A Conversation for The Problem of Free Will

There is no free will

Post 1


Free will is not likely to exist, everything is a reaction that has a cause. Nothing is left up to chance. Everythong that anyone does comes from a combination of everything that has ever happened to that person before. In short anything we do is the only thing we do.

There is no free will

Post 2

Noggin the Nog

The meaning of a word is its use in the language.

People use the term freewill, and there is pretty good agreement (ie a fairly clear set of implicit rules) as to when its use is appropriate and when it is not.

So what is the use of the word freewill? What does it actually mean?


There is no free will

Post 3


I had no idea that freewill was one word but to me it means being able to do what ever you want. I dont think we have this because we can only do what we do, it is a little confusing but if you think about it it might have a chance of making sense

There is no free will

Post 4

If the universe is infinite, then im "a" center, 21+4^1+8+9=42

hey, i know im a few months late, but free will means that the future is not set and that we make it up as we go along, i dont think this is true, nog i was hoping to see you in the thread i just started about free will at http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/classic/F19585?thread=297601&post=3781969#p3781969

There is no free will

Post 5


if you hurry you may still be able to discuss the topic in what is the meaning of life.

There is no free will

Post 6

If the universe is infinite, then im "a" center, 21+4^1+8+9=42

been there, might go back another time

There is no free will

Post 7

AK - fancy that!

My "definition" of free will.
First of all, if nothing in the universe had free will, then the whole course of history till the end of time or the gib gnab (opposite of big bang) or whatever, would be predetermined at the big bang. You could find out everything by interpreting the starting energy and matter, because the everything would follow physics, including all "conscious" choices. No matter how many times you "run" it you'll get the same outcome.

Now, what we consider free will is supposed to be making decisions. But, if all our decisions were based on neurons and chemicals in our minds doing what they do, and if the laws of physics applied to what those things in our minds do (probably true...), then all "free will" is actually the outcome of physics, and is therefore not "free" will at all. If this is true, then all thought is based off previous thoughts, which in turn are based off how we are created and our enviroment, which are base on other more things... human history, the creation of earth, of stars, which leads back to the big bang. Therefore, human thoughts are entirely b sed on the starting conditions in the universe. smiley - smiley

Unless, of course, there's something else in the universe that's completely random...

There is no free will

Post 8


The possibility of randomness or indeterminism in the universe does not allow in any way for there being ultimate free-will. Indeterminate things would be occurrences without a cause and therefore anything that came under this category one would not be responsible for, such as thoughts, decisions etc..

However the fact that one does not believe in free will does not really affect the way we live. Our psychology causes us to feel that we are responsible for who we are and the decisions we make, even though who we are is the outcome of all that has gone before. Its probably not a good idea to try to alter this view of things that goes with self-consciousness.


There is no free will

Post 9


Just thought that I should point out that each of you responders could have read the piece, or skipped it; and, having read it, could comment or not.smiley - ok

The very fact, that you read the entry and responded, shows you exercising your free will. Of course, non-responders also exercised their free will, but won't likely read this note.smiley - biggrin

Frankly, that you have the option to believe in free will (or, disbelieve), is only an option of free will.

[And, free will is not 'being able to do anything you want', but being able to make choices between alternatives; such as whether to skip breakfast or be late to work. Bye, bye!]

smiley - towel

There is no free will

Post 10


In our universe there are two types of non-existence; contingent non-existence (i.e. something that does not exist but could exist if things were different, e.g. purple- and orange-striped elephants) and non-contingent non-existence (i.e. things that simply by defintion could not exist, e.g. a perfect sphere with four corners, or a man who was his own mother). Free will does not exist and what's more its non-existence is of the second type. It belongs in the realm of non-contingent non-existence; there is no possible world in which it could exist:

Here's the argument that proves why:

Premise 1: At least some things are determined by previous events (e.g. spilt milk happens because someone knocked the bottle/glass over because they went to the fridge because they were thirsty etc., etc.,).

Premise 2: Perhaps all things are determined by previous events.

Premise 3: But perhaps somethings are not caused by any previous events, they just happen, uncaused by anything.

Premise 4: If everything is caused by a previous event that chain of events must esxtend back to the dawn of time so obviously you had no control over it.

Premise 5: If somethings just happened, uncaused, somewhere along the way to interrupt this chain of events, you had no control over it.

Premise 6: In any event you have no control over anything.

Conclusion: Therefore you have no free will.

Having the illusion that we influence events is obviously not the same as actually influencing events.

One last thing; if the world is entirely deterministic (that is, every event was caused by previous events back along a very long chain right to the start of the universe) then from the moment time started there has only been one possible universe and this is it. I had no choice but to type this e-mail and you had no choice but to read it; it was all determined at the split second the universe started.

There is no free will

Post 11

If the universe is infinite, then im "a" center, 21+4^1+8+9=42

i will deffintly agree with most what was said in there, i know from expiernce that things happen because of something else, and everything always seems to happen for a posstive reason, i tell u an example:

2 people i know started dating, he dumped her, and she was upset, this was te time me and her became friends (only because he dumped her) and then he asked her out again, me and her are best friends now and they are in a very happy relationship.

if i could remember everthing from the past i would be able to make more comparasons. but everthing happens for a reason, and evething works way to perfectly for it to all be coincidence, i gtg ill continue later

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