Do we truly have free will ?

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posted on Apr, 10 2009 @ 02:37 AM
reply to post by Wertdagf

It would only be a part of a larger causality.

What would be?

EVEN IF (which it doesnt) memory before life exists.

What? When did I ever say I believed in prenatal memories? What tosh is this?

Can you not see the many mental disorders you are making much worse.

By doing and saying what?

Your god doesnt exist... sigh.

you dont have free will and spouting new age bull crap ISNT logic...

I am a materialist and a naturalist. I don't believe in God. I spend a good deal of my time on these boards arguing with New Age space cadets. Are you sure you have the right man, Wertdagf?

Your rudeness is not only uncalled for, it is inexplicable.

posted on Apr, 10 2009 @ 03:16 AM
reply to post by Astyanax

However, this does give us, as you say, be a tiny bit of wiggle room. If a choice has to be made that will result in equivalent outcomes, then you are free to make that choice without restriction. However, it is arguable - as I'm sure Wertdagf would point out if I didn't - that such 'free will' is barely worth having, because the decisions are about meaningless things - really trivial, really meaningless. Your example - what colours you choose to wear to a funeral - certainly doesn't qualify. Our clothes are highly efficient signalling mechanisms: both the colours you choose to wear and how you look wearing them will communicate stuff about you to the other mourners, whose opinion of you will be coloured - so to speak - by these perceptions. Not a meaningless decision at all.

How does anything of what you said grant you wiggle room. You present yourself as somone who is sceptical and then say that there is magical wiggle room.

posted on Apr, 10 2009 @ 06:49 AM
reply to post by Wertdagf

I can't be bothered. Read Hume. Not that my explanation above isn't plain enough.

There will be an apology from you before there are any further explanations for me.

[edit on 10/4/09 by Astyanax]

posted on Apr, 10 2009 @ 11:38 AM
post removed for serious violation of ATS Terms & Conditions

posted on Apr, 11 2009 @ 01:26 AM
reply to post by Wertdagf


Sober up and read the thread again.

posted on Apr, 11 2009 @ 03:04 AM
Free will is just as real as we are. Without it, there is no thought, no emotion, no identity, and in short, no us.
The funny thing is, though, that we can't prove any of those things are real, either. The absolute basis of existence is the assumption of existence itself; at the end of the day, our reality is built upon our ego, nothing more. But I can't prove that, either.
Truth is only true to itself; the only real question is whether we're truly something or nothing. I wish the best fate to any who try to find that answer, too; if you haven't tried already, you'll discover that every "revelation" only brings a cascade of new questions, each as difficult as the question you've just answered.
The question will consume you; it will take your reason, your purpose, your hope, and everything you hold dear, if you let it. I often wonder about that in the dark hours of the morning. Is it worth it? Are the answers there to be found? I can't tell you. I can only do what we all do; I can make theories and ask questions. Nobody can tell you.
Is free will real? Did anybody actually choose to post here?
Am I real? To all of you, I am a series of organized letters under a label, written in one of many codes on an electrical system which serves to translate and transfer series of other codes; I am a scarcely noticable post on a website, and in all likelyhood, these musings of mine will be the first, last, and only impression I will ever leave on any of you. You will live your lives, and I will live mine, and only in writing on the odd occasion will our paths cross. Can you truly say I exist?
On that note, do you exist?

If you ever actually manage to find the answer, you'll surely have gone mad, but perhaps you'll be kind enough to share it with me. Until then, I suppose I'll optimistically assume that I'm special enough to possess knowledge, and not a grand assumption.

posted on Apr, 11 2009 @ 03:14 AM
Pretty much all we have is controlled free will, We're free to do and think what we want as long as the majority feels the same way.

posted on Apr, 11 2009 @ 04:51 AM
reply to post by bigheadjay

I believe that we have free will. If not, we would be automatons.

Free will is our freedom and also our downfall.

posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 02:19 AM

Originally posted by Malfeitor
Free will is just as real as we are. Without it, there is no thought, no emotion, no identity, and in short, no us.

Why is free will necessary for thought? Do you will your thoughts? On the contrary, they come to you unbidden.

I shall never tire of underlining a concise little fact which [logicians] are loath to admit - namely, that a thought comes when 'it' wants, not when 'I' want; so it is a falsification of the facts to say: the subject 'I' is the condition of the predicate 'think'.

- Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, I. xvii

And emotion: do you choose your emotions? Can you willingly make yourself happy, or fearful, or full of despair? Do your feelings rather not come to you like your thoughts, unbidden, continually surprising you with their force?

As for identity: in what does it consist? Certainly not in the physical body, of which every atom is replaced over time. Does it consist in consciousness? Then where is your identity when you are sleeping or unconscious? Does your identity, your individual humanity, cease when you die? Does your identity not continue to reside in the memories of your loved ones and others who knew you? Is it not respected by the executors of your last will and testament after you are dead? Does it not, at least in part, reside in the fruits of your labours on Earth - the business you founded, the book you wrote, the athletic record you set? Above all, in the children you have?

None of these things are in the least dependent on free will for their existence.

The absolute basis of existence is the assumption of existence itself; at the end of the day, our reality is built upon our ego, nothing more. But I can't prove that, either.

If you can't prove it, why do you believe it? Cogito, ergo sum is a long-exploded argument. Indeed, Nietzsche debunks it neatly in the passage I quote above.

The only real question is whether we're truly something or nothing.

If by 'we' you mean human beings, then we are - rather obviously - something, not nothing. But what has this to do with the question of free will?

The question will consume you; it will take your reason, your purpose, your hope, and everything you hold dear, if you let it.

And you regard this as a reason for avoiding the question? Come now, let us not be fainthearted.

Anyway, these are all fairly simple questions, to which science offers good answers.

posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 02:47 AM
Great topic, but obviously I hard one to nut out!
I think that there is free will, but it depends on the situation that we view it in.
E.g: In the worlds differing societies, I believe our choices have set parameters, albeit, weather or not that particular society is governed in a religious or political sense. I.e, governments/religions set out the framework of ideals that our decisions are to be made in; deeming them socially acceptable or not.
On an individual basis, we are all subject to the conditional ethics that have been instilled upon us by our immediate peers ( acting as a more personalized experience); in the ideals set out by the previously mentioned authorities.
We should? all know the difference of right/wrong when faced with the decisions that we must make throughout or lives; weather that even comes down to how we physiologically "feel"; when we commit an act - I suppose this is different for everyone.
Free thinkers, or those in history that have developed initially unaccepted ideas, may in a sense also not be regarded as having free will- as their ideas are usually a development or evolution of pre-existing ones.
Is there existence of free will beyond the simple dualism of right/wrong- I'm sure this idea can become more detailed and faceted with the philosophical concepts of trinity, permutations of the numbers 4, 5, etc...

posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 04:05 AM
reply to post by KRISKALI777

I disagree that our values are primarily the result of social conditioning or State fiat.

In my view, our values are derived from our instincts as social animals.

The cultures we construct - such as peer groups or states - are equally based on those instincts, and to the extent that they are, they express our values. They do not create these values, merely impose them.

posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 04:13 AM
[edit on 12-4-2009 by Skyfloating]

posted on Apr, 18 2009 @ 09:43 AM

Originally posted by organism315
reply to post by bigheadjay

Do we have free-will? My answer YES. Can we use free-will to affect the future, to alter the timeline? My answer NO.

Let me explain with a hypothetical story.

One day you meet a man who claims to know the future. He gives you sufficient proof to convince you that he does indeed know the future. Now, you being a person who believes in free-will and a smarta$$ to boot, you decide to use his knowledge to prove the free-will theory. You ask him tell you what you are going to eat for dinner, when you are going to eat etc. He tells you. You then go home and excercise your free-will to eat dinner at the wrong time, in the wrong place, the wrong thing etc. Now your getting all smug and thinking, Ha, you know the future, you think I have no free-will, I just proved you wrong! You run into the guy latter on that night and you're all ready to gloat about your proof of free-will. Before you can say a word he tells you exactly what you had for dinner. You say, if you knew then why did you tell me different? He says, if I had told you what you were going to eat, you would have used your free-will to eat something else. I told you what I told you so that you would use your free-will to eat what you actually ate, what you were fated to eat, what was hard determined from the moment everything was created.

Yes we have free-will, it could in theory affect the future, but in actuality we are always fooled into using our free-will to do exactly what fate/destiny has planned for us. Everything is hard determined, even how we use our free-will. There is only ONE TIMELINE. Get used to it. Don't be attached to any one out come for the future and the fact that your so called "free-will" is useless will not mater so much.

Make sense? I'm afraid it didn't come out excately the way I expected but thats life in a hard determined timeline.

posted on May, 9 2009 @ 09:03 AM
reply to post by Astyanax

In my view, our values are derived from our instincts as social animals.

hi there; so would I be right in assuming that your thoughts on this are that : as Humans we are basically here to procreate- the rest is mere Monkey-squabble?

posted on May, 9 2009 @ 03:18 PM
reply to post by Astyanax

My point was not that free will is necessary, but that if it is absent, we are forced to question the other aspects of our lives and minds.
Honesty, if I do not have free will, I believe I do not exist. Granted, my perspective is very strange; I don't expect you to share it.

posted on May, 9 2009 @ 05:18 PM
reply to post by bigheadjay

You asked :
Do we truly have free will ?

Personally, I tend to agree quite strongly with G. Gurdjieff. Here's what he had to say on the matter -

Source :

posted on May, 14 2009 @ 08:25 PM

Originally posted by budski
In many respects it can be said that we don't have free will.

First of all we have societal constraints, and laws, and even religious constraints.

If a person acts outside of these laws they are locked up.

If a person acts outside of societal constraints and etiquette they may be shunned.

Just because there are consequences for our actions does not mean we do not have free will. If making it a law meant no one would be capable of violating that law any more than jails would be pretty empty don't you think?

It is my choice, if I go rob a bank. I know there are consequences for doing so, but it is my choice as to whether or not I go do it.

If I told you to go kill your neigbor, and you did it, you would be the one being charged with murder as it was YOUR choice to do it.

Choice = freewill. No matter what consequence there is for the choices you make, you are still able to make the choice on whether or not you do something or what it is you do.

Yes, free will exsists. Free will is the ability to choose on your own.

[edit on 14-5-2009 by gimme_some_truth]

posted on May, 14 2009 @ 08:30 PM

Originally posted by CA_Orot
Free Will is an interesting subject.

I like to believe that I make the choice to get up in the morning, eat breakfast, and head to class, and come home, ATS, eat dinner etc... I like to believe that I am in control of everything that I do..


As far as my "Principles of Conditioning" Prof is concerned, all of our actions are actually a "reaction" to the environment and situations around us. Cause and Effect. I'm not saying that I believe this, but in some cases, it makes sense.

The example he used to prove his case was:

"How many of you chose to come to class today."

The entire class raised their hands, to which he replied:

"You did? Are you sure? You're in this class, because you need it to graduate, you have to come to class so that you can learn the material for the weekly quiz's, etc etc. So are you actually choosing to be here?

No. Not really. You've signed up for this class because you HAVE to. You NEED this class. You're sitting in my class today because if you weren't here, you would miss the mid-term outline, and if you miss that, then you're screwed for the exam, and if you're screwed for the exam then you're gonna fail this class and if you fail the class, then you don't graduate. Thus, you have reacted, you have been presented the opportunity to graduate from the program, and you have reacted to it by coming to class which wasn't really a choice at all, but a requirement.

Something along those lines. But I looked at it as "I choose to come to class because I chose to pass, and I choose to skip class if I choose to risk failing."

He hasn't convinced me either way yet - as I personally like to believe that all the decisions I make (right or wrong) are based on my own choice to do so, and that I am always in control of what I do.

- Carrot

Yes they are reacting to that school situation HOWEVER they are still able to choose whether or not they go to school.

I made that choice numerous times back in my school days.

What you have talked about is the reason most people do not break the law regularly. There are always consequences for your actions. But in the end it is still up to you to decide what you do.

If I go rob a bank, Chances are I will end up in prison, however it was my choice to do so.

Am I making sense?

posted on May, 14 2009 @ 08:55 PM
See if you can choose your next 10 thoughts. That should be simple if you have free will.

posted on May, 31 2014 @ 04:22 PM
We have free will for 'small' things.
But the big picture is shaped around us and we are slaves to that.

So do we have free will? yes and no.

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