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Free will vs. determinism

 
 
Reply Mon 23 Aug, 2010 08:55 am
I wanted to know if there was anyone interested in this debate? I am bringing a slightly different definition to the meaning of determinism because there is a storehouse of knowledge that lies behind this door. I realize that a lot of people are turned off by the thought that man's will is not free, but it is important to keep an open mind since this knowledge can help better our world. And we do need help, don't you agree?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 8,871 • Replies: 111
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Arjuna
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Aug, 2010 11:15 am
@peacegirl,
Sure! What do you see behind that door?
peacegirl
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Aug, 2010 11:49 am
@Arjuna,
Hi Arjuna, it's a discovery about man's ultimate nature that has the power to prevent that for which blame and punishment came into existence. If you are interested in learning more, I can give you the link to the book which is online for free.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Aug, 2010 01:41 pm
@peacegirl,
peacegirl wrote:

I wanted to know if there was anyone interested in this debate? I am bringing a slightly different definition to the meaning of determinism because there is a storehouse of knowledge that lies behind this door. I realize that a lot of people are turned off by the thought that man's will is not free, but it is important to keep an open mind since this knowledge can help better our world. And we do need help, don't you agree?


You might start by saying why you believe that if an action or a choice is caused, that means it is not a free action. Let' suppose that I visit a restaurant, and what cause me to do so was that a friend suggested that he thought I might like it. So I decided to try it. Now, I could have not gone, if I had chosen not to go. I was not compelled to go to the restaurant by my friend's suggestion. So, did I not go of my own free will?
Jebediah
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Aug, 2010 02:11 pm
This sounds familiar.

Did some guy who worked out some mathematically proven theory of everything give you the manuscript on his deathbed?
0 Replies
 
GoshisDead
 
  2  
Reply Mon 23 Aug, 2010 02:29 pm
@peacegirl,
have you browsed the previous several free will discussions to make sure that what you are saying is new?
peacegirl
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Aug, 2010 03:02 pm
@kennethamy,
You were not compelled to go to the restaurant in the sense that some antecedent event made or forced you to make this choice. Before you actually decided to go or not to go, you were contemplating which choice would be the most preferable. Determinism (in the definition the author is proposing) does not mean that something external to you (such as heredity, environment, or God) is making you do anything, because nothing in this world can make you do what you don't want to do (you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink), but this does not make man's will free. We are compelled to choose the alternative that we believe is the best option under our particular circumstances. Free will states that we can choose A just as equally as B, which is not true, because it is our nature to choose the alternative that gives us every indication of being the most desirable or the least undesirable at any given moment in time. It is important to understand that what one person believes is the best choice for him does not make it so for others due to a juxtaposition of differences in each case that affect choice. In other words, dog food is good to someone who is starving but awful for someone who is having a steak dinner.
peacegirl
 
  0  
Reply Mon 23 Aug, 2010 03:08 pm
@GoshisDead,
I am positive that this knowledge is not a repeat because it does not represent any of the theories that now exist in any discussion on this topic thus far.
GoshisDead
 
  2  
Reply Mon 23 Aug, 2010 03:15 pm
@peacegirl,
From what you have posted, seems like it has been discussed in most of the free will threads. Do you have a more comprehensive theory that you might put out here?
kennethamy
 
  2  
Reply Mon 23 Aug, 2010 03:48 pm
@peacegirl,
peacegirl wrote:

. We are compelled to choose the alternative that we believe is the best option under our particular circumstances.


1. When I want to do something, I am not compelled to do that thing, since I can be compelled to do only what I do not want to do. That is what is meant by "compel".

2. In fact I have sometime (reluctantly it is true) done what I least prefer to do. I have, for instance, visited my sick grandmother in the hospital because it was my obligation to visit her, and I hate every moment of it, as I knew I would. If you always do what you prefer to do, you are a very fortunate person. I know of no one who is a fortunate as you.

In his Confessions, St. Augustine prays to God to help him because he so often, "Sees the better, yet does the worse". Aristotle called this "Akrasia" which in ancient Greek meant, weakness of the will, and he spent many pages discussing it in his Ethics.
peacegirl
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Aug, 2010 04:07 pm
@GoshisDead,
I do, but it's in book form. I'll give you the link again. I just presented why man's will is not free, because we are compelled to choose the most preferable alternative whether it is the greater of two goods, the lesser of two evils, or a good over an evil. We cannot choose the lesser of two goods, the greater of two evils, or an evil over a good. I am the compiler of this book; the author passed away in 1991 and I hold the rights to this work, so there is no copyright infringement. Here is the link:

http://www.unco.edu/philosophy/current/forums/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=5
peacegirl
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Aug, 2010 04:12 pm
@kennethamy,
The truth is that even when a person knows that something is ultimately the better choice, a lot of people choose what gives them immediate gratification. Yes it's true that their will to do what is considered the better choice is weak, but that does not mean that their weak will is forcing them to do anything; it just means that at that moment they got greater satisfaction in choosing what they know they will have to pay for later. If they knew that someone in their family would die if they chose that alternative, their will would suddenly become strong and they would resist making that choice. This proves that nothing can make a person do anything against his will, but this does not mean his will is free.
0 Replies
 
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Aug, 2010 04:30 pm
@peacegirl,
This scenario of only being able to choose what we percieve as possible is not new to the free will threads.

Owen Falnnigan covers it at length here as well
http://www.amazon.com/Problem-Soul-Visions-Mind-Reconcile/dp/0465024602#_
peacegirl
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Aug, 2010 04:33 pm
@GoshisDead,
Maybe it isn't, but the explanation as to why we can only choose one alternative, I believe, is new. Also, the truth of man's ultimate nature (no free will) is not the discovery I have alluded to. It is the gateway that leads through the door of determinism to a storehouse of knowledge that has been untapped until now.
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Aug, 2010 04:39 pm
@peacegirl,
So how will it help?
Jebediah
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Aug, 2010 04:44 pm
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead wrote:

This scenario of only being able to choose what we percieve as possible is not new to the free will threads.


I remember now...peacegirl is that person who goes around to various philosophy websites (googling turns up about a dozen) always starting the same thread talking about some book and the amazing insights it holds.
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Aug, 2010 04:55 pm
@Jebediah,
Ah that's where I've seen this before.
0 Replies
 
peacegirl
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Aug, 2010 05:37 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah, that doesn't make this knowledge inaccurate. You can easily dismiss me because it appears I am a nag, or worse, a spammer. I've talked to some really interested people, and some not so interested people. There has been some pretty good debates, although people have come short of reading the entire book. Many people make assumptions just because of the fantastic claims, which immediately makes me suspect. I have seen where one person can sway the entire group, without giving me a chance. If I am going to be ostracized because of your belief that I am a fraud, then I will have to move on.
0 Replies
 
peacegirl
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Aug, 2010 05:40 pm
@GoshisDead,
It can help because this discovery can prevent that for which blame and punishment came into existence.
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Aug, 2010 05:50 pm
@peacegirl,
Aleviation of responsibility by determinism has been an argument since at least the ancient Greeks
 

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