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Forum Post: "Free Will"

Posted 7 years ago on May 3, 2012, 8:27 p.m. EST by blackpanther6389 (39) from Peoria, IL
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I know this is a very touchy subject and it's something that I feel is at the very basis of our train of thought when examining human behavior.

From my understanding "free will" is action without influence or cause whether that's a physical motion or a thought.

Now I don't really believe in free will but that's not to say I fully understand my actions or thoughts but I do believe that my actions and thoughts have been molded prior to me doing them whether it was a cause a moment before or events much later in the past.

I'd like to hear others input on this subject. What's your definition and what's your basis for believing in it or not believing in it.

I want discussion, not argument or debate. If this turns into an argument or debate, then I'll hand over the thread to those who wish to do such a thing.

I'm genuinely interested in what people think about this and I'll just try to ask questions regarding peoples statements or I'll answer if people have questions about the things I say...



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[-] 3 points by gestopomillyy (1695) 7 years ago

freewill is any action taken thats free from immediate force. sounds like your referring to influence , whether conscious or subconscious . free will example could be jumping into the pool. if you are not pushed, did not fall, and were not held at gunpoint, you acted under free will

[-] 1 points by blackpanther6389 (39) from Peoria, IL 7 years ago

Hmm. Why only immediate? Are you saying that my option to pick between a blue and green shirt at that given moment is decided on a "free impulse" and not by possibly what I chose to be my favorite color, or which one would keep me cooler or warmer in a given environment?

Also, your pool example isn't very clear to me. I've never just jumped in a pool. If I've ever jumped into water, I had intended to jump in it in the first place lol.

Perhaps you've known people to do that, but I'd like some clarification on the situation xD.

[-] 3 points by hillshillsandsod (7) 7 years ago

I believe we are all a product of our environments; but I don't think that really is as depressing as it sounds. I think a study of human nature shows us that truth has the ability to speak to anyone, despite what environment they were raised in, and what they were conditioned to believe.

I've outgrown a number of ignorant ideas myself--despite growing up in an environment that accepted those ideas as truths. I suspect--and hope--I will continue to do so as I get older.

[-] 0 points by blackpanther6389 (39) from Peoria, IL 7 years ago

Interesting thought, although I'm gonna have to request that you clarify, what you mean by "truth" so I can fully understand what you mean.

[-] 2 points by infonomics (393) 7 years ago

The argument for free will is defeated by the sound of your alarm clock on Monday morning.

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 7 years ago

Given your definition,"...without influence or cause..." I'd have to agree. No such thing. There may be degrees of what could be described as free will, depending on the level of "adult control" within an individual.

[-] 1 points by PandoraK (1678) 7 years ago

If you don't believe in free will, do you then believe in divine provenance or fate?

I need more context to formulate an opinion on the question.

[-] 1 points by blackpanther6389 (39) from Peoria, IL 7 years ago

No, I just believe that we are a product of our environment. The brain reacts to stimuli and we respond depending on our upbringing and the tools we've been given to examine such stimuli.

For instance: You're walking through the forest. You come out with a rash, your assumption is that you interacted with something in the forest but you weren't paying attention to what you were touching or what you brushed up against. Someone may recommend to make a note of things you've touched so the next time you get a reaction, you may be able to pinpoint what it is that causes your skin to react to whatever it is that caused it.

Or if you get beat up by someone with freckles, you may say, "I'm gonna avoid people with freckles" The thing is though, even if you couldn't talk, you would avoid people with freckles until you learn that not all people with freckles are the same and you just responded to a particular, freckled-face person. When people speak of their reactions, they do it in a way that causes them to believe their acting out on their own but as I've said, a person who couldn't speak, would still shield their eyes when the sun got too bright.

Hope that clears up what I meant =).

[-] 1 points by PandoraK (1678) 7 years ago

It does and doesn't...I'm assuming then you are meaning random chance...which is fine by me...

We've people who are what we might term hyper-aware, we've people with what is commonly called photographic memory...either way it's just an ability to call to consciousness what we've witnessed, the brain via the sense records everything.

So the average person walking through the woods would be noticing every event, but not on a conscious level... Yet new experiences, ones without 'legends' we are able to form our own reactions, some based on instinct...such as meeting a skunk for the first time, if the scent is in the air we retreat...I think that is what we call learning and we at least try to share our experiences with others, even without oral language.

The concept of free will, at least in my sphere, is more the ability to make choices, left? right? or straight ahead.