I don't think there's free will

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Usually worst?

The will is just as ‘free’ as random is.
Though we’re determined to survive each quiz,
A spanner sometimes gets thrown in the works,
Preventing the fixed will from being a wiz.

no, not worst. In the context of attempting to create a case that there is such a thing as "free will" by invoking quantum indeterminism, suggesting the best you can get is something that is obviously not free, is an effective way to show the impotence of such an invocation. If I had said "randomness at worst," that implies there is a better, non-random outcome, which would go against the logic of what I was attempting to suggest.

as far as your poem, I do not understand what you are saying. It seems like you are saying something along the lines of randomness = free, which is incoherent in my opinion. the remaining lines suggest that even though the will is fixed by a deterministic (cause and effect universe), the "will" is only partially constrained by spanners. this does not really make sense in my opinion. perhaps if you stated it in a different way I could follow you, or perhaps my intelligence is not sufficiently high to track with your thought process.
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So, we have no free will and if we do it is subdued by our unchosen inclinations. In essence we're not free.
Gambling away your free will, will do you no good - even if you're determined to do so.
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randomness = free

More like randomness = harm (to the will).
• 113

Ok, then it seems like we both agree, randomness does not generate free will. I had a very hard time understanding your poem, so take that for what it's worth. If you could speak less obscurely it might help my pea brain out.
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Ok, then it seems like we both agree, randomness does not generate free will. I had a very hard time understanding your poem, so take that for what it's worth. If you could speak less obscurely it might help my pea brain out.

Yes, and so it turn out that free will, as other than the will being free to operate when there is no coercion (which is trivial and not the same 'free'), has nothing to be free of—it just kind of sounds like a great thing to have.

The will is just as ‘free’ as random is.
(In other words, not free, for random harms.)
Though we’re determined to survive each quiz,
(The consistency of the will aims toward us having a future.)
A spanner sometimes gets thrown in the works,
(A tool falls into a machine, preventing from working as designed.)
Preventing the fixed will from being a wiz.
(The wizard of the will can not effectively collapse scenerios of consequence when disrupted.)

Yeah, it was a bit obscure, as 'spanner' is more used in England and a 'quiz' is our daily labyrinth to be navigated.)
• 113
Yes, and so it turn out that free will, as other than the will being free to operate when there is no coercion (which is trivial and not the same 'free'), has nothing to be free of—it just kind of sounds like a great thing to have.

So I guess where you and I would have difference, is you believe there is some kind of meta phenomenon of the mind, some will, which affects reality, you would just quibble with the qualifier "free."
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So I guess where you and I would have difference, is you believe there is some kind of meta phenomenon of the mind, some will, which affects reality

No, no differences, for the 'will' is merely some part of the brain, and the same for the 'mind'. No metaphysics here; all is physical. No supernatural, no intangible, no hocus-pocus. Those distinct realms fail because they'd still have to exchange energy in the materialistic way, and so they wouldn't be non physical. It's like that someone wants there to be 'free will' because we can pick up other people's brainwaves. Well, who knows if that is, but it doesn't matter, for it would just be another input for the fixed will to chew on. The wider the dynamically changing fixed will becomes, via learning and experience, the better its fixed results. We may do or think something tomorrow that we wouldn't have done today.
• 113
No, no differences, for the 'will' is merely some part of the brain, and the same for the 'mind'. No metaphysics here; all is physical. No supernatural, no intangible, no hocus-pocus. Those distinct realms fail because they'd still have to exchange energy in the materialistic way, and so they wouldn't be non physical. It's like that someone wants there to be 'free will' because we can pick up other people's brainwaves. Well, who knows if that is, but it doesn't matter, for it would just be another input for the fixed will to chew on. The wider the dynamically changing fixed will becomes, via learning and experience, the better its fixed results. We may do or think something tomorrow that we wouldn't have done today.

Well said, and this is why I think the people who argue, "well if there is no free will why are we even having this discussion? You can't convince me to change my mind," are misguided by there belief that "determinism = fatalism." but even if you were deterministically programmed to share your world view, it can still have an affect on another being and their ideas. We are shaping each other in a kind of collective fashion. We are all dominoes forever falling into each other and constantly reshaping each other's velocities and directions of travel.

I really liked your argument that even if you are a duelist or an idealist, the non physical phenomena still has a physical and hence caused mechanic to it, otherwise it would not be able to interact with the physical. You bring a lot of interesting ideas to the table.
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We are all dominoes forever falling into each other and constantly reshaping each other's velocities and directions of travel.

In learning this, our fixed will expands to grant us the peace of less worthy blame and shame, although, too, less worthy fame, plus more compassion for those who are really stuck because they can't learn well. Now that the horror of randomness drops as the other shoe, we can better embrace the unliked original shoe of the fixed will's consistency, and because that's, well, how it is, and so it shall be, plus whatever will be will be, pending whatnot, which we could put on statues everywhere.

Fixed unfree will is probably the greatest revelation ever to humankind, if they came to realize it; much of the nonsense would fall.
• 12k
Gambling away your free will, will do you no good - even if you're determined to do so.

Not really. I'm only pointing out that most of the time we operate mechanically - indulging our unchosen inclinations.

It's like self-driving cars that retain the option of manual control. Most of the time the car drives itself. Only occasionaly do we take over the controls. I guess this is a statistical viewpoint - we're machine-like following preprogrammed instincts most of the time.

Freedom of the will is never absolute, but it is not less real for it. Most attempts to deny free will strike me as rooted in what Eric Fromm described as 'fear of freedom' . The realisation that we are self-determining carries a big risk - what if I don't succeed, or make the wrong choices? Wouldn't it just be easier to say that I don't have any choice?
1h

I think implications of free will are secondary to whether we have one. I think we're putting the horse before the cart if we look at the implications of rather than the existence of free will.

I'm surprised you didn't give your standard reply viz. that if free will didn't exist then why argue about it?

Anyway I think determinism if true doesn't preclude logic. In fact determinism depends on argumentation - the connection between premises and conclusion is deterministic in a way.
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We want the judge to protect society by taking the offender out of circulation

There is no offender or reduced to lowest terms the offender is not responsible.
• 12k
I think you are relying on the homunculus fallacy

A very good point. After all who controls this little being inside us? Another homunculus? Can you expand on this a bit. Thanks
• 12k
Then what is doing the resisting? What is resisting what?

I like to think of the situation as an extension of how we already function. Things like walking and balancing ourselves while walking are subconscious events. Our will/consciousness is involved only occasionally when there's a challenge or disruption in the path. Likewise, if freewill exists it's only activated on occasions and not ALL the time or as much as we'd like.
• 12k
Even if we are not free with respect to a certain obligatory action, it is only because the will is free to determine what that obligation ought to beMww

This is very interesting. We decide what is obligatory and what is optional. However, what determines these choices? Are we free to choose our preferences that necessarily influence our thoughts in this case?
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I'm surprised you didn't give your standard reply viz. that if free will didn't exist then why argue about it?

I chose not to :grin:
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I chose not to :grin:

:lol: How'd you do that? :chin:
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Not really. I'm only pointing out that most of the time we operate mechanically - indulging our unchosen inclinations.
And that is the gamble.

Without free will, you couldn't take those odds - as there would be no for or against free will; it would be quite homogeneous.

Perhaps the machine may be set on its predetermined path, as extension of some free willed operator?
And likewise, through this extension, the machine may indulge in the free will of its operator?
There is a leader in front of the follower, no?
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How'd you do that? :chin:

Impulsively!
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We decide what is obligatory and what is optional.

Yes, we do. But those two are so different.........

Are we free to choose our preferences that necessarily influence our thoughts in this case?

Depends on what you call preferences. If by preference is meant innate values, or moral predispositions, then no, we are not free to choose these. They are the ground of personality, an entirely subjective condition. If by preference is meant some inclination to satisfy an empirical interest, then yes, we are free to choose these.

But the qualifier in the query is “...that necessarily influence our thoughts...”, and is most important, for then it must be considered by what means is it possible for preference to influence that which is an entirely personal necessity, as opposed to what means is it possible for preference to satisfy what is merely a subjective empirical interest? In other words, on the one hand we have a imperative determination based on a given condition, and on the other we have a hypothetical determination based on a possible benefit.

What legitimate philosophy would ever deem it reasonable to expect the human will to meet two such disparate, in fact two mutually exclusive and occasionally even self-contradictory, demands? Re: obligatory and optional.

Rhetorically speaking......
• 12k
Depends on what you call preferences. If by preference is meant innate values, or moral predispositions, then no, we are not free to choose these. They are the ground of personality, an entirely subjective condition. If by preference is meant some inclination to satisfy an empirical interest, then yes, we are free to choose these.Mww

I think this is a distinction that isn't real. If the source is corrupt then what ever follows from it, including the emperical, is necessarily corrupt.
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• 236
Is there a degree of spontaneity in our interactions with other people? Even if my thoughts occurred deterministically, I obviously don't know what is happening in the mind's eye of other people. So even if my actions and your actions are physically deterministic, isn't there still an unpredictability in our social interactions? And the sheer number of people in the world makes it impossible to predict how the future will play out. There is just so much chance and randomness involved in our mutual communication.
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The adjectives “aware” and “conscious” seem lacking as descriptive terms. Perhaps awareness extends beyond that which we are conscious of, that we are simply unaware of just how aware we really are. Sounds paradoxical, I know. But if we get a virus, we must be in some sense “aware” of the virus’ presence and act accordingly, meaning we kick in our immune responses.
• 12k
unpredictability in our social interactions?

Doesn't entail free will. Randomness is unpredictable.

Here's a thought.

We don't choose who we are, essentially making our ability to choose itself insignificant in the issue of freewill.

That being said I wonder why, sometimes, we resist our urges which arise from the wellspring of preferences we never chose in the first place.

Is that freewill?

Resisting, struggling against our own nature must mean something; like a computer doing something contrary to its hardware and software.

And yet we could say that this resistance too is part of the programming, to use a bit of computer terminology. After all, no matter how you decide you always do it to please yourself.

Have you ever met a person who derives 0 or even negative returns from his mental and physical investments in an intentional way?

I wonder...

I think, in very extreme terms, we need to abandon a hedonistic outlook as you can see it's this that prevents the act of resisting our nature look a sham. Is that even possible? Am I simply trying to win an argument or is there a problem with hedonism which seems to be the prevalent spirit of the times?
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Dog sees cat, chases cat.
Next day, dog sees cat, trainer issues stern "NO", dog struggles with natural urge but finds a way to suppress it.

Same thing but more evolved.

Does the dog have free will? In the sense that there is a fork in the road and he will choose a path, yes. Based on his rudimentary understanding of the situation the dog unconsciously weighs the consequences and takes one path or the other: follow his instinct, or please his trainer. There is no randomness in his choice.

In our case a choice may involve a more complex process and an actively conscious checklist of sorts, but is the end it is nothing but weighing the possible options against the outcome.

Some might argue the deterministic angle that fixed values and predictable thought processes take the freedom out of the choice, but that is overcomplicating things. Choosing between blue pill or red pill will never boil down to a simple formula.
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https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/dont-delay/201106/free-wont-it-may-be-all-we-have-or-need

Perhaps your idea of self-restraint and frugality as an antidote to hedonism may provide a sort of veto power. We're not slaves to happiness and our emotions. This might provide a limited sort of freedom in and of itself.
• 236
Randomness is unpredictable.

I'm a compatibilist. I think free will might be a complex interplay of determinism, chaos and randomness.

The mind may well have both deterministic and random elements that counterbalance each other. For instance, lets think about cognitive dissonance. This sensation forces us to reconcile our actions with our thoughts. It's a stressful feeling. If one were to try to act on an evil thought that randomly pops into their head, they will be prevented from doing so by this stress reaction. Maybe this stress is deterministic in nature. So the randomness of our thoughts is counteracted by an instinctive feeling of stress and tension if we act against our true beliefs. This makes us responsible for our actions.

If hard determinism is true, then why can't we go on "autopilot" or "cruise control" and sleepwalk to where we need to get to? Consciousness must have a function.
• 26
Are you sure we can resist our inclinations?

When I was a child, I concluded that you cannot willingly choose to do something other than what you most want to do at that moment. My brother tried to disprove me by slapping himself, and I told him that he wanted to disprove me more than not slap himself, so he slapped himself a little harder. It was kind of fun because my brother usually was the bully.

In all these subsequent years, I have yet to see an example of myself or anyone willingly choose to do something other than what you most want to do at that moment. If you think of an example, take a closer look at what you really wanted to do.

With that, this magical mysterious "free will" starts looking like a simple and deterministic function that can be done by a computer running an AI program. Run all the known options through a goal evaluation function to calculate a metric and select the one with the highest value (or if there is a tie, just pick the first one, last one, or whatever).
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I have yet to see an example of myself or anyone willingly choose to do something other than what you most want to do at that moment.

Yes, and somebody suggested that we always want what we will, since it reflects us and our wants, but we cannot will the will to be other than it is at the moment; but of course learning can change the fixed will to a new and wider fixed will.
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Consciousness must have a function.

Probably it is the brain's chosen form, as qualia, to broadcast globally to other brain areas and to put into memory.
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