Is free will all or nothing?

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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby Old Rasputin on December 23rd, 2016, 4:40 pm 

Dave_Oblad wrote:So, I don't get what all the fuss is about. I'm free to design my future.. that's all that is important. It doesn't matter if my future is fated.. it is the one I wanted and designed for myself.. anyway I cut it.

Dave, are you 'free' to choose other than what you want? …or is your choice ‘fixed’? Do you really have any say-so in the matter?

Since it is impossible to choose 'other' than what one wants, then the choice is 'fixed', non-free!

"A man can do what he wants, but cannot want (choose) what he wants" -- Arthur Schopenhauer


In other words, our "wants" control/coerce/compel us to do as we do; in essence, we (our actions) are at the mercy of our wants.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby Dave_Oblad on December 23rd, 2016, 5:01 pm 

Hi Old Rasputin,

I agree completely. That is dissecting Free Will into components to show that Free Will has completely Causal agents. I don't dispute that one Iota. My only issue is with those that throw Hard Determinism under the bus because they hate predictability. Never fear. Predictability hides inside Complexity, so only a God-like being with absolute knowledge of everything.. could have any hope of making such predictions.

Regards,
Dave :^)

Edited spelling from Casual to Causal.. Casual doesn't mean what I wanted...lol. Stupid Spell checker.
Casual Agents.. Comfortably dressed Agents?
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby Old Rasputin on December 23rd, 2016, 5:09 pm 

Dave_Oblad » December 23rd, 2016, 5:01 pm wrote:Hi Old Rasputin,

I agree completely. That is dissecting Free Will into components to show that Free Will has completely Casual agents. I don't dispute that one Iota. My only issue is with those that throw Hard Determinism under the bus because they hate predictability. Never fear. Predictability hides inside Complexity, so only a God-like being with absolute knowledge of everything.. could have any hope of making such predictions.

Regards,
Dave :^)

Agreed, ...nothing to fear about (hard) determinism, ...just enjoy the ride (if you can!) however it may play out!
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby vivian maxine on December 25th, 2016, 7:35 am 

Conscious thought - - an emergent property
Mind and Brain - - complementary
Social Mind -- a dynamic relationship between individual minds influencing each other
Coevolution of acquired traits
Free will isn't so free

Conclusion?????? This page says it all better than I can. I wish I'd found it before I read the book.

http://www.giffordlectures.org/books/wh ... ence-brain
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby DragonFly on December 25th, 2016, 1:40 pm 

Whatever the will wills will be.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby vivian maxine on December 25th, 2016, 1:54 pm 

DragonFly » December 25th, 2016, 12:40 pm wrote:Whatever the will wills will be.



But who is willing the will? And where? :-)

I have not decided how I feel about Gazzaniga's ideas but I do find them an interesting picture. Maybe that is partly because he solves my issue of "brain vs mind". I do not believe they are the same. I am still wondering if Gazzaniga is equating Mind with Consciousness. Does that work with the Social Mind? Wolfhnd's post on another thread (Philosophy and Science) seemed to me to have a hint of this.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby Dave_Oblad on December 25th, 2016, 3:27 pm 

Hi Viv,

I see the Brain as the Physical Computer. The Mind is the Program running in the Computer. All Computers are pretty much the same.. but each Computer can have a unique Program running in them. The exact Program is largely produced from experience while aging. Decisions are based on learned Experiences after many different situations have had a chance to be absorbed over time.

Unless you have a faulty memory board or CPU or bad programming.. then you could be insane and/or irrational.

Regards,
Dave :^)
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby Old Rasputin on December 28th, 2016, 4:01 pm 

Old Rasputin wrote:"A man can do what he wants, but cannot want (choose) what he wants" -- Arthur Schopenhauer

Vivian wrote: @ viewtopic.php?p=312933#p312933

From Schopenhauer to Old Rasputin to the rest of us who like to play with words. Good morning. Oops! Good afternoon.

Hi Vivian, and good afternoon to you too.

Just to clarify here, this Schopenhauer quote is not a 'word game'; nor a “play on words”. These words contain real meaning; the very profound realization of the impossibility of free-will!


Albert Einstein also recognized this line of thought in Mein Glaubensbekenntnis (August 1932):

"I do not believe in free will. Schopenhauer's words: ‘Man can do what he wants, but he cannot will what he wants, [Der Mensch kann wohl tun, was er will, aber er kann nicht wollen, was er will]' accompany me in all situations throughout my life and reconcile me with the actions of others, even if they are rather painful to me. This awareness of the lack of free will keeps me from taking myself and my fellow men too seriously as acting and deciding individuals, and from losing my temper." -- Albert Einstein
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby vivian maxine on December 28th, 2016, 4:23 pm 

No, truly, I did not mean that in a facetious manner. My thought is that we can sometimes put words together in such a fascinating way that no one will miss the point or fail to understand. Some people can write long rambling explanations using $10 words and make little or no sense. Others can take a few little words and say it all in a short sentence.

Does that make sense now?
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby DragonFly on December 28th, 2016, 4:30 pm 

Yes, RIP Free Will.

It brings down a lot with it, such as blame, shame, and life being a test. I suppose 'God' fails too.

Hail fixed will! It's consistency aids survival.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby Old Rasputin on December 28th, 2016, 6:11 pm 

vivian maxine » December 28th, 2016, 4:23 pm wrote:No, truly, I did not mean that in a facetious manner. My thought is that we can sometimes put words together in such a fascinating way that no one will miss the point or fail to understand. Some people can write long rambling explanations using $10 words and make little or no sense. Others can take a few little words and say it all in a short sentence.

Does that make sense now?

Yes, ...and thank you for explaining.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby mitchellmckain on January 8th, 2017, 3:47 pm 

The phrase "cannot will what he wants" is not logically coherent. Thus the claim is meaningless. A related issue is to observe that it is indeed quite correct to exclude logically incoherent things from the meaning of omnipotence but it is not actually a restriction but simply an observation that these phrases are without meaningful reference -- not meaningful except to observe that they are, in fact, without meaningful reference.

RIP incorrect understandings of free will (which are absolute, black and white, and anthropocentric), so that a better understanding of free will (relative, quantitatively variable, and a feature of all life processes) can be resurrected. Thus we can have responsibility without inappropriate blame, self correction without shame, life as an opportunity rather than a test, and a philosophical outlook which is in touch with the actual experience of human existence avoiding the unrealistic extremes of ideological blindness.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby neuro on January 9th, 2017, 4:09 am 

mitchellmckain » January 8th, 2017, 8:47 pm wrote:The phrase "cannot will what he wants" is not logically coherent.

I believe Shopenauer deserves a little more respect...

The idea is that the part of our brain (mind) that "wills" (produces and feels volition and intentional behavior) is distinct from the part of our brain (mind? subconscious? subcortical systems) that produces the motivational drives that the former system (our intentional, conscious thought) interprets and reorganizes in order to regulate our behavior: in fact, such behavior may well be inconsistent with what we will/wish, because we may feel "forced" to act against our desires, but we cannot change our desires.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby mitchellmckain on January 14th, 2017, 4:48 pm 

neuro » January 9th, 2017, 3:09 am wrote:
mitchellmckain » January 8th, 2017, 8:47 pm wrote:The phrase "cannot will what he wants" is not logically coherent.

I believe Shopenauer deserves a little more respect...

The idea is that the part of our brain (mind) that "wills" (produces and feels volition and intentional behavior) is distinct from the part of our brain (mind? subconscious? subcortical systems) that produces the motivational drives that the former system (our intentional, conscious thought) interprets and reorganizes in order to regulate our behavior: in fact, such behavior may well be inconsistent with what we will/wish, because we may feel "forced" to act against our desires, but we cannot change our desires.


People change their desires all the time. I do not make light of the fact that sometimes it is not easy to change desires, but this does not change the fact that people can and DO change them.

We are habitual beings, which is to say that we do not operate by free will alone. We make free will choices but then program ourselves accordingly. We actually alter the very chemistry of our bodies by this self-programming -- by not only by what we consume but by the conditioning of our bodily functions and mental processes. Thus we operate habitually and it is often not so easy to change course. So when we find we have made a mistake in those choices, we can indeed feel quite helpless against these habits and the desires which they indulge. But none of this changes the irrationality of claiming that we cannot will what we want. It is nonsense. All it does is distinguish between what we will and the force of habit.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby Old Rasputin on January 16th, 2017, 5:22 pm 

mitchellmckain wrote:People change their desires all the time. I do not make light of the fact that sometimes it is not easy to change desires, but this does not change the fact that people can and DO change them.

Mitch, it is NOT POSSIBLE to (willingly) change our desires, without a pre-requisite desire to do so! [...this is Schopenhaur's point!]

In other words, if I want to change my desire, then a “want/desirealways precedes my action (to change my desire, in this case). And if I want to change this preceding desire, then I will need a pre-preceding desire to do so, etc etc.

It is these imposed desires/wants/will that make us do as we do. Contrary to popular belief, we do not control them, …they control us!!!


mitchellmckain wrote:We are habitual beings, which is to say that we do not operate by free will alone. We make free will choices but then program ourselves accordingly.

Not so. There is NO free-will. We have no say-so in what our will wills.

We only get to experience these impositions as wants and desires. And then we get to experience our bodily reactions as our body moves and responds accordingly to our will (and other biological/environmental influences).
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby mitchellmckain on January 18th, 2017, 6:06 pm 

Old Rasputin » January 16th, 2017, 4:22 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:People change their desires all the time. I do not make light of the fact that sometimes it is not easy to change desires, but this does not change the fact that people can and DO change them.

Mitch, it is NOT POSSIBLE to (willingly) change our desires, without a pre-requisite desire to do so! [...this is Schopenhaur's point!]

But that is just nonsense. It makes no sense whatsoever to talk about a lack of freedom to do what we have no desire to do. If we ever do something which it is not our desire to do then we would never call that freedom -- not for a second. Doing something we do not want to do is when we LACK freedom. I explained how this does happen because of habits. But to point out that we lack the freedom to do other than what we desire to do is to say that we lack the freedom from freedom itself. Of course we do. It logically must be the case that a freedom from freedom is not any kind of freedom at all.

Old Rasputin » January 16th, 2017, 4:22 pm wrote:In other words, if I want to change my desire, then a “want/desirealways precedes my action (to change my desire, in this case). And if I want to change this preceding desire, then I will need a pre-preceding desire to do so, etc etc.

The freedom to change our habits can only mean that we can act on a desire to change them NOT that they are changed against our will and desire. I can well understand that some people irrationally choose against the responsibility of life and free will, but this is just like the whining I often hear about not having chosen to be alive -- which is stupidly irrational. It is not logically possible to choose to be alive for there can only be choice when you are alive. The only rational choice you can ever have is to choose what to do with the life you have.

Old Rasputin » January 16th, 2017, 4:22 pm wrote:It is these imposed desires/wants/will that make us do as we do. Contrary to popular belief, we do not control them, …they control us!!!

More irrationality. Acting on our desire is the very meaning of freedom. It is NOT being able to act on our desire which is the lack of freedom. To say that our desires control us is no different than saying that WE control us and thus that nobody and nothing controls us except ourselves.

Old Rasputin » January 16th, 2017, 4:22 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:We are habitual beings, which is to say that we do not operate by free will alone. We make free will choices but then program ourselves accordingly.

Not so. There is NO free-will. We have no say-so in what our will wills.

Well, it is entirely possible that YOU have no free will. I have explained before there is nothing absolute and universal about human free will for many things can diminish and destroy it, including bad habits of thought (belief), and lack of awareness as well as chemicals and diseases. As a result there are people who do indeed behave a lot like mindless automatons taking very little responsibility for their lives and actions -- it would not be surprising in the least if such people concocted a philosophy that people have no free will.

Old Rasputin » January 16th, 2017, 4:22 pm wrote:We only get to experience these impositions as wants and desires. And then we get to experience our bodily reactions as our body moves and responds accordingly to our will (and other biological/environmental influences).

Some people take responsibility for their wants and desires and own them while others just follow along as slaves to habit without reflection like biological robots.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby Old Rasputin on January 20th, 2017, 1:43 pm 

Old Rasputin wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:People change their desires all the time. I do not make light of the fact that sometimes it is not easy to change desires, but this does not change the fact that people can and DO change them.

Mitch, it is NOT POSSIBLE to (willingly) change our desires, without a pre-requisite desire to do so! [...this is Schopenhaur's point!]

mitchellmckain wrote:It makes no sense whatsoever to talk about a lack of freedom to do what we have no desire to do. If we ever do something which it is not our desire to do then we would never call that freedom -- not for a second.

Agreed, there is NO free-will (“freedom”) here.

mitchellmckain wrote:I explained how this does happen because of habits. But to point out that we lack the freedom to do other than what we desire to do is to say that we lack the freedom from freedom itself. Of course we do. It logically must be the case that a freedom from freedom is not any kind of freedom at all.

Agreed, NO free-will here either.

mitchellmckain wrote:…I often hear about not having chosen to be alive -- which is stupidly irrational. It is not logically possible to choose to be alive for there can only be choice when you are alive.

Agreed again, there is NO free-will here either.

mitchellmckain wrote:It is NOT being able to act on our desire which is the lack of freedom.

Again, YES, …Mitch, I don’t think anyone disagrees with you of what is NOT free-will, …that is the easy part. The hard part is in finding where this freedom/free-will actually exists.

So where IS this ”freedom” (free-will)?

mitchellmckain wrote:The freedom to change our habits can only mean that we can act on a desire to change them NOT that they are changed against our will and desire.

mitchellmckain wrote:Acting on our desire is the very meaning of freedom.

Are you saying then that our “desires” control our “actions”? If so, then I agree. BUT then, where do “we” (you and I) fit in?

What do “We” control? Where is the “Freedom” part? If we have no say-so (control) over our desires and actions, then what is so “free” about that???

Mitch, you fail to see the “kicked can”; the logical fallacy as pointed out by Schopenhauer. For how does one “act-on-desire” without the prerequisite “desire-to-act”?

There is only one logical solution.

“We” are merely the “experiencers” of our bodily actions and reactions (which includes thoughts, feelings, sensations, AND desires!). In other words, “We” experience our “desires” (and actions), “We” don't control our “desires” (and actions)! --- THERE IS NO FREEDOM: NO FREE-WILL

mitchellmckain wrote:The only rational choice you can ever have is to choose what to do with the life you have.

Ahhh…, but aren’t our choices (actions) determined by our desires? And who/what determines these desires that then determine our choices?

It is non-sensical (circular reasoning) to claim that one can choose the desires that determine our choices. The false logic is represented as A>B, B>A

mitchellmckain wrote: …while others just follow along as slaves to habit without reflection like biological robots.

What if all of us really are “biological robots”? ...or can you only accept that which you desire? :-)


The misconception is that man determines his wants/will. But in actuality, this is backwards -- it is the wants/will that determine (control and drives) the man to do as he does. -- even if he 'wants' to do otherwise!
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby mitchellmckain on January 20th, 2017, 5:06 pm 

Old Rasputin » January 20th, 2017, 12:43 pm wrote:Are you saying then that our “desires” control our “actions”? If so, then I agree. BUT then, where do “we” (you and I) fit in?

That our desires control us is just another way of saying that WE control us an that we have freedom of will. Will and desire are the same thing and thus a freedom of will is the freedom of our desires to direct our actions. But as I explained, I can well imagine that there are people who take no responsibility or ownership of their desires and thus act like mindless automatons.

Old Rasputin » January 20th, 2017, 12:43 pm wrote:What do “We” control? Where is the “Freedom” part? If we have no say-so (control) over our desires and actions, then what is so “free” about that???

LOL What we who have free will control is our own choice of actions. The fact that english speaking people use the word "desire" for what motivates us to do this, does not change this in the slightest. Your argument makes no sense because the alternative to claim that real freedom means acting against our desires, which is ludicrous. Acting against our desires is clearly the opposite of freedom. In effect, you ARE playing word games here and thus making nonsense arguments no less silly than Zeno's arguments against the reality of motion.

Old Rasputin » January 20th, 2017, 12:43 pm wrote:Mitch, you fail to see the “kicked can”; the logical fallacy as pointed out by Schopenhauer. For how does one “act-on-desire” without the prerequisite “desire-to-act”?

I simply refuse this abdication of responsibility and the failure to take ownership of our own desires.

Old Rasputin » January 20th, 2017, 12:43 pm wrote:There is only one logical solution.

Only according to the premises which you accept and I reject.

Old Rasputin » January 20th, 2017, 12:43 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:The only rational choice you can ever have is to choose what to do with the life you have.

Ahhh…, but aren’t our choices (actions) determined by our desires? And who/what determines these desires that then determine our choices?

Since we have contradictory desires that would lead to a logical contradiction. So the answer is no, they do not determine our choices. We choose between desires -- which to indulge and develop and which to ignore and diminish.

Old Rasputin » January 20th, 2017, 12:43 pm wrote:It is non-sensical (circular reasoning) to claim that one can choose the desires that determine our choices. The false logic is represented as A>B, B>A

Thus, since we do in fact choose between contradictory desires by this logic we must conclude that our desires DO NOT determine our choices. Guide? yes. Inform? sure. Determine? No! MOST of the time, we choose according to our desires, but not all of the time. Again this conclusion is necessitated by the fact that we have contradictory desires.

Old Rasputin » January 20th, 2017, 12:43 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote: …while others just follow along as slaves to habit without reflection like biological robots.

What if all of us really are “biological robots”? ...or can you only accept that which you desire? :-)

What if the moon is made of green cheese?
What if the universe and all our memories were created this morning as they are?
Some suppositions, however possible people insist them to be, are simply of no use and meaning whatsoever for dealing with the facts of human existence.

Old Rasputin » January 20th, 2017, 12:43 pm wrote:The misconception is that man determines his wants/will. But in actuality, this is backwards -- it is the wants/will that determine (control and drives) the man to do as he does. -- even if he 'wants' to do otherwise!

I never claimed such a silly thing, "that man determines his wants". But it is a fact of life that many if not most human beings choose among different wants and desires -- which to indulge and which to deny.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby Old Rasputin on January 22nd, 2017, 3:27 pm 

mitchellmckain wrote: That our desires control us is just another way of saying that WE control us

It seems that you are trying to hide everything in the “we control us” bucket, so as to avoid seeing the relationship between our “wants” and our “actions”.

mitchellmckain wrote:
Old Rasputin wrote: If we have no say-so (control) over our desires and actions, then what is so “free” about that???

LOL What we, who have free will control, is our own choice of actions.

…and is your “choice of actions” determined by your “wants”?

mitchellmckain wrote:So the answer is no, they [desires] do not determine our choices. We choose between desires -- which to indulge and develop and which to ignore and diminish.

mitchellmckain wrote:But it is a fact of life that many if not most human beings choose among different wants and desires -- which to indulge and which to deny.

…and how do “we choose” (or indulge/deny) between these differing desires (or anything for that matter!) without having a ‘preference’ (aka “desire”) for one over the other?

mitchellmckain wrote:
Old Rasputin wrote:It is non-sensical (circular reasoning) to claim that one can choose the desires that determine our choices. The false logic is represented as A>B, B>A

Thus, since we do in fact choose between contradictory desires by this logic we must conclude that our desires DO NOT determine our choices.

False. Even the DESIRE to choose “between contradictory desires” is still a desire, as is, the desired choice itself.

Without “wants/desires”, there can be no “choices”!

mitchellmckain wrote:Guide? yes. Inform? sure. Determine? No! MOST of the time, we choose according to our desires, but not all of the time.

False Again. ALL of our choices are determined by our wants/desires. It is NEVER possible to “choose ‘against’ our desires”. Even the DESIRE-to-“choose ‘against’ our desires” is still a desire!

Mitch, if you don't believe me, then I CHALLENGE you to try it for yourself; try to choose 'against' your desire. And let me know how it goes!

“Desires” ALWAYS precede (and determine our) “choices”. There is no getting around this!

***********

Mitch, imagine there are 3 marbles on the table in front of you; a red, a blue, and a green one. And then I ask you to grab one of these by your own “free-will”.

Case 1. If I physically forced your hand to grab the red marble, then did you really have the “freedom” to choose the blue or green marble? (…this answer is obvious).

Case 2. If your “wants” mentally forced (determined) your hand to grab the red marble, then did you really have the “freedom” to choose the blue or green marble? (…this answer is less obvious).

In both cases, and particularly in case 2, the force was absolute. There was no way to resist the controlling force. Also in both cases, it was impossible to grab the blue or green marble; only the red marble could be grabbed.

Although the situations, and the control, and the lack of choice are the same in both cases, we are deceived into believing that we have free-will in one case, but not in the other.

As humans, we fail to recognize the overriding and powerful control that our “wants” impose upon our actions. We are not “free” in any meaningful sense.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby mitchellmckain on January 22nd, 2017, 6:22 pm 

Old Rasputin » January 22nd, 2017, 2:27 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote: That our desires control us is just another way of saying that WE control us

It seems that you are trying to hide everything in the “we control us” bucket, so as to avoid seeing the relationship between our “wants” and our “actions”.

On the contrary, you are the one trying to hide your responsibility for your own actions by inventing a gap between yourself and your desires.

Old Rasputin » January 22nd, 2017, 2:27 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:
Old Rasputin wrote: If we have no say-so (control) over our desires and actions, then what is so “free” about that???

LOL What we, who have free will control, is our own choice of actions.

…and is your “choice of actions” determined by your “wants”?

Already explained the answer is NO! Since we have contradictory desires it is impossible that our desires determine our choices for we must choose between these opposing desires. Our wants influence, inform, and guide our actions but no they do not determine them.

Old Rasputin » January 22nd, 2017, 2:27 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:So the answer is no, they [desires] do not determine our choices. We choose between desires -- which to indulge and develop and which to ignore and diminish.

mitchellmckain wrote:But it is a fact of life that many if not most human beings choose among different wants and desires -- which to indulge and which to deny.

…and how do “we choose” (or indulge/deny) between these differing desires (or anything for that matter!) without having a ‘preference’ (aka “desire”) for one over the other?

We create such a preference by our choice of reasons for one desire over another. And here is the fatal flaw in your logic. We are not born with every desire built in already. New desires are born within us and other living things all the time. The fact that living things change and learn new things including new desires is part of what the life process is about. But those who chain themselves to the mindless logic of an automaton (unable to think outside the premises of their programming) cannot understand the process of life and thus they replace it in their mind with a robotic approximation, unable and unwilling to see the differences.

I have explained this before. Freedom of will acts outside the conception of time-ordered causality adopted by modern science, and it is only those elevating without justification the poorly defined temporal ordering of the physical universe (which is part of its geometrical structure and began 13.7 billion years ago) into something absolute, who trap themselves with flawed premises into unsound conclusions contrary to human experience. But physical determinism is dead. Experimental tests of Bell's inequality failed and thus demonstrated that no hidden variables exist. Sure people can add in magical hidden variables with "god of the gaps" type arguments with blind faith in their deterministic worldview. Furthermore, the basic indeterminacy of our quantum reality cannot be restricted to the quantum realm due to the fact about the non-linear equations which govern physical processes, that they are sometimes only predictable with initial conditions specified to an infinite precision (impossible in our quantum based reality).

Old Rasputin » January 22nd, 2017, 2:27 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:
Old Rasputin wrote:It is non-sensical (circular reasoning) to claim that one can choose the desires that determine our choices. The false logic is represented as A>B, B>A

Thus, since we do in fact choose between contradictory desires by this logic we must conclude that our desires DO NOT determine our choices.

False. Even the DESIRE to choose “between contradictory desires” is still a desire, as is, the desired choice itself.

And thus we have the circularity of your type of argument which defines itself into being right. But I repudiate the circularity of your claim that choices are determined by some imagined mathematical sum of desire. There is no such mathematical sum of desire and all choices are not determined by any pre-existing conditions of any kind, any more than the the measurement of electron spin is always predetermined by pre-existing conditions.

Old Rasputin » January 22nd, 2017, 2:27 pm wrote:Without “wants/desires”, there can be no “choices”!

And yet the without choice there is no desire for that which is not chosen is compelled and thus a matter of force rather than desire. LOL, Without chickens there can be no eggs and without eggs there can be no chickens. But at one time in the past there were no chickens. Thus with Zeno's style of abusing logic, we conclude chickens do not exist.

Choosing rationality instead we reexamine our premises. "Chickens" is a human invented category and thus this paradox is an artifact of language for the truth is that every organism born of the egss is not the same as the one which laid the egg and thus living things can evolve over time. Likewise we can reexamine the premises behind this inhuman logic against freedom of will and reject the presumption of time-ordered causality as an absolute.

But the freedom of choice will always include a freedom to choose against life itself and the responsibility of the freedom that goes with it. Thus we cannot be surprised that some refuse ownership of their own desires and instead seek justification for acting like automatons in thrall to desires which they make no effort to control. Thus rapists, child molesters and other evil doers continue in their habits, laying all blame for what they do on others rather than themselves. But we will not accept their excuses and will hold them responsible for their action even if they do not.

Old Rasputin » January 22nd, 2017, 2:27 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:Guide? yes. Inform? sure. Determine? No! MOST of the time, we choose according to our desires, but not all of the time.

False Again. ALL of our choices are determined by our wants/desires. It is NEVER possible to “choose ‘against’ our desires”. Even the DESIRE-to-“choose ‘against’ our desires” is still a desire!

Mitch, if you don't believe me, then I CHALLENGE you to try it for yourself; try to choose 'against' your desire. And let me know how it goes!

I and others do so all the time. We choose against old habits and the desires which go with them in order to reinvent ourselves with new habits giving birth to new desires. This is the most basic ability of living things to learn and adapt in order to become something entirely new.

Old Rasputin » January 22nd, 2017, 2:27 pm wrote:“Desires” ALWAYS precede (and determine our) “choices”. There is no getting around this!

Incorrect. This simply is not true. In opposition I can declare that choices ALWAYS precede and determine our desires, claiming there is no getting around this because otherwise without choice it cannot a desire at all. But like the chicken and the egg the truth is more complex than either of these ideology regimented declarations. Desire and choice evolve together just as chicken and egg do. They progressively give rise to each other and neither is any kind of absolute cause of the other.

Old Rasputin » January 22nd, 2017, 2:27 pm wrote:Mitch, imagine there are 3 marbles on the table in front of you; a red, a blue, and a green one. And then I ask you to grab one of these by your own “free-will”.

Case 1. If I physically forced your hand to grab the red marble, then did you really have the “freedom” to choose the blue or green marble? (…this answer is obvious).

Case 2. If your “wants” mentally forced (determined) your hand to grab the red marble, then did you really have the “freedom” to choose the blue or green marble? (…this answer is less obvious).

In both cases, and particularly in case 2, the force was absolute. There was no way to resist the controlling force. Also in both cases, it was impossible to grab the blue or green marble; only the red marble could be grabbed.

This argument fails miserably for the simple fact that most people do not have compelling desires for one color marble over another and thus to claim, that their random choice (which may have no reason for it at all) is anything like you physically forcing their hand to choose one over another, is absolutely absurd.

Old Rasputin » January 22nd, 2017, 2:27 pm wrote:Although the situations, and the control, and the lack of choice are the same in both cases, we are deceived into believing that we have free-will in one case, but not in the other.

The only deception here is the projection onto others your own abdication of ownership over your desires.

Old Rasputin » January 22nd, 2017, 2:27 pm wrote:As humans, we fail to recognize the overriding and powerful control that our “wants” impose upon our actions. We are not “free” in any meaningful sense.

You may indeed not be free in any meaningful sense of the word. There is nothing absolute or universal about freedom of will for this is quite often destroyed by chemicals, disease and bad habits of thought which can accomplish this by simply diminishing ones awareness of the possibilities. One of the most pernicious of these bad habits is the projection of ones own internal state on the world so that one makes ones own limitations of experience and ability the limit of reality itself.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby Dave_Oblad on January 22nd, 2017, 8:26 pm 

Hi all,

I want to live where I am at. I want to retire tomorrow. Unfortunately these wants are in conflict because to stay where I am requires me to work another 4 years to pay off my mortgage. I don't want to move and I don't want to work another 4 years. I must make a choice in what I want the most and what I want the least.

That's a judgement call (choice) I have to make balancing all the positives and negatives. Given all the weights, I choose to move and retire soon. This was a difficult decision or choice to make. I hate moving but hate even more having to work another 4 years.

So on one hand I did make a choice (free will) but must adhere to my wants based on weights (calculation).

Read whatever you want into this.. lol.

Regards,
Dave :^)
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby Old Rasputin on January 23rd, 2017, 12:03 pm 

Dave_Oblad wrote:I want to live where I am at. I want to retire tomorrow. Unfortunately these wants are in conflict because to stay where I am requires me to work another 4 years to pay off my mortgage. I don't want to move and I don't want to work another 4 years. I must make a choice in what I want the most and what I want the least.

Hey Dave, you don’t have to choose if you don’t want to. But if you do want to choose, then you can! :-)

mitchellmckain wrote:
Old Rasputin wrote: Without “wants/desires”, there can be no “choices”! -- “Desires” ALWAYS precede (and determine our) “choices”. There is no getting around this!

…choices ALWAYS precede and determine our desires…

Nonsense. Desires are an experience; it is something we feel; it is an urge, a want, a feeling that happens TO us. We ‘experience’ desires, …not choose them!

If Dave wants to choose, then he can. If he does not want to choose, then he won’t. Simple. One can't choose, without the WANT to choose. Ain't no way to avoid it!
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby mitchellmckain on January 23rd, 2017, 3:21 pm 

Old Rasputin » January 23rd, 2017, 11:03 am wrote:Nonsense. Desires are an experience; it is something we feel; it is an urge, a want, a feeling that happens TO us. We ‘experience’ desires, …not choose them!

Incorrect. SOMETIMES we simply experience desires. Other times we see others pursuing things we do not understand and we get involved for various reasons like their insistence or just giving it a try, and then desires come later. Regardless, we still choose which desires to pursue and encourage and which to ignore and diminish. Desires inform and guide our choices, they do not force or determine them. This conclusion is necessitated by the fact that we have opposing desires. The question is whether we own our desires and embrace the challenge of life or try to stand outside ourselves and watch as we behave like mindless automatons.

Old Rasputin » January 23rd, 2017, 11:03 am wrote:If Dave wants to choose, then he can. If he does not want to choose, then he won’t. Simple. One can't choose, without the WANT to choose. Ain't no way to avoid it!

Incorrect. Choosing between desires is not made available by desire, it is necessitated by the facts of life. People can and do often avoid choices for quite a while but even no action is a choice. The fact is that life does not wait for choices but goes on regardless and thus our choices are "made for us" if we do not deliberate. But we cannot blame the result of this on anyone but ourselves and thus whether we have deliberated or not we have made our choice regardless.

Here is a couple of examples to consider which are something most of us experience rather than choose: the desire to breathe and the desire to eat. We can however ignore these desires and choose not to indulge them. Thus we can hold our breath until we pass out and refuse to eat until we die and these desires DO NOT determine our actions. Rasputin seeks to use the circular argument that all actions come from desires and thus we only refuse to eat or breathe because we have a stronger desire to not do these things -- even if it is hilariously a desire to prove that our desires do not control us. But do we really experience this overwhelming desire to not breathe or not eat just prove Rasputin wrong and these force us to pass out or die against our will. The idea is absurd to the point of stupidity. The only overwhelming desire we experience in these cases is the physical need to breathe or eat, and the reason we pass out or die is because we can ignore them to demonstrate that our desires do not control us after all.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby Old Rasputin on January 23rd, 2017, 4:26 pm 

mitchellmckain wrote: We can however ignore these desires and choose not to indulge them.

mitchellmckain wrote:...we can ignore them to demonstrate that our desires do not control us after all.

But mustn’t we first have a desire to do this "ignoring"? …otherwise, then why do it?
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby mitchellmckain on January 23rd, 2017, 8:21 pm 

Old Rasputin » January 23rd, 2017, 3:26 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote: We can however ignore these desires and choose not to indulge them.

mitchellmckain wrote:...we can ignore them to demonstrate that our desires do not control us after all.

But mustn’t we first have a desire to do this "ignoring"? …otherwise, then why do it?


Nope! We don't have to have desires first because we can choose and create desires whenever we want. So between these two suggestions...

1. An experience of desire comes down upon us out of the ether and forces us to ignore our desire to breathe or eat against our will.
2. We can ignore desires even those to breathe or eat conceiving and creating within us an opposing desire to resist them to the point of passing out or death.

1 does not happen, but 2 can happen.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby vivian maxine on January 24th, 2017, 9:45 am 

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 115153.htm

It doesn't contribute much to the seriousness of your discussion but it is about free will. Maybe fun to read? Belief in free will is linked to happiness.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby Old Rasputin on January 24th, 2017, 10:51 am 

mitchellmckain wrote:...because we can choose and create desires whenever we want.

Bingo. Well said.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby mitchellmckain on January 24th, 2017, 5:29 pm 

Old Rasputin » January 24th, 2017, 9:51 am wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:...because we can choose and create desires whenever we want.

Bingo. Well said.


Such a figure of speech does not make your case but only underlines your word games.

The point is that we can create new desires and choose between conflicting desires. This is a fact which halts your argument dead in its tracks. We must conclude that desires do not determine our choices. Our "desires" are not some absolute thing which controls us. They are in fact a product of reflection to rationalize our choices and claiming that they are in control of us is stupid. It is the very meaning of freedom that we act according to our desires and acting against them is no kind of freedom at all. Thus this logically circular word game argument you have been making is nonsense which cannot negate the human experience of free will any more than Zeno's arguments can negate our experience of motion. The claim that freedom of will or motion does not exist is pointless and meaningless.
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby Old Rasputin on January 25th, 2017, 5:27 pm 

Sorry Mitch, there are no Zeno games here.

There is only your inability to accept that which you don't want ...which is further proof of the power-of-want! :-)
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Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby mitchellmckain on January 25th, 2017, 6:04 pm 

vivian maxine » January 24th, 2017, 8:45 am wrote:https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170123115153.htm

It doesn't contribute much to the seriousness of your discussion but it is about free will. Maybe fun to read? Belief in free will is linked to happiness.


Since it is hard to see how a belief in free will makes people happier, it is easy to conclude the causality here runs in the other direction. In other words, it is less happy people who are more likely to disown their own desires and actions and look upon their life as an external observer rather than as a participant. But then this points to connection in the other direction for it is hard to see how those who simply observe rather than participate in their life can find much happiness.
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