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Are you a determinist or not?

Vote!! I vote yes because free will is false.

  • 6 votes
  • 9 votes
JoeyMajoro 1 Feb 11

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Yes, we do have free will. We are compelled to do certain things for survival (eat, sleep, avoid danger/harm, biological functions) but we can choose to override these. I can decide not to eat for the next two weeks. I can choose to put off sleep for many hours. I can participate in activities that could potentially hurt or kill me.

I expressed my free will in answering this question. I wasn't compelled or destined or forced to do so. I could have easily avoided it. In fact, I should avoided it since I should be doing other things instead.

That's my 2 cents worth. 😀


I'm not sure 😉


I would estimate about 35-45% of members here do not believe in free will.
I initially thought it would be much higher, but that was back when I thought there was a high correlation between atheism and intelligence/critical thinking. I have since learned, here, that it is not so high. For fuck's sake, there's a "Conservative Atheists" post denying global warming in the first page of the feed right now.

How could someone have low intelligence if they are actually smart but predetermined to give the wrong answer even thought they know its wrong?

@Word What?
"How could someone have low intelligence if they are actually smart"
This is like asking how could someone be short if they are actually tall. I don't understand the question.
"but predetermined to give the wrong answer even thought they know its wrong"
I think we have different understandings of predetermination. This question seems to suggest some cosmic forces that know of a desired outcome and are thus controlling variables to make it come true. There is no internal battle going on here; you don't "feel your strings" so to speak. The outcome is predetermined only because the variables aren't actually variables, not because someone knows the outcome and is forcing into reality.


I’m a compatibilist.

skado Level 9 Feb 11, 2021

Excellent share! Dan Dennett is the least strident atheist speaker / author I know of. I used to watch Closer to Truth, but after many seasons and thousands of interviews, it seemed Dr. Kuhn never got any closer. 😉


I was a determinist for a while, but then my illusion of free will kicked in and took charge, all by itself! 😉


Determinism, in philosophy, theory that all events, including moral choices, are completely determined by previously existing causes. Determinism is usually understood to preclude free will because it entails that humans cannot act otherwise than they do.

With out a doubt there is a plethora of preset factors. However, along the way, thru our life, there are changing factors that were not specifically present into motion to force us to do predetermined things.

An analogy of a boat in a river. There may be the general large force pushing the boat down stream but it is not specifically predetermined if the boat(captain) would decide to drift or aim to one bank or another or to just drop anchor.

There are free will decisions that can change the "go with the flow" outcome if it were decided to go against the flow or predetermined (by gravity) flow of the river.

Word Level 8 Feb 11, 2021

The deterministic view would claim that the entirety of the captain's life experiences coupled with the physical and chemical composition of his brain would determine those "choices" for him with no free will involved.

Yes, I understand. I would not agree with determinism.

@JeffMurray with the ultimate in that Death being the end all and the predetermintic view win out in view that no matter the choices, death is the supposed guaranteed end fate.

@Word I don't hold anyone's belief in free will against them because I know they don't have the free will to to choose to reject the illusion of free will.

@JeffMurray remembering back before I existed, I was like, :Mr. Creator, I would like to stay here in non-existance with the non-existent flying spaghetti monster sky God for ever and ever and never have to exist especially in that pathetic crap people call existence.

You know, the darnedest thing, the creator listened to me as if I was all non-existent and didn't care about my choice to not exist, which I was already non-existent. But, the creator was just bound and determined to create me in this pathetic crap that no one asked for.

Unless you want to tell me you asked for this pathetic crap we call existence.

@JeffMurray pick me, pick me!! I want to exist. When I exist, I want to suffer P.M.S., menstration, and child labor pains!! ~ said: no woman ever

@JeffMurray did I just type those previous text because of predetermined causation that you needed to hear it?

Again, this verbiage tends to suggest a grand designer and a desire outcome. No one needs to hear something. However, I have heard you say those things, and invariably, they affected my reply.
Like I said, I don't hold it against you. It's not your fault you do not have the requisite understanding of predetermination and free will to realize what a fair percentage of members here have realized. If you are curious why so many are convinced free will doesn't exist even though it really really feels like it does, you could do some reading and see if it "clicks" for you... but it's not really up to you if you'll read, or if you'll understand if you do.
I thought like you before. We all did. And when I was researching, I thought what I was reading was total bullshit, just like you. But there were several factors that kept me reading anyway, that may not exist for you, that ultimately revealed to me (against my "will" ) that free will was an illusion.

@Word Also, it's curious to me that one of your arguments for free will is that we didn't choose to exist.

@JeffMurray as to "Also, it's curious to me that one of your arguments for free will is that we didn't choose to exist."

There you go again thinking I am arguing. No, just stating an observation. Not a statement as an argument for or against free will.

@JeffMurray it would be one thing to be tall/short and fake a height difference. Sloutch looking shorter or shoes, stilts to look taller as compared to an intellegent person choosing to act unintelligent.

@JeffMurray let me ask/ discuss free will or lack there of in the interactions between atheist and theist.

Theists will claim, there is no free will but that all is Gods will and designed plan.

Atheist makes fun of theist with sarcasm worship to the non-existent flying spaghetti monster sky God because theist believes it's all God's will but theist does not "prove" it to atheist.

@JeffMurray and explain to me how your conversation to determinism was not free will choosing

@Word I don't know what theists you're talking to that don't believe in free will. It's kinda crucial to their whole deal. But honestly, I'm not going to pretend I'm even a tenth as intelligent or eloquent as someone like Sam Harris. He can make much more of a concise, cogent argument against free will then I ever could, so if you're honestly curious how do many people could disbelieve in something that seems so real, you should spend the few hours it would take to read his "Free Will".

@JeffMurray the entire basis of biblical text and christianity is that it is all gods will not ours

@JeffMurray Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:9

@JeffMurray. Like the movie "stranger than fiction " with actor Will Ferrell (2006) Jesus character could only do what the predetermined logos(thought/word/speach) of the old testiment allowed him to do.

The entire theme of biblical text is that Jesus character was predetermined and spoken into existence by the people-gods of the old testiment.

In the beginning was the logos.... john1:1

"Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. John 5:19

Matthew 5:17 (“Do not think that I have come to abolish Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.&rdquo😉.

John 10:34-36 can be said to understand Ps 82:6 and use it in specific ways. (1) According to 10:34-35, Ps 82:6 (“I said, 'You are gods'&rdquo😉

The old testiment people are the gods that created Jesus character.

@JeffMurray...the logos become flesh. John 1:14

This is saying the predetermined logos (thought/word/speach) by their chemical reaction predetermined thoughts become a person.

This is the debate over Jesus character. Can the logos of people create a person?

@JeffMurray you don't know much about biblical text verse what christianity thinks they know, do you?

@Word Don't be condescending. The entirety of the notion of doing good and/or asking for forgiveness is predicated on the notion of free will. Without it, those concepts become nonsensical.

@JeffMurray you are saying that If I slap you silly, or seemingly speak condescending then ask for your forgiveness, that would be an act of free will not predetermined causation then predetermined realization and predetermined request of forgiveness?

@JeffMurray you say no one has free will, but people appologies and ask for forgiveness all the time. Right?

@JeffMurray so my appologies for sounding condescending and asking your forgiveness is nonsensical if I am saying I am asking with free will?

@Word You obviously don't understand. We all get that. One day, if you ever do, you'll look back at this conversation and realize how silly these questions are.

@JeffMurray that is your predetermined answer to my appologies?

@JeffMurray your predetermined condescending is perfectly ok to be condescending to me because "If i will learn one day" then I will know your truth about free will issue. So, your predetermined condensing is ok towards me?

@JeffMurray does my understanding come not predetermined? Do I not get to determine if I have free will or not? Are you saying that any lack of understanding about free will issue is predetermined?

@JeffMurray Biblical text makes the argument about people not having free will. Some people, as all people are from "clay", some people are predetermined to be theist giving glory to their god, while others are predetermined to be vessels destroyed because of their atheism or illusion of free will.

Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use? Roman 9:21

What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath--prepared for destruction? 9:22

@JeffMurray So, again I point out people do not have "free will" according to the biblical text. The controlling factor is "God's" will because she is the Potter and people are just clay that must be in the predetermined for God chooses.

Is there modern Christian teachings that are opposed to biblical text, yes.

@JeffMurray a better way to phrase perhaps, is there modern teachings called "christian" but are not biblical?, yes

@JeffMurray and to add to your understanding, the first concept of "sin" is about the person is seperate from the will of "God".

In your terminology, a sinner is a person under the illusion of free will.

If a person is NOT a sinner, then they are doing "Gods" will, not their own.

Biblical text is about people NOT having their own free will but rather only doing "the will of God".

@Word While whether or not you will ever understand that free will being an illusion is predetermined, it is not known to anyone, so it seems like it's not. You still seem to have this notion that it's designed or "destined". Try not to think of it as a known outcome but rather consequences of consequences of consequences that are all a result of things no one can control, thus the way they happen to end up is the way they were going to be, thus predetermined.
Maybe break it down into chunks? Imagine you're alone at a gun range. The instant after the bullet leaves the barrel, there is likely nothing that will change where that bullet is going to end up on your target, so even though the bullet hasn't passed through the target yet, it is predetermined. And on the freak occurrences like say maybe a lighting fixture fell into the path of the bullet, the fixture failed at that exact instant because that's when the exact gravitational force that was exerted on it caused the faulty fastener to fail, and couldn't have happened any other way, thus the bullet hitting it and ending up where it ended up that time was also predetermined, even though it was completely unknown and totally unpredictable.
As soon as you can grasp that some things are predetermined, it only takes a series of questions outward from that to realize everything is.
But again, I'M NOT AS SMART OR ELOQUENT AS SAM HARRIS. If you are honestly interested in learning about this, and not just trying to prove me wrong (which you won't, I have a ton of science on my side that you'd discover if you actually looked into this) you'd spend the few hours learning from someone like him... but you have no control over whether or not you'll do that.

@JeffMurray yes, I had already pulled up a video on Sam.

I fully understand your bullet analogy. I can understand you talking about a quadriplegic that has no capacity of means to use their muscles to move with force. They are like the bullet with their cognition stick to the bullet a nbn d they do not have capabilities to change the projected path of the bullet.

Our mental capacity is about force of thought. Within our thoughts we force things based on our decisions within the scope of our power to do so.

Our thoughts have power, Kinetic energy. Things can affect our thoughts.

I can with an arbitrary example number to represent that a lot is out of "our" control, say that there is "99%" predetermined as you say.

What forces you to text me? Are you texting me because something else is the force and you are only an observer on the bullet?

@JeffMurray I can understand by design we are forced to hear sounds. We do not have a "free will" ear flap to shut so that we can stop sound.

However, our eye lids have a subconscious mechanism to blink but we can control our eye lids.

Are you saying we cannot choose to close our eyes because we do not want to see something? Or, blink our eyes for the fun or flirt of it?

@JeffMurray blinking of your eyes cannot be a free will choosing just because some "chooses " to alternate eye closure for the fun of it? "Fun" is the causation perhaps and it's not free will?

@JeffMurray Forced to be passive observers, that is all "we" are? Every thing that happens has nothing to do with "us" because we are just the forced passive observers that are along for a bullet ride?

@Word What you see as "99%" I recognize is actually 100%. Wherever you see that 1% ask yourself what caused that thing repeatedly. If you're being intellectually honest, you'll ultimately find a cause that is clearly outside of what even you think you can control.
What forces me to respond? Honestly, anything I say would only be speculation. There is no way for me to actually know all of the factors that coalesced to force this, nor what percentage of the response is a result of outside factors vs internal factors (the physical and chemical composition of my brain).
As for thoughts having power, that is absolutely true. The question is, can you control them? And, AGAIN, this is where Harris does an infinitely better job detailing why free will is an illusion than I could. So, again, I'd say you should probably give his "Free Will" a read if you actually want to investigate this instead of just reiterate what you already believe to someone who it's not going to affect. To me, arguments for the existence of free will are as nonsensical as arguments for the existence of the Christian conception of god, if not more. I know a lot of people who lost their faith in god who found their way back, but I don't know a single person who has realized free will was an illusion that started believing in it again.

@Word "Are you saying we cannot choose to close our eyes because we do not want to see something? Or, blink our eyes for the fun or flirt of it?"
No, I'm saying that the thought to close your eyes in response or even the thought that you don't like something or not want to see it aren't under your control.

@JeffMurray ok, just don't blink

@Word Was that a joke? Or do you really not get where I'm coming from? I don't have a choice either way.

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