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Do non-human animals have free will?
Posted: 01 November 2012 09:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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VYAZMA - 31 October 2012 09:14 AM
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.

  Then why do you participate?  No one is forcing you.  You can ignore any post or thread, but perhaps you are not free to do so. Some determining factor apparently forces you to participate against your will. A good indication that free will does not exist.

...

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Posted: 01 November 2012 11:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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GdB - 31 October 2012 10:24 AM
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.

Like I said, you can’t see the forest for the trees in regards to consciousness and awareness.

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…

Speaking of gradients….what about a mole?  How about a spider?  An elephant?  At what point in the gradient does the “special magic” pour in?
If plants and bacterias didn’t anticipate the future then they would not reproduce or eat. So if they don’t anticipate the future, what makes them eat and reproduce?
Take your answer to this last question.  Can that be applied to humans?  Are you following this?

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.

Wow, here we go again.  100’s of pages and your still disconnected from this discussion. You are still trying to equate liberty with free-will.
Those 2 asteroids I described above are free-agents and are subject to deterministic processes.  So I guess it does give rise to wishes and beliefs for them.(the 2 asteroids.)

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Posted: 01 November 2012 01:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Dead Monky - 01 November 2012 08:50 AM

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?!

Don’t count out the 2 envelopes problem, as a thread that may never end.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 01 November 2012 02:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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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?

If your question is “do non-human animals have libertarian free will?”, then the answer is no.  Human’s don’t either.

If your question is “do non-human animals act in accordance with their beliefs and wishes, at times?”  I suspect so. But their doing so is probably a moot issue to them, and probably one that they never consider.

They survive by natural processes as do humans.  I contend that humans have a relative survival advantage, however, with the greater abilities to examine and consider their own wants and actions.

[ Edited: 01 November 2012 02:31 PM by TimB ]
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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 01 November 2012 02:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Lois - 01 November 2012 09:07 AM

  Then why do you participate?  No one is forcing you.  You can ignore any post or thread, but perhaps you are not free to do so. Some determining factor apparently forces you to participate against your will. A good indication that free will does not exist.

...

“No one is forcing you.” Wow, that’s definitely a cultural reference.

tongue laugh

So often, people seem to conflate free will with being able to what they want when they want. That’s really an issue of social boundaries, not metaphysics.

Now, how in the world does some determining factor force someone to act against their will when they actually do do what they want? hmmm

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Posted: 01 November 2012 03:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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author=“VYAZMA”
Wow, here we go again.  100’s of pages and your still disconnected from this discussion. You are still trying to equate liberty with free-will.
Those 2 asteroids I described above are free-agents and are subject to deterministic processes.  So I guess it does give rise to wishes and beliefs for them.(the 2 asteroids.)

Suppose these asteroids really hate each other, constantly pulling and tugging at each other. Never able to just go straight and get away from this evil twin. Asteroid hell!!

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Posted: 01 November 2012 04:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 01 November 2012 02:18 PM
Lois - 01 November 2012 09:07 AM

  Then why do you participate?  No one is forcing you.  You can ignore any post or thread, but perhaps you are not free to do so. Some determining factor apparently forces you to participate against your will. A good indication that free will does not exist.

...

“No one is forcing you.” Wow, that’s definitely a cultural reference.

tongue laugh

So often, people seem to conflate free will with being able to what they want when they want. That’s really an issue of social boundaries, not metaphysics.

Now, how in the world does some determining factor force someone to act against their will when they actually do do what they want? hmmm

For the simple reason that what we consciously want has no bearing on what we do. Again using the movie analogy, no matter what we want to happen in the movie has any bearing on what happens.  The difference is that we understand that we have no control over a movie but most of us do not ubderstand that we equally have no conscious control over what happens in life.  If something happens that we wanted we claim to have caused it or that that’s what we wanted all along.  We make the mistake of thinking that being aware of what’s happening means we caused it or wanted it that way. Our minds have a way of turning thoughts and events 180 degrees and we don’t realize it.

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Posted: 01 November 2012 05:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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On a scientific basis I don’t think one can make a case for indeterminism (free will). However, intuitively I feel there is an inherent logical conflict between our ability to project a different future, at least the future of our immediate environment, and a pre-determined future.

Is there a clue to be found in the evolutionary process which seems to allow for, and facillitate diversity.  Is that not somewhat contrary to the concept of determinism?

Is our ability to plan for and work towards a “desired” future outcome a form of limited free will within the greater deterministic structure?

[ Edited: 01 November 2012 05:32 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 01 November 2012 05:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Lois - 01 November 2012 04:29 PM

For the simple reason that what we consciously want has no bearing on what we do. Again using the movie analogy, no matter what we want to happen in the movie has any bearing on what happens.  The difference is that we understand that we have no control over a movie but most of us do not ubderstand that we equally have no conscious control over what happens in life.  If something happens that we wanted we claim to have caused it or that that’s what we wanted all along.  We make the mistake of thinking that being aware of what’s happening means we caused it or wanted it that way. Our minds have a way of turning thoughts and events 180 degrees and we don’t realize it.

Um, I don’t follow.

What we consciously want has a whole lot of bearing on what we do. We are not movies. We are, at the very least, reactive machines that take input from our environments and formulate output. Movies do not do that. I think that your analogy is confused and inconsistent. And this is different from having a confusion between cause and effect - that’s not free will; it’s just confused thinking on the part of the thinker. Just because we are not always very good at determining the effects for given causes, doesn’t mean that we can’t do it at all. That’s part of what our brains do, and it’s a big part of taking input and formulating output.

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Posted: 01 November 2012 07:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Lois, Part of what you said is “If something happens that we wanted we claim… that’s what we wanted…”.

I don’t follow your reasoning that claiming that we wanted something “that we wanted” is a mistake. 

If we did something that we wanted to do, then we acted in accordance with our will. The exact moment that we became aware that it was in accordance with our will doesn’t negate that. Also, the contingencies that controlled our behavior (including the want itself) did not negate that we did what we wanted to do. 

I am straining to follow your line of thinking in a way that makes some sense. So maybe your point is that we never really want anything, but that we just come to (erroneously) believe, in retrospect that we wanted things?  But this seems to defy all observations of all organisms which behave in ways so as to relieve states of deprivation. It suggests, indeed, that we do not have states of deprivation.

Nope, I can’t make sense of your point.

[ Edited: 02 November 2012 10:29 AM by TimB ]
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Posted: 02 November 2012 12:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 01 November 2012 02:18 PM

Now, how in the world does some determining factor force someone to act against their will when they actually do do what they want? hmmm

The will is forced upon them.

Stephen

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Posted: 02 November 2012 12:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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TimB - 01 November 2012 02:09 PM

If your question is “do non-human animals have libertarian free will?”, then the answer is no.  Human’s don’t either.

That was the question.

Stephen

[ Edited: 02 November 2012 12:13 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 02 November 2012 12:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Vyazma, Vyazma,

Hundreds pages of discussions, with references to philosophers, with other people agreeing with me, and you still don’t get it? Stop raging and start reading and thinking. Read some good texts about combatibilism, show me where the errors in the argumentations are, and then discuss them here with me. But please stop yelling at me.

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Posted: 02 November 2012 08:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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TimB - 01 November 2012 01:56 PM

Don’t count out the 2 envelopes problem, as a thread that may never end.

Oh indeed.  That one would most certainly belong there.

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Posted: 02 November 2012 11:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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TimB - 01 November 2012 01:56 PM

Don’t count out the 2 envelopes problem, as a thread that may never end.

Hey, I am just waiting till kkwan gives up his resistance!

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