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Do non-human animals have free will?
Posted: 30 October 2012 11:16 PM   [ Ignore ]
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If so, how does that work?  Is there any difference between human and non-human free will?

If not, how do they manage to survive?

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Posted: 30 October 2012 11:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Lois - 30 October 2012 11:16 PM

If so, how does that work?  Is there any difference between human and non-human free will?

If not, how do they manage to survive?

Animals (human and non-human) are future-anticipating machines, which make them conscious. If they are hungry, they go there where they expects food. If they see a predator, they try to flee. They can be coerced to do something they normally would not do when threatened. That means they have wishes and beliefs as we have, even if they probably cannot not articulate them as well as we can.

So they have free will. Oh sorry, they can act freely. (But of course they are fully determined: by there genetic outfit, and by their experiences).

PS But of course, this free will is a gradual phenomenon. It depends on the clarity with which an animal picture his surroundings, and the spectrum of possible actions he can do.

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Posted: 31 October 2012 01:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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GdB - 30 October 2012 11:50 PM

Animals (human and non-human) are future-anticipating machines, which make them conscious.

Do you mean it’s necessary to be conscious to anticipate the future?

Stephen

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Posted: 31 October 2012 01:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Lois - 30 October 2012 11:16 PM

If not, how do they manage to survive?

Well how does bacteria manage to survive?

Stephen

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Posted: 31 October 2012 01:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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GdB - 30 October 2012 11:50 PM

Oh sorry, they can act freely.

grin

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Posted: 31 October 2012 08:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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StephenLawrence - 31 October 2012 01:21 AM
GdB - 30 October 2012 11:50 PM

Animals (human and non-human) are future-anticipating machines, which make them conscious.

Do you mean it’s necessary to be conscious to anticipate the future?

Stephen

This is one of many, many examples of why the free-will discussion is bogged down, confusing, and most of all unproductive.

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Posted: 31 October 2012 08:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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VYAZMA - 31 October 2012 08:57 AM
StephenLawrence - 31 October 2012 01:21 AM
GdB - 30 October 2012 11:50 PM

Animals (human and non-human) are future-anticipating machines, which make them conscious.

Do you mean it’s necessary to be conscious to anticipate the future?

Stephen

This is one of many, many examples of why the free-will discussion is bogged down, confusing, and most of all unproductive.

This doesn’t even have anything to do with free will, I’m just curious.

Stephen

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Posted: 31 October 2012 09:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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GdB-

So they have free will. Oh sorry, they can act freely. (But of course they are fully determined: by there genetic outfit, and by their experiences).

This, contextually is an even better example of why the free-will discussion is unproductive. Plain and Simple!
Here a poster continually oscillates between “semantical” frivolity and a subjective dialectic based on ideas of morality!(yes, yes, I have read enough of your posts)
They can act freely”. If two asteroids observed each other passing by in space they could be expected to believe the other was acting freely.
They could be expected to believe this only in the context of our own narrow, conscious template of awareness. No different than children playing with dolls and giving human attributes to inanimate objects.
Here(above), GdB’s claim of “freedom” is based on the simple observance of living creatures actually living!
Living creature who are machines and are determined in 100% of their reactions no differently than their chemical reaction will be when we are rotting in the ground.

GdB, you can’t see the forest of consciousness for the trees of consciousness!

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Posted: 31 October 2012 09:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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StephenLawrence - 31 October 2012 08:59 AM
VYAZMA - 31 October 2012 08:57 AM
StephenLawrence - 31 October 2012 01:21 AM
GdB - 30 October 2012 11:50 PM

Animals (human and non-human) are future-anticipating machines, which make them conscious.

Do you mean it’s necessary to be conscious to anticipate the future?

Stephen

This is one of many, many examples of why the free-will discussion is bogged down, confusing, and most of all unproductive.

This doesn’t even have anything to do with free will, I’m just curious.

Stephen

I agree with you, however posts like these appear in the free-will thread at a 35-50% rate. Confusing the discussion and bogging it down none the less.

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

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Posted: 31 October 2012 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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VYAZMA - 31 October 2012 09:12 AM

They can act freely”. If two asteroids observed each other passing by in space they could be expected to believe the other was acting freely.

Asteroids have no wishes and beliefs. That’s it.

VYAZMA - 31 October 2012 09:12 AM

Here(above), GdB’s claim of “freedom” is based on the simple observance of living creatures actually living!

Plants or bacteria have no wishes and beliefs, but they are living. They are not anticipating the future: they do not have a picture of their environment and of the the place they take in this environment. Higher animals have. Plants and bacteria react at gradients of food, poison, light, gravity etc. If you see no difference between this and the much bigger spectrum of observations and actions of higher animals…

VYAZMA - 31 October 2012 09:12 AM

Living creature who are machines and are determined in 100% of their reactions no differently than their chemical reaction will be when we are rotting in the ground.

In a free agent deterministic processes give rise to wishes and beliefs. If his actions are in accordance with these, then he is free. If they are not, his action is coerced. The same as with George: you keep arguing against libertarian free will, not against the compatibilist understanding of free will.

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Posted: 31 October 2012 11:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Lois - 30 October 2012 11:16 PM

If so, how does that work?  Is there any difference between human and non-human free will?

If not, how do they manage to survive?

In my experience, people more often use the term ‘free will’ more in a social context rather than a purely philosophical one. So, in that sense, there is a different betweem human and non-human free-will. But it all depends on definitions.

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Posted: 31 October 2012 03:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Anyone want to take bets as to how long it will take for this thread to reach the 100 page mark?  LOL

Occam

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Posted: 01 November 2012 08:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Maybe we should create a seperate sub forum for all the threads like this.  We can split it off from the Philosophy one and call it When Will It End?!

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“In the end nature is horrific and teaches us nothing.” -Mutual of Omicron

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Posted: 01 November 2012 08:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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StephenLawrence - 31 October 2012 01:21 AM
GdB - 30 October 2012 11:50 PM

Animals (human and non-human) are future-anticipating machines, which make them conscious.

Do you mean it’s necessary to be conscious to anticipate the future?

Stephen

No, I mean does consciousness allow an animal to override the determining factors he is unaware of.

Consciousness may just be awareness and the ability to analyze. It may have no power to intervene in actions,  even though we’d like to think it does. Think of it as watching a movie.  We are aware of what is happening, we can predict what will happen next, we can analyze its meaning.  But we have no power over how it develops.  With a movie, we realize this.  With our consciousness we don’t, or we don’t want to accept that it might be true.

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Posted: 01 November 2012 09:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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StephenLawrence - 31 October 2012 01:22 AM
Lois - 30 October 2012 11:16 PM

If not, how do they manage to survive?

Well how does bacteria manage to survive?

Do you think they’re surviving by consciously acting outside of their determining factors?

Stephen

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Posted: 01 November 2012 09:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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VYAZMA - 31 October 2012 08:57 AM
StephenLawrence - 31 October 2012 01:21 AM
GdB - 30 October 2012 11:50 PM

Animals (human and non-human) are future-anticipating machines, which make them conscious.

Do you mean it’s necessary to be conscious to anticipate the future?

Stephen

This is one of many, many examples of why the free-will discussion is bogged down, confusing, and most of all unproductive.

Only to those who can’t effectively think through a philosophical problem. But, of course, that is a result of one’s determining factors and not a conscious decision.  wink

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