Free Will and Coercion

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hue-man
 
Reply Tue 6 Apr, 2010 11:30 am
I assume that we're all aware of the example of a person being coerced to provide the details of another person's location. In this situation many would say that it was not of the coerced agent's free will to provide the coercer with the information, but is the really true on a metaphysical level? Sure we can say that it doesn't fit the political definition of free will, but I believe that the agent still had the metaphysical freedom to act in a different. The agent could have chosen to die or be tortured instead of providing the coercer with the information, but instead the agent decided to provide the information for his own self-preservation. It was, therefore, the agent's will to provide the coercer with the other person's location. If this is true then it should also be true that an agent's will is always free on a metaphysical level. Do you agree or disagree?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 6 Apr, 2010 11:52 am
@hue-man,
hue-man;148830 wrote:
I assume that we're all aware of the example of a person being coerced to provide the details of another person's location. In this situation many would say that it was not of the coerced agent's free will to provide the coercer with the information, but is the really true on a metaphysical level? Sure we can say that it doesn't fit the political definition of free will, but I believe that the agent still had the metaphysical freedom to act in a different. The agent could have chosen to die or be tortured instead of providing the coercer with the information, but instead the agent decided to provide the information for his own self-preservation. It was, therefore, the agent's will to provide the coercer with the other person's location. If this is true then it should also be true that an agent's will is always free on a metaphysical level. Do you agree or disagree?


But it does not follow that because he could have done otherwise than provide the information, that he freely provided the information. As you point out, he was forced to do so since he (presumably) would not have done so if he had not been tortured. Freedom is a matter of degree. (Metaphysically or not).
 
William
 
Reply Tue 6 Apr, 2010 04:32 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;148839 wrote:
Freedom is a matter of degree. (Metaphysically or not).


Hello Ken. Please if you would, what is it that signifies what those degrees are. Physically or metaphysically in your opinion.

Thanks,
William

---------- Post added 04-06-2010 at 06:11 PM ----------

hue-man;148830 wrote:
I assume that we're all aware of the example of a person being coerced to provide the details of another person's location. In this situation many would say that it was not of the coerced agent's free will to provide the coercer with the information, but is the really true on a metaphysical level? Sure we can say that it doesn't fit the political definition of free will, but I believe that the agent still had the metaphysical freedom to act in a different. The agent could have chosen to die or be tortured instead of providing the coercer with the information, but instead the agent decided to provide the information for his own self-preservation. It was, therefore, the agent's will to provide the coercer with the other person's location. If this is true then it should also be true that an agent's will is always free on a metaphysical level. Do you agree or disagree?


Hue how, if coercion is needed,can any notion of free will be recognized? One should not have to be threatened to tell the truth. One should not have to threaten anyone to tell the truth. Trying to define free will in a world where it does not exist except for the very few who can afford it, is a useless mind game. The second another demands a fee to live, free will goes out the window.

William
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 6 Apr, 2010 07:36 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;148839 wrote:
But it does not follow that because he could have done otherwise than provide the information, that he freely provided the information. As you point out, he was forced to do so since he (presumably) would not have done so if he had not been tortured. Freedom is a matter of degree. (Metaphysically or not).

Freedom is an absolute as an idea, as are all ideas, and as a reality it is a matter of degrees, and just about everything else....
 
hue-man
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 03:30 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;148839 wrote:
But it does not follow that because he could have done otherwise than provide the information, that he freely provided the information. As you point out, he was forced to do so since he (presumably) would not have done so if he had not been tortured. Freedom is a matter of degree. (Metaphysically or not).


But his choice was not being controlled (literally) by anyone else. He wasn't free to choose in the absence of coercion, but wasn't he still free to make another choice?
 
wayne
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 03:41 pm
@Fido,
Fido;149024 wrote:
Freedom is an absolute as an idea, as are all ideas, and as a reality it is a matter of degrees, and just about everything else....


I think you have got it right.

Freewill, in this world must always be tempered by consequences.
The consequences of our choices are inescapable. We tend to choose that which will be most beneficial to ourself.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 03:48 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man;149340 wrote:
But his choice was not being controlled (literally) by anyone else. He wasn't free to choose in the absence of coercion, but wasn't he still free to make another choice?


I don't understand what you have just written. Can you rephrase it?
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 03:56 pm
@wayne,
wayne;149350 wrote:
I think you have got it right.

Freewill, in this world must always be tempered by consequences.
The consequences of our choices are inescapable. We tend to choose that which will be most beneficial to ourself.


Freedom is a form of relationship, and as a form it is like a suit of clothes, or perhaps a suit of armor... Some times our clothes fit, and everything matches, and sometime ones body simply looks too busy even when going no where...Think of it as a shell that may at times be too large or small on the crab in situ.... That is what all forms are, a structure within which people relate, and Freedom is that, a certain idea within which people build their lives... Yet the living that goes on within is a fluid, and flexible affair....People, in order to live, often live with little freedom, but no one can live without any freedom any more than they can live without any justice...We all need enough
 
hue-man
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 03:58 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;149361 wrote:
I don't understand what you have just written. Can you rephrase it?


I'm saying that while his will was not free in the sense that he wasn't be coerced, he was still free in the sense that he had the ability to make another choice. This seems to imply that he didn't have political free will, but metaphysically his will was still free in the sense that he could have made another choice. If I'm logically wrong then free will is starting to look more conceptual than actual.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 04:07 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man;149375 wrote:
I'm saying that while his will was not free in the sense that he wasn't be coerced, he was still free in the sense that he had the ability to make another choice. This seems to imply that he didn't have political free will, but metaphysically his will was still free in the sense that he could have made another choice. If I'm logically wrong then free will is starting to look more conceptual than actual.


I'm saying that while his will was not free in the sense that he wasn't be coerced

Don't you mean that it was free in the sense that he was not coerced? If he was coerced then he wasn't free. Anyway, I don't see how wills can be coerced or not coerced. It is people who are coerced or not coerced, isn't it? Locke said that it isn't the will that is free, it is the person. (If you were to say that my want (will) was coerced (a very strange thing to say) wouldn't you just mean that I was coerced?
 
hue-man
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 04:11 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;149382 wrote:
I'm saying that while his will was not free in the sense that he wasn't be coerced

Don't you mean that it was free in the sense that he was not coerced? If he was coerced then he wasn't free. Anyway, I don't see how wills can be coerced or not coerced. It is people who are coerced or not coerced, isn't it? Locke said that it isn't the will that is free, it is the person. (If you were to say that my want (will) was coerced (a very strange thing to say) wouldn't you just mean that I was coerced?


I see little to no separation between the person and the person's will. The person was being coerced, but the fact that he could have made another choice means that he was still able to act in a different way. This is really starting to seem like free will is way more conceptual, or political, than actual.
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 07:54 pm
@hue-man,
No one is more free, or has more choice than they see that they have...How many men on the chess board can you move??? All of them, but only one at a time, but like most people, we find that our choices are always limited, and the advantage of intelligence is that it looks past limits to see possibilities...

---------- Post added 04-07-2010 at 09:56 PM ----------

hue-man;149385 wrote:
I see little to no separation between the person and the person's will. The person was being coerced, but the fact that he could have made another choice means that he was still able to act in a different way. This is really starting to seem like free will is way more conceptual, or political, than actual.

People are, and life is will... The great challenge in life is to organize will so each is pushing in a common direction, and the great fear is everyone pushing your will into negation...
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 10:01 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;149382 wrote:
I'm saying that while his will was not free in the sense that he wasn't be coerced

Don't you mean that it was free in the sense that he was not coerced? If he was coerced then he wasn't free. Anyway, I don't see how wills can be coerced or not coerced. It is people who are coerced or not coerced, isn't it? Locke said that it isn't the will that is free, it is the person. (If you were to say that my want (will) was coerced (a very strange thing to say) wouldn't you just mean that I was coerced?


---------- Post added 04-07-2010 at 11:14 PM ----------

...this crap on compatibility between Cause and Free Will, states nothing, and serves no other purpose, but to bring ease to poor minds afraid of loosing themselves in the complexity's that the knowledge of certain truths naturally brings in...Bullshit !
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 10:22 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
1) in order for an agent to have free will, there must be an agent:
Fil. Albuquerque;149474 wrote:
we certainly were coerced to be born the way we did, with a very specific genetic heritage...
In short, there's an agent.

2) there must be a set of realisable alternatives.

3) there must be a means of evaluating the alternatives:
Fil. Albuquerque;149474 wrote:
It ads that we do so, in a given Society among others, with certain beliefs, references and cultural bias all around us...

...we obviously want to be what we are, as what we are defines what we want...
In short, we have means to evaluate options.

Listing requirements for free will can not, in itself, constitute a case for rejecting free will, unless those requirements aren't met.
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 10:44 pm
@ughaibu,
ughaibu;149477 wrote:
1) in order for an agent to have free will, there must be an agent:In short, there's an agent.

2) there must be a set of realisable alternatives.

3) there must be a means of evaluating the alternatives:In short, we have means to evaluate options.

Listing requirements for free will can not, in itself, constitute a case for rejecting free will, unless those requirements aren't met.


No, no !!!
You fail to prove that what we are is born in us, and not inherited...
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Wed 7 Apr, 2010 10:53 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil. Albuquerque;149482 wrote:
You fail to prove that what we are is born in us, and not inherited...
Quite obviously there are things about me that aren't inherited, otherwise evolution would be impossible. In any case, how would complete inheritance conflict with free will?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 02:19 am
@hue-man,
hue-man;149385 wrote:
I see little to no separation between the person and the person's will. The person was being coerced, but the fact that he could have made another choice means that he was still able to act in a different way. This is really starting to seem like free will is way more conceptual, or political, than actual.


That's fine. The will is supposed to be some sort of metaphysical entity, and I find it hard to make sense of calling it free or not free. But the notion of a person is tolerably clear, and I do know what it means to say of a person that he is either free or not free. It is to ask whether or not he is being compelled to do as he does. I don't understand your last sentence. It seems to suppose that there is such a thing as metaphysical freedom which is supposed to be unconditioned (uncaused) freedom. I suppose that is why you talk about freedom of the will rather than freedom of the person. Philosophers and theologians have invented that, and, I suppose, they are stuck with it.
 
wayne
 
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 02:54 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;149508 wrote:
That's fine. The will is supposed to be some sort of metaphysical entity, and I find it hard to make sense of calling it free or not free. But the notion of a person is tolerably clear, and I do know what it means to say of a person that he is either free or not free. It is to ask whether or not he is being compelled to do as he does. I don't understand your last sentence. It seems to suppose that there is such a thing as metaphysical freedom which is supposed to be unconditioned (uncaused) freedom. I suppose that is why you talk about freedom of the will rather than freedom of the person. Philosophers and theologians have invented that, and, I suppose, they are stuck with it.


This is interesting. If I see myself as a being , contained in a flesh and blood transportation device, my being's freedom is restricted by my transportation device. I can however free my thoughts, choosing to think about whatever I wish, at least for some length of time. Yet my thoughts seem restricted by my knowledge, I am only able to construct thoughts from the knowledge I have aquired through the senses of my transportation device. I am restricted in my freedom by my physical being.

Is this what you mean by metaphysical freedom being invented?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 06:37 am
@wayne,
wayne;149517 wrote:
This is interesting. If I see myself as a being , contained in a flesh and blood transportation device, my being's freedom is restricted by my transportation device. I can however free my thoughts, choosing to think about whatever I wish, at least for some length of time. Yet my thoughts seem restricted by my knowledge, I am only able to construct thoughts from the knowledge I have aquired through the senses of my transportation device. I am restricted in my freedom by my physical being.

Is this what you mean by metaphysical freedom being invented?


I don't think so, since I have no reason to think that I am distinct from "my physical being".
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 06:59 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu;149485 wrote:
Quite obviously there are things about me that aren't inherited, otherwise evolution would be impossible. In any case, how would complete inheritance conflict with free will?
 
 

 
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