## Forums - General Discussion - How to disprove free will using basic logic

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Alright, so those of you who remember my "Fate exists?" thread will probably notice some similarities, but bear with me :)

Let's get right to it with an example where most people would say that a decision has been made, like when some guy decides to rob someone for money. Now, if you were to reverse time again and again (it could be any timespan from years to minutes), do you think that (a) this guy would have decided to rob this person after each time reversal? (As supported by determinism.) Or do you think that (b) each time reversal would have resulted in him making different decisions each time? (As supported by quantum theories.)

Those are really the only two possible outcomes that comes to my mind, and this is where the problem starts. If he decides to rob the victum every time, then that suggests that he couldn't possibly have made another choice at the moment, meaning that he has no free will, but follows a predetermined pattern that has already decided all of his future decisions.

If the outcome would be different each time, on the other hand, wouldn't that too suggest that he has no free will? If each and every decision you make throughout your life is based on randomness then they might as well have been completely different, suggesting that you never really had control of any of your actions, and thus no free will.

Any thoughts?

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Quantum effects are only significant on a microscopic level. On a macroscopic level their effects are 'averaged out' in the thermodynamic/entropic soup, thus we have common properties for materials etc etc.

Translated: I don't think quantum theories are significant enough in this debate, but that I haven't really read much on that strand of the issue.

While I wouldn't see that "Free will" does not exsist, it is likely that if you reserved time and exactly nothing changed up untill the point that "he" decided to rob someone, that he would decide upon that action time and time again.

Should sometime (Even if it's tiny) change before that with him or around he, the decision could very well be different.

 Sal.Paradise said:Quantum effects are only significant on a microscopic level. On a macroscopic level their effects are 'averaged out' in the thermodynamic/entropic soup, thus we have common properties for materials etc etc.

Do you think that we all have a free will?

Also, I have made it more clear in the OP now that it doesn't matter how long you reverse time, meaning that quantum effects most certainly would have an effect if they exists.

That doesn't actually disprove free will though? What if what he wants to do each time is rob the bank, and therefore he does it of his own free will? If you were to go to a mall and suddenly became hungry and you could only pick between two places to eat: McDonald's and KFC, but you hate McDonald's so you pick KFC. Now, you go there again two weeks later and suddenly you are hungry again, which of the two places will you pick?

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 pezus said:That doesn't actually disprove free will though? What if what he wants to do each time is rob the bank, and therefore he does it of his own free will? If you were to go to a mall and suddenly became hungry and you could only pick between two places to eat: McDonald's and KFC, but you hate McDonald's so you pick KFC. Now, you go there again two weeks later and suddenly you are hungry again, which of the two places will you pick?

But then his decisions would be predetermined.

It's a paradox, really. The only way you could possibly make a (non-random) decision is if the world is determined, which means that every decision you've ever made were already decided before you made them. Thus, the will is determined and not free.

 IIIIITHE1IIIII said:  Alright, so those of you who remember my "Fate exists?" thread will probably notice some similarities, but bear with me :)   Let's get right to it with an example where most people would say that a descision has been made, like when some guy decides to rob someone for money. Now, if you were to reverse time again and again, do you think that (a) this guy would have decided to rob this person after each time reversal? (As supported by determinism.) Or do you think that (b) each time reversal would have resultet in him making different descisions each time? (As supported by quantum theories.) Those are really the only two possible outcomes that comes to my mind, and this is where the problem starts. If he decides to rob the victum every time, then that suggests that he couldn't possibly have made another choice at the moment, meaning that he has no free will, but follows a predetermined pattern that has already decided all of his future descisions. If the outcome would be different each time, on the other hand, wouldn't that too suggest that he has no free will? If each and every descision you make throughout your life is based on randomness then they might as well have been completely different, suggesting that you never really had control of any of your actions, and thus no free will.   Any thoughts?

If he decides to rob the victum every time, then that suggests that he couldn't possibly have made another choice at the moment, meaning that he has no free will, but follows a predetermined pattern that has already decided all of his future descisions.

It depends though, what if the person he is trying to rob was in direct sight of him despite the time changes? Its like rewinding a recorded video, your only gonna end up with the same result because in sense it already happened.

If the outcome would be different each time, on the other hand, wouldn't that too suggest that he has no free will? If each and every descision you make throughout your life is based on randomness then they might as well have been completely different, suggesting that you never really had control of any of your actions, and thus no free will.

Actually that would suggest he has free will, say for an example, if the victim decided to move to another path (even if it is random, it was his choice, whether it affected his decision making for a REASON or NO REASON (i.e. random)), this would end up affecting the robber , instead of going after the initial target, he would go after the closest person to him (unless he has a specific reason to target the original victim).

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In other words, both scenarios can be a result of free will, in the first scenario, the robber wants to steal from the victim (maybe a ulterior motive?) , it was his decision to make (for both the victim to move on towards his current path and for the robber to go after the victim).

The 2nd scenario would suggest he doesnt have a specific target but wants to rob a person period for whatever reason whether its for money etc.

I think what I'm trying to say is, a few factors would have to come in play to affect both the victim and the robber's decisions, even if one person thinks its random, whatever events occur affect both parties to a extent where they make a decision which in the end can be considered free will.

(I hope I dont sound like a maniac, I'm still a bit groggy from not sleeping well last night + sick XD).

Edit: I think I said two different things LOL (regarding the first scenario xD)

IIIIITHE1IIIII said:
 Sal.Paradise said:Quantum effects are only significant on a microscopic level. On a macroscopic level their effects are 'averaged out' in the thermodynamic/entropic soup, thus we have common properties for materials etc etc.

Do you think that we all have a free will?

Also, I have made it more clear now that it doesn't matter how long you reverse time, meaning that quantum effects most certainly would have an effect if they exists.

A difficult question, probably one that we will never answer.

Ultimately, as a libertarian might argue, it is vital that we all act as if we are free agents, even if it is out of ignorance of external causes.We only have free will in that we are conscious of the experience of deliberation over situations; this restores moral responsibility in society.

The universal law of causation may apply, but internal causation may be viewed as an equivalence with human freedom as we must assume all internal thoughts are our own, or all speculation is meaningless.

I was pretty rushed when writing it but I feel it makes a good point. It's a bit of a cop out because it doesn't answer the question, but I don't think we can answer the question, and so acting in the best possible way (keeping moral responsibility in society) is the only realistic thing to do, and that requires assuming we are free.

EDIT: I dont get what you're talking about there with quantum, please elaborate!

IIIIITHE1IIIII said:
 pezus said:That doesn't actually disprove free will though? What if what he wants to do each time is rob the bank, and therefore he does it of his own free will? If you were to go to a mall and suddenly became hungry and you could only pick between two places to eat: McDonald's and KFC, but you hate McDonald's so you pick KFC. Now, you go there again two weeks later and suddenly you are hungry again, which of the two places will you pick?

But then his decisions would be predetermined.

It's a paradox, really. The only way you could possibly make a (non-random) descision is if the world is determined, which means that every descision you make were already decided before you made them. Thus, the will is determined and not free.

It isn't that simple. It doesn't mean his decisions were predetermined, it means he made them himself based on his own experience. Regardless, I think it can be looked at in two ways; You do it in the predetermined way, I the free will. It's just a matter of interpretation

pezus said:
 IIIIITHE1IIIII said: But then his decisions would be predetermined.   It's a paradox, really. The only way you could possibly make a (non-random) descision is if the world is determined, which means that every descision you make were already decided before you made them. Thus, the will is determined and not free.

It isn't that simple. It doesn't mean his decisions were predetermined, it means he made them himself based on his own experience. Regardless, I think it can be looked at in two ways; You do it in the predetermined way, I the free will. It's just a matter of interpretation

But the thing is that there is always a reason for your "decisions". If those reasons are determined, then so is your "free" will. If those reasons are not determined, then they have randomly occured (as opposed to occuring following a pattern), thus making your "free" will based on radom events.

Free means independent, so it can't be dependent on randomness.

(You better read all of this, Basil!)