• Cynics Anonymous
    2
    When it comes to the virtue of good choices and the consequences of poor choices, people tend to reference a privilege granted by the gods. Free speech! The freedom to choose a path that would ultimately define our moral character.

    In reality, there are only two ways of looking at it and both make it irrelevant. Free speech is either absolute or fictitious; depending on your personal preference.

    Free speech can be seen as absolute if we acknowledge that every conscious entity has the freedom to choose at all times at any given situation. from this perspective, free will is a default and a scenario where there is no free will is impossible. A free man and an inmate have just as much free will; they both can do whatever they want within their own situation. The free man can choose to get in a car and drive to the sunset, or to go to the movies, and the inmate can choose to stand up or to sit down, even if he was completely immobilized, there will always be a choice to make, whether it is a particular thought or a small action like blinking.

    On the other hand, free will can be seen as a made up concept. we are always limited by something, the ability to choose a path is meaningless compared to the ability to choose the circumstances that might limit our options. A free man in Mexico can do many things that an incarcerated man just can't, therefore one could assume that the free man has more free will than the convicted criminal. However, I think that free will can't be measured, I think you either have it or don't have it. A free man in London can choose to go commit a crime at the London Tower, and the Mexican can't, and so, the Mexican can choose to do the same in a Mexican location. who has more free will?

    In both cases, free will is irrelevant, due to the fact that free will is a bullshit excuse to take the blame off from God and put it on to men. if free will exists it is absolute, we have free will by default, therefore, it could not have been granted by a deity and the argument of a loving God that gave us the freedom to choose our paths goes down the drain. If there is no free will that means that we are not doing what we want but what we can. The reason for us burning in hell wouldn't be so much because of our poor choices but because of God putting us in fucked up scenarios (like putting the tree of knowledge in paradise knowing eve would succumb to temptation).

    Both perspectives are valid, but I personally think that we have no free will and our actions depend directly on the situation.
  • Arne
    416
    you seem to be suggesting a necessary connection between the number of choices presented and the degree of free will that someone has. I think some would suggest that if you are inevitably going to choose A, then it matters not whether the apparent choices are A or B as opposed to A or B or C or D. For a determinist, all choices are an illusion no matter their apparent number.
  • Arne
    416
    If you live your life as if you have no free will and it turns out you did, that is tragic. If you live your life as if you had free will and it turns out you did not, then you had no other choice. So you might as well live as if you have free will, if you can.
  • Cynics Anonymous
    2
    My point is that you either have free will or not, if you choose to see it as free will, then you have free will at all times and there is no situation where you don't have free will, free will is constant and cant be granted by a god because you have it by default.
    If you take the other perspective, where you don't have free will, no matter how many choices you have you are always limited by something, you don't do what you wanna do, you just do what you can, even if choosing a chocolate ice cream seems like something you would want, that's only because one of the options presented to you but what you would really want is to fly out the window.
    Living your life as if you have free will or not make absolutely no different, you can feel like a positive guy or you can be a total nihilist and it doesn't matter because there is no direct consequence.
    The value of free will is only as a privilege granted by a God, which is a double edge blade if you ask me. but there is no God so free will is irrelevant.
  • Frotunes
    114
    I think I get it. Do we have free will? Free will to do what?
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    A simple example where belief in free will makes a difference:

    Both Betty and Bill are miserable in their current life. They don't like their jobs, they don't even like the idea of working 9 to 5, etc.

    Betty believes she has free will, and because of this, she believes she has a choice to completely change her life. So she does. She pursues other types of work that she finds more satisfying, that don't require the old 9 to 5, etc.

    Bill doesn't believe he has free will. He believes he was destined to his current life and he believes it's not possible for him to make a choice to change it. So he doesn't.
  • Frotunes
    114


    You forgot to mention the bit that Betty lived with her parents so she didn't have to pay rent, but Bill lived alone so he did. That's economics, where freedom is a commodity and philosophy is a luxury.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k


    All we need is a practical difference that a belief one way or the other makes, whatever all the details. ;-)
  • Frotunes
    114


    I'm sorry this is indecipherable to me.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k


    I'm sorry that it's indecipherable to you, too.
  • Frotunes
    114


    What does this mean to you?
    " All we need is a practical difference that a belief one way or the other makes, whatever all the details. "
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k


    All we need in order to negate the premise of the initial post of the thread.
  • Frotunes
    114


    Up has run five bluish.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k


    Did you award Up a gold star?
  • Bitter Crank
    8.4k
    Betty believes she has free willTerrapin Station

    Bill doesn't believe he has free willTerrapin Station

    But what if Betty and Bill did not have free will for belief formation? What if deterministic factors caused Betty and Bill to think the way the do? For example, providing Betty with low frustration tolerance would result in her quitting a job she found unsatisfactory (frustrating). Bill will loaded with a high tolerance for frustration, so he stays where he is.

    Each of them only seemed to exercise free will.

    Most of the time, though, we have no idea what deterministic factors are at work -- on ourselves and on others. This enables us to assign free will as a cause of behaviour.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.3k
    But what if Betty and Bill did not have free will for belief formation? What if deterministic factors caused Betty and Bill to think the way the do? For example, providing Betty with low frustration tolerance would result in her quitting a job she found unsatisfactory (frustrating). Bill will loaded with a high tolerance for frustration, so he stays where he is.

    Each of them only seemed to exercise free will.

    Most of the time, though, we have no idea what deterministic factors are at work -- on ourselves and on others. This enables us to assign free will as a cause of behaviour.
    Bitter Crank

    I just noticed your post now. If things were deterministic, the belief that they have free will still makes a difference in the comparative cases, even if it's not true that they have free will.
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