Do we have free will?

Updated on November 11, 2021 in Philosophy
9 on October 19, 2015

My position: Irrespective of whether you believe that the Universe is deterministic or probabilistic, free will (meaningful choice) is incompatible with either world view.

I maintain an open mind at all times and pride myself on rational, logical argumentation.

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0 on June 12, 2017

We have the choice to control ourselves or let go of control. Control is something very difficult to learn and also something not normally noticed by many people.

If there are things in the past, that made you mentally ill and resentful, you still have the choice to learn to control youtself.

If there is something in your DNA making your character a certain way, you still have the choice to learn to control yourself.

This is the power of will. This is the difficulty of life.

Freedom of course is another question and very subjective for everyone.

Remember that science as well as philosophies are just systems made by people to perceive the actual world as best as they can.

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1 on August 29, 2017

We have the capacity to make the choices that influence our lives, to choose our beliefs, eating habits, relationships and bigger things such as when to marry and whether to respect what other people believe. Yes society and the people around us may not accept our choices or what we do with our free will, but that doesn’t change the fact that we still have the right to choose and therefore I say yes, despite societies norms and influences we still have free will

on October 5, 2021

You have the right answer but you got there in the wrong way based on the question being asked. The answer is yes, free will exists, but it does not matter because the universe is still deterministic as far as we can tell.

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0 on September 6, 2021

yes we have, all we do now will affect to our future. if we will to be good in the future , we must behave to be good from now,

and vice versa

 

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4 on October 5, 2021

The issue is that the existence of free choice doesn’t change that the universe is deterministic. Assuming we can only travel forward in time at a constant pace, each event can only take place once. Therefore, once a choice is made, it becomes clear that it was the choice that was always going to be made. You can think of it as a cosmic game of billiards. Sure, you made this shot because it was obviously your best shot and you chose freely, but all of the factors leading there made it the obvious shot in the first place and we are back to determinism.

on November 4, 2021

I agree with this. You, and only you have the brain capacity to think of countless other options in which you should do, i.e. choosing to get to school on a bike, car, by walking or maybe on your favourite pair of rollerblades. However, you would of course wish to go to school the quickest way possible, by car. As Bangaalore said once you’ve made that choice then you realise that the factors made it the obvious choice, and then back to determinism.

I believe personally that we don’t truly have free will and that we never will. You make most of your choices based upon past actions, you know not jump off a high place because you’ve sprained your ankle, that  you shouldn’t give 3 as the answer to 1+1 because you know that it’s wrong based off a past experience an etc.. 

This is the same as to doing the opposite of something, you want to do the opposite of something because you already know the ultimate outcome, e.g. choosing a different ending to a video game.

In hindsight I believe that we really only have true free will during childhood, whilst we don’t understand good from evil, wrong from right, but as we transition into adulthood all of that free will cedes to exist and is replaced by actions in which are justified or altered via past experiences.

on November 6, 2021

Hi Luzao, I agree with you, sort of. 

 

My disagreement is with saying that the world is essentially purely deterministic. I would say that yes, the world is deterministic, but free will definitely also exists. Irrational choice is obviously apparent (see any comedy ever). Yes, your unpredictable decisions were ultimately deterministic, but the choice to perform them was still a choice. Either way choosing or choosing not to will result in determinism, but it doesn’t mean the choice itself wasn’t “real”.

on November 6, 2021

I guess you’re right, choosing the choice itself would be considered free will. However, As I said before-and that we both agree on- that ultimately all choices are deterministic. 

on November 11, 2021

Yes, exactly. The existence of both at once isn’t impossible, its actually the most likely.

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