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Wootah
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2019 3:47 pm  Sacrifice and free will Reply with quote

Hi all,

How do we know an object has free will?

One way is to observe it and it's choices. But if you observe the object doing the same thing over and over again it doesn't seem to have free will.

But if you observe the object sacrificing, giving up something in the hope for something better, is that not a good indication of free will?

Eg: If I eat food all the time then I am probably a slave to food and not able to display free will in this area. But if I can demonstrate that I don't need to eat all the time and can choose what to eat and more importantly not eat - doesnt that display free will?
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 11: Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:15 pm
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mgb wrote:

Yes, I think a deliberate choice, over and above the inertia of the crowd, or habit, is free will.


To be sure, deliberation is (to my mind) a critical component of free will. Decisions we take automatically and without reflection are more likely down to our biologies, psychologies and prejudices than to our rationality. But, we can develop the ornery predisposition to reject the conventional wisdom, and develop the habit of contrariness. If we do so, does that then make us 'free'?

Best wishes, 2RM.


Last edited by 2ndRateMind on Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:37 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 12: Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:58 pm
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Re: Sacrifice and free will

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Wootah wrote:


Eg: If I eat food all the time then I am probably a slave to food and not able to display free will in this area. But if I can demonstrate that I don't need to eat all the time and can choose what to eat and more importantly not eat - doesnt that display free will?


So, I think freedom of will in this area is best demonstrated by those who are vegetarian or vegan for political, rather than moral, reasons. If you hate the thought of animals dying, or the slaughter of calves for dairy purposes, that is one thing. But it is a visceral, despising thing. And not a free will thing, as I understand the term.

But what is free is to consider the impact the meat and dairy industries have on the world, and to reject one's own consumption of their produce out of a disinclination to contribute to that impact.

I speak, I should make clear, as a confirmed omnivore, whose budget and dietary predilections do not allow for such a principled stance. But I have great respect for those stronger in this area than I am.

Best wishes, 2RM

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 13: Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:57 pm
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Re: Sacrifice and free will

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[Replying to post 1 by Wootah]

Quote:
If I eat food all the time then I am probably a slave to food and not able to display free will in this area. But if I can demonstrate that I don't need to eat all the time and can choose what to eat and more importantly not eat - doesnt that display free will?


No. It simply displays will. It does not display 'free'.

One has to take into account ones surrounding reality. You make choices through will. There is no requirement for the additional word "free" to be place in front of the word "will".

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 14: Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:47 am
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Re: Sacrifice and free will

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William wrote:

[Replying to post 1 by Wootah]

Quote:
If I eat food all the time then I am probably a slave to food and not able to display free will in this area. But if I can demonstrate that I don't need to eat all the time and can choose what to eat and more importantly not eat - doesnt that display free will?


No. It simply displays will. It does not display 'free'.

One has to take into account ones surrounding reality. You make choices through will. There is no requirement for the additional word "free" to be place in front of the word "will".


It does seem redundant. I'll continue to use free will because i am used to it.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 15: Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:04 pm
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Re: Sacrifice and free will

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[Replying to post 14 by Wootah]

It seems we have arrived at a philosophical point. Hooray!

Seems to me that you can have the will, but not the freedom. Any alcoholic will tell you this, that they recognise drinking too much is bad, but that they are powerless to alter their habit. And that is an internalised addiction, taking no account of those societies where the various forms of political oppressions are relevant.

And you can have the freedom, but not the will. Any semi-intelligent person can tell you that they could have had a lucrative career as an accountant, (which, after all, only really requires the capacity to add and subtract, and the knowledge of when to do which), but they preferred a different life, as a sea surfer, maybe, or a nurse, or both.

But to be free, and have the will, simultaneously! That is how any of us small individuals effect the necessary activities to change the world, for better or worse, but ideally, one hopes, for the better. A true demonstration of free will, it seems to me, is to exhibit the free, willful capacity to disregard one's own direct interests in the pursuit of the common good. If we all could, and did, do that, we might all be living in a better world.

Best wishes, 2RM.

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