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Free Will

User Thread
 32yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Free Will
Any healthy functioning mind dictates the body's actions based first on needs and then on wants. Needs are a prerequisite to wants. Needs guarantee the survival of the mind, it's Darwinism. Once the needs are fulfilled, the mind will gather a separate set of priorities and beliefs, dictated by the environment, based solely on wants. Every choice a mind encounters will be weighed out according to its current set of priorities and beliefs. If the mind gathers a priority (from the environment) to evaluate other priorities, then it is possible for self-change of the priorities based on reason, logic, temptation, emotion, etc. The best choice regarding the mind's current set of priorities and beliefs will always be made.

If you agreed with this statement then you in turn rejected the idea of free will. Free will cannot exist if a mind can only make one choice, the best choice, regarding its own set of priorities and beliefs. If you disagree please explain why.

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"The truth will set you on fire"
 40yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Azhrei is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
That is of course is a sound argument, however let may ask this. If a person were to drive the same way to work everyday because of the need to get to work as quickly as possible, what happens if after reading this he decides to prove his free will by going a different route? This is of course a desire to prove his free will but I see no need behind the desire.

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"What is true power?"
 32yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Good question. Does the acknowledgment of the illusion of free will in turn provide free will? I think not. If the person who drove to work as quickly as possible read this, and in an attempt to prove free will exists, drove a different, longer route. He didn't prove free will but simply changed his priorities or attempted to defend his beliefs. He went a different route to test the theory given to him by the environment. He changed his actions according to environmental influences. This does not prove free will, but rather enforces the idea.

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"The truth will set you on fire"
 32yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Cynic-Al is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
[quote=ChrisD]If the mind gathers a priority (from the environment) to evaluate other priorities, then it is possible for self-change of the priorities based on reason, logic, temptation, emotion, etc.[/quote]

there is our free will, we make our decisions using a list o priorities, yet as you have stated we can change our priorities with reason. this is our free will, with reasoning we can change the decisions we make and go against our basic wants if we can see something working out better in the long run after another choice.

say i am hungry, i can go to the nearest cheapest place and pick my self up a McMuck happy meal that will fill me up with greasy crud. or i can wait the next 20 minutes till i get home and eat the italian meal i know is being prepared for me at home. its free will, logic vs instinct.

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"So Schrodinger's Cat is not only neither dead nor alive, but might also be sexually aroused by elbows and peanut butter?"
 32yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
"say i am hungry, i can go to the nearest cheapest place and pick my self up a McMuck happy meal that will fill me up with greasy crud. or i can wait the next 20 minutes till i get home and eat the italian meal i know is being prepared for me at home."

That does not prove free will. It simply proves that you prioritize home cooked italian food over McDonald's. In fact, you prioritize home cooked italian food over McDonald's so much that you would resist your hunger for a longer time to recieve it. It's numbers man, the gains of waiting the extra 20 minutes outweighed the losses.

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"The truth will set you on fire"
 32yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Well, free will insinuates that we are all independent of our environment which in all probability is false. Although I believe free will does not exist, I do not find it displeasing in the least. Our brains function in a logical order, essentially, every decision I make will be the best one for me. It's like the work is already done for me and I get to recieve the gift of being a part in the play. I just think... wow! life! When you truly look at life in a completely objective way, it really does take your breath away. Such an experience. It IS the experience.

The only sorrow in life I feel is that one day I must forget all of the friends I have made, all of the joys I remember, all of the sadness I endured. But I do see a solution. If you believe in a form of reincarnation like me then the only way to fix this problem is to mold this world as best we can so that in the next life, whatever life it may be, it will be a place that any life can enjoy.

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"The truth will set you on fire"
 34yrs • M •
nomeaning is new to Captain Cynic and has less than 15 posts. New members have certain restrictions and must fill in CAPTCHAs to use various parts of the site.
Your statement makes quite a lot of sense ChrisD but I was thinking, what about uncertainty? For example recently I was making the decision of whether to return to university or just go to work full time, I have no way of knowing which is going to be the best option there are pros and cons on both sides of the decision but regardless I decided, so maybe we do have freewill for when there is a lack of information from the environment to make the decision.

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"If you canít / wonít change it, accept it."
 42yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Black Gold is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
You can or you cannot control your circumstances... Yet, there is a range of control here...
You can weigh up the options or you have not enough time to do so... and more time gives more experience to your decision...
Logic works in funny ways, you can work out one idea, then another one takes precedence...
Everything seems to work in degrees, and although we can try and depend on sound logic, we still are subject to how well we have experienced the logic (in fully understanding it)...
Even if we were unique enough to have our own 'set of circumstances', we would still be subject to the full understanding of them in order to take advantage of them...
Some decisions are pretty much made for us, by weight of numbers, but then again, this might be the day you decide to shake things up and try another route...
My best guess is there is free will, if you will allow yourself the opportunity, and that is conditional on you having enough time to think about it, which would assume you knew what you were talking about in the first place, and even then, if nothing else distracts you in the mean-time, and even then you would need to be working on an area of experience most profound that you pretty much knew what would happen...
Basically true 'free will' is especially rare and wonderful when you look at it like that, but each moment of 'determined will' would most likely contain flashes of true 'free will' anyway...

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"There is no negative one..."
 37yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that heyjme1 is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
" A man can do what he wants, but not want what he wants. "

Arthur Schopenhauer

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""No words""
 32yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
"You can or you cannot control your circumstances... Yet, there is a range of control here...
You can weigh up the options or you have not enough time to do so... and more time gives more experience to your decision... "

This falls into my theory though... Time might be a high priority for someone but very low for another. Sure on some decisions we may only be able to weigh them out for a limited time, but does that really leave an opening for free will? No. You would simply make the decision by weighing out the two choices out in a rushed about manner. If you have more time can you more carefully calculate each choice? Yes. Time is definately a factor. And not a factor that proves free will.

An example for this would be if you were running from the cops, you have 2 kilos of pure columbian cocaine in your briefcase and you encounter a ledge with a body of water about 30 feet down. Now, if you had enough time wouldn't you run some tests to see how deep the water is, what you have to clear, etc. But the fact is, you are running from the cops so you must make a more rash decision. Time is a greater priority in this scenario and in return causes the individual to weigh out his choices and essentially make his choice very quickly. Jump the ledge and risk hitting shallow water or go to jail?

As for the rest of your post I honestly didn't understand it. I'm questioning as to whether it made any sense at all.

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"The truth will set you on fire"
 32yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
If free will does not exist then should criminals be held accountable for their actions?

Free will is inconsequential for the punishment of criminals. I have devised a definitive answer for the question as to how we should punish criminals in a world without free will. A criminal in a society should only be punished if they acknowledged the law before the crime was commited. This punishes those who take the risk of sacrificing their rights as a citizen for the benefit of prohibited actions and spares those who commit a crime without knowing they committed one. There are numerous ways you could go about assuring that someone fully understands the laws of a society. I won't name any, just be creative.

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"The truth will set you on fire"
 37yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that heyjme1 is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Good in theory Chris. But what happens if a person forgets and commits the crime? How do you tell if someone understands the crime? What happens to those who don't understand the crime? What happens to those who pretend not to understand the law? What happens to foreigners who comit a crime? Do they have to take a test? Unltimately if there is no free will is there a crime??? Think on this last point a little deeper.

Despite all this; its not really a good way of going abput things; I think crime exists in some ways as a good thing for it means some people are pushing beyond the box imposed on them and trying to be sneeky; there is something attractive about this behaviour.

As for free will; I'm sure we could debate all day whether we have it or not. The point is for practical considerations its better to think we have. Becuase then we have comtrol of our actions and we are responsible for them. I've listened to a few people say that we should try and understand everybody has reasons for committing crime and sympathised with their logic and reason. Then I come back and come to my senses. Of course, also, the idea that we have free will acts as a creative tool in society; if we didn't have free will there would be no need for the word creative; and if people didn't believe in creativity I bet you we would see a drop in the number of creative designs. That said there might be some uniquely and rare creative things simply because of the rebellious attitude in some that there does exist creativity.

Amyway, all things considered, I'm siding with that we have free will; be it illusionary or not.


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""No words""
 32yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Geez, I said be creative. There are a number of ways you could prove the acknowledgment of the laws for a person. One way is to have a mandatory american government class in 11th or 12th grade which must be passed and ends with a signed contract which states that the person understands and acknowledges the existence of the laws. Before this document is signed, you would most likely be a minor and therefore only be persecuted as a minor. Perhaps make it mandatory at the age of 18 to sign this document. As for foreigners, why not give anyone trying to enter the country a booklet describing the laws and penalties for breaking them, then require a signed agreement to act accordingly?

Whether free will exists or not, this would at least help the american public to better understand the restraints by which they live. I don't know about you but I certainly wasn't taught in my school about all the laws in the US. The main ones were basically taught by my parents.

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"The truth will set you on fire"
 37yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that heyjme1 is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
lol. Then then lawyers would make less money....It would also mean it wouldn;t just be them who knew how to bend the rules. . .Good idea!

I like the idea of a booklet for foreigners; they would never read much of it; bit that's there fault if they want to comit a crime.

The test ideas good; there's still a problem though; what if you fail? Are you then exempt from law? I think it might be a good idea as a compulsory lesson once a week in a given grade. I'm Britishl but we kind of learn the law at school and at home implicity mostly by getting into trouble or seeing other people get into trouble. 16 years or whatever of life experience teaches you the important laws!

As an interesting side-line, crime suddenly dipped for a period in the 1990s and people couldn't work out why. There were all kinds of theories about laws that were introduced and things that were happening at the time. In fact it turned out one of the biggest infleunec was due to a court case in the 1970 I think around 1975, where a woman won the case for abortion; thus making abortion legal. (The woman won too late so she had the child, and adopted it, later she would renounce abortion and become pro-life). Anyway, the point is crime dropped because the mother's who wanted to abort didn't either adopt or rise the child under stress. A nice little tale,w hcih happens to be relevant.

Anyway, Food for thought.




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""No words""
 32yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
"there's still a problem though; what if you fail? Are you then exempt from law?"

Hmmm.. Make it so if they don't pass then they don't get their diploma. Also, have the class be not much a prerequisite to signing the contract but more like an "I told ya so." kinda thing. Let's say they have to sign the contract when they turn 18 either way. That way if they want to know their country's laws, get their diplomas and be a better prepared citizen, they can do it all by just pausing their douchebaggery (it'll be in Webster's dictionary in 5 years) for an hour a day to pass the damn class.

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"The truth will set you on fire"
Free Will
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