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  1. #11
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    People are part of reality, and other forces in reality work on predictable principles, although they can seem random if you don't understand the pattern behind them. People's minds are just a very complex pattern that may well be beyond their own comprehension.

    I'm not sure that I feel this way, but that seems like a good reason not to believe it exists.

  2. #12
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Economica View Post
    What paradox are you referring to, Xander?
    I think therefore I am.

    Thinking is something defined by humans to measure something that they claim to be the only ones capable of.

    Time is a paradox and so is most of what people struggle to clamp down.

    You cannot prove the existence of free will as it has no observable qualities which are distinct from effects which are the result of causality. Ergo it's a paradox. It can be neither proved nor disproved.

    To claim that free will exists you'd have to be able to observe it and you can't because it does not exist outside of conceptual thinking. It is not a force, nor energy, nor matter. It is merely a word used to describe a set of circumstances which exists entirely within our brains and can be read either way around depending on your starting point.

    [I'd be precise but I haven't the time and I consistently fail to concentrate the meaning into smaller pieces. It's all intuitive stuff and hence has little form to me.]
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  3. #13
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    So you believe in a paradox and hence that paradox is your reality and therefore is objective truth?

    Huh?
    What paradox? There is no real research into question why anyone of us have subjective perceptions or cognition. Even cognitive science just takes it "as it is" and approaches it from objective point of view. Hey, we have neurons, excite one of them and this happens. It's all agreeable.

    Some psychological schools accept subjective experiences "as they are".. hey, for some reason we feel love. We just do. Add a tiny bit of of intellectualization, like that it's good for the survival of the species etc, God wanted it that way, or anything. It really doesn't matter; see, it doesn't handle the problem! That kind of explanations only handle why "love" or anything like that would only exist as a cluster of neurons or some process - not why anyone feels it.

    It's not been determined why anyone feels anything, for that matter.

    So my real point is that in this great unknown.. between the two explanations.. there might just exist something that grants free will, or then not. Most of us feel (get the impression of) free will. We live in a mechanistic world. Mechanistic world does not support the concept of free will; quite the contrary. On the other hand, mechanistic world does not support subjective feelings either - and we have subjective experience of our life as a person.

    If I underline this even more, there is a tiny and ever decreasing gap between what we feel and what can be explained. Free will supporters assert that this gap should be filled with some concept X that makes the free will possible, and thus make our feelings consistent with the real world. Free will deniers assert that this gap should be filled with some concept Y that gives the impression of free will and again makes the whole consistent. Now there isn't any more reason to belive in Y more than the X, apart from subjective reasons? Either way, there is going to be something odd in there.

    My theory is just that those people who think little of subjective perceptions (and hold them of little value or significance) make their world more consistent by advocating Y. Those who care more about subjective perceptions, and hold them to greater significance, make their world more consistent by advocating X.

    These extremes are of course polarised, and I believe in balance rather than extremes, really. I just polarize this for the purposes of presentation.

  4. #14
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    If you are a person that does not believe in free will, then do you accept responsibility for your actions? If so then why?
    My wife and I made a game to teach kids about nutrition. Please try our game and vote for us to win. (Voting period: July 14 - August 14)
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  5. #15
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santtu View Post
    It's not been determined why anyone feels anything, for that matter.
    Probably because the answer is irrelevant or useless.

    Why do we do half of the things we do? No one knows for sure. There are always "experts" who claim to know but there's far too many of them with far too disparate views to take any of them seriously.
    Quote Originally Posted by Santtu View Post
    So my real point is that in this great unknown.. between the two explanations.. there might just exist something that grants free will, or then not. Most of us feel (get the impression of) free will. We live in a mechanistic world. Mechanistic world does not support the concept of free will; quite the contrary. On the other hand, mechanistic world does not support subjective feelings either - and we have subjective experience of our life as a person.
    So because the world appears more mechanical than we are then we must be fundamentally different?

    Are other species blessed with this free will or are they merely automatons and part of this great machine?
    Quote Originally Posted by Santtu View Post
    If I underline this even more, there is a tiny and ever decreasing gap between what we feel and what can be explained. Free will supporters assert that this gap should be filled with some concept X that makes the free will possible, and thus make our feelings consistent with the real world. Free will deniers assert that this gap should be filled with some concept Y that gives the impression of free will and again makes the whole consistent. Now there isn't any more reason to belive in Y more than the X, apart from subjective reasons? Either way, there is going to be something odd in there.

    My theory is just that those people who think little of subjective perceptions (and hold them of little value or significance) make their world more consistent by advocating Y. Those who care more about subjective perceptions, and hold them to greater significance, make their world more consistent by advocating X.

    These extremes are of course polarised, and I believe in balance rather than extremes, really. I just polarize this for the purposes of presentation.
    Why does this question require an answer? We obviously lack the capability to come close to a universal answer so surely the logical next step is to accept the questions which the original question raises and work on a more case by case basis than a universal one. However in such case by case analysis it renders questions without context as answerable only my the almighty "mu" (no idea how you really spell that though).
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  6. #16
    Dhampyr Economica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    If you are a person that does not believe in free will, then do you accept responsibility for your actions? If so then why?
    Philosophically no (no one has free will, so no one is responsible for their actions), for all practical purposes yes. The only difference is that you won't see me justify something on moral grounds.

  7. #17
    Wannabe genius Splittet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    If you are a person that does not believe in free will, then do you accept responsibility for your actions? If so then why?
    Personally I don't believe in good or evil, so there is not really anything to take responsibility for. But sure, who we are determine our choices, in constant interaction with the environment. I can relate to Hume and compatibilism. What happens happens, even though it's theoretically possible to predict every action of a human, it's practically impossible, so in that sense the whole issue doesn't matter much. One might as well live as if one has free will, that's the way things seem anyway.

  8. #18
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Seems to me that the extremes of theories are making people split when there's no need to.

    You always have choice, you never have free choice.
    You will always be held responsible for your actions whether or not you were completely free to decide or not.

    If free will is trying to say that the will part is higher than the circumstances then it is presumptuous and if the other side reckons that the presence of circumstances defines their actions then they are blind. Neither is more true than the other and both are equally false as they both fail to take into account other perspectives than their own.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  9. #19
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    This thread is a depressing reminder of the sorry state of philosophy, and particularly ethics.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  10. #20
    Wannabe genius Splittet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    if the other side reckons that the presence of circumstances defines their actions then they are blind.
    This is misleading. You make it sound as if the scope of causes is smaller than it is. What decides ones action is genes, past circumstances and present circumstances. When reading you, one might be mislead to think we believe only the latter is relevant.

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