General / Off-Topic So... Do we have free will? :)

Here is a pitch:

On one hand science and philosophy has shown that the Universe (that includes you) seems to be deterministic, build on a foundation of uncertainty. Once the dices have been thrown, everything follows the laws of nature. This seems to rule out free will as we know it.

On the other hand you make choices every day.

So which one is it? :)
 
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It's big question day, for sure.

In a way it doesn't matter if we have free will or not as as far as I and anyone else can tell we seem to, and really that's all that matters.

Being the type of person who stays up late drinking and talking a lot of absolute rubbish my go to was to immediately slap (or attempt to slap) any advocate of the non-free will at the macro (i.e. conscious) level in the face, then argue that morally they couldn't be upset as it's a deterministic universe and that you may as well be upset about yourself being born, or the sun.

More seriously, in the societies we live in we do have (as before "the perception") of free choices but of course our whole background, economic group and even looks determine very much which are realistic and achievable which does limit your free choice. That's even before we start on rules, regulations and societal norms.

As an absurdist though it's all pointless as we all die so just live authentically as much as possible until your eventual and inescapable death.
 
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It's big question day, for sure.

In a way it doesn't matter if we have free will or not as as far as I and anyone else can tell we seem to, and really that's all that matters.

Being the type of person who stays up late drinking and talking a lot of absolute rubbish my go to was to immediately slap (or attempt to slap) any advocate of the non-free will at the macro (i.e. conscious) level in the face, then argue that morally they couldn't be upset as it's a deterministic universe and that you may as well be upset about yourself being born, or the sun.

More seriously, in the societies we live in we do have (as before "the perception") of free choices but of course our whole background, economic group and even looks determine very much which are realistic and achievable which does limit your free choice. That's even before we start on rules, regulations and societal norms.

As an adbsurdist though it's all pointless as we all die so just live authentically as much as possible until your eventual and inescapable death.
Yep, but you would also have to accept the slap being returned :) It's like the famous defend of a murderer saying he had no free will, and the judge going "Neither have I, when I send you to death".

In everyday life, like anybody else, I make choices without any concerns about determinism. However I do believe in science, deteminism and the uncertainty principle. Compatibalism to me is just splitting words, and has nothing to do with what we normally consider free will. That seemed like a paradox, but then I stumbled upon an explanation together with a friend one very "philosophical" evening, and when I looked it up the next day we were not the first. I'm not gonna "spill the beans" yet. ;)
 
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Yes, it's not the deterministic behaviour I have a problem with - it's the morals that extend from this. That's why I reject the notion of not having free will, because we would not be able to exist in a world where this was not the case. That's in terms of perception. The Universe, and us of course, may very well be wholly deterministic but we cannot "see" that as such because we are conscious beings.

The perception that we do have free will, rather than any absolute truth is more important here. That sounds like heresy, but consider the only way we have to interpret the world around us is through our basic slightly upgraded monkey brains. We don't have the ability to interpret the world around us in a deterministic way.

Interestingly, brownian motion is also deterministic in that it follows that each interaction and bounce can be calculated, but with all the particles in the enclosed space it's impossible to calculate (at present - perhaps with quantum computing) individual motion so is seen as "random" BUT at the macro level we can use (in this case) Boyle's law to describe the overall perfomance of the gas in terms of volume, temperature and (thinks rapidly without recourse to google) pressure.

As such, it posits the question that as individual interaction of humans is "random", could there be (let's call it Ethelred's Law for sake of clarity) a macro "rule" that can predict certain values for humans as a whole?

That's my view. I might be talking complete rubbish as usual.
 
I'm pretty convinced that we might actually have the free will we experience.

Chemistry, and everything from the size of a molecule is 100% determined by the laws of nature. Most people agree that we can't think without a head with a brain in it, and a brain cell is much larger than a single molecule.

It has often been said that quantum mechanics with all it's randomness allowed free will (again), but I don't think randomness is the same as making a choice. I don't run around with a dice in my pocket like the Dice Man. I think based on what I know and then I act.

And I'm certainly (npi) not a dualist.
 
Look at Roger Penrose's work on consciousness at the quantum level.
Quantum mechanics is the root of the explanation, but it's on much larger scales than the particles, and the solution, if it is correct, is more mindblowing than we think. I don't agree with Penrose on this, even though I agree with him on almost everything else. Thinking is computational, but that does not rule out a scientific explanation of neither consciousness nor free will.
 
Let me spill a bean or two.

The multiverse theory seems to be the only explanation for the absurd accuracy of the cosmological constant needed for our Universe to function properly, unless you believe that the value was set by a deity, or that Nick Bostrom is right that we live in a simulation. Even though I like Bostrom, and he does have some strong arguments, I don't think I live in a large version of Sim City. I think that information is as fundamental as the standard model, but think it's more like Max Tegmark thinks, that the Universe acts like a giant computer.

Quantum mechanics holds many mysteries, but it's still the best proven scientific theory yet. Therefore the battle is mostly how to interpret the mysterious facts we see. One of emerging interpretations that is gaining momentum is the Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI). This states, that any event will cause the Universe to split in two.

If MWI turns out to be correct it has serious problems with the conservation laws, as every decision you make will result in the Universe splitting, creating a lot of matter out of what seems to be the nothing. On the other hand it seems that that the Universe is flat and infinite, and there are a lot hidden in our lack of understanding of infinities, like some infinities are larger than others. An example:

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faQBrAQ87l4
 
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"Also, the MWI would imply a certain indeterminism to existence, albeit in an unintuitive way. Whenever we ask ourselves, "Could I have chosen a different course of action?," the MWI would strongly imply that the answer is most definitely yes. What's more, not only could you have chosen a different course of action, an alternate version of you actually did! "

 
every action has a consequence!!
Free will is a legal question which is governed by the authority which is over you...
ie.. a childs free will is governed by its parents.. if the childs free will is in conflict with the parents standards... a consequence follows

Criminals who commit crime... have free will.. however a consequence follows when they are caught being in direct opposition to Authority of the Laws of the land

a Person who wishes to fly.. can fly off a cliff... but the Law of gravity which has been established by a higher authority.. brings a consequence.. bringing the flying person back to earth

As true as it is.. that everyone has free will... it carries a consequence based upon set laws which has already been established by a higher Authority
The question of free will is not one of science... but understanding who has legal Authority... essentially it is a Legal question, not a scientific one
 
On a socio-personal level? Yeah, sure. You can decide what will you have for lunch, if you want to chat some chick up,...
On a biological level? Not really. You can't choose not to breathe or stop your breath from smelling funny.
On a cosmic scale? Not in the slightest. :LOL:
 
I was just writing about this for my philosphy class, I guess I can share an excerpt from it:

Counterargument: If we do not have the power to make decisions, then Sartre’s argument fails, this is where determinism comes in. There are many types of determinism such as genetic determinism, or environmental determinism, however they do not rule out the power to make decisions completely, nonetheless, the strongest form of determinism is physical or Laplacian determinism (Peter, G. H. C. 2010). If the differential equations that govern the movement of microscopic particles have a single solution, “This means that if we know the positions and velocities of all particles at a certain instant, and all the forces that are present, we can uniquely determine the future (as well as past) states of the system.” (Marij van S. 2014). The demonstration of this mathematical fact came in the 1820’s by Cauchy, thus, there are no actual decisions since the physical laws already predict an outcome of the decisions, thus, our decisions are only an illusion.

Defensive argument: There are two flaws that undermine Laplacian determinism from the physical context; differential equations only have a single answer if they are “Lipschitz continuous”, the issue is that not all motion formulas satisfy this property (Marij van S. 2014). With the advent of quantum physics and its randomness, Quantum libertarianism was created on the basis that microscopic events are fundamentally random, to be precise, Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle states that “there is a fundamental limit to the precision with which certain pairs of physical quantities can be measured.” (Peter, G. H. C. 2010).
Sources:

Marij van S. (2014). On the origins and foundations of Laplacian determinism. ScienceDirect Studies in History and Philosophy of Science. Retrieved from https://0-www-sciencedirect-com.millenium.itesm.mx/science/article/pii/S0039368113001325

Peter, G. H. C. (2010). Determinism, Brain Function and Free Will. EBSCOhost. Retrieved from http://web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=12&sid=f1d63568-8041-48fd-b16c-c42a2db0e069@pdc-v-sessmgr05
 
every action has a consequence!!
Free will is a legal question which is governed by the authority which is over you...
ie.. a childs free will is governed by its parents.. if the childs free will is in conflict with the parents standards... a consequence follows

Criminals who commit crime... have free will.. however a consequence follows when they are caught being in direct opposition to Authority of the Laws of the land

a Person who wishes to fly.. can fly off a cliff... but the Law of gravity which has been established by a higher authority.. brings a consequence.. bringing the flying person back to earth

As true as it is.. that everyone has free will... it carries a consequence based upon set laws which has already been established by a higher Authority
The question of free will is not one of science... but understanding who has legal Authority... essentially it is a Legal question, not a scientific one
I agree as far as the social determinism. Also free will opens questions around ethics and punishment. There are however two distinct forms of determinism. One is the social one we all know. You can still break you chains of that one, as far as we know. The other is the metaphysical concept of free will which is based on science and logical reasoning. You can't break the laws of nature. You can't move faster than the speed of light, and if you jump off a cliff you will move "down".

I was just writing about this for my philosphy class, I guess I can share an excerpt from it:



Sources:

Marij van S. (2014). On the origins and foundations of Laplacian determinism. ScienceDirect Studies in History and Philosophy of Science. Retrieved from https://0-www-sciencedirect-com.millenium.itesm.mx/science/article/pii/S0039368113001325

Peter, G. H. C. (2010). Determinism, Brain Function and Free Will. EBSCOhost. Retrieved from http://web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=12&sid=f1d63568-8041-48fd-b16c-c42a2db0e069@pdc-v-sessmgr05
What was the argument before the counterargument and the defensive argument?

Science has some pretty strong arguments against free will, supporting Laplace and his daemon. One of the strongest is that it seems that your brain makes the descision up to several seconds before you consciously feel that you do. However, even that builds on the assumption of consciousness in a very classical dualist manner.

When Laplace came up with his idea about determinism it was based on the insight Newton caused. Before Newton, mechanics was known, but after Newton mechanics was considered "solved", with a few beautiful equations. From then on, people thought science could explain everything (I still think so). Their picture of reality was, that everything is build up from atoms, and that those atoms behave like billiard balls bumping into each other according to Newtons laws of motion.

Today we say that they were wrong but that is as much nitpicking as when we say that Einstein proved Newton was wrong. Newton described the motion of our Solar system's planets, and it fitted "perfectly", except for Mercury, because it's so close to the giant mass of the Sun that relativity becomes significant. However, if you want to shoot a cannonball towards your enemy, or send a spaceship to the Moon, Newtons equations are still more than adequate.

We humans really want that free will. It becomes very weird to even talk about a world without it. "I 'want' to prove that we have no free will"? How is it even possible to 'want' something without free will?
 
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