No. of Recommendations: 1
I do not believe we have free will, that's it's all genes and STHTU. That is subtly, but importantly, different from saying I believe we do not have free will. The former is saying that I have seen no evidence, the latter that I don't think it's possible. I will not speak for others who are making stronger statements, though I do find the reasoning interesting to think about.

You believe in the experience of consciousness but disbelieve the experience of conscious choice. Why the difference? If your consciousness can't make choices, what is it there for?

Let's first be pedantic:

Yes, I am aware. Even as I know that my senses can distort what I perceive, I am at least aware of the inputs from them.

And, yes, it seems I make choices.

benjd25 has argued quite convincingly why libertarian free will is a non-starter.

So what free will could I have, and where could it come from? I am a product of my genetics and STHTM both in-utero and since. What else is there? Where is it? The brain is an immensely complicated parallel processor. What else is there? And how can it overcome genes and neural pathways? The universe has been evolving for 13.8B years, events leading to other events based on physical laws, culminating in me typing this message in response to a message that you typed. The interaction of all the factors is far too complicated to predict (usually), so it seems like a free choice when in fact it may well have been as inevitable as our sun becoming a red giant one day. I have yet to see an argument to circumvents this causal chain.
Print the post  


What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.