• Thehoneyman
    6
    Is there actually any proof for either side?

    I've been thinking about it for ages and I'm leaning more towards the belief that it does not exist.
  • Wayfarer
    6.8k
    So, something compelled you to join the forum and ask this question?
  • GreyScorpio
    98
    There is physical proof that the brain makes decisions before we carry out an action, therefore we do not have free will - is one form of evidence that is empirically undeniable.
  • Ying
    186
    There is physical proof that the brain makes decisions before we carry out an action, therefore we do not have free will - is one form of evidence that is empirically undeniable.GreyScorpio

    Why do people only read half of Libets studies? Ignoring his study on "free won't" just amounts to cherry picking.
  • GreyScorpio
    98
    It is still a form of evidence that we should not ignore. Just because it is partial does not mean it did not happen. He asked for evidence and I gave it to him. If he wishes to read the full study then it would be beneficial to his search for knowledge.
  • Ying
    186
    It is still a form of evidence that we should not ignore.GreyScorpio

    Right, we shouldn't ignore Libets experiments in my opinion. We should however ignore gross misrepresentations of his outcomes. Libet himself is a proponent of the free won't model. So there. Also, the conclusions of his experiments can be and are contested. It's not nearly as clear cut as you make it sound. It's very possible to level the claim that Libets experiments amount to a giant post hoc fallacy.
  • GreyScorpio
    98
    It's not nearly as clear cut as you make it sound.Ying

    I understand this but, nothing is clear cut in philosophy.
  • Thehoneyman
    6
    I don't know but I can always trace my choices back and it seems like everything is predetermined ever since the beginning of time. For me to make a different decision I feel like something from another timeline would have to come into ours and interfere or something external like that.
  • Wayfarer
    6.8k
    And there’s certainly nothing I can think of which might cause you to change that opinion.
  • Jeremiah
    1.5k
    Pick one:

    A

    B

    C
  • Jeremiah
    1.5k
    The subconscious mind makes some choices for you from learned behavior of the conscious mind. If you drive the same route to work everyday then your subconscious mind makes the decisions of where to go for you; the initial route, however, was chosen by your conscious mind. Of course the conscious mind can stop the process at any time and make the choice to drive a different way to work, or not even go to work.
  • Jeremiah
    1.5k
    You just demonstrated free choice.
  • Thehoneyman
    6
    I don't think you get it. I made a choice, yes, but what made me choose it? All the contributing factors that made me choose it I actually have no control over.

    Say I did an experiment with 3 identicle mes in 3 identicle universes. I ask them all that question. They'd all answer exactly the same. It was predetermined.
  • GreyScorpio
    98
    I thought someone would bring up that objection :lol:, In any case its hard to believe that we are really free if we already have the choices preemptively chosen for us. Such as; If we were lost driving down a road and come to a fork. The choice is limited between two junctions only. I personally believe that we don't even know what the concept of Free is. We cannot truly understand it if our choices are preemptively chosen for us to make a decision based on what we have been given.
  • Jeremiah
    1.5k
    Where is your empirical evidence? I thought this thread was about proof. Considerating that hard determinism is unfalsifiable I have my doubts your statement there is anything more than an opinion.
  • GreyScorpio
    98
    Say I did an experiment with 3 identicle mes in 3 identicle universes. I ask them all that question. They'd all answer exactly the same. It was predetermined.Thehoneyman

    This is actually really smart, In multiple universes we would have probably made the same decision meaning that it couldn't possibly be us that freely made it? Is that what you are trying to say?
  • Jeremiah
    1.5k


    If you don't know what free means in the context of free will, then how is it possible you have empirical evidence against it? I think you need to get your thoughts in order before you decide what you believe.
  • GreyScorpio
    98
    If you don't know what free means in the context of free will, then how is it possible you have empirical evidence against it?Jeremiah

    That logic can be used for the existence of God. And I do have my thoughts in order, I don't think you have any right to tell me what I should believe. I am just posing points here, not getting hostile.

    Anyway, as I was saying, humans cannot understand the concept of free - even in free will - just like we cannot understand the concept of God. We may know what it is or have an idea of these things, but we do not truly understand it because we have not experienced it as you have just suggested to me -

    then how is it possible you have empirical evidence against it?Jeremiah
  • Jeremiah
    1.5k
    I don't think you have any right to tell me what I should believe.GreyScorpio

    If hard determinism were true, and I am an external agent then by your standards my function would be to tell you what to believe and you would have to comply, which makes the fact that you have decided to resist my external influence a contradictory and interesting decision.

    just like we cannot understand the concept of God.GreyScorpio

    Gods are fantasies created by human imagination; it is not that hard to understand.
  • Jeremiah
    1.5k
    don't think you have any right to tell me what I should believe.GreyScorpio

    In fact I think this could be considered a counter example against the concept of hard determinism. If I push a rock it has no choice but to roll the direction I will it; however, if that rock could resist my push then that is something else. It means it has a force or will to disrupt that line of cause and effect, which would result in a new line of cause and effect.
  • Thehoneyman
    6

    I'm not sure that's what I meant. The universes being identical is key here because the indentical people will make the same choices because they are identical in every way down to every thought. Every contributing factor in choice making will be exactly the same in both of them. Something about these two identical universes would need an external influence to change them.

    So say before I asked them all the question I punched one of them in the face. Now that one might answer differently to the others because they are now different.
  • Thehoneyman
    6

    I have no evidence of either I'm just discussing my thoughts... On my own topic... Is that okay? :P
  • GreyScorpio
    98
    If hard determinism were true, and I am an external agent then by your standards my function would be to tell you what to believe and you would have to comply,Jeremiah

    That has no correlation. Because you are an external agent with no free will you are then able to tell people what they can and can't believe to which they must comply to? If hard determinism were true, the function of decision making doesn't then fall into the hands of a normal human being.

    Gods are fantasies created by human imagination; it is not that hard to understand.Jeremiah

    I'm not arguing on that. I agree. So I don't know where I showed a failure to understand.

    In fact I think this could be considered a counter example against the concept of hard determinism. If I push a rock it has no choice but to roll the direction I will it; however, if that rock could resist my push then that is something else.Jeremiah

    If you push a rock in a direction it moves that direction through gravity ... Without the sarcasm - There are only a limited of directions that rock can go. So how are you free to make a decision of where the rock goes. If you push it over a mountain in England, it doesn't suddenly end up in China even if were using your 'free will' to 'decide' that it would go to China after pushing of this rock in England.
  • Jeremiah
    1.5k


    You are the one that set the standard of proof. It would be nice if "philosophers" actually tried to live up to such standards, but I guess when it comes down to it that is asking a bit much of them.
  • GreyScorpio
    98
    The universes being identical is key here because the indentical people will make the same choices because they are identical in every way down to every thought.Thehoneyman

    I completely agree - I must have misunderstood you. Sorry about that. What I thought was smart was that, using the point that the parallel universes are exactly alike, we would be making the very same decision in all of these universes no matter the circumstances. This again shows a lack of understanding of 'free' because decisions are always preemptively made for us. And if the environmental circumstances were different then the nature of the decision would change which would then lead the person back to another preemptively made 'choice'. It may be that you punched the person in the face and now you have to make another decision between two decisions that would not have been the same had you not punched him in the face.
  • Jeremiah
    1.5k
    If hard determinism were true, the function of decision making doesn't then fall into the hands of a normal human being.GreyScorpio

    If determinism is true, everything is both a cause and effect, that includes humans.

    Your statement here shows how little thought you have put into this, we are very much shaped by the other humans around us.
  • GreyScorpio
    98
    Your statement here shows how little thought you have put into this, we are very much shaped by the other humans around us.Jeremiah

    Considering I am literally behind a computer trying to learn, No I haven't thought much about it. I am pretty much thinking about it as I go along as to make an educated minuet on what I have learned. Just because I don't agree with your point of view doesn't make mine incorrect.

    I also notice how you manage to tiptoe around the rest of my comment by not responding. In any case, If determinism is not true then everything would be chaos and we would be able to do the unimaginable which is why I think we are unable to comprehend what free means. Having free will is having the ability to act on one's own discretion with no factors influencing it, including the environment, Laws of physics, Laws of Humanity, Society and more... we are not free to do what we want. It is evident to me.
  • Jeremiah
    1.5k
    Let me know when you have learned enough to understand the difference between determinism and hard determinism.
  • Jeremiah
    1.5k
    Hard determinism has many flaws that should be kept in mind. It is an unfalsifiable claim, which means it should not be used as a standard for proof. It leads to infinite regression, since it states everything is the result of cause and effect.

    However, I think the biggest error is the lack of defined systems, hard determinism precives all of existence as one system, which may be true but at the same time it leaves no account for local systems and their role. If everything is cause and effect then so is the human system, so why would we not consider the influence of the human themselves? They certainly have a role in all of this.

    So I find the whole arumgent of hard determinism full of holes, unconvincing and just an inadequate explanation.
  • Jeremiah
    1.5k
    A bit of a side note, but I find it hypocrital how many non-believers reject God due to lack of evidence, but eagerly accept hard determinism even though it suffers from the same lack of evidence. Seems like selective skepticism to me.
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