Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments

InTheEndEntropyWins t1_j22vegn wrote

>What matters is t-1 moment before the first *choice*, the combo of genetics, life experiences, and external circumstances was out of the toddler's control. And that combo made the toddler choose a banana over an apple.

No, that doesn't matter at all.

>So, why do we call it free will if the toddler had no control over choosing a banana or apple?

Because it's "them" acting in line with their desires, rather than them being forced or coerced into doing them. That's a big meaningful distinction people and society uses.

So let's use the example of whether a toddler decides to hit someone.

If in one example the toddler decides due to DNA and past experiences "outside their control" that they want to hit someone and then hits someone.

Vs. If a toddler due to DNA and past experiences "outside their control" decide that they don't want to hit someone, but someone promises them a chocolate if they hit someone and that they will get beaten up if they don't.

You would treat the toddler different depending on which. (The example probably works better using adults, but you get the point)

Basically the whole of morality and justice are based on this concept of compatibilist free will. Even if you deny that free will exists, you still would use the concept.

>A human's existence from conception to death is a sequence of moments -- seconds, milliseconds, and so on. Do we agree that up until some moment, a human cannot exercise a free choice? What free choice a newborn baby has?
>Can we also agree that up to the moment of the first manifestation of what we view as a free choice, the prior moment has a combo of genetics, life experiences, and external circumstances that are out of the child's control?
>Each process and action has a beginning and end within a human's lifetime. So, what moment can we define as the beginning of free will?

There is no beginning. This whole analysis just makes no sense, since you aren't talking about what anyone really means by the term. You are talking about being God, not free will.

>In other words, can we define a moment when a person separates himself from a combo of genetics, life experiences, and external circumstances?

They aren't different. You could say free will is just a property used when analysing deterministic systems of genetics and environments.

Again you are talking about libertarian free will, which is just incoherent and makes no sense. Libertarian free will DOESN'T EXIST. It makes no sense to talk about it or use such a definition.


pokoponcho t1_j23pesx wrote

A piece of advice. If you want to be taken seriously on this sub and in life:

  1. Try to comprehend what the other person is saying, even if your view is different.
  2. Use sound arguments.

Good luck!


InTheEndEntropyWins t1_j23pza8 wrote

You've given such a basic take, it's not hard to understand.

But yes, your advice is really good, maybe you should meditate on it.

Here are some basic starting points


pokoponcho t1_j23ypyw wrote

I agree. Cause->effect and starting point of something are basic things. Philosophy combines basic things into logical concepts to help us understand this world. You reject the classic doctrine of philosophy - hard determinism - by nothing but "it doesn't make sense" arguments.

You percept free will as a capacity to make a conscious choice. My point is that our capacity is pre-determined by consecutive interactions between our genes, life experiences, and external influences.


InTheEndEntropyWins t1_j242jdl wrote


Libertarian free will DOESN'T EXIST, but that doesn't matter since most people really mean compatibilist free will which is compatible with a deterministic universe.

Arguments about why libertarian free will doesn't exist don't apply to compatibilist free will. They are completely different things.

Compatibilist free will could be said to be based on the doctrine of determinism.

Hence it makes no sense to use any determinism based arguments against it.


pokoponcho t1_j24fnrl wrote

Please, help me to understand your position. Can you explain the difference between libertarian free will and what you understand under a free will?

Britannica seems to use a libertarian approach to define free will in general: "free will, in philosophy and science, the supposed power or capacity of humans to make decisions or perform actions independently of any prior event or state of the universe."


InTheEndEntropyWins t1_j2517if wrote

I'm sure there are other definitions, but I use something like free will is about "the ability to make voluntary actions in line with your desires free from external coercion/influence".

Free will is key in morality and justice, so I like to understand how the courts define and use it. Lets use a real life example of how the Supreme Court considers free will.


>It is a principle of fundamental justice that only voluntary conduct – behaviour that is the product of a free will and controlled body, unhindered by external constraints – should attract the penalty and stigma of criminal liability.

In the case of R. v. Ruzic

>The accused had been coerced by an individual in Colombia to smuggle cocaine into the United States. He was told that if he did not comply, his wife and child in Colombia would be harmed.

The Supreme Court found that he didn't smuggle the cocaine of his own free will. He didn't do it in line with his desires free from external coercion. Hence he was found innocent.


Compare that to the average case of smuggling where someone wants to make some money and isn't coerced into doing it. If they smuggle drugs then they did it of their own "free will" and would likely be found guilty.

You can also see how the courts aren't using the libertarian definition in Powell v Texas, where they tried a defence that it wasn't of their own free will since they were an alcoholic. While this argument shows they didn't have libertarian freewill, they did have compatibilist free will, hence they were found guilty.

So even if you are a hard determinist, you would need to use this idea around coercion(that the courts call free will). Even if you don't use free will by name you would have to use the concept.


pokoponcho t1_j25kqrv wrote

Thank you for the detailed answer.

Not only do we use different definitions of free will but also different approaches to the subject.

You are talking about the usefulness and practicality of the concept of free will for society. My original comment had nothing to do with that.

In any case, thanks for your time. I learned new things.