Free Will Overrated?

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kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 10 Apr, 2010 01:04 pm
@trismegisto,
trismegisto;150260 wrote:
kennethamy;150252 wrote:
Have you any good reason for saying that with my same experiences I could not have chosen chocolate? What is that reason? (Saying things that "there is no duplication of moments" isn't a reason. It is just repeating what you are saying).

Yeah, because you did not choose chocolate. All of the factors in your life leading up to that moment forced you to pick vanilla as evidenced by the fact that you had vanilla. There was never a choice.



I do not have to show that you could not have chosen differently, you already have. You proved that you could not have chosen differently by choosing vanilla.





That is really a terrible argument. How did I prove I could not have chosen chocolate by choosing vanilla? I suppose that had I chosen chocolate, you would say I had proved I could not choose vanilla by choosing chocolate!

The fact that I had a reason for choosing vanilla (I like vanilla is my reason) doesn't show I was forced to choose vanilla. In fact, that I had a reason for choosing vanilla shows that I wasn't forced to choose vanilla. If someone had held a gun to my head, and told me, "Choose vanilla or die!" then I would have been forced to choose vanilla, since I did not want to have vanilla and I was forced to choose it. But how could I have been forced to choose vanilla when it was vanilla that I wanted to have for dessert? You are using words to mean exactly the opposite of what they do mean.
 
trismegisto
 
Reply Sat 10 Apr, 2010 04:13 pm
@Krumple,
Krumple;150276 wrote:
I agree, I think it is overrated and in fact I think the term should be edited because it gives the wrong impression. I think it should be called limited choice because that is more realistic to what free will if it even exists would actually be. There is no actual free will to do as one wills to do. That simply is not possible.


I could accept limited choice I suppose. In which case, YES, limited choice is entirely overrated!

---------- Post added 04-10-2010 at 03:20 PM ----------

kennethamy;150308 wrote:
That is really a terrible argument. How did I prove I could not have chosen chocolate by choosing vanilla? I suppose that had I chosen chocolate, you would say I had proved I could not choose vanilla by choosing chocolate!


Exactly, now you are starting to get it.

kennethamy;150308 wrote:
The fact that I had a reason for choosing vanilla (I like vanilla is my reason) doesn't show I was forced to choose vanilla.


Actually, it does. But go on...

kennethamy;150308 wrote:
In fact, that I had a reason for choosing vanilla shows that I wasn't forced to choose vanilla.


See thats where you go wrong. The fact tha you had a reason to choose vanilla shows that you were forced to choose vanilla.

kennethamy;150308 wrote:
If someone had held a gun to my head, and told me, "Choose vanilla or die!" then I would have been forced to choose vanilla, since I did not want to have vanilla and I was forced to choose it.


Thats is not correct. If someone held a gun to your head and told you to choose vanilla or die. Then you will live or die based on your experiences and whether or not you are capable of accepting the ultimatum.

You are not following your logic out far enough.


kennethamy;150308 wrote:
But how could I have been forced to choose vanilla when it was vanilla that I wanted to have for dessert?


Because you already wanted vanilla made any other option irrelevant. In fact, by preconceiving a desire for it there was no choice to begin with. You deceived yourself all along.

kennethamy;150308 wrote:
You are using words to mean exactly the opposite of what they do mean.


I think you need a new dictionary
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Sun 11 Apr, 2010 02:03 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu;150290 wrote:
Of course it matters. Like what is true and what is false, do you think that there is any case in which it doesn't matter?


Ideologically truth matters, we like to be right, we like to think we know what's going on, we feel the need to find causes, to puzzle out problems we are abstract thinkers and that which is the prime mover is that which we assume will reveal all thing unto us. Yet in action we behave quite differently. Be a stalker for a couple days, follow someone around after having come to know what their professed core ideologies are. Notice how their behavior differs from their ideals without them even noticing that it does. This is much the same as finding the ultimate truth about free will, our ideals about it may or may not match our behavior concerning it. this does not even broach the socio-cultural need for at least the ideal of free will. I mean who will I hold responsible for decisions I don't agree with?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 11 Apr, 2010 09:29 am
@trismegisto,
trismegisto;150365 wrote:
I could accept limited choice I suppose. In which case, YES, limited choice is entirely overrated!

---------- Post added 04-10-2010 at 03:20 PM ----------



Exactly, now you are starting to get it.



Actually, it does. But go on...



See thats where you go wrong. The fact tha you had a reason to choose vanilla shows that you were forced to choose vanilla.



Thats is not correct. If someone held a gun to your head and told you to choose vanilla or die. Then you will live or die based on your experiences and whether or not you are capable of accepting the ultimatum.

You are not following your logic out far enough.




Because you already wanted vanilla made any other option irrelevant. In fact, by preconceiving a desire for it there was no choice to begin with. You deceived yourself all along.



I think you need a new dictionary



I think you may be confusing two different things:

1. I must, if I choose vanilla, choose vanilla.
2. If I choose vanilla, I must choose vanilla.

(Please notice where the term "must" is located in each of the above sentences)

Now, 1. is, of course, true. In fact, it is a tautology, and necessarily true. But 2. is just false. It does not follow from the fact that if I chose vanilla, that I could not have chosen chocolate.

And, of course, 2. does not follow from 1.

This confusion, by the way, is an instance of what is called in logic, "the modal fallacy". It is very prevalent.
 
trismegisto
 
Reply Sun 11 Apr, 2010 12:34 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;150538 wrote:
I think you may be confusing two different things:

1. I must, if I choose vanilla, choose vanilla.
2. If I choose vanilla, I must choose vanilla.

(Please notice where the term "must" is located in each of the above sentences)

Now, 1. is, of course, true. In fact, it is a tautology, and necessarily true. But 2. is just false. It does not follow from the fact that if I chose vanilla, that I could not have chosen chocolate.

And, of course, 2. does not follow from 1.

This confusion, by the way, is an instance of what is called in logic, "the modal fallacy". It is very prevalent.


I hear what you were saying and if there was a way that a single moment could be duplicated then you would definitely have a point. However, since there is no duplicated moments there are no choices. Free will just doesn't exist, never has and never will.

Let me add more.


In every moment we are presented with a choice. For every choice there are only two possible outcomes, Necessity and Destiny.

Necessity are the actions we take based on experience alone. Experience being our interaction with natural phenomena.

Destiny is a greater path available to those of us who consciously contemplate our experiences, remember our knowledge, and understand right action.

When you chose vanilla you either did so based on Necessity or Destiny, neither of which are of free will. Necessity is the choice you make based on your past experiences with ice cream, with your current mood, with the left over flavors in your mouth with the desire of your stomach. You may spend a moment contemplating the joys of chocolate but ultimately your choice will be what your experience dictates. Destiny is the choice you make by contemplating all your options and determining what substance will give you the greatest pleasure and progress your journey. The vanilla is most delicious of all the flavors and will complement the left over coffee taste in your mouth, it is the least fattening (we'll assume all this) and impresses the person you are with.

There are hundreds of calculations that go into ever choice in every moment.

In addition, Free Will, is a hypothesis that can never be demonstrated. There is no way to recreate any given moment to attempt to make an alternate choice.

And finally, on a whacky christian note. God said, "Thou Shalt Not...!" If any choices were offered it was by a baddie. Can you really trust a baddie? if a baddie says you gotta choice, chances are you don't really.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 11 Apr, 2010 02:22 pm
@trismegisto,
trismegisto;150559 wrote:
I hear what you were saying and if there was a way that a single moment could be duplicated then you would definitely have a point. However, since there is no duplicated moments there are no choices. Free will just doesnt exist, never has and never will.


What has the "duplicated moment" to do with it? Why can't something different have happened at the same moment? Or, indeed, why can't the same thing happen at different moments? Whose rule is that? I lift my finger at this moment, and then I lift the same finger in the same way, the next moment. I cannot both lift my finger and not lift my finger the same moment, but, so what? That just logic, not determinism. I just cannot do both the same thing, and also a different thing, at the same time. So? It is still the modal fallacy. You are confusing:

1. Necessarily, if I do X at time, T1, I cannot do not-X at time, T1, with,
2. If I do X at time T1, I necessarily cannot do not-X at time, T1.

1. is true. But 2. is false. And 1 does not follow from 2. It is the same fallacy as I point out in the earlier post.

You are mistaking a non-logical falsity for a logical truth.
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Sun 11 Apr, 2010 03:25 pm
@zefloid13,
zefloid13;150205 wrote:
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?



I think it would be good if you could tell us what, precisely, you mean by "free will". Some people take it as kennethamy has presented it, and others imagine it to be something that is incompatible with determinism.

For more on this, see:

Compatibilism and incompatibilism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


zefloid13;150261 wrote:
Let me try to rephrase my question more concisely: Does the supposed value of free will plausibly justify God's creation of a world that permits evil?



For that, it would probably have been better to start off mentioning that that is what primarily interests you. It would appear to involve an idea that "free will" is something incompatible with determinism, as otherwise, it would seem that god could have made the preceding causes such that people would choose the good and not make bad choices. Frankly, that sounds like a far better world than this one, and even nothing existing sounds better to me that what exists, given all of the terrible things that have happened (and will happen).

It seems to me that it would be better to be unable to make bad choices, and only be able to choose what is good. (Keep in mind, choice as described by kennethamy above, or in terms of a compatiblist view of "choice".)


zefloid13;150272 wrote:
Alright, you guys are just splitting hairs here. I am asking that question from the context of Plantinga's supposed refutation of the argument from evil, which says that it is possible for God to not be able to actualize a world in which only good exists, because that would deprive us of free will, and free will, we suppose, is more valuable than no free will.

We can get into the semantics of this if you'd like (I myself tend to do so), but it only conflates the question.



Plantinga appears to assume an incompatiblist version of "free will", which may be a wrong view of the matter. See:

Plantinga's free will defense - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Incompatiblist versions of free will end up with strange things that are not easily explained. For example, normally, one is thought to be free when one selects what one wants. But why does one want what one wants? That is something that it seems unlikely to itself have been a choice, as, for example, you probably do not want to repeatedly jab yourself in the eye with a needle. And if you cannot want to do that, in what sense are you free to do it? You could, of course, do it if you wanted to do it, but it is implausible to say that most people could want to do it. And so with other things; one wants what one wants for a variety of reasons, which themselves ultimately have nothing to do with "choice" or "free will" at all. But read the articles at the above links, and also:

Free will - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Free Will[The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]

Free Will (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Incompatibilist (Nondeterministic) Theories of Free Will (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
 
trismegisto
 
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 02:25 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;150578 wrote:
What has the "duplicated moment" to do with it? Why can't something different have happened at the same moment? Or, indeed, why can't the same thing happen at different moments? Whose rule is that? I lift my finger at this moment, and then I lift the same finger in the same way, the next moment. I cannot both lift my finger and not lift my finger the same moment, but, so what? That just logic, not determinism. I just cannot do both the same thing, and also a different thing, at the same time. So? It is still the modal fallacy. You are confusing:

1. Necessarily, if I do X at time, T1, I cannot do not-X at time, T1, with,
2. If I do X at time T1, I necessarily cannot do not-X at time, T1.

1. is true. But 2. is false. And 1 does not follow from 2. It is the same fallacy as I point out in the earlier post.

You are mistaking a non-logical falsity for a logical truth.


Well, I have tried to show you the mistake you have made. Either I did a poor job of explaining or you are not capable of understanding. My reply is lucid so I fear there is no more I can do.

As always you may continue to believe what ever you wish as I will continue to know what I know.
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 02:38 pm
@trismegisto,
trismegisto;151021 wrote:
Well, I have tried to show you the mistake you have made. Either I did a poor job of explaining or you are not capable of understanding. My reply is lucid so I fear there is no more I can do.

As always you may continue to believe what ever you wish as I will continue to know what I know.


Tris, it may be neither bad explanation or capability of understanding, s/he may just disagree. What can a person do?
 
trismegisto
 
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 03:08 pm
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead;151030 wrote:
Tris, it may be neither bad explanation or capability of understanding, s/he may just disagree. What can a person do?


Just move on to the next fun topic and see where it leads.
 
hue-man
 
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 03:10 pm
@zefloid13,
zefloid13;150205 wrote:
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?


I for one believe that the concept of free will is overrated. I don't believe this because being free to choose carries too many bad implications, though. I believe it's overrated because while it may tell us that there is freedom of the will in the absence of coercion, it does not tell us what the actual causes of our actions are. It also begs the question of whether or not the will is conscious or just another unconscious regularity of nature (I believe the that the latter is true). I think that we value the idea of free will so much because it gives us a sense of power and with that power comes responsibility.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 05:01 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man;151056 wrote:
I for one believe that the concept of free will is overrated. I don't believe this because being free to choose carries too many bad implications, though. I believe it's overrated because while it may tell us that there is freedom of the will in the absence of coercion, it does not tell us what the actual causes of our actions are. It also begs the question of whether or not the will is conscious or just another unconscious regularity of nature (I believe the that the latter is true). I think that we value the idea of free will so much because it gives us a sense of power and with that power comes responsibility.
I thought it was the appeal to our inner selfish desires by mass marketing, polticians and their spin doctors ..etc, that dictated our understanding "free will" in the west, that is the cause of our actions.

It's quite celarly defined in the psycology, Imo it's quite basic psycology.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 06:11 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man;151056 wrote:
I for one believe that the concept of free will is overrated. I don't believe this because being free to choose carries too many bad implications, though. I believe it's overrated because while it may tell us that there is freedom of the will in the absence of coercion, it does not tell us what the actual causes of our actions are. It also begs the question of whether or not the will is conscious or just another unconscious regularity of nature (I believe the that the latter is true). I think that we value the idea of free will so much because it gives us a sense of power and with that power comes responsibility.


On the contrary, we rate it highly because as Kant wrote, "ought implies can". And that means that making ethical judgments implies freedom of the will, so that without freedom of the will, there is no ethics. To judge that a person ought to do X implies that he is able to do X. And, by contraposition, unless a person can do X, it is false that he ought to do X.
 
hue-man
 
Reply Mon 12 Apr, 2010 08:22 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;151125 wrote:
On the contrary, we rate it highly because as Kant wrote, "ought implies can". And that means that making ethical judgments implies freedom of the will, so that without freedom of the will, there is no ethics. To judge that a person ought to do X implies that he is able to do X. And, by contraposition, unless a person can do X, it is false that he ought to do X.


My psychological theory is that we rate the concept of free will so highly because it gives us a sense of power and, like I said, with power comes responsibility. I see no contrast between your statements on the matter and my own. My theory isn't incompatible with your above statements if you understand me correctly.

Also, I think that you're speaking specifically of why philosophers rate free will so highly, but I was speaking in general. Specifically speaking, I agree that philosophers rate the idea so highly because of its implications on the field of ethics. I also believe that the field of ethics and philosophy itself is an expression of the will to power.
 
 

 
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