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Old 02-04-2010, 06:49 PM #43
Laureate
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hsilman View Post
could you please define a want, I'm having trouble figuring out what you mean by a want.
See, I don't want to do this. I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS, because now it becomes a battle of semantics. So why don't we work as a team as opposed to "competitors" in order to further understand my argument and its?

In defining want:
Consider why you are posting on here and why you keep coming back to read the replies. Consider why you do this as opposed to do other things. You are choosing to come on here and type this rather than watch the news at the moment, right? Now why do you choose to come on here rather than watch the news?
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Old 02-04-2010, 06:49 PM #44
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YOU HAVE NEVER EXPLAINED YOUR STANCE. THE PAST PAGE IS OF PEOPLE ASKING FOR YOU TO EXPLAIN.
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yesme: i'm not saying you should invest in gold first off, you would be much better off to invest in food,stuff you use and will keep for a couple of years, like razors
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Old 02-04-2010, 06:52 PM #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laureate View Post
In defining want:
Consider why you are posting on here and why you keep coming back to read the replies. Consider why you do this as opposed to do other things. You are choosing to come on here and type this rather than watch the news at the moment, right? Now why do you choose to come on here rather than watch the news?
Humans can reason. I can reason what my wants are. Who's to stop me from understanding my wants and choosing an option that doesn't meet my wants?
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Overbear: better 10 innocent men be convicted, than a single guilty man go free to commit more crime.
Overbear: I prefer that I be given a license to shoot anyone who would pick socialism or communism over the basic freedoms inherent to consumerism.
MatrixBaller04 AKA EricS6661: I can guarantee something will happen between now and February 9th.
yesme: i'm not saying you should invest in gold first off, you would be much better off to invest in food,stuff you use and will keep for a couple of years, like razors
Blake360: in highschool, my teacher's father worked for the CIA and she brought my class documents proving the Roswell crash was of extraterrestrial origin.
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Old 02-04-2010, 06:55 PM #46
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Let's say I want to watch a movie. I realize this before acting and sit down to reflect. If I want to watch the movie but decide not to, is my want to prove free will evidence that there isn't free will only a hierarchy of wants?
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Overbear: better 10 innocent men be convicted, than a single guilty man go free to commit more crime.
Overbear: I prefer that I be given a license to shoot anyone who would pick socialism or communism over the basic freedoms inherent to consumerism.
MatrixBaller04 AKA EricS6661: I can guarantee something will happen between now and February 9th.
yesme: i'm not saying you should invest in gold first off, you would be much better off to invest in food,stuff you use and will keep for a couple of years, like razors
Blake360: in highschool, my teacher's father worked for the CIA and she brought my class documents proving the Roswell crash was of extraterrestrial origin.
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:06 PM #47
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Originally Posted by AlphaNeo36 View Post
Let's say I want to watch a movie. I realize this before acting and sit down to reflect. If I want to watch the movie but decide not to, is my want to prove free will evidence that there isn't free will only a hierarchy of wants?
No, the reason you don't watch the movie is because you have a greater want of disproving Laureate's argument.
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:11 PM #48
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Originally Posted by Laureate View Post
See, I don't want to do this. I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS, because now it becomes a battle of semantics. So why don't we work as a team as opposed to "competitors" in order to further understand my argument and its?

In defining want:
Consider why you are posting on here and why you keep coming back to read the replies. Consider why you do this as opposed to do other things. You are choosing to come on here and type this rather than watch the news at the moment, right? Now why do you choose to come on here rather than watch the news?
Alright, I'm going to take a stab at this:

There are two blocks, EXACTLY the same in every way. You are told to pick up only one of them. There would be nothing in the way, no biases or subjectivity to influence your decision. Isn't that free will?
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:32 PM #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laureate View Post
See, I don't want to do this. I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS, because now it becomes a battle of semantics.
Semantics is everything.

Quote:
So why don't we work as a team as opposed to "competitors" in order to further understand my argument and its?
Basic debate. Point/counter-point/repeat. You're just dismissing arguments against yours. Instead you should be rebuking them and strengthening your original argument. I have to reason to strengthen your argument for you since I disagree with it.

Personally I find that anyone who argues against the concept of free will is often looking to remove personal responsibility for their actions for some reason. Somewhere they screwed up, and if they can prove there's no free will then it's not their fault.

Quote:
In defining want:
Consider why you are posting on here and why you keep coming back to read the replies.
Because I have free will and choose to.

Quote:
Consider why you do this as opposed to do other things.
Because I have free will and choose to.

Quote:
You are choosing to come on here and type this rather than watch the news at the moment, right? Now why do you choose to come on here rather than watch the news?
Because I have free will, and I caught the news during lunch.

So in the immortal words of Rush...

There are those who think that life has nothing left to chance
A host of holy horrors to direct our aimless dance

A planet of play things
We dance on the strings
Of powers we cannot perceive
'The stars aren't aligned
Or the gods are malign...'
Blame is better to give than receive

You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice
You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill
I will choose a path that's clear
I will choose free will
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:03 PM #50
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Okay, I would just like to let you know that Dutchman understands me and so does Crede. Even markcheb suggested he not only understands but may agree. It seems that cuttlefish now understands me, too. So really, that fault is on those who don't understand. But I give you the benefit out of the doubt, for I, too, have the reading comprehension of a 4th grader. So I am no better than you at that matter. I have purposely, as easily seen in my first post, hesitated in fleshing out my argument for my words may diminish or poorly represent it. I was hoping that instead of using words off the bat, I may appeal to you by your intuition. But obviously this has failed in getting the message to the majority. So in the following, I will do my best to defend and elaborate on my argument so that you may further understand my position. Keep in mind as you read that I am neither for nor against "free will": I have no emotional attachment or belief in support of either side. So as though I may have failed to do so, let's try to keep this a conversation as opposed to a debate so that we may all benefit in some type of objective way and really make use of out all the brilliant minds that are volunteering to come on here and spend time, thought, and concentration to topics with such importance and implications.


My first attempt at explaining my idea will be Dutchman's interpretation. He obviously shows a complete understanding of my argument and is able to convey the argument through words pretty simply and elegantly:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying_Dutchman View Post
What Laureate is trying to say is that our desires (wants) directly influence our decisions. And since we can't control our desires (meaning there's nothing in my brain pondering whether I should want the piece of cake or not. I can't help wanting the cake), then we must not have control of our decisions. If we go against our "wants" in what seems like an act of higher (free) reasoning, Laureate would likely propose that these are simply other wants overriding the ones we arbitrarily focused on for the sake of the discussion (albeit in a complex manner).
Now in my own words, let me try to introduce an idea. I am not sure what book it is (maybe Brave New World), there is a group of people who are scientifically modified so that they like to do the work they do. What has happened is a high class group of people thought it would be best that there should be people doing the crappy jobs and even better that they LIKE to do those crappy jobs. So once again, they scientifically modify a group of people so that they WANT to do these jobs and they LIKE to do so.

This idea is the basis for my argument. In the example given, we are inclined to say that these people DO NOT have free will because their brains have been modified to have specific WANTS that they are not in control of (i.e. liking to clean toilets). But when we switch the perspective and reflect upon ourselves, we realize that we do not have control of our wants either. We have no say in what we like to do and what we enjoy, and neither can we change it.

So what does this conclude? That we do not have free will because I can not control what I WANT to do.

You may be saying "this is ****. I am eating cookies right now because I want to but I will go eat salad just to prove this argument wrong, because i really don't want to eat salad." This is a good example, because this how most people try to defeat the argument. But in this case, your want to defeat my argument is greater than your want to eat the cookies. Ahhh, right? And it seems no matter what you do from this instant of realization is a pure reaction to what you want. You will realize all of your actions are bound to your wants and that you simply CAN NOT do something that you do not want to do. So it is possible it even becomes an issue of freedom. But freedom is not our concern.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaNeo36 View Post
Two twins that are indistinguishable... which do you choose. You've never known them to exist until this point so there is no predisposition in your mind.
Although I do believe I can defeat this using the same logic in my argument, I believe it would end up in a semantic debate. So my retort will be of the pragmatic sense: This is one situation. A situation like this occurs incredibly rarely. So I will say, for you, yes, in this instance you have free will (which I really don't agree, but just so we can get over this), but it is only one instance out of the hundreds you face every day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaNeo36 View Post
Humans can reason. I can reason what my wants are. Who's to stop me from understanding my wants and choosing an option that doesn't meet my wants?
This honestly doesn't make much sense. Really, in all honesty it doesn't. You said you can reason what your wants are (which if you have, you need a goal and to have a goal you HAVE to have some want). ANd then you said no one is stopping you, which is an issue of freedom, not free will.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaNeo36 View Post
Let's say I want to watch a movie. I realize this before acting and sit down to reflect. If I want to watch the movie but decide not to, is my want to prove free will evidence that there isn't free will only a hierarchy of wants?
I want to say yes, but I need you to flush the idea out a little more. I am having trouble understanding you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cuttlefish32 View Post
Alright, I'm going to take a stab at this:

There are two blocks, EXACTLY the same in every way. You are told to pick up only one of them. There would be nothing in the way, no biases or subjectivity to influence your decision. Isn't that free will?
Like I said above. For all practical purposes (which I still don't believe this is a free decision) I will say yes, it is a free decision. But it is one decision out of thousands. So although you have free will once, the other 99.999% you don't. So for all practical purposes, you don't have free will even given this situation.

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Originally Posted by Fubarius View Post
Personally I find that anyone who argues against the concept of free will is often looking to remove personal responsibility for their actions for some reason. Somewhere they screwed up, and if they can prove there's no free will then it's not their fault.
I am just going to cut it right here. And no. Lol.
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:25 PM #51
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Originally Posted by Laureate View Post
This honestly doesn't make much sense. Really, in all honesty it doesn't. You said you can reason what your wants are (which if you have, you need a goal and to have a goal you HAVE to have some want). ANd then you said no one is stopping you, which is an issue of freedom, not free will.
Your stance: Wants influence decisions

I can understand what my subconscious wants are, what you say are the governing decider of all situations, because I am human. I can chose to deny those wants for any reason or no reason if I so choose. That is free will. If my stomach sends impulses to my brain indicating the need for nourishment, I can deny those signals because I have free will. I don't need to have a want to deny those wants because I can reason. I can choose to not eat for the sake of not eating. There doesn't need to be an alternate want governing my actions. There can be, but the possibility for such is not a requirement.

Your stance is only applicable to those who are not self aware and do not have higher cognitive functions.
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Overbear: better 10 innocent men be convicted, than a single guilty man go free to commit more crime.
Overbear: I prefer that I be given a license to shoot anyone who would pick socialism or communism over the basic freedoms inherent to consumerism.
MatrixBaller04 AKA EricS6661: I can guarantee something will happen between now and February 9th.
yesme: i'm not saying you should invest in gold first off, you would be much better off to invest in food,stuff you use and will keep for a couple of years, like razors
Blake360: in highschool, my teacher's father worked for the CIA and she brought my class documents proving the Roswell crash was of extraterrestrial origin.
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:46 PM #52
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Originally Posted by AlphaNeo36 View Post
Your stance: Wants influence decisions

I can understand what my subconscious wants are, what you say are the governing decider of all situations, because I am human. I can chose to deny those wants for any reason or no reason if I so choose. That is free will. If my stomach sends impulses to my brain indicating the need for nourishment, I can deny those signals because I have free will. I don't need to have a want to deny those wants because I can reason. I can choose to not eat for the sake of not eating. There doesn't need to be an alternate want governing my actions. There can be, but the possibility for such is not a requirement.

Your stance is only applicable to those who are not self aware and do not have higher cognitive functions.
What? you're saying that if you don't eat because your hungry, that exercises free will? It's almost as if... you WANT to not eat. Which means you WANT to do something else, be it watch TV or post a comment trying to disprove Laureate's argument. I don't understand the point you're trying to make...
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:00 PM #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuttlefish32 View Post
What? you're saying that if you don't eat because your hungry, that exercises free will? It's almost as if... you WANT to not eat. Which means you WANT to do something else, be it watch TV or post a comment trying to disprove Laureate's argument. I don't understand the point you're trying to make...
To have a want equals free will. To not have any wants at all, to only respond to physical needs, that would be a lack of free will.

A rock can only move due to an outside influence. It has no free will at all.

A plant can only respond to the most basic needs; grow the top towards light, grow the bottom towards water. It has no free will.

A cow can only respond to physical needs; eat, drink, sleep, reproduce, don't get killed, maybe scratch an itch here or there. It has practically no free will. (one could argue that certain animals express different levels of free will, a dog more than a cow for example, but that's a separate discussion)

Us wacky humans can make decisions. To have choices, to want one outcome over another outside of basic physical needs, that's free will. Where the wants come from is irrelevant. The fact is we have them, the rock doesn't.

Of course this could all be a semantics disagreement.
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:12 PM #54
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Originally Posted by cuttlefish32 View Post
What? you're saying that if you don't eat because your hungry, that exercises free will? It's almost as if... you WANT to not eat. Which means you WANT to do something else, be it watch TV or post a comment trying to disprove Laureate's argument. I don't understand the point you're trying to make...
You're taking what I said the wrong way. You're implying that every decision warrants a want, yes? My point is this: if you are able to observe your wants and manipulate them CONSCIOUSLY, is that not free will? You're giving off the assumption that every decision is based off of subconscious wants. That is what Laureate is presenting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laureate
we do not have free will because I can not control what I WANT to do.
It is impossible to prove what somebody's subconscious is telling them as we cannot read minds. You can't use something that is unprovable to base your argument. That would mean your argument is unprovable, thus, this debate is irrelevant.
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Overbear: I prefer that I be given a license to shoot anyone who would pick socialism or communism over the basic freedoms inherent to consumerism.
MatrixBaller04 AKA EricS6661: I can guarantee something will happen between now and February 9th.
yesme: i'm not saying you should invest in gold first off, you would be much better off to invest in food,stuff you use and will keep for a couple of years, like razors
Blake360: in highschool, my teacher's father worked for the CIA and she brought my class documents proving the Roswell crash was of extraterrestrial origin.
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:43 PM #55
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You're taking what I said the wrong way. You're implying that every decision warrants a want, yes? My point is this: if you are able to observe your wants and manipulate them CONSCIOUSLY, is that not free will? You're giving off the assumption that every decision is based off of subconscious wants. That is what Laureate is presenting.
I never said our decisions are based off subconscious thought, I am saying that people "choose" what they want more, plain and simple. I say "choose" because that implies free will, while in reality, our enviroment, social conditioning (etc.) makes us want certain things. And unless morals, laws, or other things get in our way, we will always choose what we want the most.

Quote:
To have a want equals free will. To not have any wants at all, to only respond to physical needs, that would be a lack of free will.
No, to have a want means you can think for yourself. Congratulations, but you will always choose what you want the most, thats just human nature.

Also, you anagoly of rocks, trees, and cows proves my point. inanimate objects aside, everyone seems to say humans are so different than any other animal. Cows can make decisions too, they can choose what to eat, when to eat it, but they don't have free will either. They do what they want. In truth, humans are just simply able to evolve quickly, add apposable thumbs and a few millenia and BOOM, humans are on top. Humans are socially conditioned differently (gonna repeat this term a lot) then animals. do YOU know how to migrate thousands of miles south, or swim up a waterfall?
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Last edited by cuttlefish32 : 02-04-2010 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:59 PM #56
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Originally Posted by cuttlefish32 View Post
I never said our decisions are based off subconscious thought, I am saying that people "choose" what they want more, plain and simple. I say "choose" because that implies free will, while in reality, our enviroment, social conditioning (etc.) makes us want certain things. nd unless morals, laws, or other things get in our way, we will always choose what we want the most.
That's the assumption but the moment you realize that, you are aware of your wants thus you can look at decisions without bias. That is my point. That is free will.
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Overbear: I prefer that I be given a license to shoot anyone who would pick socialism or communism over the basic freedoms inherent to consumerism.
MatrixBaller04 AKA EricS6661: I can guarantee something will happen between now and February 9th.
yesme: i'm not saying you should invest in gold first off, you would be much better off to invest in food,stuff you use and will keep for a couple of years, like razors
Blake360: in highschool, my teacher's father worked for the CIA and she brought my class documents proving the Roswell crash was of extraterrestrial origin.
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:47 PM #57
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That's the assumption but the moment you realize that, you are aware of your wants thus you can look at decisions without bias. That is my point. That is free will.
No. that doesnt change anything. JESUS CHRIST DID YOU READ MY POST? THIS IS EXACTLY WHY I LEFT SMALL TALK HOLY ****
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:19 PM #58
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Originally Posted by Laureate View Post
No. that doesnt change anything. JESUS CHRIST DID YOU READ MY POST? THIS IS EXACTLY WHY I LEFT SMALL TALK HOLY ****
In the world governed by your argument, what would constitute "free will"?
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:24 PM #59
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No. that doesnt change anything. JESUS CHRIST DID YOU READ MY POST? THIS IS EXACTLY WHY I LEFT SMALL TALK HOLY ****
Excellent job of ad hominem. I shall be expecting the $1,000,000 by noon tomorrow.

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No, to have a want means you can think for yourself. Congratulations, but you will always choose what you want the most, thats just human nature.

Also, you anagoly of rocks, trees, and cows proves my point. inanimate objects aside, everyone seems to say humans are so different than any other animal. Cows can make decisions too, they can choose what to eat, when to eat it, but they don't have free will either. They do what they want. In truth, humans are just simply able to evolve quickly, add apposable thumbs and a few millenia and BOOM, humans are on top. Humans are socially conditioned differently (gonna repeat this term a lot) then animals. do YOU know how to migrate thousands of miles south, or swim up a waterfall?
Cows do not have higher cognative abilities that humans do. There is no comparison to be made. Your point is moot.
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Overbear: better 10 innocent men be convicted, than a single guilty man go free to commit more crime.
Overbear: I prefer that I be given a license to shoot anyone who would pick socialism or communism over the basic freedoms inherent to consumerism.
MatrixBaller04 AKA EricS6661: I can guarantee something will happen between now and February 9th.
yesme: i'm not saying you should invest in gold first off, you would be much better off to invest in food,stuff you use and will keep for a couple of years, like razors
Blake360: in highschool, my teacher's father worked for the CIA and she brought my class documents proving the Roswell crash was of extraterrestrial origin.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:30 PM #60
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In the world governed by your argument, what would constitute "free will"?
i don't see how this has anything to do with what we are talking about.

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Excellent job of ad hominem. I shall be expecting the $1,000,000 by noon tomorrow.
no. you didnt read my argument. i am still waiting for your response. the turn is yours. you are bringing up things we have already talked about.

YOU BROUGHT UP SOMETHING WE ALREADY TALKED ABOUT.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:47 PM #61
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Ah, now we're getting somewhere.

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I never said our decisions are based off subconscious thought, I am saying that people "choose" what they want more, plain and simple. I say "choose" because that implies free will, while in reality, our enviroment, social conditioning (etc.) makes us want certain things. And unless morals, laws, or other things get in our way, we will always choose what we want the most.
The problem is that it removes all personal responsibility. Upbringing "A", plus genetic predisposition "B", with current social status "C", will ALWAYS equal choice "D". (yes, I'm ignoring a near infinite number of variables, bear with me for a moment)

"It's not my fault Your Honor, my upbringing made me do it".

It makes sense in a logical A+B+C=D kind of way, but I'd hate to think it was that simple. Sure all that has an influence, but we are greater than the sum of our parts. Two identical twins, same genetics, same back ground, one becomes a cop, the other a criminal.

Quote:
No, to have a want means you can think for yourself. Congratulations, but you will always choose what you want the most, thats just human nature.
Ah, but isn't "think for yourself" another way of saying free will? Synonyms have a way of sneaking up on us.

Quote:
Also, you anagoly of rocks, trees, and cows proves my point. inanimate objects aside, everyone seems to say humans are so different than any other animal. Cows can make decisions too, they can choose what to eat, when to eat it, but they don't have free will either. They do what they want.
Haven't raised much livestock have you. I grew up having to feed a small flock of chickens (which have even less personality than cows, I should have used them in my analogy). They had no wants, just physical needs. They ate when they were hungry. They ate everything that was edible, with no sign of preference. Corn, grass clippings, certain table scraps, didn't mater what it was they ate what ever was closest.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:51 PM #62
hsilman
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Originally Posted by Laureate View Post
i don't see how this has anything to do with what we are talking about.
If your hypothesis is correct than I am satisfied with saying that the ability to recognize the largest possible variety of wants at any current time is an acceptable definition of freedom, and to be free is to recognize and choose between wants.

Basically, Compatibilism.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:51 PM #63
Fubarius
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laureate View Post
i don't see how this has anything to do with what we are talking about.
Actually is has everything to do with what we're talking about. One can't prove something doesn't exist with out having an agreed upon definition to base said proof.
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