The debate "Freewill doesn't exist." was started by
May 28, 2019, 12:54 pm.
63 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 122 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.
JDAWG9693 posted 50 arguments, Allirix posted 2 arguments, maksonmakson posted 2 arguments to the agreers part.
Hellow posted 7 arguments, InfinityMachine posted 14 arguments, Nemiroff posted 5 arguments, Repent_4_The_End_Is_Near posted 4 arguments, Harshit posted 1 argument, Allirix posted 7 arguments to the disagreers part.
JDAWG9693, Potatochiper, bernie, Damn, maksonmakson, swara, sakshi, fireball4thewin, MrStealyogrill, Deat and 53 visitors agree.
InfinityMachine, Hellow, MADHURA, imjustheretommorow, wtann6979, Damian, DanielSays, Ssk, hollieg, sssk, Rodolfo, ShiroSpeaks, kadijatu, Bratzela, Repent_4_The_End_Is_Near, Harshit, boispendaddy, sk25, jrardin12, jbusey, mwest0097, JATIN2580, bigbuttgal, mtbtheboss, Manuel, codyray16 and 96 visitors disagree.
You don't need anything. You just want it really, really badly. Or, rather, you want really bad the things that having money will bring and you recognize that you think that having the money will bring you more pleasure.
I don't want the money, I need the money. my initial desire is to roll back into bed, which is then followed by a realization of the consequences of not getting that money. at the end I suck it up and go do what I need to do, not what I actually want to do.
long term desires are not some subconscious knee jerk reaction. And the most relevant aspect of them is that they often involve the suppression of more basic, shorter term desires. that suppression, imo, is far from automatic.
Fair enough. I just think the idea that pleasure determines everything doesn't tell the whole story. There's far more unconscious mechanisms that may determine behaviour.
My main point of contention was the third point I made before anyway, the one that cannot be answered yet because we don't understand the nature of conciousness. The other two points I made require conciousness to be bigger than the unconscious mechanisms it emerges from. I feel like everything we are saying leads back to that and we probably agree on everything else. A few weeks ago I even argued here for the lack of free will because of the clear limiting forces of nature and nurture.
I now think the nature of emergence and the self-referencing ability of conciousness makes me far more confident free will has some degree of freedom.
I would explain self-sacrifice with our innate altruism that we have evolutionarily developed. And self-sabotage with a masochistic desire.
If it's more than just an incentive how do you explain self-sacrificing or self-sabotaging behaviour then?
I would say that it's just acknowledging that long-term pleasure will be more enjoyable and, being that we want a maximized amount of pleasure, acts in such a way that he believes will bring the maximal pleasure. If he acknowledged that waiting would bring more pleasure and we can only do what we believe will bring the most pleasure, then he had no choice but to wait.
It's strange for you to say that even I admit pleasure is undecided when that has literally been a party of my argument from the start. I just believe high-level unconscious antecedents like pain and pleasure incentivise concious decisions, not determine them. Unconsciousness is also by definition undecided.
He may have had the urge to eat a gummy bear but his conciousness believed delaying the pleasure would increased the pay-off in the long-term. He was technically forgoing pleasure for the concept of pleasure. That hsiws there's more than pleasure operating here. You could say it's short vs long term pleasure, but the ability to reject short-term pleasure to maximise long-term pleasure is an example of concious management of unconscious incentives.
He only didn't like gummy bears because he changed to a low-sugar diet and he only did so (I don't know the actual reason, but for example) to get healthy and he only wanted to get healthy to be more attractive so he could attract more mates because sex is pleasurable. He didn't choose to not like gummy bears; not liking gummy bears was a consequence of previous actions.
And I'm not sure I understand your first problem, and your third is something neither of us yet have an answer for. But, your second issue I would say that the conscious mind doesn't have any control because the only reason we, to use one of your examples, hold a friendship is because we find their company or something they bring us desirable/pleasurable. And, you even admitted that we do not choose what we find pleasurable. Otherwise I would choose to find everyone's company pleasurable and I wouldn't get frustrated with people so often.
This argument? It's still referring to a neural mechanism: pleasure.
Premise 1: One cannot choose what they find pleasurable.
Premise 2: One can only want what brings them pleasure.
Conclusion 1: If one cannot choose what is pleasurable, and can only want what they find pleasurable, then they cannot chose what they want.
Premise 3: One can only act on what they want.
I'd say that premise 1 is mostly accurate but we can definitely exert concious pressure over the long-term. That video you linked showed the desire for gummy bears as an example. Premise 2 is completely wrong though. I'm sure you know pleasure isn't the only driver of wants, and wants aren't even the only driver of behaviour so premise 3 is completely invalid too.
My logic for the lack of free will is this:
Premise 1: If only external factors like nature and nurture determine the unconscious mind
Premise 2: And only the unconcious mind determines the conscious mind
Conclusion 1. Then the concious mind is powerless to influence the unconscious mind.
Conclusion 2: And a concious will is only determined by external factors.
Potential problems with this are
1. Neural feedback loops that are controlled by the concious mind also influence the unconscious mind
2. The concious mind has some control over external stimuli (friends, location, diet, education, etc).
3. We don't understand conciousness beyond it being the emergent property of a complex network of unconscious processes. Is that enough to make it determined by those processes? Maybe, but emergent properties are more than their parts so it's a deceptively difficult question that does not yet have a clear answer.
This recent wording was definitely more linked to scientific studies of freewill which is why I'm, clearly, not as good at it. My original argument was much more in the realm of philosophy and I can much better defend that.
How can philosophy answer the question conclusively though? Your argument so far has just been one side of the "unconscious determines our actions" debate. That's just a premise that isn't confirmed yet. It's still hotly debated by researchers.
Then you would argue that you don't know rather than for freewill. Also, I try to argue more for a philosophical sense because that's what I'm better at
If conciousness is entirely driven by determined unconscious cues then I'd concede that we don't have free will. But the neurological evidence is not yet conclusive
Then you stuck to saying ten times because you wanted to, but I still hold that you cant control what you want.
Also, can you show that you are thinking instead of thoughts happening?
Unless I decide to say it 10 times and then stop. Conciousness has control over unconscious drives, it's called self-control. It's not absolute power but it exists.
For your question of where do we lose freewill, I would have to answer with saying that that's sand heap question. I'm not sure exactly at what point we lose it, but I know we don't have it.
I would also say that if you decide to say sand over and over, not only has the experiences you've had molded a person that would do such a thing, but you're not predicting your next thought you're just continuing your current thought. And, you have no control of when you start or stop. If I were to say you have no freewill and you go, "Yes I do, see? Sand, sand, sand, sand, sand, sand...." You only did so because you wanted to prove me wrong more than you didn't wanna waste your time repeating a word and believed that doing so would prove me wrong. You can't, however, have believed otherwise until convinced otherwise. And, you have no control of when you stop. You will stop when either an unconscious or external factor makes you stop.
Let's say we are omnipotent and can conciously choose anything we want. Our choice space has uncountably infinite degrees of freedom. We definitely agree we'd have free will here right? At what point do we lose it?
Is it when our choices become limited by the external world? If a lightning bolt hits me I can't do anything to stop it killing me. If you put a gun to my head and tell me what to do do I still have free will? What about limitations on my own ability? I can't run at 50 km an hour by just choosing to. I can't jump twice as far as an Olympic jumper even if I tried really hard.
If you believe these external forces limit free will then we disagree on what free will is. If not, then why do internal limitations like unconscious systems take away our free will? All an unconscious system does is further limit the degrees of freedom our concious mind has. Our brain's neural networks are just imprints of the external world inside us.
I believe if our consciousness has at least 1 degree of freedom then we have free will. You may argue the unconscious mind fully determines the concious mind leaving it with 0, but there's no evidence for that, nor is it a functional belief for society to adopt, so I'll continue believing there's a free conciousness until there's evidence to say otherwise.
There is a technique that's been used to predict which button someone will press before they do in real-time by analysing one's brain. I haven't seen this used as proof the unconscious mind completely determines the conscious mind, but it's an interesting start.
I feel like that video just summed up my point about unconscious antecedents but completely ignored conciousness and that's why it concluded we have no free will. It touched on conciousness a bit when he brought up his desire for gummies changing after he chose a sugar-free diet, or a belief system changing after choosing to move to another country, but he didn't connect that to conciousness changing unconsciousness. I do agree that most of who we are is made of unconscious systems. But with even 1% conciousness I believe there's free will.
I also think this can be summed up by pointing out the absurdity of Sam Harris's point at the end. I can't predict my next thought? If it's a thought determined by my sub/unconscious mind then he's right, but if I conciously decide to say "sand" over and over I can certainly predict my next thought.
This is a really good video on the subject that I just found. Prince EA made a good video about identity and Jim Carrey that I think also relates well to the discussion of free will (up until the end when it gets all hippie-dippie lol).
Basically it boils down to this, and I think this is another good way of voicing my point: We act on what we think is the best course of action, yes? Do we control what we think, then? Tell me what your next thought is going to be. You can't because then you would have had to think of the thought before you thought of it. Do you think or does thinking happen? If you think then you should be able to tell me what your next thought is gonna be and be able to control what you enjoy. But, if thinking happens and you are simply an observer, then it would be obvious that you have no control because it's just happening.
Also, there's a scientist (and I can never remember his name when I need it) who speaks on his theory of our emotions and how our brain receives the physical signals then decides how to feel. So, for example, if I saw a bear my muscles would tense up and my adrenaline would start pumping THEN I would feel scared, rather than feeling scared then the physical reaction. That theory would be another good example of things happening without our control and us simply watching
I believe with conciousness comes free will. Intentions, decisions, and choices are of course influenced by their unconscious antecedents, but are not inevitably determined by them because our conscious mind can intervene, veto, or otherwise influence the unconscious.
While it is true that brain circuitry is programmed by genetics and experience, the same circuitry that generates a conscious mind is also involved in making choices about who and what to interact with and what experiences to value, promote, and allow. Conscious mind can insist that some lessons of experience need to be remembered and valued, while others are not. In short, the conscious mind gets to help shape what its unconscious mind becomes.
I do know the study you are referring to and, while there are good scientific arguments for the non-existence of freewill, I am definitely not adept in those and more so in the philosophical arguments. Not to dismiss them, I would just be no good in that discussion.
And, you choose to go to work because more than sleeping in and more than the boredom of work, you want the money you get from work and all of the privileges that that money brings. You can't choose not to want that money; not unless something changes externally that makes you not want it as much anymore, such as a family emergency. But, no matter what happens, there will always be a greater want and I'm arguing that you can't not do that greater want (or what will lead to that greater want). And, if you can't not do that greater want, and you can't choose what you want (you can't choose to want a pile of shit over a bowl of ice cream), then you can't choose what you do.
I'm not sure where we left off but as you know I disagree when it comes to competing desires. I know you disagree with my disagreement, but I disagree with that. I do however think I have a new explain why.
I wake up in the morning unnaturally thanks to my alarm clock, the very first thought is "I want to go back to sleep". yes I also want to keep my job, but that is not an initial reflexive choice but I I must consciously make.
our default choices and desires are absolutely not our own, what free will is is our ability to use *will*power to override these reflexive desires in order to *choose* something else. our alternative choices may also be automatic, but the choice to NOT follow a certain desire is what free will is.
going back to my physics no free will argument. I remember a neurological study that had participants think of doing a simple action, and had some of them not do it. their brains initially acted the same, sending the signal to move their fingers, but was then aborted. sure our molecules are just following the laws of physics, but according to the laws of physics, adding energy (which our bodies do all the time) can alter a particles course, and that expenditure of energy is what we call free will. of course the expenditure of energy also follows the rules of physics, but I have not yet seen the bottom of that rabbit hole.
I'm not saying that an external force is forcing me to do anything.
P1: You can only do what you want (the I'd always an underlying/greater want
P2: You can only want what brings you pleasure
P3: You cannot choose what brings you pleasure
C: If you cannot decide what brings you pleasure, you cannot choose what you want, you cannot choose what you do. If you cannot choose what you do, there is no freewill
Okay look, I partially agree with premise 1. This is because people can do things because they want to, because they are forced to but also (what I feel you should've added as one of the premises for arguments sake) if they do something without making the conscious decision to do it (do something without knowing they are doing it but having made the choice that lead to it e.g If I decide to take a shortcut i normally don't take & I fall in a hole I didn't know was there, I may not have made the decision to fall in the hole but my decision to take the shortcut lead to the situation)
Being forced to do something doesn't mean there's no such thing as free will, you felt as if you had no other choice to do something in order to achieve, survive or whatever and that's why you (chose to) do it e.g Someone points a gun at my head trying to make me tell them the code or combination to my safe or vault, It's up to me at that point to ask myself "Is whatever it is in my vault valuable enough to me for me to get killed for it? If so, I'd rather get shot dead & if not, I will give up the information in hopes that I don't get shot.
Besides, you constantly choose what you want (at any given circumstance) & your decision was based on what you wanted or needed most at the time even if it leads to a bigger decision you weren't even aware you were making or a situation you didn't know you were putting yourself in.
I don't believe in predestination or "fate" and I haven't advocated for it. Please read the premises and tell me which one(s) you disagree with and why
Have you ever played chess?
There are rules in the game that you're not supposed to break but still there are trillions of moves you can play on the board.
The rules represent the physical world and the moves represent your freewill.
It's not upto fate whether you win or lose, It's upto your decisions.
SURELY MINDLESS DECISIONS ARE LEFT TO FATE
Also, Nemiroff, I think the video You (Probably) Don't Exist by exurb1a is a good video that helps my point that's also funny and I think you would enjoy
Bump (click what I'm replying to). I've only made one point if that's easier for you to read.
My guy, it would be easier to debate my premises rather than just statements. Please read some of the previous thread and tell me which premise(s) you disagree with and why
And I have a choice to either kill myself right now or see another day. Such a decision doesn't need direct influence from a God. We have control over our own decisions but factors that influence the decision is the given circumstance & and internal processes like whether or not it is a positive situation, willpower comes into play, stress levels may increase & cause us to make a decision. But no one has to directly influence that
Did you read the thread? I give my premises several times and would ask which of them you pose an issue with and give a counter-example
Ask yourself why you have a choice to either brush your teeth this morning or not. The result is parallel to my argument
Do you have a choice, though? I would suggest reading most of the previous discussion on the thread.
Free will does exist. People always have choices. If someone slaps me, I have a choice to either fight back & defend myself or submit. This is always the case, even if you're held at gunpoint.
Yeah sorry, you're right, I agreed with your conclusion but that part confused me because I didn't read that.
No because I can give examples, but we had already established that premise as true when I wrote that version of the syllogism
isn't premise 2 begging the question fallacy?
Let's say the world forced a child to choose between starvation or theft. Is that a free choice? Their biology would compel them to steal to survive. A nurtured social contract may tell them stealing is wrong, so they may not want to steal but, in most cases, the child chooses to steal. I believe this is not a free choice. They're not responsible for the biology that compelled them or the horrific situation they're in. Their choice was limited by the world and therefore not free.
Yes, an outsider can easily say the presence of two options means a super principled child can choose to fight the biology, but the choice to fight in this case would be a product of environmental or familial nurture, another activity we cannot choose.
So because we are a product of the world (nature and nurture) our will is a manifestation of the world and free will doesn't exist.
Just because the desires change does not mean we had any control in when or how they changed. And, yes, having to do more work is a factor that will be part of whether that is your greatest desire or not. Do I want to just eat the vanilla ice cream here or walk the three blocks for the chocolate I thought this shop would have? I don't get to choose which I want more, the walking for chocolate or no walking and vanilla, (or none or both, etc.) But, one desire will be the greatest and that is the one that I have to take.
that is oversimplified. some greater desires require greater work, and the 2 factors must be weighed. some desires change, I want to play fps today, but a platformer an hour later. some people are indecisive.
we are at a stalemate. we can apply our opinions equally to the situation but we will see no objective proof one way or the other. I think your view is folly but there is no way to establish that objectively. at this point I usually propose an agree to disagree. I understand your point, I believe you understand mine. we havent moved from our positions in quite some time.
But one desire will be greater, and that is the path they they will take. I don't think that there has ever been actually equal desires. One desire is always greater and we have no choice but to do the greater desire.
even free will is linked to desire. without desire one wont take action, including free action. the point is that we often have conflicting desires, and that gives room for choice.
It depends on what free will is. If by free will you mean that you are allowed to do anything, then yeah, it doesn't exist. From the scientific point, free will is when the electrochemical signals of your brain's neurons are caused naturally, and not by making them artificially. By the way, when a signal is artificial, it doesn't feel like you've acted against your will. You'll feel that you wanted to (for example) lift your leg, and nothing will seem to be wrong.
So, can you give an example where there is not an underlying/greater want/desire? Because I have always been able to point it out.
the objection is with premise 3. one can choose what they dont want and can choose between different things that they want if they can't achieve them all
Any difficult decision I explain with there always being an underlying/greater want/desire. Whatever that person desires most, or perceives will bring them to the path of greatest pleasure will be the path or action that they will take. But, we can't decide what brings us pleasure, etc., etc.
And, just because we perceive that decision was correct like I've said, does not mean that it was.
But, again, I ask which of the premises you disagree with or think needs elaboration because if you agree with all of the premises, I believe that the conclusions logically follow.
your premises do not account for multiple wants and an inability to satisfy them all. thus allowing for many paths. our debate was in comparative desires and other factors which can force a difficult decision. I do agree with your base premises, thus the predestined limiting of options and paths.
I will say that all actions can be explained away as forced, socially, morally, biologically, physicsally, philosophically. but few can rule out others, or simple choice. therefore your solution is possible, but not certain. people can act against their wants and desires. they sacrifice themselves, and yes for a goal, but it's too easy to dismiss their choice. I believe this is similar to the argument that good people "do it for the pleasure it brings them" argument. I wrestle with my decisions, and I'm never certain I made the right choice with some of them. even immediately after. maybe your right, but other explanations seem more logical and seamless.
Well, knowledge as a whole is impossible, but we must move forward with certain assumptions. And, I never said that the path the person percieved to be most pleasurable will be most pleasurable; only that they believe that it will be. There can be thousands of variables, but the only ones that matter when we "decide" what action to take are the ones that we currently perceive. If more variables become apparent, our course of action may change, but not because we chose to change it. I will restate/rephrase my premises and I would ask that you point out if I need to elaborate or which one you disagree with. I'm not gonna include the force part, though, because that's obviously not freewill.
Premise 1: One cannot choose what they find pleasurable.
Premise 2: One can only want what brings them pleasure.
Conclusion 1: If one cannot choose what is pleasurable, and can only want what they find pleasurable, then they cannot chose what they want.
Premise 3: One can only act on what they want.
-There can always be found an underlying/greater want (give any example and I can find the underlying/greater want)
Conclusion 2: If one cannot choose what they want and can only do what they want, then one cannot choose what they do.
Final Conclusion: If one cannot choose what they do, they do not have free will.
I did not say that the knowledge is not useful, but that it is impossible. the ice cream flavor example is not exactly scientifically tested, but is philosophically sound imo.
however, the slow realization decision making has no logical arguments to differentiate it. your argument is as subjective as mine. in addition there are numerous other influences, both internal and external that we havent even introduced. this destiny assumes the brain can even predictably handle that many variables (the brain takes alot of shortcuts). I think the emotion argument against free will demonstrates a predestined drive, but not an absolute lack of choice.
if you seek a more absolute lack of free will, I think my physics based philosophical argument is much more absolute.
Yes, I fully acknowledge that the illusion of freewill is VERY strong and, being as strong as it is, there is no practical difference if we have freewill or not. But, this is a philosophical discussion. There is a philosophical difference, no doubt. And, being that it would effect our philosophy, it would effect our practical applications of our philosophy. For example, it helps me to be slower to anger when someone acts in a way I disagree with and it makes it easier for me to remain calm and try to change their logical process so that their actions will change.
Similarly, epistemological nihilism has no practical use and to do anything in life we have to move on with the assumption that the universe does exist. But, there is undeniably a philosophical difference.
taking one's time to realize a predestined decision is not as compelling as the inexplicable and instantaneous predestiny of one's taste in food.
such fate is indistinguishable from choice and thus any discussion is a moot point.
I haven't avoided that portion of your argument, but I have previously answered it. When there are two conflicting desires, there will always be one greater (if you truly must choose between the two). It may take one time to realize which one is greater, but that does not mean they chose which is greater. If I understand you correct, you already conceded that one cannot choose what brings them pleasure. I think you also agree that one can only want/desire what brings the most pleasure. If they can't choose what brings them pleasure, then they can't choose what they want/desire.
Example 1: Money v. Subject that one enjoys
-Do you perceive that the consequences of more money bring you the most pleasure or the consequences of pursuing the subject that you enjoy (whether that perception is correct or not)? If you can't choose what brings you pleasure, then you can't choose which of these two options will bring you the most pleasure. But, you will do whatever of the two brings you the most pleasure.
a human being is not a 2nd rate 2 dimensional TV character. we have many desires and potential destinies. sure not everyone has every road available or desired, but there are still many options and potential paths for each individual. depending on the time and society.
I feel there is a part of my last several posts that you have avoided so I will keep this short: "conflicting desires".
example 1: I desire to do what I love and make alot of money, but what I love doesnt make money. Is destiny pointing me towards philosophy, or finance?
example 2: I want to get a degree in X, but I also like to party and play video games.
both options have pros, both have cons, there is no default option. they require subjective decisions.
Yes, we make a pro/con list for every decision we make, whether instinctively or taking our time to write it out. But, we don't decide what makes something a pro or not. I think you agree that we don't decide what brings us pleasure, but why would something be a pro rather than a con? Because it brings us pleasure. If I can't decide what brings me pleasure, then I can't decide what's a pro. And, i will only act on things that have the most pro, but I can't decide what is pro (and con, for that matter). If I can't decide, then it's not freewill.
it was most certainly clear. and when talking about everyday human experiences, generic is good.
you did not choose to love philosophy, but you did choose to pursue the degree as opposed to a degree that is more financially lucrative. even if you are one of the few who didnt give it a second thought, most people juggle several factors or a pro con list before making a *decision*.
I'm not completely disagreeing with you, our general direction is completely beyond our control, but that doesnt mean we dont make any free choices on how to pursue those desires. or to choose between competing desires. I think the answer to free will or predestiny is yes to both.
Yes, that generic situation is common, but I meant the way you originally offered it was fairly vague.
And, I'm not saying that indecisiveness doesn't happen, but we're not the ones who decide. I didn't decide to like chocolate better than vanilla, I just do. I didn't decide to love philosophy enough to have gotten my degree in it, knowing full well that I'm not gonna use it; I just did. Because I knew (or believed, rather) that that path of action would bring me the most pleasure. I didn't decide to like philosophy that much, I just do.
you are correct, it was a hypothetical, however it was not vague. it is a very common predicament people find themselves in. you act as if indecisiveness never happens! the person knows he wants to study but doesnt know what. or perhaps he is a renaissance man who wishes to tackle many subjects, but must pick 1 to start.
perhaps one loves phiosophy, but also loves the idea of making lots of money. there is no default draw when heart and wallet point in different directions. one must make decisions. how is that vague?
Your example was vague and not really an example, so I'm not sure how better I can respond to it. But, if you're saying that one was not particularly drawn to any one subject, i would argue that that claim is false and that, even if the slightest he was drawn to one subject more than others. Similar to my argument about what hand you put the juice down with, it might be a tiny bit more pleasure, but you still recognize it to be pleasure.
that's true if one is inexplicably drawn to calculus, or human biology... but in my example, there was great uncertainty in which subject to study. an uncertainty you didnt address
I don't think that we do choose what we want to learn. Again, I go back to saying that we cannot choose what brings us pleasure, otherwise we would choose for everything to being us pleasure. And, since we want what brings us pleasure, and we can't choose what brings us pleasure, then we can't choose what we want. If we can only do what we want, which I would argue is true (since there will always be an underlying/greater "want"), and we can't choose what we want, then we can't choose what we do. i.e. no freewill.
If you can choose what brings you pleasure, then choose to find pleasure in eating thorns. You can't. I would argue that you cannot choose what brings you pleasure.
And, being forced to do something is obviously not freewill. That's not even debatable.
what if we go alittle deeper. someone may desire learning. to learn may be an instinct that is beyond control... however, this person is not drawn to any particular subject and must research, and CHOOSE, which field to eventually grow into. is that choosing not an exercise of free will?
destiny may point out the general direction, but that still leaves ALOT of room for choice and freedom.
When did we agree that force can't allow for free will? The only thing we possibly agree on is that free will is not absolute--it is bounded by certain limits such as you can't ordinarily jump over the Empire State Building. How is it that you equate pleasure with force? The fact that you have to dramatically alter so many definitions from their normal usage should be a clue to you that your logic in this topic is convoluted.
Now if you say that I was forced to choose to continue debating because something induced me to seek goodness, then this is a logical error. I have the power to choose to forego pleasure, but if I choose logically what happens to bring me pleasure, then I am freely choosing, given that I am capable of choosing what would not give me pleasure on the basis of rationality.
No, your desire is pleasure, and the greatest amount of it. And, you have evaluated the situation and have concluded that ending your participation in this particular debate will bring the most pleasure. Ergo, you have no choice but to end your participation unless something happens (maybe my response) that forces you to reevaluate and decide to continue the conversation. Or, maybe your pride is more important and you won't reply to me for that reason (I'm not making an assumption, just giving reasons for each action). But, whatever action you make, you did it because you wanted to and you couldn't choose to want anything else, unless something external happens and forces you to want something else (which we already agreed that force isn't freewill).
I conclude my participation in this debate. The only example I leave you is that which I mentioned previously: while I desire to continue debating, I choose to end here because rationally I evaluate that I have already contributed the maximum benefit in this topic that is possible for me to contribute. Ergo I have chosen freely by choosing against my own desire for the greater good. In ending my participation I do not fulfill any desire of my own--it is purely rational.
No, the quote is, 'to not act is itself a choice.' And, then tell me if you can choose to want to eat feces. Or if you can choose to find pleasure in drinking piss. Because I sure can't, but if I could choose what I want or what I enjoy, then I could choose to do those things. But you can't.
Also, tell me what fallacies I am making because just saying that I'm being fallacious without support is again a claim that I can simply dismiss without support.
I CAN choose what I want, and what I don't want. For instance, I want to conclude my participation in this topic; and I choose to do so. However, if I chose to, I could arbitrarily continue debating this while yet not wishing to do so, without desiring to do so, for no reason whatsoever. I could, but would that be logical? Would that be loyal to myself? On the contrary. So then, the fact that someone may never do something does not mean that it is beyond their capability. To assume this would be a logical fallacy of the meanest sort. Not only do we all have the power to choose and control our desires, we also have the power of choosing who we are and what we become. It is possible to act and live independent from desire, purely on the basis of rational and moral principles. Yet most abdicate their agency to the whims of desires. We are supremely free beings at the core, who are at times self-entangled in illusions of constriction. A wise man said "not-choosing is itself a choice."
Being that we couldn't argue this in all that.
Well I would argue we would, we don't know the consequences will be. We still take them. If free will didn't exist, I think we would not be able to do what we want to do.
3) No, I have said that we can NOT choose what we want. For example, can you choose to want to eat feces? No. And, there's a difference between eating feces and wanting to eat the feces. You cannot choose to want to eat the feces. Ergo, you cannot choose what you want.
4) How 'bout you clarify what you mean instead of getting pissy?
6) You are making a claim with no support. And, a claim given with no support can be dismissed with no support.
3. First you insist that we only ever choose what we want, and can never choose what we do not want. Then you claim we cannot choose what we want. You are manifestly deluded.
4. You're one to talk.
6. The very fact that you assert that will exists separately from desire proves that there is such a thing as free will, otherwise you would be incapable of conceiving of it as something other than desire.
I would argue that we dont choose that. We can comprehend what the consequences will be but we dont choose to take the risk.
We simply have the illusion of freewill.
sorry, I was just trying to say that of course there's consequences but we choose to take the risk or not.
"I do not have to establish?"
No one has to do anything. I don't have to debate this topic; although I want to I do not have to. Or is it that I have to but do not want to? Or both? The laws of physics do not dictate reality, they are intellectual concepts imposed upon observable phenomena, and science proves itself wrong on a regular basis.
"...very complex, very chaotic, absolutely nothing random."
If it is chaotic then it is random. If it seems random then it is random until proven otherwise. You claim a distinction however have not explained what that is exactly. Snowflakes are completely random and yet very organized at the same time. What can we call this, organized chaos? Physics is never an absolute depiction of reality but only a model, since it originated from and resides in, the human mind alone. This is easily demonstrated in the progression of the scientific conception of atoms. At one time scientists were certain they were the "basic building blocks of matter;" not anymore. (See quarks).
"...we are governed by the laws of physics."
Are you still using 1950's textbooks? Quantum physics found that what were thought of as particles actually behave like waves. Furthermore it is proven that these "particles" are influenced by the expectations of the observers. This is the ultimate refutation of determinism. Physics governs nothing, it is merely a model, and an inadequate one at that. How do you know there is no free choice after death? Did you die and come back to tell us about it?
Dude, you keep jumping from one thing to another, I don't even know what you're talking about anymore
3) No, you cannot choose what you want, and by default, you cannot choose what you do not want.
4) That doesn't even make sense.
6) No, "will" is not synonymous with "want". "Want" is synonymous with "desire" and "will" is not synonymous to another word that I can think of. "Determination" might be the closest i can think of.
7) False; see above.
8) False; see above.
1) You can never choose what you do not want, and
2) This means you cannot freely choose
3) The ONLY way to choose freely is to choose what you don't want, and
4) The only way to choose what you don't want is to be forced; therefore
5) Your Conclusion 1 is false.
6) "Will" in "free will" is synonymous with "want" in "choose what you want", therefore
7) Choosing what you want = choosing what you will, and
8) If you always choose what you will and can never choose what you don't will then ergo you have free will and your Premise 2 is false.
Conclusion: according to Premise 2, you cannot choose what you want, however as seen above in statement 6), "want" = "will" Therefore Premise 2 is self-contradictory, claiming you cannot will what you will, which is complete nonsense!
The only reason one would do nothing, or "not exercise one's freewill" would be because they concluded that the consequences of doing so would lead to what they want most, making it the only option.
No matter the example, there is always an underlying or greater want/desire. And, one can only do what they desire most. Even if I have to do something I don't wanna do, if it will lead to something that I want more than to not do the thing, then I will do it. And, I'm saying that, not only will i do it, but i will have no choice but to do it.
I disagree. I think free will encompasses both. even choosing to not exercise ones free will is free will
I'm not sure I understand your counterargument, Hellow
You think people can't be rational? Another thing, some things people choose to do. We make choices in life that we are as people are aloud to make. And yes, their are consequences. and yeah, we want to have these conversations, but we don't have too. I live a good life. If I were to to say. I want to jump, and I do it. Even if I am not aloud too, you just made a choice.
"If you choose not to decide, you still made a choice."
You see, if Freewill doesn't exist, then we all would be made to think one thing and one thing only. Which could be anything actually.
Often the definition of freewill is "the ability to have done differently," not to do what you want.
But, let me give a different example.
Step one: I don't really want to go to work today.
Step two: I do want money.
Step three: Going to work today, and consistently, will bring me money.
Step four: I want money more than I want to not go to work.
Conclusion: Because I want money more than I want to not go to work, and because I have deduced that working consistently, including today, is the best way to get money, I cannot not go to work today.
The only way that I could possibly not go to work today is if something happened that i wanted to do more than make money today (family emergency, concert and I call in sick, I'm just too tired, etc.) But, until I want something more than I want the money that going to work will bring me today (and possibly neglecting the consequences of not getting the money today), I cannot do anything but go to work.
I do not have to establish that there is no randomness as that would be proving a negative. it would be on you to demonstrate true randomness, and as far as we have seen, there is nothing random about the laws of physics.
nature is certainly full of variety and great complexity, but that complexity leads to chaos, not randomness. the motion of stars is ruled by the iron rule of gravity, but that gravity is coming from billions of its neighbors at the same time. calculating that motion is extremely difficult due to the complex interactions creating chaos, but it is not random. a glass that shatters into many pieces seems random but it all depends on the point of impact, the force of impact, and the points of relative structural weakness. very complex, very chaotic, absolutely nothing random.
I dont understand how a predicted choice of suicide frees one from determinism. none of us are destined to infinite choices, eventually we reach a last choice. suicide is simply the last choice. there is no freedom as you are incapable of making free choices after death either. and of course, this determinism has never been proven, but it is a logical outcome of the premises:
1. we are made up of energy and particles
2. all energy and particles the governed by the laws of physics.
we are governed by the laws of physics.
ah thank you. have always only used this as an app on my phone, and it started having issues after my latest update. never even considered the website. lol
If you choose to work out when you do not enjoy working out then you are able to choose what you do not want, because you want something else. As far as achieving health, this is a different "want." If you could swallow some pills and become magically healthy, and buff, or if you could simply avoid certain foods to become healthy, without the pain of working out, then you would do that instead. Therefore, wanting to be healthy is not equal to wanting to work out. The very existence of these two contradictory wants, the desire to be healthy and the desire to avoid working out, is what makes your will free. If all wants were congruous then free will could not exist. However, it does exist because you can choose which "want" to focus on based on a logical process.
Even if all choices are directed by wants, this does not prove that they are not free. The definition of freedom is being able to do what you want. If someone wants freedom, does that mean the freedom they want suddenly becomes non-free due to their wanting it? I think not. For something that doesn't exist, there are thousands and millions who have died for freedom throughout history. It is one of the most consuming pervasive desires of the human race. Yet you are claiming that all these people died for something that doesn't exist?
Furthermore, if you contend that all choices MUST be driven by a want, then you must accept that without a want, no choices could exist. Therefore, without wanting, no free choice could exist either. Ergo, wanting is part and parcel of free choice.
Furthermore, if you insist that wanting something is inherently not free, then the only way to be free would be for another party to "force" you to choose what you do not want, meaning that the logical conclusion of premise 1 (b) intrinsically falsifies Conclusion 1.
Either way we slice the logical process used to reach your claim it is full of holes and self-contradictions, despite its superficial appearance of sensibility.
The unstated premise of your rationale is that there is no such thing as genuine randomness. However, this premise is not established. Nature demonstrates infinite variety and randomness at every turn. No two snowflakes are alike, despite that there are countless numbers of them; no two fingerprints are exactly alike. We could go on and on.
Even if it were true that everything could theoretically be perfectly predicted and predictable---this is an assumption that has never been proven or demonstrated--in other words, a theory; that in itself would still not philosophically establish that free will was impossible in such a hard deterministic system. For instance, a being that found itself in such a situation might decide to commit suicide within its range of reasonable actions, and this would be a very reasonable action considering such a realization, meaning large numbers were likely to choose this. Even if their choices were predetermined then at the moment of death they would have escaped the deterministic system, thereby achieving free will through a predetermined act. That is the extreme last resort; however, within such a system it would still be possible to have complete freedom of thought, meaning an infinite variety of interpretations could be applied to an otherwise concretized set of circumstances. In any case the point is far from settled. The preponderance of all evidence in our environment shows not absolute predictability but limited general predictability within endless unpredictability.
As a side note Nemiroff, If you want to copy and paste stuff, you can do it on the website. If you go to discuss.fm you can debate from a computer. There are no restrictions for copying and pasting.
thank you, sorry for the laziness.
regarding your choose what you like. I once read research, I'm not sure if it was repeated or the full details, but the conclusion (let's just use it philosophically and not as scientific proof) is that our subconscious predesigns actions but our conscious has the "free will" to cancel those actions. thus our free will is exercised by not acting.
in your example, you are destined to want icecream, and prefer a certain flavor. we can all attest that we do this without thinking. our will is exercised if we want the ice cream, but choose to not have any ice cream instead. also, choosing a secondary flavor seems like free will as well.
my personal view on the matter agrees with you, but uses a more scientific reasoning. essentially, we are all atoms, the same atoms that were created in the origin and fused in stars. these atoms are simply following the laws of physics since the beginning, and even tho some complex combinations have happened over time in energy surplus environment, all of those combinations were predestined by the laws of physics since the beginning...
...(where the end up, how many of them there = how big of a star = high many heavy elements are fused = the region those elements end up, their environment, the percentage that bump into each other over eons increasing complexity... so on to modern day interactions. even our free will not acting is triggered by brain processes governed by these same elements. ultimately, assuming no external/divine intervention, if you had a computer that knew the original position and trajectory of every iota of energy, and every law of physics in perfection... they could predict your every thought.
No worries, I'll just treat it like it's on the intended thread.
wtf... if you click "replied to" it takes me to a post on a different thread that I replied to. this was the apps fault... and I still cant copy and paste to repost this where it is supposed to be.
that is hopelessly naive and foolish.
relying on each other is communism, and not all communisms mention a big government.
liberitarianism is more about stepping on others and fending for yourself. just look at the rich guy who paid off the debt for a class of college students... super nice of him. but that's just 1 year of 1 college. may as well bet on winning the lotto.
No, the only reason you would choose to break your current desires is if you believed that the other path would lead to even greater pleasure. Again, my example of working out. I definitely do not enjoy working out and I never did. But, I understand that I have to go through that pain to achieve my goal of health.
And, I would argue that there is no such thing as indifference. If it's in our mind, on some level we care. Even if it's practically minute, like what side you put the juice down, there's still a reason you chose that side and that's because you desired it more, even if the tiniest bit.
You CAN choose contrary to your desires, it only seems like you cannot because it's not easy, and people tell themselves this to escape accountability.
As I said before this line of argument uses a blurring of distinction between wanting and choosing. However I do agree that most are slaves to their desires. It is possible to escape the tyranny of desires by voluntary obedience to the higher power, yet few ever choose this. This choice yields the ineffable gift of true freedom and happiness.
There is clearly a state of indifference (lack of desire) within the range of human emotions and people clearly make choices while in this state. To dispute this requires splitting hairs, going way beyond the level of sophistication you applied in your original statement. I do agree however that freedom of choice is relative, not absolute. Meaning it has limits; for instance you ordinarily can't choose to jump over the Burj Khalifa no matter how much you might wish to.
No, I'm saying that you CANNOT do what you don't want to. For example, I don't want to workout because it's uncomfortable. But, more than that, I want to be healthy. Because my want for health is greater, I workout. Also because of that, unless something happens where my want for health is lesser, I cannot not workout regularly.
In other words: one is a slave to their desires + one cannot choose what they desire.
That said, I will concede that a strong majority rarely if ever exercise purely independent rational choice but rather abdicate their power of agency to the control of their own desires.
I don't think that mutually exclusive pleasures exist. You will act in one way or the other, and whatever option you act on was clearly the one you wanted greater, even if the slightest bit.
And, as for things that demand no pleasure or pain, I think they do give pleasure. Bob put his juice on the right because that is his habit and he gains more pleasure (even if an unnoticed amount) in continuing his habit than to conciousnessly break his habit to put it on his left. Or, it was simply in his right hand and it was slightly more convenient to just put it down on the right than to switch hands and put it on the left, etc. Even if the tiniest bit, there is pleasure and/or pain in every decision we make. Even if it's just convenience or convenient to keep up with an ultimately pointless habit (which hand to pick the juice up with).
The existence of mutually exclusive desires necessitates that free will must exist. Cindy can and has chosen in the past to eat the burning pie despite knowing that it will give her pain in addition to pleasure in the end. In the face of mutually exclusive but equally pleasurable or painful choices, it is a pure choice that is made independent from desire. Additionally, people choose things without any desire all the time. For example, Bob chooses to get up on the left side of the bed instead of the right. He placed his orange juice on the right side of his plate although he could just as well place it on the left without any loss of pleasure. We make hundreds of choices every day that involve no compelling desire, or force. This proves your premise unfounded.
No, rationale decides what is the best option. Logic chooses what will bring us the most pleasure. We simply act on that logical decision.
Those are choices though, Freewill helps you choose what is the best option, save the cat, or be called a coward. No one is going to make you go in and save a cat. No one is going to make you eat that pie. Unless you are a slave, then that's different.
We discuss because we enjoy discussing more than we enjoy not discussing; at least in this moment. Why do we enjoy discussing? maybe our upbringing, I dunno. But we believe that our discussions will bring us the greatest amount of pleasure, over other current options.
The only reason we want anything is because we believe that it will bring us the greatest amount of pleasure.
I disagree. Because what is actually stoping us from talking about this? We don't have to talk about this, but we want to.
The fireman chooses to run into the building because: he wants not to be ridiculed by his peers for cowardice; wants to be prideful in himself for a job well done; understands that he has been trained and will likely not die, making the previous reasons a real possibility.
Cindy doesn't eat the pie because she wants not to get burnt more than she wants to eat the pie.
Premise 1 (b) is not supported by logic, but relies on fuzzy logic and truism. First of all, there is not an impenetrable distinction between wanting to do something and choosing to do something since these concepts overlap. Secondly, where there is a distinction, it is possible to conceive of many examples where a person can and does do something that they voluntarily choose which they don't want to do. For example the fireman doesn't want to rush into the burning building but chooses to in order to save your pet cat Snuffles. Lastly, it is not established that wanting to do something makes it impossible to simultaneously choose to do it, or that it is impossible to want to do something and yet not choose to do it. For example, Cindy wants to eat the apple pie that just came out of the oven but does not choose to eat it, as she knows by experience she will burn her tongue.
By "force" I mean physically force. Like, someone physically overpowers you.
And, I love your example. Yes, in that situation you might choose to pick a different ice cream, but only because you want a different ice cream more than you want to drive somewhere else for chocolate. Or, vice versa, you want chocolate enough to drive somewhere else to get it. But, you can't choose to want the other.
I always just say this: I offer you two bowls of ice cream; one chocolate and one vanilla. You choose one because it is more appealing to you (or you choose neither because that is more appealing). You chose what you wanted, but you didn't decide to want what you chose. And that's kinda the key phrase: you chose what you wanted, but you didn't choose what to want.
Now, there may be reasons why you chose one of the options (chocolate, vanilla, or neither), but you didn't choose those reasons either. Maybe you don't trust a stranger handing you ice cream, maybe you like chocolate more than vanilla, maybe there's poop in the chocolate so you chose the vanilla. But, you can't choose to want something else.
Now, say you choose the chocolate and then I say this whole argument and you choose the vanilla just to prove me wrong. Well, you only chose the vanilla because you wanted to prove me wrong more than you wanted the chocolate.
No one can force you to do anything, you always have a choice. You can choose to disobey and suffer the consequences of that. Those consequences may be more than you are willing to endure, but that doesn't mean you didn't have a choice. Therefore conclusion 1 is false. example. someone holds a gun to my head and commands me to do something. I can do what they want or I can get my head blown off. That is obviously a shitty choice. But it is still a choice. And I, as a person with free will, can then make my choice from the available options.
I'm not certain what you are trying to say with premise 2. I might not be able to choose literally anything I want, but I can choose. example. I am in an ice cream store and they are out of chocolate. I cannot choose chocolate because it is not an available choice. But I can still choose from among the flavors available. That doesn't mean I lack free will. It means my freewill is only able to be exercised inside the limits of reality. And I mean really, if I were dead set on chocolate I can drive to another ice cream store in search of chocolate.
Why do you say that?
Please tell me which premise you disagree with and we can actually further a conversation.
Then you would not have been able to post this.
Premise 1: The only two reasons one does anything is because they
a) are forced to; or
b) want to.
Conclusion 1: Being forced to do something is not freewill.
Premise 2: One cannot choose what they want.
Conclusion 2: If one cannot do what they do not want, and cannot choose what they want, then they cannot choose what they do; i.e. not freewill.
Final conclusion: Freewill does not exist.