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Determinism and Free Will can be compatible

Determinism and Free Will can be compatible as long as free will is not defined in the absolute, metaphysical sense of decisions being caused by nothing, including character traits and previous thoughts.

In that non-absolute sense, what we experience as free will, can be us being a factor in our environment. Or as Daniel Dennett states 'being an avoider, avoiding harms'. The crux here is that the will is not free as in being unconnected to anything, but as being opposite to, or independent from it's environment, so being a causal factor in it's environment. So even if there is determinism and the interactions of a person with the whole world are pre-determined, the person is still capable of walking out of a bad neighbourhood he lives in.

Whether we have free will in this psychological, or moral sense, is totally unconnected to whether there is determinism at a (sub-) molecular level. This is because under normal circumstances (e.g. not being drunk, etc.) psychological processes have their own, internal causality. That is, whether a fly flaps it's wings, or a vulcano erupts, has a practically infinite smaller influence on a decision than what one's worldview or attitude is. For example one's worldview can motivate one to leave one's neighbourhood, and thus one leaves it because of that, not because it was inevitable (or not).

Now you could say; but then there is psychological determinism, and I still don't have a free will. Well, the alternative, of no causality, would be even weirder, it would be randomness. Then whose decision would it be anyway, if it would be unconnected to anything ? Isn't it perfectly sensible, and compatible with most notions of responsibility, that one can think about things and learn from one's experiences, and make decisions based on that ? Isn't that wat we normally call free will ?

Both defining free will as a will caused by nothing, and determinism as making things inevitable as in being unavoidable for humans, are metaphysical language-traps, that is, problems caused by meaningless usage of language.

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creation ex nihilo and energy ca...

by: Anonymous User

Is free software an heuristic for creating from scratch with the minimum of energy and in the fastest way ? This is probably the deterministic and recursive way in developing life. How to apply free will about free software ?...read on

tags: Determinism / Free Will / Free Software
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Language made meaningful

by: Matthijs van der Meer

Language is made meaningful by carefully refining the recipe by which meaning comes about. For each word - or lets say each noun - there is an infinity of determinants. Therefore the content is in any case infinite (comparable to the infinity in informational content of real numbers like π). The ...read on

tags: ..l / Ineffable / Mystics / Mysticism / Experience
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