9 of 36
9
A pragmatic discussion about free will
Posted: 15 April 2012 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 121 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9283
Joined  2006-08-29

And I’ll repeat that consciousness is the most imoprnat part of this topic and we know next to nothing about it. So perhaps until they figure this out, we may have to stick to philosophy. Philosophy=to love to pretend we know.  grin

[ Edited: 15 April 2012 11:50 AM by George ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 April 2012 08:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 122 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5939
Joined  2006-12-20
George - 15 April 2012 08:24 AM

Add I’ll repeat that consciousness is the most imoprnat part of this topic and we know next to nothing about it. So perhaps until they figure this out, we may have to stick to philosophy. Philosophy=to love to pretend we know.  grin

I barely see what consciousness has to do with it at all George.

Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 April 2012 08:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 123 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5939
Joined  2006-12-20
dougsmith - 15 April 2012 07:24 AM
StephenLawrence - 15 April 2012 06:34 AM

It makes no sense to say that X is the most likely present that would result from initial conditions A billions of years ago.

It also makes no sense to say it is most likely that A are the initial conditons that X resulted from.

Both are equally nonsensical assuming indeterminism over billions of years. That’s what I mean by the same applies backwards.

To say that assuming indeterminism we cannot predict over long periods looking forwards. But we can look backwards over long periods makes no sense.

I honestly have no idea what you’re talking about. But perhaps you should take your issues up with the scientists doing the historical work and see what reactions you get.

I’m suprised, it seems fairly straightforward, though of course I have to accept I might be mistaken.

Causation is only stochastic in character, so if you’d begun the universe with precisely the same initial conditions you would be certain of coming up with a different outcome next time.

Just as it’s certain that different results would come out of the re run, it is certain that if we try to guess what started off this run we will be wrong, because it follows that out of all the ways it could have started , the one it did start off with, would almost certainly have not resulted in conditions as they are now!

The best chance we’d have of working out what the world was like billions of years ago would be to pick circumstances that current circumstances would almost certainly not have followed from. grin

Re the scientists the answer is they assume determinism when looking backwards.

Paraphrasing Stephen Hawking he said If the universe hadn’t been as it was 13 billion years ago we would not have been here today.

Well why not? If we re ran the tape there would be next to no chance of us being here today .

and if we ran the tape from different circumstances there would still be next to no chance of us being here today.

No more chance but no less, either.

So there is no more reason, assuming indeterminism, to think we would be here today, if we re ran the tape from different cicumstances or the same circumstances.

So there is no sense to be made of the claim that we wouldn’t be here today if the circumstances had been different, any more than if we re run the tape from the same circumstances we would be here today.

Of course the assumption is being made, same past, same future and that is why we believe can look into the distant past.

Stephen

[ Edited: 15 April 2012 09:03 AM by StephenLawrence ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 April 2012 11:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 124 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9283
Joined  2006-08-29
StephenLawrence - 15 April 2012 08:38 AM
George - 15 April 2012 08:24 AM

Add I’ll repeat that consciousness is the most imoprnat part of this topic and we know next to nothing about it. So perhaps until they figure this out, we may have to stick to philosophy. Philosophy=to love to pretend we know.  grin

I barely see what consciousness has to do with it at all George.

Stephen

Then you must have barely thought this through, Stephen.  grin I think it’s pretty clear we are not talking about free will of trees, worms, one-month old babies or those who are sleepwalking here (i.e., those who are not conscious).

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 April 2012 12:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 125 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15305
Joined  2006-02-14
StephenLawrence - 15 April 2012 08:58 AM

Of course the assumption is being made, same past, same future and that is why we believe can look into the distant past.

No, the assumption is being made that the most probable past given the evidence we see is the correct one.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 April 2012 12:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 126 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5939
Joined  2006-12-20
George - 15 April 2012 11:46 AM
StephenLawrence - 15 April 2012 08:38 AM
George - 15 April 2012 08:24 AM

Add I’ll repeat that consciousness is the most imoprnat part of this topic and we know next to nothing about it. So perhaps until they figure this out, we may have to stick to philosophy. Philosophy=to love to pretend we know.  grin

I barely see what consciousness has to do with it at all George.

Stephen

Then you must have barely thought this through, Stephen.  grin I think it’s pretty clear we are not talking about free will of trees, worms, one-month old babies or those who are sleepwalking here (i.e., those who are not conscious).

I think that’s because there are other differences.

Not sure about sleep walking? Is someone who is sleep walking conscious? If not why not? Can someone who commits a crime in their sleep be morally responsible? If not why not?

Edit: can someone in a coma be conscious for that matter?

Stephen

[ Edited: 15 April 2012 01:12 PM by StephenLawrence ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 April 2012 12:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 127 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5939
Joined  2006-12-20
dougsmith - 15 April 2012 12:03 PM
StephenLawrence - 15 April 2012 08:58 AM

Of course the assumption is being made, same past, same future and that is why we believe can look into the distant past.

No, the assumption is being made that the most probable past given the evidence we see is the correct one.

Well Doug, I know this is for another thread but really that does seem to be untrue.

What you have said is that these circumstances would certainly not arise again if we re- run the tape from the initial comditions.

That by definition means it’s practically physically impossible for this future to be the result of that past.

It’s absurd to also talk about that past being the most probable past out of all the pratically physically impossible pasts.

As if there could be any way to choose between practically physically impossible pasts. grin


Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 April 2012 12:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 128 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15305
Joined  2006-02-14
StephenLawrence - 15 April 2012 12:18 PM

Well Doug, I know this is for another thread but really that does seem to be untrue.

What you have said is that these circumstances would certainly not arise again if we re- run the tape from the initial comditions.

That by definition means it’s practically physically impossible for this future to be the result of that past.[/quote

It’s absurd to also talk about that past being the most probable past out of all the pratically physically impossible pasts.

The direction of higher entropy is towards the future; once again you’ve got the arrow of time going the wrong direction, which is a confusion.

Further, the cases we’re talking about of re-running the future aren’t on a cosmological scale. Cosmologically things would doubtless look very much the same if we ran things over again. The differences would be with chaotic processes. But signals from those processes (e.g., electromagnetic waves, which is what we extrapolate from) are not themselves chaotic. Since our knowledge of the past is through those non-chaotic processes, the same problem doesn’t arise, at least with the same intensity, about much of our knowledge of the past.

You’ve really got to think about this more carefully with specifics instead of just thinking about things at the highest levels of abstraction.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 April 2012 01:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 129 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4142
Joined  2008-08-14
GdB - 15 April 2012 07:46 AM
VYAZMA - 15 April 2012 07:20 AM

GdB, from post #99(this thread)....
It is interesting to see that the most emotional, irrational reactions on this topic come from those who claim to have a scientific world view. They behave as religious fanatics, insulting and using ad hominum attacks.

Does this ring a bell?  Let’s keep our memories and the record clear please.

Of course, but I said it pretty calmly, didn’t I? And it did not replace any rational argumentation… No ‘ha ha ha’s from my side.

So now, please show me that you understand what my definition of free will is, and if you want, why it is wrong.
And I still want to know if you cannot distinguish between free and none-free actions. Is there no difference between going to the fridge for a beer because someone is thirsty, and somebody forced to sell his house because of the crisis, or somebody raping and killing a woman just because it feels good?

No.  I wish to go no further.  Mainly because you’re interpreting malice or agitation on my part.  I included a smiley face with those “ha ha has”.
I have always enjoyed your participation here and I also said this could be reasoned out in 5-10 pages.  I’m not going to get sucked into a vortex.

 Signature 

Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 April 2012 02:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 130 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9283
Joined  2006-08-29
StephenLawrence - 15 April 2012 12:05 PM
George - 15 April 2012 11:46 AM
StephenLawrence - 15 April 2012 08:38 AM
George - 15 April 2012 08:24 AM

Add I’ll repeat that consciousness is the most imoprnat part of this topic and we know next to nothing about it. So perhaps until they figure this out, we may have to stick to philosophy. Philosophy=to love to pretend we know.  grin

I barely see what consciousness has to do with it at all George.

Stephen

Then you must have barely thought this through, Stephen.  grin I think it’s pretty clear we are not talking about free will of trees, worms, one-month old babies or those who are sleepwalking here (i.e., those who are not conscious).

I think that’s because there are other differences.

Not sure about sleep walking? Is someone who is sleep walking conscious? If not why not? Can someone who commits a crime in their sleep be morally responsible? If not why not?

Edit: can someone in a coma be conscious for that matter?


Stephen

From what I read, the level of consciousness in sleepwalkers is very low. Is it high enough for them to be responsible for their actions? Hard to tell. From personal experience—and I have sleepwalked A LOT—I don’t think we know what we are doing. If you have never sleepwalked it’s difficult to explain what it feels like, but as far as I can tell you don’t know what you are doing until you “wake up” when you quickly recall (not always, though) what you have just done.

The problem here is that you are still (kind of—again, difficult to describe) acting upon your beliefs and desires but you are not aware (again: kind of) of it.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 April 2012 02:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 131 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9283
Joined  2006-08-29

Now that I think about it, sleepwalking probably feels like being very drunk.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 April 2012 11:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 132 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5939
Joined  2006-12-20
George - 15 April 2012 02:27 PM

From what I read, the level of consciousness in sleepwalkers is very low. Is it high enough for them to be responsible for their actions?

This is interesting because the question is why would it need to be high enough? What difference does it make?

As far as I can see from a compatibilist point of view it should make no difference at all.

From personal experience—and I have sleepwalked A LOT—I don’t think we know what we are doing.

Again this is interesting, does know what you are doing mean conscious of it (slightly after you do it, of course grin)

Or does it mean something else?

Ah, conscious of your intentions perhaps? (again slightly after the fact)

Either way, again from a compatibilist point of view, what difference does it make?

If you have never sleepwalked it’s difficult to explain what it feels like, but as far as I can tell you don’t know what you are doing until you “wake up” when you quickly recall (not always, though) what you have just done.

The problem here is that you are still (kind of—again, difficult to describe) acting upon your beliefs and desires but you are not aware (again: kind of) of it.

Yes, but I would claim that is no problem for compatibilism.

Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 April 2012 11:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 133 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4375
Joined  2007-08-31
VYAZMA - 15 April 2012 01:37 PM

No.  I wish to go no further.  Mainly because you’re interpreting malice or agitation on my part.  I included a smiley face with those “ha ha has”.
I have always enjoyed your participation here and I also said this could be reasoned out in 5-10 pages.  I’m not going to get sucked into a vortex.

A pity. Just to be clear: I don’t see malice in your position, but agitation, yes, I see that. It’s simply the case that the mantra “Determinism, so no free will” does not work, and you did not argue much deeper than that. Sure, we are determined. It does not help to repeat that. Sure, theoretically it follows that our behaviour might be predicted one day. But does that mean that we cannot differ between a free action and a coerced action? Don’t you think the future all-knowing neurologists cannot distinguish between them?

 Signature 

GdB

“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 April 2012 11:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 134 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4375
Joined  2007-08-31
George - 15 April 2012 11:46 AM
StephenLawrence - 15 April 2012 08:38 AM

I barely see what consciousness has to do with it at all George.

Then you must have barely thought this through, Stephen.  grin I think it’s pretty clear we are not talking about free will of trees, worms, one-month old babies or those who are sleepwalking here (i.e., those who are not conscious).

This time I must wholeheartedly agree with George, Stephen. Free will has everything to do with consciousness. Looking for (meta)physical free will does not make any sense.

[ Edited: 16 April 2012 12:48 AM by GdB ]
 Signature 

GdB

“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 April 2012 11:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 135 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5939
Joined  2006-12-20
GdB - 15 April 2012 11:40 PM
VYAZMA - 15 April 2012 01:37 PM

No.  I wish to go no further.  Mainly because you’re interpreting malice or agitation on my part.  I included a smiley face with those “ha ha has”.
I have always enjoyed your participation here and I also said this could be reasoned out in 5-10 pages.  I’m not going to get sucked into a vortex.

A pity. Just to be clear: I don’t see malice in your position, but agitation, yes, I see that. It’s simply the case that the mantra “Determinism, so no free will” does not work, and you did not argue much deeper than that. Sure, we are determined. It does not help to repeat that. Sure, theoretically it follows that our behaviour might be predicted one day. But does that mean that we cannot differ between a free action and a coerced action? Don’t you think the future all-knowing neurologists cannot distinguish between them?

It depends what the person has in mind.

Vyazma doesn’t need telling he has various degrees of compatibilist freedom depending on the circumstances. It just ain’t what he is calling free will.

He knows a lion has more freedom in it’s natural habitat than it does in a cage.

George, Vyazma, Sam Harris etc etc, aren’t arguing over that.

They are all saying you are changing the subject.

Stephen

Profile
 
 
   
9 of 36
9