1. Zugzwang
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    27 Feb '14 22:37
    Earlier, Black Beetle had expressed an interest in discussing issues about
    determinism vs free will. I had suggested a separate thread. So here is is:
    Let's get the ball rolling with this assertion:

    "A man can surely do what he wills to do, but he cannot determine
    what he wills."
    --Arthur Schopenhauer

    Does this make any sense? In the context of sexual orientation, for
    instance, if a man's born homosexual (I know there's some dispute about
    whether or not this is the case), he's going to be attracted to other men.
    So it does not matter how much a beautiful woman flirts with him, he's not
    going to find her desirable. Now if someone who hates all gay men were
    to put a gun to his head and tell him to 'prove' that he's not homosexual
    by having sexual intercourse with this woman, he might or might not be
    physically capable of doing it, but, obviously, his action would not have
    been motivated by his own free will. His sexual desires would seem to have
    been predetermined. Does he have the free will to choose not to be gay?

    Now I don't intend to dwell upon this scenario. I have mentioned it only
    as a practical case in which people argue about determinism vs free will.
    So I would submit that the determinism vs free will debate does have some
    practical as well theoretical relevance to our lives.
  2. Joined
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    27 Feb '14 22:50
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Earlier, Black Beetle had expressed an interest in discussing issues about
    determinism vs free will. I had suggested a separate thread. So here is is:
    Let's get the ball rolling with this assertion:

    "A man can surely do what he wills to do, but he cannot determine
    what he wills."
    --Arthur Schopenhauer

    Does this make any sense? In the context ...[text shortened]... minism vs free will debate does have some
    practical as well theoretical relevance to our lives.
    "determinism vs free will"???? There is a whole class of conceptions of free will (so-called "compatibilist" ones) that holds that determinism and freedom are compatible with each other. I suppose this discussion should be focused from the outset that the conceptions of freedom at issue are incompatibilist ones? That's too bad, since the compatibilist conceptions are pretty much the only coherent ones.
  3. Zugzwang
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    27 Feb '14 23:071 edit
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    "determinism vs free will"???? There is a whole class of conceptions of free will (so-called "compatibilist" ones) that holds that determinism and freedom are compatible with each other. I suppose this discussion should be focused from the outset that the conceptions of freedom at issue are incompatibilist ones? That's too bad, since the compatibilist conceptions are pretty much the only coherent ones.
    Of course, I am not seeking to exclude any 'compatibilist' position.
    *If* I were, I might have named this thread, 'Does Free Will Exist or Not?'

    When I wrote 'determinism vs free will', I was attempting to frame the
    discussion in terms that would be easier for most readers to understand.
    In the interest of brevity, I often simplify matters for a general audience.
    When I write in more scholarly detail, I have been personally attacked
    for being 'too wordy' or 'stuck-up' (or worse) by some insecure writers.
  4. Standard memberRJHinds
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    27 Feb '14 23:24
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Of course, I am not seeking to exclude any 'compatibilist' position.
    *If* I were, I might have named this thread, 'Does Free Will Exist or Not?'

    When I wrote 'determinism vs free will', I was attempting to frame the
    discussion in terms that would be easier for most readers to understand.
    In the interest of brevity, I often simplify matters for a gene ...[text shortened]... en personally attacked
    for being 'too wordy' or 'stuck-up' (or worse) by some insecure writers.
    Could it be simplified even more so a redneck moron like me could understand?
  5. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    27 Feb '14 23:50
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    Could it be simplified even more so a redneck moron like me could understand?
    "Could it be simplified even more so a redneck moron like me could understand?" Ron, you exercised your volitional free
    will by deciding to post this reply requesting help; you could have decided to ignore the thread, which would have been a negative rather than a positive free will decision. Free will coexists with God's Sovereignty in human history. -Bob
  6. Joined
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    27 Feb '14 23:511 edit
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Earlier, Black Beetle had expressed an interest in discussing issues about
    determinism vs free will. I had suggested a separate thread. So here is is:
    Let's get the ball rolling with this assertion:

    "A man can surely do what he wills to do, but he cannot determine
    what he wills."
    --Arthur Schopenhauer

    Does this make any sense? In the context ...[text shortened]... minism vs free will debate does have some
    practical as well theoretical relevance to our lives.
    It's good to set aside the specific example for a while, partly because the example is controversial and also, are we discussing a difference of genetics versus conditioning versus "free choice of a morally accountable soul" (I think none of those) or is it a metaphysical issue?

    I would like to ask questions that your title word "extent" make me think are relevant. Of what is our will free? Of what must our will be free in order that we consider it "free will"?

    A typical answer is, it need be free of coercion, meaning no one has a gun to your head or the head of a loved one. I think this answer is inadequate, as someone could say you can choose death.

    So, of what, or from what, is a free will free?
  7. Joined
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    27 Feb '14 23:54
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    "Could it be simplified even more so a redneck moron like me could understand?" Ron, you exercised your volitional free
    will by deciding to post this reply requesting help; you could have decided to ignore the thread, which would have been a negative rather than a positive free will decision. Free will coexists with God's Sovereignty in human history. -Bob
    Posting the OP in the Spirituality forum was a choice freely made, which has consequences. 🙂
  8. Standard memberRJHinds
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    27 Feb '14 23:55
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    "Could it be simplified even more so a redneck moron like me could understand?" Ron, you exercised your volitional free
    will by deciding to post this reply requesting help; you could have decided to ignore the thread, which would have been a negative rather than a positive free will decision. Free will coexists with God's Sovereignty in human history. -Bob
    Yes I know that, but is that what you think Duchess64 means?
  9. SubscriberSuzianne
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    28 Feb '14 00:03
    Originally posted by JS357
    A typical answer is, it need be free of coercion, meaning no one has a gun to your head or the head of a loved one. I think this answer is inadequate, as someone could say you can choose death.
    Of course. Otherwise it cannot be free will. If one chooses "not God", does one not choose death?
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    28 Feb '14 00:10
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    Of course. Otherwise it cannot be free will. If one chooses "not God", does one not choose death?
    I meant choose a bullet in your or your loved one's head.

    But the principle is the same. Of what is our will free, if we choose God over not-God or vice versa?
  11. Zugzwang
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    28 Feb '14 00:181 edit
    Originally posted by JS357
    It's good to set aside the specific example for a while, partly because the example is controversial and also, are we discussing a difference of genetics versus conditioning versus "free choice of a morally accountable soul" (I think none of those) or is it a metaphysical issue?

    I would like to ask questions that your title word "extent" make me think are r ...[text shortened]... omeone could say you can choose death.

    So, of what, or from what, is a free will free?
    First of all, I was concerned that some people would respond to this thread
    by saying, 'Who cares about to what extent does free will exists or not?
    It's a theoretical question with no practical relevance.' So I sought an
    example of a situation where it seems to have some practical relevance.
    Unfortunately, I might have inadvertently conflated 'free will' as a
    philosophical concept with it being understood in practical or legal terms.

    Speaking of the latter, let's suppose that a man points a knife at a
    woman's throat. No further words are needed. She submits to sexual
    intercourse with him. After he's been arrested for allegedly raping her,
    he claims that she gave herself intimately to him of her own 'free will'
    because she did not say 'no' or put up any resistance to his advances.
    I doubt that anyone, except perhaps for the most extreme kind of sexist,
    would believe that her 'free will' was genuinely free in this case.
  12. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    28 Feb '14 00:281 edit
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    Yes I know that, but is that what you think Duchess64 means?
    "A man can surely do what he wills to do, but he cannot determine
    what he wills."
    --Arthur Schopenhauer (OP)

    Postulating a convoluted sentence may be a gently provocative tactic to stimulate varying opinions (just a guess).
  13. Standard memberRJHinds
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    28 Feb '14 00:30
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    First of all, I was concerned that some people would respond to this thread
    by saying, 'Who cares about to what extent does free will exists or not?
    It's a theoretical question with no practical relevance.' So I sought an
    example of a situation where it seems to have some practical relevance.
    Unfortunately, I might have inadvertently conflated 'free w ...[text shortened]... st extreme kind of sexist,
    would believe that her 'free will' was genuinely free in this case.
    I guess one could call that coerced free will.
  14. Joined
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    28 Feb '14 00:32
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    First of all, I was concerned that some people would respond to this thread
    by saying, 'Who cares about to what extent does free will exists or not?
    It's a theoretical question with no practical relevance.' So I sought an
    example of a situation where it seems to have some practical relevance.
    Unfortunately, I might have inadvertently conflated 'free w ...[text shortened]... st extreme kind of sexist,
    would believe that her 'free will' was genuinely free in this case.
    I would say if there is such a thing as free will from a metaphysical/philosophical POV, her will was free in that respect (again, I said if) -- but of course I would say legally speaking, on its face her acquiescence was not a free will act of consent.

    I would say if she put herself in an innocent-looking situation where a reasonable person would feel safe, and was drugged and essentially comatose or not under her own muscular control during the act, it was neither a metaphysical/philosophical free will act, nor (of course) a legally free will act.

    I believe this thread is not going to go in an direction that interests me so will lurk and see.
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    28 Feb '14 00:38
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    "A man can surely do what he wills to do, but he cannot determine
    what he wills."
    --Arthur Schopenhauer (OP)

    Postulating a convoluted sentence may be a gently provocative tactic to stimulate varying opinions (just a guess).
    I don't think Schopenhauer spent much time on the gentle stimulation of varying opinions.
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