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Do you believe in the philosophical concept of “free will”?

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by thcsavage, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. #1 thcsavage, Dec 2, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
    Idk if I believe in it. I’ve written my opinion below but I’m still uncertain about a lot of things.

    Every decision one makes in the present is connected to what’s going to happen. It’s possible that in some way we are in control of making the decisions, but there’s no way we’re control of what’s going to happen. Once certain decisions are made, the outcome of what’s going to happen next can not change, it’s already determined. The question is if we are the ones who make the choices or if those are pre-determined as well.

    Let me know if you disagree with me or if you believe or don’t believe the possibility of us being 100% control of ourselves.

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  2. I don't think we are 100% in control of ourselves. We have been influenced to make a certain decision a certain way from birth. By family, Religious beliefs or lack off, culturally etc. Now if this is true then some choices must be predetermined and even predicted to some extent by others.
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  3. So you’re saying ones destiny is dependent on their environment?

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  4. To some degree of cause.
  5. I believe in the biological concept of free will. That it was a trait that evolved.. no different than emotions or hair color or eye shape.. and is found in all life with a brain composed of two or more different kinds of neurons. If all of our actions are 100% dictated by the past events and present conditions, then more times than not there would be a lack of decision.. due to the main "choices" you make having equal weight and therefore neither one of them could be picked.. or there would be an opposing choice with equal weight that cancels out the other. Now that does happen.. like when people freeze because they're stuck between fight and flight.. but if it were to always happen, it wouldn't be very beneficial to life. The natural world is pretty brutal.. and having all of your actions already dictated would be counterproductive to surviving. The ability to choice, free will, evolved in life.. not just humans.

    Now that isn't to say that we don't mostly live our life on a subconscious level.. I'd even say that for the most part, our actions are 80-90% subconscious. Our subconscious is mostly effected by past events and present conditions.. and for the most part we go with the flow.. but the ability to direct the flow or even stop it is there.

    That's my philosophical-ish biological concept of free will anyway..
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  6. Correct me if I’m wrong, but if I’m understanding you thoroughly, you claim that everyone does have the ability to choose freely, no matter on their fate.
    Now answer this, once one makes a choice to do something, even if chosen freely, can they control what happens next? Meaning an outcome or even a consequence on what they did. I’m asking this because the philosophy of life, at least in my opinion is literally a cause and effect chain reaction, based on the choices one makes, regardless if chosen freely or not.

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  7. It isn't really as black and white as this.. really depends on the situation. Like if you have a ball.. you choose to throw it up in the air, after which you can choose what to do next. Catch it, let it hit the ground, let it bounce 3 times then catch it.. headbutt it. If you roll the ball down a hill.. once it is out of your reach, you can't do a damn thing about it.

    I too believe everything is a chain of cause and effect.. everything that happens does so because of the events that led up to it.. and every action has an equal and opposing reaction.. but the thing about cause and effect is that it's countless chains of cause and effect intertwined. If you try to imagine it as a literal chain and each link is an event, when you're focused on an individual link, there are numerous other chains stemming from that link. Countless chains leading into the link from the numerous events that led up to it.. and countless chains coming off the link that represent possibilities. Whenever you make a choice, you're not destined to follow just one chain.. when you hit a link, there can be numerous outcomes. Obviously once you've made the choice.. you will start to follow that chain.. but you have the choice of which one to follow.

    I don't believe in fate as a real thing.. or that all future events are already determined. If I followed anything, it'd be chaos theory with a mix of determinism. Like if you were to be able to know the exact position of every subatomic particle in the solar system, you'd be able to predict with 99.99% accuracy future natural events. 99.99% accuracy because that 0.01% is there because I believe that there could be a random event (even on a subatomic level) that occurs because every event (chain link) literally has an infinite amount of chains of cause and effect leading up to it and you can never predict something that is infinite with 100% accuracy.

    That was for natural events though.. like storms, or a tree falling, or even when and where an individual meteor will streak across the sky. Life that has a brain.. while it typically goes with the flow.. has the ability to make its own flow.
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  8. Socialization.
  9. #9 Praetorian, Dec 8, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
    I always found it odd that whether we have free will or not is such a big discussion. It seems fairly obvious to me, that we have free will, until we don't. Meaning: There are things in our life we can affect and do, and then there are things we cannot affect and don't. It's not an either-or, it's a both, all the time.

    The smaller the issue, the more "choice" a person has. If it is just about throwing a ball in the air and choosing to catch it or not, then sure, we have free choice. It might be influenced by smaller chemical reactions in our brain we are unaware of at the time of our choosing, but in general, the choice originated in our head and we made it. We controlled the ball. No problem there.

    On the other hand, the bigger issues, we rarely have any choice in. If lightning wants to strike, or a flood wants to flood the entire city, or all the work disappears around us and we have to economically migrate, etc etc. These are all issues that happen to us. Any choosing that takes place after that, is reactionary and generally defined and limited by whatever choices the person has left at their disposal.
    Furthermore, any "choosing" that takes place after that, has nothing to do with the fact that the original event already happened to the person, without them having chosen it at all.

    Sam Harris would argue we don't have the choice even over the smaller things we think we do.

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  10. ultimately I do not believe in free will

    we can dismiss the religious connotations here in concerns to free will

    but then we have the biological body which attributes to certain behaviors.. more specifically the brain gives you suggestions (which you believe to be free will)

    such as the desire to eat out of hunger, you have the freedom of choice to decide what to eat, first your body made you hungry (biology affecting decision making), followed by the decision on what to eat (where humans prefer fatty foods because high fatty foods offer a lot of energy that our brains process as *CONSUME THIS* which dates back to our ancestors and their survival strategies *which is evident through rampant fast food chains*

    it is a very interesting thing to ponder, but free will I just dont know how to define, there are so many complexities to a seemingly simple choice or decision..
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  11. What if someone chooses not to eat? There have been people who chose to not eat and die of starvation. When you're starving, not just your brain is telling you to eat.. your whole body is as well. Then someone uses their brain to choose to ignore the rest of their brain and body.. and fights those biological urges until they ultimately die. You could say that that is really more a case of them having strong will power.. but that's really one in the same as having free will. A physical, biological free will.. not a supernatural, religious free will..
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  12. people have made solid arguments for both sides, haha the only thing is pretty confusing. I would like to believe in free will at the very least ^_^
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  13. then I raise why is it that they choose not to eat?

    how do their genes interact with the environment?

    is there a history of starvation in the family?
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  14. i think we ultimately do have free will, despite all of the physical, emotional, social, etc factors that can influence our thoughts and actions we can choose which of those we allow to manifest.

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  15. Your first question kind of makes it sound like you're agreeing that they are choosing to starve themselves.. seeing as you asked why they chose that.

    It isn't just about genes, although I am sure they do play a role.. but really, I don't see the genes (if any) that would make someone want to starve themselves to death actually being passed along. I mean.. if their genes are making them want to die, they're going to have a hard time passing them on.. cause they're dead.

    There is an Indian religion I read about ages ago where one of the vows they take is to basically starve themselves to death. They would stop eating solid food, drinking only milk and water and such.. then slowly phasing that out as well. The process could take days or even years, but the goal was to not only give up your possessions (food being one) and give up your body as well. That isn't a genetic thing.. it's a cultural thing.. and you can say their culture is their environment.. but like I said, when you are starving, you have a large part of your brain telling you to eat.. along with your body sending signals that it needs nutrition. In order to ignore those biological commands, you need one hell of a strong sense of will power.. which I would argue is using your free will.
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  16. it is a desperate reproduction method, where this impact act will preserve the individuals legacy per se instead of by biologically bearing children

    second role likely
    the person in reference could have been indoctrinated into a doctrine, rhetoric, and decides to starve himself by following a groups stride for starvation. (this is based off of us following a big group because they will usually have a method in which their survival assures the size of the group to be consistent, and so the information passed through the group is given heavy credibility, despite the world condemning your religion or philosophy)

    cognitive dissonance plays a bigger role in exaggerating what was mentioned above as anything that counters the beliefs held will cause an uncomfort to followers of the belief and so will seek comfort through their beliefs and members of said belief.

    think of the activist that stand against the people in the lumber industry that go and protest by starvation and such, yet so much in their life revolves around the industry itself and stopping the companies actions would hurt the entire world without a reform that would take a longg time to achieve. Then again a lot of activist go in their expensive clothes to virtue signal..

    there are so many factors that you cant just say, oh yea this person all of a sudden decided to stop eating just because he wanted to.

    there is a reason why
  17. An AI program that learns to play chess on its own will look like it's exercising free will when in actual fact it's not

    It's an illusion
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  18. I agree.. there is a reason.. but you're missing what I am saying. You're trying to say that there is no free will and everything that we believe we choose is more or less just a biological reaction that we have no control of, right? I am using an extreme scenario.. one where someone goes against a shit ton of biological influences to starve themselves to death. In order to do that, you have to ignore an unyielding biological influence. Think about what your brain and body does when you're hungry. It bombards you with signals trying to get you to eat.. and when you reach the point of where you're starving, your brain and body is going to go crazy trying to get some sort of nutrition. People who are starving that don't want to starve will eat just about anything they can get their hands on because they're ravenous and need nutrition. If there was no free will, you wouldn't be able to ignore that shit. If there was no free will, the only way a person would starve to death is if there was simply no food or substance available to them.. a person wouldn't be able to willingly starve themselves to death without free will, just wouldn't happen. There would be too many biological signals.. and if all of our "choices" are the only choice we could make due to biological signals, self starvation wouldn't be a thing.. but it is.. it happens.

    Another good example of free will is the fact that there is religion and supernatural beliefs. By definition, supernatural is beyond or apart from what is natural. If there was no free will, the very first person to create a supernatural belief would not have been able to do so as there would have been no physical, biological influences dictating those thoughts.
  19. #19 Definitely Ambiguous, Dec 14, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
    this is wrong, there have been shrines to bears in the times of early humans, literally humans worshiping the natural world though supernatural motifs, for they wanted to emulate the biology of the bear, for it is big and is not disturbed by the other small animals, it is a master of its domain. We borrow concept, ideas and behaviors from other people, its why we have culture, it would be quite astounding to say that we do not borrow concepts from our natural world

    technological advancements have been made with observing animal biology, bird beaks are used in building trains. Webbed feet from frogs have been used in swimming equipment for our own feet to act similarly.

    the environment plays a huge role, I am not dismissing the environment for genes
    your genes interact with the environment

    humans have always attempted to understand the world around them, and through discovering the environment we create the supernatural beliefs, in attempting to explain what our rational minds cannot

    with your case about the extreme scenario about starvation the issue still persists: one where someone goes against a shit ton of biological influences to starve themselves to death. In order to do that, you have to ignore an unyielding biological influence.

    these people that take extreme scenarios or actions do so because they are adapting to their environment as they see fit, you are merely shifting to a new "biological" master, adaptations are not always positive nor are evolutionary traits always positive, some people are more apt to certain behavior because of their genes (like dementia, its a reason why a diagnosis of your families health is important in the medical field), and their environment interacts with those genes, the genes that act best in an environment are ultimately the ones that are most prominent.

    its why you have mothers that kill their youngest child when they already have children, mothers are so caring and loving for their children *as a result of a mass amount of hormones being released upon giving birth, connecting the mother and newborn* but are still capable of killing their own children, our biology certainly does shed light as to why this phenomena occurs, for we know that the newborn baby has had the least amount of investment, the mother has not had to nurture the baby as long as the other children, so in cases where a mother kills only a certain child over other will typically result in the youngest baby being the victim. (scenarios like this include a lack of funds *impoverishment*
  20. Like your point

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