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Question on Free Will

Sam7411
Posts: 959
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5/24/2016 10:36:10 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/24/2016 9:39:03 PM, ben2974 wrote:
If not for free will, then what acts as the agent for change?

Circumstances
ben2974
Posts: 767
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5/25/2016 4:01:48 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/24/2016 10:36:10 PM, Sam7411 wrote:
At 5/24/2016 9:39:03 PM, ben2974 wrote:
If not for free will, then what acts as the agent for change?

Circumstances

So does this mean that the brain works autonomously in treading its own path (essentially the path our lives take)? It just wills itself using past experiences to manipulate bodily movement in an intelligent manner? Where does consciousness play a role, if any, in how we develop along the way . . .?
skipsaweirdo
Posts: 1,865
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5/25/2016 5:21:18 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/24/2016 9:39:03 PM, ben2974 wrote:
If not for free will, then what acts as the agent for change?
Free will is kind of a misnomer. Let's say for instance I have predetermined that you are going to learn what the colors black, red, green, and blue are. But I have put before you 121 different streets to chose to walk down. Regardless of what streets you chose, even if you chose an indeterminate amount in a random order, you will eventually learn what I have predetermined you will learn. Did you chose which streets to walk down with your own free will? Now it's obvious that you didn't chose to learn what the colors were that I had chosen for you, but you did chose the paths in which the lesson was eventually learned. Is this free will to you?
And, if I knew before hand what streets you were gonna chose but I didn't force the choice, is this free will?
skipsaweirdo
Posts: 1,865
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5/25/2016 5:23:57 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/24/2016 9:39:03 PM, ben2974 wrote:
If not for free will, then what acts as the agent for change?
Choose , chose, fill in the forgotten o, ty
A1tre
Posts: 223
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5/25/2016 10:06:59 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/25/2016 4:01:48 AM, ben2974 wrote:
At 5/24/2016 10:36:10 PM, Sam7411 wrote:
At 5/24/2016 9:39:03 PM, ben2974 wrote:
If not for free will, then what acts as the agent for change?

Circumstances

So does this mean that the brain works autonomously in treading its own path (essentially the path our lives take)? It just wills itself using past experiences to manipulate bodily movement in an intelligent manner? Where does consciousness play a role, if any, in how we develop along the way . . .

Consciousness consists of many operations carried out by the brain. Not having free will does not imply we don't have consciousness or that it doesn't play any important role. We still make decisions, we undertake actions because we were motivated to do so.

Saying we do not have free will is acknowledging that our brain and our consciousness are subject to the causal chains, just like everything else in the universe. To say we have free will is to claim we are somehow free from the chains, which to me is an inconcievable possibility.

No free will: She wants an ice cream. Why? She wants to cool down because it is a hot day. There is an explanation, a causal and an effect.

Free will: She wants an ice cream. Why? Because she wants it. She has not been influenced by anything. For no reason at all she now wants an Ice cream. No cause and effect, no explanation. Not even randomness. It just is.

Free will doesn't seem like a sensible idea to me.
keithprosser
Posts: 1,974
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5/25/2016 11:20:50 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
Wanting an ice-cream may not be subject to free will, but whether you then go out and buy one is(*).

(*) assuming free will exists, of course!
A1tre
Posts: 223
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5/26/2016 6:34:29 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/25/2016 11:20:50 PM, keithprosser wrote:
Wanting an ice-cream may not be subject to free will, but whether you then go out and buy one is(*).





(*) assuming free will exists, of course!

Are you saying free will does not concern our will (that which we want)? You say it is relevant for us taking an action, but are actions not based on our will?

You possibly mixed up free will and freedom, which are not the same thing.
keithprosser
Posts: 1,974
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5/26/2016 7:11:22 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
'Free will' and 'Freedom' are not defined very well so it may well be that we do not agree what they mean. I would put wanting an ice-cream outside the orbit of free will, the ability to choose to buy or not buy an ice-cream as free will and freedom the ability to act on that choice, or the absence of an exteral impediment to buying an ice-cream, such as being in jail.

If you get dehydrated you will get thirsty and want a drink. There is - one presumes - a hard-wired module in the brain that sees to that. I think that if you define free will in such a way as unless it can over-ride even feeling thirsty then free will does not exist then the debate becomes rather sterile, because it cuts out debate about what does matter - whether we are truly free to choose to act on those wants or not.

If you see someone drop their wallet in the street then you have a choice - return it to the guy or keep the money. Whether the choice you make comes from your own volition or was predermined by the physical state of the universe (over which you have no control) is a far deeper issue than whether you can choose to be thirsty or not, which is answered quite simply as "No, you can't", end of.
A1tre
Posts: 223
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5/26/2016 12:05:44 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/25/2016 11:20:50 PM, keithprosser wrote:
Wanting an ice-cream may not be subject to free will, but whether you then go out and buy one is(*).

(*) assuming free will exists, of course!

At 5/26/2016 7:11:22 AM, keithprosser wrote:
'Free will' and 'Freedom' are not defined very well so it may well be that we do not agree what they mean. I would put wanting an ice-cream outside the orbit of free will, the ability to choose to buy or not buy an ice-cream as free will and freedom the ability to act on that choice, or the absence of an exteral impediment to buying an ice-cream, such as being in jail.

In your first reply it seemed to me you were connecting the action of going and buying an ice cream with free will. That confused me a bit, but I think these new definitions are more accurate.

If you get dehydrated you will get thirsty and want a drink. There is - one presumes - a hard-wired module in the brain that sees to that. I think that if you define free will in such a way as unless it can over-ride even feeling thirsty then free will does not exist then the debate becomes rather sterile, because it cuts out debate about what does matter - whether we are truly free to choose to act on those wants or not.

So let's say the universe influences us (e.g. it's a hot day) and this results in us feeling a certain way (e.g. thirsty). You would say free will is the ability to act depending on how we feel. To be more specific, free will is the ability to think "I am thirsty", "I should do something about that by getting an ice cream".

You are saying the ability to have those thoughts is free will, no matter what the origin of those thoughts are.

What about somebody who does not have the ability to act on his needs due to some mental condition. Does he therefore not have free will?

If you see someone drop their wallet in the street then you have a choice - return it to the guy or keep the money. Whether the choice you make comes from your own volition or was predermined by the physical state of the universe (over which you have no control) is a far deeper issue than whether you can choose to be thirsty or not, which is answered quite simply as "No, you can't", end of.

This is what I consider the question of free will to be about. Not whether we can have thoughts on how we feel, but rather is there an explanation to why we have those thoughts. If there is an explanation then we are bound by cause and effect, this is the predetermined scenario. Free will is the scenario in which we are not bound by cause and effect.

You say the choice to return the wallet depends on either volition or predetermination. What does that exactly mean if it were dependent on volition?

I hope I understood you correctly.
Mhykiel
Posts: 5,987
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5/26/2016 7:59:11 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/24/2016 9:39:03 PM, ben2974 wrote:
If not for free will, then what acts as the agent for change?

95% of actions carried out by 95% of people are mindless casual reactions.

This even includes debates.
janesix
Posts: 3,460
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5/26/2016 8:23:13 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 12:05:44 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/25/2016 11:20:50 PM, keithprosser wrote:
Wanting an ice-cream may not be subject to free will, but whether you then go out and buy one is(*).

(*) assuming free will exists, of course!

At 5/26/2016 7:11:22 AM, keithprosser wrote:
'Free will' and 'Freedom' are not defined very well so it may well be that we do not agree what they mean. I would put wanting an ice-cream outside the orbit of free will, the ability to choose to buy or not buy an ice-cream as free will and freedom the ability to act on that choice, or the absence of an exteral impediment to buying an ice-cream, such as being in jail.

In your first reply it seemed to me you were connecting the action of going and buying an ice cream with free will. That confused me a bit, but I think these new definitions are more accurate.

If you get dehydrated you will get thirsty and want a drink. There is - one presumes - a hard-wired module in the brain that sees to that. I think that if you define free will in such a way as unless it can over-ride even feeling thirsty then free will does not exist then the debate becomes rather sterile, because it cuts out debate about what does matter - whether we are truly free to choose to act on those wants or not.

So let's say the universe influences us (e.g. it's a hot day) and this results in us feeling a certain way (e.g. thirsty). You would say free will is the ability to act depending on how we feel. To be more specific, free will is the ability to think "I am thirsty", "I should do something about that by getting an ice cream".

You are saying the ability to have those thoughts is free will, no matter what the origin of those thoughts are.

What about somebody who does not have the ability to act on his needs due to some mental condition. Does he therefore not have free will?

If you see someone drop their wallet in the street then you have a choice - return it to the guy or keep the money. Whether the choice you make comes from your own volition or was predermined by the physical state of the universe (over which you have no control) is a far deeper issue than whether you can choose to be thirsty or not, which is answered quite simply as "No, you can't", end of.

This is what I consider the question of free will to be about. Not whether we can have thoughts on how we feel, but rather is there an explanation to why we have those thoughts. If there is an explanation then we are bound by cause and effect, this is the predetermined scenario. Free will is the scenario in which we are not bound by cause and effect.

You say the choice to return the wallet depends on either volition or predetermination. What does that exactly mean if it were dependent on volition?

I hope I understood you correctly.

I am thirsty and dehydrated but decide not to drink the water in front of me. Is this free will?
A1tre
Posts: 223
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5/26/2016 9:06:16 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 8:23:13 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/26/2016 12:05:44 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/25/2016 11:20:50 PM, keithprosser wrote:
Wanting an ice-cream may not be subject to free will, but whether you then go out and buy one is(*).

(*) assuming free will exists, of course!

At 5/26/2016 7:11:22 AM, keithprosser wrote:
'Free will' and 'Freedom' are not defined very well so it may well be that we do not agree what they mean. I would put wanting an ice-cream outside the orbit of free will, the ability to choose to buy or not buy an ice-cream as free will and freedom the ability to act on that choice, or the absence of an exteral impediment to buying an ice-cream, such as being in jail.

In your first reply it seemed to me you were connecting the action of going and buying an ice cream with free will. That confused me a bit, but I think these new definitions are more accurate.

If you get dehydrated you will get thirsty and want a drink. There is - one presumes - a hard-wired module in the brain that sees to that. I think that if you define free will in such a way as unless it can over-ride even feeling thirsty then free will does not exist then the debate becomes rather sterile, because it cuts out debate about what does matter - whether we are truly free to choose to act on those wants or not.

So let's say the universe influences us (e.g. it's a hot day) and this results in us feeling a certain way (e.g. thirsty). You would say free will is the ability to act depending on how we feel. To be more specific, free will is the ability to think "I am thirsty", "I should do something about that by getting an ice cream".

You are saying the ability to have those thoughts is free will, no matter what the origin of those thoughts are.

What about somebody who does not have the ability to act on his needs due to some mental condition. Does he therefore not have free will?

If you see someone drop their wallet in the street then you have a choice - return it to the guy or keep the money. Whether the choice you make comes from your own volition or was predermined by the physical state of the universe (over which you have no control) is a far deeper issue than whether you can choose to be thirsty or not, which is answered quite simply as "No, you can't", end of.

This is what I consider the question of free will to be about. Not whether we can have thoughts on how we feel, but rather is there an explanation to why we have those thoughts. If there is an explanation then we are bound by cause and effect, this is the predetermined scenario. Free will is the scenario in which we are not bound by cause and effect.

You say the choice to return the wallet depends on either volition or predetermination. What does that exactly mean if it were dependent on volition?

I hope I understood you correctly.

I am thirsty and dehydrated but decide not to drink the water in front of me. Is this free will?

In my opinion it depends on the "why" of your decision not to drink it. If there is a logical explanation to why you decided not to drink the water, then you do not have free will. Note this conditional is not dependent on the situation but rather on how we understand our own nature and the universe. Put differently; I am not asking if there is a logical explanation in this situation, I am asking if there generally is a logical explanation to all our thoughts at all times no matter the specific situation.

The decision to not drink the water shows you have a will. If your will is not bound by the law of cause and effect then you have a free will.

Keithprosser would claim that what I have called will, the decision to not drink water, is actually what we mean when we speak of free will. If that is his definition I can't say he is wrong, we just have to make sure we are using the same definitions when discussing this matter.
janesix
Posts: 3,460
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5/26/2016 9:12:42 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 9:06:16 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/26/2016 8:23:13 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/26/2016 12:05:44 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/25/2016 11:20:50 PM, keithprosser wrote:
Wanting an ice-cream may not be subject to free will, but whether you then go out and buy one is(*).

(*) assuming free will exists, of course!

At 5/26/2016 7:11:22 AM, keithprosser wrote:
'Free will' and 'Freedom' are not defined very well so it may well be that we do not agree what they mean. I would put wanting an ice-cream outside the orbit of free will, the ability to choose to buy or not buy an ice-cream as free will and freedom the ability to act on that choice, or the absence of an exteral impediment to buying an ice-cream, such as being in jail.

In your first reply it seemed to me you were connecting the action of going and buying an ice cream with free will. That confused me a bit, but I think these new definitions are more accurate.

If you get dehydrated you will get thirsty and want a drink. There is - one presumes - a hard-wired module in the brain that sees to that. I think that if you define free will in such a way as unless it can over-ride even feeling thirsty then free will does not exist then the debate becomes rather sterile, because it cuts out debate about what does matter - whether we are truly free to choose to act on those wants or not.

So let's say the universe influences us (e.g. it's a hot day) and this results in us feeling a certain way (e.g. thirsty). You would say free will is the ability to act depending on how we feel. To be more specific, free will is the ability to think "I am thirsty", "I should do something about that by getting an ice cream".

You are saying the ability to have those thoughts is free will, no matter what the origin of those thoughts are.

What about somebody who does not have the ability to act on his needs due to some mental condition. Does he therefore not have free will?

If you see someone drop their wallet in the street then you have a choice - return it to the guy or keep the money. Whether the choice you make comes from your own volition or was predermined by the physical state of the universe (over which you have no control) is a far deeper issue than whether you can choose to be thirsty or not, which is answered quite simply as "No, you can't", end of.

This is what I consider the question of free will to be about. Not whether we can have thoughts on how we feel, but rather is there an explanation to why we have those thoughts. If there is an explanation then we are bound by cause and effect, this is the predetermined scenario. Free will is the scenario in which we are not bound by cause and effect.

You say the choice to return the wallet depends on either volition or predetermination. What does that exactly mean if it were dependent on volition?

I hope I understood you correctly.

I am thirsty and dehydrated but decide not to drink the water in front of me. Is this free will?

In my opinion it depends on the "why" of your decision not to drink it. If there is a logical explanation to why you decided not to drink the water, then you do not have free will. Note this conditional is not dependent on the situation but rather on how we understand our own nature and the universe. Put differently; I am not asking if there is a logical explanation in this situation, I am asking if there generally is a logical explanation to all our thoughts at all times no matter the specific situation.

The decision to not drink the water shows you have a will. If your will is not bound by the law of cause and effect then you have a free will.

Keithprosser would claim that what I have called will, the decision to not drink water, is actually what we mean when we speak of free will. If that is his definition I can't say he is wrong, we just have to make sure we are using the same definitions when discussing this matter.

It's hard to come up with a definition of free will, but I think it has to do with the ability to go against instinct. A dog might have a little bit of free will, a slug less, and a human more.

If I let someone else have the water, like my child, that is based on instinct to help my progeny survive. But if I gave the glass of water to a stranger, that is going against my instincts. At least I can't think of any instincts that would lead me to help out a stranger to the detriment of myself.

I think there must be different levels of free will.
A1tre
Posts: 223
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5/26/2016 9:27:21 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 9:12:42 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/26/2016 9:06:16 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/26/2016 8:23:13 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/26/2016 12:05:44 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/25/2016 11:20:50 PM, keithprosser wrote:
Wanting an ice-cream may not be subject to free will, but whether you then go out and buy one is(*).

(*) assuming free will exists, of course!

At 5/26/2016 7:11:22 AM, keithprosser wrote:
'Free will' and 'Freedom' are not defined very well so it may well be that we do not agree what they mean. I would put wanting an ice-cream outside the orbit of free will, the ability to choose to buy or not buy an ice-cream as free will and freedom the ability to act on that choice, or the absence of an exteral impediment to buying an ice-cream, such as being in jail.

In your first reply it seemed to me you were connecting the action of going and buying an ice cream with free will. That confused me a bit, but I think these new definitions are more accurate.

If you get dehydrated you will get thirsty and want a drink. There is - one presumes - a hard-wired module in the brain that sees to that. I think that if you define free will in such a way as unless it can over-ride even feeling thirsty then free will does not exist then the debate becomes rather sterile, because it cuts out debate about what does matter - whether we are truly free to choose to act on those wants or not.

So let's say the universe influences us (e.g. it's a hot day) and this results in us feeling a certain way (e.g. thirsty). You would say free will is the ability to act depending on how we feel. To be more specific, free will is the ability to think "I am thirsty", "I should do something about that by getting an ice cream".

You are saying the ability to have those thoughts is free will, no matter what the origin of those thoughts are.

What about somebody who does not have the ability to act on his needs due to some mental condition. Does he therefore not have free will?

If you see someone drop their wallet in the street then you have a choice - return it to the guy or keep the money. Whether the choice you make comes from your own volition or was predermined by the physical state of the universe (over which you have no control) is a far deeper issue than whether you can choose to be thirsty or not, which is answered quite simply as "No, you can't", end of.

This is what I consider the question of free will to be about. Not whether we can have thoughts on how we feel, but rather is there an explanation to why we have those thoughts. If there is an explanation then we are bound by cause and effect, this is the predetermined scenario. Free will is the scenario in which we are not bound by cause and effect.

You say the choice to return the wallet depends on either volition or predetermination. What does that exactly mean if it were dependent on volition?

I hope I understood you correctly.

I am thirsty and dehydrated but decide not to drink the water in front of me. Is this free will?

In my opinion it depends on the "why" of your decision not to drink it. If there is a logical explanation to why you decided not to drink the water, then you do not have free will. Note this conditional is not dependent on the situation but rather on how we understand our own nature and the universe. Put differently; I am not asking if there is a logical explanation in this situation, I am asking if there generally is a logical explanation to all our thoughts at all times no matter the specific situation.

The decision to not drink the water shows you have a will. If your will is not bound by the law of cause and effect then you have a free will.

Keithprosser would claim that what I have called will, the decision to not drink water, is actually what we mean when we speak of free will. If that is his definition I can't say he is wrong, we just have to make sure we are using the same definitions when discussing this matter.

It's hard to come up with a definition of free will, but I think it has to do with the ability to go against instinct. A dog might have a little bit of free will, a slug less, and a human more.

If I let someone else have the water, like my child, that is based on instinct to help my progeny survive. But if I gave the glass of water to a stranger, that is going against my instincts. At least I can't think of any instincts that would lead me to help out a stranger to the detriment of myself.

I think there must be different levels of free will.

I get your point. But I don't see what is categorically different from your decision to the decision of your child. Your child is acting on instinct while you are acting based on a rational. I wouldn't call the difference between you two free will, I would call it having a developped consciousness and thus the ability to reason and think.
janesix
Posts: 3,460
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5/26/2016 9:29:59 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 9:27:21 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/26/2016 9:12:42 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/26/2016 9:06:16 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/26/2016 8:23:13 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/26/2016 12:05:44 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/25/2016 11:20:50 PM, keithprosser wrote:
Wanting an ice-cream may not be subject to free will, but whether you then go out and buy one is(*).

(*) assuming free will exists, of course!

At 5/26/2016 7:11:22 AM, keithprosser wrote:
'Free will' and 'Freedom' are not defined very well so it may well be that we do not agree what they mean. I would put wanting an ice-cream outside the orbit of free will, the ability to choose to buy or not buy an ice-cream as free will and freedom the ability to act on that choice, or the absence of an exteral impediment to buying an ice-cream, such as being in jail.

In your first reply it seemed to me you were connecting the action of going and buying an ice cream with free will. That confused me a bit, but I think these new definitions are more accurate.

If you get dehydrated you will get thirsty and want a drink. There is - one presumes - a hard-wired module in the brain that sees to that. I think that if you define free will in such a way as unless it can over-ride even feeling thirsty then free will does not exist then the debate becomes rather sterile, because it cuts out debate about what does matter - whether we are truly free to choose to act on those wants or not.

So let's say the universe influences us (e.g. it's a hot day) and this results in us feeling a certain way (e.g. thirsty). You would say free will is the ability to act depending on how we feel. To be more specific, free will is the ability to think "I am thirsty", "I should do something about that by getting an ice cream".

You are saying the ability to have those thoughts is free will, no matter what the origin of those thoughts are.

What about somebody who does not have the ability to act on his needs due to some mental condition. Does he therefore not have free will?

If you see someone drop their wallet in the street then you have a choice - return it to the guy or keep the money. Whether the choice you make comes from your own volition or was predermined by the physical state of the universe (over which you have no control) is a far deeper issue than whether you can choose to be thirsty or not, which is answered quite simply as "No, you can't", end of.

This is what I consider the question of free will to be about. Not whether we can have thoughts on how we feel, but rather is there an explanation to why we have those thoughts. If there is an explanation then we are bound by cause and effect, this is the predetermined scenario. Free will is the scenario in which we are not bound by cause and effect.

You say the choice to return the wallet depends on either volition or predetermination. What does that exactly mean if it were dependent on volition?

I hope I understood you correctly.

I am thirsty and dehydrated but decide not to drink the water in front of me. Is this free will?

In my opinion it depends on the "why" of your decision not to drink it. If there is a logical explanation to why you decided not to drink the water, then you do not have free will. Note this conditional is not dependent on the situation but rather on how we understand our own nature and the universe. Put differently; I am not asking if there is a logical explanation in this situation, I am asking if there generally is a logical explanation to all our thoughts at all times no matter the specific situation.

The decision to not drink the water shows you have a will. If your will is not bound by the law of cause and effect then you have a free will.

Keithprosser would claim that what I have called will, the decision to not drink water, is actually what we mean when we speak of free will. If that is his definition I can't say he is wrong, we just have to make sure we are using the same definitions when discussing this matter.

It's hard to come up with a definition of free will, but I think it has to do with the ability to go against instinct. A dog might have a little bit of free will, a slug less, and a human more.

If I let someone else have the water, like my child, that is based on instinct to help my progeny survive. But if I gave the glass of water to a stranger, that is going against my instincts. At least I can't think of any instincts that would lead me to help out a stranger to the detriment of myself.

I think there must be different levels of free will.

I get your point. But I don't see what is categorically different from your decision to the decision of your child. Your child is acting on instinct while you are acting based on a rational. I wouldn't call the difference between you two free will, I would call it having a developped consciousness and thus the ability to reason and think.

Maybe we can think of free will as the ability to choose between multiple options. Do you think it might be that simple?
A1tre
Posts: 223
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5/26/2016 10:10:11 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 9:29:59 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/26/2016 9:27:21 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/26/2016 9:12:42 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/26/2016 9:06:16 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/26/2016 8:23:13 PM, janesix wrote:

I am thirsty and dehydrated but decide not to drink the water in front of me. Is this free will?

In my opinion it depends on the "why" of your decision not to drink it. If there is a logical explanation to why you decided not to drink the water, then you do not have free will. Note this conditional is not dependent on the situation but rather on how we understand our own nature and the universe. Put differently; I am not asking if there is a logical explanation in this situation, I am asking if there generally is a logical explanation to all our thoughts at all times no matter the specific situation.

The decision to not drink the water shows you have a will. If your will is not bound by the law of cause and effect then you have a free will.

Keithprosser would claim that what I have called will, the decision to not drink water, is actually what we mean when we speak of free will. If that is his definition I can't say he is wrong, we just have to make sure we are using the same definitions when discussing this matter.

It's hard to come up with a definition of free will, but I think it has to do with the ability to go against instinct. A dog might have a little bit of free will, a slug less, and a human more.

If I let someone else have the water, like my child, that is based on instinct to help my progeny survive. But if I gave the glass of water to a stranger, that is going against my instincts. At least I can't think of any instincts that would lead me to help out a stranger to the detriment of myself.

I think there must be different levels of free will.

I get your point. But I don't see what is categorically different from your decision to the decision of your child. Your child is acting on instinct while you are acting based on a rational. I wouldn't call the difference between you two free will, I would call it having a developped consciousness and thus the ability to reason and think.

Maybe we can think of free will as the ability to choose between multiple options. Do you think it might be that simple?

It depends on how you define the word "choice". Say you have an apple and a banana in front of you and you are allowed to eat one of them. You reach your hand out and grab the apple. It seems straight forward that you made a choice.
But consider a different perspective: Let's define a choice as being based on two possible options. And let's assume our will is bound to causality. Again you are placed in front of the two fruit and you reach out and grab the apple. Was it possible for you to choose the banana instead? Physically yes, the banana was right next to the apple, if ou can reach one you can reach the other. But the state of your mind made it impossible for you to choose the banana. This can be due to whatever reason, for example you might have never seen a banana before and thought it didn't look very apetizing. Because of this it was impossible for you to choose the banana, so the banana was not a possible option and you had no real choice.
In other words you were predetermined to pick the apple. You have no free will.

I'm afraid this is not a simple topic and the free will as I have defined it has major philosophical implications.
The ability to overcome instincts is about consciousness and self control which really is a different topic.
janesix
Posts: 3,460
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5/26/2016 10:15:04 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 10:10:11 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/26/2016 9:29:59 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/26/2016 9:27:21 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/26/2016 9:12:42 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/26/2016 9:06:16 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/26/2016 8:23:13 PM, janesix wrote:

I am thirsty and dehydrated but decide not to drink the water in front of me. Is this free will?

In my opinion it depends on the "why" of your decision not to drink it. If there is a logical explanation to why you decided not to drink the water, then you do not have free will. Note this conditional is not dependent on the situation but rather on how we understand our own nature and the universe. Put differently; I am not asking if there is a logical explanation in this situation, I am asking if there generally is a logical explanation to all our thoughts at all times no matter the specific situation.

The decision to not drink the water shows you have a will. If your will is not bound by the law of cause and effect then you have a free will.

Keithprosser would claim that what I have called will, the decision to not drink water, is actually what we mean when we speak of free will. If that is his definition I can't say he is wrong, we just have to make sure we are using the same definitions when discussing this matter.

It's hard to come up with a definition of free will, but I think it has to do with the ability to go against instinct. A dog might have a little bit of free will, a slug less, and a human more.

If I let someone else have the water, like my child, that is based on instinct to help my progeny survive. But if I gave the glass of water to a stranger, that is going against my instincts. At least I can't think of any instincts that would lead me to help out a stranger to the detriment of myself.

I think there must be different levels of free will.

I get your point. But I don't see what is categorically different from your decision to the decision of your child. Your child is acting on instinct while you are acting based on a rational. I wouldn't call the difference between you two free will, I would call it having a developped consciousness and thus the ability to reason and think.

Maybe we can think of free will as the ability to choose between multiple options. Do you think it might be that simple?

It depends on how you define the word "choice". Say you have an apple and a banana in front of you and you are allowed to eat one of them. You reach your hand out and grab the apple. It seems straight forward that you made a choice.
But consider a different perspective: Let's define a choice as being based on two possible options. And let's assume our will is bound to causality. Again you are placed in front of the two fruit and you reach out and grab the apple. Was it possible for you to choose the banana instead? Physically yes, the banana was right next to the apple, if ou can reach one you can reach the other. But the state of your mind made it impossible for you to choose the banana. This can be due to whatever reason, for example you might have never seen a banana before and thought it didn't look very apetizing. Because of this it was impossible for you to choose the banana, so the banana was not a possible option and you had no real choice.
In other words you were predetermined to pick the apple. You have no free will.

I'm afraid this is not a simple topic and the free will as I have defined it has major philosophical implications.
The ability to overcome instincts is about consciousness and self control which really is a different topic.

I think it is more reasonable that reality is deterministic and we don't have any free will. But my gut instinct tells me we do.

I don't have any logical arguments for free will, but I would like to see one.
A1tre
Posts: 223
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5/26/2016 10:25:02 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 10:15:04 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/26/2016 10:10:11 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/26/2016 9:29:59 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/26/2016 9:27:21 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/26/2016 9:12:42 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/26/2016 9:06:16 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/26/2016 8:23:13 PM, janesix wrote:

I am thirsty and dehydrated but decide not to drink the water in front of me. Is this free will?

In my opinion it depends on the "why" of your decision not to drink it. If there is a logical explanation to why you decided not to drink the water, then you do not have free will. Note this conditional is not dependent on the situation but rather on how we understand our own nature and the universe. Put differently; I am not asking if there is a logical explanation in this situation, I am asking if there generally is a logical explanation to all our thoughts at all times no matter the specific situation.

The decision to not drink the water shows you have a will. If your will is not bound by the law of cause and effect then you have a free will.

Keithprosser would claim that what I have called will, the decision to not drink water, is actually what we mean when we speak of free will. If that is his definition I can't say he is wrong, we just have to make sure we are using the same definitions when discussing this matter.

It's hard to come up with a definition of free will, but I think it has to do with the ability to go against instinct. A dog might have a little bit of free will, a slug less, and a human more.

If I let someone else have the water, like my child, that is based on instinct to help my progeny survive. But if I gave the glass of water to a stranger, that is going against my instincts. At least I can't think of any instincts that would lead me to help out a stranger to the detriment of myself.

I think there must be different levels of free will.

I get your point. But I don't see what is categorically different from your decision to the decision of your child. Your child is acting on instinct while you are acting based on a rational. I wouldn't call the difference between you two free will, I would call it having a developped consciousness and thus the ability to reason and think.

Maybe we can think of free will as the ability to choose between multiple options. Do you think it might be that simple?

It depends on how you define the word "choice". Say you have an apple and a banana in front of you and you are allowed to eat one of them. You reach your hand out and grab the apple. It seems straight forward that you made a choice.
But consider a different perspective: Let's define a choice as being based on two possible options. And let's assume our will is bound to causality. Again you are placed in front of the two fruit and you reach out and grab the apple. Was it possible for you to choose the banana instead? Physically yes, the banana was right next to the apple, if ou can reach one you can reach the other. But the state of your mind made it impossible for you to choose the banana. This can be due to whatever reason, for example you might have never seen a banana before and thought it didn't look very apetizing. Because of this it was impossible for you to choose the banana, so the banana was not a possible option and you had no real choice.
In other words you were predetermined to pick the apple. You have no free will.

I'm afraid this is not a simple topic and the free will as I have defined it has major philosophical implications.
The ability to overcome instincts is about consciousness and self control which really is a different topic.

I think it is more reasonable that reality is deterministic and we don't have any free will. But my gut instinct tells me we do.

I don't have any logical arguments for free will, but I would like to see one.

Why? What sense does it make for you to want something without there existing any logical explanation for it (irrespetive of whether you are aware of the explanation or not)

It's raining, I am wet. Better go buy myself an elephant so I don't forget to bring back the spaghetti I borrowed from my friend. Nonsesne, to me a world with free will would be nonsense since there would exist no explanation for the thoughts you have.
janesix
Posts: 3,460
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5/26/2016 10:27:43 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 10:25:02 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/26/2016 10:15:04 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/26/2016 10:10:11 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/26/2016 9:29:59 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/26/2016 9:27:21 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/26/2016 9:12:42 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/26/2016 9:06:16 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/26/2016 8:23:13 PM, janesix wrote:

I am thirsty and dehydrated but decide not to drink the water in front of me. Is this free will?

In my opinion it depends on the "why" of your decision not to drink it. If there is a logical explanation to why you decided not to drink the water, then you do not have free will. Note this conditional is not dependent on the situation but rather on how we understand our own nature and the universe. Put differently; I am not asking if there is a logical explanation in this situation, I am asking if there generally is a logical explanation to all our thoughts at all times no matter the specific situation.

The decision to not drink the water shows you have a will. If your will is not bound by the law of cause and effect then you have a free will.

Keithprosser would claim that what I have called will, the decision to not drink water, is actually what we mean when we speak of free will. If that is his definition I can't say he is wrong, we just have to make sure we are using the same definitions when discussing this matter.

It's hard to come up with a definition of free will, but I think it has to do with the ability to go against instinct. A dog might have a little bit of free will, a slug less, and a human more.

If I let someone else have the water, like my child, that is based on instinct to help my progeny survive. But if I gave the glass of water to a stranger, that is going against my instincts. At least I can't think of any instincts that would lead me to help out a stranger to the detriment of myself.

I think there must be different levels of free will.

I get your point. But I don't see what is categorically different from your decision to the decision of your child. Your child is acting on instinct while you are acting based on a rational. I wouldn't call the difference between you two free will, I would call it having a developped consciousness and thus the ability to reason and think.

Maybe we can think of free will as the ability to choose between multiple options. Do you think it might be that simple?

It depends on how you define the word "choice". Say you have an apple and a banana in front of you and you are allowed to eat one of them. You reach your hand out and grab the apple. It seems straight forward that you made a choice.
But consider a different perspective: Let's define a choice as being based on two possible options. And let's assume our will is bound to causality. Again you are placed in front of the two fruit and you reach out and grab the apple. Was it possible for you to choose the banana instead? Physically yes, the banana was right next to the apple, if ou can reach one you can reach the other. But the state of your mind made it impossible for you to choose the banana. This can be due to whatever reason, for example you might have never seen a banana before and thought it didn't look very apetizing. Because of this it was impossible for you to choose the banana, so the banana was not a possible option and you had no real choice.
In other words you were predetermined to pick the apple. You have no free will.

I'm afraid this is not a simple topic and the free will as I have defined it has major philosophical implications.
The ability to overcome instincts is about consciousness and self control which really is a different topic.

I think it is more reasonable that reality is deterministic and we don't have any free will. But my gut instinct tells me we do.

I don't have any logical arguments for free will, but I would like to see one.

Why? What sense does it make for you to want something without there existing any logical explanation for it (irrespetive of whether you are aware of the explanation or not)

It's raining, I am wet. Better go buy myself an elephant so I don't forget to bring back the spaghetti I borrowed from my friend. Nonsesne, to me a world with free will would be nonsense since there would exist no explanation for the thoughts you have.

Why do I want free will ?Because I want to be responsible for my own actions. There is no point to living if everything is decided for me from the beginning.
A1tre
Posts: 223
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5/26/2016 10:40:22 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 10:27:43 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/26/2016 10:25:02 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/26/2016 10:15:04 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/26/2016 10:10:11 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/26/2016 9:29:59 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/26/2016 9:27:21 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/26/2016 9:12:42 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/26/2016 9:06:16 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/26/2016 8:23:13 PM, janesix wrote:

I am thirsty and dehydrated but decide not to drink the water in front of me. Is this free will?

In my opinion it depends on the "why" of your decision not to drink it. If there is a logical explanation to why you decided not to drink the water, then you do not have free will. Note this conditional is not dependent on the situation but rather on how we understand our own nature and the universe. Put differently; I am not asking if there is a logical explanation in this situation, I am asking if there generally is a logical explanation to all our thoughts at all times no matter the specific situation.

The decision to not drink the water shows you have a will. If your will is not bound by the law of cause and effect then you have a free will.

Keithprosser would claim that what I have called will, the decision to not drink water, is actually what we mean when we speak of free will. If that is his definition I can't say he is wrong, we just have to make sure we are using the same definitions when discussing this matter.

It's hard to come up with a definition of free will, but I think it has to do with the ability to go against instinct. A dog might have a little bit of free will, a slug less, and a human more.

If I let someone else have the water, like my child, that is based on instinct to help my progeny survive. But if I gave the glass of water to a stranger, that is going against my instincts. At least I can't think of any instincts that would lead me to help out a stranger to the detriment of myself.

I think there must be different levels of free will.

I get your point. But I don't see what is categorically different from your decision to the decision of your child. Your child is acting on instinct while you are acting based on a rational. I wouldn't call the difference between you two free will, I would call it having a developped consciousness and thus the ability to reason and think.

Maybe we can think of free will as the ability to choose between multiple options. Do you think it might be that simple?

It depends on how you define the word "choice". Say you have an apple and a banana in front of you and you are allowed to eat one of them. You reach your hand out and grab the apple. It seems straight forward that you made a choice.
But consider a different perspective: Let's define a choice as being based on two possible options. And let's assume our will is bound to causality. Again you are placed in front of the two fruit and you reach out and grab the apple. Was it possible for you to choose the banana instead? Physically yes, the banana was right next to the apple, if ou can reach one you can reach the other. But the state of your mind made it impossible for you to choose the banana. This can be due to whatever reason, for example you might have never seen a banana before and thought it didn't look very apetizing. Because of this it was impossible for you to choose the banana, so the banana was not a possible option and you had no real choice.
In other words you were predetermined to pick the apple. You have no free will.

I'm afraid this is not a simple topic and the free will as I have defined it has major philosophical implications.
The ability to overcome instincts is about consciousness and self control which really is a different topic.

I think it is more reasonable that reality is deterministic and we don't have any free will. But my gut instinct tells me we do.

I don't have any logical arguments for free will, but I would like to see one.

Why? What sense does it make for you to want something without there existing any logical explanation for it (irrespetive of whether you are aware of the explanation or not)

It's raining, I am wet. Better go buy myself an elephant so I don't forget to bring back the spaghetti I borrowed from my friend. Nonsesne, to me a world with free will would be nonsense since there would exist no explanation for the thoughts you have.

Why do I want free will ?Because I want to be responsible for my own actions. There is no point to living if everything is decided for me from the beginning.

The universe may be deterministic, but that is not how we experience our lives. Just because we come to this realization about free will does not mean we can look at things from outside the universe. We still go through our lives with a tiny percentage of all the existing knowledge, you could say we live an illusion of a life that is not determined. Even if you choose the apple, you only know you were predetermined to do so after you know you choose it. You still have to make decisions, your thoughts are a part of the predetermination and are very important. And you are still responsible for your actions even if you are not ultimatively responsible.

Your opinion on determinism should not chamge anything on how you live your day to day life.
Thomistic_Calvinist
Posts: 4
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6/6/2016 1:17:23 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
The question of change and the question of free will are interrelated yet different topics. The Aristotelian will say that the agent of change is primarily the unmoved mover while the Thomist will say that it is our ability to rationally deliberate and our moral life that imply that we have freedom of the will. Those who reject libertarian free will will say that some anterior cause causes an agent to choose x over y, which is the position of determinism. Compatibilists will argue that we can still have some notion of free will even if we accept anterior causes to our decisions.
Furyan5
Posts: 1,228
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6/6/2016 7:41:50 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 7:11:22 AM, keithprosser wrote:
'Free will' and 'Freedom' are not defined very well so it may well be that we do not agree what they mean. I would put wanting an ice-cream outside the orbit of free will, the ability to choose to buy or not buy an ice-cream as free will and freedom the ability to act on that choice, or the absence of an exteral impediment to buying an ice-cream, such as being in jail.

If you get dehydrated you will get thirsty and want a drink. There is - one presumes - a hard-wired module in the brain that sees to that. I think that if you define free will in such a way as unless it can over-ride even feeling thirsty then free will does not exist then the debate becomes rather sterile, because it cuts out debate about what does matter - whether we are truly free to choose to act on those wants or not.

If you see someone drop their wallet in the street then you have a choice - return it to the guy or keep the money. Whether the choice you make comes from your own volition or was predermined by the physical state of the universe (over which you have no control) is a far deeper issue than whether you can choose to be thirsty or not, which is answered quite simply as "No, you can't", end of.

But that's just the point. The decision to return the wallet or keep the money is as predetermined as you choosing to be thirsty or not. Perhaps on a different day and under different circumstances you might make a different choice, but on this day (can't change) and under these specific circumstances (also can't change) you are left with only one choice. That does not imply freedom of any sort.
Axonly
Posts: 1,802
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6/7/2016 1:09:53 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/24/2016 10:36:10 PM, Sam7411 wrote:
At 5/24/2016 9:39:03 PM, ben2974 wrote:
If not for free will, then what acts as the agent for change?

Circumstances

+1
Meh!
Furyan5
Posts: 1,228
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6/7/2016 5:11:43 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/26/2016 10:27:43 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/26/2016 10:25:02 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/26/2016 10:15:04 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/26/2016 10:10:11 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/26/2016 9:29:59 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/26/2016 9:27:21 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/26/2016 9:12:42 PM, janesix wrote:
At 5/26/2016 9:06:16 PM, A1tre wrote:
At 5/26/2016 8:23:13 PM, janesix wrote:

I am thirsty and dehydrated but decide not to drink the water in front of me. Is this free will?

In my opinion it depends on the "why" of your decision not to drink it. If there is a logical explanation to why you decided not to drink the water, then you do not have free will. Note this conditional is not dependent on the situation but rather on how we understand our own nature and the universe. Put differently; I am not asking if there is a logical explanation in this situation, I am asking if there generally is a logical explanation to all our thoughts at all times no matter the specific situation.

The decision to not drink the water shows you have a will. If your will is not bound by the law of cause and effect then you have a free will.

Keithprosser would claim that what I have called will, the decision to not drink water, is actually what we mean when we speak of free will. If that is his definition I can't say he is wrong, we just have to make sure we are using the same definitions when discussing this matter.

It's hard to come up with a definition of free will, but I think it has to do with the ability to go against instinct. A dog might have a little bit of free will, a slug less, and a human more.

If I let someone else have the water, like my child, that is based on instinct to help my progeny survive. But if I gave the glass of water to a stranger, that is going against my instincts. At least I can't think of any instincts that would lead me to help out a stranger to the detriment of myself.

I think there must be different levels of free will.

I get your point. But I don't see what is categorically different from your decision to the decision of your child. Your child is acting on instinct while you are acting based on a rational. I wouldn't call the difference between you two free will, I would call it having a developped consciousness and thus the ability to reason and think.

Maybe we can think of free will as the ability to choose between multiple options. Do you think it might be that simple?

It depends on how you define the word "choice". Say you have an apple and a banana in front of you and you are allowed to eat one of them. You reach your hand out and grab the apple. It seems straight forward that you made a choice.
But consider a different perspective: Let's define a choice as being based on two possible options. And let's assume our will is bound to causality. Again you are placed in front of the two fruit and you reach out and grab the apple. Was it possible for you to choose the banana instead? Physically yes, the banana was right next to the apple, if ou can reach one you can reach the other. But the state of your mind made it impossible for you to choose the banana. This can be due to whatever reason, for example you might have never seen a banana before and thought it didn't look very apetizing. Because of this it was impossible for you to choose the banana, so the banana was not a possible option and you had no real choice.
In other words you were predetermined to pick the apple. You have no free will.

I'm afraid this is not a simple topic and the free will as I have defined it has major philosophical implications.
The ability to overcome instincts is about consciousness and self control which really is a different topic.

I think it is more reasonable that reality is deterministic and we don't have any free will. But my gut instinct tells me we do.

I don't have any logical arguments for free will, but I would like to see one.

Why? What sense does it make for you to want something without there existing any logical explanation for it (irrespetive of whether you are aware of the explanation or not)

It's raining, I am wet. Better go buy myself an elephant so I don't forget to bring back the spaghetti I borrowed from my friend. Nonsesne, to me a world with free will would be nonsense since there would exist no explanation for the thoughts you have.

Why do I want free will ?Because I want to be responsible for my own actions. There is no point to living if everything is decided for me from the beginning.

Really? Does cake taste any different whether you freely choose to eat it or are predetermined to eat it? Do roses smell less sweet? Would you love your parents any less? You want free will to exist so you get blessed for good deeds and punished for bad deeds. The idea that it doesn't nullifies all your beliefs and values so you ignore all evidence to the contrary.
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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6/7/2016 5:33:50 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/24/2016 9:39:03 PM, ben2974 wrote:
If not for free will, then what acts as the agent for change?

Determinists would argue that human thought and behavior is controlled by the same forces that determine the behavior of animate objects.
keithprosser
Posts: 1,974
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6/7/2016 9:33:04 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/6/2016 7:41:50 PM, Furyan5 wrote:

But that's just the point. The decision to return the wallet or keep the money is as predetermined as you choosing to be thirsty or not. Perhaps on a different day and under different circumstances you might make a different choice, but on this day (can't change) and under these specific circumstances (also can't change) you are left with only one choice. That does not imply of any sort.

I see that as saying that if there is no free will then there is no free will. Is the claim that 'there is no free will' justifiable? I don't think it is axiomatic. If I see someone drop a wallet it sure seems to me that I have a choice what to do. Why does it seem I have a choice if I don't? We don't understand how the brain works and its main function (after cooling the blood) i.e. consciousness is generally acknowledged as one of the hardest problems in philosophy.

It so happens I think f5 is right - free will does not exist, or in a slightly more reined formulation free will is an illusion. But sometimes that view comes across more like an article of dogmatic faith than a conclusion reached by rational thought.
Furyan5
Posts: 1,228
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6/8/2016 11:41:02 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/7/2016 9:33:04 PM, keithprosser wrote:
At 6/6/2016 7:41:50 PM, Furyan5 wrote:

But that's just the point. The decision to return the wallet or keep the money is as predetermined as you choosing to be thirsty or not. Perhaps on a different day and under different circumstances you might make a different choice, but on this day (can't change) and under these specific circumstances (also can't change) you are left with only one choice. That does not imply of any sort.

I see that as saying that if there is no free will then there is no free will. Is the claim that 'there is no free will' justifiable? I don't think it is axiomatic. If I see someone drop a wallet it sure seems to me that I have a choice what to do. Why does it seem I have a choice if I don't? We don't understand how the brain works and its main function (after cooling the blood) i.e. consciousness is generally acknowledged as one of the hardest problems in philosophy.

It so happens I think f5 is right - free will does not exist, or in a slightly more reined formulation free will is an illusion. But sometimes that view comes across more like an article of dogmatic faith than a conclusion reached by rational thought.

In my opinion, the reason we feel that we have choice is that our brain plays out various scenarios to help us determine which action will benefit us most, or cause us the least discomfort. Once all the information has been entered and all the calculations done, we are left with one possible option. Choices are imaginary constructs of the mind. Although it may seem we have choices we will always pick the action which will benefit us most or cause us the least discomfort. That is human nature.
keithprosser
Posts: 1,974
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6/8/2016 12:25:53 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
Essentially, then, the brain does a cost/benefit analysis and selects what seems to be the best option it can find. At some level that is almost certainly the case because it is what we can expect evolution to produce.

But its only rarely we use our 'conscious reasoning'. If you are choosing between a repayent or an endowment mortgage you will engage your power of reason, but most o the time such decisions seem to delegated to a black box. I say black box because we don't know anything about its inner workings (we are only making a reasonable assumption in saying is it a rough cost/benefit analysis) but we are aware of it's conclusion 'Tea, please'.

Because we don't know how we decide 'tea, please' (the algorithm is hidden in side the black box) we invent the notion of free will to explain it. Choice or choosing is not illusion (don't stop reading yet!) because we have no illusion of making a choice - we are only aware (most of the time) that a decision has been made when we hear orselves say 'tea, please'. I would say free will is not an illusion but a fiction, a fanciful explanation of what is - in reality - the result of the inscrutable function of the 'decision making' black box modulein our heads.
Furyan5
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6/8/2016 12:31:42 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 6/8/2016 12:25:53 PM, keithprosser wrote:
Essentially, then, the brain does a cost/benefit analysis and selects what seems to be the best option it can find. At some level that is almost certainly the case because it is what we can expect evolution to produce.

But its only rarely we use our 'conscious reasoning'. If you are choosing between a repayent or an endowment mortgage you will engage your power of reason, but most o the time such decisions seem to delegated to a black box. I say black box because we don't know anything about its inner workings (we are only making a reasonable assumption in saying is it a rough cost/benefit analysis) but we are aware of it's conclusion 'Tea, please'.

Because we don't know how we decide 'tea, please' (the algorithm is hidden in side the black box) we invent the notion of free will to explain it. Choice or choosing is not illusion (don't stop reading yet!) because we have no illusion of making a choice - we are only aware (most of the time) that a decision has been made when we hear orselves say 'tea, please'. I would say free will is not an illusion but a fiction, a fanciful explanation of what is - in reality - the result of the inscrutable function of the 'decision making' black box modulein our heads.

+1