Author Topic: To what degree we have free-choice?  (Read 463 times)

To what degree we have free-choice?
« on: May 26, 2020, 05:08:00 PM »
Do you agree with Spinoza's view on free-choice or free will?

When we let a stone freefall, it has to fall.
There is no choice for it other than falling.
It has no any other chance but to fall.

Can human beings likened to that stone that has to fall?

Think about the bigbang if it's the truth that explains the beginning of the universe,
The circumstances that cause the universe to inflate, Everything that follows can be ''known'' beforehand if all the parameters could be calculated.

Offline SGOS

Re: To what degree we have free-choice?
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2020, 05:30:45 PM »
Think about the bigbang if it's the truth that explains the beginning of the universe,
The circumstances that cause the universe to inflate, Everything that follows can be ''known'' beforehand if all the parameters could be calculated.
I could accept that for argument's sake if all the parameters could be calculated. However, the word "If" makes such a condition entirely speculative, which is a pretty weak claim for what appears to be the first premise of an argument.  I know of no proof that all parameters can be calculated, let alone even known.

Re: To what degree we have free-choice?
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2020, 06:49:27 PM »
I choose to ignore arguments about free will.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline SGOS

Re: To what degree we have free-choice?
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2020, 06:58:50 PM »
I choose to ignore arguments about free will.
Very wise.

Offline Hydra009

Re: To what degree we have free-choice?
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2020, 07:16:40 PM »
I choose to ignore arguments about free will.
Do you, though?  :P

Online aitm

Re: To what degree we have free-choice?
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2020, 09:07:20 AM »
Free will is obtainable providing their are no other living creatures or people or plants or weather that may impede your “free will”. Free will may be obtainable, free want...not so much.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Offline Baruch

Re: To what degree we have free-choice?
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2020, 09:28:12 AM »
All living people (including yourself), all nature too, impede free will.  People should ask ... Why am I enslaved to my inner demons?  Will it feel good in the long run? (rhetorical questions).  Arguing from physics, instead of psychology is pushing a rope.

Soldieroffortune ... are you trying to desert your best interests?  Why not just blame Covid?  You can do anything you want, even if it hurts yourself or others, that is easy ;-(  Choosing to do what helps yourself or others, that is the hard choice!  I don't find this any easier than you do.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 09:31:55 AM by Baruch »
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Offline Sal1981

Re: To what degree we have free-choice?
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2020, 10:01:34 AM »
I think we have provisional control of what we can do, but not more than that.

On the face of it Free Will seems something innate to our nature because we have a feeling of agency in our decisions and actions, but do we really? After further introspection, the stuff we're made of follows an ordered pattern - natural laws - so isn't our minds, our brains, following the same pattern? And what do we really mean by 'Free will'? If you mean just our ability to make decisions unhindered given the provisional constraints, then sure, but if you mean we somehow are able to go against that ordered pattern, then no, I don't think so.
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" --- Richard P. Feynman

Offline Baruch

Re: To what degree we have free-choice?
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2020, 12:36:45 PM »
I think we have provisional control of what we can do, but not more than that.

On the face of it Free Will seems something innate to our nature because we have a feeling of agency in our decisions and actions, but do we really? After further introspection, the stuff we're made of follows an ordered pattern - natural laws - so isn't our minds, our brains, following the same pattern? And what do we really mean by 'Free will'? If you mean just our ability to make decisions unhindered given the provisional constraints, then sure, but if you mean we somehow are able to go against that ordered pattern, then no, I don't think so.

Correct.  Free will as wishing tree?  No.  Free will as independent of your own personality?  No.

Exactly how one calculates QM directly to determine what you want for breakfast, is beyond anyone.  It is much easier to consult my stomach.
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Offline Mr.Obvious

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Re: To what degree we have free-choice?
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2020, 03:07:02 PM »
Depends on how you define your terms.

Seeing as we can't possibly understand 100% why we choose and react the way we do, not to mention how we are limited in our options, not 'truly'. But for all intent and purposes; yes, we have 'free will'. Or at least the illusion of such.
And in a  word in which your perception forms your reality, is that not enough?
"If we have to go down, we go down together!"
- Your mum, requesting 69 last night.

Atheist Mantis does not pray.

Offline Hydra009

Re: To what degree we have free-choice?
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2020, 04:30:17 PM »
But for all intent and purposes; yes, we have 'free will'. Or at least the illusion of such.
The distinction between illusion and the genuine thing is a huge and important distinction, though!  For example, I am going to go have a sandwich.  Maybe that's what I decided, maybe not.  But I didn't decide to be hungry, or to crave deli meat, or to have deli meat on hand, to culturally like sandwiches with deli meat, etc.

My question is this: at what point in this the surprisingly lengthy process of biology (plant/animal domestication, hunger, etc) and history (inventing sandwiches, electricity, refrigeration, plastics, etc) does free will enter the picture?  The natural world millions if not billions of years ago presumably didn't have it.  But we presumably have it now.  At what point in our shared lineage did our ancestors develop free will?  Homo sapiens?  Homo erectus?  Great apes?  Apes?  Mammals?  Animals in general?  Where's that dividing line where some strange critters broke with otherwise ageless and universal determinism?
« Last Edit: May 28, 2020, 04:54:45 PM by Hydra009 »

Offline Baruch

Re: To what degree we have free-choice?
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2020, 05:24:16 PM »
Early Greek philosophy ... atoms developed "swerve".  They didn't imagine forces at work, other than will.  Thales said nature was full of gods.  If atoms don't have free will, and given materialistic reductionism, then neither do you.  But that makes for reductionist morality.  If I kill you, I had no choice in the matter ;-)  In modern times we attempt to escape responsibility via quantum mechanics.  Reality is semi-random.  So if I kill you, that was an event with a certain probability, maybe 1% of happening.  You were simply unlucky ;-))
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Re: To what degree we have free-choice?
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2020, 06:27:36 PM »
We don't have free will.  We do have a range of choices we have to choose from; and that range is different for each set of choices.  For example, we don't have free will over our breathing.  We have to breath--don't have a choice.  If we try to stop breathing, we will pass out and resume breathing.  But we can usually chose to hold our breath for a little--or not; take shallow breaths, or longer breaths,...well, you get the idea.  But we have to breath.  Much of our body actions are like that--some control but not much.  When I have to take a dump, I have to take a dump.  Not much choice in that. 

We have to make choices--we have no choice; even not making a choice is a choice.  I chose to go outside.  Front or back.  Drive or walk.  etc.  We can chose and those choices have consequences; some known and some not.  But chose we must.  I am free to make some of those choices and some not.  I can walk in the mall; but not when it is closed unless I chose to break in.  In a way, it seems we have many free choices to make; but not as many as we'd like to think.  So, because we have to chose, then the choices we make are important.  We sometimes think because we can make choices we are free to do so.  I think the 'free to do so' is much illusion.  We do what we can and that's about it.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Mr.Obvious

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Re: To what degree we have free-choice?
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2020, 07:04:01 PM »
The distinction between illusion and the genuine thing is a huge and important distinction, though!  For example, I am going to go have a sandwich.  Maybe that's what I decided, maybe not.  But I didn't decide to be hungry, or to crave deli meat, or to have deli meat on hand, to culturally like sandwiches with deli meat, etc.

My question is this: at what point in this the surprisingly lengthy process of biology (plant/animal domestication, hunger, etc) and history (inventing sandwiches, electricity, refrigeration, plastics, etc) does free will enter the picture?  The natural world millions if not billions of years ago presumably didn't have it.  But we presumably have it now.  At what point in our shared lineage did our ancestors develop free will?  Homo sapiens?  Homo erectus?  Great apes?  Apes?  Mammals?  Animals in general?  Where's that dividing line where some strange critters broke with otherwise ageless and universal determinism?

I can only speak for myself, but seeing as I don't believe in it in a 'true' sense, I don't think it was there milions of years ago.  Because going even deeper than  'not deciding to be hungry' or not deciding to 'culturally like deli meat' etc. : you also don't choose what chemical reactions in your body happen at what time. What synapses get fired and make contact and grow. But in the 'illusionary' sense, it wouls seem we have more than millions of years ago. But I doubt it would seem that way to a dinosaur. And to an amoeba that can't even think, even less so.
That's because this illusionary free will is always in the eye of the beholder. And that eye is formed, (grown and limited) indeed on one hand by the effects of the outside world on it as well as the internal mechanisms beyond it's control, but on the other by it's own actions and the effect they have on that outside and inside world beyond its grasp of full comprehension.
But at its basis it will always be chemistry and physics.

Jesus I'm full of it. Heading my amature-philosophical ass up to bed.

night y'all.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2020, 07:13:17 PM by Mr.Obvious »
"If we have to go down, we go down together!"
- Your mum, requesting 69 last night.

Atheist Mantis does not pray.

Re: To what degree we have free-choice?
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2020, 08:34:09 PM »
I can only speak for myself, but seeing as I don't believe in it in a 'true' sense, I don't think it was there milions of years ago.  Because going even deeper than  'not deciding to be hungry' or not deciding to 'culturally like deli meat' etc. : you also don't choose what chemical reactions in your body happen at what time. What synapses get fired and make contact and grow. But in the 'illusionary' sense, it wouls seem we have more than millions of years ago. But I doubt it would seem that way to a dinosaur. And to an amoeba that can't even think, even less so.
That's because this illusionary free will is always in the eye of the beholder. And that eye is formed, (grown and limited) indeed on one hand by the effects of the outside world on it as well as the internal mechanisms beyond it's control, but on the other by it's own actions and the effect they have on that outside and inside world beyond its grasp of full comprehension.
But at its basis it will always be chemistry and physics.

Jesus I'm full of it. Heading my amature-philosophical ass up to bed.

night y'all.
Chemistry and physics--I like that.  Most people don't just understand how much chemistry controls what we do and how we do it and what we think about it all.  We are really just a bag of chemicals and the mixture of those chemicals determine to a large extend how we feel and think.  Doctors have only scratched the surface of all of that.  Change one chemical or the amount of a chemical and you change the way we think and feel.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?