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The greatest proof of free will…
Posted: 27 February 2011 09:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 76 ]
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GdB - 27 February 2011 08:51 AM

If the world had been appropriately different 1,000 years before your birth you would have other beliefs and desires.

Sorry, I can’t take your arguments serious.

It’s funny, you should, you really should.

You believe you are a compatibilist but don’t even know what it means.

Free will compatible with determinism is free will compatible with what you do being dependent upon the way the world was 1,000 years before your birth.

The denial of that is belief that we have a freedom that would be negated by that. The denial of that is belief in ultimate responsibility a responsibility that would be negated by that.

In contrast to causes that depend upon prior causes streching back to before we were born is belief in uncaused causes.

You believe in uncaused causes but are in denial about it, you believe in ultimate responsibility but deny that.

It is hilarious, I wonder if you’ll ever see it.

Stephen

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Posted: 27 February 2011 09:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 77 ]
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Free will compatible with determinism is free will compatible with what you do being dependent upon the way the world was 1,000 years before your birth.

This term has no meaning in your reasoning, if you like it or not.

Can you tell me what according to you ‘real compatibilism’ is, and why I am not a ‘real compatibilist’?

Or is ‘real compatibilism’ impossible in your view?

Which of my list of counterfactuals is false, and why?

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Posted: 27 February 2011 09:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 78 ]
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GdB - 27 February 2011 09:26 AM

Free will compatible with determinism is free will compatible with what you do being dependent upon the way the world was 1,000 years before your birth.

This term has no meaning in your reasoning, if you like it or not.

It is compatibilism Gdb.

Can you tell me what according to you ‘real compatibilism’ is, and why I am not a ‘real compatibilist’?

Real compatibilism is free will being compatible with what you do depending upon the way the world was 1,000 years before your birth.

Otherwise what you are doing is accepting that what you do is dependent upon your beliefs and desires when you act freely but denying that those beliefs and desires are in turn dependent upon prior states of the world.

That is belief in magical uncaused causes.

Or is ‘real compatibilism’ impossible in your view?

It’s possible, I try to be a real compatibilist.

Which of my list of counterfactuals is false, and why?

Haven’t checked Gdb. The only relevent counterfactual is had you not had the beliefs and desires you had you would not have acted as you did.

As long as that’s true the rest follows.

And if that isn’t true your actions don’t depend upon your beliefs and desires and you are not responsible for anything in any sense whatsoever.

Stephen

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Posted: 27 February 2011 10:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 79 ]
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StephenLawrence - 27 February 2011 09:51 AM

Otherwise what you are doing is accepting that what you do is dependent upon your beliefs and desires when you act freely but denying that those beliefs and desires are in turn dependent upon prior states of the world.

Where did I deny that? It is what I am saying all the time!

StephenLawrence - 27 February 2011 09:51 AM

That is belief in magical uncaused causes.

Yes, it is. I said more or less the same in a few postings to VYAZMA. Are you not reading them?

StephenLawrence - 27 February 2011 09:51 AM

It’s possible, I try to be a real compatibilist.

As long as your are searching for ‘ultimate responsibility’, you will not succeed. Why is ‘responsibility’ not enough? Sorry I turn the spear point: You think we need a libertarian view on free will. You are not a compatibilist!

StephenLawrence - 27 February 2011 09:51 AM

The only relevent counterfactual is had you not had the beliefs and desires you had you would not have acted as you did.

Then ‘I’ would not exist. It would be someone else.

StephenLawrence - 27 February 2011 09:51 AM

And if that isn’t true your actions don’t depend upon your beliefs and desires and you are not responsible for anything in any sense whatsoever.

Can it be formulated with less negations of negations? Are you saying:

If your actions depend upon your beliefs and desires, then you are responsible for your actions.

If that is it, then we agree.

What is important: I do not need independence of what I believe or wish of my cultural, personal and biological history. It is causal, all the way down to the moment I am typing this right now. And I am free.

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Posted: 27 February 2011 10:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 80 ]
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GdB - 27 February 2011 10:07 AM
StephenLawrence - 27 February 2011 09:51 AM

Otherwise what you are doing is accepting that what you do is dependent upon your beliefs and desires when you act freely but denying that those beliefs and desires are in turn dependent upon prior states of the world.

Where did I deny that? It is what I am saying all the time!

Crumbs Gdb, you deny that when you deny the following:

If the world had been appropriately different 1,000 years before your birth you would have other beliefs and desires.

It’s impossible for your beliefs and desires to depend upon prior states of the world, unless the above is true.

You’re living with a contradiction at the moment and you don’t understand what I’m saying because you are living with that contradicition.

I’m just trying to get the penny to drop.

Stephen

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Posted: 27 February 2011 10:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 81 ]
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GdB - 27 February 2011 10:07 AM
StephenLawrence - 27 February 2011 09:51 AM

The only relevent counterfactual is had you not had the beliefs and desires you had you would not have acted as you did.

Then ‘I’ would not exist. It would be someone else.

You need to see that you are contradicting yourself. If you see that then your view on free will, will change.

What you are saying is the counterfactual is not a true counterfactual. It’s impossible because you would not be you and you must be you.

But it’s fairly amazing that you don’t see that what you do being dependent upon your beliefs and desires means just that, if you hadn’t had those beliefs and desires you wouldn’t have done it.

Stephen

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Posted: 27 February 2011 11:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 82 ]
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StephenLawrence - 27 February 2011 10:42 AM

Crumbs Gdb, you deny that when you deny the following:

If the world had been appropriately different 1,000 years before your birth you would have other beliefs and desires.

It’s impossible for your beliefs and desires to depend upon prior states of the world, unless the above is true.

I do not deny it. I say the sentence has no content. So I cannot deny it, nor affirm it. The problem is that you in this world cannot be identified with you in another possible world. So I have no criterion for denying or affirming your ‘counterfactual’.

Could you please respond to what I wrote:

If your actions depend upon your beliefs and desires, then you are responsible for your actions.

If that is it, then we agree.

What is important: I do not need independence of what I believe or wish of my cultural, personal and biological history. It is causal, all the way down to the moment I am typing this right now. And I am free.

I do not deny that what I believe and wish is dependent on my history.
I deny that this is important for having free will.
Having free will means that I act according to my beliefs and wishes. Full stop.
It means I am responsible.
For that I am rewarded or punished. Full stop.
But not ultimate responsible. Therefore I am against ultimate punishments (like capital punishment). There is no god, and there is also no ‘empty throne’ of god. So nobody can sit on it in his place.
Said otherwise: there is no archimedical ethical standard. Standards, yes. But no ultimate moral standards. You are desperately looking for ultimate standards, and that is your blind spot.

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Posted: 27 February 2011 12:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 83 ]
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GdB - 27 February 2011 11:45 AM

I do not deny that what I believe and wish is dependent on my history.

And yet you won’t deny or affirm the corresponding counterfactual, sorry GdB you’re cheating.

I deny that this is important for having free will.

Well, it is important.

Take two similar people, in a similar situation, with a similar moral choice to make.

Person A is fortunate, the world was in a state 1,000 years before his birth such that he will make a good moral choice. If the world had been appropriately different he would be going to make a bad moral choice.

Lucky him, it’s this luck you deny and in doing so unwittingly affirm a belief in libertarian free will.

Person B is not so fortunate, had the world been appropriately different he would be going to make a good moral choice as well, but unfortunately for him, it wasn’t. If only the world had been in a favourable state, but it wasn’t.

You are desperately looking for ultimate standards, and that is your blind spot.

Of course not, I’m denying it, something you are refusing to do because in order to deny it you have to affirm that free will is compatible with the above.

Stephen

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Posted: 27 February 2011 02:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 84 ]
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StephenLawrence - 27 February 2011 12:10 PM
GdB - 27 February 2011 11:45 AM

I do not deny that what I believe and wish is dependent on my history.

And yet you won’t deny or affirm the corresponding counterfactual

Yes. Because my history did make me. I cannot be identified as me if I would have had another history. It would not be me.

StephenLawrence - 27 February 2011 12:10 PM

Take two similar people, in a similar situation, with a similar moral choice to make.

Person A is fortunate, the world was in a state 1,000 years before his birth such that he will make a good moral choice. If the world had been appropriately different he would be going to make a bad moral choice.

Lucky him, it’s this luck you deny and in doing so unwittingly affirm a belief in libertarian free will.

Person B is not so fortunate, had the world been appropriately different he would be going to make a good moral choice as well, but unfortunately for him, it wasn’t. If only the world had been in a favourable state, but it wasn’t.

Here as well, if A and B would have had different histories, you would not be able to identify A and B in different causal chains.

If you want to say A has had luck, and B hadn’t, you are saying that they have no power in deciding who they are, as they are product of their pasts. But they are not forced by their pasts. There are no entities A and B, independent of the state of affairs, where A is lucky to get one history, and B another. A and B er made by it. Obviously you think that there is something that identifies A as A, and B as B independent of their history. A soul maybe? Without dualism, the ‘free will problem’ disappears. It turns out to be a pseudo problem.

StephenLawrence - 27 February 2011 12:10 PM

You are desperately looking for ultimate standards, and that is your blind spot.

Of course not, I’m denying it, something you are refusing to do because in order to deny it you have to affirm that free will is compatible with the above.

You are denying ultimate standards? So also ultimate responsibility? Then where is your problem?

PS Tomorrow I have to work again. I will not have time for long or many reactions. So take your time…

[ Edited: 27 February 2011 02:09 PM by GdB ]
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Posted: 28 February 2011 04:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 85 ]
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GdB - 27 February 2011 02:04 PM
StephenLawrence - 27 February 2011 12:10 PM
GdB - 27 February 2011 11:45 AM

I do not deny that what I believe and wish is dependent on my history.

And yet you won’t deny or affirm the corresponding counterfactual

Yes. Because my history did make me. I cannot be identified as me if I would have had another history. It would not be me.

 

1) This shouldn’t matter, you should be able to say, as a compatibilist, free will is compatible with it being our good or bad fortune what beliefs and desires arise, even if you disagree with it, because it should in no way have anything to do with your reasons for wanting wrongdoers to be punished.

2) The fact is you can’t have it both ways. If you deny the counterfactual, you deny the dependancy because they are one and the same thing expressed in different ways. Here you do simply contradict yourself. If you’re consistent you’ll be forced to either affirm the counterfactual or deny the dependency.

If you deny the dependency then nobody is responsible for anything in any sense at all. If you affirm the counterfactual then the rest follows and there is an important sense in which we are either fortunate or unfortunate that the world was the way it was 1,000 years before our births.

3) As it happens you have affirmed the counterfactual on this thread, luckily for me, here it is from post 15 ” (What I believed was that I would turn on a light. I would never have done it if I had known I would initiate the bomb.)
” You are saying you wouldn’t have done it had you not believed it would turn on a light. This is the very same counterfactual conditional in contention.

4) Without looking back to get the exact wording you said to Vyazma that he was free to continue arguing or not. but one of these must be something that in fact doesn’t happen and must be something that would happen if…..............................

He’s not free to do that thing because he can’t do it and be himself . So again you contradict yourself.

Stephen

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Posted: 28 February 2011 04:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 86 ]
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GdB - 27 February 2011 02:04 PM

If you want to say A has had luck, and B hadn’t, you are saying that they have no power in deciding who they are, as they are product of their pasts. But they are not forced by their pasts.

There is a sense in which they are forced by their past because there is one way they can behave given that past and which way that is depends upon what that past is.

Dualism has nothing to do with it b.t.w.

Stephen

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Posted: 28 February 2011 05:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 87 ]
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StephenLawrence - 28 February 2011 04:31 AM

2) The fact is you can’t have it both ways. If you deny the counterfactual, you deny the dependancy because they are one and the same thing expressed in different ways. Here you do simply contradict yourself. If you’re consistent you’ll be forced to either affirm the counterfactual or deny the dependency.

Must I yell it you: I do not deny the counterfactual. I say it does not make sense.

StephenLawrence - 28 February 2011 04:31 AM

3) As it happens you have affirmed the counterfactual on this thread, luckily for me, here it is from post 15 ” (What I believed was that I would turn on a light. I would never have done it if I had known I would initiate the bomb.)
” You are saying you wouldn’t have done it had you not believed it would turn on a light. This is the very same counterfactual conditional in contention.

But that is happening in my life now! I am still identifiable because I am a bundle of physical and psychical processes. There is only one description of me that is not valid anymore: ‘the one who intentionally detonated that bomb’. But until then my complete history would be exactly the same. With that I am identifiable. Compare that with:

“If you were born in Libya, you would be Hannibal Gadaffi”.
Or:
“If you would be born in poverment, you would have been a criminal”. Isn’t there a huge difference between these examples and the one you cited from me?

StephenLawrence - 28 February 2011 04:31 AM

4) Without looking back to get the exact wording you said to Vyazma that he was free to continue arguing or not. but one of these must be something that in fact doesn’t happen and must be something that would happen if…..............................

He’s not free to do that thing because he can’t do it and be himself . So again you contradict yourself.

He is free in the sense that if he continues to discuss in this thread is dependent on who he is now, and not on some external force. If VYAZMA has a power shutdown in his area he is forced not to continue, because his computer does not work anymore.

StephenLawrence - 28 February 2011 04:50 AM

There is a sense in which they are forced by their past because there is one way they can behave given that past and which way that is depends upon what that past is.

Dualism has nothing to do with it b.t.w.

Yes it has. You take A’s and B’s existence as granted, and now they both could have had different histories, but still be A and B. That means you say that A and B can be identified without looking at their physical, cultural and personal history. So what is it that makes A A and B B, independent of their histories? Which magical identification do you have available?

If I draw a portrait of a man, and somebody says ‘the portrait of the man would be nicer if it would be the portrait of a woman’ where in this possible world is the portrait of a man?

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Posted: 28 February 2011 06:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 88 ]
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GdB - 28 February 2011 05:31 AM

Must I yell it you: 

Yes or no depending upon what you mean. grin

Really Gdb you wish to yell because you’re wrong and in denial. But I won’t keep pressing after this, I’ll give you a break and let you work it out. I’ve pressed the point more than enough, attempting a break through.

If the counterfactual makes no sense it also makes no sense to say you’re free actions depend upon your beliefs and desires.

StephenLawrence - 28 February 2011 04:31 AM

3) As it happens you have affirmed the counterfactual on this thread, luckily for me, here it is from post 15 ” (What I believed was that I would turn on a light. I would never have done it if I had known I would initiate the bomb.)
” You are saying you wouldn’t have done it had you not believed it would turn on a light. This is the very same counterfactual conditional in contention.

But that is happening in my life now!

 

Present past future, it makes no difference Gdb the very counterfactual that you say makes no sense you also say is true.

Had you had different beliefs you would have behaved differently. (edit: this is what you believe in the initiating the bomb example.)

(edit: and the rest simply follows, you couldn’t have a different belief uncaused and in any case you know you are thinking about different circumstances in which you weren’t tricked which you could only have been in if you’d had a different history.)

How could you have had different beliefs?

Answer: You would have had different beliefs had you not been tricked.

What the above means is had the circumstances been appropriately different you would have had different beliefs.

How could the circumstances have been appropriately different at the time in question?

Answer: If the circumstances had been appropriately different 1,000 years before your birth, they would have been appropriately different at the time in question .

(One more edit just in case I haven’t made my point crystal clear: Above I’ve started with a counterfactual conditional statement that you believe is true and demonstrated that it inevitably leads to the truth of a statement that you believe makes no sense and so is not true.)

[ Edited: 28 February 2011 07:49 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 28 February 2011 06:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 89 ]
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I used to believe in free will. I changed my mind when I saw that people cannot stop discussing free will int these threads, even though the subject has been discussed so much everyone is going around and around saying the same things different ways. The final proof there is no free will is I cannot help but post this message in each of the free will threads.

Give it a rest people. There is nothing new to say on the subject.

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Posted: 28 February 2011 07:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 90 ]
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DarronS - 28 February 2011 06:13 AM

I used to believe in free will. I changed my mind when I saw that people cannot stop discussing free will int these threads, even though the subject has been discussed so much everyone is going around and around saying the same things different ways. The final proof there is no free will is I cannot help but post this message in each of the free will threads.

Give it a rest people. There is nothing new to say on the subject.

tongue rolleye
Well, not everything you do is free will… I don’t know why I am so fanatic about this topic. I think it is that I do not want science to overrule ethics, and not the other way round, whatever the source of the ethics is.

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