Hi Heligany (welcome to the forum).Heligany wrote: ↑Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:19 amNo your example is not about free will but about deciding to do something... these are not the same thing.
Free will requires no causal chain (determinism) and nothing you are saying, including colouring a letter orange, is outside that... you did that to try to prove a point: so for a reason not random and outside causality.
The problem is that even if you could find an action outside of causality it would still not prove free will: as for free will to be involved the self has to be the trigger not randomnes
The difficulty is that free will is used in different ways outside of philosophy, especially in law, where it is routinely conflated with mere will (unimpeded decision making)...this muddies the waters.
Sam Harris explains it well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FanhvXO9Pk (it starts at 6.00, lots of waffle before that)
I have a lot of respect for Sam Harris, however, he doesn’t even believe in the existence of the self (or more specifically, that the self is an illusion founded upon neural processes). Therefore, it is no wonder that he would be against the idea of the existence of free will if, indeed, there is no existing “agent” to wield such an attribute.
If this was an argument against the existence of God, then you could use Harris (and his personal biases) as a reference for that also.
Nevertheless, I acknowledge your “free will” to choose anyone you so desire to support your assertions.
Needless to say, you will no doubt insist that what you have done is not an instance of free will, but was the result of a causal chain. Whereas I, on the other hand, will insist that we need to be sensible about the question of free will and try not to over-think it to the point of being pathologically obsessive over what qualifies as free will.
I suggest that we avoid looking for some kind of Platonic definition of what free will entails and keep it as simple as the very first line of Wiki’s definition:
The point is that for all practical purposes, whenever we make a personal choice in the process of “deciding to do something” when confronted with a variety of contrasting options, it is about as close to having free will as the universe will allow.Wiki wrote: Free will is the ability to choose between different possible courses of action unimpeded.