• Henri
    184
    The notion that we have free will is, in essence, an idea that willful act can ultimately originate within us.

    But that's not possible since we are not eternal beings, but beings who were created at certain point in time. So, nothing can ultimately originate within us.

    More closely, every factor needed for us to make a decision is set in the past. Ultimately, all factors needed for any decision made by a human, at any point in time, are set before that human existed.

    Now, for those who are atheists, this discussion is of no true importance. It's all from randomness anyway. And by the way, an atheist who thinks he/she has free will is double whammy, as both positions are irrational. Practically no reasonable discussion can be held with such person even if we wanted to.

    For those who understand that God exists, but think they have free will, here is the consideration:

    There are only two options that are, ultimately, source of decisions we execute.

    It is either God's decision, or it is God-induced randomness.

    But is God-induced randomness even possible? Can God make a mechanism that produces results which are random to Him, meaning unknown to Him, before they occur? I think that's not even possible, since that means that God has to consciously create a mechanism to produce something that He won't know what it will produce.

    Even if that would be possible, though, it would mean that God, for the purposes of this creation, values randomness more than His (conscious) decisions, which seems odd. Like a gambler who rolls the dice for the thrill of it. Not to mention that such view would be opposite of God who revealed Himself through the Bible.

    So, the conclusion is that even the act of making a cup of coffee, for example, is a direct decision from God for you to do at specific point in time.
  • wax
    301
    if someone has free will, what does that mean?

    If you say that someone's future decisions are predestined, and so the person doesn't have free will, how can you show this to be true.

    If reality could be modelled on a computer, and you run the program, the computer has to model itself, which would lead to infinite reiteration, so that wouldn't be possible.

    there is no way to stand outside of reality and check for determinism, by running any amount of powerful computer processes, as you would still have to model yourself and the computer.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    The notion that we have free will is, in essence, an idea that willful act can ultimately originate within us.Henri

    I believe that willful acts can only originate within us, and that this is the case whether free will is possible or whether determinism is true.

    But that's not possible since we are not eternal beings, but beings who were created at certain point in time. So, nothing can ultimately originate within us.Henri

    When you combine vinegar and baking soda, one of the things you produce is sodium acetate (NaC2H3O2). The sodium acetate originates in the vinegar/baking soda combination. Neither vinegar nor baking soda are eternal. They were created at a certain point in time. Yet something originated within the combination of the two. The sodium acetate wasn't present prior to combining the baking soda and vinegar we combined.

    You, unfortunately, given what you're asserting here, would have to claim that it's not possible for sodium acetate to originate in the vinegar/baking soda combo.
  • kill jepetto
    66
    will is the aspect we use to act.

    will is free in a way where we can perform any act but constrained by vessel where competition is conercerned. Sometimes freedom isn't good.
  • Henri
    184
    If you say that someone's future decisions are predestined, and so the person doesn't have free will, how can you show this to be true.wax

    That's not the question here. Your decision doesn't have to be predestined in order for you to not have free will. God can make the decision for your decision as time progresses, for example.

    The subject is: what is, ultimately, the source of your decisions? And it is impossible for it to be anything that's "within you", since you are created at a certain point in time. Meaning, you came into existence at certain point in time, as opposed to living from eternal past. Which results that you cannot have free will, and is the proof for it.
  • Henri
    184
    You would have to claim that it's not possible for sodium acetate to originate in the vinegar/baking soda combo.Terrapin Station

    New mixture originates from the vinegar/soda mixture, on surface level, or on first level. Honey in my tea originates from a jar, but it doesn't mean that honey ultimately originates from a jar.

    Reality has to have real quality of being able to produce what we see as something new, before the act of creation. If it didn't have that real quality, "new" thing would not be produced.

    When man's sperm meets woman's egg, it can start a process that results in human being. But if sperm meets anything other than woman's egg, nothing will result from it. Why? Because reality is already set in a way to produce new thing in first case, and nothing in second.

    So, mixture produces something new, on surface level, but ultimately, everything needed for this "new" thing to exist already has to be set before mixture is applied. Including that everything needed for vinegar and sodium to exist has to be set before they existed.

    New mixture originates from vinegar and soda, but it doesn't ultimately originate from vinegar and soda.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    New mixture originates from the vinegar/soda mixture, on surface level, or on first level. Honey in my tea originates from a jar, but it doesn't mean that honey ultimately originates from a jar.Henri

    Huh? That reads like gobbledygook to me.

    Reality has to have real quality of being able to produce what we see as something new, before the act of creation. If it didn't have that real quality, "new" thing would not be produced.Henri

    Again, huh?

    You'd have to explain all of this so it makes any sense. Let's start with this since it's already a lot of work you'd have to do.

    You agree that sodium acetate is produced in the example above, right? Does that process originate sodium acetate? If not, what's the requirement for "origination" that's not being met?
  • wax
    301
    When man's sperm meets woman's egg, it can start a process that results in human being.Henri

    how do you know if that is the start of a human or not....both sperm and egg will have originated at some point from the same source, way back on Earth when the first cells came into being.
    How did those first single cells come into being?
    I can't think they came into being other than some very complex cause that would be frowned upon by a lot of materialists.
    If the cause was some kind of organise process...then how did that process start, and on and on..

    I think it may be possible that all life has an eternal source...and we may or may not have much access to the memories there from, but maybe we do, and it is often expressed in art, and we are in touch with it when/if we have a deep feeling about something.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    6.1k
    But that's not possible since we are not eternal beings, but beings who were created at certain point in time. So, nothing can ultimately originate within us.Henri

    The situation is not so simple, as Terrapin explains. If you say that human beings were created at a certain point in time, and insist that the originating cause of our existence is not something "within" us, then to justify this you need to show that the originating cause of our existence is definitely something external to us, and not something which is within us.

    When man's sperm meets woman's egg, it can start a process that results in human being. But if sperm meets anything other than woman's egg, nothing will result from it. Why? Because reality is already set in a way to produce new thing in first case, and nothing in second.Henri

    This does not suffice, because it is what is within the sperm and the ovum which are responsible for the existence of the human being, and there is a continuity of DNA through the process. So you haven't shown an external cause of existence yet.
  • Henri
    184
    You need to show that the originating cause of our existence is definitely something external to us, and not something which is within usMetaphysician Undercover

    Originating cause of your existence is definitely something external to you. Do you disagree with that? Do you claim that originating cause of your existence is yourself? Then you are the one to prove such claim.

    It is what is within the sperm and the ovum which are responsible for the existence of the human being, and there is a continuity of DNA through the processMetaphysician Undercover

    How did first sperm and ovum come into existence? How does continuity of DNA exist? How does process that allows for DNA to exist exist?
  • Henri
    184
    You agree that sodium acetate is produced in the example above, right? Does that process originate sodium acetate? If not, what's the requirement for "origination" that's not being met?Terrapin Station

    You are mixing "originate" with "ultimately originate" in this discussion. "Ultimately originate" is the root cause.

    Vinegar and soda are not the root cause of mixture they produce, because they are created entities themselves, which means that there was a root cause for their creation that existed before they were created.

    You are also not seeing, maybe, that reality itself has to have a quality of being able to produce certain element when conditions are met. For example, how did laws of nature come into existence? Those are specific qualities of our reality, which can be measured and which are relatively constant. How did they come into existence and how did the quality of them being constant come into existence?

    In order for your mixture to exist, it isn't only that vinegar and soda have to exist. Laws of nature which are specifically set to allow this mixture between vinegar and soda to produce something we label as new also have to exist. And those laws, as a quality of reality, existed before first mixture was produced. Even if those laws somehow changed at certain time, under what process did they change, and how did that process come into existence?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    You are mixing "originate" with "ultimately originate" in this discussion. "Ultimately originate" is the root cause . . . Vinegar and soda are not the root cause of mixture they produce, because they are created entities themselves, which means that there was a root cause for their creation that existed before they were created.Henri

    What are the definitions you're using of "originate," "ultimately originate," and "root cause"?
  • Henri
    184
    What are the definitions you're using of "originate," "ultimately originate," and "root cause"?Terrapin Station

    I am ok with what Google returns as first result for "root cause" - an initiating cause of either a condition or a causal chain that leads to an outcome or effect of interest.

    That's what "ultimately originating" is also. "Originating" is any other cause within the chain.

    Last domino fell because domino before it started to fall and pushed it. This second-to-last domino originated the fall of last domino. But it's not the root cause of last domino's fall. On closer inspection, I pushed the first domino to fall. Yet on even closer inspection, why did I arrange dominoes in a way that they will fall, one after another, when first one is pushed over? What is the truly root cause of last domino's fall?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k


    Okay, so you're just talking about whether x is part of a long causal chain or not.

    What would that have to do with being an "eterenal being"?

    Say that some phenomena can happen acasually. You'd say that it can only happen acausally via an "eternal being" I suppose. Why would you say that?
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    6.1k
    Originating cause of your existence is definitely something external to you. Do you disagree with that?Henri

    No I don't agree with that.

    Do you claim that originating cause of your existence is yourself? Then you are the one to prove such claim.Henri

    No, I wouldn't say that the originating cause of my existence is myself, that would be nonsense. However, it looks far more likely that the originating cause of my existence is something internal to me, rather than something external to me. There is no reason to conclude that if I am not the cause of my own existence, then the cause of my existence must be something external to me, because something internal to me is another possibility. And, the evidence points to the internal.

    How did first sperm and ovum come into existence? How does continuity of DNA exist? How does process that allows for DNA to exist exist?Henri

    Need I point out, that these processes are internal processes, not external processes?
  • unforeseen
    18

    “But that's not possible since we are not eternal beings, but beings who were created at certain point in time. So, nothing can ultimately originate within us.”
    Why not? Surely God didn’t put magic on Van Gogh that he painted all those paintings? It came from him, would you agree with that? Human beings aren’t anything if they’re not creative and imaginative.

    Now, whether that comes from free will, is another question. It probably doesn’t most of the time.
  • Gnostic Christian Bishop
    814
    The O.P.'s premise that we have no free will is demonstrably false.

    I have a little test that irrefutably shows that we do have a free will whose only limits are physics and nature. We cannot choose to fly but can chose anything within our natural limitations.

    If anyone really believes they have no free will to choose between alternatives, my test will show you that you do. It is quick and simple.

    Come one come all.

    Regards
    DL
  • unforeseen
    18
    Gnostic Christian Bishop, pick a number between 1 and 2. Think about that. You know what I mean? Hahahahaha.
  • unforeseen
    18
    Now look at it from the viewpoint of a hypothetical psychic from the past, and someone from the future when there’s a machine that can look into the minds of people from the past. From both ways you were always going to choose THAT number and never the other one. (Implying you followed the instruction properly). When you willed to choose that number, was it really free? Actually, was it even will at all? Is there such a thing as ‘will’ that ‘you’ ‘have’?
  • wax
    301
    The O.P.'s premise that we have no free will is demonstrably false.

    I have a little test that irrefutably shows that we do have a free will whose only limits are physics and nature. We cannot choose to fly but can chose anything within our natural limitations.

    If anyone really believes they have no free will to choose between alternatives, my test will show you that you do. It is quick and simple.

    Come one come all.
    Gnostic Christian Bishop

    but if say you have a choice between 10 options but you use a random number generator to make the decision, then a series of decisions can look like you have free will, but it was all determined by some computer program that produces pseudo random numbers.

    I do believe in freewill though...

    but a counter argument to my argument could be that the person always had a choice whether to use the pseudo-random number generator or not.
  • Henri
    184
    Say that some phenomena can happen acasually. You'd say that it can only happen acausally via an "eternal being" I suppose.Terrapin Station

    Theoretically, randomness produces acasual act. Although, reality has to already have a quality which allows randomness to occur. Even randomness is limited by laws of nature/reality above it, which allow it to happen or not, at certain rate. Maybe, theoretically, that kind of quality of reality can itself come into existence acasually, randomly. But that doesn't solve the problem. There is no uber law of nature that says: In any given possible reality, randomness must occur.

    Anyway, that's sidetracking from the subject. The subject is human being, who is not the first mover in a reality, who is not the first cause in a reality, but is created somewhere on a timescale. As such, we cannot have free will, although we do have a will.

    Even if some of decisions you execute could come acasually, which I don't believe is true, just because decision is helped by randomness doesn't make it "free will". Quite the opposite.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k


    What would you say is required other than (a) will, and (b) a lack of determinism in conjunction with will?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    Actually, was it even will at all? Is there such a thing as ‘will’ that ‘you’ ‘have’?unforeseen

    Isn't "will" simply the term for "I'm choosing a number," "I'm intending to do x," etc.? And if that phenomena, when it occurs, isn't of you, what is it of?
  • Henri
    184
    No, I wouldn't say that the originating cause of my existence is myself, that would be nonsense. However, it looks far more likely that the originating cause of my existence is something internal to me.Metaphysician Undercover

    Aside from contradiction in the two statements, as I see it, what is "something internal to you" that is originating cause, the root cause, of your existence? DNA? Your DNA didn't exist until it was set by a process external to you. Just because your DNA is very similar to the DNA of your parents, you are not your parents and there was no you until you were conceived by them, which is a process external from you, since you didn't even exist at the initiation of conception. Or is it something else?
  • Henri
    184
    What would you say is required other than (a) will, and (b) a lack of determinism in conjunction with will?Terrapin Station

    Can you rephrase the question a bit? What is required for what?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k


    What is required for free will.
  • Henri
    184
    What does s required for free will.Terrapin Station

    If free will is a willful act of a conscious being which ultimately originates within that being, then a being has to be eternal, without being created at certain point in time, in order to have free will. Maybe to add, if that's not a given, that such being must not be subjected to randomness.

    On the other hand, if a being is created, either by another being as a root cause, God, or through random act, such being doesn't have free will.
  • Henri
    184
    And if that phenomena, when it occurs, isn't of you, what is it of?Terrapin Station

    It's of God. Or, theoretically, it's from randomness, which makes the subject inconsequential. You can label randomness produced through your mind as "yours" or not, but it doesn't matter, as I see it. This discussion matters in relation to God. Otherwise, it's a time waste.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    If free will is a willful act of a conscious being which ultimately originates within that being, then a being has to be eternal, without being created at certain point in time, in order to have free will. Maybe to add, if that's not a given, that such being must not be subjected to randomness.Henri

    A problem with this answer is that earlier, when I wrote this:

    Say that some phenomena can happen acasually. You'd say that it can only happen acausally via an "eternal being" I suppose. Why would you say that?Terrapin Station

    You didn't do the "Why would you say that" part. I tried just ignoring that you bypassed it, but since you're bringing it up again, we need to figure out why this would be the case.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    It's of God.Henri

    So it's God's thought, not your own?
  • Henri
    184
    So it's God's thought, not your own?Terrapin Station

    It is not God's thought. It is God's command for what your thought as certain point in time is to be.
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