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What is free will?

 
 
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Nov, 2013 05:45 pm
@Pasture Timmy,
Pasture Timmy wrote:

Lustig Andrei wrote:

I know absolutely nothing whatever further about this force, this God. But it's there. To deny its existence is to deny my own existence.
I'm not certain that existence is anything more than an illusion, and if so, a very good illusion.


Existence, as we generally understand the word, may very well be nothing but illusion. Still, there has to be something behind the illusion. Illusions, in my experience, do not exist without a perceiver who (or what) experiences the illusion, So what is behind the illusion? The mystics would say it is something on the order of cosmic unity.
Pasture Timmy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Nov, 2013 05:55 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

But "causation" is only form in four dimensions...
I don't understand what you might mean by that.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Nov, 2013 05:57 pm
@Pasture Timmy,
The form of forms unfolding in time.
Pasture Timmy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Nov, 2013 06:01 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Lustig Andrei wrote:

The mystics would say it is something on the order of cosmic unity.
Speculation is interesting, but in the end I seem content with, "I don't know".
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Nov, 2013 06:04 pm
For instance Jimmy a parabola is the form of a flying projectile in 4d in all its trajectory.
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  2  
Reply Wed 20 Nov, 2013 06:06 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
"In all the world there is not that that standeth at a stay.
Things eb and flow: and every shape is made to passe away.
The tyme itself continually is fleeting like a brooke.
For neyther brooke nor lyghtsomme tyme can tarrye still. But looke
As every wave dryves other foorth, and that that commes behynd
Bothe thrusteth and is thrust itself: even so the tymes by kynd
Doo fly and follow bothe at once, and evermore renew."

Ovid, Book 15. Translated by Arthur Golding.
Pasture Timmy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Nov, 2013 06:08 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

The form of forms unfolding in time.
What you're talking about reminds me of "Block Time" that I read about several years ago.
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Nov, 2013 06:13 pm
@Pasture Timmy,
Pasture Timmy wrote:

Lustig Andrei wrote:

The mystics would say it is something on the order of cosmic unity.
Speculation is interesting, but in the end I seem content with, "I don't know".


You'll get no argument from me on that.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Nov, 2013 06:15 pm
@Pasture Timmy,
Yes.
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Nov, 2013 06:17 pm
@spendius,
My rudimentary crude English can't make justice to the apparent beauty of these verses. I appreciate your effort nonetheless. Thank you.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Nov, 2013 06:36 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Lustig Andrei wrote:

Pasture Timmy wrote:

Lustig Andrei wrote:

The mystics would say it is something on the order of cosmic unity.
Speculation is interesting, but in the end I seem content with, "I don't know".


You'll get no argument from me on that.



Nor me.
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Nov, 2013 06:43 pm
...perhaps you guys just mean to say that you don't really know what you know or not know...I am not even sure of my degree of uncertainty.
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Nov, 2013 06:54 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

...perhaps you guys just mean to say that you don't really know what you know or not know...I am not even sure of my degree of uncertainty.


Yes, that sums it up rather well. For myself, I believe that there are things which we not only do not know but are incapable of knowing.
Pasture Timmy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Nov, 2013 12:28 am
@Romeo Fabulini,
Romeo Fabulini wrote:

Pasture Timmy said:
Quote:
I'm a self-anointed Pasture of the one true church, New Age Christian Atheists

Wow, you're like Brad Dourif in 'Wise Blood', he founded 'The Church of Jesus Without Jesus' where the blind stay blind, the lame stay lame, and the dead stay that way"..Smile
Good movie about the downward spiral of a person who actually believes their beliefs.

I once worked with a guy who didn't believe Jesus was real, he knew Jesus was real, and would cry himself to sleep every night after drinking a half pint of peach brandy and a six pack of beer.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Nov, 2013 09:28 am
@Lustig Andrei,
That's because science is not capable of answering those questions that are almost impossible to find solutions. BUT, that's close enough for me! Everything else is fiction.
Romeo Fabulini
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Nov, 2013 11:19 am
Quote:
Lustig Andrei said: For myself, I believe that there are things which we not only do not know but are incapable of knowing

Good for you mate, Jesus said the same thing..Smile-
"You hardly believe me when I tell you earthly things,so how would you believe me if I told you heavenly things?" (John 3:12)
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Nov, 2013 03:08 pm
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter wrote:
That's because science is not capable of answering those questions that are almost impossible to find solutions. BUT, that's close enough for me! Everything else is fiction.
Just be careful. If you had put your faith in the medical science of, let's say 150 years ago, you may have been exposed to a surgeon who had not washed his hands after examining a cadaver. Whereas, the ancient Hebrews were told that such things as dead bodies were unclean. Today, hospitals are still one of the most likely places to contract disease.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Nov, 2013 03:14 pm
@neologist,
Medical science like all sciences continue to improve; that's all I expect from human abilities. Looking at medicine 50 years ago or 500 years ago is not germane to this discussion. We're talking about "free will."

Under free will, humans continue to improve on living healthier lives.

0 Replies
 
AdamasHaima
 
  2  
Reply Sun 9 Feb, 2014 05:45 am
@coolcubed,
Free will is not the ability to do anything you want, or the ability to do anything you will yourself to do. It is the ability to will yourself to do anything you want to will yourself to do. That is why it is free will and not free action.

If a man wills himself to fly unaided, he cannot, but this is not a violation of his free will, it is a violation of free action, which, so far as I know, no one argues we have. Likewise, If a man finds himself in a cage and wills himself to escape, but cannot, this is not a violation of his free will, it is a violation of his free action.

This is commonly referred to as a second order desire. Another way of positing the question of free will is to ask, "do we want what we want to want?".

Let me jump to examples. I don't want to go to the gym. However, I wish I wanted to go to the gym. In this case, my second order desire is not fulfilled. However, it could be that while I want to have the desire to go to the gym, I also have another stronger desire that prevents me from doing so. I want to have a desire to go to the gym, however my desire to do heroin is stronger, so I will stay home. (note: I don't condone the use of heroin, it makes for an easy example though) In this situation I can even want to not have the desire to use heroin, even though I actually have this desire, so this is a violation of my second order desire. It is in these second order desires that the question of free will lies. In the case where I am a stay at home heroin addict, my free will would be violated, because my second order desire (not wanting to desire heroin) is contrary to my first order desire (desiring heroin). This has also interfered with my other second order desires (wanting to desire going to the gym, but not actually wanting to go to the gym), thus I would argue heroin addiction has led to, at the very minimum a reduction of my free will.

Take the heroin out of the picture though. I want to desire to go to the gym (second order desire). I also want to desire to spend time with my children (second order desire). In this situation I can want to go to the gym and want to spend time with my kids (both first order desires), even if I don't actually go to the gym because I would rather spend time with my kids. My first order desires align with my second order desires even though my actions are limited by time constraints.

Another example is wanting to want to take an extravagant vacation and wanting to want to save money for early retirement (both second order desires). Again, I can want both as first order desires, but because of financial constraints, one will take priority over the other, but my desires align so there is no loss of free will.

More complicated examples would be situations of depression or anxiety. I want to desire to spend time with friends and family (second order) however, I don't in fact desire to do so (first order). Or, I want to desire a life of partying and socializing (second order), however I don't actually desire such a life (first order). Here there is a conflict between first and second order desires, so I would argue that both depression and anxiety limit free will because we are unable to desire what we want to desire.

I can't recall the title of the paper I read that argued this view, but I believe it was by Frankfurt. If you'd like I'm sure I can look back and find the paper and provide the title.
Pasture Timmy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Feb, 2014 10:19 pm
@AdamasHaima,
AdamasHaima wrote:

"I would argue that both depression and anxiety limit free will"

So, at least one requirement for actual free will would be a brain that's in perfect working order?
0 Replies
 
 

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