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Does free will exist?

 
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  0  
Reply Sat 29 Feb, 2020 10:32 am
As far as Compatibilism goes I am willing to go this far:

No people never did have Free Will, but people never asked for it nor have they been unhappy with what they got. You will what you must and you like what you must will.
0 Replies
 
Leadfoot
 
  0  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2020 10:58 am
@Briancrc,
Which position do you prefer?

I was going to rephrase that but wtf
Briancrc
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2020 12:37 pm
@Leadfoot,
Quote:
Which position do you prefer?

I was going to rephrase that but wtf


I'm happy to answer an honest question if you're willing to ask one.
0 Replies
 
livinglava
 
  2  
Reply Sun 1 Mar, 2020 03:03 pm
@mark noble,
mark noble wrote:

Indeed.
Free Will is - A human concept.
It implies that your actions are your own choosing.

But, your 'actions' are responses to criteria 'beyond' the spectrum of your 'own' control.
Are they not?

If the mind is operating beyond its own control, and what we ultimately experience as our 'own' choice is just a choice that's been made by an OS that is beyond our control . . .

Then why doesn't the same logic apply to identity as to the mind, i.e. that identifying with the choices of the mind is something that occurs as part of the mind's (subconscious) operations and thus we are not free to not experience our choices as our own?

In short, we are subject to the experience of free will, and thus we have the capacity to experience ourselves as taking responsibility for making good choices and for experiencing regret for bad choices/outcomes.

In other words, we can't just stop making choices because we assume that what we experience as free will occurs subconsciously before we ever experience it as our own choice.

. . . or rather, if we did try to stop making choices with the knowledge that free will is a subconscious process, that would still be our choice to do so; because we could also choose to just go on making choices as that would be the same thing as acting subconsciously while experiencing our actions as a product of free will/choice.
0 Replies
 
Leadfoot
 
  0  
Reply Mon 2 Mar, 2020 08:08 am
@Briancrc,
Quote:
I think this is pretty much right. To be the uncaused causer of your thoughts and actions is to be somewhat godlike; which wouldn't be my position either.

I was referring to this.

Just wondering - Why wouldn’t you want to be in that position?

'Control' issues? I’d get that.
Briancrc
 
  3  
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2020 06:01 pm
@Leadfoot,
If it was true, then the orderliness of behavior in conditions unknown to research participants wouldn't make sense.
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Mar, 2020 08:58 am
@Diogenes phil,
Quote:
Does free will exist?


Did you post this at gunpoint?

Asking your question shows there is free will.
livinglava
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Mar, 2020 09:06 am
@bobsal u1553115,
bobsal u1553115 wrote:

Quote:
Does free will exist?


Did you post this at gunpoint?

Asking your question shows there is free will.

That's a common-sense understanding of free will that doesn't make sense.

You're implying that the feeling of compulsion that comes with a death threat is the only possible way in which free-will can be subverted, but that assumes it's not already subverted in everyday decision-making.

In short, you're assuming that free-will is real in some situations because they seem freeer to you than being held at gunpoint, but that is just an assumption.

A more important point question is what causes us to experience some choices as more free than others, e.g. freeer than a choice made at gun-point.
Leadfoot
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 6 Mar, 2020 09:17 am
@Briancrc,
Quote:
If it was true, then the orderliness of behavior in conditions unknown to research participants wouldn't make sense.

You see orderliness there?

In a way, yes. But Hitler making the train run on time is scant compensation. I can live that way for awhile, but I have trouble holding a straight face while doing the salute.
But I get yer point. That was before I was aware of the experiment.
What a time to be alive!
bobsal u1553115
 
  2  
Reply Fri 6 Mar, 2020 09:32 am
@livinglava,
We're discussing a specific event: This OP. If you weren't compelled to post it, you freely posted it of your own free will. QED.
livinglava
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Mar, 2020 09:54 am
@bobsal u1553115,
bobsal u1553115 wrote:

We're discussing a specific event: This OP. If you weren't compelled to post it, you freely posted it of your own free will. QED.

You're assuming there is a fundamental difference between compulsion and free-will that might simply not exist at the deepest level.

You are right that compulsion feels different from free-choice, but that is probably because the motivation to make a certain choice is being strongly influenced by fear of making other choices.

There still are probably sub-conscious processes that make any and all choices for you before you are aware of them as your choice.

The interesting thing is that we are able to experience our choice as ours to make, even though we are also capable of realizing the brain operates as a machine the same as any other machine, albeit a very complex one with subtleties of function beyond what we can understand and/or control the way we can control a computer, for example.
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Mar, 2020 10:10 am
@livinglava,
livinglava wrote:

bobsal u1553115 wrote:

Quote:
Does free will exist?


Did you post this at gunpoint?

Asking your question shows there is free will.

That's a common-sense understanding of free will that doesn't make sense.

You're implying that the feeling of compulsion that comes with a death threat is the only possible way in which free-will can be subverted, but that assumes it's not already subverted in everyday decision-making.

In short, you're assuming that free-will is real in some situations because they seem freeer to you than being held at gunpoint, but that is just an assumption.

A more important point question is what causes us to experience some choices as more free than others, e.g. freeer than a choice made at gun-point.


Yes, people deeply confuse the sensation of having a free choice, their own perception with what actual free choice would require. When I want to eat an ice cream and I decide to not do it because I am rational and freely opt out of it, all that, the pros and cons, were already playing deep in my subconscious. When I decide and I am "happy" with my decision, something else inside me computed that out of the billions of constraints that compose my mental state of affairs at a given time. Absolutely none of it was free whatsoever in that process.
livinglava
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Mar, 2020 10:37 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

Yes, people deeply confuse the sensation of having a free choice, their own perception with what actual free choice would require. When I want to eat an ice cream and I decide to not do it because I am rational and freely opt out of it, all that, the pros and cons, were already playing deep in my subconscious. When I decide and I am "happy" with my decision, something else inside me computed that out of the billions of constraints that compose my mental state of affairs at a given time. Absolutely none of it was free whatsoever in that process.

Good point, but you falsely imply that some other form of 'free will' could exist by saying "what actual free choice would require."

There is no system for decision-making that would operate independently of the constraints of the system.

What does exist, however, is the ability for the machine/brain to work toward being aware of desires, biases, etc. and thus allowing itself to compensate for those in its processing.

E.g. if you are aware that the ice cream is not good for you, and the fact that you desire it, then your brain can factor those things into its process of cultivating resistance to the temptation to eat the ice cream. That's why a human brain has more capacity to resist temptation than, say, a dog who will gladly eat the ice cream without giving any thought to the health consequences, spoiling his/her appetite, etc.

You can teach a dog to restrain himself/herself from taking a treat before he or she is commanded to do so, but that training requires programming the dog's mind to fear some negative consequence, which could be as subtle as disappointment/anger if the dog fails to resist the offer.

In that sense, the dog can also learn to make freeer choices than just reacting to its desire, but the freedom lies in balancing of conflicting interests and not in the installation of some fundamental 'freedom' that supposedly allows a mind to make choices devoid of various influences.

Will-power = becoming aware of various pulls and developing resistance to acting right away. We call it 'freedom' but it is really resistance to temptation/desire, endurance, and staying power to persist in that endurance.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Mar, 2020 03:12 pm
@livinglava,
I am a Hardcore Determinist. The apparent appeal to some true freedom is a vacuous metaphor that tries to bridge the gap in explaining the problem. Obviously there is no escaping the system. I also use metaphors like invent a line that is not straight nor curved while well aware that such line is impossible and thus a false example into trying to describe non-Being in Philosophy. The metaphor helps but only pedagogically.
Briancrc
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Mar, 2020 05:10 pm
@Leadfoot,
Quote:
yes. But Hitler making the train run on time is scant compensation


I have no idea what point you are trying to make, or if you're suggesting that victims of the Holocaust were "research participants". I certainly hope not.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Mar, 2020 06:21 pm
0 Replies
 
Leadfoot
 
  0  
Reply Fri 6 Mar, 2020 06:31 pm
@Briancrc,
i aint touch'n dat
0 Replies
 
livinglava
 
  0  
Reply Fri 6 Mar, 2020 11:32 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

I am a Hardcore Determinist. The apparent appeal to some true freedom is a vacuous metaphor that tries to bridge the gap in explaining the problem. Obviously there is no escaping the system. I also use metaphors like invent a line that is not straight nor curved while well aware that such line is impossible and thus a false example into trying to describe non-Being in Philosophy. The metaphor helps but only pedagogically.

Well, what I'm trying to point out is that if free-will is ultimately an illusion that masks the fact that subconscious processes within and outside the brain/mind determine choices/actions/events that we experience as being a product of free-will/choice; then it would also be a mistake to assume that reality is deterministic in the sense of determinism being something different than agency.

In short, if agency is just another variation on determinism, we have to come to terms with agency being just as real as any other form of determinism. So you can say that the path of a bouncing ball is totally deterministic in a way that a human choosing what to eat for lunch isn't, but if the human agency to choose lunch is caused by a mechanical process that's just as deterministic as the bouncing ball, then we can just as easily apply the interpretive frame of 'agency' to the ball as we can to the mind choosing lunch.

Now what do you say about the fact that the mind is intuitively prone to reject the interpretation of a bouncing ball in terms of agency/free-will but it is able to interpret the brain's/mind's choice of lunch as indeed free-will?

If both processes are equally deterministic, then the framework of agency for making sense of actions/causation should be equally valid in both cases, no?
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2020 07:18 am
@livinglava,
Quote:
So you can say that the path of a bouncing ball is totally deterministic in a way that a human choosing what to eat for lunch isn't, but if the human agency to choose lunch is caused by a mechanical process that's just as deterministic as the bouncing ball, then we can just as easily apply the interpretive frame of 'agency' to the ball as we can to the mind choosing lunch.

What if it was the other way round? If the human agency to choose lunch caused a mechanical process to physically pick up and eat that lunch?

Why can't agency be in itself a causal factor?

If it isn't a cause of anything else, is that consistent with the principal of reaction? How could something exist in this universe, and not have an effect on other stuff?

Our mind exists for a reason. It's there to integrate information (including from senses and memory) and calculus, diagnosis/prognosis, and thereby support the function of integrated (coherent) choice making.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Mar, 2020 08:19 am
@livinglava,
I am sorry but to me, you seem wrong on several accounts. For instance, for those that drop causation in favor of an Einstein block Universe, there is a counter-argument of perfect correlation, for those who make a case for Quantum indeterminacy you don't get an ounce more of free will with the toss of a coin on what you will have for lunch. For substance dualists, we have the mechanical problem of "alien" substances interacting with each other. And for those who do make a case for an independent human agency, there is a contradiction on both accepting and refuting causation at some bus stop in the middle of the process. In Religion there is the appeal to the Cartesian "Soul".

To the point, if you are the Source I'll throw you my previous metaphor for a challenge, please do cause something new, say a line that is not approximately straight nor curved in any sense.
 

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