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Are there limits to free will?

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posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 06:16 AM
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This is the type of question that I don't like to ask because it involves complete speculation. We can't make absolute statements about the entire human race because there's no way to test every single person alive. With that in mind...

Are there limits to free will?

I can describe my position on this matter with a picture.



That is a picture of a bunch of people being rounded up to be sent to death camps in Nazi Germany. As so many others have pointed out, these people could have easily turned on their captors and fought for their freedom. But, they didn't.

Why?

I believe that it's a sign of a lack of free will. That's the only explanation I can come up with. You may use terms such as mind control or stupidity to describe it but I believe any explanation such as that has a lack of free will as its basis.

At some point being very stupid does cause a lack of free will.

My belief about the topic at hand is that genuine, unfettered free will is fairly rare among humans.
edit on 14-4-2016 by Profusion because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 06:25 AM
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a reply to: Profusion

I would not call those unfortunate people including children as "Stupid"
They were unaware they were being rounded up for extermination.
They thought they were being re located

They were lied to.
We are lied to also



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 06:28 AM
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a reply to: Profusion

Describe free will?

What is free will if we are all slaves to our conventional train of thought, if we all abide by Sanity, and if any deviations is either considered insanity (unwanted) or genius (impossible to achieve)?

Maybe the answer is more in conditioning of the mind than in "will"?

Nice thread btw



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 06:29 AM
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Edit to add ... Free choice is diminished by Indoctrination



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 06:37 AM
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a reply to: Profusion

Free will is diminishing due to the influence of modern society, specifically the media and our education system.

Innately our 'wills' are controlled by our desires. Those desires have been mutated into materialism rather than food, sex and shelter - so therein lies a malfunction created by modern society.



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 06:40 AM
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a reply to: Profusion

I think it's a group mentality. Free will is involved to a certain extent, but the trouble in these situations are that it's a group orientated free will. Humans, in large groups, follow the same patterns as cockroaches when there is no leader or 'alpha'.

So I'm proposing that if you could simultaneously get the entire group to realise that it's possible to defeat their captors and escape they would, but no one is willing to start that out of fear for their life. They are still viewing themselves as individuals and not as members of a group, and fearing for their own safety and not the safety of the group.

It's just group dynamics, I'm also guessing they lack an Alpha leader. Without a leader nothing will happen.



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 06:46 AM
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a reply to: Profusion

if they had been born another religion, they would never have found themselves in that situation. They did not have the freewill to choose what religion or what country they we born into



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 06:56 AM
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a reply to: Profusion


There is an old psychological saying that yet echoes through to today:

"We each operate according to what we perceive to be in our own, best self-interest." Usually, that means to avoid pain and suffering. But it is not that simple.

There is no logical, right-or-wrong in the thinking or actions brought about by that old standard of understanding human nature. If one commits suicide, for example, that obviously was perceived as the solution to a problem.

The kicker is that strong outside forces both impacting on the mental condition and in the physical on the person have a major influence in decisions made/accepted to both the conscious and subconscious mind which, then, of course, determine the welfare (or not) of that person. To anyone standing on the outside trying to make sense of it all, it may not.



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 06:59 AM
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We do not have free will. Society and government moderate this. What we have been conditioned to believe moderates this. We are only allowed to have free will between certain boundaries, like livestock in a coral.

I feel that much of this is good for society. All living things have limitations and if they get out of bounds, nature will cause their failure. All other life forms will attack, the smallest forms being the most powerful.



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 06:59 AM
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originally posted by: swanne
a reply to: Profusion

Describe free will?

What is free will if we are all slaves to our conventional train of thought, if we all abide by Sanity, and if any deviations is either considered insanity (unwanted) or genius (impossible to achieve)?

Maybe the answer is more in conditioning of the mind than in "will"?

Nice thread btw


"if we are all slaves to our conventional train of thought"

The unfalsifiable absolute statements begin almost immediately. How do you know that there aren't people who have transcended what you just wrote?

Also, you're asking me to define free will when if it's truly free, how could there possibly be one definition of it? Wouldn't the definition be different for each person?


originally posted by: woodwardjnr
a reply to: Profusion

if they had been born another religion, they would never have found themselves in that situation. They did not have the freewill to choose what religion or what country they we born into


You're putting "what religion they we born into" in the same category as "what country they we born into"? As if an adult doesn't have the ability to realize that the fantasy their were indoctrinated into as a child is nothing but fantasy?

I'm living proof that it's absolutely possible to realize that the fantasy one was indoctrinated into as a child is nothing but fantasy. There are many, many examples of that being the case.


originally posted by: rickymouse
We do not have free will. Society and government moderate this. What we have been conditioned to believe moderates this. We are only allowed to have free will between certain boundaries, like livestock in a coral.

I feel that much of this is good for society. All living things have limitations and if they get out of bounds, nature will cause their failure. All other life forms will attack, the smallest forms being the most powerful.


I'm not trying to be condescending with the following question:

Why do intelligent people such as yourself make unfalsifiable absolute statements like "We do not have free will. Society and government moderate this."

You do realize that if there is one exception to what you just wrote, you're completely wrong? There are plenty of people who have left the confines of society and government and gone off on their own paths.

It's getting harder and harder to do that but it still happens all the time.
edit on 14-4-2016 by Profusion because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 06:59 AM
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a reply to: Profusion

Are there limits to free will? Yes - It's called "having a wife"




On a serious note, this is a very interesting topic. I get up everyday and go to a job for 12-16 hours in order to pay rent for the apartment that I'm never at, and the car that I use to get to and from work, and I do this out of free will... or do I?

I know I need health insurance & an income, but I absolutely dread going to work everyday. I get home exhausted, questioning how much longer I'll be here, and yet I know any other jobs I can secure right now would me a large drop in pay, and I'm just not "willing" to sacrifice that right now.

So you could argue it's all free will, but I think I'm just an idiot and don't know what's best for myself


edit on 14-4-2016 by FamCore because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 07:01 AM
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a reply to: Profusion

Its existence is questionable.



The person responsible for the short video is also i member on ATS.
edit on 14-4-2016 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 07:04 AM
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Laws are created to stop free will . It is that simple



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 07:11 AM
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a reply to: rickymouse

Not everyone lives in America



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 07:15 AM
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originally posted by: Profusion

"if we are all slaves to our conventional train of thought"

The unfalsifiable absolute statements begin almost immediately. How do you know that there aren't people who have transcended what you just wrote?

Also, you're asking me to define free will when if it's truly free, how could there possibly be one definition of it? Wouldn't the definition be different for each person?


I do know that there are people who have transcended conventionality. Hence my statement, "any deviations is either considered insanity (unwanted) or genius (impossible to achieve)".

Our mind works very much like a program whose functions trigger another function - the proof is in the fact that a human will keep reacting the same way given the same conditions. You cannot deny that a human mind has such a high-level of predictability - so high that it's now possible to mimic the human mind (the whole premise behind artificial intelligence).

Deviation from the conventional "program" though is possible. As you yourself point out, however, the nature of what is "conventional" is subjective - although it is determined by the individual's environment, and thus is theoretically predictable.

Deviation, or "transcendence" as you call it, requires something not all humans have: imagination coupled with the courage to allow changes to self identity.



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 07:56 AM
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a reply to: and14263


Ummm...


Free will is diminishing due to the influence of modern society, specifically the media and our education system.


1...Society is a construct...
2...This construct has always been used by those in positions of power to control the participants of society...
3...The individual is a...territorial...instinct driven...lactating...mammal...
4...Dense grouping does not remove the nature of the animal human it merely uses it/channels it into material gain...
5...Collective territorialism is used by those in power to expand or strengthen the gains of the collective...
6...Free will is an illusion given to the individual so that they can practice small group territorialism through property rights and individual gain based initiatives...
7...Those not able to find expression of their nature through participation in...normative...IE...socially approved arenas...will practice such expression on their own terms...
8...These terms are predominantly expressed through actions counter to the collective/normative and are labeled as crime...
9...Crime is predominant in dense groupings of individuals that for whatever reason are nonparticipants in approved territorial expressivism...

In conclusion...free will in a societal construct is an illusion developed within the framework of the construct as one of the tools to maintain order...
This illusion of free will is also hostage to environment and particular to ecosystem...
We merely "tilt at windmills"...as we rage against the weather...or any other natural process...much as we do when raging in this website...or any other...place...that we find or fashion for ourselves...

Edit to add:...YES...I did take liberty with defining my thoughts by once again creating words/definitions...
When the language is limited...then I express my will upon it...and do so...freely...




YouSir
edit on 14-4-2016 by YouSir because: I felt the...urge...



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 08:05 AM
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a reply to: Profusion


That is a picture of a bunch of people being rounded up to be sent to death camps in Nazi Germany. As so many others have pointed out, these people could have easily turned on their captors and fought for their freedom. But, they didn't.

What that pic and 99 percent of the other NAZI documentation don't show is that anyone that resisted in the slightest was shot on the spot.

Their will to resist was taken, not their will.
edit on 14-4-2016 by intrptr because: bb code



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 08:06 AM
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originally posted by: swanne
I do know that there are people who have transcended conventionality. Hence my statement, "any deviations is either considered insanity (unwanted) or genius (impossible to achieve)".


I don't agree with that at all. We see examples in art quite frequently where conventionality is transcended without being considered either insanity or genius. But, it could be that artists are just supposed to be strange sometimes so it's accepted from them.


originally posted by: swanne
Our mind works very much like a program whose functions trigger another function - the proof is in the fact that a human will keep reacting the same way given the same conditions. You cannot deny that a human mind has such a high-level of predictability - so high that it's now possible to mimic the human mind (the whole premise behind artificial intelligence).


Once again you're using unfalsifiable absolute statements. There is no way to know whether what you're saying is right. Are you going to base your statements above on science when science textbooks are rewritten so often and lots of accurate scientific knowledge is hidden from the public? I think going down that road at all is foolish.


originally posted by: YouSir
a reply to: and14263
Edit to add:...YES...I did take liberty with defining my thoughts by once again creating words/definitions...
When the language is limited...then I express my will upon it...and do so...freely...




YouSir


I think you deserve some kind of an award for that post. I can't recall ever reading so many totally unsubstantiated claims followed by "In conclusion", that is real art IMHO.

If you haven't read the following book, I think you'll love it:

The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge


originally posted by: intrptr
a reply to: Profusion


That is a picture of a bunch of people being rounded up to be sent to death camps in Nazi Germany. As so many others have pointed out, these people could have easily turned on their captors and fought for their freedom. But, they didn't.

What that pic and 99 percent of the other NAZI documentation don't show is that anyone that resisted in the slightest was shot on the spot.

Their will to resist was taken, not their will.


If you're stating that as a fact then you should be able to document it. Can you?

Even if what you wrote is 100% true, I still stand by analysis concerning the picture representing a free will issue. I just did some research and I found the following. Assuming the following analysis is true, I would use many of the points to support my argument that the entire situation was an example of a manifestation of a lack of free will. Incidentally, the exact same thing may be going on in parts of Japan now. The lack of a basic survival instinct that IMHO is being seen in many places in Japan is not government-imposed at all, is it imposed by a lack of free will?


Why did only 50% of German Jews leave the country before WWII? Why not all of them?

There are various reasons here.
- WWII didn't have a date in which it was known in advance to start. Its outbreak was a surprise (attack by Germany and USSR on Poland).

- Jews, throughout the ages, got used to living through various hardships - basically embrace and let whatever hardship happens pass. There was a "lay low and don't attract attention" mentality.

- Lack of alternatives. Case in point: MS St. Louis, a ship of 937 Jewish refugees refused entry to Cuba and the US. Some European countries admitted portion of the passengers. Hitler used that in his propaganda (to show that no one wants the Jews).

- No country of their own. Palestine/Israel, under British rule (temporary mandate by the League of Nations in order to provide a national home for the Jewish people), imposed very limited number of immigrant certificates.

- Their lives, families and property were in Germany. Many of them considered themselves Germans and humans first and Jews second. They hated the antisemitism, but none of them imagined it's destined for systematic genocide. Would you be willing to give up everything you own to become a refugee? But you're not in danger, right? They didn't think they were either. A terrible mistake for which many of them paid dearly.
www.quora.com...

edit on 14-4-2016 by Profusion because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 08:15 AM
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It depends how you define "Free Will".

Do we have unbound potential to create anything or do anything we want purely out of will alone? No we do not. I can't "will" a briefcase with a million dollars to appear before me any more than I can "will" to fly high in the sky unaccompanied by machinery or an aircraft.

Do we have "relative Free Will" (within the bounds of reality's laws), maybe we do but no one can prove so.

The older I get, the more it seems I am a believer in determinism than I am of Free Will. While it seems contradictory, I still believe people should be held accountable for their actions towards others. Life is a complex thing and there are sure to be paradoxes and contradictions along the way.


edit on 14/4/2016 by Dark Ghost because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 08:22 AM
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originally posted by: intrptr
a reply to: Profusion

Their will to resist was taken, not their will.


Ummm...it can also be argued that their will to resist was...given...to their captors by collective and individual...choice...

As you argued at the beginning of your post...they could have made the decision to struggle against their captors...yet even in further pictures of scenes of starvation and impending death...rather than fight to be free physically...they had already given up that struggle...and given over decision's of time and place for existence...to authoritative demand...

None of that was taken...it was handed over...in conscious exchange of captivity for extended consciousness...


YouSir
edit on 14-4-2016 by YouSir because: I made an oopsy in the code...



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