is it free will or is it something else?

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Things such as… ?

Sorry, I don't mean to be rude, I'd just like some clarification on this topic, I'm not sure what decisions you are talking about.

My understanding of the topic is that by deciding to do "things", we are talking about deciding to perform any action/have any thought. I'm basing this on the use of the term "free will" in the first post. The free will debate is generally over whether or not free will can exist. 

I argue that free will does not exist. Free will is the ability to make one's own decisions without external influence. Every action feeling and thought is caused by something. If you trace that chain of causality back far enough, you will find something other than you that caused you to do/think/feel what you did. Thus, you are not actually deciding what to do/think/feel. 

I disagree. Everything is caused by something, yes, but what we do with that effect is entirely up to us. Do we change it, do we stop it, do we do nothing? All up to us. Thoughts are free reign, the brain isn't exactly straightforward with it's workings

But we do not choose what we do with that effect. Our actions/thoughts are the effects. Let's take a simple  example. Say I run to a park and, when I arrive, I am tired, so I sit on a bench. Why did I sit on the bench? Supporters of free will would say that I did so because I wanted to. Well, ok, so why did I want to? Because I was tired. Did I choose to be tired? No. That was something outside my control. So the chain of causality would look like this: Tired (caused)- Desire to sit (caused)- sitting. Because there is a point in the causality chain that I could not control, I did not exercise free will. 

sometimes when I'm tired, I keep going. Sometimes I don't. There's nothing linking the times I do sit down, stringing them together, and there's nothing to hold together the times I don't sit down. I decide to sit or move.  

Each time you sit or each time you move, that desire is caused by something external to you. It's not just that something has an effect on you and then you select how to react. Your actions are the effects, and if something is just an effect, then doing it wasn't a choice. 

I understand your causality argument, but In that case with me, I AM the cause. You assume I need a reason. I do things without reasons plenty. The cause was my head. When I'm tired I just don't stop. No reason too, really. I'm tired but I can handle it just fine. what about a person flipping a lever? 

Doing things without having a reason isn't the same as doing something without a cause. You claim that you choose what actions to perform, but what seems to be "your" decision is in turn caused by something else. A domino doesn't have a reason for falling when it is knocked down, it just has a cause, such as gravity and the other dominoes. 

A person flipping a lever would have been caused by something outside their control to flip the lever. 

When you can choose what cause to be affected by, I argue that free will exists.

I believe that we do possess moral agency, but I reject the concept of full libertarian free will.  I guess you could call me a soft determinist.


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