122 of 168
122
The greatest proof of free will…
Posted: 19 April 2012 09:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1816 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5939
Joined  2006-12-20
GdB - 17 April 2012 01:02 AM

So no second definition necessary. When I say I am free if I can do what I want, I don’t say that everything I do is what I want (and that seems to be how you see it).

It depends upon your definition of want.

You evaluate the options and value one most highly.

That is your will or want by one definition.

You are saying we also have a want by another definition sometimes.

Fine but what is it?

Why do we ever select an option we don’t want?

Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 April 2012 09:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1817 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5939
Joined  2006-12-20
GdB - 16 April 2012 05:42 AM

Well, for me the simplest definition of free will is still is: you are free if you can do what you want. Isn’t it funny to answer on that: “no, you can’t, because you cannot want what you want”?

I think I’ll deal with this again.

You see Gdb I am not sure you even get the problem.

Causes are also effects!

That’s why we are not responsible in a deserving sense.

It’s because the cause has absolutely zero responsibility for being what it is.

And so if you get to cause good things or bad things is 100% luck.

Put another way you are 100% the victim of your causes.

And they in turn are 100% the victim of their causes and so on and so on.

There is no middle ground.

You are responsible because you are the cause full stop.

But you can’t possibly deserve what happens to you as a result of being lucky or unlucky to be what you are, as the case may be.

Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 April 2012 09:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1818 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5939
Joined  2006-12-20
GdB - 17 April 2012 01:02 AM

Again, if people have wrong ideas, we should correct them. ‘What people think’ is no argument in a philosophical discussion.

Free will is, amongst other things, what is supposed to give us desert based moral responsibility.

It’s an invention, like God is an invention.

It’s not a wrong idea to say it is that.


Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 April 2012 09:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1819 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4380
Joined  2007-08-31
StephenLawrence - 19 April 2012 09:17 AM

You evaluate the options and value one most highly.

That is your will or want by one definition.

No, that is a much too simple view on human psychology. But I gave a lot of examples: you do things because of addiction, fear, terror etc. These things are not things you really want. You act on motives that are not yours, or you experience as not belonging to you.

StephenLawrence - 19 April 2012 09:17 AM

You are saying we also have a want by another definition sometimes.

Fine but what is it?

That was it.

StephenLawrence - 19 April 2012 09:17 AM

Why do we ever select an option we don’t want?

Because we are forced or coerced to it. I don’t know why you don’t get it.

 Signature 

GdB

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

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 April 2012 10:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1820 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5939
Joined  2006-12-20
GdB - 19 April 2012 09:58 AM

Because we are forced or coerced to it. I don’t know why you don’t get it.

Because I don’t see how what we really want can be anything other than the outcome of the decision making process.

Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 April 2012 10:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1821 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4380
Joined  2007-08-31
StephenLawrence - 19 April 2012 09:25 AM

You see Gdb I am not sure you even get the problem.

C’mon Stephen, surely I understand what you mean. But understanding is not the same is agreeing. I just offer a view in which the problem does not appear.

StephenLawrence - 19 April 2012 09:25 AM

Causes are also effects!

That’s why we are not responsible in a deserving sense.

That’s fine, no problem for me. But that does not mean that it is unfair to punish people for deeds we do not approve of.

StephenLawrence - 19 April 2012 09:25 AM

Put another way you are 100% the victim of your causes.

And here you are just intermingling two different discourses: causes have effects, not victims. That is, to say the least, very metaphorical speech, that cannot taken literary. Would you also say that the avalanche was the murderer of the people who were buried by it?

StephenLawrence - 19 April 2012 09:25 AM

But you can’t possibly deserve what happens to you as a result of being lucky or unlucky to be what you are, as the case may be.

I’ve read the interview with Galen Strawson that you linked in the other thread. I hope I find time to comment on it tomorrow.

 Signature 

GdB

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

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 April 2012 10:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1822 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4380
Joined  2007-08-31
StephenLawrence - 19 April 2012 10:23 AM

Because I don’t see how what we really want can be anything other than the outcome of the decision making process.

What should I say? That you do not have enough imagination? That you should start to meditate? Or study psychology?

Say I want to have sex with my wife. I do not experience this as the outcome of a decision process. It mainly is a biological drive that I did not choose. So if I would now force her to sex, even if she doesn’t want to have sex at the moment, can I then say “Sorry, this is the way I am, as a biological exemplar of the masculine part of the human species?” (Or even worse: “sorry this is the way the big bang banged”?). In what way can I be held responsible for doing or not doing this?

 Signature 

GdB

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

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 April 2012 11:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1823 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2799
Joined  2011-11-04

“Sorry, this is the way I am, as a biological exemplar of the masculine part of the human species.”

If you were crude enough to force your wife, you would probably not refer to yourself as a “biological exemplar”. 

Sorry, it’s off topic.  It just struck me as funny.

 Signature 

“Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb… We are bound to others, past and present… And by each crime and every kindness… We birth our future.”  Sonmi, 2144.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 April 2012 12:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1824 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5939
Joined  2006-12-20
GdB - 19 April 2012 10:42 AM

That’s fine, no problem for me. But that does not mean that it is unfair to punish people for deeds we do not approve of.

It is unfair Gdb, that’s the point. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it as the lesser of two evils.

But yes it is unfair. 

And what you are saying right now is you believe in free will incompatible with determinism, otherwise you’d say yes it’s unfair but we have no better option.

So, say we execute someone as a deterrent and to protect the public from him and perhaps to save ourselves the trouble of keeping him alive and imprisoned.

How can you make sense of saying it’s fair to him?

Try this: It’s fair to you that you suffer because the result of your suffering will be that others are deterred, the public will be protected from you and we won’t have to bother keeping you alive and locked up.

It’s crackers.

Causes are not responsible for being what they are. They are dependent upon their causes.

C’mon GdB wake up! Actually I’m sure you won’t, I know you have too much invested in your belief.

But that belief is in free will incompatible with determinism, whether you know it or not. Sorry.

Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 April 2012 01:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1825 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5939
Joined  2006-12-20
GdB - 19 April 2012 10:51 AM

In what way can I be held responsible for doing or not doing this?

You tell me GdB?

Here is my (rough) answer.

As you can’t deserve it, it needs to be for practical reasons.

Believing there are other than practical reasons is to believe in free will incompatible with determinism.

So why hold you responsible for rape?

The answer is we have a penalty in place for rape.

We do that because if we didn’t more women would get raped. (practical reason)

The only way this system can work is if some who rape pay the penalty. (practical reason, it wouldn’t work if all circumstances were mitigating)

Once you commit rape, paying the penalty serves to deter or correct.

It will only deter if there are others similar to you who will be deterred.

It only has a chance of correcting if you are able to respond to it.

So if you fall in that group, it “makes sense” to hold you responsible.

Being responsible means being one of the people it “makes sense” to hold responsible.

Stephen

[ Edited: 19 April 2012 10:54 PM by StephenLawrence ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 April 2012 01:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1826 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4380
Joined  2007-08-31
StephenLawrence - 19 April 2012 01:04 PM

We do that because if we didn’t more women would get raped. (practical reason)

The only way this system can work is if some who rape pay the penalty. (practical reason, it wouldn’t work if all circumstances were mitigating)

Once you commit rape, paying the penalty serves to deter or correct.

It will only deter if there are others similar to you who will be deterred.

It only has a chance of correcting if you are able to respond to it.

So if you fall in that group, it “makes sense” to hold you responsible.

Being responsible means being one of the people it “makes sense” to hold responsible.

Well, here you have it. Not exactly my wording, but my answer would be very similar.

But you omit, in my view just a little step: that the (potential) rapist has conscious knowledge of what society’s rules are, and can choose to act according these rules or not, and accept the consequences. That means he can anticipate the future, and act based on his considerations. That is what we call free will, and makes him responsible for his actions.

Seen from the lower, information processing level of the brain, his knowledge of the rules are just input data, stored in memory, that effect the way in which other input data (a beautiful woman) are processed into actions (rape or not). And at still lower level, this state machine is implemented in a neural network, which, for all practical purposes, can be viewed as determined.

 Signature 

GdB

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

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 April 2012 06:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1827 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5939
Joined  2006-12-20
GdB - 20 April 2012 01:19 AM

.

But you omit, in my view just a little step: that the (potential) rapist has conscious knowledge of what society’s rules are, and can choose to act according these rules or not, and accept the consequences. That means he can anticipate the future, and act based on his considerations. That is what we call free will, and makes him responsible for his actions.

Well you might be dead wrong about consciousness, I don’t see any need to include it, but that aside. It’s this “little step”  that causes the endless confusion. We just don’t need it. If he could not be influenced by the threat of puishment, he would not be one of a group who will be deterred by his punishment.

So the above goes without saying.

So why not just say we are doing it, not because he deserves it, but to benefit others and in the hope that actually paying the penalty will make him determined not to do it again?

Stephen

[ Edited: 22 April 2012 07:01 AM by StephenLawrence ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 April 2012 07:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1828 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4380
Joined  2007-08-31

Holding responsible is ‘being able to respond’. Can you respond without consciousness?

What is the difference between:
- punishing a criminal
- treating a criminal
- treating a psychiatric patient
- repairing a broken car?

 Signature 

GdB

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

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 April 2012 08:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1829 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5939
Joined  2006-12-20
GdB - 22 April 2012 07:28 AM

Holding responsible is ‘being able to respond’. Can you respond without consciousness?

As it happens it makes no sense to hold people responsible who are not able to respond. But I think the relationship between the word responsible and respond is coincidental.

I don’t think I’m always conscious of responding, so the answer would appear to be yes.

What is the difference between:
- punishing a criminal

This is intentionally making him suffer to deter others and in most cases also in the hope that it will alter his future behaviour. It has to hurt to work.

- treating a criminal

The aim of deterrent is missing (a problem) The treatment’s aim is to bring about a change in future behaviour but the aim is not directly to do it by causing suffering, although suffering might well be an unwanted side effect. (again a problem)

- treating a psychiatric patient

This depends upon different treatments, it might be that a criminal can respond to treatments a psychiatric patient can not. But the simple answer is they are the same in that neither has the aim of bringing about the change through suffering or to deter others.

- repairing a broken car?

Here the aim is to change the car’s future behaviour, but not through suffering, nor can suffering be an unwanted side effect. And again the aim is not to deter other cars from misbehaving and neither is it a side effect. grin

Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 May 2012 10:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1830 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2799
Joined  2011-11-04

I was in another thread that mentioned hadephobia, and a free-will related question occurred to me. I suggested that the use of the threat of eternal hell is a means of aversive control over another’s behavior.

Given a compatibilist definition of free will as: “It is either to do what you want or to do the better of two unwanted options in the case that they are the results of blind circumstance and not the forced choice of another agent.”

My question is, in the case of an agent, e.g., a minister that threatens eternal hell, and a congregation member who then does the behaviors involved in getting “saved”, so as to end the threat of eternal hell:  Is the congregation member acting according to their free will, or is it forced by the threat imposed by the minister, and therefore, not free will?

 Signature 

“Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb… We are bound to others, past and present… And by each crime and every kindness… We birth our future.”  Sonmi, 2144.

Profile
 
 
   
122 of 168
122