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View Poll Results: Do you argue with yourself about free will?
No, I believe that we are immensely complex machines, and that free will is an illusion. 4 14.81%
No, I believe that we have free will, and that not all of our decisions are determined by physics. 6 22.22%
Yes, I drive myself insane over this every day... 3 11.11%
I sometimes wonder about it, but I don't think about it too much. 6 22.22%
None of the above 8 29.63%
Voters: 27. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-10-2010, 02:18 PM   #16
brianL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vigilandy View Post
if we agree that a person is a product of their environment
We don't. The environment is only one of the influences on a person's behaviour. They are many and varied, and can't be reduced to a neat "scientific" formula. Haven't you noticed that everyone you meet or know is different? Different in all sorts of personality traits? How they can all react differently to the same situation? Even when they're all from the same environment. Let's keep the laws and theories of physics on the level they were intended for, and not use them to try and explain things as complex as human beings.
 
Old 08-10-2010, 02:23 PM   #17
XavierP
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@MrCode Aside from the fact that this is an interesting philosophical question, why stress over whether you have free-will or not? How would you know whether you do or not and if you can determine it, how would you change it? You seem to be very unhappy over something that you have no way of determining and no way of fixing. This is something that you should not stress about, really really. That way lies mental health issues. Enjoy the fact that science, art and the rest can reveal many interesting things about nature and life and just get on with it. You have many more years left in you and there is no point in worrying yourself to death over this. Get some objectivity and relegate this to the box marked "mental exercise".

TL;DR - enjoy life more.
 
Old 08-10-2010, 04:17 PM   #18
MTK358
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCode View Post
Great. Great way to start a reply to a thread created by someone who sometimes literally cries over this kind of s#!t every day. Thanks a lot.
But you yourself asked for member's opinions, I think it was pretty obvious that some of them think everything is deterministic.

So you asked for it!

Last edited by MTK358; 08-10-2010 at 04:19 PM.
 
Old 08-11-2010, 03:39 PM   #19
unSpawn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCode View Post
This is something I found some time ago, and for some, it could help, but for me it doesn't (..)
Quote:
If I may use a crude analogy, imagine two bodies moving toward each other by virtue of gravitational attraction. Each body, if sentient, might wonder whether it is he or the other fellow who is exerting the "force." In a way it is both, in a way it is neither. It is best to say that it is the configuration of the two which is crucial.
The boldface section is not about "winning" but I do recognize it as showcasing the contrast between how relationship or division is understood in West and East. The West tries to determine and classify about everything while the East tends to view entities as relationships. A simple example, from the introduction to Sun-Tzu by R. T. Ames, goes like this: a list for animals, western stylee, could look like this: ape, bluebird, cheetah, ocelot, giraffe, rhinoceros, platypus. The eastern one might look like this: birds, snakes, yellow-scaled snakes, sea snakes, dogs, dogs that bite, a white lion, horses, the horses owned by the king, fish, fish in this pond.

In short where in the West a single entity derives it's meaning or value from what basically is an imbalance (top quark vs bottom quark, deity vs mortal) in Eastern philosophy an entity derives meaning or value from it's relationship to others. (Sure the term "holistic" comes to mind but it is tainted beyond repair.) This quoted text of yours is part of "Is God a Taoist?" by Raymond Smullyan. And I kind of doubt I would recommend any text or book by this once magician, logician and mathematician for introducing Eastern philosophy...


While I wouldn't mark it TLDR I sense a Schrödinger's cat (OK and motivational and cognitive hazards as well as a existential threat *WST) and so I agree your "free will or not" conflict is not going to help you solve things. What's worse is that if an when you find the answer (if any) you might be disappointed. Not only because of the amount of time spent contemplating it but also because of the answer itself. And so you come to know the answer. And then what?.. :-]
 
Old 08-11-2010, 05:30 PM   #20
MrCode
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Quote:
While I wouldn't mark it TLDR I sense a Schrödinger's cat (OK and motivational and cognitive hazards as well as a existential threat *WST) and so I agree your "free will or not" conflict is not going to help you solve things. What's worse is that if an when you find the answer (if any) you might be disappointed. Not only because of the amount of time spent contemplating it but also because of the answer itself. And so you come to know the answer. And then what?.. :-]
I take it what you're saying here is that we indeed shouldn't be looking for an answer to the "are we really free" question, because if it turns out that we're not (i.e. the hard determinists were right all along), then that knowledge would end up destroying many of our very core values?

If so, then I absolutely 100% agree!!

(BTW that "Warning Signs of Tomorrow" site you linked to is rather fascinating...)

Last edited by MrCode; 08-11-2010 at 05:35 PM.
 
Old 08-12-2010, 10:05 AM   #21
LinuxBauer
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In a realistic sense we definitely have free will. I choose to type here right now, and if I wanted to I could stop and delete this message and you'd never realize it. This is a pointless argument to make, because you could say we don't have free will because we are "destined" to do everything in our lives, but in the moment, we feel free, and that's what matters.

If you want to feel true pain and lack of freedom, go to a Turkish prison. Then all this nonsense about "are we really free?" disappears immediately, because when you realize that we do have true freedom, it is so sweet.
 
Old 08-12-2010, 12:14 PM   #22
MrCode
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Quote:
if I wanted to I could stop and delete this message and you'd never realize it.
And here's where people like vigilandy would disagree with you. According to the "determinist" belief, you would have to have either a) some kind of previous internal motive (i.e. you would have had to plan it out), b) something happen outside of you, or c) some strage physiological phenomenon happen to you. In other words, there's no such thing as making a decision "on a whim", it's always planned out in advance, whether you realize it or not. This is what gets to me so much.

Quote:
you could say we don't have free will because we are "destined" to do everything in our lives
This is exactly the point that determinists make, in that all of your actions are not "yours", because there is *really* only matter, and the "you" is only a perception, and since all matter is (or at least appears to be) governed by one set of hard mathematical laws, then you must be, too, and hence you're not "free". The "freedom" is an illusion played by the mind.

Quote:
in the moment, we feel free, and that's what matters.
Normally I would agree with you here; we spend entirely too much time "analyzing" ourselves to the point where life seems meaningless. Why can't we just live our lives, and not keep trying to prove something that, if proven to be true (we're all automatons, no action is "free"), would cause tons of psychological devastation and possibly even lost lives (i.e. suicide) if that knowledge were released?

But as I said before, the determinist excuse for that would probably be something like "natural selection at work", because "nature" would be "weeding out the less intelligent specimens", or whatever. How sick and cruel can you get with that?

EDIT: BTW, ever since this whole thing started, I don't really feel "free" anymore, because after every decision that I make in my life, I catch myself analyzing exactly why I made that decision. Yes, every decision, even the tiny, miniscule, seemingly pointless ones. I can usually find a reason behind the decision, thus further proving the point that we're not free, and that all decisions are planned out in advance, in a causal pattern. This depresses me pretty much every day.

Last edited by MrCode; 08-12-2010 at 12:22 PM.
 
Old 08-12-2010, 09:20 PM   #23
lumak
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In in physics, everything has an equal and opposite reaction.

My hypothesis is that social interactions must experience the same effect.

Everybody is the total sum of all their life and genetic experiences. This interaction is so complex that our actions are justified as freewill when in fact it is nothing more than a reaction to our environment and genetic predisposition.

Without any outside influences, I will continue to think this and in essence give up my freewill.
 
Old 08-13-2010, 01:56 AM   #24
MrCode
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Quote:
Everybody is the total sum of all their life and genetic experiences. This interaction is so complex that our actions are justified as freewill when in fact it is nothing more than a reaction to our environment and genetic predisposition.
...then go stand in the corner with vigilandy if you so believe this. Thanks for reinforcing to me the fact that life is meaningless, and that free will really is an illusion.

Seriously, people like you really make me want to scream...

I guess what I really started this thread for was a little reassurance, i.e. that science hasn't "figured it all out" yet, and that there's still some hope left for my beliefs to stand.


...but I guess I was wrong in assuming that anyone would actually stand up for me.



EDIT: Here's my perceived situation regarding beliefs:

Belief: We have all been given free will by God, at the expense of knowing that it could cause suffering.
Determinist response: You're just a religious moron who believes in bull$#!t like this because it's all you have been taught.

Belief: We might as well have free will, because science hasn't figured out enough about physics to disprove it.
Determinist response: Sure it has; you're just an ignorant fool.

Belief: We're all basically machines, and all of our interactions are a result of environmental conditions and genetic predisposition.
Determinist response: Finally, someone with a little sense...

EDIT EDIT: Perhaps your response was just flame-bait, and I just happened to bite...?

FINAL EDIT: For those of you who don't *get me*, here's my "quandary":

The determinists here would have me see life as basically like one long movie, i.e. I can experience it, but I have no *real* control over anything. The way *I* would like to see it is more like a video game, if you will, i.e. I actually have some control over my existence. This, I believe, is where the real friction begins. The determinists would probably hit me back with the (rhetorical) question of "really, where exactly does this 'control' come from?". This is one of the questions I argue with myself over every day, and is a huge contributor in this whole "free will vs. determinism" nighmare that I'm going through now...

...do you know what else is sick and heartless about this whole thing? (This is also why I absolutely refuse to see a psychiatrist or counselor)

People would "dissect" me, i.e. they would simply tell me that I'm just "looking for acceptance", or whatever, and that I just need to "get a better social life", etc., etc.

I'm sick and fscking tired of people trying to use their cold, reductionist, clinical tactics on me!!!

A note to the mods: close this thread if you feel you must, but would it be possible to keep the poll still open? I would still like some more stats, if anyone else cares to vote.

Last edited by MrCode; 08-13-2010 at 02:27 AM.
 
Old 08-13-2010, 03:38 AM   #25
XavierP
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If the thread closes, the poll closes. And you still haven't responded to my question posted a few pages back: how would you know which state life exists in? once you have this knowledge, what will you do to change it? a follow up to that - does it need to be changed?

God giving free will is an oxymoron, by the way. Read the whole Bible - apparently there's a plan in place.
 
Old 08-13-2010, 05:40 AM   #26
brianL
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To me, saying our lives are predestined by the laws of physics is just as daft as the claims of astrology or that it's part of some mythical being's plan. Pure superstition.
P.S.
How did those clever little quarks manage to get me to type that, and then fool me into believing I'd actually chosen to do it? Or did the Devil make me do it? Or is it because the Moon was in Gemini at my birth?

Last edited by brianL; 08-13-2010 at 06:15 AM.
 
Old 08-13-2010, 06:11 AM   #27
linus72
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MrCode what is it you are searching for at 18?
the meaning of life?
It is mostly an unknown, even to the most experienced "gurus", "saints", "preachers", "scientists", etc

as for freewill; you have had it since birth
you may do as you please...until you break a law or something...then your freewill
will be challenged.

being 18 you have a ways to go; God if you believe, granted you freedom to choose
alone among all of God's creatures you, a human, have the power of life and death
in your hand at any given moment

The answer is kinda yes and no
I believe you have freewill until your freewill somehow comes into conflict
with either God or sometimes with another person who is more powerful, or deceitful, or whatever

you could go right now and say Rob a bank; thus exercising your freewill
but there would be consequences
With every choice, (choice being the fruit of freewill), there are consequences, whether good or bad.

However; choice/freewill is also acted on by chance and time, see this
Ecclesiastes 9:11
Quote:
I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.
so, time and chance can help or hurt your freewill too

In short; according to my belief
God basically created Man, for whatever reason
But, He wanted to know if Man would be faithful to Him

Thus, in the Garden he placed a tree there; that being the "Tree of the knowledge of good and evil"
The fun part is that this is basically the same thing as if you, MrCode
were say a 5yr old and I placed a .357 revolver on the table and told you not to touch it
and then I left the room

100% of the time I bet you picked up that revolver huh?
You understand that God knew you would fail that test?

You see, in the end; our so-called life here on earth is all one big test
it's a test to see which side your on
If God was visible, etc you would be good all the time, knowing there would be consequences

so, God hides Himself in order to see who really is good or evil
Our life is just the 6week basic training thing; it's what happens after this life that will really affect your freewill

As I said, we all have much to learn and little time to do it in....

I have to ask though; have you ever actually studied religion, philosophy, etc?
meaning did you read the whole Bible, or Quran or whatever?
 
Old 08-13-2010, 07:26 AM   #28
FredGSanford
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As George Clinton of the Funkadelic once said...

Quote:
Free your mind and your azz will follow
 
Old 08-13-2010, 01:52 PM   #29
ntubski
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Quote:
No, I believe that we have free will, and that not all of our decisions are determined by physics.
I don't understand this: if your decisions are determined by something that is not physics, how does that give you free will? What makes something "not physics"?

Suppose you have a "soul" in which your decisions/thoughts originate, does that mean you are free, or are you "controlled" by your "soul"?
 
Old 08-13-2010, 02:34 PM   #30
mostlyharmless
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Quote:
How did those clever little quarks manage to get me to type that, and then fool me into believing I'd actually chosen to do it? Or did the Devil make me do it? Or is it because the Moon was in Gemini at my birth?
Sounds like a good list for the next poll in General.

On topic, existential angst (which I think describes the topic) is relatively common at 18 and usually cured in college with reading philosophy and drinking beer.
You'll figure it out, hopefully.
 
  


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