Do humans have free will?

by Realist 32 Replies latest jw friends

  • Francois


    " will does not exist." Well. As noted I can't prove my viewpoint, and you can't prove yours, regardless of the assured attitude in which you (we) dress it up. Just because you believe X, don't make it so, you know.

    As for your other question, "...does it require free will to accomplish the purpose of the evolutionary process?" Um, perhaps you should grace us with your definition of the "purpose of evolutionary process"? You apparently know what it is, or think you know, so let's have it. And then we'll get into it about that definition I feel sure.


  • blondie

    Realist, maybe it only means something to me.


  • Undecided

    Free will doesn't exist. There are too many circumstances that determine our decisions. Example: sickness, genetic makup, gender, age, country of origin, money, sex, children, intelligence, etc. We each must make some of our decisions but to call it free will is streaching it I think.

    Ken P.

  • Tashawaa

    Maybe (scratch that, I am) simple minded, but I love "free will". I don't give a #[email protected]!! damn about the definition or "philosophy" of it - all I know, is I'm FREE of the Borg, so everything I decide for myself definitely feels like "free will".

    By the way, if you believe in God (I don't know....) I don't think he should have equipped us with this concept, because he F*#)@()(!! up majorly by allowing us to make our own "choice". Therefore he made a mistake - hmmmm, perfect?!?!?! If he exists, then things are exactly the way they should be.

  • DanTheMan

    An interesting thread from the past:

  • larc

    Dan, Thank you for bringing my work to other's attention. I thoroughly enjoyed my dialogue with Duns. I liked him and I miss him. He is a JW working on a master's degree in philosophy - a very unusual combination. He came to the board with a lot of high blown verbiage and difficult text. That did irritate people. On many of his posts/subjects, I was no match for him. I did start the one on free will, because I thought that we would be on equal footing on this subject. By the way, he was not banned. The line is through his name is because he asked to be removed because he needed to realocate his time. For those of you who go to the tread I started, it is long, but I hope you have the patience to follow it to its conclusion. It will give you some things to think about. I would like to add that although, Duns and I had very different opinions, we never insulted each other. Our arguements were strong, but not our language towards each other. I think that is how all discussions should occur when people have very different points of view.

  • rocketman

    I think so.

  • Sentinel

    After a very long time of trying to conform to the "will" of others, parents, adults, teachers,--and even that of a god called Jehovah, I have come realize that I have always had free will, but did not perceive it to be so. I felt that things had occured to me in my life which I had no control over, and therefore, my emotional turmoil could be blamed on someone else, or the borg. This was not entirely true.

    In my journey to find and love "self", I came to realize that I absolutely can make my own choices....and, so can every other human being. When our perception is distorted by the will of "others", we cannot see that we have this freedom. Sometimes, we want the free will, but we don't want to pay the price. And, sometimes, our choice may not be good for us. Still, it is our free choice.

    In our various societies humans have established, we more or less, decide among the moral majority as to what is acceptable behavior. There will always be those who make wrong decisions when excercising their free will, whether it be done in ignorance, or purposely. Murderers exercise their free will to kill. Thieves exercise their free will to steal. If they are caught, they will be held accountable.

    As far as our brains being a complex computer, perhaps this is so. If we are programmed by a loving creator(s) that gives us free choice, then what a great system it is. Apparently, scientists have expressed that we have lots of "computer disc space" that remains unused.

    I feel that I am essentially free to do anything at all; however, I must also realize the consequences of bad choice, and that I am responsible for my own decisions. We pay the price for our freedoms.

    Free will is a gift of complexity. As my JW mom said to me in a note, "you have your own free will to do with your life what you want. I have chosen this faith freely and I am very happy and will never change.I recognised many years ago that this 'truth' is something I had been searching for all my life. It answers everything for me."

    I had written to her and told her that I was not upset with her, but that I was upset with an organization that required shunning when it served no loving purpose. This was her reply. I excercized free will when I finally left the JW's, but I paid the price for my decision. I've lost my only living parent. Although I am not happy that we are estranged, it was indeed the best choice for me. The only choice I could make to be true to "self".

  • Skeptic
    in my opinion free will is an illusion generated by our brain....what do you think?

    I think it time, this will be shown to be the case. I don't believe in Fate or Predestiny in the tradition sense of the words, but we may be predestined by the laws of science.

    The universe operates on the laws of physics and chemistry, etc. Our brains are made of neurons, chemicals, molecules and atoms. Every atom, molecule, chemical, object etc. operates according to the laws of science.

    So what every atom in our brain does is determined by the laws of science. How every atom in the universe interacts is according to the laws of science. Hence, how our neurons act are according to the laws of science. Hence, how we all act is governed by the laws of science. In effect, I am suggesting that everything is predestined by the laws of science.

    The impact of this on morality could be severe.


  • truthseeker1

    If Free will doesn't exist, could we predict the future? If there was a sophistacated enough computer that was able to determine all events (natural disasters, etc) and had all of the people's thought patterns in a database would it be able to decide what we will do and then what the outcome will be? We could plan out the entire future of the human race, since it is just a bunch of predisposed reactions to events. Once we have all the variables of nature known and can predict weather, geological actions, etc. and we know how all people will react to such events, there would be no surprises.

    Like Murder for example:Lets say some dude is going to commit a murder. We are told that we are going to. But once we are forwarned about the murder, can we choose not to do it? but now that we are forwarned, and we choose not to do it, that computer would know that we would choose not to do it, so It wouldn't forwarn us, but then we could still do it, because the only reason why we didn't do it was that we were forwarned, so we would do it, but then we would be forwarned about doing it....WOAH!!! too much thinking...

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