Poll

Well, do we?

No, its an entirely deterministic
9 (33.3%)
mostly deterministic
5 (18.5%)
Our actions are mostly the response we can have to a given stimulus
9 (33.3%)
Mostly free
2 (7.4%)
Yes, we actually have complete control over our actions
2 (7.4%)

Total Members Voted: 27

Author Topic: Do we have free will  (Read 31114 times)

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Offline Ah.hell

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Do we have free will
« on: June 06, 2018, 03:06:40 PM »
I tend to its somewhere between entirely the inevitable result of the conditions at the beginning of the universe and mostly we respond to stimulus in the only way we can based on our genetic inheritance and the cultural/environmental conditions we've experience through our lives.   We probably have very little to no control over our lives and all over our "decisions" are really just post hoc rationalization.

Naturally, I go through my life based on the assumption that I'm wrong.

Side question, is the mind a thing or just a complex illusion produced by the brain?

Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2018, 03:11:21 PM »
I'm inclined to think it doesn't even matter.  Free Will would be just another causal variable.
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Offline Friendly Angel

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2018, 03:54:45 PM »
Seems like the people who disagree with me on this topic, define free will quite differently than I do.
Amend and resubmit.

Offline Shibboleth

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2018, 04:11:13 PM »
I honestly do not know if we do or not. I guess I will say probably not in that I do not believe that thought is effective.
common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

Offline random poet

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2018, 04:19:56 PM »
Seems like the people who disagree with me on this topic, define free will quite differently than I do.
Indeed. There are competing definitions for this expression; one being a fable that was invented by Christians to rationalize biblical bullshit (namely on heaven and hell), which was contradictory, hypocritical crap, and the other is a secular philosophical concept to help us think about why we make the choices we make.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2018, 05:17:33 PM »
When this topic has come up here before most people seemed to reject the idea of free will. My view is that while our choices are strongly constrained, the question of whether or not we have some leeway (i.e. a limited degree of free will) cannot be answered until we know more about what consciousness is. I was very gratified to learn that Massimo Pigliucci takes a position closer to mine than to the majority on this forum who seem to reject any sort of free will at all.

I cannot select any of the poll choices because my answer is: We do not yet have sufficient information to answer the question.
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Offline John Albert

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2018, 06:23:51 PM »
Of course I have free will. I have no choice in the matter!

Offline Eternally Learning

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2018, 06:56:25 PM »
I feel like it's impossible to accurately answer this question as everyone define free will so differently.  I feel like the universe is strictly deterministic, but that there may be some unpredictable aspects to existence as well.  I don't see how that equates being able to consciously ignore deterministic influences in anyway though.

Offline uolj

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2018, 08:43:27 PM »
When I try to define free will I have a hard time doing it without using some supernatural elements like a mind or soul separate from the physical processes of the body. I don't believe such a thing exists.

Instead, I think we "make decisions" based on physical processes that occur in our bodies. I believe these processes are deterministic. In theory there could be (for example, quantum) processes that are effectively random and prevent such decisions from being truly deterministic, but that's different than saying the individual has any form of actual control over them.

In practice, though, we must behave as if we have free will, because on a macro level we're still making decisions based on inputs we receive and how our minds work.

Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2018, 09:32:28 PM »
The answers given in the poll do not accurately reflect my views on free will, except in a misleadingly simplistic way.
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Offline Awatsjr

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2018, 11:54:01 PM »
Only a crazy person would perceive it any differently regardless of reality.

Online Desert Fox

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2018, 05:20:28 AM »
I think when people define free will in different ways, the first think the OP has to define exactly what is meant by "Free Will."
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Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2018, 09:12:00 AM »
I would say, define it however you like, just be clear about it when you answer.  I'd figure it means that when I think I'm making a choice I could actually make more than one choice.  Come to a fork in the road where the directions are functionally equivalent and I actually could go left or right rather than my choice really being limited to either left or right based the rules of the universe or the constraints of my life up to that point. 

Offline John Albert

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2018, 11:19:18 AM »
The answers given in the poll do not accurately reflect my views on free will, except in a misleadingly simplistic way.

If only we were free to choose an option that best represented our own individuality.

For what it's worth, I answered the damn thing anyway just to see what the results looked like.

Offline Belgarath

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2018, 12:08:06 PM »
I can't answer.  Can you please define what you mean by free will please, then I can answer.
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