It’s been said but I’ll say it again: freewill

If determinism exists, then the whole of the future must existent somewhere.  Some would argue that the 4th dimension or God holds that knowledge.  I would disagree and say that that knowledge doesn’t exist anywhere or is unlikely to and thus are actions are not determined.  I can never prove the existence of freewill.  Thus I resort to coming up with strong arguments disproving the existence of determinism.

I would further argue that even if God or the 4th dimension or the knowledge of the consequences of our actions did exist, I as a person and we as humankind don’t have access to that knowledge and thus I feel like I have freewill (which for me feels the same as actually having freewill).  Therefore, go freewill!

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3 thoughts on “It’s been said but I’ll say it again: freewill

  1. The concept of determinism, like all other philosophical ideas, is a reflection of one’s search for meaning in order to assist us in how we live our lives. We like the idea of freewill because it allows us to think we can exert some control over our environment. If we gave up idea of freewill, we then renounce all responsibility for our actions. Therefore it is useful, in lieu of not knowing if determinism exists, to think we have freewill – even if we don’t.

    If we knew that determinism existed we would merely become actors in a live movie – just going along for the ride. We would still not know what was going to happen, so life would still be interesting, but your choices would not be yours. This would also create a motivation to discover who or what had predetermined our lives.

    The idea of an ‘future existence’ already present in the furture presents a couple of options:

    1. Determinism: There is no freewill and all seemingly free decisions are not free at all. Whatever you do will lead you to the future which already exists.

    or

    2. Some degree of freewill: Your ‘free’ actions will result in one of many future exsitences. There would have to be more than one – or you would not have freewill. The idea of parallel existences infers that one has a degree of freewill and can therefore affect which future they end up in.

    I would say that each human has freewill to the degree that they are not limited by their conditioning. The more conditioned we are, the less freewill we have. (there is also the idea of our genetic nature and predisposition to certain behaviours. Also our body’s chemical balance will have a impact on how we behave. You could have all the freewill in the world, but if you are perpetually tired, or conversely hyperactive, you may not be able to control your own body. We also have certain human needs, which may override freewill – the need to eat, sleep, philosophise…)

    We are conditioned and domesticated from an early age to think and behave in certain ways. Our ‘lens of perception’ (how each of us interprets or filters stimuli) which results in our experience of reality, begins being formed from day 1 or even before. We are conditioned as a means of control, parents wanting their children to behave in a certain way, just as we might train a dog to be obediant, or how religions use fear to control the actions of its followers (do wrong and go to Hell…). How much freewill was involved on choosing to hike to EBC? Some people’s conditioning would never allow it.

    The more one can get beyond their conditioning, the more freewill they will gain. After doing a 10 day vispassana course, you quickly notice things such as advertising bombarding you, but having an awareness of these things reminds you that you have a choice (seemingly) in how you are conditioned, which allows you do something about it – which is ultimately your freewill.

    (I found writing this response a great chance to procrastinate from studying, but I don’t think I had a choice! Thank you).

    1. I really like the last point about how awareness makes you feel empowered and thus feel like you have freewill despite previous conditioning. Thanks for your thoughts!

  2. An argument for determinism is nature operates under laws and thus everything in nature is predictable. But from my understanding, quantum mechanics suggests there is randomness in nature’s laws. This randomness equates to humans finding the world undeterminable so no one will be able to determine an action with probability 1, just if something is highly probable and very close to 1. Thus humans can’t determine what our actions will be and thus it would seem like our actions are not determined. Of course there could exist some high being with this understanding but Occam’s razor would say the simplest explanation (ie no God/thing/place/it with the knowledge, just humans so actions not determined) is probably the right one.

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