Free will
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06-09-2011, 07:04 PM
 
RE: Free will
I completely agree, I just want to know if there is something to this that actually makes any sense. Can free will be defined in a way that can't be shown to equal pure chance? It seems as if an apologist isn't satisfied with free will unless it's completely independent from everything, which would make it random, right?
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06-09-2011, 08:54 PM
RE: Free will
How can what you want be independent of anything else about you?
You're hungry, you make whatever plans and decisions are necessary to get a meal. What the options are depends partly on your environment, partly on your physical characteristics and partly on previous choices (what groceries you've laid in; whether you have enough money for takeout, whether you've given up saturated fat, etc.) Within those parameters, there is nothing to constrain one choice rather than another, except your preference.
(Yes, i know, everything that's ever happened in the universe up to that point influenced everything you have to consider, the equipment you use to consider it with, and the proclivities that eventually make the final choice inevitable. But, as long as you're not aware of all those pre-determining events, you experience making a decision, freely, without constraints other than the current circumstances.)

I don't understand where chance comes into it.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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07-09-2011, 06:21 PM
 
RE: Free will
(06-09-2011 08:54 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  How can what you want be independent of anything else about you?
You're hungry, you make whatever plans and decisions are necessary to get a meal. What the options are depends partly on your environment, partly on your physical characteristics and partly on previous choices (what groceries you've laid in; whether you have enough money for takeout, whether you've given up saturated fat, etc.) Within those parameters, there is nothing to constrain one choice rather than another, except your preference.
(Yes, i know, everything that's ever happened in the universe up to that point influenced everything you have to consider, the equipment you use to consider it with, and the proclivities that eventually make the final choice inevitable. But, as long as you're not aware of all those pre-determining events, you experience making a decision, freely, without constraints other than the current circumstances.)

I don't understand where chance comes into it.

I'm not arguing with you at all, I agree with what you're saying.

I'm trying to understand what seems to be the apologist's version of free will, which is supernatural and requires some God to exist. It seems that the apologist (or type of apologist I'm thinking of) is asserting something that is completely independent, because they reject any notion of free will that is a result of natural processes in the brain (because this can exist without their God and thus doesn't interest them). This makes absolutely no sense to me since that seems to require free will to essentially be a magic random number generator.

I want to know if there is some philosophical understanding of free will that would satisfy an apologist's desire to require God's existence, yet not be completely random/spontaneous/arbitrary/etc. I want to follow this particular bit of apologist logic to a dead end and verify that it is illogical. Maybe I'm not communicating that very well.
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07-09-2011, 09:48 PM
RE: Free will
Not your fault. You're trying to fit a normal, natural attribute of normal, natural living creatures with the languages of philosophy and theology, which are neither normal nor natural. Damn near impossible to understand something, once it's been transported out of the real world into argument.

Maybe you can break the problem down into stages. First understand volition and autonomy in the regular world, as we exercise and recognize and take them for granted. Then figure out what each of the schools you're dealing with mean by "will" and "free", and see if anything overlaps. I don't envy your task.

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14-09-2011, 01:59 PM
RE: Free will
(07-09-2011 09:48 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  philosophy and theology, which are neither normal nor natural.

Everything we ever heard of is natural. This is due to the mere fact that we heard of it. philosophy and theology are both made of human thoughts, and human is natural. If it's normal depends on how you define "normal".
And like everything around is normal, our brainstorms are too. It's a part of an universe based on determinism and chance/chaos/...
So how can we be free, how can a free member in a non-free system ever exist?
The only way I can understand the problem is, that a free will exists as a chance-changing, non-physical force... But at the scientific point of today this is a contradiction, isn't it?
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14-09-2011, 02:21 PM
RE: Free will
I stand corrected.
Maybe darksky's explanation is more helpful than mine.

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15-10-2011, 06:34 PM (This post was last modified: 15-10-2011 06:39 PM by Mr Woof.)
RE: Free will
(07-09-2011 09:48 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  Not your fault. You're trying to fit a normal, natural attribute of normal, natural living creatures with the languages of philosophy and theology, which are neither normal nor natural. Damn near impossible to understand something, once it's been transported out of the real world into argument.

Maybe you can break the problem down into stages. First understand volition and autonomy in the regular world, as we exercise and recognize and take them for granted. Then figure out what each of the schools you're dealing with mean by "will" and "free", and see if anything overlaps. I don't envy your task.

I don't agree that theology and philosophy are abnormal or unnatural.
As constructs of human thought, how could they be so?

Darksey....In terms of infinity, and the possibilities inherent therein, "free will" may not be a term required??.... As for us struggling finite beings, we ceatainly have free will to choose betwwen conflicting options.
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15-10-2011, 07:42 PM
RE: Free will
Natural construct?
Okay.
I'm sure both of those explanations are excellent. Too bad i don't understand them.

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15-10-2011, 07:54 PM
RE: Free will
I don't think I fully understand the question that our ineffable Mr. Woof has asked. More I'm sure because I'm tired than anything else. But On the subject of free will, the greatest gift, I have some thoughts.

Firstly, If god has a plan for us all, than that cancels out free will.

Secondly, If we are given free will and then told how we are to live if we don't want to suffer for all eternity, then that in a way, negates free will.

I live with the idea that we always have free will, but we don't always have the best choices available. There is always choice even when it seems that the choices are obvious or that they suck. There is always choice. If you don't like your job or your boss, but you know that there aren't any other jobs available, and you need the money... you can still quit. It just isn't a very desirable choice.

Do we actually have free will? Who knows? I like the idea, but in reality I don't know how much I believe it. I live like I have it. But my personality is so strong that even when I tell myself I need to do something or say something another way... I still don't. Sometimes I feel like a puppet on a string, sometimes I feel like I have all the free will in the world but to no avail as there is someone changing events just to have me dance for them.

This idea is bolstered by my belief that if there were a god he would be a dick, using us for his entertainment, our suffering being his Jersey shore. (Our Jersey Shore being my suffering). It would be like that original star trek episode about the planet of greek gods. They were assholes. That would be god. Only more evil.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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15-10-2011, 09:45 PM
RE: Free will
The thing i least understand about free will arguments is: Why?
Why is this one attribute of animate matter singled out, raised in importance above all others? Why not memory, or colour vision, or a sense of direction?

It seems to me that we are able to think about and discuss everything else that sentient beings do, all the other abilities and characteristics that they have, as organic evolutionary features. Volition alone is treated like something different and special that requires a separate explanation.

I think it's only because the agents of religion made it special, by claiming that their god handed it out, like some kind of halloween treat, to a creature which was already whole and functional - and which, by the addition of this single feature, became extraordinary (and self-contradictory). This is nonsense, not just because there isn't any god to hand out random attributes, but because man wouldn't have been whole and functional without will in the first place - he wouldn't even have been as sentient as a cockatoo.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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