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I believe in will. I don't really think adding the qualifier "free" to it makes sense. "Free" doesn't mean anything on its own, it must refer to the absence of some particular constraint or set of constraints. Like "free speech" refers to a lack of legal constraints on what I can say and "freed from prison" refers to one being no longer physically constrained to a prison.

So what do people mean when they refer to "free will"? If it means unconstrained by physically reality (which would require some sort of dualism, idealism or neutral monism), then I don't believe my will is free will. If my will is to eat, because I'm hungry then it should be pretty clear that my will is not free from physical reality.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by delicioso View Post

Having free will would be the ability to make decisions outside of, or in contrast to, cause and affect.
Do you mean cause and effect as in a deterministic universe?

What would be an example of something outside of or in contrast to cause and effect? Is randomness outside of or in contrast to cause and effect?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by delicioso View Post

Having free will would be the ability to make decisions outside of, or in contrast to, cause and affect.
I'm not sure I can even wrap my head around what that would mean.
 

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No, I don't. But I think it's beneficial to one's life to believe and act as if there is free will.

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I'm not sure I can even wrap my head around what that would mean.
Not sure if this is what he meant, but one way to look at it is the Donnie Darko method: the only way to really have free will is if you can see or preempt the future. If everything down to the level of neurochemical reactions is a product of cause and affect, cause and affect, going all the way back to the beginning of time, then the only way to sidestep one's naturalistic destiny is to "see" the invisible path (or tunnel as it's visualized in Donnie Darko) ahead of you.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by delicioso View Post

Having free will would be the ability to make decisions outside of, or in contrast to, cause and affect.
I say yes, in as much as that kind of free will is acheivable, too.

Also that most will only acheive that kind of free will to a degree.

The problem with not being bound by cause and affect is that one has to understand cause and effect to not be controlled by it, to be free of it.

A spin-off problem with that is the greater the understanding of cause and effect, the less we are controlled by it, then the greater becomes the appearance of insanity.
 

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I believe the answer to the question lies in semantics. I can define my actions as choice or the result of a chain of impulses that could not have concluded any other way. Neither is incorrect unless you choose (or have no choice but to) view it as such.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlainWinthrope View Post

No, I don't. But I think it's beneficial to one's life to believe and act as if there is free will.
Free will being denied by predeterminism and free will being denied by cause and effect are two different and mutualy exclusive things.

Predeterminism actualy rules out cause and effect in the first place.

If all things are predetermined then all cause and effects are predertimined. I.e. nothing we 'cause' can have any 'effect' on a predertimined outcome.
 

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I believe in free will in so far as I get to choose how I act/react to situations. But then I start to get confused when I think of things like "it's your destiny" or "fate" and why things happen to some people and not to others. So carry on...I'll continue to read the thread.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlainWinthrope View Post

Not sure if this is what he meant, but one way to look at it is the Donnie Darko method: the only way to really have free will is if you can see or preempt the future.
What? I don't see how seeing the future has anything to do with free will.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlainWinthrope View Post

If everything down to the level of neurochemical reactions is a product of cause and affect, cause and affect, going all the way back to the beginning of time, then the only way to sidestep one's naturalistic destiny is to "see" the invisible path (or tunnel as it's visualized in Donnie Darko) ahead of you.
I don't understand the Donnie Darko aspect (yes I've seen the movie), but this sounds like you're saying that the universe is deterministic and therefore free will cannot exist. Is that correct?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clueless Git View Post

Free will being denied by predeterminism and free will being denied by cause and effect are two different and mutualy exclusive things.

Predeterminism actualy rules out cause and effect in the first place.

If all things are predetermined then all cause and effects are predertimined. I.e. nothing we 'cause' can have any 'effect' on a predertimined outcome.
The causes and effects in the chain are ultimately caused by the "first cause", but that doesn't mean they don't exist or should be ignored. They are still useful terms to describe steps in the chain.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indian Summer View Post

The causes and effects in the chain are ultimately caused by the "first cause", but that doesn't mean they don't exist or should be ignored. They are still useful terms to describe steps in the chain.
In predeterimism is not the first cause always God(s)?

In buddhism trying to track the chain of cause and effect (karma) back to the first cause is one of three 'meditations' that are said to lead to insanity, btw.
 
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