What is (or constitutes) a "good will?"

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What is (or constitutes) a "good will?"

Post #1

Post by Dimmesdale »

I have been thinking recently about good and evil, and how to judge whether a person as a whole, as well as in a given instance, is good, evil, in neutrality, or some combination of all three.

After mowing the lawn today, it occurred to me that that could be an apt example of what I mean.

My decision to mow the lawn was something I took upon myself. I did it of my own free will. And, if you break down the activity of mowing the lawn, it has a number of parts. As far as I can see, I can parse the activity into the following: deciding upon the action, initiating it, doing it, following through on it, and concluding it. These aspects highlight the nature of goodness in man.

First is, as I have said, the freedom, the choice, to do an action. Any action. Without this preliminary motion of the will, nothing worth doing can be done or may be done. There is no moral value to the action. Even desisting from a bad action is itself a good, virtuous action, and draws its strength from the storehouse of moral free will, and not mere random or mindless action. So is committing to doing the same action over and over again. That requires discipline, but before that, in the bud so to speak, there exists the first motion of the will, to start, to begin, to act in a specific way, with a moral objective.

So my deciding to do an action is part of the moral world. It is not merely a will-o-the-wisp. It runs against the grain of immorality, for example. Say, indolence. Or some other form of resistance. Perhaps cowardice. Even if there is no resistance, so long as one makes a specifically moral action, one is asserting his moral being. Because it does not have no meaning. It follows on the heels of an objective. And that cannot be understated. Without it, an action cannot be birthed, as it were, ex nihilo.

Next, is initiating the action. This may be conflated with deciding to do an action, but it is not the same. When it comes down to actually doing the activity, the deciding is necessary but not sufficient. Deciding surely does initiate in the sense that one commits to doing the action, but it has to be initiated in yet another way. The real initiation is finalizing the act by starting it. By fulfilling the promise, by making good on the commitment. This shows that one is serious. Initiation is concrete. Deciding upon is theoretical. Both are required, but they are not one and the same.

(continuing....)

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Re: What is (or constitutes) a "good will?"

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Miles wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 3:27 pm
And here's where the "why" question arises, again. Why do you wish to define yourself as you do? Is there a "because"behind it or is your wish utterly random in nature?
No. There is a third option. The cause (one's self) is behind one's self-definition. And this cause, this self, cannot be reduced to just another reason. This cause is unique and dynamic. It is not a dead cause, or a dead reason. It is not random, because it cares. It is invested in its choice, or, better put, choosing. If you wish to make the equivalence: indeterminate (until determinate) = random, then I suppose I can't argue with you. But if you mean that random = merely accidental, I disagree. The way one defines oneself is neither based on mere abstract thought/reasoning, NOR mere happenstance. It comes from one's SELF. And that can't be reduced, written-off, or "relegated" to some heuristic sentence like they use in artificial intelligence. Freedom means you are, in this instance, a law unto yourself.
So no, I don't see it. You have free will in such an instance. You can say it is "random" but, even if you define it somehow as such, it still has meaning, because it comes from YOU.
And no one is saying your thought, be it a wish or a conclusion of some kind, doesn't come from YOU. What's being said is that either there's a reason (cause) for it, or it arise purely at random. And if it's the result of a cause the question then is why that cause rather than some other? AND, if there's some cause for that cause then why that reason (cause) rather than some other. Thing is, it's turtles all the way down, and the turtles aren't exchangeable; they are what they are.

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[/quote]

I do think you are effectively denying the reality of choice. You are only paying lip-service to choice being real, but cannot grasp what it really entails. It's like saying that an Artificial Intelligence "chooses." A computer may follow a program, but it has no soul (or if you disbelieve in the soul, then just self). A human being is unique in that he cares. He bases his decision off reasons and, sometimes, guesswork, but what makes his contribution unique is how he chooses to (and has the absolute right to) define him/herself......

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Re: What is (or constitutes) a "good will?"

Post #22

Post by Dimmesdale »

Miles wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 3:39 pm
Dimmesdale wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:50 pm Anyway, actually I never even intended this thread to be about free will! It was more about, virtue ethics I suppose.

It's the idea that there is more to being good than a simple "motion" of the will. It entails not just what you do, but how you do it. What goes into your actions.
But wouldn't being good automatically entail how it's done? If an act isn't done properly, or whatever, it wouldn't matter what the "simple motion" (intentions?) is. By default it would fail to be good.

Question: What if someone does something that results in a "good," although the "simple motion" (intention?) was not? Is the result still virtuous?

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I believe there is such a thing as sincerity and honesty and that that goes into what makes for a virtuous life. You may be good in a lot of other respects. You may be a good hypocrite in other words, so long as you do your duty in all other respects. But in other instances, it's not so clear. A relationship with one's spouse is founded on honesty, same with a lot of other relationships. Small lies poison the relationship, lead to mistrust, and inauthenticity. And this leads to greater vice generally.

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Re: What is (or constitutes) a "good will?"

Post #23

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Dimmesdale wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 7:24 pm
Miles wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 3:27 pm
And here's where the "why" question arises, again. Why do you wish to define yourself as you do? Is there a "because"behind it or is your wish utterly random in nature?
No. There is a third option. The cause (one's self) is behind one's self-definition. And this cause, this self, cannot be reduced to just another reason. This cause is unique and dynamic. It is not a dead cause, or a dead reason. It is not random, because it cares. It is invested in its choice, or, better put, choosing. If you wish to make the equivalence: indeterminate (until determinate) = random, then I suppose I can't argue with you. But if you mean that random = merely accidental, I disagree. The way one defines oneself is neither based on mere abstract thought/reasoning, NOR mere happenstance. It comes from one's SELF. And that can't be reduced, written-off, or "relegated" to some heuristic sentence like they use in artificial intelligence. Freedom means you are, in this instance, a law unto yourself.
Sorry, but you don't get to redefine words to suit your purpose and then run with them as if they made sense.
So no, I don't see it. You have free will in such an instance. You can say it is "random" but, even if you define it somehow as such, it still has meaning, because it comes from YOU.
Do you actually feel that utterly random acts amount to an expression of free will? Really?

And no one is saying your thought, be it a wish or a conclusion of some kind, doesn't come from YOU.
Boy, it certainly appeared you were defending the proposition:

.......................Dimmesdale :"You can say it is "random" but, even if you define it somehow as such, it still has meaning, because it
.....................comes from YOU. "

I do think you are effectively denying the reality of choice.
I am! And absolutely so.
You are only paying lip-service to choice being real, but cannot grasp what it really entails.
I certainly do, which is why I deny its existence. From post 16:

......................."Choice is simply an illusion, and as such cannot be held to any moral
....................standard."


And from other posts in other threads.

"Whatever the response, it doesn't come from a free will, but because it's what a person is made to say. There's no such thing as a choice in the matter."

"Well, choice is the grounding element of freewill. Free will implies that aside from external constraints, one can choose what they do. Fact is, free choice, as in "I could have chosen to differently" is an illusion. "

" In effect then, the will does not exist, nor does choice, etc.."

"But before going into why, we first need to get rid of the term "choice" because it assumes to be true the condition under consideration, freedom to do what we want. So no use of "choice," "choosing,"chosen," or any other form of the word."

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Re: What is (or constitutes) a "good will?"

Post #24

Post by Dimmesdale »

Even though this isn't the original intent of my ramble, I want to highlight how I see the act of choosing.

There is, first, the beginning of a choice (let's imagine this choice is willed freely). This choice can be compared to a seed.

A seed in the ground has not sprouted. We do not know what sort of flower will appear. Unlike the physical seed, a choice in seed form does not already contain within it the DETERMINED choice-flower. It is INDETERMINATE as a seed. And it is unpredictable from that vantage point.

Then, it sprouts. And the choice becomes final. The DECISION becomes DECIDED.

We move from potentiality -> to actuality.

It is in the space BETWEEN these two: potentiality...................actuality, in which exists the ground of FREEDOM.

This freedom is indeterminate. But it is not "random" in the sense that it is meaningless, or a roll of the dice, or mere happenstance.

I discern that this is the case for at least two reasons. One, is the subject (self) at hand CARES about the matters in question. So, the subjective element. But there is also the objective elements, the CONTENT of the decision, which INFORMS the DECIDER. Gives the necessary CONTEXT for the decision. But the objective content or context is NOT the decisive element. The subject is ever the master. Not the other way around.

It is in this decisive crucible that the decision is enacted. There is both form and content.

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Re: What is (or constitutes) a "good will?"

Post #25

Post by Dimmesdale »

Miles wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:01 pm
Dimmesdale wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 7:24 pm
Miles wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 3:27 pm
And here's where the "why" question arises, again. Why do you wish to define yourself as you do? Is there a "because"behind it or is your wish utterly random in nature?
No. There is a third option. The cause (one's self) is behind one's self-definition. And this cause, this self, cannot be reduced to just another reason. This cause is unique and dynamic. It is not a dead cause, or a dead reason. It is not random, because it cares. It is invested in its choice, or, better put, choosing. If you wish to make the equivalence: indeterminate (until determinate) = random, then I suppose I can't argue with you. But if you mean that random = merely accidental, I disagree. The way one defines oneself is neither based on mere abstract thought/reasoning, NOR mere happenstance. It comes from one's SELF. And that can't be reduced, written-off, or "relegated" to some heuristic sentence like they use in artificial intelligence. Freedom means you are, in this instance, a law unto yourself.
Sorry, but you don't get to redefine words to suit your purpose and then run with them as if they made sense.
A cause is essentially the same thing as a reason. One maps onto the other. When we use language, we try to map onto actual causes or states of affairs. So, for example, if we say "Joe killed Bill" this is a descriptor for a certain state of affairs, such as Body 1 (Joe) initiating a cause-effect process (use of shot-gun) to shoot Body 2 (Bill) via a bullet, thus causing death (aka, killing). I don't see this as a difficult concept, though I think it went under your nose with all due respect.

What I'm saying is that the self is in fact a cause, and therefore a reason, for a choice or willing (thus it's explanation). But it is different in kind from other causes/reasons. Because it is indeterminate in its choosing capacity. See my above post.

Miles wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:01 pm
So no, I don't see it. You have free will in such an instance. You can say it is "random" but, even if you define it somehow as such, it still has meaning, because it comes from YOU.
Do you actually feel that utterly random acts amount to an expression of free will? Really?
It depends on how you define random. If you define it as accident or happenstance, then it is meaningless. If we define random as indeterminate however, then we can save free will by putting it in the context of a caring, conscious agent who is a law unto himself.

And no one is saying your thought, be it a wish or a conclusion of some kind, doesn't come from YOU.
Boy, it certainly appeared you were defending the proposition:

.......................Dimmesdale :"You can say it is "random" but, even if you define it somehow as such, it still has meaning, because it
.....................comes from YOU. "
[/quote]

I would argue that if a decision comes from a conscious self then it isn't accidental or by happenstance, and so isn't random in that sense.

***

I just want to point out that, even though you don't believe in free will (and there was a time when I didn't either) you have not disproved it. Far from it, in my opinion. The nature of philosophy is actually such that you cannot prove many things one way or the other.

I can only follow those arguments which I find most compelling. But nothing here is as clear-cut as in mathematics, say.

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Re: What is (or constitutes) a "good will?"

Post #26

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Dimmesdale wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 9:10 pm
What I'm saying is that the self is in fact a cause, and therefore a reason, for a choice or willing (thus it's explanation). But it is different in kind from other causes/reasons. Because it is indeterminate in its choosing capacity.
Haven't a clue what you mean by " indeterminate in its choosing capacity," but yes, the self may indeed be the immediate cause of something; however, it's folly to stop their and not ask why the self did what it did and not something else. Which is at the crux of the free will issue: why did you do what you did rather than do something else?

Miles wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:01 pm
So no, I don't see it. You have free will in such an instance. You can say it is "random" but, even if you define it somehow as such, it still has meaning, because it comes from YOU.
Do you actually feel that utterly random acts amount to an expression of free will? Really?
It depends on how you define random. If you define it as accident or happenstance, then it is meaningless. If we define random as indeterminate however, then we can save free will by putting it in the context of a caring, conscious agent who is a law unto himself.
Yup, but it should be obvious that's not what is meant by "utterly random."

ut·ter·ly
/ˈədərlē/
adverb
adverb: utterly
completely and without qualification; absolutely.

Utterly random means without any cause whatsoever.
And no one is saying your thought, be it a wish or a conclusion of some kind, doesn't come from YOU.
Boy, it certainly appeared you were defending the proposition:

.......................Dimmesdale :"You can say it is "random" but, even if you define it somehow as such, it still has meaning, because it
.....................comes from YOU. "
I would argue that if a decision comes from a conscious self then it isn't accidental or by happenstance, and so isn't random in that sense.

***
Good, then you understand that the only reason we do something is "because." You did X because you were caused to do it, and in order to do Y, an alternative to X, the cause would have to have been different. BUT IT WASN'T DIFFERENT, so you were forced to do X. There was no choice in the matter: You could not do otherwise.

Consider:

Walking home from work you have to follow a certain route: which consists of the following steps and turns: A-D-D-C-A-B-D-E. To end up at your neighbor's home you'd have to take a different route, slight as that difference may be. B-D-D-C-A-B-D-E. So, if you follow A-D-D-C-A-B-D-E there is absolutely no way you could end up at your neighbor's front door. You had to end up at home. No choice in the matter. From your very first step "A," you were locked into a specific end result. Now, why you started out with "A" instead of "B" was because a previous series of cause-effect events forced you to, just as A-D-D-C-A-B-D-E forced you to end up at home. As I've said, it's turtles all the way down, and there's no going back and changing turtles.


.

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Re: What is (or constitutes) a "good will?"

Post #27

Post by Dimmesdale »

Miles wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:46 pm
Haven't a clue what you mean by " indeterminate in its choosing capacity," but yes, the self may indeed be the immediate cause of something; however, it's folly to stop their and not ask why the self did what it did and not something else. Which is at the crux of the free will issue: why did you do what you did rather than do something else?
Some decisions I will admit fall into the category of what I call "mere calculation." So, for example, you work at a fast food chain and you follow the rules, and when something unexpected comes up, you adapt and act in a generally predictable manner. You do so virtually unconsciously, just trying to come up with the maximally best outcome in terms of various decisions. Your ego doesn't go into any of such practically robotic decisions.

This is absolutely not the case for all decisions though. For example, moral decisions: will I help the struggling person in the street, or will I choose not to do it because it will inconvenience me? Now, let's say there are good reasons both FOR and AGAINST refraining from helping. Hypothetically, let's say the reasons are the same number and are equally valid. How can you decide? I think this is similar to the analogy of Buridan's Ass, where there has to be something to break the equilibrium else the donkey will starve instead of deciding which hay to eat, or something like that. What I would say is that, in such a hypothetical situation, free will comes into play. And this free will is not random, because the self that exercises this free will is a "law unto him/herself." It is not random in the sense that it is accidental, because YOU are the cause of it, and you yourself are the Author of YOUR decision. You value it. You cherish it. It is yours.

You can say that it stems from "some other cause." Well, ok, you can believe that, but you haven't proved it. I think there is a rational, moral and irreducible spark in the human agent that cannot be reduced to any more "turtles." For me this is effectively proven by our own value that we place on freedom.
Miles wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:46 pmUtterly random means without any cause whatsoever.
And this is why I don't believe anything is truly random in the absolute sense. Everything has a cause. Even God in my view is self-caused. If everything has a cause, then our decisions are caused, and if our decisions are caused, they are not random and the question then is: by what are they caused? I would say they are enacted by the self. Not secondary reasons such as "emotions" or "instincts" - those are subordinate. What is primary is the agent himself. And he is not a victim to alien causation outside of himself!

Miles wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:46 pmGood, then you understand that the only reason we do something is "because." You did X because you were caused to do it, and in order to do Y, an alternative to X, the cause would have to have been different. BUT IT WASN'T DIFFERENT, so you were forced to do X. There was no choice in the matter: You could not do otherwise.
"You did X because you were caused to do it"

No, I was not caused by anything alien to myself. Reasons come to my mind as to how to act, but I have the right either to accede to them or not. They do not rule over me. I rule over those reasons. I was not "caused to do" anything. I caused it. We are talking about two very different kinds of causation. You think you are a victim to forces beyond your control. I say I am master over them. This has to be made clear.

Consider:
Miles wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:46 pmWalking home from work you have to follow a certain route: which consists of the following steps and turns: A-D-D-C-A-B-D-E. To end up at your neighbor's home you'd have to take a different route, slight as that difference may be. B-D-D-C-A-B-D-E. So, if you follow A-D-D-C-A-B-D-E there is absolutely no way you could end up at your neighbor's front door. You had to end up at home. No choice in the matter. From your very first step "A," you were locked into a specific end result. Now, why you started out with "A" instead of "B" was because a previous series of cause-effect events forced you to, just as A-D-D-C-A-B-D-E forced you to end up at home. As I've said, it's turtles all the way down, and there's no going back and changing turtles.


.
There is a difference between following instructions and making free will decisions. Free will is not a road map. Free will is the driver.

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Re: What is (or constitutes) a "good will?"

Post #28

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Dimmesdale wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:41 pm For example, moral decisions: will I help the struggling person in the street, or will I choose not to do it because it will inconvenience me? Now, let's say there are good reasons both FOR and AGAINST refraining from helping. Hypothetically, let's say the reasons are the same number and are equally valid. How can you decide? I think this is similar to the analogy of Buridan's Ass, where there has to be something to break the equilibrium else the donkey will starve instead of deciding which hay to eat, or something like that. What I would say is that, in such a hypothetical situation, free will comes into play.
Okay, so what is it that causes your will to go with option A rather than option B?
And this free will is not random, because the self that exercises this free will is a "law unto him/herself." It is not random in the sense that it is accidental, because YOU are the cause of it, and you yourself are the Author of YOUR decision. You value it. You cherish it. It is yours.
Yup. It's agreed that YOU can be the sole cause of it, and nobody's arguing that you're not. But the question is,

.................................What is it within yourself that causes you to do A rather than B?

Miles wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:46 pmUtterly random means without any cause whatsoever.
And this is why I don't believe anything is truly random in the absolute sense. Everything has a cause. Even God in my view is self-caused. If everything has a cause, then our decisions are caused, and if our decisions are caused, they are not random and the question then is: by what are they caused? I would say they are enacted by the self. Not secondary reasons such as "emotions" or "instincts" - those are subordinate. What is primary is the agent himself. And he is not a victim to alien causation outside of himself!
I too have a hard time believing there's such a thing as utter randomness, although quantum physicists assert there are quantum events that appear entirely at random: without any cause whatsoever. .
Miles wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:46 pmGood, then you understand that the only reason we do something is "because." You did X because you were caused to do it, and in order to do Y, an alternative to X, the cause would have to have been different. BUT IT WASN'T DIFFERENT, so you were forced to do X. There was no choice in the matter: You could not do otherwise.
"You did X because you were caused to do it"

No, I was not caused by anything alien to myself.
I never said it was anything alien to yourself, although it might well be.
Reasons come to my mind as to how to act, but I have the right either to accede to them or not.
So the question then is, what causes you accede to them or not? Say that don't you accede. Why not? If there was no reason (cause) then it must have been an utterly random act on your part that you didn't accede---something appearing *plink* out of nowhere in your mind. However, if you agree that it was not random then what caused you not to accede? If you're just going to say "I just decided," you're still left to explain what prompted this decision.

I'm not looking for a concrete answer here, "A+B+D made me decide," but rather the recognition that some series of specific of events (conscious or unconscious) came together in your mind to cause you not to accede, and that to accede there would have to have been a different series of specific events.

While 1+5+9+8 = 23, 1+ 5+ 10 +8 does not.


And to contend that the will is without such causation is to agree that it operates under the only other genesis of origin: utter randomness.

BUT to agree the will is driven by such causal factors means it has no freedom to act other than what these factors dictate: There is no free will.


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Re: What is (or constitutes) a "good will?"

Post #29

Post by Dimmesdale »

Miles wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 4:46 pm
Dimmesdale wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:41 pm For example, moral decisions: will I help the struggling person in the street, or will I choose not to do it because it will inconvenience me? Now, let's say there are good reasons both FOR and AGAINST refraining from helping. Hypothetically, let's say the reasons are the same number and are equally valid. How can you decide? I think this is similar to the analogy of Buridan's Ass, where there has to be something to break the equilibrium else the donkey will starve instead of deciding which hay to eat, or something like that. What I would say is that, in such a hypothetical situation, free will comes into play.
Okay, so what is it that causes your will to go with option A rather than option B?
The will itself. Not anything besides the will. If you put anything alongside the will, then the will loses its authority, it's essential, independent nature, I would say. Sure, subsidiary things might influence the will (personality, emotion and other considerations), but what makes the will's voice final is... itself. It's own fiat, it's own decree.

The will acts according to itself. In conjunction with body and soul, but ultimately, it is it's own cause regarding the origin of true decisions.
Miles wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 4:46 pm
And this free will is not random, because the self that exercises this free will is a "law unto him/herself." It is not random in the sense that it is accidental, because YOU are the cause of it, and you yourself are the Author of YOUR decision. You value it. You cherish it. It is yours.
Yup. It's agreed that YOU can be the sole cause of it, and nobody's arguing that you're not. But the question is,

.................................What is it within yourself that causes you to do A rather than B?
The more you attempt to reassure me that you are not denying what I'm saying, the more it seems to me you are.

There is nothing extraneous to the will when it comes to it's deciding power. Nothing "in" it, or "within" you. If there were, then true libertarian free will would be impossible because there would be some other force, alien again, that would essentially force you to act in a certain way, and therefore would not be free will in the real sense at all.....
Miles wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:46 pm I too have a hard time believing there's such a thing as utter randomness, although quantum physicists assert there are quantum events that appear entirely at random: without any cause whatsoever. .
Something appearing random is natural. We simply don't know all the parameters of the universe and how it works. So to us it seems random. But this isn't true causelessness, it only shows our ignorance.
Miles wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:46 pm I never said it was anything alien to yourself, although it might well be.
Yes, I don't myself doubt for a moment that we sometimes act in unconscious ways, via psychological complexes and such. But I do firmly believe there is a fundamental aspect to the will that is independent. Like a lotus floating in a muddy water bed. Our decisions may be colored, but they are ultimately our own.
Miles wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:46 pmSo the question then is, what causes you accede to them or not? Say that don't you accede. Why not? If there was no reason (cause) then it must have been an utterly random act on your part that you didn't accede---something appearing *plink* out of nowhere in your mind. However, if you agree that it was not random then what caused you not to accede? If you're just going to say "I just decided," you're still left to explain what prompted this decision.
Why is it necessary to go beyond the will? Take the notion of existence. Why does existence exist? Some atheists I've encountered who argue with theists say that there is no need to go into explanation after explanation (after all, there can't really be bottomless turtles, can there?): they treat the existence of the universe as explainable in and of itself. A brute fact essentially. I believe in God. But I actually side with the atheists in a sense, because I think that at the very root of reality, all you can say about it is that it exists - that it is a brute fact - that it IS. 1+1=2 is the way it is just because it is the way it is and it is meaningless to search for any other explanation in this vein.

I've already pointed out that you willing something is not random. This is because you care. You happen to want to define yourself a certain way, for good or ill. And so you do. You can still call this random in a sense - I won't stop you. But it isn't accidental to you. It is essential.
Miles wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:46 pmI'm not looking for a concrete answer here, "A+B+D made me decide," but rather the recognition that some series of specific of events (conscious or unconscious) came together in your mind to cause you not to accede, and that to accede there would have to have been a different series of specific events.

While 1+5+9+8 = 23, 1+ 5+ 10 +8 does not.

And to contend that the will is without such causation is to agree that it operates under the only other genesis of origin: utter randomness.

BUT to agree the will is driven by such causal factors means it has no freedom to act other than what these factors dictate: There is no free will.

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I contend that the will is the cause of decisions. Therefore decisions are not random as in "utterly random." I also contend that this will is unaffected by any other influence than itself in its deciding capacity. That is, it may gain input from extraneous sources, but once a given decision moves from mere potentiality to actuality, that is the jurisdiction of the will alone.

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Re: What is (or constitutes) a "good will?"

Post #30

Post by Miles »

Dimmesdale wrote: Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:41 pm If you put anything alongside the will, then the will loses its authority, it's essential, independent nature, I would say. Sure, subsidiary things might influence the will (personality, emotion and other considerations), but what makes the will's voice final is... itself. It's own fiat, it's own decree.

The will acts according to itself. In conjunction with body and soul, but ultimately, it is it's own cause regarding the origin of true decisions.

There is nothing extraneous to the will when it comes to it's deciding power. Nothing "in" it, or "within" you.
So, whats the deal with the will, "The capacity to act decisively on one's desires." (its common definition). How does a capacity to act decide anything? Isn't that the thinking part of a mind's job, to decide what desire the will is to act upon and pass that order onto the will?
Dimmesdale wrote:
Miles wrote: .................................What is it within yourself that causes you to do A rather than B?
The more you attempt to reassure me that you are not denying what I'm saying, the more it seems to me you are.
C'mon Dimmesdale. Quit tap dancing and answer the question.


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Last edited by Miles on Tue Jul 21, 2020 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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