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 #211

Post by Seek »

Miles wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 10:02 pm
Seek wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 4:59 pm
Miles wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 4:31 pm
Seek wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 4:15 pm I think it’s possible that free will exists, but if it does it cannot be understood.
Free will is commonly understood as "having the ability to have done differently." Or, as some have said,

"Will is the capacity to act decisively on one's desires.

Free will is to do so undirected by controlling influences."




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Miles, I meant in a metaphysical sense, not theoretically.

From The Metaphysicist

"The Metaphysics of Free Will

The existence of free will depends on the existence of genuine possibility (some absence of necessity), in the sense of counterfactual situations in the past that were alternative possibilities for action. They allow us to say that we could have done otherwise."

source



From Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

"Metaphysics

One major issue in the metaphysics of causation concerns specifying the relata of causal relations.."

"relata." That is, "a thing or term related : one of a group of related things : correlative specifically : one of the terms to which a logical relation proceeds: the second or one of the succeeding terms of a relation."* In other words, the casual chain of events leading up to and producing an event." That is, "the controlling influences."
source

*Merriam Webster



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Just because something is true doesn’t mean you can truly comprehend its objective nature. I’m an acataleptic, I believe reality is incomprehensible.

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #212

Post by Seek »

Whether free will exists or not is a matter of eternal debate, but I lean towards there being free will, as I see that as the only reasonable explanation for some of my actions. Adding that metaphysicians do believe we have a choice, too.

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #213

Post by Seek »

From a practical perspective it’s more useful to assume we have free will, since it enables moral responsibility. Rejection of free will means discarding morsl responsibility. It has been said that people who believe they have free will are more inclined to do something about their own problems, since they believe they genuinely have the ability to change themselves or ofherwise seek help. On the other hand, many people say that people don’t change.

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #214

Post by The Tanager »

Bust Nak wrote: Thu Jun 17, 2021 4:17 amBut science is itself a form of philosophy in that sense, the best form.
No, in that sense, science is built upon philosophy but a different thing from it.
Bust Nak wrote: Thu Jun 17, 2021 4:17 amRandom or deterministic is a true dichotomy in my book. So the only options are random with free will, random without free will, determinism with free will, determinism without free will. If the "libertarian" label marks free will as none of the above, then the very concept of libertarian free will can be discarded trivially.
In this categorization, then, I would say libertarian free will would be “determinism with free will”. I don’t see how this categorization settles anything other than agreeing upon a language to discuss within. There is still the disagreement between those who believe in determinism without free will and determinism with free will.

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #215

Post by Bust Nak »

The Tanager wrote: Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:13 pm No, in that sense, science is built upon philosophy but a different thing from it.
So something along the lines of empiricism vs pure mental exercise style of thinking? Either way, science has a much better track record when it comes to figuring the mechanisms in nature.
In this categorization, then, I would say libertarian free will would be “determinism with free will”. I don’t see how this categorization settles anything other than agreeing upon a language to discuss within. There is still the disagreement between those who believe in determinism without free will and determinism with free will.
It's not meant to settle anything, I am agnostic when it comes to determinism vs random, and I am for simply redefining free will to match the reality of freewill. I don't really have a horse in this race.

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #216

Post by The Tanager »

Bust Nak wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 12:39 pmSo something along the lines of empiricism vs pure mental exercise style of thinking? Either way, science has a much better track record when it comes to figuring the mechanisms in nature.
The empirical observations are the same, though. “Determinism without free will” looks the same as “determinism with free will”, it’s just that the free will is believed to be an illusion. Thus, science can’t figure out which one is correct and we must turn to philosophy, whether we choose a side or remain an informed agnostic.
Bust Nak wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 12:39 pmIt's not meant to settle anything, I am agnostic when it comes to determinism vs random, and I am for simply redefining free will to match the reality of freewill. I don't really have a horse in this race.
Fair enough.

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #217

Post by Bust Nak »

The Tanager wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 3:09 pm The empirical observations are the same, though. “Determinism without free will” looks the same as “determinism with free will”, it’s just that the free will is believed to be an illusion. Thus, science can’t figure out which one is correct and we must turn to philosophy, whether we choose a side or remain an informed agnostic.
Or do what I am proposing, figure out how the brain works first, then define free will around the mechanism. Boom empirical, demonstrable free will.

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #218

Post by The Tanager »

Bust Nak wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 4:23 amOr do what I am proposing, figure out how the brain works first, then define free will around the mechanism. Boom empirical, demonstrable free will.
I don't see how figuring out how the brain works will show the will being free or not-free.

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #219

Post by Bust Nak »

[Replying to The Tanager in post #220]

I am proposing that the mechanism, whatever it turns out to be, is by (re-)definition "freewill." So this "will" is automatically free because it's how "free" is (re-)defined.

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #220

Post by William »

The Tanager wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 9:42 am
Bust Nak wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 4:23 amOr do what I am proposing, figure out how the brain works first, then define free will around the mechanism. Boom empirical, demonstrable free will.
I don't see how figuring out how the brain works will show the will being free or not-free.
What intrigues me at present is why the idea of "free will" came about, which was to offset an argument from the non-theists, to which theists were then required to add an identity to the "Will" of mankind which was "free" - implicitly to choose - and in relation to 'sin', in the case of Abrahamic theologies.

But of course "sin" cannot be until 'law' is established and law immediately creates a predestined quality to... lets say..."the natural order of unfolding reality", because law then has a powerful part in shaping said reality = "Predestination".

And thus, the 'illusion' of 'free' will was begotten...as in...the illusion was created that one was 'free' in a system which was predestined through Law.

Just to be clear, I am not suggesting that the will is therefore bound. What I am saying is that the parameter [Law] in which Will can operate is determined by the nature of the environment being shaped.

One can thus argue that we can choose [and so are free to do so] and in that can be smart [good] or stupid [evil] in relation to the situation [predestined] we find ourselves within...

From the Abrahamic perspective the predestined part comes from that which said "Let There Be" in which event consciousness eventually made its way onto the stage of said predestined [created] situation...
Last edited by William on Fri Jun 25, 2021 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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