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#275378 - 10/04/07 11:38 PM Re: If you had free will... [Re: Mr. Obsidian]
Poetaster Offline
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Registered: 01/20/06
Posts: 2334
Loc: East Coast, USA.
The lancet fluke parasite invades the brain of an ant, commanding it to climb blades of grass doggedly, for no apparent reason, when that directly pits the ants survival against the parasites need to reproduce within the stomach of grazing animals. The parasite wins.

I'd argue that sicknesses and even ideas can act like a parasite, corrupting data and causing malfunctions.

When sufficiently corrupted, all bets are off.
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"People who harbor strong convictions without evidence belong at the margins of our societies, not in our halls of power. The only thing we should respect in a person’s faith is his desire for a better life in this world; we need never have respected his certainty that one awaits him in the next."

- Sam Harris





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#275379 - 10/04/07 11:39 PM Re: If you had free will... [Re: Mr. Obsidian]
Hagen von Tronje Offline

CoS Priest

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 10133
Suicide is no more free will than your computer's hard drive crashing is free will.
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"The devil I'll bring you," answered Hagen. "I have enough to carry with my shield and breastplate; my helm is bright, the sword is in my hand, therefore I bring you naught."

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#275380 - 10/04/07 11:39 PM Re: If you had free will... [Re: Poetaster]
Discipline Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 6796
Loc: Forever West
I like this response.
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"I've learned . . . that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes." ~Andy Rooney

"At last I shall have time to devote myself seriously and freely to the destruction of all my former opinions." ~Descartes

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.” ~Richard Feynman

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#275381 - 10/04/07 11:41 PM Re: If you had free will... [Re: Discipline]
Hagen von Tronje Offline

CoS Priest

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 10133
Ironically enough, I made this thread with the prediction that I'd mostly get quick shrug-offs from the majority of respondents, because they prefer peace of mind - and hence I expected little social value for me. However, I get the amusement of watching an experiment play itself.

I can be a bastard like that.
_________________________
"The devil I'll bring you," answered Hagen. "I have enough to carry with my shield and breastplate; my helm is bright, the sword is in my hand, therefore I bring you naught."

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#275383 - 10/04/07 11:45 PM Re: If you had free will... [Re: Hagen von Tronje]
Discipline Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 6796
Loc: Forever West
Being a bastard is fun.
_________________________
"I've learned . . . that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes." ~Andy Rooney

"At last I shall have time to devote myself seriously and freely to the destruction of all my former opinions." ~Descartes

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.” ~Richard Feynman

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#275384 - 10/04/07 11:49 PM Re: If you had free will... [Re: Hagen von Tronje]
RandomStranger Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 03/09/05
Posts: 2770
Loc: Here.
This is an interesting question.

By freedom, I'd want to know what exactly I'd be free from. Would I miss it or would I start with the assumption that I never knew I wasn't free?
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#275387 - 10/04/07 11:58 PM Re: If you had free will... [Re: RandomStranger]
VictorWolf Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 08/01/07
Posts: 237
Perhaps I'd create my own universe. Re-enact the Bible, create a race of beings, and play with their heads.

It sort of depends on what people mean by "Will" to then determine what a "Free Will" Would entail.
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"It's pretty fun, doing the impossible." -Walt Disney

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#275392 - 10/05/07 12:29 AM Re: If you had free will... [Re: Hagen von Tronje]
reprobate Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 7140
Loc: Canada
I don't like overloading serviceable concepts with metaphysical baggage.

My will is "free" in a substantial sense: I can make choices over meaningful ranges of options. That's all the freedom we need to talk about.

I don't view "free will" as requiring uncaused will. So I don't see there being an unresolvable conflict between having free will, and thoroughgoing causality.

There's an interesting and difficult philosophical problem here. But BBS forums are rarely a good place to pursue philosophical problems.
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#275401 - 10/05/07 01:00 AM It depends... [Re: Hagen von Tronje]
Powaqqatsi Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 396
Loc: Hungary
According to the Christians, we already have free will, although it is not very clear to me what do you or the Christians mean by it.

As I see it, the "will" is the ability to set (and pursue) goals, and maybe the exerted persistence in achieving them is also a part of it.

So it would be an act of exercising my free will to decide that I want to enjoy my life to the fullest.

If I would decide to heal all the tiny imperfections of my body that may causing me some difficulties enjoying my conscious existence, it also would be an act of will, though it would require me some other actions like seeing a doctor to heal my flu, or to treat my eyes with laser surgery to correct my nearsightedness.

There are limits in this Earth, and although I can decide that it is my will to fly without wings or machines, it is still only a daydream, a game of imagination, without any real possibility to achieve this goal in the near future.

So exactly how free is the will we are talking about?

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#275403 - 10/05/07 01:03 AM Re: If you had free will... [Re: reprobate]
Sigurthr Offline

CoS Member

Registered: 06/27/07
Posts: 184
Loc: U.P. of MI, USA
If I had free will I'd market it and sell it to the highest bidder.

Joking aside, I think we do have free will, and for the most part simply do not act upon it, often wisely, as it is often counterproductive and self destructive to act solely on free will. Also, in a society with complete dominance of free will there is no order.

One CAN act completely free of the biological will, but doing so usually results in death. You can choose to stop eating, drinking, breathing, and so on, but at your own risk.

The paradox lies in the fact that like it or not we are all biological robots and to deny, ignore, or go against biologically programmed parameters and functions only serves to reduce pleasure, efficiency, productivity, longevity, and usefulness of said being. Sometimes to do so in one aspect may improve quality of life, many times it will not.

The argument of free will is often tied in with the purpose of life, another paradoxical quandary. There is the argument of "if we do not have free will than we must have an ultimate purpose" which some find comforting and others do not. I simply do not care if we have a "purpose" or not, I know my purpose. I see it as this: The purpose of My life is to enjoy everything I can for as long as I can. As for a grand scheme of things; the end purpose of life is to itself end. Free will is what it is and whether I choose to take advantage of it or not depends on whether it lends to or detracts from my personal purpose.

Free will is a tool and nothing more, many see it as an end all and be all because they cannot accept the fact that their life has no ultimate purpose nor the fact that they are nothing more than a aptly coined "flesh-bot". The appearance that free will permeates everything and balances everything is nothing more than an illusion, one that I am simply not looking at.


Edited by Romenadan (10/05/07 01:27 AM)
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"After an inferior man has been taught a doctrine of superiority he will remain as inferior as he was before his lesson. He will merely assume himself to be superior, and attempt to employ his recently learned tactics against his own kind, whom he will then consider his inferiors. With each inferior man enjoying what he considers his unique role, the entire bunch will be reduced to a pack of strutting, foppish, self-centered monkeys gamboling about on an island of ignorance. There they will play their games under the supervision of their keeper, who was and will always be a superior man."
-Magus Anton Szandor LaVey (The Devil's Notebook, "Diabolica")

Undefiled Wisdom
**Formerly known as "Romenadan"**

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#275414 - 10/05/07 01:53 AM Re: If you had free will... [Re: Mr. Obsidian]
DataLore Offline


Registered: 11/22/05
Posts: 441
Loc: Holodeck 3
First one must research the mechanisms of suicide.
Mental illness is the main precursor to suicide; it can be caused by chemical/substance abuse, malnutrition, inhospitable environment, disease, injury, pain, and other changing factors which rewire the brain to make that decision.

I am in agreement to the concept that there is no free will, from my judgment based on observing the "tit for tat" experiment model. As complex biological processors and software that are constantly being updated by a complex environment in motion(being updated), we have no free will over our decisions just like a program must operate according to its written code.

Though the brain's wiring is complex, it will produce the same "output" until it's neuron connections are changed by an update from the environment or the memory center.

Each decision that a human makes will result from given (at that moment in time) variables of the environment and physiological connections in the brain.

On some side humor: Christians preach "free will" but also that god has a plan for them. How is that for short circuiting the brain.




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#275415 - 10/05/07 02:01 AM Re: If you had free will... [Re: Sigurthr]
Max Faust Offline
Banned

Registered: 09/10/07
Posts: 419
Loc: Ultima Thule
 Originally Posted By: Romenadan
If I had free will I'd market it and sell it to the highest bidder.


Hey that was supposed to be MY response!

But I am not joking.

Good thing then, that I don't have a "free will", never had one, and never will. It is but an illusion created for the reflected self and its need for feeling important. The "choices" we think that we've got have very little significance on a biological level.

It is absurd really. To me, the concept "free will" sounds as preposterous as a "non material concrete building" (purely an imaginative thing), because all "will" implies "purpose" and thus a free will on a graded scale of existence, denominated by the increasing degree of "freedom", will be a superconducting phenomenon, approaching the absolute zero sum of predetermined purpose. Freedom and will are annihilative opposites.

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#275417 - 10/05/07 02:24 AM Re: If you had free will... [Re: Hagen von Tronje]
Drake_Bamboozle Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 06/25/02
Posts: 10574
Loc: England
>> free will is not only false, but impossible. <<

What about my choice to respond to this thread or not?

The concept of free will is much more simple than is being postulated in this thread.
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#275419 - 10/05/07 02:40 AM Re: If you had free will... [Re: Hagen von Tronje]
Babydoll Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 11/03/06
Posts: 863
Loc: Australia
 Quote:
if you weren't busy obeying biology all day, what would you be doing, anyway?


I'd definately cut out sleep (how much time would you gain?!). I love sleep now, but that's only because my body gets tired.

I'd make the state of my body independant of the food and drink I consume, so I'd drink and eat only what I liked and when I felt like it.

I would cut out the need to eliminate too, it's boring.

Basically I wouldn't mind it if my body was completely maintenence free... like a god I wouldn't even age (being a 'flesh-bot' is do realise this is not really possible).

This would leave so much more time for playing my instrument, painting, reading, travelling, playing sport, hanging with my pets, doing all the things I love for a greater percentage of my life.

Free will is an odd thing... I don't really know how I would define it even (it's simple, yet complicated..) Really I am already free to do anything that's within the limitations of an average female human body... I guess I'll still have to pee then \:\/


Edited by 2faced_babydoll (10/05/07 03:07 AM)
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#275423 - 10/05/07 04:01 AM Re: If you had free will... [Re: Hagen von Tronje]
Wile_E_Quixote Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 03/14/02
Posts: 2493
If I had free will then I'd use lesser magic to make sure I got into heaven. As much as the iconography of hell is fun, burning in a lake of fire for all eternity just isn't my style.

"Free will" implies yet another childish philosophical dualism of the sort that spiritual types like to wet themselves over. I'll pass on the determinism versus indeterminism debate and take the third side.

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