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Do non-human animals have free will?
Posted: 28 November 2012 03:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 226 ]
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TimB - 28 November 2012 01:39 PM

Just for a moment, setting the compatibilist version of free will aside, do we all (George, Stephen, Vyazma, GdB, Lois, Isaac) agree on the following?:

1) no one has libertarian free will
2) it seems unfair to assign blame or responsibility, because no one has libertarian free will
3) it is necessary within a functioning society for attributions of blame or responsibility to be assigned

1. yes, it’s a meaningless non-concept (one would have to not even have a self of any meaningful sort for one’s actions to be uncaused, in which case they would not, in any meaningful sense, be one’s actions.)
2. no, it’s irrelevent
3. useful, at very least

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Posted: 28 November 2012 04:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 227 ]
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George and Isaac, thanks for replying to my question.

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Posted: 28 November 2012 10:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 228 ]
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TimB - 28 November 2012 01:39 PM

Just for a moment, setting the compatibilist version of free will aside, do we all (George, Stephen, Vyazma, GdB, Lois, Isaac) agree on the following?:

1) no one has libertarian free will
2) it seems unfair to assign blame or responsibility, because no one has libertarian free will
3) it is necessary within a functioning society for attributions of blame or responsibility to be assigned

1) Agreed

2) Yes, like people don’t deserve their place in a lottery.

3) Yes, at least for the foreseeable future.

Stephen

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Posted: 28 November 2012 11:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 229 ]
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George - 28 November 2012 02:20 PM

I don’t know, but it seems to me that a knight in a computer game of chess will never decide to jump all the way across the board, just like Andromeda will never decide to stop in order to prevent a collision with us.

You are way ahead of us and brilliant, or you are being daft George.  smile

There are such things as preventative causes. Changes could occur within Andromeda which prevent a collision. But those changes wouldn’t occur “in order to prevent a collision” they might just occur.

The chess computer, like us, works out that checkmate in 3 would be the consequence of move A and so selects move B instead, it’s working out what would happen if it did A and giving that a lower valuation than doing B, is why it does B. Making move B prevents checkmate in a calculated way. It could have made move A, which means it would have done if it had evaluated that move most highly instead.

If you could see all the little zeros and ones inside the computer, they would look just like the big stars and planets of Andromeda moving wherever they have been determined.

Yes. And you would know that behaviour is the computer evaluating the moves and preventing checkmate. And it’s a machine that’s designed to do that in order to avoid checkmate.

No choice.

By what definition of choice?

Plus, the computer doesn’t have wishes, so how can its decisions be anything but “libertarian decisions?”  grin

It’s decisions are just decisions, just choices. Not free choices, so free will doesn’t come into it.

Stephen

[ Edited: 28 November 2012 11:21 PM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 28 November 2012 11:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 230 ]
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George - 28 November 2012 02:32 PM

2. I don’t know what “unfair” has got to do with any of this. Shit happens, be it “fair” or “unfair.”

Shit happens in a lot of cases because people think shit is deserved, that’s the bit you miss about free will.

Belief in it does make a difference.

Stephen

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Posted: 28 November 2012 11:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 231 ]
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VYAZMA - 28 November 2012 01:11 PM

Great, first what does your personal(and Write’s)observation of this “special phenomena” entail? 

In the case of a steam train that it can move itself, and a heap of iron, coal and water can’t.

VYAZMA - 28 November 2012 01:11 PM

My point is clear. All functions and systems of life are causally determined.  Do you disagree with this or not?

Yes. I fully agree. I said that hundreds of times, and you keep asking.

And as you do not even try to understand me, I let it be with that. Keep up the yelling, VYAZMA. The louder you declare your own trains of thought, the more convincing they become.

[ Edited: 29 November 2012 12:56 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 28 November 2012 11:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 232 ]
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George - 28 November 2012 02:32 PM

You might as well replace “unfair” and “necessary” with “should.” Should Andromeda collide with our galaxy?

A better example is should you put petrol in your car?

Yes, if you want it to go.

Stephen

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Posted: 28 November 2012 11:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 233 ]
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George - 28 November 2012 02:32 PM
TimB - 28 November 2012 01:39 PM

2) it seems unfair to assign blame or responsibility, because no one has libertarian free will

2. I don’t know what “unfair” has got to do with any of this. Shit happens, be it “fair” or “unfair.”

One of your children has eaten all the chocolate that was meant to share in the family. You punish your son from who you know he could not have done it. Is that fair? “Sorry my boy, shit happens?”

[ Edited: 28 November 2012 11:44 PM by GdB ]
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Posted: 28 November 2012 11:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 234 ]
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TimB - 28 November 2012 01:39 PM

1) no one has libertarian free will
2) it seems unfair to assign blame or responsibility, because no one has libertarian free will
3) it is necessary within a functioning society for attributions of blame or responsibility to be assigned

1. Yep, in the same way there is no circle with corners.
2. No. Compatibilist free will is enough for assigning responsibility.
3. Yes.

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Posted: 29 November 2012 12:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 235 ]
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GdB - 28 November 2012 11:39 PM

2. No. Compatibilist free will is enough for assigning responsibility.

That doesn’t make it fair.

There but for circumstances go I. That doesn’t make it fair that makes me lucky, mostly (so far).

It’s dreadful to imagine those whose determinants were less favourable (so far) deserve it.

Stephen

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Posted: 29 November 2012 01:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 236 ]
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StephenLawrence - 29 November 2012 12:01 AM

There but for circumstances go I. That doesn’t make it fair that makes me lucky, mostly (so far).

It’s dreadful to imagine those whose determinants were less favourable (so far) deserve it.

Stephen

this presupposes an ‘I’ apart from circumstances, and circumstances as something separate from the self—as does pretty much any normal notion of free will. It’s only when people start talking about the inner self as also being ‘circumstances’ that things get complicated.

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Posted: 29 November 2012 01:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 237 ]
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StephenLawrence - 28 November 2012 11:30 PM
George - 28 November 2012 02:32 PM

You might as well replace “unfair” and “necessary” with “should.” Should Andromeda collide with our galaxy?

A better example is should you put petrol in your car?

Yes, if you want it to go.

Stephen


right. ‘should’ exists relative to wants, needs, goals, values, motives, etc.

(and if one believes in objective values, ‘should’ exists relative to those, too.)

[ Edited: 29 November 2012 03:39 PM by isaac ]
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Posted: 29 November 2012 01:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 238 ]
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TimB - 28 November 2012 01:39 PM

Just for a moment, setting the compatibilist version of free will aside, do we all (George, Stephen, Vyazma, GdB, Lois, Isaac) agree on the following?:

1) no one has libertarian free will
2) it seems unfair to assign blame or responsibility, because no one has libertarian free will
3) it is necessary within a functioning society for attributions of blame or responsibility to be assigned

Ok, thanks GdB and Stephen.  Lois hasn’t replied yet, but the rest have.  The results, so far, are as follows:

1) We have unanimous agreement. (I think it’s safe to say Lois would agree, as well, to this one.)

2) Three “yes” and three “no”. (Though GdB, your “no” might have been a “yes”, if you could have set aside the concept of compatibilist free will for a moment.  But you didn’t, hence, three agree on each side of statement #2.  Otherwise the disagreement on #2 basically contends that the statement is irrelevant.)


3) Five “yes” and one “no”. (Again, the disagreement basically contends that the statement is spurious.)


Well, I don’t know how helpful this was, in clarifying what we agree on, but thanks again for participating!

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Posted: 29 November 2012 02:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 239 ]
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TimB - 29 November 2012 01:56 AM

2) Three “yes” and three “no”. (Though GdB, your “no” might have been a “yes”, if you could have set aside the concept of compatibilist free will for a moment.  But you didn’t, hence, three agree on each side of statement #2.  Otherwise the disagreement on #2 basically contends that the statement is irrelevant.)

Yeah, but I think this is an ambiguity in your questionnaire, because your ‘because’.

The following question I would answer with “no”: Is it unfair to assign blame or responsibility? (It is fair because we can distinguish between coerced and free actions)
The following I would of course answer with “no” too: “Do we need libertarian free will for assigning blame or responsibility?”

Is it clear what the others meant with their respective answers?

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Posted: 29 November 2012 04:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 240 ]
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GdB - 29 November 2012 02:14 AM

...Is it clear what the others meant with their respective answers?

If it were, this thread would likely not be going on as long as it is.

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