Are you an atheist who belives in freewill. Or are you long past believing in the concept of freewill? I cannot imagine being a non-theist and still believing in freewill so I am curious how you feel about the concept.

Views: 131

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Yes.  The decision to flip the coin and the decision to abide by the coin toss are both yours.  Even if the result is heads, you are still free to ignore the result and do B.  Both decisions are the product of your will, and in this case your will is not impeded by anything save for your own nature.

 

I say 'save for your own nature' because it relates to the topic at hand, but really, it's a superfluous statement.

No. A very, very complicated set of physical states produced in you the "decision" to flip the coin. Laws of physics controlled in a nearly-impossible-to-predict but still totally deterministic way whether the coin turned heads or tails. This condition set off a number of other conditions in your brain, with neurons firing in precise patterns that result in your decision. This is, essentially, in no way different from simply thinking about the problem and coming to a decision on your own. All the step of flipping a coin does is use a different set of deterministic, physical principles to end up at your decision. Now, maybe the types of conclusions reached when you use your set of conditions called the brain produces results that make more sense to others than when you use the set of conditions called the coin flip, but in the end it's simply atoms and molecules interacting with other atoms and molecules in exact, deterministic, and insanely complicated way.

 

In the end, though, I feel this is moot. The human brain is not in any way set up to interpret or handle this kind of worldview. It's fascinating to ponder but useless in any actual implication. The core concepts of things like "society," "morality," and "justice" are technically incorrect but completely vital for people to be happy and fulfilled, because happiness and fulfillment are simply brain states. 

Decision should not be in quotation marks.  Even under causality, a process occurs that we label as 'choice'.  Is it deterministic?  Yes, but that doesn't diminish or otherwise alter what it means to make a choice.

 

Essentially, certain entities can evaluate conditions and effect a course of action on the basis of that evaluation.  Humans happen to be capable of doing this.  Many people get hung up on the fact that, for whichever choice a person makes, they could have only made that choice and no other (due to causality).  When you stop and think about it, that's rather a silly observation.  It really only states that a thing can choose what it will choose and cannot choose what it will not choose.  What's the point of such tautology?

 

  • Ask a human to make a decision between vanilla or chocolate ice cream.  That human will evaluate the available options and act according to that evaluation. There is an elaborate process that occurs.
  • Now ask a rock to choose between vanilla and chocolate ice cream.  Nothing will happen.  Why?  Because a rock is not capable of making evaluations or effecting actions.

 

In both scenarios, causality is at play.  Both end results are entirely predictable with sufficient data and understanding of the mechanisms at work.  That doesn't mean that the same mechanisms are at work in both scenarios.  A unique mechanism at play in the first scenario was choice.  It's an important distinction.  Understanding that choice actually exists and understanding how it works brings you closer to understanding causality, not further from it.

I don't know, and I don't think it matters really. If I have freewill, I should act based on that fact. If I do not have freewill, my actions are determined by forces beyond my control, so it doesn't matter what I try to do.

 

Basically, by assuming I have freewill, I can't go wrong, because if I am wrong, there isn't a damn thing I could do about it anyway.

That is very funny, made me laugh out loud.

 

But if there is no free will it would mean we need to look at criminal behavior differently among of myriad of things. And living life understanding you have no freewill is as freeing as atheism was to me. Both are quite beautiful.

Does it matter whether a criminal chooses to commit crime, or is impelled to commit crime?  It is the crime that society cannot accept, in either case, the source must be removed from society.

If he has no free will, he is not committing anything. He is being forced by the nature of the universe to do it.

 

I don't see how punishing people for actions beyond their control makes any sense.

Furthermore, even though the criminal had no freewill as to whether or not they committed  the crime, isn't it also true by this logic that the laws established by society also resulted from lack of freewill and thus we can't do anything but punish the criminal?
He didn't say anything about punishing people for actions beyond their control.

Doctor Reality said, "But if there is no free will it would mean we need to look at criminal behavior differently"

 

Doug Reardon said, "Does it matter whether a criminal chooses to commit crime, or is impelled to commit crime?  It is the crime that society cannot accept, in either case, the source must be removed from society."

 

Nathan Palo said, "I don't see how punishing people for actions beyond their control makes any sense."

If you notice the alignment of the indent arrows, I was responding to Nathan, not you.  'He' was in reference to Doug.  Just thought I should clear that up.
oops! sry :D

RSS

  

Blog Posts

People

Posted by ɐuɐz ǝllǝıuɐp on July 28, 2014 at 10:27pm 4 Comments

Services we love

We are in love with our Amazon

Book Store!

Gadget Nerd? Check out Giz Gad!

Advertise with ThinkAtheist.com

In need a of a professional web site? Check out the good folks at Clear Space Media

© 2014   Created by Dan.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service