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Human choice

Human choice
October 22, 2010, 08:56:52 AM
Nietzsche disagreed with the idea of free-will and put the evidence at a microscopic level, as if to say since all actions have a reaction, then all our actions are predetermined.  I agree with this.

But on free will, I was looking at it another way.  What if all our supposed acts of intelligence are merely the laws of nature in disguise?  For instance, what if all our attempts at business success and buying nice cars were attempts at being territorial and all our attempts to be independent and dress differently than everyone were just courting rituals in disguise, and all of civilization were just a growth of survival instincts gone mad in a fractured and sheltered species?  What if a fish believed that everything it did was it's own decision, even though all it's choices are merely the continuations of what all fish have done for millenia?

Free-will might be an illusion, but is there no truth to it?  I am convinced lately that there is none.

Re: Human choice
October 22, 2010, 09:00:56 AM
Nietzsche disagreed with the idea of free-will and put the evidence at a microscopic level, as if to say since all actions have a reaction, then all our actions are predetermined.  I agree with this.

But on free will, I was looking at it another way.  What is all out supposed acts of intelligence are merely the laws of nature in disguise?  For instance, what if all our attempts at business success and buying nice cars were attempts at being territorial and all our attempts to be independent and dress differently than everyone were just courting rituals in disguise, and all of civilization were just a growth of survival instincts gone mad in a fractured and sheltered species?  What if a fish believed that everything it did was it's own decision, even though all it's choices are merely the continuations of what all fish have done for millenia?

Free-will might be an illusion, but is there no truth to it?  I am convinced lately that there is none.
I would say that all of those societal conventions that you described are the emergent expressions of those conflicting instincts, though they have not necessarily "gone mad".

I couldn't agree with you more; free will is one of the most persistent yet productive illusions that have ever existed.

Re: Human choice
October 22, 2010, 11:01:00 AM
I think of existence as being like a cellular automaton: there are rules, and there are starting conditions.  A result is reached, or infinite recursion is reached, or, perhaps, the rules allow it to continue randomly forever.  Even so, everything that occurs is defined by the rules and the starting conditions.

Re: Human choice
October 22, 2010, 02:00:49 PM
Is the question of free will useful? Is it possible to properly explain what free will is, or test for it scientifically? Is it distinguishable from "random" behaviour?

View things as determined if it motivates you more to look for ways to predict occurences; view things as willed if it motivates you to take some responsibility for your action.

Re: Human choice
October 22, 2010, 04:10:35 PM
I generally ignore the concept until I come to a point of absolute peace, at which point there is simply the fact that occurrences are determined.

Re: Human choice
October 24, 2010, 03:11:37 AM
so is 'will to power' as illusory a concept as 'free will' ?

Re: Human choice
October 24, 2010, 03:19:20 AM
The idea of free will is absurd if one takes it to mean a causal power that is completely independent of other causes and effects.  However, assuming that one acknowledges that the will forms a part of this chain, it still possesses freedom insofar as it is not absolutely limited.

It is impossible to make a choice freely if the chain of cause and effect is somehow broken, because then one could not determine the outcome of one's actions.

Re: Human choice
October 24, 2010, 05:15:13 AM
Could you instance an example of this chain being broken? I cannot quite seize the implication.

Re: Human choice
October 24, 2010, 07:21:33 AM
Action causes effect, which causes actions, which causes effects, ad infinitum.  If you break this chain, then causes do not cause their effects, and effects are not responded to with actions, and the whole thing becomes retarded.  It's impossible, which is perhaps why it's difficult (and definitely why it's stupid) to contemplate it.

Re: Human choice
October 24, 2010, 07:37:40 AM
The conglomerate of action and reaction is then the cause, but I don't see the chain broken.

Re: Human choice
October 24, 2010, 02:51:01 PM
That's because it doesn't happen.  It's an impossibility.

Re: Human choice
October 25, 2010, 12:06:13 AM
Internal will: the element of the action which originates from the agent performing it.

External will: the element of the action which comes about from a causal relation between two agents (if A wills over B, B wills simultaneously over A in equal proportion, just as action=-reaction).

Overall will = internal will + external will.

Re: Human choice
October 25, 2010, 03:00:04 AM
A chinese proverb says that if two men cross the river together, it was determined 500 yrs ago. From that follows our actions are to regulate events far beyond our lifespan. But on the other hand, there's a proverb that says: "If it doesn't rhyme, it ain't true."

Re: Human choice
October 25, 2010, 11:40:03 PM
Don't be silly, God gave mankind free will.