What is Free Will?

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Fil Albuquerque
 
Reply Thu 25 Mar, 2010 09:00 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;143806 wrote:
I think this is an ingenious way of looking at it...I think I was pushing this general conclusion earlier but I was never quite comfortable explaining why. People don't really feel that the fact that we jerk our hand away from something hot is an indication that we don't have free will. That's a very direct and obvious causal chain. So why do we feel differently when we see that our other actions are longer, more obscure causal chains?

The comparison to consciousness hits it exactly.


---------- Post added 03-25-2010 at 10:12 PM ----------

 
Jebediah
 
Reply Thu 25 Mar, 2010 09:21 pm
@fast,
But I think the mistake is assuming that since our actions are "forced" by the electrons in the brain, that they are forced on the whole. The fact that we didn't choose our basic biology doesn't mean that we don't make choices. I think I was saying this earlier--I just had trouble saying why, because the "every action you take was decided ages ago" argument is impressive.
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
Reply Thu 25 Mar, 2010 09:32 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;143829 wrote:
But I think the mistake is assuming that since our actions are "forced" by the electrons in the brain, that they are forced on the whole. The fact that we didn't choose our basic biology doesn't mean that we don't make choices. I think I was saying this earlier--I just had trouble saying why, because the "every action you take was decided ages ago" argument is impressive.
 
Night Ripper
 
Reply Thu 25 Mar, 2010 09:37 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;143829 wrote:
But I think the mistake is assuming that since our actions are "forced" by the electrons in the brain, that they are forced on the whole. The fact that we didn't choose our basic biology doesn't mean that we don't make choices. I think I was saying this earlier--I just had trouble saying why, because the "every action you take was decided ages ago" argument is impressive.


A more elegant solution is to deny that anything is "forced" at all. The laws of nature are true statements in that they accurately describe how the physical universe behaves. The laws of nature are not actual law-like rules that the universe must obey. If I say "you will wear a yellow shirt tomorrow" and it turns out to be true, it's only because you actually did wear a yellow shirt. The truth (or falsity) of my statement follows from whatever you do. In the same way, the laws of nature follow from however the universe behaves. If I say "nothing ever travels faster than the speed of light" then that statement is true (or false) based on what actually happens and how light actually behaves. Why would anyone think that the universe acts a certain way because some statement, some law, is true?
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
Reply Thu 25 Mar, 2010 09:41 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,


---------- Post added 03-25-2010 at 10:46 PM ----------

Night Ripper;143836 wrote:
A more elegant solution is to deny that anything is "forced" at all. The laws of nature are true statements in that they accurately describe how the physical universe behaves. The laws of nature are not actual law-like rules that the universe must obey. If I say "you will wear a yellow shirt tomorrow" and it turns out to be true, it's only because you actually did wear a yellow shirt. The truth (or falsity) of my statement follows from whatever you do. In the same way, the laws of nature follow from however the universe behaves. If I say "nothing ever travels faster than the speed of light" then that statement is true (or false) based on what actually happens and how light actually behaves. Why would anyone think that the universe acts a certain way because some statement, some law, is true?


Its not a question of the Universe following the LAW its more like about, it Being the LAW, in a supra Time conception...something done, finished, and packed...a perfect circle/bubble...anyway I truly respect your perspective and only expect tough fighting back from you ! The same goes for you Night Ripper ! Smile
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Fri 26 Mar, 2010 01:14 pm
@fast,
fast;111522 wrote:
I'd like to begin the process of creating a special written definition of "free will" that I agree with. I call it a special definition because I don't know what else to call it. It may start out as a stipulative definition, but as I tweak it more and more, I'd like it to resemble what some may call a lexical definition, but I want it to be highly informative and superior to typical lexical definitions. I'd like it to resemble an explanation flush with particularly important buzzwords.

As we begin talking about what you think free will is, I'll be particularly interested in the exact words you use. For example, if you use the word, "desire," and if I think that word conveys too much passion, then I may prefer to use the word, "want" instead.

Although I do want to know what you think free will is, keep in mind that what I want in the end is a good working definition of "free will" that I agree with, so despite any disagreement we may have, any help in formulating the definition that fits what I believe is true will be appreciated.

To give you an idea of what I believe is true, understand that I lean heavily towards how a soft determinist may use the term.
It's when you are freed of all morals, ethics, laws, group think, and other basic instincts that will control your behaviour.

..in short ..an utterly psycotic person.
 
mark gamson
 
Reply Fri 7 May, 2010 08:29 am
@fast,
fast;111522 wrote:
I'd like to begin the process of creating a special written definition of "free will" that I agree with. I call it a special definition because I don't know what else to call it. It may start out as a stipulative definition, but as I tweak it more and more, I'd like it to resemble what some may call a lexical definition, but I want it to be highly informative and superior to typical lexical definitions. I'd like it to resemble an explanation flush with particularly important buzzwords.

As we begin talking about what you think free will is, I'll be particularly interested in the exact words you use. For example, if you use the word, "desire," and if I think that word conveys too much passion, then I may prefer to use the word, "want" instead.

Although I do want to know what you think free will is, keep in mind that what I want in the end is a good working definition of "free will" that I agree with, so despite any disagreement we may have, any help in formulating the definition that fits what I believe is true will be appreciated.

To give you an idea of what I believe is true, understand that I lean heavily towards how a soft determinist may use the term.



Is free will relevant? are we not just doing and being what we are deemed to do and bee.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Fri 7 May, 2010 08:35 am
@mark gamson,
mark gamson;161239 wrote:
Is free will relevant? are we not just doing and being what we are deemed to do and bee.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 7 May, 2010 08:36 am
@mark gamson,
mark gamson;161239 wrote:
Is free will relevant? are we not just doing and being what we are deemed to do and bee.


Deemed by? And bees just buzz around.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Fri 7 May, 2010 12:09 pm
@mark gamson,
mark gamson;161239 wrote:
Is free will relevant? are we not just doing and being what we are deemed to do and bee.


Who's doing the deeming?
 
mark gamson
 
Reply Fri 7 May, 2010 12:39 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;161287 wrote:
Who's doing the deeming?


The answer to your question is, anyone, thing or power that resides in control. Is there an overall greater power that resides? thats another question, another question is are we in control of every factor of our lives and existence if the answer is no then free will does not work or stand.

Mark.
 
Zetherin
 
Reply Fri 7 May, 2010 12:43 pm
@mark gamson,
mark gamson;161301 wrote:
The answer to your question is, anyone, thing or power that resides in control. Is there an overall greater power that resides? thats another question, another question is are we in control of every factor of our lives and existence if the answer is no then free will does not work or stand.

Mark.


Since we are not in control of every factor of our lives, we do not have free will?

So, because I didn't control my predisposition for colon cancer, I can't choose to eat icecream today?
 
Diogenes phil
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 12:11 pm
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;161306 wrote:
Since we are not in control of every factor of our lives, we do not have free will?

So, because I didn't control my predisposition for colon cancer, I can't choose to eat icecream today?


That's the general idea, yes.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 12:18 pm
@Diogenes phil,
Diogenes;161801 wrote:
That's the general idea, yes.


If that were the "general idea" it would be clearly false, But I don't think that is the "general idea". What is the idea is that although it may not be up to me whether I contract colon cancer, it is up to me whether I eat ice-cream. Unless, of course, it is forced down my throat.
 
 

 
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