Thursday, April 30, 2009

Free Will?


as discussion on Jason's Post: Mistakes and Evil

“I tend to think free will is an absolute truth” SVS

i think i tend to agree… however, our choices are restricted, both consciously (i.e., by not doing things that are societally unacceptable but psychologically we could) and subconsciously, through psychological conditioning and upbringing, as well as cultural pressure, instinctive pressure, etc.

All that said, determinism’s thesis isn’t empirically demonstrable (or at least, it’s extremely difficult to demonstrate it), so I personally prefer to think of our ability to make decisions as heavily constrained, but still nominally free (i.e., not determined in a deterministic way, meaning, one could make a choice other than the one they made in a particular set of circumstances). to make things perfectly clear, humans are rather unpredictable in any given circumstance

“evil is from the heart of humanity” SVS

and the question then becomes how did it get there? i can’t believe in orignal sin… my take is more Eastern Orthodox that we are born into a world where sin is already present.. plus our evolutionary nature has a build in self-preservation response. i’ll have to post this on my blog as it’s something i’ve been working on in the past few weeks in my doctrine class… pluses and minuses of the doctrine of original sin, who was right Augustine or Palagian? such like things… these are the things one does while waiting on a child to be born

“Free will………. Bah Humbug… So rather than me having my own free will, I like to think its a collect will that determines our outcomes” T4T

and yet we humans can really chuck off all of these notions and run nakkid into the forest.. something completely unexpected and nonpredetermined. or maybe it was. causality is a messy, messy thing. chicken or the egg? largely we’ll find it’s the common ancestor!

but i like the idea of a collective will. we have that! sometimes it’s good “all men are created equal… life, liberty, pursuit of happiness” and all that jazz and sometimes it’s bad “jim crow and segregation.” i think if we throw in some divine will and try to follow that (namely we’re all connected and must live in harmony with our differences!) we’ll be in a better state.. yet we are still free within limitations. and sometimes even within the limitations a truly creative person can come up with new ways of continue’n.

as Erasmus of Rotterdamn stated ": The Bible is filled with God’s demands and there is an implied assumption that human will can choose for or against God. If there is an ought from God there must be a can from humans." (On The Freedom of the Will)

9 comments:

Tit for Tat said...

If you were to look upon humans as "One body" then maybe we have a specific purpose or function to help maintain the overall health of the body. The challenge is finding out what that is and remembering that if you are not doing what you were made to do, you actually cause a malfunction to the overall system. Fortunately we have eternity to work that out. ;)

societyvs said...

Free will and determinism - I am free will all the way baby - party time - excellent - wait was that determined as my answer? Sh*t!

I like the collective will idea - fits with my atonement idea - or should anyways (and it's not my idea - it's Judaic in it formation)...no props for me - sh*t!

But we are bound to one another and the one's who cannot see this are the same ones that ruin the societies we partake in. If I know my actions can have an adverse or positive effect on you - then I should be very responsible & caring with that. We all can make mistakes in this - just that the huge ones have ripple effects that shake sh*t up for a lot of people.

For the determinists - if I was going to say a swear what would it be based on the paragraphs I gave?










motherf*cker

Paul Maurice Martin said...

"One could make a choice other than the one they made in a particular set of circumstances."

Right - seems to me that would be free will.

I think the reason the debate has gone on thousands of years is because the universe is a one-way time machine. Nobody gets to go back in time for a do-over to see learn if really they could have done any different.

So I can't see my way clear to strongly believing or disbelieving in free will. I guess I tend to think we do have some degree of freedom, but that's because it seems to feel that way. But the feeling of having choices isn't proof...

Luke said...

Paul, welcome to the blog, thanks for checking out the site.

in an infinite universe and a present and active Creator, i really can't rule out predestination or freewill. i would air on the side of freewill, that we make our choices because that's how it seems to us and perception is largely reality in the psychological circles.

but that pesky hindsight is 20/20 and we can see how we were destined to make certian choices... or at least be able to track the path of our freedom to a given end.

so it goes. ;-)

Sally said...

Societyvs
"Free will and determinism - I am free will all the way baby - party time - excellent - wait was that determined as my answer? Sh*t!"
LOL....TOO FUNNY!

Luke
"in an infinite universe and a present and active Creator, i really can't rule out predestination or freewill. i would air on the side of freewill, that we make our choices because that's how it seems to us and perception is largely reality in the psychological circles."
I err on the side of free will too! Oh wait, you knew I was going to say that...my thought is, if we look at things from God's perspective (if that is even possible) how would it be to create human beings and then assign them a life? If God wants a relationship with us but that relationship is predestined by God then how satisfying or real is the relationship?

mac said...

If your god is all-knowing,(knows all that will and all that has happened) Where is free will?

If we are predestined, how is it OUR choice?

Sally said...

mac - Are you equating "knowing" and "affecting"? Knowledge of an occurance and action regarding it...Are they the same?

Luke said...

"If your god is all-knowing" -Mac

i am unable to say what God knows or doesn't know. the only thing i can say is that i'm sure God knows more than i do.

i would think God takes the stance much like Paul does when he says "all things are free but not all things are prudent."

i'd view God more as a guide than a puppet master. like Sally asked, what kind of relationship would it be if God knew everything that was going to happen in it; how fulfilling would that be?

Yael said...

Talmud teaches, "Everything is foreseen; yet free will is given" - Pirkei Avot 3:15

Which interpreted means, "Hell if we know!"