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Free Will

Old Things

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Free will practically speaking is whether or not you've been forced or tricked into doing something, e.g. if I rob a bank because someone is holding my family at gunpoint I didn't do it of my own free will.

Obviously god would agree with this, you didn't choose to rob the bank you chose to save your family.

But that's not what we're talking about, we're talking about whether someone can have free will relative to god's will, which is not to say when I scratch my ass god forced me to do it.

Rather because god is all powerful and all knowing, the creator of the universe, me, and my ass, then it's hardly fair for god to condemn me to hell for scratching my ass (assuming that's the 11th commandment, who knows what was on the other tablet) because by virtue of being omnipotent when god created the universe, me, and my ass, he knew that my ass would become itchy and I would scratch it.

TL;DR If god is omnipotent and god made me and I am flawed then I am flawed by design because god made me and god is omnipotent and therefore incapable of failure.

Just because God knows what you will do does not mean he controlled what you do.

It's like this: If I know that my brother likes blue popsicles, then when I offer him a blue popsicle on a hot day, then I know he will take it, but this does not mean I forced him to take it.
 

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I think there's a possibility that determinism is an illusion. Reality could be a giant dimensionless fractal that just imposes change on itself, giving only a temporary illusion of order, depending on your relation to its change. It's possible. For example, all electrons could be different, but at the moment and in the way we use and view them, they might all appear the same. If they are all different and changing in different ways and on different levels, then that satisfies the definition of non-deterministic.

I guess the question then - Does Free Will exist in a non-deterministic reality? Does anything really? It would seem paradoxical, that a non-deterministic reality, where things are essentially random, could have some form of consciousness; because without some form of continuity, you can not form patterns of thought and consciousness then does not really exist and neither would free will then have any meaning. And yet with continuity, people say free will is also impossible because continuity implies causality or determinism, which supercedes your will. Yet consciousness needs some form of determinism to exist, and for the concept of free will to have any meaning. So then what really is free will to begin with? Because it seems it actually has no real or understood meaning.
 

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Free will is the farcical solution to the Problem of Evil.
The logical problem of evil claims that God's omnipotence, omniscience and supreme goodness would completely rule out the possibility of evil and that the existence of evil would do the same for the existence of a supreme being.

My less concise version:
  1. Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
  2. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
  3. Is he both able and willing? Then from whence comes evil? Free will.
  4. Free will is incompatible with causality and if the universe isn't causal making decisions of moral significance is impossible.
  5. If free will is not possible then either God is malevolent or impotent.
 

Old Things

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Free will is the farcical solution to the Problem of Evil.

There are some naturalists like yourself who believe in LFW, so I'm not so sure that Free Will was only "created" as a solution to the PoE.
 

Old Things

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@Cognisant,

I'd really rather we not make this thread about God since people of various backgrounds have all sorts of views on Free Will so the argument should not be constrained to God.

However, there are other arguments for God that make it at least reasonable to believe God exists. The Kalam or the Teleological arguments are ones that have nothing to do with the PoE but still provide evidence for God. And yes, the PoE is a tough nut to crack for a Compatibilists like myself, but these other arguments for God's existence give an equally hard nut to crack for naturalists.
 

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Like a schizophrenic, the voices are not yours. The prime mover is your voice spread out. The question is not how can we be one thing but how can one thing be many things? The prime is many things. And it is one thing. to become one thing again. The will is free because it is the prime mover.
 

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I'd really rather we not make this thread about God since people of various backgrounds have all sorts of views on Free Will so the argument should not be constrained to God.
Without an omnipotent god the question of whether people can be held morally accountable for their actions by an omnipotent god isn't really a question.

People can hold other people accountable for their actions, this justice will never be perfect as of course people are not perfect moral arbiters but it can at least be consistent and mostly fair. Nobody's questioning free will in the practical sense, whether anyone can be held accountable by their peers for anything at all, that's an absurd thing to argue against.

You're just being evasive because you know I'm right but you refuse to accept it.
 

Old Things

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You're just being evasive because you know I'm right but you refuse to accept it.

If I am being "evasive" (which I don't think I am) it is because you are being unfair with your arguments. You appear to have a good head on your shoulders, but the way you argue isn't very beneficial because it seems all you ever do is tear down and don't build any bridges in its place.
 

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None of my arguments are disingenuous or deceptive but I think I can infer what you mean, I'm contradicting your beliefs but not giving you an alternative.

The PoE doesn't preclude the existence of a god, only the omnipotence of that god and omnipotence is not a prerequisite of goodness and personally I find the idea of a god that is actively striving to save humanity far more appealing than one who dictates morality solely on the basis of might makes right.
 

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I'd really rather we not make this thread about God since people of various backgrounds have all sorts of views on Free Will so the argument should not be constrained to God.
Without an omnipotent god the question of whether people can be held morally accountable for their actions by an omnipotent god isn't really a question.
There wasn't always a police force. If without a police force, people like Sir Robert Peel hadn't questioned if police forces could hold people to be morally accountable for their actions like rape and murder, then we wouldn't have a police force today.

The right to a trial was bitterly fought for. Without trials, if no-one would have questioned if it might be better to have trials, then people who were mistakenly arrested for crimes they didn't commit would never have had a chance to prove their innocence.

Of course they are still questions. The point is, that without trials, authoritarian regimes are free to lock up anyone who criticises them, and rapists and paedophiles are free to do as they wish.

Without a certainty of existence in an omnipotent deity and a certainty of punishment for one's immorality, many people can imagine that since humans are also not all-powerful, and not that great at punishing the guilty and letting the innocent go free, there's no guarantee that they'll be punished for being immoral, and so it's possible that they can commit rape and paedophilia and get away with it.

People can hold other people accountable for their actions, this justice will never be perfect as of course people are not perfect moral arbiters but it can at least be consistent and mostly fair.
Maybe it can be consistent and mostly fair. But if it was consistent, then:
1) All the people who committed murder would have been arrested and convicted of murder.
2) None of the people who haven't committed murder would have been arrested for murder.
3) None of the people who haven't committed murder would have been convicted of murder.
In other words, we'd have very high conviction rates, extremely low false arrest rates, and extremely low false conviction rates.

High conviction rates means that the police have very high success rates, which means they get funded better than other government departments. We know conviction rates are low. We know the police are under-funded.

Extremely low false arrest rates requires that there are very low rates of fair hearings that are rejected to go forwards to a trial.

Extremely low false conviction rates requires extremely low rates of successful fair appeals.

If modern society was like that, or mostly like that, then practicality dictates that it would be silly to commit murder, as the murderer is very likely to be caught, arrested and convicted, and if you don't murder anyone, you'll never be hassled by the police for murder. So not murdering anyone is usually a net win.

So you would then be obeying an entity that you believe can do anything to you, but only does so when it's fair, and always does what is fair.

Nobody's questioning free will in the practical sense, whether anyone can be held accountable by their peers for anything at all, that's an absurd thing to argue against.
The point of the video was to prove pre-determinism for all types of human decisions.
 

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Sin is an awareness of what is wrong. It is on your conscience to sin. But where is it accountable to punish? Christ frees them accountable. We live in a ternary where Christ must save over and over. Never can a conscious be steadfast. The accountable bind to christ no matter what. In the end Christ must be accountable for the punishment to redeem all.
 

Old Things

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None of my arguments are disingenuous or deceptive but I think I can infer what you mean, I'm contradicting your beliefs but not giving you an alternative.

I don't think you are being disingenuous or deceptive (at least until you mention it. Now I have to think about this...). I was simply saying you were being unfair by only focusing on a single aspect of things (belief in God) rather than what the topic is actually about.

The PoE doesn't preclude the existence of a god, only the omnipotence of that god and omnipotence is not a prerequisite of goodness and personally I find the idea of a god that is actively striving to save humanity far more appealing than one who dictates morality solely on the basis of might makes right.

If you want to go the route that God is not worthy of worship, that's fine, but you didn't get that from me.



The topic should still be about Free Will, IMO. Bring the arguments you have against that and we can talk. But making this conversation only about my belief in God isn't good manners. Yes, you've said things about this along the way, but more like it's an excuse to continue to try and persuade me to not believe in God. IDK why you are thinking a quick fix is going to do this (hint: it isn't).



Free Will is elusive because there are good arguments on both sides. LFW has some explanatory power insofar as giving humans a unique ability that separates them from the animal kingdom. But it doesn't explain things on a macro scale in the theory of evolution. Humans are unique on many different levels. But humans are also very animalistic in some sense. So it's going to come down to how you see the human species as to whether they are special in any way. I think humans are special, but I wouldn't say because we are made in the Imago Dei that this necessitates LFW. Rather, it's going to depend on how the Christian sees God. All other religious affiliations are going to have a different interpretation. But it all boils down to whether you think humans are special.

So it is equally true that humans have a capacity for higher thought than animals have. A dog has no capacity to think about its thoughts, for example. I've also seen a lot of debate about humans' ability to be rational creatures able to delineate between information. While I agree humans have this capacity, I think it is largely subconscious. We've barely tapped the brain into all its abilities and such. So to my mind, we must strike a balance between the micro and the macro, and that is where the happy medium of Compatibilism comes in to make sense of things. In the case that Compatibilism is wrong, I don't really know which way I would go between Determinism and Libertarian Free Will. There are good arguments on both sides. Determinists have the macro down and Libertarians have the micro down. We don't want to think humans are too special and we don't want to think humans are too inconsequential. We certainly have more capacity to affect the earth than any other animal (barring bacteria or viruses or something like that). But overall, Determinism is simple and all it requires is causation. Whereas Libertarians have to explain how humans have a secret "power" that only they have access to. We then have to talk about rationality itself and how we can even think at all. To be sure, humans are probably more biased than they are objective (hence why subjective thoughts from the post-modern era took off) but it doesn't appear to have any bearing on what is objectively true. If you want to hold to the subjective reality you are going to lose a lot of people. Likewise, if you want to say everything is objective, you will lose a lot of people that way too. It's the overall same argument just repackaged. The grand idea behind this, of course, is liberalism vs conservatism. Hence, we really can't be too quick to judge these things. Liberalism has beauty and Conservatism has order. Then, I say I stand somewhere in the middle. This might make one think I've taken a more agnostic understanding of things, but my experience tells me not to be agnostic. Atheism is simply a deferment of making a decision. Agnosticism is either seeing bad reasons or good reasons for both sides. I'm decidedly NOT a naturalist so I can't commit to atheism or the overall general understanding of conservatism. Nor can I fully get on the Liberal bandwagon as I think that tends to get rather absurd with just a little probing. Here I stand in the middle, convicted of my position that we have Free Will in a limited capacity. The idea I have is our decisions are based on our interpretation of objective reality. The better we understand objective reality, the Freer we are.
 

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You're not talking about free will anymore you're talking about consciousness which is an entirely different topic.

I don't disagree that consciousness exists, there's nothing about hard determinism that prevents consciousness, if anything causality is a prerequisite for consciousness.

I'm not making this about god, the topic of free will is utterly meaningless without an omnipotent moral arbiter (and is therefore inherently about god), unless we're using "free will" in the solely practical sense which is really a discussion about the limits of accountability under the influence off coercion which isn't really all that debatable.

As I said earlier if someone robs a bank because a criminal has their family at gunpoint their choice wasn't to rob the bank, it was to save their family and the criminal is to blame for the robbery. As far as I know that's universally agreed upon.

To be perfectly clear hard determinism doesn't prevent people making choices it's just that people are inherently mechanistic, there's a direct relationship between the input (their circumstances) and their output (their actions) which isn't controversial unless you believe in an omnipotent moral arbiter.

If I do something it's because with the information available to me at the time I believe it to be the correct or moral or most efficient course of action, regardless of my reasoning if you roll back time and let the same situation occur again if nothing has changed I'll do the exact same thing again, same input = same output. To anyone that doesn't believe in an omnipotent moral arbiter this isn't controversial, it's the obvious truth, to question it is like asking why 1 + 1 = 2.
 

Old Things

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You're not talking about free will anymore you're talking about consciousness which is an entirely different topic.

I don't disagree that consciousness exists, there's nothing about hard determinism that prevents consciousness, if anything causality is a prerequisite for consciousness.

I'm not making this about god, the topic of free will is utterly meaningless without an omnipotent moral arbiter (and is therefore inherently about god), unless we're using "free will" in the solely practical sense which is really a discussion about the limits of accountability under the influence off coercion which isn't really all that debatable.

As I said earlier if someone robs a bank because a criminal has their family at gunpoint their choice wasn't to rob the bank, it was to save their family and the criminal is to blame for the robbery. As far as I know that's universally agreed upon.

To be perfectly clear hard determinism doesn't prevent people making choices it's just that people are inherently mechanistic, there's a direct relationship between the input (their circumstances) and their output (their actions) which isn't controversial unless you believe in an omnipotent moral arbiter.

If I do something it's because with the information available to me at the time I believe it to be the correct or moral or most efficient course of action, regardless of my reasoning if you roll back time and let the same situation occur again if nothing has changed I'll do the exact same thing again, same input = same output. To anyone that doesn't believe in an omnipotent moral arbiter this isn't controversial, it's the obvious truth, to question it is like asking why 1 + 1 = 2.

Your perspective is colored by your rejection that God exists. It's as simple as that.
 

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To anyone that doesn't believe in an omnipotent moral arbiter this isn't controversial, it's the obvious truth, to question it is like asking why 1 + 1 = 2.

The original prime mover either arbitrates or we are alone left to do the arbitration ourselves. The prime can be unconscious and thus not able to arbitrate or is conscious and willing to arbitrate. Consciousness is part of arbitration then because we are primes-free agents able to tamper God's creation. not simple 1 + 1 = 2 more like (wave collapse decision space) Conscionesss creates a reality not to cause to happen the same way twice. God only knows the full possibility of what may happen in the local range of the agent. But not the specific outcome in a space.
 

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I do not believe God is infinite but finite that kicks omnipotence out the bucket. God is self-generating. It also makes choices free because a selection of what is possible must be made. Expansion leads to contraction and thus asymmetrical rearrangements without entropy loss. By this I mean the information is not lost. Decisions build on the previous decisions made.

This is CTMU by Chris Langan

What it has to do with God is that Life is stored as a fractal Higher dimensional. Call them aliens but God They don't die. Neither do you. Christ is a being who by love raised to the spirit world. Made telepathic connection with the disciples and told them they cannot die. We are stored in God.
 

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Your perspective is colored by your rejection that God exists. It's as simple as that.
There can still be a god, just not one that is simultaneously good and omnipotent.
Perhaps god is not omnipotent, or perhaps god is not good.

What is your expectation here? Perhaps that I should accept your presumption that god is omnipotent and good so we can discuss how free will works within that framework, is that even a discussion? As I've already explained several times now free will is impossible within that framework, if you expect me to disregard that for the sake of discussion well at that point there's nothing left to discuss.

Is that what you expect, that I'll let you preach to me and that I just accept it without question? Well I'm sorry but I find that unreasonable.
 

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Is that what you expect, that I'll let you preach to me and that I just accept it without question? Well I'm sorry but I find that unreasonable.

You are the one who brought God into this conversation. Not me.
 

Old Things

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To the person who believes in LFW that is quite obvious. I would recommend for you the book "God, Freedom, and Evil" by Alvin Plantinga. It's short.

@Cognisant,

I didn't recommend this book to you for my health.
 

Old Things

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Free will is incompatible with causality and if the universe isn't causal making decisions of moral significance is impossible.

The question, for Compatibilists at least, isn't whether we can do otherwise, but rather that, nothing prevented what you did. You have Free Will insofar as you are acting in accord with your nature and nothing prevents you from doing what you do.
So if god is all knowing and all powerful, he's an asshole, because he created flawed people doomed to sin and then punishes them for being how he made them.

Honestly the "god is an asshole" theory explains so much.

Alternatively god isn't all powerful or all knowing, but then is that really a god or just a powerful entity?

Your first post above.

Is that what you expect, that I'll let you preach to me and that I just accept it without question? Well I'm sorry but I find that unreasonable.

You are the one who brought God into this conversation. Not me.

You are the one who brought God into this conversation. Not me.
Alright because I clearly don't understand, what are we talking about exactly?

This is not the faith section of the forum. Please respect the topic at hand.
 

Old Things

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I think there's a possibility that determinism is an illusion. Reality could be a giant dimensionless fractal that just imposes change on itself, giving only a temporary illusion of order, depending on your relation to its change. It's possible. For example, all electrons could be different, but at the moment and in the way we use and view them, they might all appear the same. If they are all different and changing in different ways and on different levels, then that satisfies the definition of non-deterministic.

I guess the question then - Does Free Will exist in a non-deterministic reality? Does anything really? It would seem paradoxical, that a non-deterministic reality, where things are essentially random, could have some form of consciousness; because without some form of continuity, you can not form patterns of thought and consciousness then does not really exist and neither would free will then have any meaning. And yet with continuity, people say free will is also impossible because continuity implies causality or determinism, which supercedes your will. Yet consciousness needs some form of determinism to exist, and for the concept of free will to have any meaning. So then what really is free will to begin with? Because it seems it actually has no real or understood meaning.

I think the solution is to align yourself with the truth (as best you can). When you operate within the truth, you are then empowered.

It's my understanding that absolute truth is the essential nature of ultimate being. With it comes the metaphysical realities of being able to operate on higher dimensions. Of course, you posit that it's possible that there are no dimensions. But I'm not sure we can actually gather that from an empirical standpoint (at least a scientific one, nor can I prove my theory).

I suppose I think there are higher truths we can pursue. So while I agree that science is only one avenue we can pursue truth, it seems to be finely tuned at this stage and perhaps it is at its peak.

That's why I say there are three "modes" of being, those being:
1) See what is false about a piece of information (dark).
2) See what you want to be true about a piece of information (gray).
3) See what is true about a piece of information (light).

When we go with light, we enter a higher field of consciousness at least - if not then we get a piece of revelation about the universe. And this knowledge allows us to be something more than we currently are. Now, we may have to repeat the process over and over. This process comes at a cost to our ego where we have to rid ourselves of prior held understandings of things. The trick is not to just replace one lie with another, but to replace a part of our psyche with a small sliver of truth. This causes ego death since we have to give up a part of ourselves in the process. It's like an exchange. We give up ourselves, sending it into the void if you will, and in exchange, we receive a portion of a higher reality which is truth in its most objective form. We can only ever get slivers of this, but we can learn as we go. So it is the opposite of exchanging the truth for a lie, but exchanging (a) lie/s for the truth. This helps facilitate transcendence in our psyche and forwards us as humans. It will change our brains and give us new tools to engage reality with. Think of it like leveling up or something (oh, boy, here come the Super Saiyan jokes).

My model is based on the idea that everything in the universe (and beyond) is made up of information. There are these invisible lines of truth just sitting there waiting for someone to cross them.

Example: Newton. Brilliant guy. He had to get outside of the currently held Schema at the time to come up with his theory of gravity. He got a little piece of it that changed how we see the universe forever. So two things were at play with Newton:
1) He had to let go of his prior assumptions of things in order to receive the truth.
2) He had to put up with a lot of crap because his theory was so revolutionary that people couldn't accept what he was saying (so it came at a cost to him).
 

Haim

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Free will is incompatible with causality and if the universe isn't causal making decisions of moral significance is impossible.
You have lack of understanding of what free will is.
From Wikipedia "Free will is the capacity of agents to choose between different possible courses of action unimpeded"
It is not about if you could choose another option it about the human concept of choose, you try to look at it from the "universe" perspective but you are not the universe, the universe does not have the (word)concept of choice it is in the human brain. So free will is an idea, whatever something has free will is determine by I know it when I see it. You see an image, is it a dog? it does not matter if the dog in the image is a cartoon character or real dog, what matter is that a human perceive it as a dog, the idea of a dog. Your argument is that it is not a dog it is a bunch of molecules, an attempt to delete a word from the dictionary.

The world is deterministic but as long as you don't know the future you still have the human concept of free will.
 

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"It's completely a verbal dispute. Different people have different intuitions and can be aligned more to one framework of free will above another. That's it. Someone can have conflicting intuitions, and upon reflecting and trying to reach some "reflective equilibrium", may find that some other framework makes more sense to them. But there doesn't seem to be any grounding fact of the matter anywhere that can privilege any particular framework as the true one."

This makes me want to be a raging alcoholic...

J/K

:D

I'm only on section 4, but from what I can tell and how this is shaping up, it seems to be very fair to the different positions.
 

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@DoIMustHaveAnUsername?,

Here's my understanding of Free Will. Wondering if you can give your thoughts on it...

I believe at the root, the decisions we make are meaningful. Whether that means a Libertarian understanding of Free Will or a Compatibilist one, I will let you judge.

At birth is when we come into the world. From there, we learn about the world. As such, any time we lean something, this gets integrated into our psyche - to which ends up making our worldview. Take for example that a child born into atheism is likely to remain an atheist their whole life. The only question then is if the atheist in question starts to question their presuppositions (which they learned from their parents). So, as we are young, we are constantly exposed to "New" information. But also, our worldview is largely unformed because we haven't learned much about the world yet. So, we are more malleable and impressionable at this age. It is all about these "New" pieces of information we come across. When we become an adult, we are largely settled into the person we will be. But of course, there is plenty of evidence that people can change later in life. This is where my idea of "New" information kicks in... If we have an established worldview already, but then we come across some "New" information that contradicts our prior held worldview or otherwise our worldview cannot make sense of it, then it is at this point that we have to "decide" what to do with this "New" information. As far as I can see, we have 3 different options:
1) Choose to see what is False about that information (much of science works or used to work this way to prove your hypothesis wrong).
2) Choose to see what we want to be true about that information (for example, perhaps someone has a fantasy, and when they get the slightest bit of evidence in support of it, they now believe their fantasy is true).
3) Choose to see what is True about that information (The "mechanism" for this I am not entirely sure of. All I know is that some people are able to arrive at some deep fundamental truth of reality and that changes the course of history).
Now, we are constantly engaged in behaviors we really have no control over. Many of our behaviors are based on impulses (like eating and sleeping and such). And while some people may be more cognizant of their thoughts, the underpinning desires are largely the same. But to note is that what we do with our behaviors is based on our worldview. For example, if someone perpetually feels like a victim, then it is likely that they will perpetuate that behavior onto others by making them a victim and committing crimes based on their belief they are a victim of circumstance. It is only when we come across a crucial piece of information that is "New" to our Psyche that we can have Free Will, which Free Will is based on seeing what is True about a piece of information. When a person operates more on the truth (and I don't mean rich suburban kids who have everything handed to them as they have other lies they believe) Then they have a better chance to come across a pinnacle piece of Truth that contradicts the normal held Schema of their culture (and the world) at the time.

What do you think of this theory?
 

DoIMustHaveAnUsername?

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@DoIMustHaveAnUsername?,

Here's my understanding of Free Will. Wondering if you can give your thoughts on it...

I believe at the root, the decisions we make are meaningful. Whether that means a Libertarian understanding of Free Will or a Compatibilist one, I will let you judge.

At birth is when we come into the world. From there, we learn about the world. As such, any time we lean something, this gets integrated into our psyche - to which ends up making our worldview. Take for example that a child born into atheism is likely to remain an atheist their whole life. The only question then is if the atheist in question starts to question their presuppositions (which they learned from their parents). So, as we are young, we are constantly exposed to "New" information. But also, our worldview is largely unformed because we haven't learned much about the world yet. So, we are more malleable and impressionable at this age. It is all about these "New" pieces of information we come across. When we become an adult, we are largely settled into the person we will be. But of course, there is plenty of evidence that people can change later in life. This is where my idea of "New" information kicks in... If we have an established worldview already, but then we come across some "New" information that contradicts our prior held worldview or otherwise our worldview cannot make sense of it, then it is at this point that we have to "decide" what to do with this "New" information. As far as I can see, we have 3 different options:
1) Choose to see what is False about that information (much of science works or used to work this way to prove your hypothesis wrong).
2) Choose to see what we want to be true about that information (for example, perhaps someone has a fantasy, and when they get the slightest bit of evidence in support of it, they now believe their fantasy is true).
3) Choose to see what is True about that information (The "mechanism" for this I am not entirely sure of. All I know is that some people are able to arrive at some deep fundamental truth of reality and that changes the course of history).
Now, we are constantly engaged in behaviors we really have no control over. Many of our behaviors are based on impulses (like eating and sleeping and such). And while some people may be more cognizant of their thoughts, the underpinning desires are largely the same. But to note is that what we do with our behaviors is based on our worldview. For example, if someone perpetually feels like a victim, then it is likely that they will perpetuate that behavior onto others by making them a victim and committing crimes based on their belief they are a victim of circumstance. It is only when we come across a crucial piece of information that is "New" to our Psyche that we can have Free Will, which Free Will is based on seeing what is True about a piece of information. When a person operates more on the truth (and I don't mean rich suburban kids who have everything handed to them as they have other lies they believe) Then they have a better chance to come across a pinnacle piece of Truth that contradicts the normal held Schema of their culture (and the world) at the time.

What do you think of this theory?
I don't think anything too much. As I said, I believe you can have multiple frameworks for free will or freedom more generally, and multiple dimensions can be associated with it. I don't see anything wrong with giving some importance to epistemic decisions and calling it to be related to free will (it can be compatibilist) given how one's epistemic framework will guide their practical actions and everything else but it will still be one framework of free will among others. I am open to everyone individually focusing on which aspects of freedom they find valuable.

Regarding epistemic choices, I like the web-of-belief analogy by Quine (Although I am not entirely sure if everything should be revisable):


While aiming to find the truth is a mindset to be "chosen" (but the choice can be determined, of course, from a compatibilist framework), but it's often tricky to determine "truth" or "falsity". This leads to questions about what even is "truth" and what should be the criterion to check it. That's a controversial topic and some even take a deflationist attitude. Regarding, truth, some principles and ideas may be considered self-evidently true or at least hard to doubt ("forming the center of our webs"), and based on that we can check some truth and falsity based on logical implications and contradictions (if we buy logic that is). But that still keeps a lot of things open. Beyond that, one popular theory is correspondence theory of truth, where a proposition is truth if it corresponds to reality in some manner. Now if the proposition is meant to be about the world beyond appearances, then it kind of becomes impossible to verify because we can't just go beyond appearances. To circumnavigate that generally, we focus on coherences with other things we believe. But that can again lead to subjective differences based on how one's personal web is. If one finds some new series of experiences completely incoherent withn some old schema, then one can either replace and revise the old schema with the new experiences, or they can reject the "experiences" as hallucinations (the standard materialist strategy) or something to that extent; keeping the old paradigms alive. In the end, it's not always clear which was the "right move".


I think this notion can be also combined and enhanced with bayesian updating of beliefs and the web can be a visualization of one's probability distribution ("center of the web" has very high prior probability) but that's another rabbit hole (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/epistemology-bayesian/).

Some day I want to rethink a lot of these from "first principles" (or its approximations) and try to make sense of the epistemic standing of logic (different logical systems), maths, and metaphysics to see where we go.
 

Old Things

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@DoIMustHaveAnUsername?,

Yes, my theory has a great amount of overlap with this "web" theory.

The difference may be in how I conceive of it. For example, in my model, everything is information. From rocks to the conscious mind, this is all a kind of information. It then is just a matter of what we do with this information. So while when I see a pile of rocks on the ground, I am not enamored to change my perception of reality much. So naturally, what matters to consciousness is other conscious thoughts from other human beings because there is a likeness between them. So then, when I come across some piece of information (be it natural or conscious) I have to decide what to do with this information. And since I can only see a limited degree of options in interpreting information, I default to whether we take that information to be True, False, or what we want to be True. If you can come up with a different idea to which we value objective reality that would help me understand my own theory better. So the only "choice" we have really is whether we see a piece of information as True or False (or what we want to be True). And it is only when we can "know" something as True that we are Free. Of course, this opens a pandora's box of if we can ever truly "know" something, but I think this is where properly basic beliefs come in to save the day. And the unfolding of those properly basic beliefs branches out like a web (like you say). So while you would say there is a web in the consciousness of our minds which is subjective, I would say the web itself is the information of objective reality and when a person aligns themselves more accurately and overlaps with the web of objective reality, then they are more Free.
 

Old Things

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3) Choose to see what is True about that information (The "mechanism" for this I am not entirely sure of. All I know is that some people are able to arrive at some deep fundamental truth of reality and that changes the course of history).

After giving this some thought, I believe I have solved this problem. PM me and I will let you know about it.
 

EndogenousRebel

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So is freewill binary for everyone? Either a 1 or a 0 value?

Saying that freewill doesn't correspond to anything in reality and writing it off as a concept is kinda ridiculous. If someone asks does freewill exists, then you either show them a measurement of will that is free, or the absence of a measurement at all. Yes or no.

To me freewill is the capacity of an entity to change the environment according to its intentions. Freewill ends where impossibilities begin. A iguana probably will never do algebra, and they likely will never have to opportunity to desire so. That is the boundary of freewill.
 

EndogenousRebel

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We can believe whatever we want to (or I guess some people don't believe that)

Sure, there is no freewill. But we seem to act like we and others have freewill. And I think we should, and think it's better for society to do so. Within reasonable limitations of course.
 

scorpiomover

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So is freewill binary for everyone? Either a 1 or a 0 value?
No, because complete free will would be the freedom to do anything, which would require omnipotence. Complete lack of free will would mean we could predict what everyone did in advance, which means everyone knew that the pandemic was going to happen 10 years ago.

Saying that freewill doesn't correspond to anything in reality and writing it off as a concept is kinda ridiculous. If someone asks does freewill exists, then you either show them a measurement of will that is free, or the absence of a measurement at all. Yes or no.

To me freewill is the capacity of an entity to change the environment according to its intentions. Freewill ends where impossibilities begin. A iguana probably will never do algebra, and they likely will never have to opportunity to desire so. That is the boundary of freewill.
Good answer.
 

ZenRaiden

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Complete lack of free will would mean we could predict what everyone did in advance, which means everyone knew that the pandemic was going to happen 10 years ago.
I don't follow. I have just read your response.
Knowing in advance there is going to be pandemic is negation of free will how?
We know the sun raises every morning in the east?
Why would for instance such knowledge in advance change our will?
 

ZenRaiden

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We can make choices for ourselves.
The fact is "choices" are somewhat arbitrary a lot of time.
Perfectly informed choices don't exist.
So knowing that you made a choice is one thing.
Knowing where that choice came from is another thing.
We also know subconscious mind makes part of our choices we always are not fully aware of.

The other problem is others might make choices for us without us even knowing or wanting to.

All this implies sever limitations to free will.
To me free will is unhindered decision from outside influences, to a reasonable degree.
For instance if you are in situations where someone tells you must do xyz, the question is what does it mean.
For instance someone who agrees with such choice will find it aligns with their will, then whether this is free choice or not depends whether there is reward and punishment from external agent.

But since we as humans most of the time have to operate on basis of reward and suffering as we are biologically and chronologically bound and limited in certain aspects of reality, we can only exercise truly free will only when we make choices that have certain predefined criteria that we know of.
 

scorpiomover

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Complete lack of free will would mean we could predict what everyone did in advance, which means everyone knew that the pandemic was going to happen 10 years ago.
I don't follow. I have just read your response.
Knowing in advance there is going to be pandemic is negation of free will how?
Free will of the virus to infect people.
Free will of yours to act as if there's no pandemic being talked about on TV, without anyone noticing.
We know the sun raises every morning in the east?
Why would for instance such knowledge in advance change our will?
If knowledge doesn't change your will, then nothing that is added to your memory, nothing you think, changes what you do, and then you just do the same monotonous thing over and over like a robot until your death, never thinking, never feeling, like a very dumb animal. I suppose that's possible. But if that doesn't sound like you, then some of your knowledge probably did influence your decisions that you made long after you gained that knowledge.
 

dr froyd

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even if everything were deterministic it would not be possible to predict anything precisely. You would have to know the state of every atom in the universe with infinite precision. E.g. even knowing the state (location and momenta) of every particle in the milky way to 10 million decimals wouldn't work due to chaotic-system dynamics of many phenomena. And then there's the problem that you cannot even know the exact location and momenta of particles due to the uncertainty principle.

but the absence of predictability doesn't imply free will, of course
 

birdsnestfern

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