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Like pretty much everything "free will exists" and "free will doesn't exist" are just two extreme perspectives of the same reality.



If we have to subjugate all of our thoughts to your monolithic reality where everything is "really" the same thing, then how is it possible to think at all? It seems to me that by your logic, we are all walking around bullshitting ourselves 24/7. Is that a worldview that any honest human can live by?


> If we have to subjugate all of our thoughts to your monolithic reality where everything is "really" the same thing

This is not what I'm saying. I'm saying that, in many cases, whether something is true or not is really a matter of context and perspective.

Free will, for instance. The universe, including your body and mind, is a giant ball of energy interacting with itself. You are not separate from it, so how can you have a will of your own? Everything you are, everything your mind thinks, is a product of interactions happening in the medium of the greater universe.

In another context, we have complete free will. Someone may tell you what to do and impose penalties for non-compliance, but freedom to choose does not mean freedom from consequences. Various substances or other "external" factors may influence your decision making in one direction or another, but ultimate you are making a decision.

However, neither of these extremes is particularly useful in the context of the topic under discussion.

Context, as they say, is king.


> whether something is true or not is really a matter of context and perspective.

That's a fair point.

I think your two contexts in which to consider free will are interesting. But it is ultimately a dualistic concept. In whatever context we happen to be talking about, either the will is free or it's not. One extreme of your scale takes place at the universal level. The other end takes place firmly within the sphere of the human world which we experience everyday. As you have shown, the question of free will depends on which end of the scale you want to start your argument with.

But that brings up an interesting question: where is the line along that spectrum? And there has to be a line - either the will is free in a given context or it's not. Where do we cross over between free will and unfree will?

I think these systems that supposedly influence our every behavior are situated somewhere in between the two extreme contexts you mentioned; they are not quite elemental forces of the universe, but they are also not quite part of the everyday immediate human experience.


> But it is ultimately a dualistic concept. In whatever context we happen to be talking about, either the will is free or it's not [...] where is the line along that spectrum? And there has to be a line - either the will is free in a given context or it's not.

I disagree. This is a very... I want to empirical... view of things. Everything must be black or white with no grey in between? Lines are drawn by the human mind, which we must always remember is highly biased, limited, and fallible. We should strive to remember that extremes and hard lines are very rarely actually useful.

> I think these systems that supposedly influence our every behavior are situated somewhere in between the two extreme contexts you mentioned; they are not quite elemental forces of the universe, but they are also not quite part of the everyday immediate human experience.

So I think from this we actually agree.




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