RG1 wrote:If one interprets free-will as a 'conscious choice' then free-will is not possible.
Hobbes' Choice wrote:Yet we do make conscious choices. Such as right now, whether or not to continue with this thread. And the fact that no one is stopping me, or compelling me, means its free.
Hi Hobbes, maybe you are conscious of your actions (aware of what you are doing) in continuing with this thread, but this in no way means that you are consciously “choosing” to continue on with this thread. Being ‘aware’ of something does not mean being in ‘control’ of it.
As the OP stated, “One cannot be conscious of a thought before one thinks it.” In other words, our thoughts are something that we ‘experience’ and NOT something we dictate. We can’t create a new thought without first thinking (…and we can’t think without thoughts, …and… …and…). Bottom line, our thoughts cannot dictate what we think!
So what does it mean to ‘make’ a "conscious choice"? What is involved in performing the act of ‘making’ a choice? Does it take (conscious) thoughts to make a (conscious) choice? If so, then did you ‘choose’ these thoughts that determined your choice?
A. If you say YES
, -- then you run into infinite regress, an illogical, impossible position. (…kicking-the-'choice' can-down-the-road).
B. If you say NO
, -- then it was actually these “un-asked for” thoughts that determined your choice. If you had no control over these thoughts, then you had no control over the choice that was made by these thoughts.
If ‘logic’ has any value to you, then the impossibility
of making a "conscious choice" is staring you in the face.
As further confirmation of this impossibility, try to recall that magical moment in time where you actually did ‘make’ the choice. Don’t guess or assume you made the choice just because you got from point A to point B. Be totally honest and try recall that actual moment of choosing. You will never find (recall) it, because it NEVER happened. It is not logically possible.
Bottom line --- there is NOTHING within us to do any 'choosing'. Our (so-called) choices are determined by the reasons we (unconsciously) 'possess', and NOT by the reasons we (consciously) 'choose'. "Consciously choosing" is an impossibility.