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Joshua  Beers

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If I had 100% of your genes and 100% of your environmental experience I would be you.

I think that this statement is completely accurate. Do you agree?
Yes? No? Why? Why Not?

The repercussions seem obvious. It's the classic question: Do we really have free will?

In my personal opinion, however alluring "free will" is as a subject of belief, it doesn't exist in any form. Every decision we make, from important to mundane, can be either attributed to genes or environment. What other factor is there? A soul? Did we get to choose that? From my standpoint, I don't see how this CANNOT rule out arguments free will.

As a side note, compatibilists may argue that "choice" IS making decisions based on the given "will" but I would ask them to elaborate. Is that really freedom at all? "Of course we have free will, we have no choice in the matter."

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  • May 7 2011: If I'm interpreting it right, yes...
    It sounds like you're asking if someone exactly the same as you that had exactly the same life as you would make the same decisions and be identicle, which to me answers itself the same way as 'would you live your life exactly same if you started it again with no memory of having already lived it.'

    I don't believe in free will being a completely seperate entity from genes and environment, they have such an influence on things, and everyone will have made a particularly memorable decision good or bad due to something mundane or unrelated. In particular what springs to mind are the bad ones with something affecting emotion; being tired, too hot, dehydrated, hungry... etc All very small things that could potentially affect a big choice.

    To go one step further, alot of those examples relate to levels of various chemicals in the body, particularly hormones (yes we all have and need them!) and the things that might affect them from exercise to what you had for lunch, as fruit for example may affect hormone levels.

    -Okay this is small volumes, but potentially enough to tip a balance causing a reaction or a chain of reactions, perhaps this makes you feel that little bit less dehydrated and more awake & alert that you make conversation with someone that offers you a job, instead of sitting quietly in the corner.

    There is however such an incomprehensible amount of variables for a decision, and every single person is different that 'a decision' will be 'your decision' and free will as it were.
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      May 8 2011: 'would you live your life exactly same if you started it again with no memory of having already lived it.'

      Yes! That's a good way of putting it. If 100% genes/environment I think you would have to say yes, and that was my point.

      I agree with a lot of the various minutia of the idea that you elaborated on. However I must disagree with your conclusion. While yes the variables are incredibly intricate, and thus make unique individuals, and while this leads to the perception of free will. It isn't. It seems like it. But to me a very very very complicated determinism, is still determinism.
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        May 9 2011: I'm going to say no that there's different dimensions/mirror worlds, and the true you never really loses your memory in the first place.
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          May 9 2011: Please explain Collin, what exactly is the true "you'"? How did it come about. Is it just an esoteric force that floats around in all these dimensions harboring what you deem to be key components/characteristics of your identity/personality. If so did you get to choose those components/characteristics?
      • May 9 2011: I agree there to determinism but it depends on how you define free will; to me that is a fine (but good) point to a far incomprehensive degree with so very very many variables, as far as I’m concerned is free will.
        How else can you define it without having an unexplainable force involved, to explain it would make it predictable?
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          May 10 2011: "I agree there to determinism but it depends on how you define free will; to me that is a fine (but good) point to a far incomprehensive degree with so very very many variables, as far as I’m concerned is free will."

          To me, that seems like you are saying that a very very very elaborate perception of free will is basically just free will because the facade is so thorough...No?

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