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Do non-human animals have free will?
Posted: 05 December 2012 06:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 316 ]
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Sure, the illusion that we have a free will is practical. Nobody is denying that, just like nobody is denying that the illusion of seeing your hand as a solid object serves a purpose. There are all kinds of perspective-related geometrical illusions, for example, our minds see all the time, but nobody would ever say that once you are on an airplane, the cars are the size of ants. They look like that, but we know it’s only an illusion to help us measure the distance.

The illusion of free will can then help us to find who is culpable and responsible. I think we all understand why and how this works, but I see no reason to call this illusion any more real than that of seeing cars as being the size of ants and saying they really are that small.

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Posted: 05 December 2012 06:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 317 ]
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George - 05 December 2012 05:28 AM

And, Stephen, choice is to free will what “quack” is to a duck. That’s what they do: duck quacks and free will gives us choices. Or rather, it doesn’t give us choices. To think that you have a choice between entering either door A or B is an illusion, created by the illusion of having free will.

I think this is about as unlikely as the existence of God.

You think we don’t have a choice because you insist on defining options as things we can choose in the actual situation.

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Posted: 05 December 2012 06:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 318 ]
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George - 05 December 2012 06:07 AM

The illusion of free will can then help us to find who is culpable and responsible. I think we all understand why and how this works, but I see no reason to call this illusion any more real than that of seeing cars as being the size of ants and saying they really are that small.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooo. grin

You see George it’s senseless. You’re just wrong.

CHDO in the actual situation can’t makes us responsible at all, so it doesn’t work. We are merely confused about this.

This is why we need the compatibilist version of CHDO and that isn’t an illusion, it’s what could really means. Could always means could if…

Stephen

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Posted: 05 December 2012 06:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 319 ]
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StephenLawrence - 05 December 2012 06:18 AM
George - 05 December 2012 05:28 AM

And, Stephen, choice is to free will what “quack” is to a duck. That’s what they do: duck quacks and free will gives us choices. Or rather, it doesn’t give us choices. To think that you have a choice between entering either door A or B is an illusion, created by the illusion of having free will.

I think this is about as unlikely as the existence of God.

You think we don’t have a choice because you insist on defining options as things we can choose in the actual situation.

As opposed to what? What type other situations are there?

[ Edited: 05 December 2012 06:29 AM by George ]
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Posted: 05 December 2012 06:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 320 ]
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George - 05 December 2012 06:26 AM

As opposed to what? What type other situations are there?

It’s enough to know could means could if…

To try to answer your question, imagine you have two envelopes one containing half the other, in this situation you could have…...... grin

Stephen

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Posted: 05 December 2012 06:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 321 ]
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George,

Is it an illusion that a coin can land on either heads or tails?

Stephen

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Posted: 05 December 2012 06:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 322 ]
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StephenLawrence - 05 December 2012 06:51 AM

George,

Is it an illusion that a coin can land on either heads or tails?

Stephen

Yes.

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Posted: 05 December 2012 07:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 323 ]
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This is a classic example of being given a reductio ad absurdum and taking it.

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Posted: 05 December 2012 07:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 324 ]
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George - 05 December 2012 06:59 AM
StephenLawrence - 05 December 2012 06:51 AM

George,

Is it an illusion that a coin can land on either heads or tails?

Stephen

Yes.

I can demonstrate it can by tossing the coin a few times, so no it isn’t.

Stephen

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Posted: 05 December 2012 07:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 325 ]
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Right, Stephen. The problem here doesn’t seem to have anything to do with freedom or free will. It has to do with causation. Obviously, if there is no such thing as causation, no such thing as an object having different possible causal powers and outcomes, then there is no such thing as free will. But then the O-ring didn’t cause the Challenger disaster, poor design didn’t cause the Tacoma Narrows Bridge disaster, genetics doesn’t cause personality type, etc. Because there aren’t any possibilities except the actual, and all counterfactual conditionals are false.

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Posted: 05 December 2012 07:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 326 ]
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StephenLawrence - 05 December 2012 07:09 AM
George - 05 December 2012 06:59 AM
StephenLawrence - 05 December 2012 06:51 AM

George,

Is it an illusion that a coin can land on either heads or tails?

Stephen

Yes.

I can demonstrate it can by tossing the coin a few times, so no it isn’t.

Stephen

There is only one way it can land each time you toss it. Which way it will be has been determined since the beginning of time. No choice.

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Posted: 05 December 2012 07:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 327 ]
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dougsmith - 05 December 2012 07:15 AM

Right, Stephen. The problem here doesn’t seem to have anything to do with freedom or free will. It has to do with causation. Obviously, if there is no such thing as causation, no such thing as an object having different possible causal powers and outcomes, then there is no such thing as free will. But then the O-ring didn’t cause the Challenger disaster, poor design didn’t cause the Tacoma Narrows Bridge disaster, genetics doesn’t cause personality type, etc. Because there aren’t any possibilities except the actual, and all counterfactual conditionals are false.

Yep, that’s what I was thinking, now where did I get that idea from.  wink

Possible worlds are still a mystery to me though, perhaps they for ever will be but I know enough for practical purposes, which is handy.

Stephen

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Posted: 05 December 2012 07:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 328 ]
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George - 05 December 2012 07:21 AM
StephenLawrence - 05 December 2012 07:09 AM
George - 05 December 2012 06:59 AM
StephenLawrence - 05 December 2012 06:51 AM

George,

Is it an illusion that a coin can land on either heads or tails?

Stephen

Yes.

I can demonstrate it can by tossing the coin a few times, so no it isn’t.

Stephen

There is only one way it can land each time you toss it. Which way it will be has been determined since the beginning of time. No choice.

Forget choice, we are talking about alternative possibilities, the type we assign probability to.

Stephen

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Posted: 05 December 2012 07:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 329 ]
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We assign probability out of ignorance, not because they exist. If I could show you how all the atoms are aligned to cause the coin to land on heads when you toss it at 9:35 a.m. EST, you would never think of there being an alternative possibility of the coin landing on tales. But we are rather primitive to calculate the outcome so we think both outcomes are equally possible.

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Posted: 05 December 2012 07:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 330 ]
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George,

I think that when we think about alternatives, there is good reason to believe we are thinking about the type we can demonstrate, like my coin example.

This is what convinced me:

http://www.informationphilosopher.com/solutions/philosophers/austin/

Austin then asks, could I have done otherwise? Could I have made the putt, in exactly the same physical conditions? “Further experiments,” he says, “may confirm my belief that I could have done it although I did not.”

Bold by me.

Stephen

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