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10-23-2013 06:24 PM
Anytime a person makjes a decision or choice is an exhibition of free will. While there are still instintual things in the human species, the act of decision making is what makes man different from animals and thuis uszing the act of free will. Now, that does not mean that every choice made will have positive results, but that is also a lesson learned for judgements in the future.
10-23-2013 05:33 PM
The same as any animal!
Try opening up your picture windows or your glass sliding doors and let your neighbors see you in the buff, you will be in trouble even for that and likely stand before a judge trying to explain your "sickness" of your want and desire to feel free.
slip is there a personal story involved in that? I know up here, as crazy as this sounds, a guy can lawfully stand in his front window fully nekked.
I believe wild animals run on instinct which sometimes makes them far more intelligent than us with free will. A bird will fly South when the weather gets too cold. Some of us might decide to go on a bender and let the flock take off without us. A wolf instinctively will sense the weak one in the herd and attack it. Some of us might decide to take down the meanest orniest one in the herd to impress our pals,our gal, and stroke our ego.
A fox catches his foot in a trap and chews it off to escape. Yeah lesson learned but do you think he feels guilt? You think he beats himself up about that mistake?Nah you need free will to make that choice.
10-23-2013 11:56 AM - edited 10-23-2013 11:59 AM
Advances in neuroscience shows that our brains make decisions before we're even conscious of them. But if we don't have free will, then why did we evolve consciousness instead of zombie-minds?
I think this is where the phrase, "don't make hasty decisions", comes from, Bob.
Under the right circumstances, I do believe humans do(can) have free will. If another person puts a gun to your head, human instinct might tell you that you will die if you utilize your free will. If you have obligations(such as feeding your kids), you might work at a job that you hate.
Although, look at all of the parents who abuse their children. Those parents are certainly using their own free will to do as they please, rather than be tied down to the responsibilities (that should come with being a parent).
Free will is often described as, Selfish, or Crazy. Or as joz mentioned above, selflessness.
Nature, nurture, and many other things, factor in to block free will.
But.... Do I feel humans have the capacity to practice free will? Yes.
10-23-2013 11:39 AM
10-23-2013 11:23 AM
without anyone knowing the origins of everything or whether the universe knows it wants to contuine to expand which will eventually fizz out into nothing
the only thing that we know of with the most freewill are humans, top of the food chain at the mo, you know
10-23-2013 09:35 AM - edited 10-23-2013 09:37 AM
The same as any animal!
Hmm close to what I was thinking. Humans have a lot of free will but laws prevent us from using it. Oh you can break the laws of men and religious doctrine, but you either wind up in a prison, mental institution or grave. Animals truly have free will whether domesticated or wild. When nature calls to dispell their bodily fluids and fecal matter they have no modesty, no shame, no guilt, the same can be said of their sexual appetites and agreesiveness, they just do it with or without a willing partner. Now is the time of year for deer to be chasing unwilling does by bucks, but nobody is arresting the bucks chasing a doe trying to get away from the buck and she knows she will be well used by many bucks during the season. Nope not one buck deer will get arrested for attempting to **bleep** or **bleep** a doe. Animals too are much more protective of their young unlike humans, test a momma bear with her cubs, try to get in between them or to pick up a cub while momma is nearby.
The laws of nature and man are not even comparable when it comes to free will. Oh you can train domestic animals to "obey", but they all still have that sense of wild that humans can get in big time trouble when they decide to test it. Try opening up your picture windows or your glass sliding doors and let your neighbors see you in the buff, you will be in trouble even for that and likely stand before a judge trying to explain your "sickness" of your want and desire to feel free.
10-23-2013 09:02 AM - edited 10-23-2013 09:06 AM
I think most humans have free will but the degree and duration varies with each individual. Because so much of what is possible for someone in life is dependent upon factors outside their control. What part of the world they're from, for instance, the kind of family they were born into, whether they had an abused childhood or not....
Also, how long their health--both mental and physical--holds out. If they weren't healthy mentally or physically to begin with, that's certainly going to effect what 'free will' they have. And then, as has been mentioned, other people's 'free will' comes into play. What they do that determines what it's possible for you to be free to do. Then there's love, responsibility, obligation, and other emotions that can't be turned off like a faucet. They also affect your free will.
Maybe ultimately, the only true free will anyone has is to either continue existing until they cease to exist due to ill health or accident, or to choose instead, to pack it in by their own hand when they find existing holds no rewards anymore. But some people, due to circumstances beyond their control, don't have the free will to do even that. (Paraplegics confined to hospital beds, for instance);
I do kind of suspect that the whole concept of free will is just a sham and there's really a 'Creator' of some kind pulling all the strings.
Or at least laying the groundwork for what's going to be possible or not possible in every person's life. Along with the occasional big nose booger, so to speak, thrown in on impulse by this 'Creator' just for fun!
10-23-2013 03:15 AM
Let me put it another way: Atoms and particles behave in probabilistic ways, but our mind is made of atoms and particles... How can free will exist?
This is the dilemma of determinism, we do not know if our actions are controlled by a causal chain of preceding events (or by some other external influence), or if we're truly free agents making decisions of our own choice.
Philosophers (and now some scientists) have been debating this question for millennia with no answers. If our decision making is influenced by an endless chain of causality, then determinism is true and we don't have free will. But if the opposite is true, what's called indeterminism, then our actions must be random. But some argue it's still not free will.
THen there's compatibility — the idea that free will is logically compatible with deterministic views of the universe. Advances in neuroscience shows that our brains make decisions before we're even conscious of them. But if we don't have free will, then why did we evolve consciousness instead of zombie-minds?
Quantum physics makes this problem even more complicated by suggesting that we live in a universe of probability, and that determinism of any sort is impossible. "Consciousness seems to be intimately and inescapably tied to the perception of the passage of time, and indeed, the idea that the past is fixed and perfectly deterministic, and that the future is unknowable. This fits well, because if the future were predetermined, then there'd be no free will, and no point in the participation of the passage of time."
So, do we have free will or not?
Does GOd have free will? If God exists, how exactly can we have free will?
We do have free will. No matter how much philosopher's or scientist try to muddy the waters. All they are trying to do is change the meaning of free will.
this is rather long but it nails the subject matter.
Do You Really Have Free Will? Of course. Here’s how it evolved. By Roy F. Baumeister It has become fashionable to say that people have no free will. Many scientists cannot imagine how the idea of free will could be reconciled with the laws of physics and chemistry. Brain researchers say that the brain is just a bunch of nerve cells that fire as a direct result of chemical and electrical events, with no room for free will. Others note that people are unaware of some causes of their behavior, such as unconscious cues or genetic predispositions, and extrapolate to suggest that all behavior may be caused that way, so that conscious choosing is an illusion. Scientists take delight in (and advance their careers by) claiming to have disproved conventional wisdom, and so bashing free will is appealing. But their statements against free will can be misleading and are sometimes downright mistaken, as several thoughtful critics have pointed out. Arguments about free will are mostly semantic arguments about definitions. Most experts who deny free will are arguing against peculiar, unscientific versions of the idea, such as that “free will” means that causality is not involved. As my longtime friend and colleague John Bargh put it once in a debate, “Free will means freedom from causation.” Other scientists who argue against free will say that it means that a soul or other supernatural entity causes behavior, and not surprisingly they consider such explanations unscientific. These arguments leave untouched the meaning of free will that most people understand, which is consciously making choices about what to do in the absence of external coercion, and accepting responsibility for one’s actions. Hardly anyone denies that people engage in logical reasoning and self-control to make choices. There is a genuine psychological reality behind the idea of free will. The debate is merely about whether this reality deserves to be called free will. Setting aside the semantic debate, let’s try to understand what that underlying reality is. There is no need to insist that free will is some kind of magical violation of causality. Free will is just another kind of cause. The causal process by which a person decides whether to marry is simply different from the processes that cause balls to roll downhill, ice to melt in the hot sun, a magnet to attract nails, or a stock price to rise and fall. Different sciences discover different kinds of causes. Phillip Anderson, who won the Nobel Prize in physics, explained this beautifully several decades ago in a brief article titled “More is different.” Physics may be the most fundamental of the sciences, but as one moves up the ladder to chemistry, then biology, then physiology, then psychology, and on to economics and sociology—at each level, new kinds of causes enter the picture. As Anderson explained, the things each science studies cannot be fully reduced to the lower levels, but they also cannot violate the lower levels. Our actions cannot break the laws of physics, but they can be influenced by things beyond gravity, friction, and electromagnetic charges. No number of facts about a carbon atom can explain life, let alone the meaning of your life. These causes operate at different levels of organization. Even if you could write a history of the Civil War purely in terms of muscle movements or nerve cell firings, that (very long and dull) book would completely miss the point of the war. Free will cannot violate the laws of physics or even neuroscience, but it invokes causes that go beyond them. The evolution of free will began when living things began to make choices. The difference between plants and animals illustrates an important early step. Plants don’t change their location and don’t need brains to help them decide where to go. Animals do. Free will is an advanced form of the simple process of controlling oneself, called agency. The squirrel is more complex than the tree, and it does plenty of things the tree can’t. When chased by a dog, the squirrel needs to choose which direction to run. Its decision processes may be simple, but it does choose, nonetheless. Thousands of lab studies have shown how rats learn to make choices that bring them rewards. How did this simple agency evolve into the more complex style of choosing that people call free will? Living things everywhere face two problems: survival and reproduction. All species have to solve those basic problems or else go extinct. Humankind has an unusual strategy for solving them: culture. We communicate, develop complex social systems, engage in trade, accumulate knowledge collectively, create giant social institutions (governments, hospitals, universities, corporations). These help us survive and reproduce, increasingly in comfortable and safe ways. These large systems have worked very well for us, if you measure success in the biological terms of survival and reproduction. If culture is so successful, why don’t other species use it? They can’t—because they lack the psychological innate capabilities it requires. Our ancestors evolved the ability to act in the ways necessary for culture to succeed. Free will likely will be found right there—it’s what enables humans to control their actions in precisely the ways required to build and operate complex social systems. What psychological capabilities are needed to make cultural systems work? To be a member of a group with culture, people must be able to understand the culture’s rules for actions, including moral principles and formal laws. They need to be able to talk about their choices with others, participate in group decisions, and carry out their assigned role. Culture can bring immense benefits, from cooked rice to the iPhone, but it only works if people cooperate and obey the rules. If you think of freedom as being able to do whatever you want, with no rules, you might be surprised to hear that free will is for following rules. Doing whatever you want is fully within the capability of any animal in the forest. Free will is for a far more advanced way of acting. It’s what a creature might need in order to adjust its behavior to novel situations, to get what it wants while still following the complicated rules of the society. People must inhibit impulses and desires and find ways of satisfying them within the rules. People also consciously imagine various future scenarios (“If I do this, then that will happen, whereupon I would do something else, leading to another result …”) and guide their present actions based on disciplined imagination. That, in a nutshell, is the inner deciding process that humans have evolved. That is the reality behind the idea of free will: these processes of rational choice and self-control. It’s this or nothing. If you accept free will, this is what it is. If you insist on disbelieving in free will, these are the processes that are commonly taken for it. But either way, there is a real phenomenon here. And to understand human life, it is vital to understand how this phenomenon works. Does it deserve to be called free? I do think so. Philosophers debate whether people have free will as if the answer will be a simple yes or no. But very few psychological phenomena are absolute dichotomies. Instead, most psychological phenomena are on a continuum. Some acts are clearly freer than others. The freer actions would include conscious thought and deciding, self-control, logical reasoning, and the pursuit of enlightened self-interest. Self-control counts as a kind of freedom because it begins with not acting on every impulse. The simple brain acts whenever something triggers a response: A hungry creature sees food and eats it. The most recently evolved parts of the human brain have an extensive mechanism for overriding those impulses, which enables us to reject food when we’re hungry, whether it’s because we’re dieting, vegetarian, keeping kosher, or mistrustful of the food. Self-control furnishes the possibility of acting from rational principles rather than acting on impulse. The use of abstract ideas such as moral principles to guide action takes us far beyond anything that you will find in a physics or chemistry textbook, and so we are free in the sense of emergence, of going beyond simpler forms of causality. Again, we cannot break the laws of physics, but we can act in ways that add new causes that go far beyond physical causation. No electron understands the Golden Rule, and indeed an exhaustive study of any given atom will furnish no clue as to whether it is part of a person who is obeying or disobeying that rule. The economic laws of supply and demand are genuine causes, but they cannot be reduced to or fully explained by chemical reactions. Understanding free will in this way allows us to reconcile the popular understanding of free will as making choices with our scientific understanding of the world. Roy F. Baumeister is an eminent social psychologist with over 500 scientific publications, plus 31 books, including a New York Times best-seller, Willpower.
10-22-2013 11:33 PM
In Freudian psychology, the pleasure principle is the instinctual seeking of pleasure and avoiding of pain in order to satisfy biological and psychological needs. Specifically, the pleasure principle is the driving force guiding the id.
Epicurus in the ancient world, and Jeremy Bentham in the modern laid stress upon the role of pleasure in directing human life, the latter stating:"Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure".
Freud's most immediate predecessor and guide however was Gustav Theodor Fechner and his psychophysics...
The Pleasure Pain Principle of the Subconscious Mind - At a conscious level, we recognize pleasure as something that makes us feel good, and pain as something that makes us feel bad… and part of our programming as human beings is to gravitate to that which makes us feel pleasure and away from things that cause us to feel pain… but things works a bit differently at the subconscious level... Read More at LifeByDesignWithKrystal.com
At a conscious level, we recognize pleasure as something that makes us feel good, and pain as something that makes us feel bad… and part of our programming as human beings is to gravitate to that which makes us feel pleasure and away from things that cause us to feel pain… but things works a bit differently at the subconscious level.
The subconscious mind does indeed have a pleasure/pain principle that it abides by, and it also gravitates towards that which brings pleasure and away from that which brings pain, however… pleasure to the subconscious mind are the things in our lives that are known, or familiar, while pain to the subconscious mind are the things in our lives that are unknown, or unfamiliar.
Now think about this for a moment… just because something is familiar, or a ‘known’, does not mean that it’s necessarily good for us, or necessarily a truly pleasurable experience for us at a conscious level. Likewise, just because something is unfamiliar, or an ‘unknown’, does not mean that it’s necessarily bad for us, or a truly painful experience at a conscious level.
But to our subconscious mind, this is the way things are set up, and this is why it is so very difficult to break bad habits and to form new ones. Our subconscious mind wants to stick with what it already knows… as this brings pleasure, and it will fight to avoid what it doesn’t know… as this brings pain.
The Pleasure/Pain Principle of the Subconscious Mind
10-22-2013 11:10 PM
Life is like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt
you represents determinism; the way you play
it is free will.
~ Jawaharlal Nehru
The most sublime and profound insight we are capable of is that we are part of a determined universe.
Many Hellenists and later Western esotericists held there is one higher sublime and profound experiential insight: being reborn out of the determined universe.
A common idea of Hellenistic religion-philosophy-myth was that after developing one's thinking and experiencing to most fully appreciate one's embeddedness in a determined universe, one can be lifted even higher, up out of cosmic determinism, beyond the sphere of the fixed stars.
The emperor was divinized at death to become a star, but many cults then grabbed the idea of ascending beyond the stars. If the emperor was chosen by Fate, initiates escaped and eluded the clutches of Fate, Necessity, and were miraculously and divinely set free from the deterministic cosmic prison.
Godmen were chained and fastened to the material realm, died, and were then lifted up beyond the deterministic material realm -- thus so were those initiates who were lifted up by the godmen. The levels of initiation and ascension were somewhat standardized (with contention about variations). Start at bottom and move up through experiencing each level:
9th -- beyond rationality, divine transcendence, transcendent freedom
8th -- fixed stars - timeless cosmic determinism
4th-7th - slow planets
1st-3rd - fast planets
0th - earth - change, time
A miracle happened, the prison doors fell open and the chains fell off, and I was set free. High philosophical magic may elevate this same sense of 'miracle' as the idea and mystic experience of transcending cosmic determinism, because nothing less than a miracle can lift a personal agent out of the deterministic block universe.
The ancients fully believed we are part of a determined universe, and some went beyond to believe in the greatest and purest miracle of all, that of being lifted outside of the deterministic block universe. Plotinus' system connects directly to this system, but with different ways of framing the elements; I should read Plotinus specifically on the issue of transcending hiemarmene/Necessity...
Magically/Transcendently Repostulating Freewill for Stability
10-22-2013 09:22 PM
Not according to Obamacare or anything else they DEEM we "need".
If people consider thet is what the fight is all about, considering the strong arm of the law. IRS.
10-22-2013 08:56 PM
Well if our actions are determined by what we focus on and the meanings we attach to that I would say that's quite a bit of free will.
Even if what we focus on is somehow pre-determined we still have the freedom to attach different meanings to it and consequently different actions.
10-22-2013 08:10 PM
Philosophers (and now some scientists) have been debating this question for millennia with no answers.
I'm guessing people have free will- but obligations often get in the way of this "free will" stuff. I want to live on a beach and eat crab legs on a daily basis...
...and if the question has been debated for millenia- I doubt this crowd (including myself) will have any answers. I think a person should do what's best for themselves without intentionally harming others along the way.
Unless a person lives alone- totally isolated from others- there's no way to fulfill a "Free Will" lifestyle. There's always anothers "Free Will" to take into consideration.