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Offlinegribochek
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Registered: 04/19/99
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Freedom of will vs. none
    #337690 - 06/08/01 10:05 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

What is the decisive difference between freedom of will and lack thereof? I see many people discussing this here. Well... ?



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InvisiblePynchon
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Registered: 04/28/01
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Re: Freedom of will vs. none [Re: gribochek]
    #337764 - 06/08/01 12:00 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

There is no practical difference. If you believe you have free will, then you do...by the same token, if you put all your faith in scientific reductionism, all mental events (including free will) are denied any reality whatsoever.

By the way, several years ago, this exact topic inspired my first ever bad trip...thanks a whole bunch for making me think about it again...



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Offlinegribochek
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Re: Freedom of will vs. none [Re: Pynchon]
    #337773 - 06/08/01 12:45 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Sorry, Pinchon. How did such topic cause a bad trip?



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InvisiblePynchon
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Re: Freedom of will vs. none [Re: gribochek]
    #337791 - 06/08/01 01:43 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

It was just a case of them nasty thought-loops...ad infinitum. Don't feel bad, man, what I said was meant in a light-hearted way...dug your discovery vs. invention thread, by the way.



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InvisibleKid
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Re: Freedom of will vs. none [Re: gribochek]
    #337838 - 06/10/01 11:18 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Freedom of will is the perception that "You" are somehow in control of your own actions. It includes a notion of an autonomous Self.

Lack thereof can include the sensation of Self but simply that actions are determined entirely by external forces. Or the Self may be perceived not to exist.



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Offlinegribochek
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Re: Freedom of will vs. none [Re: Kid]
    #338201 - 06/11/01 09:28 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Can anyone explain to me what's this Self people keep talking about?



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Offlinegribochek
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Re: Freedom of will vs. none [Re: Pynchon]
    #338202 - 06/11/01 09:30 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Pynch,
> If you believe you have free will, then you do

Is this a definition ("Free will is defined as belief that you have free will") or a statement of cause and effect ("Belief that you have free will causes you to have it")?





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InvisiblePynchon
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Re: Freedom of will vs. none [Re: gribochek]
    #338265 - 06/11/01 11:00 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

The philosopher Wittengenstein once said something smart like "what cannot be said must be consigned to silence" and given that there's no way to empirically verify whether or not free will "really" exists, I think it could be both a definition AND a statement of cause and effect. Or neither, seeing as when viewed this way, the statements "free will is defined as a belief that you have free will" and "belief that you have free will causes you to have it" are paradoxes'(cause you need to believe in free will/possess free will already to give your belief in free will any meaning). What a cunt that Wittengenstein must have been at parties, what with reducing history's greatest philosophical questions to pointless semantics and all...



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Offlinegribochek
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Re: Freedom of will vs. none [Re: Pynchon]
    #338289 - 06/11/01 11:27 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Pynch, I am not asking about whether it can be empirically verified. I am trying to find out what is it that we can or can't verify. What does it mean to have free will? I believe that other then the original paradoxical "if you believe you have it then you do" you didn't make an honest attempt to answer.

Aren't history's greatest philosophical questions pointless semantics? To think that those german guys waisted so many gallons of inc on useless semantics! Where does it leave me, who hasn't, I'm sure, even used up 100 milliliters? :))



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InvisiblePynchon
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Re: Freedom of will vs. none [Re: gribochek]
    #338307 - 06/11/01 12:29 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Uuuummm...To have free will simply means that your actions are not pre-determined, you choose to do something when you could have chosen to do something else. Rationality is a necessary ingredient in freedom of will; a free decision can't be made out of, say, fear. It is also difficult to see how free will could exist without some degree of self-awareness beyond mere instinct.

Most of history's great philosophers believed that these sort of questions were answerable, that someday someone smart enough would figure out if there really is a god just by thinking about it for long enough. Sounds naive to us, but it was certainly more than semantics to them, especially in the days when philosophy and science were inseperable. Which german guys are you refering to btw?



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Offlinegribochek
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Re: Freedom of will vs. none [Re: Pynchon]
    #338318 - 06/11/01 01:22 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

> 1. To have free will simply means that your actions are not pre-determined,
> 2. you choose to do something when you could have chosen to do something else

Consider 1. If I can guess how you will act in the next moment, is your action free or not? I am talking about simple cases of short term predictability, like when I say "You are a damn fucked up stupid fool" and can pretty safely predict (knowing you and all) that you will hit me in the face just a second later. Or pre-determined is not the same as predictable? If so, that what is pre-determined? Written somewhere? Where? Known by somebody? Who?

Consider 2. This one is my favourite. Noone can ever hope to observe the same object under the same conditions more then once. Proof: The observer himself would have to be in a different state the second time if he is to remember that it IS the second time. But the observer IS part of the environment of the observed. QED.

So, what's the use of the criterion if it can't be employed?

> Rationality is a necessary ingredient in freedom of will; a free decision can't be made out of, say, fear.
> It is also difficult to see how free will could exist without some degree of self-awareness beyond mere instinct.

So, to you a free decision can not be made out of:

a. Fear.
b. Instinct.
c. Any other irrational drive.

Can it be made out of
a. Greed?
b. Passion?
c. Striving for success?
d. Worry for your child's future?
e. Desire to solve a mathematical problem?
f. For absolutely no reason whatsoever?





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OfflineRainbow
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Re: Freedom of will vs. none [Re: gribochek]
    #338397 - 06/11/01 05:56 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Wow



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InvisibleKid
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Re: Freedom of will vs. none [Re: gribochek]
    #338724 - 06/12/01 12:29 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

> Aren't history's greatest philosophical questions pointless semantics?

Isn't everything in human existence just pointless semantics?



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OfflineDrisch
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Re: Freedom of will vs. none [Re: gribochek]
    #338940 - 06/12/01 08:06 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Free will is doing what YOU choose to do, when YOU choose to do it !!!
No one has actually reached this state of awareness yet, no one is free, one must drop out totally; like die and shit to become free.



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Offlinegribochek
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Re: Freedom of will vs. none [Re: Drisch]
    #338976 - 06/12/01 09:34 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Drisch, you must go a little further if you are to make a serious definition. I am talking about that thing you call choice. If you choose to and then do run away from, say, a gang of attakers, you are acting of your choice, right? Indeed, running away is exactly what you chose to do, and now is exactly when you chose to do it. So, is this a free action?

Now, I have already noticed this here, some people tend to confuse freedom of will with freedom of action. Freedom of action is very very different. Freedom of action says that given an intention (choice, wish, etc.) you can act it out. Freedom of action is dependent upon and is naturally restricted by the sircumstances (e.g. if one doesn't have legs - he can't walk.) or personal capabilities (e.g. one can't fly).

Freedom of will is something different, because it speaks not of action but of intention (will). So what is it about will that makes it either free or not? Anyone?



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InvisiblePynchon
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Re: Freedom of will vs. none [Re: gribochek]
    #339013 - 06/12/01 11:26 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

Heh...I knew as soon as I posted my previous reply that my statement "you choose to do something when you could have chosen to do something else" would come back and bite me in the ass...as for the rest, on first reading it seemed "indisputedly wise", on second reading "worth thinking about" and now seems more and more like mere vocabulary(in a good way, though)...in your last post you state that freedom of will and action are very different things, while admitting that freedom of action is dependant on "intention, choice, wish, etc". So, while one may not be able to physically fly, one can still choose to imagine doing so. One is even free to act it out - failure to achieve the desired action has little to do with having the freedom to try!

"What is it about will that makes it either free or not?"...At the risk of repeating myself, what makes will free/not free depends on whether or not you believe that the decisions you make are your own...I know this is far from a satisfactory definition(are schizophrenics free? How about cult members? Drug addicts?) but unless we're going to invoke a god who could presumably provide some sort of "free will barometer", I don't see any other possible answer.

Hows that for mere vocabulary?



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Offlinegribochek
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Re: Freedom of will vs. none [Re: Pynchon]
    #339041 - 06/12/01 12:05 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

You are right. I got caught up in words a little bit. Lost the reference point, so to speak.

> what makes will free/not free depends on whether or not
> you believe that the decisions you make are your own.

I think that without realizing it you said something that I was trying so hard to cause someone to say. "YOUR OWN". Listen to these words, because they are the key to all.

Actions we count as free are simply those which we attribute to ourselves. Actions we count as non-free we attribute to something other then ourselves, right? Well, how do we deside what's ourselves and what's not?

(And think about it! The "discovery vs. invention" thing, that boils down to the same very distinction!)



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