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Jo
Jo

member
Location: Sheffield, England
Member Since: 13th Dec 2000
Total posts: 517
Posted:Ok, another psychological hot potatoe this one. Basically if proven a lot of good lawyers could get a lot of dangerous people released from prison, which is why it has not yet become a 'mainstream' concept.



IMHO! wink



Whenever you do anything - ANYTHING! - your concious self has not used free will at all to make that decision.



Actually, your subconcious has decided to do it.



You can then, if you wish, execute 'free won't'.



How many times did you realy have no reason to reach over there? Failed free won't execution.



Ever hit someone? Shouted?......... smile



Jo.


Educate yourself in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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i8beefy2
i8beefy2

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Location: Ohio, USA
Member Since: 24th Mar 2003
Total posts: 674
Posted:AHHHH yes Sarte, I think it was him, thank you.

Here's the point. Let's say there is free will, that everything is NOT causilly determined. HOW do you go about making a choice? Is it really just RANDOMOSITY or do you make your choice based off what you KNOW or BELIEVE (Which both can be drawn to what you have experienced in your life). You DO make a choice, but it is made based on prior things, just like an EFFECT from a CAUSE. The idea is that making a choice is STILL free will even if it is causilly determined to make you choose a specific way.

If you really want to follow this line of reasoning for a while I can pull out my Philosophy of Religion book, or you can go look up Plantinga and his arguments on compatibilism yourself...

And ack, I still havn't shown how my horse problem makes sense... If God's omniscience does NOT apply to future events but is locked to time, such that the world is causally determined, but NOT in a future sense but in an unfolding sense, THEN the horse problem makes a bit more sense. There is no deterministic reason for the horse to do either IN THAT CASE.


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nearly_all_gone
nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton
Member Since: 3rd Aug 2004
Total posts: 1626
Posted:I've read several arguments on compatiblism, including the most plausible (in my mind) Humean compatiblism, but I still disagree. I think Van Inwagens gives a good account of incompatiblism, basically:
1) Assume the world is deterministic
2) If the world is causally determined, then if we understand everything about point in time P (more than we can currently understand - the synapses and memories in peoples brains and what they mean etc etc) and the laws of nature (again, in far greater depth than we currently understand), then we can predict the state of the world at later point in time Q
3) In order for me to have done other than I did to get to point Q, I would therefore have to have broken the laws of nature
4) So, for free will to exist, it would have to break/exist outside of the laws of nature
4a) (my point) - there is no adequate reason to assume consciousness is free from the laws of nature, particularly the laws of consciousness which certainly seems to obey certain laws, although they are too complex for us to adequately understand in any real sense (although Phenomenology is giving us some account). To assume consciousness has some special character of freedom from the causal chain* is unfounded - at worst, it implies an act of egotism by consciousness, assuming itself to have some original and unique character wholly independant of the laws of nature and the rest of the universe. This is unjustifiable without evidence. **
5) Hence determinism is incompatible with free will

Whilst Van Inwagens is a Libertarian, not a fellow Strong Determinist, he still agrees incompatiblism is the most logical thing.

Any account of "free will" in a compatiblist sense doesn't make logical sense, in my mind - it isn't "strong" free will (I think that's the right term, but I might be wrong). What the Humean compatiblist argues, for example, is that we act according to our desires. They say we have freedom because we are not restrained from acting in accordance with (or coerced into acting differently from) our desires. They say that in another possible world, we may have acted differently as we had different desires.

But this doesn't mean free will in any normal sense of the term. If free will is simply freedom from the restraint of not being able to act in accordance with our desires, then it describes the exact same thing determinism does. All free will in this account means is that we are FREE to DO AS WE'RE TOLD by our desires, which determinism can give an account of as having wholly causal origins. This is not a realistic account of freedom - this is simply giving a name to something which is causally defined in such a way as to assume the benefits of a true account of free will without anything like the normal (and only meaningful, non-trivial) account of free will having been proved or even described - and this is the Hobbesian sense of freedom! He says that he does not require freedom from the laws of nature, only the freedom from restraint - but the fact is the laws of nature (esp. causality) ARE a restraint!

If you think you are the originator of your own desires, then you must believe them to be self-causing. Which implies that causality doesn't apply to consciousness. Why not? What makes the conscious being so special that it can exist in any different sense than the rest of the universe? And even if we are to accredit with this special account, what caused consciousness to come baout? The causal chain of evolution, for a start.

I personally think it's far more plausible that consciousness can be adequately defined in terms of natural laws, but that we are simply not intelligent or developed enough to generate such an axiomatization yet.

Also - our desires start at birth, or at least at some early page in our development. But we do not choose our desires. We are at their mercy - we may believe we have some control over them, but only so far as we desire to control them. Desires start at birth (or at least some time around there, be it conception or the age of 2 or whenever), but we do not choose to be born. We cannot choose to be conceived. If one is to give an adequate account of free will, one must describe how we can influence the world before we exist.

For free will to exist, I believe one must hold that consciousness is a self-causing event, which I personally think is illogical given my personal beliefs about causation.

* which even the implication that it can apply some form of pressure on the causal process implies - one must be free from the process to act against it. This is true of causation in the terms of causation. If you were to cause the act of acting against causation, you couldn't if you were causally caused to do so - you would simply be adhereing to a reflective causal process. You would need to have an uncaused act, freedom, in order to act against the process - and there is no way in which you could gain this without having first some idea of the thing which you are acting against, although this knowedge implies a cause again - we need to be caused (by causality) to react against causality, otherwise we are simply making random acts, which again is not what free will means

** and it is also clear to see why consciousness views itself in this way, ie the nature of the reflective consciousness is egotistical, examining itself as independant of the universe and its laws, which in reality there is no evidence it can be - for example, we don't have any evidence of consciouness as seperate from the universe, namely because our only direct experience of consciousness is our own experience of the world (so the world, at least as far as our body, and consciousness are wholly linked), or if you're no so skeptical of other people, who are presented to us in terms of their worldly presence - their bodies.

--------------------

I do recognise that this is an uncertain area, widely open to debate. I just feel that strong determinism can undermine every argument I have heard yet, and that any compatiblist account relies upon an account of consciousness as being imbued with features which exist outside of every other known element of the universe - self-causing, (or at least non-causally defined) existence.. and I think a very strong argment would be needed to convince me that this was possible. and I've not seen any, despite having read widely in the area over the last week smile

This is a really interesting issue. I hope I've not offended anyone by having such strong opinions in one direction, I just genuinely believe that we live in a deterministic universe and that this is wholly incompatible (in fact antonymous (sp?)) with free will. I'm thinking of writing a paper on it, although that would take a hell of a lot more work than I've put into this thread so far smile


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:Written by: nearly_all_gone


5) Hence determinism is incompatible with free will





If 'free-will' is defined as being necessarily apart from physical causal chains then that's true.

Some of us believe that 'free-will' is defined as actions caused by belief states of a self.

Written by: nearly_all_gone

All free will in this account means is that we are FREE to DO AS WE'RE TOLD by our desires, which determinism can give an account of as having wholly causal origins.



By our desires as moderated by our conscious will.

Now that is still causaly determined; and rightly so, as the only other option would be that we're told to do actions by things other than our own desires/conscious will.

This really is all coming down to those two different definitions of free-will.

I prefer the one I'm using because it is useful i.e. it can be used to distiinguish cases of voluntary choices from those of forced/influenced choices.

Whereas, with your definition, all that can be concluded is that there is no free-will.

There's a phrase- 'throwing out the baby with the bath water'.

In trying to deal with some grey areas of free will (the traditional sense of free will) you've simply scrapped a useful phrase and replaced it with nothing.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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i8beefy2
i8beefy2

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Location: Ohio, USA
Member Since: 24th Mar 2003
Total posts: 674
Posted:Well said nearly_all_gone. I find it difficult to respond with anything as meaningfully put together, at least one that isn't gonna start anything more cryptic and deeply involved...

I concur. Free will is incompatible with a deterministic universe, but a deterministc universe is only supportable on the ASSUMPTION of the LAW of cause-effect. If we throw out that causality is a constituent part of reality, it might help free will's case a little. I've never liked that law... so I'm going to throw it out for a second. There's another thread on here, <a href="http://www.homeofpoi.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/352606/page/0/view/collapsed/sb/5/o/all/fpart/1#Post357681">here</a>, that we've been discussing this in which I now direct you to.

Basically, causality is not a part of the universe, but part of how we PERCEIVE the universe. I am not a strict realist (in fact I'm quite a sceptic). We order the universe in such a way and live accordingly. There's an article post in there about Hollographic Paradigms that is very interesting on this point (We construct reality by consensus, therefore some kind of order is necessary, and we base it all on cause-effect though that is not really a part of reality but a construct of our will for their to be order, all very New Agey but compelling and supported by some experiments). If causality falls down, so does the deterministic argument.


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nearly_all_gone
nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton
Member Since: 3rd Aug 2004
Total posts: 1626
Posted:Written by: onewheeldave

By our desires as moderated by our conscious will.

Now that is still causaly determined; and rightly so, as the only other option would be that we're told to do actions by things other than our own desires/conscious will.

This really is all coming down to those two different definitions of free-will.

I prefer the one I'm using because it is useful i.e. it can be used to distiinguish cases of voluntary choices from those of forced/influenced choices.

Whereas, with your definition, all that can be concluded is that there is no free-will.

There's a phrase- 'throwing out the baby with the bath water'.

In trying to deal with some grey areas of free will (the traditional sense of free will) you've simply scrapped a useful phrase and replaced it with nothing.


Well, true I've scrapped it, but I've replaced it with determinism. I don'[t believe it is a useful phrase, because I don't believe free will exists - hence any such phrase is meaningless and confusing, according to my philosophy.

Which I think I explained pretty well. Of course if you have a different belief from mine then free will may still be a meaningful phrase, but in terms of a deterministic universe (agreed, this is by no means a foregone conclusion, just my personal belief) then I believe free will can't have any meaning. I don't ebleive there is a choice which is free from causal (ie coercive/restrictive states of the world, namely physical laws which can be used to infer later states of the universe from earlier ones, given the correct understanding)

You say your conscious will moderates your desires - but that implies your conscious will is free from desires (like the way I described influencing causality - you need to be outside of the chain, or behave differently - ie be self-caused - from every other mental phenomena to do so). What *makes* you moderate your desires? The desire to do so. What creates that desire? The desire to desire to moderate your consciousness (etc etc, to an infinite regress). Personally, I think it's far less likely that this one particular moderation desire is infinitely regressive than simply assuming the universe responds to some (apparently) infinitely regressive causality.

i8beefy2: Thanks for the link to the other thread smile I'm off to have a read now. Would you describe yourself as a regularity theorist then? Because that causes me loads of problems wink regularity theorists have a better argument than me.. for now. wink


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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i8beefy2
i8beefy2

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Location: Ohio, USA
Member Since: 24th Mar 2003
Total posts: 674
Posted:A regularity theorist? Not quite shure what that term means... If you mean because I am theorizingabout whether regularity (cause-effect) is a justified conclusion, then I suppose I am a new convert to the idea... for now. But I've only begun to look into it, though the philosophical implications are fairly straightforward for this topic so I thought I'd throw them in.

I love pihlosophy...


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nearly_all_gone
nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton
Member Since: 3rd Aug 2004
Total posts: 1626
Posted:Me too biggrin By regularity theorist I mean (and forgive me because my knowledge of Philosophers themselves is rubbish) a kind of Humean (?!) regularity theorist.. as in someone who doesn't believe any form of neccessity of natural law to be in the world as it is in itself.. in the (neo?)Kantian sense that we impose our own notions of causality and necessity upon the world..

? smile


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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Ignitrance
Ignitrance

newbie

Member Since: 6th Mar 2005
Total posts: 2
Posted:i believe we HAD freewill before anything existed...where we 'plotted' out what we were going to do forever in the future..
thus what we live now is more like a movie than a game. there is only one way for everything.



-pC-

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i8beefy2
i8beefy2

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Location: Ohio, USA
Member Since: 24th Mar 2003
Total posts: 674
Posted:I believe that everyone had free will up until the point that we decided to imprint cause-effect relationships onto our experience and now we are mostly drones with no real will, though we can train our will and break free from the established consensus reality.

Or maybe we had free will up until someone defined it and then because we had conceptualized it into our deterministic system of definition that it became subjugated to that deterministic system.

Nah not really. Planned out? Like we were God but are now God-force experiencing our creation? New Agey me thinks, but interesting...


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TheWibbler
old hand
Location: New Zealand
Member Since: 11th Apr 2003
Total posts: 920
Posted:I love the term 'New Age' ~ Hermetic Philosophy is considered New Age, even tho it predates modern physics by a few thousand years and is perhaps what jesus learnt on his little trip to egypt at around 13 years old.

As for free will i'd say about 9 in 10 people i see in my life are asleep, zombies, no idea what they want, just told what they want by media. Perhaps 1 in 10 are trying to wake up. Whether or not they have the free choice to do so, i don't know. I think it's all cause and effect but not in a 1D straight line from past to future as we tend to percieve it. More like a multi dimensional array where effect can predate cause or vise versa, or happen instantaneously.


Spherculism ~:~ The Act of becoming Spherculish.

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nearly_all_gone
nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton
Member Since: 3rd Aug 2004
Total posts: 1626
Posted:Sounds like the Matrix.

What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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i8beefy2
i8beefy2

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Location: Ohio, USA
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Posted:Hermetics?! Don't even get me started. That's a whole nother thread which could occupy us for the next few months... smile

psssst.... cause-effect don't exist and neither does time or space. It's all constructed by consciousness. Im still out on whether an objective reality exists... I perceive, just not sure what the hell I'm perceiving... I'm fairly confident its a computer, but then if I wasn't Im sure someone would take for absolutly crazy by now...


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nearly_all_gone
nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton
Member Since: 3rd Aug 2004
Total posts: 1626
Posted:With time I agree, but not with Space. Locke had his problems but I bought a lot of it tongue

What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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i8beefy2
i8beefy2

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Location: Ohio, USA
Member Since: 24th Mar 2003
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Posted:time and space are one and the same. For that matter, everything is infinitely interconnected. What we REFER to as space and time are constructed because of our cognitive evolution though. Whether cognitive evolution is a material thing we can't change, or a mental-idea-esque thing that we can is the difference between material idealists and shaminism.

Didn't Locke go "crazy"? Or was that Spinoza? I havnt read Locke in a long time.

Read this:http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/archive/00001563/01/evolutioncognition.html

it's interesting. Don't know if I agree but it speeks to me.


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nearly_all_gone
nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton
Member Since: 3rd Aug 2004
Total posts: 1626
Posted:Time and space aren't necessarily one and the same. You could easily hold that time is a concept we apply to the world.

See? I was listening in Kant lectures, even if he wouldn't agree!

Of course Heidegger would eat me for saying that..


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:From the point of view of modern physics, it would be more accurate to say that time and space are two different views of the same entity- space-time.

From different perspectives, time can, to an extent, be traded for space- so two events which seem to happen at the same time for observer A, will appear to happen consequtively for observer B.

For different observers, time (and space) are variable, but the underlying entity of space-time is constant for all observers.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Rev
Rev

Bastard Newbie Messiah
Location: Apparently lost in my ego
Member Since: 14th Mar 2003
Total posts: 1269
Posted:I've said this before on |s|, free-will and determinism are one and the same.. two sides, the same coin. The misconception is that free-will = indeterminism. Whihc thus sets up the pseudo-problem that is free will.. In saying that a world is deterministic, we are not saying that you don't choose.. Essentially you are going to weigh the options, and continue to reassess the situation until you can appraise one as being 'better'... better being extremely subjective.. just because the choice is 'determined' in the sense that given the factors to be weighed this outcome is 'set' doesnt mean that you didnt choose, so much as it says that you actually chose.. indeterminism on the other hand says not tath you made that choice, but rather that your action was random.. and -could- have been something else.. irratioanlity.. but arent' we rational? doh.. that's another pickle

but dave already covered this quite well..

I can't believe someone brought up heidegger.. although he does make a number of good points..

But I want to leave youwith something to think about.. At whihc point can you assert that you -think- and don't simply 'percieving' thoughts.. Could you even tell the difference? Consciousnous is an awareness. Like watching the code scroll by as a program runs.. oops did I just reference a person like a computer? Iguess people remind me of computers.. or was it computers that remind me of people?!? ubbloco LOL..


More useless information courtesy of Rev...
Confusing the masses, one post at a time...
"Obviously, you're not a golfer.."- The Dude
"Buy the ticket... Take the ride..." -Raoul Duke
"FEMA has never done catastrophe planning..."-Michael Brown

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Mynci
Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...
Member Since: 27th Apr 2005
Total posts: 8737
Posted:I think that the concept of free will is false.
How can it be constrewed as FREE when every action has a consequence the individual must PAY for.
Therefore do we not just have WILL and each of our actions/decisions has a varying degree of COST???


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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quiet
quiet

analytic
Location: bristol
Member Since: 15th Sep 2004
Total posts: 503
Posted:i'm staying out of this one smile

ture na sig

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Mr Majestik
Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear
Member Since: 9th Mar 2004
Total posts: 4693
Posted:haha, i was actually thinking about this today, but i've moved on from free will to the "nothing is truly new" debate, as everything i could suggest has already been covered in some form......................

"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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TinklePants
TinklePants

Clique Infiltrator, Cunning Linguist and Master Debator
Location: Edinburgh burgh burrrrrr
Member Since: 3rd Jul 2005
Total posts: 4217
Posted:I'll have to read this more thoroughly as I had a bad night sleep and i'm v tired.

Anyway, I've always been led to believe that free will basically was a component of conscious thought and along with conscience that allowed us to make the right choices.

We all have subconscious urges, but our conscience decides whether it is a good or bad thing, and free will lets us act on them or supress them. IMO.


Always use "so's your face" and "only on Tuesdays" in as many conversations possible

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:But where can free will come from in a deterministic brain?

According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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TinklePants
TinklePants

Clique Infiltrator, Cunning Linguist and Master Debator
Location: Edinburgh burgh burrrrrr
Member Since: 3rd Jul 2005
Total posts: 4217
Posted:Free will would be stronger in a deterministic brain I would imagine. But if some one is determined enough to go through with something bad for his or her gain, then thats down to his/her conscience, and their free will will carry it out.

Always use "so's your face" and "only on Tuesdays" in as many conversations possible

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:Ahem...I err, meant Determinism in the philosophical sense. wink hug

According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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TinklePants
TinklePants

Clique Infiltrator, Cunning Linguist and Master Debator
Location: Edinburgh burgh burrrrrr
Member Since: 3rd Jul 2005
Total posts: 4217
Posted:ok so determinism is basically the unbroken chain of occurences that lead up to an event. Right. The outcome of these events are based on the choices that we make and our will carries out. I'm no philosopher, but what i said is IMO the truth, or as close as i understand it.



If only I had my papers about karma and free will. I made notes on the subject but they're 600 miles away and i cant refer to them.



Its funny how after thousands of years, men still argue about the concept of free will.



People should stop trying to analyse stuff and just be happy with the fact that stuff happens due to the choices we make - bad or good - it's what makes us human.

EDITED_BY: TinklePants (1138274661)


Always use "so's your face" and "only on Tuesdays" in as many conversations possible

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:I am happy but I don't believe that we have free will in the sense that it is traditionaly described.

According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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TinklePants
TinklePants

Clique Infiltrator, Cunning Linguist and Master Debator
Location: Edinburgh burgh burrrrrr
Member Since: 3rd Jul 2005
Total posts: 4217
Posted:your free will made you post that though.... smile

Always use "so's your face" and "only on Tuesdays" in as many conversations possible

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:Nope, deterministic proscesses made me post it.

(free will couldn't make someone do anything) tongue


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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TinklePants
TinklePants

Clique Infiltrator, Cunning Linguist and Master Debator
Location: Edinburgh burgh burrrrrr
Member Since: 3rd Jul 2005
Total posts: 4217
Posted:it was funnier in my head lol i know free will is not a force that makes you do something, it the decision to do something.
free will - decision
will power - carrying it out.

maybe??? I never took philosophy or psychology - what the hell do I know lol


Always use "so's your face" and "only on Tuesdays" in as many conversations possible

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:This would be where wikipedia comes to your rescue.

According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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