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Are we fooling ourselves about 'free will?'

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posted on Dec, 14 2005 @ 06:40 PM
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This question only seems complicated. It's actually quite simple, and comes down to the following two observations, with a concluding question.

1. We appear to make choices among various possible acts in any given circumstance.

2. Our choices are influenced by our personalities, which in turn are influenced by genetics and remembered experiences.

The question, then, is this: Do our genetics and remembered experiences reduce our possible choices to only a single one in any given circumstance, predetermining what we will choose to do? Or do they leave our choice indeterminate?

Is human behavior, in other words, a determinate function described by linear equations in which the indeterminacy of quantum reality is suppressed, such as the orbit of a planet? Or is it an indeterminate function described by nonlinear equations in which the indeterminacy of quantum reality is preserved, such as the weather?

Are our choices a swinging pendulum or a hurricane?




posted on Dec, 14 2005 @ 10:58 PM
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Originally posted by Two Steps Forward
Are our choices a swinging pendulum or a hurricane?


In neither case is it appropriate to call it "free will". That's the fundamental problem. "Free will" requires that our will be both deterministic and not deterministic. It's a contradiction.



posted on Dec, 15 2005 @ 12:34 AM
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Originally posted by spamandham
"Free will" requires that our will be both deterministic and not deterministic. It's a contradiction.


From your perspective, looking at what I do from without, my behavior is indeterminate in that you cannot predict what I will do with absolute certainty. From my perspective, looking at what I do from within, it's determined in that I CAN make that prediction with perfect confidence, given all relevant facts.

No contradiction, just relative reality.



posted on Dec, 15 2005 @ 01:42 AM
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i've read alot of this forum.. but not all of it, so sorry if someone has already stated this.

my stance on the topic of "free will" is that it -doesnt exsist-
i believe this.. because i believe in materialism and the way i see it, everyone is just "following the yellow brick road" and all the atoms, everyones movements and thoughts where all pre-determined since the first instant of creation.. in whatever form that was. therefore no one has any absolute "choice in the matter".

but then again, if i was to believe in the "soul theory".. i would most likly believe in free will.




posted on Dec, 15 2005 @ 09:54 AM
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Cheeser:

In order for the logic equation "materialism = no free will" to be true, the nature of matter would have to be deterministic, i.e., leave no room for freedom of action, given that all human behavior is materially caused.

But according to today's physics, that is not the case. At its most basic, atomic level, matter is indeterminate, behaving in ways that cannot be completely predicted, even in principle, given perfect knowledge. On the level we can see, some processes suppress this indeterminacy (e.g., the swing of a pendulum, or the orbits of the planets), while others preserve it (e.g., the weather, or the formation of bubbles in boiling water).

So. Even given that human behavior is materially caused in entirety, the causative process is still indeterminate. It is still the case that, given perfect knowledge down to the level of individual atoms, we would not be able to predict with complete certainty what a person would do in a given circumstance. That uncertainty, experienced from within, is free will or choice.



posted on Dec, 15 2005 @ 10:17 AM
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Are we fooling ourselves about 'free will?'


Interesting spin this thread and its contributors offer.

Perhaps it is a choice, one or the other.

On one hand we can choose to be free and oblivious to the Will of truth and not bound by the confines of knowing perfect truth, which allows for choices to be made, although the choices we make may be contrary to the truth, from our perspective.

On the other hand we can be a servant of Truth's will which is to say we are not free to serve any other will but truth, but this does not mean we are not free to choose how we serve, or how we can serve others with whatever tools and preferences we personally have.

Good Thread topic QA!




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