Why 'Free Will' is Logically Impossible

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Why 'Free Will' is Logically Impossible

Post #1

Post by Rational Atheist »

Here is a simple, yet powerful, argument against the idea that we 'freely' choose our actions.

1. Our thoughts determine our choices.

2. We do not freely choose our thoughts.

3. Therefore, our choices cannot be free.

I don't think anyone would object to premise 1, especially those who believe in free will, since by definition, a "free" choice, if it could exist, requires a person to consciously make it, which by definition involves thought. Premise 2 may be controversial to some, but with a simple thought experiment, it can be proven to be true. If a person could freely choose their thoughts, then they would have to be able to consciously choose what they were going to think before actually thinking it. In other words, there would have to be a time before a person thinks a thought that that thought was consciously chosen by a person, which literally entails the necessity of being able to think a thought before one thinks it. This, of course, is a logical contradiction. Ergo, free will does not exist.

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Re: Why 'Free Will' is Logically Impossible

Post #11

Post by Aetixintro »

[Replying to Rational Atheist in post #1]

I recognize your point, Rational Atheist, but there are problems with logical determinism too.

Here are 2 links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anomalous_monism

How do you support Ethics and Morality in all of it? Are they just pseudo-notions, a type of mind-play? What about exercising discipline? Discipline does not exist? I think Free Will is supported by intuition and nowadays there is a choice of the number of children to have, re family planning. I support Anomalous Free Will for this reason. Also, I think it's typical that Atheists support Determinism and religious people support Free Will.
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Re: Why 'Free Will' is Logically Impossible

Post #12

Post by Rational Atheist »

Miles wrote: Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:37 am
Rational Atheist wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 8:02 pm Nope. Choice is a conscious decision. Consciousness involves thought. Thus in order to choose your thoughts, you would have to think them before you think them, which is logically impossible.
So, why did you choose A over B?


.
Because of a thought that appeared in my conscious mind for some reason that is entirely outside of my control.

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Re: Why 'Free Will' is Logically Impossible

Post #13

Post by Rational Atheist »

Aetixintro wrote: Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:44 am [Replying to Rational Atheist in post #1]

I recognize your point, Rational Atheist, but there are problems with logical determinism too.

Here are 2 links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anomalous_monism

How do you support Ethics and Morality in all of it? Are they just pseudo-notions, a type of mind-play? What about exercising discipline? Discipline does not exist? I think Free Will is supported by intuition and nowadays there is a choice of the number of children to have, re family planning. I support Anomalous Free Will for this reason. Also, I think it's typical that Atheists support Determinism and religious people support Free Will.
You're not addressing the argument. Just because free will seems intuitive does not make it true. As far as ethics and morality go, I'm not exactly sure what you are referring to. I don't believe anyone is responsible for their actions, but we can still label some actions as "good" and "bad."

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Re: Why 'Free Will' is Logically Impossible

Post #14

Post by Miles »

Rational Atheist wrote: Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:55 pm
Miles wrote: Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:37 am
Rational Atheist wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 8:02 pm Nope. Choice is a conscious decision. Consciousness involves thought. Thus in order to choose your thoughts, you would have to think them before you think them, which is logically impossible.
So, why did you choose A over B?


.
Because of a thought that appeared in my conscious mind for some reason that is entirely outside of my control.
Right! your will wasn't able to do any differently than what it was directed to do. It really didn't choose anything. It wasn't a free will.


.

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Re: Why 'Free Will' is Logically Impossible

Post #15

Post by Aetixintro »

[Replying to Rational Atheist in post #14]

That is, just because you can make a play with cause and effect does not make Logical Determinism true either.

Rather, re anomalous origin, God seems scientifically proven by radio-astronomy on ghost detection setting (frequency range) way out there on fringes of Universe.
Anomalous origin of Free Will can be written as epistemically basic as well.

Edit:
Thus, believing in what's real is certainly logical. Therefore, not so logically impossible.

(Just for adding it here: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/freewill/.)
Last edited by Aetixintro on Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why 'Free Will' is Logically Impossible

Post #16

Post by nobspeople »

Rational Atheist wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 8:02 pm
nobspeople wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 2:53 pm
Rational Atheist wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:18 pm Here is a simple, yet powerful, argument against the idea that we 'freely' choose our actions.

1. Our thoughts determine our choices.

2. We do not freely choose our thoughts.

3. Therefore, our choices cannot be free.

I don't think anyone would object to premise 1, especially those who believe in free will, since by definition, a "free" choice, if it could exist, requires a person to consciously make it, which by definition involves thought. Premise 2 may be controversial to some, but with a simple thought experiment, it can be proven to be true. If a person could freely choose their thoughts, then they would have to be able to consciously choose what they were going to think before actually thinking it. In other words, there would have to be a time before a person thinks a thought that that thought was consciously chosen by a person, which literally entails the necessity of being able to think a thought before one thinks it. This, of course, is a logical contradiction. Ergo, free will does not exist.
I choose what to think about frequently, thus giving me, in at least some part, control over my thoughts.
Nope. Choice is a conscious decision. Consciousness involves thought. Thus in order to choose your thoughts, you would have to think them before you think them, which is logically impossible.
If you're saying you can't consciously decide what to think about, you're wrong. But that's fine - you're allowed to be wrong.

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Re: Why 'Free Will' is Logically Impossible

Post #17

Post by Rational Atheist »

nobspeople wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:25 am
Rational Atheist wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 8:02 pm
nobspeople wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 2:53 pm
Rational Atheist wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:18 pm Here is a simple, yet powerful, argument against the idea that we 'freely' choose our actions.

1. Our thoughts determine our choices.

2. We do not freely choose our thoughts.

3. Therefore, our choices cannot be free.

I don't think anyone would object to premise 1, especially those who believe in free will, since by definition, a "free" choice, if it could exist, requires a person to consciously make it, which by definition involves thought. Premise 2 may be controversial to some, but with a simple thought experiment, it can be proven to be true. If a person could freely choose their thoughts, then they would have to be able to consciously choose what they were going to think before actually thinking it. In other words, there would have to be a time before a person thinks a thought that that thought was consciously chosen by a person, which literally entails the necessity of being able to think a thought before one thinks it. This, of course, is a logical contradiction. Ergo, free will does not exist.
I choose what to think about frequently, thus giving me, in at least some part, control over my thoughts.
Nope. Choice is a conscious decision. Consciousness involves thought. Thus in order to choose your thoughts, you would have to think them before you think them, which is logically impossible.
If you're saying you can't consciously decide what to think about, you're wrong. But that's fine - you're allowed to be wrong.

If I'm wrong I want to understand why I'm wrong. How is it possible to choose a thought when the very concept of "choice" involves thinking about doing something? Seems that choosing a thought literally entails thinking a thought before thinking it, which is nonsense.

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Re: Why 'Free Will' is Logically Impossible

Post #18

Post by nobspeople »

Rational Atheist wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:11 pm
nobspeople wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:25 am
Rational Atheist wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 8:02 pm
nobspeople wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 2:53 pm
Rational Atheist wrote: Thu Feb 18, 2021 7:18 pm Here is a simple, yet powerful, argument against the idea that we 'freely' choose our actions.

1. Our thoughts determine our choices.

2. We do not freely choose our thoughts.

3. Therefore, our choices cannot be free.

I don't think anyone would object to premise 1, especially those who believe in free will, since by definition, a "free" choice, if it could exist, requires a person to consciously make it, which by definition involves thought. Premise 2 may be controversial to some, but with a simple thought experiment, it can be proven to be true. If a person could freely choose their thoughts, then they would have to be able to consciously choose what they were going to think before actually thinking it. In other words, there would have to be a time before a person thinks a thought that that thought was consciously chosen by a person, which literally entails the necessity of being able to think a thought before one thinks it. This, of course, is a logical contradiction. Ergo, free will does not exist.
I choose what to think about frequently, thus giving me, in at least some part, control over my thoughts.
Nope. Choice is a conscious decision. Consciousness involves thought. Thus in order to choose your thoughts, you would have to think them before you think them, which is logically impossible.
If you're saying you can't consciously decide what to think about, you're wrong. But that's fine - you're allowed to be wrong.

If I'm wrong I want to understand why I'm wrong. How is it possible to choose a thought when the very concept of "choice" involves thinking about doing something? Seems that choosing a thought literally entails thinking a thought before thinking it, which is nonsense.
I originally said I choose what to think about, not the specific thought. In that sense, I'm in control of at least some of my thoughts.

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