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 #221

Post by Miles »

William wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 2:19 pm
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.
Not a free-willer here, but here's my 2¢.

Without free will Sin and Salvation are meaningless, so Christianity demands that it exists.

As for non-Christians, free will is needed to confirm our freedom to choose.



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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #222

Post by William »

Miles wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 2:34 pm
William wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 2:19 pm
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.
Not a free-willer here, but here's my 2¢.

Without free will Sin and Salvation are meaningless, so Christianity demands that it exists.

As for non-Christians, free will is needed to confirm our freedom to choose.
Too simplistic.
To be fair, it is the Collective Abrahamic Religion [which includes Christianity] for which salvation from sin is meaningful, which is doing the demanding.

The evidence supports the idea that it is these religions which have most shaped the course of history since the idea of sin was first grasped - and that history is simply involved with the trying to understand the idea, and by doing so, is most largely responsibly for how the world of humanity has unfolded. At least, according to the numbers...

Not counting the offshoots;
Jews [2019] 14,707,400
Christians - 2.38 billion
Islam - 1.91 billion [link]

World Population 7.674 billion (2019)

Do the math. The influence of the Combined Abrahamic Religions are like the engine in the vehicle, creating [predestine] the world according to their specifics [of belief] - the vehicle itself trapped [not free] in a greater rule-set environment...

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #223

Post by Miles »

William wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 2:59 pm
Miles wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 2:34 pm
William wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 2:19 pm
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.
Not a free-willer here, but here's my 2¢.

Without free will Sin and Salvation are meaningless, so Christianity demands that it exists.

As for non-Christians, free will is needed to confirm our freedom to choose.
Too simplistic.
To be fair, it is the Collective Abrahamic Religion [which includes Christianity] for which salvation from sin is meaningful, which is doing the demanding.
My error in not including Judaism and Islam (probably because Christianity and Christian issues are the overwhelming subject I deal with here), although I believe it's a mistake to group the three as some sort of single religion, "the Collective Abrahamic Religion," just as it would be an error to group the Democratic, Republican parties as The Collective American Party because of their commonalities.


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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #224

Post by JoeyKnothead »

Seek wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 10:08 pm I’m an acataleptic, I believe reality is incomprehensible.
Ever been fetching around late for work, atrying to find where the dog done hid that one boot, and stubbed your toe on the coffee table. Real hard. I mean so hard your eyes set to watering.

That'll have ya comprehending reality on the spot.

:wave:
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Invention is using things discovered.

Create that path and engineer a metamorphosis.

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #225

Post by William »

Miles wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 2:34 pm My error in not including Judaism and Islam (probably because Christianity and Christian issues are the overwhelming subject I deal with here), although I believe it's a mistake to group the three as some sort of single religion, "the Collective Abrahamic Religion," just as it would be an error to group the Democratic, Republican parties as The Collective American Party because of their commonalities.
The grouping has to do with sin and salvation. The commonalities have to do with influence on the world through the device of law.
'Politics' groups parties in the same way I am grouping the Abrahamic religions. Politics works on a similar focus but is very inflenced by these religions, as history shows. The evidence is compelling.

My overall point had to do with the idea of calling human will 'free'. In reality it is not...as i do not think it is correct to say someone has free will...as The Tanager also appears to realise by further adding yet another word to describe what type of 'free' the will operates by/through

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #226

Post by Miles »

William wrote: Sat Jun 26, 2021 12:23 am
Miles wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 2:34 pm My error in not including Judaism and Islam (probably because Christianity and Christian issues are the overwhelming subject I deal with here), although I believe it's a mistake to group the three as some sort of single religion, "the Collective Abrahamic Religion," just as it would be an error to group the Democratic, Republican parties as The Collective American Party because of their commonalities.
The grouping has to do with sin and salvation.
Okay, but the Islamic regard of sin and salvation is quite unlike that of Judaism and Christianity. Enough, I believe, to separate it from the two.

A few points about sin and salvation in Islam (check the link for more).

1. Salvation From Sin Is Not Necessary In Islam
It is important to realize that Islam does not believe it is necessary for a person to be saved from their sins. This is one of the main differences between it and Christianity. There are a number of reasons as to why this is so.

4. Jesus’ Death on the Cross Was Not Necessary for Salvation
Because humanity is not in a fallen, sinful state, there was no need for a Savior. Therefore, there it was not necessary for Jesus Christ to die for the sins of the world. Consequently, Islam rejects the idea that Jesus death had any significance whatsoever. On the contrary, they do not believe that it was Jesus who died upon the cross!

5. Salvation, as Islam Understands It, Is Based upon a Person’s Good Works Outweighing Their Bad

Since Muslims do not recognize original sin, they see no need for salvation in the Christian sense. There is nothing to be saved from. Consequently, if there was no original sin, there is no need for a Savior. Salvation, in Islam, is based upon the deeds of a person. The Quran says,

8. There Is No Forgiveness for Personal Sin in Islam
The Quran does not have much to say about the topic of forgiveness. Forgiveness is something that Allah gives as he wishes. The Quran says,
source

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #227

Post by William »

Yes - but sin is the connection...sin and salvation are two things...I am acknowledging what is similar not what is different...because if the religions were the same - there would not be the three of them.

That is why these three religions are referred to as Abrahamic...

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #228

Post by The Tanager »

William wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 2:19 pmJust 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...

What do you mean by ‘situation’? If it is the general rules of the universe we live in, the limitations of our human bodies, etc., then this isn’t “predestination,” at least not in the context of the common free will vs. determinism debate. If it is not the general rules of the universe we live in, then what do you mean?
William wrote: Sat Jun 26, 2021 12:23 amMy overall point had to do with the idea of calling human will 'free'. In reality it is not...as i do not think it is correct to say someone has free will...as The Tanager also appears to realise by further adding yet another word to describe what type of 'free' the will operates by/through.

I do think it’s correct to say someone has free will, if one understands the terms to mean what they have historically meant within the bulk of discussion on the issue. As compatibilism grew in popularity, with its different definition of "free", there must now be the addition of “libertarian” in front of free will to help avoid confusion.

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #229

Post by William »

The Tanager wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 11:34 am
William wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 2:19 pmJust 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...

What do you mean by ‘situation’? If it is the general rules of the universe we live in, the limitations of our human bodies, etc., then this isn’t “predestination,” at least not in the context of the common free will vs. determinism debate. If it is not the general rules of the universe we live in, then what do you mean?
Jesus and one predestination concept.
“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”

I mean by that, that IF this universe was created for a purpose, THEN the situation of those within it is predestined, if indeed those within it were meant to be placed within it.
We each share that situation.
Furthermore, because of the nature of our individual situation [the human form] we all share unique perspective and experience - so 'situations within The Situation'.
We can agree that those unique situations are not themselves 'predestined', other than following the pattern of The Situation - in that - it can be argued we are shaping our own situations based upon the choices we make with our wills, so at least a form of predestination.
The difference might only be in how smart or stupid the individual is as to being able to foresee action and consequence - and mostly we lean toward being 'stupid' re that - but more-so through ignorance [and perhaps even having potentially helpful data purposefully hidden from our access - either by others or through our own willfulness to hide [ignore] the data from our selves.]
For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad. and;
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
William wrote: Sat Jun 26, 2021 12:23 amMy overall point had to do with the idea of calling human will 'free'. In reality it is not...as i do not think it is correct to say someone has free will...as The Tanager also appears to realise by further adding yet another word to describe what type of 'free' the will operates by/through.
I do think it’s correct to say someone has free will, if one understands the terms to mean what they have historically meant within the bulk of discussion on the issue. As compatibilism grew in popularity, with its different definition of "free", there must now be the addition of “libertarian” in front of free will to help avoid confusion.
There is a better way to avoid confusion. Accept that there is no justifiable reason to use any other words to denote "kinds of will" as if somehow [as with kinds of love] this is the way through confusion. One cannot get through a wall by making another wall in front of it. The way through is to find the gates which exist as natural aspects of this creation [situation] we all share [have in common]...

If [y]our position is the purple dot - what is the most economic way in which you can view the blue object?;

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Re: Questions for those who believe in free will

Post #230

Post by The Tanager »

William wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 3:47 pmWe can agree that those unique situations are not themselves 'predestined', other than following the pattern of The Situation - in that - it can be argued we are shaping our own situations based upon the choices we make with our wills, so at least a form of predestination.

Shaping our own situations based upon the choices we make with our wills is the complete opposite of predestination.
William wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 3:47 pm
I do think it’s correct to say someone has free will, if one understands the terms to mean what they have historically meant within the bulk of discussion on the issue. As compatibilism grew in popularity, with its different definition of "free", there must now be the addition of “libertarian” in front of free will to help avoid confusion.

There is a better way to avoid confusion. Accept that there is no justifiable reason to use any other words to denote "kinds of will" as if somehow [as with kinds of love] this is the way through confusion. One cannot get through a wall by making another wall in front of it. The way through is to find the gates which exist as natural aspects of this creation [situation] we all share [have in common]...

Refusing to agree upon clear terms is not a good way to avoid confusion; it invites it. Agreeing upon definitions brings us a common language from which we can address our real disagreements instead of talking past each other.

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