Archive for the ‘Free will’ Category


March 15, 2009

The Philosopher’s Zone chats about Providence Lost?

It is well worth a listen, particularly as providence, despite mystical obfuscation, allows us an alternative view of freedom that is not to do with freedom of the will, but with a recognising of what is necessary in nature. This is a good pointer to Spinoza and the Stoics as a source of practical wisdom.

Genevieve Lloyd says:

What philosophy now has to offer us is something more than what I see as the rather narrow agenda of 20th century analytical philosophy. I’ve nothing against it actually, as a style of philosophy, it’s the way I’ve learned philosophy, and I still have a lot of respect for it. But there’s a lot more there that I think can be a resource now, not just for professional philosophers, but for all of us in our ordinary lives. These texts have a lot to offer.


Nietzsche on free will

January 14, 2009

From Twilight of the idols:

The error of free will. Today we no longer have any tolerance for the idea of “free will”: we see it only too clearly for what it really is — the foulest of all theological fictions, intended to make mankind “responsible” in a religious sense — that is, dependent upon priests. Here I simply analyze the psychological assumptions behind any attempt at “making responsible.”
Whenever responsibility is assigned, it is usually so that judgment and punishment may follow. Becoming has been deprived of its innocence when any acting-the-way-you-did is traced back to will, to motives, to responsible choices: the doctrine of the will has been invented essentially to justify punishment through the pretext of assigning guilt. All primitive psychology, the psychology of will, arises from the fact that its interpreters, the priests at the head of ancient communities, wanted to create for themselves the right to punish — or wanted to create this right for their God. Men were considered “free” only so that they might be considered guilty — could be judged and punished: consequently, every act had to be considered as willed, and the origin of every act had to be considered as lying within the consciousness (and thus the most fundamental psychological deception was made the principle of psychology itself).
Today, we immoralists have embarked on a counter movement and are trying with all our strength to take the concepts of guilt and punishment out of the world — to cleanse psychology, history, nature, and social institutions and sanctions of these ideas. And there is in our eyes no more radical opposition than that of the theologians, who continue to infect the innocence of becoming by means of the concepts of a “moral world-order,” “guilt,” and “punishment.” Christianity is religion for the executioner.

Although Jesus’ death was meant to cleanse the world of guilt and punishment these concepts remain stubbornly persistent, especially amongst Christians. The innocent sheep being completely determined by the direction of the shepherd is not a vision they have of mankind. Instead, we are the ‘evil’ wolves with the ‘free will’ only to ‘sin’. Indeed, someone profits from the Christian’s ideology, but it is not mankind.

Free Will and Determinism

December 18, 2008

Free Will is an illusion, but as one possible foundation for the notion that you can and should take control and responsibility for your life – create your life – it is beautiful.

Free Will as metaphysic is unnecessary however. We can accept determinism and still believe we can create our lives. Indeed, without determinism, we have nothing from which to take (be influenced by) and exercise the life-creation ethic. That you believe in life-creation and exercise it is not and cannot (logically) be a result of ‘free will’. Rather you were determined to believe in it through hearing about it and taking it to heart. I urge you to keep this faith and create your life.

Someone who gets the point of ‘free will’

October 3, 2008

Free Will And Personal Development

Acknowledging the power of choice, even if it is mechanistically illusory, can lead to profound and powerful changes that help us get more out of life.

As I alluded to in Free will and fate, the point of free will is responsibility.

Kudos, Mr Walker!

Free will and fate

September 30, 2008
  1. I believe I have free will.
  2. I would like you to think that you have free will.
  3. However, whether you and I choose to really believe in free will and therefore act on it is fated.
  4. I do not blame you for what you were fated to do, but I do blame you because of 2.

I do not wish you to think that you have free will just for the sake of it. A passionate belief in free will is powerful and life-changing for the individual – that’s the point of the notion. Whether particular definitions of it actually exist is irrelevant. The belief in free will and the belief in non-free will both create fate. The question is, will you free will your fate? Are you responsible for you or are you a hapless victim of fate? You only get one life to answer this question.