• litewave
    569


    We choose that for which we have a stronger motive. There are various kinds of pleasure: from eating, relaxation, sex, watching an interesting movie, doing interesting work, philosophizing, praying, etc. The satisfaction from doing the right/ethical thing is a kind of pleasure too.
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    938
    Would you say that for you, there is only one last end or motive, being pleasure? Thus when you say "we do what we want", does it mean "we do what pleases us"?

    I say there are not one but two last ends. Yes, being ethical can be pleasurable, but that is not necessary. In fact, siding with Kant (I think), if the intent of a good act is only for the pleasure that results from it, then the act has no moral worth. A good act has moral worth only if done with the intent that it is the right thing to do. Pleasure can still result, but as a side effect.
  • litewave
    569
    Would you say that for you, there is only one last end or motive, being pleasure? Thus when you say "we do what we want", does it mean "we do what pleases us"?Samuel Lacrampe

    Yes but there are various kinds of pleasure (pleasant feelings) - carnal, intellectual, spiritual, ethical... Avoidance of pain is a motive too, but since pain is the opposite of pleasure, avoidance of pain is the same as seeking to increase or maintain pleasure.

    Yes, being ethical can be pleasurable, but that is not necessary.Samuel Lacrampe

    If your act is not motivated by pleasure, it means that you don't care about the act. Caring about an act means that you gain some satisfaction from doing it.
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    938
    Avoidance of pain is a motive too, but since pain is the opposite of pleasure, avoidance of pain is the same as seeking to increase or maintain pleasure.litewave
    Sounds good. We could say the "pleasurable" is seeking pleasure and comfort, and also avoiding pain and discomfort.

    If your act is not motivated by pleasure, it means that you don't care about the act. Caring about an act means that you gain some satisfaction from doing it.litewave
    I'd argue the opposite. If you perform the good act only as a means to the end of pleasure, it means that if the pleasure were to be gone, then you wouldn't do the act, thereby showing that you don't care about the act itself. On the other hand, if you do it for the ethical, then you would always perform the ethical act even if it were not always pleasurable, thereby showing you care about the act itself.
  • litewave
    569
    . If you perform the good act only as a means to the end of pleasure, it means that if the pleasure were to be gone, then you wouldn't do the act, thereby showing that you don't care about the act itself.Samuel Lacrampe

    If you desire to perform an ethical act, performing it will satisfy the desire and thus bring you pleasure. It may be a different kind of pleasure than, say, carnal pleasure, but it is still a satisfaction of a desire.
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    938
    If by "desire" you mean "drive for pleasure", then no, the choice to be ethical does not always come from a desire. If on the other hand you mean "intending", then the choice to be ethical is a desire, but pleasure is not always a factor.

    Not everything that is ethical is pleasurable. E.g. After having committed a crime and having a change of heart about it, you decide to turn yourself in; not because it is pleasurable but because you believe it is the right thing to do.
  • litewave
    569


    Ok, it depends on what satisfactions (of desires or intentions) you are willing to include under pleasure. If you don't want to call all satisfactions "pleasure", then just say that all our freely willed acts are motivated by satisfactions.
  • Samuel Lacrampe
    938
    all our freely willed acts are motivated by satisfactions.litewave
    My understanding is that "satisfaction" is the feeling we get from attaining an expected good. E.g. If I have good expectations for a movie and these are met, then I am satisfied.

    If that description is correct, then satisfaction occurs after the attainment of any good, pleasure or ethical, and thus it cannot be what drives us to choose one good over the other.
  • litewave
    569
    If that description is correct, then satisfaction occurs after the attainment of any good, pleasure or ethical, and thus it cannot be what drives us to choose one good over the other.Samuel Lacrampe

    Why not? We choose the good that brings us greater satisfaction.
  • TheMadFool
    11.9k
    I quite like this deceptively simple argument:

    1. The laws of nature [premise]

    2. We are part of nature [premise]

    Ergo,

    3. No free will [conclusion]

    unless...

    1 is false - there are no laws of nature [try hard and you might be able to see it]

    and/or

    2 is false - we are not part of nature [we might not be]
  • SolarWind
    127
    Ergo,

    3. No free will [conclusion]
    TheMadFool

    It depends on how you define free will. If you ask your friend if he wants coffee or tea and he chooses coffee, do you say: "That wasn't free will, because that was clear since the Big Bang, please choose what you really want!"?
  • TheMadFool
    11.9k
    It depends on how you define free will. If you ask your friend if he wants coffee or tea and he chooses coffee, do you say: "That wasn't free will, because that was clear since the Big Bang, please choose what you really want!"?SolarWind

    We have choices. Like it or not, as per the argument which I simply reproduced, none of the choices you make are free i.e. they're determined by forces beyond our control. That should cover all the bases, no?
  • Yohan
    225
    Nature is not subject to its laws. It is their container. It "stands aloof".
    Likewise, My True Nature stands above the laws which make it up.
  • TheMadFool
    11.9k
    Nature is not subject to its laws. It is their container. It "stands aloof".
    Likewise, My True Nature stands above the laws which make it up.
    Yohan

    Nature is not subject to its laws. An example?

    Your true nature stands above the laws... An example?
  • SolarWind
    127
    We have choices. Like it or not, as per the argument which I simply reproduced, none of the choices you make are free i.e. they're determined by forces beyond our control. That should cover all the bases, no?TheMadFool

    You can also define that free will prevails when one has the feeling to decide freely. If there is coffee and tea in my kitchen and I decide for the tea and also have the feeling to have decided freely, then I could speak of free will.

    Otherwise, every thing is what you define it to be. If I define "free will" as a hotdog, then a hotdog is just free will.
  • Yohan
    225
    Nature is not subject to its laws. An example?
    Your true nature stands above the laws... An example?
    TheMadFool
    The container cannot be contained by its content.
    Nature is the super-container of everything except itself. So how can anything in nature limit it?
    I am also a container.
  • Yohan
    225

    Nature doesn't follow the law. Nature is the law.
    I don't follow the laws of my nature. I am the root principle which the various sub-principles of my nature are rooted.
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