Do we have free will?


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this proof was constructed by myself alone (with bits I learned from Rand):
1. If you can imagine god or a superior being to you, you have theory of mind.  A non-mind imagining another non-entity is a contradiction & proof of free will

2.Thinking, judging, acting, feeling are functions of the mind.  To any function one can apply any number of combinations of functions.  Thus you are both an absolute & finite.

3. From physics, every action has a cause & effect (disregard causal mechanics).  There must be a mechanism of digesting reality & taking action.  But there is no such proof of such mechanism.  So that mechanism is you.  A third point to free-will. (If there was a mechanism you'd live in two realities at once)
Since you are aware only of reality & yourself, but there are 3(+?) proofs of freewill, either reality or your self should disappear when you set them equal.

So free-will exists.

 

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1 hour ago, atlashead said:

this proof was constructed by myself alone (with bits I learned from Rand):
1. If you can imagine god or a superior being to you, you have theory of mind.  A non-mind imagining another non-entity is a contradiction & proof of free will

2.Thinking, judging, acting, feeling are functions of the mind.  To any function one can apply any number of combinations of functions.  Thus you are both an absolute & finite.

3. From physics, every action has a cause & effect (disregard causal mechanics).  There must be a mechanism of digesting reality & taking action.  But there is no such proof of such mechanism.  So that mechanism is you.  A third point to free-will. (If there was a mechanism you'd live in two realities at once)
Since you are aware only of reality & yourself, but there are 3(+?) proofs of freewill, either reality or your self should disappear when you set them equal.

So free-will exists.

 

You should send this to philosophy and/or science of mind journals.  Get it published and peer reviewed.

You'll be famous, and win a Nobel prize.

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AH,

Free will needs no proof, despite the constant attacks against it.

There are two divisions of philosophy that serve as major frames for looking at this: metaphysics and epistemology.

Metaphysically, free will either exists or it does not. Humans have no control over that and, no matter what anyone says, humans will never have any control over that. Trying to prove free will according to metaphysics is a fool's errand. It's in the same category of the age-old question, if a tree falls in the woods and nobody perceives it, did it really happen? Whether things happen or not on their own is beyond human control. Whether things exist or not is beyond human control. 

Epistemologically, the issue is to identify what exists, validate it and work with it (or discard the identification). Note that this does not affect whether the thing being identified exists or not. It merely refers to how humans perceive it and think about it.

(As an aside, humans have imagination, which is a way of using the mind disconnected from outside reality or parts of reality, but that is another long issue. Leave it to say, imagination does not identify facts. It only projects the possibility, mostly as play or indications of what to look into.)

There is a special category of existents that kind of bridges the gap between metaphysics and epistemology. Rand referred to these existents as axiomatic concepts. Metaphysically, there is no proof for them, but there is a test to see if one is identifying something that can only be perceived axiomatically: The one perceiving (the agent) has to be--to repeat, has to be--the metaphysical thing under scrutiny.

In other words, the agent has to exist (metaphysics) in order to imagine a state of nonexistence (epistemology). In further other words, if his epistemology ever became metaphysics, he blots himself out. If that were true, there would be no agent to raise the issue.

In fact, Rand used the most proof anyone can ever present for the existence of existence. She demonstrated it in characterizing what an "ostensive definition" was. She swung her arm all around and said, "I mean this." :) 

The process of the agent blotting himself out with his argument, thus blotting the issue out, holds true for identity. Ditto for consciousness.

And ditto for free will.

Only a consciousness with free will can ask and evaluate and discuss and answer questions. Only a consciousness with free will can choose and become a causal agent. That is metaphysical. It just is and nobody can do anything about it.

If an agent proposes that free will does not exist, and that ever turns into metaphysics, the issue goes away because the agent goes away.

In short, going to the root, an agent that does not exist has no characteristics and no capabilities and cannot question anything. (It's kinda duh. :) )

There is only one way where the jacklegs who propose existence, identity, consciousness, free will do not exist happens: death. But that only applies to each agent individually. And, of course, they are free to prove it for themselves.

For the rest of us, the party goes on.

:) 

Michael

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