volchok wrote:Chester wrote:
If I am free to learn stuff then I am free to change my desires. For instance, if I discovered that a particular act that I love doing is causing me damage I may cease to love doing it...I can adapt my will to reality.Being able to make choices based on reality is freedom.
I really think that you if stopped for 5 minutes to think about this stuff you'd agree that we do not have free will and that what you are defending most of the time is not free will but something else. Being able to make choices based on reality is freedom, not free will. Furthermore, it's only freedom in the sense that you are not being coerced by someone else.
Anyway, if you discover that a particular action you like doing is actually harmful, you may stop liking it.
However, the "discovering", the "liking" and the decision to stop liking are all things that are riding on top of unconscious processes. This is obvious when you think about your life retrospectively.I really can choose what I think about and when.
Again, to claim that is to be completely out of touch with reality.
Thoughts simply arise into consciousness. And when you think about the way you think ( for instance when you decided to focus on something), that is just more thoughts. The decision to focus on something instead of what you were thinking about previously is a thought in itself similar to the previous one. Why did you decided to focus on monday but not on thursday? Why were you able to succeed in focusing on saturday but not on sunday? You cannot account for these things.The idea that the subconscious totally controls the conscious mind is a non-starter .
The problem here is that you're thinking of a very "freudian" unconscious.
The chemical reactions in your brain are unconscious. The actions of neurotransmitters are unconscious.
You are not aware of most of what happens in your brain.
We're not just talking about daddy issues and sexual repression.
As I have already said, my will is not the whole of me, I also have something called an intellect .Maybe an easier way to visualise my idea is to see your will as a horse on which your conscious intellect rides ( we almost agree on this point as your "the "liking" and the decision to stop liking are all things that are riding on top of unconscious processes." demonstrates), the horse's mind (sub-conscious) is not totally (or even mainly) controlled by you, but it can be steered by you if you have a strong enough intellect.What this implies is that freedom of the will is really about the freedom of the rider to direct the horse to where he (the rider) wants to get, in other words, true freedom of the self is about controlling the will , not freeing it.
The idea that thoughts simply rise out of the subconscious into the conscious misses the fact that the intellect (or conscious mind) decides what thoughts it should concentrate on. If I'm riding a motorbike at a 120 miles an hour I ain't thinking about random sub-conscious generated thoughts...we can do something called concentrating on what we are doing.