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I got into a friendly debate over the weekend with an INTJ relative of mine over whether or not free will exists. My take on it was that free will does exist and that you couldn't predict evey single outcome my life could have. His take on it was that there is a finite amount of outcomes that any one persons life can have and given enough time you could "predict" every scenario possible. I'm curious to see what your input may be on this topic.
 

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Just because, through a process of brainstorming every possible event ever, no matter how big or small like irregular breathing patterns or an engagement, you can figure out everything that could happen, it doesn't mean free will doesn't exist.

Of course I can plan a trip down to every single detail, but it's up to me to take it.
EDIT: Oh, and if I do end up going on that trip, I could at any moment break free from the pattern I sought out to follow.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Just because, through a process of brainstorming every possible event ever, no matter how big or small like irregular breathing patterns or an engagement, you can figure out everything that could happen, it doesn't mean free will doesn't exist.

Of course I can plan a trip down to every single detail, but it's up to me to take it.
EDIT: Oh, and if I do end up going on that trip, I could at any moment break free from the pattern I sought out to follow.
I agree. I made many of these arguments to him. His response was basically this - any scenario you choose to do could be written down previously, and if that's the case does free will exist or are we picking from a finite (although enormous) amount of choices.
 

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I got into a friendly debate over the weekend with an INTJ relative of mine over whether or not free will exists. My take on it was that free will does exist and that you couldn't predict evey single outcome my life could have. His take on it was that there is a finite amount of outcomes that any one persons life can have and given enough time you could "predict" every scenario possible. I'm curious to see what your input may be on this topic.
Sounds like an interesting debate. I can see both your points. I agree with your position that free will does exist. However, I agree with him concerning given enough time you could "predict" the scenarios that are possible. I hope I can explain this via writing. I would do much better verbally expressing myself on this topic.

Anyway I believe we all have free will I believe certain factors such as limited beliefs, fear, knowledge, etc can box us into only using our free will to make certain choices. For instance, if a person associates more with pain when it comes to having relationship than joy, then this limited belief would influence the person's free will in their decision making process. It would more than likely translate into I don't want a relationship because I must not feel pain.

Therefore, after spending a certain amount of time, one would be able to predict the outcome of the relationship endeavors. I have a friend that I can predict what her relationships will look like each and every time because of the subconcious beliefs she holds concerning relationships. She blames everyone else and refuses to look at herself as the contributing cause for why her relationships don't work out. I can predict with 90% accuracy her outcomes. However, she has free will and could interrupt this pattern but it won't happen until she overcome her fears and acquire new knowledge.
 

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Aren't we discussing free will as a concept and not as a physical phenomenon?

Free will is the ability to do what you want, right (simple explanation, but it works)? Free will isn't having unlimited choices, it's the ability to choose (or want to choose).
 
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@2eng2009

Not in totality. You are influenced by a variety of external stimuli, expectations and limitations, and that little conscience of yours.
To me, free will is an illusion human beings accept, in order to deceive themselves into thinking they are in total control.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Aren't we discussing free will as a concept and not as a physical phenomenon?

Free will is the ability to do what you want, right (simple explanation, but it works)? Free will isn't having unlimited choices, it's the ability to choose (or want to choose).
Yes you are correct in thinking its the ability to do what you want, but his argument is how do you know that you are consciously making that choice? That we are just thinking its our free will. Similar to what @lightened is saying.
 

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@2eng2009

Not in totality. You are influenced by a variety of external stimuli, expectations and limitations, and that little conscience of yours.
To me, free will is an illusion human beings accept, in order to deceive themselves into thinking they are in total control.
This is very similar to his argument. I get what you are saying... I just don't agree.
 

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There's no god. That's how I know.

In fact, when I saw this thread, I actually expected some sort of religious argument.
 
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Yep, no God here, and I believe free will exists. I think ones actions could be predicted, but not with 100% accuracy consistently.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
There's no god. That's how I know.

In fact, when I saw this thread, I actually expected some sort of religious argument.
I agree. The funny thing is neither of us believe there is a God.
 

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I agree. The funny thing is neither of us believe there is a God.
That's strange. :p

My point still stands, though. And what, can free will only exist if we can't think ahead?
EDIT: I wanna pose a hypothetical scenario.

Let's suppose that tomorrow, a baby is born. That baby is born all-knowing.
That baby knows everything. Everything that has ever happened and everything that can (can, not will) happen. Does the birth of this baby mark the death of free will or is it just a gifted baby?
 

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I believe free will exists.

I heard a similar theory before, and it does hold some validity, but its false. Essentially when we make a choice, there is a bunch of chemical processes that trigger thought and come up with an answer. If this entire process was mapped, our choices could be predicted.

This is assuming that the entire process CAN be mapped to the point where its predictable. Now, I don't know much about the human brain, but I would imagine there is something like a random number generator like in computer programming that may help us make random decisions (pizza or burgers?). We aren't hard coded and are capable of gathering input of what we feel like eating, what others may want to eat, health concerns, as well as an internal roll of the dice or coin flip. These cannot be predicted with a 100% success rate. Thus, free will.
 

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What's the premises? I think it takes on different forms from different perspectives.

I'm one of those people that believe anything that can happen will happen and the universe is objective. I think the relationship that humans have with free will is more interesting because it would point that they are the source of their free will. It will not happen unless they decide it should.

But I have also thought about how if there are infinite possibilities there must be some conditions to those possibilities of occuring so I can't really be too sure on whether the universe is objective or if every possibility actually follows some sort of law within that possibility.

This is starting to sound like bullshit. lol
 

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That's strange. :p

My point still stands, though. And what, can free will only exist if we can't think ahead?
EDIT: I wanna pose a hypothetical scenario.

Let's suppose that tomorrow, a baby is born. That baby is born all-knowing.
That baby knows everything. Everything that has ever happened and everything that can (can, not will) happen. Does the birth of this baby mark the death of free will or is it just a gifted baby?
We are creatures of evolution, so a baby that is all knowing (in terms of what we perceive as all knowing) may be passed up by a more evolved baby who grasps things not even imaginable by the first baby.

Just as a dog does not know it has a brain...that doesn't mean that in the next 10 million years dogs still won't understand they have a brain.
 

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If you have self-imposed shackles then it the person who is forfeiting their free will and are yielding to fear, limited beliefs, etc to restrict their pool of choices. I believe free will exist. However, I don't think as humans we fully exercise our free will.

And, I don't believe free will is something humans use in order to believe they are in total control.

Definition: Free will: The power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion.

OR
1
:
voluntary choice or decision <I do this of my own free will>
2
: freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention



@2eng2009 were you and your friend referring to definition 1 or 2 for free will?
 

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Sure, you have the ability to foresee any and maybe ever scenario but he couldn't possibly determine exactly which ones your FREE WILL would choose.
 

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Didnt read all above.

If free will is total free will to decide, then no. Goverments/dictators/etc all around the world dictate some sort of box where their people may operate in. If not, you will be corrected.
 

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Yes, I think free will naturally exists at birth. That isn't to say that people are necessarily free to act on their will/impulses though (Due to laws, responsibility to oneself, family, community, country, etc) nor does that say anything about the predictability of humans.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
If you have self-imposed shackles then it the person who is forfeiting their free will and are yielding to fear, limited beliefs, etc to restrict their pool of choices. I believe free will exist. However, I don't think as humans we fully exercise our free will.

And, I don't believe free will is something humans use in order to believe they are in total control.

Definition: Free will: The power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion.

OR
1
:
voluntary choice or decision <I do this of my own free will>
2
: freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention



@2eng2009 were you and your friend referring to definition 1 or 2 for free will?
I would say more of definition two was what the debate was. The fact that any possible outcome can be listed given enough time means that maybe there isn't free will... This was his take. Obviously I disagree.
 
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