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

11. You may not vote on this poll
  • 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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Results 21 to 30 of 50

  1. #21
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    None of the above

    I believe in compatibilism or soft determinism. I think determinism and freewill coexist.
    Yeah, I think that's the only thing which makes sense, I also think its not fixed in any or all individuals, people are more or less free in so far as they let their decisions, motivations or actions be determined. Some are awake and some are sleep walking.
    All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.
    Chapter IV, p. 448. - Adam Smith, Book 3, The Wealth of Nations

    whether or not you credit psychoanalysis itself, the fact remains that we all must, to the greatest extent possible, understand one another's minds as our own; the very survival of humanity has always depended on it. - Open Culture

  2. #22
    Let Go Of Your Team Zarathustra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by Beorn View Post
    None of the above

    I believe in compatibilism or soft determinism. I think determinism and freewill coexist.
    Could you expand on this.

    At one time in my life, I used to think about this question a lot, and I think I did just about all the thinking you can do on the matter, and one conclusion I arrived at was that those two terms are mutually exclusive.

    I usually am absolutely fine allowing for paradox, but I don't think this is a case where it can simply be explained by paradox. I believe, by definition, that determinism means we have no free will.
    The Justice Fighter

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  3. #23


    On another note, I hate that all of my favorite songs bring up the same title by Katie Perry or Justin Bieber first.

    (doesn't say much about my taste)

  4. #24
    darkened dreams Ravenetta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    4w5 sp/sx


    Free will is at least constrained by our ignorance. How can will be entirely free if it is by nature lacking some information on which to base choices?

  5. #25
    likes this gromit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010


    Yikes those are a lot of absolutes in the poll. Where's the grey area for the Ps? I say it's a little of both.

    But I guess, from a sort of moral standpoint I'd want to say that yes we do, we can put our mind to something and change the course of our lives. But I guess a lot of the time that is not what happens. A lot of the time, we're just going along sort of on autopilot, responding how we'd naturally respond to a situation, etc. But there are the rare moments where you realize WOW I can make an impact on this situation, change the direction this is headed for me, it doesn't have to be like this.

    Oh damn... I don't know where I was going with this anymore.

    I guess there's just like... situational/life/personality momentum... and likelihoods that people will defy that. And sometimes, people just surprise you.

    Maybe it's rare that any of us actually exercise our free will.
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  6. #26
    Unapologetic being Evo's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
    1w9 sp/sx
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    I just came to my conclusion on this the other day actually <_< weirds.

    You have the free will to choose if you are going to have free will, or let your life be determined by default

    You create your world by the way you choose to percieve it.

    Law of attraction works whether you're happy or sad.

    Therefore short answer is yes we have free will...but if you don't wanna take responsibility for your own life then you are choosing pre-determination by technically it's still free will but people don't see the choices they have, so they don't believe it...

    Just like we don't see outside a certian spectrum of light...doesn't mean it's not there.

    Bam! You're welcome!
    "Once the game is over, the Pawn and the King go back into the same box"

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  7. #27
    i love skylights's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    6w7 so/sx
    EII Ne


    My answer is that we might as well assume we have free will.

    Even if it ends up deterministic, we couldn't have avoided that anyway. But in the case that it isn't, we're wasting a lot if we don't try to act freely.

  8. #28
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Dec 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    Could you expand on this.

    At one time in my life, I used to think about this question a lot, and I think I did just about all the thinking you can do on the matter, and one conclusion I arrived at was that those two terms are mutually exclusive.

    I usually am absolutely fine allowing for paradox, but I don't think this is a case where it can simply be explained by paradox. I believe, by definition, that determinism means we have no free will.
    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.
    "You know, with Hitler, the more I learn about that guy, the more I don't care for him."
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  9. #29


    we are a predetermined agent for whom the state of considering the possible choices it has - as far as it knows - is an essential part of it's nature, even if both that nature and the choice it will end up making are predetermined.

    basically, at any given time we are "free as far as we know" - this is not dismissing freewill as an illusion - rather the opposite - it illustrates the importance of thinking in terms of free will. we are predetermined to make choices in a state where we can't predetermine which choice we will make. despite being predetermined and/or random beyond our control, the mechanisms with which we make choices are left unpredictable to us - and so, our minds, our societies and our values have evolved to enable us to function within that state of ignorance, to both use it and to compensate for it.

    this is not limited to humans either: an animal needs to make choices as if there are various possible outcomes, because as far as it knows at any given time, there are. a gazelle needs to decide where to run from a lion, despite the fact that whether it gets eaten has being predetermined. the lion needs to try and catch both the gazelle's that will successfully run away and the ones who won't, because as far as it knows, both are possible.

    this is an essential part of the nature of anything that has any kind of will.

  10. #30
    Infinite Bubble


    Quote Originally Posted by RaptorWizard View Post
    Indeed, it is too complex to map out, but that doesn't mean it's all destined beforehand to go absolutely one way with 100% conclusiveness.
    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.

    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 length 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.

    Keep in mind that knowing the fundamental laws of the universe doesn't mean we can apply them for a case study of every object in space, but it could give us very accurate clues as to the overall structure of the entire cosmos and where it's destined on a broad level to evolve.
    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.

    I think you're right about purely physical systems being entirely determined, but that doesn't mean there aren't "meta"-physical systems out there that may act under different laws that are perhaps even subject to alteration. Perhaps metaphysics may play a part in what physical forms we assume upon our incarnations (if you believe in that stuff).
    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.

    This is because we can count on the same precedents applying in every case; that's why we can formulate laws. Of course, I've always seen laws as something to be broken (and then reconstructed into new forms). That's philosophy however, and not physics as we currently know it.
    Are you talking about breaking the laws of physics? How would we go about doing that?

    It's good to see you considering alternative possibilities here; it seems like you think it's possible that random quantum events can allow for a bit of contingency, but that it still operates independently of our wills - and since our wills can't (under your view) control them, then we might as well just say that we don't have free will, as we can't determine events, let alone self-determine our own actions.
    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.

    Yes, I remember reading the Grand Design 3 years ago. Both of those fellas seem to have similar views and ways of thinking to yourself.
    It's true that I do enjoy their way of thinking.

    It'd be good to have a "beyond control" poll option that doesn't state that everything is random, nor that everything is predetermined.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post
    In regards to humanity: We have free will. Saying otherwise is rationalizing away blame and consequence of actions. "The universe made me do it!" Etc
    And saying we do makes us feel better about our existence.

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