chewybrian wrote: ↑
July 25th, 2018, 7:46 am
Karpel, you are correct. But neither does assuming that laws which apply to other things apply to consciousness and free will, when behavior and subjective experience are not consistent with being forced, but rather with being free. It reminds me of a quote from Bertrand Russel:
Subjective experience is not consitent with determinism, but then subjective experience has been shown to be fallible about many things. Behavior however is not inconsistent with either free will or determinism.
“The man who has fed the chicken every day throughout its life at last wrings its neck instead, showing that more refined views as to the uniformity of nature would have been useful to the chicken.”
We are both only restating opinion. The facts are not in, so we are free to choose either view, or to withhold judgment.
That's what I generally do. I am agnostic about it. I think the free will people have a problem explaining how free will is neither random nor determined, since all the things they will say affected their decision run on deterministic chains (or, if you want to drag in QM, then there is a random element).
Is our free will consistent with our subjective experience, or with our objective interpretation of the rest of the world? We don't know, and evidence points both ways.
I see no evidence in favor of free will in terms of what happens. We are complicated, hence predicting is tough. But when I see people make decisions, I never see evidence that it actually might have gone some other way.
The question then is, why do you wish to choose either view?
I don't. I tend to argue against determinists becaues they have an epistemological problem - how do they know their reasoning is valid, given that they are determined. But I also argue with the free will people since they seem to be introducing an uncaused cause. It would mean that I make decisions not based on who I am or what has happened to me. I see no comfort in that.
I wish to believe I have free will, and accept the responsibility in exchange for the freedom to determine my own future as far as outside forces allow. Why would you wish to deny this freedom, and yourself in the process?
I cannot possibly deny you that freedom. First note the irony of someone who says they believe in free will implying I could deny you the freedom to believe or be, but then also, I don't see in practical terms how I can control what you think. I also notice that when it relates to even rather simple things, things you can test pretty easily, people are very stubborn, even unmovable by evidence. That I would actually deprive you of a belief in free will is beyond my abilities. That would take a deity.
Now, and perhaps earlier in the thread somewhere I did not read, you are presenting it as a choice you cannot prove. OK. That's a little different than saying Free Will is the case. When people tell me free will is the case, I feel like they are avoiding feelings and confusion I find it 1) unpleasant myself to face and 2) that are important in the sense that I think it is important to allow ourselves to go to certain levels in our feelings and confusion, rather than convincing ourselves we are certain of things, that they make sense. I see that as a general problem in the world, peopel avoiding that level of themselves.
What you are talking about here is a choice to view things a certain way, rather than saying clearly we have free will, the determinists are wrong. Fine.
But I would then wonder what you are doing in a philosophy forum discussing free will, if you see opposition to your arguments as someone trying to deprive you of your freedom (to believe or to be X). What do you think is going to happen in a philosophy forum when you present arguments in favor of something that is contested?
Why not just live from your axiom, as best you can?
What world would follow from widespread adoption of your position? Is that the direction you wish for us? I can't see how you would rush to judgment, if you saw the results as being as tragic and dangerous as I see them, so, can you then tell us what is positive about this view that we lack control over our own destiny, or responsibility for our choices? Or, can you tell us what is negative about having control?
It is not that we lack control, if one believes in determinism, it is just that our control is determined by the past as everything else is. It is more like there is a general flow which we are a part of. And we will make decisions and live our lives. Some people are not bothered by it. Further one is still great at chess, a loving father, a person who commits violence. And other people reacting to us as they will to these different qualities still makes sense. As it happens I am agnostic. I see problems with the free will argument, because once you are free from the past, then we have little reason to put people's choices in contexts. What led up to that choice is of no consequence, since we are free, undetermined. Relgious people and then those with values influenced by them, have often not wanted to look at context. And this has led to all sorts of unpleasant treatment of people.
I tend to argue with determinists more than I do with free willers. And I think my reason is it is a trickier tasks, plus I see the determinists as now tending to get the upper hand.
But advocates of both, in a philosophy forum, should expect arguments, and I often find the that 'it must be the case quale' arises in my discussions with both groups.
I appreciate that in your case you see it more as what you prefer to believe.