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What is free will?

 
 
dpmartin
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jan, 2012 09:10 am
One question though:

Despite what has been said about Calvin or Calvinism. Can one will himself into the Kingdom of Heaven of his own choice. Or is that a result of God’s Will, and or Choice? Can one actually will himself into the Kingdom of Heaven?
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jan, 2012 06:32 pm
@dpmartin,
Freewill has to do with choice, and by definition "choice" entails a self acting as a free agent. But such is not the case; there is no such thing as an empirical self. Therefore since there is no chooser there cannot be freewill. Choices exist but they reflect drives that move bodies in one direction rather than another.
Procrustes
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 06:30 am
@JLNobody,
But it could be argued that choice is pre-determined making choice itself merely a word to ascribe responsibilty of action to a free agent. But to be honest, I'm not at all comfortable knowing anything I do is pre-determined by any reason, and I can't really offer a counterfactuals to the latter. I'm at limbo with the concetps of free will and choice.
dpmartin
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 09:38 am
@JLNobody,
thanks for the reply

I would differ on that, if your speaking of inanimate objects maybe so, as in electricity chooses or follows the path of least resistance, one can’t make electricity follow the path of most resistance. But living things such as man, can choose a path of most resistance deliberately, knowing that it is the path of most resistance.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 10:39 am
@Procrustes,
Procrustes wrote:

But it could be argued that choice is pre-determined making choice itself merely a word to ascribe responsibilty of action to a free agent.

Indeed. Those who say that they can prove the existence of free will by the mere act of making a choice are like Dr. Johnson disproving idealism by kicking a rock -- it's begging the question.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 02:46 pm
@joefromchicago,
While the question of free-will vs. determinism is philosophically unresolved--probably unresolvable. The social necessity to behave as if free-will existed exists because of its legal function: assigning responsibility. So much of social life rests on fictions--like that of the self (the agent of actions).
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 02:53 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
I agree that it is not only useless but absurd to apply human logic or any kind of restriction to the actions of a God since such an entity, by definition , transcends all constraints. If we want to constrain Her redefine Her.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 02:53 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
I agree that it is not only useless but absurd to apply human logic or any kind of restriction to the actions of a God since such an entity, by definition , transcends all constraints. If we want to constrain Her redefine Her.
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 04:31 pm
@JLNobody,
Quote:
While the question of free-will vs. determinism is philosophically unresolved--probably unresolvable


The way I see it, the whole issue becomes irrelevant and rather foolish when we think of self as illusion. Then there is only determinism, of which some fragments are seemingly ours to control. By my understanding the distinction free will/determinism is useful in our day to day living, but philosophically it is an irrelevant dead end.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 05:23 pm
@Cyracuz,
I am not a determinist because I do not see "causes"and "effects" as discrete empirical facts; they are simply hypothetical constructs designed to "explain" events by means of causal models. And I do not believe in free-will because I do not see ego-selves (e.g.,choosers) as empirical facts.
"Free-will" is a basis for assigning responsibility and "determinism" is a way of making explanations that are in no way absolutely "true."
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 05:23 pm
@Cyracuz,
I am not a determinist because I do not see "causes"and "effects" as discrete empirical facts; they are simply hypothetical constructs designed to "explain" events by means of causal models. And I do not believe in free-will because I do not see ego-selves (e.g.,choosers) as empirical facts.
"Free-will" is a basis for assigning responsibility and "determinism" is a way of making explanations that are in no way absolutely "true."
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 06:52 pm
@JLNobody,
I agree completely, and I think that the distinctions can serve us well if we remember that they are "in no way absolutely "true"".
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 09:11 pm
@Cyracuz,
Cyracuz wrote:
The way I see it, the whole issue becomes irrelevant and rather foolish when we think of self as illusion.

Most issues do.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 11:23 pm
@joefromchicago,
Which is probably why mystics think of the phenomenal as illusory.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jan, 2012 11:23 pm
@joefromchicago,
Which is probably why mystics think of the phenomenal as illusory.
0 Replies
 
Procrustes
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 04:44 am
@Cyracuz,
Quote:
By my understanding the distinction free will/determinism is useful in our day to day living, but philosophically it is an irrelevant dead end.

I agree. Philosophically, there is no certain justification for free will that doesn't end up being determined by human reason, and there is no certainty with human reason philosophically.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 09:41 am
@JLNobody,
JLNobody wrote:

Which is probably why mystics think of the phenomenal as illusory.

That's why we call them "mystics."
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 12:35 pm
@joefromchicago,
The term, "mystic," is generally used incorrectly. It has nothing to do with "mystery", new age stuff, etc. Note how in B movies scenes of cultish supernatural haunts they have somewhere in a dark corner of a room a statue of the sitting buddha.
I said once in a thread that in a Los Angeles antique store I saw a lamp mounted on the head of a sitting buddha. I asked the owner to inform me if he ever comes across a lamp mounted on the head of the crucified Christ.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 12:39 pm
@JLNobody,
http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQQRdYfsTqp3A0TrWEesnrE1uIkcp8R1x01_jxIr7WThhz_qTz4Ff2_xk2E
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 12:51 pm
Mysticism, as I understand the term, is about ordinary things in an extraordinary context.
 

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