Free Will

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Andreas
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Post by Andreas » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:53 pm

Hey everyone,

I had no choice to stay out of the internet for a couple of days, my connection somehow managed to crash. I will come back later when I have some time and read more carefully the replies. :)

:idea:
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Post by Neoplato » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:55 pm

Meanwhile... back in the ranch... :D

Let me offer up this little bit of arcane wisdom from an unspeakable source. :wink:
Man is a free agent in the possession in the use of the faculty of will. Freedom of will has been variously regarded and defined. It is the subject of volumes of theological literature and also the rock on which religionists have split. The theory of predestination relieves Man of all responsibility. If God has fixed every act of man's existence then there is no mental or moral freedom. If men cannot determine the character of his acts, he has neither understanding nor will-he is a puppet.
How does this view differ from a "scientific"perspective? :?:
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Post by Andreas » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:27 am

How does this view differ from a "scientific"perspective?
Nice one Neo. I think it does not.

That is why I am not very fond of a determined universe. Because it eventually leads to the conclusion that there is "something" that is aware of everything that happens in the universe, and that to me is a bit unrealistic. :P

In that case I eagerly await your evidence of time running backwards and effects being responsible for causes. - Romansh
The stars, Romansh, the stars! They are the material of past images experienced in the now!

Cindy's definition is pretty amazing. What I get from it, is that we and the universe are one and both have the same amount of influence upon each other!
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Post by Cindy B. » Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:53 am

Another difference, Andreas, is that historical philosophical and theological arguments about free will are typically framed in terms of morality. Some will say, myself included, that morality is just one variable among many to be considered or not.

Cindy
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Post by Clemsy » Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:55 am

Free will is defined by the Church as to choose to sin or not to sin. (Questioning the validity of the sin, however, is not an option. :P )
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Post by jonsjourney » Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:37 am

Questioning the validity of the sin, however, is not an option. :P
Heresy!!!! :twisted:

At least one is "free" to be a heretic! :shock:
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Post by Clemsy » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:54 am

At least one is "free" to be a heretic!
Been exercising that one since Sisiter Esther told me that missing mass on Sunday was a mortal sin. 8)
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Post by Andreas » Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:25 pm

:lol: :lol:
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Post by CarmelaBear » Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:23 pm

Clemsy wrote:
At least one is "free" to be a heretic!
Been exercising that one since Sisiter Esther told me that missing mass on Sunday was a mortal sin. 8)
How old were you, Clemsy? Were you a heretical prodigy?

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Post by romansh » Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:57 pm

Neoplato wrote: How does this view differ from a "scientific"perspective? :?:
well here's a scientific perspective:
Albert Einstein wrote:If the moon, in the act of completing its eternal way around the earth, were gifted with self-consciousness, it would feel thoroughly convinced that it was travelling its way of its own accord … So would a Being, endowed with higher insight and more perfect intelligence, watching man and his doings, smile about man’s illusion that he was acting according to his own free will.
"That's right!" shouted Vroomfondel, "we demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!"
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Post by Clemsy » Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:05 pm

How old were you, Clemsy? Were you a heretical prodigy?
I was in first grade, so I guess the answer is yes! My innocence could not reconcile the Prince of Peace and Mercy with Eternal Damnation and Suffering for over sleeping.

I mean, really. :roll:
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Post by Andreas » Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:48 pm

Hi!

I found this on the internet and it sums up the argument really well for me. I think if this conversation is to move even further we need a new term for "free will" or maybe not. :P

http://www.informationphilosopher.com/f ... _will.html
Another difference, Andreas, is that historical philosophical and theological arguments about free will are typically framed in terms of morality. Some will say, myself included, that morality is just one variable among many to be considered or not.

Cindy
Yeap, thanks Cindy. Well I can tell you for sure this is not an easy concept.
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Post by Neoplato » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:18 pm

Einstein:
If the moon, in the act of completing its eternal way around the earth, were gifted with self-consciousness, it would feel thoroughly convinced that it was travelling its way of its own accord … So would a Being, endowed with higher insight and more perfect intelligence, watching man and his doings, smile about man’s illusion that he was acting according to his own free will.
I guess if I’m going to wrestle with Einstein, I should pay close attention to the words. :twisted:
If the moon, in the act of completing its eternal way around the earth, were gifted with self-consciousness, it would feel thoroughly convinced that it was travelling its way of its own accord
I think this is a good example of Einstein’s imagination. This is most definitely an assumption, there is no basis to infer this conclusion, it is a good analogy of his opinion.
a Being, endowed with higher insight and more perfect intelligence, watching man and his doings, smile about man’s illusion that he was acting according to his own free will.
I believe Einstein is talking about the fact that history repeats itself mainly due to the mindlessness of the Human race’s actions on an aggregate level. We seem to go “round and round” never appearing to go anywhere.

However, what happens when this higher insight is attained? Do I choose to go “round and round” or have I stepped back from it realizing the reality of the situation? :shock:
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Post by romansh » Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:11 am

Andreas wrote:Hi!

I found this on the internet and it sums up the argument really well for me. I think if this conversation is to move even further we need a new term for "free will" or maybe not. :P

http://www.informationphilosopher.com/f ... _will.html
Hi Andreas, interesting; but could you summarize the "argument" into something comprehensible.
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Post by romansh » Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:33 am

Neo
I can't agree with your assumption regarding:
Neo wrote:Einstein is talking about the fact that history repeats itself mainly due to the mindlessness of the Human race’s actions on an aggregate level.
Here Galen Strawson puts into context Einstein's quote:
You don’t have to get up off your couch and go outside and examine the way things are in the physical world. You don’t have to do any science. And actually, current science isn’t going to help. Ultimate moral responsibility is also ruled out by the theory of relativity. Einstein himself, in a piece written as a homage to the Indian mystical poet Rabindranath Tagore, said that ‘a Being endowed with higher insight and more perfect intelligence, watching man and his doings, would smile about man’s illusion that he was acting according to his own free will.’
Of course Strawson could have made the same mistake I did.

More importantly from the same interview:
Tamler: Well, let’s move on to the argument then. There’s a famous saying of Schopenhaur’s that goes like this: “A man can surely do what he wants to do. But he cannot determine what he wants.” Is this idea at the core of your argument against moral responsibility?

Galen: Yes — and it’s an old thought. It’s in Hobbes somewhere, and it’s in Book Two of Locke’s Essay, and I bet some ancient Greek said it, since they said almost everything. Actually, though, there’s a way in which it’s not quite true. If you want to acquire some want or preference you haven’t got, you can sometimes do so. You can cultivate it. Perhaps you’re lazy and unfit and you want to acquire a love of exercise. Well, you can force yourself to do it every day and hope you come to like it. And you just might; you might even get addicted. Maybe you can do the same if you dislike olives.
Strawson goes on
Galen: Right — now the deeper point cuts in. For suppose you do want to acquire a want you haven’t got. The question is, where did the first want — the want for a want — come from? It seems it was just there, just a given, not something you chose or engineered — it was just there, like most of your preferences in food, music, footwear, sex, interior lighting, and so on.

I suppose it’s possible that you might have acquired the first want, that’s the want for a want, because you wanted to! It’s theoretically possible that you had a want to have a want to have a want. But this is very hard to imagine, and the question just rearises: where did that want come from? You certainly can’t go on like this forever. At some point your wants must be just given. They will be products of your genetic inheritance and upbringing that you had no say in. In other words, there’s a fundamental sense in which you did not and cannot make yourself the way you are. And this, as you say, is the key step in the basic argument against ultimate moral responsibility, which goes like this: (1) You do what you do — in the circumstances in which you find yourself — because of the way you are. (2 ) So if you’re going to be ultimately responsible for what you do, you’re going to have to be ultimately responsible for the way you are—at least in certain mental respects. (3) But you can’t be ultimately responsible for the way you are (for the reasons just given). (4) So you can’t be ultimately responsible for what you do.
Of course step 2 is key - Am I ultimately responsible for my genetics and my experience, ie my environment?
Last edited by romansh on Thu Jun 03, 2010 2:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
"That's right!" shouted Vroomfondel, "we demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!"
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