoever that supports determinism, and a boatload of evidence refuting it, I don"t think it can get any more weak than acknowledging it is nothing more than an unwarranted faith, a "belief in things unseen". Again, when are we going to see something more than the mere presumption of determinism to support this extremely extraordinary challenge, there needs to be extraordinary evidence, no evidence whatsoever isn"t really all that extraordinary.

I'm not commiting myself either way on whether free will does exist or not...

That"s because you are smart, smart enough to know there is no argument in support of the direction you are leaning. If you think of one, let me know, I"m looking forward to an intelligent debate.

I only want to point out that qm does not provide a quick fix to the apparent conflict between determinism and free will.

Well yeah, except for it puts a bullet right between the eyes of determinism, but other than that it doesn"t.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
kp98
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11/6/2015 2:34:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I don't really want to argue about whether qm puts paid to determinism... or perhaps I do! I don't see how the sort of (in)determinacy qm implies help enable free will.

There seems to be little argument that if 'strict' or 'clockwork' determinism was true we would have no real control over our choices - everything would have been fixed at the time of the big bang. It is as if God (used figuratively) had laid down a railtrack we are forced to travel along with no deviation, making free will impossible.

Quantum indeterminacy modifies the picture of a single railtrack winding off into the distance. It as if there are branch points all along the railtrack and at each one we may take one or other of the branches. As the choice is random we take the branch indicated by throwing a die, or a coin toss. That means to exercise control (ie exercise free-will) we would have to influence the odds - ie affect the dice or the coin - otherwise we would have no more free will than a leaf blowing in the wind.

qm may make our actions and choices unpredictable before hand but qm does not provide our 'will' with any more 'freedom' than classical physics could.
kp98
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11/7/2015 11:30:10 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Re determinism, I am not keen on the idea that qm 'put a bullet between the eyes' of determinism.

If we set up a classical system in a particilar state then its evolution is fixed, so each time we run a trial we would get the same result. But if we set up a quantum system then its evolution is not fixed - we will get different results from the samestartin conditions. But if we do enough trials we will find a pattern, because a quantum-mechanical system evolves according to fixed and definite probabilities.

So classically, the initial state of a system determines its future state. qm-wise, the initial state of a system determines the probabilities of a range of possible futures.

Despt qm, the world is still deterministic - a dropped stone will fall down, not up, and its speed will be precisely 32ft/s/s - how can I say that with confidence if determinism isn't more true than false?

I think determinism - even when weakened by taking qm into account - is a stumbling block to accepting the existence of free-will (otherwise what is the point of discrediting determinism?).

But I agree with Sidewalker on one crucial point - I trust my intuition that free-will exists. But I don't think Sidewalkers approach of denying determinism works. I don't have a better one - I wish I did
.
kp98
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11/10/2015 8:55:28 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
And how to define 'exist', for that matter.

If what we have is not really free will, what would be different if we had 'real' free will?
zmikecuber
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11/11/2015 12:25:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/7/2015 11:30:10 AM, kp98 wrote:
Re determinism, I am not keen on the idea that qm 'put a bullet between the eyes' of determinism.

If we set up a classical system in a particilar state then its evolution is fixed, so each time we run a trial we would get the same result. But if we set up a quantum system then its evolution is not fixed - we will get different results from the samestartin conditions. But if we do enough trials we will find a pattern, because a quantum-mechanical system evolves according to fixed and definite probabilities.

So classically, the initial state of a system determines its future state. qm-wise, the initial state of a system determines the probabilities of a range of possible futures.

Despt qm, the world is still deterministic - a dropped stone will fall down, not up, and its speed will be precisely 32ft/s/s - how can I say that with confidence if determinism isn't more true than false?

I think determinism - even when weakened by taking qm into account - is a stumbling block to accepting the existence of free-will (otherwise what is the point of discrediting determinism?).

But I agree with Sidewalker on one crucial point - I trust my intuition that free-will exists. But I don't think Sidewalkers approach of denying determinism works. I don't have a better one - I wish I did
.

Doesn't QM seem to have a better environment for free will to exist in rather than classic Newtonian physics?
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kp98
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11/11/2015 1:22:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I don't think so because the indeterminism of qm isn't of a sort that helps with free-will.
Doesn't QM seem to have a better environment for free will to exist in rather than classic Newtonian physics?

The point about free-will in the word 'will'. Free will - if it means anything - means having ultimate control over our thoughts or actions. The uncertainty QM introduces makes our thoughts and actions unpredictable but I can't see how qm allows us any greater control over our thoughts and actions than classical physics does.

qm doesn't allow us to choose to throw or not throw the dice nor to choose to follow or not follow how the dice falls. Being a slave to a fixed path or a slave to random throws of a dice is still being a slave.
Insignifica
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11/11/2015 3:34:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 11/3/2015 12:48:10 AM, ShabShoral wrote:
At 11/2/2015 7:36:11 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
Discuss.

If there is no free will, one's conclusions are out of one's control. Therefore, one can hold a false belief and be unable to recognize it as such. The only way to ensure certainty is to posit a way to choose to know something for certain. If this choice is nonexistent, the statement "man has no free will" is rendered unprovable.

Just as you're totally fine with discarding all of non-deterministic physics, others may be totally fine with discarding all notions of epistemic certainty.