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The greatest proof of free will…
Posted: 23 August 2012 06:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2296 ]
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Stephen,

You should react on this posting, and on this one, now I said to you I mean physically impossible.

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Posted: 23 August 2012 06:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2297 ]
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GdB - 23 August 2012 04:44 AM

But, and that is the point Stephen does not accept: the sentence “If I wanted to, I could have gone to Paris last weekend” is still a meaningful and (in my personal case) a true sentence. He defends this position by saying it was (physically?) impossible for me to want to go to Paris in this actual universe.

Stephen, have I correctly described your position?

I think I’ve been unclear about this in the past but am clear now.

I think the sentence is still meaningful and true, but I think if you had wanted to go to Paris (the way you are doing this) Indeterminism would be true.

Stephen

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Posted: 23 August 2012 06:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2298 ]
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GdB - 23 August 2012 06:32 AM

Stephen,

You should react on this posting, and on this one, now I said to you I mean physically impossible.

2 mins left in the internet cafe. I’ll come back later.

Stephen

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Posted: 23 August 2012 08:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2299 ]
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StephenLawrence - 23 August 2012 06:40 AM
GdB - 23 August 2012 04:44 AM

But, and that is the point Stephen does not accept: the sentence “If I wanted to, I could have gone to Paris last weekend” is still a meaningful and (in my personal case) a true sentence. He defends this position by saying it was (physically?) impossible for me to want to go to Paris in this actual universe.

Stephen, have I correctly described your position?

I think I’ve been unclear about this in the past but am clear now.

I think the sentence is still meaningful and true, but I think if you had wanted to go to Paris (the way you are doing this) Indeterminism would be true.

Well, I think then we are there.

To begin with, I really say nothing else than that the sentence is meaningful and true. So if you can agree with that then we have a starting point.

Now the next point would be to see that the sentence “If I had wanted to go to Paris, I could have gone to Paris last weekend”, expresses that my wanting is a necessary condition for me to go to Paris. And that is what compatibilism says: that my wanting matters. What it does not say is that my wanting is not determined. It sees no problem in it. What matters is only that I recognise my actions as my actions, i.e. that they are according to my desires and beliefs.

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Posted: 23 August 2012 11:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2300 ]
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GdB - 23 August 2012 08:32 AM

Well, I think then we are there.

Oh heck what else are we gonna find to talk about.  grin

Now the next point would be to see that the sentence “If I had wanted to go to Paris, I could have gone to Paris last weekend”, expresses that my wanting is a necessary condition for me to go to Paris.

I see it this way: The want would have been a sufficient condition. Not necessary.

I think if you had wanted to you could have gone to Paris ,means…..........

If you had wanted to nothing would have prevented you from going to Paris.

which means: the antecedent would have been sufficient to cause you to go to Paris.

which is what it means to say: If you had wanted to you would have gone to Paris.

And that is what compatibilism says: that my wanting matters. What it does not say is that my wanting is not determined. It sees no problem in it. What matters is only that I recognise my actions as my actions, i.e. that they are according to my desires and beliefs.

Yes, but, it does matter that your want was determined because it means something out of your control would have had to be different in order for you to have a different want.

Stephen

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Posted: 23 August 2012 05:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2301 ]
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Can I a draw a mental picture based on a variation of GdB’s equation, “if A, then B.

I am at the airport and stand beside someone else. A plane for Paris is scheduled to leave and we both have the money to buy a ticket.
After the plane has left I am still standing in the airport, but the person beside me is now on the plane to Paris.
He decided to go, I did not.

The only difference in condition, is the fact that he wanted to go to Paris, and I did not.
So the only difference in the existing conditions was my own mental state (thought pattern) at the time of decision not to go.

But lets change the scenario just a little (equally for both).

We are both at the airport with planes to paris, enough money and we both decide to go. While walking towards the plane the other person faints from angst and does not make it into the plane. I am a “good samaritan” and now I am faced with a decision to help that person in distress and missing the plane, or ignoring the injured person and entering the plane as I originally wanted to. I decide to help the person in distress, and thereby miss my plane.

We have a situation that,

a) The other person wanted to go, but didn’t go because he fainted (a mental breakdown), all else being the same
b) I wanted to go to Paris and was in fact on my way into the plane, but didn’t go, due to a random event (for me) which made me change my mind (a mental calculation), all else being the same.

We both had wanted to go to Paris, but neither went from completely different causalities. He experience a physical (mental) breakdown and I experienced an emotional reaction (and a choice) from the interaction of two parallell, but seperated deterministic paths which altered the outcome for both of us.
Is there a philosophical difference between these simultaneously occurring interacting events or are they intrinsically following a deterministic path to a probable, but not fixed, future of going to Paris?

Thus,
1) if A, then B
2) if C, then B
3) If (not A, but C)
——————————
4)  B

Question, was it possible for me to go from the start, if I wanted to, or was it impossible for me to go from the start even if I wanted to?

[ Edited: 23 August 2012 05:34 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 23 August 2012 06:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2302 ]
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Write4U - 23 August 2012 05:12 PM

Can I a draw a mental picture based on a variation of GdB’s equation, “if A, then B.

I am at the airport and stand beside someone else. A plane for Paris is scheduled to leave and we both have the money to buy a ticket.
After the plane has left I am still standing in the airport, but the person beside me is now on the plane to Paris.
He decided to go, I did not.

The only difference in condition, is the fact that he wanted to go to Paris, and I did not.
So the only difference in the existing conditions was my own mental state (thought pattern) at the time of decision not to go.

But lets change the scenario just a little (equally for both).

We are both at the airport with planes to paris, enough money and we both decide to go. While walking towards the plane the other person faints from angst and does not make it into the plane. I am a “good samaritan” and now I am faced with a decision to help that person in distress and missing the plane, or ignoring the injured person and entering the plane as I originally wanted to. I decide to help the person in distress, and thereby miss my plane.

We have a situation that,

a) The other person wanted to go, but didn’t go because he fainted (a mental breakdown), all else being the same
b) I wanted to go to Paris and was in fact on my way into the plane, but didn’t go, due to a random event (for me) which made me change my mind (a mental calculation), all else being the same.

We both had wanted to go to Paris, but neither went from completely different causalities. He experience a physical (mental) breakdown and I experienced an emotional reaction (and a choice) from the interaction of two parallell, but seperated deterministic paths which altered the outcome for both of us.
Is there a philosophical difference between these simultaneously occurring interacting events or are they intrinsically following a deterministic path to a probable, but not fixed, future of going to Paris?

Thus,
1) if A, then B
2) if C, then B
3) If (not A, but C)
——————————
4)  B

Question, was it possible for me to go from the start, if I wanted to, or was it impossible for me to go from the start even if I wanted to?

Knowing what we know now, I would say it was impossible for you to go from the start, because you wound up wanting to help the distressed person MORE than you wanted to go to Paris.

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Posted: 23 August 2012 06:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2303 ]
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TimB - 23 August 2012 06:08 PM
Write4U - 23 August 2012 05:12 PM

Thus,
1) if A, then B
2) if C, then B
3) If (not A, but C)
——————————
4)  B

Question, was it possible for me to go from the start, if I wanted to, or was it impossible for me to go from the start even if I wanted to?

Knowing what we know now, I would say it was impossible for you to go from the start, because you wound up wanting to help the distressed person MORE than you wanted to go to Paris.

Action from choice of future by Free Will or action Determined in the past?

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Posted: 23 August 2012 07:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2304 ]
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Write4U - 23 August 2012 06:47 PM
TimB - 23 August 2012 06:08 PM
Write4U - 23 August 2012 05:12 PM

Thus,
1) if A, then B
2) if C, then B
3) If (not A, but C)
——————————
4)  B

Question, was it possible for me to go from the start, if I wanted to, or was it impossible for me to go from the start even if I wanted to?

Knowing what we know now, I would say it was impossible for you to go from the start, because you wound up wanting to help the distressed person MORE than you wanted to go to Paris.

Action from choice of future by Free Will or action Determined in the past?

Can you state that question more explicitly and clearly?  I don’t know what you’re asking.

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“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.

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Posted: 23 August 2012 08:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2305 ]
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I am really not sure what I am asking. The main point I was trying to make is a more or less random external influence that interrupted my willed plan and changed my future from going to not going, even as it was physically possible and I wanted to go to Paris (originally).

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Posted: 23 August 2012 10:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2306 ]
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StephenLawrence - 23 August 2012 11:23 AM

Oh heck what else are we gonna find to talk about.  grin

You really think so? There are a few points from our past I would like to clarify:

1. If I had known that pressing the button would detonate a bomb, I would not have pressed it.
2. If the earth would have no moon, there would be no tides.

In both cases, just as in our Paris example, I claim the sentences are true and meaningful (if the judge accepts the truth of 1. I don’t have to go to jail!), even if the antecedents are not true (I did press the button, the earth has a moon), even if the antecedents where (physically) impossible in the run of the cosmos.

StephenLawrence - 23 August 2012 11:23 AM

Now the next point would be to see that the sentence “If I had wanted to go to Paris, I could have gone to Paris last weekend”, expresses that my wanting is a necessary condition for me to go to Paris.

I see it this way: The want would have been a sufficient condition. Not necessary.

Ah! Still disagreement! We are not there yet.

Definitely: no. It is not a sufficient condition: the train workers could be on strike. I could have been robbed from my train ticket and money. Saying that my wanting to go to Paris is a sufficient condition might imply the use of magic: without the means to get there, I want to go to Paris, and hupla!, I am there! No, everything must be in place so that I could have gone to Paris. Only one ingredient was missing… My wanting to go there! So it is a necessary condition, under normal circumstances. (I also could have gone to Paris because I was kidnapped and brought there, but that is not so much daily business.)

StephenLawrence - 23 August 2012 11:23 AM

Yes, but, it does matter that your want was determined ...

Yes, but not for the truth and meaningfulness of sentences like:

“If I had known that pressing the button would detonate a bomb, I would not have pressed it.”
“If I wanted to go Paris, I could have gone there last weekend.”

StephenLawrence - 23 August 2012 11:23 AM

... because it means something out of your control would have had to be different in order for you to have a different want.

Now a question is: don’t you think we should do something with a person who did know that pressing the button would detonate a bomb, i.e. he detonated the bomb intentionally? Both Osama and I pressed a button, but I claim I should bear no consequences because I thought I would turn on the light. I claim my sentence 1 is true. Osama doesn’t. Now does it play a role for deciding about possible punishments/penalties that both Osama and I do not have control over our pasts?

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Posted: 23 August 2012 10:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2307 ]
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Write4U - 23 August 2012 05:12 PM
1) if Athen B
2
) if Cthen B
3
) If (not Abut C)
--------------------
4)  

You don’t need 1).

3) is logically equivalent with: Not A and C. From that follows C. And from C follows B according to 2):

2) if Cthen B
3
) If (not A and C)
3aC
--------------------
4)  

For the rest, your example shows a change of mind. Originally you wanted to go to Paris, otherwise you would not have been on the airport. But being there something happens, and you find something else more important, so your will changed. And therefore your actions (being Samaritan) are according your will.

It is a misconception to think that a will is something that independently hovers above the physical world, not affected by it. But you know that is not the case. Write4U, I feel that you want to let ‘peep something through our determined universe’ again and again. It is true the universe is not strictly determined, but two points you should put firmly into your head:

1. The indeterminacy existing in the world is pure chance (QM), which cannot account for free will.
2. Without any determinated processes, free will would be impossible.
Ah, 3 points:
3. Chaos can perfectly exist in a determined world. It only makes predictions practically impossible.

I think next time I see a posting of you where you try to sneek in some soul or otherwise magic free will, I will only say: “Remember the three points Write4U!

[ Edited: 23 August 2012 11:00 PM by GdB ]
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Posted: 23 August 2012 11:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2308 ]
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GdB - 23 August 2012 10:41 PM

Definitely: no. It is not a sufficient condition: the train workers could be on strike. I could have been robbed from my train ticket and money.

OK, I think there will simply be a fact of the matter on this one. Maybe I’ve misinterpreted the difference between necessary and sufficient. I think the want is sufficient all else the same because all else the same we can replace something else instead that would have got you to Paris, like kidnappers waiting to take you there.

I thought necessary causes are cases in which nothing else but the particular switheroo you’re making would have got you there.

Now a question is: don’t you think we should do something with a person who did know that pressing the button would detonate a bomb, i.e. he detonated the bomb intentionally?

I expect so Gdb. We need penalties in place as a deterrent, as long as it works and we have no morally better way, we should.

Both Osama and I pressed a button, but I claim I should bear no consequences because I thought I would turn on the light. I claim my sentence 1 is true. Osama doesn’t. Now does it play a role for deciding about possible punishments/penalties that both Osama and I do not have control over our pasts?

If everyone were thinking clearly about this it would make no difference. But the fact is people are libertarians so it does make a big difference . Basically we’re doing it as the lesser of two evils like in the trolly problem in which 1 person or 5 will get harmed. But say, none need to be killed, it wouldn’t help that people thought the one deserves it.

edit: This is why it’s important to be clear it was physically impossible to do otherwise all else exactly the same, in the compatibilist moral theory.

Stephen

[ Edited: 23 August 2012 11:54 PM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 23 August 2012 11:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2309 ]
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Just googled this which seems to be in line with my view on necessary and sufficient causes.

http://qlog.typepad.com/the_qlog/2007/12/necessary-and-s.html

Stephen

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Posted: 23 August 2012 11:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2310 ]
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GdB - 23 August 2012 10:57 PM
Write4U - 23 August 2012 05:12 PM
1) if Athen B
2
) if Cthen B
3
) If (not Abut C)
--------------------
4)  

You don’t need 1).

3) is logically equivalent with: Not A and C. From that follows C. And from C follows B according to 2):

2) if Cthen B
3
) If (not A and C)
3aC
--------------------
4)  

For the rest, your example shows a change of mind. Originally you wanted to go to Paris, otherwise you would not have been on the airport. But being there something happens, and you find something else more important, so your will changed. And therefore your actions (being Samaritan) are according your will.

It is a misconception to think that a will is something that independently hovers above the physical world, not affected by it. But you know that is not the case. Write4U, I feel that you want to let ‘peep something through our determined universe’ again and again. It is true the universe is not strictly determined, but two points you should put firmly into your head:

1. The indeterminacy existing in the world is pure chance (QM), which cannot account for free will.

True, but it may account for a random unintended result even from a free will action.

2. Without any determinated processes, free will would be impossible.

True, but even if a determinate process is from free will it can still produce a random result.

3. Chaos can perfectly exist in a determined world. It only makes predictions practically impossible.

True, but if chaos exists then we just have random probabilistic processes, which, even if they are determinsistic in themselves, may randomly affect or influence all other deterministic processes within the present conditions.

I think next time I see a posting of you where you try to sneek in some soul or otherwise magic free will, I will only say: “Remember the three points Write4U!

But from your three points, it seems to me that everything is possible, even if through a deterministic process. Which would make the deterministic process only probabilistic and indeed uncertain.
or,
1) if A then B possible
2) if A then C possible
3) if A then infinite possibilities

Just probing, GdB, just probing.

[ Edited: 23 August 2012 11:43 PM by Write4U ]
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