Determinism vs free will

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Do I really have free will? Did I choose to write this or did billions of previous ‘choices’ I’ve made determine it inevitable that I would? But then my previous choices of course weren’t choices, I mean I wouldn’t have made a blog if I didn’t like writing and I wouldn’t like writing if I hadn’t enjoyed English classes, hmm. Or would i?

The deterministic approach assumes that behaviour is learnt, and our present behaviour is dependent on our previous behaviour, like a domino effect that’s out of your control.  But let’s explore those ideas a little. Before, during and after any action there are almost infinite connections being made by neurons and chemicals within my brain it is the communication paths and patterns that these neurons make that determines the signal sent to my muscles that determines my ‘conscious’ action I make, that I either truthly or wrongly assume to be my free will. Are we really going to simplify such an immensely complex process down to a few previous behaviours? I mean did neuron B send a signal to neuron x after recieving a signal from neuron T All because I previously sat on my bed? It does seem immensely oversimplified.

At best I’d accept that off course previous actions have an effect on future actions but to not such an extent of innevitability. Due to the infinite actions possible to make but the finite amount of actions previously made it would allow for no progression. A finite number can only ever be a percentage of an infinite number, reducing the chances down to something finite out of something infinite creates an inevitability possibility of minuscule proportions and nothing more than a preference or persuasion to an action but never a determination. Off course I could be wrong, I may change my mind, but as long as I continue to perceive I have free will whether I am dillusional or not, I don’t mind because it makes no difference.

9 thoughts on “Determinism vs free will

    feministfatal said:
    September 30, 2013 at 12:55 am

    I think it’s Plato who holds that despite the fact that he can’t prove free will, he has to believe it exists in order to value his life, would you agree? 🙂

      Mental Pixelation said:
      September 30, 2013 at 12:59 am

      Completely! I believe it’s fine to question and consider our free will, but I don’t believe we’ll ever come to a conclusion that’ll rid us of feeling as though we have free will, even if we know it’s an illusion even if everything points to determinism we will still ‘feel’ free and that is all that matters, so I don’t think we need worry about it really:)

    Whittlin Rich said:
    September 30, 2013 at 2:37 am

    If you have free will, where are your choices? We don’t choose where we’re were born, our parents, our looks, our natural tendencies, the ideas we’re exposed to, the people that enter and exit our lives, who we love, etc. It seems as though our lives are quite scripted, no? What choices do we actually make?

      Mental Pixelation said:
      September 30, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      Of course many situations and circumstances are unavoidably thrust upon us, that is undeniable, and of course where we are born etc is not down to us but it is not not down to us because of lack of free will. Free will is within our senses and so controlling situations such as birth is impossible because it is not in our senses to do so I.e we cannot travel back in time metaphysically and telepathically communicate to our parents where we’d like to be born. What I question is whether our responses to these situations is due to us, or not. I mean yes we might be physically capable of doing something I.e running a marathon but we don’t, and why we don’t is determined by previous actions, which were determined by previous actions, and on and on it goes.

        Whittlin Rich said:
        September 30, 2013 at 5:26 pm

        Instead of “many”, one might say that “all” situations and circumstances are unavoidably thrust upon us. What situation or circumstance have you had control over? If free will is possible, where does it manifest?

        And since we don’t choose our natural tendencies or preferences, aren’t our “decisions” predictably based on these preexisting conditions? And if that’s the case, where is the free will?

        Mental Pixelation said:
        September 30, 2013 at 5:31 pm

        I think you misunderstand I’m on the same page as you! What I was attempting to express was that even our seemingly fundamental and basic ‘choices’ aren’t in fact choices as indeed mental traits such as likes and dislikes either restrict us or allows us to do certain things, therefor I agree, there is no free will or indeed it is very unlikely

        Whittlin Rich said:
        September 30, 2013 at 6:51 pm

        But you seem to assert the slight possibility of free will. I’m just wondering, at which junctions might free will exist? I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m just curious as to where it might come into play.

    Mental Pixelation said:
    September 30, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    I mean I sway towards determinism but we do think don’t we. And is thinking not who we are? I don’t believe in souls so we are what our brains are (in my opinion) so even if my conscious actions have been determined by my unconscious actions both rely on the brain whether conscious or unconscious and so are my choice, as I am my brain. For example previously I have been bitten by a cat, i didn’t like being bitten.. Wait I didn’t like something so likes and dislikes are determined by emotions which are determined by thoughts which determine my actions. So an emotion I have created or at least some part of my brain has is affecting my behaviour i.e my thoughts are creating the behaviour I display, my thoughts are me therefor I am creating the behaviour is display.. Therefor I have fee will

      Whittlin Rich said:
      October 1, 2013 at 1:13 am

      I would tend to define “free will” as the ability to act outside of predetermined conditions. So if free will existed and you were bitten by a cat, you could freely choose to enjoy the bite. But there was no choice, you were destined not to enjoy it.

      So if that’s the case, it sounds like you don’t have free will, since you’re just following your innate preferences. Would you agree with this assessment? Or do you have a different definition of free will?

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