Questions for those who believe in free will

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Rational Atheist
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Questions for those who believe in free will

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Post by Rational Atheist »

I'm trying to understand the belief in free will. For those who believe in free will, do you believe that your actions are determined by a chain of prior causes or not? If you do, you're a determinist and do not believe in free choice, since you can't control the causes that took place before you were born. If you don't believe your actions are determined by a chain of prior causes, or don't believe that that causal chain extends to before your birth, then you believe that at some point before your action, an event occurred for no reason whatsoever (purely random). How could this possibly get you free will either? No combination of determinism nor indeterminism (randomness) gives you "free will" in the sense of authorship of and responsibility for your actions. How can you believe anyone is ultimately responsible for what they do?

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #181

Post by Seek »

Bust Nak wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:36 am
The Tanager wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 10:37 am I'd be happy to share my thoughts and listen to those of others on that thread.
Then lets move this talk of eternal universe over there.

As for the wider topic at hand re: free will, I am pragmatic: I experience free will, therefore I believe in free will. Whether free will is deterministic or not, I leave it to scientists to figure out. If it turns out to be deterministic, then great, my ability to act at my own discretion is determined by chains of prior causes; if it is non-deterministic, then great, my ability to act at my own discretion is random. Either way, I have free will.

I just don't see what the big deal is, my choices are already pretty much deterministic: I was born with a certain nature with zero control on my part, my upbringing filled out the rest of my character, I make decision based on my observation, beliefs and my character, which in turn are just processes in a meat computer. I don't really care whether the missing minute details are also deterministic or not. I hold inanimate objects responsible when I am inconvenienced by random events, e.g. I hate that pebble for chipping my windscreen; I have no problem holding people responsible for what they do. They did something without coercion? That's "ultimate" enough for me.

To those who would argue that my experience of free will is not the same thing as the concept of free will and hence my experience could be just an illusion of free will, I say meh! Change the concept of free will to fit the facts, not the other way round. The Greeks didn't discard the sun an illusion when they discovered that it's not Apollo's fiery chariot, they simply updated their concept of the sun.
If eternal recurrence is true, then the discussion of free will seems moot, as you’re bound to lead every possible life. Even if free will existed, every possible sequence would still occur from a probability perspective.

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #182

Post by William »

[Replying to Seek in post #182]
If eternal recurrence is true, then the discussion of free will seems moot, as you’re bound to lead every possible life. Even if free will existed, every possible sequence would still occur from a probability perspective.
Yes.
Free will then becomes something which - in order to know what it is like - one would have to create a means of discovering the answer to that question.
The means itself would only give one an impression of free will for the purpose of understanding it in the context of the means by which it was made possible.

For example, this universe [the means] could have been created with this in mind. This is because it gives us an opportunity to work with [free will] where it otherwise would not be possible.

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #183

Post by The Tanager »

William wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 12:25 pmThis is not to say that there is no "Creator-Cause" for the universe. What it really means is that we do not separate creator from creation by calling one "Supernatural" and the other "Natural".

The best word to use in both case would simply be "Natural".
In the same sense that the argument uses the term “natural” or by redefining the term?

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #184

Post by The Tanager »

Bust Nak wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:36 amThen lets move this talk of eternal universe over there.
That works. It’s taking me a while to get caught up on that thread, so bear with me.
Bust Nak wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:36 amAs for the wider topic at hand re: free will, I am pragmatic: I experience free will, therefore I believe in free will. Whether free will is deterministic or not, I leave it to scientists to figure out.
Why think it is a scientific question?
Bust Nak wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:36 amIf it turns out to be deterministic, then great, my ability to act at my own discretion is determined by chains of prior causes; if it is non-deterministic, then great, my ability to act at my own discretion is random. Either way, I have free will.
Why think those are the only two options? Does your term ‘determinism’ here include free will within it, where personal agency is the start of “chain of prior causes”? If not, then there is a third option because free will isn’t randomness.

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #185

Post by Bust Nak »

The Tanager wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:02 pm Why think it is a scientific question?
It's a question about the nature of the universe, science is the best tool for that.
Why think those are the only two options? Does your term ‘determinism’ here include free will within it, where personal agency is the start of “chain of prior causes”? If not, then there is a third option because free will isn’t randomness.
Anything that isn't fundamentally random is deterministic.

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #186

Post by William »

The Tanager wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:02 pm
William wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 12:25 pmThis is not to say that there is no "Creator-Cause" for the universe. What it really means is that we do not separate creator from creation by calling one "Supernatural" and the other "Natural".

The best word to use in both case would simply be "Natural".
In the same sense that the argument uses the term “natural” or by redefining the term?
In the sense that I argue there is no honest reason in separating creator from creation.

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #187

Post by Seek »

The Tanager wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:02 pm
Bust Nak wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:36 amThen lets move this talk of eternal universe over there.
That works. It’s taking me a while to get caught up on that thread, so bear with me.
Bust Nak wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:36 amAs for the wider topic at hand re: free will, I am pragmatic: I experience free will, therefore I believe in free will. Whether free will is deterministic or not, I leave it to scientists to figure out.
Why think it is a scientific question?
Bust Nak wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:36 amIf it turns out to be deterministic, then great, my ability to act at my own discretion is determined by chains of prior causes; if it is non-deterministic, then great, my ability to act at my own discretion is random. Either way, I have free will.
Why think those are the only two options? Does your term ‘determinism’ here include free will within it, where personal agency is the start of “chain of prior causes”? If not, then there is a third option because free will isn’t randomness.
Free will can only be a conscious choice. It cant be random because it doesnt leave any room for alternate possibilities in any decision.

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #188

Post by The Tanager »

Bust Nak wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:24 pmIt's a question about the nature of the universe, science is the best tool for that.
Science is one of the tools for knowledge concerning the nature of the universe but it’s not the only one. In fact, its truth is built upon (thus, depends on) philosophical truths. I don’t see how science alone can give us an answer to this issue. Science could tell us various observations about what happens in the brain when our will is being exercised but I don’t see how it could say that process is determined or free.
Bust Nak wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 7:24 pmAnything that isn't fundamentally random is deterministic.
If those are the only two options then being ‘deterministic’ includes both determinism and libertarian free will, moving the disagreement to a different ‘level’ but still the disagreement we are talking about.

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #189

Post by The Tanager »

William wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 4:28 amIn the sense that I argue there is no honest reason in separating creator from creation.
I’m trying to get a grasp on your critique here. So, a few questions. Do you think the ‘natural universe’ is material or immaterial (where matter is really an illusion, a simulation)? Do you think The Creator (before [part of? all of it?] It became the ‘natural universe’) is material or immaterial?

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #190

Post by William »

The Tanager wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 10:24 am
William wrote: Thu Jun 10, 2021 4:28 amIn the sense that I argue there is no honest reason in separating creator from creation.
I’m trying to get a grasp on your critique here. So, a few questions. Do you think the ‘natural universe’ is material or immaterial (where matter is really an illusion, a simulation)? Do you think The Creator (before [part of? all of it?] It became the ‘natural universe’) is material or immaterial?
What I think is that The Creator is inseparable from any and all of Its creations.

[omnipresent]

What we understand as 'solid' 'real' 'material' is being shown at atomic levels to be anything but. So how did The Creator make it so it appeared 'solid' 'real' 'material' and as importantly, 'why'?

My thinking is that all realities are superimposed upon one another but in order to access any of them individually, one has to disconnect from any other one of them, and this requires - in our case - 'suiting up' within human forms which allow for us to be able to experience this particular universe as a 'solid' 'real' 'material' object - by cutting out the frequencies of the other realities.

Occasionally 'leakage' occurs which allows for us to experience other realities.

We are "The Creator" - Particles of Creator-Consciousness. [thus 'why and how' The Creator is omnipresent]

Such thinking is not entirely unbiblical, but general not accepted by Christians, Jews and Muslims, because those religions have developed beliefs around the idea that The Creator is separate from the creation. [And for some reason, in judgment of it.]

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