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A pragmatic discussion about free will
Posted: 23 October 2013 08:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 436 ]
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GdB - 22 October 2013 10:42 PM

Your wishes and beliefs are redundant for the neurosurgeon who is operating on you, but not for the judge who must find out if you can be held responsible for the crime you committed.

Yeah.  You’re right.

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Posted: 23 October 2013 02:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 437 ]
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StephenLawrence - 23 October 2013 04:47 AM

All this says is you need alternative possibilities in the actual situation to have free will. But it doesn’t say why. What difference does it make?

Without alternative possibilities, there is only one outcome, which is fatal for free will.

I can make tea or coffee depending upon my choice regardless of whether determinism is true or not.

You can, because determinism does not rule, in reality. Therefore, you have free will.

If you check to see, you will see that the problem is the initial conditions are out of my control so it’s not up to me whether they lead to me drinking tea or coffee.

That the initial conditions are out of your control does not imply they can influence you wrt whether you drink tea or coffee. To drink tea or coffee depends on your choice at any time, regardless of the initial conditions.

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Posted: 23 October 2013 10:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 438 ]
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kkwan - 23 October 2013 02:23 PM
StephenLawrence - 23 October 2013 04:47 AM

All this says is you need alternative possibilities in the actual situation to have free will. But it doesn’t say why. What difference does it make?

Without alternative possibilities, there is only one outcome, which is fatal for free will.

There are alternative possibilities in my two stage model.

I can make tea or coffee depending upon my choice regardless of whether determinism is true or not.


You can, because determinism does not rule, in reality. Therefore, you have free will.

I can because whether I have tea or coffee depends upon which I would prefer, which is compatible with my two stage model.

That the initial conditions are out of your control does not imply they can influence you wrt whether you drink tea or coffee. To drink tea or coffee depends on your choice at any time, regardless of the initial conditions.

Focus on what would be the case if determinism were true. If determinism were true whether I drink tea or coffee would depend upon my choice at the time which in turn would depend upon the initial conditions.

[ Edited: 23 October 2013 11:21 PM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 23 October 2013 10:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 439 ]
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That the initial conditions are out of your control does not imply they can influence you wrt whether you drink tea or coffee. To drink tea or coffee depends on your choice at any time, regardless of the initial conditions.

Here is a great description of belief in libertarian free will from Kkwan.

Nothing before the choice is influencing the choice, we can make a different choice regardless of anything that went before it and yet that doesn’t make it random but entirely up to us.

We’ve seen enough to know this is what people generally believe in. So we know if we say to people you do have free will, this will be what they think we are talking about.

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Posted: 24 October 2013 08:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 440 ]
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StephenLawrence - 23 October 2013 10:49 PM

There are alternative possibilities in my two stage model

If and only if, determinism is discarded and replaced by adequate determinism (which includes micro quantum indeterminism).

I can because whether I have tea or coffee depends upon which I would prefer, which is compatible with my two stage model.

Again, as mentioned above.

Focus on what would be the case if determinism were true. If determinism were true whether I drink tea or coffee would depend upon my choice at the time which in turn would depend upon the initial conditions.

1.“If determinism were true”, is vacuous, because determinism does not exist in reality as it is an “abstract theoretical ideal”.

2. What are the “initial conditions” is vague and not precisely defined and how does that affect your choice, is not shown.

3. Causal chains are highly problematic, with adequate determinism, beyond a few steps.

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Posted: 24 October 2013 09:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 441 ]
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StephenLawrence - 23 October 2013 10:57 PM

Nothing before the choice is influencing the choice, we can make a different choice regardless of anything that went before it and yet that doesn’t make it random but entirely up to us.

That is a misinterpretation of what I wrote which is “To drink tea or coffee depends on your choice at any time, regardless of the initial conditions.” whereby “initial conditions” is vague and not properly defined. As such, it is irrelevant.

We’ve seen enough to know this is what people generally believe in. So we know if we say to people you do have free will, this will be what they think we are talking about.

Compatibilist free will is otiose with it’s assumption and unjustified belief in determinism, initial conditions and causal chains.

OTOH, from http://www.informationphilosopher.com/freedom/adequate_determinism.html

Adequate determinism gives compatibilists the kind of free will that they need and that they say they want.

But, wrt to indeterminism:

But these random events drive the creation of new species and we can show that they underlie all creativity, all actions that bring new information into the universe, whether the formation of stars and galaxies or the writing of a new play.

For most people, free will, defined as http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/free will

: the ability to choose how to act

: the ability to make choices that are not controlled by fate or God

Full Definition of FREE WILL

1:  voluntary choice or decision <I do this of my own free will>

2:  freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention

is clear, understandable, necessary and sufficient, without the complexities of compatibilist free will.

If that is libertarian free will, it is accessible and pragmatic.  smile

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Posted: 24 October 2013 10:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 442 ]
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I tried responding to kkwan and received this message from CFI.  There was nothing in my response that could be considered spam. It contained two words.


Computer says your input might be spam, so it was discarded.

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Posted: 24 October 2013 12:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 443 ]
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kkwan - 24 October 2013 09:16 AM
StephenLawrence - 23 October 2013 10:57 PM

Nothing before the choice is influencing the choice, we can make a different choice regardless of anything that went before it and yet that doesn’t make it random but entirely up to us.

That is a misinterpretation of what I wrote which is “To drink tea or coffee depends on your choice at any time, regardless of the initial conditions.” whereby “initial conditions” is vague and not properly defined. As such, it is irrelevant.

It’s not really a misinterpretation Kkwan, you meant regardless of anything before the choice which was out of your control, so that the choice was entirely up to you. That’s what being free from a causal chain is all about.

Compatibilist free will is otiose with it’s assumption and unjustified belief in determinism, initial conditions and causal chains.

Compatibilism is that free will is compatible with determinism. Not belief in determinism.

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Posted: 24 October 2013 01:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 444 ]
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kkwan - 24 October 2013 08:26 AM
StephenLawrence - 23 October 2013 10:49 PM

There are alternative possibilities in my two stage model

If and only if, determinism is discarded and replaced by adequate determinism (which includes micro quantum indeterminism).

That is not true.

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Posted: 24 October 2013 07:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 445 ]
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Lois - 24 October 2013 10:31 AM

I tried responding to kkwan and received this message from CFI.  There was nothing in my response that could be considered spam. It contained two words.


Computer says your input might be spam, so it was discarded.

Blame it on the “intelligent” computer software or use many other words in a complete sentence etc. 

smile

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Posted: 24 October 2013 07:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 446 ]
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StephenLawrence - 24 October 2013 12:55 PM

It’s not really a misinterpretation Kkwan, you meant regardless of anything before the choice which was out of your control, so that the choice was entirely up to you. That’s what being free from a causal chain is all about.

Causal chains are highly problematic and as such, we cannot rely on them, except for things like billiard balls.

In reality, if A caused B, all we can say is A must precede B because C or D could also cause B and we might not be aware of C or D. Therefore, we cannot definitely say only A can cause B to occur.

Compatibilism is that free will is compatible with determinism. Not belief in determinism.

In order to say that, it is implicit that compatibilists believe determinism rules.

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Posted: 24 October 2013 08:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 447 ]
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StephenLawrence - 24 October 2013 01:05 PM

That is not true.

That is true because adequate determinism is what we find and experience in macro reality, not determinism.

[ Edited: 25 October 2013 09:02 AM by kkwan ]
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Posted: 24 October 2013 10:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 448 ]
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kkwan - 24 October 2013 07:56 PM

In reality, if A caused B, all we can say is A must precede B because C or D could also cause B and we might not be aware of C or D. Therefore, we cannot definitely say only A can cause B to occur.

Also that B *depends* upon A.

Without a dependent connection there is no free will in any case

In order to say that, it is implicit that compatibilists believe determinism rules.

Simply no it isn’t.

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Posted: 24 October 2013 10:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 449 ]
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kkwan - 24 October 2013 08:00 PM

That is true because adequate determinism what we find and experience in macro reality, not determinism.

There are alternative possibilities in my two stage model. The indeterminism is placed at the beginning of time.

So it is not true that there are no alternative possibilities in my two stage model.

Also we know adequate determinism has nothing to do with alternative possibilites. Simply toss a coin a few times to work that out.

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Posted: 24 October 2013 10:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 450 ]
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Kkwan,

The fact is what you believe is nothing our of your control would have to be different for you to make a different choice.

That is why you think we need to be free from a causal chain to have free will. Otherwise determinism is no problem for free will.

Once you are clear about that the solution is simple.

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