Jump to content
NonScientist

Please tell me we have free will

Recommended Posts

10 minutes ago, tmx3 said:

A parasite making the rat do something that it would otherwise choose to not do, is an example of free will on the rat's part. It's that simple.

Do you mean that because, in this case, it has no free will, in normal circumstance it does?

@ others: I can’t moderate in this thread but there is no reason to suddenly get irrational and offensive just because someone mentions the “R word”. Grow up

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, tmx3 said:

A parasite making the rat do something that it would otherwise choose to not do, is an example of free will on the rat's part. It's that simple.

@zapatos 

So if I make you give me your money at the point of a gun, that is an example of free will? Wouldn't you refusing to give me your money at the risk of being shot, be a better example?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, zapatos said:

So if I make you give me your money at the point of a gun, that is an example of free will? Wouldn't you refusing to give me your money at the risk of being shot, be a better example?

You pointing a gun at me to take my money is an example of you imposing your will and LIMITING MY FREE WILL by making me do something I would otherwise choose to not do (unless of course you were homeless or needed the money, then I would).

A better example? Maybe. But it's not the only way of showing free will exists.

Then again, this could be another scenario. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are ASSUMING free will exists. Your example does nothing to PROVE it. You can make the same argument without the parasite even being present by simply saying that by running away from the cat, the rat exhibits free will.

The parasite example is an example of the lack of free will, not the other way around. Proof of activity "X" does not simultaneously prove the opposite of activity "X".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, tmx3 said:

My message is for OP. Not you.

Then you should’ve PM’d him, but you didn’t. You entered open discourse here which means your ideas will be scrutinized and picked apart by members just like any other. 

1 hour ago, tmx3 said:

Keep your attitude to a zero or don't bother messaging me with your disgusting self. You're superior to no one <...> Allow me to do that without you coming at me like a disgusting, attitude filled narcissistic pretentious know it all.

LOL. I recommend you dial it back a bit and focus more on making better arguments than on making personal attacks on the people who dissect them. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, zapatos said:

You are ASSUMING free will exists. Your example does nothing to PROVE it. You can make the same argument without the parasite even being present by simply saying that by running away from the cat, the rat exhibits free will.

The parasite example is an example of the lack of free will, not the other way around. Proof of activity "X" does not simultaneously prove the opposite of activity "X".

Okay. So the rat running away from the cat proves free will. And the parasite inhibiting the rat from running away proves the parasite inhibits the rat's free will.

And, even using your example... if a gun is pointed at someone, their will is manipulated by the gunman. They give up money, not wanting to--doing something against their will. In some cases, when given the chance, one would fight back. In BOTH cases, free will is exhibited--one, where it is imposed upon and limited, and the other in which it is acted upon.

9 minutes ago, iNow said:

Then you should’ve PM’d him, but you didn’t. You entered open discourse here which means your ideas will be scrutinized and picked apart by members just like any other. 

LOL. I recommend you dial it back a bit and focus more on making better arguments than on making personal attacks on the people who dissect them. 

I quoted him--it's directly to him. Open for all, yes, but directed towards him. And I welcome all comments--just lose the attitude. 

LOL. I recommend you try harder to prove me wrong. You can't, keyboard warrior. You just want to sit there and act like you have a point, but you don't. Funny how when I tell you to stop throwing words you learned in writing class at me, you have a lot less to say.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tmx3 - Thank you for all the negative reps and abusive comments on my profile wall, but the weather is nice here and I’m spending time outdoors with my kids. If there’s a specific question you’d like me to address, kindly please summarize it here and perhaps I’ll consider returning to it later. All the best. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, iNow said:

Tmx3 - Thank you for all the negative reps and abusive comments on my profile wall, but the weather is nice here and I’m spending time outdoors with my kids. If there’s a specific question you’d like me to address, kindly please summarize it here and perhaps I’ll consider returning to it later. All the best. 

Nice acting you do. Here's some advice. The next time you want to belittle someone's genuine opinions when they sought to help OP who seemed to be having an existential crisis, do not come across as an arrogant, self righteous know it all.

Don't "all the best" me with your fake self. Humble your arrogant ass self.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/16/2019 at 1:34 AM, NonScientist said:

Okay, so I’m new here. Hi everyone.

So I’m not sure why this is affecting me this severely, but I recently discovered the whole “free will vs. determinism” question, and I’ve realized quickly that I should’ve never been introduced to this idea, because I’m finding it almost impossible to deal with the notion of not having free will. It has sent my mind into this state of extreme shock, agony, and despair that almost seems insurmountable. It’s like my whole world and everything I believed has been flipped on its head. I’m serious in saying that this has sent me into a straight panic and shock. I feel like I’m having this nervous breakdown. It’s an overwhelming feeling.

 I’m trying to keep myself calm and just relax, but this has really messed me up. 

Does anyone here believe in free will? Or can offer any good defenses or arguments for free will? I feel like I need to be reassured that there is free will or else I won’t be able to deal with it. The idea that everything is predetermined, and I’m just robot with no agency or ability to do otherwise is more than my psyche can handle. I’m sort of in this crisis.

One should always try to live a life as relaxed as one can in the circumstances. No matter what everybody might think or believe, nobody has complete free will. What you can and can't do will come from various sources, such as one's ability to understand what one might want to do in their free will, and a main one these days being the society we live in, which does control what we can and can't do quite a lot nowadays. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, tmx3 said:

I recommend you try harder to prove me wrong.

I’ve reread your posts. You appear to be saying free will exists because of some stuff in the Bible that you won’t cite and the fact that a parasite can take control of the mind of certain organisms. The idea being that control by a parasite wouldn’t be possible if the will of the controlled weren’t first free  

Is that correct? If not, please restate the position you’re asking me to address, ideally without all the attitude and invective.

I suspect I’ve already covered whatever point you’re making in this free will thread or in the many others in which I’ve participated, but perhaps I’ve not and I’m happy to continue the discussion... civilly. 

Edited by iNow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, iNow said:

I’ve reread your posts. You appear to be saying free will exists because of some stuff in the Bible that you won’t cite and the fact that a parasite can take control of the mind of certain organisms. The idea being that control by a parasite wouldn’t be possible if the will of the controlled weren’t first free  

Is that correct? If not, please restate the position you’re asking me to address, ideally without all the attitude and invective.

I suspect I’ve already covered whatever point you’re making in this free will thread or in the many others in which I’ve participated, but perhaps I’ve not and I’m happy to continue the discussion... civilly. 

Last I checked, it was sunny and you're with your kids. What business do you have writing to me now?

And here's the last message you get. I'm deleting my account with this useless, worthless site full of pompous arrogant pseudointellectuals like yourself who want to belittle the opinions of others who come from a perspective of faith, who have genuine interest in helping others, all because you think you're "smarter than thou".  Please, take a seat. 
 

Your knowledge came from your teachers who settled to get paid $15/hour to support their families if it means feeding minds like yours bullshit theory after another bullshit theory.  And you'd believe it.  But come to the idea of God, and everybody wants to act like we're talking about santa claus.

I'm done disrespecting myself by entertaining this bullshit argument with you. I call you out on your lack of civility. Now you want to wear a mask and fake being civil. Get out of here

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, tmx3 said:

Last I checked, it was sunny and you're with your kids.

Yes. And since then we’ve come inside. You’re really quite abrasive. 

 

2 minutes ago, tmx3 said:

I'm deleting my account with this useless, worthless site full of pompous arrogant pseudointellectuals like yourself who want to belittle the opinions of others who come from a perspective of faith

Okay. That’s a shame. We like different perspectives here, they just need to be defended with reason and evidence. 

Btw - You’re welcome to stop posting, but you can’t delete your account. It’s just one of those things. FYI :)

Did I at least correctly summarize your position? You seem to be evading that question. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, iNow said:

Unless you’re saying humans would be somehow immune to this type of parasite, then this example actually speaks to the absence of free will, not the existence of it.

No, it doesn't. The example shows that personality trades can change under the influence of parasites. But the concept of free will (or its counterpart 'coercion') applies to the relation between what you want, and what you do, not just on your character. Say, I have drunk too much alcohol, and under its influence I want to balance on a balustrade of a 100 meter high bridge. Happily enough my friends stop me from that, but that means they are limiting my free will (on good grounds of course) at that moment.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Eise said:

the concept of free will (or its counterpart 'coercion') applies to the relation between what you want, and what you do, not just on your character

Depends on ones viewpoint. Your summary applies to some, but not all. Compatibilist v incompatibility, etc. You’re better versed on this topic than me, but it strikes me as a mistake to assert what you have as if it’s somehow incontrovertible. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Eise said:

Say, I have drunk too much alcohol, and under its influence I want to balance on a balustrade of a 100 meter high bridge. Happily enough my friends stop me from that, but that means they are limiting my free will (on good grounds of course) at that moment.

Seems to me that your friends are limiting the alcohol's ability to hurt you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, iNow said:

Depends on ones viewpoint. Your summary applies to some, but not all. Compatibilist v incompatibility, etc. You’re better versed on this topic than me, but it strikes me as a mistake to assert what you have as if it’s somehow incontrovertible. 

Isn't this an open door? This sounds nearly as 'OK, it is your opinion'. A showstopper that is as good as 'it is just semantics'.

I use the simplest definition of free will that I know of: being able to do what you want. Whereby the 'you' is that bag of water, that hears, speaks, walks, acts, thinks, creates scientific theories etc, not some entity in the bag of water, that is supposed to be causally independent from the rest of the body or universe. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, Eise said:

being able to do what you want

In which case, the virus compelling the organism to kill itself suggests our will is driven by external forces. The virus is just one example among many. We are similarly compelled by our gut microbiome, and by our hydration levels, and level of hunger, and intensity of fatigue, and level of stress, and ad infinitum... What we “want” is itself beyond our control. We’re not free to want different things. I know I’m repeating myself, though, and that you’re well aware of these things.

Edited by iNow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, iNow said:

In which case, the virus compelling the organism to kill itself suggests our will is driven by external forces. The virus is just one example among many. We are similarly compelled by our gut microbiome, and by our hydration levels, and level of hunger, and intensity of fatigue, and level of stress, and ad infinitum... What we “want” is itself beyond our control. We’re not free to want different things. I know I’m repeating myself, though, and that you’re well aware of these things.

Yes. I see that you use 'being able to want what you want' as definition of free will. Doesn't that sound absurd? 

Edited by Eise

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, iNow said:

In which case, the virus compelling the organism to kill itself suggests our will is driven by external forces.

In the context of this particular analogy (off-topic jaunt) it doesn't suggest anything not least an argument for free will; either way.

   

Most of our external forces are more of an influence. 

In a direct reply to the title of this thread: MEH... what can ya do? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Eise said:

Yes. I see that you use 'being able to want what you want' as definition of free will. Doesn't that sound absurd? 

If my wants are not mine... they are beyond my control... given to "me" by other outside actors and forces, then how is it in any way useful to call them either "mine" or "free?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whilst I understand that my posts are lacking intelligence on this issue (compared to you both); being ignored doesn't add to that intelligence...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, iNow said:

If my wants are not mine... they are beyond my control... given to "me" by other outside actors and forces, then how is it in any way useful to call them either "mine" or "free?"

Well, I am pretty sure that I did not design myself. What I am, at least originally, is of course beyond my control. Just as a real life example, my wife very much likes fruit, vegetables raw and cooked etc. But I like chocolate, beer, whiskey, smoking etc. So I said to her she is awfully lucky that she exactly likes food that is healthy. But I cannot change myself (well, a tiny bit maybe).

'I' am build up by many influences, most outside my control. But they made 'me' who 'I' am. And if 'I' can act according to who I am, I am free. 

There is only one person who decides if you will react again on this posting: you. But 'you' came not from thin air, you have a (causal) history. It build up your character, made you to the person you are now. The question if you are free or not has to do with how well you can act according to what you have become.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Whilst I understand that my posts are lacking intelligence on this issue (compared to you both); being ignored doesn't add to that intelligence...

Sorry, mate. No offense intended. Didn't see a question, though.

28 minutes ago, Eise said:

The question if you are free or not has to do with how well you can act according to what you have become.

Thank you for the thoughtful reply. I'll need to think a bit more about this, preferably when I'm not plugged into the corporate hive mind of a 300+ person conference call in my ear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, iNow said:

Sorry, mate. No offense intended. Didn't see a question, though.

None taken, though not everything in a discussion is a question.

54 minutes ago, iNow said:

I'll need to think a bit more about this, preferably when I'm not plugged into the corporate hive mind of a 300+ person conference call in my ear.

Resistance is futile...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Whilst I understand that my posts are lacking intelligence on this issue (compared to you both); being ignored doesn't add to that intelligence...

Sorry, dimreepr, but most of the times I am missing concreteness in your reactions. I discovered that when I react to possible interpretations of vague arguments or questions I have to write a long reply, then I get another short reaction that at one side seems to show that I interpreted you wrong, and at the other side forces me to write another long reply, etc. And then you react you do not have the time/energy/intention to read long texts...

If the topic interests you, I would suggest to illustrate your questions or arguments with examples, preferably taken from real life, that can give your reactions the clearness for a fruitful discussion. It is true, iNow and me are trained in scientific, resp philosophical discourse, and so we can meet (and cross swords...) on a pretty abstract level. But that in itself is not a sign of intelligence, it just means we are used to the words (I hesitate to write '.. and concepts ...'), and ways of thinking. But abstract thinking can also hide a lot of differences and nuances. Therefore I often ask for concrete, real life examples. If an abstract concept really means something to a speaker, shows itself if the person can still make the connection with concrete life. And that also reduces the chances that two people use the same word, but think different things by it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.