Do you have free will?

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Do you have free will?

Post  Admin on Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:50 pm

Have you ever made a decision that was entirely your own? That is, a decision that was not directly impacted by external or internal influences? What would such a decision look like? Are humans the only creatures with free will (if they have it)?
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Re: Do you have free will?

Post  Eclipse on Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:42 pm

No, we are bound by our internal and external influences, they determine what we will do, so there isn't anything as "free will."
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Re: Do you have free will?

Post  Rombat on Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:02 pm

Admin wrote:Have you ever made a decision that was entirely your own? That is, a decision that was not directly impacted by external or internal influences? What would such a decision look like? Are humans the only creatures with free will (if they have it)?

I'm pretty sure it's impossible for you to make a choice (thus have freewill) without at least internal influences. Brain must think (internal influence) for it to do.
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Re: Do you have free will?

Post  ILoveInquiry on Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:32 pm

So it seems that most of our decisions are determined, to some degree, by both external and internal influences. However, do you think that there are degrees of influence? That is, do you think that some people are more capable of semi-independent thought than others? For example, some people are heavily influenced by peers and society, while others are less influenced by these factors. Is there an advantage to being able to recognize the influences and to try and "free" oneself as much as possible from them?
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Re: Do you have free will?

Post  Rombat on Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:02 pm

Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you mean by internal influences, because that seems to me to be influences that come from within you. Like independent thought. So I'm either really not understanding the question or you're asking if someone can choose something without thinking about it and without being guided to it by external influences, which to me doesn't really seem like a choice, just randomness.
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Re: Do you have free will?

Post  Eclipse on Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:31 pm

Rombat wrote:Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you mean by internal influences, because that seems to me to be influences that come from within you. Like independent thought. So I'm either really not understanding the question or you're asking if someone can choose something without thinking about it and without being guided to it by external influences, which to me doesn't really seem like a choice, just randomness.

That is exactly why I say there is no such thing as "free will" everything we do is influenced by something, and these influences, both internal and external determine what we will do. I don't think there can be true human randomness, as every action requires intent to some degree.
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Re: Do you have free will?

Post  Rombat on Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:44 pm

Randomness is not free will though. That's just randomness. Separating oneself from one's BRAIN is ridiculous. It seems entirely ridiculous to me to say internal influences mean you have no free will. It probably means you only have at best a semi-random (view random number generators for example of semi-randomness) event, but to say just because you can think you don't have free will is a bit ludicrous.
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Re: Do you have free will?

Post  Eclipse on Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:51 pm

Rombat wrote:Randomness is not free will though. That's just randomness. Separating oneself from one's BRAIN is ridiculous. It seems entirely ridiculous to me to say internal influences mean you have no free will. It probably means you only have at best a semi-random (view random number generators for example of semi-randomness) event, but to say just because you can think you don't have free will is a bit ludicrous.

Why? We all make decisions that stem directly from our experiences. It goes back to determinism. We are enslaved by internal and external factors that dictate what we will do and say.
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Re: Do you have free will?

Post  Rombat on Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:29 pm

But if it weren't for internal factors we wouldn't be able to do ANYTHING. This is my problem with the discussion being made here. It's saying thinking is not allowed for free will. This makes no sense because without thinking there couldn't be free will. It's impossible to do something with 0 thought (internal influence) involved. Even if it's something controlled by instinct (breathing, blinking, sneezing, etc.) our brain is still thinking to do it (even if we're not actively controlling it).

I'm not even talking about whether we have free will or not, I'm simply saying how this is phrased this isn't even something to think about, it's already defined as no. There is definitely a discussion we can have about free will (although it really has already occurred in the "are we free" thread) but as long as internal influences are on the checklist of disallowing freewill we have no discussion.
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Re: Do you have free will?

Post  Eclipse on Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:47 pm

Rombat wrote:But if it weren't for internal factors we wouldn't be able to do ANYTHING. This is my problem with the discussion being made here. It's saying thinking is not allowed for free will. This makes no sense because without thinking there couldn't be free will. It's impossible to do something with 0 thought (internal influence) involved. Even if it's something controlled by instinct (breathing, blinking, sneezing, etc.) our brain is still thinking to do it (even if we're not actively controlling it).

I'm not even talking about whether we have free will or not, I'm simply saying how this is phrased this isn't even something to think about, it's already defined as no. There is definitely a discussion we can have about free will (although it really has already occurred in the "are we free" thread) but as long as internal influences are on the checklist of disallowing freewill we have no discussion.

We're in agreement, that the answer is implicitly "no" from how it's being defined. So how would you prefer it be defined (without it going back to "Are we Free?)?
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Re: Do you have free will?

Post  Rombat on Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:58 pm

Eclipse wrote:
We're in agreement, that the answer is implicitly "no" from how it's being defined. So how would you prefer it be defined (without it going back to "Are we Free?)?

Personally I find this to be the exact same idea, just with adding the word will, and see no point to this being a separate discussion Razz

So I'm going to let this thread die off, because we're just going to say the same thing as the free will thread. I believe that nothing is completely per-determined you believe everything is, and our beliefs certainly aren't going to change, so really no point to this discussion unless there are others who have something to say, or you have a definition that you feel is significantly different from the "free" thread and doesn't explicitly exclude alternate opinions.
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Re: Do you have free will?

Post  Eclipse on Mon Nov 02, 2009 6:41 pm

Rombat wrote:
Eclipse wrote:
We're in agreement, that the answer is implicitly "no" from how it's being defined. So how would you prefer it be defined (without it going back to "Are we Free?)?

Personally I find this to be the exact same idea, just with adding the word will, and see no point to this being a separate discussion Razz

So I'm going to let this thread die off, because we're just going to say the same thing as the free will thread. I believe that nothing is completely per-determined you believe everything is, and our beliefs certainly aren't going to change, so really no point to this discussion unless there are others who have something to say, or you have a definition that you feel is significantly different from the "free" thread and doesn't explicitly exclude alternate opinions.

Yeah, I pretty much agree with that. Let the topic die Twisted Evil
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Re: Do you have free will?

Post  Boricua on Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:37 pm

Of course we have freewill. We were created with it.
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Re: Do you have free will?

Post  Eclipse on Thu Nov 05, 2009 12:21 pm

Boricua wrote:Of course we have freewill. We were created with it.

Then "god" doesn't know everything. The cannot coexist.
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Re: Do you have free will?

Post  Rombat on Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:08 pm

Eclipse wrote:
Boricua wrote:Of course we have freewill. We were created with it.

Then "god" doesn't know everything. The cannot coexist.

Maybe he can know all possible outcomes?

But then he wouldn't know which you'd definitely choose, thus would not know everything just all possible paths. So from a religious point of view I'm going to have to let you win this one.
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Re: Do you have free will?

Post  Eclipse on Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:12 pm

Rombat wrote:
Eclipse wrote:
Boricua wrote:Of course we have freewill. We were created with it.

Then "god" doesn't know everything. The cannot coexist.

Maybe he can know all possible outcomes?

But then he wouldn't know which you'd definitely choose, thus would not know everything just all possible paths. So from a religious point of view I'm going to have to let you win this one.

Score one for the Athiests! cheers
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Re: Do you have free will?

Post  ILoveInquiry on Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:16 pm

.... if God is omniscient. There are some ways of understanding God that would not require God to be omniscient. What interests me more - personally - than definitions of God, etc. - is this: some very profound thinkers have worked toward having profound experiences of the divine (not necessarily experiences of "God"), and they find something in this. So, is it possible for you, as an individual, to have a profound experience of something you might call "divine," "awesome," "a peak experience" - whether that something is God or something else entirely?
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Re: Do you have free will?

Post  Eclipse on Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:20 pm

Perhaps someone thinks such an even could happen, but they can never prove it, so it may as well not have happened at all. I'm not more inclined to believe someone can have a divine experience than there is a "god."
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Re: Do you have free will?

Post  ILoveInquiry on Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:32 pm

For those suggesting that there is no free will at all - how would you respond to this: A person commits a crime, and the defense lawyer says "My client was determined to commit this crime, his/her situation and up-bringing led to this outcome, therefore my client should be set free."
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Re: Do you have free will?

Post  Eclipse on Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:31 pm

Ah, just because there isn't free will, there can be punishment. Certain actions have a penalty, regardless of free will. Life doesn't have to be fair.
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Re: Do you have free will?

Post  Gamov on Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:05 am

ILoveInquiry wrote:For those suggesting that there is no free will at all - how would you respond to this: A person commits a crime, and the defense lawyer says "My client was determined to commit this crime, his/her situation and up-bringing led to this outcome, therefore my client should be set free."

Criminals shouldn't be set free because they commit crimes and that are detrimental to society. Yes, a person's situation and up-bringing may have been some factors of the action, but what they did is against they law and I believe it is in our self interest to prevent it from happening again. Freedom and responsibility may be illusions that we claim exist because we do not know exactly how the human brain works, but they are none the less vital to society.

Arguing that a criminal could not help himself is true. It doesn't follow however that he or she should be set free. We don't want the person to perform the same act again so we should opt for rehabilitation; change the factors which are currently understood to motivate a person's actions. Or, in the case of a genuinely hopeless sociopath, kill them (the Hitler example).
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Re: Do you have free will?

Post  Eclipse on Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:33 pm

Gamov wrote:
ILoveInquiry wrote:For those suggesting that there is no free will at all - how would you respond to this: A person commits a crime, and the defense lawyer says "My client was determined to commit this crime, his/her situation and up-bringing led to this outcome, therefore my client should be set free."

Criminals shouldn't be set free because they commit crimes and that are detrimental to society. Yes, a person's situation and up-bringing may have been some factors of the action, but what they did is against they law and I believe it is in our self interest to prevent it from happening again. Freedom and responsibility may be illusions that we claim exist because we do not know exactly how the human brain works, but they are none the less vital to society.

Arguing that a criminal could not help himself is true. It doesn't follow however that he or she should be set free. We don't want the person to perform the same act again so we should opt for rehabilitation; change the factors which are currently understood to motivate a person's actions. Or, in the case of a genuinely hopeless sociopath, kill them (the Hitler example).

Exactly, I just don't see how the arguement of whether we are free or not makes any difference with our justice system.
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