Classical Theism, Philosophy, and Religion Forum

You are not logged in. Would you like to login?



10/25/2018 12:32 pm  #1


A Question About Free Will

I was posed these questions that I really didn’t know how to begin answering, and wanted to hear peoples thoughts about it:

How would you tell that something else had free will? How would you know that you yourself have free will?

 

10/26/2018 3:11 pm  #2


Re: A Question About Free Will

Evander wrote:

I was posed these questions that I really didn’t know how to begin answering, and wanted to hear peoples thoughts about it:

How would you tell that something else had free will? How would you know that you yourself have free will?

I think it mostly boils down to intuition with some supporting caveats like our belief that we are moral agents and that we can make moral claims about actions only if said actions are freely chosen, thus rendering a degree of responsibility on the agent. Victor Reppert also forwards an argument that the capacity to engage in rational inference undermines any kind of strict naturalistic determinism. Thus, if if we are to accept that we can engage in rational inference, we undermine strict determinism. I haven't read his book in awhile and only gave it a cursory reading the first time through so I'm unable to fully present in its more complex form.

 

10/29/2018 12:46 pm  #3


Re: A Question About Free Will

That I have free will is subjectively self-evident. I.e., it's simply obviously true that when I am deliberating that I am able to choose option A or option B etc. I can't doubt this any more than I can doubt my ability to reason. But it's "subjective" in the sense that only the subject can see the self-evidence of it. E.g., John can see that John has free will. And Jacob can see that Jacob has free will. But neither can see (in the self-evident way) that the other has free will.
That others have free will is at least a reasonable assumption since if I have free will it is reasonable to assume that other creatures like myself that behave as if they have free will actually do have free will as well. Without evidence to the contrary, it would be irrational to doubt that others have free will, even if we allow it as a non-contradictory hypothetical possibility.

 

10/29/2018 1:50 pm  #4


Re: A Question About Free Will

This article, originally linked to by UGADawg, might be of interest to people here.

http://www.owl232.net/papers/fwill.htm

 

10/29/2018 7:46 pm  #5


Re: A Question About Free Will

While we are on the topic of free will, what do you think of genetic determinism? There seems to be support for the idea that most, if not all of our behavior is determined by genetics from identical twin studies. Here is an article defending the idea:

https://jaymans.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/no-you-dont-have-free-will-and-this-is-why

Do you think these experiments cast free will into doubt?

 

10/30/2018 3:03 am  #6


Re: A Question About Free Will

Cosmyk wrote:

Do you think these experiments cast free will into doubt?

Why call it free in the first place? Should it be as free as libertarians would have it? Is it not good enough to have simply will that works with some limitations like everything else about humans?

 

10/30/2018 5:02 am  #7


Re: A Question About Free Will

seigneur wrote:

Cosmyk wrote:

Do you think these experiments cast free will into doubt?

Why call it free in the first place? Should it be as free as libertarians would have it? Is it not good enough to have simply will that works with some limitations like everything else about humans?

Because if free will does not exist in its full sense, that of libertarian free will, then it casts moral responsibility into doubt. That doesn't mean people aren't prey to predispositions due to social and biological factors but the ultimate element of choice must always remain.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/incompatibilism-arguments/

 

10/30/2018 5:50 am  #8


Re: A Question About Free Will

DanielCC wrote:

Because if free will does not exist in its full sense, that of libertarian free will, then it casts moral responsibility into doubt.

Isn't libertarian free will absolute, which in turn would make moral responsibility also absolute? As such, wouldn't honest mistakes be as culpable as malicious acts?

Imagination is absolutely free in libertarian sense, and that has its consequences too. I would definitely not want my will to be similarly free, with instant gratification and all the latter consequences.

Libertarian free will cannot be had and should not be craved after. Will works the way it works, limited and restricted. Better to learn to live with it.

 

10/30/2018 9:36 am  #9


Re: A Question About Free Will

seigneur wrote:

DanielCC wrote:

Because if free will does not exist in its full sense, that of libertarian free will, then it casts moral responsibility into doubt.

Isn't libertarian free will absolute, which in turn would make moral responsibility also absolute? As such, wouldn't honest mistakes be as culpable as malicious acts?

Of course not. Virtually no ethically system will treat mistakes or unintended consequences as symptomatic of personal wickedness, as they lack the requisite intention.

seigneur wrote:

Imagination is absolutely free in libertarian sense, and that has its consequences too. I would definitely not want my will to be similarly free, with instant gratification and all the latter consequences.

What do you mean? There's a difference between imaginative association and deliberately imagining some thing but what is the relevance of imagination here? Maybe if one's imagination automatically created ex nihilo it would be relevant but even God can consider something as the case without actually making it so.

seigneur wrote:

Libertarian free will cannot be had and should not be craved after. Will works the way it works, limited and restricted. Better to learn to live with it.

Are you actually going to explain your position (let alone give arguments for it) or just sit there making vacuous New Atheistesque assertions?

Last edited by DanielCC (10/30/2018 9:38 am)

 

10/30/2018 4:39 pm  #10


Re: A Question About Free Will

I don't know if someone already developped this point in a analytic way, but I think that we can make something like this:

1. We have two types of phenomenological experiences: active and passive. The passives are such way that we feel determined, the others are the ones where we feel that we really act by choosing beetwen different options.
2. Everything which is purely subject-related can't be an illusion. In other words, everything we believe about us as subject is true.
3. Experience qua experience, is knowledge of us as subject.
4. Therefore, our experience of our self as really choosing between different options, which is libertarian free-will, is true.

 

Board footera

 

Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum