You have no conception of freewill.

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Incompatibalist, Jul 30, 2011.

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  1. Incompatibalist Registered Senior Member

    Perhaps governed wasn't the right word. At least I admit my errors. You still have to concede several points and accept that you were wrong on many occasions.

    And rendering yourself an emotionless zombie doesn't mean you have freewill either. What are you trying to say that at one point you had no freewill but since you 'have lots of practice at not acting on very strong emotional impulses' you now have freewill? Yes I'm glad you are synthesizing correctly bud. I am glad that you realize that you are not... your thoughts Viz. you are not just only your thoughts.
    And I only agree that governed is an incorrect word because that would imply an absolute Viz the idea that for every action it is controlled by that which I said governs action. But again, my mistake, no one thing that I know governs your actions. It is influenced by a multitude of factors. But when I use influence I don't mean like "OMG he has a bad influence on this Man" Viz. that the man can always act in opposition to the influence. What I'm speaking of is that the influence will always have the effect it ought to have considering prior conditions. The influence is but a small factor combined with all that contributes in the becoming of your actions... IE all the influences that are involved in the becoming of your actions.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2011
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  3. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    Not to derail the discussion on free will, but I spend significant time pondering on whether the term 'original thought' is an oxymoron.

    I may perceive a thought to be 'original', as it seems so in my memory, but is that truly the case? :bugeye:
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  5. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

    Wrong again, as usual.

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    Every adult who isn't mentally impaired is perfectly capable of overriding their emotions. That's one of the simple things that separates humans from animals.

    Most of us also have the ability to overcome what's generally accepted as "basic instincts" - like self-preservation - when we willingly place our lives at risk to save another individual from harm or death.

    AND, in addition to all that, we can often choose to ignore past experiences to do things that produced a negative effect earlier.

    I'm guessing those few things probably refute the majority of what you claim, like your "emotional" nonsense, that are conclusive proof of the nonexistence of free will.
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  7. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    Our ego will ever deny that we have anything but free will.

    It is interesting to me to examine, from time to time, the actual basis of my own decision making faculties, especially upon reflecting on decisions that have to be made in a heartbeat to avert potential harm.

    The state of mind that we attain to in over-riding our emotions or going against our intuition or instincts IS an interesting one to reflect upon...

    The exercise of 'debriefing' was designed for a purpose, I'm thinking...
  8. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    Right or wrong is a subjective evaluation from a narrow perspective, although the majority function from this basis.

    History has clearly demonstrated a number of occasions when an innocent individual has been judged guilty by their peers, and later vindicated.

    Some have even been condemned to death by this judgement of 'right' and 'wrong'.

    A subjective concept with harsh consequences.

    Mob mentality.

    Not 'free will'.

    Certainly not independent thinking.

    "Nothing is right or wrong save our thinking makes it so."

    This does not detract from the observation that for every action there is a reaction and if one elects to harm others that there will eventually be consequences. :bugeye:
  9. Hesperado Don't immanentize the eschaton Registered Senior Member

    1. A concept of free will requires first a definition of "free" and "will" separately.

    2. Words like "free" and "will" don't just pop out of thin air, nor do we stumble on them on the ground like fortuitous rocks. They have a linguistic semantic history and as part of that, a philosophical and religious history. Those historic matrices cannot be ignored willy-nilly as we wax abstract in a discussion forum on the Internet; but must be taken into account -- that is, if we want to proceed literately about the subject.
  10. Incompatibalist Registered Senior Member

    We have already agreed to use the merriam-websters definition of freewill and as I've pointed out it's incompatible with ourselves Viz. we do not fit the description.
  11. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    No, only to YOU it doesn't fit YOUR description but the everyone else except YOU it does. That makes YOu a very uneducated person who cannot understand what definitions are or how they are used. Only uneducated people feel the need to create their own way of thinking about anything which soon leads into a psychosis about everyone else that doesn't see it the way they do. You are on the path to becoming a psychopath if your not one already. Seek help for your mental problems before its to late.
  12. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    Free will is a thing. It started off as an idea, and then it was defined and written down. It was brought into the real world with a clear definition. It is real, I do have a conception of it, as does anyone who knows how to use google.
  13. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Right. That's the crux of the problem in my opinion. A large part of our difficulty with conceptualizing 'free-will' is due to the fact that the philosophy of mind doesn't really possess a satisfactory understanding of the nature of the self.

    'Free' usually seems to be contrasted with 'coerced'. If somebody always does what they want to do do, then they are acting freely in at least one sense. Of course, most philosophers would contrast true freedom with complete license and introduce some idea of self-discipline. Some of the things that we want to do are better than others, or perhaps more or less functional.

    'Will' is a tougher nut to crack. When I think about doing what "I" want to do, who exactly is the "I" in that idea? Who or what is the active agent in my actions? That's where the primary 'free-will' problem resides, I think, in our misconceptualization of ourselves.

    There's this widespread assumption, even among philosophers, that we are little homunculi, souls or something, that ride around inside our heads, watching the outside world as an inner representation displayed on a perceptual TV screen, and driving our bodies as if they were automobiles.

    On this kind of view, causation becomes a problem. Any causal process in our neural system is imagined as if it was a perceptual barrier between "us" and the outside world, or as if it was a form of coersion restricting what the soul can freely do. The brain is imagined in opposition to the self.

    I'm more inclined to think that there isn't any little spiritual man riding around inside my head. I identify myself with my neural process, as being one and the same with it (albeit in an abstract functional way).

    The causality involved in that process doesn't coerce me. It doesn't cut me off from reality. The process is me and it's what generates my sense of self.

    So the point is that I don't see "inner conditions" like desires or memories as being restrictions on my freedom. Those things are part of me and constitute parts of my own self-determination.

    That leaves the free-will/determinism problem a question of whether I, now identified with my body and its activities, can be snipped out of the picture entirely along my skin-line, and whether my now absent body's choices, decisions and actions could still all be predicted if we had an accurate enough knowledge of surrounding environmental conditions. In other words, are we all puppets being jerked around mechanically by the outside world?

    I don't think that's the case.
  14. Hesperado Don't immanentize the eschaton Registered Senior Member

    There would be no "outside" in your scenario, as distinguished from "inside". Even as you may try to eliminate the self through the reasoning you have developed, there remains the curiosity of what might be called proprioception (a medical term, here used philosophically so to speak) -- which in your scenario can perhaps be delimited severely, to sensations that are localized (as far as we know, exclusively to those locations we call "humans"), but never quite deleted. The industrious project of eliminating consciousness then proceeds to try to explain or reduce this phenomenon of proprioception to something mechanically functional and/or something delusional (though the latter route causes more problems in this regard even than the former).

    I prefer to simply accept the indissoluble fact of mystery and paradox.
  15. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    Last night, on the way to work, I received a very graphic demonstration of 'free will' at 00:56 hrs on the 24 hour clock. (Almost 1:00 a.m.)

    I was stopped at a light, waiting for it to turn green, one large pickup truck ahead of me, and I was driving my Toyota Echo Hatchback. The light changed, the truck had just began to proceed into the intersection, when I heard a roaring engine and lights came around the corner to my left, a vehicle accelerating wildly as it made a hard 90 degree turn.

    There was nowhere to go and no time to react. My car was struck, pivoting 30 degrees right as a horrible screech of metal and clatter of parts followed and the vehicle went roaring off.

    "I've been hit! Hard!", were my thoughts, as a second roar went flying past, the second one narrowly missing me.

    There were a number of people about, this being Main Street, and a man came running to my car, asking if I was okay. He was most capable and assisted me in dialing 911 and reporting my details.

    A drunk driver.

    Exercising his 'free will'.

    Where was my free will in all of this?

    My car was ravished from front to back on the drivers side and looks to be a write-off. The second car turns out to have been an unmarked police car, called by the establishment that had denied the drunk access, and then astutely dialed 911 when they observed him getting into a vehicle. The cruiser arrived on the scene just as the suspect was making his getaway and so I have the best of all witnesses and the drunken culprit has been apprehended.

    We come into this world by an act not of our own will, and I was very lucky not to have become a statistic, once again not of my free will.

    I am a bit stiff and considerably distressed. The brunt of the impact was taken on the drivers door, inches from my person.

    I am very fortunate. Many others have not been so lucky.

    Apparently the universe still has need of my services.
  16. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    Glad you're alright, Sche. Yoga is seriously your friend.
    I just hate it when I get a car totalled out from under me like that.
    Most annoying.
    My last totalling, I either had a cracked rib or pinched nerve where the seatbelt hit- and I was clocked when someone ran a stop sign.

    And no, we choose, but we are not in charge either.
    I won't argue that we are.
    Feces happen, we only have a limited choice on what to do about it.

    Some sort of glitch seems to have eaten my response... As much as I do anything, I give an appearance of choosing.

    To me, saying we don't choose seems to be an attempt to weasel out of responsibility for controlling our actions and over-riding our compulsions.
    I'm a compulsive overeater; it's very difficult for me to control that...I still lost 120 pounds. It's a matter of constantly overriding a compulsion. Which is really hard.
    Can be done though. Although not perfectly. Some days it wins.

    I used to say "I can't lose weight!" Now I hear other people say "I can't lose weight!" And I don't generally say the really blunt statement that runs through my head.

    No, you choose not to. You choose to eat what you want and not work out.


    Wise mind is a synthesis. If you live on your emotions you turn into an unstable, unreliable drama queen, if you base decisions entirely on your cognitions you become a miserable robot.

    You have to strike a balance between the two.

    Question: How did you select your breakfast this morning? I'm wanting a sample of how people ordinarily construct a choice.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2011
  17. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    Thanks Chimpkin. I went to the hospital for a check-over a few hours after the fact because I had some discomfort and numbness on the side that took the impact.

    I certainly exercise my option to choose the most logical and safe means to navigate life, with an interest in prolonging the experience, and when I suggest that we do not have entirely free will I DO NOT mean that one is not accountable for all the actions and inactions that they manifest.

    My point would be, that with each person exercising their option to choose, and all the curves that nature and random chance toss in, our perception of 'free will' is frequently more perception than fact.

    I am one of the most.....ahem,.... resolute......individuals that many will encounter, and my best laid plans often come out in practice just as they extrapolated in theory, but every now and then life takes me for a ride.

    All you can do then is hold on and go with the movement.

    Resistance at such times is futile, in my experience.

    I'm interested in hearing what yourself and others have to say on this. Tell us about when you think 'free will' has prevailed in your life, and also when it has let you down....
  18. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    When working graveyard shift, my 'morning' starts at 10:00 p.m. I had a large mug of freshly ground hazelnut cream coffee with cream and sugar. I wasn't hungry at that time, having had bacon, eggs & toast at Mom's for brunch 12 hours prior, and all the yummy skin from one of our in-store BBQ chickens and Dutch chocolate frozen yogurt in a sugar cone as a snack a couple of hours before retiring.

    So I packed a double lunch of two turkey and lettuce wraps to take to work and a thermos of black currant tea with cream and honey.

    After the car mishap, I was hyped. I went to work as the incident happened only blocks from my workplace and I am one of the key-holders. I just attended light duties and left an hour before shift end to report the accident and get a check-over.

    Fortunate that I had not eaten as for a couple of hours after the accident, I had that nauseous feeling that follows a surge of adrenalin and would have woofed my cookies otherwise. (I almost aspirated on vomit as a child when I woke up one night projectile vomiting after helping my mother paint the bathroom that day, back in the times when oil enamel paints were in vogue.)

    I would almost prefer death to puking.....must be some kind of phobia from that experience when I was 5 years old.

    Sorry if this post is too graphic for bad.

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    Last edited: Jul 31, 2011
  19. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    Oh, I know that very well...

    I did not realize that when I chose the combination of where I was working (outside, downwind of a galvanizing plant and in an elevated-ambient-benzene area) and my wife's apartment (black mold, oak trees, sealed up with too many cats) that I was accidentally choosing to swamp my immune system and get chronic sinus disease.

    My lungs had been behaving since I was 16, I thought I had outgrown my problems.

    Now some of the bad choices I did make was not to go back to the county health system. As much as they suck, I probably would have gotten surgery faster through them, and might have gotten better. So free will led me to make bad decisions.

    Now, I would not have had a doctor suggest stomach stapling, which is the advice that caused me to lose 120 pounds on my own without it. My asthma's much better, as he said.

    I didn't choose to be born with asthma and severe allergies, that's just one of the onboard things I have to account for.
    I appear to be stuck with an infection in my head now as well...doubtful it can be cured.
    But I choose how to manage all that daily.

    No, I'm not one of those foolish people who thinks that you're always in control or you deserve what you get. The universe is entirely too random for that.
    But refusing to take responsibility for what you do choose and what is under your control is at best irresponsible.
  20. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

    The way you are grammatically using the word "conception" is not really correct; however, looking beyond this I will firmly claim that I have a "conception" of free will.

    My "conception" of free will is its the ability for a sapient life form to make choices free from (x), where (x) is one or more constraints that are pre-declared by one or more people evaluating free will in a given scenario or set of scenarios.

    I will await your reasons as to why this "conception" is incorrect and as well as your reason as to why free will is non-existent.

    A complete understanding is only possible in mathematics because all the variables are known and well defined. Complete understanding otherwise isn't possible because complete knowledge of an object, for example, requires knowledge of its atoms, quarks, spins, energies, etc. In other words, you are not only using "conception" in a grammatically incorrect way, you are also trying to incorrectly redefine it. The former I can let slide, but the latter very likely invalidates what you are trying to do.

    This is an very incorrect association. Someone who knows what something is and someone who attempts to assert that *somethings* actuality are not always going to be the same.

    It's like every statement you are making is just chalk full of incorrect thought. First and foremost, "proof" is something you will only find in mathematics. It is a demonstration that is something is true and that all variables are accounted for. For everything else, we have "evidence", which is a demonstration that something is true with the ackowledgment that all variables are not known.

    Now, if I were in your shoes and wanted to demonstrate that free will is utter nonsense, I would have started this thread in a much different way. First I would have clearly defined it, set the constraints, and then worked from there.

    I can't imagine why you think anyone would care about your emotional disposition.

    And it's a very poorly made challenge. That's your fault and problem to boot.
  21. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

    Yes we do indeed ! Your the white horse lady My dear . Sorry bout riding you all the time . I will be better , or maybe badder depending on which way the wind blows . O. K. if you write anymore porn about your self and your kind who know for sure what I will do ? Me lack of free will will overcome me illusion of free will . Dependent on your porn potty mouth of naked hot tubing with long arm pit hair . Oh god why did I think about that again . Stop Stop Stop ! I can't ! Fucking free will out the window ! What will I do now ? Picture this people " White horse lady in a hot tub hot and hot
  22. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

    I know we have no free will . How do we prove it ? Your along ways from proving it . You probably don't know what the red car phenomena is ? Do Ya?
    You probably can't read language of instinct that controls human activity either , or know what it is ? Talk to me when you figure it out and maybe I will give you an advanced course in the illusion of free will . You may be a believer but your argument is week so far . Calling people idiots and fools don't help either , but at last you have no free will so I see a banning in you future if you continue in your standard conditioned stump responses .
  23. Emil Valued Senior Member

    Yep, I have.
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