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    Senior Member Zangetshumody's Avatar
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    Default The will, independent of choice

    It is seemingly paradoxical that some of the greatest expressions of free will are present in actions taken absent a choice. Choice does not dictate outcomes, decisions dictate outcomes.
    Escape powerful genjitsu by averting your gaze from the eyes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zang View Post
    It is seemingly paradoxical that some of the greatest expressions of free will are present in actions taken absent a choice. Choice does not dictate outcomes, decisions dictate outcomes.
    Could you verify the difference in definition here between choice and decision? Both of them technically hold the same meaning, which makes your argument sound rather confusing.

    Secondly, if an action is not brought about by a choice then how can it be considered free? Granted even if one assumes that all thoughts and origins of action are the result of unconcious desires of our will, what then would constitue such a thing?

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    Senior Member Zangetshumody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savage Idealist View Post
    Could you verify the difference in definition here between choice and decision? Both of them technically hold the same meaning, which makes your argument sound rather confusing.

    Secondly, if an action is not brought about by a choice then how can it be considered free? Granted even if one assumes that all thoughts and origins of action are the result of unconcious desires of our will, what then would constitue such a thing?
    My central theme is that choice means being confined by your options and in fact being enslaved by them, whereas the will is not so confined, albeit in the abstract; although outcomes seem to proceed by the mere existence of certain options, this mechanical rendering denies the force of will which operates independent of options. The will might always eventually have to elect an option, but that does not discount its epistomological independence as we experience it: volition, the ability to render, from the pattern of our thoughts, something which is not determinable according to modern theories,- it is an act of creation, the will that leads us to decide.
    Escape powerful genjitsu by averting your gaze from the eyes.

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    Senior Member Silveresque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zang View Post
    My central theme is that choice means being confined by your options and in fact being enslaved by them, whereas the will is not so confined, albeit in the abstract; although outcomes seem to proceed by the mere existence of certain options, this mechanical rendering denies the force of will which operates independent of options. The will might always eventually have to elect an option, but that does not discount its epistomological independence as we experience it: volition, the ability to render, from the pattern of our thoughts, something which is not determinable according to modern theories,- it is an act of creation, the will that leads us to decide.
    Interesting. Then does the will correspond to the id, the awareness of choice and consequence to superego, and willfully choosing to the ego? Then in this case, the will (id) is what you truly desire, unbridled by the limitations presented by available/unavailable options and their consequences (superego), and when you put them together, you have your decision (ego).

    Quote Originally Posted by Zang View Post
    It is seemingly paradoxical that some of the greatest expressions of free will are present in actions taken absent a choice. Choice does not dictate outcomes, decisions dictate outcomes.
    If we continue the id/superego/ego theme, then decisions (ego) dictate outcomes rather than will (id). If we all acted according to our will, we would be reckless and make poor decisions with bad consequences.

    But yes, I find it paradoxical as well that we call this "free will". What then is this "free will"? If we were really "free", we wouldn't be restricted by limited options. But I suppose it could be defined as making your own conscious decision after weighing the options. The only thing making it paradoxical, then, is the fact that it is called "free will" when it's not really "free" (from limited options and consequences), and it's not necessarily your "will" after going through the process of weighing options.

    Or is it? I guess it all depends on what you consider "will".

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    Senior Member Zangetshumody's Avatar
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    Dealing with the kinds of things that exist within our mind state, it matters very much what tense your laying down your scenario, because it can change the board quite drastically. Free will only exists in the present, so if your tense is backward-looking its imperceptible, the outcome will appear causal even though its not determinable by the most sophisticated forms of mental arithmetic ie. outcomes are not computed because they are manufactured (with a decision). This free will endorses options out of necessity, but where there was only one course of action conceivable the degree with which this option is endorsed is independent of the fact there was but one course possible.

    Choice might look like the determinant factor in the outcome, but this is not so, because the rendering of the outcome is produced by an exercise of the will that we ourselves have first hand access to, it's free in all the ways your mental life is un-reigned in its powers. Choice is independent of the conviction bundled into a decision, that was the only point I wished to draw from my opening remarks, options aren't expression of differing wills one might elect, the plane on which we make decisions is infinite, its only the outcome that must conform to causal account because that's the point at which the infinite stuff of the mental immaterial plane meets the material world, but in any account must be included that infinite scope of the will which is not just mechanically forced to elect one of the options before it, it can do so with a particular measure of endorsement not to mention unpredictability.
    Escape powerful genjitsu by averting your gaze from the eyes.

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    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zang View Post
    It is seemingly paradoxical that some of the greatest expressions of free will are present in actions taken absent a choice. Choice does not dictate outcomes, decisions dictate outcomes.
    What are some examples of those expressions?

    The word will refers to both wishes and decisions, but you seem to be concentrating only on the former. I don't like this dualistic notion however and prefer to think of will as where the two meet. This might correspond to the present will you referred to.

    Both our decisions and our imagined set of choices are all limited by our environment (path dependency etc), but I don't believe this diminishes the role of a will as a sub-entity of the system which we refer to as reality.
    Last edited by Octarine; 09-10-2011 at 01:08 AM. Reason: I actually lost my original post due to the whole forum going down for 20 minutes, but this was the gist of it.

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    Senior Member Zangetshumody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catbert View Post
    What are some examples of those expressions?

    The word will refers to both wishes and decisions, but you seem to be concentrating only on the former. I don't like this dualistic notion however and prefer to think of will as where the two meet. This might correspond to the present will you referred to.

    Both our decisions and our imagined set of choices are all limited by our environment (path dependency etc), but I don't believe this diminishes the role of a will as a sub-entity of the system which we refer to as reality.
    Well, I guess in the abstract there is always at least two options, to do something or to abstain; but lets say we are coerced by social pressures so that we were compelled to act positively, and we say for all intensive persons there is nothing else that could happen, a position in which one could be said to have but one option with eager endorsement from a free will would be the following:
    Perhaps in a certain society the head of the victim's family is saddled with meeting out the perpetrator's punishment, although this duty falls to the indicated individual, that does not preclude him from willing the scenario.
    Escape powerful genjitsu by averting your gaze from the eyes.

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    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Why would this thing you call "the will" even have a causal relationship with reality? Reality is just some shit happening (our actions included). Since we're made up of the same stuff as everything else, how is it possible for our actions to be determined by something different?

    I guess what I'm saying is once you're outside of a scoema in which the word "choice" has meaning (the human-interaction/subjective experience schema), why would you still be talking about "the will"? There's basically one framework to describe things in terms of decisions -- any other way of looking at things renders choice a meaningless illusion.

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    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
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    That's why I was referring to the will as a subunit where a great deal of information processing occurs, as opposed to a will that is separate from reality.

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