Do you believe that humans have free will?  I don't.  I have yet to hear compelling arguments for the existence of free will~ prove me wrong A/N.

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Right, but what I was trying to do (I don't think I was very clear) was separate the concept of "intent" from the concept of a "self" or "free will."  I get what you are saying, and maybe I'm not describing the thought properly, but it was trying to differentiate if there is a difference between human intent, animalistic "intent," and whether inanimate objects can have intent as well.  I think if the latter could be considered true, that would have the most profound implications.  Trying to define intent in the human sense, without the concept of free will, is what has been giving me trouble~ that is, without relation to choice.  I intend to do the dishes, because I am driven to.  can that correlate to a machine, that is driven to certain functions because of variables?  Thats what I'm getting at.
Yeah Park, I see where you're going with this. Say intent is just a motivation, perhaps one out of many (motivation meaning what you said, being driven to some desire or another). So I intended to wash the car, but I also intended to go out with my friends. Intention is perhaps codefinitional with desire or motivation. Choice means two things. It means that there are different possibilities (I can wash the car and/or go out with my friends), and it also means the actual outcome. I think you are trying to get at the latter. So I chose to go out with my friends, because that motivation was more overwhelming to me/more motivating to me/more desirous to me than washing the car, and in a real sense I could not help it (assuming I am a teenage boy and not an adult who should have a different, more responsible set of motivations). So let's take the computer. An android (still a computer!) could intend to scrub the turbo-lift, and it could intend to help out in engineering. It chooses to help out in engineering (where the choice is simply the end result) because its set of instructions tells it that this is the more pressing (i.e. motivating) task, and the turbo-lift can wait. Does that about do it for ya?
right on~ and I guess this is supposed to fit into a larger hypothetical diatribe that blurs the line of distinction between humans and anything else.  If major faculties that constitute what it is to "be human" can be attached, by definition, to other inanimate objects, then things can get pretty interesting. I guess it would be better to find something that would constitute an emotion though, or break down emotion, if I really want to get that thought somewhere.
I think only a sentient being, or one sufficiently complex to make a reasoned choice (I think they are the same thing), can intend, mean and chose. Trees do not do these things. But I would have a harder time saying that they do not react and an even harder time saying that they don't act, but I am certain they don't have goals. I think rocks are so simple of structures that it can be said to do very little other than be acted upon and its momentum and such is directed from that simple collision. Is that an action? Is it a reaction? Sure, I guess, but not a very complex one, and therefore cannot be called chosen, intended or meant. A rock being struck and a person choosing are no less inextricably linked to the causal chain than the other.

@Wanderer. Sorry if thats how you read my argument, let me clarify, I am arguing that the idea of "free will would be completely ruining the predictability of the universe", ie. it does not fit in the picture and determinism is a much more sensible and compatible system for understanding human thought.

 

@Park.

"What seems to be the problem with strict determinism?  is it that it doesn't really translate well into the workings [and illusion] of choice in regards to the human psyche"

 

I agree completely, people want to hold onto the idea of free will because thats how it "feels" when they make a decision. but it is an illusion. This is exactly the argument one of my philosophy tutors came out with to me (which was shocking from someone so educated in the subject!) she couldn't accept, regardless of my structured arguments, that how it feels to make choices could in fact be an illusion, and just continued to re-affirm her faulty premise as proof of her point of view.

 

People don't want to let go of free will, it makes them feel like they no longer have any control over there own lives.

It does seem like people are afraid to let go of that horrible terminology, doesn't it?  I think the real problem is that people only have a vague understanding of the world and time itself~ their lack of education on the topic is like a religious belief~ without it, what would they know?   I guess I'll just say I'm glad no one on here is arguing for free will based on "indeterminacy" in relation to quantum mechanics.

The quantum mechanics thing did cross my mind... I don't see how a plausible theory could be formulated in that direction though. I would of thought that any appeal to that would lead to us believing that all decisions are made at random or something... I have no idea!

 

Have you seen arguments made like this?? if anything, I'd think it would still eliminate free will and just be a different sort of "indeterminate determinism" lol. if such a thing could be imagined.

 

i only have a basic understanding of Quantum Mechanics though, so a bit of assumption going on here.

they just say that because there is indeterminacy at the quantum level, that such a thing as determinism can't be true~ and somehow, wishing and praying, they use that to say that we have free will.  Its a tired argument~ non of them have ever heard of quantum de-coherence (the notion that indeterminacy on the quantum level doesn't translate to the macro), don't understand that causality at that level is only a vague notion, not to mention the fact that just because the position of an electron can't be determined in the sense that "it will be there in one second" doesn't mean that its indeterminate.  If anything, quantum indeterminacy actually leads to determinism, because in that regard the object is everywhere at once; thus its randomness is merely statistical not physical.  But I digress...

The people who use that argument know not what they speak of~ a point blatantly obvious because if it were just the least bit true the field of psychology would be in complete disarray.

 

 

I am a big fan of the 'hidden variable' theory in QM. Things may appear to be random because there is a limit to our perception, based on the fact that any perception must be by a singular consciousness which is only a small localized part of the universe. Appearing random and being random are two different things. This randomness, according to the hidden variable theory, is caused by an unseen and not known about 'hidden' variable, beyond the limit of our ability to perceive and predict. And this conundrum is only relevant when measuring things in extreme exactitude. It is logically impossible to use the method of science, based on reason, which is based on causality and noncontradiction, to prove that this process is invalid or that randomness is possible.

It is refreshing to see others that are not fooled by the quantum hype.

You hit it right on the head! This is exactly the argument I used to counter the guy who we were initially arguing against that made Park decide to start up this post here. QM would just make decisions random, not "free". Spot on.
Consider yourself lucky that you have not endured the phantasmagorical quantum babble that is out there. You keep this up and you will.
I like to say to say that freedom and control are relative terms describing a relationship between entities. And choice is dependent. Dependency on causality is always. Freedom is not an essential aspect of choice. It is never free from the causal chain, at all.

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