Do we have freewill?

I believe in determination. I was determined and it worked. See!

Philosophically, yes, there are different schools of thought on the matter of free will. Theologically speaking however, I believe the point of this fellow is, assuming that we perform actions that result in consequences, are those actions predetermined by some divine being? And if our actions are not predetermined and are the result of choices we conciously make, was that ability to do so granted to us by said divine being?

The late Christopher Hitchens once said, “Yeah I have free will, we have no choice.”

He was being slightly facetious of course, in a debate about religion.

Well while theists and philosophers speculate on hypotheticals, we could observe that both the Christian and Islamic religions claim their deity intervenes to negate whatever autonomy we do or do not have. How can we have free will if a deity can intervene against it, and we are bound to arbitrary and ambiguous divine diktat, derived from bronze age Bedouin cultures, and their notions of morality.

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Speaking purely metaphysically now, what is your philosophical position on whether human, thoughts, actions etc can be said to be our own?

Personally I think freedom of action is questionable, because there are behaviours, instincts and reflexes we do share with other animals that can be said to have been programmed by nature, but I think I definitely have freedom of thought, and especially of imagination.

I don’t get into the whole free will vs deterministic argument, mostly because I don’t give a shit.

BUT I will add my two cents to the above. There is not an imagined idea or thought that isn’t shared or learned from someone else - an evolution of ideas passed down that grows and changes.

It may change a bit and every so often some genius (or oddity of nature :laughing:) does have a unique, original idea or thought, unfortunately though, I would argue that even our thoughts, imagination inklings are copied.

Choosing what to think :thought_balloon:, how to think, what imaginary dreams - that we can “pick” like a book from a library (yet with some, intrusive unwanted thoughts and impulses rule).

What objective evidence is there that anything associated with human consciousness can survive the physical death of a human’s brain? If anyone could demonstrate sufficient objective evidence that human consciousness could survive the physical death of their own brain, then they have pointedly failed to do so.

Beyond that speculation seems pointless, if the claim is unfalsifiable then I remain agnostic, and disbelieve it. As I do with all unfalsifiable claims, as believing one or some unfalsifiable claims is inherently closed minded, and believing them all is absurd, since among other things it could inevitably lead to believing contradictory claims.

Isn’t that a contradiction? If nature has programmed the former, why would you assume it has not programmed the latter? Thought and imagination don’t happen independently of things like instinct and emotion, and hormones.

I accept I seem to have some autonomy, but the idea my thoughts and imagination are entirely free from evolved instincts, emotions and hormones seems dubious. Though I am not an expert in any related fields of course.

A die hard and veritable agnostic I see. To be clear, saying that if something cannot be objectively verified, then in all cases everywhere we MUST be agnostic about its existence or otherwise we are close-minded? That ONLY empiricism and not rationalism can reveal truths?

I get your point and I agree completely. If freedom of action is only partial then freedom of thought must be too.

Well that isn’t what I said either, and the word truths seems a little heavy handed to me. Clearly arguments that adhere to the principles of logic, are demonstrably more likely to produce a valid conclusion than those that do not. Though of course like all human methods, it is not and cannot be infallible. For example I don’t believe you can argue something abstract into existence.

Philosophy and logic were precursors to the scientific method, and with good reason. This does not however mean they are now entirely redundant.

Okay logically speaking, only deductive reasoning with true premises guarantees true conclusions. How do you feel about inference to the best explanation or abductive reasoning?

Even though there is and has never been any objective, verifiable evidence of god and the supernatural, an agnostic will simply say “I dont know” when prompted to speak on God’s existence. Whereas I believe (please correct me if I am wrong) that an atheist surmises that because no such evidence exists and many things that were once purported to only be explainable in terms of the supernatural have since been explained by science, that the best explanation is that such a being does not exist.

We have no reason to believe it exists, the burden of proof is not on us and by Hitchen’s Razor “What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.”

Guarantees? That sounds like an absolute to me.

In what sense “feel”? Abductive reasoning is the logical process where one chooses a hypothesis that would best fit the given facts.

I’m not sure my feelings are relevant. Logic is a method of reasoning that adheres to strict principles of validation. It is not infallible, nor can any human method be infallible.

Only theists and religions believe absolutes are epistemologically possibly.

A hundred years of empirical evidence suggests nature isn’t deterministic. The concept of freewill seems harder to pin down.

I am both an agnostic and an atheist, as they are not mutually exclusive positions. I don’t know if invisible unicorns exist, more importantly since the claim seems unfalsifiable, I cannot know, and must therefore be agnostic about the concept, however since there is no objective evidence to support the concept I also disbelieve it. The same is true of all claims, including god claims.

Agnosticism is defined as the belief that nothing is known or can be known about the nature or existence of a deity. One may then choose to believe or disbelieve claims about any deity, if one chooses to believe something they cannot know anything about, then they would be a theist, but still an agnostic, if they choose to disbelieve such claims they would be an atheist, but still an agnostic.

In order not to be an agnostic about any claim a demonstration of knowledge would be necessary. I find theistic claims for knowledge are generally anecdotal and subjective, and not supported by any objective evidence, or at least they cannot demonstrate any, so I disbelieve their claims.

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Just so.

Our personalities and intelligence are also genetically determined at least to a point.

Looking at lives day to day, most of what we do is habit, with little or any conscious thought. If we have free will, I suspect it’s very limited. I won’t even start on the matter of choice, which I think is even more limited.

But as I said, it’s moot. In the end it’s like arguments about god(s), just navel gazing. Nothing we can do about it. We can change our choices with higher education study and moving to a different city, without blood relatives. Not guaranteed though. No matter where you go, you’re still the same person, with the same baggage.

So, I’ll continue to groove along as if I have free will and as if there are no god(s) and a bunch of other human superstitions and fantasies.

As long as that “dismissal” involves withholding belief, and not the assertion the premise is false, as the latter would be the very definition of an argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy.

Nothing is demonstrated as valid or invalid through a lack of evidence. It’s a principle of informal logic.

If I don’t know whether an assertion is valid, then I withhold belief. If I can’t know whether an assertion is valid, then I am agnostic about it, and without belief.

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This should be written above every child’s bed.

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Of course we have free will.

Free will and free choice are not necessarily the same.
Free will is being able to do whatever action, but choice is the actions people do . The idea of choice is to do something merely on self or someone else. Free will is the having the ability or power to do something.

Do I have the ability or power to not drink water for a week? Yes, but the consequence is death. When thirsty, a biological need, I have choice in drink.

We are limited (power or will) as biological beings. Do I have “free will” as to sexuality? I do have choice on expression or partners or engagement with adults or what impulses I nourish.

I approach this as I do “nature” or “nature”. It is a delicate balance of both influences.