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I can’t believe there is still a debate about free will.
Posted: 23 May 2011 07:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 76 ]
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isaac - 22 May 2011 02:01 PM

Hmm… obviously, such a zombie would NOT be physiologically identical to (even if it were indistinguishable from) a person with conscious experience.

In which case it is not a philosophical zombie anymore…

If we take the idea of zombies seriously, we must accept that 2 zombies in a philosophical discussion talk about their epiphenomena: in the end, they behave exactly like we do.

so there goes that whole argument, i would think

Yep. We can strike p-zombies and epiphenomena (in this context!) from our vocabulary.

[ Edited: 23 May 2011 07:20 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 23 May 2011 11:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 77 ]
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StephenLawrence - 19 May 2011 01:08 AM

Looking back after the choice it’s still the case that A B and C might have been. What he believes is you change the future from what it might have been. Looking back you changed the past from what it might have been

As I look at it, the future has yet to exist. So you are not actually changing anything. People just alter their mental constructs of a possible future. The actual future may or may not have any relationship to these mental constructs.

The problem with choosing natural laws in a deterministic universe is out of options X,Y and Z only one of these is deterministic. So what we have to swallow is that people have the choice to act indeterministically but every single time, every single one chooses not to by some gigantic coincidence. ohh 

Stephen

Choosing is part of that determinism. If one were to remove the act of choosing then the lack of that would make a difference to the actual future.

The human process is the result of millions, perhaps billions of interacting causal chains. Some type of “fuzzy logic” maybe part of the human process. Logical arguments gets people use to thinking in terms of true and false. However humans make decisions on values somewhere between what’s absolutely true and whats absolutely false. Our ignorance about what is true is what allows us to act, to a degree, independent from the past, future and present.

People act on some probability of what is true and false. A factual past causal chain interacts with a unique individual human process. They are, for all practical purposes, independent of each other. The human process is constantly redefining itself. No two instances of interaction will ever produce the exact same results.

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Posted: 24 May 2011 12:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 78 ]
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GdB - 23 May 2011 07:07 AM

...Does that make sense?


Gdb—do you really believe this stuff, are you just playing advocate for swarz?

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Posted: 24 May 2011 02:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 79 ]
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isaac - 24 May 2011 12:41 AM

Gdb—do you really believe this stuff, are you just playing advocate for swarz?

I have no stocks of Swartz, if that is what you mean.

What is the stuff you have trouble with? How do you read:

I don’t wake up in the morning and ask myself “Which laws of nature will I create today?” No, it’s rather that I ask myself, “What will I do today?”, and in choosing to do some things rather than others, my actions – i.e. my choices – make certain propositions (including some universal statements containing no proper names) true and other propositions false.

Compare it with a historical discovery, e.g. Kepler’s laws. This discovery made the sentence ‘Planets move in elliptical orbits around the sun’ true. Of course, the fact the planets already moved in elliptical orbits around the sun was already the case since sun and planets exist. Kepler’s discovery made the sentence ‘Planets move in elliptical orbits around the sun’ true, and ‘Planets move in circular orbits around the earth’ false. ‘Making true’ here means ‘discovered as being true’.

Another comparison: the king in Saint-Exupery’s Little Prince.

He leaves to see what the rest of the universe is like, and visits six other asteroids (numbered from 325 to 330) each of which is inhabited by an adult who is foolish in his own way:

  * The King who can apparently “control” the stars but only by ordering them to do what they would do anyway.

When the king would just see that if he would have said ‘the stars move according to rules I know’ there would be no problem… But no, he says ‘the stars obey him’. (For full text see here).

Again, I think Swartz’ way of explaining that natural laws are descriptions of natural processes and not laws that forces process to run as they do, is confusing. He just stresses that all processes can be described by natural laws, so obviously these descriptions must really follow what actually occurs, otherwise these descriptions would be wrong.

Do you really think that Swartz is saying ‘I choose the laws of nature as I want them to be’?

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Posted: 24 May 2011 10:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 80 ]
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GdB - 23 May 2011 07:11 AM
isaac - 22 May 2011 02:01 PM

Hmm… obviously, such a zombie would NOT be physiologically identical to (even if it were indistinguishable from) a person with conscious experience.

In which case it is not a philosophical zombie anymore…

If we take the idea of zombies seriously, we must accept that 2 zombies in a philosophical discussion talk about their epiphenomena: in the end, they behave exactly like we do.

so there goes that whole argument, i would think

Yep. We can strike p-zombies and epiphenomena (in this context!) from our vocabulary.

i think we discounted them in two different ways.  You seem to be saying that it’s pragmatically meaningless, even if logically possible—which i agree with—but i was saying that the concept is logically impossible, which i couldn’t tell if you agreed with or not.

Maybe i should just say that it’s logically impossible within the nature of “this world”, which would be ‘nomological impossibility’, i suppose?  I suspect that it’s impossible in any physical world—which i think makes it “metaphysically impossible”?

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Posted: 24 May 2011 11:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 81 ]
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my apologies to the group for creating multiple overlapping threads within this thread. 

I’ve started a new thread on philosophical zombies, incorporating the above:

http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewthread/10654/

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Posted: 07 June 2011 12:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 82 ]
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sixfootbrit - 21 May 2011 10:35 AM

Before we continue, GdB, I request that you clearly state what it is you think free will is. Or if you have already stated your position unambiguously elsewhere, please direct me to it.

Where are you? Are you reading?

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