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The greatest proof of free will…
Posted: 15 August 2012 02:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1861 ]
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GdB - 15 August 2012 06:34 AM
George - 15 August 2012 05:22 AM
GdB - 15 August 2012 03:07 AM

if quantum effects do play a role, they disturb the process of free choice.

What do you mean?

They would introduce a random effect in the causal chains in our brains. I know this is highly simplified, but I just want to show that QM effects cannot account for anything like free will.

But if you want to deepen this out, go ahead! I am with you.

But don’t we have two seperate (but related) concepts here?

Determinism is a product of the logical mathematical function of the laws of nature,
Free will is a product of thought by our brain (which functions deterministically), but thought itself has a certain randomness and does not necessarily follow logic or even reason. Else everyone would always agree on every topic.

Thus thought has a certain independence from reality and can introduce a randomness of action, outside of mathematical determinism. Am I wrong?

[ Edited: 15 August 2012 02:43 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 15 August 2012 02:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1862 ]
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Free will isn’t a function of anything, Write, because free will doesn’t exist.

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Posted: 15 August 2012 02:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1863 ]
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George - 15 August 2012 02:43 PM

Free will isn’t a function of anything, Write, because free will doesn’t exist.

Sorry George, I edited the above for clarification. This may not change your answer, but it more closely reflects my thoughts. Free will?

Why are we using the term Determinism?  From the answers I have seen, it seems to be just another word for the laws of causality.
Cause determines result, end of story.

[ Edited: 15 August 2012 02:52 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 15 August 2012 03:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1864 ]
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Again, Write, free will is not a product of the thought of our brain, because free will doesn’t exist.

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Posted: 15 August 2012 03:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1865 ]
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Write4U - 15 August 2012 02:37 PM

But don’t we have two seperate (but related) concepts here?

Determinism is a product of the logical mathematical function of the laws of nature,
Free will is a product of thought by our brain (which functions deterministically), but thought itself has a certain randomness and does not necessarily follow logic or even reason. Else everyone would always agree on every topic.

Thus thought has a certain independence from reality and can introduce a randomness of action, outside of mathematical determinism. Am I wrong?

I hate to get into this again, because it’s already been dealt with so many times and in such mind-numbing detail already that there is hardly any point to repeating it all. But free will has nothing whatever to do with randomness. A freely willed action is one that we want to do, not one that comes spontaneously or from nowhere.

Again, it’s easiest to see this with paradigmatically free acts, like going to open the refrigerator when you are hungry.

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Posted: 15 August 2012 03:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1866 ]
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dougsmith - 15 August 2012 03:14 PM
Write4U - 15 August 2012 02:37 PM

But don’t we have two seperate (but related) concepts here?

Determinism is a product of the logical mathematical function of the laws of nature,
Free will is a product of thought by our brain (which functions deterministically), but thought itself has a certain randomness and does not necessarily follow logic or even reason. Else everyone would always agree on every topic.

Thus thought has a certain independence from reality and can introduce a randomness of action, outside of mathematical determinism. Am I wrong?

I hate to get into this again, because it’s already been dealt with so many times and in such mind-numbing detail already that there is hardly any point to repeating it all. But free will has nothing whatever to do with randomness. A freely willed action is one that we want to do, not one that comes spontaneously or from nowhere.

Again, it’s easiest to see this with paradigmatically free acts, like going to open the refrigerator when you are hungry.


But after opening the refrigerator your spouse reminds you are on a diet, so you reclose the door. A change of mind. In the mean time the cat is crushed by opening the refrigerator door and you are still hungry. Do you again open the refrigerator door?

Oops, that was snippy.

Back to learning.
So again I ask the question ; is determinism not the function of the natural law of cause and effect? Or is it more?

[ Edited: 15 August 2012 04:41 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 15 August 2012 03:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1867 ]
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George - 15 August 2012 03:03 PM

Again, Write, free will is not a product of the thought of our brain, because free will doesn’t exist.

I think that whether free will exists or not is largely a matter of how free will is defined.  If we don’t have a working definition that we agree on, then this thread can go on in circles, spirals and double reverse flips for another 1865 posts.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 15 August 2012 03:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1868 ]
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Well, I am aware of only one type of free will. It’s called “free will” and everybody knows what it’s supposed to represent. GdB and Doug see “free act” as part of this problem, which could be the reason why this discussion has gone on here for years now.

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Posted: 15 August 2012 04:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1869 ]
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George - 15 August 2012 03:52 PM

Well, I am aware of only one type of free will. It’s called “free will” and everybody knows what it’s supposed to represent. GdB and Doug see “free act” as part of this problem, which could be the reason why this discussion has gone on here for years now.

Back when I was joining in on this thread a lot, there was discussion of libertarian free will (which most seemed to agree cannot exist) and compatibilist free will.  I was able to come to terms with the compatibilist version of free will, as I understood it, but I am a layman when it comes to philosophy.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 15 August 2012 04:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1870 ]
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Yeah, well, I call them “free will” and “free act.” “Libertarian fee will” and “compabilitism” fall in the same category for me as “pneumatology.”

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Posted: 15 August 2012 04:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1871 ]
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George - 15 August 2012 03:52 PM

Well, I am aware of only one type of free will. It’s called “free will” and everybody knows what it’s supposed to represent. GdB and Doug see “free act” as part of this problem, which could be the reason why this discussion has gone on here for years now.

Not trying to be argumentative, but you say that everybody knows what free will is supposed to represent. But your answer to me was that free will does not exist at all.

question: what is this non existent thing called free will which everyone knows what it is supposed to mean?  Is there a context issue?

free will
1.power of independent action and choice: the ability to act or make choices as a free and autonomous being and not solely as a result of compulsion or predestination

Synonyms: autonomy, self-determination, choice, liberty, freedom, independence

[ Edited: 15 August 2012 04:45 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 15 August 2012 05:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1872 ]
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Write4U - 15 August 2012 04:40 PM
George - 15 August 2012 03:52 PM

Well, I am aware of only one type of free will. It’s called “free will” and everybody knows what it’s supposed to represent. GdB and Doug see “free act” as part of this problem, which could be the reason why this discussion has gone on here for years now.

Not trying to be argumentative, but you say that everybody knows what free will is supposed to represent. But your answer to me was that free will does not exist at all.

question: what is this non existent thing called free will which everyone knows what it is supposed to mean?  Is there a context issue?

free will
1.power of independent action and choice: the ability to act or make choices as a free and autonomous being and not solely as a result of compulsion or predestination

Synonyms: autonomy, self-determination, choice, liberty, freedom, independence

The above definition of free will is not adequate.  Behaviors (acts) do not occur independent of biology, history, and environment.  And “predestination”?  That seems to me to be a whole other can of worms.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 15 August 2012 05:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1873 ]
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Write4U - 15 August 2012 03:27 PM

But after opening the refrigerator your spouse reminds you are on a diet, so you reclose the door. A change of mind. In the mean time the cat is crushed by opening the refrigerator door and you are still hungry. Do you again open the refrigerator door?

Oops, that was snippy.

Not snippy, just irrelevant to the point at issue. If you agree with the original analysis that’s all that’s needed.

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Posted: 15 August 2012 06:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1874 ]
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Write4U - 15 August 2012 04:40 PM
George - 15 August 2012 03:52 PM

Well, I am aware of only one type of free will. It’s called “free will” and everybody knows what it’s supposed to represent. GdB and Doug see “free act” as part of this problem, which could be the reason why this discussion has gone on here for years now.

Not trying to be argumentative, but you say that everybody knows what free will is supposed to represent. But your answer to me was that free will does not exist at all.

question: what is this non existent thing called free will which everyone knows what it is supposed to mean?  Is there a context issue?

free will
1.power of independent action and choice: the ability to act or make choices as a free and autonomous being and not solely as a result of compulsion or predestination

Synonyms: autonomy, self-determination, choice, liberty, freedom, independence

It’s called free will bacause it feels as if we were free to will. But we are not. What I call “I,” that which feels is doing the willing, is my consciesness. We know, however, that the decision how we will react is decided before we become conscious of it.

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Posted: 15 August 2012 06:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1875 ]
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Write4U - 15 August 2012 04:40 PM

free will
1.power of independent action and choice: the ability to act or make choices as a free and autonomous being and not solely as a result of compulsion or predestination

Synonyms: autonomy, self-determination, choice, liberty, freedom, independence

This is an interesting case; it depends on how “compulsion or predestination” is understood. The problematic cases for free will involve a separate person who does the compelling, or a personal God who does the predestination. Given that understanding of the definition, it is correct. For an action to be free it must not be compelled (i.e. forced against one’s wishes) by another person, either human or divine.

However if one understands “compulsion or predestination” to include non-personal causal factors that act naturally through one’s own desires, then the definition makes free will into an incoherency, and further one that does not follow how free will and free actions are naturally understood.

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