Burning Ghost -
You simply cannot “prove” that free will does not exist without setting out a rational claim with precise definitions. What ‘ve done is express, vaguely, your opinion.
Sex is a pleasurable activity. How can I rationally prove this? You don't, you experience
it. You have a very deep rooted assumption that proving the existence of something requires a rational claim. Same as, how can I prove emotions exist? Without the experiencing
of that thing you cannot know it or prove it otherwise. You are stuck on your radical rationalist mind. Please ask me again all the words that you did not understand so I can clear it out precisely as you want to. Unless this will turn into a nonsensical semantical battle when this is not even about argumentation. And no, this is not my "opinion". An opinion is a relativistic, arbitrary thing. This is something you can become aware of. And my good friend, let me be clear that I am not the only one that has discovered this free will problem. Please search SAM HARRIS
and how he explains it. Please do or else this conversation may not be productive.
What does that mean? Where is this “consciousness” you speak of? If it has no “where” to it then how can you claim something “appears” to it or “how” something appears to it?
First of all, I said that that claim is a conceptual way
to understand this, but essentially it is not understood this way, it is by DIRECTLY HAVING AN EXPERIENCE OF IT.
I don't think you get that this is an experiential truth
My friend, where is this consciousness? This very precise moment, your existence itself is grounded on consciousnesses
. You only know you exist because you are aware
of it. You are reading this at this moment. You are not a mind-zombie, you are aware. Why think of "where" is this consciousness when you are consciousness itself? You are just conscious, that is it. When I say that something "appears" in consciousness is that whatever thing that you see, perceive, feel, or think appears in your own awareness
. If it wasn't so, you wouldn't be able to have a conscious experience or 'something". In other words, you wouldn't know you exist because there is no "experiencing"
These are things that are there but we are not aware until we direct our awareness to it
But if “we” don’t direct “our” awareness then “who” does?
This is a very problematic thing to explain because it requires the highest level of consciousness to perceive. And essentially it is conceptually paradoxical. You will not understand it at all right now but I will say it anyways. All phenomena of thinking,choosing, deciding is illusory,
and a very good illusion at that. You are not actually doing it, although it FEELS
like it. You will never do this unless you raise your own awareness, starting with those simple exercises that I mentioned that you probably totally ignored.
This is a little like saying I didn’t kill them, it was the drugs I took that comprimised my decision making.
Drugs can create altered states of consciousness and make you more unconscious of anything that you do. This is one way to understand how awareness itself works.
If I was to torture you and manipulate your biochemistry into reacting to certain cues then you are not really to be held to account for your actions.
This is definitely a moral dilemma when we talk about absence of free will. When you grasp the nature of your consciousness, you realize that all thought is not conjured by you. BUT LISTEN CAREFULLY. By become aware that YOU ARE NOT THE ONE THAT THINKS, YOU KNOW THAT WHATEVER THOUGHT APPEARS IN YOUR MIND IS BEYOND YOUR CONTROL. So therefore you can "choose", still being illusory, what do to with that thought. Let me give an analogy: What if in a certain moment you feel a high sexual temptation to have sexual intercourse with a woman. The erotic feeling is so intense that it makes you want to go to the extent of raping her. What is happening here? First, this intense sexual excitation at first is something that "popped up" in your body. Meaning, the emotion just appeared in your body by just looking at her. This is initially an uncontrollable phenomena. Later, you get to decide WHAT TO DO with that emotion. Do you ignore it? Or indulge on the carnal pleasures? This is a battle of self vs mind. The mind is producing the feeling in your body, but the self or "I", which is conscious of that phenomenon which was not caused by me, decided what moral action to take. So, the self fought with the mind. This is a simple instance where the duality of self vs mind manifests.
Note: I am quite happy to accept that I have no “free will” in some circumstances when the term is contextually framed in a certain light. The issue I have is anyone suggesting that all given human contexts “free will” is completely delusional.
Well my friend I have trouble accepting this as well on all human contexts but this is a hard experiential truth
that can be even corroborated empirically with neuroscience. Our job as philosophers is to seek the truth for what it is, if we by chance dislike that truth, that is but a personal, emotional affair. This revelation also explains why we may suffer so much in life, why we have neurotic tendencies. But that is another treatise in itself.
A common example of expressing the manner in which we use the term “choice” is this ... You are give two doors to go through, you pick one. You arbitrarily pick the door (your choice.) It turns out that one of the doors is nothing other than a painting on a wall so when you approach you realise apparent choice was no choice at all. So even though you chose one door initially as you begin to approach them you see that our choice was not a choice at all. In this situation we can easily see that depending on how we “choose” to interpret the situation you made a choice and you didn’t make a choice.
Only when you become conscious of it will you get it. All thought and choice is 'illusory'
. But it is paradoxically a conscious choice you can make. This is hard to digest because you will never fathom this conceptually
, but phenomenologically
. So how we experience "free choice" in any given moment, like the one you explained, how it manifests in our phenomenology doesn't change; even it it is illusory. What changes is the realization that all thoughts "comes and goes" from the mind.
You appear to be choosing to interpret the words a certain way so that choice makes it appear to you that you never made a choice at all. The the arbitrary appearance after the matter of the fact means you’re completely rudderless.
This is not a semantical game on my part, neither a conceptual one(Well it kinda is a conceptual one noting how I am trying to describe it). It will appear like a vague display of odd explanations with weird language because precisely this is not known through a rational analysis of definitions of words. That's just being analytical of language itself. I am using this instrument called language, knowing the unprecise nature
of it, to explain an experiential phenomena
I would say that many of thr decisions we make in life often suffer from lack of conscious examination. In those cases people repeat the same mistakes blaming the arbitrary nature of nature rather than contending with the burdensome idea that what they think and do may actually have a serious causal effect (that said I understand you’re sidestepping the morality of the situation, which then begs the question what the use is of trying to make subjective claims appear to be objective claims - the original endeavor of the phenomenological investigation was to feel out a possible science of subjectivity.)
This very dilemma that you present is of utmost importance. This lack of conscious examination in "certain situations" is one of the phenomenological problems caused by the duality of Self vs Mind that I briefly mentioned. Which is why I say that this is a very profound topic to consider carefully.
Regarding this battle of objectivity vs subjectivity, the truest thing you will ever know about reality is through experience
. Why? Because you experienced that "something" from reality not "thought" about it. Because everything is happening in experience! Consciousness is self-awareness of an experience. So, in reality, phenomenology is the most "objective" endeavor to pursue! As it is our own nature, consciousness. One problem is that language, concepts, abstractions could have problems describing it. It is an experience after all! The limits of language is the limits of describing our reality. Why do some people have difficulty verbalizing(conceptualizing) their love for someone or any other grandeur emotion that they may feel on
a particular circumstance? Or even describing a pain in their body? Precisely because encapsulating that experiential instance
with concepts, analogies or abstractions with a finite language is hard! Therefore reality is an anecdotal thing, a personal experience. You only know your perspective of the "experiencing" of reality but never of others. But since humans are so similar we can be empathetic and understand each other regardless, even though we never directly access the experiential reality of another person. Digest this however you will.