• Metaphysician Undercover
    4.4k
    Free will in normal parlance simply means not coerced, and that is a legal definition.charleton

    This is false, there is no legal definition of "free will", it is a philosophical term. And philosophical terms often have a meaning in common vernacular which is quite different from their meaning in philosophy, as is the case with many terms which are proper to a particular field of study but have been adopted into common speech.

    Philosophers do not own the language. If you were asked in court whether or not you freely made a choice, as a determinist you are able to say yes without obfuscation.charleton

    This is a philosophy forum so I think it is only proper that we be discussing the meaning which "free will" has in philosophy. If you see a particularly good reason why you think that free will should be given another meaning, then you should offer up a good argument. But to say that "freewill " ought to be given another meaning because this will make it compatible with determinism, and I am determinist but it would make me feel better if I could believe that I have free will as well as being determined, is nonsense.

    Try and tell a judge that all acts are deterministic and therefor I was not free to chose not to steal the car!!!charleton

    It just so happens, that the entire legal system is based on the assumption that free will is very real. So the claim, I am determinist and therefore I am not responsible for my actions, doesn't go over very well in court.
  • SonJnana
    243
    To leapfrom matter interacts with energy to the whole universe and everything we feel and experience is what is called faith. You want this story to be taken seriously, then start being serious and don't expect me to get excited over every story that people can make up.Rich

    You say that I have to explain it. And when I attempt to explain it you ignore the questions I had asked and dismiss my attempt. Anyway I'm not wasting my time anymore on your self-righteousness LOL
  • Rich
    3.2k
    What did you explain? It just happened? Some particles interacted and Voila! existence? And particles and interactions? The Big Bang Genesis)? Where do they come from? As I said, Determinism is a religion. It is just the same story told for eons with different words and to understand this gives one insights into how religions develop. It is part of the human journey.
  • SonJnana
    243
    What did you explain? It just happened? Some particles interacted and Voila! existence? And particles and interactions? The Big Bang Genesis)? Where do they come from? As I said, Determinism is a religion. It is just the same story told for eons with different words and to understand this gives one insights into how religions develop. It is part of the human journey.Rich

    Our whole discussion started when you quoted half of my sentence in a post where I had said assuming determinism. Then you went on to say in a deterministic world there would be no meaning and that humans couldn't give meaning to anything to which I refuted. Then you tried to refute that by saying in a deterministic world there could be no way that experience the way humans experience it could arise to which I was trying to refute. But instead of reading what I was saying you dismissed it and acted self-righteous.

    And now you're completely changing the argument and saying "well oh you have to demonstrate determinism." But I never even claimed that determinism is true. I don't have to demonstrate anything. I was just saying that your logic is flawed when you say that determinism can't be true because humans experience things.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    OK. Determinism isn't true, so no reason to discuss it. There are more pressing issues that deserve attention.
  • SonJnana
    243
    It may or may not be true. But yes I agree there are more pressing issues because there is a lot more we need to understanding about the universe before claiming that it is deterministic or not.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.4k

    Actually, I think it's the other way around. Once we realize that determinism is wrong, this puts us on the right track toward understanding the universe.
  • SonJnana
    243
    So you believe that determinism isn't true? Why do you believe that?
  • Michael
    7.3k
    What is compatibilist definition of free will?bahman

    That one's will determines one's actions. Whether or not one's will is determined is irrelevant (to the compatibilist). As Schopenhauer said, "Man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills."

    Edit: I missed @charleton already saying exactly this.
  • tom
    1.5k
    There is only one deep theory about nature and that is QM which is totally probabilistic. Other than this, you have the Laws of Nature which is not a theory but a Pagan God.Rich

    Like I said, you know nothing about QM.
  • tom
    1.5k
    Oh yeah!! Where it that? "Ontological Ultimate" is not an expression uttered by Darwin. SO who are you kidding?charleton

    You would have to be quite the disingenuous sneak to claim that I anywhere quoted Darwin directly, or claimed those were his exact words. I told you which chapter, of which book, I was referring to, and gave the conclusion of his arguments.

    Darwin not only requires ontological chance for his theory, he knows this, and defends his view in the chapter of the book I referenced. He also made this his final statement:

    On the other hand an omnipotent and omniscient Creator, ordains everything and foresees everything. Thus we are brought face to face with a difficulty as insoluble as that of free will and predestination.

    So there you have it. Darwin knew that his theory is as incompatible with determinism as is free will.
  • Michael
    7.3k
    Darwin knew that his theory is as incompatible with determinism as is free will.tom

    Maybe his theory is incompatible with determinism, but it doesn't then follow that evolution is. Evolution is a fact, and according to you so is determinism. Therefore they must be compatible.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.4k
    So you believe that determinism isn't true? Why do you believe that?SonJnana

    Because I believe in free will, and for the reasons discussed already, I believe free will is incompatible with determinism.

    That one's will determines one's actions.Michael

    To say that one's actions are determined by ones will is a rather meaningless and irrelevant statement. It says nothing about free will, nor does it say anything about determinism. So it does not actually provide a definition of free will.
  • Michael
    7.3k
    It says nothing about free will, nor does it say anything about determinism. So it does not actually provide a definition of free will.Metaphysician Undercover

    It does provide a definition of free will: "to have free will is to have one's will be responsible for one's actions".

    To say that one's actions are determined by ones will is a rather meaningless and irrelevant statement.

    I don't see why it's meaningless. There's some thing which is the will, and it is causally responsible for one's actions. This is something that even the libertarian might agree with. The difference is that the libertarian wants for the will to be free from prior influence whereas the compatibilist doesn't think it matters.
  • bahman
    530
    I find it strange that those who deny free will in the face of determinism, because the two really aren't compatible, baulk at the notion that evolution is therefore also incompatible.

    The case for the incompatibility of determinism with evolution is actually much easier to make. Determinism really means there are no chance events. Evolution requires chance to exist as a ontological ultimate.

    Darwin actually wrote about this in the last chapter of his "The variation of animals and plants under domestication."

    God either plays dice or he does not.
    tom

    That just means that randomness is not globally allowed. You still can have local randomness.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.4k
    It does provide a definition of free will: "to have free will is to have one's will be responsible for one's actions".Michael

    Your definition states what it means to have "will". It doesn't state what it means for that will to be free. It just states that if one's will is responsible for one's acts, that person's will was necessarily free. So your definition would not be good in legal situations, because even under duress, coercion, and force, a person's will is responsible for one's actions.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    It does provide a definition of free will: "to have free will is to have one's will be responsible for one's actions".Michael

    What people have are choices in direction of action that are constrained. The legal system actually had it about right differentiating between premeditated actions and actions that are spontaneous (instinctual), though it is darn difficult for a jury to determine almost all of the time. Yet, the basic understanding is sound. Free will is a hopeless phrase created by philosophers for bantering purposes. It has no value and never had.
  • bahman
    530
    What is compatibilist definition of free will?
    — bahman

    That one's will determines one's actions. Whether or not one's will is determined is irrelevant (to the compatibilist). As Schopenhauer said, "Man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills."

    Edit: I missed charleton already saying exactly this.
    Michael

    So compatibilists don't care about determinism? Moreover what is the definition of will?
  • Michael
    7.3k
    Your definition states what it means to have "will".Metaphysician Undercover

    It doesn't. One can have a will but it might not be responsible for one's actions (e.g. perhaps if this is correct). In such a case one wouldn't have free will, but would have a will. It is only when the will is responsible for one's actions that one has free will.

    So your definition would not be good in legal situations, because even under duress, coercion, and force, a person's will is responsible for one's actions.

    It wasn't as precise as it could have been, but it's easy enough to understand that it excludes these situations.
  • Michael
    7.3k
    So compatibilists don't care about determinism?bahman

    They might care about determinism; they just don't think it poses a problem for free will.

    Moreover what is the definition of will?

    Motivation? Conscious decision-making? The self? Probably a tricky question for anyone to answer, whether compatibilist or not.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    Moreover what is the definition of will?bahman

    Will is energy that the mind applies to move the body in a specific manner. Outcomes are unpredictable because of innumerable constraints. The legal system recognizes all of this. Only science refuses to recognize mind and its ability to exert will. Quite an amusing situation I would say.
  • Michael
    7.3k
    Only science refuses to recognize mind and its ability to exert will.Rich

    Are you arguing for interactionism, then?
  • Rich
    3.2k
    There is no dualism. The mind exerts its own energy as a wave. Try it out. User your mind to move your legs or feet. It works.
  • Michael
    7.3k
    I'm not really sure what you're trying to say here. Are you arguing for idealism, or are you saying that the mind just is the physical stuff that causes bodily movement? Something else?
  • Rich
    3.2k
    Mind is exactly what it is as we personally examine it. It has the ability to imagine future actions and exert energy (will) to achieve those actions. This is what even the legal system is built around. It is only science that denies it preferring to transfer responsibility from individual minds to some mystical Laws of Nature (which is nothing more than old time Paganism).
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.4k
    It doesn't. One can have a will but it might not be responsible for one's actions (e.g. perhaps if this is correct). In such a case one wouldn't have free will, but would have a will. It is only when the will is responsible for one's actions that one has free will.Michael

    OK, so a person has a free will sometimes, but not all of the time. Sometimes the person's will is free, sometimes it is determined. We still don't have any principles for compatibility here, only an alternating back and forth between free and determined. What kind of principles could be used to judge whether one's will is responsible for one's actions, or one's environment is responsible for one's actions?

    It wasn't as precise as it could have been, but it's easy enough to understand that it excludes these situations.Michael

    OK, so under those described situations, duress, and coercion, a person does not have free will, according to your definition. I think that this is false, because some people will fight back, rather than be coerced. So the person must actually decide whether to be coerced or to fight the coercion, and under my understanding of free will, a decision is only possible if there is a free will. How do you account for the possibility that a person might fight the coercion? Is the will of some people more free than the will of other people? What if some people have no free will at all, and are just puppets?
  • Michael
    7.3k
    OK, so a person has a free will sometimes, but not all of the time. Sometimes the person's will is free, sometimes it is determined. We still don't have any principles for compatibility here, only an alternating back and forth between free and determined. What kind of principles could be used to judge whether one's will is responsible for one's actions, or one's environment is responsible for one's actions?Metaphysician Undercover

    One's actions are always determined, and one's will is always determined by some external influence. So there's no alternating back and forth. There's just the common-sense understanding of coercion, intoxication, or doing what one genuinely wants to do when in an ordinary state of mind. The latter is what it means to have free will, irrespective of the (meta-)physics of the mind.

    I have free will if I do what I do because I want to do it. I don't need some infinite regress of choosing to want what I want to be free.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    4.4k
    One's actions are always determined, and one's will is always determined by some external influence. So there's no alternating back and forth.Michael

    If one's will is always determined by external influence, how can one ever be responsible for one's acts?
  • Michael
    7.3k
    If one's will is always determined by external influence, how can one ever be responsible for one's acts?Metaphysician Undercover

    Because one is one's will, and one's will is responsible for one's actions. Therefore, one is responsible for one's actions.

    But, of course, one's will isn't responsible for itself, which is why we don't hold people responsibile for what they want (only what they do).
  • Rich
    3.2k
    One's actions are always determined, and one's will is always determined by some external influenceMichael

    There is zero evidence of this and pretty much universally rejected by law because it is counter to everyday experience of life. So why is it adopted by certain sects? Because some people have to believe that some external force is guiding their life. "God made me do it" just doesn't hold water except maybe in the Dark Ages of witchcraft and its latest reincarnation, Determinism.
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