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Thread: Free will. Do we really have it?

  1. #31
    Fenn
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    Quote Originally Posted by CypressDahlia View Post
    I guess it's just a matter of perspective, then. It all comes down to what's more valuable in life. The destination or the journey?
    Yes I think this is a great middle ground to reach for us. If I pan out in the world, I can see how the final outcomes for the majority of people are strikingly similar. But the how, the where, the when, and the why are still up to us, and on the smaller scale of observing individual lives it's pretty clear that we have and make conscious choices that affect us.

  2. #32
    Super Senior Member CypressDahlia's Avatar
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    Yep. But society heavily hints at the fact that we're all aiming for the ultimate goal of "success" and life starts once success is achieved. Everything we do before then is not life, so much as it is preparation for life. So we spend our entire lives in preparation for...life. This video:


  3. #33
    Fenn
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    What a beautiful piece. And it's becoming more and more applicable to everyone's lives every day. I was struck by your response, though, because of the universality with which you were speaking of it. The fact that, regardless of how few in number they may be, there ARE exceptions to this pattern indicates that in fact we do have free will. And, ironically, part of that free will is the choice to use it or not!

    That's why I disagreed with you, because you implied every single person is completely and totally at the will of this society "machine." And we're not.

    And of course we want success, because we want happiness, and success by definition brings happiness! Problem is most people don't decide for themselves what success is, they let society do it for them, hence free will is lost.

  4. #34
    Devilish Member T1B3R1U5's Avatar
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    I'm going to say this and you can berate me later but every single human being has the ability to copy another. And I mean that at some point we make a decision to make our personalities to fit another's, we base our ideas on someone else's belief. But to having free will? I agree that we do have free will to extent but that raises a lot of questions that I will not go into for the sake of me being slightly insane and rather still having the immaturity of a 15 year old (even though i'm 17). So yeah, i'm just going to shut up now.

  5. #35
    Sir-Mass-a-Lot Sylux's Avatar
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    I am on my path. Good lord, another man is stepping into my path! My heavens, my plan was to get to the end of my path, what has happened? Another man has taken from me my complete plan! Whatever am I to do? Am I to keep going straight? No, that would be silly since I would just run into him. Then should I change my plans and go around him to get to my first goal, or make a second goal and see if that one goes better?

    My life has been altered by another person. I am not free.

  6. #36
    Devilish Member T1B3R1U5's Avatar
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    ^----That sounded rather....poetic Sy.

  7. #37
    Devilish Member Inksprout's Avatar
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    Life is a series of interactions Sylux. Being able to do literally whatever you want and never having to react to any external stimulus is not the definition of 'free will'. Someone may alter your path or influence your thinking but at the end of the day they would really only be compromising your choices. You can't say they are stopping you from being free unless they are literally controlling your entire life so that you can't make a single meaningful choice. Even if life gets in the way of what you wanted to do having free will means you can try to choose the next best thing to do.

    Clockhand, just because someone's actions are predictable does not mean they do not have free will. Humans are great at recognising patterns so yeah we can often figure out how people will react in a given situation. That does not lessen the fact that the person is making a meaningful choice of their own volition. Only if we could be said to be directly controlling their choice could we say they weren't using free will. Observing and predicting is not the same as controlling and their are always exceptions to what you'd be able to predict anyway.

  8. #38
    Sir-Mass-a-Lot Sylux's Avatar
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    No, that is the definition of free will. Nothing in this world is free. Nothing at all. Can you fly into the sky by thinking about it, just because you want to? No. You can't do any of that crap, because you're not free. Nothing is.

  9. #39
    Devilish Member Inksprout's Avatar
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    Free will is not the same as absolute freedom?

    Edit: You're talking about freedom, not free will. Free will is the ability to make our own choices. Perhaps it would be nice if in making our own choices we didn't have to obey the laws of nature, but hey lets not get picky. The fact that 'everything is not fre doesn't mean we don't have any choice at all. If you have free will it means you can at least try to fly up into the sky just because you want to.
    Last edited by Inksprout; 12-02-2011 at 06:39 PM.

  10. #40
    Sir-Mass-a-Lot Sylux's Avatar
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    Jesus I'm surrounded by Libertarians.

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