Free will - impossible..

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by edyb123, May 17, 2007.

  1. edyb123

    edyb123 Senior Member

    I don't believe anyone can have free will in the sense that they can make decisions that were not effected 100% by external cause and effect, cause and effect.. and so on.

    If i choose to eat a chocolate bar.. there are reasons that i would do so.. i didn't pull the choice out of nowhere.. i was hungry perhaps.. i didnt feel like something savoury.. i had money... there was a shop nearby.. and so on..

    sort of like the butterfly effect (where a butterfly flapping its wings could be enough to mean that there will be a hurricane on the otherside of the world)
    every single cause and effect between every single atom of the universe.. effects how us as humans think.. and the suposedly 'free choices' we make..

    If we, as humans are purely made up of matter within this universe.. (as apossed to having an imaterial soul of some kind) then just as everything around us is subject to the laws of physics etc.. our bodies and minds are also completely subject to the laws of physics.. and so we have no real control over what we do... as what we do is determined by what effects us .. and that effect is in turn affected by what effected it.. and so on.

    Therefore, to have free will we must have souls/spirits/minds of some sort that do not exist in a material world (meaning they would not have to be subject to any kind of laws..).. however, the thought of any kind of realm that is not material and cannot be subject to the laws of physics is something that is logicaly impossible... (in my opinion.. and many others) and would be something that humans could not comprehend...

    therefore.. it is 'logical' (logic being something that we have to use.. if we are to even try and obtain answers from life) to believe that there is no such thing as a non-material mind and in turn to not believe in free will...

    If that did not make sense to you then maybe this will explain it in more depth: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/determinism

    and yes this does mean that there can't really be such a thing as blame.. and that people who commit crimes coudln't have done otherwise..
    and also that people who punish people who commit crimes coudln't have done otherwise..
    and that everything that has hapened was destined to happen
    and that whatever happens in the future woudln't have hapened any other way..

    These sound like negative points... but they are a necessity that comes with holding the opinion that 'we don't have free will' to be logical


    anyway.. thats my opinion on the matter..
    what do you guys think?
     
  2. hippie_chick666

    hippie_chick666 Senior Member

    I think you make total sense. If we lived in an isolated world, then there would not be any external influences, but we don't. You should check out the Buddhist idea of interdependence, as in, everything we do is influenced by our surroundings.

    Peace and love
     
  3. yyyesiam2

    yyyesiam2 Senior Member

    logic is a word. we created words and logic. it's obvious that we aren't perfect, so why is logic something we absolutely need to find truth? that idea alone seems flawed, as it is created by something imperfect. just because our limited brain tissue can't find anything outside of its own way of existing, doesn't mean that there isn't more beyond what it can perceive. our internal chatter-and all other parts of our awareness that originates in the brain and is inter related with our "logical apparatus" probably is caught in the world of cause and effect. something that hasn't been located by modern science, however, is the "observer". you have never been found in the brain. all that has been found are the traces of your internal chatter and bodily functions. where are you? what is your awareness? do you really believe that that which sees in you is nothing more than a biological machine?


    oh, and if you decide to hurt someone, or commit a crime-it's your fault. you can decide not to.
     
  4. edyb123

    edyb123 Senior Member

    Yes... it is true that there could be things that we cannot comprehend.. and that there could be existence outside of the material world.. where the 'observer' may be..

    however.. since this is incomprehendable then it defies logic as we know it.. (even if logic is just something we made up..)

    everything in our society is based on this idea of logic.. whether it is fact or not.. so if you want to apply logic to anything in society.. then it should be applied to everything including the idea of free will..

    if you are to say that 1 + 1 = 2 .. the answer being correct because it is logical.. then it makes sense to tackle the idea of free will in a comprehendable and therefore logical (as we know it) way also...

    So we either try to understand our world in a way that we can understand... and therefore acknowledging that free will is non-existent

    OR we accept that there is a possiblity of infinite logic beyond that of which we can grasp... therefore rendering the free will argument false.. but also bringing doubt upon every peice of knowledge that we claim to have of the world around us...

    So.. since it is more suitable to live in a world where we can at least try to understand things.. we may as well acept that free will is logicaly non-existent.. (and that 1+1 = 2 ... e=mc2 and so on)..


    and no.. if you don't believe we have free will then you cannot make the decision not to commit a crime.. thats the whole point of determinism..
     
  5. yyyesiam2

    yyyesiam2 Senior Member

    1. not everything in our society is "based on logic".
    2. understanding does not have to come from logic, or grasping.
    3. the free will to act with intent is so universally obvious, i don't understand how there can even be an argument.
     
  6. edyb123

    edyb123 Senior Member

    1. everything in our society IS based on logic... no one does something illogicaly.. maybe you mite think that other people do illogical things.. but to THEM it is logical.. Basically, everything is done with an aim.. therefore it is logical.. it is not random and un-planned.. me buying chips is logical because there was a reason for me to do so...
    traffic lights being put in place are logical because they serve a purpose.. etc etc

    2. how can you understand something and not grasp it also? they come together..

    3. yeh, i know it seems absurd.. but it is logical if you think about it..
    assuming our bodies are simply biological machines.. (only materialistic)
    then they can ONLY be effected by other things... within the universe... and NOT a 'free' mind as such..

    and this brings it back to saying that perhaps there is something im-material that effects what we do (spirit/soul) but.. as i said this is uncomprehensible.. and so is pointless considering..

    yes.. it seems crazy to suggest that mass murderers could not have chosen another path... but it is also logical.. or.. if you don't like the word logical... it makes sense.. it accords to the laws of science..
     
  7. Hobes

    Hobes Member

    ^one mans illogic is another mans Common sense. ^

    after that yyyesiam2 i agree with you
     
  8. edyb123

    edyb123 Senior Member

    then hobes... explain to me how you think our mind can make choices that are even slightly free from the effects of everything around us..
     
  9. mortes

    mortes Senior Member

    edyb123 it would be impossible to make a choice that is devoid of anything of this world. A choice so abstract and strange that it is ultimately "free" in the true sense of the word. Free will isn't this neccessarily though. Will is based on your intent behind something. While you can't make a choice that uninfluenced or completely unique you make your own choice based on what you want, even if we are sheep we still make choices, you only realise "the map" (refering to our choices over a period of time) afterwards.

    I'd just like to say that I like this discussion and have had it before, its always fun.
     
  10. yyyesiam2

    yyyesiam2 Senior Member

    1. it is possible to act without forethought, or any internal chatter whatsoever.
    2. there is a different quality of understanding that comes when the mind ceases to grasp.
    3. i suppose to respond here would be redundant.

    the logical mind is only a part of our awareness. with it comes time, seperation and the ability to plan based on past experience. it does have its uses. this does not mean that it is the only, or even the most efficient way in which we can perceive reality. when one acts on their base desires, whims, etc- i would have to say that this behaviour is pretty mechanical. when one acts with full awareness of the present, unhindered by the logical, chattering mind, there is freewill and humanity in their actions.
     
  11. Hobes

    Hobes Member

    ok now i think i under stand what you are thinking but i stand by what i said cause it makes no difference. i just ask what should we do with people who commit mass murdder
     
  12. We all have free will, I believe, but our ability to choose free will, our strength of character, varies from person to person. You have people who've lived horrible shitty lives, came from horrible parents who didn't care about them, and still did a lot of good with their lives and yet you had people who grew up in a well off middle class background that were picked on in school and it was enough to transform them into serial killers.

    So I think free will exists but we aren't all so fortunate enough to have been been born with it or develop it in equal amounts. Biological factors like mental illness (in the case of the serial killer) are also a factor as well as social stigma (not getting psychological help to try to help yourself, because you feel self conscious about doing so)

    And perhaps there is a limit to how much anyone can take before they give in to their needs, but I believe that we vary widly from person to person in our capacity to act of our own will.

    I suppose you can say that any action we take still takes place within this universe, so we are still a force at work within the universe and therefore under the influence of the sun that gave us life, the oxygen we breathe etc., but in that instance you are looking so outside the box that humanity and the welfare of this planet or even the solar system do not concern you anymore. Nothing does, because you've reached a point of relativism, of extreme nihilism, that anything that happens in the universe is natural and acceptable and there are no morals or appriopriate courses of action for anyone to take. Kill, maim, torture, whatever you feel like on a whim. It's just the universe working through you.

    I think a human being can think in terms of that (hell, I just did) but I've never met one who sincerely thought like that. What would it be like to live like that, complete uncaring about the destruction of mankind, the solar system, anything?

    Then perhaps there are some who realize that maybe the universe is just this random and uncaring void and that any source of light or analyzation of the things around us, the categorizing of right and wrong, must come from within.

    We create love because we have the free will to do so and we choose to. I do not think love occurs in the universe otherwise, between planets and moons. There is a level of awareness neccesary for love that I don't think these celestial bodies possess. Somehow, only we humans, ridiculously tiny insects with enormous brain power, can look at the universe with a subjective lens and one day have the power to mold and shape it to our will.

    That's my opinion: love exists because we create it. We may as well learn to do a better job creating it however, or we'll completely wipe out this pocket of self awareness, the only one we know exists for sure in the universe.
     

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