Can we do anything of our own free will?

Reply Fri 17 Sep, 2010 09:03 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:
why are people to compartmentalize everything instead of building conceptual bridges between what obviously is similar upon a clever more insightful look on it ?
Similar functions should be analysed for what they are, and not for the names that we give them...no wonder people this days get lost in formal concept, in the computer age people donĀ“t know what to make of it...information and knowledge are two different things just as meaning and discourse are.

i agree with you, for the most part. People will almost always have more in common than they do otherwise. The differences between us are often superficial. When i said:
Razzleg wrote:
You can think on a donkey, a cart, or in a car, and even on on a car pulled by a donkey as a cart; but in each situation the meaning of things will appear quite differently.

Instead of "will", i probably should have said "may" or "are likely to". The problem, as it seems to me, is that meaning, like our differences, is often superficial. It is often derived from the things that seem most salient for decision making, and differences are good indicators that such a decision is incipient. However, negligible cultural distinctions may actually be, they often appear pregnant with dynamic possibilities; familiarity with otherwise insignificant differences heralds social change. Sometimes, minor differences, like those of economic status, are crucial to how events will play out, both for oneself and for loved ones. That emotional investment, either in the status quo or in the possibility of a change, has a major effect upon how we perceive the meaning of events.

But reasonable and/or more experienced people can extend their intellectual grasp beyond the narrow confines of their current social role and broaden their sense of the meaning of things.
0 Replies
Reply Fri 17 Sep, 2010 11:35 pm
apparently we can progress from the primitivness of 100,000 yrs ago to now

which takes some sense of free-will does it not ?

cicerone imposter
Reply Sat 18 Sep, 2010 12:08 pm
All under the auspices of our environmental and biological limits.

Yes, that's progress. However, the definition of progress can be a very subjective one.
Reply Sat 18 Sep, 2010 12:29 pm
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter wrote:

All under the auspices of our environmental and biological limits.

Yes, that's progress. However, the definition of progress can be a very subjective one.

Mostly everything can be subjective to some people. Some people think that whether Quito is the capital of Ecuador is subjective, so it is no wonder that they think that whether having anesthetics and antibiotics is progress is subjective. They think that the mere possibility of disagreement, whether or not the disagreement is well-founded, makes something subjective.
cicerone imposter
Reply Sat 18 Sep, 2010 02:19 pm
Not true; they just don't happen to know their geography.
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Reply Sat 18 Sep, 2010 07:53 pm
So kennethamy, if you think everything is determined that does not have the presence of the human mind, what is it about the mind that allows people to have realizable alternatives? Of course I would like some kind of proof or rigorous argument for this but an explanation or a guess at the process that allows this freedom of alternatives would also be interesting to hear. Not an argument giving a specific case like at the restaurant but some general explanation of how these alternatives can come to exist in a determined environment.

For instance do you think that human beings have something like a soul that is seperate from the mechanical world and adheres to different rules than the sensed world allowing freedom of alternatives in choosing?

Or do you think the mind is a product of the brain which is a part of the mechanical world but that somehow it was able to produce a state not ultimately influenced by the mechanical world giving us realizable alternatives? If so, can you explain or guess at how this happens?

Or some combination of the above examples, or maybe something entirely different altogether?
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