Why 'Free Will' is Logically Impossible

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Why 'Free Will' is Logically Impossible

Post #1

Post by Rational Atheist »

Here is a simple, yet powerful, argument against the idea that we 'freely' choose our actions.

1. Our thoughts determine our choices.

2. We do not freely choose our thoughts.

3. Therefore, our choices cannot be free.

I don't think anyone would object to premise 1, especially those who believe in free will, since by definition, a "free" choice, if it could exist, requires a person to consciously make it, which by definition involves thought. Premise 2 may be controversial to some, but with a simple thought experiment, it can be proven to be true. If a person could freely choose their thoughts, then they would have to be able to consciously choose what they were going to think before actually thinking it. In other words, there would have to be a time before a person thinks a thought that that thought was consciously chosen by a person, which literally entails the necessity of being able to think a thought before one thinks it. This, of course, is a logical contradiction. Ergo, free will does not exist.

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Re: Why 'Free Will' is Logically Impossible

Post #291

Post by William »

Kylie wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 6:41 pm
William wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 7:30 pm [Replying to Kylie in post #288]
So now you want me to prove there is something truly random?
Only if that is a claim you are making. Otherwise, I am happy to accept it as an unsupported statement.

If it is just an unsupported statement, then it does not have to tie in with the thread topic [free will] and I have no more interest if that is the case.
I don't understand how you can say that.

I have demonstrated that the existence of anything that is truly random will influence my free will.

I have also suggested a phenomenon which certainly appears to be truly random to our current understanding.

If you are going to suggest that radioactive decay is not truly random because there could be some underlying order which we are unaware of that makes it predictable, then you are reducing the idea of true randomness to an unfalsifiable claim, since no matter what is ever presented, you can say, "Ah, but we might find something tomorrow that shows that it's not truly random after all!"
What we have found already - and therefore need not wait for tomorrow - is that the universe, including your apparently absolute random decaying particles are not the fundamental reality of said universe and that matter doesn't really exist as anything other than something of 'the mind' and the math supports the concept because it is the math which is showing us that this is the case about that which we refer to as reality.

The universe is not fundamental reality.

Where does that place the concept of 'free will'? - That free will must be only as real as the universe, so free will is dependent upon mind + the matter being experienced, and in that, free will is not fundamental to the human experience but simply a device we can use within the limitations of said experience.

Where does that place the concept of 'Absolute true random'? It is simply a concept that humans assign to things which they have not discovered a way of accurately predicting and so is more an expression of ignorance than factuality.

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Re: Why 'Free Will' is Logically Impossible

Post #292

Post by Kylie »

William wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 7:11 pmThe universe is not fundamental reality.
Would you care to support this claim?

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Re: Why 'Free Will' is Logically Impossible

Post #293

Post by William »

Kylie wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 6:27 pm
William wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 7:11 pmThe universe is not fundamental reality.
Would you care to support this claim?
Not I, since I did not make this claim.

But one of those who is making this claim, does support said claim.
Nima Arkani-Hamed
Professor, The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and
A. D. White Professor-at-Large, Cornell University


The Doom of Spacetime
Why It Must Dissolve Into More Fundamental Structures

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Re: Why 'Free Will' is Logically Impossible

Post #294

Post by Kylie »

William wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 6:44 pm
Kylie wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 6:27 pm
William wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 7:11 pmThe universe is not fundamental reality.
Would you care to support this claim?
Not I, since I did not make this claim.

But one of those who is making this claim, does support said claim.
Nima Arkani-Hamed
Professor, The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and
A. D. White Professor-at-Large, Cornell University


The Doom of Spacetime
Why It Must Dissolve Into More Fundamental Structures
And where exactly does he make this claim?

What you linked to seems to say nothing more than QM and relativity need to be replaced with something else since neither of them can explain everything and they are incompatible with each other. But that's a long way from saying that there is no objective reality.

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Re: Why 'Free Will' is Logically Impossible

Post #295

Post by William »

Kylie wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 9:33 pm
William wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 6:44 pm
Kylie wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 6:27 pm
William wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 7:11 pmThe universe is not fundamental reality.
Would you care to support this claim?
Not I, since I did not make this claim.

But one of those who is making this claim, does support said claim.
Nima Arkani-Hamed
Professor, The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and
A. D. White Professor-at-Large, Cornell University


The Doom of Spacetime
Why It Must Dissolve Into More Fundamental Structures
And where exactly does he make this claim?

What you linked to seems to say nothing more than QM and relativity need to be replaced with something else since neither of them can explain everything and they are incompatible with each other. But that's a long way from saying that there is no objective reality.
No one said there wasn't either subjective or objective reality. What was said was that this universe that we call reality, is not fundamental reality...

That means that it cannot have created itself or otherwise be responsible for its own existence.

QM has been saying as much for over a century now, but because of basic human survival instincts, and a general lack of accountability in materialistic based science, most materialists ignore the fact of the QM mathematics in favor of pursuing more materialistic ventures and supporting those - while they still can.

It is just one of those things. How it pans out is yet to be seen, but with some scientists telling us we have to do some radical rethinking on how we currently live our lives, because the climate is warming up - there doesn't appear to be too much time left before materialism proves to be the nail in the species coffin.

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Re: Why 'Free Will' is Logically Impossible

Post #296

Post by Kylie »

William wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 9:51 pm
Kylie wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 9:33 pm
William wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 6:44 pm
Kylie wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 6:27 pm
William wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 7:11 pmThe universe is not fundamental reality.
Would you care to support this claim?
Not I, since I did not make this claim.

But one of those who is making this claim, does support said claim.
Nima Arkani-Hamed
Professor, The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and
A. D. White Professor-at-Large, Cornell University


The Doom of Spacetime
Why It Must Dissolve Into More Fundamental Structures
And where exactly does he make this claim?

What you linked to seems to say nothing more than QM and relativity need to be replaced with something else since neither of them can explain everything and they are incompatible with each other. But that's a long way from saying that there is no objective reality.
No one said there wasn't either subjective or objective reality. What was said was that this universe that we call reality, is not fundamental reality...

That means that it cannot have created itself or otherwise be responsible for its own existence.

QM has been saying as much for over a century now, but because of basic human survival instincts, and a general lack of accountability in materialistic based science, most materialists ignore the fact of the QM mathematics in favor of pursuing more materialistic ventures and supporting those - while they still can.

It is just one of those things. How it pans out is yet to be seen, but with some scientists telling us we have to do some radical rethinking on how we currently live our lives, because the climate is warming up - there doesn't appear to be too much time left before materialism proves to be the nail in the species coffin.
So you don't know what the answer IS, but somehow you know what the answer ISN'T.

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Re: Why 'Free Will' is Logically Impossible

Post #297

Post by William »

Kylie wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 6:07 pm
William wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 9:51 pm
Kylie wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 9:33 pm
William wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 6:44 pm
Kylie wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 6:27 pm
William wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 7:11 pmThe universe is not fundamental reality.
Would you care to support this claim?
Not I, since I did not make this claim.

But one of those who is making this claim, does support said claim.
Nima Arkani-Hamed
Professor, The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and
A. D. White Professor-at-Large, Cornell University


The Doom of Spacetime
Why It Must Dissolve Into More Fundamental Structures
And where exactly does he make this claim?

What you linked to seems to say nothing more than QM and relativity need to be replaced with something else since neither of them can explain everything and they are incompatible with each other. But that's a long way from saying that there is no objective reality.
No one said there wasn't either subjective or objective reality. What was said was that this universe that we call reality, is not fundamental reality...

That means that it cannot have created itself or otherwise be responsible for its own existence.

QM has been saying as much for over a century now, but because of basic human survival instincts, and a general lack of accountability in materialistic based science, most materialists ignore the fact of the QM mathematics in favor of pursuing more materialistic ventures and supporting those - while they still can.

It is just one of those things. How it pans out is yet to be seen, but with some scientists telling us we have to do some radical rethinking on how we currently live our lives, because the climate is warming up - there doesn't appear to be too much time left before materialism proves to be the nail in the species coffin.
So you don't know what the answer IS, but somehow you know what the answer ISN'T.
What are you attempting to convey Kylie ?

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Re: Why 'Free Will' is Logically Impossible

Post #298

Post by Kylie »

William wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 6:19 pm
Kylie wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 6:07 pm
William wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 9:51 pm
Kylie wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 9:33 pm
William wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 6:44 pm
Kylie wrote: Sun Nov 20, 2022 6:27 pm
William wrote: Sat Nov 19, 2022 7:11 pmThe universe is not fundamental reality.
Would you care to support this claim?
Not I, since I did not make this claim.

But one of those who is making this claim, does support said claim.
Nima Arkani-Hamed
Professor, The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and
A. D. White Professor-at-Large, Cornell University


The Doom of Spacetime
Why It Must Dissolve Into More Fundamental Structures
And where exactly does he make this claim?

What you linked to seems to say nothing more than QM and relativity need to be replaced with something else since neither of them can explain everything and they are incompatible with each other. But that's a long way from saying that there is no objective reality.
No one said there wasn't either subjective or objective reality. What was said was that this universe that we call reality, is not fundamental reality...

That means that it cannot have created itself or otherwise be responsible for its own existence.

QM has been saying as much for over a century now, but because of basic human survival instincts, and a general lack of accountability in materialistic based science, most materialists ignore the fact of the QM mathematics in favor of pursuing more materialistic ventures and supporting those - while they still can.

It is just one of those things. How it pans out is yet to be seen, but with some scientists telling us we have to do some radical rethinking on how we currently live our lives, because the climate is warming up - there doesn't appear to be too much time left before materialism proves to be the nail in the species coffin.
So you don't know what the answer IS, but somehow you know what the answer ISN'T.
What are you attempting to convey Kylie ?
Well, at the moment, I'm trying to the point that if there is anything truly random, then there can't be such a thing as a predetermined outcome and that the universe can't be purely deterministic in nature.

I've given an example to support this - radioactive decay. Yet despite the fact that there is no known mechanism to explain when a specific atom will decay and that the process is, to all available information, completely truly random, I keep getting hit with demands to show that it really is random.

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Re: Why 'Free Will' is Logically Impossible

Post #299

Post by William »

[Replying to Kylie in post #298]
What are you attempting to convey Kylie ?
Well, at the moment, I'm trying to the point that if there is anything truly random, then there can't be such a thing as a predetermined outcome and that the universe can't be purely deterministic in nature.
That in and of itself is a different thread topic. This thread topic is about Free Will...
Topic Argument wrote:Here is a simple, yet powerful, argument against the idea that we 'freely' choose our actions.

1. Our thoughts determine our choices.

2. We do not freely choose our thoughts.

3. Therefore, our choices cannot be free.
I've given an example to support this - radioactive decay. Yet despite the fact that there is no known mechanism to explain when a specific atom will decay and that the process is, to all available information, completely truly random, I keep getting hit with demands to show that it really is random.
I think that has more to do with human limitations which convey a sense of the immeasurable and then falsely equates that limitation to being evidence that truly random "therefore exists" -

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Re: Why 'Free Will' is Logically Impossible

Post #300

Post by Kylie »

William wrote: Fri Nov 25, 2022 6:34 pm [Replying to Kylie in post #298]
What are you attempting to convey Kylie ?
Well, at the moment, I'm trying to the point that if there is anything truly random, then there can't be such a thing as a predetermined outcome and that the universe can't be purely deterministic in nature.
That in and of itself is a different thread topic. This thread topic is about Free Will...
Topic Argument wrote:Here is a simple, yet powerful, argument against the idea that we 'freely' choose our actions.

1. Our thoughts determine our choices.

2. We do not freely choose our thoughts.

3. Therefore, our choices cannot be free.
I've given an example to support this - radioactive decay. Yet despite the fact that there is no known mechanism to explain when a specific atom will decay and that the process is, to all available information, completely truly random, I keep getting hit with demands to show that it really is random.
I think that has more to do with human limitations which convey a sense of the immeasurable and then falsely equates that limitation to being evidence that truly random "therefore exists" -
But we CAN choose whether to act on our thoughts. that's what happens every time you make a decision. Or do you believe that you play no part in the decision making process?

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