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View Poll Results: If you were forced to chose, would you say free-will exists (in some form)?

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  • Yes. Free will exists in some form.

    18 72.00%
  • No. Free will does not exists in any form.

    3 12.00%
  • Screw You! I will not be forced to decide.

    4 16.00%
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  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Well, even with that being said, libertinism ("devoid of any restraints, especially one who ignores or even spurns religious norms, accepted morals, and forms of behaviour sanctioned by the larger society") is rather meaningless, isn't it?

    It no longer matters whether you happen to conform or not conform to the majority opinion, or why you do/don't conform. No meaningful distinctions can be made because one is simply acting according to nature.

    (Is that right?)
    Uhh... (I'm no philosophy buff. ) Sort of... I think.

    Believing that people are biological machines renders the choice aspect technically moot (though I haven't yet found a vocabulary for discussing behavior that works around the illusion of choice), but that doesn't mean behavior cannot be meaningfully classified. ( ) It's just not done according to ethical standards of right and wrong.

  2. #32
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Economica View Post
    I was just satirizing the assumption among some that disbelief in free will (and/or God-given morality) must necessarily lead to libertinism.
    It doesn't do that...but what it does do is move ethics to a naturalistic basis. On that basis, what you happen to be is a person whose behavior mostly conforms to societal norms, therefore you don't generate much friction in the society.

  3. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    It doesn't do that...but what it does do is move ethics to a naturalistic basis. On that basis, what you happen to be is a person whose behavior mostly conforms to societal norms, therefore you don't generate much friction in the society.
    Exactly.

  4. #34
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    It doesn't do that...but what it does do is move ethics to a naturalistic basis. On that basis, what you happen to be is a person whose behavior mostly conforms to societal norms, therefore you don't generate much friction in the society.
    Which is, I guess, my point above: That is definitely a classification of sorts, but I'm not sure that it is meaningful in any sense.

    Why do we need to understand how people do or do not fit in? Why do we need to care about whether people are disruptive to the system or not?

    Certainly we can describe things... but why should we waste our energy doing so? There is no longer a "should be." There is simply an "is." And any struggles between the preprogrammed machines that are people are simply cosmetic battles where power dominates. It's rather like creating little robots and throwing them into the ring to see which one inherently dominates... but why are they battling in the first place, and why does it matter which one predominates?

    (These are all serious questions, btw, not just 'devil's advocate' ones. I don't know the answers.)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  5. #35
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Economica View Post
    Exactly.
    Hrmmm... When we are saying "No free will", we literally mean singular path set in motion at time 0, right?

    If that is the case, the conceptual nature of ethics doesn't become naturalistic (ie: we could be acting out God's plan, for instance)... what becomes moot is the concept of ethics itself (the ability to choose right and wrong). Morality, in and of itself, is just one "tool" or "effect" of the linear path we are walking.

    The bigger question is; is there free will if, at any given time, there are finite choices you can make... If there is a 6-9th dimension in which all of our realities are contained, then is the one in which we exist in/perceive finite? If all possibilities of all of our finite actions are covered, did we force one universe into a different choice...? or were we forced along a certain line...

    [/ramblin]
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  6. #36
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Why do we need to understand how people do or do not fit in? Why do we need to care about whether people are disruptive to the system or not?

    Certainly we can describe things... but why should we waste our energy doing so? There is no longer a "should be." There is simply an "is." And any struggles between the preprogrammed machines that are people are simply cosmetic battles where power dominates. It's rather like creating little robots and throwing them into the ring to see which one inherently dominates... but why are they battling in the first place, and why does it matter which one predominates?
    Well, if you have the power to do so (and it pleases you to do so), or if you can get a sufficient number of like-minded individuals in your society to agree with you (and it pleases you to do so), you can maintain an orderly system by eliminating disruptive or dissonant people...or entire classes of people. You might choose to do so because you find that living in an orderly society is more pleasant and less difficult than living in a disordered society...but in any case, the illusion of choice is up to you. =]

    On this basis, becoming something like a Nazi is quite simple, almost inevitable. One also manages to make the Self the sole object of worship along the way. And, absent free will, none of it matters.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Well, if you have the power to do so (and it pleases you to do so), or if you can get a sufficient number of like-minded individuals in your society to agree with you (and it pleases you to do so), you can maintain an orderly system by eliminating disruptive or dissonant people...or entire classes of people.
    But why does it matter to have an orderly system? It doesn't "matter." You just do it because it's "what you do." Just like a tire goes around and around on the axle because it's a tire.

    Likewise, as I said before, everything is just what it is. There is no need to "think through" something whatsoever. You just do whatever it is you are inclined to do. Thinking is merely applied to implementation, not to whether something should be done in the first place.

    Now what I am wondering is how self-awareness is related to the concept of "free will." Self-awareness spawns the notion of conscious choice; conscious choice is equated with "free will." Without self-awareness, things operate as programmed. Hence, animals operate off instinct. What do we actually operate from?

    ...absent free will, none of it matters.
    Which leaves me wondering why I am bothering to ponder this anyway.

    (The answer of course is not "Because it matters" but because "That's what I do.")
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Certainly we can describe things... but why should we waste our energy doing so? There is no longer a "should be." There is simply an "is." And any struggles between the preprogrammed machines that are people are simply cosmetic battles where power dominates. It's rather like creating little robots and throwing them into the ring to see which one inherently dominates... but why are they battling in the first place, and why does it matter which one predominates?
    If we're talking power struggles comparable to those we see in the animal kingdom, then that's just what life is like. There is no reason, and the outcomes matter not on some grander scale but only to those whose lives are affected by them.

    But if we're talking about power struggles in the sense of wanting to control how others live their lives when their way of life doesn't affect you... Then I don't get it either.

    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Hrmmm... When we are saying "No free will", we literally mean singular path set in motion at time 0, right?

    If that is the case, the conceptual nature of ethics doesn't become naturalistic (ie: we could be acting out God's plan, for instance)...
    Uh-oh, I'm in over my head.

    what becomes moot is the concept of ethics itself (the ability to choose right and wrong).
    This is what I mean.

    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    Well, if you have the power to do so (and it pleases you to do so), or if you can get a sufficient number of like-minded individuals in your society to agree with you (and it pleases you to do so), you can maintain an orderly system by eliminating disruptive or dissonant people...or entire classes of people. You might choose to do so because you find that living in an orderly society is more pleasant and less difficult than living in a disordered society...but in any case, the illusion of choice is up to you. =]

    On this basis, becoming something like a Nazi is quite simple, almost inevitable. One also manages to make the Self the sole object of worship along the way. And, absent free will, none of it matters.
    Dude, all you're doing here is revealing that if you weren't restrained by your ethics, you can see yourself going Nazi. If you want to say it's inevitable for all of us, you're going to have to back it up.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Economica View Post
    But if we're talking about power struggles in the sense of wanting to control how others live their lives when their way of life doesn't affect you...
    What about when it does affect you?

    Your response is little more than the reflexive response to a mosquito sucking the blood out of your arm. You swat it to make it stop. But why should you? Why is your right to avoid discomfort more important than the mosquito's right to feed? It's not, if there is no free will. You're simply killing it because you have the power to triumph over the mosquito; and if it had to power to defeat you and suck out all of your blood, it would.

    Now translate that out to interactions between human beings whose behavior impacts each other, and you see the moral problems here if free will is truly an illusion. Any sense of morality without the possibility of free will is just an expression of power, isn't it?

    And yet we rebel against that, some of us almost violently? Why?

    (Note: Yes, I guess I took this out of a Te context more into Ti, I like the playing field better. So sue me! )
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  10. #40
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Likewise, as I said before, everything is just what it is. There is no need to "think through" something whatsoever. You just do whatever it is you are inclined to do. Thinking is merely applied to implementation, not to whether something should be done in the first place.
    Well, I'm not certain that follows. You may be inclined to think things through, in which case you do not have a choice.

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