28 August 2008

now my free will is taking the blow

Many scientists and philosophers are convinced that free will doesn’t exist at all. According to these skeptics, everything that happens is determined by what happened before—our actions are inevitable consequences of the events leading up to the action—and this fact makes it impossible for anyone to do anything that is truly free. This kind of anti-free will stance stretches back to 18th century philosophy, but the idea has recently been getting much more exposure through popular science books and magazine articles. Should we worry? If people come to believe that they don’t have free will, what will the consequences be for moral responsibility?
My free will, my poor poor free will, my pride and joy, now they tell me to abandon even this sweet illusion!

7 Comments:

Jeha said...

Don't worry, you still have plenty of free will.

It's just not as "linear" as you think, and formulated in more complex, convoluted manner, involving more events and body sensations than you can consciously be aware of, or that scientists can really measure.

Call it a fractal brain. Simple at the lowest level and easy to figure out, but oh so complex as it combines... Kinda like Lebanon's collective mind, in a way.

Delirious said...

:)

bech said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bech said...

sorry to sound a bit to philosophizing but think about it this way, but what does 'free' or 'will' mean?! Then, depending on the particular understandings you have of these terms, you do or don't have 'free will'. When science tries to study it, it fixes its meaning into a working variable that is testable.

But the whole point about 'free will', or 'belief' or anything that touches upon the very very vague notion of 'value' in human beings is hardly testable if not at all.

So no you do not have free will and yes you do, and actually who cares really. It is like asking if god exists. well, yes and no.

The question in the first place if absurd.

Anonymous said...

Its like the question which comes first the hen or the egg?...by the way, did they find out???

Liliane said...

I like what Bech said "So no you do not have free will and yes you do, and actually who cares really."

So yes, who cares really! I choose to not be bothered by this!

Sophia said...

Moussa,

I have argued with one of my husband collegues this summer about free will for three hours. He is psychiatrist and psychiatrists are deterministic, they don't believe free will exist. I teach moral philosophy and I am also a scientist and I have a look at both scientific and philosophical perspectives on this, and I can tell you that free will exists.
First it depends what you call free will. Usually it is understodd in its absolute sense, making a choice out of nowhere but this doesn't exist as such, of course. When you face a choice between A and B. Suppose that both A and B are precooked for you determined by biological and social factors. First when you make the choice between A and B what is important is not the choice, it is you at this particular moment. And whatever you chose, it will be your own individual choice at this particular moment. Secondly, you may come up with a choice between A and B that you invent for yourself, lets say C, and this nobody can replace you in this choice. So what is important is your individuality when you make a choice, your singularity, and the intimate process by which you decide on this or that choice for yourself.
Moreover, in moral terms, a free will exists whenever you consciously make choices directed at the good, directed at bettering your life on moral grounds.
So yes free will exists and don't believe scientists, they like to scare us.

 

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