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The greatest proof of free will…
Posted: 13 June 2012 06:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1831 ]
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16jm0sl.gif

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Posted: 17 June 2012 12:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1832 ]
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Hi George,

Watching the “white babies out numbered thread” a couple of things you said regarding choice jumped out at me, you might find it interesting.

A) “If she chooses so—and more and more people do these days—she can very well check the “African American” category; or she can go with Hispanic. “

True or false?

B) “I must confess, though, that when I took my son to a hospital in Florida and was asked about his race and religion, I refused to answer both. I could have simply said he was white and had no religion, but I just couldn’t do it.  “

True or false?

Stephen

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Posted: 17 June 2012 06:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1833 ]
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Are you serious, Stephen?  smirk

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Posted: 17 June 2012 06:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1834 ]
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George - 17 June 2012 06:35 AM

Are you serious, Stephen?  smirk

Yes.

Stephen

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Posted: 18 June 2012 03:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1835 ]
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Stephen, your questions belonged in the “white babies out numbered” thread.  Try not to muddle things up by sticking posts that belong in one thread into a completely different one.

Occam

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Posted: 18 June 2012 04:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1836 ]
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Occam. - 18 June 2012 03:11 AM

Stephen, your questions belonged in the “white babies out numbered” thread.  Try not to muddle things up by sticking posts that belong in one thread into a completely different one.

Occam

Hi Occam,

I think this is a misunderstanding

It was relevant to George’s views on choice in connection with free will. I thought it was interesting to take a real example of him talking about choice and examine it. George evidently disagreed.

Stephen

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Posted: 20 June 2012 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1837 ]
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George - 13 June 2012 06:45 AM

16jm0sl.gif

I think that an inaction could only be considered free will if the subject had the option and ability to do an alternative action.  So the clipboard is not exercising free will.  Also, I suspect that the clipboard does not have any wants or belief system that it could act in accordance with, even if it were capable of any kind of action.

But then, I guess that obvious mistake is why the cartoon is funny.

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Posted: 22 June 2012 01:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1838 ]
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The giant squid has a seperate neuro- sensory system in each of it’s tentacles. Each tentacle acts independently from the the main brain and it can perform many seperate tasks simultaneously . Does it have free will?

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Posted: 22 June 2012 01:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1839 ]
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Write4U - 22 June 2012 01:34 AM

The giant squid has a seperate neuro- sensory system in each of it’s tentacles. Each tentacle acts independently from the the main brain and it can perform many seperate tasks simultaneously . Does it have free will?

Well, I understand that Octopi are pretty intelligent.  I tend to think that some level of self reflection is necessary for free will to occur.  If the tentacles are truly acting in complete independence of any input from the main brain (I hadn’t heard about that), then I would say no.  But if the Octopus has any control over the actions of its tentacles at times, then I might tend toward believing that it could exercise free will at those times. 

It must be weird to be an octopus, if what you said is true.  It would be like, hey, I’m just along for the ride while my tentacles are all doing their thing.

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Posted: 22 June 2012 01:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1840 ]
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Oh, sorry, you said Giant Squid and that each tentacle has its own neuro-sensroy system.  That could be like a social system within one organism.  Maybe each tentacle has free will, but they just all decide to work together for the common good, (since to do otherwise would be self destructive).

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Posted: 22 June 2012 03:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1841 ]
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TimB - 22 June 2012 01:16 PM

Oh, sorry, you said Giant Squid and that each tentacle has its own neuro-sensroy system.  That could be like a social system within one organism.  Maybe each tentacle has free will, but they just all decide to work together for the common good, (since to do otherwise would be self destructive).

The squids are just an amzing species. Some squids have 300 color pixels p/sq mm resolution and can can take on body shapes of the objects they land on.
Just saw a tv program on this and it was amazing to watch a squid land on a rocky patch, blend it’s color (including shadows and light) and grow sharp edges all over its body and “become a rock”. Another landed on a pebble strewn patch and became a collection of pebbles, with different shapes and colors of pebbles.

http://www.fastcompany.com/biomimicry/mimicking-squid-skin-to-create-perfect-instantaneous-camouflage

Cuttle fish, a cousin of the squid and octopi are the absolute masters.

http://video.pbs.org/video/1150618835

If this does not take some intelligence, I don’t know how to define will.

[ Edited: 11 August 2012 10:56 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 11 August 2012 10:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1842 ]
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I had an argument with my twin brother once about free will and determinism. I was merely trying to encourage discussion which he tends to get annoyed with me by because it exhausts him and distracts him from his other obligations. Anyways, he was flabbergasted that I would claim that determinism is the essence of science. He felt that I was out of my mind because he got the impression that only religion has claimed such a theory from the start. The idea that destiny or fate guaranteed your future is religious, is it not?

I don’t feel any confusion over the matter whatsoever and find it weird that this discussion should trouble anyone. I didn’t read this whole thread and don’t plan on it. From the first few pages I gathered that the frustrations to make sense of it for some is rather due to an emotional dissonance due to inappropriately defining and accidental transitioning the concepts to mean something different in contexts.

In one case, Gdb, I think, seemed to think that determinism entailed causation where free will did not. 
Re: post 13

GdB - 24 February 2011 07:12 AM

From my point of view, you only deny the existence of free will in the following sense: as not caused (otherwise it is determined), ...

Now, normally we presume time like a math function: for any given input(s), there is one unique result. But reality can be like a mathematical relationship instead: for any set of given input(s), a relationship can have multiple outputs. [A function is a restricted type of relationship] So in reality, you can have multiple determined options, given the relationship is possible, and yet have different results. In other words, all the options that are possible, exist; but the results can’t be experienced in the same plane of reality—they are in an alternate place, a parallel dimension. You may have a hard time presenting a physical proof. But a logical (or mathematical) one can be found to show that this is at least a possibility and maybe even probable.

In post 24, Write4U implicitly defined “determinism” as the failure to get what he chose, the lack of getting his “free will” to become satisfied just because the option was not available. But where the options were available, he felt he had “free will”.
Here’s the excerpt:

Write4U - 24 February 2011 02:12 PM

I am not sure when something is free-will or predetermined.
Example: My friend and I both like raspberry swirl icecream.
At the ice cream shop we both order a raspeberry swirl, but the shop keeper tells us he is out of that swirl. As a second choice I order a straight raspberry, which the shopkeeper immediately presents. My friend orders a vanilla substitute, but the shop keeper advises him that he is also out of vanilla. So my friend also orders a raspeberry, which is promptly placed in front of him.
As it was predetermined that we would not have the swirl, we both ended up with raspberry icecream, except my second choice was from free will (choice between raspeberry and vanilla), while my friend received his raspberry due to the unavailability of his second choice of vanilla.
...

It is likely that he transferred the term “determinism” from a physical description of reality to the alternate meaning of our everyday use in language to describe how we are capable of getting what we want, as in, “I am determined to get what I want!”

I didn’t follow VYASMA’s argument in post 8, but when he said if he intends to mean that this argument is about semantics, I agree. A little imagination helps too.

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Posted: 12 August 2012 03:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1843 ]
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Scott Mayers - 11 August 2012 10:47 PM

Anyways, he was flabbergasted that I would claim that determinism is the essence of science. He felt that I was out of my mind because he got the impression that only religion has claimed such a theory from the start. The idea that destiny or fate guaranteed your future is religious, is it not?

That idea is religious, yes. But determination is not, in the way you referred to it. One should distinguish the idea of determinism in the scientific meaning (if you would know all places and movements of everything in the universe with endless precision, and you know all laws of nature, then you can predict everything that will happen in the future) and the religious meaning (everything that will happen is already fixed). The latter is non-scientific in the sense that it even means, whatever you do, everything will happen as it is determined. So it is a basis of fatalism. It is scientifically nonsense, because a change in the course of nature will obviously have impact on what happens in the future. I personally would differentiate between determined and pre-determined. Latter means something like ‘planned’ - e.g. by a god.

Scott Mayers - 11 August 2012 10:47 PM

Now, normally we presume time like a math function: for any given input(s), there is one unique result. But reality can be like a mathematical relationship instead: for any set of given input(s), a relationship can have multiple outputs. [A function is a restricted type of relationship.] So in reality, you can have multiple determined options, given the relationship is possible, and yet have different results.

Sorry, this is nonsense. In physics natural laws are described as differential equations. These describe how a state changes to a next state, in (infinitesimal) small steps.

Scott Mayers - 11 August 2012 10:47 PM

In other words, all the options that are possible, exist; but the results can’t be experienced in the same plane of reality—they are in an alternate place, a parallel dimension. You may have a hard time presenting a physical proof. But a logical (or mathematical) one can be found to show that this is at least a possibility and maybe even probable.

I hope you see this is just freewheeling speculations without any support in science.

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Posted: 12 August 2012 04:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1844 ]
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GdB - 12 August 2012 03:13 AM

One should distinguish the idea of determinism in the scientific meaning (if you would know all places and movements of everything in the universe with endless precision, and you know all laws of nature, then you can predict everything that will happen in the future) ...........

I think even this is confusing Gdb.

There are different types of determinism but the type compatibilists say free will is compatible with is this:  Given the actual state of the universe and the laws of nature there is one possible future.

I think you might like this, which I think is a handy guide to different meanings of determinism:

http://www.sfu.ca/content/dam/sfu/philosophy/docs/bradley/determinism.pdf

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Posted: 12 August 2012 04:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1845 ]
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StephenLawrence - 12 August 2012 04:28 AM

Given the actual state of the universe and the laws of nature there is one possible future.

That’s fine too. I did not learn definitions by heart, it was what came drifting above while writing. It does not make a huge difference as reaction on Scott.

But you are right, it is more precise: it is formulated more or less independently of a human subject.

PS Just had a glance at the article you linked to: it just mentions this difference.

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