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Invisibleappleorange
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Registered: 12/30/07
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Does Freewill Exist?
    #11790385 - 01/08/10 05:22 PM (12 years, 23 days ago)

If lightning strikes a tree, it's likely it will catch fire. The fire is the effect and the cause was lightning. It's also likely that trees surrounding it will also catch fire. The first fire which was initally an effect now becomes a cause and the new effect is other trees burning.

For every effect there is a cause. What is taking place in this thread and the words which I am writing at this moment were set in place by causes which occured long before I was born. One could even argue that this post was predetermined to happen with the original and very first cause in time. The first cause setting off a chain which inevitably resulted in this post.

For a freewill to exist, it would have to exist independently of the chain of cause and effect. How can something exist independently of conditions and causes? If one does believe in a freewill, something must create it. At what point does the freewill come into existence? How can it exist independently of the cause which created it? Is our freewill formed 1 week after our conception? 2 months?

If a man robs a liquor store, can you argue that it was possible for him to not have done so? How could he have behaved any other way?

Everyone who replies to this post. I want you to ask yourselves if you could have replied any other way. If you could, tell me how?


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InvisibledeCypher
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Registered: 02/10/08
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Re: Does Freewill Exist? [Re: appleorange]
    #11790423 - 01/08/10 05:31 PM (12 years, 23 days ago)

The appearance of free will seems pretty damn convincing and I pragmatically act as if I possess it, but beyond that I cannot definitively conclude one way or the other as to its existence.


--------------------
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.


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Offlineandrewss
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Registered: 08/17/07
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Re: Does Freewill Exist? [Re: deCypher]
    #11790452 - 01/08/10 05:36 PM (12 years, 23 days ago)

i am forced to post this right now, instigated by forces beyond me!


--------------------
Jesus loves you.


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Invisibleappleorange
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Re: Does Freewill Exist? [Re: deCypher]
    #11790459 - 01/08/10 05:38 PM (12 years, 22 days ago)

It does seem pretty damn convincing that it is real, I'll admit.

A plant obviously has no freewill, everything a plant does is a series of causes and effects. It rains, it grows. It freezes, it may die.

By assuming that we have a freewill or soul we are basically saying that the laws of the universe do not apply to us. We are somehow special. Everything else may be dependent upon causes and conditions, but we have the ability to choose and do as we please.


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InvisibledeCypher
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Re: Does Freewill Exist? [Re: appleorange]
    #11790467 - 01/08/10 05:39 PM (12 years, 22 days ago)

The existence of uncertainty at the quantum level leaves some wiggle room in the iron clad fist of determinism, IMO.


--------------------
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.


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InvisiblePoid
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Re: Does Freewill Exist? [Re: deCypher]
    #11790971 - 01/08/10 06:57 PM (12 years, 22 days ago)

Is there even any reasonable argument against the existence of free will? :undecided:


--------------------
Well I try my best to be just like I am, but everybody wants you to be just like them. --  Bob Dylan
fireworks_god said:
It's one thing to simply enjoy a style of life that one enjoys, but it's another thing altogether to refer to another person's choice as "wrong" or to rationalize their behavior as being pathological or resulting from some sort of inadequacy or failing so as to create a sense of superiority or separation as yet another projection of a personal fear or control issue.


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OfflinexFrockx
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Re: Does Freewill Exist? [Re: Poid]
    #11790997 - 01/08/10 07:01 PM (12 years, 22 days ago)

"Does Freewill Exist? "

I don't know.

"Is there even any reasonable argument against the existence of free will?"

Is there any reasonable argument for it?  Are there any completely reasonable arguments, in general?


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InvisiblePoid
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Re: Does Freewill Exist? [Re: xFrockx]
    #11791021 - 01/08/10 07:03 PM (12 years, 22 days ago)

Quote:

xFrockx said:
Is there any reasonable argument for it?


Why should there need to be? It seems like a given to me that I have free will, just like it's a given to me that I am conscious.



Quote:

xFrockx said:
Are there any completely reasonable arguments, in general?


Yes, do you want an example?


--------------------
Well I try my best to be just like I am, but everybody wants you to be just like them. --  Bob Dylan
fireworks_god said:
It's one thing to simply enjoy a style of life that one enjoys, but it's another thing altogether to refer to another person's choice as "wrong" or to rationalize their behavior as being pathological or resulting from some sort of inadequacy or failing so as to create a sense of superiority or separation as yet another projection of a personal fear or control issue.


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InvisibleSlashOZ
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Registered: 10/20/06
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Re: Does Freewill Exist? [Re: appleorange]
    #11791059 - 01/08/10 07:09 PM (12 years, 22 days ago)

Humans can control fire. We can extinguish a fire and bring one to life. We have matches, lighters, bombs, etc. It seems like this ability shows free will or a very good ability to control causal sequences.


--------------------
"Life sucks but in this really beautiful way" - Axl Rose
"Life's a bitch and then you die that's why we get high cuz you never know when you're gonna go." - NAS
"When people don't know what you're about they put you down and shut you out" - Black Sabbath
"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind" - Gandhi
"Look up at me I am God, look down on me and I am evil, look at me I am you." - Charles Manson.
"Don't question my reality." - Me (as far as I know)


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OfflinexFrockx
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Re: Does Freewill Exist? [Re: Poid]
    #11791071 - 01/08/10 07:11 PM (12 years, 22 days ago)

"Why should there need to be? It seems like a given to me that I have free will, just like it's a given to me that I am conscious."

What if I said it were given to me that life was deterministic. Would you consider that reasonable justification?

"Yes, do you want an example? "

Well, it depends on what we count as reasonable, in certain contexts yes, in certain contexts no.  :shrug:


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OfflinexFrockx
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Re: Does Freewill Exist? [Re: SlashOZ]
    #11791085 - 01/08/10 07:12 PM (12 years, 22 days ago)

Our ability to do all this could be based on natural forces, and not on an inner will.  For that matter, our entire sense of self could be a sort of naturally-produced illusion.


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InvisibleDieCommie

Registered: 12/11/03
Posts: 29,258
Re: Does Freewill Exist? [Re: deCypher]
    #11791091 - 01/08/10 07:13 PM (12 years, 22 days ago)

Quote:

deCypher said:
The existence of uncertainty at the quantum level leaves some wiggle room in the iron clad fist of determinism, IMO.




How so?  In some way uncertainty seems to fly in the face of free will.  If I will my finger to move, uncertainty may conspire against that and it will not move despite my will.

I see free will as dependent not on uncertainty, but on the direction of causality.  If all causality comes from the bottom up (from particles to atoms to cells and so on) then there is no room for free will.  If causality can go from the top down then there is room for free will.  Top down causality hasn't been shown to be reality, but it is used as a useful construct in many fields (notably biology).  Still, the trend is the opposite, more and more phenomenon are being reduced to their basic constituents with causal chains that link macroscopic behavior to microscopic behavior.  The opposite reduction, tying microscopic effects to macroscopic causes has never been done.


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InvisiblePoid
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Re: Does Freewill Exist? [Re: xFrockx]
    #11791092 - 01/08/10 07:13 PM (12 years, 22 days ago)

Quote:

xFrockx said:
"Why should there need to be? It seems like a given to me that I have free will, just like it's a given to me that I am conscious."

What if I said it were given to me that life was deterministic. Would you consider that reasonable justification?


No because I can see that you are doing things, and I can't see anything besides you doing those things; if I saw something else "pulling your strings", then maybe I'd think that you have a point.


--------------------
Well I try my best to be just like I am, but everybody wants you to be just like them. --  Bob Dylan
fireworks_god said:
It's one thing to simply enjoy a style of life that one enjoys, but it's another thing altogether to refer to another person's choice as "wrong" or to rationalize their behavior as being pathological or resulting from some sort of inadequacy or failing so as to create a sense of superiority or separation as yet another projection of a personal fear or control issue.


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InvisiblePoid
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Re: Does Freewill Exist? [Re: DieCommie]
    #11791106 - 01/08/10 07:14 PM (12 years, 22 days ago)

Quote:

DieCommie said:
I see free will as dependent not on uncertainty, but on the direction of causality.  If all causality comes from the bottom up (from particles to atoms to cells and so on) then there is no room for free will.


Why not? We would still be able to make choices regardless of the direction of causality...


--------------------
Well I try my best to be just like I am, but everybody wants you to be just like them. --  Bob Dylan
fireworks_god said:
It's one thing to simply enjoy a style of life that one enjoys, but it's another thing altogether to refer to another person's choice as "wrong" or to rationalize their behavior as being pathological or resulting from some sort of inadequacy or failing so as to create a sense of superiority or separation as yet another projection of a personal fear or control issue.


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OfflinexFrockx
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Re: Does Freewill Exist? [Re: Poid]
    #11791169 - 01/08/10 07:21 PM (12 years, 22 days ago)

Well I can't tell you're pulling your own strings either.  I don't even really know what "you" is.


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InvisibleSlashOZ
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Registered: 10/20/06
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Re: Does Freewill Exist? [Re: xFrockx]
    #11791170 - 01/08/10 07:22 PM (12 years, 22 days ago)

Quote:

xFrockx said:
Our ability to do all this could be based on natural forces, and not on an inner will.  For that matter, our entire sense of self could be a sort of naturally-produced illusion.




What purpose does a naturally produced illusion of free will serve? Why have it at all if it doesn't exist? If free will doesn't exist why do we have the notion of free will? To me it seems we have the idea of free will because it is real. I could just as easily to one thing as another. Committing murder is a constant option everyone has. We choose to take mushrooms. The will responds to external forces but it is not directed by external forces. The will is internal and can be redirected and can come under internal conflict. Do I do x or y, etc? The will can direct or bring into existence causal chains. We can choose to have kids and having a kid creates a causal chain. Choosing to shoot someone creates a causal chain. Choosing to eat steak instead of spaghetti creates a unique causal chain. How can you prove I do not have a choice in what to eat for dinner?


--------------------
"Life sucks but in this really beautiful way" - Axl Rose
"Life's a bitch and then you die that's why we get high cuz you never know when you're gonna go." - NAS
"When people don't know what you're about they put you down and shut you out" - Black Sabbath
"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind" - Gandhi
"Look up at me I am God, look down on me and I am evil, look at me I am you." - Charles Manson.
"Don't question my reality." - Me (as far as I know)


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InvisiblePoid
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Re: Does Freewill Exist? [Re: xFrockx]
    #11791188 - 01/08/10 07:23 PM (12 years, 22 days ago)

Quote:

xFrockx said:
Well I can't tell you're pulling your own strings either.  I don't even really know what "you" is.


I am a member of the species Homo sapiens; how can you not tell that I'm pulling my own strings? Isn't it, like, extremely obvious that I am? :confused2:


--------------------
Well I try my best to be just like I am, but everybody wants you to be just like them. --  Bob Dylan
fireworks_god said:
It's one thing to simply enjoy a style of life that one enjoys, but it's another thing altogether to refer to another person's choice as "wrong" or to rationalize their behavior as being pathological or resulting from some sort of inadequacy or failing so as to create a sense of superiority or separation as yet another projection of a personal fear or control issue.


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OfflinexFrockx
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Re: Does Freewill Exist? [Re: xFrockx]
    #11791196 - 01/08/10 07:24 PM (12 years, 22 days ago)

"I see free will as dependent not on uncertainty, but on the direction of causality.  If all causality comes from the bottom up (from particles to atoms to cells and so on) then there is no room for free will."

I think this is based on a misunderstanding of what reductionism means.  Particles and "large stuff" in reality all exists on the same causal level.  Interactivity doesn't occur down the strata, or up the strata, because the "large things" are only the manifest image of particles, they aren't something different.


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InvisibleDieCommie

Registered: 12/11/03
Posts: 29,258
Re: Does Freewill Exist? [Re: SlashOZ]
    #11791202 - 01/08/10 07:25 PM (12 years, 22 days ago)

Quote:

How can you prove I do not have a choice in what to eat for dinner?




By reducing your choice to signals in your brain, which are functions of the atoms in your brain, which behave by their own set of rules and are not influenced by your body at large.


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OfflinexFrockx
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Re: Does Freewill Exist? [Re: Poid]
    #11791208 - 01/08/10 07:25 PM (12 years, 22 days ago)

"Isn't it, like, extremely obvious that I am?"

Hold on let me ask my cat...


He's just staring at me, so I guess it isn't that obvious.


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