Poll: Do we have free will?
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Free will and hunger
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08-02-2013, 05:05 AM (This post was last modified: 08-02-2013 05:09 AM by MisterMaggot.)
Free will and hunger
How can we have free will and experience hunger?

All living things are coerced into doing things by hunger, hunger is painful and cannot be ignored. Even the most intelligent human will, when hungry, think only of acquiring food. Our actions are governed by hunger, thirst, tiredness, the need for sex etc. These are fundamental 'needs', such as those in Maslow's hierarchy of needs. All of these needs cause discomfort when not addressed. How can anyone experience these needs and still maintain that we have free will?

Humans are capable of resisting these needs, such as resisting hunger when dieting. However this resistance is caused by a greater need, perhaps the need to be accepted or find a mate.

I conclude that all human actions are caused by human needs. Therefore we have no free will, we are simply machines waiting for our need for 'x' to reach a certain level at which point we must address it.

What are your thoughts on this theory?
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08-02-2013, 05:49 AM
RE: Free will and hunger
Isn't the need to ask evidence of uncertainty therefore proof of free will? Consider

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08-02-2013, 05:11 PM
RE: Free will and hunger
(08-02-2013 05:05 AM)MisterMaggot Wrote:  How can we have free will and experience hunger?

All living things are coerced into doing things by hunger, hunger is painful and cannot be ignored. Even the most intelligent human will, when hungry, think only of acquiring food. Our actions are governed by hunger, thirst, tiredness, the need for sex etc. These are fundamental 'needs', such as those in Maslow's hierarchy of needs. All of these needs cause discomfort when not addressed. How can anyone experience these needs and still maintain that we have free will?

Humans are capable of resisting these needs, such as resisting hunger when dieting. However this resistance is caused by a greater need, perhaps the need to be accepted or find a mate.

I conclude that all human actions are caused by human needs. Therefore we have no free will, we are simply machines waiting for our need for 'x' to reach a certain level at which point we must address it.

What are your thoughts on this theory?


Free Will is just an illusion anyway. Our brains had decided on an action long before we are actively aware of our decision.

Also, you mentioned a theory. What theory? I see an hypothesis.

A single action is worth more than the words it takes to describe it.
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08-02-2013, 05:45 PM
RE: Free will and hunger
I am not a big agreer of free-will but this argument is an aspect of others that seems simply flawed.

What "NEEDS" would be driving the desire of someone resiting these needs?

A case of Ghandi? He went on a hunger strike and was not mating as well.. what need is driving his actions?

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08-02-2013, 05:47 PM (This post was last modified: 08-02-2013 05:52 PM by Vosur.)
RE: Free will and hunger
Unfortunately, the choices of this poll only encompass the outdated "free will or determinism" dichotomy. As a matter of fact, there are several other views today.

I suggest you to include at least the following four popular philosophical positions on the existence of free will in your poll.

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08-02-2013, 06:01 PM
RE: Free will and hunger
Hey, Maggot.

I'm pretty sure you're committing a logical fallacy here.

You're making the argument that free will means the ability to act independently of any bodily need. No one has ever made such a claim. No one has ever suggested that if you have a strong enough will that you can decide never to pee again. It just doesn't work that way. So the fact that free will does not mean absolute freedom does not invalidate the notion of free will because "free will = utter freedom" is a strawman argument.

Secondly, you're saying that because we have bodily needs and because we have no free will; therefore, all of our choices are dictated to us by bodily need. One, that's a pretty big jump. Two, the data clearly states otherwise. Three, how do you explain anorexia nervosa or Ramadan or hunger strikes?

Thirdly, needs and desires are NOT the same thing. I need to eat. I want a Sprite Zero. Two very different things. You have conflated needs and desires.

Fourthly, we all have needs, but there is nothing dictating HOW we meet those needs. Maslow says nothing about the method that you satisfy the hierarchy of needs. We have to meet our basic needs. That's a fact. But that makes no commentary on free will. And yes, quite often our needs get prioritised above our desires. But that is in no way a slam dunk case against free will.

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08-02-2013, 06:05 PM
RE: Free will and hunger
(08-02-2013 05:11 PM)Free Thought Wrote:  Free Will is just an illusion anyway. Our brains had decided on an action long before we are actively aware of our decision.
As far as my knowledge goes, that has actually never been proven conclusively. The experiments conducted on this topic are insofar self-defeating that they limit the test subjects' free will by restricting the choices that they are allowed to make (ex. pressing one of two buttons). In order for the experiment to be consisted, researchers would have to be able to predict an unforeseen action several seconds before a participant does it. For example, they would have to be able to predict that the subject is going to punch the monitor in front of him instead of following the guidelines that have been given to him. Being able to do something wholly apart from the expectations and restrictions of other people is precisely what free will is about.

It also figures that you're going to think about your future action at least a couple of seconds before you do it if you are given a task such as stopping a clock at a specific time. There is at least one more problem I have with these experiments, but I'll elaborate on that later on.

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08-02-2013, 06:34 PM
RE: Free will and hunger
(08-02-2013 06:05 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
(08-02-2013 05:11 PM)Free Thought Wrote:  Free Will is just an illusion anyway. Our brains had decided on an action long before we are actively aware of our decision.
As far as my knowledge goes, that has actually never been proven conclusively. The experiments conducted on this topic are insofar self-defeating that they limit the test subjects' free will by restricting the choices that they are allowed to make (ex. pressing one of two buttons). In order for the experiment to be consisted, researchers would have to be able to predict an unforeseen action several seconds before a participant does it. For example, they would have to be able to predict that the subject is going to punch the monitor in front of him instead of following the guidelines that have been given to him. Being able to do something wholly apart from the expectations and restrictions of other people is precisely what free will is about.

It also figures that you're going to think about your future action at least a couple of seconds before you do it if you are given a task such as stopping a clock at a specific time. There is at least one more problem I have with these experiments, but I'll elaborate on that later on.


Point taken.

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11-02-2013, 10:56 PM
RE: Free will and hunger
(08-02-2013 05:05 AM)MisterMaggot Wrote:  How can we have free will and experience hunger?

All living things are coerced into doing things by hunger, hunger is painful and cannot be ignored. Even the most intelligent human will, when hungry, think only of acquiring food. Our actions are governed by hunger, thirst, tiredness, the need for sex etc. These are fundamental 'needs', such as those in Maslow's hierarchy of needs. All of these needs cause discomfort when not addressed. How can anyone experience these needs and still maintain that we have free will?

Humans are capable of resisting these needs, such as resisting hunger when dieting. However this resistance is caused by a greater need, perhaps the need to be accepted or find a mate.

I conclude that all human actions are caused by human needs. Therefore we have no free will, we are simply machines waiting for our need for 'x' to reach a certain level at which point we must address it.

What are your thoughts on this theory?
So your are basically talking about Maslow's hierarchy of needs, and from my understanding of free will, you are mixing apples and oranges.

Science investigates, religion interprets.

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