(Theory) There is no free will. People defend compatibilism because the belief in freedom is useful to hold.

** This is kind of a rambly post and I'm not entirely sure how well it addresses what OP says and can be quite off-topic. Sorry if this doesn't offer much to the discussion but it got me thinking **

Hmm. I'm not entirely sure if I'm following. For a long time I thought this debate was completely irrelevant in any practical sense.

Outside of determinism, and even philosophy almost, I do wonder if some kind of subconscious phenomena has some kind of underlying agenda that's influencing my conscious thought processes, and my supposedly 'rational' conscious self just seeks out rationalisations, reasonings, beliefs, etc. that are purely self-validating or serve that agenda it self.

Even just people who are painfully lacking in self-awareness; surely that has far scarier implications on free-will than determinism?

If you look into the field of the neuroscience of free-will it seems the debate is pretty much settled that decisions are made before we consciously 'make' them ourselves. That freaks me out - that there's some underlying process going on, and my conscious experience of said process is likely greatly reduced and just an abstraction of said process.

I'm not entirely sure if this is what determinists were always getting at - that any kind of supposed conscious moral decision I make is ultimately a delusion/I really can't know what series of events or forces triggered that process but in all likely hood it's beyond my self.

Before that, I just thought people were saying all my thoughts/actions/etc. were the inevitable consequence of a chain of events, which to me isn't particularly haunting or bothering at an existential level. I feel I'm probably inclined towards dualism/separation of body and soul but even if I weren't this doesn't bother me too much.

I was kind of thinking a lot about group thinks a while ago, and I sort of realised it's so crude the way we just mindlessly adapt to the 'culture' of our external environments by changing our own beliefs, in the same way our basic sentience influences the way in which we respond to physical changes in our external environment for survival. Is this kind of what you mean? The futility of it all? That we don't have any real agency over these kind of things?

/r/philosophy Thread