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Thread: Do animals have free will?

  1. #1
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    Do animals have free will?

    Do animals have free will?

    I would like to start a discussion about whether or not animals have free will.

    I know that free will and whether or not it actually exists have been discussed before but for the sake of this discussion please assume that free will does exist.

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    In the matter of homosexuality, religious fundamentalists who state that homosexuality is a choice--having the "free will" to choose--imply that the myriad of species of anamalia that have been documented engaging in homosexual behavior, either DO have the capability of "choosing" homosexual behavior, or that there is some vast conspiracy of zoologists (even, apparently, ones who profess to be disgusted by their findings) to present and/or verify falsified observations, with the assumed intention of promoting a pro-gay agenda.
    McKown's Law: "The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike."

    "We are to find God in what we know, not in what we don't know"
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    "I don't go to mythical places with strange men." -- Douglas Adams

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    They have free will insofar that they can choose to sleep on the sofa or the carpet but they cannot choose their own career.
    So they probably have as much free will as you.
    Hope this helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrWriteLA View Post
    In the matter of homosexuality, religious fundamentalists who state that homosexuality is a choice--having the "free will" to choose--imply that the myriad of species of anamalia that have been documented engaging in homosexual behavior, either DO have the capability of "choosing" homosexual behavior, or that there is some vast conspiracy of zoologists (even, apparently, ones who profess to be disgusted by their findings) to present and/or verify falsified observations, with the assumed intention of promoting a pro-gay agenda.
    The notion of homosexual animals was invented by gay men as a new topic for masturbation.
    Animals never show classic homosexual traits...chips on their shoulders and self pity, essential for true gay behaviour.
    Trying to bone each other in the can is just confusion on their part..or desperation...hope this helps

  5. #5
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    Yes I agree, animals can act only in accordance to norms of nature. Humans have fallen lower than beasts despite having the faculty of a conscious will. It is good animals do not have awareness like we have, see like we see, or react as we do, else they would have all committed suicide in shame.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Accipiter View Post
    Do animals have free will?

    I would like to start a discussion about whether or not animals have free will.

    I know that free will and whether or not it actually exists have been discussed before but for the sake of this discussion please assume that free will does exist.
    If we assume it does exist then wouldn't that answer your question? Free will has to all or none. Either the future has been determined and all choices are steps to the ultimate end or choice is random based on factors like experience and circumstance.

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    It doesn't really come to me intuitively, but the more I think about it, the more I come to believe it exists for more and more other animals.

    The criteria I seem to apply is whether
    a) A thing has beliefs about the world (food is in box)
    b) A thing has desires (I wants food)
    c) A thing acts in ways to achieve its desires based on its beliefs (opens box to get food)

    For simple animals we can apply some kind of behaviouristic explanation without too much trouble and say an animal isn't "really" planning to get the food by opening the box, it just has evolved to automatically do so. This explanation is implausible though when applied to multi-step planning to achieve a goal, the sudden "flash of insight" you see at least in some primates.


    No pappilion, if a human has beliefs, desires and acts in ways to achieve its desires, that doesn't imply that amoeba or rocks do so too.
    He or she who supports a State organized in a military way – whether directly or indirectly – participates in sin. Each man takes part in the sin by contributing to the maintenance of the State by paying taxes.

    ~ Gandhi

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    Quote Originally Posted by Symbiote View Post
    It doesn't really come to me intuitively, but the more I think about it, the more I come to believe it exists for more and more other animals.

    The criteria I seem to apply is whether
    a) A thing has beliefs about the world (food is in box)
    b) A thing has desires (I wants food)
    c) A thing acts in ways to achieve its desires based on its beliefs (opens box to get food)

    For simple animals we can apply some kind of behaviouristic explanation without too much trouble and say an animal isn't "really" planning to get the food by opening the box, it just has evolved to automatically do so. This explanation is implausible though when applied to multi-step planning to achieve a goal, the sudden "flash of insight" you see at least in some primates.


    No pappilion, if a human has beliefs, desires and acts in ways to achieve its desires, that doesn't imply that amoeba or rocks do so too.
    Near enough exactly what I believe but more elequently stated than I would.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrWriteLA View Post
    In the matter of homosexuality...
    Guess what? Still ANOTHER lame homosexual thread from Mr LA Write.
    “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” - Robert Jastrow

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    Quote Originally Posted by pappillion001 View Post
    If we assume it does exist then wouldn't that answer your question? Free will has to all or none. Either the future has been determined and all choices are steps to the ultimate end or choice is random based on factors like experience and circumstance.
    I believe that animals have free will but I don't know what the religious people believe.

    I know the religious people believe that free will exists for humans and I wanted to explore the question on their terms but please go ahead and discuss any possibilities you wish without restriction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Accipiter View Post
    I believe that animals have free will but I don't know what the religious people believe.

    .
    Depends what religion you believe is correct.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gansao View Post
    Depends what religion you believe is correct.
    For this discussion lets look at the question from the perspective of bible based religion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Accipiter View Post
    For this discussion lets look at the question from the perspective of bible based religion.
    Very well.
    Rene Descartes believed that animals were no more than automatons.
    According to the Bible animals were here to be used as man saw fit, I believe.

    However I dont believe that the Bible actually told us whether animals had free will or not.
    However St Francis seemed to think that we should be kind to animals which would mean that animals are not unfeeling automatons as Decartes believed.

    This would suggest that St Francis believed that animals had an ability to suffer therefore they must have a sense of self awareness.
    Any creature with a sense of self awareness must an ability to make or attempt to make decisions.
    Any creature that has an ability to make decisions must have at least a limited free will to make those decisions

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    Quote Originally Posted by gansao View Post
    Very well.
    Rene Descartes believed that animals were no more than automatons.
    According to the Bible animals were here to be used as man saw fit, I believe.

    However I dont believe that the Bible actually told us whether animals had free will or not.
    However St Francis seemed to think that we should be kind to animals which would mean that animals are not unfeeling automatons as Decartes believed.

    This would suggest that St Francis believed that animals had an ability to suffer therefore they must have a sense of self awareness.
    Any creature with a sense of self awareness must an ability to make or attempt to make decisions.
    Any creature that has an ability to make decisions must have at least a limited free will to make those decisions
    Can animals commit sins?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Accipiter View Post
    Can animals commit sins?
    What a fantastic question!
    If they have a sense of empathy then yes IMO
    If not no.

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