Re: Free Will not an illusion

From: Eric Rauch (
Date: Sat Dec 17 2005 - 00:32:18 MST

how is a rational individual free? he is bound by his rationality which is
ultimately the product of unchosen factors. People ARE very reluctant to
let go of blame

On 12/17/05, micah glasser <> wrote:
> If you define free-will in terms of causality then, of course, there is no
> free-will. However, I think that there is something that is meant by
> free-will and it really has nothing to do with causality. The issue, I
> think, is in what faculty of the mind governs a person's actions - instinct
> or reason. We all know people who's lives are governed by instinct almost
> exclusively. these people act more like animals than people. The truly free
> individual is the rational individual. It is a state of consciousness that
> can be achieved. The ability to achieve this state of rationality may be
> determined by a combination of genetics and environment, but nevertheless,
> that person is 'self-determinate'. This idea is the crux of almost all of
> German philosophy - everything from Kant's categorical Imperative to
> Nietzsche's Will to Power. Man is a being who has the power to direct his
> own actions based on reason (modelling the universe and acting toward a
> super-goal). This same idea can be found also in the theology of St. Paul.
> Paul who constantly makes references to the bondage of the flesh (instinct)
> and admonishes his followers to "take the mind of Christ" (rationality) in
> order to gain freedom over the bondage.
> On 12/16/05, Phillip Huggan < > wrote:
> >
> > "S" is meaningless. Proof of Free-will is physics, not philosophy.
> > Sure, free-will (if it exists) must be derived from unchosen factors because
> > it is possible to trace the chain of causality backwards to when *you* were
> > just your Dad's cumshot and your Mom's ova. In my model, somewhere around
> > E(one billion), you are two years old and your neurons are on the verge of
> > firing; you are deciding whether or not to eat paint. The 1st time you
> > sampled paint (E-500 million), it was inevitable. This time around your
> > brain isn't sure. Part of your decision is based upon your memory of tastes
> > you like. You remember that you enjoyed the taste of paint and would prefer
> > to experience the qualia again. When whether or not your neurons fire
> > depend upon electrical actions in parts of your brain that constitute self
> > (including memory), you are exercising free-will. It doesn't happen too
> > often (and not at all if ! this model of the brain is faulty).
> >
> > *Eric Rauch <>* wrote:
> >
> > <SNIP> Assume that a person (P) is born with certain endowments,
> > genetics and
> > physical factors in general (G), and maybe a spirit or some other
> > ethereal energy (S). So at time 0, before the person has had any
> > experience with the world or had the opportunity to make any choices,
> > the total contents of the person will be P = G + S. None of these
> > factors are the product of free will. G is the product of the parents
> > union, and S (if it is nonzero) is chosen by god or some other
> > ethereal force. At time 1, the person makes its first contact with
> > the world (W), another non! -chosen factor, and has experience E(1).
> > E(1) is necessarily the result of W, G, S, or some combination of the
> > three. Regardless of the permutation, the experience is not the
> > result of free will unless free will is defined as the product of
> > non-chosen factors.
> >
> > __________________________________________________
> > Do You Yahoo!?
> > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
> >
> >
> --
> I swear upon the alter of God, eternal hostility to every form of tyranny
> over the mind of man. - Thomas Jefferson

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:54 MDT