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Does free will truly exist?
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Posted 10/18/14 , edited 10/18/14
Free will is the claim that god is not responsible for our actions.
What is really behind our choices? Where does our will come from?

Please explain your answers. Do not simply state your opinion. This is EXTENDED discussion.

Arguments you can either back or debunk:

Time is linear. If god can see the one and only future, would/could he change it?
Nature Vs Nurture. Are you born a certain way or brought up that way.
Will is instinctive behavior, byproduct of evolution.


I'm not talking about choice or chance.
Yes you can choose a menu item. But you can't choose to like pickles or stop being hungry.
Just because you will to do something, doesn't mean you will succeed. Chance may cause you to fail.
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Posted 10/18/14 , edited 11/3/14
Free Will to me is a state of min or belief if you will call it that.. There is a lot that happens in life that we have no control over.. Since we believe this is our lives and we want to believe that we are in control of it.. So we make up things which we believe in to help us feel better about not being so in control of the factors that most affect our lives. Maybe I am just a negative person, but free will doesn't exist as there are a crazy load of things that happen that lead you to thinking and feeling whatever it is that you feel and most of the times you had no control on them.. So I believe more on chance and the ability to adapt to situations life throws at you.. Sure you'll make a choice, but you would have considered a other things that were all beyond your control..
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Posted 10/18/14
http://www.crunchyroll.com/forumtopic-851797/what-makes-us-human?pg=2#46706885


Syndicaidramon wrote:


onibrotonel wrote:


Hmm...

How about sticking on a diet or doing more reps when lifting weights?
That takes willpower. The person has the option to quit or not. He sticks on the task depending on it would benefit him or not.

Fine.

If there's no free will, does it mean also that there's no such thing as selfless act, right?
Every action is selfish.


Well in terms of being on a diet or doing more reps, I can't really speak for others. But going off on a self-analysis, those are all things that at least I do in order to accomplish a goal. A goal brought on by a variety of different societal factors (external stimuli) and how my brain has reacted to that stimuli. Which is that I want to be fit, both in order to be healthy and live longer, and also in order to fulfill a desire to both be confident in my appearance, which will raise my self asteem and make me more adept in social situations. Maybe even to the point of finding a partner.

Of course, I could not go on a diet, and I could not do more reps, but that would mean to essentially surrender to the status quo of having not achieved my goals. And that is unacceptable for me. For others, that is not the case. But it is for me. Because my brain does not allow me to be confident unless I meet what I personally deem to be the desired criteria. It is required for me in order to live a fulfilling life.
Once again, something that is out of my control.

And of course there are selfless acts. Why we commit them, I will not say, because I dare not pretend as if I have enough understanding of human, societal and evolutionary psychology to make an informed statement regarding it.



To know more, consult our very own, Syndicaidramon.
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Posted 10/18/14
All your actions can be, and are, influenced by anything and everything.

"Free will" is relative.
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Posted 10/18/14 , edited 10/19/14
Free will is a fallacy. It implies an acceptance of the commonly held dualistic approach to thinking. We are not separate from our environment. A tree is just as much a part of our respiratory system as our own lungs, for example. Hell, if you look close enough you can't even tell where your nose ends and empty space begins.

But I digress: The assumption that free will ( for example the ability to create a thought in your mind devoid of any interaction/stimuli from the world around you or past experience) does not fit into current understanding of the transitive properties of energy and matter. A thought is nothing more than a predetermined firing of synapses in your brain in response to various biochemical reactions and genetic predispositions.

One might argue about nature versus nurture, but I put forth that even the event of personal growth/maturation is genetically predetermined.
The outside forces of our lives most definitely play an important role in our formation as a species, but we can't mistake causalities.
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It doesn't matter.
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Posted 10/19/14
No, I'm tired and I wish I could never sleep again.
Even Buddha has his limits.
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Posted 10/19/14
Well Yeah...I mean of course some of Our will that We may go about doing that Society has deemed inappropriate may land Us in a bad situation, but still the free will is there...

So I say Yes.
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Posted 10/20/14

Beardyman wrote:

Free will is a fallacy. It implies an acceptance of the commonly held dualistic approach to thinking. We are not separate from our environment. A tree is just as much a part of our respiratory system as our own lungs, for example. Hell, if you look close enough you can't even tell where your nose ends and empty space begins.

But I digress: The assumption that free will ( for example the ability to create a thought in your mind devoid of any interaction/stimuli from the world around you or past experience) does not fit into current understanding of the transitive properties of energy and matter. A thought is nothing more than a predetermined firing of synapses in your brain in response to various biochemical reactions and genetic predispositions.

One might argue about nature versus nurture, but I put forth that even the event of personal growth/maturation is genetically predetermined.
The outside forces of our lives most definitely play an important role in our formation as a species, but we can't mistake causalities.


Where is the practicality and practicability in this line of thinking? Are we all now absolved of any and all responsibility?
"You did this"
"Oh no I didn't.......... I didn't think of this on my own"

Do we have such an exhaustive understanding of the mind as to claim that "a thought is nothing but"... Is this somehow the solution to the hard problem of consciousness?

Also, there are several strawmans in the supposed refutation. A position that supports free will does not necessarily reject embodiment.
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Posted 10/20/14

nanikore2 wrote:


Beardyman wrote:

Free will is a fallacy. It implies an acceptance of the commonly held dualistic approach to thinking. We are not separate from our environment. A tree is just as much a part of our respiratory system as our own lungs, for example. Hell, if you look close enough you can't even tell where your nose ends and empty space begins.

But I digress: The assumption that free will ( for example the ability to create a thought in your mind devoid of any interaction/stimuli from the world around you or past experience) does not fit into current understanding of the transitive properties of energy and matter. A thought is nothing more than a predetermined firing of synapses in your brain in response to various biochemical reactions and genetic predispositions.

One might argue about nature versus nurture, but I put forth that even the event of personal growth/maturation is genetically predetermined.
The outside forces of our lives most definitely play an important role in our formation as a species, but we can't mistake causalities.


Where is the practicality and practicability in this line of thinking? Are we all now absolved of any and all responsibility?
"You did this"
"Oh no I didn't.......... I didn't think of this on my own"

Do we have such an exhaustive understanding of the mind as to claim that "a thought is nothing but"... Is this somehow the solution to the hard problem of consciousness?

Also, there are several strawmans in the supposed refutation. A position that supports free will does not necessarily reject embodiment.


Absolution of responsibility hardly seems appropriate. The universe is governed by cause (action) and effect (consequence).

I wasn't trying to diminish the potency of consciousness, but can you argue that for every thought we have there is not a physiological event that occurs in our body?

Let's get into the semantics of it then. By what definition of "free" are we even attempting to classify our consciousness?

Classic (or dualistic) thought encourages us to separate self from environment, allowing us to have the notion that a will could be free from the constraints of outside influence or stimuli. I reject this at its very core, and subscribe that it is our own ego (a weapon for social survival, albeit double-edged) that desires us to operate on an assumed sense of complete autonomy.
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Posted 10/20/14

Beardyman wrote:

Absolution of responsibility hardly seems appropriate. The universe is governed by cause (action) and effect (consequence).

I wasn't trying to diminish the potency of consciousness, but can you argue that for every thought we have there is not a physiological event that occurs in our body?

Let's get into the semantics of it then. By what definition of "free" are we even attempting to classify our consciousness?

Classic (or dualistic) thought encourages us to separate self from environment, allowing us to have the notion that a will could be free from the constraints of outside influence or stimuli. I reject this at its very core, and subscribe that it is our own ego (a weapon for social survival, albeit double-edged) that desires us to operate on an assumed sense of complete autonomy.


If it gets too long we'll have to do this one or two issues at once, max.

Absolution is what your position entails. The "cause" being whatever "determined" the response- Genetics and external stimuli, as you've said yourself.

Correlation does not entail causation. There is a tacit assumption of the direction of this "causation" in addition to its very existence- That of from the physical to the mental. It's an assumption built on top of another.

"Free" as in not strictly deterministic. Again the epistemic question comes in- Just exactly how are we going to back up the deterministic assumption?

Questioning or confirming embodiment is over-handling the issue (i.e. red herring at best, strawman at worst). No one has to claim that the mind is free from influence. The physical world already places enough constraints (e.g. You can't jump over a tall building or drive a car through a thick solid wall of steel) and the mental as well (e.g. paucity of imagination, psychological factors)
Posted 10/20/14 , edited 10/20/14
Freedom requires context. As a poster stated above freedom is relative; a jungle monkey might be free from a cage, but not from this planet due to physical limitations. Similarly, free will also requires a context: free from whom? Free from nature? No, we will never be free from nature because we are a part of nature. A monkey can't escape from itself unless it stopped being itself. That said, I'm not sure how common that interpretation actually is. At least for myself, when I say "free will" I'm referring to a pragmatic freedom from constraints to thought and choice that are imposed by human beings other than myself, which is basically autonomy.

Assuming that a mother exerts the most influence on her baby, it would be a jump to say that she's the one ultimately determining the baby's nature-led decision to suck his/her thumb -- though she definitely could influence it if she's a sucker herself. Free will is only gone when the mother begins to hit her baby for thumb-sucking.
Posted 10/20/14
I've talked about this with science. That was half a decade ago. From professors (and books) - it was said knowing the location of all particles in the universe and their momentum - one could predict all future events. The thing is, they always bring up the uncertainty principle. That in itself has been used to throw in applications of free will. Whether it is an insignificant of a value or not, we cannot put all that data into a computer to determine if free will is real or not.

While opinions were asked not to be here it was my impression that this is indeed a philosophical question. It assumes we know location and momentum (and other similar relationships), but we also have rules in science that state that we cannot know both. Whether you believe the numbers are "close enough" to say there is no free will or that "there will always be a limit for knowing" that suggest there is free will (slim or not). It has been a half empty/half full debate for a while with these applications.

The problem is people not being able to relate knowledge about particles and free will. That is for another debate, and if I were ever bored enough to review such things (hopefully someone else much more qualified could step in if I get flamed).
Posted 10/20/14 , edited 10/20/14
Free will is the perceived ability to make independent, informed decisions (with limits). As its often used, its the ethical concept that one can freely and consciously choose right from wrong. Its also a social construct to aid in societal conformity.
Posted 10/21/14
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Posted 10/21/14

severticas wrote:

scrolling down
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..what the fuq?


Nature made me this way.
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