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Does free will truly exist?
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Posted 10/21/14
If free will does not exist, how is Lala typing this post?

Posted 10/21/14

applestash wrote:


severticas wrote:

scrolling down
scroll
scroll scroll
pattern
pattern
pattern
..what the fuq?


Nature made me this way.


Yeah....
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Posted 10/21/14

applestash wrote:

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.


Will that is free from our DNA and the Environment.
Would imply that there is another dimension or a soul that affects the physical realm.

Life is a paradox. Since the dawn of life. As long as the will to live and breed exists, there will always be more life.

If you think about it, all activity on earth is an effect of the sun. All man made structures rose from the power of the sun.
All the energy that is circulating downwards to stability was radiation from the sun.
Without time to make it relevant, it would all come and pass in a blink of an eye.
Posted 10/21/14 , edited 10/22/14

LalaSatalin wrote:

If free will does not exist, how is Lala typing this post?



that's just the thing Lala would say :).
Posted 10/21/14 , edited 10/21/14

Daniel9878 wrote:

Will that is free from our DNA and the Environment.
Would imply that there is another dimension or a soul that affects the physical realm.

Life is a paradox. Since the dawn of life. As long as the will to live and breed exists, there will always be more life.

If you think about it, all activity on earth is an effect of the sun. All man made structures rose from the power of the sun.
All the energy that is circulating downwards to stability was radiation from the sun.
Without time to make it relevant, it would all come and pass in a blink of an eye.


Is the soul one collective identity, or are there infinite individual souls that attach to their organism of choice? If a soul utilizes its free will and decides to leave its human host, would the host just drop dead or continue to live the same life as a soulless person?

I mean, the souls won't necessarily be "free" from physical influence if they're stuck in a specified body. In order to satisfy free will, they would need the ability to transfer from organism to organism (such as from a cow to a chicken) without the need to wait for its death. Of course, taking over an organism and trying to change its decisions is quite cruel, though that might be straying from your point.
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Posted 10/24/14
I don't believe in a god, but I'll try to explain free will the best I can.You have free will because it is you who ultimately controls you body, so you can choose to do anything you want that is in the realm of possibility. For example I could choose to go and jump off a 500 story building, but I wont because I value my life. Even if their is a god don't a lot of people think we were put onto earth as a test to see what we would do in our life, so wouldn't it make sense for god to give all of us free will?
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Posted 10/25/14 , edited 10/25/14

flaminburger12 wrote:

I don't believe in a god, but I'll try to explain free will the best I can.You have free will because it is you who ultimately controls you body, so you can choose to do anything you want that is in the realm of possibility. For example I could choose to go and jump off a 500 story building, but I wont because I value my life. Even if their is a god don't a lot of people think we were put onto earth as a test to see what we would do in our life, so wouldn't it make sense for god to give all of us free will?


Jumping off a 500 story building is a choice. The choice/option exists. But the will, free from environmental cause, does not exist. Else you'd be dead right now.
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Posted 10/25/14 , edited 11/7/14

Daniel9878 wrote:


flaminburger12 wrote:

I don't believe in a god, but I'll try to explain free will the best I can.You have free will because it is you who ultimately controls you body, so you can choose to do anything you want that is in the realm of possibility. For example I could choose to go and jump off a 500 story building, but I wont because I value my life. Even if their is a god don't a lot of people think we were put onto earth as a test to see what we would do in our life, so wouldn't it make sense for god to give all of us free will?


Jumping off a 500 story building is a choice. The choice/option exists. But the will, free from environmental cause, does not exist. Else you'd be dead right now.


...Plenty of people have jumped, unfortunately.

That's besides the point, however. If you look at various definitions of free will none of them fits yours. If you use that definition then you're beating up a strawman. "not determined by" is different from "free from". Influence is not an all-or-nothing proposition; Of course there's influence, but that influence does not necessarily determine.
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Posted 10/27/14

nanikore2 wrote:


Daniel9878 wrote:


flaminburger12 wrote:

I don't believe in a god, but I'll try to explain free will the best I can.You have free will because it is you who ultimately controls you body, so you can choose to do anything you want that is in the realm of possibility. For example I could choose to go and jump off a 500 story building, but I wont because I value my life. Even if their is a god don't a lot of people think we were put onto earth as a test to see what we would do in our life, so wouldn't it make sense for god to give all of us free will?


Jumping off a 500 story building is a choice. The choice/option exists. But the will, free from environmental cause, does not exist. Else you'd be dead right now.


...Plenty of people have jumped, unfortunately.

That's besides the point, however. If you look at various definitions of free will none of them fits yours. If you use that definition then you're beating up a strawman. "not determined by" is different from "free from". Influence is not an all-or-nothing proposition; Of course there's influence, but that influence does not necessarily determine.


Free will (noun) - the doctrine that such human freedom of choice is not illusory.

Please explain what you mean by influence. Influence is a vague term.
Let me pose you a question: What determines your fate? If it is not the collection of external factors, in which you interact with your biology, your DNA. DNA that was determined by chance, a combination of minuscule factors coming together to provide you with your one and only sequence of proteins.

Even a huge wave in the ocean, is the combination of small environmental factors coming together in unison. Though there will most likely be a bigger wave. The size of the wave is still limited by the boundaries of physics. Such as the amount of water available.

You see, the people were always going to jump. You can go back in time and watch them, they will still do it. The only way to change the future is to change the past. Our past is set in stone.
Posted 10/27/14 , edited 10/27/14
i thought free will was one side of a coin?
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Posted 10/27/14 , edited 10/28/14



Daniel9878 wrote:



Free will (noun) - the doctrine that such human freedom of choice is not illusory.

Please explain what you mean by influence. Influence is a vague term.
Let me pose you a question: What determines your fate? If it is not the collection of external factors, in which you interact with your biology, your DNA. DNA that was determined by chance, a combination of minuscule factors coming together to provide you with your one and only sequence of proteins.

Even a huge wave in the ocean, is the combination of small environmental factors coming together in unison. Though there will most likely be a bigger wave. The size of the wave is still limited by the boundaries of physics. Such as the amount of water available.

You see, the people were always going to jump. You can go back in time and watch them, they will still do it. The only way to change the future is to change the past. Our past is set in stone.



I've always been concerned and confused by this.

If the present is dependent on the past, and the future is dependent on the present, then the future is inherently dependent on the past.

We cannot change the past. So we cannot change the future

I think free will is simply those times you act like you think you should act. The consequences are limitless because of your ability to act presently in consequences of the past (which includes the first step in a process that took place inconceivably long ago, when DNA was formed, and just as incredibly and inconceivably and I'd say quite conveniently, a brain that allows you to think. Now we're talking human freedom of choice!), while the present becomes part of the unchangeable past and influences the unchangeable future.

So by the same token, if the future has limitless consequences, the past must be of limitless influence. It then comes down to that ephemeral, sporadic, is-it-even-there filter that is the present. And in the present, we can exhibit free will.

Free will is an expression created by people to describe a real and present condition, human freedom of choice. I think that's a bit of a narrow definition, but it definitely exists under those terms. The fact that we have words like freedom and choice aren't evidence I'd take to court, but we have created the words because of the reality. Free will may be limited to our time and place, but we cannot deny that we, as humans, make choices when we have the freedom to. You'd be selling your dictionary short if you think humans cannot exist without freedom or choice.

Let me know if you have questions about my use of the words consequence or influence.
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Posted 10/28/14 , edited 10/28/14

Daniel9878 wrote:

Free will (noun) - the doctrine that such human freedom of choice is not illusory.

Please explain what you mean by influence. Influence is a vague term.
Let me pose you a question: What determines your fate? If it is not the collection of external factors, in which you interact with your biology, your DNA. DNA that was determined by chance, a combination of minuscule factors coming together to provide you with your one and only sequence of proteins.

Even a huge wave in the ocean, is the combination of small environmental factors coming together in unison. Though there will most likely be a bigger wave. The size of the wave is still limited by the boundaries of physics. Such as the amount of water available.

You see, the people were always going to jump. You can go back in time and watch them, they will still do it. The only way to change the future is to change the past. Our past is set in stone.


Influence isn't a vague term. It's a term that describes a process which undergoes underdetermination.

Your position assumes a strictly deterministic universe when the universe isn't strictly deterministic. Note you did use the term "chance". "Determined by chance" is a bit of an oxymoron; The resultant DNA is a product of a combination of chance as well as external influences.

There's an unknown amount of possibility given identical external starting conditions that a person wouldn't jump (or jump) because mental states are not strictly determined. I'm not saying that will is a product of "chance", but using it as a starting point.

Boundaries do not denote determination, but a range of possibilities.


morechunch wrote:

If the present is dependent on the past, and the future is dependent on the present, then the future is inherently dependent on the past.



1. The use of the term "dependent" here carries a tacit assumption of a strict causal chain. Chains of causation are so poorly understood that even medical researchers refuse to abide by it. (Double blind tests are about finding efficacy, not precise "cause". Many drugs are used without understanding precise causal mechanisms... They're used simply because they work)

2. Certain physical and metaphysical models contradict "normal causation". http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/causation-backwards/
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Posted 10/28/14 , edited 10/28/14

nanikore2 wrote:


Daniel9878 wrote:

Free will (noun) - the doctrine that such human freedom of choice is not illusory.

Please explain what you mean by influence. Influence is a vague term.
Let me pose you a question: What determines your fate? If it is not the collection of external factors, in which you interact with your biology, your DNA. DNA that was determined by chance, a combination of minuscule factors coming together to provide you with your one and only sequence of proteins.

Even a huge wave in the ocean, is the combination of small environmental factors coming together in unison. Though there will most likely be a bigger wave. The size of the wave is still limited by the boundaries of physics. Such as the amount of water available.

You see, the people were always going to jump. You can go back in time and watch them, they will still do it. The only way to change the future is to change the past. Our past is set in stone.


Influence isn't a vague term. It's a term that describes a process which undergoes underdetermination.

Your position assumes a strictly deterministic universe when the universe isn't strictly deterministic. Note you did use the term "chance". "Determined by chance" is a bit of an oxymoron; The resultant DNA is a product of a combination of chance as well as external influences.

There's an unknown amount of possibility given identical external starting conditions that a person wouldn't jump (or jump) because mental states are not strictly determined. I'm not saying that will is a product of "chance", but using it as a starting point.

Boundaries do not denote determination, but a range of possibilities.


morechunch wrote:

If the present is dependent on the past, and the future is dependent on the present, then the future is inherently dependent on the past.



1. The use of the term "dependent" here carries a tacit assumption of a strict causal chain. Chains of causation are so poorly understood that even medical researchers refuse to abide by it. (Double blind tests are about finding efficacy, not precise "cause". Many drugs are used without understanding precise causal mechanisms... They're used simply because they work)

2. Certain physical and metaphysical models contradict "normal causation". http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/causation-backwards/


That's what I'm saying. The past has infinite potential influence.

Ah, jeez, did you even read the thing?
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Posted 10/28/14

morechunch wrote:


nanikore2 wrote:


morechunch wrote:

If the present is dependent on the past, and the future is dependent on the present, then the future is inherently dependent on the past.



1. The use of the term "dependent" here carries a tacit assumption of a strict causal chain. Chains of causation are so poorly understood that even medical researchers refuse to abide by it. (Double blind tests are about finding efficacy, not precise "cause". Many drugs are used without understanding precise causal mechanisms... They're used simply because they work)

2. Certain physical and metaphysical models contradict "normal causation". http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/causation-backwards/


That's what I'm saying. The past has infinite potential influence.

Ah, jeez, did you even read the thing?


In my previous response I quoted the statements you've made that I could parse.
The paragraph with "I think free will is simply..." didn't make much sense so I stopped. That paragraph ended with the term "the unchangeable future" which I wouldn't agree with anyhow. The future is always in flux, not set.
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Posted 10/28/14 , edited 10/28/14

nanikore2 wrote:


Daniel9878 wrote:

Free will (noun) - the doctrine that such human freedom of choice is not illusory.

Please explain what you mean by influence. Influence is a vague term.
Let me pose you a question: What determines your fate? If it is not the collection of external factors, in which you interact with your biology, your DNA. DNA that was determined by chance, a combination of minuscule factors coming together to provide you with your one and only sequence of proteins.

Even a huge wave in the ocean, is the combination of small environmental factors coming together in unison. Though there will most likely be a bigger wave. The size of the wave is still limited by the boundaries of physics. Such as the amount of water available.

You see, the people were always going to jump. You can go back in time and watch them, they will still do it. The only way to change the future is to change the past. Our past is set in stone.


Influence isn't a vague term. It's a term that describes a process which undergoes underdetermination.

Your position assumes a strictly deterministic universe when the universe isn't strictly deterministic. Note you did use the term "chance". "Determined by chance" is a bit of an oxymoron; The resultant DNA is a product of a combination of chance as well as external influences.

There's an unknown amount of possibility given identical external starting conditions that a person wouldn't jump (or jump) because mental states are not strictly determined. I'm not saying that will is a product of "chance", but using it as a starting point.

Boundaries do not denote determination, but a range of possibilities.



Chance is the description for factors, unforeseeable by the human mind. "Since I do not know the outcome, I will take a chance".
Like a hidden card, the element of chance only exists, because it is faced down. Realistically, win/lose was already determined.

You see this is exactly what Free Will is, the illusion that the future is not determined.
Now if the Universe is not determined, why so can I reset to any time in the past and have the exact same future?
Reset to the year 1billion BC and I will still be sitting here typing this post 1billion, 2 thousand and fourteen years later.
Regardless of the endless amount of "Influence".

Look. It's like a movie, just because a movie has a set plot. Doesn't mean it won't be a bloody awesome movie.
You haven't seen it yet, so it has all the suspense and drama you could wish of it. I take life by the balls and I know that I will enjoy the ride no matter what happens. While I can still make my own choices, I understand that my actions come from a long linage of ancestry that lead me to where I am today. Each ancestor had to strive to get me here and I respect that.
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