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Author Topic: free will vs determinism  (Read 6457 times)
Alricaus
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« on: December 10, 2011, 07:11:31 PM »

Hi there,

I have a question that has nothing to do with anarchist. I want to know if you believe in freedom. I don’t talk here about freedom in the sense of having the right to do this or this. I talk of freedom in his ontological definition (free will vs determinism). Do you believe that human are free(that they have a special quality that enable them to decide what they do), or are we govern by the laws of determinism?
 
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JustSayNoToStatism
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2011, 07:57:31 PM »

Anarcho/Infowarrior, don't read the rest of this post until after finals!!!!




Determinism. I don't believe in magic of any sort. I think this is an interesting question to ask here, largely because of the large christian population. You might think the responses will be split along theist atheist lines, but that might not be the case. Theists usually believe in free will...at least in the sense that god can legitimately punish you. But they also believe in determinism, or else god couldn't be omniscient. The usual reconciliation for this inconsistency is that "we can't understand god." But enough of me speculating, I'd like to hear some more responses.

As for atheists, there is also a divide. People with objectivst/post-objectivist influences tend to go with free will, while the rest usually don't.

I think the difference between life and non-life is just a pattern that we observe. Nothing else. The fact that certain matter exists and acts in specific arrangements is not "special." Atoms, and even really large molecules, have the same properties, regardless of whether they are within a "living" thing, or in a test tube (assuming you can recreate the correct pH, temperature etc). Life isn't magical. Carbon is carbon. L-Lysine is L-Lysine.
Unfortunately, consciousness doesn't prove free will either. Our knowledge of brain damage is powerful evidence against free will. If a certain area suffers damage, it is predictable how you will change. Your consciousness isn't magical either. It's subject to rules as well. I used to wish that magic was real. I'd read objectivist "proofs" of free will...but I was never convinced. Stefan Molyneux's worst videos are his series on free will.

I'm "free" to the extent that my brain can process information. My will is not free, because the machinery doing the processing is beyond my control, and the world around me (the inputs of my sensory experience) is largely beyond my control as well.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2011, 08:20:37 PM by JustSayNoToStatism » Logged

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ff42
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2011, 08:01:29 PM »

Free will:  I and I alone am responsible for my actions
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Pygar
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2011, 08:20:46 PM »

Well, I know _I_ have free will.  I assume, by extension, that other people do as well. 
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Alricaus
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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2011, 08:35:59 PM »

Quote
I'm "free" to the extent that my brain can process information. My will is not free, because the machinery doing the processing is beyond my control, and the world around me (the inputs of my sensory experience) is largely beyond my control as well.

Completely agree with you. FOr me, free will cannot be true ...

Just want to add that there are some theory to explain why we have the IMPRESSION of having a free will.

The model told that our brain take the decision (step 1), we are conscious of this decision (part 2) and we do the decision (step 3). Some study somehow support this view.
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bastiat
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2011, 10:51:13 PM »

Using my secular cap I would say determinism is surely correct but there is no reason that should spoil the ride
Religiously, this is far more complicated. I would say we are divinely endowed with some degree of free will, but we still behave predictably and in a way influenced by physical factors. 
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Pygar
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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2011, 12:52:39 AM »

I've never found free will to be incompatible with atheism.  If anything, I think the notion of an omniscient, omnipotent god contradicts the idea of free will.
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Alricaus
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2011, 01:31:51 PM »

I've never found free will to be incompatible with atheism.  If anything, I think the notion of an omniscient, omnipotent god contradicts the idea of free will.

How do you explain free will without god (or with a materisalist view) ? The only theory I know that is materialist and believe in free will is the theory of emergence (well this is the translation of théorie de l'émergence in French. I don't know if it's the correct translation ...).

This theory propose that our cerebral state give rise to a mental state that as some qualities of having a causal power on the physics (the cerebral state). Personnaly I believe that :

Cerebral state = Mental state.

Like JustSaynoToStatism wrote it, the study of brain damage (and others as well) tend to contradict the emergence theory (they are also some theoritical problems with this theory).
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Freya
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« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2011, 01:34:27 PM »

I really don't care. I'm going to believe I have free will because it makes me feel better. If determinism is truth then theres not much I can do about it either, can I?
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Alricaus
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« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2011, 06:27:44 PM »

I really don't care. I'm going to believe I have free will because it makes me feel better. If determinism is truth then theres not much I can do about it either, can I?

Indeed!

In fact, if determinism is true, the fact that you don't believe it is the consequence of determinism (in other words, the fact that you believe or not in determinism isn't in your control).
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Freya
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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2011, 06:41:22 PM »

Indeed!

In fact, if determinism is true, the fact that you don't believe it is the consequence of determinism (in other words, the fact that you believe or not in determinism isn't in your control).


I do think there is a certain credability to it, there is lots of evidence to support it. I just don't see it as useful to think about it or dig into it. I also don't want to accept it.
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victim77
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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2011, 10:00:50 PM »

I always think about determinism in relation to time. (Warning-I am not responsible if your head explodes). So, IF time is just another dimension that you can travel through like the 1st-3rd dimensions, then everything you do has already happened, so your choices are obviously predetermined. So you cannot say for sure that we have free will, since there is a chance that we will find a way to travel through time. But, there is also the argument that if in the future they have found a way to time travel, then surely they already would have gone back in time and screwed with us. Personally, I find thinking too much about that sort of thing a waste of time
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