RJG wrote:If free-will is the ability to choose, then free-will is logically impossible.
…or is it possible that we only have the "illusion" that we have it?chewybrian wrote:...except that we have it. To put it another way, we have the sense impression that we have it.
Aren't illusions also sense impressions? How do you know your sense impression isn't just an illusion?chewybrian wrote:You can't have it both ways. Information used to build our models of the world seems to come to us through sense impressions (unless maybe you want to consider a truly divine inspiration or some such thing).
Did you actually choose the thoughts that were used in choosing the coffee? …or were these thoughts "given" to you (...i.e. just somehow "popped into your head")?chewybrian wrote:So, if I have a sense impression that I choose to have coffee instead of beer or milk, why is this impression subject to being labelled an illusion, while the impression that I see cause and effect is carved in stone?
...if you did not actually choose those thoughts that were used to pick the coffee, then you really didn't choose the coffee.
RJG wrote:The difference is whether we are "given" our choice, or if we truly did as you say "make a selection from or decide upon one among multiple possible alternatives".
The objective difference is that "logic" tells us that choosing is impossible. Refer back to the OP to see the irrefutable logic.Thomyum2 wrote:Well, you still haven't answered the question for me, you've just substituted new wording here by saying 'we are "given" our choice' for your original wording that a choice is "not real" or is "just an illusion". I'm asking what is the objective difference between these two.
Agreed. And sound logic is about as concrete (objective) as we can get.Thomyum2 wrote:Normally we differentiate between something that is real and something that is not real by some concrete means of demonstration.
We know it is an illusion because we have learned that logic gives us truths. And if something is logically impossible, then no amount of illusions (or sense impressions) could, or should, convince us otherwise.Thomyum2 wrote:For example, a magician makes a card disappear - we know this is an illusion because we can learn the method by which the magician accomplishes this whereby the card did not actually disappear but just appeared to because of the technique that was used. So how would we determine whether a person who claims to be making a choice is really doing it or not? In what way would a 'real' choice show itself that an 'unreal' choice would not?
RJG wrote:If we don't choose the thoughts that we use in choosing, then we don't really choose anything!
It doesn't matter if it is thoughts or feelings or whatever that "makes" our choice. If we don't choose these things that "make" our choice, then we didn't really make our choice; we really didn't choose anything.Thomyum2 wrote:I don't agree that thoughts are required in order to choose.
Yes, logically, our thoughts are "given" to us. Why do you ask? Do you actually believe that you choose the thoughts that you use in choosing???LuckyR wrote:Given? Given to us by whom? Do you feel your thoughts are given to you?
Did you "choose" which thoughts to pay attention to (or give effort to) and which thoughts not to pay attention to (or not give effort to)? If so, then did you also choose the thoughts that were used in choosing which thoughts to pay attention to (and give effort to)?stevie wrote:Some thoughts just pop up and some need activation energy (effort). Of those that pop up I pay attention to some but don't pay attention to others.
Logically, since we can't be aware of a thought 'before' we are aware of it, then this is evidence of the impossibility of free will.psyreporter wrote:Is a thought to be perceived in a retro-perspective that requires a causal origin or is the mere potential of a thought by itself already evidence of free will?
RJG wrote:Do we choose the thoughts that we use in choosing?
If you are saying/implying that our thoughts (and resulting choices) are "given" to our conscious selves, then I agree with you. If we (our conscious selves) don't know what we chose until 'after' we (our physical non-conscious bodies) made the choice, or to put more simply, if we don't know what we choose until 'after' we chose it, then this is not necessarily considered as having free-will.Pattern-chaser wrote:I think the misunderstanding inherent in this question follows from the (spurious?) assumption that "we" are, mentally speaking, solely our conscious mind, and not all of our mind.
Observational Note: We believe we have free-will because we have been pre-conditioned at a young age to believe it. It seems to me that most people here prefer to passionately defend these indoctrinated beliefs, rather than using logic to find the real truths of the matter.