Does this prove free will?

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superman20122
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thatrollingstone
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No. There's no such thing as complete free will. There's no such thing as a predetermined set of events either. Everything works in circumstantial cause & effect.

You could say it was free will to post a reply to this. But no, it wasn't. It was a combination of all the causes that led me to log into TSR at this time + see your post + the electrochemical activity in my brain etc etc.
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midnightice
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I think it's incomprehensible to fully understand the nature of free will/extent of it. It doesn't seem logical to not have it if we ourselves question it, but it also doesn't make much sense to have it in correspondence to the physical properties of the Universe.
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King Leonidas
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(Original post by thatrollingstone)
No. There's no such thing as complete free will. There's no such thing as a predetermined set of events either. Everything works in circumstantial cause & effect.

You could say it was free will to post a reply to this. But no, it wasn't. It was a combination of all the causes that led me to log into TSR at this time + see your post + the electrochemical activity in my brain etc etc.
But there was no contraint of neccesity involved when you decided to log on to TSR and respond to this thread, surely at the most basic level that is a form of free will? If you're coerced or obliged to do something then I believe free will can be question by a cause/effect theory.
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xoxAngel_Kxox
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We will never know whether we have free will or not.

For example, I am choosing to type this post. I have just typed something, and then deleted it, and then written this instead. Did I have free will to do that, or was that sequence of events always going to happen? We will never, ever be able to tell the truth.

Also, as human beings we don't have all that much free will anyway, as we have to conform to laws, rules, norms and expectations. Even choosing what we wear is usually pre determined to some extent, in that we will usually get our clothes from stores where there are a certain number of options, so we have free will but only ever to a degree (which makes you wonder if that is free at all).
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bad8oy
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(Original post by xoxAngel_Kxox)
We will never know whether we have free will or not.

For example, I am choosing to type this post. I have just typed something, and then deleted it, and then written this instead. Did I have free will to do that, or was that sequence of events always going to happen? We will never, ever be able to tell the truth.

Also, as human beings we don't have all that much free will anyway, as we have to conform to laws, rules, norms and expectations. Even choosing what we wear is usually pre determined to some extent, in that we will usually get our clothes from stores where there are a certain number of options, so we have free will but only ever to a degree (which makes you wonder if that is free at all).
Don't agree with anything you said tbh. If you looks at the case of a guy who kills his wife, was that just a sequence of events that lead to her death? No, the man had a choice and just because your in the law doesn't mean you don't have the choice to act outside of it or even visit another shop to buy your clothes.


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alexmufc1995
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(Original post by bad8oy)
Don't agree with anything you said tbh. If you looks at the case of a guy who kills his wife, was that just a sequence of events that lead to her death? No, the man had a choice and just because your in the law doesn't mean you don't have the choice to act outside of it or even visit another shop to buy your clothes.


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Ahhh, but how can you be sure that the main factors of his choice weren't pre-determined?

If the preceding events were 'destined to happen', then his 'choice' would have already been determined.

I believe someone has already said it, but we can never know. (I advocate determinism though )
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xoxAngel_Kxox
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(Original post by bad8oy)
Don't agree with anything you said tbh. If you looks at the case of a guy who kills his wife, was that just a sequence of events that lead to her death? No, the man had a choice and just because your in the law doesn't mean you don't have the choice to act outside of it or even visit another shop to buy your clothes.


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But DID he have a choice, though? Did he really CHOOSE each of those events, or is it just an illusion when in fact it was always written in stone that each of those actions would happen. It may LOOK as though another action might have been chosen, but we will never know if it could have been, because it wasn't tried. Did you choose to reply to this thread, or do you just think you did? I'm not saying that's what I believe, I just mean that absolutely EVERYTHING could potentially be predetermined, giving us the mere illusion that we're choosing, when in actual fact any other choice was never going to happen.

Yes, you can act outside of the law - but you will be punished for doing so, so we don't really have free will in that respect. "Visit another shop" indeed, but it is still a shop that will be visited by thousands of other people so any choice (or illusion of choice) that we may have, it is still strictly limited.

You can never, ever, ever know whether free will exists, because once a situation has occurred we cannot go back to see if it could have happened in any other way.
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Martyn*
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No. The question of free Will Vs unfree Will will never be resolved. It is now accepted, then, that the question should be not free Will Vs unfree Will but weak Will Vs strong Will. It is a question of the strength/weakness of the Will to overcome.
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alexmufc1995
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(Original post by xoxAngel_Kxox)
But DID he have a choice, though? Did he really CHOOSE each of those events, or is it just an illusion when in fact it was always written in stone that each of those actions would happen. It may LOOK as though another action might have been chosen, but we will never know if it could have been, because it wasn't tried. Did you choose to reply to this thread, or do you just think you did? I'm not saying that's what I believe, I just mean that absolutely EVERYTHING could potentially be predetermined, giving us the mere illusion that we're choosing, when in actual fact any other choice was never going to happen.

Yes, you can act outside of the law - but you will be punished for doing so, so we don't really have free will in that respect. "Visit another shop" indeed, but it is still a shop that will be visited by thousands of other people so any choice (or illusion of choice) that we may have, it is still strictly limited.

You can never, ever, ever know whether free will exists, because once a situation has occurred we cannot go back to see if it could have happened in any other way.
Just out of curiosity, what is your belief about determinism/free will?

I was asked this in my Oxford philosophy interview
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xoxAngel_Kxox
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(Original post by alexmufc1995)
Just out of curiosity, what is your belief about determinism/free will?

I was asked this in my Oxford philosophy interview
Being completely honest, I don't have a clue. Just typing that previous answer hurt my head. I like to think that we have choices, even though they may be limited, but of course absolutely nobody can ever know for sure whether we're genuinely making the choice ourself. Discussions like this always mess with my head lol I don't know why I get involved!
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Mockery
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Define free will.

From the analysis of the situation through the use of our senses to the decision of the best course of action stipulated mainly by what we know works well. Do you really have control over your actions on a level of self-awareness, or are your choices the result of unconscious complex algorithms in the brain and nervous system with the illusion of free will being a chemical and hormonal mechanism to reinforce learning?
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thatrollingstone
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(Original post by pinda.college)
But there was no contraint of neccesity involved when you decided to log on to TSR and respond to this thread, surely at the most basic level that is a form of free will? If you're coerced or obliged to do something then I believe free will can be question by a cause/effect theory.
Nope. My brain governed my decision to log onto TSR and respond to this thread. There's no such thing as completely free/conscious thought. Every thought has a cause, whether it is biology, accumulation of data gathered from the past or my current immediate environment.
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bad8oy
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(Original post by xoxAngel_Kxox)
But DID he have a choice, though? Did he really CHOOSE each of those events, or is it just an illusion when in fact it was always written in stone that each of those actions would happen. It may LOOK as though another action might have been chosen, but we will never know if it could have been, because it wasn't tried. Did you choose to reply to this thread, or do you just think you did? I'm not saying that's what I believe, I just mean that absolutely EVERYTHING could potentially be predetermined, giving us the mere illusion that we're choosing, when in actual fact any other choice was never going to happen.

Yes, you can act outside of the law - but you will be punished for doing so, so we don't really have free will in that respect. "Visit another shop" indeed, but it is still a shop that will be visited by thousands of other people so any choice (or illusion of choice) that we may have, it is still strictly limited.

You can never, ever, ever know whether free will exists, because once a situation has occurred we cannot go back to see if it could have happened in any other way.
I see what you mean, but every path you choose to take will lead you to a different place. I believe everything is predetermined but there are maybe a number of different paths for you and each path you choose will lead to a different place.
For example I want to study medicine, but maybe I will change my mind and study something like law. I still have the choice but whichever I choose will lead me on a different path, make me a different person and mould my personality.
Also if it was written in a stone and there was nothing he could do about it then this brings up the question. Why should he be punished if he didn't have free will? I don't just mean here by the law but by God also. How can God punish someone if it was always predetermined exactly what he would do?
Brings me to a question and makes me wonder why God put on earth then, why doesn't he just end the world now?
The only explanation I can give atm is the one I did above. I also think everything happens because of a combination of God and humans.

I need to go read I have a lot of questions I want answering about religion.

Another thing I want to throw in there is the fact that people only ever make short term decisions and choose what they feel is best for them at the time.


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Mockery
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The problem with this debate and the reason why the argument is circular and on-going is due to people adding extra unnecessary and absurd factors that have no scientific or logical reinforcement.

The worst is the assumption that if we don't have free will, something or someone else must and that our actions are controlled by it or them.

You're essentially creating an unrelinquishable philosophical conundrum that need not exist.
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thatrollingstone
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(Original post by bad8oy)
I see what you mean, but every path you choose to take will lead you to a different place. I believe everything is predetermined but there are maybe a number of different paths for you and each path you choose will lead to a different place.
For example I want to study medicine, but maybe I will change my mind and study something like law. I still have the choice but whichever I choose will lead me on a different path, make me a different person and mould my personality.
Also if it was written in a stone and there was nothing he could do about it then this brings up the question. Why should he be punished if he didn't have free will? I don't just mean here by the law but by God also. How can God punish someone if it was always predetermined exactly what he would do?
Brings me to a question and makes me wonder why God put on earth then, why doesn't he just end the world now?
The only explanation I can give atm is the one I did above. I also think everything happens because of a combination of God and humans.

I need to go read I have a lot of questions I want answering about religion.

Another thing I want to throw in there is the fact that people only ever make short term decisions and choose what they feel is best for them at the time.


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You seem already convinced that a 'God' does exist. I really don't think it's that simple. I agree that some sort of higher power must exist, but not necessarily in the form of a moral divine entity who wants humans to obey his orders.

Also, if you chose to study Law, it happened because of a cause invoking that thought. It never happens completely freely. Maybe you came across others who study law and realised it was a better degree. Or maybe you had in inherently analytical brain which put it's identity and the idea of a law degree together and decided it would be a better degree.
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xoxAngel_Kxox
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(Original post by bad8oy)
I see what you mean, but every path you choose to take will lead you to a different place. I believe everything is predetermined but there are maybe a number of different paths for you and each path you choose will lead to a different place.
For example I want to study medicine, but maybe I will change my mind and study something like law. I still have the choice but whichever I choose will lead me on a different path, make me a different person and mould my personality.
Also if it was written in a stone and there was nothing he could do about it then this brings up the question. Why should he be punished if he didn't have free will? I don't just mean here by the law but by God also. How can God punish someone if it was always predetermined exactly what he would do?
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You say you wish to study medicine now, but you may change your mind and study law. Yes, eventually you may go on to study law, but what if it was ALWAYS going to be that way?

Your life plan was always that you would want to study medicine but then change your mind. Yes, there are a number of paths that we could walk down - but do we really have the choice of which path to go down, or would we always have gone through exactly what has happened, and is what is yet to come also set in stone - "choices" and all?

I have no idea why people would be punished if they could do nothing about it, other than to say that in the grand scheme of things, that's not the most confusing thing about why things happen in life. Life in general is a complete conundrum. We contribute to a planet that we are only on for a few decades, and have children so that they can contribute. Considering that nobody will ever be able to live in the planet forever, what's the point? Why not just quit? Nothing about this life makes sense.

This is one of those things that we can never answer. Perhaps something happens after death to enable us to see what it was all about, but perhaps not. We will never know whether we are fully capable of making choices, or whether we would always have made that choice.
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Peachz
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So what are the implications for justice if we accept at least in some part that our actions are predetermined? As per the cartoon, should we punish the one who hit him or is he merely a product of his environment?
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bad8oy
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(Original post by thatrollingstone)
You seem already convinced that a 'God' does exist. I really don't think it's that simple. I agree that some sort of higher power must exist, but not necessarily in the form of a moral divine entity who wants humans to obey his orders.

Also, if you chose to study Law, it happened because of a cause invoking that thought. It never happens completely freely. Maybe you came across others who study law and realised it was a better degree. Or maybe you had in inherently analytical brain which put it's identity and the idea of a law degree together and decided it would be a better degree.
I am a Muslim. I was brought up a Muslim. However I think this means that I don't know the reasons why I believe in Islam, which I think I need to read more about Islam and philosophy to fully understand it. My knowledge of both is poor.

I totally agree with what your saying, there is always an underlying reason for everybody's choice. But I stand by the fact that by choosing between the two I would be doing what I think was best for me at that time only. It's a short term decision and everybody goes through life making these and it will lead you somewhere else.
I totally agree that a cause invokes a thought whether it be through what you see or read and maybe even parental influences.
Your knowledge of philosophy is probably much greater then mine.


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