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Determinism vs Free Will: Crash Course Philosophy #24

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Do we really have free will? Today Hank explores possible answers to that question, explaining theories like libertarian free will and it’s counterpoint, hard determinism. Get your own Crash Course Philosophy mug from DFTBA: http://store.dftba.com/products/crashcourse-philosophy-mug The Latest from PBS Digital Studios: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1mtdjDVOoOqJzeaJAV15Tq0tZ1vKj7ZV -- Images via ThinkStock Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios: http://youtube.com/pbsdigitalstudios Crash Course Philosophy is sponsored by Squarespace. http://www.squarespace.com/crashcourse -- Want to find Crash Course elsewhere on the internet? Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/YouTubeCrashC... Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/TheCrashCourse Tumblr - http://thecrashcourse.tumblr.com Support CrashCourse on Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/crashcourse CC Kids: http://www.youtube.com/crashcoursekids
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Text Comments (8199)
Europa_Teles_BTR (1 day ago)
determinism was made to render people unable to act against big events, aka its bad
So...Are Determinism and Free Will compatible? Or not? Why?
Slainne Red (2 days ago)
Nice milf though
Kurorin Kelnix (2 days ago)
Waaaait... it's both and neither at the same time!!! Brilliant!
Kurorin Kelnix (2 days ago)
Everything is KARMA
The Dark Hour (2 days ago)
Studying science has made me immediately agree to an extent with determinism off the bat
Eeshan Joshi (2 days ago)
Naruto had to become the HOKAGE
Eeshan Joshi (2 days ago)
Oedipus was a MOTHERFUCKER!! (nohardfeelings)
GG Crew Crew (3 days ago)
Who else came here after this week's episode of bunny senpai
Graham OConnorr (3 days ago)
Damn I wish i had a teleprompter during my presentation
Mekail Mujtaba (3 days ago)
If we FEEL free, then this argument doesn't matter. Does it make a difference if everything is determined or not as long as we FEEL free? No. That's why we can still be held accountable for our actions, because as long as you FEEL like the decision was your choice, for all intents and purposes, it was your choice.
Mekail Mujtaba (3 days ago)
"I have noticed that even those who assert that everything is predestined and that we can change nothing about it still look both ways before they cross the street” -Stephen Hawking
Max (3 days ago)
Free will implies determinism.
dream believer (4 days ago)
We are special. We live in a world where somehow. Each person is their own "truman" You are not just a mere spec in a system. You are the system. Your just experiencing a character living in it.. You will experience more. No religion needed. "Faith" in your self... Trust in me.
Yeah Gooo!!!!! (5 days ago)
ok, why not. but good feelings still feel fine - world is still the same maybe even better
Happy killer man (5 days ago)
you actually made me giggle in this video well done
Paul Harland (5 days ago)
Exactly who or what am I not free from? I can act contrary to any one order or urge or stimulus or piece of conditioning. I can even go against 99% of all those things in favor of just 1% but you tell me that I'm not free because I can't make decisions independent of the sum total of all that I experience and think and feel. Well guess what. I am the sum total of all that I experience and think and feel! Of course I'm not free from myself but acting independently of myself wouldn't be free will more like a metaphysical multiple personality disorder which probably (and hopefully) isn't possible. It's true that the only evidence I have of my free will is feeling like I have it. The only evidence I have of my consciousness and self-awareness is that I feel like I have them. In turn my belief in the consciousness and self-awareness of others is based on my belief in my own (a sample size of one). Thus my ethics, my worldview everything rest on scantest and flimsiest of evidence. I can't fully perhaps not even partially address the Chinese room argument nor most of this video but tough or even unanswerable questions are not the same thing as actual evidence. All that is left then is the feeling and any evidence outweighs zero evidence.
Future President (7 days ago)
So everything that ever was or ever will be was all decided at the bigbang?
Joey Buttawipo (8 days ago)
Provocation, that is the simplest conceptual breakdown.
Shadow Stalker (9 days ago)
The game was rigged from the start
Collin Keebler (9 days ago)
Fatalism you had no choice Determinism: i mean you had a choice but you would not have chosen differently
Joshua Levi Kooij (10 days ago)
Did anyone see Oedipus walk both backwards and forwards at the end?
Tic Tac (10 days ago)
i don't understand what he is saying
Mustafa aj (10 days ago)
I think because you are not a native english speaker..but there is subtitles
KP (10 days ago)
I am having a hard time understanding the relation between Determinism and luck and would like to hear someone's opinion. If Determinism is the belief that "all events are caused by past events such that nothing other than what does occur could occur" than what past event caused me to win the lottery, assuming that the numbers I played were randomly generated by a computer? Of course, my intention of playing the lottery are perfectly clear however, I do not understand how Determinism plays a roll in how the numbers that were randomly generated for me happened to be the winning numbers knowing that the chances of winning are 1 in 175 million.
oscar klauss (13 days ago)
Freedom here is to do otherwise then what you might do. That is meaningless freedom. Its a false sense of freedom. Will is your intention of volition. If your volition is 100% lawful, then your freedom is to do as pleases on your own time and that is free will. The freedom to choose what your will will be is your entire own choice. You may never ever get to exercise that will of choice, but it is all you who decides it. Its insanity to have such a will that your will is completely changeable totally independent of any factors whatsoever and regardless of what happens to you or around you. No one has a will with such useless and unrealistic freedoms. There are two types of free will. One is your choice of am be. The other is where your will is totally harmoniously aligned with your reality so that you may do whatever pleases you.
Thomas Harrison (13 days ago)
Then should murder be punished or wrong? If i was destined to murder and couldn't change my destiny then how is it my fault.
1103 Musik Berlin (15 days ago)
cool video thx
David Odell (16 days ago)
I tried watching in x0.75 to give me time to understand but you just sound like a drunk student aha
FeatherFiend (16 days ago)
Hard determinism doesn’t actually hold because it is based on cause and effect. In reality, the world is just probablistic. That baseball that you hit actually had a chance not to move at all. In a world of cause and effect everything could be predicted beforehand. But Quantum Physics (science) shows that it is impossible. The thought experiment of Schrodinger’s cat proves this. Is the cat alive or dead? You don’t know until you opened the box, but you had no way of predicting the result beforehand. Essentially, the “free will” part is in the box, and when you open the box you forced it to make a decision (opening the box forced a decision, but not what that decision will be). So when you decide to eat a bowl of cereal you are forced to make a decision, and one of those possibilities (which you end up choosing) is oatmeal. Sure, you can argue that certain factors had an impact in the decision (which increased the probability of you choosing it) but you still had the chance to choose a dfferent bowl of cereal (cream wheat, for example).
Kersey Kerman (15 days ago)
Several points as to why the probabilistic nature of quantum objects does not make a good argument: 1. While quantum processes themselves are probabilistic, they still barely affect processes on the macro scale. The world of classical physics is still, for all intents and purposes, deterministic. This is known as adequate determinism. 2. Quantum mechanics basically asserts that it's processes are random to a certain degree. But even if they are, that still doesn't make them free will. If you make a decision, and that decision is random, then did you really decide it? You didn't. Free will is an oxymoron. Either a decision was predetermined, which means it wasn't free, or the decision was random, which means it wasn't willed by you. It's either not free, or not willed. You can't have both.
Cory Thompson (17 days ago)
Just here for my daily existential crisis
Frank Bruce (18 days ago)
how about my decision to comment? hmmmm....
Ramiro (19 days ago)
Teleology. Free will and determinism are just perspectives.
Pavlov's Dawg (19 days ago)
There's no such thing as free will. We only do, and continue to do behaviors because said behaviors have provided a change in the environment which led to reinforcement. Our environment shapes our behaviors.
R. Kayn (19 days ago)
Why doesn’t Oedipus like to curse? Because he kisses his mother with that mouth.
Shadow Blade (19 days ago)
What's the difference between body and soul
Zephirenth (20 days ago)
Free will is one of those concepts we shield ourselves with to separate ourselves from animals. The fact is that we're animals as well, and simply have different behaviors from other species due to different physiology. Our brains are complex enough to be self-aware, but that doesn't magically free us from our reality. It's simply a factor that affects our behavior.
Ayman Fahsi (20 days ago)
hell nah he said he wanted oatmeal
Oedipus could have chosen not to kill anybody and to remain single. He just was being stupid by trying to escape the profecy in the most complicated way he could think of.
Pyromaniac 05 (21 days ago)
What about criminal justice? Can we hold mentally-ill criminals accountable for their actions if that’s just how their brains work? If we’re throwing criminals in jail simply because their brain is formed differently, that’s not just. It’s opresessing people for what’s been forced on them because of their beliefs, desires, temperaments, environment, etc.
Martin Diaz (22 days ago)
Anxeity increases
Midiwave Productions (21 days ago)
Libertarian freedom is the freedom to act contrary to one's personal nature, predisposition and greatest desires. I can decide to utilize the tools of non-personal reason, logic and ethics and decide to act contrary to my personal nature, predisposition and greatest desires. Hence Libertarian freedom exists.
THCRMSNCHN (21 days ago)
"Ones nature" simply describes how it is you behave, so by definition your actions cannot violate your nature, since your nature simply is whatever your actions are.
pedro correa (25 days ago)
This discussion on responsability is pointless. The whole function of a theory of responsability is to justify the punitive actions against the people that broke some specific rule of conduct. Even is the libertarian conception is what justifies the idea of responsability, the deterministic conception would also explain it perfectly. If a man is free and chose to break an rule of conduct, it's the right of the man who was harmed to demand that the man in charge of punishing crime punish the perpetrator. If a man is not free, however, the beliefs, thoughts and actions of all the men involved in the previous scenario are also determined. The old joke come to mind. I have no choice but to believe I'm free and act acordingly.
THCRMSNCHN (21 days ago)
People can recognize the irrationality of placing blame on someone who had no choice, just as we would see someone placing "blame" on a tornado as irrational. By recognizing a person as fundamentally no different than a natural disaster, we can rid ourselves of irrational, pointless urges like vengeance.
Terry Brady (25 days ago)
I agree!
Mamma Jamma (26 days ago)
1:15 - "the whole point of the story"? That's what you think the whole point of the story was? Are you on crack?
Raegan Blalock (27 days ago)
so my mental breakdown bc of this was predetermined? whoever predetermined that is a jerk
Nathalie Koskinen (27 days ago)
these videos are saving my grades
Gonzalo Bernal (28 days ago)
If you want to get away from hard determinism, go find a person that can find the lotto numbers. All of them. In fact since it's determined, this person could write the numbers in an envelope and know they're going to be winning numbers on the exact date. In fact they could write them blindfolded and that envelope was still be a winner.... plus we would be able to determine the number of winners. So we know the exact number of the payout. You know what we call that a fixed and rigged game. lol. This is hilarious. You're literally doing the opposite of what your math class is told you and I suck at algebra. Which is you never start with the solution first and then work your way back unless you have too. Then you have to check the work again and possibly a third time to confirm because you never trust a solution without prior testing. You're literally taking the next step in baby steps and calling it determined wisdom. LOL LOL LOL. You go ahead and tell yourself that inversion and Division our ways to gain. When in reality they're just ways to make easier to control. How do you break down a whole number by making it into a fraction. I completely suck at algebra and even I know this stuff. I can only imagine if you guys have philosophy in high school. You must have took chemistry huh? You're supposed to just take a picture of the periodic table and know what's on it but you can still keep the periodic table dude. That's why you're supposed to take biology or art. Because chemistry is at least only half a semester and they drag it out to just have you remember a bunch of elements that you can look up on a card. But I guess you got a pass. Volcanoes are funny I guess. Chemistry is important I'm not knocking chemistry. I think you need to understand causation and then you'll have a better grasp of this weird determinism thing. Home economics is a good way to do that.
Gonzalo Bernal (28 days ago)
And then determine its use isolation instead of specifics, yeah that's definitely pseudoscience dude
Gonzalo Bernal (28 days ago)
You have a hard time thinking of yourself as a subject don't you? What a video. The other reason there's free will is because you could just get up and walk away from the whole thing. Or even then just forget about it and get to work and have a sandwich. See what free will of the open mind can do? LOL
Gonzalo Bernal (28 days ago)
Let's say you're broke and you how to decide between paying the power or eating your oatmeal. There's the essence a free-will at the most minimum level and the definition of determinism. Everything else you just made more complicated. Two choices does not equal a plural of options. But knowing what comes next because there's no other choice is obvious and that's part of being determinism. Come on mr. Green or the other mr. Green this is where being indecisive gets you. What you're describing for your personality. And the person has the free will to create a third option which would be finding a way to pay your power and enjoy the bowl of oatmeal. Don't be so Cro-Magnon. LOL Love your episodes
Gonzalo Bernal (28 days ago)
I hope people pay attention to the final conclusion or the options thereof.
Gonzalo Bernal (28 days ago)
The Indo Asian dude is Freud.
Gonzalo Bernal (28 days ago)
Having an Indo Asian white dude explain a westernism is something used to take with a grain of salt. Did you know back then the Greeks would not let people come into their lands? So you have a bunch of Indo Asian caucasians tell stories and spin them. That's like a a redneck incest hillbilly telling you that other people are redneck incest Hillbillies but they aren't. LOL LOL LOL. Unwanted Untouchables stories when they migrated West, these Caucasians are not to be mixed up with the Teutons of of the nord's. These people would eventually conquer what is known as the Eastern reaches of Europe. But these other people were albino rejects from India that nobody wanted. Kind of like Trump supporters they were mainly cultists who the Greeks had to defeat numerous times until they finally capitalized in the war against Philip and Alexander. if you don't believe me and you can look past superstition look up pergamum which means pay up and the gigantomachy which settled the matter.
Gonzalo Bernal (28 days ago)
Oedipus was stuck in the world where he couldn't escape his family. And suffers for it. Why don't you tell them about the other half of the story then? You know Oedipus Rex? I hate to say this, but how do you not see the big picture. Determinism vs free will? it's imprisoning yourself to a fixed notion. For example if a group of people who lived in Europe wanted to not allow anyone to come in and let's say that succeeded, a population that stays the same. stagnant. That would be bad. So we needed to "determine" that we had "free will" to think more openly. Kind of like change. Free Will and change are constants, they do not fight each other. The differences and variables from these two constants or what causes friction. When Oedipus realizes everything that's going on he determines he needs to be free and must act on his will to realize it. You have everything backwards. And you're getting the worst ideas out of this lesson. An Oedipus complex isn't about your mother even though it is from the Freud perspective, hence fraud perspective because it's a indo-asian post political Germanic world looking in towards the Western and thinking it's just about his mother? Now I get all those jokes about shrinks. No matter what he couldn't escape his family and so when he became Oedipus Rex he took charge of his life. This whole thing is about a guy who is just in the position he cannot Escape and then what it takes to escape. Especially an unwanted situation. I don't know where the hell you get all this other s***. F****** nonsense. No wonder some don't understand myths Legends history the arcane pseudo cults and anything else applying itself to the the Wonder the science and philosophy.... your a life fail. think things again.
StrivetobeDust (28 days ago)
Ah, but causation is not absolute. It is a probability that does not even require an agent. See radioactive decay.
Kersey Kerman (15 days ago)
Basically this leaves two options: Either something is probabilistic, or deterministic. But neither of those options give any wiggle room for free will to exist.
Descubre con Als (29 days ago)
For all the clever of the video: the quantum chance does not change anything. We still have no free will, since we do not choose the results of the microscopic random phenomena, we can not decide what we want to come out. In addition, it is not clear that the brain has any relationship with the quantum world, nor in the macroscopic world there are probabilities
Jacob Teasley (1 month ago)
Love the videos, thank you so much for compiling information in such a creative and fun way :)
Delta 029 (1 month ago)
So, Free Will vs Behaviorism?
Skeptiholic (1 month ago)
Cause is everything that produces an effect. Effect is everything that is produced by a cause. The cause exists before the effect. If a cause exists before the effect, then a cause can exist without an effect. A cause existing without an effect is a contradiction because a cause needs an effect in order to exist. Therefore, causes don't exist. If causes don't exist, then determinism is wrong.
Cheshire Cat (1 month ago)
Honestly I would still deduct it to a matter of perception because even within the factual perception of determinism there is an infinite number chain of events, therefore the probably of prediction from said micro and macrocasims is improbable, at the same time it is understood that we do have a will wheither it's a predealt hand or not, we have a psychology based on previous experience and etc which would descide what we FEEL more inclined to do, so I really feel both are right in this way we are like an echo, we feel we have freedom of choice, when in fact we do choose consciously, however what we are going to choose could be calculated.
Jack Smith (1 month ago)
Okay, I’m sorry, but the problem I have in this video is that it supports Hard Determinism so much, it basically makes it sound less like an informational piece and more like a persuasive video to say, “Reject Libertarianism! Embrace Hard Determinism!” And I’m sorry if this is determined to, but I’m going to say it: I have found good arguments for libertarianism beyond “we feel free”. Yes, a part of it is Quantum Mechanics, and as a whole, according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the hard determinism has fallen out of favor since quantum mechanics has indicated that things aren’t as simple as “causality is everything.” Obviously, randomness doesn’t “prove” free will, but there are other arguments. Existential Comics did a comic about this, “A Study In Compatibilism” where the person who believed in free will made the argument that because the laws of nature in science were malleable (theories can and are proven wrong sometimes) and that humans have a will whereas things like a rock or baseball don’t also needs to be a factor as well. Along with this, there’s no talk about the Fixed vs. Growth mindsets and what they think, studies about how neurology, psychology, and sociology can influence our thinking but not completely overrule us, as well as how our mental states can influence our physical states and we can recognize when our own brain is tricking us, and the article “What it’s like to be a bat?” it feels pretty bias. The biggest problem, though, is that no actual libertarians or their views are mentioned, which makes things worse. I’m sorry; I know NONE of these prove free will exists—I’m not even trying to take a side there—and I know this response could just be determined as well, but simply put I’m not going to stand back and see what is supposed to be someone who is trusted with teaching us this stuff in an unbiased fashion basically encourage us—intentionally or unintentionally—that the only way to be scientific and smart is to take one side and say all oppositions are just “feelings”.
Charles Eric Ringuette (1 month ago)
In most cases, its the birth's life conditions that determine free will. I think its not a versus situation.
Gaming4 Life (1 month ago)
Yea but oprus was following a story so who told the future which he happened to see and made the future come true
joe dirt (1 month ago)
It's pretty easy to see that we don't have free will. Just start meditating and it will become clear you don't actually have control over anything.
Moth Tolias (1 month ago)
this video made me very uncomfortable
arawis (1 month ago)
agent causation ? yes falling back on the soul and god has a long history.....you first have to demonstrate the agent else you can't use that argument.
Rabin Rajbhandari (1 month ago)
Everything that happened was determined but we can make choices to what will happen with that experience..
Anastasia Nagicheva (1 month ago)
I dont understand one aspect of the video. If our decisions are linked with our desire and belief, then isn´t it where my free will lies, because different people would have different desires and believes in the same situation? I am basically free to desire what I want, no?mAnd determined by who?
THCRMSNCHN (1 month ago)
In what sense are you "free" to desire whatever you want? To "want a desire" is a desire in itself, so did you "want to want" that desire as well? This line of thinking will result in an infinite regress of "want to want to want...etc. Just by doing some simple self reflection you can realize that you are not in control of your desires. Can you just "choose" to like studying whenever it would be convenient? Of course not, or else everyone would have chosen it. It's true that we usually do what we want, but we don't "want" what we want. Our desires control us, not the other way around.
el verdugo Pr (1 month ago)
i think to god know something is because he decreeted.
Ngoc Que Nguyen (1 month ago)
It's not my fault that I'm lazy
Chad Johnson (1 month ago)
"What would make us different than any other thing in the universe?" Ummmm consciousness
Snow Steiner (1 month ago)
I can't understand anything 😅
Snow Steiner (1 month ago)
Oooh the illusion of free will?
Snow Steiner (1 month ago)
What if you can escape fate?
Martin Wood (1 month ago)
Interesting piece but no mention of quantum randomness (maybe that comes in the next part). This seems to be (as far as current scientific understands) genuine randomness not just an event whose routes are so complex that we can't back trace them. There literally seems to be no reason why a particle's super position resolves to the given position that it does. This means that we can't say that everything had to turn out the way it did, even though it did. More helpfully it means we couldn't determine the future (in all cases) because of the lack of cause (maybe there is an underlying reason for quantum randomness-stay tuned). But it's still not free will. Either there was a reason for an action in which case that reason locked it in place, or there wasn't, in which case it was purely random-still not free will. At a macro level it is often linguistically useful to arbitrarily define a given point in a process as the point of decision, but it was still either forced by something before it or it was genuinely random. Not only does free will not exist (in my opinion-feel free to disagree-see what I did there), but even the concept of free will has no meaning when you get close up, much like the thing with the onion skins.
Ides of March (1 month ago)
My decision to watch this video was determined by my free will. Free will is the ability to change your desires, habits, beliefs and temperament, or even go against them. "Invisible causes" is a weak argument as well, very unscientific. I don't believe there are "no arguments" for free will, that's just lazy thinking. And it's obvious you are biased. Because just like all free will arguments can be overwritten as determism, deterministic elements can originated from free will, just because we have conciousness. Meaning that if you realize why you do something (it's not invisible and deterministic anymore), you can consider changing it. And conciousness is able to overwrite determined settings, however those settings are determined, so your options of changing it in a way that constitutes improvement for your biological self are limited. So it's not that you can't decide to change things, it's just that there are always very few ways immediately available that allow you to change things for the better. Moreover, actions that constitute "change" have to go on for an extended time, before it can be recorded that someting changed. Which means that even if we view the world as deterministic, conciousness is not strictly part of a hard deterministic world, provided the right conditions (which are ironically hard determined in a lot of cases from the individual's point of view), just because of the mere fact that we can realize just how determined our physical world is. The more of our unconcious (deterministic) workings we find in ourselves, the more free will we have to change them. Moronic video, annoying presentator. Still, it was good for wasting time.
Ides of March (1 month ago)
There is a need for an other desire in order to inhibit one - that is a statement you have to demonstrate, as you made it first, I'd not consider it given. I'd not consider not wanting to have a desire a desire at all. It's like electricity: if you have a motivator, that is a + charge. If you inhibit it via - charge, it doesn't become a - charge, as a positive and negative charge is just neutral. We could say are kind of a low lever quantum computer, as you could argue that a 0 position is just an indetermined state (you don't know you have a desire because you inhibited it, but it could be still there, sealed away), but that is a whole other discussion. Any desire which is harmful to you (or you just perceive it to be so) can be inhibited without need for an additional desire. Of course you could argue self preservation is a desire in itself, however I'd say it is but a negation of the desire, and self preservation is not a concious desire but an underlying deterministic factor. Which means I'm not even saying deterministic factors play no role in the choices we make, because they have a huge role, as the outside world as we know it can be considered deterministic. Which means we have no way to avoid reacting to it. But even self preservation is not an absolutely determined rule - this statement is trivial, so I'll wave discussing it further than mentioning it as an example for free will (along morality, which has free will elements). If you are aware of a train moving you can stop it. Sure, you might not be able to stop a meteor for example, but being aware already gives you possible scenarios, even if you don't have the power to execute them, or your solution is not effective. Your physical body it deterministic, however your "operating software" or conciousness is not entirely. A solution to a deterministic problem is basically one that is true in both the abstract and the physical - this is also a reason why you might miss the part wher free will operates. However, unlike a computer, our thinking even influences our phisical bodies. Thinking in itself is not free will, generating thoughts on will is. Most of your thoughts are part of a heurestic search mechanism that tries to give you solutions after searching all data available, but this is still largely deterministic. But you can't say without a shadow of a doubt that you can't put effort into generating thoughts regarding what you want or need. The end result might still be generated by the heuristic search, but "you" initiated it. So your concious effort can direct your unconcious process ot a degree (of course it should be true the other way around as well). Which means awareness is free will, even if you can't execute it in the outside world. Because if you could, you'd choose it. But of course, when the solution is executed in the physical world, it can be considered largely deterministic. The free will was just the effort to make an abstract concept and concieve it based on the rules of the deterministic world. This third paragraph you wrote is key: it's not that we don't have limitless free will, it's that we live in a deterministic universe, hence we are forced to adapt to it. But adaption is not a loss to free will, it's just a variable we have to calculate with in order to ideally survive long enough to be able to change all deterministic elements. Which I'd argue is our core reason for technological advancement. Our goal is to be able to execute more and more amount of our free will on our enviroment, instead of our enviroment executing it's deterministic nature on us. Hence the inherent need for "transcendence". Determinism is a force we have to contend, not something we have to accept forever. Determinism is dying, being limited in thinking, the need to fulfill basic needs like sleep, eat, etc. If we could fully express our free will, we would be gods. Hence why it's a "good" thing to have free will. We certainly are far from it, but that's the idea. For now, we are but aware of some things, but can't do anything about most. As they say, the more you know, the more you realize how little you know. We are just at a stage where we know enough to realize how small we are, so it's no wonder the side of determinsm is stronger right now than free will. Make no mistake, we are deffinitely forced by determinism, free will is the hope to escape it, and the belief that we can.
THCRMSNCHN (1 month ago)
In order to inhibit a desire, there must be another desire in place which motivates a person to do so. Show me a single instance where this is not the case. Even in the example you gave of religious asceticism, the ascetics are motivated by a *desire* to transcend certain desires. Desires, urges, instincts, etc. are fundamental to all our actions. Without desires there can be no goals, and without goals their is no impetus to act, or resist action. Your claim that "free will" is true because we have consciousness and can think is a non-sequitur. It's entirely possible to be aware of something and not be in control of it. I can be aware that I'm in a moving train, even if I have no control over the movement of the train. As far as thinking goes, computers can think, does this indicate that they have free will? I think not. I never claimed that thoughts have no impact on the outside world, only that the thoughts we have and the way we react to them originate from factors that we do not control. The fact that humans utilized their intelligence to create new ways of surviving and thriving is only evidence that the environment has a deterministic effect on our behavior (inventing things in response to natural challenges). I do not see how determinism is "sad". As far as I can tell, the word "free will" doesn't mean anything, and its supposed existence or lack thereof makes no difference to anything. If you can illustrate how a world with "free will" is meaningfully different and superior to a world without, I would be genuinely curious to find out.
Ides of March (1 month ago)
THCRMSNCHN Maybe you should think about it more a bit. Desires can be overriden only one way: by not having them or ignoring them. Also I don't think the desire to play video games can be overriden by the desire to study (lol :D) as studying provides much worse stimulation for the brain on the short run. You have to exert your will and discipline to override your desire to play video games. But because you have conciousness, you can extrapolate the results from not exerting your will/discipline to do so, and now you have two scenarios before you. Choosing between them is free will. Maybe you heard that the brain doesn't just work by rewarding behavior: it's main mechanism is inhibition. Because you can also force inhibition after trying hard, you can override your desires. It is only in this kind of hyperactive, entertaining enviroment when we have a lot of distractions that it is hard to do or we lose discipline easily. Which is why I think free will is so doubted today. We may have free will, but there are certainly enviromental factors - our brains are fragile to changes in them, as we evolved from them. Habits are also possible to break on the same basis. If you invest enough time into studying instead of playing games, you will have to exert less and less will to inhibit the impulse, and do what you planned. What more, you might find enjoyment in studying, despite it being hard, and despite the fact that you might have not enjoyed it beforehand. Although it is indeed not easy, I know of many who stopped smoking by themselves for example. Beliefs are as you said, can depend on how compelled you are by outside sources. However you have the ability to forge your own beliefs from the very habits you cultivated (conciously, not unconciously or as a derivative of your enviroment). You could argue that even negative action is a product of your enviroment, however I'd argue against it (for example making it rich despite coming from a poor background). The sheer hardship you have to go through to bring yourself out from a desparate situation and turn it around might not even be "worth" it in the end. Beliefs are the essence of how we defeat our desires and how we discipline ourselves for an abstract idea. That is why so many religions are about extreme ascetism. Our free will is rooted in inhibition, not reward. Which is why today's consumer society is so toxic to people. It brings out our worst traits. In the end, not only does the reality outside you affect your state of mind, your state of mind can affect the world around you. And your state of mind is decided by you, and in part determined by temperament which is an unconcious reaction to how your brains translates signals to you from the enviroment. This might seem bogus, but it is psychology. Although psychology tells us you can't really change your temperament (for now anyway), you certainly can change your personality, or in other words, how you react to your temperamental signals. Because in the end, your interaction with the world is not mental, but physical. Depression of course has many causes, but today there are two main ways to help it by changing your personality in theraphy. You can develop habits (behavorism) that strengthen your discipline, which helps you act against your first impulse, or you can understand the problem and "outthink" yourself from it, and then act on your real intent. The first wants to change you by giving you different signals from the outside due to different outcome by your actions first, which in turn shape you mentally, and the other wants to change your thoughts first internally, which in turn will affect your actions (which is the planned outcome). All in all, we are strongly determined due to coming from such a world. However, somewhere along the way, we developed a concious layer through which we are capable of affecting our unconcious layer to some degree that is deterministic. It doesn't make sense. We don't know what happened. But free will is evident from the mere fact that we have ego, conciousness, thinking. Everything we can understand, at some point we can change. Like how we became the most dominant species on the planet by inventing things instead of evolving further. Which is what is really frightening. Determism is just sad. Free will is scary.
THCRMSNCHN (1 month ago)
Your argument is nonsense. You define free will as "the ability to change desires, habits, beliefs and temperament, or go against them.", yet all the actions you described are actually deterministic. Desires can only be overriden if there is a desire that supercedes it. For example, a person may want to play video games instead of studying, but they will think about their desire to graduate, which will override their desire to play games and will cause them to study instead. Habits are largely the same, except that they are more difficult to break, and often need outside help to deal with. Beliefs are not a choice; they can only be changed by being presented involuntarily with some sort compelling information. Temperments are also largely immutable; try telling someone with depression to "lighten up" and see how far that gets you. How much sense does it make that the whole universe behaves deterministically, yet 200,000 years ago, some ape in East Africa magically gained the ability to ignore the effects of natural laws? Events either happen due to a cause that is beyond the event itself, or an event is completely random with no relationship to anything else in reality. That's it; there is no other possibility. All evidence points to the fact that humans, just like everything else in existence, behaves according to deterministic forces which they themselves have no ability to resist.
Paul Notme (1 month ago)
sure, determinism has the lofty statement of "none of us are free," but in practice all that really implicates is that we're all captors of the physical reality we live in, which has no significance. Although are brains are ultimately part of the physical world, that doesn't mean we can't organize our understanding of reality by viewing them as independent physical agents responding to their surroundings, like complex robots. We can still attribute changes in the world to specific individuals, like we would specific components of reality or segments in this large cause-and-effect chain of life.
B MC (1 month ago)
Soooo many Matrix parallels, even the tasty wheat.
5Cats (1 month ago)
But what caused the first cause? If everything, ever, was caused by something before it? What caused the very first thing? Since the Universe is not infinitely old, there was a point when nothing was... and then something was. What 'caused' that? Obviously: something non-deterministic since there was nothing in existence to cause (determine)  it. So if it happened once? It can and will happen again. Simple really.
5Cats (1 month ago)
I didn't say 'first cause' was IN determinism, I said there has to BE one according to THAT logic. You say randomness is a part of it? How can one tell the difference? That isn't logical, it's a cop-out. Time is not infinite, you just said that, now you say it is? Make up your mind. You just said a whole lot of nothing, bravo. I'm talking about what existed (IF anything did) before the BB. Something had to 'cause' the BB according to determinism, but you say it was just 'random'? The notion that the BB was 'just a random' event means something existed before it to BE random: context for its very existence. Sheesh man, it isn't me failing to grasp the concepts here... however deliberately theoretical mine may be. Yours are simple, and off-topic.
THCRMSNCHN (1 month ago)
+5Cats  5Cats  what you described about a "first cause" does not appear anywhere in the definition of determinism. Causation could stretch back infinitely with no first cause and this would not violate a determinist model. Furthermore, I never claimed that *everything* exists as a result of determinism. I only stated that events in the macroverse, including our actions, are deterministic in the way the come about. Also, the dichotomy of determinism/indeterminism should be pretty obvious, since if an event is not determined it is by definition undetermined, which is simply randomness. You clearly do not understand the contemporary scientific view of time, since you keep invoking the A theory of time, which is incompatible with Big Bang Cosmology that instead relies on the B theory of time. I'll try and walk you theough your confusion step by step. There are concepts which only apply in given contexts, and therefore the words which represent them are only meaningful in these contexts. For example, the concept of "north" is only meaningful when navigating on the surface of a planet. If I were instead on a spaceship and asked which way is "north", people would give me confused looks, because the word I used has no meaning within that specific context, and therefore the question itself is meaningless. Invoking the concept of time is likewise is only valid within the context of space-time, and an existing universe, because time is an aspect of the universe itself. There is simply no other context in which "time" can be used, so when you attempt to talk about "time existing before the big bang (universe)", you're statement is meaningless and you are actually saying nothing.
5Cats (1 month ago)
Isn't that the definition of determinism? That every decision is caused (controlled) by previous ones? Thus no Free Will... are you defending determinism or agreeing with me? Lolz. Or random? Haven't come across that one before... not that I've read much about it. I understand time very well thanks. It's a complex topic beyond the scope of YT chat. The BB theory is a fine one, but what caused the BB in the first place? We have no idea, afaik. Same for time existing before it or not, we're just guessing about that, there's multiple theories.
THCRMSNCHN (1 month ago)
To say that something is caused implies a time when it did not exist, which cannot apply to the universe itself because there was never any point in time when the universe did not exist.
THCRMSNCHN (1 month ago)
Saying that everything must to be caused by something before it, besides being an unfounded assertion, is the same as saying that everything, including the existence of the universe, happens as result of determinism. This line of reasoning actually undermines your own argument. Either an event is caused by something and is deterministic or was caused by nothing and is random; those are the only two possibilities. It has nothing to do with the nature of the universe, but the nature of logic itself. You don't seem to understand the nature of time either. Time is not independent of space, nor is time infinite, but both are aspects of the same fabric known as space-time, which is itself finite. By our current understanding of cosmology, time stretches finitely (~14 billion years) in the past up to the big bang. Their is no "before" the big bang because the big bang was the first moment of time itself, and "before" is only a meaningful word within the context of time.
Aminegy Kho (1 month ago)
How can you speak so fast....something must determine it...
TC Alerts (1 month ago)
Markus Nygård (1 month ago)
I got the ad where Sam Ovens essentially says "you got to stop being the victim and take responsibility for yourself. You're the one to blame". Ignorance sells, i guess!
waterborne (1 month ago)
Scientists who believe in determinism believe that the Brain is in control of conciousness. Scientists who believe in free will believe that conciousness is separate from the brain. All scientific studies of the brain show that the brain is deterministic, however, neuroscience has shown that conciousness is separate from the brain and so although many of our choices are derived from the brain these can be overridden by conciousness if time allows and therefore are free will. The further we postulate into the future or outside the constraints of our normal lives the greater the conscious input. The closer we come to making a decision to act the more deterministic / automated it becomes. A pianist's thoughts of what notes and how to play them are in the future but the current actions of the fingers have already been determined and are automated and governed by the brain. A more obvious manifestation of this is the postulation of a new theory that is not based on any observable and measurable outcomes and in no way can come from a determinism cause based on prior results from prior causes In one's life but are purely based on abstract conscious thought such as Einstein's theory of relativity.
redien47 (12 days ago)
@waterborne Ok that's a comment i can agree with. But it doesn't have much to do with your first comment. Bsased on our current understanding of physics and reality (the materialistic point of view) which brought us all the things we use and understand today, it doesn't make much sense that the mind is more than the brain. Stating that there is an separate consciousness acting through the brain would rise all the questions i stated in my earlier comment. But i see some new approaches to these new (and old) problems of physics. If the paradigm shift happens like you said than there may be some options for a new understanding of consciousness. But until there is no new evidence (your neuroscience studies from the first comment would be good evidence if i understand you right but apparently you can't show me these) and/or theories, which are compatible with all findings and BETTER than the current approach, i stick with my opinion that the mind arises from the deeply complex and directed interactions of uncountable amounts of neurons and dynamic bonds between them in the most complex and energy efficient object in the known universe (the brain). But yeah, we don't know it yet. Hard problem still exists. Do you know a video or a book in which someone makes a good case for a fundamental or in some kind "special" consciousness? I haven't seen much of that, so i would appreciate. EDIT: Oh and i don't see why some kind of early personality traits in toddlers should be a problem? Much of brain development happens prenatal and the brain must end up SOMEHOW, so there are individual differences which end up in different decision making in different kids.
waterborne (12 days ago)
redien47 - Before going onto consciousness. Historically quantum mechanics, etc. have been discussed with the understanding that space, time and matter are fundamental and as such all other forms of science could be explained as a materialist phenomena. That has been changing over the last decade and picking up in the last five years with confirmation from the LHC and other findings - now science is finding that materialism is not the foundation it was thought to be and some scientists are even stating that science should recognise that we are now in a post-materialist era. Concerning consciousness. Not all neurologists and neuroscientists agree with the idea that consciousness can be explained solely as a construct of the brain as they find it too simplistic. Nobody yet can understand how we feel rather than just record and assess what is occurring around us (the hard problem). While what they actually measure are recognised as correlations and not causation itself. As such it is still far from resolved. There are no real studies proving one or the other. There are plenty of studies showing how the brain reacts to stimuli, thoughts, etc. but there are no measurements showing the mind itself at work. I reread the wording of my first comment, it seemed to reflect something different to my intention - I do agree that the Brain is the Hardware through which the mind operates and therefore perceives the world, but like a sizeable amount of scientists I do not see how it is purely a construct of the Brain. This is not just based on how the brain operates but also on philosophy and psychiatry such as babies having observable traits from birth (happy, grumpy, stubborn, happy going) which are confirmed as they grow older seem to defy the argument that the mind is a construct of the brain that emerges based on experience, etc.
redien47 (12 days ago)
@waterborne Yeah i know about all this stuff you are talking about, but what has this to do with the topic which we are discussing?:D You are just talking about other very interesting fields of study. But they (or their problematics) are all well known and stated frequently for a few decades. And of course everyone expected that it would be hard to understand THE one and only physical reality in scales which reach to 10^-33m and other units. A paradigm shift may or may not appear here. At least there are many theoretical physicists with good ideas. (Non of this touches the topic of consciousness -> not in the way you described). Your "consciousness thingy" is very new to me and sounds not very plausible. You are creating this problem only with your source from these studies of neuroscience. SO can you link me these studies? If not than this discussion is over and maybe one day i find these studies myself...
waterborne (12 days ago)
redien47 - unfortunately that is what science is facing - a paradigm shift. All of what we think of as fundamental - space, time and matter are just emergent constructs from quantum fields. Quantum mechanics historically just explained particles and their properties but have now been confirmed to emerge from the quantum fields. Vacuums in space are full of quantum fields like anywhere else in the universe. Experiments on Liggett Inequality and Bell's Theorem have shown that particles only come into existence from measurement which means that information of some kind is also flowing within these fields to form matter, space and time. This explains: why quantum entanglement shows that particles instantaneously react because fundamentally there is no time; why the quantum eraser experiment allows particles to be affected by future unknown events and collapse their past wave formation into a particle (or atoms and molecules); and, how matter can through quantum tunneling pass right through objects that should block their passage. Materialism (or Realism in Quantum Physics), which current science is founded on, is in reality only an emergent construct and in itself is not fundamental. It is why scientists in multiple fields are now finding that hit walls as they delve deeper into their field which materialism can not explain. Epigenetics, now credited for speciation (not Neo-Darwinian mutation selection mechanisms), to the best of our knowledge works from programming the gene neural networks that came from past coded information outside of DNA that the Neo-Darwinian model can not satisfactorily explain.
Mike Kubisewsky (1 month ago)
I would pose a counter to your argument that are mental functions are simply biological functions and thus obey the same rules. Which is that there is a difference between our nervous system and say a tornado, and that difference is memory. Our nervous system is the latest in a long serious of evolution's in the physical world and one of the hallmark developments of that system, which others do not possess, is the ability to retain events of the past in the form of memories. And because we have memory we are able to retain what happens to us, where as a weather system does not. And I think that matters. That ability of our nervous system to retain memories of decades worth of causation's and then send signals to our muscles long after those causation's have actually occurred is a fundamental difference between us and a tornado. A tornado will only react to weather systems that are happening in the moment. What the climate was a year ago will never factor into if a tornado will develop, while humans can factor in memories of previous events. And so I would argue that retention of previous events is what gives us the foundation for free will.
THCRMSNCHN (1 month ago)
+Mike Kubisewsky performing actions does not require "choice". Computer programs perform many different actions that could be construed as a "choice", yet there is nothing but deteministic programming at work. We are much the same in that regard. I did not really "choose" to reply to you; I replied because you made what i percieved to be a flawed argument, which caused me to want to critique it. As far as I can tell, the idea choice is an illusion brought about by our own ignorance of the forces that determine our actions.
Mike Kubisewsky (1 month ago)
I'm not saying it's one or the other. I'm arguing that both exist. I just felt like this video was implying that free will doesn't exist at all. For example, if something happens to me related to a genetic disorder I would say that is more deterministic. On the other hand, I don't understand how you can argue choice does not exist. I mean even your reply to my comment is a choice. You could have not written it. And what you wrote could have been any number of things that is informed by your years of education and experience. But those experiences and education don't determine what you write. You decide what you write.
THCRMSNCHN (1 month ago)
I don't see how your conclusion follows from your premises. Even if our memory allows events in the past to impact our actions in the present, that impact is still deterministic in nature, and I don't see how any conclusion other thsn determinism can be drawn from it. Computers have memory, does that mean they have free will?
Jocelyn Garcia (1 month ago)
Does anyone have book suggestions on this? Thanks in advance!
Well, seems like the concept of being free just depends on one's perspective.
Tsunami moon (1 month ago)
or you can think of quantum mechanics, where particles can be in multiple positions at once. When you observe it, you will see it in one position, but observe it again and it will have moved. Where it will go is random, not caused by any other event and thus there is free will. And where ever it goes, it can cause an event that couldn't have been caused if it didn't randomly teleport.(although its not really teleportation, it just exists everywhere at once and occasionally chooses to only exist in one location) sure, the places where it can be, some are more likely than others, but all places are possible to 'teleport' to. not determined by anyone. I don't care if i have free will or not, I could care less, but....
Cas Wijers (1 month ago)
Shouldn't it be belief+desire+temperment+the possibility (of that choice)?
H. Shane (1 month ago)
Can you choose what to think? Do you choose your thoughts or do they just come up while you observe them?
H. Shane (1 month ago)
Thanks, this makes sense.
tadm123 (1 month ago)
You choose what to focus in.
Katerina Telamitsi (1 month ago)
Actually it wasn't Oedipus' father who abandoned the baby Oedipus, but it was a servant. That is an important notice because the servant is used afterwards in the myth to reveal the truth.
5Cats (1 month ago)
Correct. The father ordered the baby to be killed. His flaw was that he should have done this himself: to fob it off on others was a sin. Thus he remained a prisoner of his fate. In theory? He could have killed the baby himself, and thus have been released from his fate. But then we'd never have heard about it, since the whole story depends on that flaw in the first place, eh? He'd just have been some king who killed his son and lived happily ever after.
Jeff H. (1 month ago)
I've always felt it was inevitable I would be such a determined believer in free will.
Josh Sketo (1 month ago)
The only way to make a “free will” choice is to flip-a-coin... otherwise your heart may choose for you!
Bon Appetit (1 month ago)
Once you understand determinism you realize that all the people that you used to be jealous of are just lucky. Their predetermined life just gave them the best conditions and all the factors that played in their favor wich made them successful, popular, wealthy, attractive or whatever and that’s what make that they can be seen as “better” if we think of society’s standards.
BlueSofa (1 month ago)
Oedipus story is not the right example. That's fate, and has nothing to do with determinsm. Fate implies just that Oedipus was destined to kill his father, He could do it un many ways or for many reasons, no matter how. Determinism states that every single breath of Oedipus, his father, mother and everything else in the universe are pre-determined by previous events or situations. There are no more important situations than others like the act of killing.
5Cats (1 month ago)
I don't think both can apply here: either HE made those poor decisions or someone or something ELSE did it. Yes it was his Fate, not someone else's, but was that Fate unavoidable? Could he have made different choices or not? It could be that tons of folks avoid their 'Bad Fates' all the time, but then they don't have plays written about it, right? Lolz! Oedipus walked down the road and didn't kill this guy on a chariot. The end. It lacks... something eh?
BlueSofa (1 month ago)
+5Cats i believe there is no difference. His choice was predetermined but it was his predetermination
5Cats (1 month ago)
Quite correct. If the prophesy said "You'll kill a stranger who was driving a chariot over a bridge and hey! It turns out it was your Dad!" Then he could have easily avoided his fate. Not cross any bridges, avoid killing people driving chariots & etc. But the prophesy being ambiguous (lacking detail) is the hallmark of predictions. Being 'close enough' counts! He also could have never married any woman old enough to BE his mother and thus avoided his fate that way too... he made a lot of decisions that didn't help his cause at all. But were they HIS decision or were they pre-determined? That is the question!
Michael Migali (1 month ago)
What even is cream of wheat?
UR BeingPlayed (1 month ago)
If you choose to eat oatmeal, your preference for oatmeal was also set by what happened before, plus you cannot have oatmeal if you don't have it available to you. Thus free will is an illusion, but it's as real as anything else in this world to a certain degree. The only reason you think you have free will is because circumstantial pressure has not pass your endurance threshold yet.
Cas Wijers (1 month ago)
Exactly. It goes along with the possibilities you have created yourself. The outcome of "free will" is always scaled down to the realistic options you have.
Crossfeet606441 (1 month ago)
You know, if everything IS truly determined since day one of life and the universe itself; then, bring it on.
Silver Jaiden (1 month ago)
Determinism sounds like the hindsight of philosophy... "regardless of what you choose you were going to do it anyway even if I don't have any particular evidence to prove it outside of you did it so I'm saying you were going to do it..>"... seems dumb, unscientific, and unfalsifiable... hmmm seems legit..
Benny Fry (1 month ago)
Well done. Tganks.
David roe (1 month ago)
we are as free as we have acsess to the 5th dimention

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