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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.
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.
This is still debated, and adding what amounts to rng into a machine doesn't give it a will.
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.
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.
>About free will.
>Are you reading this text voluntarily?
I dunno. I got bored and stopped reading there.
great post OP.
I have discussions on this topic all the time.
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