The debate "Free will is not real" was started by
March 2, 2020, 5:26 am.
28 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 47 people are on the disagree side.
That might be enough to see the common perception.
It looks like most people are against to this statement.
civilizeddiscussion posted 21 arguments to the agreers part.
Nemiroff posted 5 arguments, jrardin12 posted 2 arguments to the disagreers part.
civilizeddiscussion, crazy_troglodyte, Impossible, Dazed_Confused and 24 visitors agree.
jrardin12, StrangeTime, archnemesis, Madler, bitchimaqueen, tyler0300 and 41 visitors disagree.
Science is a process, it's not something that "cannot be known". Truth is what is either known or not. Science is just the rational and empirical tool we use to approximate truth as best we can.
how is discovering what we do not know arbitrary?
But if science is arbitrary, then we can never be for sure.
just because we discover a deeper understanding doesnt mean the laws were different due to our ignorance....
science is how we discover what we do not know.
Then why do science if we can't know that the laws of physics are different elsewhere, or if it can change. This would mean science is arbitrary and cannot be known.
im not arguing that your point is wrong, it is *possible*, but so is the alternative. we simply do not know. it is fine if you believe we are all predetermined, im not against that view... but the certainty with which you proclaim it is more in tune with religion then with science. we do not know enough about how the brain works to justify your confidence.
but still we will always obey the law of physics. we escape the planet by obeying the law, not violating the law. even our brain works by obeying the law. our thought has pre-determined by the law. we have no option. the law provide no alternative result. only 1 answer for 1 condition.
my argument is that both of us are doing ntrusive guessing as no one knows how decision making operates. you are faking certainty out of ignorance.
you only obey the laws of physics if you are ignorant of them. once you know the laws, they can obey you, like freeing yourself from a normally inescapable planet.
over billions of years our bodies have harnessed the laws of chemistry and physics to build up potential energy and release it at will. whether that will, on a fundamental level is predictable, is unknown. claiming blind knowledge even if it is possibly true, is religion, not science.
but afterall, law of physics provides no alternative, u can only obey it, there will be only one result in one specific condition. an apple can only fall to the ground in one specific period of time in one specific condition. just like our brain will only think about one specific idea in one specific condition. no other option. and everything can be traced back to the big bang.
universe is just a very complex mathematical function which provides only one result in one specific input.
just like ive said, if we discussed about it in the sake of science, that would always come to be the answer. unless u bring something non-materialistic to the table
sorry to say, but your argument about complex combination is just intuitive guessing with no strong argument behind it. u want to feel powerful of ur action but just like life itself, our actions are just coincidence
your point is not illogical, however you state it as a known fact when the physiology of the brain is one of the least known aspects of the universe. the one thing we do know about the brain, is that it is complex.
our body utilizes energy to force particles in the direction we desire them to go. even if our desires are beyond conscious control, our ability to act at will has no precedence. will i stand up now, or in 5 minutes, no reaction we can understand dictates that. for all we know our will kickstarts the action potential that ultimately leads to motion.
we know that complex combinations of simple parts can create a whole with vastly more powerful and previously unbelievable capabilities.
and the feedback system is between our brain and the perceived signal that our sensor caught from the environment. our brain will automaticly process a specific signal that goes to our brain. even if decision is concious, its just a product of our brain cellular activity
as I said before, ur decision is just a product of ur cellular brain acitivity. thats how we should always grasp it if we are talking in the way of science and reality. unless u want to bring something more than physical things to the table like "soul" but then you can not prove it, only guess it.
It's both. That's what a feedback system is.
>which is first?
They're inextricably linked, so neither. You are the cellular activity, you are the physical conditions. You cannot make a decision without cellular activity and a decision cannot pre-exist the cellular activity. It might be a hard concept to grasp, idk, but it's the foundation for my entire argument.
I'm not arguing against determinism, I have just argued against your standard for freedom for our will.
If I was arguing against determinism I'd try jumping into quantum mechanics because it requires parallel worlds to exist to explain how its randomness is actually deterministic.
There may not be parallel worlds so it's possible determinism is an illusion of the averaging of an absurd number of indeterminate quantum fluctuations.
is it cellular activity of ur brain determine ur decision or ur decision determine cellular activity of ur brain?
lets always make it simple. do you think a specific physical condition of ur brain determine your action or your concious mind determine an action hence it will make specific physical condition on your brain? which is first? physical brain condition or concious decision?
> it is exactly just like a line of domino which holds no free will in it. and by that definition i dont see any paradox.
This will make me sound like a jerk, but my immediate reaction to this comment is to assume you don't fully understand your position since you have yet to clarify what a "free" will. I am probably wrong about that though but I'll clarify why I think that.
You have only defined free by saying we don't have it.
Are we free? No because we are determined.
Is skin violet? No because skin is brown/white.
That's your argument. It's definitely valid, I don't disagree with the logic, but it's also surface level. For example, since we also reflect ultra violet, and that's nominally violet, the soundness of that argument depends on how violet is defined and what reference spectrum of the EM wave we're including. So it helps to clarify a definition. Free will has two definitions, one that needs to fulfil a paradox to exist and one that doesn't.
What actually is the free will that determinism doesn't allow? What does it mean to be free? That's what I tried defining for you and showing that it needs to break a paradox to exist. Being free means being in control of the laws of physics, our consciousness is in control of many laws but not others. To be in control of all of them, which means being free from all of them, we must pre-exist ourself to configure the laws of physics that form our initial conditions, but then we must also pre-exist that pre-existence to configure its initial conditions, and this goes on forever.
All objects and the actions they perform are produced by physical laws, that does not mean that those objects do not perform those actions.
To say that a needle pricked me is the same as to say that the physical laws that produce that needle made me prick. To say that the physical laws that produce our consciousness determine what we do is the same as saying that our consciouness determines what we do, which is the same as saying that we determine what we do.
and if our conciousness is just a product of physical law, it all could be traced back to the start, the first falling domino, the big bang. it also means that everything happen in the universe is already written in the composition of the big bang itself. everything had already been determined since the start. we are just falling dominos
yea its a bit tricky but my definition of free will here is maybe what people calls as concious decision, since our concious decision is just a product of law of physics working in our brain. do you get it? or u think there is more than physical thing that affect our way of thinking? if there is nothing more than law of physics working in our brain, it is exactly just like a line of domino which holds no free will in it. and by that definition i dont see any paradox.
I'm not saying the lack of free will causes a paradox, I'm saying there is a paradox when there isn't a lack of free will. So your definition of free will requires it to not exist.
first, I think we have 0% free will, and how would you measure its quantity?
second, our desired action has been determined by our brain phisical condition. it feels like our own action, but it actually just our brain's physical condition.
and for your cause and effect argument, it just works like a line of domino, if you push the first one, the rest will just follow.
im not thinking this as a paradox, bcs even your action has been decided by your brain physical and chemical condition. just like if you use drug, your brain condition will change, hence your action will change.
afterall our brain is just a complex computer which has a very complex program. not so different with desktop computer. let say if u can code an AI, it will always follow ur code. our brain is a complex computer doesnt mean its not a computer. our mind us a complex program doesnt mean its not a program.
btw i read it all cause its fun :D
And I can't explain this next bit without resorting to incoherent engineering grammar which is what I came to this platform to practice avoiding, but eh.
So, let's say the self is caused by A (by say popping into existence). Then let's say the self causes X OR Y. Since X or Y is caused by the self, the self determines the outcome. Furthermore, let's say X or Y transform the self into either x or y. This means the self causes the self. These are the two necessary parts of self-determinism, self-causing and choice.
This is very important, it mean there isn't just an unconscious universe determining the self, there are also sets of conscious laws determining the self, because the self is conscious. You may think that even though the self is self-determined, they're still not free.
That's because it's intuitive for us to see the self as a feedback system. A feedback system is self-determinant, but it is also technically FIXED by its initial conditions. Being a fixed system means the self's choice between X and Y was actually determined by A when A popped the self into existence with its initial conditions. Since A caused the initial conditions, not the self, and initial conditions select if X or Y are caused, and that's what determines if the self becames x or y, THEN is the self actually free to cause the self? Furthermore, if the desires of the self are just transformations of initial conditions that the self has no freedom to choose, is it actually fair to call those transformations self-causing? It is using the compatible definition.
This is why the definition of free will is very important. To require the self to determine its initial self is the same paradox as before. For the self to exist to be able to choose its initial conditions it must already exist with a set of conditions. So the only way this works is if it had no beginning.
So you can either interpret all this as objective proof we don't have free will because it creates a paradox, or you can accept that your definition of free will is wanting.
To inconclusively answer the issues I rose before, an argument for freedom emerging from unfree matter the same way consciousness emerges from unconsciousness can be used. But Ive probably already typed more than you'll probably read of this. Twas fun though.
I'm not rejecting that though. I'm adding nuance so it's logical. Your definition requires someone to pre-exist themselves to be free (to escape the laws that defined them). That version of free will obviously can't exist just because it's a paradox
That doesn't offer insight into the nature of our freedom, except maybe that absolute freedom is impossible. But that's obvious too. So come on a journey with me to find a more insightful version of free will used by Compatiblism :p
The first change is freedom should be on a scale between 0% TO 100% free, not a binary scale of either 0% free OR 100% free. That fixes your paradox at 100% free and changes the standard for being free to a continuous spectrum between just above 0% to just below 100%.
Secondly, free will is defined as the self's ability to choose a desired action over an alternative.
This version of free will pins down exactly what entity is free (the self), what makes an act free (the self choosing a desired option over alternatives), and it doesn't require your paradox to pre-exist oneself to exist.
Adding those together means we should approach free will as a question of how free we are to determine ourselves (self causing) and our own actions (choice)
but our conciousness's decision has been determined by our brain's physical condition
So when I first learned about "free will as an illusion" I accepted it immediately. But after reading more I now think the version of free will that we call an illusion is stupid.
Your version of free will doesn't just need to be free from the univserse, it must also be free from the structure that gives it will. But then how does it exist? It can't actually be free from the principles that give it will or else it wouldn't have will.
So it's an absurd way to think about free will because it's illogical and can't exist in any world. Unless you use magic to make it all make sense, but then anything is possible.
Instead of free will existing or not existing, it's much more useful to put freedom on a more or less scale between being an inanimate rock and being consciously self-determinate.
Because consciousness is self-determinate, it has a degree of freedom. Does that degree of freedom free it from matter? Who knows. But consciousness is an emergent property of the most complex structure in the universe so it's definitely possible.
i think my definition of "free will" here is "un-predetermined will". your will that has not been determined by the universe around you
it is amazing, but yet it was only possible if your brain reacting with some specific of electron Singal, just like a computer.
Goodness that's brilliant
Free will doesn't exist.
I also don't agree.
How can I agree and disagree at the same time?
because the term "free will" is nebulous.
Since you haven't defined "free will" you haven't made it clear which version you're using.
Usually in trying to define incompatible free will you discover you need to make an agent omnipotent and independent of the universe.
So a more reasonable definition of self-determinism is usually used, and it is more compatible with determinism.
there is no free will
Okay. But what is a free will? You're defining what a determined will is, not a free will...
yes thats what im reffering to, everything we do is already predetermined. we think only in specific way the universe already predetermine it
> "we are free in the condition that we are destined to be."
Is that your definition for free will? I couldn't see one. What you've written there is a definition of a will that is already limited.
What is the free will you're saying doesn't exist?
i dont get what ur mathematician magic law analogy
and what makes u capable hijacking the laws of physics? the laws of physics itself, in other word the law of physics hijacking the laws of physics, in other word its just the laws of physics
just like the mathematician used the laws of magic to create something capable of transcending the original purpose, our brains can hijack the laws of physics to transcend their purpose towards our own.
rather then the laws of physics controlling us, it is us harnessing those laws to our own ends!
still does not mean ur mind controlled the atom on ur body, it is the other way around, physics law control ur mind
the whole is greater then then sum of its parts.
a mathematician was able to build a functional computer, a turing complete machine, out of a tournament legal magic the gathering card game deck.
we are just a bunch of atoms following laws of physics, where would free will fit into that?
they are factors in the equation but far from the whole thing. can you give me a hypothetical example of what you imagining free will is?
being limited by common sense and being informed by past experiences does not limit free will. limitations on opportunity such as poverty may limit your choices, that doesn't mean human society can take away your will.
if your expectations for freedom are freedom from reality, then your argument is absurd.
so your brain ability to learn and your experience determine your action?
are you talking about survival instincts like eating and sleeping? not sure what you are considering "preprogrammed"
can you explain how freedom is related to an inability to learn from experience?
if your mind is programmed to make a certain choice, is that really free will?
it seems everyone thinks freedom involves being all powerful and lacking the ability to learn from experience. that sounds like some twisted logic.
can someone explain to me what freedom free of environmental influences would look like?
do people has the same standard for what is "right" and "wrong"?
im reffering to our way of thinking which is shaped by our genetics and environtment. we are free in the condition that we are destined to be. in other word, we are not really have freedom.
I don't agree myself. We all have a free will to do right or wrong and to make day to day decisions.
I'm not sure if a I agree. I'm curious about what version of free will you're referring to though and what argument you have for it not existing.
Like we obviously don't have absolute freedom because we aren't omnipotent, we're limited by our own competence and imagination. But I suspect you're referring to another type of freedom?