I have been told many times that there is no such thing as free will, and that any notion to the contrary is the product of self-deluding illusion.
The primary assumptions underlying this claim seem to emanate from the presumption of a mechanical materialistic reductionism that controls nature, where everything that happens has been preordained by fate.
The concept of cause and effect seems to prevail here. Everything that happens is simply a necessary effect of an antecedent cause, ad infinitum (both forwards and backwards).
Every word a person says, every thought he thinks, every action he takes, every (illusory) decision he makes is the product of an antecedent cause over which he had no control. And this chain of causation goes back to the beginning of time--call it the big bang, if you want.
The upshot is that we're all just automatons reading from a pre-written script that cannot be altered. We can't make real "choices" any more than a cannonball can "choose" not to leave the barrel of a cannon once it has been detonated.
These people will advance any number of arguments which are to designed to persuade you that their view is correct.
But I can't see why. If they are correct, then they're just reciting things they have been forced by all-pervading causation to say. They are not capable of logical reasoning. They have no control over their thoughts. Such a person has no free will to say anything other than "I (and you) have no free will." That's the way they've been programmed. They were predestined to say that eons ago. Under those circumstances, how could their claims possibly be persuasive?
So I just tell them: "Come back and tell me that when you're no longer a robotic machine and are able to control, and discriminate in, your own utterances, eh?"
All you've done is persuade me that, even assuming you're right, you have no reason for claiming you're right. So quit bullshitting about having "reasons" for your claims. I might as well listen to a parrot.
Is there some other explanation for the claim that people have no free will? Something other than the irresistible force of cause and effect, I mean?
Edited by Moronium, 02 February 2019 - 02:51 PM.