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Free will is an illusion
in Philosophy

By ZeusAres42ZeusAres42 314 Pts
I say Free Will is no more than an illusion. I haven't come across any good arguments that suggest it isn't any more than an illusion.  Please try and persuade me that we do have Free Will or alternatively post some arguments that will convince me even more.

One of my arguments on this is that based on that we are bound by the laws of physics we cannot possibly have absolute free will. Now, what do you think?
Plaffelvohfen

The unexamined thought is not worth thinking.




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  • What is your definition of free will?
  • TKDBTKDB 208 Pts
    edited May 10
    Is this a Millinial, or a 21st century philosophy, maybe, being taught in what Collegiate college's? 

    "I say Free Will is no more than an illusion. I haven't come across any good arguments that suggest it isn't any more than an illusion."
    ZeusAres42
  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 1715 Pts
    The existence of true free will, unbound by physical principles, is only consistent with an undeterministic world view. However, lack of determinism leads to serious philosophical issues and breaks out entire logical apparatus. If we cannot say about the event Y that it was caused by the event X, then the event Y is a rogue event that does not fit into our causative logic and cannot be studied by scientific means.

    I do think that the free will is an illusion, indeed. No matter how free we may feel, we still are a subject to the chemical reactions in our bodies which we cannot control, and which define our mental processes entirely.
    ZeusAres42Plaffelvohfen
  • ZeusAres42ZeusAres42 314 Pts
    edited May 9

    The existence of true free will, unbound by physical principles, is only consistent with an undeterministic world view. However, lack of determinism leads to serious philosophical issues and breaks out entire logical apparatus. If we cannot say about the event Y that it was caused by the event X, then the event Y is a rogue event that does not fit into our causative logic and cannot be studied by scientific means.

    It has been argued by some in the past that Free Will does exist due to the fact that the Universe is indeterministic. However, this still doesn't work because the indeterminism is still based on deterministic probabilities. Regardless, of this, however, neither determinism or indeterminsim equates to free will. 


    MayCaesar

    The unexamined thought is not worth thinking.

  • IdolRocksIdolRocks 52 Pts
    What makes you think that FreeWill is even an illusion? 
  • DeeDee 480 Pts
    @ZeusAres42

    Free will may indeed be illusory but if this were to be determined beyond a doubt why should we hold anyone responsible for their actions no matter how despicable and why punish them? 

    We are are not responsible for where we are born nor to who we are born nor indeed for our genetic make up, so how can we be responsible for how we act or behave? 
  • ZeusAres42ZeusAres42 314 Pts

    Ah, perhaps I could have used my sentences a little bit more clearly. What I meant was that the notion held by some people that we have absolute free will is no more than an illusion. 

    The unexamined thought is not worth thinking.

  • ZeusAres42ZeusAres42 314 Pts

    Free will may indeed be illusory but if this were to be determined beyond a doubt why should we hold anyone responsible for their actions no matter how despicable and why punish them? 

    We are are not responsible for where we are born nor to who we are born nor indeed for our genetic make up, so how can we be responsible for how we act or behave? 

    Good question indeed. However, I am talking about absolutely free will that I think many people tend to be thinking that they have. In some sense, I agree that we have humans do have some free will but it's not absolute.

    Furthermore, I can't remember who said this but a good saying by someone that I like was the following:

    It's the man that's free; not the will. The will cannot be free because that's just an act of determination.
    With probably a few rare exceptions at least most of us have the freedom to choose our actions and should be held accountable to them as well. By the time we are making decisions that point at which we are at then was still influenced by preceding factors and it's the very root that leads to all those influences in the first place that we have no control over.  We cannot freely will things, but we can freely choose things. If that makes sense?

    The unexamined thought is not worth thinking.

  • MayCaesarMayCaesar 1715 Pts
    Dee said:
    @ZeusAres42

    Free will may indeed be illusory but if this were to be determined beyond a doubt why should we hold anyone responsible for their actions no matter how despicable and why punish them? 

    We are are not responsible for where we are born nor to who we are born nor indeed for our genetic make up, so how can we be responsible for how we act or behave? 
    To answer this, we must first clarify: what do we mean by "we"? Who is "we"? Are we our bodies? Are we our brains? Are we both? Are we neither? Are we our consciousness, and if yes, then what is that consciousness physically? Does it even exist outside our perspective?

    I tend to look at it in a pretty abstract manner: our bodies and brains are merely vessels, while "we" are something deeper, something resulting in consciousness - which, again, is a vessel of our will. Our will is not free because it is completely determined by the chemical reactions happening inside these entities, but the entire complex of us and our vessels can be seen as having free will.

    In simplified terms, there is an entity that has free will, but that entity is not us, and we are merely a part of it. And when we say that someone is responsible for something, we really mean that entity. That entity, in turn, is not free from the laws of physics and its environment, but we need to draw the line somewhere, and we do it there.

    When someone murders someone else, you could say, "They did it because their organism decided to do it, not because they freely chose to do it". But you could also say, "They did it because their organism decided to do it, and they are responsible for what their organism decides, because that organism is a part of them". It is kind of like having a pet dog and being sued when that pet dog attacks a neighbor: you obviously cannot control what the dog does, when you are not around, but the dog is still your property, and you are responsible for misuse of that property - even if that property misuses itself.

    The difference from who we are born and what our genetic make up is is that these traits are decided before "we" even exist. Once we have emerged in this world, however, and once we have reached a certain degree of adulthood that gives us a relatively mature consciousness - we become responsible for our actions.
  • IdolRocksIdolRocks 52 Pts
    @ZeusAres42 "absolute free will is no more than an illusion.  "

    Can you expand on what this means, please?
  • DeeDee 480 Pts
    @ZeusAres42

    Good response , the topic fascinates me and I like to ask various questions regarding the different position people state on the topic , I like Galen Strawson take on free will of which you’re possibly familiar with in which he puts forward his view on  moral responsibility please let me know your thoughts ........


    Strawson's Basic Argument

    Galen Strawson has a post on moral responsibility at The Stone. One of the arguments he gives is:


    (a) It’s undeniable that the way you are initially is a result of your genetic inheritance and early experience.


    (b) It’s undeniable that these are things for which you can’t be held to be in any way responsible (morally or otherwise).


    (c) But you can’t at any later stage of life hope to acquire true or ultimate moral responsibility for the way you are by trying to change the way you already are as a result of genetic inheritance and previous experience.


    (d) Why not? Because both the particular ways in which you try to change yourself, and the amount of success you have when trying to change yourself, will be determined by how you already are as a result of your genetic inheritance and previous experience.


    (e) And any further changes that you may become able to bring about after you have brought about certain initial changes will in turn be determined, via the initial changes, by your genetic inheritance and previous experience.


    This isn't an idle exercise; it really is Strawson's view that there is no such thing as moral responsibility, unless we use the phrase in an exceptionally weak sense. The argument above is part of a larger argument ("the Basic Argument") to this end.

  • piloteerpiloteer 384 Pts
    @ZeusAres42

    Could you clarify the difference between "free will" and " absolute free will"?
  • ZeusAres42ZeusAres42 314 Pts
    edited May 12

    Absolute free will being the idea that we have complete control over everything about us vs the idea that free will can exist but only within the natural laws, we're all bound by.

    The unexamined thought is not worth thinking.

  • piloteerpiloteer 384 Pts
    edited May 12
    @ZeusAres42

    Oh. That's a world of difference. Are you arguing that because absolute free will doesn't exist, then no free will exists? 
  • ZeusAres42ZeusAres42 314 Pts

    No, that is not what I am saying.

    The unexamined thought is not worth thinking.

  • piloteerpiloteer 384 Pts
    @ZeusAres42

    It looks like there's not really much of a debate to be had here then.
  • ZeusAres42ZeusAres42 314 Pts
    @piloteer

    There are however people that might disagree and so there be debate.

    The unexamined thought is not worth thinking.

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