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For the life of me, I cannot see how any atheist could believe in free will. It's not even justifiable with an all sovereign god.

Auty89 6 Apr 21

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I don't see the logic. Isn't free will less likely if there is a god? There may be internal strictures limiting free will: psychological, emotional, or even genetic, but I think that free will in a hypothetical universe where a supreme being already knows what your actions will be is impossible.

JimG Level 8 Apr 22, 2018

There are psychological studies that suggest we don't really have free will. Our behavior is programmed into us, and responses can be predicted with alarming accuracy.

Exactly! And that's why it bewilders me when an atheist (someone who most likely pure materialist) believes in something so intangible and nebulous as free will.

@Auty89 : Determinism is a tough concept for most people to get their head around..


I must be really missing something,
all this talk about free will.
Give a 3 year old a piece of modelling clay and let them know they can do what they like with it and leave them alone.

What's your point? That of course we have free will?

@Auty89 My point is that I don't really understand the discussion or the argument that we don't have it. I have to admit that it is not something that has come up outside this forum for me, yet I see it a lot here. The majority seems to think that we don't, I always assumed we did. My example above, the kid is free to do what he wants with the clay, make anything he wants, eat it, throw it at his sister.

@Rugglesby Here. Start off with this.

@Auty89 ta for that, I got 1/2 way through, but no, not for me. I'll stick to my belief I have free will. Works for me.

@Rugglesby Well, your mind has obviously predetermined that you want to believe in free will and so you do πŸ˜› lol. It's ok though. You are "free" to do so. After all, the experiences that have influenced my beliefs have no bearing on your beliefs. So we can agree to disagree. I would look into it more if I were you. Just a suggestion.

@Auty89 haha, I did expect that. Hey i could well be wrong, but it wouldn't change anything, however imagine if there is no such thing as free will, we build a super super computer, and predict the outcome of everything, we could just all let ourselves die off, like leaving a movie early because we would already know the ending.


What the fuck are you talking about? Did you get into the wrong site by accident? ?


I've read several books including Sam Harris's. The arguments are solid but the subject is personally not that important.

gearl Level 7 Apr 21, 2018

Let's start from the beginning. There is no god or gods. Free will is a matter of choice, which we all have. We choose whether to do something or not, whether to associate with certain people of not, etc. is that not the definition of free will?

Free will is an illusion. Everything we experience, even our consciousness itself, is a product of the laws of nature.

@Auty89 How is my choice whether or not to respond to you a "law of nature?" This is a conscious decision made by weighing the benefits and detriments of the act. The last I heard, this is not an act of nature but of moral judgment. I do not understand your point.

@SageDave : Even your moral judgments are determined by your values, your previous experiences, etc. there is a reason for our choices even if we do not recognize them.

@dare2dream I agree that our decisions are made based on our experience, but not necessarily the "laws of nature." Free will is not an illusion, but a matter of choice based on experience, knowledge and the moral issue of right versus wrong.

@SageDave : I think the key to the Free Will/Determinism debate lies in the Objective/Subjective duality.

@dare2dream Please expand on your Objective/Subjective duality principle?

@SageDave : I'll try.

We see the table top and it looks solid. We knock it and it feels solid. That is our subjective perception.

But we have only five senses to perceive the world. Science and technology expand on those five. We know that the table is composed of molecules and atoms which have some space between them. We also know, through science and technology, that there is a lot of empty space within the atom. Invisible Gamma rays go right through the spaces in so-called "solid objects". Objectively, the table is not really solid at all.

This objective/subjective duality works for the free will theory too. Sure, we make decisions all the time. Subjectively, it seems we choose whatever we want. But we don't understand everything that subconsciously compels us to choose what we choose. Objectively, our choices are pre-determined by subconscious preferences and unknown causes that trigger the effect of a choice. i.e. Free Will is an illusion - that works!

But could you have acted differently? Isn't everything a product of cause and effect? If so, wouldn't that include the phenomenon we call consciousness?


There was a recent podcast by Sam Harris where he explained that your brain decides before you are aware that you’ve made a decision, and therefore free will does not exist. As such, your decisions are a product of your genes and environment. That was basically his argument. Is this the position you’re referencing, or something else? Please explain, OP.


I agree. Free will is an illusion. Everything is a chain of cause and effect since the Big Bang. Free will seems to exist because we are unable to understand all the causes that compell us to choose what we do.


What is it that you want to do that you cannot do?


Am I missing something here? There is no God as such.

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