Free Will

Discussion in 'Philosophy, Religion and Spirituality' started by Morris, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. Morris

    Morris Premium Member

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    Pondering the question, do you have free will? The definition that I relate to when thinking about this subject and you may have a different definition.

    1.the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion.

    Thoughts? I don't believe a person who lives in servitude has free will. Servitude can be as extreme as enslavement to the simple obligations in your life. By this definition, if you believe in fate or divine intervention (depending on what fate means to you) then you can't act without constraints.
     
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  2. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    So, the moment one freely takes upon one's self an obligation, one is no longer able to exercise one's free will?

    (great topic Bro.!)
     
  3. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    My obligations to my family, country, Deity, or fraternity do not remove my free will, they keep it within due bounds.
     
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  4. Morris

    Morris Premium Member

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    Somewhat of a play on words but keeping it in due bounds is acting with constraint, which (according to my definition atleast) is against having free will.

    Please understand anyone reading that I don't have a lot of emotion invested in this. It's simply a topic I've explored in the past. I also believe in fate which renders me powerless to free will.
     
  5. Morris

    Morris Premium Member

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    Solely looking at the below definition I think I would agree to what you've stated but I don't know which definition is more correct. I just know I've sort of leaned towards my original definition.
    Function: noun
    Date: 13th century
    1 : voluntary choice or decision <I do this of my own free will> 2 : freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention
     
  6. jjjjjggggg

    jjjjjggggg Premium Member

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    Careful, next thing you know we'll have a philosophical schism and begin a sect of Calvanistic Freemasons. ;-)
     
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  7. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    You are obligated by choice, one made by free will. That bind exists by choice. That choice can change at any time.
     
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  8. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    One could define "free will" so rigidly that only omnipotence qualifies as "free will". I would say that even the lowest status slave still has free will, although exercising that free will could likely have unpleasant consequences.
     
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  9. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    If this is how you choose to define free will then I agree with you, nobody has that except maybe God.

    I have a personal motto which bears on this question. It is: "Most people are not in control of their actions". I believe this motto to be true of most people. How then can I believe in Free Will? It is simple and is based on the rule of personal responsibility. My rule of personal responsibility goes like this: "I am responsible for everything I do whether I think I am or not". Sometimes my actions are based on fears or habits that are buried in my subconscious, outside of my awareness. Sometimes they are based on ignorance or misunderstanding. This does not absolve me of personal responsibility.

    My own personal viewpoint centers on the answer to the question, Free Will to what? I believe that the answer is Free Will to choose. In every situation I choose. Do people, places, things, and ideas influence my choices? Of course! Advertising is multi-trillion dollar business dedicated solely to influencing choice. Politicians, churches, newscasters, con-men and pitch-men, our spouses, parents, and children, basically everyone we know wants to influence our choices.

    How then can I believe in free will when I am under the crushing weight of all these influences? Simply by refusing to surrender my personal responsibility for my choices.

    I guess that I see several issues in this topic.
    1. Do I make the choice in everything I do? My answer is yes.
    2. Am I able to make the choice free of outside influences? My answer is no.
    3. Do I get to choose the influences which control my choices? My answer is "I am a Freemason".
     
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  10. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    Most of the "crushing weight" you describe disappears when you turn off the TV. Sure, there are still people wanting you to choose their way, but you always have an option. There is no magical force stopping you from picking A over B.
     
  11. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    This defines free will as omnipotence and nothing less. Compared to omnipotence, the "freest" man in the world is indistinguishable from the lowest slave.
     
  12. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    A couple of months ago Scientific American magazine has an article about how people behave if they think about free will or predestination. Experimental subjects chose less moral options when told about predestination. Experimental subjects chose more moral options when told about free will. I don't know if the experiment counts as experimental psychology or experimental philosophy, but I'll go with the result - Believe in free will. Act like you have free will. Because that produces the better results.
     
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  13. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    It's a rational choice. If you have no choice and no will, there is no point in exerting that will.
     
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  14. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    It is interesting that you mention television. I gave up watching most commercial television five years ago. The only television with commercials that I watch today is live sports and the news. And as for magical forces, it is my understanding that they do not exist. In my experience when people refer to magical forces they are referring to natural forces that they do not understand. It is lack of understanding, or lack of knowledge, that makes forces seem magical.
     
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  15. BroBook

    BroBook Premium Member

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    I hear what you saying "but" you do have the right to do the wrong thing, as far as fate is concerned the only thing that can not be changed is the past, and I would contradict my self almost but I will finish reading the other replies!!!
     
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  16. BroBook

    BroBook Premium Member

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    That's really the idea of agreeing to to disagree or figure a way to get those who can best work and/or agree to meet each other.
     
  17. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    So, no matter what you "choose" to do tomorrow morning, it was "fated" to happen? If you go to work, if you don't go to work? It was never your choice? I can't live that way.
    I can choose to follow my obligations, and obey the laws of my town/state/country, and believe it's the best choice, or I can ignore all that and possibly pay the price.
    Do obligations constrain my free will? Yes, but only to the point that I allow them. I'm not a complete anarchist... this week.
     
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  18. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    LOL! Good one! Blaming free will upon having no choice but to have it! AWESOME!
     
  19. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    Without free will there is no moral responsibility.
     
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  20. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Let's everyone gather at the local lock up, make placards and start a chant -

    They jailed Will! Free Will! Free Will!

    They'll have no idea what's going on but we might go viral on utube.

    They jailed Thoth. Free Thoth! Free Thoth! (grumble spelling correction grumble ...) ;^)
     

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