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Poll: Do you have free will?
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YES, I DO have free will, in the sense that it is ultimately up to me, or ultimately my choice, which actions I take and when.
53.85%
14 53.85%
NO, I do NOT have free will, in the sense that it is NOT ultimately up to me, and NOT ultimately my choice, which actions I take and when.
46.15%
12 46.15%
Total 26 vote(s) 100%
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Does free will exist?

Does free will exist?
(12-21-2019, 05:50 PM)Alan V Wrote:
(12-21-2019, 05:38 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote: You have no clue what my motivations are, and by asserting (projecting) what YOU assume them to be is what is telling here. 

I have no doubt at all you think you are correct.

I have no doubt at all you think you can read minds. 
I see by your cherry-picking my post you are attempting a "gotcha".

I just happened to notice you have IN NO WAY addressed the substance of the argument, nor have you ever once posted here any CURRENT science that supports "free will".
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Does free will exist?
From my perspective, and at my age, and having seen a lot of life (too much?) all over the planet, I'm afraid
any/all philosophising about "free" will is—personally—a waste of time.  Life is what it is, and individuals will
do what they do, regardless of any philosophising from academics in their ivory towers.  There's no philosophy
necessary in order for one to enjoy a double cheese Macca's or avoid snake bites.

At its basest level, we all have free will.  It's an innate part of our human makeup.

Philosophy does not promise to secure anything external for man, otherwise
it would be admitting something that lies beyond its proper subject-matter.
For as the material of the carpenter is wood, and that of statuary bronze, so
the subject-matter of the art of living is each person's own life.
  — Epictetus
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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Does free will exist?
(12-21-2019, 06:32 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:
(12-21-2019, 05:50 PM)Alan V Wrote:
(12-21-2019, 05:38 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote: You have no clue what my motivations are, and by asserting (projecting) what YOU assume them to be is what is telling here. 

I have no doubt at all you think you are correct.

I have no doubt at all you think you can read minds. 
I see by your cherry-picking my post you are attempting a "gotcha".

I just happened to notice you have IN NO WAY addressed the substance of the argument, nor have you ever once posted here any CURRENT science that supports "free will".

What I meant was that your motivations obviously derive from the fact that you think you are correct.  I could have used the word "believe" if I wanted to cast shade on your comment.

I am working on a response about reductionism versus emergentism, which I will post in the Consciousness discussion.  I think it will also address issues concerning free will.
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Does free will exist?
(12-21-2019, 05:01 PM)Free Wrote:
(12-21-2019, 10:55 AM)Alan V Wrote: It's just that we can find pleasures and avoid pains in many different kinds of activities, so they can't be our only or even our ultimate criteria.

Perhaps not, but with what we currently know, they appear to be involved in every last thing we do.

What about altruism, difficult moral choices, character/dependability, honor, sacrificial love, issues of meaning/purpose, etc? If you classify this as pleasure, then you have redefined pleasure as something way more than the standard definition. Since these concepts are not selfish (by definition), they support the idea of libertarian free will because there is no low-level physical reason for them.
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Does free will exist?
(12-23-2019, 03:57 PM)SteveII Wrote:
(12-21-2019, 05:01 PM)Free Wrote:
(12-21-2019, 10:55 AM)Alan V Wrote: It's just that we can find pleasures and avoid pains in many different kinds of activities, so they can't be our only or even our ultimate criteria.

Perhaps not, but with what we currently know, they appear to be involved in every last thing we do.

What about altruism, difficult moral choices, character/dependability, honor, sacrificial love, issues of meaning/purpose, etc? If you classify this as pleasure, then you have redefined pleasure as something way more than the standard definition.  Since these concepts are not selfish (by definition), they support the idea of libertarian free will because there is no low-level physical reason for them.

Are they all choices, or are some the result of choices made?
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Does free will exist?
(12-23-2019, 04:35 PM)Free Wrote:
(12-23-2019, 03:57 PM)SteveII Wrote:
(12-21-2019, 05:01 PM)Free Wrote: Perhaps not, but with what we currently know, they appear to be involved in every last thing we do.

What about altruism, difficult moral choices, character/dependability, honor, sacrificial love, issues of meaning/purpose, etc? If you classify this as pleasure, then you have redefined pleasure as something way more than the standard definition.  Since these concepts are not selfish (by definition), they support the idea of libertarian free will because there is no low-level physical reason for them.

Are they all choices, or are some the result of choices made?

They are the reasons for choices (by definition). If they are not reasons (which must exist prior to) for choices, they lose all their meaning.

To say it another way, if someone did something by accident, it could never be considered any of those things.
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Does free will exist?
(12-23-2019, 05:21 PM)SteveII Wrote:
(12-23-2019, 04:35 PM)Free Wrote:
(12-23-2019, 03:57 PM)SteveII Wrote: What about altruism, difficult moral choices, character/dependability, honor, sacrificial love, issues of meaning/purpose, etc? If you classify this as pleasure, then you have redefined pleasure as something way more than the standard definition.  Since these concepts are not selfish (by definition), they support the idea of libertarian free will because there is no low-level physical reason for them.

Are they all choices, or are some the result of choices made?

They are the reasons for choices (by definition). If they are not reasons (which must exist prior to) for choices, they loose all their meaning.

To say it another way, if someone did something by accident, it could never be considered any of those things.

But then there's the choice arrived at that caused the action.
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Does free will exist?
(12-23-2019, 06:23 PM)Free Wrote:
(12-23-2019, 05:21 PM)SteveII Wrote:
(12-23-2019, 04:35 PM)Free Wrote: Are they all choices, or are some the result of choices made?

They are the reasons for choices (by definition). If they are not reasons (which must exist prior to) for choices, they loose all their meaning.

To say it another way, if someone did something by accident, it could never be considered any of those things.

But then there's the choice arrived at that caused the action.

So? What is your point? Those things I listed require a genuine choice. If there is no such thing as a genuine choice, then those reasons to act (altruism, difficult moral choices, character/dependability, honor, sacrificial love, issues of meaning/purpose, etc) cannot mean what we take them to mean. Saying what you don't mean seems to be the baggage you get with a purely deterministic world. It certainly guts the notion of love. I really stay with my wife because it is more convenient than the alternative.
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Does free will exist?
(12-23-2019, 07:06 PM)SteveII Wrote: If there is no such thing as a genuine choice, then those reasons to act (altruism, difficult moral choices, character/dependability, honor, sacrificial love, issues of meaning/purpose, etc) cannot mean what we take them to mean. 

Wrong again, as usual.
First of all you have not defined "choice", nor have you explained the science that is known.
Choice is a complex process which has MANY elements ... not just the simple-minded ones you listed.
The elements that go into choices include many things, not just one conscious things.
How amazing. Yet another non-scientist weighing in on a subject he knows nothing.
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Does free will exist?
(12-23-2019, 07:23 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote: How amazing. Yet another non-scientist weighing in on a subject he knows nothing.

This is an informal discussion forum.  Everyone is free to contribute what they think makes sense.

If consciousness is even a significant part of the process of making choices, it is relevant.
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Does free will exist?
5 %. A very tiny part.
Knock yourselves out.
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Does free will exist?
(12-23-2019, 07:23 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:
(12-23-2019, 07:06 PM)SteveII Wrote: If there is no such thing as a genuine choice, then those reasons to act (altruism, difficult moral choices, character/dependability, honor, sacrificial love, issues of meaning/purpose, etc) cannot mean what we take them to mean. 

Wrong again, as usual.
First of all you have not defined "choice", nor have you explained the science that is known.
Choice is a complex process which has MANY elements ... not just the simple-minded ones you listed.
The elements that go into choices include many things, not just one conscious thing.
How amazing. Yet another non-scientist weighing in on a subject he knows nothing.

Civil, as usual.

Humorously, choice is only a complex process if you believe you are not making an actual choice.

Definition: A personal explanation of some basic result R brought about intentionally by person P where this bringing about of R is a basic action A will cite the intention I of P that R occurred and the basic power B that P exercised to bring about R. P, I and B provide a personal explanation of R: agent P brought about R by exercising power B in order to realize intention I as an irreducible teleological goal. (Moreland, J.P.)

You seem to think that it is reducible. So you are asserting a metaphysical truth that ironically you think a scientist is more qualified to opine on. You have a category error there Bucky. As a bonus, you actually don't have any scientific evidence to undercut the notion that we can't make choices (as I defined above).
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Does free will exist?
(12-23-2019, 07:45 PM)SteveII Wrote: Humorously, choice is only a complex process if you believe you are not making an actual choice.

Humorously, that statement proves you know nothing about the subject. Your sentence is a non-sequitur.

Quote:Definition: A personal explanation of some basic result R brought about intentionally by person P where this bringing about of R is a basic action A will cite the intention I of P that R occurred and the basic power B that P exercised to bring about R. P, I and B provide a personal explanation of R: agent P brought about R by exercising power B in order to realize intention I as an irreducible teleological goal. (Moreland, J.P.)

All totally irrelevant.
Too bad for you also, intentionality is not the subject here. The choice is how one ARRIVES at an intention. The question of choice has nothing to do with intentions. The POINT is, how was the intention FORMED and what were ALL the elements (unconscious and subconscious, as well as conscious) that went into the formation of the intention. Science knows the proportions, roughly), but clearly you don't.
In classical theology and philosophy, a formed "intention" has NEVER been a part of this question. If one has (already) formed an intention, the choice has already been made.
Do work on your basic terms before you attempt to play expert.  
No one is doing any "reducing". I said it was "complex". That's the opposite of being "reduced". There is no category error. But congratulations for trying to change the subject. It failed however.
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Does free will exist?
(12-23-2019, 07:55 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:
(12-23-2019, 07:45 PM)SteveII Wrote: Humorously, choice is only a complex process if you believe you are not making an actual choice.

Humorously, that statement proves you know nothing about the subject. Your sentence is a non-sequitur.

Quote:Definition: A personal explanation of some basic result R brought about intentionally by person P where this bringing about of R is a basic action A will cite the intention I of P that R occurred and the basic power B that P exercised to bring about R. P, I and B provide a personal explanation of R: agent P brought about R by exercising power B in order to realize intention I as an irreducible teleological goal. (Moreland, J.P.)

All totally irrelevant.
Too bad for you also, intentionality is not the subject here. The choice is how one ARRIVES at an intention. The question of choice has nothing to do with intentions. The POINT is, how was the intention FORMED and what were ALL the elements (unconscious and subconscious, as well as conscious) that went into the formation of the intention. Science knows the proportions, roughly), but clearly you don't.
In classical theology and philosophy, a formed "intention" has NEVER been a part of this question. If one has (already) formed an intention, the choice has already been made.
Do work on your basic terms before you attempt to play expert.  
No one is doing any "reducing". I said it was "complex". That's the opposite of being "reduced". There is no category error. But congratulations for trying to change the subject. It failed however.

You are not reading carefully--because everything you mentioned is there in my definition. Intention (I) is one of 5 component mentioned in the definition I gave--and is the end result. You skipped basic result ( R), basic action (A) and basic power (B) in your response. You have simply spent time misrepresenting my position and then beating up on it (straw man).

You also misunderstood 'irreducible.' The phrase means that the process cannot be reduced further in search of an explanation. If you do not believe in libertarian free will choices, then you DO believe that choices are reducible. So, it seems I correctly characterized your position.
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Does free will exist?
(12-23-2019, 07:06 PM)SteveII Wrote:
(12-23-2019, 06:23 PM)Free Wrote:
(12-23-2019, 05:21 PM)SteveII Wrote: They are the reasons for choices (by definition). If they are not reasons (which must exist prior to) for choices, they loose all their meaning.

To say it another way, if someone did something by accident, it could never be considered any of those things.

But then there's the choice arrived at that caused the action.

So? What is your point? 

The point is the same as it's always been. It's all about what motivates people to make any and all choices.

1. Reduce the pain.
2. Increase the pleasure.

In any given situation in which a choice is involved, we rationalize which of the two things listed above is more to our benefit. The only semblance of any free will we have at all is all about making one of the only two available choices above. There are no other options.

Every last choice we make involves one or the other. Every last thing we do is a selfish act. We are incapable of doing any selfless  act.
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Does free will exist?
In his book Free:Why Science Hasn’t Disproved Free Will, philosopher Alfred Mele discussed three definitions of free will which are most commonly used:
1) The supernatural concept is that free will depends on a soul. Materialists oppose this definition of course, but most philosophy professors do not define free will this way either. Perhaps surprisingly, according to survey studies of thousands of people, neither do a majority of people who actually believe in souls.
2) An ambitious concept is that free will is a deep openness to more than one option. In other words, even if all circumstances were the same a person could still decide differently.
3) A more modest concept is that free will means making consciously reasoned decisions without undue forces determining those decisions. Some say this is too modest, though it is still one of the most popular definitions in common usage.

According to the third definition, it wouldn't matter if our intentions came from subconscious sources as long as they came from us, and as long as they were guided by consciousness in their execution. This depends on defining the self as the whole body and brain, and not just as consciousness alone. The idea that consciousness is the self is perhaps a vestige of religious teachings about the soul.

As I recently posted in the Consciousness discussion, the Strong-Emergent hypothesis of Mutualism holds that there is both upward and downward determination in certain complex systems. That means that not only does the subconscious determine the conscious but the conscious determines the subconscious. I look at them as a unified, communicating system. If that is really the case, then it seems quite likely that even "subconscious decisions" are modified by consciousness.

This becomes clear when you consider what consciousness really is. If it is not the self, what is it and what is it's function? I consider consciousness our interface with the world at large. It's how we perceive the specifics of our external and internal realities so that we can adjust our actions to those specifics.

Every human has a huge repertoire of possible rehersed and habituated (subconscious) behaviors. Taking language alone, we have thousands of words in our vocabularies, which we can consciously apply with very fine discriminations to particular situations. Without consciousness, living our lives would be like trying to drive down a busy highway with our eyes closed. We would possess all the skills we need, but we couldn't apply them correctly.

So of course consciousness plays a determining role in how we apply different behaviors. That is the very essence of making choices.

If you want to redefine consciousness as only self-consciousness, or only remembered consciousness, then you can effectively stipulate that it isn't intimately involved with everything we do. But that's not how most people think of consciousness when they discuss the conscious choices they make, per the third definition.
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Does free will exist?
(12-21-2019, 08:27 PM)SYZ Wrote: From my perspective, and at my age, and having seen a lot of life (too much?) all over the planet, I'm afraid
any/all philosophising about "free" will is—personally—a waste of time.  Life is what it is, and individuals will
do what they do, regardless of any philosophising from academics in their ivory towers.  There's no philosophy
necessary in order for one to enjoy a double cheese Macca's or avoid snake bites.

At its basest level, we all have free will.  It's an innate part of our human makeup.

Philosophy does not promise to secure anything external for man, otherwise
it would be admitting something that lies beyond its proper subject-matter.
For as the material of the carpenter is wood, and that of statuary bronze, so
the subject-matter of the art of living is each person's own life.
  — Epictetus

Intellectually,  I'm a hard determinist and have been for a very long time .

In real life,  I feel as if I have free will and no amount of argument will change that . 

As metaphysical  propositions  tend to be, all positions  about free will are unfalsifiable.  --cannot be argued into or out of existence , just like gods.

Consequently, I live as if I have free will and much prefer it to the idea that I have no control over my life . I prefer to think of myself as one who does, not as  one to whom things are done  .Perfectly happy with that.  Deadpan Coffee Drinker
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Does free will exist?
(12-24-2019, 05:04 AM)grympy Wrote: Intellectually,  I'm a hard determinist and have been for a very long time .

Do you think materialism requires hard determinism?

On Sunday, I wrote and posted a long book report in the Consciousness discussion explaining, to a certain extent, why determinism doesn't necessarily follow from materialism.

It also explains, according to one philosopher, how the idea of free will can be falsified. If the Mutualism hypothesis fails empirical scrutiny, then free will would be highly unlikely.

Whether the question will be resolved is another issue. Not all reasonable scientific hypotheses can be tested effectively.
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@Alan

"Do you think materialism requires hard determinism?"

No, in so far as I can remember.

My position began as a first year undergraduate .(1976).. I later added genetic and psychological determinism . However, I have never been able to arrive at a claim of truth.

But I'm afraid I'm a weak philosopher. Haven't read the mutualism hypothesis. Nor at this stage of my life do I especially want to . Closed minded of me I know.

Metaphysics is a fascinating area of philosophy. However, I no longer have the interest or intellectual acumen for deep discussions.

I satisfy myself with the position that so far , all claims about free will are unfalsifiable. For me, the issue is resolved by the fact thatI feel as if I have free will and am comfortable living my life accordingly. I make no claim.

That's all I have to say on this matter.; I can feel myself getting out of my depth.

((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((9))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

Alan

It's 0805 Xmas day here . I've been up since six preparing the pasta salad and making sure everything is OK. Now I await the dinners with my special Xmas Humbug T shirt. -- A sour looking cat wearing a Xmas hat. The caption "Is this jolly enough? " Considered "Merry fucking Xmas" and
"Ho fucking ho", but realised I could not wear them in public, especially not to the huge regional mall. Very tempted though .

I wish you and yours a happy and safe Xmas .
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