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Is freedom a possibility?

  1. May 27, 2007 #1
    Is freedom a possibility?

    All thought is 95% (accuracy +/- 3%) unconscious thought.

    The mind is embodied.

    The ego says, Halt, Hold it.

    The container is one of the primary schemas in which we think.

    If you put it all together its spells:
    • Human ideas are conditioned by deep psychological and social forces.
    • We can operate freely but our horizons are limited.
    • To facilitate free action we must recognize these horizons and these forces.
    • Our horizons are determined by the historical reality into which we are born.
    • Knowledge of our horizons and forces marks a beginning of free action and an ideal marks the telos of our action.
    • Democracy is a suitable ideal as our telos.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 27, 2007 #2
    No, I don't think freedom is a possibility, I think it is mandatory - you don't got any other choice than the freedom.

    As an example: If I one day should got the idea to steal a car, I drive away, and then the police take me.

    Could I then just explain to the judge: No, it was not my free will to steel a car, I just were passing by, and then my thoughts just by coincidence felt into one of those ready built schemes of stealing cars ..

    Will then the judge say: Yes I see, he was just following the ready built scheme for stealing cars - Not guilty.

    By the way which ready built schemes are used for posting and receiving answers to philosophy questions on internet ?
  4. May 27, 2007 #3
    About Democracy:

    I think that democracy can exist as a result of free will from individuals and from nations.

    It is not the free will of all individuals and all nations to have a democracy.

    Neither is it the free will of all individuals and all nations that persons has the equal value and the equal rights.

    These values will be obtained only when enough people agree with their free will that these values are worth fighting and struggling for.
  5. May 27, 2007 #4
    "Our horizons are determined by the historical reality into which we are born."

    That is true and that is one of the major challanges.

    It is not easy to speak about free will, when all your day is used to survive and to find enough food for your children.

    A problem of the western cultures might be that we are educated and entertained to death.
  6. May 27, 2007 #5

    You make a very good point. Some of us live in nations that honor freedom and thus we are stuck with freedom that many people really would rather not to be bothered with.

    I do not comprehend your question.
  7. May 27, 2007 #6
    I would modify your last statement slightly to read "we are educated and entertained into imbecility".
  8. May 27, 2007 #7
    Yes, the free thaught will obviosly need some will to free thaught behind it.

    The problem in our western culture is that we in some way are thaught to leave the thinking and the difficult questions to "the professionals" and "the experts".

    In our free time we are entertained by the use of enetertainment machines, like TV, that does the thinking for us.

    It's actually a positive devlopment, I think that more and more users is moving from the entertainmant machines over to internet, that is rather a free and open medium.
  9. Jun 6, 2007 #8
    for those of you who have watched matrix reloaded, it's like the conversation with the merrovingian when they aruge this point:

    choice versus causality. no one can say for sure. because your choices can create a consequence (a second moving action), then again, a consequence happens and it is your choice to react.

    they are both equal, it depends really which came first, you, or 'the other'.

    you can even go as deep sayign God created the big bang, or maybe the big bang created the notion of God. it all depends how you look at it.

    it's really just perspective and opinion based on self-conviction.
  10. Jun 7, 2007 #9
    if your actions were CAUSED, how were they FREE? if UNcaused, how were they willed? freewill = oxymoron term. No one seems able to cause the universe to retrace a single step, that is reverse the course of events that have brought all to the present moment...no matter which present moment one considers, thus everyone and everything seems to be exactly where it must be, no choice about it... if there is no choice now, when was there?
    It seems to take the human mind about 0.3 seconds to become aware of what is going on while the universe seems to move in about 0.1^10-23 second quantum leaps = by the time you have become aware of what seems like the present it is the long dead past...no one is able to effect the present moment because no one is aware of it...what we do is always a delayed calculated response to past data.
    The only freedom that matters is the one we need as semi-independant agents to persue the resolution to our own mental/physical energy imbalances... like individual corporations we are competing and co-operating for resources towards our own goals which have meaning to us because we are constantly aware that our moves have consequences for our self awareness which is always seeking happiness and avoiding pain.
  11. Jun 7, 2007 #10
    well, i think this isnt really the right question to be asked.

    No one in america is truly free, but we are free enough to be happy, so who cares?
  12. Jun 8, 2007 #11
    And? So? What?
  13. Jun 8, 2007 #12
    Use your freedom - start thinking :-)
  14. Jun 8, 2007 #13
    Actually they couldn't be free, unless there is cause and effect. If every action produces a random result, you're not really choosing anything.
    The classic debate about freewill vs determinism really revolves around defining freewill poorly.

    Its true all choices are caused by the past, but freewill is really about being in a situation where one 'could' if so disposed, choose some other action. Having the ability to jump off a cliff, but never choosing to do so, doesn't mean we are not free to do so, because of someone else was in our same position and they were disposed to suicide, they could.
  15. Jun 8, 2007 #14
    computers can so chose too, but no one grants them freewill... why? because we understand HOW their decisions are made and none of them are outside their programming... which is where many feel humans differ, but I find no actual detectable difference. Humans seem just as programmed as any other computer, though far more complex and with re-cursive updating, but no more so than neural-net computing seems capable and no one grants those machines freewill either.
  16. Jun 8, 2007 #15
    Because they can't pass a turing test? Which is not really the issue here.

    You see no detectable difference between humans and computers??
    While its true any given human will deterministically follow a path, thats not really what choice is about. Choice is about the ability to turn desires into action. Computers don't want things, they simply follow instructions, because their systems are very simple.

    If computers were as capable as you claim, we would all be out of jobs. The human ability to reflect on a choice, to understand 'hypotheticals' is what we describe as freewill. Freewill without determinism is nonsensical. Denying freewill is an abdication of the human mind.
  17. Jun 8, 2007 #16
    joedawg wrote:
    If computers were as capable as you claim, we would all be out of jobs. The human ability to reflect on a choice, to understand 'hypotheticals' is what we describe as freewill. Freewill without determinism is nonsensical. Denying freewill is an abdication of the human mind.

    humans discover what they like and how much they like it, they do not chose this. they can reflect, compare and contrast on what they decide about, but these are all complex calculations being performed in the meat machine --see Kurt Vonnegut-- and not magically performed and so are in that respect no different from any computer, just far more complex. What seems to seperate humans, at present, from any computer is our ability to feel pain and pleasure and thus CARE about outcomes for what seems like purely our own benefit...yet this is just one more aspect of our nature that we had no hand in placing there and is so not "free" but part of how we make our decisions as, again, the strengths of our pain, pleasure, desire, and aversion are discovered and not chosen.
  18. Jun 8, 2007 #17
    Humans are just as much apart of the world as anything. But like I said, you are oversimplifying and abusing a simplistic computer analogy. Computers do not interact with the world on the same level as the human mind.

    See Compatibilism

    I never said there was anything magical about it, I'm simply pointing out that you are ignoring the nature of the complexity and misidentifying what freewill is and basing that definition on unsupported conclusions. I have no problem with determinism or the mechanistic nature of the universe, but we are talking different orders of magnitute. Comparing a human mind to a pascal program is like comparing human action to quantum mechanics.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2007
  19. Jun 14, 2007 #18
    the original question was-- is freedom a possibility. I would say the answer is freedom from what? relative freedom from each others apparent desires seems obvious, freedom from the laws of physics seems non-sensical. We are as free as we care to be in that we have the relative freedom to pursue our own desires and goals constrained by the shared rules of the game. As in cards we have limited options based on what we are dealt, but within those options we are apparently not constrained by anything other than our own personally calculated responses.
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