Do you believe in free will

Getting to know more about a specific belief

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Post #21

Post by Dimmesdale »

I believe in free will in a way....

I say in a way because, looking at it from one point of view, everything is really determined, even though who-we-are is the determiner ( in my view, the Self). From one perspective everything that happens has already happened, because - I believe - linear time is an illusion and everything actually happens (or has happened) simultaneously.

But we are free every moment that we are conscious of ourselves, if only to a minute extent. We are free in-keeping with the predetermined script that is given to us. Freedom is only secondary regarding individual choices we make. The ground of our being able to make choices is the foundation of dignity and self-determination that we each possess. Our choices flow from this dignity and self-determination, and we can never separate from it. Ultimately, all of us yearn to be free because that is our nature.

Free choice then can only be an individual participation in the timeless Freedom that we always are.

I am a theist but, depending on one's definition of God, even an atheist can believe this. But not, in my view, a materialist.

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Post #22

Post by Diagoras »

There’s quite a good YouTube video here:

Crash Course Philosophy on Determinism and Free Will

I suspect I’m like a lot of non-theists in that I think I believe in libertarian free will as well as hard determinism, even though supporting both is not rationally consistent when you examine them closely. My subjective experience is that I have options, and therefore free will as an agent, even though those options may very well be determined by many ‘invisible causes’ from within my own mind. As the video points out, hard determinism is difficult to refute.

The video doesn’t explore in any detail whether there can be any truly random event in the physical world, however, which might ‘open up’ hard determinism to allow an agent to truly choose an action freely. If my decision is ultimately determined by whether a particular atomic nucleus randomly decayed or not in the distant path (setting off a chain of causality that led to my ‘choice’), then it appears that the principle of alternate possibilities would apply, and I indeed could have chosen differently- therefore I have free will.

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