Free Will is a Social Construct Based on an Illusion

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Free will:
An oppressive social construct based on an illusion ( it does not exist ) 13%  13%  [ 3 ]
A positive civilising construct based on an illusion ( it does not exist but is useful/a good thing ) 13%  13%  [ 3 ]
A part of us, independent of all cause, determining some/many of our actions 8%  8%  [ 2 ]
Refers to a perceived capacity for non-instinctive behaviour ( unlike other animals) 42%  42%  [ 10 ]
Refers only to our daily/common sense of choosing our actions, nothing more 17%  17%  [ 4 ]
Other/don't know. Please expand in thread. 8%  8%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 24

ouinon
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28 Apr 2008, 3:31 am

Free will is a social construct based on an illusion probably created by language; it is oppressive, and finally destructive of social connection, because if humans have free will there is no need to take care of anyone but oneself.

Understanding on the other hand that one is fully caused, by all the influences of environment, genes, nurture and diet etc, makes clear how much we all depend on each other, to receive the right information/data, the best diet etc, in order to function as well as possible.

Believing that I am "fully caused" is both a much heavier and much lighter burden than free will. Instead of being wholly responsible for me and barely at all for anyone else, I am instead partly responsible for everybody else, and everybody/thing else is responsible for me.

Now I realise this I see how "I" am just a perspective, an observer/view created by my own processes.

And see also that the taboo on being the fruit of ones processes, rather than the master of them, is extraordinarily powerful in our society, to the point that people who present themselves as, or experience themselves as such, are treated as unfit, immature, disordered, and sometimes, ironically, as needing restraint.

This is why finding out about Aspergers, and misogyny/sexism, all "isms", and diet's effect on mental/emotional health/functioning, and methods of childrearing and their effect on development, and genes, and viruses, etc etc etc ... has been so important to so many, because these concepts/discoveries of causes for behaviour challenge the whole edifice of free will.

We are fully caused. We depend entirely on our genes, environment, ( diet, nurture, etc), for our behaviour. I am my brother's keeper. I mustn't "lie"/give false data, because it leads others into error, as what other people tell me ( along with diet, genes, etc) determines what I do.

:study:



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28 Apr 2008, 4:57 am

My view is that free will is a social construct. If our actions aren't determined by nature or nurture, then what are they determined by? Randomness? That doesn't sound much like free will either. Whether the concept of free will is useful or not depends on the situation, I guess.

I don't even think of the self as a single entity, but more like an ecosystem. And that ecosystem isn't constant - it changes over time as its various components adapt to their surroundings. There is no singularity in time or space that you could point to and say "that is me". The ecosystem has fuzzy boundaries beyond what we normally think of as ourselves.

People say one day we're going to become cyborgs, but I think we already are, and have been for as long as mankind has used tools. Cellphones, watches, computers are so ingrained into our lives that you could say they are part of us. I'm so used to looking things up on Google and Wikipedia that I almost think of them as part of my brain. How much different would it be, really, to have an actual brain implant that accesses Google? The only difference would be the interface. When you drive a car, in some sense it becomes an extension of your body. When you're in a crowd, in a sense you become the crowd (well if you're an NT you do...).



Brainsforbreakfast
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28 Apr 2008, 6:49 am

I believe the material universe is wholy causal.
But do to the fact we can't understand every little influence that formed our surroundings and personality.

In that blindspot, there is the illusion of free will. But I'd rather live in a nice illusion then a painfull reality ;)



Sand
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28 Apr 2008, 7:54 am

There is, in the belief in free will, an assumption that the decisions we make from moment to moment are made by weighing two equal possibilities with open minds and total understanding of the consequences. In actuality we each are heavily prejudiced by our previous experiences and inbuilt desires and the belief systems we inhabit. Under those circumstances our decisions not only cannot but should not be totally from a neutral standpoint. If our decisions do, in extremely rare cases, reach a point where the consequences seem totally equal in outcome the usual result is to toss a coin or use some other random method wherein no will is involved except to subject ourselves to randomness which has nothing whatsoever to do with free will.



MissConstrue
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28 Apr 2008, 9:43 am

I just had the freewill to submit vote. :thumleft:

*Sneaks outta thread.*


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monty
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28 Apr 2008, 9:45 am

Free will is over-rated. It exists, but people often act from instinct or other psychological predispositions. Building up the idea of free will makes it easier to blame victims.



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28 Apr 2008, 10:24 am

I don't believe in a libertarian form of free will. I think that causality is better and more fulfilling in terms of understanding human action(I act based upon who I am), responsibility(I do what I am), and justice(I do evil based upon who I am), a free will creates some weird acausality, and it is hard to make sense of that. If it is acausal, then why punish? How do we know who to give responsibility to? And is there a meaningful way to understand human action?



Odin
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28 Apr 2008, 3:28 pm

I get rather annoyed when people bring up quantum mechanics as a way of defending the notion of free will and then start going on a dumb rant about "scientistic, mechanistic worldviews," as if replacing particles and fields with quantum fields that act like both makes the universe somehow not mechanistic). This nonsensical idea seems to be based on the fact that most stuff on quantum mechanics in books for laypeople use an early conception of QM that existed before the development of quantum field theory by Dick Feynman and Julian Schwinger. This early, more particle-centered conception of QM is what gets abused by New Age cranks as well as defenders of free will. The use of QM to defend free will is nothing more then grasping at straws and wishful thinking anyway because quantum indeterminacy still leaves no room for free will.


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monty
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28 Apr 2008, 4:34 pm

Yet another misapplication of quantum physics - strange things happen, but only on very small scales.

IMO, the discipline of psychology is positioned to give the best understanding of the idea of free will.



Taimaat
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28 Apr 2008, 5:41 pm

Free will is very implicit and important in Thelema. The aim is to find your true will, if everything was your true will, then any one thing would be the same as any other thing. You would not prefer one activity over another. Doing what your parents said and going into engineering would feel the same as spending your time and energy on writing. We know this to be true, that one prefers certain things over others.

Furthermore the conditions on the autistic spectrum imply that we can chose to do one thing over another. We chose not to follow the social conventions, because the results do not make us happy. This implies that there is not “one thing” that we could be doing, regardless of a bunch of dogma.


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twoshots
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28 Apr 2008, 10:08 pm

1) Freewill is absolute bull.
2) I regard it as introspectively self-evident that I am in fact a free entity.

I am a man of many contradictions...


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Awesomelyglorious
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28 Apr 2008, 10:12 pm

twoshots wrote:
1) Freewill is absolute bull.
2) I regard it as introspectively self-evident that I am in fact a free entity.

I am a man of many contradictions...

Why is that necessarily contradictory? Your will can be derived from a number of factors, but it is introspectively self-evident that you follow your desires and thus are free.



marshall
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28 Apr 2008, 10:51 pm

I voted for the second to last option. I think we have this false notion ingrained in us that making choices implies a violation of causality. If I look deeply at most of my choices I can see that they do indeed have external causes.

Maybe it isn’t as obvious for seemingly inconsequential choices such as picking a random between 1 and 100. On the other end of the spectrum it’s quite obvious that I don’t have the freedom to hold my breath until I pass out. It’s simply impossible. I’ll always choose to begin breathing again after some time. I remember trying this out as a test of my free will when I was like 12. Go ahead :lol: at me.



Sand
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29 Apr 2008, 3:05 am

The concept of making a decision unimpeded by any influences is contrary to the continuity of process which is characteristic of all action in the universe outside of the random decay of radioactive materials. Human consciousness is as deeply embedded within this system as any other process despite the inner sense that we are independent. We are not and if we were we would soon become subject to destruction for acting irrationally.



Izaak
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29 Apr 2008, 8:28 am

rofl

I find it quite amusing to see you all using your Free Will to deny it's existence...



Sand
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29 Apr 2008, 8:54 am

I find it quite amusing to see a firm but unjustified belief controlling someone who is absolutely sure that they are out of control.