Free Choice
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
18-01-2013, 01:19 AM
RE: Free Choice
(18-01-2013 12:05 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(17-01-2013 09:39 AM)Azaraith Wrote:  Sure it must be limited and not utterly free (I can't choose outside of a given set of options afforded me by my experiences) but I don't agree that these limitations make it no longer free will.

To be fair, I think this statement is fundamentally flawed. Unless freewill is truly 100% free, then it is by definition not freewill. It is then limited-will or determistic-will. Perhaps true freewill is an illusion or a contradiction, in the same way omnipotence and other omni traits are.

We'll never 'know' weather or not our consciousness are completely deterministic, because how wold you test for that? You'd need two or more identical people, isolated from birth, and given identical stimuli for years. Then compare their reactions to identical controlled stimulus. An experiment like this would be considered inhumane.

But when you run experiments and try to account for as many variable as possible and then test of just one, as in the temperature of the beverage, you get a statistically significant result. So we can be relatively confident that some of the input that goes into our decisions is done subconsciously, and out of our control, thus pure freewill is not truly possible.


It doesn't have to be 100% deterministic to NOT be freewill. Even 1% deterministic to 99% conscious decision is still NOT freewill. Freewill is an absolute, thus anything less than that absolute is not freewill. The amount of determinism is debatable and needs more testing to help clarify, but we can make a good argument that freewill (as an absolute) does not in fact exist.

To be completely accurate here, one must be sure of how the terms are being defined:

Webster's: Free Will

1: voluntary choice or decision <I do this of my own free will>
2: freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention

Defined strictly as "the ability to make choices that are not determined by any prior causes or influences" then I would agree, but I think reality is not purely deterministic or completely free will. Anything in between those two extremes is technically neither, but I'm not sure what to call it... I was trying to convey the idea that we have a kind of tethered free will - given options A, B and C and our preferences 1, 2 and 3, we're likely to choose any combination of A1, B3 or C2, etc. but cannot choose K7, for example. To use real-world examples, I might prefer ice cream flavors in this order: chocolate, strawberry and vanilla; and have all three options available at the ice cream shop, but you still couldn't predict what I'd choose, even given all external data. My choice would be limited, but still free in the sense that I'm not going to give a 100% consistent result when faced with identical circumstances, every time. Perhaps I shall call it Free deterministic will. Laughat

Of course, if I only had two buckets to throw my hat into and one was free will, the other determinism, and I had to throw my hat, I would go with determinism most likely.

Better without God, and happier too.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Azaraith's post
18-01-2013, 07:44 AM
RE: Free Choice
(18-01-2013 01:19 AM)Azaraith Wrote:  
(18-01-2013 12:05 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  To be fair, I think this statement is fundamentally flawed. Unless freewill is truly 100% free, then it is by definition not freewill. It is then limited-will or determistic-will. Perhaps true freewill is an illusion or a contradiction, in the same way omnipotence and other omni traits are.

We'll never 'know' weather or not our consciousness are completely deterministic, because how wold you test for that? You'd need two or more identical people, isolated from birth, and given identical stimuli for years. Then compare their reactions to identical controlled stimulus. An experiment like this would be considered inhumane.

But when you run experiments and try to account for as many variable as possible and then test of just one, as in the temperature of the beverage, you get a statistically significant result. So we can be relatively confident that some of the input that goes into our decisions is done subconsciously, and out of our control, thus pure freewill is not truly possible.


It doesn't have to be 100% deterministic to NOT be freewill. Even 1% deterministic to 99% conscious decision is still NOT freewill. Freewill is an absolute, thus anything less than that absolute is not freewill. The amount of determinism is debatable and needs more testing to help clarify, but we can make a good argument that freewill (as an absolute) does not in fact exist.

To be completely accurate here, one must be sure of how the terms are being defined:

Webster's: Free Will

1: voluntary choice or decision
2: freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention

Defined strictly as "the ability to make choices that are not determined by any prior causes or influences" then I would agree, but I think reality is not purely deterministic or completely free will. Anything in between those two extremes is technically neither, but I'm not sure what to call it... I was trying to convey the idea that we have a kind of tethered free will - given options A, B and C and our preferences 1, 2 and 3, we're likely to choose any combination of A1, B3 or C2, etc. but cannot choose K7, for example. To use real-world examples, I might prefer ice cream flavors in this order: chocolate, strawberry and vanilla; and have all three options available at the ice cream shop, but you still couldn't predict what I'd choose, even given all external data. My choice would be limited, but still free in the sense that I'm not going to give a 100% consistent result when faced with identical circumstances, every time. Perhaps I shall call it Free deterministic will. Laughat

Of course, if I only had two buckets to throw my hat into and one was free will, the other determinism, and I had to throw my hat, I would go with determinism most likely.


Fair enough, and well said. I too would agree that determinism seems the more likely of the two options, when couched in absolute terms. But I would not rule out some blend of the two.

[Image: GrumpyCat_01.gif]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes EvolutionKills's post
18-01-2013, 04:45 PM
RE: Free Choice
We are a product of our environment, education and genetics, I doubt there's such thing as free will. Obviously, we make choices and have the ability of thinking and feeling but even these are taught.

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Benjamin Franklin
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Chaos's post
24-01-2013, 01:19 PM
RE: Free Choice
Free choice does exist. Although I think it's ironic that we have freedom of choice but not freedom of the consequences of our choices
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
24-01-2013, 04:41 PM
RE: Free Choice
(18-12-2012 06:44 AM)I and I Wrote:  What is Free Choice? Does it exist?

If it does exist, is there a historical trajectory of free choice? In other words, does accumulating more "free choices" make one more free?

Let's look at an example of choice:

Does the ability to choose a master make one less of a slave if most of the other conditions remain?

When slaves in the U.S. were freed or not termed as slaves anymore, they had the ability to choose who they worked for, however the only people they could choose from were the same people that profited off of their labor before when they were bondage slaves, and at this point wage slavery was cheaper than the older form of bondage slavery.

So does this choice, to choose ones master or to choose the person that is going to exploit you make one more free than if one didn't have that ability?

Drinking Beverage
Psychobabble.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Julius's post
27-01-2013, 05:29 PM
RE: Free Choice
Free will is a pipedream.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-01-2013, 07:32 PM
RE: Free Choice
I highly recommend reading Sam Harris book 'Free Will':
http://www.amazon.com/Free-Will-Sam-Harr...1451683405

It is brilliant, succinct, and you can read easily read it in an afternoon. It's only 80 some pages, I think, but for me-- it was eye-opening.

And if you don't want to go to the library or buy the book, these videos are worth the time. Neuroscientist Sam Harris. I can't help but quote him. I love him. I love his sound reason, his humor, and his honesty.








"The problem with faith is that it really is a conversation stopper. Faith is a declaration of immunity to the powers of conversation. It is a reason why you do not have to give reasons for what you believe." - Sam Harris
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like SingingBear's post
27-01-2013, 08:29 PM
Re: Free Choice
That's already been posted I believe. At least a Sam Harris video has and I'm pretty sure it's the same one...

Better without God, and happier too.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-01-2013, 08:44 PM
RE: Free Choice
Cool. Where?

"The problem with faith is that it really is a conversation stopper. Faith is a declaration of immunity to the powers of conversation. It is a reason why you do not have to give reasons for what you believe." - Sam Harris
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-01-2013, 09:02 PM
Re: Free Choice
Here: http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...#pid241051

Better without God, and happier too.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply

Possibly Related Threads...
Thread: Author Replies: Views: Last Post
  whayt if tommorow they proved therewas no free will kunoxian drive 31 396 Yesterday 08:09 AM
Last Post: Drunkin Druid
  Illusory free will a progression of left-wing ideas? barcelonic 6 130 27-06-2014 03:30 AM
Last Post: barcelonic
  Why I am no longer pro-choice no longer. earmuffs 332 6,387 01-04-2014 03:04 PM
Last Post: LostandInsecure
  Free Will BrokenQuill92 6 212 11-02-2014 12:29 PM
Last Post: donotwant
  Determinism, indeterminism, free will. Does it really matter? Tartarus Sauce 112 2,510 06-01-2014 12:29 PM
Last Post: Stevil
  Freedom of Choice VS Freedom Of Will (Yes this is seriously a dilemma) IndianAtheist 70 1,380 13-12-2013 08:59 AM
Last Post: IndianAtheist
  Free will and hunger MisterMaggot 8 466 11-02-2013 10:56 PM
Last Post: Scientia
Forum Jump: