Free Will

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Snoopy, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. salishan

    salishan freesoul

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    in a "state of nature" , there is no free-will
    there is only instinctual pre-programming

    in the "status quo of culture" , there is only a choice of "options"
    & "choice" is consumerism , not free-will

    there is not free-will where "ego" or "ideology" is present
    (not where "instinct" or "training" points the way)

    rather , where one instinct is set against another instinct
    "nature" itself is neutralized , & a real decision can be made

    rather , where training is harshly & shamelessly unraveled
    "culture" itself disappears , & a real decision can be made

    free-will is super-natural , (is divine behavior)
    is Gyd (with u) , pointing a new direction

    free-will is undermined-culture , (is profane behavior)
    is dark-art (getting under u'r skin) , inducing an ulterior transaction

     
  2. Shibolet

    Shibolet Well-Known Member

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    I believe in Freewill, and I mean, in absolute terms. Freewill is among the divine attributes shared with man. It neutralizes the Hellenist determinism of the Greek which was adopted by Christianity under the name of pre-determination. Freewill proves God fair while determinism would work the opposite to prove God unfair to pre-determinate some and not all. Last but not least, Freewill is Biblical. Determinism is Hellenist.
     
  3. Marcialou

    Marcialou We are stardust

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    I haven’t been able to follow all the philosophical discussions on this thread but I think that free will that needs to be addressed in any serious discussion of religion.

    When it comes to most things I am a determinist except for 1)quantum mechanics, where I am an indeterminist and 2)the human mind, where I am a proponent of free will. Is this logical? Maybe, maybe not.

    I have no argument for free will except that it is self-evident. I feel like I am choosing things all the time. I think everyone reading this feels like they are making choices all of the time. Making choices is only possible if there is free will. But is free will an illusion?

    One could argue that we are born with certain temperaments and abilities. Our environments shape how those temperaments and abilities take form as we mature. Medications and recreational drugs can alter our perceptions and influence the choices we make. How much room is there for free will, given all the factors that constrain who we are and considerably narrow, if not determine, our choices?

    If I believed in God I could argue that God has given us free will; that He has detached us from the deterministic forces that would otherwise completely control us. But I don’t believe in God. Instead I argue that our minds are more than the sum of our brain-parts but that our choices are limited, but not totally controlled, by our social environment, the particular circumstances we find ourselves in, and our brain chemistry.

    I find it so interesting to realize that I am a person of faith. I don’t believe in God but I do believe in free-will. While my mind is flexible enough that I can imagine there being a God it is not flexible enough to imagine no free will.

    Does anyone not believe in free will? I think Salishan, Shibolet, and I are the only ones to have declared themselves on this thread.

    P.S: Snoopy, thanks for bringing up the science of free will.

    Salishan, I like the way you tease out the different factors that encourage or inhibit free will but I think your requirements for free will are too stringent to be met in the real world.
     
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I believe in free will....to an extent.

    I believe we have the choice to live the life we want...but in the end....we all end up in the same place....

    physically, metaphysically, spiritually....
     
  5. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    Marcialou said "When it comes to most things I am a determinist except for 1)quantum mechanics, where I am an indeterminist and 2)the human mind, where I am a proponent of free will."

    This is a very interesting set of opposites, Marcia. You believe that the universe is deterministic, with the exception of the human mind which you believe has free will. Why do you make the exception for the human mind when you believe the rest of reality has an irrevocable cause and effect that is destined to happen?
     
  6. Marcialou

    Marcialou We are stardust

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    There are different ways of knowing things and when you use different ways of knowing, you can get different results. Most of my understanding of the world comes from some combination of observation, talking to people, my personal experiences (viewed at least somewhat objectively), reading and common sense. From this I get the impression that science shows most things in the physical world to be deterministic. If you roll a ball of a certain size down a ramp of a certain length and at a certain angle, you can predict quite accurately how long it will take to get to the bottom.

    However, what I know about free will is mostly from the highly subjective experience of my mind. I experience my ability to make choices on such a visceral level that my mind rebels against anything else. To dismiss free will would rob me of an essential sense of self. It would put me into an existential tail-spin. Sure, my rational mind can see why free will might not exist. To quote from my earlier post:

    But never-the-less, in my gut, I firmly believe in free will and I suspect everyone else does too. Does anyone reading this not believe in free will or know somebody who does not? What’s your opinion. GKnot?
     
  7. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    Questions, does animals possess free will? Some? All? Non? One alternative to free will learnt or biological reflex responses to our environment. I have personally not dismissed the notion.
     
  8. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    Marcia,
    So the deterministic side of your thinking is the laws of physics that govern our reality. Yes?

    Free will would not be limited to just humans though. Per Tea's question I believe that most mammals have a certain amount of free will, varying on the degree that instinct rules their lives.

    The creatures with a simpler brain structure like most critters with the reptilian brain seem to have little to no free will. They live almost completely on instinct. Fish, birds, insects seem to have more of a communal mindset than an individual one.

    Summing up all the above my answer is yes, with reservations (See next paragraph). Humans have a wide range of free will, as do all other living things with the caveat that the more instinctual an animals mind, the less free will they are capable of.

    The important point to be made is that free will is not a binary question. It is not yes or no. Humans seem to have a very wide range of free will but I suspect there is a limit and that some of the functioning of the brain is more deterministic than we would like to think.
     
  9. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Anyone who has called a dog knows they have free will.

    Anyone who has trained a dog to hunt, yet not chase rabbits, knows instincts are strong....if a dog chooses to listen to my voice over the instinct to chase is that free will or my will, asks wil.
     
  10. Marcialou

    Marcialou We are stardust

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    I agree that more highly evolved mammals probably have some free will, wil (and GKnot.) I don't know if that includes my dog, though.
     
  11. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    Nature vs nurture, in psychology you are giving your dog new reflex behaviour by a reward system. I'm simply arguing the other side, I don't think it's provable, and we might very well ask the wrong question.
     
  12. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    A new reflex action? But the dog chooses....the chase...or return to me.
     
  13. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    How do you know it's a choice? What makes that choice different from instinct? Why does it choose that?
     
  14. Shibolet

    Shibolet Well-Known Member

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  15. Shibolet

    Shibolet Well-Known Member

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    My answer to your question is negative. I don't think animals possess free will as they behave under the natural concept of instinct and not intuition.
     
  16. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    Shib, My answer to your negative is positive. You are positively incorrect. Lumping all animals under one categorical statement is to deny the reality you perceive every day. I do not know if this is your belief or not. It has been common for those who put humans on another level than all other living creatures is because of the misconception that humans are somehow inherently different from all other life on the planet.

    We are not. Humans are animals. Or more specifically mammals. In this iteration of life on Earth mammals have the highest level of free will as opposed to fixed instincts. Humans 'appear' to have the greatest separation of the two distinct varieties of behavior. Other mammals have a level of separation between the two depending on a host of factors. Some mammals have about as much free will as we do. Many have much less than we do, but there is still plenty of free will left for them to access.

    The less complex the brain structure, the more they must exist on instinct. The reptilian brain (which makes up the base of the human brain by the way) leaves almost no room for free will. Every thing they do is preprogrammed into them by instinct.
     
  17. Shibolet

    Shibolet Well-Known Member

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    Man has been granted the attribute of Intellect; the irrational animal has not. Man can reason between good and evil as morality is concerned; the irrational animal cannot. Man can judge among themselves on the basis of morality; the irrational animal cannot. Man can be taught moral principles; the irrational animal cannot. Have you got the idea or you need some more?
     
  18. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    No. No more needed. I most definitively got your idea.
     
  19. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Evidently not all men.
     
  20. Shibolet

    Shibolet Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your kindness.
     

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