Sep 032014
 

possibility in a deterministic universe

If you don’t already know, I’m a hard incompatibilist. This means I think free will is logically incoherent in both a deterministic universe as well as an indeterministic universe. In this post, I just want to address if the universe is a “deterministic universe”, meaning entirely causal (all events have a cause), and what such would mean for the word “possibility”.

There are different branches of philosophy. One of these branches is called “epistemology” which is the branch that is concerned with the nature of knowledge. In other words, what we can know, how we can know it, and so on. Another is called “ontology” which is the branch that is concerned with existence (or “being”, “becoming”, “reality”). In other words, it addresses what exists, how it exists, if something cannot exist, and so on.

These two branches are more often conflated than not. People address epistemology when they should be addressing ontology, or ontology for epistemological usages of words. This is very problematic and causes great confusion.

To give an example of how these are used, the claim “rocks exist in the box” is an ontological claim. The claim that “a heavy box is probably filled with rocks” is epistemological. We may not know (epistemology) that the box is filled with rocks, but either they do exist (ontology) in the box or they do not.

Without knowing which is the case, we might say it’s possible that the box is filled with rocks but it’s also possible that the box is not filled with rocks. To our knowledge both of these are “possible”.

But our “knowledge” and what is “actual” (in a deterministic universe) are two very different things. Ontologically, it’s the case that it is not possible that the rocks both exist in the box and don’t exist in the box. If the box happens to be filled with rocks, it was never the case that it “could have” not been filled with rocks (e.g. have been filled with water instead).

In a deterministic universe, we say that someone couldn’t have chosen otherwise. That any other perceived “possibility” at the time weren’t real “possibilities” at all. They were firmly in the realm of epistemological possibilities, not “real” ontological possibilities.

To understand the distinction lets do so from the point of view of two people. Person A doesn’t know what is in the box. Person B, however, knows that the box is filled with peanut butter.

For person A, it is possible that the box is filled with rocks. For person B, however, who knows what’s in the box, it’s not possible that the box is filled with rocks. It can only be filled with peanut butter. These two different perspectives point out where the word “possibility” is, at least for the case of what’s in the box. And it’s entirely in the realm of knowledge. The one who doesn’t know what’s in the box can imagine a number of different “possibilities” for what’s in the box. But in reality, only one of those were ever “real” possibilities (if one of the possibilities imagined was peanut butter).

When people say that the options they have in front of them (before they select one) are all causally possible, they are talking in the same usage as the above. They don’t know all of the variables until they play out, so they attach the word “possible” to the options they don’t know will happen or not. This is fine in the epistemological sense, but in the ontological sense it just isn’t the case. Yet many people will think it is the case that these possibilities are real. This is the conflation of epistemology with ontology addressed.

In an entirely causal universe, every event that happens, does so due to what causes such. And the event that causes such does so due to what causes such. The circumstances for each event couldn’t be different, because each cause couldn’t be different.

In the book I’ve written on this topic it is logically explained that X cannot both be the cause of Y and not the cause of Y. Otherwise X and what it is comprised of would be self-contradictory. I go into great lengths in detailing this important understanding out in the book and why such is so incompatible with multiple “real” possibilities (if, in fact, every event has a cause).

But to shorten such up, if X is caused by W, and W cannot be both the cause of X and not the cause of X, then X simply cannot be a different circumstance. It must, for example, based on it’s configuration, be the cause of Y (rather than not the cause of Y, but of Z instead). The same is to be said for W and it’s cause (V). And V and it’s cause (U). To say that any of these could causally happen another way is a logical absurdity (invoking contradiction).

In other words, any such “possibilities” we assess, with the exception of the one that is the only one that can be actualized,  can never, ever, be in the ontological realm (without acausality/indeterminism, which holds it’s own problems and is thoroughly addressed in the book). In a causal universe the conditions couldn’t be otherwise than that in which someone decides to fill the box with peanut butter (for example). In a causal universe (or beyond), the box of peanut butter could never have been a box of rocks.

But that’s okay, because peanut butter is delicious!

The following two tabs change content below.

'Trick Slattery

'Trick Slattery is the author of Breaking the Free Will Illusion for the Betterment of Humankind. He's an author, philosopher, artist, content creator, and entrepreneur. He has loved and immersed himself in philosophy since he was teenager. It is his first and strongest passion. Throughout the years he has built a philosophy based on analytic logic and critical thinking. Some of the topics he is most interested in are of a controversial variety, but his passion for the topics and their importance drives him to want to express these ideas to others. His other passions include pen and ink line art and digital artwork.

Latest posts by 'Trick Slattery (see all)

  12 Responses to “The Word “Possibility” in a Deterministic Universe?”

  1. Do you believe there might exist a completely causal universe, which contain agents of will?

    The problem I have with discussion of free will, is the nature of absolute, mainly the term free. Do you deny the existence of free will because you are denying the existence of absolute and complete free will; like if I really had free will I could manifest more than infinite different objects right now onto my hand? Or do you admit that the general concept of free will, may speak to; that which is not determined by a singular, system with acting ability as determinator. You see, I believe it would be hard for anyone who believes in free will to suggest that, the will itself is not a determined determinator, but it is a self determinator, the nature of the self, the chooser, the actor, is not the all, it is singularly everything but the all, though it may depend on the all, increasingly the local, the idea of will, or free will, is that certain phenomenon which result in the local environment in relation to the self, or the system of potential free will we are discussing, is not determined by the all, but by that singular system, the self, the will. Which absorbs information from its surrounding environment, and from a state of near infinite potential (of course there will always be limits to everything) acts in such a way that an animate or inanimate non willful conglomerate of material cannot act.

    If there are 10 different options in your refrigerator that you may eat for lunch which you enjoy equally, and it has been an equal time since you last had each dish, it is possible for there to exist no factors severe as the logical, illogical, reasonable, unreasonable, invented, clumsy, accurate, purposeful, pointless, random, eyes closed, planned, calculated, outside of that persons mechanisms of thought, that may determine which choice they will choose. How can you deny that there is an awareness that is responsible, that is confronted with options, and has the complete freedom to make a choice?

    • Hi Daniel,

      Thanks for stopping by the site. :-)

      I agree with you that the problem with free will lies within the realm of such “freedom” rather than “willfulness”. That is why “free will” is distinct from “will” alone…or “causal will”. Or “free agent” is distinct from “agency”. Or “free choice” is distinct from “choice”.

      What I’m saying is, if we were to “rewind time” to before a decision was made, such a decision couldn’t have been, of one’s own accord, otherwise. The weighing of 10 different options and the election of one of those options, if causal, would come out identically. You couldn’t choose the strawberries instead of the piece of pie, if initially you chose the piece of pie. You’d weigh those options the same and make the same decision.

      And if everything is causal, such a decision was dictated before a person was even born. In a way you can say such a decision was “self-determined” in that a number of causal factors leading up to thought and conscious decision happen within the body of a person (if we wan’t to call that body the “self”)…but they extend outward to causal factors that were prior to and many that were outside of such a body (e.g. the environment).

      A person who has a brain tumor which causes them to run down the street naked, might have made that causal decision based on the brain tumors effect on the person’s brain, and the brain tumor might have happened due to numerous genetic and environmental conditions, but we wouldn’t say such a person made a freely willed decision to strip and run naked. The brain tumor might have actually caused the person to think of various options but align with the strip and run option…so they were a “self-determinator” in the regard you mention – just with different causal factors that created less of a coherency of thought than a brain without a tumor.

      So yes, I agree with you that someone makes a “choice” between “perceived options”. They just don’t make a “free choice” between options that are all viable. Their very configuration (and the configuration that surrounds them) will output how they weigh those options and come to the only option that was ever “possible” for them to “choose”. 😉

      • “I agree with you that the problem with free will lies within the realm of such “freedom” rather than “willfulness”. That is why “free will” is distinct from “will” alone…or “causal will”. Or “free agent” is distinct from “agency”. Or “free choice” is distinct from “choice”.”\

        Well I hope people that argue against free will are not arguing against it thinking that it means ‘complete absolute freedom or free will’, this is obviously eternally impossible, as even a hypothetically infinitely free willed being would still be infinitely limited every unit of temporal measurement it exists. The argument or discussion as I have always thought of it and about it, I thought was the concern with whether or not there is ‘actually a ‘thingness’, self, will, which ‘can’ ‘choose”, and that was the free will, as in there was no external pressure potentially to make a certain choice, that their will, was free to choose between multiple choices, is I always thought the general and basic essence of the concept of free will.

        “What I’m saying is, if we were to “rewind time” to before a decision was made, such a decision couldn’t have been, of one’s own accord, otherwise.”

        What I am saying, is the fact that ‘there is a one’, whose accord it can potentially be of or not, is the will.

        “The weighing of 10 different options and the election of one of those options, if causal, would come out identically. You couldn’t choose the strawberries instead of the piece of pie, if initially you chose the piece of pie. You’d weigh those options the same and make the same decision.”

        There is no evidence or proof of this, and the reason is, you are expecting ‘the probability wave function to definitely become collapsed’, so looking at it from before a choice is made, you are saying ‘a choice Must be made’, therefore there can be only 1 future state, with one choice, because it is purely causal events which result in the making of this 1 choice, that must be the choice that must be made. And ‘one’ is not responsible for the weighing? Your example, I would say just isent true, because you are limited to this definite 1 choice, 1 specific event, where there can only be 1 outcome, and then you say, because there was only one outcome, that must have been the one outcome, that must have been. There is just no logical evidence or idea, or it is more logical to assume, that there really are different potentials, before a moment occurs, that deal with a will, and that the will really does have power to for near infinite reasons or lack there of, choose to act.

        The problem is, I believe in complete determinism, obviously, that is to say, all things are determined, because all things occur, and all things that occur determine all things that occur. But where we differ, and where the concept of free will differs, is that the will, has the power to determine, what it wants to determine. It has freedom to express its potential. An asteroid, or the sun, or a rock, cannot change its momentum, or cut itself open, or stop in its tracks (yes we cannot in a sense ‘stop’, I am not arguing for beyond god like freedom, as I mentioned initially in the opening of my response, I am arguing for even the tiniest bit of personal determination, which would be and act separate and independent of the totality of all other determinations), we are self determinators. I open the fridge, because in any conceivable or inconceivable reality, by the nature of ‘something’ existing at all, that something must exist with limits, and therefore laws, I open the fridge, lets imagine we understand there may be even an abstract most minimal unit of time that passes from the time I open the fridge to the time I sit in front of it, and you and I as ghosts are above observing this action, so I can stand in front of the fridge for maybe 5 minutes maybe 10 minutes, doing absolutely nothing, while you and I are as ghosts, having this conversation.

        We can say to each other, we have set this experiment up, I as the refrigerator opener, was told, as law, as limitation, that I must choose 1 of 10 foods to eat for lunch. This is a determination, generally, in that, we know something exactly will occur, as something exactly always occurs.

        Hm, well I suppose I might believe the mind is capable of indeterminism, in the way of randomness and taking advantage of non causal or illogical statements, and so a ying yang of a spectrum of these opposing extremes might be the threshold where the will waivers.

        So I think what I mean by that, is that, it is possible I at the refrigerator can choose something for literally no reason, though you will argue there is always a reason, mainly in this case, it was lunch time, I was hungry, so the reason must be that as we said, it is determined something must happen.

        What if I like all these foods equally, this example really would have been easier to express with numbers, but I am making it the same thing, by saying I like all the foods equally, and I dont really have any emotional or logical memories or attachments to them, my body demands that I eat, there are limits, as I cannot eat the fridge (though I can try to, and that would also be determined…rolls eyes, as of yet since I am still a believer), and you told me to choose 1 of 10, therefore I am expressing it is completely meaningless, I could choose any, I could choose none, I could bang my head into the door, there are many potentials, but I, whatever I am, however I exists or works, this is the ultimate mystery as we dont understand consciousness/awareness/mind how it exists and functions and that is what we are discussion, it is only up to this awareness, this conciseness, this self, this me, this knower of potentials, this knower of the need to choose one of the potentials, I need to pull the trigger, I have the power, I am a self controlled force, I am a self referential self determining self determinator, who acknowledgingly must work within many limits, you cannot deny that at least some of the power comes from within the mechanics of the ‘controllable mind’, (what is doing the controlling, what is the controller. how is it controlled, how is it able to be controlled?) which forces itself to turn probability, to turn a problem, into a fixed future, a solution. Eliminating the existence of this controller, this self, this seeer, this thinker, this feeler, this mind, this chooser, this determiner, is death.

        “And if everything is causal, such a decision was dictated before a person was even born. In a way you can say such a decision was “self-determined” in that a number of causal factors leading up to thought and conscious decision happen within the body of a person (if we wan’t to call that body the “self”)…but they extend outward to causal factors that were prior to and many that were outside of such a body (e.g. the environment).”

        It doesnt matter, as I think you will see from my response, I am not arguing for ultimate pure free will, as I dont think anyone of intelligence ever has tried to do, I am only arguing that I believe at least the tiniest percentage of some mysterious phenomenon is possible, and that is this self determined aspect of the human body, and that is the will of the body, and that I feel is what you are denying completely exists. If you admit there is a power within the human body, that makes choices, you are admitting free will (not absolute free will, I wont stress this again, but free will at all, that is to say, more free will than a rock).

        • “as in there was no external pressure potentially to make a certain choice, that their will, was free to choose between multiple choices, is I always thought the general and basic essence of the concept of free will.”

          Just because there are internal pressures doesn’t mean there are no external pressures. One’s very structure is a product of external pressures.

          “What I am saying, is the fact that ‘there is a one’, whose accord it can potentially be of or not, is the will”

          I agree with you here. Willing causally happens. Consciousness causally happens. Thinking causally happens. Decision making causally happens. And the decision we make causally happens.

          “There is no evidence or proof of this, and the reason is, you are expecting ‘the probability wave function to definitely become collapsed’, “

          I’m not sure what you are getting at with the “wave function collapse”, but if (such collapse) aligns with such a decision, such decision would simply an output that is not due to a wave-function collapse (some other causal or acausal factor). Wave function collapse (or decoherence depending on interpretation, etc.) has to do with quantum particles. If those particles have an effect on our decisions, then so may whether collapse happens or not for them.

          “so looking at it from before a choice is made, you are saying ‘a choice Must be made’, therefore there can be only 1 future state, with one choice, because it is purely causal events which result in the making of this 1 choice, that must be the choice that must be made.”

          To be clear, I’m saying that if everything is causal (no acausal events take place – determinism)…then logically there can only be 1 future state.

          “And ‘one’ is not responsible for the weighing?”

          I’m saying any “weighing” had to happen the way it does (in a deterministic universe).

          “Your example, I would say just isnt true, because you are limited to this definite 1 choice, 1 specific event, where there can only be 1 outcome, and then you say, because there was only one outcome, that must have been the one outcome, that must have been.”

          It follows (if all events are causal) that such “must have been” the one outcome. In other words, an event cannot both be the cause of an effect and not the cause of such effect, as such would make the event self-contradictary. This stems to any and all causal events.

          “There is just no logical evidence or idea, or it is more logical to assume, that there really are different potentials, before a moment occurs, that deal with a will, and that the will really does have power to for near infinite reasons or lack there of, choose to act.”

          The only way it can logically follow for different “potentials” (that are all “possible”)…is if acausal events (events without a cause) happen. And any acausal event simply cannot be a “willed” event (only causal events can be willed). In other words, they are just as incompatible with free will, and also incompatible with “willing” (where as causality isn’t problematic for willing).

          “The problem is, I believe in complete determinism, obviously, that is to say, all things are determined, because all things occur, and all things that occur determine all things that occur.”

          Determinism means all events are causal. I’m agnostic on such a position (though I suspect such determinism is the case – I don’t demand it)

          “But where we differ, and where the concept of free will differs, is that the will, has the power to determine, what it wants to determine.”

          I don’t think we differ much in this regard. There is a distinct difference between determinism and fatalism. Determinism means that our conscious actions are part of the causal chains of events.

          “It has freedom to express its potential. An asteroid, or the sun, or a rock, cannot change its momentum, or cut itself open, or stop in its tracks (yes we cannot in a sense ‘stop’, I am not arguing for beyond god like freedom, as I mentioned initially in the opening of my response, I am arguing for even the tiniest bit of personal determination, which would be and act separate and independent of the totality of all other determinations), we are self determinators.”

          The distinction between these types of events is that one is of conscious and thinking events, the other is not. That’s why I chose the guy with the brain tumor causing him to “want” to strip and run down the street naked. The only difference between him and a person with a properly functioning brain is cohesiveness in thought.

          “I open the fridge, because in any conceivable or inconceivable reality, by the nature of ‘something’ existing at all, that something must exist with limits, and therefore laws, I open the fridge, lets imagine we understand there may be even an abstract most minimal unit of time that passes from the time I open the fridge to the time I sit in front of it, and you and I as ghosts are above observing this action, so I can stand in front of the fridge for maybe 5 minutes maybe 10 minutes, doing absolutely nothing, while you and I are as ghosts, having this conversation.”

          You standing in front of the fridge for 5 minutes happens causally. You couldn’t have, for example, opened the fridge in 1 minute.

          “We can say to each other, we have set this experiment up, I as the refrigerator opener, was told, as law, as limitation, that I must choose 1 of 10 foods to eat for lunch. This is a determination, generally, in that, we know something exactly will occur, as something exactly always occurs.”

          Determinism doesn’t mean we can know what will happen, only that causes “determine” the outcome. The food you choose is the one dictated by an entire line of causality. A line that stems “beyond” what you cann a “you”.

          “Hm, well I suppose I might believe the mind is capable of indeterminism, in the way of randomness and taking advantage of non causal or illogical statements, and so a ying yang of a spectrum of these opposing extremes might be the threshold where the will waivers.”

          Any acausal event can never be a “willed event”. Such has no temporal or spatial determinacy. It would be totally out of one’s control.

          “So I think what I mean by that, is that, it is possible I at the refrigerator can choose something for literally no reason, though you will argue there is always a reason, mainly in this case, it was lunch time, I was hungry, so the reason must be that as we said, it is determined something must happen.”

          I won’t argue that there is always a reason, only if all events are causal is there always a reason. I’m a hard incompatibilist, not a hard determinist. Free will is incompatible in both a deterministic universe as well as an indeterministic universe.

          For your food analogy I decided such is worthy of a post. I changed it to two food items to simplify the analogy (but same holds for 10) 😉
          http://breakingthefreewillillusion.com/buridans-ass-and-food/

          “If you admit there is a power within the human body, that makes choices, you are admitting free will (not absolute free will, I wont stress this again, but free will at all, that is to say, more free will than a rock)

          The definition of free will that I’m against, and that I think most people intuitively feel they possess, and that is the definition of philosophical importance for so many other topics…is here:
          http://breakingthefreewillillusion.com/terms/free-will/

          Catch ya later good sir.

          • I responded to this with the web browser open but no internet, so I couldnt check your link, which I just read now, but I think I still have the right to respond with my responses and see what you can say to them.

            “Just because there are internal pressures doesn’t mean there are no external pressures. One’s very structure is a product of external pressures.”

            I admit, easily and obviously, that there are external pressures, the only argument is whether the internal pressures have any freedom at all. That is to say if according to a human, objectively an subjectively, the universe surrounding them, and even to a large extent within them may be 99.99999999999999% hard determined, I am only interested in the discussion and philosophizing, to reach an idea, of whether or not, there is a minimum >0 degree of freedom that a human has.

            The biggest problem is we do not know a lot about the mind, we cannot I dont think, even conceptually, hypothetically comprehend how the mind functions. Consider that ‘you’ ‘are always ‘looking’ in ‘your mind”. What is seeing the information that comes through your eyes? What sees your memories and how? What can choose a memory to see? How do you see images in your mind? How am I, in my mind, viewing, or ‘speaking’ letters in my head, to then type? It is almost as if the mind, or operator of the mind exists in a state of timelessness, and that is the nature of freedom, that allows choice, to this operator of mind, this viewer of the external and internal, the experiencer of the body. I can say, ‘red car’, and close my eyes or keep them open, and ‘see’, a red car, I am really ‘seeing’ something, ‘I’ must really be ‘something’, that I that sees, in order to see something, even if the mind and memory and imagination is some type of symbolic/digital/sofware/hologram, that is to say, I am obviously not seeing a real car, just as a photograph of a real car is not a real car, but I am, in my mind, seeing, some physical apparatus that displays information in such ways.

            “I agree with you here. Willing causally happens. Consciousness causally happens. Thinking causally happens. Decision making causally happens. And the decision we make causally happens.”

            Well, I discovered you page, after discovering Sam Harris’ ideas on free will, and I thought you were in pretty coinciding belief with his, so I figured to try and better understand, as I disagreed with him, at least I think, that I could argue against you as a substitute. But now, if you agree with this, I probably should read your whole response first, but instead I am going quote by quote and answering, but if you agree with this, I dont know what we have to ague about, because if you agree consciousness exists and decision making exists, by the very nature of those things exiting, then the concept of relative free will exists.

            “I’m not sure what you are getting at with the “wave function collapse”, but if (such collapse) aligns with such a decision, such decision would simply an output that is not due to a wave-function collapse (some other causal or acausal factor). Wave function collapse (or decoherence depending on interpretation, etc.) has to do with quantum particles. If those particles have an effect on our decisions, then so may whether collapse happens or not for them.”
            Yes, sorry, I meant to use it as an analogy. I meant it to talk about the paraphrased argument; ‘to prove that free will does not exist, I will ask you to make a decision. Ok, you have decided. Free will does not exist, because ‘you had to make the decision you made’, because if you could have made otherwise you would’.
            How I tried to relate that, what I think is a weak argument, and the general nature I am arguing against, to wave function/probability and collapse, is by stating; because you know that the collapse will occur, before hand, because you have asked me to make a decision, prior to making the decision, there does exist a probability of options, though you would argue from the future, there was only ever 1 option, because only one decision ever occurs per decision. So the collapse of probability is determined, into 1 choice, when you ask someone to out of multiple choices choose one, but then you use this to suggest that ‘see, you couldnt have chosen differently, the exact choice you made was determined, and you really have no choice’, I am arguing really the only reason he had one choice, was because he was forced to only have one choice, I am suggesting, that before he made the choice, he had the free will, to choose which of the multiple choices he would choose, and this is at the very least, an expression of at the very least a will that is free to choose 1 choice out of multiple.
            “To be clear, I’m saying that if everything is causal (no acausal events take place – determinism)…then logically there can only be 1 future state.”
            Yes, and what I am saying, just because there is always 1 exact successive future state, does not mean for some mysterious, odd, hard to understand reason, systems can exist within larger systems within larger systems etc. which somehow have the power to ‘freely’ (to at least a degree >0) effect the future state they find themselves a part of.
            “I’m saying any “weighing” had to happen the way it does (in a deterministic universe).”
            I am saying, the only ‘evidence’ you have for believing this, is the argument I attempted to highlight 2 quotes up, which I tried to prove as being an illogical argument.
            “It follows (if all events are causal) that such “must have been” the one outcome. In other words, an event cannot both be the cause of an effect and not the cause of such effect, as such would make the event self-contradictary. This stems to any and all causal events.”
            You are ignoring the entire reason we think free will exists, or we can even think at all, which is because somehow, we do have the power to ‘be caused to cause’. Between us being forced to force, exists somehow, the ability to ‘choose’ in what way what is being forced to force ‘wants’ to force.
            “The only way it can logically follow for different “potentials” (that are all “possible”)…is if acausal events (events without a cause) happen. And any acausal event simply cannot be a “willed” event (only causal events can be willed). In other words, they are just as incompatible with free will, and also incompatible with “willing” (where as causality isn’t problematic for willing).”
            I dont see why you say this. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
            If I asked myself to pick one of those numbers above. I can pick any of them, and for no reason. I dont care about them, they are meaningless. I suppose this gets into the nature of random. But I have the power to be random. Which is similar to being acausal. I am caused to pick 1 by the proposition, or external determinism. But I exist in a state where it is possible for me to choose any of them, for equally no reason, or equally any reason. There is no reason why I couldnt pick any of those numbers, if asked to pick just one. This is the probability collapse I am talking about. Because you ask me to pick just one, in the future we know, it is determined my probability must be collapsed to just one pick. But this does not mean reality is determining that I pick any one over the other.
            Thinking about this problem of freewill, in general, I have been trying to rationalize, as in how free will might be possible at all, and I keep thinking something about the nature, of thoughts, language, our human programming, being capable of producing functions which ‘are not logical’, as in we have freedom over our bodies. Everything is logical, foundationally, as in, utilizes unbreakable laws. Everything that exists, exists as it does, and is changing, and obeys the laws of that which is everything that exists is changing as it is changing because it cannot do any otherwise because it is obeying laws. This is the existence of causality, and that reality is destined to be literally physical logic (though reality is…idk, so enigmatic, like physical laws and the ‘existence’ of physical quanta and/or energy at all as it exists in the way and how it interacts, is bizarre, but one must suppose any possible way reality manifests must be bizarre, because why would one suppose there is 1 absolute normalcy, especially with such a complex and vast undertaking that is reality. I think the foundational standpoint for any philosophy must be starting from the perspective and agreement that reality is really marvelous, what we know of it, is, incredible). You are of the belief that is impossible for a relatively small system (composed of many many relatively small and smaller systems) to have even a tiny bit of ‘its own effect’ on the surrounding systems, and some of the systems its composed of, to greater and lesser degrees?
            And you are saying, for anything like the smallest degree of free will to exist, determinism, meaning all events are causal, cannot be true?
            The thing is, it appears that the human mind, is a system/network of mechanisms, which allows the potential of a number of causes to be known, and accessible (yes causally), but somehow, causes act upon the human system, (but the point I am trying to make is that something about the human system, some singularity region that is ‘the consciousness’, what is aware of the information that enters, and is stored in the mind, that can be accessed and played with a number of ways (imagination) is able to ’cause itself to cause’, so yes, it exists because of entire causal and determined factors, but as time progresses, it accumulates more and more material for its body, energy for its body, and the more subtle material and energy of the brain and mind, in the term of solidifying networks in the brain, memories, symbolic representations of the external causal natures of the external causal natures that exist outside the mind, the gaining of language, which is the relation of symbols (words) with objects and events of objects, and comparative feelings about objects and events, all of this gaining, of information, is a gaining of possibility and potential. I believe I could have been born, and covered my eyes my whole life until I died, I believe that was technically possible, but because I didnt, I gained information in my mind, which was a necessary aspect to unleash the potential that was my existence beyond sitting without allowing information to enter my mind and soon after dyeing. I believe because it is the same mechanism (me, I, self, consciousness, cursor, observer, willer, driver) that has sequentially/linearly chronologically (thought with the ability to because of knowledge of causality, and the determination of time, can escape the immediacy of the moment or linear time, and ‘plan ahead’) been observing the information, the external environment, how it related to me, how it stored in my mind, how I liked or did not like it, how I could use or not use it, how I could know more or even more about it, by using language/thoughts, to question more if I wanted to, it is that ‘me, I, self, consciousness, cursor, observer, willer, driver’ which is gaining in potential. The gaining of this potential, is the gaining of freedom, as it might be said, ignorance might be bliss, knowledge might be power.) in such a way that the human system has the causal power to act upon itself and become an agent of cause upon the causal powers surrounding it. When you ask me to pick one number: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
            And that is all you say. Where/how does the cause start, in me, to actually pick a number. Right now I am just sitting blankly, you have given me a demand, I know what numbers are, I know what is meant when it is said, choose one, so that information strikes my ‘information understander’ somehow someway somewhere, but where does the cause begin to pick one? is the causal logical link, if we were being as detailed as possible, “pick a number” and that is the Only cause, immediately next to the forceful action, which that demand, that determination of ‘pick a number’ forces me to pick a number? Is there any stage or activity or action in between that? Is there an ‘I’? Do ‘I’ have a choice to register what you say or not, ignore you or not? Is your demand all that is forcing, or determining the number I will choose to be chosen? Do you get what I am getting at, like…for me to register what you are asking of me, and exist in a state of almost thoughtlessness, maybe I take a deep breath, maybe I think, thats a weird question, why are you asking, should I answer etc. and you would rightfully say me asking those questions would not have existed, if you did not cause me to ask them, but are you really saying ‘i’ have no responsibility in causing them? And that is the very essence of what I am trying to get at, that I, how do I have any existence at all, have any awareness, have any knowledge of being caused, have any power to cause in another? I am caused to pick a number, but I am causing myself to pick a number. You can ask me to pick a number and I can say, no. You can ask me to pick a number, and I can say ANYTHING I can say. You can ask me to pick a number and I can right a 300,000 word book that has nothing to do with what you asked of me, and give it to you. The activity of which, I would argue, is motivated internally, to some degree above 0%. You say pick a number, and that is not good enough alone, to cause a number to come out of my mouth. So you stating that is one cause, that if we now agree fairly, is a cause near the causal relation of me producing a number. But if we rewind back from the point of me stating a number, step by step observing all the details involved, to the point of you asking, I think the mystery, of free will, is how ‘the system/mechanism’ of my head that understands what is meant by your demand, ‘works’, willfully, listens to the command, but not in a determined way by anything outside that mechanism and system. Yes, there are some determinisms, as I say, maybe 99% of that activity that occurs with the mechanism of mind is determined, I am talking about the self determination, which is the concept of at least minimal free will. I would argue this is possible, because the human mind can invent its own means of programming, or pseudo logic, as I said all things foundationally are logic, because they depend on laws, but a human can think and state symbolic language illogically, and I think this might be some kind of representation of causality, or unpredictability, to outside agents.
            My argument is that you are claiming, everything about my mind is determined, maybe. Or you are claiming there is nothing about my mind that has free will. But the thing is, yes everything is determined, but ‘if I have power to determine’, then that is the idea of free will. You would say, I cannot have power to determine, because?
            Because I, in my mind, can make determinations, that dont depend on anything that can be inferred or assumed, or predicted outside of my mind, so I as my mind, has the freedom of determination. My mind, I as it, can has access to maybe lets say at least 20,000 quanta of information, which is mixed up, and stretched, and connected and has networks, and repetitions to itself, all different ways, for example a car, and then I know all sorts of kinds of cars, or an animal, houses, names, etc. I have access to all this quanta of information, the point is, multiple quantas of information, from a state of, not accessing any. When you ask me to pick a number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
            There is no argument you can make (I think the sam harris, your neurons know before you do, argument is silly but I guess it is probably all you have) that says that ultimately, I, do not have the power to determine which of those numbers I will choose. That is an expression of freedom, by my will.

            “I don’t think we differ much in this regard. There is a distinct difference between determinism and fatalism. Determinism means that our conscious actions are part of the causal chains of events.”
            Then when you say, there is no such thing as free will, as your blog appears to parade, what are you saying? And sorry, the only reason I got into this topic, is because I feel Sam Harris is arguing for fatalism, as being synonymous with determinism, or them both extinguishing free will. How do you think consciousness can possibly exist, exchanging terms consciousness for free will, how can a system choose which cause it wants to employ?

            “Determinism doesn’t mean we can know what will happen, only that causes “determine” the outcome. The food you choose is the one dictated by an entire line of causality. A line that stems “beyond” what you can a “you”.”
            The idea of free will is that, because one of the causes that determine the outcome, is a ‘self’, all the causes that self employs, are expressions of that self choosing to employ causes, it can, and ‘wants’, and chooses to. I understand the argument slightly, because the self is limited, it is as if the self is not really choosing, because it cannot choose beyond its limits, it can only occupy the perspective of determined causal relationships between parts or all of its limits, so it is as if that self does not even really exist at all, only causal relationships and limits caused to cause to cause to cause be cause etc.
            You are looking about the line that stems beyond. We already agree there are things beyond what I call ‘me’ that determine things about me. So you can stop bring that up each time, because when you do you miss my point, I eternally and infinitely agree, with that. What you are ignoring is, there is something that can be called ‘me’, that ‘me can call me me’. That I can dictate. When I dictate, I dont exist and am not dictating, but the line that stems beyond me is dictating completely? This is not true, I am dictating. I know the line that stems beyond me, if it dictated, I would sit down and wait to die, and thats what it would the stem beyond me would dictate, because one must will themselves to will, in order to not sit down and wait to die, something beyond the line that stems beyond me, must dictate, that something is the self, the will, the me, I am dictating, I am choosing, I have choice.

            “Any acausal event can never be a “willed event”. Such has no temporal or spatial determinacy. It would be totally out of one’s control.”
            A fish was walking down the road and then turned into cotton candy and flew to the moon which was a spaceship that ate a child, the child was a grown man who played with a yo yo that was made of water which boiled to a rainbow made of gold, the yo yo was completely in the mans control, the man willed the yo yo to drop towards the ground, when the yo yo dropped towards the ground the mans hair shot off his head completely unwilled and acausally.
            I dont believe acausal events can occur, only in a simulation/fakely in the imagination, but this can have effect on the real world, which is my point. So illogic, acausal statements, can play a role in purely determined, purely logical, purely causal reality.

            “For your food analogy I decided such is worthy of a post. I changed it to two food items to simplify the analogy (but same holds for 10) “
http://breakingthefreewillillusion.com/buridans-ass-and-food/

            Of course I would have preferred you use 10, as it gives my point more credence, as the very nature of greater freedom becomes visibly greater when dealing with larger quantities of potential 😉

            “The definition of free will that I’m against, and that I think most people intuitively feel they possess, and that is the definition of philosophical importance for so many other topics…is here:
http://breakingthefreewillillusion.com/terms/free-will/
            Catch ya later good sir.”
            because in the waking state, there is something of a ‘real time release’ continuous supply of electricity or energy to the mind apparatus, which also has access to the past states of its being, according to its memories, to piece back its general or detailed causal history, and project forward in this state, of mind being fed energy to its appartusi which allow for the continuous stream of access to its information that may allow it to draw probabilities and conclusions about the potential causal history to come, it is as if, as long as the apparatus (is alive) is being fed this continuous stream of energy, it is as if the apparatus experiences a pseudo eternity of sorts, a pseudo timeless and spaceless state, yet it very much depends on material,energy, time and space, because the system has stores of energy to feed it, it is as a stable system unto itself. Because this, it itself, can as a contained system, control itself, from this awareness of internal information (brought/given/found to it by external information, and internal information, to a large degree). As long as it has stores of energy, to feed the mind this continual stream of ‘being on’, or being conscious, it has the power of free will, as this being on, or consciousness, is the will itself, or the most distilled singular related concept to the term will, it has the power of free will because from this state of being on, and having the on-ness maintained by the mechanistic system of energy supply, the will, the consciousness, the experiencer of on-ness, itself exists in a potentially action less state, it has the freedom to be actionless until its energy supply runs out, or do what it thinks will most insure its resupplying of energy. Besides the opposite extremes of waiting till off, and doing whatever is most immediately and projected long term logical to remain on, exists a realm of near infinite freedom, in which the consciousness, the will, utilizes limits as it see it can and sees it wants. The reason my 10 option lunch example is perfect, is because it is determined that the will must resupply its energy, but nothing outside of the will determines what exactly the will wants to or decides to resupply its energy with, when given multiple viable options.

          • Hi Daniel,

            Thanks for the response. Rather than go through each item line by line, which could take forever and create a gigantic, unreadable comment, I’d rather focus on a few key points if that’s okay with you. :-)

            First, where we agree. We both agree, I think, that “willing” happens causally (e.g. that we have a “causal will”). We both agree that consciousness exists and is part of determinism (part of the causal process). We both agree that internal processes happen that lead to decisions.

            Where we disagree is that you seem to be suggesting that you could have, of your own accord, done otherwise than what you did. For example, you say ” I believe I could have been born, and covered my eyes my whole life until I died, I believe that was technically possible”, which, regardless of the plausibility of “covering eyes since birth”, you have not done so but you think such “was a possibility” in a deterministic universe (e.g. if we could go back in time, that something could have been different).

            It’s this “possibility” where we disagree. If the universe is entirely causal, as you suggest it is with “I don’t believe acausal events can occur”…then such options never were, and never are “possibilities” (as I mention in this post). They could never be (or have been) “actualized”. We can assess between different “imagined epistemological possibilities”, but only one is and can ever be an “ontological possibility”.

            If (A) is the cause of (B), it cannot also not be cause of (B) – for example, the cause of (C) instead. Such would be the assertion of self-contradictory causes. The variables that make up (A), are the variables that cause (B). Likewise, the variables that cause (A) aren’t the variables that do not cause (A).

            No matter how many epistemological possibilities our brain fathoms (whether we perceive two foods or ten foods or a hundred foods in the refrigerator)…the option that is ultimately decided on is and could have only ever been the option chosen. None of the others had any “real” possibility. There was no “real” freedom to choose these options.

            You mentioned Sam Harris, who primarily makes his case via the Libet and nature neuroscience studies (though mentions the incoherence of free will as well). In my book I mention these studies as evidence against free will – but only briefly. I don’t think they are needed, however, to make the case against free will (nor do I think they are the strongest case available against free will – only that they are “supporting evidence”). Rather, what makes the case against freedom of the will is the fact that such is logically incoherent – which stems into understanding the nature of causality (and if someone postulates acausality – why such is logically incompatible with that as well). Also, Sam does mention the distinct difference between fatalism and determinism in his book, and the fact that he’s written the moral landscape means that he certainly does not take a fatalistic or defeatist approach.

            But before we go on, it may be that we are perhaps having some semantic arguments. Do you accept the definition of free will I propose in:
            http://breakingthefreewillillusion.com/terms/free-will/

            If so, do you agree we don’t have such an ability? If you don’t, this is where our disagreement primarily is (and where we should focus our efforts). If you do agree we don’t have this ability, then again, we are perhaps talking past semantically.

            If such is the case, what is your definition of free will so that we can analyze it? For example, would a person in which a brain tumor causes them to want something and act on that something fall under your definition of having free will? How about a microchip that changes the brain state to make the person want and choose X? If the tumor or chip causes “who they are” at a given time…and that “who they are” outputs the decision they make…would that be a “freely willed decision” per such semantic? If the “supply of energy” comes from the chip to adjust the “will’s energy”?

            Just some food for thought.

  2. Hi Daniel,
    “Thanks for the response. Rather than go through each item line by line, which could take forever and create a gigantic, unreadable comment, I’d rather focus on a few key points if that’s okay with you. ”
    Well you dont really have a choice, so how could I blame you 😉

    “First, where we agree. We both agree, I think, that “willing” happens causally (e.g. that we have a “causal will”). We both agree that consciousness exists and is part of determinism (part of the causal process). We both agree that internal processes happen that lead to decisions.”
    Yes. I think we also must admit that the nature of consciousness is baffling, in that, humans have progressed in knowledge and ability exponentially, and we are so smart and wise and intelligent, yet consciousness, the most fundamental aspect, I would argue in even simpler life forms, still in a large and significant way, escapes us.
    But yes, we agree, would I could I should I say, in the logical train of thought of some sort of ‘materialist’ philosophy. My axiomatic principles of my own philosophic thought stem from the idea that ‘at least something exists’. That is to say, that pure eternal nothingness, is not all that exists. What follows then is that, this totality of somethingness that exists must have always existed, and must always exist, as it cannot turn into pure and absolute nothing (energy cannot be created or destroyed), it only transforms (time)(also need space for transformation to take place). From this perspective, it would follow that reality can only, quite obviously, only ever be tautological, at all times, continuously, it equals itself. So yes, I would claim that even without the natural and obvious nature of any possible nature, would be that the parts of the totality would interact, and only interact and only be interacted with by interacting. That is to say, physical logic, cause and effect, causality, action A determines action B determines action C, etc.
    I would loosely posit that the only time this can be escaped, can only be with ‘trickery, or illusion’, computer simulations, video games, digital programming, projections etc, basically, generating a pseudo reality. Just for example, a video game, if a video game character was an AI, and was not aware of the world outside their experience of the game realm, they could write all sorts of appropriate level laws and figure out their relative physics of that realm, but you and I would agree that the laws they would create would not be the laws of physics, but laws of relative programming code, that utilize the real laws of physics. But that might be a whole nother path of discussion.

    “Where we disagree is that you seem to be suggesting that you could have, of your own accord, done otherwise than what you did. For example, you say ” I believe I could have been born, and covered my eyes my whole life until I died, I believe that was technically possible”, which, regardless of the plausibility of “covering eyes since birth”, you have not done so but you think such “was a possibility” in a deterministic universe (e.g. if we could go back in time, that something could have been different).
    It’s this “possibility” where we disagree. If the universe is entirely causal, as you suggest it is with “I don’t believe acausal events can occur”…then such options never were, and never are “possibilities” (as I mention in this post). They could never be (or have been) “actualized”. We can assess between different “imagined epistemological possibilities”, but only one is and can ever be an “ontological possibility”.”
    The last sentence, is what I kept trying to get you to see my argument against, with my mentioning of…Ok. I am saying there is only one possibility because what is being determined is that there can only be one possibility. The nature of time, is such that you can not be in china and new york at the same time. So the option to go to either exists, but what is determined, is that you will only go to one, if asked or demanded to choose. So if I say pick a number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    I am determining that you will pick a number. Dont you see this, so of course there is only 1 possibility, because that is the rule we are operating under in this assignment. Under those conditions it is no physically possible to choose anything other than one choice, because that is determined by the assignment or demand. What is not determined by the assignment or demand is which number will be chosen. Like with the food example, I will express that to me, I will choose a number, and all of those choices are equal, to me, they equally are meaningless, no intellectual or emotional attachments or significances, they may as well each be an equal platonic sphere, nothing will come of my choice and I know this, I have no stake, it just doesnt matter, its completely meaningless task and process, (but as I made in that reply to you, my point of the ‘being on’, because we are in a state of alive, or on, we can ‘chill’ in a mode of non terror and hell, but just exist in a state where we can discuss such things), from my perspective before I choose a number right now, I can equally choose any one. That is freedom! That is the freedom my will has. What is determined, is that, due to the nature of the demand, I am forced to only choose 1 number. You are saying, which is a very interesting thing, and maybe the entire thing we need to focus on, “No matter what you do ever at all! you are forced to do it!”. That is a very interesting idea, but I suppose my attempt of a counter argument is, if I have an equal opportunity to choose any of the 9 numbers, you are not forcing which number I will pick by asking me to choose one, ‘I have to force myself’ to use my mind and body to speak and number choice I choose.
    So from this perspective of prior to me choosing one number over the others, knowing that there are no reasons or personal relations to any of the numbers, let me ask you; What reason do I have to pick one number over another? What exactly! will force me to choose the exact number I do? Do you see the crux of our opposition, is I am saying the only reason I pick one number, and its the number i pick, is because I am forced by the proposition to pick one number. Whereas you are saying, I pick one number, and it is the number I pick, because I ‘could not possibly!’ have chosen a different one. I do not think you can use hindsight is 20/20 as evidence to validate your argument. Because hindsight is 20/20 is what I am saying = “you must choose one number”. From a point in time now, by stating “you must choose one number” or “you cant eat everything in the world for lunch”, you are making a statement about the limited nature of a state of the future. So making the proposition at a point in time now, you already know, that in the future I will pick only one number, because you have told me too. My argument is that it is physically, logically, realistic for me to equally choose any of the numbers, and the process from comprehending your proposition, to forcing myself to move my mouth to say a number, is the process of the will at work, and the fact that the will has multiple numbers to choose from, is an example of the existence of the will grappling with a freedom.
    It is the very existence of the ability to think that has such a relation to the concept of free will. Can we agree that the ‘computations’, thoughts, imagination, accessing of memory which occur in a humans brain, are not occurring outside of the humans brain? That is vague and tricky wording so let me be clear, what is occurring in the human brain/mind may reflect and may be of what is occurring outside of it, but materially, when you think of a car, when you see a car, when you imagine a flying car, if any of those things exist outside of your mind, when those things exist in your mind, it is not the identical material object existing in your mind. This is the key. Obviously it is the key, as the very existence of thought, or willed mind computation, or consciousness, the very minimal awareness of being on and forced to act, is what separates life from non life, etc. So, the reason the will has the ability to freely choose between options, is because it can think about ‘all things it can think of’ (yea but thats determined!) surrounding those options, and choose any of them, in the number example. I am aware that I can pick any number, and I am right in stating so, this is truth, you have no evidence or proof, that it is not possible for me to pick any of the numbers, only your “yea but I know you will only pick one”, which as I have been saying, is not proper evidence or logical proof or argument. So, when the proposition is asked, I can take as much time as I want, in my mind, to not act physically in the world outside of my mind, meaning cause my chosen number to come out of my mouth. I can compute in my mind that it is possible for my to equally choose any of the numbers, I am aware of this fact, I know that I can pick any of the numbers, I know I must pick one as the rule of the proposition demands it, my awareness of this, is my awareness of my freedom, my freedom exists and my awareness of my freedom exists, it does nothing to aide my decision, but it is the awareness that I actually have the power to make a decision. If not “I” will ultimately make the decision, what do you suggest is making the decision? What will pick the number, when you ask me to pick a number? Given the conditions of you now knowing from me telling you the truth, that each number is equally meaningless to me, in terms of my relation to whether I would pick it or not, what is a reasonable, logical, causal, reason for me to pick one number over another? If you had to rewind the tape, and look at all causal elements, from my speaking the number, viewing all parts of my brain etc. what do you think would be even a hypothetical causal reason for me picking one number over another?

    “You mentioned Sam Harris, who primarily makes his case via the Libet and nature neuroscience studies (though mentions the incoherence of free will as well). In my book I mention these studies as evidence against free will – but only briefly. I don’t think they are needed, however, to make the case against free will (nor do I think they are the strongest case available against free will – only that they are “supporting evidence”). Rather, what makes the case against freedom of the will is the fact that such is logically incoherent – which stems into understanding the nature of causality (and if someone postulates acausality – why such is logically incompatible with that as well). Also, Sam does mention the distinct difference between fatalism and determinism in his book, and the fact that he’s written the moral landscape means that he certainly does not take a fatalistic or defeatist approach.
    But before we go on, it may be that we are perhaps having some semantic arguments. Do you accept the definition of free will I propose in:
http://breakingthefreewillillusion.com/terms/free-will/
    If so, do you agree we don’t have such an ability? If you don’t, this is where our disagreement primarily is (and where we should focus our efforts). If you do agree we don’t have this ability, then again, we are perhaps talking past semantically.”
    Yes, I agree with that definition. And all of my attempts since starting talking to you, have been to prove to you why my belief in the validity of that definition is correct. So, now that you know that, I mean, I stated everything I think, attempingly thorough above, so, I can only suggest to really try to pick apart my questions and answer them, so then I can do the same to you, until we reach mutual understanding of ourselves and the world. I am constantly questioning myself, but I believed since coming across this subject (and having a general interest in all things philosophical) I am more confident than ever that my stance is correct.

    “If such is the case, what is your definition of free will so that we can analyze it? For example, would a person in which a brain tumor causes them to want something and act on that something fall under your definition of having free will?”
    Thank you for these very interesting questions. I suppose the brain tumor would depend. I am never arguing for absolute free will, so if the brain tumor causes them to want something and act on something, that would be just another natural determination like how all beings that have >0% of free will grapple with. I am only arguing that for example a human being able to move their arm at all, is an expression of free will. Now the reactionary argument, is what if certain somethings are always causing a specific person to always move their arm in a certain way, or brain tumor that causes a certain behavior, or I thought of the way some people train dogs to obey a command, if every time I clap my hands, my dog comes to me and sits at my feet, is this dog acting with free will? If after learning my command, it disobeyed it, would that be free will? Does the dog itself, have any power over the dog itself? You are arguing that there is no internal environment, there is only pure objectivity, that is always to itself, mechanistic and we are just observers stuck watching ourselves and the worlds like we are trapped in an already written movie, is that what you are arguing? If that is not what you arguing then you believe that the will has at least a greater then nil degree of freedom. But I sense that movie analogy is the nature of fatalism. I dont know how much free will a person in a coma has, if you asked them to use their free will to move their arm, and they did not respond, I dont know, how much free will a person who has a brain tumor that forces them to do something has, but you do understand I am not arguing that there are not an overwhelming amount of determining factors that we cannot control, I am only arguing that the existence of control is real. To exert ones will over their bodies and the environment surrounding, is a real phenomenon, and because the will from a place of inactivity can do this in an near infinite number of ways, the will has this degree of freedom, when the system of human, amasses a ‘critical’ amount of information, with which to then make real time projections about the world that exists beyond their mind, they are aware that there are a near infinite number of possible actions they may choose to utilize if they want, they have this power, they have this freedom, they have this potential.
    It is like a 1st person video game, the programming is written, the games universe is established, maybe even story line, there is a limited amount of things, MANY, from the pixels resolution, to all the colors, everything about it is full of limitations, there are even though a baffling large number, a finite amount of potential actions given a span of linear time, infinite patterns in infinte time, like the character can potential just move back and forth 100 times, then forward once, and then back and forth 101 times, and forward once. This sort of abstract thinking, is related to the nature of decimals, and the fact there are technically infinite numbers between any 2 real numbers, that given infinite abstract time, there is no reason to suggest a ‘number writer’ cannot write out 1 and then 0’s forever. So, the video game character, there is a world map, there is a story line, talk to this person, go this way etc. but then you approach a field, and it is a relative size, relative large size compared to the character. The rules and laws and environment of that game universe is determined and limited, to be such that the character can only move in so many ways, but nothing in that game, is determining which way the character will move when, and why, totally, I say totally because obviously, once you move 100ft to the left, the following action is predicated, or determined, on that action, but the decision to stop, and move another way, or spin in circles, is not predicated on the games universe, but the will of the character, who is an internal universe unto itself (that is a shitty thing to say, admittedly, I prefer to say as I have said before, systems within systems) it grapples with all the determinations and limits, and its own ability to grapple, is itself determined and limited to a large degree, my only arguement, or the only place I am arguing from, is that it is not completely determined, there is something mysterious, unknown, but I would argue true, about the fact that there is if even the smallest amount of choosing, determination, causing, done by the system itself, as if it had the freedom, to decide what cause it would like to be. A snowflake falling from the sky, this is determined, the snowflake has no power, no choice, it was caused to be created, and it is being caused to fall, and it will cause something to happen continuously, as it lands somewhere, and melts, etc. a human is caused to exist, it eats, and processes information, ‘gaining in physical ability and mental processing ability’, so that unlike the snowflake, the system itself, as a snowflake can be called a system, which has no personal power over its environment or itself, no choice, the human as a system, has power over itself and its environment. I cannot explain how, I can only say, that it does, because all the arguments I have been saying, suggest that a human is aware of its power over itself and its environment, and proves this, by being a force, a causer of causes, unto itself and its environment.

    “How about a microchip that changes the brain state to make the person want and choose X? If the tumor or chip causes “who they are” at a given time…and that “who they are” outputs the decision they make…would that be a “freely willed decision” per such semantic? If the “supply of energy” comes from the chip to adjust the “will’s energy”?”
    instead of a microchip how about an advertisement, advertisements ‘work on people’, people live, people like to own things, people want things, people need things, capitalism is such that there are multiple places to get things, the places that have things to be gotten, want the people to get their things, so they try to cause the people to want to get their things. If an advertisement works on a person, does that person really want what the ad is selling, or are they uncontrollably forced to get it? I know vague question, but this may be a whole nother topic with lots of minutia. Maybe start with my other answers above and we can get back to this.

    • “The last sentence, is what I kept trying to get you to see my argument against, with my mentioning of…Ok. I am saying there is only one possibility because what is being determined is that there can only be one possibility.”

      To clarify, I’m not only saying that there is one possibility, but rather that the one possibility is specific, based on prior events. In other words, prior events can only output one “specific” possibility.

      “The nature of time, is such that you can not be in china and new york at the same time. So the option to go to either exists, but what is determined, is that you will only go to one, if asked or demanded to choose.”

      Again, I’m saying that only one is viable ‘based on what the past events output’. This distinction is important It isn’t that you can’t be in China because you are in New York, but rather that New Yourk was the only actual possibility that the causality could have ever produced.

      “So if I say pick a number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 – I am determining that you will pick a number. Dont you see this, so of course there is only 1 possibility, because that is the rule we are operating under in this assignment. Under those conditions it is no physically possible to choose anything other than one choice, because that is determined by the assignment or demand. What is not determined by the assignment or demand is which number will be chosen.”

      This is where we seem to disagree. I’m saying the number that will be chosen was the only VIABLE option. None of the other numbers were ever a “real possibility”. If we were to rewind time to an hour before the number option, and let the same causality roll, it can never be that a different number is chosen.

      “Like with the food example, I will express that to me, I will choose a number, and all of those choices are equal, to me, they equally are meaningless, no intellectual or emotional attachments or significances, they may as well each be an equal platonic sphere, nothing will come of my choice and I know this, I have no stake, it just doesnt matter, its completely meaningless task and process, (but as I made in that reply to you, my point of the ‘being on’, because we are in a state of alive, or on, we can ‘chill’ in a mode of non terror and hell, but just exist in a state where we can discuss such things), from my perspective before I choose a number right now, I can equally choose any one. That is freedom!”

      I’m saying this is a logical impossibility. The way your brain (and everything else) is structured will output the specific number dictated by what caused such a number. It seems to me that you are attempting to derive an acausal event here in that somehow equalling the desire for each number will output a random choice between the set. If causal, this simply is not the case, as the cause (the configuration that precedes the decision) will output the “specific” number chosen. If you are suggesting that such a configuration could “cause” either 1, or 2, or 3 (etc) to be chosen equally, you have created a self-contradictory cause. A cause (configuration) that is both the cause of 2 and the NOT the cause of 2 (e.g. of 8 instead).

      “That is a very interesting idea, but I suppose my attempt of a counter argument is, if I have an equal opportunity to choose any of the 9 numbers, you are not forcing which number I will pick by asking me to choose one, ‘I have to force myself’ to use my mind and body to speak and number choice I choose.”

      I’m saying the way you use your body to “speak a number” and the number that “comes to the forefront of your consciousness” all come about causally and could not have been otherwise.

      “What reason do I have to pick one number over another? What exactly! will force me to choose the exact number I do?”

      Every environmental and genetic causal structure that has forced that exact number (which could have never been a different number).

      “Do you see the crux of our opposition, is I am saying the only reason I pick one number, and its the number i pick, is because I am forced by the proposition to pick one number. Whereas you are saying, I pick one number, and it is the number I pick, because I ‘could not possibly!’ have chosen a different one.”

      Correct, that is exactly what I’m saying. I’m saying that, if all events are causal, to suggest that you could possibly have chosen a different one leads to contradiction. It’s logically incoherent. It leads to A being both the cause of B and not the cause of B.

      “I do not think you can use hindsight is 20/20 as evidence to validate your argument.”

      That is not what I used. I’m not saying that because you picked one you couldn’t have picked another, but rather that the one you did pick was the only viable option you could have given logic (at least without injecting in acausal events – which have their own problems for free will).

      Before we move on to anything else you said which much seem to be based on you thinking I’m saying that the reason you could not choose another option is that you already chose one (and the two can’t happen simultaneously – e.g. china/ny)…we need to clarify that this is not the argument I’m making.

      Do you agree that A cannot be both the cause of B and not the cause of B? That the configuration of A cannot hold two contradictory causal outputs. A and B can represent specific events, or even the entire state of the universe at one moment and the next moment. Whatever comprises A either outputs B or it does not. To say it has the capacity to do both suggests A is a different configuration. If A is a different configuration, what caused A needs to be a different configuration as well (and so on down the line). In an entirely causal universe, such differences are impossible without a self-contradictory cause…or an acausal even “popping” in to change the causal trajectory.

      To get into the details of the logic I’ve written an entire book on this topic. Since you have interesting thoughts and obviously an interest in this topic (even if for the other side) I’d like to email you a free electronic copy if you want (kindle). You can then read it and see if you can better understand the argument I’m making (if the book clarifies what I’m arguing). Only if you are interested of course.

      And I’m not saying you need to read an entire book, but rather than work in circles, it may be best if you at least read the chapters on causality to get the argument I’m making on that front first. I’m enjoying our discussion and do appreciate your perceptive, just don’t want to have to recreate the wheel if we don’t have to. 😉

      Catcha’ later friend.

      • “Again, I’m saying that only one is viable ‘based on what the past events output’. This distinction is important It isn’t that you can’t be in China because you are in New York, but rather that New Yourk was the only actual possibility that the causality could have ever produced.”

        Sorry for vagueness, I only meant that example as a very generality, to express the laws of physics, that one cannot physically be both in china and new york, so this fact, this physical rule or law of reality, forces only one law to be made, whereas we both know, in a span of time, it is physically possible for a person to both visit new york and china. My entire argument, which you are not really offering any counter arguments too, is that it is not that, all choices or decisions must have been exactly as they were, more so that, as in the nature of physicality and time, like in the new york and china example, it is not physically possible (all the time, maybe there are multi task examples) to make multiple decisions in the same ‘moment of time’ when it is demanded that you only make one. This is my entire argument, you are not talking about it. I am picking a number, and you are saying “you had to pick that number”, “why?”, “because you did, if you could have picked another number, you would have picked it, and then you would have had to pick that”, I am saying, “no, this is not perfect logic, on your part, you are stating with confidence that you know this for certain, but the only evidence you have, is our inability to travel back in time to past states of the universe, the only evidence you have is the inability for when one is demanded to make one decision, they cannot by rule of the demand, make 100 decisions at once, I am saying, this is not evidence that a person has no choice moment to moment”. I think, from my observations and thoughts on existence and reality, without suggesting any clue as to how it works, I believe that everything about reality may be 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999% determined, but that there exists in reality, systems, known as humans, that ‘escape’ the pure determinism of the reality which surrounds them and which they are made of, in which they become a universe that determines itself, and this is called will. I would suggest that some of the greater mass achievements of humans, and a single human, the major freedoms of humans, are composed of many tiny freedoms. So just because the humans is slightly less then 100% determined, over time, this builds up, and they can add together, and there are different percentages, that fluctuate by the microsecond, which build and build over time, and can be maintained, and this is how humans have small moments of choice, which can also effect and cascade into large movements of effective decision making.

        “This is where we seem to disagree. I’m saying the number that will be chosen was the only VIABLE option. None of the other numbers were ever a “real possibility”. If we were to rewind time to an hour before the number option, and let the same causality roll, it can never be that a different number is chosen.”

        Ok, I understand this, but before I choose a number, I am aware I can choose any number, I can even say, “this time I will choose one number, but if we were to rewind the tape after I choose, I promise I would choose another number”, and I would believe this to be true, because I believe I have the power, to choose any number, at any time, because I am aware that all numbers exist, and that it is equally pointless for me to pick any of them. Of course there would be probabilities gradient that I would more likely choose a number <99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 , but there is the possibility I would choose greater. And now the argument goes to the nature of random, I suppose. For, one supposes I have no argument for free will if I am attempting to prove the existence of free will that hinges upon an act of mindlessness right? Meaning, it was a 'thoughtless feeling' that 'forced' me to let go of that 9 button above at the certain moment I did, not a 9 longer or shorter. I just dont get how you can argue that, it is impossible for me to write from now till the moment I died, if I wrote non stop, to write every variation of 9, 99, 999, 9999, 99999, 999999. Would that prove that I have the power, to have written a 9 greater or less, I am free to write 1 or more 9's if I want? This is the freedom I am talking about, how can you deny that statement; "Barring the physical limitations (of not being able to write infinite 9's) I can write x amount of 9's". That is the free will, knowing it is free, to write x amount of 9's. How am I not free to choose how many 9's to write? What is choosing for me?

        "I’m saying this is a logical impossibility. The way your brain (and everything else) is structured will output the specific number dictated by what caused such a number. It seems to me that you are attempting to derive an acausal event here in that somehow equalling the desire for each number will output a random choice between the set. If causal, this simply is not the case, as the cause (the configuration that precedes the decision) will output the “specific” number chosen. If you are suggesting that such a configuration could “cause” either 1, or 2, or 3 (etc) to be chosen equally, you have created a self-contradictory cause. A cause (configuration) that is both the cause of 2 and the NOT the cause of 2 (e.g. of 8 instead)."

        I am saying before I choose, it is clear that there is multiple choices to choose from: "1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 : Choose one"

        Is not: "2" : Choose one

        I am saying, looking at the choices, I am aware, that I must pick one, so I may as well pick any, so it truly is random (perhaps we could do this experiment, by asking 100 or 1000 people to pick a number: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9. Of course I would want to make sure the experiment was flawless, even the way the numbers are presented, I would suggest on a screen like this, would be ideal, instead of spoken, and to stressly make it clear and believed honestly, to the person that there is truly no significance to this experiment, as of course mystery and intrigue and even saying that would cause reactions of thoughts "are they lying to me", "hmmm I wonder what the experiment could be, should I and other people mess with it by just choosing 1", also asking all the people after why they choose the number they did, if there was any significance to it, if they have a favorite number, etc.

        I am saying, the process to the result, because there is nothing at stake, may be a truly random process, you are forced to pick any, so you pick any, I can equally pick 2, because I must pick one, as I can pick 8 because I must pick one, as I can pick all of them, because I must pick one. The one I end up picking, in this regard, is just one that was able to be picked, because it is just another one that was able to be picked, I utilized my freedom, to pick exactly that. The freedom is in, the conscious awareness, utilizing its physical existence, to narrow down this activity of choosing, to picking one, that is the will freely choosing.

        Your argument becomes interesting and more serious, when we discuss things like, work and foods and such. Or, I dont know, I was thinking about ants, I was thinking about the nature of logic, or rational; in the way of, is there an objectively (abstract, but possible) most rational, logical way for each person to exist, and then what would follow is the most rational and logical society, and this would have nothing to do with our preconceived notions or anything, or are you suggesting, everything that has ever occurred and ever will occur and can occur, is the most rational and logical thing that can be possible to occur, because all that exists is physical logic and reason? Is there no absolute logic, like "living the longest most healthiest life is the most rational and logical thing a human can do, and then there is the most rational and logical way of achieving that", or is logic and rational entirely subjective, that is to say, someone's highest form of logic may be to impinge their health and longevity, and this may be true, because they are pure physical logic, and doing exactly what they are doing, and can do nothing else, so they are perfect? Everything is only ever perfect because it can not be anything else, is your argument. Reality equals reality, truth equals truth, that is all, there is no control. Everything, a thing, is controlled by the totality of all things that is not that thing, is your argument (but also controlled by only the material exactity of what that thing is, a rock dropped in water and a ping pong ball dropped in water are controlled by all things that is not the rock and ping pong ball, but also controlled by being nothing but a rock and ping pong ball, you would say all humans are controlled by all things that are not humans, and humans that are not them, and controlled by the fact they themselves are humans, but they are not controlled by themself, because there is no such thing as a self, because how can a self exist, what would a self be, where would it get its power from, how can a self control a self if we dont know how a self can be and what it could be and how it could control if it itself is controlled by not only all things that is not itself but also it self, so the self is completely controlled and doesnt even exist, and so it cannot possible control itself at all, this is your argument?)

        So where I was going with that, is, a human who believes that the longest most healthy life is the most logical and rational thing for a human to strive for, and focus on at all times, do they have any free will, or are they on auto pilot? Did they have any free will to make this conclusion, do they ever waiver in their thoughts? if there is no absolute logic and rational path for a human and its entirely subjective, we are back to, whatever a person does it perfect because they cannot do anything else because they are always doing exactly what they are doing and you cannot both do exactly what you are doing and everything else exactly what you are not doing. And hey, I am just thinking about these things, I am not so settled, but as sure as you have noticed I am leaning towards the existence of the will, and I hope you also would agree I am trying to be as thorough, and objective as possible, I hope we both must agree at the end of it, and the beginning of it, we only truly care for what is true, I am attempting to abandon, and I believe I can do this successfully, my knee jerk feelings, and intuitions, and strive for a comprehension of truth as fully and accurately as is possible, and hopefully beyond.

        Ok, so where my thought leads me with that, is if there is an objective most rational and logical thing for all humans to do at all times, then free will might exist as the act of being illogical, or sacrificing momentary perfection and completeness for future degrees of freedom, something that sets us apart from the simpler animals, whereas ants, and even much simpler organisms are pretty much have obviously less degrees of freedom and potential, a microbe is not going to paint the mona lisa or build a skyscraper or fly a plane (though perhaps I have a pet theory that simpler life did have maybe intelligent part in building more complex life and plants, this is to say nature did build the plane, in creatures that can fly, this is undeniably remarkable to me, as I dont know why its not more likely that reality is eternally rocks and mud, the fact that more complex then the bare minimum simplicity of 'stuff that exists', I mean there is no reason why it is possible other then, it was possible, the way things are are the way things are because the way things are are the way things are.

        So ants, have a simple program, or simpler organisms: Eat, move, Eat, move, reproduce, eat, sleep, sleep, eat, move, move, reproduce. I would imagine using 'weighing mechanisms' and their sensory devices; scan an area, detect a scent of potential food, do they have to choose, using their past memory, whether to go toward the food, or maybe there could be more food to the are with no signal, but just slightly outside their sensing reach, so its a gamble, a risk, but a choice must be made, because their programming is: Live live live live food food food now now now now live live food food food go go choose choose or die, live live food food success yes yes pleasure pleasure food food yum yum more more more go go go left right up down a b a b select start stop wait, sense sense predatory run run run run run safe safe hungry hungry food food food sense etc.

        So does the most logical decision for every creature to make come from above, in an objective way, this insect or microbe, starts with 100% logic, perfect score, and each less then perfect move it makes, its score diminishes slightly? Or there is no score, the insect is born, and it is up to it, whether or not is succeeds based on its utilization of itself? It is determined that if the insect 'wants?' to live it will play the game to the best of its ability, you are saying the insect cannot make a mistake, it cannot choose poorly, it can only choose what it can only choose because it can only choose what it can only choose. And that means! it cant choose. Hm, my argument depends on the existence of more time, whereas you are looking at it in a very point like particle way, because we have minds that are capable of abstractions, considering the future and past, simulating events to determine whether they would be more preferable and or beneficial and or suited to our moods etc. gives us the freedom to choose what we will choose because we want to choose what we will choose, you dont believe there is such thing as want.

        “That is a very interesting idea, but I suppose my attempt of a counter argument is, if I have an equal opportunity to choose any of the 9 numbers, you are not forcing which number I will pick by asking me to choose one, ‘I have to force myself’ to use my mind and body to speak and number choice I choose.”

        "I’m saying the way you use your body to “speak a number” and the number that “comes to the forefront of your consciousness” all come about causally and could not have been otherwise."

        Why couldnt the number have been otherwise, before hand we agree that there are multiple numbers to choose from, before hand we agree that due to the nature of the challenge, I am forced to choose one number, this is proof that I can choose otherwise, if the nature of the challenge permitted it. If you say choose any of the numbers you want, the nature of the challenge permits there being more than one number chosen, now the amount of numbers chosen, and the numbers them self, are not determined by the nature of the challenge, but by the nature of my mind, which I would argue I have the power to determine its nature to some degree. This is the crux of the argument, the power the mind has to interact with itself, and if we, when we say I or we, are that mind, or a part of it, and can view it, and view ourselves. If I some how develop a tick, where I cannot help but say over and over " 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 ", in my head a continuous loop non stop, but then at some point I say "enough of this, this is annoying me, I am going to stop", why could that have been anoying me, what can be annoying about it, what is the nature of annoying, why and how could anything be annoying, what does that mean? if I did stop it, how could I stop it, how could I decide that, what could make me decide that, where would I get the power, where would I get the force, how could I succeed in doing something I say I want to do, what is causing me to want to do it, I cannot cause myself to do something, I do not exist?

        “Do you see the crux of our opposition, is I am saying the only reason I pick one number, and its the number i pick, is because I am forced by the proposition to pick one number. Whereas you are saying, I pick one number, and it is the number I pick, because I ‘could not possibly!’ have chosen a different one.”

        "Correct, that is exactly what I’m saying. I’m saying that, if all events are causal, to suggest that you could possibly have chosen a different one leads to contradiction. It’s logically incoherent. It leads to A being both the cause of B and not the cause of B."

        But one of the causal links is imagine for crude pictorial example "-" represents a causal event – – – – – – – – those are causal events one leading to another; – – – – – – – – – – – – O – – – – – – – – – …. imagine the O has – sticking out around all its sides, (imagine the real human mind/imagination is much more complex then a circle with tiny lines sticking off it), you see my argument is, because of the nature of the mind, it can escape a purely determined causal chain of thick material, and exist in a state of 'time out' from the external world, and compute all causal events before and after the moment, by simulating all these causes and potentials and probabilities, it is escaping the physical world for a moment, and still existing in the physical world of cause and effect, but kind of cheating it, because it is simulating the external world, in the internal world of mind, the mind has this quality of simulation, or thought, and this causes a kink in the chain of 'all things that are not minds', that do not have this quality of simulating and knowing a multitude of different causal relationships, this gives the subject extra degrees of freedom, in navigating the purely determined purely causal world, by escaping the regular dimensions and time patterns, and making a choice, each moment, the human is constantly making choices, unless they are locked in a groove, but it is possible for a human to make choices each moment, it is possible for a human to make no choices their entire life, a human knowing that there are multiple possibilities or routes it can take in any moment, is the freedom. Me knowing that I can pick any number, is my freedom. You telling me after I pick a number, I was not free to pick it, is your freedom, me telling you you are wrong in saying that, is my freedom.

        “That is not what I used. I’m not saying that because you picked one you couldn’t have picked another, but rather that the one you did pick was the only viable option you could have given logic (at least without injecting in acausal events – which have their own problems for free will)."

        I think its not so black and white, it wasnt that it was the only viable option, its that I was forced to pick one, so any one is a viable option. I think the freedom of inventing ones own scales of logic and reason and meaning and casual relations and the ability to change these things to whatever degree one can and chooses to, all make up the very complex and intricate thing that is the potential of human free will. I am aware that I can pick any number, I weigh the options maybe, this is the causal logic you speak of, lets use fruit now in stead of numbers, there are 9 apples in front of me, I pick up each one and examine them, I am looking for out of these options the ideal fruit right? Boom, I have no free will, when I find the best fruit according to obvious objective and eternal standards, least amount of blemishes, maybe the biggest, I am a slave to predictability, to events and accordances thrusted upon me, I must pick the most ideal apple because I dont want gross apple bruises in my mouth, I want to minimize the risk of getting sick, I want to maximize the probability of getting nutrients, well, I dont want this, I need this, I am forced to want this, so I am not forcing myself, is your argument. But if I see the 9 apples, and say, yes I am aware that life demands I eat, I am aware I may get sick if I eat a less then ideal apple, but I want to live, so I want to eat the best apple available, so you can say I am not free to choose, but I am choosing life, so I accept the auto pilot of seeking the ideal, because I am giving up the freedom to potentially get sick, which is a free choice. But wait, I want to live, but I also have a fetish for eating bad fruit, so I take the worst apple of them, which to me is the best, and I eat it, and get sick and am miserable, but I didnt, because I lied, I took the best apple, but it had a blemish inside I couldnt see, so I got sick, and miserable, but I have a fetish for being sick and miserable, so It made me happy, but I am not choosing any of this, because I do not exist, and I have never moved because I have no power to move or choice, I can raise my right arm right now, but I cant, because I didnt.

        "Do you agree that A cannot be both the cause of B and not the cause of B? That the configuration of A cannot hold two contradictory causal outputs. A and B can represent specific events, or even the entire state of the universe at one moment and the next moment. Whatever comprises A either outputs B or it does not. To say it has the capacity to do both suggests A is a different configuration. If A is a different configuration, what caused A needs to be a different configuration as well (and so on down the line). In an entirely causal universe, such differences are impossible without a self-contradictory cause…or an acausal even “popping” in to change the causal trajectory."

        Ok, I agree so far, but believe the main problem, is A an observer, and does A as an observer have the power to observe options, and physically select one of them, if so, A is like nothing else we know of to exist in reality, and its main distinction is that it has a greater degree of ability selection over itself as A and over the causal environment that surrounds A.

        • This is going to be long. 😉

          “My entire argument, which you are not really offering any counter arguments too, is that it is not that, all choices or decisions must have been exactly as they were, more so that, as in the nature of physicality and time, like in the new york and china example, it is not physically possible (all the time, maybe there are multi task examples) to make multiple decisions in the same ‘moment of time’ when it is demanded that you only make one. This is my entire argument, you are not talking about it.”

          I don’t understand your argument. I agree with you that it is physically impossible to make multiple decisions in the same ‘moment in time’ when it is demanded that you only make one. It seems to me that this is not a counter to my argument … which doesn’t have to do with this.

          “I am picking a number, and you are saying “you had to pick that number”, “why?”, “because you did, if you could have picked another number, you would have picked it, and then you would have had to pick that”, I am saying, “no, this is not perfect logic, on your part, you are stating with confidence that you know this for certain, but the only evidence you have, is our inability to travel back in time to past states of the universe, the only evidence you have is the inability for when one is demanded to make one decision, they cannot by rule of the demand, make 100 decisions at once, I am saying, this is not evidence that a person has no choice moment to moment”.”

          This, however, is not the argument I’m making for why you couldn’t have picked another number. The argument I’m making is that the configuration that has led to you picking a very specific number couldn’t have been otherwise, and the configuration that lead to that configuration couldn’t have been otherwise. If the universe is entirely causal, self-contradictory causes logically follow from such “otherwise possibilities”.

          If you look at the definition I provide here, I display it in both present tense and past tense. Perhaps it’s the past tense that is leading you to the thinking that I’m using a “because you already did X” argument. To be perfectly clear, I am not.

          I’m saying the decision you make is the only possible decision that ever could have been made, based on the causality that precedes it. None of the other options that you might think about were ever VIABLE options.

          “I think, from my observations and thoughts on existence and reality, without suggesting any clue as to how it works, I believe that everything about reality may be 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999% determined, but that there exists in reality, systems, known as humans, that ‘escape’ the pure determinism of the reality which surrounds them and which they are made of, in which they become a universe that determines itself, and this is called will.”

          Determinism simply means that all events are causes. If you are saying there is a .00000000000000000000000000000001% that isn’t determined, you are talking about acausal events (indeterminism). Such events would have no spatial or temporal determinacy. They could never be “willed” events.

          “I would suggest that some of the greater mass achievements of humans, and a single human, the major freedoms of humans, are composed of many tiny freedoms. So just because the humans is slightly less then 100% determined, over time, this builds up, and they can add together, and there are different percentages, that fluctuate by the microsecond, which build and build over time, and can be maintained, and this is how humans have small moments of choice, which can also effect and cascade into large movements of effective decision making.”

          A buildup of acausal events are are buildup of unwilled events. They not only couldn’t grant free will, they would be more detrimental to any causal willing.

          “Ok, I understand this, but before I choose a number, I am aware I can choose any number, I can even say, “this time I will choose one number, but if we were to rewind the tape after I choose, I promise I would choose another number”,”

          If we rewind time you wouldn’t be aware we rewound time. We would simply be playing causality from the same point in time, in which case (logically) it could not play out differently (unless we inject in acausal events).

          “I just dont get how you can argue that, it is impossible for me to write from now till the moment I died, if I wrote non stop, to write every variation of 9, 99, 999, 9999, 99999, 999999. Would that prove that I have the power, to have written a 9 greater or less, I am free to write 1 or more 9’s if I want? This is the freedom I am talking about, how can you deny that statement; "Barring the physical limitations (of not being able to write infinite 9’s) I can write x amount of 9’s. That is the free will, knowing it is free, to write x amount of 9’s. How am I not free to choose how many 9’s to write? What is choosing for me?”

          The very specific configuration of your brain state, environment, chemistry, etc. can only bring about a specific 9X to the forefront of your consciousness.

          “I am saying before I choose, it is clear that there is multiple choices to choose from: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 : Choose one.

          Is not: 2: Choose one”

          I understand this, and those other options are part of what leads to the illusion. You thinking another number other than 2 could ACTUALLY come to the forefront is an illusion. The reality is, causality will lead you to think about 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 which will be part of the process that MUST lead to the decision of 2 (for example).

          “I am saying, looking at the choices, I am aware, that I must pick one, so I may as well pick any, so it truly is random”

          If something doesn’t cause you to pick one number over the other, you are talking about an acausal event (“truly random”). Such events would be entirely detrimental to willing. The is why “up to the chooser “ and “of one’s own accord” is part of the definition. To address the problem is such events aren’t “up to the chooser”.

          “perhaps we could do this experiment,”

          Speaking of experiments, are you aware of the Libet and newer Nature Neuroscience experiments? The newer ones shows we can predict a button someone will press (given left or right hand) 7 to 10 seconds before they are consciously aware of the decision to press one over the other, by looking at brain scans. This at least shows a causal mechanism that takes place even prior to one’s own conscious awareness of a decision (though in itself isn’t the case against free will – the logical case is)

          “I am saying, the process to the result, because there is nothing at stake, may be a truly random process, you are forced to pick any, so you pick any, I can equally pick 2, because I must pick one, as I can pick 8 because I must pick one, as I can pick all of them, because I must pick one. The one I end up picking, in this regard, is just one that was able to be picked, because it is just another one that was able to be picked, I utilized my freedom, to pick exactly that. The freedom is in, the conscious awareness, utilizing its physical existence, to narrow down this activity of choosing, to picking one, that is the will freely choosing.”

          Again, acausal events can never be willed, and causal ones can never have multiple contradictory effects (B and ~B).

          “Your argument becomes interesting and more serious, when we discuss things like, work and foods and such. Or, I dont know, I was thinking about ants, I was thinking about the nature of logic, or rational; in the way of, is there an objectively (abstract, but possible) most rational, logical way for each person to exist, and then what would follow is the most rational and logical society, and this would have nothing to do with our preconceived notions or anything, or are you suggesting, everything that has ever occurred and ever will occur and can occur, is the most rational and logical thing that can be possible to occur, because all that exists is physical logic and reason? Is there no absolute logic, like living the longest most healthiest life is the most rational and logical thing a human can do, and then there is the most rational and logical way of achieving that, or is logic and rational entirely subjective, that is to say, someone’s highest form of logic may be to impinge their health and longevity, and this may be true, because they are pure physical logic, and doing exactly what they are doing, and can do nothing else, so they are perfect?”

          Logic is simply our most consistent and reliable methodology (in the forms of deductive logic and inductive logic). At the base of logic is certain tautologies such as identity and non-contradiction. Whether or not a person uses such methodologies comes about causally, and depends on a number of factors (e.g. what they have learned, there propensity to be concerned over what is rational, etc)

          “Everything is only ever perfect because it can not be anything else, is your argument.”

          I certainly don’t think everything is perfect (I don’t even like the word “prefect” to be honest).

          “Reality equals reality, truth equals truth, that is all, there is no control. Everything, a thing, is controlled by the totality of all things that is not that thing, is your argument (but also controlled by only the material exactity of what that thing is, a rock dropped in water and a ping pong ball dropped in water are controlled by all things that is not the rock and ping pong ball, but also controlled by being nothing but a rock and ping pong ball, you would say all humans are controlled by all things that are not humans, and humans that are not them, and controlled by the fact they themselves are humans, but they are not controlled by themself, because there is no such thing as a self, because how can a self exist, what would a self be, where would it get its power from, how can a self control a self if we dont know how a self can be and what it could be and how it could control if it itself is controlled by not only all things that is not itself but also it self, so the self is completely controlled and doesnt even exist, and so it cannot possible control itself at all, this is your argument?)”

          To be clear, I’m saying what we think, say, and do is part of what is caused. Humans are a complex mechanism. A computer can have multiple processes working, and those processes are “controlled” by the hardware of the computer…but such could not process differently. A computer isn’t “free” to process otherwise, even if it has millions of numbers in a database that is opts one from. And don’t take this to mean I see people as computers, as computers (currently) aren’t consciousness. But consciousness isn’t outside of identity and non-contradiction. It’s still restricted by what causality means.

          “So where I was going with that, is, a human who believes that the longest most healthy life is the most logical and rational thing for a human to strive for, and focus on at all times, do they have any free will, or are they on auto pilot?”

          I’d definitely argue against that person’s conclusion, and if they heard me, such might causally change their position …depending on the factors in place that would allow such a change.

          “Did they have any free will to make this conclusion, do they ever waiver in their thoughts?”

          If they do waiver, they couldn’t have not waivered. 😉

          “if there is no absolute logic and rational path for a human and its entirely subjective, we are back to, whatever a person does it perfect because they cannot do anything else because they are always doing exactly what they are doing and you cannot both do exactly what you are doing and everything else exactly what you are not doing.”

          I’m still not sure what you mean by “if there is no absolute logic”. For example, in deduction, either something is logically “sound” or it’s not, meaning either its premises are true and the conclusion follows from those premises – or such is not the case.

          “And hey, I am just thinking about these things, I am not so settled, but as sure as you have noticed I am leaning towards the existence of the will, and I hope you also would agree I am trying to be as thorough, and objective as possible, I hope we both must agree at the end of it, and the beginning of it, we only truly care for what is true, I am attempting to abandon, and I believe I can do this successfully, my knee jerk feelings, and intuitions, and strive for a comprehension of truth as fully and accurately as is possible, and hopefully beyond.”

          This is good, I am glad for this (and see you are a truth seeker). If I thought otherwise I wouldn’t take the time to respond. Also, I too believe in the existence of the “will”, I just don’t believe in freedom of the will (FREE will)

          “Ok, so where my thought leads me with that, is if there is an objective most rational and logical thing for all humans to do at all times, then free will might exist as the act of being illogical, or sacrificing momentary perfection and completeness for future degrees of freedom, something that sets us apart from the simpler animals, whereas ants, and even much simpler organisms are pretty much have obviously less degrees of freedom and potential, a microbe is not going to paint the mona lisa or build a skyscraper or fly a plane (though perhaps I have a pet theory that simpler life did have maybe intelligent part in building more complex life and plants, this is to say nature did build the plane, in creatures that can fly, this is undeniably remarkable to me, as I dont know why its not more likely that reality is eternally rocks and mud, the fact that more complex then the bare minimum simplicity of “stuff that exists”. I mean there is no reason why it is possible other then, it was possible, the way things are are the way things are because the way things are are the way things are.”

          People act on illogical understandings of reality all the time. Again, logic is a methodology used to parse truth.

          “So ants, have a simple program, or simpler organisms: Eat, move, Eat, move, reproduce, eat, sleep, sleep, eat, move, move, reproduce. I would imagine using “weighing mechanisms” and their sensory devices; scan an area, detect a scent of potential food, do they have to choose, using their past memory, whether to go toward the food, or maybe there could be more food to the are with no signal, but just slightly outside their sensing reach, so its a gamble, a risk, but a choice must be made, because their programming is: Live live live live food food food now now now now live live food food food go go choose choose or die, live live food food success yes yes pleasure pleasure food food yum yum more more more go go go left right up down a b a b select start stop wait, sense sense predatory run run run run run safe safe hungry hungry food food food sense etc.”

          I agree with this.

          “So does the most logical decision for every creature to make come from above, in an objective way, this insect or microbe, starts with 100% logic, perfect score, and each less then perfect move it makes, its score diminishes slightly?”
          Ants and microbes don’t use logic. As far as I know only humans have the capacity to understand and use such methodologies. Ants work more on instinct.
          “Or there is no score, the insect is born, and it is up to it, whether or not is succeeds based on its utilization of itself? It is determined that if the insect “wants” to live it will play the game to the best of its ability, you are saying the insect cannot make a mistake, it cannot choose poorly, it can only choose what it can only choose because it can only choose what it can only choose.”

          No, it can only choose what it can only choose, because that choice is determined by what causes it to choose. It’s (specific) configuration that leads to what it “chooses”…a configuration that could not be otherwise.

          “And that means! it cant choose. Hm, my argument depends on the existence of more time, whereas you are looking at it in a very point like particle way, because we have minds that are capable of abstractions, considering the future and past, simulating events to determine whether they would be more preferable and or beneficial and or suited to our moods etc. gives us the freedom to choose what we will choose because we want to choose what we will choose, you dont believe there is such thing as want.”

          I’m saying that all abstract thought, considering the future and past, simulating events to determine whether they would be more preferable and or beneficial, etc…can only come out the way they due based on the structure of the universe that precede those thoughts and actions. And likewise, the structure of the universe that produces that comes about from the structure that precedes it.

          “That is a very interesting idea, but I suppose my attempt of a counter argument is, if I have an equal opportunity to choose any of the 9 numbers, you are not forcing which number I will pick by asking me to choose one, ‘I have to force myself’ to use my mind and body to speak and number choice I choose.”
          Again, an actual “equal opportunity” in which nothing causes you to move to one over the other will simply lead to a standstill – as I suggest in this article. The reality is, however, that what you perceive as an “equal opportunity” is not really an “equal opportunity”, just as rolling a die is not actually an equal opportunity of a 1 2 3 4 5 6, but rather all of the physical factors can only lead to the specific outcome (e.g. of a 3)…regardless of our epistemological inability to know such factors.”

          “Why couldnt the number have been otherwise, before hand we agree that there are multiple numbers to choose from, before hand we agree that due to the nature of the challenge, I am forced to choose one number, this is proof that I can choose otherwise, if the nature of the challenge permitted it.”

          There being multiple numbers to choose from does not mean that all of those numbers are VIABLE…only one is. And more importantly, the one that is is dictated by the causality that brings such number to the forefront of your conscious thought.

          “ If you say choose any of the numbers you want, the nature of the challenge permits there being more than one number chosen, now the amount of numbers chosen, and the numbers them self, are not determined by the nature of the challenge, but by the nature of my mind, which I would argue I have the power to determine its nature to some degree. This is the crux of the argument, the power the mind has to interact with itself, and if we, when we say I or we, are that mind, or a part of it, and can view it, and view ourselves. If I some how develop a tick, where I cannot help but say over and over “ 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 “ in my head a continuous loop non stop, but then at some point I say “enough of this, this is annoying me, I am going to stop” why could that have been anoying me, what can be annoying about it, what is the nature of annoying, why and how could anything be annoying, what does that mean? if I did stop it, how could I stop it, how could I decide that, what could make me decide that, where would I get the power, where would I get the force, how could I succeed in doing something I say I want to do, what is causing me to want to do it, I cannot cause myself to do something, I do not exist?”

          The logical fact is, in an entirely causal universe, something does cause you to say “enough of this, this is annoying me” at the specific time you do say it. If something doesn’t cause it, then such is coming about acausally….something you equally would have no control over (acausal events can’t be willed).

          >>“Correct, that is exactly what I’m saying. I’m saying that, if all events are causal, to suggest that you could possibly have chosen a different one leads to contradiction. It’s logically incoherent. It leads to A being both the cause of B and not the cause of B.” < < - me “But one of the causal links is imagine for crude pictorial example - represents a causal event - - - - - - - - those are causal events one leading to another; - - - - - - - - - - - - O - - - - - - - - - .... imagine the O has - sticking out around all its sides, (imagine the real human mind/imagination is much more complex then a circle with tiny lines sticking off it), you see my argument is, because of the nature of the mind, it can escape a purely determined causal chain of thick material, and exist in a state of “time out” from the external world, and compute all causal events before and after the moment, by simulating all these causes and potentials and probabilities, it is escaping the physical world for a moment, and still existing in the physical world of cause and effect, but kind of cheating it, because it is simulating the external world, in the internal world of mind, the mind has this quality of simulation, or thought, and this causes a kink in the chain of “all things that are not minds” that do not have this quality of simulating and knowing a multitude of different causal relationships, this gives the subject extra degrees of freedom, in navigating the purely determined purely causal world, by escaping the regular dimensions and time patterns, and making a choice, each moment, the human is constantly making choices, unless they are locked in a groove, but it is possible for a human to make choices each moment, it is possible for a human to make no choices their entire life, a human knowing that there are multiple possibilities or routes it can take in any moment, is the freedom. Me knowing that I can pick any number, is my freedom. You telling me after I pick a number, I was not free to pick it, is your freedom, me telling you you are wrong in saying that, is my freedom.”

          The only thing that can “escape a purely determined causal chain”…is an acausal event. I go over both of these possibilities thoroughly to great extent in my book. I also explain why it isn’t just the “physical world” that free will is logically impossible / incoherent in…but anything we postulate as existing outside of the material universe as well. I also explain how complexity does not help. These are all things I’ve written chapters upon chapters about and simply can’t recreate this wheel in these comments. Like I said, I’d be willing to email you a (entirely free) electronic copy…just say the word. 😉

          “I think its not so black and white, it wasnt that it was the only viable option, its that I was forced to pick one, so any one is a viable option.”
          No, I’m saying (logically) that you were forced to pick the SPECIFIC one you picked. It’s not just that you were forced to pick one, but rather (if everything is causal)…the one you picked was the only one you ever could have picked.

          I think we are repeating a lot here. 😉 It’s a logical impossibility (in a deterministic universe) for it not to be the “only viable option”.

          >>”Do you agree that A cannot be both the cause of B and not the cause of B? That the configuration of A cannot hold two contradictory causal outputs. A and B can represent specific events, or even the entire state of the universe at one moment and the next moment. Whatever comprises A either outputs B or it does not. To say it has the capacity to do both suggests A is a different configuration. If A is a different configuration, what caused A needs to be a different configuration as well (and so on down the line). In an entirely causal universe, such differences are impossible without a self-contradictory cause…or an acausal even “popping” in to change the causal trajectory”< <- me “Ok, I agree so far, but believe the main problem, is A an observer, and does A as an observer have the power to observe options, and physically select one of them, if so, A is like nothing else we know of to exist in reality, and its main distinction is that it has a greater degree of ability selection over itself as A and over the causal environment that surrounds A.”

          I’m saying it doesn’t matter if A is an observer, the logic still follows. The power to observe options, or have consciousness, or to think, etc…all come about causally and specifically based on that causality. Otherwise what you are saying is that consciousness allows logically incoherent things to happen (contradictions). It would be like saying “invisible colorless pink square circles exist due to complexity”.

          To be clear, the case I’m making against free will is a logical case. If you are suggesting that because consciousness is “like nothing else we know of in reality” that it moves outside of identity, non-contradiction, etc…and allows for contradictions…then I can’t argue against such. I’d only question the very epistemological foundation that allows one to conclude such. If, however, we keep within the confines of inductive evidence and sound deductive arguments, I’m saying that no matter how complex, or how unique, our conscious decision making is…the free will ability defined here is logically impossible. :-)

          Have a great day. :-)

          • I added <<Me and <<You when I left the quotes you responded to in your last reply, so, "Blah blah"<<Me "I have no free will"<<You… then my quote less response follows.

            “My entire argument, which you are not really offering any counter arguments too, is that it is not that, all choices or decisions must have been exactly as they were, more so that, as in the nature of physicality and time, like in the new york and china example, it is not physically possible (all the time, maybe there are multi task examples) to make multiple decisions in the same ‘moment of time’ when it is demanded that you only make one. This is my entire argument, you are not talking about it.” <<Me

            "I don’t understand your argument. I agree with you that it is physically impossible to make multiple decisions in the same ‘moment in time’ when it is demanded that you only make one. It seems to me that this is not a counter to my argument … which doesn’t have to do with this." <<You

            You are saying: all actions, which are in some way physical (I am not saying all actions, and then referring to only the actions which are in some way physical, but, expressing that all actions and all 'things' are physical), occur causally (I understand you are not saying this explicitly, as your argumentative focus is more on the incompatible nature of the concept of 'free' will and any conceivable reality) therefore all 'effects' are also 'causes', in this sense all 'things' can be looked at as causes that cause causes to cause causes to cause causes etc, by the nature of 'how that thing exists' in that momentary context. You are saying, the effect of 'choice' exists only by being caused by 'exact things' leading up to the exact event of that choice coming into existence as a new cause which was caused by causes and which will be a cause that will cause causes to cause as this is all that ever has happened, ever can happen, and ever will. You are saying, because exact things/causes occurred prior to the cause/effect of choice coming into existence in that moment, that the exact choice which came into existence, could not have been any other one. I think this is a very simple view on your part, I am not saying because it is simple it is wrong, but perhaps reality escapes your simple constrictions by being so much more complex.

            The freedom comes from the knowledge of the freedom. Once, the cause occurs that suggest I make a choice, where there are multiple choices, and I am aware I have a choice, then there is real freedom to make a choice.
            What you didnt understand about what I was trying to say above, is I am saying, the only reason you have your argument, or the only evidence for your arguments accuracy, is that one choice must occur. If I am told 'pick a number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9', I can think to myself 'I can pick any of those numbers', and that is true! True, true true true. That is the truth, there is the freedom. My will, my knowledge, knows, for a fact, that I have the freedom to pick any number. The only reason I cannot pick every number, is because the stipulation or condition of the demand, which is to only pick one, this is what I am talking about the physical impossibility, of saying 'pick one number', and then me responding by picking all of them, I cant pick more than one, only because that is the demand. I know my will has the freedom to pick any one. I see nine numbers right there above, what is your argument that I dont have the power to pick one or another? I see all nine number equally, they are all equal, I can pick any one equally, the only reason I will pick one over another is because I have to pick one over another, not a specific one, its a grey mixture of randomness, freedom, and limit. Could you give me any reason why I would pick one number over another? If I picked one number, and said, I dont know why I picked it, I just did, could you explain the causality as to why I picked the number I did? Keep in mind I am only asking hypothetically and theoretically explain, if you had all possible information of the universe, from quarks and electrons to neurons to memories to subjective data and experience, could you express why I choose one number over another? And if you think you can, can you tell me what a reason might be? I can pick 1, I can pick 2, I can pick 3 , I can pick 4, I can pick 5, I can pick 6, I can pick 7, I can pick 8 , I can pick 9, this knowledge is the freedom, this is the pressing pause on causality, this is the existence of the willed thought, this is the existence of choice, of free choice, I am aware I have free choice between those numbers, the only thing that is a controlling factor is the demand that I choose one number, I have the freedom to choose which one, and I have the freedom to equally choose any one, if this exact test with exact particles of everywhere rewound I would equally have the power to pick any number any time.

            “I am picking a number, and you are saying “you had to pick that number”, “why?”, “because you did, if you could have picked another number, you would have picked it, and then you would have had to pick that”, I am saying, “no, this is not perfect logic, on your part, you are stating with confidence that you know this for certain, but the only evidence you have, is our inability to travel back in time to past states of the universe, the only evidence you have is the inability for when one is demanded to make one decision, they cannot by rule of the demand, make 100 decisions at once, I am saying, this is not evidence that a person has no choice moment to moment”.”<<Me

            "This, however, is not the argument I’m making for why you couldn’t have picked another number. The argument I’m making is that the configuration that has led to you picking a very specific number couldn’t have been otherwise, and the configuration that lead to that configuration couldn’t have been otherwise. If the universe is entirely causal, self-contradictory causes logically follow from such “otherwise possibilities”."<<You

            But once I am aware that (in the number example) I can only choose one, then the nature of the causality is entirely changed, and 'broken', the probability is broken, and forced to then boil down into one choice. When I just approach 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 with no demands, I have the freedom to do many things with them, once you demand to choose one, then I start to have to act (based on the totality of my past experience and all those determinicies etc.), however I believe by me stating with awareness, and belief in that awareness, of my power to before I choose or think about choosing, that there are nine numbers there, there are not only eight number or seven, but nine candidates to choose from, I am aware of freedom, I am aware that if I close my eyes and fail to act, and not choose a number, that a number will not be chosen for me, I have to force myself to act, and this act of forcing myself and knowing and knowing what I know and knowing why I know and trying to know more, is not automatic, its not a program that runs itself, I must participate, I must, I, I must interact. A person asked this questions, favorite number (for whatever reason) might be 3, for them it might be automatic when confronted with this demand, to choose the number 3, which is why I expressed having no prior relation to the choice. Similar to the lunch problem/situation, we can agree that we didnt invent the need to eat, this is forced on us, just as the demand to choose a number is forced, the demand to choose a meal is forced, I believe without a doubt I am correct and true, when I state that: when confronted with multiple options of equal value and/or uselessness/meaninglessness multiple choices that are exactly in every way the same and would result in absolutely no difference, that this is a proof and expression of the existence of in the purest sense, if even the smallest amount, of freedom the will has, as its very nature of existing.

            "I’m saying the decision you make is the only possible decision that ever could have been made, based on the causality that precedes it. None of the other options that you might think about were ever VIABLE options."

            In the number example all options are viable, this is the problem you must confront. Lets say I narrow it down to picking either 2 or 3, I dont know which one 2 or 3, 2 or 3, 2 or 3, hmmm, which do I want, I can say something like, I want to pick them both equally, "you cant, you must pick one", well then it doesnt matter to me, I like them both equally" "you have to pick one", "I really dont want to, it doesnt matter to me" "you must pick one", "Ok, so is there a most perfectly random system to pick either one or the other?", "Im not sure, I suppose any type of random system would be equally random when the odds are so small?", "maybe, sure I cant pick them both, or neither?" "yes the main determining factor of which one you will pick is introduced by the fact that I am forcing you to pick one", "hmm, yea…. you know I could equally pick 2 or 3, its just that you are forcing me to pick one", "no you cannot equally pick 2 or 3, because I am forcing you to pick one you can only equally pick one", "hmmm, I know thats not what you think, but I am glad you are humoring my perfect logic", "dont mention it", "I did, and I guess I had to", "well stop", "ok….hmmm…. 2.5?", "….not funny…pick one", "I dont want to, I have freedom….see.. 325 ….636 3….7.4.74575635643.. 3734643532…..58573222", "thats not freedom, a dropped bowling ball could do that", "it takes freedom to create a bowling ball and drop it", "pick a number", "no, I know I can pick any of the numbers, this is the freedom, I can then actively learn and gain more knowledge, if these numbers did have any meaning, to determine which choice would be most beneficial to me, for as I did not use my freedom to choose to live, now that I am alive, I would rather stay a live then die, and in order to do that, I am determined to do certain things, however if I do not actively seek out which things may be more beneficial and which things less, in order to live, I will not have access necessarily to that beneficial knowledge, again this is freedom, I have freedom to more or less seek information, to more or less 'live better', or make 'better' decisions, related to living better or increasing my potentials of living better, once I decide that I want to live better, it is not that I am a slave to this paradigm I have chosen, I am both master and slave, to myself and to the circumstance of my existence in reality. Something like that."

            "Determinism simply means that all events are causes. If you are saying there is a .00000000000000000000000000000001% that isn’t determined, you are talking about acausal events (indeterminism). Such events would have no spatial or temporal determinacy. They could never be “willed” events."

            What about pseudo acausal events, due to the nature of the mind producing imagery which is illogical and impossible physically? Dreams for instance, or video games, on the screen, the relation between information can produce illusionary effects, that are not related to the laws of physics, for instance what occurs in the game 'super mario brothers', or a crazy incoherent dream you have had, the underlying physics are made of the physics, but they are used to create fake physics, or in reality outside of this pseudo realm, physically impossible things, is it not possible human freedom comes from the ability to utilize this realm of potential illogic and pseudo physics, to act in the real logical physical reality?
            You cannot both believe that a human has power at all, and free will not at all.

            This is why I do not get the difference between your view and fatalism, and yes I read your blog post about it. How does any 'object/system' in reality have any 'power'/control/agency, if there is no even possible object/system that can exist that can 'make a choice', in the real sense of the word choice, viable/possible options. I am arguing that the freedom is not necessarily in the act of choosing or the resulting choice (though potentially I would argue for slight relations to those statements) but freedom is within the existence of multiple choices in general, not viable choices (though I would argue in cases yes) choices in general, that is to say, there is a real difference between; "Pick any number between 1 and 1" and "pick any number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9". This existence of multiple choice allows for a greater eventitude to exist which is considered an event of free choice, a will has come across or found itself face to face with a sector of reality which is not completely defined or demanded to be interacted with in a definite way (I would argue the existence of a will at all, expresses that reality itself, immediate reality, is a sector which the will must always do this with at least to the smallest degree). If there is no viable choice, how is it not that, for all time, all action is fated?
            The fact that in any given moment there are multiple viable options (before a person acts or begins to act or begins to think about acting on any) that a person can do, from thoughts to bodily reactions, from the subtle to not at all subtle, and that fact that to achieve any of them from the moment of non thought, non action, and non achievement, is the fact of the freedom of the will. Lets say a ballet dancer can do 100 different bodily movement dance moves, and from a resting position they are all equal (all of these examples turn into my number one), this dancer lets say is walking on a practice floor and we tell her to do a move, she then continues to walk, and she can see in her head an image of herself doing all her moves, one by one, "hmm she thinks, each move is viable, I can possibly do them all, I have done them all in the past, I have masted them all, in this moment of walking it is possible that I CAN CHOOSE ANY ONE, this is my freedom, I am a will, that is willing myself to walk and think, and will will myself to a decision, a choice, this choice will not be willed for me, this choice was willed by the degrees of freedom I am aware of having as options'.
            Our argument is like me saying, "I want to eat a carrot", "you dont want to eat a carrot, you HAVE to eat a carrot, you could not have expressed anything else in that situation", "Ok, then, I dont want to eat a carrot", "exactly, once you say that, I could not expect you to have said anything differently, you have no free will, to say either of those statements or desire what the statements imply", "yes I do", "no you dont", "I disagree", "I disagree"
            It would be much more interesting, and dare I say valuable, for you to attempt to express how possibly agency exists, more so then what I cant help but think your argument boils down to, pointing out the tautological nature of reality, expressing that the totality of information of reality is always accounted for in reality, objectively. You are arguing that every bit of information in reality is a hard gear, that is linked to its neighbors, you are arguing for a perfect mechanical description of reality, which I too am inclined to agree with you, it does seem we must employ a ghost in the machine to give my argument credence, I am not saying I understand how or why free will does and can exist, I am just saying I am more convinced from all my knowledge and arguments, and experience, that it does. My number example is really perfect so I shouldnt try to use anything else, but only refer to that, for it is a distillation of the problem. The problem you need to solve, is how 'I' can control my gears at all, or would you argue I cannot? Does a human have any power or control at all? If so, the existence of that power at all, is at the very least an expression of free will, all it takes is the power itself to choose between 2 options, it doesnt matter hindsight or anything, only that if it were not for that power, an option would not be chosen, or a more likely option would be chosen by external nature, a good case of a human without power is a dead human, how can an alive human pick a number and a dead one cannot? And what about the alive one, is doing the picking, is there no such thing as subjectivity, only objectivity? The human has no control or power over their mind or body?
            When it is possible for a single cause to exist that causes the existence of the awareness of multiple causes to come, due to multiple course of action, the freedom for the will, to be aware of the multiple courses of action, to be aware of the causes that caused them, to be aware of the power of their actions and causes, is all of what is meant by the term free will. A cause occurs, which causes the will to be forced to act. The will is not forced to act an exact way, for if it was, there would be no need for the will to exist, in fact the will would not exist, the ability to physically and mentally move would not exist or be possible, without the awareness of the potential to physically and mentally move, but even then, it is possible for the body to physically and mentally move without awareness, as is called involuntary action or in the case of babies, who are I would argue hardly aware in a knowing way, but a great example of the difference between freedom from complete determinacy and very near complete determinacy. A baby is completely helpless, or powerless, it has very little freedom and choice, and option, comparing the potential of a baby to a grown man, shows the existence of real potential difference, this real potential difference is the difference in the freedom of will.

            "If we rewind time you wouldn’t be aware we rewound time. We would simply be playing causality from the same point in time, in which case (logically) it could not play out differently (unless we inject in acausal events)."

            My awareness of freedom is the existence of freedom, for example, I am aware I have the power, the potential, and this is real, to lift my right arm, or left arm right now. This is free will, my will is free to lift my right arm, my left arm, both, or neither. That is freedom, I am not forced to do any of them, it is up to me, what I want to do. No matter what pattern I lift my arm, I am doing so. I am causally determining, I have causal determining power, this is what free will means, the will has freedom or power, to cause and determine. Instead of focusing on the hindsight, take a look at the foresight, which is how my arguments have been recently presented, I think. I am aware I have potential and options, this awareness of multiple choice, is the freedom. There really are multiple choices in which ways I can move my arms, the multiple viable potentials for ways in which to move my arms right now are real and vast. That is true and real. Your argument only exists in hindsight, you cannot prove that I do not have the freedom to move my arms right now in more than 1 way. I can prove that I do have this freedom, by showing you all the ways it is possible to move my arms, and then expressing, that I am aware I can, as I just showed, move my arms in a multiple of possible ways, that would be true, that would be an expression of my will, acknowledging the true freedom it has. Because it is true that it is possible to move ones arms in more than 1 way, my acknowledgment of my freedom that I believe I can move my arms in more than 1 way, would be validated. Thus the will exists as at least partially, a power unto itself, to freely choose amongst multiple viable options, the will is at least partially responsible, for actualizing the near infinite viable potentials it always finds itself having access to.

            “I just dont get how you can argue that, it is impossible for me to write from now till the moment I died, if I wrote non stop, to write every variation of 9, 99, 999, 9999, 99999, 999999. Would that prove that I have the power, to have written a 9 greater or less, I am free to write 1 or more 9’s if I want? This is the freedom I am talking about, how can you deny that statement; "Barring the physical limitations (of not being able to write infinite 9’s) I can write x amount of 9’s. That is the free will, knowing it is free, to write x amount of 9’s. How am I not free to choose how many 9’s to write? What is choosing for me?”<<Me

            "The very specific configuration of your brain state, environment, chemistry, etc. can only bring about a specific 9X to the forefront of your consciousness."<<You

            Yes, but are you ignoring the essence I am focusing on, the fact that I control my brain state? That I have power, choice, in bringing about a specific 9X to the 'forefront of my consciousness'? I think you are.
            I will try this: In your reply to this, write any amount of 9's in any manner of groupings YOU WANT. Then tell me all the reasons besides YOU, or why there is no YOU that DECIDED to CHOOSE the amount of 9's and the manner of groupings YOU DECIDED to CHOOSE. Without your awareness, and self thrust to act, there is no choice or decision, you have power, you have choice, you are will, your power and choice by the nature of being choice has some freedom to it, you are not sufficiently denying this, though your denial of this is the reason we are arguing at all.

            "“I am saying before I choose, it is clear that there is multiple choices to choose from: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 : Choose one.
            Is not: 2: Choose one”"<<Me

            "I understand this, and those other options are part of what leads to the illusion. You thinking another number other than 2 could ACTUALLY come to the forefront is an illusion. The reality is, causality will lead you to think about 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 which will be part of the process that MUST lead to the decision of 2 (for example)."<<You

            No I am sorry, I dont think you got my admittedly sloppy expression, the reason I wrote this second part'; Is not: 2: Choose one; the 2 was a representation like the 1-9 before it, but me expressing the difference between real obvious, literal, undeniable, multiple choices presented to an awareness of multiple choices, and no multiple choices, represented by the '2' as in: I will give you a list of numbers to choose from, choose one of them: 2 : Make your choice.

            "“I am saying, looking at the choices, I am aware, that I must pick one, so I may as well pick any, so it truly is random”"<<Me

            "If something doesn’t cause you to pick one number over the other, you are talking about an acausal event (“truly random”). Such events would be entirely detrimental to willing. The is why “up to the chooser “ and “of one’s own accord” is part of the definition. To address the problem is such events aren’t “up to the chooser”."<<You

            I disagree with your first 2 sentences. First of all, the acausal event will still be caused, forced to happen, but the preceding events/causes, it is just the nature (we are talking about a mind/body thing here, with all of this) of thought, the nature of the storage of all memories not demanded to be organized in a physically relatable way, if you dont admit that the user of the mind/body, the being has any influence on the way the information in their mind is stored, then of course all stored memories would have exact causal reasons for being where they are, and the times and moments and ways a person would relate such mental information would be causal and demanded to occur in the certain ways determined by what occurs outside the body and within…um, I lost myself… What I am trying to say, is that I believe there is an awareness of the body, that is called consciousness or the mind. A user of the body, information exists outside of the body, information interacts with the body via sensation, that information is stored in the body, and 'visible', experienced by the awareness, the user, the mind, the you I am talking to, right now I am writing information, that exists outside of your body, but will exist inside your body when you read it, this information, the order of these words, can be stored in your memory, and then 'for whatever reason' you can potentially access this information. I do not know enough about the science of the mind and neurons and stuff to say how memories are physically stored, the little I have seen suggests it is a potentially non intuitive phenomenon in which certain memories are not existing in exact and only in exact specific local places, but can be reconstructed differently in different ways different times…I really dont know this is complex stuff. So I dont know about truly acausal event being truly random, or the nature of these terms. But I am inclined (determined?) to say firstly, I would suggest that such events would not necessarily be detrimental to willing, because it is the will that is 'being' random. You cannot deny the existence of the awareness, the consciousness, the you, that is really what our argument should first be about, because the other side of that coin is the grey area and mixture between 'randomness' or more and less randomness, and more or less determination, in 3 dimensions plus time, and a large gradient of objects that interrelate in many different ways, speaking of the totality of physics, biology and chemistry. I am trying to think of how choosing a number 'randomly' 'for no reason' is acausal, it is a very interesting concept, quite baffling… The cause: Pick a number. Is causal, I have memory, awareness of the existence of numbers, I have the awareness that abstractly 'infinite numbers exist', the reason as to why I pick one number over another, is perhaps random, and perhaps acausal, if I just let my 'subconscious' let the first number that comes into my head, then the next, then the next, the physics and science and objective reality and subjective experience of how this occurs must be fascinating though I have no clue how it occurs, if we escape my favored 9 number experiment, and stretch it to; choose any number 'you' 'want', I can perfectly well imagine from familiarity of experience the ability to 'sit back' and 'let a number appear in my mind' and then take it from there, it is kind of the unwanting to make a choice, so just shaking up the waters of your mind and then letting your awareness recognize the first number you 'see'. But even from there, that is not enough to determine which number you will say, for a number can pop in my head and it can be 3, after you ask me to choose any number, and from there I can think, ok, I saw 3 in my head 'randomly' so I will pick the number 6, after 6 I like 2, how about 9, 5, 6,2,6,7,5,2,6,7,8,2,6,7,2,9,8,6,2,5,6, ok and then I 'randomly' stop, and you said pick any number, and so I picked 62956267526782672986256, if I wanted I could multiply that by 2, or 3, or 4, and or those numbers, and or any more, before submitting it as my chosen number. These are all arguably acausal, reasonless, random results, but the existence of my will as a definitive chooser, a definer, a causer, is the linking cause, to the production and even potential for such random strings of numbers to come about in the first place. My will is free to be as random as it can be, is another way to say this. I have the free will to be random, where is the detriment? I am willing, I am aware infinite numbers exist, I can will into existence any one, because I am aware of all of them (lets say to a certain extent, a limit).

            "Speaking of experiments, are you aware of the Libet and newer Nature Neuroscience experiments? The newer ones shows we can predict a button someone will press (given left or right hand) 7 to 10 seconds before they are consciously aware of the decision to press one over the other, by looking at brain scans. This at least shows a causal mechanism that takes place even prior to one’s own conscious awareness of a decision (though in itself isn’t the case against free will – the logical case is)"

            Yes, hearing this spoken about by Sam Harris is one of the things that provoked (determined me?) me down this path of intrigue into this philosophical topic. This is an illogical argument, and intellectually dishonest, or at least ignorant in which case I suppose it would be called an innocent argument, I dont know. This just is a very superficial, shallow, hand wavy dismissal of the existence of free will, everything I have been talking about. I can use my free will to train myself to be a slave to my free will, I can say, every time someone says 'do you want dessert' I will say yes as fast as possible, someone says 'do you want dessert' you are scanning my brain, my cognitive mechanisms react to the question, by working the processes of its conditioned response, and by doing trials you will discover that signatures in my brain reveal that I have decided faster than I can open my mouth, this sort of thing is not proof, and you will not proof the non existence of free will via these small and trivial claims because the problem of free will is one of the largest and most complex problems that exists, and the very idea that you can dismiss this large thing with small single isolated cases that dont attack the whole thing is automatically wrong. You are arguing an absolute, I am arguing 'the minorest', I only need the tiniest tiniest fraction of a smidgen of potential of proof of free will to exist to fulfill the accuracy of my argumentative stance, you need the totality of eternal information and knowledge and understanding of all things to confidently, or forget confidence, we are concerned with truth, to truthfully argue your position.
            One interesting thing I want to say about the nature of numbers, or a thought I and others may have had about them, is that the existence of numbers may be some pseudo, phonyness to them, as they are symbols of, 1 ness. In that, 2 is only 1 and 1. 3 is 1 and 1 and 1. That beyond the notion of a single 1ness, a point of 1, the higher numbers do not fundamentally exist, they are only abstract or macro conglomerates of the simple bit of 1. I dont know if this idea plays into the randomness or nature of choosing numbers, but then our symbolic knowledge is now that expression I just shared, equaling the symbols of 2 and 3, so now instead of the binaryness, we shortcut the 1 1 1 1 for being 4, and now 4 is a common symbol, that is ingrained well in my memory, along with 2 and 3 and 5 and 6 and 7 and 8 and 9, so earlier when I suggested the thought of experiment of: choose any number, and I said letting my subconscious do the work, not actively thinking 'I like 7, so 7' or 'look around the room and see 3 cups or the first number I see', stuff like this, I let 'an image of a number come to my mind', and you call this 'random' or acausal, maybe, and then after that number comes to mind and I see it, for me to pick any number that is not that number, or that is that number, of the next number in the string of digits that will be my 'any chosen number', my choosing will be acausal or random because there is no physical, informational, reason, causal relationship between me choosing one number or another, so you say this is acausal and random, and therefore my will had nothing to do with it, or the will could not have chosen otherwise…hm… which is interesting, because when I 'let a number come to my mind 'randomly'', well earlier I asked you to try to express hypothetically possible reasonable causal relationships that would determine one number would come to my mind over another, and then from there what next number I would choose, etc. Now even if you admit this is random and acasaul, would you still claim that it could not have happened another way?
            A cat has less potential to act in the world, to think, to know, and therefore it has less potential options, choices, free will, when compared to humans, a human is able to learn, store more data in more complex and integrated, interrelated ways, than a cat can, because of this, each moment of time, area of space, quantity of matter, and quality in which it and its neighbors are operating in, can achieve more action within the mind, outside the mind, to think and know, and use this knowledge to act in many more numerous and complex ways, and constantly increased, a term that can be used to define such a difference, you could point to all the hardware, from material, DNA, shapes and proportions of flesh and veins and bones and muscles and joints and brains and neurons and eyes and diet, and is it true that the nature the way this hardware operates from only objective data one is able to commit to the belief that by only utilizing knowledge of the exact ways in which the hardware exists and operates, and the differences between them, would account for the differences that occur in the cats mind and human mind, and therefore differences between them, and outside of the cats mind due to the cats mind, and outside the humans mind due to the humans mind, is the hardware and the interactivity of the hardware all that accounts for the difference in what a cat can achieve unto the environment which surrounds it, which stems from the cats mind, and

            "Again, acausal events can never be willed, and causal ones can never have multiple contradictory effects (B and ~B)."

            Is this an example of a causal event having multiple contradictory effects; Pick a number between 1 and 9. And here is my thought process, "well I want to pick 3 because its 4 greater than 9 and 7 is 42 times 4 so blue is funny because 5 = 3 and so obviously the number I will then choose is 6". That was a causal event which contains multiple contradictory 'events?', false, illogical thoughts, that are still 'causes?', it is also the willing of mental acausal events, unless you can offer any hypothetical theory as to what causally caused me to write that quoted illogical numbery statement exactly as I did. The act of thought, is causal, but what the thoughts represent, words and numbers, symbols, concepts, are not causally linked, herein lies an important aspect of our discussion I feel.

            "Logic is simply our most consistent and reliable methodology (in the forms of deductive logic and inductive logic). At the base of logic is certain tautologies such as identity and non-contradiction. Whether or not a person uses such methodologies comes about causally, and depends on a number of factors (e.g. what they have learned, there propensity to be concerned over what is rational, etc)"

            What do you say about me saying that reality is physical logic? And then my attempt to express the existence of free will, by suggesting a mind functions by using a symbolic language, and taking information from reality, but not by outside reality, being demanded to utilize the language and information of reality, an exact way every pico second, like mindless reality, is forced to act an exact way every second, because it is gear like determination, cause and effect, etc. So the will escapes being a determined gear in the machine of reality, by firstly existing as awareness as all, and secondly existing as an awareness that is aware of the information of reality and the language used to weigh it, to have some power over it, via its own internally created and createdable modes of computation.

            "I certainly don’t think everything is perfect (I don’t even like the word “prefect” to be honest)."

            What about a definition of the term perfect as 'cannot possibly be any better'. If there is no choice, exactly what occurs, is the best possible…well only possible reality that can occur, because no better can occur, it is perfect. But I asked you above in this response, about how your perspective is not fatalism, how we can at once have absolutely no power, and absolutely some power. By arguing for the existence of at least some free will, which is what I am doing, I am arguing that we have some power. So what is our power, how does it work, and how can it not choose between multiple viable options.

            "To be clear, I’m saying what we think, say, and do is part of what is caused. Humans are a complex mechanism. A computer can have multiple processes working, and those processes are “controlled” by the hardware of the computer…but such could not process differently. A computer isn’t “free” to process otherwise, even if it has millions of numbers in a database that is opts one from. And don’t take this to mean I see people as computers, as computers (currently) aren’t consciousness. But consciousness isn’t outside of identity and non-contradiction. It’s still restricted by what causality means."

            That is a faulty suggestion, seeing as computers were created by humans, and there can not be processors that must act certain ways if a human isnt involved, so because human consciousness is the problem we have and are discussing and arguing over, by using such a statement about computers in your favor, the statement immediately falls away back to the problem of humans, for we can even equate some of the hardware software natures of the human body and mind, but we would agree a human is different than a computer, I am asking how and why. So what do you think consciousness is?

            “So where I was going with that, is, a human who believes that the longest most healthy life is the most logical and rational thing for a human to strive for, and focus on at all times, do they have any free will, or are they on auto pilot?”<<Me

            "I’d definitely argue against that person’s conclusion, and if they heard me, such might causally change their position …depending on the factors in place that would allow such a change."<<You

            Are ants conscious/aware in your opinion/of your knowledge? If not use the most simple life form you think is conscious/aware. Would you agree that there are things that are possible for an ant to do, hypothetically, physically, that they dont do? I can even say, for humans, perhaps before a specific mountain was climbed, it is physically possible for a human to have climbed that mountain, it was just that none had 'thought to, felt like it, wanted to' etc. I am trying to ask, why do ants do exactly what they do, or the most simple conscious creature. And even in humans, is there not the most base fundamental drive, to continue ones life and reproduce? So the way of the ant, can be seen as maybe one of a few, and of course of all the different ant colonies over the world, there are slightly different expressions of what the ant can accomplish, different numbers, different environments etc. It does not appear physically possible that an ant can build a space ship to the moon right now, nor does it seem physically possible for a human to jump into the sun. The idea of rebelling is an interesting one, imagining ants rebelling over their colonies order. But if the inherent obviousness is that, the individual ants want to live, therefore they have their colony, and it is the best way they can all live, (maybe its not im sure there are studies and experiments, but, i dont know the information regarding alternative ant lifestyles, or non city ants) and some of the ants are rebelling and causing problems, it is in the best interest of the individual, who prizes peaceful successful living as the chief necessity, and therefore the colonies chief necessity, to eliminate the rebelling threat, this can be seen to happen with 'terrorism and crime' in humans, and even germs and other bad things in the body, if the body may be compared to a kind of colony. So would you say, an ant is just as conscious as a rock, and has the same amount of control over itself and surroundings as a rock does, and this is also equal to the humans control over its thoughts, and its actions, and interaction with surroundings, there is no difference, there is no 'it' which controls anything, all things that are called aware are only aware, like eyes strapped into a movie theatre chair with arms pinned down at their sides? That there is no difference of thought potential between you and a river. I think I see what you are saying, but then I dont… Do you view the entirety of reality as a (to simplify) network of gears? And one source of your argument is 'how can a network of causal objects, 'make a choice'', and I must admit hearing it like that I think, wow yea, what the heck… but then I remember that, how can just a network of simple particles (even 9 bigillionbagillionfafillion) like gears accomplish everything we know to exist on at least earth (all life, the system of earth, the nature of sun and light, and what the human is and can achieve…of course not of his own willing…rolls eyes…still). So just like the 'no free lunch' of physics, energy cannot be created or destroyed, there must be some reason, some thing must come from somewhere, this is the expression of causality, everything you think, and think you think, must come from somewhere, must be triggered by something. And so you think with that justification, you can say, therefore, there is no such thing as awareness having any control or say in what it does, ….well this is where you lose me, because I disagree.

            “if there is no absolute logic and rational path for a human and its entirely subjective, we are back to, whatever a person does it perfect because they cannot do anything else because they are always doing exactly what they are doing and you cannot both do exactly what you are doing and everything else exactly what you are not doing.”<<Me

            "I’m still not sure what you mean by “if there is no absolute logic”. For example, in deduction, either something is logically “sound” or it’s not, meaning either its premises are true and the conclusion follows from those premises – or such is not the case."<<You

            Yea I am not sure what I was getting at either, maybe some idea of ontological purpose, that if we paused the universe right now, and you and I looked down upon earth, and looked at it as a kind of game of chess, where every single life form, would have their own absolute potential, starting from the fact of whether or not that life form wants to live, and how much they do, and gauging from that most likely potentially if even slightly waivering amount, there would be abstract (as in not physically immediately existing, must be known, inferred, the future considered) best potential courses of action to take to achieve their goals. From our position we can say perhaps we have less ignorance, lets say we do, that we have full information about all environment and material, and all forms of life, and obviously none of these forms of life would have any where near as much information as we would have (this position I am describing of looking down on the world and knowing all this information about life and environment, is a symbolized and extended version of the human condition and partially why we are capable of the things we are inrelation to the other animals, who cannot do this, or if they can, can not with their bodies, and with their collective power of bodies turn their ideals into real), but back to the ants, something I wanted to say, their bodies are sensation instruments, they are designed to aid in the beings extension of life and reproduction, the ant needs to take material from the environment that its bodily mechanisms can use to break down and continually refresh and build its body, while of course always charging that battery which cyclically propels this action in the first place, the mind. If an ants highest, foremost desire, even if it is not explicitly aware of it, is to continue living, would you admit that an ant who registers the food (using its perfectly well functioning sensory apparatusi) it needs to continue living, but then instead of like the other ants who navigate the environment most successfully to reach their needed reward, this ant always goes in the opposite direction of the food, would you not agree that this ant is wrong, or illogical? If the ant does not want to continue living, we would agree this action would be logical to that ant. Now lets go back to you and I hanging above earth looking down with the total information of all information regarding earth, and we focus in on a single spider, who wants to continue living and reproduce. We would see an environment in which every bit we zoom out we see more and more potential for food for the spider, and multiple places the spider can place its web/s etc. Now if there was an absolute abstract logic, in which the spider we are observing can 'play the perfect chess match', make the web in the 'best!' spot, or make multiple if it can, while balancing that time with finding and mate, and getting food, etc. its goal would be accomplished, spiders exist, so we know they successfully live and reproduce. Now the interesting thing is, the spider does not need to be absolutely logical, this gets into the multiple viable options, or something I thought of the other night when thinking about this sort of thing, how there may be multiple different ways to get something done, with equal convenience and everything, where there would be no absolutely logical or meaningful demand to do one or the other, outside of the mind choosing, because it wants to, this is freedom! Hear it roar!

            Barring slim less realistic exceptions, a man with a million dollars can effect more in minds and beyond minds in a moment then a man with 1 dollar can, by spending their money. This shows that with more options, more potentials, comes more choices, decisions for the will to make. Man is more free than an ant, in physical and mental degrees of freedom, because man has more physical and mental degrees of freedom.

            "This is good, I am glad for this (and see you are a truth seeker). If I thought otherwise I wouldn’t take the time to respond. Also, I too believe in the existence of the “will”, I just don’t believe in freedom of the will (FREE will)"

            Like I noticed immediately and then suggested, your only power to talk about 'viable' is hindsight, it is not a valid statement by you. From foresight, which is how reality really functions, and time really progresses, there are multiple viable options, a will, must freely choose from them. You cannot believe in the existence of the will, and believe that that will cannot choose, the existence of the will, and therefore the existence of the will choosing 'anything' is the existence of at least a tiny amount of free will.

            "People act on illogical understandings of reality all the time. Again, logic is a methodology used to parse truth."

            And what say you, when say I; what is truth other than logic? Truth is; stuff exists. Truth is; stuff causes and effects stuff, stuff changes. Truth is; stuff existing and causing and effecting the stuff that exists, which is change, is what logic is? Logic is; the tautological obviousness that if something is what it is and what it is has characteristics, and there is another something that may be different but has the same charecteristical guidelines of being a some thing, then when they interact they will experience cause and effect? Logic is; stuff that is tautologically accounted for as stuff causes and effects stuff and is caused and effected?

            “So ants, have a simple program, or simpler organisms: Eat, move, Eat, move, reproduce, eat, sleep, sleep, eat, move, move, reproduce. I would imagine using “weighing mechanisms” and their sensory devices; scan an area, detect a scent of potential food, do they have to choose, using their past memory, whether to go toward the food, or maybe there could be more food to the are with no signal, but just slightly outside their sensing reach, so its a gamble, a risk, but a choice must be made, because their programming is: Live live live live food food food now now now now live live food food food go go choose choose or die, live live food food success yes yes pleasure pleasure food food yum yum more more more go go go left right up down a b a b select start stop wait, sense sense predatory run run run run run safe safe hungry hungry food food food sense etc.”<<Me

            "I agree with this."<>“Correct, that is exactly what I’m saying. I’m saying that, if all events are causal, to suggest that you could possibly have chosen a different one leads to contradiction. It’s logically incoherent. It leads to A being both the cause of B and not the cause of B.” < >”Do you agree that A cannot be both the cause of B and not the cause of B? That the configuration of A cannot hold two contradictory causal outputs. A and B can represent specific events, or even the entire state of the universe at one moment and the next moment. Whatever comprises A either outputs B or it does not. To say it has the capacity to do both suggests A is a different configuration. If A is a different configuration, what caused A needs to be a different configuration as well (and so on down the line). In an entirely causal universe, such differences are impossible without a self-contradictory cause…or an acausal even “popping” in to change the causal trajectory”< <- You

            “Ok, I agree so far, but believe the main problem, is A an observer, and does A as an observer have the power to observe options, and physically select one of them, if so, A is like nothing else we know of to exist in reality, and its main distinction is that it has a greater degree of ability selection over itself as A and over the causal environment that surrounds A.”<<Me

            "I’m saying it doesn’t matter if A is an observer, the logic still follows. The power to observe options, or have consciousness, or to think, etc…all come about causally and specifically based on that causality. Otherwise what you are saying is that consciousness allows logically incoherent things to happen (contradictions). It would be like saying “invisible colorless pink square circles exist due to complexity”."

            But saying, that those powers to observe options come about casually, occur causally, and are based on causality, does not say that those powers to observe options, and choose options, are not powers to observe options and choose options. The power to observe options, and choose an option, if completely causally, as I would agree most likely is the case, this is what the term free will at least means. And yes, I am saying consciousness allows logically incoherent things to happen, contradictions (see Humanity for details). You just causally stated something illogical, that logically incoherent statement can have a real causal effect on at least something other than itself.
            Have a great day, not that you have a choice…

          • Daniel,

            Thanks again for your response. Instead of recreate the wheel I’d love to email you an electronic copy of my book (at no cost to you other than your time to read it). And after you have completed the book, I’d love to see if you have the same criticisms as above. I think the book can clear up so many of these thoughts. Just say the word and I’ll send an email your way.

            You are saying: all actions, which are in some way physical (I am not saying all actions, and then referring to only the actions which are in some way physical, but, expressing that all actions and all ‘things’ are physical), occur causally (I understand you are not saying this explicitly, as your argumentative focus is more on the incompatible nature of the concept of ‘free’ will and any conceivable reality) therefore all ‘effects’ are also ’causes’, in this sense all ‘things’ can be looked at as causes that cause causes to cause causes to cause causes etc, by the nature of ‘how that thing exists’ in that momentary context. You are saying, the effect of ‘choice’ exists only by being caused by ‘exact things’ leading up to the exact event of that choice coming into existence as a new cause which was caused by causes and which will be a cause that will cause causes to cause as this is all that ever has happened, ever can happen, and ever will. You are saying, because exact things/causes occurred prior to the cause/effect of choice coming into existence in that moment, that the exact choice which came into existence, could not have been any other one. I think this is a very simple view on your part, I am not saying because it is simple it is wrong, but perhaps reality escapes your simple constrictions by being so much more complex.

            In my book I address this idea that complexity can make a difference in these regards. In fact I have a chapter titled “A Complex Mix of Causal and Acausal Events”.

            The freedom comes from the knowledge of the freedom. Once, the cause occurs that suggest I make a choice, where there are multiple choices, and I am aware I have a choice, then there is real freedom to make a choice.

            I’m saying there is no such “real freedom”

            What you didnt understand about what I was trying to say above, is I am saying, the only reason you have your argument, or the only evidence for your arguments accuracy, is that one choice must occur.

            As I said, that is not the reason or argument I’m making. Rather, one “specific” choice comes forth as an output of the causes that precede it.

            If I am told ‘pick a number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9’, I can think to myself ‘I can pick any of those numbers’, and that is true! True, true true true. That is the truth, there is the freedom.

            The feeling that such “is true” has everything to do with the illusion.

            My will, my knowledge, knows, for a fact, that I have the freedom to pick any number. The only reason I cannot pick every number, is because the stipulation or condition of the demand, which is to only pick one, this is what I am talking about the physical impossibility, of saying ‘pick one number’, and then me responding by picking all of them, I cant pick more than one, only because that is the demand.

            No, logically if we were able to rewind time to right before you pick a number, you will pick the exact same number each and every time. It isn’t the fact that you have already picked a number and you obviously can’t pick another at the same time, it’s the fact that causes lead TO the number you will pick.

            I know my will has the freedom to pick any one. I see nine numbers right there above, what is your argument that I dont have the power to pick one or another? I see all nine number equally, they are all equal, I can pick any one equally, the only reason I will pick one over another is because I have to pick one over another, not a specific one, its a grey mixture of randomness, freedom, and limit. Could you give me any reason why I would pick one number over another? If I picked one number, and said, I dont know why I picked it, I just did, could you explain the causality as to why I picked the number I did? Keep in mind I am only asking hypothetically and theoretically explain, if you had all possible information of the universe, from quarks and electrons to neurons to memories to subjective data and experience, could you express why I choose one number over another? And if you think you can, can you tell me what a reason might be? I can pick 1, I can pick 2, I can pick 3 , I can pick 4, I can pick 5, I can pick 6, I can pick 7, I can pick 8 , I can pick 9, this knowledge is the freedom, this is the pressing pause on causality, this is the existence of the willed thought, this is the existence of choice, of free choice, I am aware I have free choice between those numbers, the only thing that is a controlling factor is the demand that I choose one number, I have the freedom to choose which one, and I have the freedom to equally choose any one,

            The knowledge, I’m saying, is faulty knowledge. Rather this feeling that you can “pick 1, pick 2, etc.” lends itself to why free will is an illusion. Y

            if this exact test with exact particles of everywhere rewound I would equally have the power to pick any number any time.
            This is the very thing I’m saying you wouldn’t have the “power” to do. And the reason for this follows logically – not based on the fact that you “already picked” but based on the fact of “the causality that precedes the choice”.

            “I am picking a number, and you are saying “you had to pick that number”, “why?”, “because you did, if you could have picked another number, you would have picked it, and then you would have had to pick that”, I am saying, “no, this is not perfect logic, on your part, you are stating with confidence that you know this for certain, but the only evidence you have, is our inability to travel back in time to past states of the universe, the only evidence you have is the inability for when one is demanded to make one decision, they cannot by rule of the demand, make 100 decisions at once, I am saying, this is not evidence that a person has no choice moment to moment”.”<

            No, this is not the logic I provide. The logic I provide shows that 1) a cause cannot be both the cause of X and not the cause of X, as such would make the cause self-contradictory (logically) and 2) this applies to all causal events. That is all that is required to show why all other options (even before a choice is made) can never be viable in an entirely causal universe. But again, the book’s case is very in-depth on this.

            “This, however, is not the argument I’m making for why you couldn’t have picked another number. The argument I’m making is that the configuration that has led to you picking a very specific number couldn’t have been otherwise, and the configuration that lead to that configuration couldn’t have been otherwise. If the universe is entirely causal, self-contradictory causes logically follow from such “otherwise possibilities”.”<

            If you are saying “the nature of causality is entirely changed and ‘broken’, you are either A) injecting in an acausal event or B) injecting in the possibility of contradiction (which is illogical).

            When I just approach 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 with no demands, I have the freedom to do many things with them, once you demand to choose one, then I start to have to act (based on the totality of my past experience and all those determinicies etc.), however I believe by me stating with awareness, and belief in that awareness, of my power to before I choose or think about choosing, that there are nine numbers there, there are not only eight number or seven, but nine candidates to choose from, I am aware of freedom, I am aware that if I close my eyes and fail to act, and not choose a number, that a number will not be chosen for me, I have to force myself to act, and this act of forcing myself and knowing and knowing what I know and knowing why I know and trying to know more, is not automatic, its not a program that runs itself, I must participate, I must, I, I must interact. A person asked this questions, favorite number (for whatever reason) might be 3, for them it might be automatic when confronted with this demand, to choose the number 3, which is why I expressed having no prior relation to the choice. Similar to the lunch problem/situation, we can agree that we didnt invent the need to eat, this is forced on us, just as the demand to choose a number is forced, the demand to choose a meal is forced, I believe without a doubt I am correct and true, when I state that: when confronted with multiple options of equal value and/or uselessness/meaninglessness multiple choices that are exactly in every way the same and would result in absolutely no difference, that this is a proof and expression of the existence of in the purest sense, if even the smallest amount, of freedom the will has, as its very nature of existing.

            Having a “prior relation” to the choice or not is irrelevant to the fact that something “whether led subconsciously, consciously, unconsciously, or some combination” was the cause of the very specific choice. This is important.

            “I’m saying the decision you make is the only possible decision that ever could have been made, based on the causality that precedes it. None of the other options that you might think about were ever VIABLE options.”
            In the number example all options are viable, this is the problem you must confront. Lets say I narrow it down to picking either 2 or 3, I dont know which one 2 or 3, 2 or 3, 2 or 3, hmmm, which do I want, I can say something like, I want to pick them both equally, “you cant, you must pick one”, well then it doesnt matter to me, I like them both equally” “you have to pick one”, “I really dont want to, it doesnt matter to me” “you must pick one”, “Ok, so is there a most perfectly random system to pick either one or the other?”,

            Even a random number generator isn’t truly “random”. Only an acausal event can be truly “random”, and such can never be an event that is “willed” (as willing implies causality). If you are able to select one over the other, something causes (pushes) that one over the other (to the forefront of your consciousness), regardless if you are aware of what pushes it.

            “Im not sure, I suppose any type of random system would be equally random when the odds are so small?”, “maybe, sure I cant pick them both, or neither?” “yes the main determining factor of which one you will pick is introduced by the fact that I am forcing you to pick one”, “hmm, yea…. you know I could equally pick 2 or 3, its just that you are forcing me to pick one”, “no you cannot equally pick 2 or 3, because I am forcing you to pick one you can only equally pick one”, “hmmm, I know thats not what you think, but I am glad you are humoring my perfect logic”, “dont mention it”, “I did, and I guess I had to”, “well stop”, “ok….hmmm…. 2.5?”, “….not funny…pick one”, “I dont want to, I have freedom….see.. 325 ….636 3….7.4.74575635643.. 3734643532…..58573222”, “thats not freedom, a dropped bowling ball could do that”, “it takes freedom to create a bowling ball and drop it”, “pick a number”, “no, I know I can pick any of the numbers, this is the freedom, I can then actively learn and gain more knowledge, if these numbers did have any meaning, to determine which choice would be most beneficial to me, for as I did not use my freedom to choose to live, now that I am alive, I would rather stay a live then die, and in order to do that, I am determined to do certain things, however if I do not actively seek out which things may be more beneficial and which things less, in order to live, I will not have access necessarily to that beneficial knowledge, again this is freedom, I have freedom to more or less seek information, to more or less ‘live better’, or make ‘better’ decisions, related to living better or increasing my potentials of living better, once I decide that I want to live better, it is not that I am a slave to this paradigm I have chosen, I am both master and slave, to myself and to the circumstance of my existence in reality. Something like that.”

            You keep suggesting that may argument is “you can only pick one, therefore you could not pick the other”. This is not, in any way, the case I’m making. If all events are causal in the universe, whether you pick 2 or 58573222 comes from causes that lead to the very specific number (not causes that have the possibility to lead to another number – as again, such is self-contradictory).
            “Determinism simply means that all events are causes. If you are saying there is a .00000000000000000000000000000001% that isn’t determined, you are talking about acausal events (indeterminism). Such events would have no spatial or temporal determinacy. They could never be “willed” events.”

            What about pseudo acausal events, due to the nature of the mind producing imagery which is illogical and impossible physically? Dreams for instance, or video games, on the screen, the relation between information can produce illusionary effects, that are not related to the laws of physics, for instance what occurs in the game ‘super mario brothers’, or a crazy incoherent dream you have had, the underlying physics are made of the physics, but they are used to create fake physics, or in reality outside of this pseudo realm, physically impossible things, is it not possible human freedom comes from the ability to utilize this realm of potential illogic and pseudo physics, to act in the real logical physical reality?
            You cannot both believe that a human has power at all, and free will not at all.

            There is no such thing as pseudo-acausal events. If an event has a cause, such is a causal event. If an event doesn’t have a cause, such is an acausal event. There is no logical alternative for events, either such comes about causally or it doesn’t. I go over this thoroughly in the book as well.

            This is why I do not get the difference between your view and fatalism, and yes I read your blog post about it. How does any ‘object/system’ in reality have any ‘power’/control/agency, if there is no even possible object/system that can exist that can ‘make a choice’, in the real sense of the word choice, viable/possible options.

            That isn’t the “real” sense of the word. Choice simply means we make an election from options we hold in our mind, not that all of those options are “viable” options. For fatalism, our conscious decisions matter not to the future outcome, for determinism, our conscious decisions matter to the future outcome.

            I’ll have to point you back here: http://breakingthefreewillillusion.com/pointlessness-doesnt-follow-determinism/ and the infographic here: http://breakingthefreewillillusion.com/determinism-vs-fatalism-infographic/

            I am arguing that the freedom is not necessarily in the act of choosing or the resulting choice (though potentially I would argue for slight relations to those statements) but freedom is within the existence of multiple choices in general, not viable choices (though I would argue in cases yes) choices in general, that is to say, there is a real difference between; “Pick any number between 1 and 1” and “pick any number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9”.

            I’m saying that calling such “freedom” is a mistake. If a person with a brain tumor makes a choice between running down the street naked, and doing any number of other things such as stay home and watch TV, and the brain tumor causes the selection of “running down the street naked”, no person would call such “free” simply because such was a choice made between 5 options in which the tumor led the person to select the one. Such is simply more obvious that there is no freedom due to a more obvious cause of the compulsion and the absurdity of the decision. The fact is, if the person didn’t have a brain tumor and it was simply their specific brain state at a given time (which causally came about), such would lead to a decision to “stay home and watch tv” and that more rational decision was no more “free”, just more “rational” due to a more coherent brain state that had to come about the way it had.

            This existence of multiple choice allows for a greater eventitude to exist which is considered an event of free choice, a will has come across or found itself face to face with a sector of reality which is not completely defined or demanded to be interacted with in a definite way (I would argue the existence of a will at all, expresses that reality itself, immediate reality, is a sector which the will must always do this with at least to the smallest degree). If there is no viable choice, how is it not that, for all time, all action is fated?

            Who said there is “no viable choice”?? There is indeed “one viable choice”, and that “one viable choice” is an important output to other future events that happen. Fatalism means that no matter what we do, a future event is fated. Causality means that what we do leads to the future event. Again pointing you back to http://breakingthefreewillillusion.com/determinism-vs-fatalism-infographic/ for the important distinction between determinism and fatalism.

            The fact that in any given moment there are multiple viable options (before a person acts or begins to act or begins to think about acting on any) that a person can do, from thoughts to bodily reactions, from the subtle to not at all subtle, and that fact that to achieve any of them from the moment of non thought, non action, and non achievement, is the fact of the freedom of the will.

            Again, there are not “multiple viable options” in a causal universe.

            Lets say a ballet dancer can do 100 different bodily movement dance moves, and from a resting position they are all equal (all of these examples turn into my number one), this dancer lets say is walking on a practice floor and we tell her to do a move, she then continues to walk, and she can see in her head an image of herself doing all her moves, one by one, “hmm she thinks, each move is viable, I can possibly do them all, I have done them all in the past, I have masted them all, in this moment of walking it is possible that I CAN CHOOSE ANY ONE, this is my freedom, I am a will, that is willing myself to walk and think, and will will myself to a decision, a choice, this choice will not be willed for me, this choice was willed by the degrees of freedom I am aware of having as options’.

            I’m saying you cannot choose “any one”, and I’m saying the reason you cannot has nothing to do with the fact that you have chosen another, but rather that what you have chosen was the only viable option due to what caused the decision for that specific option (and the fact that what caused such also could not be different in a causal universe).

            Our argument is like me saying, “I want to eat a carrot”, “you dont want to eat a carrot, you HAVE to eat a carrot, you could not have expressed anything else in that situation”, “Ok, then, I dont want to eat a carrot”, “exactly, once you say that, I could not expect you to have said anything differently, you have no free will, to say either of those statements or desire what the statements imply”, “yes I do”, “no you dont”, “I disagree”, “I disagree”

            You are taking what is being argued from the wrong end.

            It would be much more interesting, and dare I say valuable, for you to attempt to express how possibly agency exists, more so then what I cant help but think your argument boils down to, pointing out the tautological nature of reality, expressing that the totality of information of reality is always accounted for in reality, objectively. You are arguing that every bit of information in reality is a hard gear, that is linked to its neighbors, you are arguing for a perfect mechanical description of reality, which I too am inclined to agree with you, it does seem we must employ a ghost in the machine to give my argument credence, I am not saying I understand how or why free will does and can exist, I am just saying I am more convinced from all my knowledge and arguments, and experience, that it does.

            This is understandable, and I’m not saying I will convince you on my position. These things take lots and lots of time. I think, however, that you are an intelligent person and it is likely that you may (causally) assess things differently far in the future. There is a difference between agency and free agency.

            My number example is really perfect so I shouldnt try to use anything else, but only refer to that, for it is a distillation of the problem. The problem you need to solve, is how ‘I’ can control my gears at all, or would you argue I cannot?

            I’d argue that any action of trying to control your gears is all a part of the way the gears work. 😉

            Does a human have any power or control at all?

            Humans have causal power and causal control. I’d argue such is the best kind of power and control we can ask for (as causality is the only thing that can lead to consistency of thought, etc).

            If so, the existence of that power at all, is at the very least an expression of free will, all it takes is the power itself to choose between 2 options, it doesnt matter hindsight or anything, only that if it were not for that power, an option would not be chosen, or a more likely option would be chosen by external nature, a good case of a human without power is a dead human, how can an alive human pick a number and a dead one cannot?

            I’d suggest it’s an expression of our capacity to causally “will”. What we must understand, is that once we understand that someone could not have, of their own accord, done otherwise (if time was rewound to right before), we need to abandon these harmful notions of blame and deserve over another. The belief that people could have done otherwise has led to a number of very important imbalances, inequalities, hatred, and so on. Of course I go over this in great depth in the book as well.

            And what about the alive one, is doing the picking, is there no such thing as subjectivity, only objectivity? The human has no control or power over their mind or body?

            Subjective experience is an output of an objective configuration.

            “If something doesn’t cause you to pick one number over the other, you are talking about an acausal event (“truly random”). Such events would be entirely detrimental to willing. The is why “up to the chooser “ and “of one’s own accord” is part of the definition. To address the problem is such events aren’t “up to the chooser”.”<

            An acausal event can’t be “caused / forced to happen”. Acausal = not caused (that is the definition).

            if you dont admit that the user of the mind/body, the being has any influence on the way the information in their mind is stored, then of course all stored memories would have exact causal reasons for being where they are, and the times and moments and ways a person would relate such mental information would be causal and demanded to occur in the certain ways determined by what occurs outside the body and within…um, I lost myself…

            Any influence is causal influence, meaning that the desire to influence the mind/body arises causally, and so does the actual influence from that. I’m not saying we don’t have influence, I’m saying we causally influence.

            What I am trying to say, is that I believe there is an awareness of the body, that is called consciousness or the mind. A user of the body, information exists outside of the body, information interacts with the body via sensation, that information is stored in the body, and ‘visible’, experienced by the awareness, the user, the mind, the you I am talking to, right now I am writing information, that exists outside of your body, but will exist inside your body when you read it, this information, the order of these words, can be stored in your memory, and then ‘for whatever reason’ you can potentially access this information. I do not know enough about the science of the mind and neurons and stuff to say how memories are physically stored, the little I have seen suggests it is a potentially non intuitive phenomenon in which certain memories are not existing in exact and only in exact specific local places, but can be reconstructed differently in different ways different times…I really dont know this is complex stuff. So I dont know about truly acausal event being truly random, or the nature of these terms. But I am inclined (determined?) to say firstly, I would suggest that such events would not necessarily be detrimental to willing, because it is the will that is ‘being’ random.

            This is more stuff I cover thoroughly in my book (e.g. that acausal events can have no spatial or temporal determinacy, and therefore can never be “willed” events)

            You cannot deny the existence of the awareness, the consciousness, the you, that is really what our argument should first be about, because the other side of that coin is the grey area and mixture between ‘randomness’ or more and less randomness, and more or less determination, in 3 dimensions plus time, and a large gradient of objects that interrelate in many different ways, speaking of the totality of physics, biology and chemistry.

            I never denied these things, though I think “the you” is sort of a category error (yet another chapter). I think consciousness and awareness causally happens.

            I am trying to think of how choosing a number ‘randomly’ ‘for no reason’ is acausal, it is a very interesting concept, quite baffling… The cause: Pick a number. Is causal, I have memory, awareness of the existence of numbers, I have the awareness that abstractly ‘infinite numbers exist’, the reason as to why I pick one number over another, is perhaps random, and perhaps acausal, if I just let my ‘subconscious’ let the first number that comes into my head, then the next, then the next, the physics and science and objective reality and subjective experience of how this occurs must be fascinating though I have no clue how it occurs, if we escape my favored 9 number experiment, and stretch it to; choose any number ‘you’ ‘want’, I can perfectly well imagine from familiarity of experience the ability to ‘sit back’ and ‘let a number appear in my mind’ and then take it from there, it is kind of the unwanting to make a choice, so just shaking up the waters of your mind and then letting your awareness recognize the first number you ‘see’. But even from there, that is not enough to determine which number you will say, for a number can pop in my head and it can be 3, after you ask me to choose any number, and from there I can think, ok, I saw 3 in my head ‘randomly’ so I will pick the number 6, after 6 I like 2, how about 9, 5, 6,2,6,7,5,2,6,7,8,2,6,7,2,9,8,6,2,5,6, ok and then I ‘randomly’ stop, and you said pick any number, and so I picked 62956267526782672986256, if I wanted I could multiply that by 2, or 3, or 4, and or those numbers, and or any more, before submitting it as my chosen number. These are all arguably acausal, reasonless, random results, but the existence of my will as a definitive chooser, a definer, a causer, is the linking cause, to the production and even potential for such random strings of numbers to come about in the first place. My will is free to be as random as it can be, is another way to say this. I have the free will to be random, where is the detriment? I am willing, I am aware infinite numbers exist, I can will into existence any one, because I am aware of all of them (lets say to a certain extent, a limit).

            To be clear, I’m saying that even a rolling of a die or a flip of a coin is causally dictated. To you such might “appear” random, but if we knew all of the variables involved, including the angle of the throw, the force of it, it’s starting point when being tossed, the differentiation in the weight of the die for different parts of it, the atmosphere and friction involved, the gravity, the properties of the surface it lands, and on and on…we can understand what number the die will land on. It is simply that we don’t see all of the variables that we think such is “random” (hence the reason I use the word acausal instead of random, as the word random is often associated with things that are not truly random. Likewise, though you may not know what brings 62956267526782672986256 to the forefront of your consciousness, there are various causal variables that do (that, like the die, could not be otherwise given the causality). And if not, then such happens acausally (which again, can never be willed).

            “Speaking of experiments, are you aware of the Libet and newer Nature Neuroscience experiments? The newer ones shows we can predict a button someone will press (given left or right hand) 7 to 10 seconds before they are consciously aware of the decision to press one over the other, by looking at brain scans. This at least shows a causal mechanism that takes place even prior to one’s own conscious awareness of a decision (though in itself isn’t the case against free will – the logical case is)”
            Yes, hearing this spoken about by Sam Harris is one of the things that provoked (determined me?) me down this path of intrigue into this philosophical topic. This is an illogical argument, and intellectually dishonest, or at least ignorant in which case I suppose it would be called an innocent argument, I dont know. This just is a very superficial, shallow, hand wavy dismissal of the existence of free will, everything I have been talking about. I can use my free will to train myself to be a slave to my free will, I can say, every time someone says ‘do you want dessert’ I will say yes as fast as possible, someone says ‘do you want dessert’ you are scanning my brain, my cognitive mechanisms react to the question, by working the processes of its conditioned response, and by doing trials you will discover that signatures in my brain reveal that I have decided faster than I can open my mouth,

            No…not faster than you can “open your mouth” but faster than you are AWARE of the decision you have made. These are two very different things. The person clocks the point in time that they have made the decision of which button to press, and the prediction takes place prior to the actual conscious awareness of such.<

            this sort of thing is not proof, and you will not proof the non existence of free will via these small and trivial claims because the problem of free will is one of the largest and most complex problems that exists, and the very idea that you can dismiss this large thing with small single isolated cases that dont attack the whole thing is automatically wrong.

            Just to be clear, I don’t think these experiments are the main case against free will, but rather supporting evidence against it. The real case against free will is in its logical incoherence.

            You are arguing an absolute, I am arguing ‘the minorest’, I only need the tiniest tiniest fraction of a smidgen of potential of proof of free will to exist to fulfill the accuracy of my argumentative stance, you need the totality of eternal information and knowledge and understanding of all things to confidently, or forget confidence, we are concerned with truth, to truthfully argue your position.

            I am arguing an absolute only in the context of logic (e.g. such is absolutely illogical). By the way, it’s important to note that “free will” is an existence claim. That means it holds a burden of proof. Even if I had no case against free will, the onus would still be on the person to prove free will exists. That being said, us incompatibilists shift the burden of proof over to us to “prove a negative”…and in the case of free will such can and is done, just as proving colorless pink square circles can’t exist is done.

            One interesting thing I want to say about the nature of numbers, or a thought I and others may have had about them, is that the existence of numbers may be some pseudo, phonyness to them, as they are symbols of, 1 ness. In that, 2 is only 1 and 1. 3 is 1 and 1 and 1. That beyond the notion of a single 1ness, a point of 1, the higher numbers do not fundamentally exist, they are only abstract or macro conglomerates of the simple bit of 1. I dont know if this idea plays into the randomness or nature of choosing numbers, but then our symbolic knowledge is now that expression I just shared, equaling the symbols of 2 and 3, so now instead of the binaryness, we shortcut the 1 1 1 1 for being 4, and now 4 is a common symbol, that is ingrained well in my memory, along with 2 and 3 and 5 and 6 and 7 and 8 and 9, so earlier when I suggested the thought of experiment of: choose any number, and I said letting my subconscious do the work, not actively thinking ‘I like 7, so 7’ or ‘look around the room and see 3 cups or the first number I see’, stuff like this, I let ‘an image of a number come to my mind’, and you call this ‘random’ or acausal, maybe, and then after that number comes to mind and I see it, for me to pick any number that is not that number, or that is that number, of the next number in the string of digits that will be my ‘any chosen number’, my choosing will be acausal or random because there is no physical, informational, reason, causal relationship between me choosing one number or another, so you say this is acausal and random, and therefore my will had nothing to do with it, or the will could not have chosen otherwise…hm… which is interesting, because when I ‘let a number come to my mind ‘randomly”, well earlier I asked you to try to express hypothetically possible reasonable causal relationships that would determine one number would come to my mind over another, and then from there what next number I would choose, etc. Now even if you admit this is random and acausal, would you still claim that it could not have happened another way?

            I’d suspect such an event would be causal, regardless if you don’t see the variables that cause it. Regardless, acausal events (if they exist) can force a happening in a different way, but that change of direction can never be a “willed” change in direction. It’s equally as incompatible with free will (and more of a detriment to willing).

            A cat has less potential to act in the world, to think, to know, and therefore it has less potential options, choices, free will, when compared to humans, a human is able to learn, store more data in more complex and integrated, interrelated ways, than a cat can, because of this, each moment of time, area of space, quantity of matter, and quality in which it and its neighbors are operating in, can achieve more action within the mind, outside the mind, to think and know, and use this knowledge to act in many more numerous and complex ways, and constantly increased, a term that can be used to define such a difference, you could point to all the hardware, from material, DNA, shapes and proportions of flesh and veins and bones and muscles and joints and brains and neurons and eyes and diet, and is it true that the nature the way this hardware operates from only objective data one is able to commit to the belief that by only utilizing knowledge of the exact ways in which the hardware exists and operates, and the differences between them, would account for the differences that occur in the cats mind and human mind, and therefore differences between them, and outside of the cats mind due to the cats mind, and outside the humans mind due to the humans mind, is the hardware and the interactivity of the hardware all that accounts for the difference in what a cat can achieve unto the environment which surrounds it, which stems from the cats mind, and

            I agree cat’s are more instinctual than humans. That does not mean, however that a person could have, of their own accord, done otherwise. It does not mean that a person has the ability to choose between more than one VIABLE option, in which the choice is up to them. It only means that the person perceives more options and causally processes a different type of thinking action around what she percieves.

            “Again, acausal events can never be willed, and causal ones can never have multiple contradictory effects (B and ~B).”- Trick

            Is this an example of a causal event having multiple contradictory effects; Pick a number between 1 and 9. And here is my thought process, “well I want to pick 3 because its 4 greater than 9 and 7 is 42 times 4 so blue is funny because 5 = 3 and so obviously the number I will then choose is 6”. That was a causal event which contains multiple contradictory ‘events?’, false, illogical thoughts, that are still ’causes?’, it is also the willing of mental acausal events, unless you can offer any hypothetical theory as to what causally caused me to write that quoted illogical numbery statement exactly as I did. The act of thought, is causal, but what the thoughts represent, words and numbers, symbols, concepts, are not causally linked, herein lies an important aspect of our discussion I feel.

            Contradictory thinking is not the same thing as contradictory events. I can think about colorless pink square circles, and know such is a contradiction that is impossible in reality. But again, you are simply assessing that since you don’t see the exact variable that brought 6 to the forefront (and every thought that preceded it)….that such was somehow free (e.g. of something that caused it) and yet still “willed” (even though uncaused events cannot be willed).

            “Logic is simply our most consistent and reliable methodology (in the forms of deductive logic and inductive logic). At the base of logic is certain tautologies such as identity and non-contradiction. Whether or not a person uses such methodologies comes about causally, and depends on a number of factors (e.g. what they have learned, there propensity to be concerned over what is rational, etc)” – Trick

            What do you say about me saying that reality is physical logic?

            I’d say such is a mistake given the history of logic, and the output of methodologies used to describe “reality” (or the physical).

            And then my attempt to express the existence of free will, by suggesting a mind functions by using a symbolic language, and taking information from reality, but not by outside reality, being demanded to utilize the language and information of reality, an exact way every pico second, like mindless reality, is forced to act an exact way every second, because it is gear like determination, cause and effect, etc. So the will escapes being a determined gear in the machine of reality, by firstly existing as awareness as all, and secondly existing as an awareness that is aware of the information of reality and the language used to weigh it, to have some power over it, via its own internally created and createdable modes of computation.

            I’d say that such “awareness” is part of the “gears”…it can’t (logically) escape it. Language is part of the gears, and computation is part of the gears.

            “I certainly don’t think everything is perfect (I don’t even like the word “prefect” to be honest).”
            What about a definition of the term perfect as ‘cannot possibly be any better’. If there is no choice, exactly what occurs, is the best possible…well only possible reality that can occur, because no better can occur, it is perfect. But I asked you above in this response, about how your perspective is not fatalism, how we can at once have absolutely no power, and absolutely some power. By arguing for the existence of at least some free will, which is what I am doing, I am arguing that we have some power. So what is our power, how does it work, and how can it not choose between multiple viable options.

            I never said we have absolutely no power. Rather, I’m saying we are an important factor. We “produce” …a production that cannot causally occur without “us” being part of the mechanism. In this way, we have just as much power as anything else in existence. It just happens it’s entirely causal power…but that’s ok. Uncaused power would be totally inconsistent and not something we would ever want. Power doesn’t imply that such needs to be able to have other options that were viable. It’s a mistake to think so.

            “To be clear, I’m saying what we think, say, and do is part of what is caused. Humans are a complex mechanism. A computer can have multiple processes working, and those processes are “controlled” by the hardware of the computer…but such could not process differently. A computer isn’t “free” to process otherwise, even if it has millions of numbers in a database that is opts one from. And don’t take this to mean I see people as computers, as computers (currently) aren’t consciousness. But consciousness isn’t outside of identity and non-contradiction. It’s still restricted by what causality means.” – Trick

            That is a faulty suggestion, seeing as computers were created by humans, and there can not be processors that must act certain ways if a human isnt involved, so because human consciousness is the problem we have and are discussing and arguing over, by using such a statement about computers in your favor, the statement immediately falls away back to the problem of humans, for we can even equate some of the hardware software natures of the human body and mind, but we would agree a human is different than a computer, I am asking how and why. So what do you think consciousness is?

            Humans creating the computer has nothing to do with the point made. I think consciousness is an output of very specific matter and energy configurations playing through time. But regardless of my theory of consciousness, no matter what theory one has (even such being something supernatural), it cannot escape the causal/acausal dichotomy (I go over this in my book as well).

            “So where I was going with that, is, a human who believes that the longest most healthy life is the most logical and rational thing for a human to strive for, and focus on at all times, do they have any free will, or are they on auto pilot?”<

            No and no. 😉

            I can even say, for humans, perhaps before a specific mountain was climbed, it is physically possible for a human to have climbed that mountain, it was just that none had ‘thought to, felt like it, wanted to’ etc.

            It wasn’t possible for one to “think to, feel like it, or want to” at such time, so it follows that such was not a possibility (physicalness aside which is different). Saying “physically possible” really isn’t a statement on possibility, but rather a statement on our assessment if a body could take such. It’s important not to conflate these. It’s also important not to conflate epistemic possibility with ontological (real) possibility. See here: http://breakingthefreewillillusion.com/word-possibility-deterministic-universe/

            I am trying to ask, why do ants do exactly what they do, or the most simple conscious creature.

            Because they are caused to through their genetic structure and environment.

            And even in humans, is there not the most base fundamental drive, to continue ones life and reproduce?

            For most people (not all). I certainly don’t want to reproduce…and some people want to die.

            So the way of the ant, can be seen as maybe one of a few, and of course of all the different ant colonies over the world, there are slightly different expressions of what the ant can accomplish, different numbers, different environments etc. It does not appear physically possible that an ant can build a space ship to the moon right now, nor does it seem physically possible for a human to jump into the sun. The idea of rebelling is an interesting one, imagining ants rebelling over their colonies order. But if the inherent obviousness is that, the individual ants want to live,

            I doubt ants know what it means to “want to live”, rather ants act in a way conducive to living or keeping a colony alive…due to their evolutionary setup.

            therefore they have their colony, and it is the best way they can all live, (maybe its not im sure there are studies and experiments, but, i dont know the information regarding alternative ant lifestyles, or non city ants) and some of the ants are rebelling and causing problems, it is in the best interest of the individual, who prizes peaceful successful living as the chief necessity, and therefore the colonies chief necessity, to eliminate the rebelling threat, this can be seen to happen with ‘terrorism and crime’ in humans, and even germs and other bad things in the body, if the body may be compared to a kind of colony. So would you say, an ant is just as conscious as a rock, and has the same amount of control over itself and surroundings as a rock does, and this is also equal to the humans control over its thoughts, and its actions, and interaction with surroundings, there is no difference, there is no ‘it’ which controls anything, all things that are called aware are only aware, like eyes strapped into a movie theatre chair with arms pinned down at their sides? That there is no difference of thought potential between you and a river. I think I see what you are saying, but then I dont… Do you view the entirety of reality as a (to simplify) network of gears? And one source of your argument is ‘how can a network of causal objects, ‘make a choice”, and I must admit hearing it like that I think, wow yea, what the heck… but then I remember that, how can just a network of simple particles (even 9 bigillionbagillionfafillion) like gears accomplish everything we know to exist on at least earth (all life, the system of earth, the nature of sun and light, and what the human is and can achieve…of course not of his own willing…rolls eyes…still). So just like the ‘no free lunch’ of physics, energy cannot be created or destroyed, there must be some reason, some thing must come from somewhere, this is the expression of causality, everything you think, and think you think, must come from somewhere, must be triggered by something. And so you think with that justification, you can say, therefore, there is no such thing as awareness having any control or say in what it does, ….well this is where you lose me, because I disagree.

            Where did I say there is no such thing as awareness, etc? I think you are misunderstanding or imagining something I have never said nor would I. In fact, I think a lot of what we are arguing is hinging on you misunderstanding my position. Therefore, I think it would be helpful for you to read my book, even if in the end you disagree with it (just to see the actual case I am making).

            Yea I am not sure what I was getting at either,…

            …or meaningful demand to do one or the other, outside of the mind choosing, because it wants to, this is freedom! Hear it roar!

            Barring slim less realistic exceptions, a man with a million dollars can effect more in minds and beyond minds in a moment then a man with 1 dollar can, by spending their money. This shows that with more options, more potentials, comes more choices, decisions for the will to make. Man is more free than an ant, in physical and mental degrees of freedom, because man has more physical and mental degrees of freedom.

            More capability to do X doesn’t mean one had a real option not to do X. Someone in a wheelchair may be incapable of walking, and someone out of the wheelchair may have such capability, but the option to sit or to stand or to walk for the person with the capability does not mean that all of those were possibilities for any given time. Rather, the one that is done was dictated by the person’s causal setup. The wheel chaired person simply has a different causal setup in which walking can’t happen even if that is what the person desired to do.

            “This is good, I am glad for this (and see you are a truth seeker). If I thought otherwise I wouldn’t take the time to respond. Also, I too believe in the existence of the “will”, I just don’t believe in freedom of the will (FREE will)” – Trick

            Like I noticed immediately and then suggested, your only power to talk about ‘viable’ is hindsight, it is not a valid statement by you. From foresight, which is how reality really functions, and time really progresses, there are multiple viable options, a will, must freely choose from them.

            Again, viable is present tense. It isn’t in hindsight. It’s based on an understanding of causality and what such means for ontological possibilities. From foresight, based on an understanding of causality, only one option is viable (if the universe is causal).

            You cannot believe in the existence of the will, and believe that that will cannot choose, the existence of the will, and therefore the existence of the will choosing ‘anything’ is the existence of at least a tiny amount of free will.

            The will chooses the only option it willfully can chose. All other options were never causal possibilities for willing.

            “People act on illogical understandings of reality all the time. Again, logic is a methodology used to parse truth.” – Trick

            And what say you, when say I; what is truth other than logic? Truth is; stuff exists. Truth is; stuff causes and effects stuff, stuff changes. Truth is; stuff existing and causing and effecting the stuff that exists, which is change, is what logic is? Logic is; the tautological obviousness that if something is what it is and what it is has characteristics, and there is another something that may be different but has the same charecteristical guidelines of being a some thing, then when they interact they will experience cause and effect? Logic is; stuff that is tautologically accounted for as stuff causes and effects stuff and is caused and effected?

            Truth precedes logic. Logic is a methodology. The universe expanded, stars and planets formed, etc….way before we derived logical induction and deduction based on various tautologies. It was “true” that such happens even before creatures ever evolved to assess such using logic and reason. Truth is not dependent on our knowledge of the truth. But this is a tangent epistemological topic that we’d be better off staying away from at least for now.

            But saying, that those powers to observe options come about casually, occur causally, and are based on causality, does not say that those powers to observe options, and choose options, are not powers to observe options and choose options. The power to observe options, and choose an option, if completely causally, as I would agree most likely is the case, this is what the term free will at least means.

            And I’d take no issue with such an assessment other than calling such “free will” – which I go into why such compatibilist ideas of free will bypass the important topics and are not the ability of concern that most think of with the term free will. Also see: http://breakingthefreewillillusion.com/free-choice-vs-choice/

            And yes, I am saying consciousness allows logically incoherent things to happen, contradictions (see Humanity for details). You just causally stated something illogical, that logically incoherent statement can have a real causal effect on at least something other than itself.

            I don’t know what you mean by “see Humanity for details”. I think you may be mistaking holding contradictory ideas with contradictions existing (happening). These are not the same thing.

            And do consider my book offer as this conversation is already becoming wayyy too long and time consuming (too hard to recreate the wheel). And though I’d love to keep going with it, my time restraints prevent me from. If we do keep going in the comment section, we need to focus way down to one single point at a time…until such is fully addressed and we can move on to the next. The conversation is already starting to spread out and become too cumbersome.

            Catch ya later. :-)

 Leave a Reply

applications-education-miscellaneous.png

Comments in this section should be brief, coherent, and to the point, preferably 1 OR 2 sentences long. Due to this, I've limited comments to 500 characters. Using multiple comments at a single turn will not be approved. I'd like for this comment section to be conversational and not intimidating for people to read or respond to. Essay sized posts, though perhaps interesting, should go elsewhere.  Misinformation or fallacies may not be approved. Click here for more comment rules. I appreciate your understanding. Thanks! 'Trick.

 

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

(required)

(required)