ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags free will

Reply
Old 12th October 2017, 12:06 AM   #161
David Mo
Graduate Poster
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,883
Originally Posted by SOdhner View Post
Right. So now the question is, what's the distinction that makes it non-metaphorical for humans to "decide" something? Where do you draw the line?

Do dogs make decisions? What about fish? Do bugs make decisions? Bacteria?

I don't actually have an opinion either way, honestly, but I think it's a valid question. Our brains are messy and complicated so it's hard to say exactly what's going on, but I could see the argument that when we "decide" to do something it's just a *much* more complex version of, say, a thermostat "deciding" to kick on.

I guess it mainly depends on if you can get everyone to agree on a really good definition for "decide" as it applies to the actual process that takes place.
I suppose that I agree with your comment.

The fact is that even the most deterministic language about human behaviour is impossible without the words “decision”,“choice” or similar. You can claim in the abstract that a human mind is a thermostat, but you cannot describe many particular human acts only with the concepts that you use to speak about a thermostat –or electrons. Therefore that question is not whether free will exist or not, but what we mean when we speak of free will. This is my point.

In a preliminary approximation I would say that we call “free” to an act that is unpredictable and innovative. In addition, we speak of “decision” or “choice” when the final act is taken after a process of (inner) deliberation that suggest that the behaviour is intentional. Intentional: guided by aims.

This leave two great questions undecidable: Are we really free? Are some animals free? The first question is philosophical. That is to say, we cannot provide a single answer. The second is approximate: it depends if we can find animal behaviours that are unpredictable, innovative and subsequent to a deliberative process –this is the most problematic of the three. I am not a biologist, but I would say that an amoeba shows no sign of innovative behaviour or deliberation. The question seems more problematic when referred to big apes or similar.

I do not have much more to say about this issue.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2017, 12:16 AM   #162
David Mo
Graduate Poster
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,883
Originally Posted by barehl View Post
That's why I don't do philosophy. I'm not really interested in philosophy.
The problem is that you cannot avoid to philosophe because some human problems are in themselves philosophical. For example: What really exists? Can I use men as means for my ends?
We cannot find a philosophical answer, but we need it. Paradoxical, is it not?

Last edited by David Mo; 12th October 2017 at 12:19 AM.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2017, 12:31 AM   #163
Aridas
Crazy Little Green Dragon
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 3,665
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Therefore that question is not whether free will exist or not, but what we mean when we speak of free will. This is my point.
Of some note, while that is of concern, like it is for all uses of language, the most pressing issue at hand after an understanding is reached tends to be "Is that usage actually relevant to the issues that the user is trying to apply it to?" Especially when it comes to free will, there are plenty of issues that do not actually overlap meaningfully.
__________________
So sayeth the crazy little dragon.

Last edited by Aridas; 12th October 2017 at 12:35 AM.
Aridas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2017, 04:13 AM   #164
wea
Critical Thinker
 
wea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: EU
Posts: 348
Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
I spent the last 5 years of my life in a thread on this board where someone tried to talk about a soul without mentioning the word, this is just more of the same.
Originally Posted by barehl View Post
I view free will as being related to volition which is part of the brain. ..

I'm having another déjà vu

In the 5 years long thread JoeBentley refers to, the same someone tried to talk about a process (IIRC "sense of self") as if it were a "thing".

Maybe what you mean is "part of the mind"?
wea is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2017, 08:29 AM   #165
barehl
Master Poster
 
barehl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,508
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
The problem is that you cannot avoid to philosophe because some human problems are in themselves philosophical. For example: What really exists?
I'm working on this as science, not philosophy.
barehl is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2017, 08:37 AM   #166
barehl
Master Poster
 
barehl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,508
Originally Posted by wea View Post
Maybe what you mean is "part of the mind"?
The term 'mind' seems to refer to human consciousness, innate behavior and perception, understanding, intelligence, and reasoning. But these are all phenomenon created the brain.

Steering is a part of driving but it's also a part of the car.
barehl is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2017, 08:44 AM   #167
barehl
Master Poster
 
barehl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,508
Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Until someone provides a workable definition of "Free Will" that isn't just saying "There's a magic air gap in our mental processing between cause and effect" this is all pointless.
That's what I'm working on. I don't see it as magic and I don't use Ouija Boards or dowsing rods to study it. My research is based on information theory.

Quote:
I spent the last 5 years of my life in a thread on this board where someone tried to talk about a soul without mentioning the word, this is just more of the same.
I don't know what that thread was like but I don't see brain activity as requiring something supernatural. Everything about the human mind is mechanistic and completely related to the brain. I don't know what soul you are talking about.
barehl is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2017, 11:42 PM   #168
David Mo
Graduate Poster
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,883
Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
Of some note, while that is of concern, like it is for all uses of language, the most pressing issue at hand after an understanding is reached tends to be "Is that usage actually relevant to the issues that the user is trying to apply it to?" Especially when it comes to free will, there are plenty of issues that do not actually overlap meaningfully.
Maybe. For example?
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 12th October 2017, 11:50 PM   #169
David Mo
Graduate Poster
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,883
Originally Posted by barehl View Post
I'm working on this as science, not philosophy.
Are you working about what reality is without any philosophical assumption? I don't believe this is possible.

Last edited by David Mo; 12th October 2017 at 11:58 PM.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th October 2017, 02:40 AM   #170
Aridas
Crazy Little Green Dragon
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 3,665
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Maybe. For example?
There's the obvious ones, for starters. Free Will, for legal purposes, tends to be most concerned with the absence of coercion. Free Will, in the more abstract metaphysical uses, tends to be more concerned with issues like whether it was actually possible to choose some other option and what kinds of actual options would be required to be available to call it "free." Free Will being used to address moral concerns, like a number of religious apologists use it in their apologetic arguments, tends to invoke a number of other issues before becoming meaningful, unsurprisingly, given that morality tends to invoke a number of other factors. If it's being used to address issues of divine punishment, for example, that necessitates referring back to what is being claimed about what would lead to divine punishment first and foremost. I'm still not completely certain what issues barehl's actually trying to address with his usage, but it sounds like he's trying to deal with how decisions are made more than anything else, if my impression is correct. Myriad's usage, on the other hand, seems to be trying to address the issue of what the things that we consider to be "decisions" actually are, rather than much of anything about the mechanics of how they work.
__________________
So sayeth the crazy little dragon.
Aridas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th October 2017, 11:13 PM   #171
David Mo
Graduate Poster
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,883
Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
There's the obvious ones, for starters. Free Will, for legal purposes, tends to be most concerned with the absence of coercion. Free Will, in the more abstract metaphysical uses, tends to be more concerned with issues like whether it was actually possible to choose some other option and what kinds of actual options would be required to be available to call it "free." Free Will being used to address moral concerns, like a number of religious apologists use it in their apologetic arguments, tends to invoke a number of other issues before becoming meaningful, unsurprisingly, given that morality tends to invoke a number of other factors. If it's being used to address issues of divine punishment, for example, that necessitates referring back to what is being claimed about what would lead to divine punishment first and foremost. I'm still not completely certain what issues barehl's actually trying to address with his usage, but it sounds like he's trying to deal with how decisions are made more than anything else, if my impression is correct. Myriad's usage, on the other hand, seems to be trying to address the issue of what the things that we consider to be "decisions" actually are, rather than much of anything about the mechanics of how they work.
Given that you speak of religious moral, I see that you only keep in mind two different senses of “free will”, legal and religious. We could also add the secular moral. What have in common these meanings of the word is that they are conditions for responsibility, blame and possible punishment or reward. There is not any appraisal without responsibility. You cannot blame an avalanche or express your gratitude to the sun for warming the earth, except in a rhetorical way –personification. But a condition of is not a definition of. In this sense the opposite of “free will” would be some thing like inevitable, unrestrained or determined. According my definition a free act would be uncaused, deliberative and intentional.

Is this intrusion of free will in legal and moral theories useful? (I am not interested in religion now). It is debatable.
Whose that are against the inclusion of moral responsibility in legal affairs claim that the concept of free will is dubious and only adds vengeance to Law.
Whose that support the free will in moral and Law allege that conscious and unconscious acts cannot be punished in the same way. It would be inhuman.

I think that this is a –philosophical– important problem.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th October 2017, 04:35 AM   #172
Aridas
Crazy Little Green Dragon
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 3,665
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Given that you speak of religious moral, I see that you only keep in mind two different senses of “free will”, legal and religious.
*raises his eyebrows* The other three examples not really covered by those two categories would suggest otherwise.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
We could also add the secular moral.
Sure. I wasn't directly limiting the field, I was simply presenting various examples of different issues that people were addressing with their uses of "free will" that were largely not overlapping and probably would likely require notably different definitions to meaningfully address.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
What have in common these meanings of the word is that they are conditions for responsibility, blame and possible punishment or reward. There is not any appraisal without responsibility. You cannot blame an avalanche or express your gratitude to the sun for warming the earth, except in a rhetorical way –personification. But a condition of is not a definition of. In this sense the opposite of “free will” would be some thing like inevitable, unrestrained or determined. According my definition a free act would be uncaused, deliberative and intentional.

Is this intrusion of free will in legal and moral theories useful? (I am not interested in religion now). It is debatable.
Whose that are against the inclusion of moral responsibility in legal affairs claim that the concept of free will is dubious and only adds vengeance to Law.
Whose that support the free will in moral and Law allege that conscious and unconscious acts cannot be punished in the same way. It would be inhuman.

I think that this is a –philosophical– important problem.
Well... any time that there's a concept that runs to the heart of a system that is used to forcibly control human behavior to a notable extent, there's philosophically important questions that need to be asked and answered to determine how acceptable such is and to help in determinations about whether it can be made better.
__________________
So sayeth the crazy little dragon.
Aridas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th October 2017, 09:15 PM   #173
barehl
Master Poster
 
barehl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,508
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Are you working about what reality is without any philosophical assumption? I don't believe this is possible.
I'm sorry; you've lost me. I'm not really trying to work on what reality is. There are some results of knowledge theory that I suppose would relate to reality. For example I could disprove solipsism.

To be honest with you, I was once having a conversation with someone who apparently was well versed in philosophy. He said that we had to start with three assumptions:

Identity
Contradiction
Excluded Middle

I explained that I couldn't just make those assumptions, that I had to have a basis for those things. He was horrified. He tried to insist that everyone had to start with those assumptions. When I wasn't willing to do that he couldn't figure out anything else to say. It was like I had told him to jump out of an airplane without a parachute.
barehl is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th October 2017, 09:23 PM   #174
barehl
Master Poster
 
barehl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,508
Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
I'm still not completely certain what issues barehl's actually trying to address with his usage, but it sounds like he's trying to deal with how decisions are made more than anything else, if my impression is correct.
No, I realized during discussions in this thread and after watching a lecture on agency again that free will isn't directly related to decisions, and I was able to resolve the Knowledge/Computation paradox. I guess that's a step forward, but I'm still trying to figure out how free-will, consciousness, and awareness are related.
barehl is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th October 2017, 10:55 PM   #175
David Mo
Graduate Poster
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,883
Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
*raises his eyebrows* The other three examples not really covered by those two categories would suggest otherwise.
Three more? Truly? They have escaped me. I only saw "metaphysical" free will, but I supposed it was implied in the religious meaning.
Can you be more explicit? Thank you.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th October 2017, 11:09 PM   #176
David Mo
Graduate Poster
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,883
Originally Posted by barehl View Post
I'm sorry; you've lost me. I'm not really trying to work on what reality is. There are some results of knowledge theory that I suppose would relate to reality. For example I could disprove solipsism.

To be honest with you, I was once having a conversation with someone who apparently was well versed in philosophy. He said that we had to start with three assumptions:

Identity
Contradiction
Excluded Middle

I explained that I couldn't just make those assumptions, that I had to have a basis for those things. He was horrified. He tried to insist that everyone had to start with those assumptions. When I wasn't willing to do that he couldn't figure out anything else to say. It was like I had told him to jump out of an airplane without a parachute.
These are not philosophical assumptions but logical axioms that are conditions of any natural language with meaning. If you affirm that when you are saying A you are saying notA all communication is over.

When I spoke of philosophical assumptions I was meaning some propositions about myself, the reality, the truth, values, etc. Perhaps free will is a unavoidable philosophical proposition.

Last edited by David Mo; 14th October 2017 at 11:12 PM.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th October 2017, 12:31 AM   #177
Aridas
Crazy Little Green Dragon
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 3,665
Originally Posted by barehl View Post
No, I realized during discussions in this thread and after watching a lecture on agency again that free will isn't directly related to decisions, and I was able to resolve the Knowledge/Computation paradox. I guess that's a step forward, but I'm still trying to figure out how free-will, consciousness, and awareness are related.
Really? I was under the impression that you were considering decisions to be more along the lines of the culmination of what you were treating as free will, with the focus away from and not dependent on the result itself. Still, my apologies, then. I retract my tentative assessment, but am now left unsure how to describe what you're actually trying to address with your invocation of free will.
__________________
So sayeth the crazy little dragon.

Last edited by Aridas; 15th October 2017 at 12:51 AM.
Aridas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th October 2017, 12:47 AM   #178
Aridas
Crazy Little Green Dragon
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 3,665
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Three more? Truly? They have escaped me. I only saw "metaphysical" free will, but I supposed it was implied in the religious meaning.
Can you be more explicit? Thank you.
There's two points likely worth poking here. First, the metaphysical and the religious example that dealt with topics related to morality should be regarded separately, given that they deal with largely different and barely overlapping concerns. Second, the examples provided for barehl's (even if it may well be mistaken) and Myriad's usages are different enough from the other three that relevant definitions for the other three would be not be likely to be able to address them even well, let alone properly.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
These are not philosophical assumptions but logical axioms that are conditions of any natural language with meaning. If you affirm that when you are saying A you are saying notA all communication is over.
To nitpick, logical axioms do count as assumptions, at last check. There's no requirement for assumptions to be baseless, after all.
__________________
So sayeth the crazy little dragon.

Last edited by Aridas; 15th October 2017 at 12:48 AM.
Aridas is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th October 2017, 01:17 AM   #179
Kumar
Penultimate Amazing
 
Kumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 12,887
Originally Posted by barehl View Post
I've seen a number of arguments against free will but they seem to all include a definition that is self-contradictory. I don't really have a background in philosophy so perhaps there is a definition that does work that I haven't heard of yet.

Even Harris' arguments seem to have an obvious flaw, or at least it seems obvious to me. If I were having a conversation with Harris about his book and his views on free will, I guess I would ask what the Michelson-Morley experiment would be. They tested a hypothesis about ether wind and failed to detect it. This failed experiment showed that ether wind didn't exist. A similar experiment would be the attempt to detect proton decay. Harris didn't describe such a test in his book.

So, what would the equivalent be for free will? What is it that a person who has free will could do, but someone without free will could not do? If this can be stated then presumably the experiment could be performed and the issue could be settled. On the other hand, if such an experiment cannot be described then perhaps the definition is the problem.
We may check, whatever work DONE with conscious mind and whatever attract cause and effect(somewhat equal and opposite reaction to any action) is free will and whatever HAPPEN naturally which do not attract cause and effect is not free will.

Say a human can slaughter an animal using his conscious mind but an animal can not do that.
__________________
To try reach to Absolute & Final(A&F) is my honest desire. Let the things be A&F or die in themselves, if odd. Just Logical & Equanimious Discussions, No commitments.
Kumar is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th October 2017, 01:27 AM   #180
barehl
Master Poster
 
barehl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,508
Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
These are not philosophical assumptions but logical axioms that are conditions of any natural language with meaning. If you affirm that when you are saying A you are saying notA all communication is over.
That's too high of a level. I had to start by figuring out where abstractions come from.

Quote:
When I spoke of philosophical assumptions I was meaning some propositions about myself, the reality, the truth, values, etc. Perhaps free will is a unavoidable philosophical proposition.
I'm sorry; I don't know what you mean. What propositions about yourself, reality, truth, and values?
barehl is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th October 2017, 01:30 AM   #181
barehl
Master Poster
 
barehl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,508
Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
Really? I was under the impression that you were considering decisions to be more along the lines of the culmination of what you were treating as free will, with the focus away from and not dependent on the result itself. Still, my apologies, then. I retract my tentative assessment, but am now left unsure how to describe what you're actually trying to address with your invocation of free will.
My views changed since the start of the thread where I using the assumption that free-will was related to making decisions. I've dropped that idea.

For example, if freedom of decision could increase free-will then presumably we could increase someone's free-will by giving them more options. If I gave you seven cards to choose from instead of three you should have more free-will. But, that doesn't work. You have free-will even when there are no options. So, it isn't related to decision.

I view free-will as a component of consciousness and I'm trying to fit it into cognitive theory.

Last edited by barehl; 15th October 2017 at 01:32 AM.
barehl is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th October 2017, 01:34 AM   #182
barehl
Master Poster
 
barehl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 2,508
Originally Posted by Kumar View Post
We may check, whatever work DONE with conscious mind and whatever attract cause and effect(somewhat equal and opposite reaction to any action) is free will and whatever HAPPEN naturally which do not attract cause and effect is not free will.

Say a human can slaughter an animal using his conscious mind but an animal can not do that.
I don't know what any of this means.

"attract cause and effect" means nothing to me.
barehl is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th October 2017, 01:40 AM   #183
Kumar
Penultimate Amazing
 
Kumar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 12,887
Originally Posted by barehl View Post
I don't know what any of this means.

"attract cause and effect" means nothing to me.
I think, it is basic term of any religion. Also called "Karma".
__________________
To try reach to Absolute & Final(A&F) is my honest desire. Let the things be A&F or die in themselves, if odd. Just Logical & Equanimious Discussions, No commitments.
Kumar is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th October 2017, 10:01 PM   #184
David Mo
Graduate Poster
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,883
Originally Posted by Aridas View Post
There's two points likely worth poking here. First, the metaphysical and the religious example that dealt with topics related to morality should be regarded separately, given that they deal with largely different and barely overlapping concerns. Second, the examples provided for barehl's (even if it may well be mistaken) and Myriad's usages are different enough from the other three that relevant definitions for the other three would be not be likely to be able to address them even well, let alone properly.

To nitpick, logical axioms do count as assumptions, at last check. There's no requirement for assumptions to be baseless, after all.
The concept of free will of metaphysics and religion —Western religions, at least— is similar: it is the faculty of the mind that decides our behaviour. In the Platonic way it is usually differentiate from intelligence and desire. In Plato the will is opposite to desire. It aids the intelligence. In modern metaphysics the things are more complicated, but they are alike in essence.

Logical axioms are not demonstrable, althoug they are the foundations of the system. Therefore they can be considered as “assumptions” , this is to say, some sentences that are accepted as true without any proof.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th October 2017, 10:18 PM   #185
David Mo
Graduate Poster
 
David Mo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,883
Originally Posted by barehl View Post
I'm sorry; I don't know what you mean. What propositions about yourself, reality, truth, and values?
Some examples of propositions that you cannot demonstrate but that are indispensable to be human:

Perceptions and memory are referred to a unique subject: the Self. (Ego identity)
My perceptions are caused by an external world. (Existence of the reality).
There is a way to distinguish between truth and falsehood. (Possibility of knowledge)
A moral value implies some kind of universal imperative. (Moral obligation).

And so on.
David Mo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th October 2017, 08:39 AM   #186
porch
Muse
 
porch's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 557
Originally Posted by barehl View Post
My views changed since the start of the thread where I using the assumption that free-will was related to making decisions. I've dropped that idea.

For example, if freedom of decision could increase free-will then presumably we could increase someone's free-will by giving them more options. If I gave you seven cards to choose from instead of three you should have more free-will. But, that doesn't work. You have free-will even when there are no options. So, it isn't related to decision.

I view free-will as a component of consciousness and I'm trying to fit it into cognitive theory.


Before you move on, you should probably stick with your original question until you have found an answer. Mind you, assigning a definition to the term "free will" that has nothing to do with decision making is just language abuse. What you are doing is roughly equivalent to saying that you've realized that the "soul" has nothing to do with spirit matter or immortality, but it is a part of thyroid function, and you aim to fit it in to endocrinology.
porch is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:01 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2014, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.
This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.