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Isn't it dangerous to claim that free will isn't real in ANY way what so ever?

I agree that free will isn't quite what we imagine it to be & often people don't even bother to define what it could be because they don't think that anything qualifies as such, but isn't it a gross over simplification to make such a blanket statement & that nothing you could do could be considered 'free of error'?

To me that's the only meaningful definition of free will. The freedom to see what actions are appropriate to general well being & acting accordingly. This means that free will isn't an all or nothing issue where by it exists or it doesn't (like mermaids either exist or they don't.) - It's more a question of whether certain actions are appropriate or aren't & to the degree in which they are or aren't is the degree of freedom we have to act as we should where 'better' / 'worse' options exist.

This is what I understand as what Daniel Dennett calls 'Free will worth wanting'. Sam Harris only talks about trivial freedoms not worth wanting but if we can assume there really are 'better' & 'worse' options we can take up isn't that the only meaningful definition there could really be & so there are actually only two types of people: People who in a given situation CAN respond appropriately to a circumstance & people who CAN'T? i.e. The better you are at responding appropriately the freer you are. - Any pennies dropping here? I cannot see any other meaningful definition. Am I wrong?

Paul 5 Oct 18
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3 comments

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1

If God knows the future He doesn't have free will and we don't either.

1

I reject the concept of any external force that has created a path for you that is simply nonsense.

Free will however, is controlled by biology, genetics, biochemistry, previous experiences and one own psychological make-up. We have the ability to make a decision but, these factors are seldom not present in any decision we make, but, does that mean we do not have free will?

I believe that the answer is no, people often make choices that opposes what these factors would dictate with both positive and negative outcomes that will affect future choices.

Seems to me that what we have is more like freeish will than true free will.

Yes some of us do & others not so much.

2

I see "free will" as self determination. In a religious sense it is a lie. You have the free will to follow a god or not, but your choices are heaven or hell. If this stupidity was real, no one would choose hell. We would all want the "glorious" reward. That is not free will, if the consequences for having free will to decide against a god is eternal burning. Now to reality. In life we have the free will to attempt to achieve our goals. Putting disabilities, natural disasters, and accidents aside, which might curtail our efforts, we can still seek our goals. Government, religion, a nasty neighbor and other factors can also curtail our plans. The earth can swallow you up. So the outcome of free will, or seeking our goals, may not be what we have planned for ourselves. It reminds me of the current arguments about healthcare. You may have healthcare available, the free will to pursue it, but without enough money, can you obtain it? So while we can make our decisions about what we may want out of life, there are many factors which may help us get there, or which may stop us in our tracks.

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