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Free Will

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  • Free Will

    Mousy, you mentioned free will before as a justification for the existence of evil given the existence of a benevolent deity. The FWD has been successfully refuted so many times that I won't even bother, especially given that I don't think I need to even bring up the problem of evil to do away with anything you give me.

    However, let's talk about free will. Not just Mousy, either. Do you believe it exists? Do you believe it does not exist? If it does, is it God-given or just an evolutionary by-product (which does not rule out the existence of God, only the intentional creation of free-willed entities on his part)?

    Personally I lean toward the compatibilist freedom presented by William Stace in Religion and the Modern Mind. I'll explain a little more later, once the conversation gets going.
    Sweet is the lore which nature brings; our meddling intellect misshapes the beauteous forms of things: we murder to dissect.

    -William Wordsworth

  • #2
    Ooops I'm sorry, I thought the title of this thread was "Free Willy" excuse me....
    The times are tough now, just getting tougher
    This old world is rough, it's just getting rougher
    Cover me, come on baby, cover me - Bruce Springsteen

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    • #3
      Re: Free Will

      Originally posted by loseyourname
      However, let's talk about free will. Not just Mousy, either. Do you believe it exists? Do you believe it does not exist? If it does, is it God-given or just an evolutionary by-product (which does not rule out the existence of God, only the intentional creation of free-willed entities on his part)?
      Why don't you guys reply to these threads as much as you do to the sex threads??

      We have the free will to do what we desire. What we desire may have been determined beforehand (I believe the whole determinism thing to the extent that I understand were all made up of the tiniest atoms and molecules and their functions, etc are already known/predetermined...), but we still have the ability to desire. We do whatever we do as a matter of choice, not because we have the ability to choose between two things equally, but because we desire to do one thing over the other. In other words, I have free will because I CHOOSE to eat strawberry ice cream over chocolate ice cream. Not because I am equally able to choose one or the other, but because I DESIRE one over the other. Kindof a combination of Hume and determinism...

      So whenever we do something, or don't do something, we can choose between two or more options. Choice. Freedom to chooose between whatever array of choices you are presented with = free will. Unless you live in the middle east or something, nothing is forcing you to choose to do (or not do) one thing over the other. Although even then, while fear is a great big thing that gets in the way, limits your ability to choose, you still have a CHOICE whether or not you want to follow the laws (or whatever).... So when you decide to do something, nothing is stopping you. So you have free will. Right? As long as you are free to choose and act in a certain way, you have free will. What has been 'pre-determined' by a combination of nature and nurture (your genes, life experience, upbringing) is our character, motivations, personality, and preferences. But, given all these things that have been pre-determined that we have no power to change, as long as we are free to choose how to do and act, we have free will. That's what I think.
      Last edited by ckBejug; 01-08-2004, 06:07 PM.
      The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald

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      • #4
        Re: Free Will

        Originally posted by loseyourname Mousy, you mentioned free will before as a justification for the existence of evil given the existence of a benevolent deity. The FWD has been successfully refuted so many times that I won't even bother, especially given that I don't think I need to even bring up the problem of evil to do away with anything you give me.

        However, let's talk about free will. Not just Mousy, either. Do you believe it exists? Do you believe it does not exist? If it does, is it God-given or just an evolutionary by-product (which does not rule out the existence of God, only the intentional creation of free-willed entities on his part)?

        Personally I lean toward the compatibilist freedom presented by William Stace in Religion and the Modern Mind. I'll explain a little more later, once the conversation gets going.
        Refuted? Well, I'm sure it has since it appeals to preconceived notions. That's what all history is by the way. We try to make sense of what it is and have it fit to our ideological bias, much like the debate about God or evolution. You seem bent on proving the world view which you don't adhere to as "wrong", while I do not care, and nor do I wish to convert you to this or that world view.

        Evolution is horribly flawed. Then again, the Bible is full of contradictions as well. It is no wonder than those who are atheists, most socialists and left leaning individuals, who will subscribe to this view. I do find myself in agreement with microevolution, since obviously it deals with within species variation, but macroevolution is just silly to me. And even if we assume evolution, well then that doesn't explain how we got here. Even the big bang is an assumption.

        But as to your question of free will, like you said, what is our belief? Essentially it goes to free will. My belief is that it is God given, to humanity. In order to be free to do good, man is free to do evil. He is free to choose to reject God and believe in God, embrace evolution or, embrace spirituality. Man is free to live in ignorance, and he is free to educate and enlighten himself and see those who rule him and try to deceive him. There are many ideologies out there that claim to have answers to everything, and when we succumb to that, that is what we call deception. All I believe is that God made man as both an animal, and a spiritual being ( some may call this as my own deception ), and I believe that this is what is behind the allegory of heaven and earth, that our death is merely another step, and mind you Christianity is not the first to argue about this, nor the last.

        However, I still have a problem with a world without volition. I choose to think about volition. I decide that it's a very important philisophical topic. If thinking about volition or philosophy is not caused by my choosing to do so, then philosophy would be pointless and irrelevant. It would be contrived. I know that this isn't proof, but there is something wrong here. Since asking questions appears to be an exercise in volition, I won't give up the idea of free will until someone can explain how a mind without volition can question whether it has volition. Indeed how can we question anything at all. Let's say that I choose to question the whole history and humanity as a whole, and allege a conspiracy to deceive the human race, that indeed all that we know is being pumped into our brains to make us believe in this or that idea, in order to sway us in this or that direction and create conflict. One can look at history and humanity in a conspiratorial worldview, and say that it's all a conspiracy, from Jesus, to da Vinci, to Dante, to Shakespeare, to nationalism, to capitalism, to Marx, to anything. That the underlying force behind all events, and opposing ideas is the same force and entity to make us divided and believe in this or that. How would I conceive of this if it were not for free will? To question is the most precious thing God has ordained us with.
        Achkerov kute.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Re: Free Will

          Originally posted by ckBejug Why don't you guys reply to these threads as much as you do to the sex threads??

          We have the free will to do what we desire. What we desire may have been determined beforehand (I believe the whole determinism thing to the extent that I understand were all made up of the tiniest atoms and molecules and their functions, etc are already known/predetermined...), but we still have the ability to desire. We do whatever we do as a matter of choice, not because we have the ability to choose between two things equally, but because we desire to do one thing over the other. In other words, I have free will because I CHOOSE to eat strawberry ice cream over chocolate ice cream. Not because I am equally able to choose one or the other, but because I DESIRE one over the other. Kindof a combination of Hume and determinism...

          So whenever we do something, or don't do something, we can choose between two or more options. Choice. Freedom to chooose between whatever array of choices you are presented with = free will. Unless you live in the middle east or something, nothing is forcing you to choose to do (or not do) one thing over the other. Although even then, while fear is a great big thing that gets in the way, limits your ability to choose, you still have a CHOICE whether or not you want to follow the laws (or whatever).... So when you decide to do something, nothing is stopping you. So you have free will. Right? As long as you are free to choose and act in a certain way, you have free will. What has been 'pre-determined' by a combination of nature and nurture (your genes, life experience, upbringing) is our character, motivations, personality, and preferences. But, given all these things that have been pre-determined that we have no power to change, as long as we are free to choose how to do and act, we have free will. That's what I think.
          Indeed I agree, we have choices which stem from desires, and I believe it is a mark of our soul and mind conspiring together to be able to choose.

          However, one may argue that indeed all is predetermined, that whatever choices we make, we do so within that predetermined context. Since the laws that govern our world are mathematics, and everything is composed of mathematics, and mathematics is the only predetermined medium that we know of, one can say that the future is already written. Since 2 plus 2 will equal 4 no matter what, it is already there. Even if we were ignorant and did not know how to solve the equation, the answer will not change, and it will always be there, regardless of whether or not we know how to solve it.
          Achkerov kute.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Re: Re: Free Will

            Originally posted by Anonymouse However, one may argue that indeed all is predetermined, that whatever choices we make, we do so within that predetermined context. Since the laws that govern our world are mathematics, and everything is composed of mathematics, and mathematics is the only predetermined medium that we know of, one can say that the future is already written. Since 2 plus 2 will equal 4 no matter what, it is already there. Even if we were ignorant and did not know how to solve the equation, the answer will not change, and it will always be there, regardless of whether or not we know how to solve it.

            So far we agree that we have the free will to choose but only within the context of the predetermined future. I don't buy this 'everything is predetermined' idea. If everything was predetermined, who or what predetermined it? You mentioned volition, doesn't the fact that there is such a thing as volition, that I AM conscious of my own decisions obliterate the idea that any decisions I am making are going to be predetermined? So if I decide to make no decisions, and just sit there. That decision was predetermined? I don't but it. I think we are far too intelligent even those among us who aren't so very intelligent, to have all our thoughts and actions be the result of some predetermined course of action....

            Also, 2+2=5 for extremely large values of 2. When a 2-knot rope is put together with another 2-knot rope, a 5-knot rope results.

            So, when a tree falls in the forest and there is no one around to hear it fall, does it make any sound? Since sound is basically the result of the waves hitting the inner workings of our ears and being translated into what our brain recognizes as 'noise', lack of someone around to hear it fall would mean lack of noise... right?
            The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by patlajan Ooops I'm sorry, I thought the title of this thread was "Free Willy" excuse me....
              Talk about a letdown...

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm not sure I get the question, and I don't have any studies to base myself on, but here goes.

                To soort of reply to what CK was saying (I'm not even sure if I get it), even if you're not living in the Middle East, you cannot always do what you would choose over something else, because of the will of others.

                The simplest example would be (yes, very corny and cheesy, I know):
                You like a certain girl/guy, but this person hates your best friend and your best friend hates him/her.

                While you would rather go out with him/her over aaaaanyone else, you still might not do so, because of the implication on the will of others.

                Do I make sense? I don't know....I just didn't want to make a stupid joke about a thread and then not try to be serious about it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Free Will

                  Originally posted by ckBejug So far we agree that we have the free will to choose but only within the context of the predetermined future. I don't buy this 'everything is predetermined' idea. If everything was predetermined, who or what predetermined it? You mentioned volition, doesn't the fact that there is such a thing as volition, that I AM conscious of my own decisions obliterate the idea that any decisions I am making are going to be predetermined? So if I decide to make no decisions, and just sit there. That decision was predetermined? I don't but it. I think we are far too intelligent even those among us who aren't so very intelligent, to have all our thoughts and actions be the result of some predetermined course of action....

                  Also, 2+2=5 for extremely large values of 2. When a 2-knot rope is put together with another 2-knot rope, a 5-knot rope results.

                  So, when a tree falls in the forest and there is no one around to hear it fall, does it make any sound? Since sound is basically the result of the waves hitting the inner workings of our ears and being translated into what our brain recognizes as 'noise', lack of someone around to hear it fall would mean lack of noise... right?
                  I thought we agree, but it appears we don't, for you are bending what I said, to mean something else, such as your 2-knot example. I am dealing with numbers, not physical manifestations of things. Math is a predetermined medium, no matter how ignorant we may be of the workings of 2+2, the answer remains unchanged. It is there, for us to discover it. Just like inventions are there for us to discover. The idea ( like the answer in math ), exists, we merely uncover it.

                  As to our free will within the context of the greater cycle, mostly what Matrix, and Lord of the Rings, deal into, I do agree with you on that.
                  Achkerov kute.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Free Will

                    Originally posted by Anonymouse I thought we agree, but it appears we don't, for you are bending what I said, to mean something else, such as your 2-knot example. I am dealing with numbers, not physical manifestations of things. Math is a predetermined medium, no matter how ignorant we may be of the workings of 2+2, the answer remains unchanged. It is there, for us to discover it. Just like inventions are there for us to discover. The idea ( like the answer in math ), exists, we merely uncover it.

                    As to our free will within the context of the greater cycle, mostly what Matrix, and Lord of the Rings, deal into, I do agree with you on that.
                    We do agree, except for the predetermination thing, which you didn't really reply to. I was just kidding about the 2+2 stuff. I was reading about Fibonacci and Bishop Berkeley all these others with 'theories' about 2+2 and I just thought I'd throw it in the mix... The idea exists, we merely uncover it. Well said. Couldn't have said it better myself. But what of the whole predetermination thing? How does the number thing, the rigidity and unchangable structure of things that exist in math, that exists whether or not we know what they are, how do we gebneralize that to apply to predetermination in life, in physical manifestations. Which are, at the end, what we're talking about...
                    The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald

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