Michael Paul

If we had free will, on what basis would it make its decisions?

7 posts in this topic

If free will were an attribute that humans possess, on what basis would it make its decisions? So far in thinking about this question I’ve only been able to come up with three categories of answers, all of which seem to negate the existence of the “you could have done otherwise” free aspect of our will:

1. Deterministic (cause and effect) answers. This obviously is not free will.

2. Appeals to randomness (including quantum indeterminacy). Since, by definition, we cannot influence chance events, this does not match our intuitions of the “free” aspect of will.

3. Some combination of both determinism and randomness.

Perhaps I’m not thinking deeply enough about this question. If you think you have a good answer to this problem that doesn’t fall into one of those three categories, please feel free to reply. If not, you’re still welcome to discuss!

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@Michael Paul im not sure if I'm completely getting your question. But the thing that springs to mind for me is that we know there is no free will, that everything is conditioned patterns.

The only way to change a pattern is not by resisting it and attempting to "do" something else, but to observe the pattern and the identification that keeps the pattern repeating itself. Then the pattern becomes integrated in time and new thoughts and behaviours emerge. 

I think that's the only instance in which we can say we can do things "differently". But that's just a way of symbolising the process. On close inspection we don't really "do" anything, everything is being done by existence itself, whether that serves us individually or not, even new behaviours. 

So the only options are internal struggle or acceptance and transformation . I chose the latter because that is the only real way that we can "change", because change is destined anyway, but change should happen according to how well we let life make the decision for us. Trying to force things just keeps the old habits and conditionings in place , even if the appear to be changing, they are not, not until they are made conscious 

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@Nickyy We have to talk about free will as if it were an attribute of being human. It would be inaccurate to say that “we are” free will, rather it would be a part of us if it existed. So, how would this part of us come to a place of choosing something? We say “we choose”, but in reality it would be our free will choosing (if we had it), not us. That’s the point I was trying to make.

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Create three more, but with how you feel as the absolute basis, rather than what you think about ‘free will’ in terms of something ‘in the world’ / ‘something about people’. Essentially, look at it relative to you. It will start to make a new, different kind, of sense.

 

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The thing is, in the highest sense cause and effect are illusions and true randomness cannot exist. Everything that is, is NOW. No room for things affecting one another because literally everything is just spontaneously appearing and disappearing. Moreover, randomness is impossible; randomness implies things could be otherwise, but everything that is could not have been any other way. These two insights might not make much sense and I would agree a rational explanation is weak. Rather, Id work to become conscious of this, not reason to it.

So here’s the predicament: free will doesnt seem to have a basis to stand on and yet cause and effect and randomness are both illusory. But it gets stranger. You’ll notice you’re able to shift your perspective on whether it feels like free will exists or not. That is to say, both perspectives may be observed. Watch as you walk and breathe and how it’s all happening automatically without your doing, but equally observe that you very much can seem to “take back control” of the walking, as if you had will. 

So what are we left with? The ability to take on a perspective wherein free will doesn’t exist AND a perspective where it exists. Both being relative, and potentially illusory but also potentially true. And the biggest mindfuck Ive continually observed on this topic: free will is both true and not true simultaneously depending on what perspective you’re observing the world through. If you make the distinction free will, you have it. If you stop making that distinction, you lose it and things still happen. 

 

Leo’s video on relativity explains this beautifully even though it isn’t directly on free will. 

Edited by Consilience

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Humans fundamentally do not possess anything. We could say Free will is part of the condition of the Being of human, however that Freedom would have nothing to do with the Desire a human possesses.

 

Free Will is Creativity, it is the Causeless Cause. It is the manifestation of Nothingness or Infinite Potential into Finite Form. It is not random.

 

Imagine something that does not exist, in a world that does not exist, with rules and limitations that do not exist. Imagine that without having any knowledge of any kind of that which you will imagine. That process of imagination is Free Will, or Creativity. It is the Root of all Form.

The closer a Form is to the root, the more "free" it is. Or in other words, the closer it is to non-duality and the further away from duality, the more potential it has to express in more ways.

Full non-duality leaves room for full expression. The Human mind is already an expression and therefore limited in it's potential, yet where it carries the lose ends of non-duality is where it can express true Creativity.

 

Free Will is Divine Will, and indiscriminate in it's expression.

Edited by Scholar

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