The Concept of Free Will is and Illusion

October 3, 2019, 3:46 am

Agree52 Disagree39

57%
43%

The debate "The Concept of Free Will is and Illusion" was started by TheExistentialist on October 3, 2019, 3:46 am. 52 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 39 people are on the disagree side. That might be enough to see the common perception. It looks like most of the people in this community are on the agreeing side of this statement.

JDAWG9693 posted 2 arguments, TheExistentialist posted 6 arguments, Allirix posted 3 arguments to the agreers part.
marky posted 7 arguments, DanielCartagena posted 1 argument to the disagreers part.

TheExistentialist, JDAWG9693, Harmony, Allirix, Shrivali_16, Lind and 46 visitors agree.
haphil1992, marky, Levanto, DanielCartagena, K1VK2DF, dinosaurrawr, Mice, CastLight, Agrumentman and 30 visitors disagree.

marky
replied to...

Unless the big guy got you pinned down then your screwed.

1 day, 8 hours ago
marky
replied to...

Ok for instance,

If you are being peer pressured to do let's say... climb a fence to get the ball from the backyard. Cause everyone else wants to do it so they m say you should do it. Since in this case in this situation you're a kid. (Hypothetically)

your gut is saying no don't do it. Yet your mind says yes do it. More then likely you're going to listen to your mind. Cause you wanna impress your friends. The feeling of what should i do may dictate your action. Cause at that very moment you are nervous.

This also applies to if your in danger of being let's say you are about to be raped. In an ally by a large dude. In this instance, you are scared and about to get violated by this very dude. So what is your action? Its going to be more so subconscious because most likely you have never been in that situation before. Some people would be so terrified they wouldn't do a thing. Others may react by running away as fast as possible. Cause they don't want to be violated. Your body reacts before your mind does in that situation. You felt in danger and you wanted to get out.

Maybe you were just so scared you could not move.

So These would not be a sign of free will cause your body acted before you could think. Another instance you Succumbed to peer pressure to do others biting. or maybe they are cause you would have ran anyway, or you would have climbed the fence anyway. Without them asking you.


So realistically. What would make of these situations? Maybe the guy wanted to be raped(Just Hypothetically it's not really rape of the other allows it.) So he let it happen. Or he ran cause he said f*** this it ain't happening today. Or maybe the kid wanted to climb the fence and get the ball to impress his friends.


Point being, it's how you feel in the situation, and if you are in control of what you actually are processing. Your first thoughts are. "Holy shit" But it's how someone responds to that situation that the same persons in and what he should do. Your actions maybe be on instinct most likely.

Point being the lack of free will would mean that in these situations, it would be acting without constraints. Maybe you were being called pussy if you didn't climb that fence. Maybe you were being told don't run away during that ally place. Trying to constrain you with words to make you feel less comfortable in that situation. Yet, the only thing that could possibly be stopping for not climbing the fence, or running away. is yourself.

1 day, 8 hours ago
Allirix
replied to...

Could you explain how free will is subjective?.

1 day, 8 hours ago
marky
replied to...

cause freewill is more so subjective then rather than objective. It cant really be proven it exists or doesn't exist. Its like politics, it's more subjective of a side you prefer to be on.

also religion. People on a subjective stand point is more of feelings on what they believe.

as for climate change tried to bring objective and rational reasoning to the table. stating to reasons why i would think its a Hoax.

1 day, 9 hours ago
TheExistentialist
replied to...

"from what you are getting from me is that i am here to make dumb claims"
No; you're either wilfully misrepresenting what I said or too lazy to address the actual point. I said baseless and unsubstantiated in terms of your claims.
you literally said "I don't have to support this point....the concept of freewill does tend to exist" how is that not a baseless, unsubstantiated claim?

You made actual points in your climate change posts; at least you supported your position and gave context as to why you believe what you believe so I addressed them on their merit. Here you're simply making claims without a rationale for those claims.

in the context of this debate, you could substantiate your claim using various philosophical theories on free will, twin studies, thought experiments, etc... all those would be very valid ways of claiming "free will exists". But just like saying "Unicorns exist; I don't have to support that claim, they just do" is a baseless assertion, so is "free will exists, I don't have to support that claim, it just does".

3 days, 3 hours ago
marky
replied to...

from what you are getting from me is that i am here to make dumb claims. No, i am here cause i like debating. I like giving out my opinions on what I think, and what I believe. Don't assume what i am here for just cause you don't like what I said.

3 days, 5 hours ago
TheExistentialist
replied to...

So your just here to make baseless and unsubstantiated claims. Got it.

3 days, 7 hours ago
marky
replied to...

Let's say this then... I don't have to support this point. Even if I had to, I won't. the concept of freewill does tend to exist. The choices you usually make are your choices.

3 days, 7 hours ago
JDAWG9693
replied to...

Explain?

1 month, 3 weeks ago
DanielCartagena
replied to...

You are clearly confused

1 month, 3 weeks ago
Allirix
replied to...

Believing you have free will is the reason it's an illusion. I believe I have free will, but I also believe it's an illusion.

1 month, 3 weeks ago
TheExistentialist
replied to...

Well; generally speaking this is a debate platform. meaning that you're supposed to support your points of view so others can argue them. I'd say you'd be well served reading through some of the threads on here to kind of get a flow of how topics are addressed and opinions developed and picked apart.

I'd say that before you came to this topic you didn't have a way to articulate your reasoning for free will and therefore didn't have the option to articulate it. Perhaps now that you've read some sections of this argument you are free to do so....hence soft determinism in practice ;)

1 month, 3 weeks ago
marky
replied to...

not one in particular, nothing stops me from commenting here.

1 month, 4 weeks ago
TheExistentialist
replied to...

What's your reasoning?

1 month, 4 weeks ago

hmm... I believe i have free will.

1 month, 4 weeks ago
TheExistentialist
replied to...

I think the most practical way to look at free will is in terms of "Soft Determinism". Meaning that we have a limited amount of free will. Even if we don't fully understand the limits of our "free will" we can still make use of our understanding of human development. In a practical sense, I think we can add this concept to our justice system. Knowing that options and decision making is limited by environmental, psychological, and experiential factors should be limiting factors in culpability to some extent.

Understanding a teenager, who grew up in poverty, was abused, etc... and engaged in a physical altercation, is not going to benefit from incarceration but would benefit from in-patient treatment with specialists that can help them with decision making "crutches" that can help them overcome their "short-comings".

This does bring into question the concept of the Christian version of free will however. It means we are not all equally capable of making the "right choice", or the "good choice".

1 month, 4 weeks ago
Allirix
replied to...

Brilliant synopsis as always!

I think the evidence for a powerful unconscious mind and biological/societal determinism show we have limited freedom, but not no freedom. Those restrictions add to the list we intuit, with gravity and other basic laws of physics. You wouldn’t believe we have no freedom because your will to fly is limited by gravity. In the same sense, a determined and powerful unconscious mind that limits the range of choices in the conscious mind doesn't necessarily restrict it to one choice.

What I believe is this: until we understand those forces well enough to predict behavior reliably and beyond a reasonable doubt (95%+), free will pragmatically exists. Why? Because an illusion is real until dispelled.

Using the Christian God as an example, the default position is to not believe because He is outside our basic purview to sleep, hunt, eat, mate,.. . But, drop us into a culture that believes and the default position shifts to believing because believing is added to our purview. We may never experience His actual presence, He may not even exist, but we meaningfully experience Him nonetheless.

I see free will working the same way. Our society adopted a belief in free will because the forces that restrict it are outside our purview. It is the default position until we understand the restrictions well enough to add them by demonstrating predictive accuracy beyond a reasonable doubt. So I believe free will exists.

I believe it’s collective experience that makes illusory existence real. Not objectively real, but as real as anything else we “know”. I say this because I believe a subjective screen obscures objective reality. We test and prod reality understand it, but we only ever experience the shadow on the cave wall, not the object casting it.

2 months ago

There is quite a bit of scientific evidence for free will being an illusion or at the very least not being the kind of "free will" as we would use Colloquially.

In one study, for example, participants solved word puzzles in which the words were either associated with rudeness or politeness. Those exposed to rudeness words were much more likely to interrupt the experimenter in a subsequent part of the task. When debriefed, none of the subjects showed any awareness that the word puzzles had affected their behavior. That scenario is just one of many in which our decisions are directed by forces lurking beneath our awareness.

In another study undertaken by Adam Bear and Paul Bloom, of Yale University, the test subjects were shown five white circles on a computer monitor. They were told to choose one of the circles before one of them lit up red.

The participants were then asked to describe whether they’d picked the correct circle, another one, or if they hadn’t had time to actually pick one.

Statistically, people should have picked the right circle about one out of every five times. But they reported getting it right much more than 20 per cent of the time, going over 30 per cent if the circle turned red very quickly.

The scientists suggest that the findings show that the test subjects’ minds were swapping around the order of events, so that it appeared that they had chosen the right circle – even if they hadn’t actually had time to do so.

Statistical analysis of risk factors for things like drug abuse, domestic violence, etc... seem to also suggest that free-will is at the very least limited. It would seem that childhood exposure to certain stimuli severely limits our ability to make "good" choices. A 2015 study that examined the brains of 1,099 children and young adults found those who came from higher-income homes and had parents with higher educational attainment had larger surface areas in their brain, especially in the areas that control language and executive functioning, than their peers who were poorer and had less educated parents.

Such deterministic factors make it hard to say that we have true "free will".

2 months ago

I think it depends on how you define free will. Most people I've spoken to say free will is an illusion because the forces that determine our universe are well outside the human purview. The forces are so complex and microscopic that we'll never understand them in our lifetime, if ever. But because determining forces exist, our experience of freewill is false.

Whether the universe is determined or not though, because those forces are so far removed from our actual life, from a pragmatic perspective we have free will. It's like God. It's interesting to discuss, but essentially unfalsifiable (depending on your definition).

Sometimes we get glimpses at higher order forces that limit our freewill though. Memory suggestibility, Pavolvian conditioning, brain tumors creating serial killers, the cycle of abuse, etc are examples of a human will that's not entirely free. But I imagine it's essentially impossible to prove our brain has 0 degrees of freedom (which is my definition of no free will).

2 months ago

What is your argument for the absence of freewill? (I agree, just wondering your reason)

2 months ago
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