Thursday, June 9, 2011



1: A new definition for words so that the classical definition does not contradict one's own world view and can still be used in its context. <defining free will merely as not being coerced or restrained to act is a striagonal>

2: an argument that uses a term that is a striagonal. <he solved the non-sequitur by turning it into a striagional>


1: having the characteristic of a striagonal


Hasan Sonmez said...

A neat word and useful concept.

However, doesn't free will actually mean "not being coerced or restrained to act", in other words, you have the complete choice as to what to do, think, believe, intend, ect? What then would be the classical definition of free will in your view?

Dreas said...

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy begins its entry on free will like this:

“Free Will” is a philosophical term of art for a particular sort of capacity of rational agents to choose a course of action from among various alternatives.

Merriam-Webster in one of its definitions phrases it more succinctly:

voluntary choice or decision

The key words here are choice and alternatives. Since these words do not fit into a deterministic perspective, they are nowhere to be found in the determinist's definition of free will.

Dreas said...

Hasan, I added the word merely to the sample usage to emphasis the lack of something more profound than mere non-coercion and uninhibition.

Hasan Sonmez said...

Andreas, my definition of free will is also voluntary choice among varied alternatives, and this is something that God has clearly bestowed upon us.

In the Koran we read:

"This is an admonition: whosoever will, let him take a straight path to his Lord. Yet you do not will, unless Allah wills: for Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom"

The classical definitions of free will are kept. You are choosing voluntarily amongst various alternatives. This acknowledges the human psyche and will in all its profundity, but never the less, the human psyche is not the highest thing that exists. God, transcending time, knows and has destined in advance everything we are going to freely decide.

Obviously, I do not agree with your phrase "these words do not fit into a deterministic perspective". If something baser than the human psyche (like say physical laws) or equal to the human psyche (like say another similar sentient being) were doing the predestining, then yes, it would preclude voluntary choice amongst alternatives.

It would also preclude "not being coerced or restrained to act", by the way, because how else would it predestine you to do what it had predestined? I do not see where you found the difference between "voluntary choice or decision amongst variables" and "not being coerced or restrained to act". As far as I can tell, they are essentially the same thing.

But is it not possible that there is something even more profound than human will, despite the utter profundity we see in our own wills? Something that can predestine our own completely free wills, due to its being outside of time?

If you cannot get your mind around the Creator not being subject to time, perhaps I can recommend some fine trepanners in the New York area... (just kidding!).