Sunday, December 11, 2005

Free Willy

I thought I'd throw this out there, as the topic of my research paper, but also because I'm interested to know: Is there free will? I look at time as deterministic, but not without some degree of free will. We are all working towards some point that is predetermined, but how we get there is up to us. For example, if we wanted to go out to the mall to get a gift for someone, we could take the bus, a car, a taxi, walk, bike, or hoverboard there. But the end result is the same: we end up at the mall. However, whatever way we decide to get there comes with consequences. If we use a taxi,w e may want to spend less money. if we walk, it takes much longer and uses far greater energy. But that doesn't stop us from getting to the mall. In other words, we are determined to be somewhere at some point, but we take whichever means we wish to in order to get there.

45 Comments:

Blogger Kermit said...

I'm not sure if there is in fact free will, but it seems like there isn't if you think of the Grandfather Paradox. If you were to go back in time and try to kill your grandfather, you couldn't. Something must be governing us to make it this way. It has already been determined that your grandfather lived through the incident; otherwise you would not exist. In the example Le Poidevin uses about trying to stop World War I, it is impossible for you to stop the assasination that began the war, since the war in fact happend (or you wouldn't need to go back in time to stop it). As hard as you try, you cannot change the event that sparked the war because it has been determined that it will happen.

2:25 PM  
Blogger mparent said...

I guess the problem with this is why wasn't it also predetermined how you would get to the mall? At what level does destiny stop? Why wouldn't choosing to go to the mall be free will?
You can't really mix determinism with free will by claiming some choices are destiny while others are free to choose.

3:13 PM  
Blogger Nigel said...

I am unsure on whether or not we have free will. What i am sure about however, even if there is no free will, we can still feel like we have choices. Assume for a second that there is no free will. That means that everything that will happen has already been decided. However, we dont know what will happen so even though our choices are perfectly scripted, we feel as if we are making choices. This also leads to the conclusion that we cannot know what will happen in the future, because then we could prevent that from happening. As soon as we could know anything about our future, it means that we could have the choice to make that future not happen. Some people may respond to this by saying that somehow that future will take place despite our greatest efforts to prevent it. I firmly believe that if you were to know a future event, you could prevent it from happening by some means.

4:15 PM  
Blogger mparent said...

If you accept determinism and discover what happens in the future then that too was predetermined. Say you found out you were going to die tomorrow. Then you were destined to discover this as well as being destined to take the steps to try to prevent your death. Its quite possible that taking those preventitive steps either do actually help in causing your death. The point is that if you accept determinism then EVERYTHING that happens to you has been determined whether you have knowledge of it or not.

7:23 AM  
Blogger Darron said...

I beleive that we do have free will and that life is not predetermined. All in all your the only person who is able to make decisions for yourself. And if you make decisions for yourself then your doing it at your on will. You might try to say that it was fate for you to make that decision, but even if you did it still would be your decision and thusyour on free will.

6:04 PM  
Blogger ewolf335 said...

what exactly is the definition of fate though? i find this concept confusing. is fate just knowing what you are going to do or what you must do? why can't free will and fate exist together? i mean, you may have the will to do whatever you want right, but in the end what you do is something you must do which you wanted to do anyway. am i making any sense?

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