My take on free will

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My take on free will

Postby Diagoras » Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:49 am

I was going to post some of this in another thread, but I decided not to steer that one off topic and instead create a new one.

I think free will is basically an incoherent concept. Our actions are the direct consequence our beliefs, our feelings, and our perceptions, all of which we have no conscious choice in forming. Every belief, every feeling, every perception you get is because matter and energy moved around in a certain way to cause your brain to be in the state that it is in. And if our actions are not based on our beliefs, our feelings, and our perceptions, what else could they be based on?

Either our choices have identifiable causes in the real world, or else they must be random (or at least probabilistic). Actually, I think our choices are mostly caused and only random to a very small degree. We have to take into account that quantum randomness exists, and we can make decisions based on that quantum randomness, for example with random number generators that use the decay of radioactive isotopes. But randomness doesn't give us free will. And besides the quantum randomness, the universe is deterministic. If it were not for quantum randomness, the current state of the universe would be directly predictable from the starting conditions of the Big Bang.

I don't see the lack of free will as a bad thing at all, since the randomness of the universe has almost no effect on our decisions. After all, wouldn't you rather perform actions based on objective factors like your beliefs and your perceptions than to act in an unpredictable manner or a probabilistic manner? We should be happy that we don't have free will. The fact that our actions are causally linked to the real world is what makes us capable of acting rationally. Remember, pleasure does not come from making unpredictable, uncaused decisions. Pleasure comes from fulfilling our desires, and that is best accomplished if our decisions are rational and deterministic, not random or probabilistic.

We don't need to justify the pursuit of pleasure; it is something that's built into all of our genes. It's part of our nature that we cannot and will not avoid. We can all agree to cooperate in the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of displeasure. And that's why it's justified to hold people responsible for their actions, even though they were deterministically destined to do what they did. Some kind of justice system is a perfectly rational way to form a society where the collective pleasure is maximized and the collective displeasure minimized.

But once we realize that free will is an illusion, this I think gives us more compassion for those who have done wrong. We know that, were we in their situation with their genetic makeup and their beliefs and so forth, we would have done the exact same thing. This should give us more of an incentive to try to rehabilitate people who are prone to do immoral things, and to create a social atmosphere where immoral actions are less likely to occur in the first place, instead of focusing on angry revenge like I think a lot of religious groups do.

Any thoughts?
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Re: My take on free will

Postby Elman » Wed Sep 05, 2007 7:18 pm

Diagoras wrote:I was going to post some of this in another thread, but I decided not to steer that one off topic and instead create a new one.

I think free will is basically an incoherent concept. Our actions are the direct consequence our beliefs, our feelings, and our perceptions, all of which we have no conscious choice in forming. Every belief, every feeling, every perception you get is because matter and energy moved around in a certain way to cause your brain to be in the state that it is in. And if our actions are not based on our beliefs, our feelings, and our perceptions, what else could they be based on?

Either our choices have identifiable causes in the real world, or else they must be random (or at least probabilistic). Actually, I think our choices are mostly caused and only random to a very small degree. We have to take into account that quantum randomness exists, and we can make decisions based on that quantum randomness, for example with random number generators that use the decay of radioactive isotopes. But randomness doesn't give us free will. And besides the quantum randomness, the universe is deterministic. If it were not for quantum randomness, the current state of the universe would be directly predictable from the starting conditions of the Big Bang.

I don't see the lack of free will as a bad thing at all, since the randomness of the universe has almost no effect on our decisions. After all, wouldn't you rather perform actions based on objective factors like your beliefs and your perceptions than to act in an unpredictable manner or a probabilistic manner? We should be happy that we don't have free will. The fact that our actions are causally linked to the real world is what makes us capable of acting rationally. Remember, pleasure does not come from making unpredictable, uncaused decisions. Pleasure comes from fulfilling our desires, and that is best accomplished if our decisions are rational and deterministic, not random or probabilistic.

We don't need to justify the pursuit of pleasure; it is something that's built into all of our genes. It's part of our nature that we cannot and will not avoid. We can all agree to cooperate in the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of displeasure. And that's why it's justified to hold people responsible for their actions, even though they were deterministically destined to do what they did. Some kind of justice system is a perfectly rational way to form a society where the collective pleasure is maximized and the collective displeasure minimized.

But once we realize that free will is an illusion, this I think gives us more compassion for those who have done wrong. We know that, were we in their situation with their genetic makeup and their beliefs and so forth, we would have done the exact same thing. This should give us more of an incentive to try to rehabilitate people who are prone to do immoral things, and to create a social atmosphere where immoral actions are less likely to occur in the first place, instead of focusing on angry revenge like I think a lot of religious groups do.

Any thoughts?
To me nothing makes sense if there is no free will, by which I mean the ability to effect things around you and do not mean the ability to be uneffected by your environment or dna. A justice system makes no sense if there is no free will. One would have to have free will for it to operate against a criminal and there must be free will for there to be a criminal. When you talk about incentive, this is a meaningless word if there is no free will. Incentive is relating to encouragment toward a particular choice. If there is no free will there are no choices, and what we think is choices is merely illusion. right?
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Re: My take on free will

Postby daedalus » Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:04 pm

Elman wrote:
Diagoras wrote:I was going to post some of this in another thread, but I decided not to steer that one off topic and instead create a new one.

I think free will is basically an incoherent concept. Our actions are the direct consequence our beliefs, our feelings, and our perceptions, all of which we have no conscious choice in forming. Every belief, every feeling, every perception you get is because matter and energy moved around in a certain way to cause your brain to be in the state that it is in. And if our actions are not based on our beliefs, our feelings, and our perceptions, what else could they be based on?

Either our choices have identifiable causes in the real world, or else they must be random (or at least probabilistic). Actually, I think our choices are mostly caused and only random to a very small degree. We have to take into account that quantum randomness exists, and we can make decisions based on that quantum randomness, for example with random number generators that use the decay of radioactive isotopes. But randomness doesn't give us free will. And besides the quantum randomness, the universe is deterministic. If it were not for quantum randomness, the current state of the universe would be directly predictable from the starting conditions of the Big Bang.

I don't see the lack of free will as a bad thing at all, since the randomness of the universe has almost no effect on our decisions. After all, wouldn't you rather perform actions based on objective factors like your beliefs and your perceptions than to act in an unpredictable manner or a probabilistic manner? We should be happy that we don't have free will. The fact that our actions are causally linked to the real world is what makes us capable of acting rationally. Remember, pleasure does not come from making unpredictable, uncaused decisions. Pleasure comes from fulfilling our desires, and that is best accomplished if our decisions are rational and deterministic, not random or probabilistic.

We don't need to justify the pursuit of pleasure; it is something that's built into all of our genes. It's part of our nature that we cannot and will not avoid. We can all agree to cooperate in the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of displeasure. And that's why it's justified to hold people responsible for their actions, even though they were deterministically destined to do what they did. Some kind of justice system is a perfectly rational way to form a society where the collective pleasure is maximized and the collective displeasure minimized.

But once we realize that free will is an illusion, this I think gives us more compassion for those who have done wrong. We know that, were we in their situation with their genetic makeup and their beliefs and so forth, we would have done the exact same thing. This should give us more of an incentive to try to rehabilitate people who are prone to do immoral things, and to create a social atmosphere where immoral actions are less likely to occur in the first place, instead of focusing on angry revenge like I think a lot of religious groups do.

Any thoughts?
To me nothing makes sense if there is no free will, by which I mean the ability to effect things around you and do not mean the ability to be uneffected by your environment or dna. A justice system makes no sense if there is no free will. One would have to have free will for it to operate against a criminal and there must be free will for there to be a criminal. When you talk about incentive, this is a meaningless word if there is no free will. Incentive is relating to encouragment toward a particular choice. If there is no free will there are no choices, and what we think is choices is merely illusion. right?



Right. It seems that it is all just illusion and even the Justice system, while, perhaps, a sham, is still a response that is not chosen but determined by an action.

There is still room for a justice system since it is a response.

Wild, huh?


You could feel frustrated by it, but that doesn't mean you could decide differently.

That is, if you found out today that you had no free will, you would still not go out killing (unless it was determined for you to), because it's not up to you. You may even continue to reject the idea of Determinism, and I accept it.

Both of us have no choice over the matter.


I prefer to think that we have something that resembles FW, but see no real reason for or against it. Luckily, I don't hold a world view that requires it (for example, Xinantiy and the Problem of Evil needs FW to solve the problem, otherwise it is in jeapordy.)


edit: See, if you think about it, Determism or Free Will does nothing by try to explain what happens now. It may or may not change anything if we found out we had FW or not.

What if you found out there was no FW but you believed there was FW and felt you acted as if there was FW (but didn't)? Would it matter?
Last edited by daedalus on Thu Sep 06, 2007 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby eebamxela » Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:51 pm

I think the missing element here is that you have to recognise that just because there are many things happening in a particular system, that doesnt mean that they are not predetermined.

For example: a small rubber ball you bought for a quarter at the grocery store. Go outside. Throw it. If you took good notes in physics, you could calculate it's trajectory; where it lands, how high it will go, the force you applied to it to accelerate it, etc. When it lands, it bounces. Given the material properties, and the nature of the surface it lands on you can then calculate where it bounces next. All these parameters of the system (the system being the ball, the road, the grass, the air, and anything that interacts with the ball) you could say are pretty much random and theres no way to determine where the ball goes right?

Before you threw the ball, the parameters were laid out randomly. Wait a few minutes and look at the lay of the land, and carefully calculate everything you need to know. The road doesnt move, so don't worry about that. You can pinpoint the exact location of the ball, and you can pinpoint the exact location of everything else in the system. So calculate the trajectory and path, now throw it.

Bounce

Bounce

WHACK!

A car just hit your ball in the middle of the road, throwing off the entire experiment. The occurance of the car was a completely unforeseen random event right?

You bet your ass you could have calculated the speed and force of the car and when it would hit the ball, and then where the ball would have gone. Just because you didn't know the car was coming, doesn't mean it is a random event.

----------------------

Now back to reality. Your thoughts and actions are made up of tiny yet numerous chemical reactions. These reactions are made up of atoms, whose postion can be determined, Along with their energies and momentums and speeds relative to the other atoms.

I think it makes sense to say that really there is no such thing as choice, because you are a slave to the preset path of all the molecules atoms and particles in the universe. Their trajectories might not presently be calculable, however the particles that exist are on exactly one path. Or if there are multiple paths, the paths exist in a definite state, and given all the parameters you can extrapolate future events.
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Re: My take on free will

Postby donnyton » Thu Sep 06, 2007 12:51 am

Elman wrote:
Diagoras wrote:I was going to post some of this in another thread, but I decided not to steer that one off topic and instead create a new one.

I think free will is basically an incoherent concept. Our actions are the direct consequence our beliefs, our feelings, and our perceptions, all of which we have no conscious choice in forming. Every belief, every feeling, every perception you get is because matter and energy moved around in a certain way to cause your brain to be in the state that it is in. And if our actions are not based on our beliefs, our feelings, and our perceptions, what else could they be based on?

Either our choices have identifiable causes in the real world, or else they must be random (or at least probabilistic). Actually, I think our choices are mostly caused and only random to a very small degree. We have to take into account that quantum randomness exists, and we can make decisions based on that quantum randomness, for example with random number generators that use the decay of radioactive isotopes. But randomness doesn't give us free will. And besides the quantum randomness, the universe is deterministic. If it were not for quantum randomness, the current state of the universe would be directly predictable from the starting conditions of the Big Bang.

I don't see the lack of free will as a bad thing at all, since the randomness of the universe has almost no effect on our decisions. After all, wouldn't you rather perform actions based on objective factors like your beliefs and your perceptions than to act in an unpredictable manner or a probabilistic manner? We should be happy that we don't have free will. The fact that our actions are causally linked to the real world is what makes us capable of acting rationally. Remember, pleasure does not come from making unpredictable, uncaused decisions. Pleasure comes from fulfilling our desires, and that is best accomplished if our decisions are rational and deterministic, not random or probabilistic.

We don't need to justify the pursuit of pleasure; it is something that's built into all of our genes. It's part of our nature that we cannot and will not avoid. We can all agree to cooperate in the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of displeasure. And that's why it's justified to hold people responsible for their actions, even though they were deterministically destined to do what they did. Some kind of justice system is a perfectly rational way to form a society where the collective pleasure is maximized and the collective displeasure minimized.

But once we realize that free will is an illusion, this I think gives us more compassion for those who have done wrong. We know that, were we in their situation with their genetic makeup and their beliefs and so forth, we would have done the exact same thing. This should give us more of an incentive to try to rehabilitate people who are prone to do immoral things, and to create a social atmosphere where immoral actions are less likely to occur in the first place, instead of focusing on angry revenge like I think a lot of religious groups do.

Any thoughts?
To me nothing makes sense if there is no free will, by which I mean the ability to effect things around you and do not mean the ability to be uneffected by your environment or dna. A justice system makes no sense if there is no free will. One would have to have free will for it to operate against a criminal and there must be free will for there to be a criminal. When you talk about incentive, this is a meaningless word if there is no free will. Incentive is relating to encouragment toward a particular choice. If there is no free will there are no choices, and what we think is choices is merely illusion. right?



Not quite. There's a huge distinction between a justice system and justice. In addition, there is a huge distinction between free will, "freedom" alone, and "will" alone. If free will doesn't exist, then the raw concept of "justice" as in "God is infinitely just" doesn't make sense. However, the concept of a justice system does exist. Our justice system isn't only punishment, it's retribution and inhibition. When we lock a thief up for 5 years, when the thief comes out the idea isn't to make them think "Ok I better not steal because it's wrong and I should take free will." Rather, it is "If I steal again, I will get caught and locked up." It's almost a cultured response. For example, when dolphins are trained to do tricks in order to obtain a reward, we appeal the the dolphin's "will" for getting food, not its free will. In the same way, ex-cons have "freedom" to steal again and may have the "will" to steal again but that doesn't prove they have the free will to steal. Their freedom is a product of their environment, and their will is also a product of their environment.

Take another example: the insane. When an insanity plead succeeds, we don't release the guy back on the streets, we lock him in an asylum. Arguing "I'm insane so I don't have free will." may be an argument to get you out of the concept of "justice" but our "justice system" still has a responsibility to make sure that the act itself does not occur again. In fact, justice would make even LESS sense if free will existed because then it would mean that we should be allowed to do whatever we want. After all, to take my free will away would be a violation of my basic right and nature. Rather, the absence of free will makes an even STRONGER case for a justice system because we can acknowledge that jail and community service has a measurable effect on people and that offenders who are punished longer have less "will" and less "freedom" to commit the act again if we keep the pressure upon them. That is what our justice system is: an environment in which the absence of free will allows our principles of punishment and deterring crime to work.
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Re: My take on free will

Postby Diagoras » Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:22 am

Elman wrote:To me nothing makes sense if there is no free will, by which I mean the ability to effect things around you and do not mean the ability to be uneffected by your environment or dna.

I don't think you understand my argument. Of course "you" have the ability to affect things around you. That is demonstrated every time you move. Nobody disputes that fact. But computers also affect the things around them, so I don't think that's a good enough definition for free will. I'm not saying free will is the complete freedom from being affected by objective factors like your environment and DNA. I'm defining free will as a degree of freedom, however small or large that may be, from having one's decisions be completely based on such objective factors, which allows for choices that are not random and also not predictable from the events that preceded them.

Say I have a choice between doing A and doing B. After you calculate my entire DNA, the environment, the structure of my brain, my beliefs, my memories, my desires, and all that stuff, you say there is some other non-deterministic factor in the equation which allows me to "choose" between doing A and doing B. What is that extra factor that gives me free will? How can it choose between A and B in a non-random yet uncaused manner? Everything in the universe is either random or has causes. I have as much difficulty imagining something that is non-random and uncaused as I have imagining a square triangle. Basic logic makes such a thing impossible.

All your thoughts are the result of a causal chain that stretches back long before you were born, with a slight amount of quantum randomness thrown in for good measure. That's simply the way things are, and I guess I'm just one of those people who were predetermined to accept his deterministic nature for what it is. I hope the universe is predetermined such that you will someday come to the same conclusion. ;)
Last edited by Diagoras on Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby eebamxela » Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:45 am

Your actions are predetermined only in the sense that like a rubber ball is destined (once on a path) to hit a definite spot.

Your urge to drink your coffee at a particular instant is the result of a chemical reaction in your brain, which was the result of another chemical reaction somewhere else in the universe, ad infinitum.
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Postby daedalus » Thu Sep 06, 2007 4:53 am

eebamxela wrote:Your actions are predetermined only in the sense that like a rubber ball is destined (once on a path) to hit a definite spot.

Your urge to drink your coffee at a particular instant is the result of a chemical reaction in your brain, which was the result of another chemical reaction somewhere else in the universe, ad infinitum.


I am uncomfortable with this p.o.v., but I am becoming more and more convinced of it.

The one fly in the ointment, is, I'm afrai, is a bit of an Argument from Ignorance: Quantum Theory. Perhaps pure randomness does exist in nature, but since only a handful of people in the world understand QT to a degree that would be helpful, I will have to wait for more knowledge about the Quantum World.

As it is, it seems there is no reason to think the Universe operates differently than we experience it. (Well, some reasons, but without validation, e.g., Idealism)
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Postby Elman » Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:03 pm

daedalus wrote:
eebamxela wrote:Your actions are predetermined only in the sense that like a rubber ball is destined (once on a path) to hit a definite spot.

Your urge to drink your coffee at a particular instant is the result of a chemical reaction in your brain, which was the result of another chemical reaction somewhere else in the universe, ad infinitum.


I am uncomfortable with this p.o.v., but I am becoming more and more convinced of it.

The one fly in the ointment, is, I'm afrai, is a bit of an Argument from Ignorance: Quantum Theory. Perhaps pure randomness does exist in nature, but since only a handful of people in the world understand QT to a degree that would be helpful, I will have to wait for more knowledge about the Quantum World.

As it is, it seems there is no reason to think the Universe operates differently than we experience it. (Well, some reasons, but without validation, e.g., Idealism)
I simply cannot see any reason to believe the decision I make every second of the day could not have been made differently, if I had wanted to do it differently; and some decisions I make are not about wanting it one way or the other, but simply making a decision between options, either of which options are equally fine with me, but I randomly chose one. If the exact situaltion was presented I might well chose a different option. Nothing outside of me is contolling my decisons, and I control some of what is inside me. If my history and the history of my ancestors is contolling my decisions, it is not apparent and I see no reason to believe what I am observing and experiencing is an illusion, even though I am not as insistent on what I observe being the limits of reality as some people are.
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Re: My take on free will

Postby Elman » Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:07 pm

Diagoras wrote:I was going to post some of this in another thread, but I decided not to steer that one off topic and instead create a new one.

I think free will is basically an incoherent concept. Our actions are the direct consequence our beliefs, our feelings, and our perceptions, all of which we have no conscious choice in forming. Every belief, every feeling, every perception you get is because matter and energy moved around in a certain way to cause your brain to be in the state that it is in. And if our actions are not based on our beliefs, our feelings, and our perceptions, what else could they be based on?

Either our choices have identifiable causes in the real world, or else they must be random (or at least probabilistic). Actually, I think our choices are mostly caused and only random to a very small degree. We have to take into account that quantum randomness exists, and we can make decisions based on that quantum randomness, for example with random number generators that use the decay of radioactive isotopes. But randomness doesn't give us free will. And besides the quantum randomness, the universe is deterministic. If it were not for quantum randomness, the current state of the universe would be directly predictable from the starting conditions of the Big Bang.

I don't see the lack of free will as a bad thing at all, since the randomness of the universe has almost no effect on our decisions. After all, wouldn't you rather perform actions based on objective factors like your beliefs and your perceptions than to act in an unpredictable manner or a probabilistic manner? We should be happy that we don't have free will. The fact that our actions are causally linked to the real world is what makes us capable of acting rationally. Remember, pleasure does not come from making unpredictable, uncaused decisions. Pleasure comes from fulfilling our desires, and that is best accomplished if our decisions are rational and deterministic, not random or probabilistic.

We don't need to justify the pursuit of pleasure; it is something that's built into all of our genes. It's part of our nature that we cannot and will not avoid. We can all agree to cooperate in the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of displeasure. And that's why it's justified to hold people responsible for their actions, even though they were deterministically destined to do what they did. Some kind of justice system is a perfectly rational way to form a society where the collective pleasure is maximized and the collective displeasure minimized.

But once we realize that free will is an illusion, this I think gives us more compassion for those who have done wrong. We know that, were we in their situation with their genetic makeup and their beliefs and so forth, we would have done the exact same thing. This should give us more of an incentive to try to rehabilitate people who are prone to do immoral things, and to create a social atmosphere where immoral actions are less likely to occur in the first place, instead of focusing on angry revenge like I think a lot of religious groups do.

Any thoughts?
If there is no free will why would anyone be upset at someone chosing to believe in God, since in reality no choice was made.
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Postby donnyton » Thu Sep 06, 2007 4:56 pm

That's a logical fallacy.

Who says that it's our choice to be upset?
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Postby daedalus » Thu Sep 06, 2007 5:43 pm

Elman wrote: I simply cannot see any reason to believe the decision I make every second of the day could not have been made differently, if I had wanted to do it differently; and some decisions I make are not about wanting it one way or the other, but simply making a decision between options, either of which options are equally fine with me, but I randomly chose one. If the exact situaltion was presented I might well chose a different option.

The problem is, you can't verify this. you can only talk about it as an abstract idea. Like "If I could fly, I could..."

I admit its frustrating, and I even question it but it seems as if we are on a linear track. We have one life, one path, and only one choice we can make when confronted with more choices. The fact that we must choose one (even if we don't choose), we have simply reacted to all the stimuli around us, and the memories in our brains (chemical reactions).

Nothing outside of me is contolling my decisons, and I control some of what is inside me. If my history and the history of my ancestors is contolling my decisions, it is not apparent and I see no reason to believe what I am observing and experiencing is an illusion, even though I am not as insistent on what I observe being the limits of reality as some people are.
I'm not sure how you can say this. You certainly are heavily influenced by your environment. You are an animal in an environment and you react to it.

You couldn't have decided to post a message on this board if someone hadn't created the Forum, or wrote something you were compelled to respond to.

You didn't internally decide that the world would exist as you would always decide it to be.
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Re: My take on free will

Postby daedalus » Thu Sep 06, 2007 5:50 pm

Elman wrote:
Diagoras wrote:I was going to post some of this in another thread, but I decided not to steer that one off topic and instead create a new one.

I think free will is basically an incoherent concept. Our actions are the direct consequence our beliefs, our feelings, and our perceptions, all of which we have no conscious choice in forming. Every belief, every feeling, every perception you get is because matter and energy moved around in a certain way to cause your brain to be in the state that it is in. And if our actions are not based on our beliefs, our feelings, and our perceptions, what else could they be based on?

Either our choices have identifiable causes in the real world, or else they must be random (or at least probabilistic). Actually, I think our choices are mostly caused and only random to a very small degree. We have to take into account that quantum randomness exists, and we can make decisions based on that quantum randomness, for example with random number generators that use the decay of radioactive isotopes. But randomness doesn't give us free will. And besides the quantum randomness, the universe is deterministic. If it were not for quantum randomness, the current state of the universe would be directly predictable from the starting conditions of the Big Bang.

I don't see the lack of free will as a bad thing at all, since the randomness of the universe has almost no effect on our decisions. After all, wouldn't you rather perform actions based on objective factors like your beliefs and your perceptions than to act in an unpredictable manner or a probabilistic manner? We should be happy that we don't have free will. The fact that our actions are causally linked to the real world is what makes us capable of acting rationally. Remember, pleasure does not come from making unpredictable, uncaused decisions. Pleasure comes from fulfilling our desires, and that is best accomplished if our decisions are rational and deterministic, not random or probabilistic.

We don't need to justify the pursuit of pleasure; it is something that's built into all of our genes. It's part of our nature that we cannot and will not avoid. We can all agree to cooperate in the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of displeasure. And that's why it's justified to hold people responsible for their actions, even though they were deterministically destined to do what they did. Some kind of justice system is a perfectly rational way to form a society where the collective pleasure is maximized and the collective displeasure minimized.

But once we realize that free will is an illusion, this I think gives us more compassion for those who have done wrong. We know that, were we in their situation with their genetic makeup and their beliefs and so forth, we would have done the exact same thing. This should give us more of an incentive to try to rehabilitate people who are prone to do immoral things, and to create a social atmosphere where immoral actions are less likely to occur in the first place, instead of focusing on angry revenge like I think a lot of religious groups do.

Any thoughts?
If there is no free will why would anyone be upset at someone chosing to believe in God, since in reality no choice was made.


Donnyton is right. If there is no choice, not only do I have no choice of whether I believe in God or not, but whether I get upset about someone believing in God, or - God forbid - I become a raving Xian or Hundu.

So you have hit upon a disturbing - possible - truth. We are acting out exactly as we would have if the conditions were the same.

Our Frontal Lobe (the part that can really mull over things) is just along for the ride.

We are passangers in a car that we have no ability to change the destination, the best we can do is enjoy the scenery and enjoy the ride.

There are future events that wait ahead and will affect the course, but we will think it is because of something we had a choice to affect, and not a natural outcome of blind progression of events.



It is one view. AS I said, it is discomforting, but there seems an awful lot of evidence to support it.
"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful." Seneca the Younger

"SUCK IT, JESUS!" Kathy Griffin
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Postby eebamxela » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:33 pm

There really is not such thing as "future". Its more like present occurances that are converging together at some other point. That sounds weird but i think its more accurate. "Time" is not a real thing.
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Postby daedalus » Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:17 pm

eebamxela wrote:There really is not such thing as "future". Its more like present occurances that are converging together at some other point. That sounds weird but i think its more accurate. "Time" is not a real thing.


It makes sense, in a way, but I suppose I could say that "Time" or the "Future" mean "present occurances that are converging together at some other point".
"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful." Seneca the Younger

"SUCK IT, JESUS!" Kathy Griffin
daedalus
 
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Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2007 12:57 am

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