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Featured we have no free will - prove me wrong!

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Eddi, Jan 23, 2019.

  1. sayak83

    sayak83 Well-Known Member
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    I would define free will as being consciously aware of multiple courses of action, having the ability to consciously reflect on the approapriateness of each alternatives, and then acting on one of them based on those reflections.
    Your definition is somewhat trivial. Even the most elementary processes in the universe (as happens in the subatomic realm) are not fully determined by the past events. That is the fundamental nature of the world....as we have discovered through Quantum Physics. Fully deterministic processes are as rare as a blue moon. So why would the mind be constrained in such a way?
     
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  2. dianaiad

    dianaiad Well-Known Member

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    Well, if you define the term in such a way as to agree with your objections, it's easy to prove your point. However, 'free will' isn't about being able to act without outside influences. "Free Will" is about being able to choose between options actually available to us. Under your definition, 'free will' might well include the ability to decide to be flying around, 10,000 feet up, under one's own flapping arms without any mechanical aids.

    In reality, 'free will' is about being able to judge between influences and desires in order to pick among the logical and possible options in front of us.

    In fact, if there were no free will, no robber or kidnapper would have to hold a banker's family hostage in order to force him to rob his own bank. A kidnapper wouldn't have to steal away a family member in order to coerce someone to pay money to get that family member back.

    Even so, the choice is there; does the banker or relative have the choice between rob...and not rob, pay the ransom, or not pay? Of course s/he does. If s/he didn't, there would be no need to, literally, hold a gun to the heads of the people being threatened if s/he makes the wrong (not paying) choice.

    ...and still the FBI and other law enforcement people tell you not to pay, but to leave things in their hands. What a choice...but it IS a choice.

    Free will isn't about having every and any choice. It's about being able to choose at all, knowing that one's choices will have consequences. You don't pay the ransom? You will be mourning a family member. But the choice is yours...nobody is going to tie a puppet string to your arm and use you to pay it, will you, nil you.

    No sir, free will is the ability to choose between available options...with the consequences of those choices...and there are always, and I mean always, available options, right up until unconsciousness or death. Perhaps extremely constrained, to be certain, but they are there.
     
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  3. dfnj

    dfnj Well-Known Member

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    You get to choose whether or not your have free will. Good luck!
     
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  4. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    Seems to me that you were free to not beg the question, but you chose to do so anyway.

    Bad logic does not lead to truth.
     
  5. dfnj

    dfnj Well-Known Member

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    #1. We are drawn to God because we have no choice.
     
  6. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    Not really.
    Sounds like a reason to question what we know about science as well. Is it possible to have accurate statistical analysis without control?
     
  7. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    Cause is the illusion
     
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  8. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    In what sense?

    .
     
  9. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    In the same sense you assert free will is the illusion.
     
  10. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    So you would have me believe you don't think anything is caused.

    Unless you want to be serious, have a good day.

    .
     
  11. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    As serious as anyone's assertion that freewill does not exist.
     
  12. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Crazy Diamond

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    Yes, and it's but one of many examples that chip away at the notion of free will. How much of our behavior is of our own will when there is so much going on that seeks to manipulate us? Free will, or the expectations of gender norms and behaviors? Freely chosen, or something you picked up from your parents?
     
  13. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Crazy Diamond

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    Cause is clearly not an illusion. We can look at genetics, hormones, culture, personal experiences, and they all directly cause a very massive chunk of who we are and how we behave and react to various situations. We don't eat bugs in America, something that is directly the result of a culture that views it as disgusting and foreign, something caused by many things such as convenience foods and the expectations that food is either grown or be a farm animal or fish. But to much of the world insects are food, and it's weird to not eat them.
    And if cause is an illusion advertising would not exist and companies would pump billions into marketing research. Pavlov's dogs wouldn't be a thing. And it's arguable that troops would never come back from war with PTSD. Rape victims would be unscathed. And a positive and encouraging upbringing would be indistinguishable from an abusive and traumatic childhood. Science tells us, however, that such different things cause such dramatically different results that it can even literally be seen in and on the brain and the results typically and very generally and often result in two very different types of adults, one who is confident and successful and the other who has no self-esteem and tends to have unhealthy relations with others.
    If cause were an illusion, society and culture could not and would not exist.
     
  14. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    We are going to have to take this slowly. But I am glad you disagree. However please note that you have invoked freewill to assert cause. We cannot look at these without free will. We cannot know any of these things without free will. All correlation and causation you wish to imply requires control. Otherwise we cannot conclude causation. That is, we are not free to conclude causation, we are merely forced to assert causation.
     
  15. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    We have the freedom to make moral choices but not complete free will.
     
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  16. Shia Islam

    Shia Islam Quran and Ahlul-Bayt a.s.
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    Shia Muslims believe in something that is not very far from what you said. They believe that we have freewill but we can't do anything that God want us not to do.

    He (SWT) can stop us by all the means..he can just cause us to even die before doing the thing that we wanted to do.

    But be careful not to go vey far in denying freewill, otherwise an enemy can attack you and then apologizing by saying: did not you just said that I don't have freewill, so why to blame me!
     
  17. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    Among other factors, yes.
     
  18. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    More detail please? The known laws are deterministic on the macroscopic level. That's us.

    Of course.
     
  19. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    True, but the size of Planck's constant says that the distribution of possibilities for macroscopic objects is very small.

    It's possible that choices happen during situations where there is sensitive dependence on local conditions in the brain. In that sense, even slight differences in our thoughts or beliefs could lead to a different choice. But then, there is the separate issue of awareness of that sensitivity.

    One issue is that nobody can claim we *always* have free will to do whatever we want. If we are falling off a cliff, we do not have the choice to stop falling in mid air.

    More generally, our thought processes take time. Decisions take time to make and become conscious. We know, for example, that many choices are made subconsciously and only reported to the consciousness after almost half a second. Our perceptions of what happens does not match the reality.
     
  20. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    How does free will come into play in knowing these things? What choice is made? By what mechanism is it made?

    We *know* that choices typically happen subconsciousnly before being reported to the conscious mind. This typically happens up to half a second *before* the conscious mind thinks it is making a decision. This is demonstrated with brain scans and people stating when they made decisions. The times are always off.

    Already that shows there is a large amount of illusion and re-writing of the past going on in our decision making. Why would the 'feeling' of free will not be part of that illusion?
     
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