Poll: does free will exist?
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View poll results: does free will exist?
Yes
44 59%
No
24 32%
I don't know/haven't really thought about it
6 8%
Voters: 74.
Page 1 of 4
#1
some of you may be annoyed because you've seen this thread before, but the last decent thread i've found on free will was made in 2008/2009 and if i bumped that, it would have zero to very little new activity. plus, i want a new discussion.

because free will is a very contradictory idea in most of its definitions, i will leave it to you to both decide what it means and to decide in whether you think it's true. you're welcome, compatibilists.

personally, i can't see how free will can possibly exist. our actions are either due to a quantum probability wave or a long chain of prior causes, neither of which are controlled by a conscious author.

a good video to watch on the topic would be: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCofmZlC72g

sam harris has also released a fascinating and very short book on free will which i would recommend to anybody interested in the topic.

so, do you think free will exists?
Click here to hear my BOB DYLAN (Blowing in the Wind) out right now May 2k17
Last edited by laid-to-waste at Jul 10, 2013,
#2
No, because the notion makes no sense whatsoever.
...Stapling helium to penguins since 1949.
#4
Why is the Pit so philosophical recently?

OT, no. Not anymore.
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1608923
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#5
Quote by Todd Hart
No, because the notion makes no sense whatsoever.

i agree, which is why i'm always surprised to see many people think we do have free will and end up using an argument like 'look, i choose to poke you right now.'
Quote by AeroRocker
Why is the Pit so philosophical recently?

OT, no. Not anymore.
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1608923

but i already payed him the membership tax and the white male privilege tax
Click here to hear my BOB DYLAN (Blowing in the Wind) out right now May 2k17
Last edited by laid-to-waste at Jul 10, 2013,
#6
I think it's unknowable.
Quote by Fat Lard
Why would you spend tens of thousands of dollars to learn about a language you already speak? It was over before it even started dude

Quote by captainsnazz
brot pls
#7
Quote by laid-to-waste
i agree, which is why i'm always surprised to see many people think we do have free will and end up using an argument like 'look, i choose to poke you right now.'


Well it's a little upsetting to think that nothing you have done in your life was really up to you. That's probably why the idea that free will doesn't exist is so repulsive.
...Stapling helium to penguins since 1949.
#9
Quote by Todd Hart
Well it's a little upsetting to think that nothing you have done in your life was really up to you. That's probably why the idea that free will doesn't exist is so repulsive.

i agree. i think one good judge of character is whether they can divorce what is true from what makes you feel better. it's such a shame that so many people say things like 'i can't bare to not believe in anything, it must be so depressing' or 'how can you think nothing happens after you die, it must be so depressing', all the while never putting forward an argument with examples/logic as to why there may be life after death.
Quote by jaybsp
We have the feeling of freedom, that's all we can really know.

Quote by BladeSlinger
I think it's unknowable.

actually, we kinda can. free will is a human-defined concept, and it makes no sense. in order for me to explain why it makes no sense, i first require anybody to put forward an argument for why it does exist.
Click here to hear my BOB DYLAN (Blowing in the Wind) out right now May 2k17
Last edited by laid-to-waste at Jul 10, 2013,
#11
Quote by Todd Hart
Well it's a little upsetting to think that nothing you have done in your life was really up to you. That's probably why the idea that free will doesn't exist is so repulsive.

I mean, I think there are degrees of free will. If I absolutely had to choose a side I'd have to go with no free will. We get choices but they're so limited by a number of things.

Quote by laid-to-waste
i agree. i think one good judge of character is whether they can divorce what is true from what makes you feel better. it's such a shame that so many people say things like 'i can't bare to not believe in anything, it must be so depressing' or 'how can you think nothing happens after you die, it must be so depressing', all the while never putting forward an argument with examples/logic as to why there may be life after death.

actually, we kinda can. free will is a human-defined concept, and it makes no sense. in order for me to explain why it makes no sense, i first require anybody to put forward an argument for why it does exist.

I agree. I know a lot of people who equate truth with what feels best for them. And that's not saying that all the theists I know do that.

I see what you mean about it being unknowable. Still, it seem beyond our comprehension to reach knowledge. We can have feasible opinions, I think, but not knowledge.
Quote by Fat Lard
Why would you spend tens of thousands of dollars to learn about a language you already speak? It was over before it even started dude

Quote by captainsnazz
brot pls
Last edited by BladeSlinger at Jul 10, 2013,
#12
Free will is an illusion.
Quote by laid-to-waste
i agree. i think one good judge of character is whether they can divorce what is true from what makes you feel better. it's such a shame that so many people say things like 'i can't bare to not believe in anything, it must be so depressing' or 'how can you think nothing happens after you die, it must be so depressing', all the while never putting forward an argument with examples/logic as to why there may be life after death.

Sometimes I wish I could have faith in that sort of thing honestly. Life would be a lot happier. It doesn't matter if I don't like reality though.
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Jul 10, 2013,
#13
Quote by laid-to-waste
actually, we kinda can. free will is a human-defined concept, and it makes no sense. in order for me to explain why it makes no sense, i first require anybody to put forward an argument for why it does exist.


Not really, Hume's account of Compatibalism fails as it's not really free will in the sense we think of it, the categorical, metaphysical free will Sartre speaks of is silly (especially his reasoning to believe such a thing), plus do you mean agency free will or the categorical kind, then you can go down the Kant/Rousseau self determination route, all of the scientific talk of free will I have seen so far isn't particularly convincing.

I don't think it'll ever be proven either way I feel free and so I'll act in a way that reflects this, I know I may be determined but that's just a trauma I have to bear.
#14
Quote by laid-to-waste

personally, i can't see how free will can possibly exist. our actions are either due to a quantum probability owave or a long chain of prior causes, neither of which are controlled by a conscious author.
rofl
Quote by korinaflyingv
On the come up we were listening to Grateful Dead and the music started passing through my bowel and out my arsehole as this violet stream of light. I shat music. It was beautiful.
#15
Brian: Chaos theory.
Tim: Eh?
Brian: The predictability of random events. The notion that reality as we know it - past, present, future - is in fact a mathematically predictable preordained system.
Daisy: So somewhere out there in the vastness of the unknown is an... equation... for predicting the future?
Brian: An equation so complex as to utterly defy any possibility of comprehension by even the most brilliant human mind, but an equation nonetheless.
Tim: [In dawning realization] Oh my god...
Brian: What?
Daisy: What?
Tim: I've got some fucking Jaffa Cakes in my coat pocket.
#16
Quote by laid-to-waste
i agree. i think one good judge of character is whether they can divorce what is true from what makes you feel better. it's such a shame that so many people say things like 'i can't bare to not believe in anything, it must be so depressing' or 'how can you think nothing happens after you die, it must be so depressing', all the while never putting forward an argument with examples/logic as to why there may be life after death.

If it makes them happy, why does it matter?
___

Quote by The_Blode
she was saying things like... do you want to netflix and chill but just the chill part...too bad she'll never know that I only like the Netflix part...
#17
Quote by WCPhils
If it makes them happy, why does it matter?

This.
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
#18
Quote by jaybsp
Not really, Hume's account of Compatibalism fails as it's not really free will in the sense we think of it, the categorical, metaphysical free will Sartre speaks of is silly (especially his reasoning to believe such a thing), plus do you mean agency free will or the categorical kind, then you can go down the Kant/Rousseau self determination route, all of the scientific talk of free will I have seen so far isn't particularly convincing.

I don't think it'll ever be proven either way I feel free and so I'll act in a way that reflects this, I know I may be determined but that's just a trauma I have to bear.

That's how I feel more or less. I go through my life as if I'm free to choose. If I'm not then oh well.
Quote by Fat Lard
Why would you spend tens of thousands of dollars to learn about a language you already speak? It was over before it even started dude

Quote by captainsnazz
brot pls
#19
It's all a matter of perspective. And a society without free will is awful. So let's just say it exists, mkay?
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#20
Quote by WCPhils
If it makes them happy, why does it matter?

because irrational thinking is toxic. if you ask why, i'd tell you that irrational thinking leads to irrational actions. the suicide-bombing community is entirely faith-based, the genital mutilation community is entirely faith-based. we have to try and eliminate as much irrationality as possible and try and get people to start thinking from an early age about what is true, not what makes us feel better. this way we have a chance of progressing as a society. for me, it is upon the best of all approaches.
Click here to hear my BOB DYLAN (Blowing in the Wind) out right now May 2k17
#21
Yes, to a degree. Of course our actions are highly influenced by nature and nurture, but ultimately you are in control of your life.

Back in the days, before Einstein, Newton's Mechanical Universe was the prominent concept. That being, that everything could be predicted by the laws of physics; that the universe behaves like a giant machine. This meant that free will does not exist because we were all just cogs in the giant machine of the universe. It took someone like Einstein to bring abouts the paradigm shift from Newton's Mechanical Universe to Einstein's Relativistic Universe.

If Newton's Mechanical Universe was true then everything could be predicted. But what about the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle? This says that we cannot simultaneously know a particle's momentum and position, therefore we cannot predict what it will do.

This new paradigm shift certainly allows for the existence of free will. A new way of thinking may arise in the future that proves one way or the other, but right now, afaik, both the existence and non-existence of free will are possible.

It seems to me that since free will is possible with our current way of thinking, then why would it not be?
#22
Quote by laid-to-waste
because irrational thinking is toxic. if you ask why, i'd tell you that irrational thinking leads to irrational actions. the suicide-bombing community is entirely faith-based, the genital mutilation community is entirely faith-based. we have to try and eliminate as much irrationality as possible and try and get people to start thinking from an early age about what is true, not what makes us feel better. this way we have a chance of progressing as a society. for me, it is upon the best of all approaches.

Humans are irrational in their nature, bro. And not every 'irrational' person is a suicide bomber either.
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Jul 10, 2013,
#23
some old women believing that she gets to she her husband again in heaven or whatever isn't exactly "toxic thinking"

I get what you're saying but I just don't agree that all faith based thinking in inherently toxic
___

Quote by The_Blode
she was saying things like... do you want to netflix and chill but just the chill part...too bad she'll never know that I only like the Netflix part...
#24
Quote by metal4eva_22
Yes, to a degree. Of course our actions are highly influenced by nature and nurture, but ultimately you are in control of your life.

Back in the days, before Einstein, Newton's Mechanical Universe was the prominent concept. That being, that everything could be predicted by the laws of physics; that the universe behaves like a giant machine. This meant that free will does not exist because we were all just cogs in the giant machine of the universe. It took someone like Einstein to bring abouts the paradigm shift from Newton's Mechanical Universe to Einstein's Relativistic Universe.

If Newton's Mechanical Universe was true then everything could be predicted. But what about the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle? This says that we cannot simultaneously know a particle's momentum and position, therefore we cannot predict what it will do.

This new paradigm shift certainly allows for the existence of free will. A new way of thinking may arise in the future that proves one way or the other, but right now, afaik, both the existence and non-existence of free will are possible.

It seems to me that since free will is possible with our current way of thinking, then why would it not be?

You're in control of a limited number of choices that are set by outside forces.

Do you think the fact that we can choose from the selection gives us free will or do the limitation bring into not having free will. I'm in the middle but lean toward no free will. We unconsciously gravitate toward so many choices.
Quote by Fat Lard
Why would you spend tens of thousands of dollars to learn about a language you already speak? It was over before it even started dude

Quote by captainsnazz
brot pls
#25
Quote by WCPhils
some old women believing that she gets to she her husband again in heaven or whatever isn't exactly "toxic thinking"

I get what you're saying but I just don't agree that all faith based thinking in inherently toxic

It's clearly a sign of dementia.
#26
Well if what you say is true, and "our actions are either due to a quantum probability wave or a long chain of prior causes, neither of which are controlled by a conscious author.", then we are all essentially robots with extremely advanced programming, and there is no such thing as a "conscious author" at all. We are just floating through life with a pre-determined destination. Well then why would we have emotions like remorse and regret if there is nothing we can do to stop what we will do next? Or emotions at all for that matter??

I do believe in free will and I believe that people can do whatever their imagination portrays, If time is not a factor.
#27
You have free will to hop on my ****
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~ A Rolling Potato Gathers No Moss ~
#28
i think if you're going to deconstruct the concept down to such all-encompassing paradigms such as quantum probability wave or long chain of events or whatever, having any discussion of free will is irrelevant. the original concept of free will doesn't deny these things, it just sees them, accepts them, and then puts them in the background.
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#29
Quote by metal4eva_22
Yes, to a degree. Of course our actions are highly influenced by nature and nurture, but ultimately you are in control of your life.

Back in the days, before Einstein, Newton's Mechanical Universe was the prominent concept. That being, that everything could be predicted by the laws of physics; that the universe behaves like a giant machine. This meant that free will does not exist because we were all just cogs in the giant machine of the universe. It took someone like Einstein to bring abouts the paradigm shift from Newton's Mechanical Universe to Einstein's Relativistic Universe.

If Newton's Mechanical Universe was true then everything could be predicted. But what about the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle? This says that we cannot simultaneously know a particle's momentum and position, therefore we cannot predict what it will do.

This new paradigm shift certainly allows for the existence of free will. A new way of thinking may arise in the future that proves one way or the other, but right now, afaik, both the existence and non-existence of free will are possible.

It seems to me that since free will is possible with our current way of thinking, then why would it not be?

i disagree. how does a perfect quantum probability support free will? i agree that it may challenge laplace's demon, but that just means there's another force that determines the content of the future. this could also mean that things can go more than one way it they were to repeat. i fail to see how it in any way indicates any conscious human control, or a 'ghost in the machine', or a conscious author.

however, if you are one to believe free will and determinism are compatible and therefore disagree with the conventional idea of free will, then i do see your point.
Click here to hear my BOB DYLAN (Blowing in the Wind) out right now May 2k17
Last edited by laid-to-waste at Jul 10, 2013,
#30
Quote by laid-to-waste
because irrational thinking is toxic. if you ask why, i'd tell you that irrational thinking leads to irrational actions. the suicide-bombing community is entirely faith-based, the genital mutilation community is entirely faith-based. we have to try and eliminate as much irrationality as possible and try and get people to start thinking from an early age about what is true, not what makes us feel better. this way we have a chance of progressing as a society. for me, it is upon the best of all approaches.

Yes, because all faith causes is suicide bombing and circumcision.

I'm glad I probably won't live to see the day when all of humanity is cold, cynical, and shames any thought or action that is "illogical."

Quote by laid-to-waste
how does a perfect quantum probability support free will?

"Perfect" quantum probability does not exist. Although it can be modeled/predicted, there are still variations in results. See: Chaos Theory.
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Last edited by AeroRocker at Jul 10, 2013,
#31
Quote by 200dbFeedback
Well if what you say is true, and "our actions are either due to a quantum probability wave or a long chain of prior causes, neither of which are controlled by a conscious author.", then we are all essentially robots with extremely advanced programming, and there is no such thing as a "conscious author" at all. We are just floating through life with a pre-determined destination. Well then why would we have emotions like remorse and regret if there is nothing we can do to stop what we will do next? Or emotions at all for that matter??

I do believe in free will and I believe that people can do whatever their imagination portrays, If time is not a factor.

Plenty of animals have emotions like that. Would you say they have free will or are set to certain types of actions?


^I feel like irrationality is what makes people "human". I like some irrationality in some stuff.
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brot pls
Last edited by BladeSlinger at Jul 10, 2013,
#32
Quote by AeroRocker
I'm glad I probably won't live to see the day when all of humanity is cold, cynical, and shames any thought or action that is "illogical."

This is the pit, it's to be expected.
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
#33
Quote by AeroRocker
Yes, because all faith causes is suicide bombing and circumcision.

I'm glad I probably won't live to see the day when all of humanity is cold, cynical, and shames any thought or action that is "illogical."
sorry, i forgot to mention death for homosexuality, approval of slavery, extreme oppression of the female gender, encouragement of death for apostasy, encouragement for the idea that there only exists morality within religion, groups such as the westborough baptist church that make it a religious goal to target gays and pretty much everybody to be honest, and i would be a fool to say that's everything bad out of religion.


Quote by AeroRocker
"Perfect" quantum probability does not exist. Although it can be modeled/predicted, there are still variations in results. See: Chaos Theory.

my mistake.
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
This is the pit, it's to be expected.

are you being frivolous on purpose?
Click here to hear my BOB DYLAN (Blowing in the Wind) out right now May 2k17
Last edited by laid-to-waste at Jul 10, 2013,
#34
Quote by laid-to-waste
sorry, i forgot to mention death for homophobia, approval of slavery, extreme oppression of the female gender, encouragement of death for apostasy, encouragement for the idea that there only exists morality within religion, groups such as the westborough baptist church that make it a religious goal to target gays and pretty much everybody to be honest, and i would be a fool to say that's everything bad out of religion.
.

Good point. I prefer the atheists that do all of those things for logical reasons instead of stupid ones.

And you can't blame the religious, dude. You can't change their minds, it's all predetermined.

EDIT: I'm done. I'm too busy to argue. I'm just going to let the chemical balance in my brain determine that I should do my homework, send the appropriate electrical signals to the rest of my body, and hope that quantum probability doesn't stray me from completing these tasks.

Lol I said "hope." What a gas.
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Last edited by AeroRocker at Jul 10, 2013,
#35
you can't really know whether it exists or not. this is more of a thought exercise than anything else (simply because neuro hasn't reached a point where we know exactly what is actually happening at any given moment in the brain and how that translates into specific thoughts/behaviour).


but as a philosophical argument:
1) free will exists because you can throw a wrench in the deterministic cogs by doing something completely random at any given moment (e.g. handstand while waiting for the bus)
2) free will doesn't exist because everything is merely a consequence of everything else, right down to the synapse activity in your head son. any random behaviour you could ever contrive is actually the result of a function of bioelectricity, neurotransmitters, and previous experience that left an imprint on the plastic nature of your brain


i'm inclined to think the second option is more likely.

however i don't think that way on a day-to-day basis and i doubt other people do either... mostly because doing so would probably just make me a nihilistic bastard (maybe its just an ego thing, though). i need some spontaneity.
sigless
#36
Quote by laid-to-waste
sorry, i forgot to mention death for homophobia, approval of slavery, extreme oppression of the female gender, encouragement of death for apostasy, encouragement for the idea that there only exists morality within religion, groups such as the westborough baptist church that make it a religious goal to target gays and pretty much everybody to be honest, and i would be a fool to say that's everything bad out of religion.


my mistake.

I'm not exactly a fan of religion but it isn't inherently toxic.


^If you bring stuff like hyper reality in, we could be living in a world that is determined but the illusion of choice has become more real than what is actually happening so for all we care we actually do have free will.
Quote by Fat Lard
Why would you spend tens of thousands of dollars to learn about a language you already speak? It was over before it even started dude

Quote by captainsnazz
brot pls
Last edited by BladeSlinger at Jul 10, 2013,
#37
Quote by AeroRocker
Good point. I prefer the atheists that do all of those things for logical reasons instead of stupid ones.

please elaborate on that point, i'm not sure how it contributes anything. atheism, as an idea, does not promote these things. religion however does, even though it's an unforgivable digression from free will.
Click here to hear my BOB DYLAN (Blowing in the Wind) out right now May 2k17
#38
Quote by laid-to-waste
please elaborate on that point, i'm not sure how it contributes anything. atheism, as an idea, does not promote these things. religion however does, even though it's an unforgivable digression from free will.

Religion does not promote these ideas, people promote them. those are inherently tied but not one and the same. Believing in a deity that has rules and whatnot does not mean you'll agree with all those things. The current religions do or have in the past, but they are not representative of religion as a concept.
Quote by Fat Lard
Why would you spend tens of thousands of dollars to learn about a language you already speak? It was over before it even started dude

Quote by captainsnazz
brot pls
#39
Quote by AeroRocker
I'm glad I probably won't live to see the day when all of humanity is cold, cynical, and shames any thought or action that is "illogical."


I hate this assumption. Having a more accurate understanding of the universe doesn't make you cold and cynical. When you learn that there aren't fairies at the bottom of the garden you don't stop mowing the lawn.
...Stapling helium to penguins since 1949.
#40
Quote by laid-to-waste
sorry, i forgot to mention death for homophobia, approval of slavery, extreme oppression of the female gender, encouragement of death for apostasy, encouragement for the idea that there only exists morality within religion, groups such as the westborough baptist church that make it a religious goal to target gays and pretty much everybody to be honest, and i would be a fool to say that's everything bad out of religion.

A lot of these factors are either being globally outlawed, or are tiny, tiny minority groups.

Why not just accept the kinds of faith that don't advocate the deaths of innocent people? Not all faiths advocate homophobia, approve slavery, or anything you've said.
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
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