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Case for free will

 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
Total Posts:  4628
Joined  28-05-2009
 
 
 
08 January 2018 18:46
 

As usual, the key to a useful conversation is to be clear on terms and avoid equivocation and double standards.

Do we all agree that we are using the term ‘free will’ to mean a meta physical claim about how human agency relates to natural law? If we mean something else than we are necessarily talking past one another. When I disavow free will I’m specifically denying that people have some special power that allows them to re write the code from which they emerged and in which they operate. I think there is, in fact very good evidence that we do not have and could not have any such power. I think our choices are composed, at the physical level of mechanical processes not under our jurisdiction.

On the other hand, I’m also uncomfortable with casual dismissals of free will that don’t specify. I do think that intention and agency and liberty and the experience of feeling unconstrained are all real and important. I think denials of these things will be harmful to society. I definitely believe in free will as a social, psychological, ethical, legal and aesthetic concept.

 
ubique13
 
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ubique13
Total Posts:  742
Joined  10-03-2017
 
 
 
08 January 2018 18:52
 
Brick Bungalow - 08 January 2018 06:46 PM

As usual, the key to a useful conversation is to be clear on terms and avoid equivocation and double standards.

Do we all agree that we are using the term ‘free will’ to mean a meta physical claim about how human agency relates to natural law? If we mean something else than we are necessarily talking past one another. When I disavow free will I’m specifically denying that people have some special power that allows them to re write the code from which they emerged and in which they operate. I think there is, in fact very good evidence that we do not have and could not have any such power. I think our choices are composed, at the physical level of mechanical processes not under our jurisdiction.

On the other hand, I’m also uncomfortable with casual dismissals of free will that don’t specify. I do think that intention and agency and liberty and the experience of feeling unconstrained are all real and important. I think denials of these things will be harmful to society. I definitely believe in free will as a social, psychological, ethical, legal and aesthetic concept.

The specific reason that I evoked the concept of fate was to shift the parameters of the conversation back to what you expressed, because I agree with the way that you categorize it. I think everyone has the freedom to choose between any variety of “right” or “wrong” decisions that may be possible given the individual context.

 
 
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