• Possibility
    490
    This is the first discussion topic I have started, so go easy on me.

    The way I see it, the existence of free will essentially boils down to three assertions, the simplicity of which I find surprising considering the volume of discussion on the subject. So I thought I would just lay them out here in the hopes of generating a discussion of their validity and application among those who have more background in philosophical discussion of the topic than I do.

    FREE WILL

    Given that I cannot choose to consciously exist in this situation:

    • I choose to be aware
    • I choose to connect
    • I choose to collaborate
  • Pantagruel
    150
    I don't understand why I cannot choose consciously to exist in this situation?
  • Wayfarer
    8.2k
    Of course. There are often people registering here and posting that ‘free will is an illusion’. When I can be bothered, I ask if if they did so voluntarily. If they claim they didn’t, then I say discussion is pointless as they cannot be persuaded to change their minds. If they say they did, then they don’t have a case.
  • Possibility
    490
    I don't understand why I cannot choose consciously to exist in this situation?Pantagruel

    Ok, I’m intrigued: How can you choose to not exist in this situation?
  • PoeticUniverse
    592
    If they say they did, then they don’t have a case.Wayfarer

    The fixed will is that of the instant, 'voting' as it has become up to then; however, the fixed will is dynamic—it can change to a new and different fixed will via learning/experience, plus, truth can be discovered, regardless.

    FREE WILLPossibility

    The will can't be free of itself, so isn't the will just the will? If it is only to be free of coercion, that is trivial. If it is then the the will is able to operate, then that, too, is no great shakes.
  • Possibility
    490
    As I see it, the will - the ‘faculty by which a person decides on and initiates action’ - consists of these three assertions, and as such, is naturally unconstrained. I’m trying not to complicate it unnecessarily.

    Learning/experience only occurs when the choice is made to be aware. So, too, any discovery of truth.
  • Arne
    416
    Given that I cannot choose to consciously exist in this situation:Possibility

    what does that even mean?
  • Arne
    416
    Philosophy as industry.
  • Arne
    416
    I’m trying not to complicate it unnecessarily.Possibility

    then why don't you just say "I'm trying not to complicate it."?
  • PoeticUniverse
    592
    what does that even mean?Arne

    It appears to read that the states in the list are automatic happenings and thus unavoidable.
  • Arne
    416
    This is the first discussion topic I have started, so go easy on me.Possibility

    No.

    It is inconsistent to post as your first discussion a discussion that has been done to death and then expect people to go easy on you.

    I always were my helmet. :-)
  • Arne
    416
    I choose to be aware

    I choose to connect

    I choose to collaborate
    Possibility


    Only after I have had my coffee.
  • Possibility
    490
    Fine. Helmet’s on - have at it.

    But don’t expect me to respond to you venting your frustrations.

    Either engage meaningfully in the discussion, or find something useful to do elsewhere.
  • Arne
    416
    But don’t expect me to respond to you venting your frustrations.Possibility

    or you could look to getting a sense of humor.
  • Arne
    416
    Either engage meaningfully in the discussion, or find something useful to do elsewhere.Possibility

    now look who is venting their frustrations.

    an either or command.

    relax, dude.
  • Arne
    416
    If you believe you have free will and you do not, you could not have believed otherwise.

    If you believe you do not have free will and you do, then that is just tragic.

    So I live my life as if I have free will.
  • Possibility
    490
    an either or command.Arne

    A command implies that I have some control over what you do - consider it a suggestion. Of course, you could choose to ignore it.
  • Possibility
    490
    If you believe you have free will and you do not, you could not have believed otherwise.

    If you believe you do not have free will and you do, then that is just tragic.

    So I live my life as if I have free will.
    Arne

    So according to you, there is no need for a discussion on whether or not we have free will.

    I agree.
  • PoeticUniverse
    592
    Guys, many of us know that believing in something doesn't necessarily make it true and that still acting as if it were true is not very honest. Although there are those who are unwilling or unable to learn and therefore aren't reachable (doomed to fixed ideas), not everyone has that kind of learning disability.
  • Possibility
    490
    Guys, many of us know that believing in something doesn't necessarily make it true and that still acting as if it were true is not very honest. Although there are those who are unwilling or unable to learn and therefore aren't reachable (doomed to fixed ideas), not everyone has that kind of learning disability.PoeticUniverse

    I’m happy to discuss whether or not we have free will if you want to dispute the validity of these assertions, for instance. If, however, you’ve already decided how you’re going to live, and see no point in any discussion, then I’m not going to waste my time on a discussion about whether or not we should even discuss whether or not we have free will.
  • Mww
    994
    If you treat free will as a catch-phrase instead of an a priori conception qualified by a transcendental idea.....

    ........you might be a metaphysical redneck.

    Rhetorically speaking.
  • khaled
    1k
    , I ask if if they did so voluntarily. If they claim they didn’t, then I say discussion is pointless as they cannot be persuaded to change their mindsWayfarer

    This is a logical fallacy. What does free will have with them changing their minds. One can involuntarily say free will is an illusion and involuntarily be persuaded that it exists falsely. There is nothing logically incoherent with that.
  • Pantagruel
    150

    I guess you would commit suicide?
  • Pantagruel
    150
    Free will certainly equates with free choice, as Possibility started out. Sartre gives the compelling example (I think) of the attempt to compel someone to do something through torture. He notes that, even under the most extreme torture, the victim chooses the point at which he or she will submit.

    Free will is the essence of what we are as thinking beings. Cogito ergo sum.
  • Possibility
    490
    I guess you would commit suicide?Pantagruel

    I figured you’d say that. You still haven’t chosen not to exist in the initial situation - you’ve chosen to take steps to not continue to live from that point onwards.

    Technically, you will still ‘exist’ even if you commit suicide - just in a different sense. You exist in the past as a person who was once alive, in relation to who and what you leave behind. But that’s perhaps another discussion.
  • Possibility
    490
    If you treat free will as a catch-phrase instead of an a priori conception qualified by a transcendental idea.....

    ........you might be a metaphysical redneck.

    Rhetorically speaking.
    Mww

    OR.......

    ...........Perhaps I’m just trying to fit something onto a T shirt.

    “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” - Albert Einstein
  • god must be atheist
    574
    There are often people registering here and posting that ‘free will is an illusion’. When I can be bothered, I ask if if they did so voluntarily. If they claim they didn’t, then I say discussion is pointless as they cannot be persuaded to change their minds. If they say they did, then they don’t have a case.Wayfarer



    I am sure the opposite happens all the time. (Your changing your mind on the conviction whether there is free will or not.)
  • god must be atheist
    574
    If you believe you have free will and you do not, you could not have believed otherwise.Arne

    This is patently false.

    If you believe you have free will, but you don't, you were caused to believe that you have free will.

    There is no magic about it.
  • god must be atheist
    574
    I always were my helmet.Arne

    Then you don't feel the wind in your hair.

    Sometime you have to let your hair down, the wind out, and mix the two.

    Or maybe not. Oy.
  • Pantagruel
    150
    "I figured you’d say that. You still haven’t chosen not to exist in the initial situation - you’ve chosen to take steps to not continue to live from that point onwards.

    Technically, you will still ‘exist’ even if you commit suicide - just in a different sense. You exist in the past as a person who was once alive, in relation to who and what you leave behind. But that’s perhaps another discussion."

    Well, you can't retroactively make a choice, so if you are saying that all choice moves forward in time, ok. I'm not sure how that is relevant.

    As far as "existing in the past" that is definitely not the case. The past exists only as the past of an extant present, so you are equivocating around the definition of existence. If you are saying, I can't make it so that I never existed I'm not really sure how that is germane to the topic of free will?

    I'm trying to go with your train of thought as much as possible instead of just offering up a lot of my own thoughts (I can tend to do that sometimes).
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