I don’t know what ones you refer to Gdb but i’m not going of on a tangent dealing with very different counterfactuals.
The one we have and agree on is all we need.
So you do not understand what I am at at all.
I’ll answer for you:
“If I would throw water on this fire, it would end”.
“If I would throw oil on this fire, it would not end.”
True: until the moment I threw ‘something’ on the fire, their histories were exactly the same. So I can identify the fire, and describe the difference as dependence on my action.
“If I would increase the temperature of this piece of paper to 300 Centigrade, it would catch fire”.
“If I would increase the temperature of that piece of paper to 301 Centigrade, it would catch fire”.
Meaningless: because of the different histories, I cannot identify the ‘fires’.
“If history would be like <a>, I would have done <x>”.
“If history would be like <b>, I would have done <y>”
Meaningless: no idea if the ‘I’s are the same, because they have different histories. But this is the form you need for your statement.
In a deterministic universe there must be a string of if’s going back to before you were born because it’s the only way the very first counterfactual can be true.
I have another way of describing your error: as fire, persons are processes. They are not entities that have an existence in itself, that can undergo different kinds of causal influences. When they have different histories, they are not the same processes anymore. You may find that very formal, but let’s take my example of the bomb, and expand it in time:
“GdB, you mean that guy that initiated the prison uproar in Zürich, that in the end leaded to the conquering of Switzerland by the EU?”
“GdB, you mean that guy that after 20 years was still discussing free will on the CFI forum?”
Who am I (will I be)? Until the moment I pushed the button the two histories are exactly the same, I am identifiable. But which of the above references to ‘me’ is the correct one?
“If my father would have had brown eyes, I would have too”.
Fact is I have blue eyes, as have my parents. Does it make sense? Well, it is not a huge difference, and if I will become the initiator of the EU conquering CH, or still discuss free will with you in 20 years, is not influenced by the colour of my eyes.
Now this one:
“If Roosevelt would not have declared war to Germany, I would have been in the SS”.
Ho, wait a minute. Is that then still ‘me’? How do you identify ‘me’? That I have the same genome? But in this alternative world I was a conformist, would have gone to the military academy, went into the army etc etc. And what if due to a different history, my parents would never have met? Who am I? The point is, I am not there as GdB and then pushed in different directions by different causal histories. I am GdB because the actual history made me as GdB into existence. What I am, and how you can identify me, is by corresponding histories.
The problem lies in the abstraction I have to make when I refer to things and persons. With a huge difference between the two: persons are processes. Persons exist, but they have no independent existence. Here is the point where you and VYAZMA stumble. When you take the existence of persons as granted (and there are good reasons to do that, but ‘existence’ and ‘independent existence’ are not the same!), you get free will. If you deny the existence of persons, there is no free will. And you cannot mix a discourse of causal efficacy with a discourse of persons, free will, and responsibility.
Could have done otherwise is a necessary component of free will regardless. I’d go further, we have free will if we could have done otherwise in the appropriate way.
I fully agree with your complete posting here. But we differ on what is appropriate. ‘Appropriate’ is not ‘When history would have been different 1000 years ago’. ‘Appropriate’ is about what I would have done if I would have known that the button ignites a bomb, or what I would have done if I had followed the correct moral norms, knowing that pushing the button would ignite a bomb. In the first case I am not guilty; in the second I am.