Free Will

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Lightfire, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. Lightfire

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2010
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    What are your thoughts about Free Will?
     
  2. MrChips

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    Oct 2, 2009
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    Like Free Lunch? If it's free will I have to pay for it sometime later?
     
  3. Wendy

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    The stuff you do day to day, that is not free will. The stuff you think long and hard about, the moral code you choose to live by (and not just float along) is free will. Many people never exercise it, but at some point you have to make choices.
     
  4. Lightfire

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    I have researched and I have found out that as of now [with our current understanding], Science does not believe of Free Will.
    Free will is the ability of agents to make choices free from certain kinds of constraints

    Examples:
    The stuff you think long and hard about

    Is it totally out of your Free Will? Maybe you like that stuff because of something because it benefits you in some way. So there, is a reason.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will
     
  5. Georacer

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    Nov 25, 2009
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyQjr1YL0zg

    This video is truly amazing if it is true, and I have no reasons to doubt it so far.

    Science wants to build a deterministic model of everything to push free will and coincidence out of the equation, but so far we don't even have a complete model of our own brain.
    That means that you can still take pride of your decisions.
     
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  6. spinnaker

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    Oct 29, 2009
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    We were all born with free will. We process the ability to think, act or believe as we please. Some people are not legally permitted to exercise their free will but the very fact that it exists is the basis of almost any revolution.

    Sometimes government restrictions on free will are a good thing. For example restrictions on doing harm to others. But regardless of any type of restriction, free will can be so strong people can act against societal norms.
     
  7. Wendy

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    There is a certain amount of randomness in the universe, a throw of the dice is not known until it is finished. This is where free will falls in. Also, see quantum mechanics, everything is probability and percentages.
     
  8. spinnaker

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    When it comes to free will, the randomness is only a factor when others exercise their free will over you (good or bad) or when random events outside of your control prevent you from exercising yours.

    The later being more avoidable with preparation. Louis Pasteur said "Dans les champs de l'observation le hasard ne favorise que les esprits préparés." "Where observation is concerned, chance favors the prepared mind". But the phrase could also apply to living every day live. Properly prepared you can eliminate or reduce the affect of the randomness in the universe on your life.
     
  9. DerStrom8

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    In order to answer this, you'd have to define free will. If you mean it in the sense that you can choose to do whatever you want all on your own without being affected by environmental stimuli, people, etc, then no, I don't believe it exists. Everything has a cause, if you ask me. Nothing--no feelings, ideas, thoughts, actions, etc--are truly your own. They're all brought about by external stimuli.

    However, if you consider "free will" to mean you can choose to not be like other people, to follow your own dreams, paths, etc, then yes, I believe it exists.

    The question really depends on whether you define "Free Will" as something that comes from your environment, or something that comes from you. If you define it as something that comes form your environment, then yes, the scientists you mention are correct--nothing is truly your own. However, if you define it as your ability to make your own choices, then it's as real as anything else.
     
  10. spinnaker

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    But that is the very essence of free will. You do have it, it does not mean you should always exercise it or or not expect consequences if you do.
     
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  11. DerStrom8

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    Of course, but that's not quite what I meant. I wasn't saying you have free will to do whatever you want whenever you want. I meant it in the sense that you can make your own choices of what you do. :p
     
  12. Lightfire

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2010
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    Free will is the ability of agents to make choices free from certain kinds of constraints

    We, people, are truly intelligent. We are given the chance to say yes or no.

    So, for example we stole. We can't be held responsible because some external stimuli caused us to do so. But of course, you know we know what is right so we should not.

    So I am confused, so why should we be held responsible if we are not the one who make choice of it but rather the external stimuli. Okay, we may say we know it's not right.

    So by knowing what is right, there is another stimuli?
     
  13. Wendy

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    Mar 24, 2008
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    You are always responsible for your actions, if you make a choice, it is yours. Anything else is an excuse. Many people try this in the court systems, "I was abused as a child!" It doesn't usually fly well.
     
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  14. spinnaker

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    If you are being forced by external stimuli then you are not acting under free will.

    A few years ago (and the case is still pending). People strapped an explosive collar on a man's neck and forced him to rob a bank. Assuming the man survived (he did not they detonated the device), he would not have been held responsible. He was not acting under free will but the overwhelming will of another.


    And stimuli like starving to death still make you responsible for what you do.
     
  15. bountyhunter

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    Sep 7, 2009
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    Amen. We live in the generation that will take responsibility for nothing, everything is always somebody else's fault.

    My dad was in court once when a child who had murdered his parents for the money was being arraigned..... his lawyer begged the judge for leniency because he "was an orphan".

    The defense strategy of "diminished capacity" is actually very effective at getting criminals off with light sentences.
     
  16. maxpower097

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    Feb 20, 2009
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    Free will is your ability to control your own destiny, or path in life.
     
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  17. justtrying

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    I would have said that a long time ago... I haven't found a definition of free will that satisfies me, but I see it as the ability to act in accordance with your own personal choices/values. These values have been influenced by your surroundings, but the choice made during a given situation is personal.

    It is interesting that some neuroscientists are trying to show that free will is impossible based on physics of the universe.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
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  18. maxpower097

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    Well their right to a point. Every outside variable we come across changes our destiny so what is exactly free will. For instance if 5 causes happen that make me take choice A. But if 6 causes happen I could pick B. or if 1 cause happens I could go route C. So I think there probably no such thing as true free will, but merely as close as we can get to it accounting for the outside variables that alter our choices. Wow a lil too deep for me. :)

    If a tree falls in the woods and there's no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?
     
  19. DerStrom8

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    Technically, no, because "sound" is nothing but small shock waves that change in frequency. "Sound" does not become sound until our ear drums turn the vibrations into electrical signals, which our brain interprets. Only then can it be called "sound".

    As for free will, I'm simply going to say this: Your overall choice between, let's say Option A, B, and C, can be influenced by your environment. We'll use your example again, Max, but hopefully simplified a bit. Let's say Cause 1, Cause 2, and Cause 3 happen, and because of them you choose option C. That choice is your own "free will", but it is influenced by Causes 1, 2, and 3. Without free will, you may be forced to take option A instead.

    That being said, can it really be called "free will" if it is brought about by Causes 1, 2, and 3? In a way, does that force you to choose option C?

    Google defines free will as the following:

    With true free will, you should be able to make the choice regardless of possible outcomes. Perhaps we should not so much look at the causes, but at the effects. Free will means you can make the choice without worrying about what the effect may be.
     
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  20. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I'm more "the tree falls in the forest" type. I don't know if the tree had free will, but I define sound as changes in air pressure or movement, so I believe it makes a sound. The idea that sound can not exist if a human doesn't hear it seems grandiose to me.
     
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