A deep thought occurred to me the other day when someone less educated then myself got on my nerves. Do people truly have free will? I'm not entirely sure if this is fitting for the site, but I can tie it into religion ans science in a few moments, bear with me.

When someone makes a decision, what determines that thought? What made me type what I just typed? In theory, everything I think, decide to do, act upon, and so on, is all predetermined, to an extent. The extent I speak of is this; the moment right before someone makes a decisions, the brain is about to take into play a ton of variables, then come to a conclusion for that decision. It can't be altered, and even before you actual make that decision, it's predefined before it's completed, again, this could be only split seconds. Although "predetermined" as I'll use loosely, nobody can predict it, it's not like a fortune telling ability, it's simply set in stone, at least moments before the decision is made.

Let's say a boy at the age of 10 gets picked on at the park by a bully. He then has to "decide" what to do; does he hit the bully back? Does he wait until he gets pushed a few more times? Does he think to himself that he should run? Whatever it is he chooses, it's already been decided, at least at that split second moment before the thought process even starts. He doesn't know what he'll do yet, but It's all a large formula of how he was raised, what he's seen, what people told him, the possibility of a similar situation in the past, what he ate that day, how is his mood on this day, so on. Now you may say, his mood is a variable, true, and not true. That mood, is determined by the decisions made, or acts upon him, which he then responded to in a "predefined" way. It's as if every single thing we say, do, and think, is already made up for us, to this short extent, but indeed to an extent none the less. If the kid hits the bully, he was always going to, no amount of recreating the scenario will change that, it's just how it was going to turn out.

If someone flames this topic, I will act upon that flaming in a "predefined" way. I'm already programed to react how I will, I can't change that. From what I know, from the way I think, it's all who I am, but there is no free will, because every bit of thought I do is not my own, it's a compilation of my life events and how I reacted, which was all decided for me beforehand, starting from my first "decision".

Let's take a look at hatred, and touch on religion. We all dislike stupid people, ignorant people, and people who refuse to change, even when evidence is thrown in front of them. Ever argued with someone, had straight proof you were right, but they wouldn't change? It's not their fault they can't, they're acting upon the situation the way they always will, the way every event in their life prior to that moment has led them to do. Everything from the test in 3rd grade, the father yelling about it, to the great present they got for Christmas the year before, and the sandwich they ate that morning. Every event upon us decides how we'll act in the future, and we can't change that.

If you say, "okay, knowing this, I'm going to do the opposite of whatever I would normally do" That exact thought, and the decision you made to do the opposite, that too has already been decided. The kind of person you are, due to prior events, is what made you decide to rebel. Your prior live events decided you would act that way to that situation. You can't decide anything.

If someone hits you in the face, you can't change that, you also can't change how you'll react to it. On this line of thought, our very lives are predetermined, even though random. It's complicated, and hard to explain, but if you follow me at all, you'll see how this could drive one insane. Now let's suppose that right as your hit, someone comes from behind, picks you up, and stands up for you. Awesome, you're probably not going to strike back, the situation is handled, you'll take a new approach to the situation. Well, although that person is an outside source, and altering what would happen, your still programmed to react to the new situation as you would any other, in the same sense, you can't escape how you'll react to anything.

To further this, the typing of this by me, is not my choice. I can claim it a choice, and I can close the window right now before submitting it, but doing so is only a reaction based on my prior events, which are also based on prior events, all going down to the day of my birth, and perhaps my genetics. In a sense, it's almost like organized chaos. Nobody knows what will happen to me, but there is in fact something that will happen, and when it does, I have no say in how I react to it, nor could it have been any different.

On that note, I ask for everyone to consider this. The next time you find someone annoying, or think you hate someone, or feel like someone is an idiot for their beliefs, or lack of, remember that it's not their choice, every thought they'll ever make is predetermined, they can't act any other way than is already laid out for them, to an extent. People such as ourselves can coach them, and train them in new ways, but if they don't except, that's just how they are, they're not choosing to be that way, weather themselves or you think they are or not. I believe with an understanding of the above, we can see how we're all equal in a sense, nobody is superior, nobody is worse, we're all as equally unimportant, or important, whichever you choose to believe, it doesn't matter, again, it's not like you have a choice in which you pick :)

Any thoughts? Contributions? Articles/Videos on the matter? I'm interested to see what others have to say, from any point of view possible. I don't really take a definite side on this, I'm more interested in seeing both, and any evidence either side has to offer. I'm open to altering anything I don't know, since this is not a 100% thought in my mind, I do not know it, thus I'm open to bend either way, with proper persuasion.

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ergo freewill is irrelevant

I think this is probably how I fall on this topic as well.
Definitions of will taken form dictionary.com.

"1. the faculty of conscious and especially of deliberate action; the power of control the mind has over its own actions: the freedom of the will.
2. power of choosing one's own actions: to have a strong or a weak will.
3. the act or process of using or asserting one's choice; volition: My hands are obedient to my will.
4. wish or desire: to submit against one's will.
5. purpose or determination, often hearty or stubborn determination; willfulness: to have the will to succeed.
6. the wish or purpose as carried out, or to be carried out: to work one's will.
7. disposition, whether good or ill, toward another."

The way I see it, will based on its definition, isn't necessarily determinate or not. It simply means that it was that which you wished to do, and took upon yourself, whether or not that was based wholly upon physical processes or not, and that is why the phrase "free will" was coined.

Definitions of free will taken form dictionary.com

"1. free and independent choice; voluntary decision: You took on the responsibility of your own free will.
2. Philosophy. the doctrine that the conduct of human beings expresses personal choice and is not simply determined by physical or divine forces."

Free will, I do not believe exists.
There is a necessary distinction required here. I (an organism) have subjective experience which include a Theory of Mind, an expectation that some other agents in my environment have minds with subjective experience. It is a useful simplification to act "as if" other human agents shared similar subjective experience (i.e. they were not, in fact zombies and empty on the inside).

My subjective experience includes a belief that my mind/body is a vastly complex collection of machinery for decision making based on memory, current sensation and predictive capacity about "what happens next". No doubt as you state this seems deterministic to the locus of all this activity -- that is "me, myself and I".

But this complex system is incredibly sensitive to initial conditions. Even if "I" am predictable (to myself) "I" find my "Theory of Mind" constantly fooled by other agents. This seems deterministic only in the narrow sense of determinism. In the broader sense of determinism -- knowing one state of a system I can both predict future states and know all previous states -- I would pick mostly indeterminstic for myself.

But in any case no one else can but "me" is capable of controlling my mind/body -- so my fist must never touch your nose or I will suffer the consequence. Determinism notwithstanding.

From this, my locus of control (me/myself and I) is not free to choose what happens next. But my mind/body can move about within my environment under my own power within limits of physical laws and cultural restrictions so I have "useful freedom" without free will.

That's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

PS - evolution is NOT RANDOM. Genetic drift is constrained by well ordered moves in design space. Natural selection acts on these moves in design space to produce new phenotypes and so on.
the choice is a choice only until the choice has been choosen and we still have the choice to change our minds and do so everyday of my life anyway.

once the final choice is taken and the brain sets it in motion. Only at that point its is predetermind and we sometimes know instantly that choice is wrong and set fixing or repairing the damage done, if possible.

I was just going to reply with the word, bollocks, but then thought better of it. I await the intellectual talent of think atheist to show me any errors in my wee pot fulled scatty brain.

dont talk man, ffs, PUFF


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