Friday, January 09, 2009

Thinking about "Free Will"

Free Will is really big when it comes to philosophy (and religion). But I have to say that I am skeptical about it.

Here is the typical philosophical conversation:

"Why is there so much pain and suffering in the world?"

"Because we have free will, that is a gift given to us, and it is up to us to make the right choices."

I think this free will stuff might be an illusion. Let me explain why.
Free Will, by necessity means knowing all the facts about a situation. There is no free will if you don't know all the options.

Here is an example: (Pretty much a metaphor for life I would say)

You wake up in a labyrinth and you see lots of corridors you can go down. So you get up and start walking. There are plenty of corridors and you get to choose whichever one you want. But is that free will? Do you know what is down each corridor? Do you know the goal? Do you even know how you got there? Do you know what the goal is or where it is? Or if you even want it?

Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope and nope. You don't know any of these things. So how can it be free will that you are engaged in? You are making decisions based on nothing.

Heres the nutshell:

If I don't know how I got here, where I was before I got here, why I am here, or where I am going after I am here then where is the free will?

4 comments:

Paul said...

What about this:

You say,
Free Will, by necessity means knowing all the facts about a situation.

To know all the facts would require no gap in understanding. By gap I mean individual interpretation and medium of sensory understanding.

You say
There is no free will if you don't know all the options.

To know all the options would require experience of all the outcomes.(Can we live forever)

You say
You don't know any of these things. So how can it be free will that you are engaged in? You are making decisions based on nothing.
(or no experience)

We are not born with all knowing free will; by understanding our limitations do we learn our free will?

Free will must be nurtured and won it will not be given to the fool hardy!

Question if free will is a force such as strength, intelligence or kindness are we just weak like the humans in the lord of the rings who could not resist the corruption of the ring!

Rod said...

"Free Will, by necessity means knowing all the facts about a situation. There is no free will if you don't know all the options."

Firstly, I applaud your effort.
In respect of this blog entry I have a few thoughts; I am not sure your statement about free will is necessarily true. Could free will be a tool to navigate the Unknown? Obviously we don't need to know the geography of a place for our compass to work, nor do we need to have a map. Either of these would magnify the usefulness of the compass perhaps but it is still quite useful without them.

Paul said...

Hi Rod, you got me thinking, (What is free will?) when you said the following:

I am not sure your statement about free will is necessarily true. Could free will be a tool to navigate the Unknown?

There is a Celtic story about how Ireland was won!
Battle of: Moytura also known as Cath Maige Tuired
Basics of the story:
The Tuatha came to Ireland on ships, which they burnt so they could not go back.
They first attacked the Formorian race.
Then they fought the Fir Bolg the indigenous race of Ireland.

The story was reinterpreted by some modern author, which I will try to post who suggested a hidden teaching method for the initiated. (Bard type person etc)
The hidden message:
The Tuatha rase represent our intuitive spiritual inspirations.
The Formorian race represents our mental, cultural beliefs etc
The Fir Bolg race represents our physical selves and world.
Now the battle,
Our inspirations must first fight off our mental analysis and finally fight our physical weakness and worldly obstacles. (This is a statement of the force of will).

So are we talking about more then one level of will?
Intuitive will - Mental will - Physical will


Having just the compass is like having just intuitive will?
And does this help?
Regards Paul

Rod said...

"Hi Rod, you got me thinking,

Paul,
I apologize, I didn't mean to get anyone thinking. I'll try to be a bit more cavalier in future posts.

Love the Irish fable you quoted.