Do We Have Free Will?

Discussion in 'Off-topic Discussion' started by Deleted Account, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. Some things are most likely pre-determined in certain circumstances, but I at least know to myself that I choose to do something all the time based on free-will. I have made difficult or even simple choices in the past and even now, at least I've been in control of where my life has been going so far.

    My upbringing did shape my world view on people and other things like religion and such, but in terms of free will I like to believe I have it.
    Deleted Account likes this.
  2. This is a really interesting question. Initially I would say that of course we have free will, but it's also true that so many outside factors make up the people we are (biology, family life, economic status, education, friends, mental health, societal judgements, etc), so in some ways, the decisions we make are determined by those things as well. I wouldn't be the person I am today if any of those factors in the parentheses were different. It's interesting to think about it that way.

    That's why I try not to judge people who are vastly different than me and make mistakes, even really big ones, because I can't possibly say that if I were in their exact shoes, with their biology and mental health and family and status, etc, I wouldn't have made that same bad decision. Who knows?
  3. IronDog

    IronDog Fapstronaut

    I don't think we can ever know this answer. Don't get me wrong, I've had it many times because its a fun topic to talk about, but still, in the end.... you really can't know. Some people sure think they know, but they can't prove it.
  4. SolitaryScribe

    SolitaryScribe Fapstronaut

  5. I don't know if he does. If the story of creation and the theology behind the fall then God only created man. Why the tree of knowledge of good and evil if he knew that the fruit would be eaten in the first place. Really the story of God according to the Bible is like some guy marrying a woman just so he can put her through the pain of divorce. But maybe the creation story never happened? Maybe this theology is wrong? Maybe God isn't as powerful as the Bible makes him out to be? Maybe he has no foreknowledge. It seems to me the writers of the Bible can't make up their mind on this issue. Sometimes it says it's choice and then it says we have no choice.

    The thing is you didn't establish the teams who are playing or decide when the game would be played. Knowing the outcome isn't the same as making the outcome happen.

    In some ways, you could but someways you couldn't. If you wanted to become the King of Swaziland I think it's unlikely you could become one. But you could become the king if you were in the House of Dlamini... And what do I know maybe you are next in line for the throne... Maybe your father is the King of Swaziland but if he's not then can't become the king. And it's not your fault that you can't become king it's whoever (if anyone did) decide who your parents are.

    Say you want oranges and you go to the store and they've run out of oranges and every store in your area has run out as well it's not your fault there are no oranges. You didn't choose there to be any oranges. You'll simply have to come back another day or buy something else

    Sometimes our environment plays a big part in the choices we make.
    Deleted Account likes this.
  6. I think most would initially think we have free will (I certanly did) but when you think things through we have less of a free will. I think we are controlled more by our environment than we like to admit. I think when people say all things are possible they aren't being truthful.
    Deleted Account likes this.
  7. EthanW.

    EthanW. Fapstronaut

    One thing that seems to be important in this discussion (the question of free will) is what is to result from an answer to that question... If you do not take part in any of the factors that first composed your local biology and mind (or any that continue to shape them), is there such things as honor, responsibility or love -- if these things require the contrast of being dishonorable, irresponsible or to be capable of possessing raw hate, in order for them to be meaningful in a person? If you shouldn't blame people for their circumstances, can we condemn pedophiles and murderers for crimes derivable by the same natural functions and processes as those that allow you to make a sandwich, or clean your room? Preferences are very important to note.

    We (generally speaking) prefer that people act responsibly, and we (generally speaking) prefer that between a choice of murder or making a sandwich, the subject chooses a sandwich. I would say the "why" behind the preferences are not as important as the preferences themselves. To deny these preferences, though, would lead to the sort of apocalyptic "kill or be killed" attitude most would associate to atheism or anarchy, because then you assume that to prefer is to be convicted of illusions. What, then, would be the subjective way to decide between murder and sandwich-making, if not by deciding between preferences?

    One last thing to note -- I read an old passage by William James recently, about the methodological benefits of deterministic thinking:

    "Let psychology freely admit that for her scientific purposes, determinism can be claimed; and no one can find fault. If, then, it turns out that the claim has only relative purpose, the readjustment can be made... For [the person who assumes free will], then, the deterministic assumption of psychology is merely provisional and methodological."

    I would say that the pragmatic view of utilizing a deterministic question-and-answer method is beneficial to scientific pursuit, but that any claim of "practical" determinism is consistently met with the reply that neither science nor any philosophy can explain why we should not live through free will if, for all intents and purposes, we instinctively assume we possess it.
  8. PedroCalrissian

    PedroCalrissian Fapstronaut

    I think your personality, upbringing, society, and peer group in a sence can influence you unconsciously. But I think if you can step back and look at these factors objectively, you then have free will of choice. So you can to grow and make changes to become the person so want to be.
    Deleted Account likes this.
  9. I also wonder why God didn't originally instill the knowledge of right and wrong in Adam and Eve instead of them obtaining it through sin.
    Deleted Account likes this.
  10. AutumnPeace

    AutumnPeace Fapstronaut

    I don't believe we do.
  11. Gotham Outlaw

    Gotham Outlaw Fapstronaut

    Freeze all motor functions.
  12. We have the ability to act or to not act, therefore we have free will.
    They didn’t obtain it through sin, and God did instill in them the knowledge when he told them which tree not to touch and what the consequence of touching that tree would be. They weren’t stupid and they knew it was wrong/bad for them to eat. You know they had this knowledge when they said “but we will die” to which Satan said “you will not die”, so clearly they knew right from wrong before the fall.
  13. Idk I have a fun mental game sometimes pretending that there is no free will and only destiny. Usually when I'm depressed and feeling guilty. I can then craft the mental idea that 'hey if there is no free will only destiny, I wonder if this is my inflection point (hero arc) in life' and that can motivate me to do better and quickly get rid of my guilt and depressive mood.
  14. EthanW.

    EthanW. Fapstronaut

    Well, the Scripture does not imply that God speaking to Adam and Eve meant that they understood why the fruit from the tree would lead them to death, which means they could not possess anything like knowledge about morality, if "knowledge" is the reasoning drawn from perception and an ability to learn. When the serpent speaks to Eve, she merely repeats what has been told to her, and is easily convinced by the serpent simply from his counter-claim. She did not weigh either scenario, she just went with the reasoning that was last imparted to her. Adam then followed suit. They weren't "stupid", but they were ignorant -- ignorant to pain, toil, adversity, disease, corruption, depression, self-loathing, and every other negative, physical response. They had nothing to compare their situation to.

    In defying God, they gained knowledge, and they did so through material substance. I would presume that the meaning behind this is to try to convey that it is through the material world that we are exposed to the nature of reality, where we can begin to articulate "good" and "bad". Through knowing "good and bad" (what can get us killed, what can get others to cooperate) we realize knowledge, and we realize how the world can present to us experiences of pain, toil, adversity, etc., through merely having to survive. Without an ideal to model behavior (say, God), we survive on the basis of whatever is influencing our local environment. So, we must establish a connection with ideals (an ideal community, ideal relationships, an ideal sense of self-preservation) in order to survive the threats that knowledge poses (knowing there are snakes) and to optimize the benefits which knowledge also makes available (how to avoid or defeat the snakes).

    I would say it's something like that. Otherwise, what is the point if they already held moral knowledge at creation? It says they were created "And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed" (Gen. 2:25). After they were exposed through the fruit of the tree, it says, "And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked" (Gen. 3:7). It is obvious that there is a difference between before eating the fruit and after consuming it.
  15. Yes we have free will.

    We can chose what we want.
    We can chose against our needs (fasting)
    We can chose not to want something (apple pie, no thanks, I'm too fat)
    We can chose against our feelings (leaving porn, go jogging in stead of fapping)
    We can chose against our fears (fear for rejection, but start a talk with a lovely girl)

    But how free is that free will?
    I think it's always connected to the ratio (what do I know) and feelings (how does this choice make me feel or how do I feel now and what choice do I need to make to make me feel different). I think I always want to have a balance between will, know and feelings.
    And of course we chose the things to let our needs be fulfilled.
    But in the same time, we can chose against our needs.

    I know our free will can be controlled by others.
    It's my choice to get rid of that control, to make my will more free :)

    What about our spoken words?
    If I make a promise, I have to keep myself on it. So, take care of making promises. It decreased your free choice :)

    If I sin, I make myself slave to that sin, decreasing my free will, giving my power to something else.

    Does God has a free will?
    Fat Boy and Duellant like this.
  16. The commandments are given to protect us, so in a certain way, it protects our future choices...
    God wants us to stay in His love and the ability to love others.
    As long as I keep the commandments, I protect myself from heavy failures/mistakes. Protect myself for my own destruction.
  17. I choose to believe that I am in control of my own destiny! My actions, my thoughts have an impact on my future! And I wanna stay too busy doing work on these so that I don't have time to think otherwise..after all time never waits to find out answers of such questions! So I rather get busy working on my future than stop and keep going round and round and getting nowhere!
    Duellant and EthanW. like this.
  18. tweeby

    tweeby Banned

  19. If you know what love is, you know what sin is.
    Deleted Account and tweeby like this.
  20. tweeby

    tweeby Banned

Share This Page