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Old 09-10-2019, 05:17 PM
begbert2 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Idaho
Posts: 13,276
Originally Posted by mjmlabs View Post
[Full disclosure for this drive-by: I am a lifelong atheist, an ordained Taoist rabbi, a card-carrying Discordian, a Reasonably Merry Prankster, a former Psychology major, a former National Merit Scholar, and a total fuckup. You may use any or all or none of these facts to assess my post, as you .... well, that rather begs the question if I use the cliché "as you see fit," doesn't it, so let's go with "any or all or none, whichever."]

I think that unless and until neuroscience and/or data science yield a far better understanding of the processes by which the emergent phenomenon of consciousness is (apparently/evidently/subjectively, pick your adverb) produced by neurochemical activity, the discussion of "free will" is premature. And of course any discussion without agreed-upon common terminology is more frustrating than enlightening, which is not to discourage the attempt.

Having said that: I am convinced that I have some degree of free will, and I am further convinced that if free will does not exist, nonetheless the subjective perception I have that my actions are to some extent volitional is, although illusory, still beneficial. And if the free will I perceive myself to possess is in fact illusory, then I have no choice but to believe this -- by definition.

And now I believe it's time for a beer. L'chaim!

So I see you saying that any discussion without agreed-upon terminology is more frustrating than enlightening...and then you go on to talk about "free will" without defining what you mean by the term.

Yep, discordian prankster.