• BrianW
    The biggest deterrent to solving philosophical or metaphysical problems is the incongruity between the universal and individual scales or between the absolute and the relative; also between the objective and subjective. Free Will or Freedom is a factor of the ABSOLUTE. It only applies to the relative in limited and defined parameters. [For example: Even prisoners have free will, they just can't apply it to overcome their boundaries. However, there have been a few who have attempted and succeeded.] We all have free will, we just do not understand the full measure of it. Hence we are 'limited beings with limited lives'. Matter and other ingredients of life only provide conditions which influence how we choose to apply our free will. Though it could never be eliminated.
  • Heiko
    Free will is will under the reign of reason. Schopenhauer seems right that this does not match the "empirical concept" of freedom. The dialectical one seems more appropriate when trying to grasp the idea: Freedom implies authority. Another question would be: Is it worth it?
  • BrianW
    Before 'Free Will' shouldn't we define 'Will' first? Then determine what is meant by it being 'Free'.
  • Heiko
    Do you want to? That didn't seem to be such a problem...
  • Marcus de Brun

    Holy shit- what is all this mumbo-jumbo?

    "This is an error. Judging what is by the standard of the law of thought, called consistency, or non-contradiction. A performative contradiction results! As you see, I freely will to controvert this topic."

    What is this "law of thought" that you refer to, is it a law of your own making?

    "As you see I freely will to controvert this topic"

    No: As I see it, you lack the freedom to do anything other than that which you do.

    "Schopenhauer wills that we call into question the human being, is there a human being? Yes, Ronell says, when will the overman come, the getting over? Ergo, she wills to make a ramshackle house of this inquiry."

    What does any of this mean? Are you drunk? Speak or write in plain english and make your point if you have one.

    "There is something we call free will, what is it? I don't see what "getting over it" could mean beside from no longer freely willing to question what is. However, that is unlikely, for humans are, by their essence, questioning, ergo, free, beings."

    "by their essence questioning ergo free beings"

    That is not a philosophical statement it is perhaps a 'spiritual' one. Spirituality or 'essences'... entirely illogical and have no place in Philosophical dialogue as a reasoning tool. Again one questions the influence of a narcotic behind this assertion.

    "I don't agree with this notion of regress. In truth, one looks into the future, say, looking at what will happen when I send the post, and one wills out of this vision. So there is no regress, it is the living going beyond of past and future, of the ground of what has been as it now stands here, and what will be, as it guides what is to be willed that is willed in the willing of will. Although, true, Nietzsche did not see it this way. For, he was, I fear, far too into that genuine Rausch!"

    Absolute mumbo jumbo... you have offered nothing here, no counter-reasoning and no basis for counter reasoning.. just makey-uppy silly stuff. If you disagree with something the fact that you disagree in itself provides no evidence as to the logic or reasoning upon which you found your disagreement. It simply basis your disagreement upon a rather inflated notion of that which constitutes your notion of what an "I" is. It is philosophy and not you or "I" that are important here.

    Neitzsche would no doubt find your fear upon his behalf, to be quite ridiculous!

    I can't go on....tis too painful

    Moderator where art thou?

    We are here for philosophy, not for the worship of the "I"

  • Marcus de Brun
    Before 'Free Will' shouldn't we define 'Will' first? Then determine what is meant by it being 'Free'.BrianW

    Well stated Brian. Voltaire would be proud.

    "if you wish to converse with me: define your terms "

    What is 'will' in the context of having 'free will'.

    'Will' if we are to locate it, must be THE fundamental basis of thought, its origin or initiator. The fact that it (will) must precede the formation of the notional construct "I" in order to effect the construction of the "I" itself, exposes the uncomfortable reality that it (the will) exists prior to the personal construct that is the "I".

    If wecan state for example 'all human behaviour is motivated by instinct', and this statement is true (I believe it is true). Then we might equate human will with instinct or innate primordial imperative.

    Therefore when we 'ask what is will?'' one might reply that it might be equated with the deepest instinctual imperatives, which are the basis of all desires and the motivation of all behaviours.

    I cannot offer a definition for 'freedom' in this context as I do not believe there is such a thing as 'free-instinct'. Instincts are innate imperatives that may have deriviations themselves but these must lie outside of the individual or species within the overall construct of nature itself.
  • litewave
    When are we going to get over it?Marcus de Brun

    I agree with Schopenhauer that our supposedly free acts are ultimately determined by factors that determine our desires, needs and intentions, and we cannot control these factors because we are not even conscious of them.

    Now, the question is why some people still refuse to acknowledge this. Maybe that's because there is a resistance in people to widen their views, and in this case you must widen your view in order to include those factors that are behind our desires, needs or intentions. There is probably an evolutionary pressure not to open your mind too much because focusing on the big picture makes you lose sight of the details, in this case the practical everyday details, which paralyzes you and decreases your chances of survival and reproduction.

    Of course, having your mind too closed has its disadvantages too, so one needs to be flexible in widening and narrowing one's perspective depending on the situation.
  • Heiko
    There is probably an evolutionary pressure not to open your mind too much because focusing on the big picture makes you lose sight of the details, in this case the practical everyday details, which paralyzes you and decreases your chances of survival and reproduction.litewave
    I guess the evolutionary pressure in modern societies has more to do with the need to think twice - hard - before doing something foolish. It only gets as good as it gets but this should better be "good enough".
  • Heiko
    I cannot offer a definition for 'freedom' in this context as I do not believe there is such a thing as 'free-instinct'.Marcus de Brun
    Domination is conceptually absolute.
  • BrianW
    Allow me to begin with the first principles as it will make it easier to follow my explanation. I believe LIFE has three fundamental principles. (There can be more or less but I use three as a kind of triangulation method. Two do not give a well defined position and more than three seems to me a bit superfluous.) These fundamentals are Form (Being), Influence (Power/Ability/Capacity) and Activity (Work/Motion). These three fundamental qualities are inseparable in LIFE where each co-exists with the other two. However, we can focus our perception into taking each into consideration. (Kind of like how we can consider a singular factor, an appendage, within a whole without separating it from the whole.)

    I define 'Will' as the Influence generated by a Being towards an Activity. I also consider 'Will' to be synonymous with 'Impulse' or 'Cause' though our use of them in daily occurrences may imply the latter are of lesser degrees.

    I state that 'Freedom' is the ultimate attribute of LIFE. To me, the word 'freedom' is synonymous with 'absolute'. It is the adjective which best describes LIFE. Scientists state that: "Energy can neither be created nor destroyed." Thus, they imply 'Energy is Omni-Scient/Potent/Present', which is the same definition given for 'GOD' by those who claim such faith. It is the definition I give to LIFE.

    From all that, I would posit that 'Will' is a tool/mechanism which LIFE employs. It may be that in the hierarchy/order of things, 'Will' is second only to LIFE. Since LIFE is essentially 'Free' (without constrains), I believe the term 'Free-Will' to be the human way of stating the realisation of that profound truth as well as an attempt to put it into practice by working it through our awareness first.
    @Marcus de Brun
  • InternetStranger

    "Matter does not think, yet water does not flow into arbitrary directions.
    If opting for something you do not deem reasonable you're not acting rationally."

    Reason may not be reasonable. Supposing, by analogy, that our psychological grounds for holding an opinion are inescapable. One makes defective judgments constantly, however, only against the measure of new judgments, supposed to be more true, or true simpliciter.
  • InternetStranger

    Dear person who forgets that Mies van der Rohe’s design of Alois Riehl’s house in Neubabelsberg was simple, though, rather charming. Quite unlike yourself! while, likely, you have conceived a perpetual endowment within your body, in the form of hate for Sophie Jung, because she looks like a junger Chus Martinez (at least in one roaring photo), this is only due to your neighing essence, which, according to Pascal, is la pensée. However, this essence is useless, though everything in the world is useful in its own way.

    "What is this "law of thought" that you refer to, is it a law of your own making?"

    Sometimes this is called a part of prima philosophia. Or, the basic rules of classical logic as the fundamental ground of classical philosophic discussion. However, it is a raising to awareness of the ordinary claim that if someone at one time says, the earth stands still, and in the next breath, it moves!, they say the-thing-that-is-not, i.e., they lie according to the view that contradiction and lie are the same.

    “No: As I see it, you lack the freedom to do anything other than that which you do.”

    I call something freedom. For instance, sending this post.

    “What does any of this mean? Are you drunk? Speak or write in plain english and make your point if you have one.”

    The genius of lazy logos is leaden in the depths of your body and soul.

    “That is not a philosophical statement it is perhaps a 'spiritual' one.”

    Sophia means as much wisdom as knowledge for the Greeks, dear simple one. There is no “spiritual” in ancient Greece. Or, what would it be? Surely not cultic practices and muthos? Neither is there belief nor religion. Remember, Socrates, who most take to be a philosopher, defined the human essence as investigation, saying, whoever does not investigate lives no human life. Ergo, we would have to ask, is investigation questioning?
  • Heiko

    The essence of enlightenment is the choice between alternatives, and the inescapability of this choice is that of power.
    Horkheimer, Adorno: Dialectic of Enlightenment
  • FreeEmotion
    I suggest that a person riding a roller coaster is not truly free since he feels elation, terror and delight at points prepogrammed by the roller coaster topology and his pre-determined reactions to stimuli.
  • Heiko
    Exactly, we need drugs or other means to control which emotions might feel and thus gain absolute souvereignity over the flesh to totalize our freedom by complete subjuagtion of the piece of nature that we are ourselves.
  • Relativist

    "What is choice?

    I undersand it's a road crossing. There is more than one path to take and, if we have free will, we can choose, unaffected by any factors, to travel down any one of those paths."

    It is problematic to say free will choices are "unaffected by any factors." Choices are the product of factors ( e.g. beliefs, objectives, desires, whims, perverseness...). What you're missing is that there is an agent who is responsible for the ultimate choice.

    A computer program is not responsible for the outcome of following a decision tree. A human is responsible because the decision is based on factors of his own choosing - even if he chose to follow a scripted decision tree. i.e. we own our choices.
  • Heiko
    A computer program is not responsible for the outcome of following a decision tree.Relativist
    Yet the everyday conception is satisfied with something being a "computer failure".
  • TheMadFool
    Wouldn't this computer program look like it is making free will choices?jajsfaye

    That’s what I’m trying to show. Choice making can be programmed as in a computer. That voids the ability to make choices as a method to ascertain the existence of free will. I mean let’s take free=red and flower=will/ability to make choices. So free will = red flower. Since will/ability to make choices can be programmed deterministically it follows that the flower is no longer a useful means of distinguishing free will from no free will. In other words the flower is not worthy so no point in discussing whether it is red (free) or not.

    Now, why would knowing about something in my past, rather than if they were not known, make them more free? That part of your definition seems bizarre.InternetStranger

    We can only free ourselves of the influences we are aware of know. In short we must know what’s affecting our decisions before we can say we’re acting on our own free will or not.
    This is when it's free will, as it is free and rooted in pure reason, is at the same time it's duty.Heiko

    This is another problem with the idea of free will. Rationality is a guideline for thinking and as such constrains our choices. To act in a rational way is to limit one’s choices. In short to be rational is not to be free.

    If indeed we had a choice we would not continue to ask the same question, and in this case philosophy and reason would rule the world.Marcus de Brun

    But answers may change form as time passes and new knowledge is gained.

    The question of free will is not settled in my view. Schopenhauer had his views but even the greatest make errors.
  • GreyScorpio
    So, at a very basic level, the idea of free will is flawed for the reason I outlined above.TheMadFool

    I agree entirely. Free will is incredibly flawed in both a realistic and religious sense (Not to sound condescending).

    Free will is the idea that we have the power to make our own decisions of which cannot be influenced by anything but our own infliction. But logically speaking, we have no choices at all. In linguistic terms, even the word 'choice' is incredibly flawed. The definition of 'choice' is an act of choosing between two or more possibilities. Breaking this down logically, doesn't this suggest that we have already been given said possibilities otherwise there would be no choice to make. Having the possibilities there just shows that our choice has either been influenced or already made for us. It's like your parents asking you what you want for your birthday but limiting your choices down to a space toy. That is your decision being influenced because you haven't had the full control over the situation and therefore, you do not have free will over any situation where you must make a decision because they are preemptively made for you.

    In terms of religion, the idea of free will is paradoxical and is somewhat illogical. To those religious believers that believe in the afterlife, being heaven and hell, how can you justify free will? If God is all-loving and benevolent, then he would most definitely not take away your precious gift of free will in the afterlife, would he? If he does then he is stripping you of your own decisions, therefore, stripping himself of his omnibenevolence. So, God should let you keep your free will whether you go to heaven or hell. Now, let's say you get into heaven. How do you justify bad thoughts or bad actions? Because we have the free will to do them in heaven so is it still heaven if bad exists? Also, the same for hell. People would still have the desire to do good things in hell, so is does hell exist if good exists within it? I am fully aware that my analogy only applies to the afterlife but the applications to real life are incredibly strong. Free will cannot exist in the world because decisions are already made for us before we even do them. There are psychological studies proving that our brain makes a decision 5-10 seconds before we consciously realize, hence, who is making the choice?
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