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View Poll Results: Do we have Free Will? Or is Everything Determined?

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  • Yes, we have free will.

    6 54.55%
  • No, everything is determined.

    3 27.27%
  • Everything is determined by free will.

    1 9.09%
  • Everything is random and beyond control.

    1 9.09%
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  1. #31
    Anew Leaf
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    Quote Originally Posted by Infinite Bubble View Post
    And saying we do makes us feel better about our existence.
    Ti: the killjoy cockblock function of the ages.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Infinite Bubble View Post
    I don't believe it is all determined 100% beforehand, although my previous post might make it seem that way. The previous state dictates the present to a certain degree of accuracy, but the present state will be still affected by constant fluctuations. Once again though, we aren't in control of these variables. How can we be? We are not "above" the physical laws. We are a direct result of their attributes.
    I admit, many factors are determined, and it's good I think as you say how QM makes for more uncertainties, no matter how we (under our current methods) measure it out.

    The uncertainty principle effectively cuts the ability to determine in half. Remember that not being able to know both the speed and the position of a particle is a fundamental property of the universe, rather than us being ignorant to some hidden variable/principle. So determinism can only be approximate. Furthermore, determinism is lost completely when it comes to black holes. Quantum states are also probabilistic (as is the wave function). The Planck scale is so small that the universe on our scale appears deterministic. But it does mean that on a fundamental level, the universe is not completely predetermined.
    I guess you think that even if there is some randomness out there in the QM, because we can't control its results, we may as well just say that it's determining our actions.

    Every object in space has to be under the laws of physics because that is how it formed into an object in the first place.
    Well, we can calculate whatever is in our scope with the equations, but it wouldn't work to know how everything would interrelate in physical systems all across the universe (unless you're God and can see everything).

    So you would count our minds as a meta-physical system? Why? Surely we are physical systems, just more complex than a star, for example. The consciousness is the result of a tremendously complex physical system, so complex to us that many people need to apply some special force for its existence to appear rational.
    The brain is a purely physical system; it's just a sack of meat that acts as a sort of gateway between mind and body. I take the position that we have 3 bodies actually: physical, spiritual (negative matter), and energetic (a binder between the 2). I'm not saying that as fact, but I think this explanation may actually capture quite a bit. If you want my opinion on physics, I'll just say that it's both the most fundamental, and least significant of the cosmic systems.

    Are you talking about breaking the laws of physics? How would we go about doing that?
    This is actually a very good question. As of now, like I mentioned, this idea exists pretty much as a philosophy. It just seems like there might be certain barriers out there that, if sufficient power were harnessed, could be surpassed. And from a higher vantage point, perhaps we could stop being chess pieces, and start becoming chess players. But right now, that idea is way ahead of its time (assuming it has any promise in the first place); the philosophical position is that we need to rise above our restrictions, become more free and able to see or do anything.

    Yeah exactly. Our wills can't be in control of quantum events (which aren't completely random, btw, but are probabilistic rather than deterministic) Our wills are an effect from something else that was created by the very conditions that they create.
    If our minds were powerful enough, we may discover otherwise, but as for now, the quantum events control us.

    It's true that I do enjoy their way of thinking.
    I think they have great ideas, but I also think that their ideas don't go far enough.

  3. #33
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    Is it within my free will to type this comment, or was it determined from the dawn of time that I would do so - or did I myself determine it with my force of will!?

  4. #34
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    I think it is determined, but we possess the ability to rationalise in retrospect which gives the illusion that it isn't.

    This comforts us and creates contentedness and if you cannot avoid determinism, then at the least you can enjoy the experience along the way.
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

    Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
    "Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
    Piglet was comforted by this.
    - A.A. Milne.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    Sure, I get that. It's mostly my theological beliefs which compel my paradoxical philosophical beliefs on the subject. I both believe in a sovereign God who is in control of everything and in individual moral culpability. In my mind it's a bit like magnetic car racers I had as a kid. The cars propelled themselves once they were let go, but they were constantly constrained by the way I laid the track, by forces of nature, by their own nature, And by my desire to intervene. Not a perfect analogy as it is ultimately a paradox with no perfect analogy, but hopefully you get the idea.
    I completely agree with you for once. I think this even applies to other Eastern philosophy, such as the idea that you have no control over the world but can choose how you respond to it, the idea that at any moment you can choose.

    How does mental health play into this, though. If cognitive behavioral therapy can work, then apparently given the right tools you can overcome things.

    The hardest thing to master is not the world but ourselves. Even in Christianity you have to choose faith over fear, and realistically how *easy* is that. But it's possible.

  6. #36
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    There is no evidence that we have free will, and I'm not certain how it could be proven.

    There is evidence that it is at least constrained. It is not limitless as most motivational quotes would have us believe. That we have a concept of it is possibly the best argument in favor of it, although not a convincing one. When one considers the mass of data that makes us up genetically and environmentally, it would be difficult to understand every cause-and-effect.

    I suspect our choices are far more determined than people typically like to believe. I've found this can increase my sense of compassion for people because it is possible that we are merely observers of processes which we live out. If that is the case, then consider even the monsters among us to cause harm. They have sentience locked in to observe horrific processes. It dispels any sense of a need for punishment, although there is still a need to stop people from causing harm. It also increases the sense of urgency to correct problematic environmental circumstances for people, especially children.

    I approach humanity with the assumption we are only observers of processes which are deterministic. I approach my own life by exercising what feels like free will to make good choices. For any individual making choices I would try to encourage self-empowerment and the possibility of free choice. For considering humanity, I would encourage the assumption of determinstic outcomes to correct problems at their core.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  7. #37
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    I don't understand people who don't believe in God, but believe in free will. Can someone explain to me what empirically proven mechanism could cause free will? Can someone give me a logical framework for free will? The only thing I've heard is some junk about quantum mechanics that people ripped off of a New Age documentary that is probably inaccurate. I'd love to have someone fill me in more on quantum mechanics, and how this might affect this discussion, but I am not going to engage with them if they do not have a deeper understanding other than a documentary preaching the poisonous "positive attitudes create positive situations" fallacy.

    Also, too often people use the concept of free will as a mechanism for abdicating themselves of responsibility (which is ironic, because this is what people accuse determinism of doing) for the consequences of their actions. "i acted like a dick, but he chose to respond in the way he did. I didn't force him to do anything. He chose to be a dick back."

    The issue I have with free will is this..... why do people make the choices they make? Do they truly not have reasons? And why do they have those reasons? Because of what happened to them in the past. Because of what they experience. Choices don't exist in a vacuum, they are dependent on experiences, perceptions, and reactions.

    Maybe it doesn't look that way on the surface, but this seems to be what's going on once we dig deep enough. Free will doesn't explain human behavior nearly as well as determinism.

    Just don't go all Dwayne Hoover on me for this... but I think this stuff is all determined. It's just really fucking complicated, and there are so many variables, that it's not easy to see this, and it may not be apparent that it is determined. But really, the idea that people have magical choice dust in their brains doesn't make any sense to me unless you invoke religion or some other metaphysical system.
    [Trump's] rhetoric is not an abuse of power. In the same way that it's also not against the law to do a backflip off of the roof of your house onto your concrete driveway. It's just mind-numbingly stupid and, to say the least, counterproductive. - Bush did 9-11


    This is not going to go the way you think....

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  8. #38
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msg_v2 View Post
    I don't understand people who don't believe in God, but believe in free will.
    Exactly; free will is a faith-based concept, many atheists are just unwilling to accept the logical conclusions of their belief system. Which is fine (I myself prefer to hope that free will and life after death exists, though I'm incapable of having faith in it), except when they look down on religionists for doing essentially the same thing (i.e. preserving their emotional well-being with irrational and paradoxical beliefs). I say, 'to each his Dulcinea' (unless they're attacking windmills, in which case they need to reign that shit in).

  9. #39
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    If the cosmos is completely deterministic (which it very well might be), then we do not have free will. Everything is already determined including our ideas. Look into Laplace's demon.

    If the universe is probabilistic all the way down, we still presumably don't have free will, because we are but a very small component and product of a vast arrays of factors. We are swept up in the fields of probability. What we think is probable, and what we do is trivial.

    If the cosmos is completely random, then there is no coherent pattern that could be considered our will, or even results tied to any such things, so there's be no free will in that case either.

    So I do not think we have free will.

    I also think all of these factors existed outside the range of human perception, so we can easily carry on thinking we have free will. The question is also devoid of practical value. If you don't have free will, then it doesn't matter if you learn you don't have free will, does it?
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  10. #40
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    The question is the ultimate intellectual jerk-off. People say they don't, but they go on living their lives making choices as if they matter. Not saying there is freewill, just saying it doesn't really matter.
    â–µ

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