you don’t have freewill


Now you might say, by way of objection, that it is possible that Jim, despite his preference for coffee, might have chosen tea this morning, which surely proves that his choice for coffee and not tea was a real and voluntary choice on his part.  Well, in response, let’s imagine that instead of choosing coffee, Jim chose tea this morning and he did so of his own free will and choice.  Why did he choose tea when he prefers coffee?  Again, the same process ensues and the only way that (FW) can offer an explanation for Jim’s choice is to describe a set of prior conditions and states of affairs that looks identical to the explanation that a determinist would give.  We might say that Jim chose tea despite his preference for coffee because coffee was giving him acid reflux, or he wanted to ensure that he had a restful nights sleep and so wanted to reduce his caffeine intake, or Jim is simply bored with coffee even though it remains his preference.

This fellow says what I would, only more clearly

I may have blind spots in the freewill debate but I am yet to meet a freewill believer who has explained clearly and concisely what they mean when they talk about freewill and how they think this is possible.

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

32 thoughts on “you don’t have freewill

  1. …you mean, there are people who actually believe that freewill exists?!!

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  2. Arkenaten says:

    As Sheldon Cooper ( Big Bang Theory) once remarked:
    ”Although we live in a deterministic universe each individual has free will (Now sit down).”

    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I still think that if it’s explained as a mathematical equation, it’s easier for people to understand 🙂 It’s never failed me with people who have a reasonably open mind.
    All you have to do is ask them to (theoretically) assign a value to each and every aspect of life, history and experience- and then line them up and that becomes an equation. Then they see what ever comes afterwards is the precise result of said equation, hence free will is a fantasy.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. That was a very well articulated post you link to here. Well said, indeed. BTW, I sold a will yesterday for 5 cents. I tried to give it away, for free, but no one would take it without giving me something for it. Thus, freewill doesn’t exist, at least not yet. I’ll keep trying. If I find it, I’ll let you know.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. nannus says:

    I don’t believe in free will either. I think it has nothing to do with the question if the world is deterministic or not. I think it is not, there are true random processes going on in the micro world, but our will is still not free since it does not make any difference if it arrises from a deterministic system or a randomness generator. Free will is an illusion.

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    • What do you mean by random?

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      • nannus says:

        I mean that there are events that do not have a cause. For example, a radioactive atom might decay now or in 6 million years. There is no cause for it to happen at a specific time, just a probability. Interactions between elementary particles are non-deterministic. There are probabilities for things to happen, but no fixed cause-effect chains. So non-deterministic might be a better word here. In a deterministic system, if you know the initial state, all subsequent states are determined. This is not the case for quantum-mechanical systems.
        There are attempts to interprete quantum mechanics in a way involving hidden parameters. But I think they are wrong. I am not a physicist, however, and I am leaving the question to the experts. However, as far as I understand physics, our world is non-deterministic.

        However, my point is this has nothing to do with free will.

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        • So would it be more accurate for us to say there’s an intersection? A non-deterministic system which is the background for deterministic behaviours/actions?

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          • nannus says:

            I think so. Macroscopic systems seem to behave deterministically. The same starting conditions yield the same results. However, in non-linear systems, small differences can be amplified, so small (arbitrarily small) differences in the starting conditions can lead to totally different outcomes. This can amplify the random quantum fluctuations to macroscopic level. So macroscopic events can indeed be influenced by such non-deterministic events in the microworld.

            Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      So concise and accurate.
      My point exactly, it wouldn’t be free if it were random anyway

      Liked by 1 person

  6. keithnoback says:

    Ugh. Again with the #1 source of unwarranted confusion…but a good explanation – that our decisions have explanations.
    Why do you think people are so uncomfortable with that? The alternatives seem so much more horrifying (some subterranean force unmoored from our thoughts and perceptions, swaying them to and fro…).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. free will is such a aggravating concept. I find there is none, since as Mr. M said, you can point to how decisions take shape. I think theists love the idea because it makes them feel ever-so special, that they came to the “right” conclusion all on their own and their god chose them and only them (rolling eyes).

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Scottie says:

    I think we have free will. However I must include a caveat. Just as we can not in our lives disregarding any law of the physical universe we live in, such as gravity, ( if you doubt it jump of a building and try to fly or out of a boat in the water and try to stay dry and walk on the water ) my free will is determined by several factors. One I am subject to the natural laws of the world, universe, I live in, physics can be a bitch but it is real. Second I can disregard the consequence of physics if I choose but I can not change them. ( my god or supernatural powers have not kicked in to that level yet, sorry 🙂 ) So yes I can make any choice I want as long as A) I am willing to make such a choice available… such as if I want a certain food for breakfast and don’t have it in my home I must be willing to go out and get it… B) I am willing to take the result of going against the laws I already mentioned. By this I mean I have free will to jump off a cliff but I must be willing to accept that I will die a rather nasty death. I even concided that others can not take my free will from me except by force and then I must be willing to either accept their will or the punishment for going against it. Two examples. If a person with a gun points his gun at me, I am at his mercy and if he tells me to do an act I don’t wish to do I can choose by free will to do that act, or take the consequence of not doing it , which is my death. However on the other hand there are times when one doesn’t have free will, and I know it all too well. If a child is overpowered and held , and forced by superior strength to do an act he objects to or have it done to him, he has no free will nor does an adult person in the same position. If six men take a woman or man against their will and physically force them to submit to their intentions, there is no free will. When prisoners go on a hunger strike and refuse to eat they are exercising free will, however when overwhelmed by the guards with superior numbers and strength, and taken to a medical place and have IV nutrients forced into their bodies they no longer have free will. I hope this makes sense, it is the way I see life , and deal with it around me. I can not change my past nor the damage to my body, how ever I have free will to take my meds or not to take them and suffer. Hugs

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    • makagutu says:

      For the claim that when a person goes on hunger strike they are exercising freewill but not when they eat doesn’t hold. There are preceding causes to the hunger strike.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Scottie says:

        But don’t they still have the choice to do it ? I went on a hunger strike today until Ron put a steak in front of me, a really nice one and it was so good I gave in and ate it….??? I mean I could have refused, but dang it was so thick and good, he bought it special to give to me as a make up for upsetting me , and he gave me a great salad… so I choose to eat instead of refusing….isn’t that free will?? Or am I missing something? Thanks for taking the time to help me on this. Hugs

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