# rare argument against free will

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Posted (edited)

Listen 23:30. I had exactly same thought long time ago... I read like 1Mill. articles about free will and everything that exist and i wondered: i never encountered this anywhere, now i did... I was expressing it little bit differently, but i meant the same thing: How could i choose my preferences before i was born ? Answer is: i couldn't, because i was nothing, or rather particles at different places. Which don't have will, or a brain to be able to choose. So therefore i couldn't chose my preferences before i was born, something had to be given to me first - so i could chose my preferences. So than i don't have free will, because by definition free will is: "to be able to choose between one, or multiple things, without interference of external factors." But how would i choose in the first place how i will be ???

And even if i existed forever, or before this life, that wouldn't solve how i am in the way i am. If someone believed in souls for example etc. And than shouldn't i remember previous lives ? How come i don't even know why i am in the way i am ? No one can explain his behavior from 100%, not even genius with 250 iq , with 20 degrees in behavioral sciences and from psychology, philosophy, linguistics, neuroscience, biology, physics... E.g. while i was listening to this podcast, i was moving around with my headphone volume controller and i don't know why, or i was focusing with sight at one point and didn't even  perceive vision much. This is more subtle. More important is why someone go rob a bank etc. but still... So how come, we don't even know why we do things and for what ? I can in retrospect analyze my actions and say i did it, probably because of this and that. But i don't really know. I didn't chose what entertains me and what i like, so i am doing that naturally. Like it is crazy, i can list almost anything. While some say, we may have partial free will. Even so there is another billion of arguments against it and contradictory facts and experiences from daily life scenarios. To be honest i don't understand how anyone in the right mind can believe in a free will, given human experience we have. I can think of almost any scenario, that is in direct contradiction to free will. And i don't think they can be reconciled, if ever.

Besides there is scientific proof about environment and genes and how our parents dedicate attention to us, affects our personality traits. So if you wanted to claim free will exists, most of these studies would have to be false, but all of them can't be false right. Well maybe if there were some ridiculous twists, like every study ever concluded about genes was wrong, but that's ridiculous.

And see i don't even know why i wrote all of this, i got carried away. I wanted at first just to tell about this argument and than these things are related to it and than again i get this idea and wanted to talk about this.

Edited by empleat

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9 hours ago, empleat said:

"to be able to choose between one, or multiple things, without interference of external factors."

This is one of the weirdest definitions of free will I've ever heard. Without external factors there is not even a reason to act. What you want is always in a field of  possibilities from which you can choose. Using a more direct, less controversial definition of free will your problem does not even arise.If you can act according your own wishes and beliefs, then you acted freely. If you can act freely, you have free will. Or let it put a little differently: given your wishes and beliefs, if you can act according to them, you have free will.

The idea that you can choose what preferences you have (before you are born???) is an absurd idea. 'You' were not there, so who is doing the choosing of your preferences? And what are the preferences used to choose your preferences? Using a definition that implies an infinite regress from the beginning is a very poor move, and leads inherently to absurdities.

You do not choose who or what you self are. But you can choose how to act. That is the touchstone for the question if you act freely: if you act according your own (given!) preferences, you act freely. If you are coerced, i.e. act according the preferences of somebody else, against your own preferences is a 'none-free' action.

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2 hours ago, Eise said:

This is one of the weirdest definitions of free will I've ever heard. Without external factors there is not even a reason to act.

+1. I totally agree, without external factors there is "free" but there can be no "will."

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Eise said:

This is one of the weirdest definitions of free will I've ever heard.

What ? I don't why. It simply implies you could choose otherwise and that your choice isn't limited to one action. As for external influences: e.g. if someone manipulates you, or some external influence changes your decision, than it wasn't you who decided freely.

4 hours ago, Eise said:

What you want is always in a field of  possibilities from which you can choose.

Yeah that's what my definition implies, that there is more than one possibility.

4 hours ago, Eise said:

Using a more direct, less controversial definition of free will your problem does not even arise.

How so ?

4 hours ago, Eise said:

.If you can act according your own wishes and beliefs, then you acted freely.

That is the thing: no one choses his wishes, or believes. Believes are dependent on the intelligence, iq and many other factors. E.g. i don't know yet person who chosen his iq. To be able to act by your believes and wishes, you would have to made yourself according them. But where they come from in the first place ? Before you was born, you couldn't choose the way you will be. Besides: real world experience contradicts this. Consider this scenario: kids lose their parents to airstrike and gonna live with his uncle, who is radical and teaches them hate against west, they are denied books and internet to make their own opinions and believes. Could they chose by their wishes to not become terrorists, that's unlikely right ? Than it is same ad infinitum problem, you would have to get behind that - how your wishes and believes arised and no one can do that currently.

4 hours ago, Eise said:

The idea that you can choose what preferences you have (before you are born???) is an absurd idea. 'You' were not there, so who is doing the choosing of your preferences? And what are the preferences used to choose your preferences? Using a definition that implies an infinite regress from the beginning is a very poor move, and leads inherently to absurdities.

Is it ? But than, how would you explain your wishes and believes to be truly free, if they didn't exist before you was born, as that is something we can agree on. Btw even they existed before that, that still doesn't explain how they would be free... Because i didn't choose my environment and genes. There is scientific proof that, both affect personality: so our preferences were chosen for us, before we were born yet!!! Otherwise you would have to claim: environment and genes don't influence our personality at all. And all scientific studies about them are flat out wrong! Or that immaterialism is true etc. Again we get to that: i do what i do, because the way i am. But in order for me to be responsible for my actions, i would have to made me somehow the way i am. But how could i made myself the way i am, before i was born ? Because after i am born, i am already in some way.

4 hours ago, Eise said:

You do not choose who or what you self are. But you can choose how to act.

That doesn't seem logical. If i can't choose what self i am, how can i choose how to act ? What if i am piece of sh.t alcoholic and i beat my family. I can argument almost with anything in the world against that. There are studies about, why people become alcoholics etc. Even tesla said he seemed to himself like an automaton and he couldn't stop doing his experiments and research and couldn't even sleep.

Edited by empleat

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, joigus said:

+1. I totally agree, without external factors there is "free" but there can be no "will."

Whoops i can't edit anymore... I didn't mean like no external factors at all. Like things in the world: which motivates you, or prompt you to some action. I meant external factors like: for example - parasit, which has 80% of population and is known to reduce intelligence, whereas other parasit cause risky behaviour in men and suicide in women. Or what if someone manipulates you, who is much smarter than you are, could you really done otherwise ?

Edited by empleat

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1 hour ago, empleat said:

Whoops i can't edit anymore...

Editing works only for some minutes.

I will limit myself to the contention that your decisions could have been adopted before you were born. I don't think that makes any sense at all. And AAMOF I would not get involved in such nonsense. I recently heard a sentence that made me smile:

If something is not worth doing, it's not worth doing well.

Decisions before you're born. That makes so little sense to me that it's not worth pursuing, even to argue against it.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, joigus said:

Editing works only for some minutes.

I will limit myself to the contention that your decisions could have been adopted before you were born. I don't think that makes any sense at all. And AAMOF I would not get involved in such nonsense. I recently heard a sentence that made me smile:

If something is not worth doing, it's not worth doing well.

Decisions before you're born. That makes so little sense to me that it's not worth pursuing, even to argue against it.

You don't understand, that's what i was claiming. It doesn't make sense you could decide how you will be, yet before you was born, because you didn't exist. Therefore something has to be given to me first, so i can decide, or form believes etc.

Edited by empleat

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2 hours ago, empleat said:

You don't understand, that's what i was claiming. It doesn't make sense you could decide how you will be, yet before you was born, because you didn't exist. Therefore something has to be given to me first, so i can decide, or form believes etc.

I see. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

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20 hours ago, empleat said:

What ? I don't why. It simply implies you could choose otherwise and that your choice isn't limited to one action. As for external influences: e.g. if someone manipulates you, or some external influence changes your decision, than it wasn't you who decided freely.

Maybe it implies that 'you could choose otherwise and that your choice isn't limited to one action', but why don't stick to that? Why take the broader description 'without interference of external factors' in it?

20 hours ago, empleat said:

Yeah that's what my definition implies, that there is more than one possibility.

Well, we have, don't we? Go to a restaurant, and you see all the possibilities on the menu card. Just choose!

20 hours ago, empleat said:
On 6/23/2020 at 9:24 AM, Eise said:

Using a more direct, less controversial definition of free will your problem does not even arise.

How so ?

In the first place it avoids the infinite regression that is in your definition of free will. In the second place it does not need some weird metaphysical assumptions.

20 hours ago, empleat said:

That is the thing: no one choses his wishes, or believes.

Right. And now look at my definition, of free will, and you will see that it is not touched by that. 'Free will' lies in the relationship between your preferences and if you can 'act these out': not in where your preferences come from.

It is just absurd to require that for 'genuine free will' you should be able to choose yourself. As said, this leads already to an infinite regress, independent on the metaphysics you adhere too. Why would one define a concept that is used daily in a way that is logically incoherent?

20 hours ago, empleat said:

But than, how would you explain your wishes and believes to be truly free, if they didn't exist before you was born

See my definition in italics above. Wishes and beliefs are not just chosen: they are the basis on which you act. Without wishes and beliefs, there would be no ground to choose.

Please think carefully, before you react from unusable definitions.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Eise said:

Maybe it implies that 'you could choose otherwise and that your choice isn't limited to one action', but why don't stick to that? Why take the broader description 'without interference of external factors' in it?

Isn't that obvious, if bacteria in your gut motivates you to eat specific food, or you feel more attraction to a person with different immune system, or parasite can cause you kill yourself. How is that free will ?

3 hours ago, Eise said:

Well, we have, don't we? Go to a restaurant, and you see all the possibilities on the menu card. Just choose!

Yep, but that doesn't say anything about free will itself. You can choose even if everything was predetermined, but it wasn't your choice: from your own free will. So that's why external factors, because if someone, or something change your decision, it wasn't really you who decided freely! It should probably include yet, to be able to choose from your own free will and not because you chosen something, because it was predetermined. But you get what i mean.

3 hours ago, Eise said:

In the first place it avoids the infinite regression that is in your definition of free will. In the second place it does not need some weird metaphysical assumptions.

That's what i don't get, we don't chose definitions of problems: because they are simpler, or to eliminate some problems, unless we trying to solve some complex problems and we just try to go with axioms and than change our believes, if theory doesn't fit the facts. We chose them, because we deduce, or induce them! So you don't agree with that logic ? What about paradoxes ? World is full of them. If something cannot be currently solved, like a determinism ? Is that proof, that it is not true ? I don't think so.

You said: if you can act according your own wishes and believes, you have free will. But than, you have to responsible for your own wishes and believes to be able to act freely. Because you are acting on your own wishes. And still doesn't solve problem: how did you choose your wishes in the first place ? Because to be able to choose: you have to have already some preferences! How do i choose between blue and red t-shirt, if i don't have any preference yet ? Some could argue - i can choose randomly. But even so, how do i decide to do that ? Even that is preference, if i don't have any preference yet: so i don't care what i choose, so i choose randomly. Or i can decide to not choose at all, but that is preference too and had to come from somewhere! But when that come from ?

Because we can agree on, i wasn't there forever, i was born at some point in the time. And i didn't choose my environment, or genes. So how could i choose my own preferences, or any sort of mental capacity, which will allow me to form them ? But than my preferences were dependent on the way, i was from the time i was born and my life until this point. But i didn't choose initial point, if i was nothing, i couldn't choose and form any preferences what so ever. But than i was born and i wasn't responsible for the way i was made. So than how my own preferences would be free, if they were chosen for me ? And i act upon them. Hope that makes sense.

3 hours ago, Eise said:

Right. And now look at my definition, of free will, and you will see that it is not touched by that. 'Free will' lies in the relationship between your preferences and if you can 'act these out': not in where your preferences come from.

It is just absurd to require that for 'genuine free will' you should be able to choose yourself. As said, this leads already to an infinite regress, independent on the metaphysics you adhere too. Why would one define a concept that is used daily in a way that is logically incoherent?

Yeah but you said that yourself, you act upon your preferences, which you didn't choose. So you act upon something you didn't choose by your own free will. What has been given to you. I don't see how is this any free will worth having. Yes you can choose how to act, but you can't choose your own wishes and believes upon, which you are acting. This seems to be like determinism.

3 hours ago, Eise said:

See my definition in italics above. Wishes and beliefs are not just chosen: they are the basis on which you act. Without wishes and beliefs, there would be no ground to choose.

Please think carefully, before you react from unusable definitions.

So you say: i can have preferences, but decide to act, or not to act on them ? And than it would be free will ? That still doesn't explain, why i did that. Because everything has a reason, or is random. So to be able to act freely, i would have to decide from my own volition and have my reasons why i did that right ? But where that came from ? Maybe my preferences changed, by thinking about them, but what caused that in the first place ? And that's where it gets to that pesky ad infinitum. So unless we can solve that. How can we know, we have a free will ? And so it doesn't make sense, that we would have free will. I can't even imagine how, that would be possible. Because everything we know is either predetermined, or random. There is no third option. I read that even from physicists and tried to find third option million times and no one proved yet: there would be another one.

Edited by empleat

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All your arguments boil down to your idea that to be free one should be able to choose what you are. You did not even try to apply my definition, you are just protesting against it.

There is only one way that we experience free will: by observing that if I want to do something, and then are able to do it. The rest is unsupported ideological BS.

Say, you have murdered somebody, and now stand for the judge: would you plead not guilty, because you were determined? Why (not)? Would you claim to the judge that he is not justified to punish you, because you could not help doing it?

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1 hour ago, empleat said:

You said: if you can act according your own wishes and believes, you have free will. But than, you have to responsible for your own wishes and believes to be able to act freely. Because you are acting on your own wishes. And still doesn't solve problem: how did you choose your wishes in the first place ? Because to be able to choose: you have to have already some preferences!

I believe Eise suggests that there is no distinction between our “wishes and beliefs” and us. We as an entity ARE this chemical reactions and those wishes, etc., and therefore it’s nonsensical to suggest an “us” which is in any way different or distinct from those chemical processes, gut bacteria, wishes, beliefs, and the rest.

The logic of treating these things separately breaks down in the same way (and for similar reasons) as positing a soul as separate from the self, as if there’s some sort of a gods-eye-view of us as individuals from some higher state. There’s not. We ARE that state. We’re not isolated from the system. We are the system.

‘The consequence of this approach is that we can be determined and can still call our will free since the desires and beliefs being acted upon are still our own. (Apologies to Eise if this summary is inaccurate or misrepresents you in any way... its a shorthand version of how I’ve come to understand your position).

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22 minutes ago, iNow said:

I believe Eise suggests that...

Your believe is quite right. Thanks for the summary. If it helps empleat to understand what I am saying, I do not know. We'll see.

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On 6/24/2020 at 2:26 PM, Eise said:

You did not even try to apply my definition, you are just protesting against it.

You say that. I read that carefully twice, but i still disagree, i mean no offense! But i am allowed to have my opinion.

On 6/24/2020 at 2:26 PM, Eise said:

There is only one way that we experience free will: by observing that if I want to do something, and then are able to do it

But your definition still doesn't explain how it is decided. Because everything has a reason, or is random, at least until it gets disproved maybe, but currently everything is either predetermined, or random. That's fact! Think about it! Lets say: you have a wish to rob a bank, but than you decide to not do it. (E.g. because at the end, we decide only by pleasure, or pain - say neurologists). Since we can decide whether or not to act upon our wishes, than how it was determined? It had to be somehow right? Maybe in reward/risk ratio, risk exceeded reward. But someone wouldn't care and someone would care in the same situation. Because both are different persons. But than again: how it was determined, that one person decided like that?! And second person is different ?

On 6/24/2020 at 2:26 PM, Eise said:

There is only one way that we experience free will: by observing that if I want to do something, and then are able to do it. The rest is unsupported ideological BS.

E.g. one which had a wish and decided to not act upon it, so why he did that ? He had to have reason right ? Was risking a prison to much for him, was he afraid of pain? Than how did he chosen, that he was like that?

I give more examples:

- Kids find parent's gun and decide to play with it and shoot someone by accident. E.g. if parents were more responsible and used safe, kids wouldn't find it. Than they wouldn't get into that situation in the first place! - that was external factor, which completely changed course of action, if parents had no gun - there would be no gun to be found!

- But what if parents had 200 iq prodigy and he would have cracked the safe and than kids would still played with the gun and shoot someone - but no one chosen his iq!

- Or lets say i want to win contest in a school, but there are a lot of smart kids competing and i have just average iq and i don't win that. But if i had iq 200, i would probably won that right ?

- Or lets say i want to buy ice cream, but ice cream shop closes at 4pm, lets say: i am doing test at school and after tests kids are allowed to quit. I have to finish the test, because i want to get good rating, but at the same time i want to make it for ice cream. But if i wouldn't have high iq, i wouldn't finish it in time and make it for the ice cream as well.

- So what if i wanted to be rich, but i didn't get rich, because i didn't observed something. Maybe some people notice something in news, or see some opportunity by being lucky, or higher intelligence and see patterns!

- So you see, sometimes we can't act upon our wishes, because intelligence for example. But we didn't choose our intelligence did we ? So that's perfect example for my argument! How would you counter that ?

So you see are limited by external factors too, even if i want to rob a bank, i don't want to, because i would end up in prison probably. If people weren't put into prison and if we omit other factors for sake of the argument. Than nothing else would stop me. But i didn't choose, that people go to prison for crimes!

- What if i born in africa and i liked astronomy, but i had to much on my plate and had to deal with many things, before i could start working on my goal and than i don't achieve it!

So than you could argue, but not all people are equal. But you can choose according your own wishes and free will, in that range what is available to you. But than again, what about all scientific studies about gut bacterias, parasites, which change our behavior. And genes, some people born with asperger and have trouble making social contacts: even they want to! But if they didn't born with it, they would live completely different life. How do you argue against that huh ? Consider every scenario, every permutation, than can ever happen and tell me how is that free will in each one ?

But i still think: no one have free will, because you can't be responsible for the way you are. But you act, because the way you are! I gave many examples above.

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12 hours ago, empleat said:

You say that. I read that carefully twice, but i still disagree, i mean no offense! But i am allowed to have my opinion.

Yes and no. Yes, you are allowed to have any opinion - but this is the philosophy forum. This means one should give arguments for one's opinion. And of course you do. But there is one other thing: not every argument is as good as others. For good arguments, a few requirements apply:

1. The arguments should be true
2. The arguments should be relevant.

Where your arguments are not too bad concerning the first point, they miss completely on the second.

Let's 'draw an ascii diagram'.

                 1                    2
Previous causes --> your preferences --> your action

Your examples concern the relationship 1, between causes and your preferences. I on the other hand say that the question of free will or not can completely be answered by looking at relationship 2. If you can act according your preferences, then it was a free action. Simply said: if you can do what you want, you have free will. That has nothing to do with where your preferences came from.

In order to refute my position, there are several options:

1. Proof that determinism and free will (in my definition!) are contradictory
2. Proof that my definition cannot bear the weight of our praxis of blaming, praising, earning salary, assigning responsibility, taking obligations, etc.

So really, giving lots of example that show that we are determined does not help. I am already convinced that we, for all practical purposes, are determined.

No, we are indeed not responsible for who we are. But we are responsible for what we do. If you act irresponsibly, I cannot trust you. So are you a responsible person or not? If you aren't, I would never make some deal with you, because every moment you could cop out, without any consequences, because you can refer to 'I cannot help it, I am determined'.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/26/2020 at 9:21 AM, Eise said:

Yes and no. Yes, you are allowed to have any opinion - but this is the philosophy forum. This means one should give arguments for one's opinion. And of course you do. But there is one other thing: not every argument is as good as others. For good arguments, a few requirements apply:

1. The arguments should be true
2. The arguments should be relevant.

Where your arguments are not too bad concerning the first point, they miss completely on the second.

I was first hesitant to answer, because it seems we are in major disagreement and it is hard to talk about next thing, if we can't even argue about thing, which precedes it. But i was bored

I was writing a lot, because there are so many experiences, which contradicts the free will. And so many arguments can be made against them, which have tons of counter arguments and lead to complicated analysis of everything. And it makes it more difficult to prove the point. Therefore i must think, about simplest way to put this...

I still stand on my position. First i should mention, where my interpretation differs. At the point 2. by your definition: it is the relation between the free will and my preferences. And free will is ability to decide, whether or not to act upon them. If i can choose to act, or not to act on my preferences - i have the free will.

Or it could be: i can do whatever i want, even if i don't have the free will. I just can't choose what i want!

So i would start my argument with: but where this decision to act, or not to act came from?! There has to be a reason! You said when i create a post, it should relevant and truth. In all natural sciences, everything is either:

1. predetermined by initial state of the universe

2. random on the microscopic scale, and it is possible: it averages on the macroscopic scale and we can measure for example: motion and position with extreme precision almost on 100%, making everything seem pre-determined (this is called adequate determinism)

I checked every prominent scientist and many sites, yet i never heard of any other option. So we could agree on, that this is true, right?

On 6/26/2020 at 9:21 AM, Eise said:

Your examples concern the relationship 1, between causes and your preferences. I on the other hand say that the question of free will or not can completely be answered by looking at relationship 2. If you can act according your preferences, then it was a free action. Simply said: if you can do what you want, you have free will. That has nothing to do with where your preferences came from.

Than there has to be reason to act. Without reason, there would be no reason to make an action, unless it would be a random action - again hardly the free will! Neurologists say: our behaviour is directed by the limbic system (part of the brain, which handles emotions) and our neocortex is trying to satisfy this part of the brain most of the time. Elon Musk says this as well! Supposed these studies are truth and there is empirical evidence it is. To the least, these are highly studied theories, as evolution was extensively studied and this is related to it.

We don't choose our emotions, but we can decide: whether or not to act upon them. Although scientists say: even most logical thinkers decide, at the end, by an emotion!!! Brain has it is own system to determine an action. Think of emotion as subconscious system, with its own logic (which is outside your consciousness, since many philosophers argue: there has to be consciousness to have the free will, yet brain decides subconsciously it seems). Former is based on true facts/theories.

I also understand it is not good to combine science with philosophy, so this was meant just to state: that my arguments are based on the truth.

So would we agree on, that to act: there has to be a reason? If there was no reason to act, from both emotional side and logical. Absolutely no motivation. Would we agree on: that there would be no action, as long as it is not a random action and there is an agent, which has ability to make choices. Supposing he is not a simple lifeform, which doesn't need consciousness to act. So therefore: there has to be reason to act, so any action is made!

So we are at the point 2. of ascii diagram - relation between my preferences and the free will. So since we can agree upon: there has to be reason to act. Where does this reason come from?! If it is not tied to causal chain of our preferences and these preferences changing other preferences??? Non-locality? Even with non-locality, same problem would be faced. And if it is, how we can be free since our new preferences, were determined by older ones, which i didn't choose! We can back trace our whole existence to the point, where you were particles at random places, devoid of any intelligence, or consciousness what so ever! Panpsychists could argue, every particle have some form of a consciousness. So we would have to trace back to the point, where there was either nothing. Or if everything existed forever, that wouldn't still explain where this reason to act came from.

On 6/24/2020 at 1:24 PM, empleat said:

Right. And now look at my definition, of free will, and you will see that it is not touched by that. 'Free will' lies in the relationship between your preferences and if you can 'act these out': not in where your preferences come from.

It is just absurd to require that for 'genuine free will' you should be able to choose yourself. As said, this leads already to an infinite regress, independent on the metaphysics you adhere too. Why would one define a concept that is used daily in a way that is logically incoherent?

So since you said, arguments should be truth, i could be an asshole (not that i would want to be) and say: how can you prove, that free will is relationship between your preferences and whether, or not, you can act these our. Since whether, or not, you will act them out: there has to be a reason for it. How do you prove this reason was created by you freely?

So we get to my deduction. For it, so there could be the free will, there has to be a reason to act. Otherwise, there is no will! Which has to be determined by me. I call this preference, as everything is a preference, or preference over something else. And i act the way i act, because the way i am. But i couldn't choose the way i am, before i was born!!! Because i didn't exist before! And even if i did, something had to be given to me first so i could choose anything, otherwise i would be an empty shell with no preferences and no ability to form any!!! Yet i didn't choose my genes and environment, which both have been proven, to change our personality! Hope this makes sense.

Btw i agree partially with notion of compatibilism: as far as agent has an agency and he is causing these actions - even if they are pre-determined, he can decide at each time what to choose (as you can choose only one actions at the time). But what is important: that he could have done otherwise! So they are causally linked by each choice, but not pre-determined by something that's not you - like external forces. As you are determining them each time! This sounds reasonable. Yet there is still this problem...

Also one philospher has similar position on preferences: https://www.informationphilosopher.com/solutions/philosophers/ekstrom/

This philosopher says:"our preferences are developed in causal, but not determined way. Our character is an aggregation of these freely developed preferences, which we have the power to alter at any time." - i would argue that: previous preferences changed my future preferences and at present i am result of a causal chain of these preferences in the past and they are pre-determined by my initial state (again which i didn't choose).  E.g. saying something in public, which has huge impact, will deny me chance to go into politics! You could argue, you took these preferences freely and you got to that point, of your own free will. So these examples, can be always deeply argued about, many times even to uncertainty.

I would argue, these previous preferences will determined new ones. And ability to alter them any time faces the same problem!

Some examples:

I could argue with unforeseen consequences:

- If i had iq 200, i could perhaps foreseen this and choose otherwise to achieve my goal, i wouldn't otherwise achieve. And it is fact, you don't choose your intelligence. Probably someone with 100 iq couldn't be elon musk, that we can say like with 99% certainty!

You could say, we have a limited free will:

-   Yet other people can manipulate us, or force us to do something against our will. Would you say, there is choice and ability to resist?! But so far, i didn't see anyone, who would have chosen his ability to resist a torture. No one chosen his resistance by himself, you could argue you can train to be more resilient, but even if you commit 24/7 to that, there will be always people more resilient than you! Or smarter and more successful! That's just a fact! And everyone will break to torture, some people can force their will upon us to the extent making people slaves!

- I would also say: to act according to my preferences, i have to have knowledge about events, which constraint them and ability to avoid them! From less severe events: i want to be a Quantum Scientist and i want to discover something cool. If i have iq 70, this won't be probably executable. I can't think of any better argument now, which could not be doubted, even this is like super improbable. Than lets say iq 30, we would say it is near to impossible! Or to be Elon Musk with iq 30!

- To more severe events. I chose to wait on next bus, because my friend is coming and it gets bombed. If i had knowledge, it will happen: i would have to see a person yet , who would chose to wait on a next bus. You could say some extreme fanatic, like monks set themselves on fire could chose this. But i would say for 99.99% of people this won't happen. As we are motivated by pain a lot and it hurts too much for any reasonable person to do it!!!

- Or lets say something, which i can say with 100% certainty is not possible. I am on the island, no method of transportation. There is an event, i would like to go to, if i knew about it. But there is no way to know about it, so i won't be able to chose this. Lets say it is at undiscovered isolated tribe, no way of knowing of it. You know when people get old and regret things and decisions they made, if only they knew what they know now! How would you reconcile this with the free will?

Tesla said we create branches, which is immensely complex and theoretical, with no relation to reality. I like to always compare these theories and facts to the experiences we have! While i don't like this creates problems, which are in majority of cases unprovable and irrefutable! I think too much and i like sci-fi. Science says: people who watch sci-fi - judge relationships between people more realistically and with less bias. I saw tens of thousand tv shows and even i am far from behavioral expert, i know a lot about specific things. And i think about theoretical scenarios all the time, what could happen. I read a lot of about psychology! I claim, that our experience doesn't equal the free will. It is the opposite, it is far from it and i can't even imagine how free will could exist! Which is scary! It doesn't make any logical sense what so ever!!! You have to think, about every possible permutation, that could happen, hopefully find some: that can't be refuted, or is theoretically sound on 99.99%+

I would like to see someone to reconcile free will, with every permutation of behavior that can happen, or happened! Because it should be correlated to our experience.

Also new hit to dualism https://bigthink.com/surprising-science/body-switching

On 6/26/2020 at 9:21 AM, Eise said:

In order to refute my position, there are several options:

1. Proof that determinism and free will (in my definition!) are contradictory
2. Proof that my definition cannot bear the weight of our praxis of blaming, praising, earning salary, assigning responsibility, taking obligations, etc.

1. Well to prove point 1. we would need a dyson sphere to calculate and predict human behavior on 100%, without changing the result. And you know this is currently not even remotely possible... Or to prove mind is materialistic and obey same physical laws as everything else. That's when comes my point, because it doesn't make logical sense for free will to exist, i can't even imagine how. If you could imagine, how could free will exists, i would like to hear it!

2. Well you said something has to be true, but how do you know praxis couldn't bear a weight, if the free will was an illusion. As far as we know free will is illusion and it makes sense for people believing in it, for good mental health and survival, so we defend ourselves against crimes of others! Logically weight of the praxis would be possible in both scenarios. Even if you didn't believe in the free will and i don't on 99.99%, as that's closest estimate i can get and i don't like guessing either. But it is "unprovable on 100%". We should reserved about facts/theories. And science just began to understand the brain. But there would have to be some insane twist of epic proportions, because everything goes against free will in my opinion. I have many more reasons, perhaps i should create website, or something.

I don't believe in free will strongly! Yet i blame people, because i know it damages me and cause me negative emotions, which makes me to blame people so they don't repeat and cause unwanted behavior to me. So i think it is irrelevant to whether, or not free will exists. These are two separate entities. And again i don't know how would you prove this, or disprove. Since you would have to know, whether or not free will exists. And than obviously since we weight our praxis, you would have no way to test other option. Or perphaps you could create deterministic ai (if free will was true), which will experience weight of a praxis

PS: Hope this makes sense, i have an ADHD and i have problem to organize text, to not repeat myself and to remember what i said. I see instantly 10 possibilities how to answer one question and from it another 10, that i forget what i wanted to say. And i not good at expressing myself, as i don't speak anywhere. Even i watch a lot of tv shows and i am a lot of better in understanding text. And bad in grammar as i never cared about it, i just learned from tv shows and from translations. And must say ADHD feels like anything, except free will. Also at first, recently scientists have proved in a study: that adhd is caused by genes, again which i didn't choose. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/11/191126121153.htm

BTW i don't know if you know this site: it is tremendously useful and information there seems correct. I was searching whole web, read same things elsewhere, google flagged me as bot and they also want my mouse movement to spy on me As i read like thousands of sites /day. https://www.informationphilosopher.com/

Believe me i want free will to exists more than almost anything, yet i am very logical person as i have aphantasia - meaning no imagination.

Also i don't know, if you care about argument. That if people have free will, they should know reasons: why they decided! People will sometimes mix up order of events, between rash decision and deliberate action. E.g. people after going after yellow sign at traffic light, or after stopping, have trouble to say why they did that. This always fascinated me, i asked my mom: why she stopped on yellow. But she couldn't answer! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroscience_of_free_will

Edited by empleat

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With due respect for the difficulties you have to formulate your points, couldn't you boil it down to the essential argument in your above posting?

Just a few points that caught my attention

On 10/3/2020 at 2:51 AM, empleat said:

If you could imagine, how could free will exists, i would like to hear it!

By the capability of (at least human) animals to anticipate the future, dependent on how they think it will develop dependent on what actions they could do. And that is not a contradiction with the brain being determined.

I fully agree that physics only give us causal determination (I don't know why you are using 'pre-determined'. What does this 'pre' mean for you?). And determinism is a condition of free will being possible. I also agree with your evaluation that randomness cannot be a fundamental condition of free will: too much randomness makes free will impossible: our observations, thoughts and feelings would be completely unconnected.

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On 11/8/2020 at 1:04 PM, Eise said:

With due respect for the difficulties you have to formulate your points, couldn't you boil it down to the essential argument in your above posting?

Strange i started with the subject and ordered everything from most important to the least.

So i would define these 2 word likes this:

Decision: deliberate action made: based on our preferences (can be: free, or involuntary decision - e.g. if everything is pre-determined, or random). Also i would like to include interesting fact: there can be an impulsive decision - people, which did something impulsively, when having small amount of time to decide. Couldn't say why they did that!

Very interesting example here:

https://youtu.be/pjDS578FROw?t=296

Preferences: anything that is basis for an action: emotions, morals, reasoning. Without preferences, there would be no reason to act! I call them all preferences, because there are too many emotions and things, which give reason to act. I would even argue, that even emotions can cause an action. Scientists found out, that even most logical person, decides based on emotion at the end!

I don't think you ever said: that a free will is 100% true. But you think, that free will is possible. Right?

So do we agree on this logic:

I do what i do, because the way i am. But i didn't choose: the way i was born. Therefore i couldn't choose my initial state. Because my initial state was pre-determined at the origin of the universe, or randomly decided. Than my preferences, since i was born: drive my actions and development of new preferences. Than i can't have a free will. Because we have proof of genes determining IQ and personality, which both drive our actions. if these studies didn't exist, or say all are wrong. How do you still explain origin of these preferences, or of decision itself?! Since you didn't exist forever, or at least not forever as human!!! Even that wouldn't explain how?!

So what is it exactly, you agree/disagree with?

I think you already agreed with: that you can't choose your preferences, before you was born!

I remember you said, that free will is relation between your preferences and your actions and whether, or not - you can choose to act upon them.

But than wouldn't you argue: that your initial state - determines your future actions and than state after that - your next future actions and next the same and next... Especially when we know either determinism, or randomness is the truth! Because i couldn't choose my preferences, before i was born: so something had to be given to me first, so i could choose anything! But you didn't choose your initial state, which will than determine your all future actions! To me this is perfectly logical. Than, if you still wanted to stand on the position: that we have a free will. Than you would have to explain: origin of a decision and prove it was caused by your definition - of your own volition. And not by initial state of the universe, or randomness!

On 11/8/2020 at 1:04 PM, Eise said:

By the capability of (at least human) animals to anticipate the future, dependent on how they think it will develop dependent on what actions they could do. And that is not a contradiction with the brain being determined.

Well i don't want it to sound offensive: but you can't prove that, can you? Because physical laws determined how each particle will act, from origin of the universe until the end, or infinity. Even under determinism, entity could exist (i don't see why it couldn't). Which can predict future and decide - which course of action to take. But it wouldn't be a free will, because it was determined - by origin of the universe!

On 11/8/2020 at 1:04 PM, Eise said:

I fully agree that physics only give us causal determination (I don't know why you are using 'pre-determined'. What does this 'pre' mean for you?). And determinism is a condition of free will being possible.

Pre-determined means to me the same thing, as its definition in physics. That everything was pre-determined by initial state of the universe. Pre is included, because state of the universe at origin - determined all future states at any point in the time. So something in the future was not determined at that time, but pre-determined by initial state of the universe -> therefore pre-determined! But i heard, some philosophers deem that as superfluous and say determined is enough. As some compatibilists say - for one to have a free will (while determinism is true):

1. A person has to have an agency! Means: (a person is causing his own actions, from his own volition, without influence of external factors) and not a deterministic universe!

2. A person could have done otherwise at some point in time.

So as i see it, it would go like this: you can cause an action at each point in time (because you can do only one action at each point), while if that action - was determined by you (compatibilism) freely! And it wasn't caused by an initial state of the universe. You have a free will!

What i don't agree with is:

How do you explain origin of your first preference in the first place? As we can go causally back to the point where you was born! I take this from perspective of materialism and what was proven empirically. Even it is based on premise, which may be false. I take this premise as axiom, because we can't prove, or disprove anything -> than everything is guessing... But we don't have any better information at our disposal, so... Suppose materialism is true, or something - which doesn't disprove natural sciences: we have studies, which confirm evolution and that environment has higher impact on us, than genes. Sure some studies may be wrong, but probably not all. And probably not most established and highly studied - studies about evolution. And still - it would have to be determined, or randomly decided somehow, because that's nature of things. I read over million articles and never even saw even sign of a third option. So said all prominent scientists thorough history, until now. And i read: in natural sciences: everything is either - pre-determined, or random!

If you have another theory, how to explain origin of your preferences, while it is you: who decided to have these preferences freely. That would be interesting.

So i see the same exact problem in any view of a free will: how do you choose your preferences, which will than shape your future preferences, before you was born? E.g. even while you existed before you was born as particles, or possibly even before origin of the universe. Or if you did exist forever, but that also doesn't explain how? But from human point of view, it sounds preposterous.

On 11/8/2020 at 1:04 PM, Eise said:

too much randomness makes free will impossible: our observations, thoughts and feelings would be completely unconnected.

In my opinion - to prove we have a free will, or at least have a theory how, you would have either:

- to get somehow behind, before you was born. And back track each particle, which was part of you at some point in time, even beyond origin of the universe perhaps, if determinism will prove to be true. If randomness will prove to be true, than you would have to still prove: you are the one who is causing actions and explain how you got your preferences freely! As preferences will cause your actions, otherwise: there would no reason to act! Or origin of that decision to decide, whether or not to act upon our preferences! Or if you existed forever - still how?

- or have some other philosophy like dualism: which took potentially hit (scientists found out, your mind state is always dependent on your environment) https://bigthink.com/surprising-science/body-switching

Edited by empleat

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1 hour ago, empleat said:

Because physical laws determined how each particle will act, from origin of the universe until the end, or infinity.

Well i don't want it to sound offensive: but you can't prove that, can you?

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55 minutes ago, zapatos said:

Well i don't want it to sound offensive: but you can't prove that, can you?

Or it is random.

My understanding is: so far physics didn't find out, that some laws would change. Only found out, that theories about these laws were wrong! That's not to say: that all physical laws are same in whole universe - whole time! You can't prove, or disprove anything! Because there is always some irrefutable argument, which is not testable! Like last Thursdayism https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Last_Thursdayism Except: i think, therefore i am.

So everything is guessing. I am just using my arguments on premise of the materialism. Because i don't have anything better to my disposal. And even other philosophies about free will, suffer the same problem!

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On 11/10/2020 at 4:20 PM, empleat said:

But it wouldn't be a free will, because it was determined - by origin of the universe!

Sorry, that again does not touch my argument. In my concept of free will, we need (sufficient) determinism, so how can there be a contradiction? This is what happens in most discussions between me and 'free-will deniers': I propose a definition of free will that necessarily needs determinism, and as reaction I get "But we are determined, so we have no free will".

Do you see that that does not make much sense?

Remember my definition:

On 6/23/2020 at 9:24 AM, Eise said:

You do not choose who or what you self are. But you can choose how to act. That is the touchstone for the question if you act freely: if you act according your own (given!) preferences, you act freely. If you are coerced, i.e. act according the preferences of somebody else, against your own preferences is a 'none-free' action.

Your argument does not work if you take this definition of free will. Nowhere do I imply that your actions are not determined. You seem to be (psychologically) so much attached to your idea that for 'genuine' free will, you should be able to act completely independent of the history of the universe, your personal history, and the preferences you therefore have. But my definition does not contain such 'spooky free will'.

It seems to me that you just repeat the way how you see that we do not have free will. You however oversee thereby that your arguments do not apply, because they only show that we are determined. But my definition is not touched by that. As long as you do not show that my definition is wrong, you can defend the fact that we are determined with more and more arguments, but I can only yawn: yes, we are determined, but that does not deny we have free will in any sensible (=naturalistic) way.

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3 hours ago, Eise said:

Sorry, that again does not touch my argument. In my concept of free will, we need (sufficient) determinism, so how can there be a contradiction?

I agree, we need adequate determinism. If everything was random: truth and reason could not be established! Than how could we choose anything freely, if we wouldn't know what our actions will even do and how would we fulfill our purpose (preferences)? Also it is important to note: that indeterminism couldn't mean true randomness - in a case of agent! So his actions aren't just random, but caused by agent! And it merely means: they are open (undetermined) and not set in stone!

I see! However i finally found my problem defined in philosophy and i will elaborate shortly!!! Because i have counter argument, which is problem in any camp of free will!

If you want to call your definition - free will. It is technically correct. But you're right - it is matter of interpretation! So i need to explain mine: i was talking about kind of free will, which is worth of having in my opinion. Not the kind, which means you can do anything! E.g. fly, which is not metaphysically possible!!! However your definition of free will is ironical. It is like to say: i follow orders explicitly from my origin and i had no saying in them! I can choose what i will do based on these orders, yet i can't choose purpose of them!  Because everything i will ever do, was pre-determined by my origin (otherwise where is origin of decision itself)? Which is not free will in my opinion. So that was important to get this out. So it happens, i was planning new post yesterday and wanted explain exact same thing

So from this we can go either way:

-  you can stand on your position: that your definition of free will is true, based on your interpretation (which technically still correct, but i would call it free will not worth of having, or the ironical free will)

-  you can try to reconcile your free will definition with origination problem (more on that later)! To prove free will, which is worth of having is real.

Before you go, yesterday i prepared thoroughly answer concerning this problem, backed by philosophical sources:

I have found principal information about the problem - it is an idea called the "origination" by philosopher "Robert Kane".  He expresses this idea in a way: what essentially equates my definition - how could i choose my preferences, before i was born...

Also i didn't express myself well previously. I would like come with one simple and complete definition of free will, because previously: i formulated it in many ways, which is confusing. Now i realized, more people were using similar definitions, just not in the extent i was using mine. But i think: my deductions were the next logical step! Confusion could previously arrive, because i used in my definitions of free will - origination and problems it poses... Both are frequently absent from free will definitions. But i deem them as principal, for one to have free will!!! So some other philosophers.

Again there are many definitions of free will. First i need to define mine! Note: that i am talking about definition of free will worth of having, not some limited version, which is not worth of having in my opinion! I am also not talking about the one, which implies: that you can do anything! I am talking about the one, where you can do only: what is metaphysically possible!

Here goes my new definition of free will:

1. At least adequate determinism must be true, otherwise truth and reason couldn't be established! And we wouldn't know what our actions will even do!
2. Person must have agency (acting freely according to his own preferences, in terms what is metaphysically possible).
3. One's decisions: must be free from external influences aka external factors!
4. Ultimate responsibility (UR) must be true: i am ultimately responsible for the way i am. And nothing else is! - (origination)
5. Determinism can be truth, depends on condition 4.

Now my new definition of origination comes (which would be essentially point 4. in my new definition of free will), including problems it poses. Origination aka causa sui, or primer mover unmoved - more on that later... Here it goes (you could help me to create a better definition, i am terrible at language!). I feel this increasingly difficult to capture every relevant thing simply. I will create one in simplest terms. WARNING: (details are missing):

I do what i do, because the way i am. To have free will, i would have to be ultimately responsible for the way i am! Therefore: i would have to made myself freely and according to my own preferences to the way i am. But since i did not exist, before i was born - i could not! Therefore something had to be given to me first, before i could choose anything! Therefore i don't have free will, because i didn't choose my original state aka (initial state)!!!

Then these 2 points could be used to expand/further explain the definition:

1. If i didn't exist forever and i came into existence at some point: how can i be ultimately responsible for what i became at that point? Since i didn't exist previously: i could not decide/do anything! So from that state of non-existence, how could i ever became conscious and chosen freely anything by my own non-existent (free will and preferences)?! I couldn't - it is impossible. Something had to be given to me first!!! Before i could choose anything! Even if particles were carrying my preferences, how was i responsible for them to do so? Also before universe existed, what caused that? Even if i traced everything to origin of that, supposing it weren't infinity. I would eventually came to first state and how could i cause that, when it occurred before i even existed in any shaper form? From this we could transition to the next point, which would be perhaps backstrap paradox meaning - some events become trapped in a loop, that it is not possible anymore to distinguish, what is cause and what is effect of these events.
2. If i existed forever, without no beginning, or end (currently unintelligible to humans) still doesn't explain - how i am responsible for the way i am!

Definition of high complexity - hard to describe:

I do what i do, because the way i am. To have free will, i would have to be ultimately responsible for the way i am! Therefore: i would have to made myself freely and according to my own preferences to the way i am. But since i did not exist, before i was born - i could not! Because i did not have consciousness/will and i was particles at different places! Also importantly: i didn't have any preferences yet! More importantly, even if i did: where would these previous preferences came from to be freely chosen, from nothing? Even if: i made these particles and things before them, until i would come to first point! How could i made them freely according to my preferences, before anything existed? Therefore something had to be given to me first, before i could choose anything!. Therefore i don't have free will, because i didn't choose my original state (initial state)!!! Which will determine my future actions from that point!!!

Important core concepts to this definition:

Ultimate Responsibility (UR) is Robert Kane's concept that we can be responsible for current actions, ones that are essentially determined by our character and values, as long as we formed that character ourselves by earlier free actions that he calls Self-Forming Actions.
https://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/ultimate_responsibility.html

Self-determination is the common-sense idea that our decisions are determined by our motives and deliberations, by our character and values, and by our feelings and desires.
https://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/self-determination.html

You have to think about: when/if you was nothing. And then you came into the existence. But how could you control, what you will become, before you existed?! Doesn't make sense! Even if something which caused your origin, was before you was born: where did it come from to be made by your own free will? And even if you traced that to the first state in the universe ever? Or before universe even existed... How would you decided that freely? So problem is everything has begging, or the end. But what causes beginning, or end? And than it would be truly infinite regress, or impossibility! Again even existing forever doesn't explain how!

Also you have to ask yourself: how i do i become free from nothing? If i was nothing, i couldn't decide anything. So unless something is given to me first, i can't decide anything. But than how you could claim, you are free, because you didn't choose your preferences by which you decide?! Doesn't make any sense!

Philosophical accounts on the "Origination" idea proposed by Robert Kane:

"It is the idea that new causal chains can begin with an agent, something that is not predetermined to happen by events prior to the agent's deliberation (between alternative possibilities) and decision." - i agree with this claim, that would need to be true, for us to have free will. But they still don't explain how this would be  possible/impossible in the first place!
https://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/origination.html#Voluntarism

Ten Honderich on this subject: "because truth of determinism requires, that we give up 'origination' ". - I don't know his exact account on this problem. But i agree with this notion: if our intentions (preferences) are pre-determined. This means: free will is not true. Which i think is - what he meant by this. Because it makes logical sense: origin of decision would have to be determined by us, in order we could have free will. Otherwise we just follow original programming from original state...

"Robert Kane's Ultimate Responsibility (UR) restores the case for self-determination and origination and makes our actions up to us"... - well not quite, read further and on the UR site: they also do not explain how! (i recommend you to read whole pages and click on links, to understand these better):
https://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/ultimate_responsibility.html
https://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/up_to_us.html
https://informationphilosopher.com/solutions/philosophers/kane/#ultimate
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Kane_(philosopher)#Work

More excerpts from Kane's UR:

"Ultimate Responsibility is Kane's concept that we can be responsible for current actions, ones that are essentially determined (this can only be adequate determinism, of course) by our character and values, as long as we formed that character ourselves by earlier free actions that he calls Self-Forming Actions". - This is particularly important, even this guy says essentially the same thing: we can be responsible for current actions, as long as we formed that character ourselves (by which we decide) by earlier free actions! Doesn't this make perfect sense??? Which then becomes problem, if you elaborate on that idea! But makes sense!

"To act freely is to be unhindered in the pursuit of your purposes (which are usually expressed by intentions)"

Kane says: "if you were a libertarian about free will—believing in a free will that is incompatible with determinism—you must (in order to make sense of such a free will) inevitably appeal to uncaused causes, immaterial minds, noumenal selves, non-event agent causes, prime movers unmoved, or other examples of what P. F. Strawson called the “panicky metaphysics” of libertarianism". - here, particularly notable term is: "prime mover unmoved" - which essentially means what i was saying!

prime mover unmoved definition: "In doing what we do, we cause certain events to happen, and nothing—or no one—causes us to cause those events to happen." - which is exactly my point, because where did these decisions come from? We need to trace them back to their origin - to ascertain, whether or not, we are ultimately responsible for our actions!!!

"Such a notion of ultimate creator of purposes is obscure, to be sure — many would say it is unintelligible!" - agree: since we can't get behind that currently!

"Its meaning can be captured initially by an image: when we trace the causal or explanatory chains of action back to their sources in the purposes of free agents, these causal chains must come to an end or terminate in the willings (choices, decisions, or efforts) of the agents, which cause or bring about their purposes."

Also incompatibilism mentions origination as: "causa sui", which is approximately the same thing. All philosophies have different ideas and deductions stemming from that base idea. You can find it here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will

Also i would to address this again. You said: "Using a definition that implies an infinite regress from the beginning is a very poor move, and leads inherently to absurdities."

I would argue: just because this definition creates infinite regress, doesn't mean it is not true, or that it is coming from incorrect premises. Yes infinite regress is absurd e.g. (so is a paradox) - which is coming from correct premises too! As i cite wiki: "knowledge of the conclusions which follow from them is not pure scientific knowledge nor properly knowing at all, but rests on the mere supposition that the premises are true." Doesn't say anything about, whether premises are true/false, or not! Also free will problem remains currently in the area of philosophy, because it is possible to be scientifically proven yet! Obviously scientific proof would be ideal, but it is not currently possible. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_regress

So would it be any more reasonable to suppose, you can decide freely, whether to act on your preferences, or not - from the blue sky? While we know everything has begging, or end? Or existed forever. Or else ? Yet there is no explanation for your definition of free will - to reconcile it with origination problem! Even on wikipedia's page of infinite regress, (problem of origination) is stated in their own words: "Some forms of libertarianism assert that human actions do not have causes and are chosen consciously – i.e. are not random. This assertion raises the question: what are these conscious decisions based on? Since they can't be based on nothing (as the possibility of decisions being random is excluded), this question can be asked for each subsequent answer or answers to it, thus forming an infinite regress." - but now i think about it, why to even assume it would be possible, it either means impossibility, or infinite regress!

You also caved in - into a logical fallacy! When you said: to refute your position (free will is true). I would have to prove that: 2 statements are not true (i won't mention 1. for now, because it doesn't concern this):

2. Proof that my definition cannot bear the weight of our praxis of blaming, praising, earning salary, assigning responsibility, taking obligations, etc.

Because if i proven, our praxis doesn't bear weight. Than it would = free will is false, determined by your condition. So you conditioned free will on moral responsibility!

Which is a logical fallacy - ethical/rational misunderstanding was created over history of free will problem about this:
https://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/ethical_fallacy.html
https://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/responsibility.html/

There is no proof, that would dictate: that free will is conditioned on moral responsibility. Even if free will was false, i don't see any reason, you couldn't be morally responsible for your actions! If you know something about evolution, it is logical. Also what if:

- free will was illusion, but we believed in it anyways?

- even if it wasn't, there would be still need to protect society against crime, so society don't collapse!

These above, i would say: are rational arguments.

I also saw studies, don't remember how it was called. Which found out that: people with disbelief in free will didn't act any less morally responsible - not sure exactly about that, but perhaps i/you can find some of these later...

I cite: "Some modern thinkers still make morality a criterion for free will, rather than freedom a requirement (some call it a 'control condition') for morally responsible behavior." - i still think even freedom is not requirement

I don't know how we could prove, that free will is conditioned on moral responsibility. You would have to know free will is false and than observe, if you can't bear weight of our praxis. Otherwise no idea. Or feel morally responsible. But interesting thing is: i don't believe in free will and still feel morally responsible. Because it is pivotal for my survival. So this need still doesn't go away!

Consider this example, not sure what it is but: if someone has free will, but he is given a gun to his hand by someone else, which then presses a trigger with his finger and kills someone. Does this mean you are truly morally responsible for this action? Even if you had free will... How is free will conditioned by your moral responsibility in this case?! You had free will, but you didn't have freedom to choose course of action! Than in this case:

if free will = true than moral responsiblity != true

But than you could argue, than you didn't have free will. So it is iffy. I don't know how to prove it, i just know it is logical fallacy to condition free will on moral responsibility, because there is no proof to allow you to deduce so!

Even i read: some philosophers still condition free will on moral responsibility, which probably comes from some rational/ethical misunderstandings.

At the end: i stand firmly on my position, that it is valid! At least from current understanding. I included many sources! Unless you can refute it, which i doubt. But your definition (based on your interpretation) is also correct technically!

https://www.informationphilosopher.com - is prominent informative site about the Free Will Problem! Created by Harward astrophysicist, cite: "Bob Doyle is the Information Philosopher. He has likely read more works of philosophers and scientists than any other modern thinker" - I found from this site about more camps of free will. Than from the whole internet Although i heard some criticism. I also heard from someone engaging in philosophy: he is an excellent writer and has great grasp of these problems in philosophy! Ofc. you have to multi-check. But so far, it seems correct and accurate!

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If nature was limited to classical physics free will is an illusion....but quantum physics allows us hope (just my opinion...predetermined or otherwise)

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15 hours ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

If nature was limited to classical physics free will is an illusion....but quantum physics allows us hope (just my opinion...predetermined or otherwise)

Yeah kinda, however there is but! I don't know what you know about free will... Since you mentioned quantum mechanics and hope for free will - we don't care about deterministic camps and camps denying possibility of free will! So we care only about - indeterminism, which is then divided into more camps. Indeterminism (besides free will denying camps) is divided into libertarianism - which more or less advocates free will (depends on your interpretation - what free will is).

There are 3 basic libertarian camps (which are divided even into more camps) but for now let me mention only these 3. It is already hard to grasp differences between them (and i am little bit rusty on these definitions, but i cite partially from sources):

Agent-Causal - "agent can start new causal chains that are not pre-determined by the events of the immediate or distant past and the physical laws of nature" "Agent-Causal indeterminists are libertarians who think that agents have originating causes for their actions that are not events, some call it metaphysical freedom" Which means essentially agency of agent, or that there are some other than metaphysical causes. But doesn't explain how is that possible!

Non-Causal - variation of Agent-Causal camp: simply denies any causes whatsoever for agents actions! Than how they are caused, because they are?! If they out to be truly random != free will.

Event-Causal -  "indeterminists generally accept the view that random events (most likely quantum mechanical events) occur in the world. Whether in the physical world, in the biological world (where they are a key driver of genetic mutations), or in the mind, randomness and uncaused events are real. They introduce the possibility of accidents, novelty, and human creativity."

Of which Event-Causal would be least free. Other 2 are less clear about that!

However, each of these camps have problem of origination. As how do you explain an action, which was originated by agent, to be completely free? As everything has origin, at least from current understanding! How do you explain origin of an agent? You probably checked my another post. But you can check this link about the problem: https://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/origination.html#Voluntarism

I have many reasons, why i think free will is illusion, one of them is this origination problem! Which currently unsolved problem, because no one can get behind that.

It goes like this:

1. Everything has origin (supposing infinity is false), than if you trace everything back to that origin, how do you explain it to be caused by an agent?

2. Everything existed forever (currently unintelligible to humans), how does that explain origin of that action to be caused by agent, or origin of agent itself (which would determine his character)?

Quantum mechanics says (you can correct me): anything can happen, unless it is forbidden by rules and that nothing itself is unstable: so things just popped into existence - but we don't know how.

One question: if everything existed forever, could it still came from nothing? As nothing doesn't count as existence! Or it could be: that everything existed forever and there weren't even nothing ever.

3. Or else? (currently unintelligible - other possibility cannot be even imagined)!

Edited by empleat

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On 11/17/2020 at 11:55 PM, J.C.MacSwell said:

If nature was limited to classical physics free will is an illusion....but quantum physics allows us hope (just my opinion...predetermined or otherwise)

It seems that you engage in studying QM. Therefore this may be of interest to you:

PBS says: that Quantum Information cannot be destroyed, nor created out of nothing! It was confirmed by no-hiding theorem, which was experimentally tested:

There is a theory: that universe came into existence out of nothing - i don't know how these 2 go together Maybe above applies, only after something exists? I have only very basic understanding of QM (i don't know even how to find this - google didn't find anything :D) you would have to tell me! I don't know how this theory is officially called:

Because law of Conservation of Quantum Information. He also says: that if we choose condition 4. choice independent of any non-free willed mechanistic process - than free will is dead! Which would be free will camp called: "Non-Causal". He further explains:

Even if information came from something supernatural, lets say: outside the universe. Only way to generate it within its region would be: to generate it randomly. While randomness doesn't seem to help cause of free will ! Or it would have to came from something else. Which is exactly my problem of the origination. How are you responsible for that?

Here is arxiv document, saying: "that free will cannot be defended in terms of QM. First, because indeterminism does not imply free will, it is merely a necessary condition but not enough to defend it."

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