Free will?

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Free will?

Post by gdf on Sat Sep 12, 2009 4:31 pm

I've recently been looking into free will vs. determinism, and for now I fall firmly on the side of determinism. It's the principle that every action that one takes is caused by the sum total chain of deeds and experiences one has had since birth: i.e. we're not really in control of what we do and our genetics and senses dictate how we act, literally the physical state of the brain at the moment the act is made is what prompted it.

I'm still trying to get my head around some of the finer points, but I think I have a decent enough grasp of the broad significance of it. I'm pretty confident that not actually possessing free will or any sort of duality in "soul" and material being doesn't have to be entirely negative - I'm still happy to enjoy the illusion of free will and can sympathise more with the decisions of others knowing that it couldn't have turned out any other way.

Yesterday I tried to explain it to my friend, but he got pretty angry and picked up a coaster to prove he had free will, then claimed "well maybe you don't, but I know I have". I argued that all of this in fact proved the contrary because he had argued with me based on his preconceptions and wouldn't have picked it up had I not tried to explain why true free will doesn't exist. Where do y'all fall?
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Re: Free will?

Post by JokerJamie on Sat Sep 12, 2009 5:55 pm

A confusing subject, but I completely agree with you. Whether it comes to something small scale, like not being allowed do something by your parents, or something on a much larger scale, like not being able to murder somebody who disagrees with you, etc.

I mean it really is confusing me as I try to get my head around it while my dad is screaming at a hot bowl of beans for burning him and Scholes being sent off in the match. But I think I get the idea, and I realise that freedom indeed isn't free...or something like that...
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Re: Free will?

Post by Jammer on Sat Sep 12, 2009 5:56 pm

But surely in that same situation he could have decided to just leave it. I know again this proves the theory because it's the situations leading up to it that would of made him decide not to argue but at the end of the day isn't that what makes people people? Their experiences, relationships and other things make up who they are as a person. Otherwise you would go through life not knowing what was around the corner and just reacting randomly to everything.

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Re: Free will?

Post by Seany C on Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:18 pm

If you look at artificial intelligence, even the ones in your videogames, they react to situations around them, what's happening and act on said situations by what they're programmed to think will be the best course of action. I see human intelligence as being similar but on a much, much larger scale. I don't think our every action is pre-determined, but the way we react to something is a result of how our parents, culture and society have programmed us to react but with each person having so many sources and varying types of programming we all have our own very unique reactions.
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Re: Free will?

Post by Dingo on Sat Sep 12, 2009 10:10 pm

I like to think we have free will and can do what we like. I have no particular reason for it other than I'm scared about not having it...
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Re: Free will?

Post by Kaptain Kaviar on Sat Sep 12, 2009 10:21 pm

Tricky subject. I do however believe that while we have an illusion of making choices based on free will, they are rather decisions made based on a combinations of genetics and past experiences. On the whole I agree with all of what Sean wrote.

It's a challenging theme to wrap ones head around, that's for sure. The mind boggles.
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Re: Free will?

Post by Fisheggz on Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:45 pm

mmm so going buy this thread if I desided I would stry and fill Majors ear with my pixie cream it would be entierly genetic and based on past experiance meaning that my Mum is to blame for my rude sexual acts.....
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Re: Free will?

Post by Seany C on Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:36 pm

Using distorted randomness to maintain a sense of uniqueness and control of your will is the part of your brain that thinks 'there might be a God' trying to keep the harsh realities away.
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Re: Free will?

Post by weeble on Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:01 am

I did a paper on this for my GCSE Sociology exam( as well as Poverty and affluence)...it made my head hurt...But i got an A...

Basically i agree with Major, every action we take is governed by a set of Predetermined laws built into us by Nurture/Nature, and as such our Subconscious reacts to every action or decision we make based upon these laws...
You cannot make a choice, be it making a cup of coffee or killing someone without a realisation of your actions and the result of them...

Everything we do is governed in some way, we have the illusion of free will, but lack the ability to be able to do something with out thinking about the results .
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