Is Compatabilism the only thing that makes sense?

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Hobbes' Choice
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Is Compatabilism the only thing that makes sense?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Tue Jun 14, 2016 3:24 pm

ecision I make it within the causal reality of the moment. In that moment I consult my learning and experience; the understanding of the situation; and my imagination as to the possible outcomes of my actions. This is the best case scenario for the exercise of the will.

More often we react with minimal amount of thought in some of the potentially most dangerous circumstances, such as driving a car whilst thinking about something entirely different, yet rely on semi-autonomic processes which nonetheless guide my hands to the wheel, my feet to the pedals and my left hand to the stick. In fact for most of these action, thought and conscious decision making is far too slow. Were we to think about each key on the piano we had to press for each note, we'd never be able to play anything more complex than chopsticks. these are all willful, yet thoughtless or thought minimal actions.

It's my view that a conscious decision is much the same, yet we take time and weigh possibilities one against the other. In both cases we are relying on cerebral structure to do our work that lie deeper than the immediate conscious brain. And as we weigh up the possible actions we might take and their consequences, the instances we can draw on , the understanding, the learning, and our emotional motivations which drive us - all of these things come from a place deeper than the conscious mind.

So there is no doubt as to the fact that we are able to act to our will. But is it possible that we can command our own will, and from what position can we stand if not determined by the antecedent? When we act, in what way is this "Free"? What is it free of? What is it free from?

Consider. At the moment of our choice that the world were split into two exact copies. World A, and B.

In what way would it make sense to suggest that with two identical worlds that in A we could make a different choice than in B?

It seems we would not be free of the antecedent factors with which we made that choice? Is it not the case that we could act in no other way, but that the decision we made was the same in A and B. And if it were different, would that not mean that the decision we made was capricious, and of no real value, being random or fickle?

So should we not conclude that for any given moment we cannot act in any other way except the way we do. We cannot be free or ourselves and doing so would make or decisions hopeless and irrelevant.

What value is learning and experience if it does not give us the determination to act on those things?

"Free" can only mean from of outside compulsion. Though rare this is the only adjectival meaning that can be appended to the noun "WILL", and because of this the idea of determinism is compatible with 'free' will. What we are determines what the will requires.

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Lacewing
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Re: Is Compatabilism the only thing that makes sense?

Post by Lacewing » Tue Jun 14, 2016 4:32 pm

Hobbes' Choice wrote:What we are determines what the will requires.
I like this statement. It seems to point to something which I can relate to as follows...

I think there are multiple levels of thinking, being, and will... and we can zip around between those levels (some people doing it more freely than others). Sometimes we are very solidly and heavily weighted down in these elements (one or another), trying to control and trying to know. Other times (as you pointed out), we can respond automatically from a much lighter and more fluid place. I think we can be both commander and commanded... director and directed... artist and art... god and plaything -- maybe all at the same time. That's how vast and phenomenal I think the levels and potential could be.

Although much of what we do and think (as humans) is based on our library of experience and ideas (on the various levels of our mind), I think we also have access to a larger library that provides even more levels beyond our own small collection, and that larger library is as naturally a part of us as anything else we consciously think we are or know. (This would explain how we can know or sense things that we wouldn't otherwise know from our own experience.) I think there is VERY MUCH that can and does inform us all the time... and there is nothing that impedes our access to that other than our own filters of resistance. So, "what we are" at any moment determines how we will function with all those levels.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Is Compatabilism the only thing that makes sense?

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Tue Jun 14, 2016 6:59 pm

Lacewing wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:What we are determines what the will requires.
I like this statement. It seems to point to something which I can relate to as follows...

I think there are multiple levels of thinking, being, and will... and we can zip around between those levels (some people doing it more freely than others). Sometimes we are very solidly and heavily weighted down in these elements (one or another), trying to control and trying to know. Other times (as you pointed out), we can respond automatically from a much lighter and more fluid place. I think we can be both commander and commanded... director and directed... artist and art... god and plaything -- maybe all at the same time. That's how vast and phenomenal I think the levels and potential could be.

Although much of what we do and think (as humans) is based on our library of experience and ideas (on the various levels of our mind), I think we also have access to a larger library that provides even more levels beyond our own small collection, and that larger library is as naturally a part of us as anything else we consciously think we are or know. (This would explain how we can know or sense things that we wouldn't otherwise know from our own experience.) I think there is VERY MUCH that can and does inform us all the time... and there is nothing that impedes our access to that other than our own filters of resistance. So, "what we are" at any moment determines how we will function with all those levels.
Yes, I often think we are tied up with the usual thought train on the issue of consciousness, the will, and determinism. We seem always to consider these question by asking about our textual thinking; the everyday reflections we make when we talk to ourselves internally. Yet we are more remarkable as tennis players, piano players, or just simply walking around - never appearing even to be looking where we are going.
This internal dialogue is at the thinest and topmost edge of what our brain is capable of, and it's the inner life, the subconscious, or unconscious depths that are ready to offer us the ideas and memories that we use to work things out - over which we seem to have little or no direct control.

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