| Posted on July 9, 2012, 2:52 p.m.
So, because I'm completely ignorant about all things free will, I'd like to observe some of you more educated fellows debate about free will, and maybe I'd learn a bit about it in the process.
I suppose this question would be better suited to the philosophy board, but here goes:
Do we have it or not?
What does it mean for us?
What does it mean for morality?
Sai La Vie - EricDent1 trying to type "C'est la vie"
| Posted on July 9, 2012, 3:13 p.m.
To steal an ironic line from Christopher Hitchens: yes we have free will because we don't have a choice.
I don't think it necessarily means anything for us. Unless you have some sort of strict fatalistic view of the world, all free will entails is our ability to choose and affect outcomes. I don't think it has to be any more complicated or inflated than that, as so often discussion of free will tends to become.
As for morality, what kind of answer are you looking for? What does free will mean for morality? Well, it means that we can choose to act in a manner congruent with whatever moral standards we hold, or we can act against those principles. Does this mean I think morality is subjective? To an extent, yes. There are certain traits of our species that compel us to cooperate and labor towards mutual ambitions, and there are other customs we absorb from our own society or culture.
Our mystical skills cannot be taught to outsiders.
| Posted on July 9, 2012, 3:20 p.m.
For my two cents, I don't know whether or not we have it, but my answer for the other two questions is "not much".
To expand, even if we don't have free will, it feels like we do. Choice might be an illusion, but it's a damn fine one, and good enough for everyday use, so to speak.
Morality is a little more complicated, but the main thrust of it is that without free will, morality may not even exist in any meaningful way, but that doesn't matter because it appears we're constrained to act as if it does.
A completely deterministic system is a little problematic for most forms of Christianity not only in them being wrong in saying we have it, but if we lack it that puts the guilt for every evil action squarely on God, because he's the only active agent in the system, and the only one who could've made things happen any differently.
The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication. -- Philip K. Dick
| Posted on July 9, 2012, 3:24 p.m.
As for morality, what kind of answer are you looking for?
Nothing in particular. I'm just here to learn.
Sai La Vie
- EricDent1 trying to type "C'est la vie"
| Posted on July 9, 2012, 3:29 p.m.
Since God is omnipotent, he knows the future by default. There is no "true" free will, but we as humans will observe it as free will because we do not know the future. It is an illusion.
"The good thing about science is that it's true whether you believe in it or not"
-Neil deGrasse Tyson