Poll

Well, do we?

No, its an entirely deterministic
7 (28%)
mostly deterministic
5 (20%)
Our actions are mostly the response we can have to a given stimulus
9 (36%)
Mostly free
2 (8%)
Yes, we actually have complete control over our actions
2 (8%)

Total Members Voted: 25

Author Topic: Do we have free will  (Read 28650 times)

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Offline Shibboleth

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #30 on: June 14, 2018, 12:17:38 PM »
It is obvious that we have free will because I see a creator in the universe and I know he is good due to my objective morality.
common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

Offline Unlimited

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2018, 09:55:25 PM »
I wonder what will happen to society if we discover that there is definitely - absolutely - no such thing as free will.

Will i still need money?
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Offline Eternally Learning

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #32 on: June 15, 2018, 02:24:12 AM »
I wonder what will happen to society if we discover that there is definitely - absolutely - no such thing as free will.

Will i still need money?

The discovery is secondary to its acceptance.  If the world universally accepted that there was no free will, then I doubt too much would change.  I mean, who among us really goes through their day really behaving as if the people you interact with are not freely choosing to do the things they do?  Someone cuts you off in traffic, you get mad.  Someone helps you out, you're grateful.  Those responses are non-sequiturs if you don't believe in free will.  To truly act as if there were no such thing as free will is to not act in a manner that's human.

Offline Mr. Beagle

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #33 on: June 18, 2018, 01:35:52 PM »
I wonder what will happen to society if we discover that there is definitely - absolutely - no such thing as free will.

Will i still need money?

I see this as similar to asking what happens when we realize that we will die and there is no afterlife. The vast majority of us live anyway as if we have a tomorrow.

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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #34 on: June 18, 2018, 07:26:09 PM »
I wonder what will happen to society if we discover that there is definitely - absolutely - no such thing as free will.

Will i still need money?

I see this as similar to asking what happens when we realize that we will die and there is no afterlife. The vast majority of us live anyway as if we have a tomorrow.
This is essentially my approach to free will. Yes, technically everything is determined by the interaction of particles and atoms. But these interactions are so complex and untrackable that operationally, it works as though we do have free will. People behave as though we do. The law and morality are structured as though we do. There's not much point in assuming otherwise.
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Offline Awatsjr

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #35 on: June 18, 2018, 07:34:05 PM »
Can we be considered sane if we think we don’t have free will?

Offline uolj

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #36 on: June 18, 2018, 09:05:41 PM »
Can we be considered sane if we think we don’t have free will?

Yes?

Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #37 on: June 18, 2018, 09:58:25 PM »
I don't see why it should be grounds for a mental health diagnosis.
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Offline david_s

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #38 on: June 19, 2018, 06:25:08 PM »
If belief in something is a scale, my needle is tipping toward determinism. I am very much trying on different ideas at this stage. I am not in love with any of them yet.

I don't like throwing quantum uncertainty at free will. I don't know enough about it, but my understanding is that even with QM the universe is deterministic. I have done this in the past and have seen respected intellectuals do this recently; take a vaguely understood mathematical concept and use it to create a hole in understanding where they can insert a god or free will or ET. I have seen it used as a type of appeal to ignorance. "We don't exactly know how QM affects conscious thought, therefore free will exists." I suppose this could be stated in the form of a hypothesis as long as it is not used as evidence. I just don't know if a proper understanding of QM would make this hypothesis implausible.

We do make choices based on our preferences but I don't think we exactly choose our preferences. I choose to eat more chocolate chip cookies than I know is strictly healthy for me. I don't know exactly why I do this. I don't have access to my own code. Even if I did have the ability to willfully change my preferences, my preference to do so would not be something that I chose.

That said, since we can reflect on our own past, present and future choices, we can prioritize preferred outcomes and take the actions that will likely lead us to those outcomes. Is that 'free' will or just will? Practically speaking it might not matter and I am OK with that.

Offline PANTS!

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #39 on: June 19, 2018, 07:33:23 PM »
You need to add to the poll:

You chose not to decide (but still have made a choice)
Now where I come from
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Offline Awatsjr

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #40 on: June 19, 2018, 08:37:49 PM »
Can we be considered sane if we think we don’t have free will?

Yes?

If a person says they aren’t making their own decisions and someone or something else is doing it, I’d be a bit worried. I understand we might not be actually be making the decision (choice) but I don’t think we perceive it as anything other than choice - that or Satan is in my heart! :)

Online Redamare

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #41 on: June 19, 2018, 10:00:25 PM »
If you really do pay attention to your thoughts, the illusion of Free Will actually breaks down without putting up much of a fight. At least, that's my experience.
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Offline John Albert

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #42 on: June 20, 2018, 07:25:53 AM »
You need to add to the poll:

You chose not to decide (but still have made a choice)


Offline Billzbub

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #43 on: June 20, 2018, 09:24:17 AM »
Can we be considered sane if we think we don’t have free will?

Yes?

If a person says they aren’t making their own decisions and someone or something else is doing it, I’d be a bit worried. I understand we might not be actually be making the decision (choice) but I don’t think we perceive it as anything other than choice - that or Satan is in my heart! :)

"We" are definitely making choices and decisions, because "we" includes the biology and physics in our brains as well as our consciousness.  It is just that given our brain's current physical state at the moment of the choice, we couldn't have made any other choice.  So yes, I think we make choices, I just think that the choices we make are deterministic (we could predict the outcome given a perfect understanding of how the brain works and its state at the time of the choice).

I just go through life understanding that when I make a choice, "I" includes my physical brain, not just my perceived consciousness.  It really helps sometimes when you have to take a step back during an emotional moment and consider what the hell is going on.  For example, sometimes I get in a really dark mood when I lose at a computer or phone game more than I think I should.  The most effective way to get out of my funk is to realize that my loses are just triggering pathways in my brain that cause the funk, that it is an okay an natural reaction, and that I can change the funk by changing my brain's inputs.  If I didn't have this meta perspective, I can see how it would be very difficult to get out of the self-reinforcing cycling of continuing to play and lose because I'm upset about playing and losing.

On a derailing note, I find it incredibly frustrating knowing that I can beat most of the people around in real life at online games that I like to play, but that when I log in and play them online, I am apparently the worst player to have ever lived.  At the moment, I play only cooperative games even though I would really enjoy playing a lot of other games with other people if I wasn't always the worst player in the game.
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Offline Awatsjr

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Re: Do we have free will
« Reply #44 on: June 20, 2018, 10:22:24 PM »
Yeah, even if it's physics at work, no matter how I try, I feel like I am choosing. That is my original point. I can't think of it any other way even if it's down to the TOE. It feels like choice.

 

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