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The greatest proof of free will…
Posted: 26 August 2012 04:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2371 ]
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StephenLawrence - 26 August 2012 04:39 AM

I do understand GdB, you are making an exception for human will.

Oh no, here we go again…

If the earth had no moon, we would have no tides.
If I had known that pressing the button would ignite a bomb, I would not have pressed it.
If had wanted to go to Paris last weekend, I could have gone.

The truth of these sentences is independent on:
- that the earth in fact has a moon
- that I in fact pressed the button because I was being told it would turn on the light
- that I in fact did not want to go to Paris.

I thought we agreed on that?

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Posted: 26 August 2012 05:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2372 ]
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StephenLawrence - 26 August 2012 04:44 AM

I can give two examples of people who disagree with you, appeal to authority, I know. David Lewis and Norman Swartz. (Assuming determinism) They both say physical laws would have been different if you had wanted to go to Paris, all else exactly the same.

I don’t know of Lewis, but I am sure you still have not understood Swartz.

StephenLawrence - 26 August 2012 04:44 AM

No, it’s not our underlying thinking about cause and effect which is the problem, it’s that you are making an exception of the human will.

No, I don’t, see my posting above. I treat free will exactly as the physical example: I show that our will belongs to the causal fabric of the universe.

Your superficial understanding of what a material implication is, is still skin deep. Think it over, Stephen!

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Posted: 26 August 2012 05:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2373 ]
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StephenLawrence - 26 August 2012 04:50 AM

If you’d had a different want all else exactly the same it’s not obvious what law would have been broken. But some law would because indeterminism would have been true. This is similar to the gravity example he uses but he takes an obvious law to expose the problem.

In the first place I take our normal laws of physics as granted. It’s useless to bring absurd examples here.
And secondly: understand material implications, Stephen!

Once again: their truth is not dependent on their antecedent being the case.

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Posted: 26 August 2012 05:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2374 ]
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GdB - 26 August 2012 04:57 AM
StephenLawrence - 26 August 2012 04:39 AM

I do understand GdB, you are making an exception for human will.

Oh no, here we go again…

If the earth had no moon, we would have no tides.
If I had known that pressing the button would ignite a bomb, I would not have pressed it.
If had wanted to go to Paris last weekend, I could have gone.

The truth of these sentences is independent on:
- that the earth in fact has a moon
- that I in fact pressed the button because I was being told it would turn on the light
- that I in fact did not want to go to Paris.

I thought we agreed on that?

Irrelevant.

If you had wanted to go to Paris all else exactly the same indeterminism would be true and the want would be uncaused.

2) When thinking about the moon of course we don’t mean all else exactly the same. We realise we are thinking about quite different circumstances in which there would be no moon!

You are making an exception for human will.

Re: David Lewis I posted “Are we free to break the laws” on this thread and Re: Norman Swartz he couldn’t be clearer that laws of nature would be different if he had done otherwise. (assuming determinism) edit: His point is this wouldn’t be a ‘violation’ because laws of nature are descriptive but it would be physically impossible as it would not be consistent with the laws of nature.

Stephen

[ Edited: 26 August 2012 05:19 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 26 August 2012 05:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2375 ]
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GdB - 26 August 2012 05:05 AM

In the first place I take our normal laws of physics as granted. It’s useless to bring absurd examples here.

This is all wrong.

It’s physically impossible if it contradicts the laws of nature, not man made versions. The whole point is it was physically impossible for a person to have a different want all else exactly the same.

To believe it’s physically possible is what it means to say contra causal. So despite being sufficiently caused to have not wanted to go to Paris you could have wanted to go to Paris all else exactly the same.

If you take all else the same as you do it follows that you could have had the different want in the actual situation (- the want)

Stephen

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Posted: 26 August 2012 05:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2376 ]
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StephenLawrence - 26 August 2012 05:09 AM

Irrelevant.

If you had wanted to go to Paris all else exactly the same indeterminism would be true and the will would be uncaused.

2) When thinking about the moon of course we don’t mean all else exactly the same. We realise we are thinking about quite different circumstances in which there would be no moon!

You are making an exception for human will.

No, I treat both exactly the same. You are mixing up counter-factuals with contra-causal free will.
My true conditionals are counter-factuals. And it is of no importance at all for their truth that in a deterministic universe the antecedents cannot happen, because the way the universe banged. C’mon Stephen, two days ago I thought you had seen the light. Obviously I was too optimistic.

You are using:

i. If Athen B
ii
It is physical necessary that (not A )
----------
iiinot (If Athen B

again, which is not valid.

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Posted: 26 August 2012 05:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2377 ]
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GdB - 26 August 2012 05:21 AM
StephenLawrence - 26 August 2012 05:09 AM

Irrelevant.

If you had wanted to go to Paris all else exactly the same indeterminism would be true and the will would be uncaused.

2) When thinking about the moon of course we don’t mean all else exactly the same. We realise we are thinking about quite different circumstances in which there would be no moon!

You are making an exception for human will.

No, I treat both exactly the same. You are mixing up counter-factuals with contra-causal free will.

Well then if the earth had no moon (all else exactly the same) indeterminism would be true, so again you’re talking about something physically impossible

My true conditionals are counter-factuals. And it is of no importance at all for their truth that in a deterministic universe the antecedents cannot happen,

What does matter is if the antecedent had been true either indeterminism would be true or the initial conditions of the universe would have been different.

You are using:

i. If Athen B
ii
It is physical necessary that (not A )
----------
iiinot (If Athen B

again, which is not valid.

Nope. Take this statement: My house is on fire. The point is if this were true, my house would be on fire.

That’s all.

Stephen

[ Edited: 26 August 2012 05:45 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 26 August 2012 05:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2378 ]
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http://www.informationphilosopher.com/solutions/philosophers/lewis/are_we_free_to_break_the_laws.html

Are We Free to Break the Laws?

Theoria, 47 (1981) 112-121
Soft determinism seems to have an incredible consequence. It seems to imply, given certain acceptable further premises, that sometimes we are able to act in such a way that the laws of nature are broken. But if we distinguish a strong and a weak version of this incredible consequence, I think we shall find that it is the strong version that is incredible and the weak version that is the consequence.

This is the same view Norman Swartz takes, I’ll dig it out and post shortly.

Stephen

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Posted: 26 August 2012 05:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2379 ]
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http://www.sfu.ca/~swartz/freewill1.htm#threat

For example, if you were to choose(!) to raise your arm, then there would be a timelessly true universal description (let’s call it “D4729”) of what you have done. If, however, you were to choose not to raise your arm, then there would be a (different) timelessly true universal description (we can call it “D5322”) of what you did (and D4729 would be timelessly false).

Bold by me.

Stephen

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Posted: 26 August 2012 05:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2380 ]
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I have no idea what soft determinism is. Something like a bit pregnant?

Sorry, I am a determinist, seeing a causal role for humans. Not for uncaused free will, of course.

Everything in the universe plays a causal role. But for human behaviour we can evaluate their behaviour as in accordance with their desires and beliefs or not. In the first case the behaviour was free, in the second it wasn’t. That’s it. From the perspective of the universe the human will is just a causal factor as the moon causing tides. If you want to deny desires and beliefs, then be my guest. But then you you are definitely living in a self refuting performance.

[ Edited: 26 August 2012 11:34 PM by GdB ]
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Posted: 26 August 2012 05:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2381 ]
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StephenLawrence - 26 August 2012 05:42 AM

http://www.sfu.ca/~swartz/freewill1.htm#threat

I knew that would come. And you knew that I knew. You still do not understand Swartz. I said at least a year ago that Swartz is not precise in his formulation.

What he means is that either D5322, or D4729 is true. In the experiment with the arm the researches discover which one is true.

Gravity worked exactly the same before Newton and after. D5322 was just as (in)valid before the experiment as after it.

[ Edited: 26 August 2012 05:54 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 26 August 2012 05:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2382 ]
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GdB - 26 August 2012 05:45 AM

I have no idea what soft determinism is. Something like a bit pregnant?

Soft determinism is the belief that determinism is true and we have free will.

Sorry, I am a determinist, seeing a causal role for humans. Not for uncaused free will, of course.

Then you are a soft determinist.

You say “not for uncaused free will of course”, but of course if the want to go to Paris had arisen all else exactly the same, that would have been uncaused.

Stephen

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Posted: 26 August 2012 05:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2383 ]
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GdB - 26 August 2012 05:51 AM
StephenLawrence - 26 August 2012 05:42 AM

http://www.sfu.ca/~swartz/freewill1.htm#threat

I knew that would come. And you knew that I knew. You still do not understand Swartz. I said at least year ago that Swartz is not precise in his formulation.

What he means is that either D5322, or D4729 is true. In the experiment with the arm the researches discover which one is true.

Gravity worked exactly the same before Newton and after. D5322 was just as (in)valid before the experiment as after it.

GdB,

He is not talking about discovering at all as it happens, He’s quite clear that we choose the law, the law depends for it’s truth upon what we do, what we do does not depend upon the law.

The fact is, if he had done otherwise the law would have been different.

That’s physically impossible by definition. A law that is true would be false.

Stephen

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Posted: 26 August 2012 05:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2384 ]
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StephenLawrence - 26 August 2012 05:51 AM

You say “not for uncaused free will of course”, but of course if the want to go to Paris had arisen all else exactly the same, that would have been uncaused.

Where do I say such a thing? You put me that in my mouth!

I say it doesn’t matter for the truth of the sentence “If I wanted to go to Paris, I could have gone there last weekend” that the universe made it impossible for me to want it. Again, you are using:

i. If Athen B
ii
It is physical necessary that (not A )
----------
iiinot (If Athen B

which is not valid.

And I never would call myself a soft determinist, as that would suggest that I leave some room for events that are not determined. (Just to repeat it so now and then, we are not looking at QM.)

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Posted: 26 August 2012 06:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2385 ]
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StephenLawrence - 26 August 2012 05:55 AM

He is not talking about discovering at all as it happens, He’s quite clear that we choose the law, the law depends for it’s truth upon what we do, what we do does not depend upon the law.

The fact is, if he had done otherwise the law would have been different.

That’s physically impossible by definition. A law that is true would be false.

Sorry Stephen, you interpret Swartz wrongly. He just explains that the idea of laws of nature ‘forcing things to happen’ is a wrong idea. Things just happen as they do, and the laws of nature describe that. Also when raising an arm or not. Laws of nature cannot force me to anything. When I raise my arm, or not, a new description of nature is found, not created.

Many persons who have argued that physical determinism poses a threat to the existence of free will are, I believe, still operating with the remnants of the theory that laws of nature are akin to inviolable prescriptions. They have dropped the Prescriber (i.e. God) out of their view of natural laws, but they still persevere with the view that laws of nature ‘act like’ prescriptions.

If, however, one adopts a thoroughgoing descriptive view of natural laws, the problem of free will does not even arise. On the view I am proposing, there simply is no problem of free will. We make choices – some trivial, such as to buy a newspaper; others, rather more consequential, such as to buy a home, or to get married, or to go to university, etc. – but these choices are not forced upon us by the laws of nature. Indeed, it is the other way round. Laws of nature are (a subclass of the) true descriptions of the world. Whatever happens in the world, there are true descriptions of those events. It’s true that you cannot ‘violate’ a law of nature, but that’s not because the laws of nature ‘force’ you to behave in some certain way. It is rather that whatever you do, there is a true description of what you have done.

(Italics by me)

How do you bring this in accordance with your interpretation of Swartz?

[ Edited: 26 August 2012 06:09 AM by GdB ]
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