-1- wrote: ↑
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:37 am
Does wanting your arm to move and then moving it not count as free will? Then what would?
'Free will' is not usually understood as some disembodied force unattached to people. It is the will of an agent
True. But it is not free from causation. Will is also caused. Maybe you ought to define what you mean by "free will" If it is not free, then it's a misnomer and you should say that.
Maybe you should define what you mean by 'causation'!
Like 'free will', 'causation' is not some disembodied force that does things to material objects. To treat it that way would be to make a metaphysical claim, of the same kind as 'everything happens according to God's will
' or 'life is but a dream
'. That can't be disproved, but since every other claim can't be disproved either, it makes no difference.
We might draw attention to a particular relationship, saying 'A causes B
', but this isn't a claim that it is the only cause, or only effect. There are also other causes, and the causes of those causes, and so on. Ultimately, the cause of everything is everything, just as the effect of everything is everything. So saying that free will is 'caused' is no more than saying it is part of the universe.
Me: It is odd to quote 'Cogito ergo sum' as certain knowledge, but then deny that the thinker has an independent reality. If Descartes is only an effect of some cause, then it would not be true that he was thinking.
You mean to say you were not thinking when you wrote this? His thoughts were caused to exist. The quote does not involve a claim about why Descartes existed when he thought, it merely points out that if something or somebody has a thought, then the thinker must necessarily exist. Its existence's cause is not brought into question. That's A. B. is that if you are caused, you are able to think. Just because you are caused, it does not take your ability away to think.I don't know where you mustered up that connection. It is a false conclusion what you claim there: "A person is caused, therefore that person is incapable of having thoughts." This is wholly invalid.
If Descartes (or my) thought was only to be understood as the effect of some cause, i.e. not a product of Descartes'
will, then the fact there is a thought would not be evidence that Descartes existed. It would only be evidence that the something else, the cause
of Descartes thought existed.
Except that this would imply that this cause of Descartes thought had freely originated that thought - but if we don't believe in free will that that cannot be true. Instead, that cause must really have been the effect of some prior
cause. And so on, ad infinitum.
Either you have got to allow Descartes autonomy, the will to be the originator of this own thoughts, or you can treat him as only an effect of something else. One or the other, but not both.