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/phi/ - Philosophy
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Anonymous 16/08/31(Wed)03:45 No. 12662 ID: 1cc955

File 147260794070.gif - (705.36KB , 738x780 , 1472548628168.gif )

About free will.

Are you reading this text voluntarily? My personal guess is, that many will instinctively answer with yes. In German the adjective „voluntarily“ is translated to „freiwillig“, which means „with free will“ or more literal „free willy“.
Bad jokes aside, the definition of doing something voluntarily, is taking action according to your own free will.
Now why I am focusing on this is, because I want to explore what it actually means to do something voluntarily, along the axis of determinism and free will.

Let’s assume you answered yes to the question of reading this text voluntarily.
And let’s assume our brains do function deterministically.
That would mean, you just had an illusion about having a free will.
The illusion, that you did have a choice, not to read this text this far. Some unknown law, which we try to approximate in the natural sciences, is entirely responsible for what you just did, including the feeling of doing it voluntarily.
It also means, that if you were able to go back in time, every time you did do so, the world and the universe would develop exactly the way they have always been destined to. Including you, reading this text, over and over again. Like a clockwork turning back and forth.
Consciously experiencing a movie that doesn’t feel like a movie but real.
Being aware of this fact also means, that one of the characteristics of this deterministic system is, that it can understand itself.
Let’s have a look at it understanding itself.
If the voluntary guy exists in this deterministic system, his thoughts are part of this system and his conscious experience of having acted voluntarily describes the system in the same way, as an experience of not having done so, would.
Determinism allows a reality where one can experience free will.
Isn’t that awesome, determinism is quite nice, doing everything for you while you still experience freedom. Oh wait, that is only as long as you think you are reading this text voluntarily. See what I did there?
At any rate, I’d say I am somewhat in peace with determinism for now.

Let us now look on how you could possibly read this text voluntarily while conscious, if being free equals not being determined by any physical process in our universe. In other words, being above space and time and thus above the laws of nature. How could you possibly even exist in that way? Therefore existence is not a property of being free! This statement holds indeed true for both a deterministic and an indeterministic universe.
But what about the other way round, is being free a property of existence?
We just saw why it holds true in a deterministic universe.
And it also holds true, if we assume the I does not operate in our realm of reason, since we still are able to know that a free I exists.

This thought can be developed further. What does it actually mean, to exist? It means, that we are able to perceive, be it sensual inputs or thoughts in our mind. We are able to watch this fully realistic movie. And we just saw, being free is a property that comes with it.
That means that ultimately, we can be free to choose, how we see the world and the universe, thanks to existing in the form of matter, in such a way, that we developed the I, which is able to have different viewpoints on the same continuous pattern that it is made of.
A property to see a part of itself differently, thus changing its own meaning; or in other words, being multiple things at once.

So I am not giving you an answer on how the interaction between the I and our body works. But I showed you why I think, that ultimately, it is irrelevant. Because no matter how the universe works, we know that it allows for free will to exist. And we looked at why that makes freedom a property of existence. A property of viewing the world.
Anyways I wouldn’t be a true hobby philosopher if I didn’t take a shot at offering an idea, on how a unknown sphere of a free I could possibly relate to our existence (for all of you guys still thinking about why this is just a deterministic illusion) and why the finding of decisions being made in the brain, before they become conscious, is not a problem.
Consider the whole process of acquiring a different viewpoint, is where the source of our existence lies.
Everything else, follows from that. Depending on how you view the pattern that defines you, your existence will behave. The neurological impulses are long sent before you make a conscious decision, but before that decision to make arose, your viewpoint defined a new existence of the pattern and therefore your decision to come.
In essence: the path is determined, but if you change your perspective, you will see a different path of equal determination, where looking at the horizon could be described as walking along the arrow of time. It removes the necessity of a free I having to influence the physical world in some way, in order for it to be truly free.

Concluding with my initial question, on what it means to do something voluntarily; I’d say it is a matter of perspective.

Anonymous 16/08/31(Wed)12:00 No. 12663 ID: 73d54b

The deterministic universe model is flawed. Truly random shit happens at the quantum level all the time. This can have far-reaching and meaningful effects.

Oh, and using a .gif for an OP means you deserve to die.

Anonymous 16/09/02(Fri)13:15 No. 12666 ID: 83a169

This is still debated, and adding what amounts to rng into a machine doesn't give it a will.

Anonymous 16/09/18(Sun)10:06 No. 12672 ID: 083239

If it is a picture or idea it should be allowed, if it is a harmful action against someone which can be stopped it should be considered a crime.

Gore and murders which have already taken place can be posted and do not violate any laws, yet anything illegal involving sex is considered to be literally worse than murder.

If it already happened what is the harm? I do not agree with rape and murder, but censoring such content will not stop it from occurring.

Anonymous 16/10/21(Fri)22:58 No. 12690 ID: 3c2eaa


Actually Determinism and free Will imo are compatible. If your decisions would not base on determinism, then they would be completely uncondicioned, random. The free will is determined by your experience, your character etc.. An uncondicioned free will would be simply arbitrary.

Anonymous 16/10/22(Sat)05:47 No. 12691 ID: ca3ceb

>About free will.

>Are you reading this text voluntarily?

I dunno. I got bored and stopped reading there.

Anonymous 16/11/19(Sat)08:51 No. 12722 ID: 2ff195

File 147954189531.jpg - (94.56KB , 640x640 , IMG_20150503_015956.jpg )

great post OP.

I have discussions on this topic all the time.

blue 17/04/18(Tue)22:14 No. 12905 ID: 4515bc

dude there was a post which sent us to a youtube video of a guy if you wanna try to debate t just go watch the guys video

Anonymous 17/04/25(Tue)05:41 No. 12911 ID: fe9887

Get your filthy cursor of this black space you disgusting, nosy creep.

Anonymous 17/09/13(Wed)08:10 No. 13111 ID: 86f262

I once read a post where OP used gif and it was surprisingly good post. That changed my worldview just enough to make me want to read this post, out of my "free will".
If we went back in time and cancelled that one time I read a good post, I wouldn't have wanted to read your post, thinking it would suck.

What happened there?
Did we change the course of the whole universe, or did we just change me as a person?

Before analyzing free will we need to figure out more specific what we are. If we are just pile of cells made of molecules made of atoms, we aren't anything else than matter. If we are computers made of flesh, we process data and do the math to reach conclusion we just may have free will. Why? Because the result of choice didn't exist before we made it.

I'm terribly sorry for the broken structure of my text, i've only have had one cup of coffee.

Anonymous 17/10/03(Tue)19:39 No. 13207 ID: 418d7a

Read How Emotions Are Made by Lisa Barrett Feldman
We're bias machines. It's like writing data to a computer, only instead of erasing it just doesn't record all the information correctly. We have a certain amount of will, in choosing where to direct our attention and thoughts. If you continue a line of thinking, it's basically like telling yourself that this line of thinking is okay. This is why people get depressed, they tell themselves they are shit for years and then they get surprised when their own brain starts believing them.
If people were to view their brain as a dog, I think they would have a much better idea of how to handle themselves. If you don't understand this information or don't have knowledge it exists, then you're pretty much a philosophical zombie.
You're making choices, but you're unaware of the level of control that you actually have, in that case.
As people understand these concepts on a greater scale, then you can have more free will. It's not like you have total free will or zero free will, from my understanding of the science your conscious mind is about a pea-size compared to the size of the subconscious. Over time, if you make consistent attempts to change you have much greater control over your entire life, so in the moment you probably have the least control and over the duration of your entire life you have the most free will.
However, that's only if you are trying to do something. Now, if you don't even want to do anything from the start, then I would think you're definitely fucked. Because you haven't even given yourself any options. I see this among imageboards a lot, the posters seem myopic in their worldview. Perhaps, hopefully, it's just because they are young.

Anonymous 17/10/21(Sat)07:56 No. 13234 ID: 851467

Personally I subscribe to Stefan Molymeme's compatibilist definition of free will: roughly, the ability to compare your perception of reality to ideal standards and to make choices based on those comparisons.

I believe that the universe is deterministic and that humans are wired to make normative evaluations or in other words value based judgements. We have no choice in the matter because we evolved that way.

I also believe that no set of values is, in a non-trivial fashion, universally shared and that there is no rational basis on which to compare these values as any standard you use for comparison will also have to be preferable according to another standard ad infinitum.

Yet a lot of interesting and useful discussion based on these normatives is littered with concepts based what could be termed a religious concept of free will; such as voluntary vs involuntary, personal responsibility, agency, morality and ethics.

This definition allows one to discuss these concepts using the language that developed around them without cognitive dissonance, magical thinking or altering the concepts in a fundamental way that would impede understanding in their common use.

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