Free Will Overrated?

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Reply Sat 10 Apr, 2010 07:51 am
Yes, another thread on free will (at least I hope it will become a thread). But instead of arguing about whether it is true, I would like to know if anyone believes the idea is overrated. We've had ingrained in our minds that freedom is invaluable, but being free to choose seems to carry just as many bad implications as good. Anyone else?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 10 Apr, 2010 07:57 am
@zefloid13,
zefloid13;150205 wrote:
Yes, another thread on free will (at list I hope it will become a thread). But instead of arguing about whether it is true, I would like to know if anyone believes the idea is overrated. We've had ingrained in our minds that freedom is invaluable, but being free to choose seems to carry just as many bad implications as good. Anyone else?


Who would not rather decide whether to do something rather than be forced to do it? I know that Sartre has written about "dreadful freedom", and being "condemned to be free" but my question still stands.
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Sat 10 Apr, 2010 08:39 am
@zefloid13,
zefloid13;150205 wrote:
Yes, another thread on free will (at list I hope it will become a thread). But instead of arguing about whether it is true, I would like to know if anyone believes the idea is overrated. We've had ingrained in our minds that freedom is invaluable, but being free to choose seems to carry just as many bad implications as good. Anyone else?
An example of the case for the value of freedom is Bach. In a world where Bach would have been denied access to music by virtue of his status as a serf, the world would never know the contents of its own potential.

This is the heart of the European Merchant Class creed (the source of our devotion of freedom). God seeks manifestation. A rigid class structure that blocks God's manifestation is blasphemous and therefore a passing pathological state. God wants people to be free to pursue their dreams so he can hear Bach. (What happens to the dream denied?)

To the extent that freedom has been "overrated", this testifies to the dynamism of the social movement that sought to establish mechanisms to protect freedom. Each generation inherits the idea that freedom is threatened, and that puts people in the frame of mind to fight for it. Determinism is conflated with totalitarianism and godlessness.... in other words: a lifeless universe.

Why would anyone imagine it's necessary to fight for the idea that there is life in the universe? That question was answered by the question itself.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Sat 10 Apr, 2010 08:49 am
@zefloid13,
zefloid13;150205 wrote:
being free to choose seems to carry just as many bad implications as good.
Really? Perhaps you could list both good and bad implications, and show that their number is equal.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Sat 10 Apr, 2010 08:50 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;150207 wrote:
Who would not rather decide whether to do something rather than be forced to do it? I know that Sartre has written about "dreadful freedom", and being "condemned to be free" but my question still stands.
It's not about being forced, but it's the subconcious will that will decide for you.

Imo too many consider free will is limited to only make decisions without any tyrranic influence.
We are influenced by culture, emotion such as love and hate, politic views, sexual orientation, ethic, moral and laws ..etc.

I became aware of how strong our subconcious ways influent us, by observing the japaneese hostages being freed in 2nd Gulfwar, they would run out in freedom crying and ashamed ... :shocked: ..WHAT?!?!?
I knew already japaneese in WW2 would be ashamed to be prisoners, but that it still last to our modern day, only proves the long lasting influence of culture and our subconciousness.

Only very eccentric and psycotic people will exact free will.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Sat 10 Apr, 2010 08:53 am
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;150218 wrote:
it's the subconcious will that will decide for you.
You are mistaken, you can be shown to be mistaken.
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Sat 10 Apr, 2010 08:54 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu;150217 wrote:
Really? Perhaps you could list both good and bad implications, and show that their number is equal.
I'm not sure what you mean by "their number is equal." The bad implication is obvious: the traditional method of proving that one's will is free is to do evil.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Sat 10 Apr, 2010 08:55 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu;150219 wrote:
You are mistaken, you can be shown to be mistaken.
Please explain, don't really understand what you are saying.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Sat 10 Apr, 2010 08:59 am
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;150220 wrote:
I'm not sure what you mean by "their number is equal."
Are you seriously trying to tell me that you dont know or understand what "equals" means? Like, the expression 1+1=2 is some mysterious nantoka, whatever beyond your comprehension??

---------- Post added 04-11-2010 at 12:02 AM ----------

HexHammer;150221 wrote:
Please explain, don't really understand what you are saying.
Well, you're out of luck, because I'm fully out of tolerance for free will deniers. Work it out yourself.
 
Night Ripper
 
Reply Sat 10 Apr, 2010 09:04 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu;150222 wrote:
Are you seriously trying to tell me that you dont know or understand what "equals" means? Like, the expression 1+1=2 is some mysterious nantoka, whatever beyond your comprehension??

---------- Post added 04-11-2010 at 12:02 AM ----------

Well, you're out of luck, because I'm fully out of tolerance for free will deniers. Work it out yourself.


At one point you were the person I respected most on these forums. Now it seems you can't keep your cool day to day. Maybe you need a break?
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Sat 10 Apr, 2010 09:09 am
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper;150225 wrote:
At one point you were the person I respected most on these forums.
Wow, you got me there, I dont know how to reply.
Night Ripper;150225 wrote:
Maybe you need a break?
Could be, might be related to cherry blossom season, or then again, maybe internet fora aren't my metier.
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Sat 10 Apr, 2010 09:10 am
@zefloid13,
zefloid13;150205 wrote:
Yes, another thread on free will (at list I hope it will become a thread). But instead of arguing about whether it is true, I would like to know if anyone believes the idea is overrated. We've had ingrained in our minds that freedom is invaluable, but being free to choose seems to carry just as many bad implications as good. Anyone else?


I think freedom is overrated in the free will argument yes. People don't complain about being "shackled" by the laws of gravity, but they don't like the idea of being "shackled" by cause and effect--but that just boils down to a lot of "if you eat something that tastes delicious, you'll be forced to like it!" type statements in the end I think.

By having "bad implications" you're talking about the implications that determinism being false would bring?
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Sat 10 Apr, 2010 09:13 am
@Jebediah,
Night Ripper:
after continuously reading crap like
Jebediah;150227 wrote:
being "shackled" by cause and effect
do you never feel like going out and burning down the town?
 
trismegisto
 
Reply Sat 10 Apr, 2010 09:15 am
@zefloid13,
zefloid13;150205 wrote:
Yes, another thread on free will (at list I hope it will become a thread). But instead of arguing about whether it is true, I would like to know if anyone believes the idea is overrated. We've had ingrained in our minds that freedom is invaluable, but being free to choose seems to carry just as many bad implications as good. Anyone else?


It's not so much that Free Will is overrated as much is that is non-existent. Can you demonstrate one instance of free will that you have witnessed?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 10 Apr, 2010 09:20 am
@trismegisto,
trismegisto;150230 wrote:
It's not so much that Free Will is overrated as much is that is non-existent. Can you demonstrate one instance of free will that you have witnessed?


Of course. I freely chose to have vanilla ice cream the other day, and freely rejected chocolate and butter-scotch (which I hate). No one forced me to choose vanilla. I wanted to have vanilla. But this discussion is a derail. Think of the question as, "Supposing there is free will, is it over-rated?"
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Sat 10 Apr, 2010 09:24 am
@trismegisto,
trismegisto;150230 wrote:
Can you demonstrate one instance of free will that you have witnessed?
Free will is conscious choice from amongst realisable alternatives.
I can type 01, and I can type 10. It is thereby established that I have two realisable alternatives, my option set {01,10}.
A choice is the construction of a set with exactly one element and that element is a proper subset of an option set.
I am conscious.
I have consciously considered the consequences of my choice.
{01}
I have constructed a set with exactly one element, which is a proper subset of my option set. In fact, I have demonstrated free will.
 
zefloid13
 
Reply Sat 10 Apr, 2010 09:25 am
@trismegisto,
Hmm...had no idea this would fire up so many people. Well, I'll respond to trismegisto. As I said in the first post (perhaps not clearly enough) that my concern is not about the actuality of free will (do we have it or not), but, assuming that we do (or at least that we have convinced ourselves so, which seems to be the case for many people), is it everything it's shaped up to be?

And by bad implications I generally mean that fact that we always have bad as well as good choices--it's often noted by apologetics that we must have such a choice, otherwise we are not truly free. But is this really so?
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Sat 10 Apr, 2010 09:28 am
@zefloid13,
zefloid13;150236 wrote:
by bad implications I generally mean that fact that we always have bad as well as good choices
In other words, we have ways of choosing, which are essentials of free will!
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 10 Apr, 2010 09:36 am
@zefloid13,
zefloid13;150236 wrote:
Hmm...had no idea this would fire up so many people. Well, I'll respond to trismegisto. As I said in the first post (perhaps not clearly enough) that my concern is not about the actuality of free will (do we have it or not), but, assuming that we do (or at least that we have convinced ourselves so, which seems to be the case for many people), is it everything it's shaped up to be?

And by bad implications I generally mean that fact that we always have bad as well as good choices--it's often noted by apologetics that we must have such a choice, otherwise we are not truly free. But is this really so?


You seem to be saying two different things 1. That the downside of freedom of the will is having bad, as well as good choices, and 2. you are asking whether unless we have bad choices we would not be free. Isn't that right?

1. I don't see how we can have only good, but not bad choices. (See 2) But that might, indeed be a downside of freewill.

2. Since if we have a good choice, then it would be a bad choice not to do the good choice, how would it be possible to have a good choice and not a bad choice? It would not be possible. And unless we have choices, we would not be free, so, it follows that unless we have bad choices we would not be free.

---------- Post added 04-10-2010 at 11:40 AM ----------

ughaibu;150238 wrote:
In other words, we have ways of choosing, which are essentials of free will!


If an "essential of free will" is only a necessary condition of free will, then of course, if we have only the necessary conditions of free will, then it does not follow that we have free will unless we also have the sufficient conditions of free will. Now, we may choose, yet be forced to choose. In that case, we are not free even if we can choose.
 
trismegisto
 
Reply Sat 10 Apr, 2010 09:40 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;150233 wrote:
Of course. I freely chose to have vanilla ice cream the other day, and freely rejected chocolate and butter-scotch (which I hate). No one forced me to choose vanilla. I wanted to have vanilla. But this discussion is a derail. Think of the question as, "Supposing there is free will, is it over-rated?"


To believe that free will exists makes it over-rated.

Every decision we make is the result of our experiences. Since it is impossible to duplicate any given moment there is no way of making a different choice.
 
 

 
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