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Austin Williams

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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.

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    Dec 31 2013: What I define as being freewill is, the will is what I want and free is to be at liberty to pursue what I want. Starts out as self will run riotous. I don't know what I want so I want everything. Appears to be a void that everything of this world can not fill. By the pain and suffering through time I was forced to look within. In the process of self discovery I came to the recognition of my willful nature with the life experiences of always seeking and never finding. That was then and this is now. I know what I was searching for and I know what I really want. I want a state of tranquility and freedom from disturbance that can only come from the principle of Peace. So there appears my freewill. Peace or what stands in contrast to it. When I cook it down the choice of my freewill becomes obvious. "Freewill does not mean that I establish the curriculum". In my case freewill is not free, dependent on the choice there could be a heavy price to pay on the level of cause and effect.
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      Jan 2 2014: Larry, I like the way you think.

      I trust that single terms, like Freewill, which are actually manmade collective symbols to indicate some experience that we may share. We commonly are bewildered by how others understand the same terms, and use them in many different ways.

      "Freewill" is a collective abstract symbol, it is not a thing, in any event cannot be followed, photographed or put under some microscope. it only can be described, in our human words, how one's personal action can be driven by one's personal choice. The entire world of instant interactions does not allow absolutely "free" actions of any sorts.

      We effect our environment and we are getting effected by it at the same time. Our situation is changing even while we are selecting where to go. Change is bringing new challenges and opportunity, even before we are able to comprehend what has happened.

      It is up to our personal ability to perceive possible choices. Some of us see a few, and some see none, feeling trapped.

      I really like what you say " In my case freewill is not free..." Hopefully someone would be able to understand this.

      When people use any types of terms in their ideal symbolic meaning, they get lost.
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        Jan 2 2014: Dear Vera, I Love the way you think. I seem to always leave an engaging conversation with you having benefited in some manner. Perhaps to gain a clear understanding of "freewill" it might be good to ask the question what is the will? If the energy can be described as the dynamic forces of the natural motor then perhaps the will could be described as the steering gear that will give the energy direction. I seem to be aware of what I would call being in procession of a dual thought system. This would seem to be the source of chaos, confusion and the circular reasoning that goes nowhere. As I become aware I recognize I must choose, "a man cannot serve two masters" . What is understood is that it takes recognition and understanding of both to make the one choice. Therefore I have determined my will by atoning to the one energy of life. The return or giving back of my free choice to higher authority. That would appear to be one directional straight forward reasoning. I guess it all depends on how you want to look at things or desire things to appear.
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          Jan 3 2014: "Perhaps to gain a clear understanding of "freewill" it might be good to ask the question what is the will?"

          Your question would be the best way to begin this whole discussion.
          The meaning of will or freewill is not hidden between vanilla ice-cream or chocolate ice-cream, (small reasons to select one over the other may be endless, including "physiological" or "psychological" conditions). But I guess, Austin wants to think about the very internal nature's motor that drives us to act accordingly to consciously selected choices. In any case, one very important fact needs to be cleared here. Freewill cannot exist on its own out there, without the one who drives it.

          I think the mysterious power of "will" was recognized back in prehistoric time. Some unknown to us powers/forces that dramatically effected human life also ignited our early human imagination. Only while confronting these mysterious forces/powers we were able to identify our Selves. We have to constantly resist something, and choose our ways, and also learn how to wisely find some benefits for the sake of our survival. You already have a great description of these conditions - one's freewill cannot be absolutely free. Freewill or just Will needs to be challenged in order to exist and reveal itself.

          In my modest opinion will-power is an integrating power holding our body and spirit together. Without this great power we would be melted down into everything else loosing our personal existence.

          The interactions among the opposites as Heraclitus put it, not just destroys but composes life - we Commonly fight our own will within ourselves.

          Though we can witness the most horrific ugliness and cruelty produced by humans playing their will for controlling themselves and others, we must admit, the most beautiful grace created by those rare individuals who have resisted mighty ugliness within and without are driven by their intuition and talent.

          Will to live identifies a living form.

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