What is free will?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by fess, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    But the obvous prollem you have from includin the human brain as just bein part of the cause an effect of a deterministic universe is that it leaves no room for free will.!!!

    An sure… in a deterministic universe nobody woud have free will… but hardly anybody thanks the universe is 100 % deterministic…
    *an that small part which ant deterministic is whare free will emerges for humans to make use of.!!!

    *Just look at it this way… determinism ends whare the autonomy of the human brain begins… see… an lookin at it that way is whats known as compatibilism.!!!
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    It conflicts with your deductions. I don't know what happens to your "principles" - I suspect they are hidden examples of the supernatural assumption, and come or go as needed.
    I am the instrument doing the playing, in my corner.
    You are attempting to deny the existence of decisions and deciders, and in this denial you are in conflict with observed physical fact.
    Including the existence of the decider, and the degrees of freedom it possesses. This we observe in action.
    Yep. Which is to make decisions, choose among alternatives, etc.
    The programmer - yes. I am indeed my own programmer, in part. And that's not a perception of mine - it's an observable physical event, of which I am often unaware.
    The one state of the decider that exists includes its readiness with alternatives from which the choice will be made in the future. That's its nature, its state, its determined set up - having alternatives, capable of choosing among them.
    - - -
    There is no such thing as a "counterfactual alternative", at the point of decision. The alternatives are observed facts.
    That is the central issue, imho: you guys regard only the supernatural as nontrivial. That explains your resistance to acknowledging complex physical reality and its implications in this matter.
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  5. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Why are they not genuine alternatives?
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  7. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    You're right, it doesn't seem to, does it.
    I don't start with the assumption that free will exists and then try to find room for it.
    I start with the assumption of a deterministic universe and move forward from there.
    If that leads to the conclusion that free will is not possible in such a universe, so be it.

    If you want to discuss the non-deterministic universe, i.e. the probabilistic universe, then while genuine alternatives exist (the same inputs can lead to different outputs - within the probability function), the actual output is a matter of randomness in accordance with that probability function.
    Still no freedom of the will there, it seems.
    Other than in the trivial sense that a thermostat has.
    FYI, CH, by agreeing that freewill is not possible in a deterministic universe, you are actually relating the incompatibilist view.
    Compatibilism is the view that freewill is compatible with a deterministic universe.
    What you are offering, the view that determinism is incompatible with freewill but that freewill exists because determinism is false, is more akin to libertarianism.
    But it is still an incompatibilist position.

    Compatibilism is simply whether one considers freewill possible/compatible with a deterministic universe.
  8. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    Because there are no alternatives to a predetermined course of events.
    That is what it means to be predetermined.
    We might think the various options we come up with are ones that we are capable of selecting... but they aren't.
    The inputs to the deterministic system can only result in a specific output.
    The output is determined by the inputs (via the laws that govern the system).
    In such a universe, any path you take was predetermined aeons ago, irrespective of the so-called alternatives you might consider.
    The kicker is that we nearly always have zero clue as to what that predetermined course of events is.
    So to us they all look like genuine alternatives.
    But the predetermined path has already been set... within the deterministic universe, at any rate.
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The existence of alternatives available to the decider was predetermined. They are observable facts, prior to the decision.
    They are. This is easily verified, by rerunning simple situations with different inputs of criteria - a red light instead of a green one, for example.
    The decision is made on the criteria established. Yes.
    The alternatives were also predetermined.
    Nonsense. We have narrowed things down a very great deal - for starters, we have listed the alternatives that exist going in, and we know the criteria that will be employed in making the decision.
    But not within the decider. The decider is going to choose. That's how the universe has predetermined the path - by setting up a decision, and an entity capable of making it.
  10. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    I guess now that you have repeated yourself maybe 3 or 4 times I have to accept that that is the best you can do. That your answer is not open to discussion and therefore a call to authority.
    Thanks for your indulgence Baldeee, may your predetermined determinations never become problem-istic!

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  11. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    I have explained to you repeatedly over numerous threads how determinism results in predetermination.
    I'm sorry that you can't grasp that, or understand it, and instead see it as a call to authority.
    It is simply the logical conclusion of determinism, as explained.
    So if you start with the assumption of a deterministic universe you are invoking a predetermined course of events.
    If events are predetermined, how do you think there can be any genuine alternative to those predetermined events?

    Look, QQ, I understand that you're probably stuck trying to wrap your head around it, and that you need to deflect from your inability to do so, and thus look to denigrate my responses, to belittle them so that you can excuse yourself from having to consider them.
    I get that.
    But it's still a pity that that's what you've reverted to.
    I would tell you to stop being so childish... but leopards, eh.
  12. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    but we are not.... only you are.

    so tell us all why you believe that the infinite number of equally correct alternative locations are some how non-genuine...

    key words: infinite, alternatives, equally correct.

    as an aside:
    "Nothing is true; everything is permitted" ~ Vladimir Bartol 1903-1967
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2019
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    By noting that these alternatives have been predetermined, along with the other predetermined aspects of the observable physical reality we live in.
    And when it doesn't, you deny the fact.
    Because you also started with another assumption: that free will had to be supernatural.
  14. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    It is interesting to note that if one subscribes to the strictly predetermined doctrine one ends up with cults like ISIL who, as a significant part of their Wahhabi extremist beliefs, considered all the atrocities they committed to be the will of Allah thus voiding them individually of any responsibility. Voided of any responsibility allowed a clear conscience when committing rape, murder, torture, mutilations and genocide.

    Christians also are divided and vexed when it comes to freewill even though in the book of Genesis it clearly states that "the Lord" allows Adam and Eve the ability to defy him. Freewill thus demonstrated in the book of Genesis.

    Replace "the Lord" with "the Universe" and note how early humans had already understood freewill when they wrote the book of Genesis.

    Belief in Determinism that prescribes pre-determinism is potentially a very dangerous theory and fundamentally wrong, both religiously and scientifically.

    Cult = Charismatic leader who preaches pre-determination.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
    cluelusshusbund likes this.
  15. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Thats perty much what i an others have been gettin at... if free will is just an illusion then ther woud be chaos in the streets an rape an stuff.!!!
    An besides... who woud even want to live if they didnt thank they had free will.!!!
    Quantum Quack likes this.
  16. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    If you talk of a deterministic universe you are, almost by definition, talking of predetermination.
    The latter is a logical conclusion of the former.
    If you think otherwise then either you are not talking about determinism, or you don't understand the implications of determinism,
    Correct or not is irrelevant.
    The infinite number are not genuine alternatives because the location each person chose would have been determined by the inputs to the deterministic system that led to the output.
    The location they each chose was predetermined aeons ago.
    What they may have considered as alternatives, mathematically correct or not, are therefore not genuine alternatives with regard free will.
    If a person could have known the state of the universe 100 years previously and knew the laws that govern the intervening time, they could have known which location the people would choose.
    If the location they picked could be known, how are the other locations genuine alternatives?
  17. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    Wow, so you have nothing left but an appeal to consequence?
    Again, I clearly expected too much for you to actually come up with anything worthy of discussion.
    You have nothing.
    And when confronted with something you clearly fail to understand, you appeal to what you see as consequence, with no small hint of appeal to emotion behind it.

    Thank you for clarifying why I should put you on ignore.
  18. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    You honestly believe that?
    We don't live our lives according to the deterministic nature of the universe, but by the illusion that our consciousness provides for us.
    It convinces us that we are able to do what we want (within boundaries) and it is an illusion that from a practical point of view we can not escape from.
    So we come up with another version of free will, one that doesn't require genuine alternatives, and one that we all have.
    Trivially so.

    But it seems no one wishes to discuss, or are capable of discussing, anything other than this trivial notion.
    C'est la vie.
  19. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    And if the universe is not deterministic, but, say, probabilistic?
    How would you see the probabilistic nature of outputs to the system in that case impacting upon your view of free will?
  20. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    Like I’ve stated before, decider = calculator = device of determined operation. If you call yourself a decider then you have to call any other set of organized matter likewise, because they can all be said to act to influence their own behavior.
    If you want to describe every action in the universe as a decision then be my guest. If the sum of universal action only results in one outcome per event, then there are no degrees of freedom for any element therein.
    There is only determined action, there are no alternatives. You don’t seem to understand the concept of determined in a universal sense. It doesn’t result from action confined to a specific place or time, it’s a result of every action that precedes it in all places.
    Again, call yourself what you wish, but understand that the same can be applied to everything else as well. Everything acts in determined concert to produce the now, but nothing acts independently or freely.
    You’re confusing what’s likely to happen with what must happen. It’s why you see degrees of freedom that aren’t actually there. If you know all of the variables that determine a given event (which you never can), then there would only be one possible outcome for a that event, no degrees of freedom, and no alternatives.
  21. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    To me probabilistic equates to uncertainty, so rather than behavior being predictable with complete knowledge, it would be less so with a lack of complete knowledge, pretty much what humans are stuck with presently. The nature of will would likewise change from determined to uncertain, and still would not be free. Instead of being at the mercy of determined order, you're now at the mercy of less determined order or chaos.
    Baldeee likes this.
  22. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    I beg to differ..
    the act of marking the paper is predetermined but the actual location of the mark isn't, because any where on the paper would have sufficed. The candidates were therefore entirely free to choose where, arbitrarily, with their own authority and thus demonstrating an act of deliberate self determinism.
    "I determine that the point on the paper should be.............. here!"
    ...and due to the nature of infinity ( infinite reduction to a zero point) that point can never be predetermined except by the candidate.
  23. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    You can beg all you want, but you're still not talking about the same notion of free will, but rather you're stuck with the trivial version.
    Well, you're not begging to differ but rather just begging the question.
    If only philosophical issues were so resolved simply through assertion and with no thought to what is actually being asserted.
    In a deterministic universe, as explained ad nauseam, the entire system and every closed system within, is deterministic, and thus predetermined.
    Until you can start to include that within your thinking, you will be stuck, QQ.
    And I have no further desire to try and dig you out.

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