Free will depends upon determinism

Author: Benjamin ,

Topic's posts

Posts in total: 45
  • Benjamin
    Benjamin avatar
    Debates: 19
    Forum posts: 447
    2
    3
    9
    Benjamin avatar
    Benjamin
    Free willvoluntary choice or decision

    Chooseto make a choice about what to do

    Determinism: a theory that acts of the will, occurrences in nature, or social or psychological phenomena are causally determined by preceding events or natural laws



    Consider my syllogism:
    • P1: Free will can only exist if my experience and choices affect the future state of myself
    • P2: If choices and experiences affect the future, then every choice was affected by previous choices and experiences
    • C: Free will can only exist if every choice was affected by previous choices and/or experience


    If you apply this logic to every human, one has effectively proven that free will requires determinism to be true. Unless there is some inherent randomness in how the present affects the future we know for a fact that free will is true, due to free will being a product, not antithesis, of determinism.


  • Sum1hugme
    Sum1hugme avatar
    Debates: 17
    Forum posts: 586
    3
    3
    9
    Sum1hugme avatar
    Sum1hugme
    --> @Benjamin
    Free will and determinism are incompatible. Consider the standard incompatiblist argument:

    1: If Free will is true, then one has the ability to choose otherwise.
    2: It determinism is true, one does not have the ability to choose otherwise.
    3. Therefore, Free will and determinism are incompatible.
  • fauxlaw
    fauxlaw avatar
    Debates: 60
    Forum posts: 2,793
    4
    6
    10
    fauxlaw avatar
    fauxlaw
    --> @Benjamin
    Consider my syllogism:
    • P1: Free will can only exist if my experience and choices affect the future state of myself
    • P2: If choices and experiences affect the future, then every choice was affected by previous choices and experiences
    • C: Free will can only exist if every choice was affected by previous choices and/or experience
    P1 fails because one can choose to not change one's future, i.e., choose to not choose; to remain static.
    P2 fails because one has an array of choices not necessarily ever embarked upon and experienced before. I have the choice to begin smoking; something I have never done before; totally lacking that choice and experience.
    C: The conclusion of your syllogism, therefore, the entire syllogism, therefore, as most tend to do, fails.

    P1: Bids fly
    P2: Camels walk
    C: Therefore, butterflies swim.

    My classic failed syllogism. Syllogisms depend on each factor actually being true, but, obviously, just saying something does not make it true, even if both propositions are true, as in my P1 and P2. As demonstrated, your propositions cannot even get that far.
  • fauxlaw
    fauxlaw avatar
    Debates: 60
    Forum posts: 2,793
    4
    6
    10
    fauxlaw avatar
    fauxlaw
    --> @Sum1hugme
    Your syllogism, on the other hand, has true propositions, and a correct conclusion. Well done.
  • Sum1hugme
    Sum1hugme avatar
    Debates: 17
    Forum posts: 586
    3
    3
    9
    Sum1hugme avatar
    Sum1hugme
    --> @fauxlaw
    Well thanks, it's from the StEcPhil entry on compatibalism.
  • Benjamin
    Benjamin avatar
    Debates: 19
    Forum posts: 447
    2
    3
    9
    Benjamin avatar
    Benjamin
    --> @Sum1hugme

    1: If Free will is true, then one has the ability to choose otherwise.
    As you define free will, it's the same as randomness. You are saying that if I have free will, then there was a possibility of me suddenly choosing to be a cold-blooded killer, simply because I chose not to become one. This way of defining free will is fundamentally flawed. 


    Here is a more correct way of looking at the term:

    Free willvoluntary choice or decision

    Choicepower of choosing :

    Chooseto select freely and after consideration

    Freelyof one's own accord

    Free will, in its original meaning, means that your decisions are made of your own accord. It doesn't exclude your own accord being shaped by your experiences. 




    2: It determinism is true, one does not have the ability to choose otherwise.
    I disagree.

    Abilitythe quality or state of being able

    Ablehaving the freedom or opportunity to do something

    If you have free will, it means that your choice is based on your own accord. Even if you lacked the ability to chose otherwise, a choice made by your own accord IS free will.
  • Benjamin
    Benjamin avatar
    Debates: 19
    Forum posts: 447
    2
    3
    9
    Benjamin avatar
    Benjamin
    --> @fauxlaw
    P1 fails because one can choose to not change one's future, i.e., choose to not choose; to remain static.
    One can choose not to change one's future? No, one definitely can't. By merely moving you are changing the future position of your hand. My merely thinking you are changing the future of your character. Not changing one's future is impossible, and choosing to remaining static would also be to change one's own future.


    P2 fails because one has an array of choices not necessarily ever embarked upon and experienced before.
    P2 is 100% unshakeable. Tell me which other thing than your choices and your experiences can affect your choice. Nothing but randomness, mind controll or divine intervention, the things that would prevent free will from existing.


    I have the choice to begin smoking; something I have never done before; totally lacking that choice and experience.
    Whether or not you chose to smoke depends on your morality and your character, which again is based upon your previous experiences and choices. 
  • fauxlaw
    fauxlaw avatar
    Debates: 60
    Forum posts: 2,793
    4
    6
    10
    fauxlaw avatar
    fauxlaw
    --> @Benjamin
    One can choose not to change one's future? No, one definitely can't.
    As demonstrated merely by my choice to not change my habit of non-smoking, I change nothing about my future relative to avoiding the many maladies directly related to smoking, which has far more consequence3 to my eternity than moving my hand on a given impulse. Come on, we're talking economies of scale here, on which you argue an infinitesimal degree to which I say, simply, in a thousand years, let alone more, who the hell cares a tinker's-dam? Yeah, look it up; the significance of the dam is very small. Not worth the words I've already devoted to it.

    Tell me which other thing than your choices and your experiences can affect your choice.
    Expectation. The virtual opposite of experience because expectation always directs to a future not yet experienced. It is the seed material of goal-setting, else, why make them? Yes, P1 fails.

    randomness, mind controll or divine intervention, the things that would prevent free will from existing.
    How does randomness prevent free will? There are choices to be made that may not make significant effect on a future. We're back to the tinker and his dam. So what if I choose, at random, to wear red boxers or blue? Tomorrow, green or white? Repeat the next day, or choose black or yellow? Who's going to know, but me, but, further, who cares? God? Not in the slightest will he care even if he knows. What, he's going to send me a mind-message that on Wednesday, I'd better wear pink, because I'm going to visit my Mother, and if I don't...? Well, even God knows that a woman scorned.... As I said, the tinker and his dam in the eternal perspective. Yes, it is percentage points less than 100% unshakable. How many is of no consequence, but, it's more than 1%. Yes, P2 fails.

    Whether or not you chose to smoke...

    Yes, my current condition is due to experience and character, but that says nothing about my choice to change either or both, and that decision is difficult to prove was made by random selection and neither predestination, nor absolute free will based on any past behavior, character, or experience. Yes, C fails, but mostly because either one, or the other, or both have failed in addition to being a circular logic, which, by definition, because it leads to nothing but itself, isn't logic.

  • Sum1hugme
    Sum1hugme avatar
    Debates: 17
    Forum posts: 586
    3
    3
    9
    Sum1hugme avatar
    Sum1hugme
    --> @Benjamin
    Free will is not randomness. If you have the ability to choose freely, then you have the ability to choose otherwise than one does. Therefore, if your decision is determined, even if you have reasons to choose one thing over another, you did not choose it freely because you had no other choice, only the illusion of choice.
  • Benjamin
    Benjamin avatar
    Debates: 19
    Forum posts: 447
    2
    3
    9
    Benjamin avatar
    Benjamin
    --> @Sum1hugme
     If you have the ability to choose freely, then you have the ability to choose otherwise than one does
    OBJECTION: Choosing freely means that your choice is not going to be hindered by external forces or people. Where do you get this strange line of reasoning from?
  • Sum1hugme
    Sum1hugme avatar
    Debates: 17
    Forum posts: 586
    3
    3
    9
    Sum1hugme avatar
    Sum1hugme
    --> @Benjamin
    The stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. Being able to choose freely means that you have an actual choice between two or more options, and not just the illusion of choice. 
  • Benjamin
    Benjamin avatar
    Debates: 19
    Forum posts: 447
    2
    3
    9
    Benjamin avatar
    Benjamin
    --> @Sum1hugme
    you did not choose it freely because you had no other choice
    OBJECTION: This is not true. You had other choices, but you chose the one you did. Since your choice isn't random, you can predict your choice by knowing your though-process
  • Sum1hugme
    Sum1hugme avatar
    Debates: 17
    Forum posts: 586
    3
    3
    9
    Sum1hugme avatar
    Sum1hugme
    --> @Benjamin
    How do you know you could've chosen otherwise than you did?
  • Benjamin
    Benjamin avatar
    Debates: 19
    Forum posts: 447
    2
    3
    9
    Benjamin avatar
    Benjamin
    --> @Sum1hugme
    If there are two buttons on a table, and I push the green, then I have made a choice. It was indeed possible for me to push the red, but I chose not to do that.

    My choice was free, there was nothing preventing me from pushing the red button, but I chose to push the green one. 

    I have thus made a free choice. But if you could read my mind, you would have anticipated my choice  -- because my free choice wasn't random, but logical
  • Theweakeredge
    Theweakeredge avatar
    Debates: 24
    Forum posts: 2,764
    4
    6
    10
    Theweakeredge avatar
    Theweakeredge
    --> @Benjamin
    That's not really an answer though - even if you were aware that is was possible or you to have pushed the red button in some universe,  how do you know that you were physically capable of ever hitting the red button?
  • Sum1hugme
    Sum1hugme avatar
    Debates: 17
    Forum posts: 586
    3
    3
    9
    Sum1hugme avatar
    Sum1hugme
    --> @Benjamin
    But how do you know you could've pressed the other button. Youre just assuming you could, but you aren't justifying why you assume that.
  • Benjamin
    Benjamin avatar
    Debates: 19
    Forum posts: 447
    2
    3
    9
    Benjamin avatar
    Benjamin
    --> @Sum1hugme
    My arm is strong enough to push the button, and no other factors are involved.
  • Benjamin
    Benjamin avatar
    Debates: 19
    Forum posts: 447
    2
    3
    9
    Benjamin avatar
    Benjamin
    --> @Theweakeredge
    I have the ability to kill my family in their sleep. It ain't gonna happen though.

    Unwillingness and absence of ability are two completely different things


  • Theweakeredge
    Theweakeredge avatar
    Debates: 24
    Forum posts: 2,764
    4
    6
    10
    Theweakeredge avatar
    Theweakeredge
    --> @Benjamin
    Thats not the point though - the point is that the events that have led up to you pushing this button happened in such a way that mean you would only ever push the blue button. That's how determinism works
  • Benjamin
    Benjamin avatar
    Debates: 19
    Forum posts: 447
    2
    3
    9
    Benjamin avatar
    Benjamin
    --> @Theweakeredge
    In other words, you CHOSE to not push the red button because your life was a certain way and because you made certain decisions in the past. 

    What about this makes it not free? That your experiences as a person shape your will? 

    You are basically defining free will as non-determinism, but that definition of free will inherently makes no sense.
  • Sum1hugme
    Sum1hugme avatar
    Debates: 17
    Forum posts: 586
    3
    3
    9
    Sum1hugme avatar
    Sum1hugme
    --> @Benjamin
    But how do you know that you chose for your arm to press a particular button as opposed to the other button? What is the connection between the strength of your arm to press either button, and your choice to press one over another not being an illusion?

    How do you know your choice was free?
  • zedvictor4
    zedvictor4 avatar
    Debates: 15
    Forum posts: 4,163
    3
    3
    3
    zedvictor4 avatar
    zedvictor4
    --> @Sum1hugme
    Choice is about as good as it gets.

    Nonetheless.
    One is either determined to make a choice or deliberately makes a choice.....Is that free will?
    One never randomly chooses, as choice is by definition not random, but optional.

    Even instinct is inherited.

    Nonetheless.
    The independent mass, is.
    And it could be said that free will is directly relative to it's independence, rather than to its inherited functionality.


  • fauxlaw
    fauxlaw avatar
    Debates: 60
    Forum posts: 2,793
    4
    6
    10
    fauxlaw avatar
    fauxlaw
    --> @Benjamin
    I will expand on the notion of expectation as another influence in addition to choice and experience.

    What scientist ever climbed out of the swamp of questions about the natural world to which he/she could discover the ability to adapt to it by either avoiding its influence, or changing its influence by some adaptation of technology with that wonderful concept of expectation. Any scientific examination begins with "I wonder what will happen if..." Yeah, expectation usually begins with at least a theory of what will happen if...  Sometimes, nothing. Sometimes, a small effect, measurable, but insignificant. And, sometimes, wahoo! Empiric evidence of a blockbuster discovery!~ Better yet that it is actually beneficial. Worse if it results in disaster. All the above has occurred, but even discovered failures teach us what not to do, and even that has value.
  • 3RU7AL
    3RU7AL avatar
    Debates: 3
    Forum posts: 8,732
    3
    4
    8
    3RU7AL avatar
    3RU7AL
    --> @Benjamin
    Unless there is some inherent randomness in how the present affects the future
    Hypothetical "randomness" violates "free-will".

    In a perfectly deterministic framework, what exactly is your "will" "free" from?
  • 3RU7AL
    3RU7AL avatar
    Debates: 3
    Forum posts: 8,732
    3
    4
    8
    3RU7AL avatar
    3RU7AL
    --> @fauxlaw
    P1 fails because one can choose to not change one's future, i.e., choose to not choose; to remain static.
    Impossible.  Can you choose to stop your heart-beat?  Can you stop the rotation of the planet?