- Apr 1, 2010
- Basic Beliefs
Yes, you made it clear that perspective my give the actor the impression of free will, but you just don't want to admit that the subjective impression of free will is what us actors are talking about when we use the expression "free will". We aren't talking about freedom from causal necessity in a deterministic reality. So your attempt to dismiss free will as an illusion is ultimately a self-refuting argument. You end up admitting that we are compelled to accept the reality of being responsible for our actions, even if we cannot step outside of the deterministic chaos that compels us to make the choices that we do. You aren't arguing that we should open up the jails and let everyone out on the grounds that none of the inmates could help themselves when they committed their crimes. Supposedly, we are compelled to keep them locked up. What does any of your argument buy us except intellectual bankruptcy?
Are you saying that those who believe in free will, compatibilists, etc, accept that their concept of free will is an illusion? That free will as an illusion is not real? That free will is a false impression, an illusion of the mind? That the term is merely a verbal construct?
Just FYI, all terms are verbal constructs. All have significance in their own right, or they wouldn't have been used in the first place.
What I am saying is that "free will" is only an illusion if you frame it as the result of a causal necessity, where the entire antecedent chain is known. That is, it is an illusion from the perspective of an all-knowing outside observer, not the actor making the choice. People who use the term almost never use it with that sort of perspective in mind. You can ask people to tell you what made them make a choice that they did, but they never try to answer by exhaustively detailing every possible past event that led up to the choice. That is just background noise from the perspective of the chooser. They simply name the factor that they recollect as the most salient one when they made their choice. If you want to treat free will as just an illusion because of your obsession with causal chaining, you are free to do so. The rest of us will carry on as we have in the past, using the term to apply to choices that we feel are not coerced or unduly influenced by the circumstances that led to them. Causal necessity remains intact and can do what it must do.
feelings... nothing more than feelings....