104 of 168
104
The greatest proof of free will…
Posted: 05 December 2011 12:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1546 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4576
Joined  2007-08-31
kkwan - 05 December 2011 07:58 AM

From this article at the NYT

What Makes Free Will Free?

Philosophers favoring compatibilism have worked out elaborate accounts of what’s involved in a choice’s being caused “in the right sort of way” and therefore free.  Other philosophers have argued that compatibilism is a blind alley, that unless our choices are ultimately uncaused they cannot be free.

Good find. We must teach the controversy. Just the same with AGW-denialism. cool smirk

 Signature 

GdB

“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 December 2011 04:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1547 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3333
Joined  2011-11-04
StephenLawrence - 05 December 2011 11:49 AM

I’m interested to see if linking compulsion to what we don’t really want to do works. I’m thinking about the bank robber, he’s tried working in the factory on minimum wage and he can’t stand it, he really doesn’t want to do it. He also really doesn’t want to rob the bank but chooses that over something even more horrible (working in the factory)

So is he compelled too?

Stephen

This discussion of compulsion brought to mind “Sophie’s Choice” where the mother in the Nazi concentration camp was compelled to choose which one of her two children would be killed, with the alternative that they would both be killed, if she made no choice.  She made a choice and thus saved one child’s life (while, in effect, condemning the other). I always thought that she probably chose the infant to die, as the chances of its survival would have been lower than that of the older child, anyway. If so, I suppose her “choice” was in line with her beliefs and desires and rational considerations, within the parameters she was given.

 Signature 

As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 December 2011 10:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1548 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1923
Joined  2007-10-28
dougsmith - 05 December 2011 08:10 AM

(2) If the universe were uncaused, then its initial state would have been random. Indeed, that is precisely what the data shows. See HERE:

The Big Bang theory predicts that the initial conditions for the universe are originally random in nature, and inhomogeneities follow a roughly Gaussian probability distribution, which, when graphed in cross-section, form bell-shaped curves. By analyzing this distribution at different frequencies, a spectral density or power spectrum is generated. The power spectrum of these fluctuations has been calculated, and agrees with the observations. The resulting standard model of the Big Bang uses a Gaussian random field with a nearly scale invariant or Harrison-Zel’dovich spectrum to represent the primeval inhomogeneities.

The BB theory can only predict the initial conditions for the universe as random, but it does not tell us how the universe came into existence i.e. whether it was caused or uncaused. Thus, the BB theory cannot predict anything wrt whether its coming into existence was random or not.

There is controversy wrt the BB theory and its predictions. From the same wiki you cited:

Some observers have pointed out that the anisotropies in the WMAP data did not appear to be consistent with the big bang picture. In particular, the quadrupole and octupole (l=3) modes appear to have an unexplained alignment with each other and with the ecliptic plane, an alignment sometimes referred to as the axis of evil. A number of groups have suggested that this could be the signature of new physics at the greatest observable scales; other groups suspect systematic errors in the data.

OTOH, there was low entropy at the BB which implies order rather than disorder (randomness).

There is also Loschmidt’s paradox and the thermodynamic arrow of time.

Loschmidt’s paradox is equivalent to the question of how it is possible that there could be a thermodynamic arrow of time given time-symmetric fundamental laws, since time-symmetry implies that for any process compatible with these fundamental laws, a reversed version that looked exactly like a film of the first process played backwards would be equally compatible with the same fundamental laws, and would even be equally probable if one were to pick the system’s initial state randomly from the phase space of all possible states for that system.

Regarding causality, consider the axiom of causality and its implications.

First Cause

If all effects are the result of previous causes, forming a logical chain of events, then the cause of a given effect must itself be the effect of a previous cause, which itself is the effect of a previous cause, and so on. Therefore we could at least conceive of a situation where one could trace each cause to the one before it. One possibility is that this process would go on forever, with each event being the result of a previous event. This runs contrary the human intuition that everything has a beginning and an end. Another possibility is that the process would trace back finally to a first cause, or simultaneous group of first causes.

So, first cause is highly problematic and in the case of the universe (which is possibly infinite), it is futile to conceive of its first cause at all. An uncaused eternal universe is thus conceivable.

 Signature 

I am, therefore I think.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 December 2011 10:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1549 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1923
Joined  2007-10-28
StephenLawrence - 05 December 2011 08:30 AM

I think one of a number of reasons to reject all this is that if we examine what we are thinking about when thinking about what we could have done, we can see we are not thinking about in the precise same circumstances.

So there is no reason to look for this freedom in the first place.

On reflection, if one cannot differentiate what one is thinking about, one is confused.  cheese

OTOH, if there is no reason to look for this freedom wrt free will, then one has only unfree will.  smile

 Signature 

I am, therefore I think.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 December 2011 10:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1550 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1923
Joined  2007-10-28
GdB - 05 December 2011 12:08 PM

Good find. We must teach the controversy. Just the same with AGW-denialism. cool smirk

From this article HERE

Incompatibilists hold that freedom is not compatible with determinism. They point out that if determinism is true, then every one of one’s actions was determined to happen as it did before one was born. They hold that one cannot be held to be truly free and finally morally responsible for one’s actions in this case. They think compatibilism is a ‘wretched subterfuge ..., a petty word-jugglery’, as Kant put it (1788: 189–90). It entirely fails to satisfy our natural convictions about the nature of moral responsibility.

The universe is free and so are we. LOL

 Signature 

I am, therefore I think.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 December 2011 11:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1551 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6198
Joined  2006-12-20
TimB - 05 December 2011 04:10 PM
StephenLawrence - 05 December 2011 11:49 AM

I’m interested to see if linking compulsion to what we don’t really want to do works. I’m thinking about the bank robber, he’s tried working in the factory on minimum wage and he can’t stand it, he really doesn’t want to do it. He also really doesn’t want to rob the bank but chooses that over something even more horrible (working in the factory)

So is he compelled too?

Stephen

This discussion of compulsion brought to mind “Sophie’s Choice” where the mother in the Nazi concentration camp was compelled to choose which one of her two children would be killed, with the alternative that they would both be killed, if she made no choice.  She made a choice and thus saved one child’s life (while, in effect, condemning the other). I always thought that she probably chose the infant to die, as the chances of its survival would have been lower than that of the older child, anyway. If so, I suppose her “choice” was in line with her beliefs and desires and rational considerations, within the parameters she was given.

Yes Tim.

Her will was influenced such that she didn’t have free will but she did act in accordance with her beliefs and desires.

After yesterdays discussion with Doug I’ve come to the conclusion that definition of free will just doesn’t work.

Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 December 2011 11:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1552 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6198
Joined  2006-12-20
kkwan - 05 December 2011 10:19 PM

On reflection, if one cannot differentiate what one is thinking about, one is confused.  cheese

You are able but you choose not to. grin

OTOH, if there is no reason to look for this freedom wrt free will, then one has only unfree will.  smile

Once you see that when you are thinking about freedom that you are not thinking about CHDO in precisely the same circumstances you realise that is irrelevent.

Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 December 2011 12:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1553 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4576
Joined  2007-08-31
TimB - 05 December 2011 04:10 PM

This discussion of compulsion brought to mind “Sophie’s Choice” where the mother in the Nazi concentration camp was compelled to choose which one of her two children would be killed, with the alternative that they would both be killed, if she made no choice.  She made a choice and thus saved one child’s life (while, in effect, condemning the other). I always thought that she probably chose the infant to die, as the chances of its survival would have been lower than that of the older child, anyway. If so, I suppose her “choice” was in line with her beliefs and desires and rational considerations, within the parameters she was given.

It seems you did not read the reactions of Doug and me. Sophie cannot in anyway recognise the choice to let kill one child as an expression of her own will. So as it was not her own will, it was coercion. You are right if you say say it was Sophie’s choice, but it was not her free choice. Her choosing to let one child be killed was no expression of her free will.

I really do not understand why this is difficult to understand, and why compatibilism should be that complicated. It is so easy.

According to one of our moderators: “Succinctness, clarity’s core”:

Free will is being able to do what you want. Full stop.

Every ‘but’ to this is born from silly theological or metaphysical thinking: from dualism. The requirement that a will is only free when you can want what you want is just flim-flam.

[ Edited: 06 December 2011 12:13 AM by GdB ]
 Signature 

GdB

“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 December 2011 12:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1554 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6198
Joined  2006-12-20
GdB - 06 December 2011 12:03 AM
TimB - 05 December 2011 04:10 PM

This discussion of compulsion brought to mind “Sophie’s Choice” where the mother in the Nazi concentration camp was compelled to choose which one of her two children would be killed, with the alternative that they would both be killed, if she made no choice.  She made a choice and thus saved one child’s life (while, in effect, condemning the other). I always thought that she probably chose the infant to die, as the chances of its survival would have been lower than that of the older child, anyway. If so, I suppose her “choice” was in line with her beliefs and desires and rational considerations, within the parameters she was given.

It seems you did not read the reactions of Doug and me. Sophie cannot in anyway recognise the choice to let kill one child as an expression of her own will. So as it was not her own will, it was coercion. You are right if you say say it was Sophie’s choice, but it was not her free choice. Her choosing to let one child be killed was no expression of her free will.

I really do not understand why this is difficult to understand, and why compatibilism should be that complicated. It is so easy.

Because it doesn’t make sense GdB.

She was placed in an appalling situation. (here is where the restriction of freedom is)

Given the appalling situation she acted in accordance with her beliefs and desires.

Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 December 2011 12:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1555 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6198
Joined  2006-12-20
GdB - 06 December 2011 12:03 AM

Free will is being able to do what you want. Full stop.

Which is meaningless.

Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 December 2011 12:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1556 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6198
Joined  2006-12-20

Free will is free choice.

Free means free from certain types of influences.

Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 December 2011 12:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1557 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4576
Joined  2007-08-31
StephenLawrence - 06 December 2011 12:12 AM

Given the appaulling situation she acted in accordance with her beliefs and desires.

Was it her own desire to let kill a child? C’mon, Stephen.

Let’s flesh out the story a little. If you remember the movie, in the end she cannot stand what has happened, and commits suicide. Why? Because it was her choice. But it was not her desire. Her desire of course is jut the opposite: to give both her children to live and flourish. She could not live with the choice she made, because it was very explicitly not what she wanted.

 Signature 

GdB

“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 December 2011 12:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1558 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4576
Joined  2007-08-31
StephenLawrence - 06 December 2011 12:15 AM
GdB - 06 December 2011 12:03 AM

Free will is being able to do what you want. Full stop.

Which is meaningless.

question

I think this is closer to the understanding of the majority of what people think than ‘unconditioned free will’.

“Suspect: did you want to kill her?”
“Yes sir, I really wanted, and I am glad I succeeded.”
“So you are guilty!”
“No sir, I was determined.”

Would that be the common understanding of free will?

[ Edited: 06 December 2011 12:46 AM by GdB ]
 Signature 

GdB

“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 December 2011 12:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1559 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6198
Joined  2006-12-20
GdB - 06 December 2011 12:33 AM

Was it her own desire to let kill a child? C’mon, Stephen.

It’s a matter of making sense of this, if it’s possible. Yes she preferred to let one child die than both. So in one sense yes it was.

Your job is to explain what this other sense you have in mind is.

Let’s flesh out the story a little. If you remember the movie, in the end she cannot stand what has happened, and commits suicide. Why? Because it was her choice. But it was not her desire. Her desire of course is jut the opposite: to give both her children to live and flourish.

She desired to have a better option available. She wished she were in different circumstances.

Is that it?

Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 December 2011 12:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1560 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6198
Joined  2006-12-20
GdB - 06 December 2011 12:37 AM
StephenLawrence - 06 December 2011 12:15 AM
GdB - 06 December 2011 12:03 AM

Free will is being able to do what you want. Full stop.

Which is meaningless.

question

I think this is closer to the understanding of the majority of what people think than ‘unconditioned free will’.

“Suspect: did you want to kill her?”
“Yes sir, I really wanted, and I am glad I succeeded.”
“So you are guilty!”
“No sir, I was determined.”

Would that be the common understanding of free will?

It’s meaningless in the sense that we always do what we want, given the options.

Stephen

Profile
 
 
   
104 of 168
104