Dissolution of free will as a call to action

by Dr_Manhattan1 min read24th May 201111 comments

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Free Will
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Accepting determinism and the insuing dissolution of free will is often feared as something that would lead to loss of will and fatalism. Gary Drescher and Eliezer spend considerable effort explaining this as a fallacy. 

The one thing I don't remember mentioned is the opposite effect (but maybe I missed it) - if you experienced a failure to accomplish something, the free will explanation is likely to make you stop investigating the root cause, leaving it as a mystery. Once you accept determinism you know that a failure is determined by your mental algorithms, and should be much more motivated to push the investigation further, making yourself stronger.

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dissolution of free wheel

Typo? :D

Dorikka was pointing out that you wrote "wheel" instead of "will" (unless there's a pun that I'm not getting).

Wow, that was selective blindness. Thanks, fixed!

Once you accept determinism you know that a failure is determined by your mental algorithms, and should be much more motivated to push the investigation further, making yourself stronger.

....our bad luck, in the form of chaotic environmental fluctuations. Don't go blaming yourself for things you decided to leave to chance - just because you believe in determinism.

I agree; still getting rid of free will as curiosity stopper should help.

[-][anonymous]10y 0

Don't go blaming yourself for things you decided to leave to chance - just because you believe in determinism.

If you decided that, improve the tools that contributed to the decision.

The Stoics and Epicureans had very similar ideas (materialism, avoiding pain by understanding consequences), but the Stoics were waaaay more deterministic, and against free will.

They both influenced Roman politicians, but where Epicureans had a habit of retreating, many Stoics actually got things done.

The one thing I don't remember mentioned is the opposite effect (but maybe I missed it) - if you experienced a failure to accomplish something, the free will explanation is likely to make you stop investigating the root cause, leaving it as a mystery.

Only to straw-man libertarians, who think their decisions emerge out of nowhere. Real libertarians accpet that their decisions are influenced, but not to the extent of complete determiniation, and so might well be motivated to tweak the influences.

Accepting determinism and the insuing dissolution of free will

Accepting derminisim is not dissolving the question -- showing that there was something wrong with the question, for instance that it was really two questions --- it is just answering it, in the terms in which it is stated.

A discussion of millenarian groups might be in order. Communism might be the first secular one. These causes motivate followers to sacrifice for them while teaching the inevitability of their success. The supposed surety of success makes the followers feel their efforts are not wasted, but the supposed inevitability of it does not demotivate them - that's the interesting part.

I think this usually coexists with traditional, dualist views of free will, but am not sure.