TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Free will is circular reasoning

A is true because B is true. B is true because A is true (circular reasoning).
The idea of free will says "I caused myself to happen/act." Me causes me. My actions are caused by myself. My conscious actions are a result of myself.
If you ask why someone chose vanilla ice cream over chocolate, and they answer "it was my(A) choice(B)", they could also say "the choice(B) was mine(A) to make". Free will claims to be self-sufficient. Self-sufficiency is circular reasoning. "I chose(A) because I have free will(B). I have free will(B) because I have a choice(A)."
Options(A) makes choices(B) possible. Choices(B) are made when there are options(A) given.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Dec 27 2013: Hello Austin. "These are the definitions given to me by a dictionary app by Clatin Software, LLC"

    These definitions/ explanations sound like a mixed-up computer concoction. (It is my individual Freewilll not to take it seriously). I really would like to know YOUR OWN opinion, especially because you are the author of this topic.

    For instance, regarding "external factors" --- if our minds and bodies are somehow ignited by some "external factors" (or in simple terms, Change, with which we are in constant contact) we may never understand or perfectly evaluate these "factors" as they are. Our perceptions are forever limited, and forever unique within everyone of us.

    We have to use our Internal abilities to find our way out, and we greatly depend on these Internal abilities whether we wish to admit it or not.

    This experience of choosing from the internal individual state of mind makes us believe in what we call Freewill. Freewill cannot be collective - it is an ability to choose by an individual. Otherwise, we are not talking about "Freewill".

    We depend on our internal conditions and sensitivity of our own perceptions in making our choices.

    We may have strong or weak intuition, have different levels of personal experience, or some special abilities.

    Moreover, we are not only choose from some obvious alternatives - we can create new alternatives.

    We also can suggest more choices when we share our knowledge. But after all it is up to an INDIVIDUAL and its Freewill to select what to follow.
    • Dec 27 2013: Here's what part of my opinion that will fit in the number of characters I can use:

      Free will is a conscious choice. But do we choose to be conscious? We are conscious when we are born, do we choose that? We have many unconscious reflexes to external factors, so what if consciousness is a conscious reflex? We don't have an internal choice unless there are external options. Do you have free will if you aren't given an option?
      If free will comes from ourselves, then is free will something we ourselves created? Or is free will given to us, and therefore is not our own, from ourselves?
      When you make sense of something, you make rules and laws. If there's no laws or structure, it doesn't make sense. You can't make sense of freedom, because there are no rules in freedom. Can you make sense of free will? Does free will have laws? Does free will have structure?

      Free will would also mean that your choices can't be determined
      (I don't 100% agree with these people)
      If quantum mechanics says we have free will because of uncertainty, and the measurement is dependent on the observer, whether it is a partial or energy, does that mean free will determines how we view and perceive the world? Does free will determine perception?
      If free will means your actions aren't determined, how can you determine that we have free will? Is the fact that we still don't know (it's undetermined) if we have free will the evidence for it? Is not knowing if we have free will what makes us have free will?

      If you look inside yourself, you have free will. If you look outside yourself, you don't.
      If you believe inside your own thoughts "mind over matter" you are internally overpowering external applications. If you look around at the external applications, you'll just respond to them

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.