Hortator wrote:I often wonder what answer Audacity is looking for from us. Certainly, he has an answer for himself already. But he apparently wants to hear some magic words from us to satisfy his, whatever.
So Audacity, consider me your Speak and Spell. What do you want one of us to type?
Actually, I'm curious as to how the will could work free of the process of cause and effect. That is, an answer that goes beyond the superficial "the mind decides," Or "my decisions are my own," both of which I've seen given as an answer. Please explain how one could have chosen to differently than they did. What is the process of choosing that is free of cause/effect?
Kenny wrote: Audacity wrote:
Philip wrote:Free will is the ability to choose betwixt the choices presented of known, but not between choices or abilities unavailable to us. Beyond those, the only real deterministic thing is our human nature, which 1) WE did not choose and 2) makes inevitable that we will forever be sinful creatures whilst still in our flesh.
"Free will is the ability to choose betwixt ... choices
." Yes it is, which is why it's a bogus concept.
In truth, we don't choose anything at all. Choosing is an illusion we have come to incorporate in our lives so as to retain a sense of unique personal agency. It's the notion that "I could have done differently had I wanted to.
" Trouble is, you did what you did because you could do no differently. That this may throw a monkey wrench into the notion of culpability, both good and bad, is too bad, but that's the way the universe works. Want to call the good stuff people do admirable, heroic, praiseworthy, etc., and the bad stuff, deplorable, wicked, sinful, etc. go ahead, but when it gets down to the sum and substance of the matter they're all based on the mistaken notion that people choose to do what they do. That they could have done differently had they wanted to. But they couldn't have. They had
to do what they did.
How do you come to this conclusion? And how do you think life would be different if we DID have free will?
I have no idea how life would be different with free will, just as I can't conceive how a car could go down the road without wheels, tracks, or some other moving device in contact with the road.
, how I came to the conclusion that there's no such a thing as free will, is that I see only one way in which events come into being: causation. They are caused. Now this can happen through either a cause/effect process, or utter randomness. If it's the former than the outcome (the final effect, if you will) can only be what the series of cause/effect determine. To be any different then something in the series would have to be different. If I take a walk and end up at home it's only because every movement I took led me to home. If I end up at my neighbor's house then something in my walk would have to have been different: But there wasn't, so I had
to end up at home. One might say that I simply choose to take those movements that led to home, but the question then is, what caused me to choose as I did? Something had to make me choose to go left rather than right, or else I did so because the action was utterly random in nature, a cause that also invalidates a free will. A will that could freely choose to do this rather than that. Now, if the cause of our actions is utterly
random in nature then we are at the mercy of them. We would be just as likely to walk into a church as a saloon, or a swimming pool. So discarding utter randomness as the cause of our actions we're left deterministic cause/effect. What ever led up to our doing X could not have led up to anything different. To do Y instead would require something different in the chain of cause/effect events, but because there wasn't anything different, doing X is inevitable.
Auda, I (at least I think it is really me
) actually appreciate your honesty. It is refreshing to see someone who understands and sticks with their position.
It is clear to me however, that everyone believes we have a mind. Even if you don't believe in "free will", surely no one is silly enough to think we are not conscious beings. If you go that far down the rabbit hole, then that'd really blow my mind. What I mean is your "superficial 'the mind decides'
" is not so superficial, but "mind" (or better put, "consciousness"), is a reality experienced by everyone.
Further, we can state something happens even if we don't understand how, if for example we experience such. And, that "we" -- our mind -- decides, even if we don't know how, isn't superficial given it is the most obvious and intuitive belief we all carry from birth (until we start going all educated and thinking "our" selves all rational and intellectual). Therefore, to the contrary, to overturn this innate belief requires enormous evidence... and for me, if physicalism leads us to conclude an "I" doesn't really exist, then I
must reject it -- because it seems just too far out wrong.
Now, to provide a less "superficial" answer, I'd challenge you to consider what science does know with causation on the quantum level. Think double-split experiment, where if the slits, or even one slit
, are unobserved we have electrons making a wave line pattern through both. Yet, if observed then we see the effect of such sub-atomic particles makes a particle dot pattern. So then, a reasonable conclusion to be drawn is that the observer isn't just passive, but affects reality.
To talk of physics, there appears to be this sea of negative and positive energy, some say everything is unified in strings wiggling this way or that. Yet, from this, quantum particles can pop in/out of existence. Indeed Krauss, who I'm sure you'd be familiar with, builds his whole our universe popped out of nothing idea based upon such. A sea of negative and positive energy (equating to "zero energy"), from which our universe pops into existence. Yet, we have experiments which show an observer is required for particles to form. Otherwise, perhaps we just have waves of energy.
Strings, and a zero energy universe aside, what I see experiments suggesting is that "mind" + "energy" is actually the foundation to "matter". Mind precedes matter, matter forms due a mind existing and not the other way around. The ghost in the machine is a myth, not because the ghost doesn't exist, but because the machine actually doesn't. It is a real case of mind over matter. Matter and order comes from mind, not order from disorder. Still superficial?
Now all this may sound to some far out, and results of QM do seem astounding, and yet it is what it is. BUT, surely it isn't as far out as rejected that we aren't determined products of a physical world such that we must completely reject free will, and along with it concepts that would be illusory such as "morality", "responsibility", "justice", "fairness", "love", "goodness" and any other feature that would require free will.