Wednesday, February 10, 2016

602: Challenging thoughts......

And here we are…. THE INDIVIDUAL, surrounded by his crown jewels, as collected in the course of history.

The individual has become  a person, conscious of the fact that he is just one single mind, not the master of the Universe,

but able to be a social being, living together in peace with his fellowmen and endowed with natural rights of life, freedom, health and property.

There are no predefined criteria to determine what to choose in life, but he is aware that there are conscious and subconscious forces that drive him.

Altogether, the individual creates and defines himself. Who and what he is, is not predetermined, but the result of his own choices.

In other words, he begins existence like a stone exists, but creates his essence by the choices he makes during his life.

I refer to the individual as a “he/him/his”, but do not worry, that is just a stylistic matter. Wherever you read “he/him/his”, she/her/hers” is meant equivalently.

That the female individual in a number of cultures is not described as I describe the individual here, IS a serious issue, but beyond the scope of this project.

This being said, let’s return to our main theme. Creating your essence by  your choices… sounds intelligible and we all know how choosing works.

You have for instance three options, A, B and C and you say, I choose B and I don’t care whatever anyone thinks of my choice: I want B.

You have the power to do so and others say…”Ahh, she WANTS B…fine”. So everything seems to be in perfect order…….

if it weren’t that there are philosophers and they ask questions. And they ask, what do you think you are doing?!

I guess you’ll answer, that you acts according to your personal preferences and according to your personal will. Thence you feel perfectly free to do so.

And then we have to discover, that our common sense perception of what we might call “our free will” is like Swish cheese: full of big holes.

Ok, free will, the philosopher says….tell me…are you religious? No… Ok, you chose B, was it out of politeness or any other preference?

You frown and think…. did I limit my freedom of choice perhaps….and if not what happened then, when I chose?

And you say….no…nothing of the kind. I picked B completely free from any bias or limitation or whatever…

So, you say it was just at random? Yes!…. But when it was just at random, in what sense was it then your CHOICE?

And you say to the philosopher, “Plz would you excuse me, I need an aspirin and that is not a free choice but mandatory after this conversation…”

“I am so sorry”, the philosopher says. “Just wanted to bring to your attention, that we have some thoughts and questions about the free will issue.”

From its earliest beginnings, the problem of "free will" has been a subject of philosophical analysis and, of course, intimately connected with the question of moral responsibility. 

Most of the ancient thinkers on the problem were trying to show, that we humans have control over our decisions, that our actions "depend on us", 

and that they are not pre-determined by fate, by arbitrary gods, by logical necessity, or by a natural causal determinism.

So, I think, that we have to do some work on the question in what sense the individual, as we have described him, is indeed a free individual,  that is …with a free will and in what sense.

Thank you for your attention….the floor is yours…..^_^

The Discussion

[13:20] herman Bergson: You are free to make remarks or ask questions :-)
[13:20] CB Axel: Well, first...aspirin is not mandatory. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be just as affective for philosopher induced headaches. °͜°
[13:20] herman Bergson: No will at all here? :-)
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ::-)
[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol CB
[13:21] herman Bergson: I would NOT recommend Ibuprofen, CB...
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): there are so many conflicting views on this
[13:21] herman Bergson: Oh yes Gemma and we are going enjoy them all :-))
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I feel like i am using free will
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): when I decide something
[13:22]  Nιﮮк (nick.cassavetes): A pity I don't remember the 4 causes theory of Aristotle, but Plato also described the whole issue I believe when he was addressing the matter, we can say we sit here because our (pixel) bones are arranged so and so, or that we decided to ... the problem arrises when one view tries to be exclusive.
[13:22] herman Bergson: the fun is...we all think we do :-)
[13:22] CB Axel: Even if our will is influenced by religion, morals, habit, or custom we choose to be influenced by those.
[13:22] CB Axel: Don't we?
[13:23] Ciska Riverstone: jup
[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): true if we realize it
[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): some don’t i think
[13:23] CB Axel: Psychopaths choose not to be.
[13:23] herman Bergson: But when it is the result of education, CB?
[13:23] Ciska Riverstone: matter of consciousness
[13:23] Ciska Riverstone: ;)
[13:23]  Nιﮮк (nick.cassavetes): As for influences, I strongly believe we can emancipate from pretty much everything.
[13:23] herman Bergson: You are born is a religious family and raised that way
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): true
[13:24] CB Axel: Yeah. We don't get to choose our education, do we? Hmmm.
[13:24] Ciska Riverstone: the question is if you question it ;)
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it takes a long time to get over that if ever
[13:24] CB Axel: I have veered far to the left of what my parents taught me.
[13:24] herman Bergson: But suppose someone  stimulates you to question it Csika....
[13:24] Velvet (velvet.braham): me too, CB
[13:25] Ciska Riverstone: then I decide if i'm stimulated by it or not - no?
[13:25] herman Bergson: REally?
[13:25] herman Bergson: Supppose you are in love with the person?
[13:25] CB Axel: That someone has probably stimulated someone else to question, too, but hasn't. But that's probably because they've been indoctrinated into not questioning.
[13:25] Ciska Riverstone: well as not everyone is responding to listening to a philosophy class  - I guess so ;)
[13:26]  Nιﮮк (nick.cassavetes): don't think of a red fox! ;)
[13:26] herman Bergson: Well...a nice bunch of questions already....
[13:26] Ciska Riverstone: being in love with someone makes the hormone system more active which might bring a temporary or long term taking over of the love
[13:27] herman Bergson: Ahh a nice one Nick!
[13:27]  Nιﮮк (nick.cassavetes): hehe
[13:27]  Nιﮮк (nick.cassavetes): :)
[13:27] CB Axel: I can't think of a red fox. I'm already thinking of an elephant someone told me not to think about earlier.
[13:27]  Nιﮮк (nick.cassavetes): lol
[13:27] Velvet (velvet.braham): lol
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): CB is always ready
[13:27] Ciska Riverstone: heheh
[13:27] herman Bergson: I am color blind :-)
[13:27]  Nιﮮк (nick.cassavetes): we are all influenceable
[13:27] Ciska Riverstone: sure
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:27]  Nιﮮк (nick.cassavetes): good one Herman :)
[13:27] Ciska Riverstone: but what sticks?
[13:27] Ciska Riverstone: don'T we pick and choose that?
[13:28] Velvet (velvet.braham): influence doesn't negate free will
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and later it may change in our minds anyway
[13:28] herman Bergson: Bu tthen we first need to define FREE WILL Velvet...
[13:28] Ciska Riverstone: yes gemma ;)
[13:28]  Nιﮮк (nick.cassavetes): I think choices build up in a way, like become a path ... Sartre wrote about that I believe
[13:28] Ciska Riverstone: (especially when u have two x chromosomes)
[13:28] Velvet (velvet.braham): getting ahead of myself again!
[13:29]  Nιﮮк (nick.cassavetes): existential inclination or something
[13:29] herman Bergson: I guess one thing is absolutely become clear here....
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and it is interesting to think that all those guys uttering their thoughts on the individual were mostly thinking male gender anyway
[13:29] herman Bergson: free will si not an easy piece at all....
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and most women around them never really had free will at that time
[13:30]  Nιﮮк (nick.cassavetes): it is not indeed :) but nothing is if you think of it in absolutes, and free will begs absolute terms a lot maybe?
[13:30] Ciska Riverstone: well they might have had some but they could not live it openly ;)
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): or ever thought they did
[13:30] Velvet (velvet.braham): I was probably 15 when I realized I had choices
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I think i was about 40
[13:31] herman Bergson: We had 30+ female philosophers presented here...:-)
[13:31] Velvet (velvet.braham): before that, no free will at all
[13:31] CB Axel: lol
[13:31] herman Bergson: But I admit...they are a minority....
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we studied them
[13:32] herman Bergson: while women are at least 50% of the world population :-)
[13:32] Velvet (velvet.braham): well, that's a sad state of affairs
[13:32] Chantal (nymf.hathaway): Sneaks out, enjoy
[13:32] herman Bergson: it is indeed Velvet......
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it was and still is in some places
[13:32] CB Axel: Good night, Chantal.
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bye chantal
[13:33] herman Bergson: We almost leave 50% of all intellectual talent in this world unused...
[13:33] Velvet (velvet.braham): Perhaps the women are too busy running things to stop and examine the philosophy of it.
[13:33] herman Bergson: There was a Madame de Curie....
[13:33] herman Bergson: Why not a female Einstein
[13:34] CB Axel: I was thinking along that same line, Velvet. °͜°
[13:34] herman Bergson: but this is another subject :-))
[13:34] Velvet (velvet.braham): Marie Curie was badass.
[13:34] herman Bergson: lol...was she?
[13:34] Velvet (velvet.braham): heck, yes.
[13:34] CB Axel: Pierre Curie was too, for recognizing that Marie could contribute.
[13:35] Velvet (velvet.braham): he was smart enough to recognize her
[13:35] herman Bergson: For those who love the gossip..check them out at Wikipedia or better sources :-)
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok
[13:35] herman Bergson: Follow  your own free will here ^_^
[13:35] Velvet (velvet.braham): homework!
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i think i remember doing that
[13:36] CB Axel: I've never had gossip assigned as homework before. °͜°
[13:36] herman Bergson: Cool , isnt it, CB :-)
[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): sometimes it has to be the first time CB:)
[13:36] Velvet (velvet.braham): Philosophy keeps surprising me
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): ( it was my free will to write this)
[13:37] herman Bergson: WEll, at least it has become clear that FREE WILL as such is not just a simple issue....
[13:37] herman Bergson: No was caused by the dialog here...:-)
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont):
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yep
[13:37] herman Bergson: so no free will in that :-)
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): very involved as usual
[13:38] Ciska Riverstone: maybe free will is limited by reality ;)
[13:38] herman Bergson: this is reality..:-)
[13:38] Velvet (velvet.braham): hang on, it was influenced by the discussion
[13:38] CB Axel: Reality. Man I hate that stuff.
[13:38] Velvet (velvet.braham): but Beertje always had free will to participate
[13:38] Ciska Riverstone: so for us it looks free because there are so many possibilities that we cannot oversee the combinations
[13:39] herman Bergson: yes Ciska...the many options situation....
[13:39] Ciska Riverstone: hence it feels free
[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont):
[13:39]  Nιﮮк (nick.cassavetes): I think we always have givens, total emancipation is impossible ... also no view from nowhere ... so our decisions are always based on both givens and partial views.
[13:39] herman Bergson: Just what you say...we FEEL free.....
[13:40] Ciska Riverstone: sure
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok
[13:40] herman Bergson: That is the randomness situation or total indeterminism as it is called Nick....yes
[13:40] CB Axel: So we are not all individuals since each one of us influences, and therefore takes away, our free will.
[13:40] CB Axel: Each other's free will.
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hmmm
[13:41] Velvet (velvet.braham): no, I don't think influence is the same as taking away
[13:41] CB Axel: Alright, limits then?
[13:41] herman Bergson: Well..CB...your freedom limits mine and mutatis mutandis mine limits yours...
[13:41] Velvet (velvet.braham): well, limits yes, but even those are elf-imposed
[13:41] Velvet (velvet.braham): lol self-imposed
[13:42] Ciska Riverstone: I can say : polly wants a cookie
[13:42] CB Axel: LOL. Now elves are influencing me? That explains a lot!
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right
[13:42] Ciska Riverstone: does not make sense in the situation here
[13:42] herman Bergson: self imposed or that a free choice Velvet?
[13:42] Ciska Riverstone: but i'm free to do so
[13:42] Velvet (velvet.braham): yes!
[13:42]  Nιﮮк (nick.cassavetes): I think to get to the core (ontologically) we are more social being then individuals anyway :)
[13:42] Ciska Riverstone: so of course I will follow an aim - discussing things here - the topic
[13:42] Ciska Riverstone: thats my choice
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: otherwise I would have rezzed somewhere as a bird
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i have done that
[13:43] herman Bergson: I think you all feel what this is al about....
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:43] Ciska Riverstone: hahaha gemma
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): been a toucan in class
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we had our own stand too
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that herman made
[13:44] herman Bergson: Picture is on the wall Gemma :-)
[13:44] herman Bergson: up there :-))
[13:44] CB Axel: Nice
[13:44] herman Bergson: to my right
[13:45] herman Bergson: I think it is time for a systematic analysis of this problem of free will....
[13:46] herman Bergson: not right now....we can spend some lectures on the subject :-)
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok
[13:46] herman Bergson: philosophers quarreled about a 2300 years about it and still do
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right
[13:47] Guestboook van tipjar stand: CB Axel donated L$100. Thank you very much, it is much appreciated!
[13:47] CB Axel: So we are carrying on a fine tradition.
[13:47] herman Bergson: SO...for today...thank you all for your stimulating participation again.....
[13:47] herman Bergson: Class dismissed..^_^
[13:47] Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:47] Ciska Riverstone: thanx folks
[13:48] Velvet (velvet.braham): Thank you Professor!
[13:48] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.
[13:48] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman
[13:48] CB Axel: And thanks to everyone for such a good discussion. °͜°
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bye for now
[13:48] Ciska Riverstone: have a great week everyone
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hope to make it thursday
[13:48] CB Axel: See you on Thursday.
[13:48] Velvet (velvet.braham): I'm totally going to research the Curies
[13:48] herman Bergson: Dont get too drunk Gemma :-)
[13:49]  Nιﮮк (nick.cassavetes): ty Herman, very cool that you still do these classes :)
[13:49] herman Bergson: yes...must have been a couple, Velvet ^_^
[13:49] Velvet (velvet.braham): well, that much I knew! Thank you again Professor!

[13:49] herman Bergson: My pleasure Velvet...

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