Humans don't have free will

Jan 2015
3,594
2,276
MD
I've come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as free will. Everyone is a slave to something. We're slaves to our passions, desires, genetics, environments, vices, etc. The dictionary defines free will as: "the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion." Do we really have the ability to act without constraints? No, we don't. We act based on our needs and wants, fears and prejudices, etc. Free will is an illusion. What we have is agency, which is just the ability to do things and make choices.

If we had free will, we would be able to do what is right for the collective of the species. There would be no war, poverty, racism, nationalism, slavery, corruption, waste, crime, etc. Human nature gravitates towards consumerism, greed, selfishness, hatred, etc. because it's what happens when you have a bunch of people who are driven by desire, lust, and passion rather than collective advancement.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: iolo
Jun 2018
1,121
384
Toronto
Collective advancement is not some divine gift that falls from the sky because someone wished upon it. It's the result of efforts of many talented inventors and entrepreneurs, driven by the desire to make some money ... that is greed and yes selfishness. Take that away and the only motivation that remains is brutal dictatorship. The path to re-education labor camps :)

I'm surprised that people never learn from history.
 
  • Like
Reactions: imaginethat
Jan 2015
3,594
2,276
MD
Collective advancement is not some divine gift that falls from the sky because someone wished upon it. It's the result of efforts of many talented inventors and entrepreneurs, driven by the desire to make some money ... that is greed and yes selfishness. Take that away and the only motivation that remains is brutal dictatorship. The path to re-education labor camps :)

I'm surprised that people never learn from history.
Are you agreeing or disagreeing because that’s my point
 
Dec 2018
3,233
2,345
Wisconsin
For clarity, can you provide your definition of free will so I understand where you're coming from before commenting?
 

Panther

Forum Staff
Jul 2013
5,732
3,257
North Texas
I've come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as free will. Everyone is a slave to something. We're slaves to our passions, desires, genetics, environments, vices, etc. The dictionary defines free will as: "the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion." Do we really have the ability to act without constraints? No, we don't. We act based on our needs and wants, fears and prejudices, etc. Free will is an illusion. What we have is agency, which is just the ability to do things and make choices.

If we had free will, we would be able to do what is right for the collective of the species. There would be no war, poverty, racism, nationalism, slavery, corruption, waste, crime, etc. Human nature gravitates towards consumerism, greed, selfishness, hatred, etc. because it's what happens when you have a bunch of people who are driven by desire, lust, and passion rather than collective advancement.
I disagree. Free will exists, albeit... under the radar of many a philosophies microscope. For example, as an individual operating outside of a societies expectations is an exercise in free will.

Working for the betterment of a society, imo, is altruistic and still a constraint, but not free will.

What we have now is preconceived notions for what it is and how free will operates.

Free Will to me is a choice I get to make having no concern for the expectations of others or their demands of me.

Iow, the individual is not dead yet. But our current societies are trying its damndest to kill them off to one conformity or another!
 
Dec 2018
4,480
1,246
New England
If we had free will, we would be able to do what is right for the collective of the species.
You’re committing a basic logic error there. The statement rests on the presumption that if any of us were free to choose we’d make choices in support of the collective good. That is an unproven assertion, and one I think is doubtful.

In fact, over the course of human history more free will been denied through compulsory service to the state, either political or religious, than for any other reason that comes quickly to mind.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BubbaJones
Jan 2015
3,594
2,276
MD
I disagree. Free will exists, albeit... under the radar of many a philosophies microscope. For example, as an individual operating outside of a societies expectations is an exercise in free will.
Meh, not really. It's not enough to just operate outside of society's expectations. You're still subject to the influence of society. You still use the language of society, you still need to work and make money. You still need food, oxygen, clothes, relationships, shelter, etc. That's not free will. Free will is full, complete self-sufficiency.

Working for the betterment of a society, imo, is altruistic and still a constraint, but not free will.

What we have now is preconceived notions for what it is and how free will operates.
Exactly, people get agency confused with free will. They aren't the same.

Free Will to me is a choice I get to make having no concern for the expectations of others or their demands of me.
You're always operating in response to some sort of stimuli. No one is free from these external stimuli.

Iow, the individual is not dead yet. But our current societies are trying its damndest to kill them off to one conformity or another!
Yea, but societies are made up of individuals are they not?
 
Jan 2015
3,594
2,276
MD
You’re committing a basic logic error there. The statement rests on the presumption that if any of us were free to choose we’d make choices in support of the collective good. That is an unproven assertion, and one I think is doubtful.

In fact, over the course of human history more free will been denied through compulsory service to the state, either political or religious, than for any other reason that comes quickly to mind.
I'm not talking about the state. If we had free will we wouldn't need a state imo. We would just do what makes sense and not do things because we are under someone's/something's influence. Unproven assertion, I know, but at the root of all injustice lies the desires of the flesh.
 
Jan 2015
3,594
2,276
MD
For clarity, can you provide your definition of free will so I understand where you're coming from before commenting?
It's in the OP:

The dictionary defines free will as: "the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion."
 
Apr 2019
175
35
cleveland ohio
I've come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as free will. Everyone is a slave to something. We're slaves to our passions, desires, genetics, environments, vices, etc. The dictionary defines free will as: "the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion." Do we really have the ability to act without constraints? No, we don't. We act based on our needs and wants, fears and prejudices, etc. Free will is an illusion. What we have is agency, which is just the ability to do things and make choices.

If we had free will, we would be able to do what is right for the collective of the species. There would be no war, poverty, racism, nationalism, slavery, corruption, waste, crime, etc. Human nature gravitates towards consumerism, greed, selfishness, hatred, etc. because it's what happens when you have a bunch of people who are driven by desire, lust, and passion rather than collective advancement.
i am inclined to agree free will is very limited by our dna and circumtance
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gordy