26 of 70
26
Do non-human animals have free will?
Posted: 03 March 2013 12:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 376 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2602
Joined  2012-10-27
GdB - 03 March 2013 08:54 AM
George - 02 March 2013 09:30 AM

The problem here is that we do decide if we’ll have a pizza or lasagna on the neurological level. I still don’t find the arcticle funny. But to each his own, I guess.

That sounds the same as that the survival of an organism is decided on atomic level. It does not make any sense either.

George - 02 March 2013 12:25 PM

you’ll never be free to decide to have pizza, just like a calculator isn’t really free to decide that 1+1=2.

It is obvious from this sentence that you use another definition of free will than I do.

StephenLawrence - 02 March 2013 09:48 AM

George’s problem with free will is what it means to him is this: We could do otherwise in the actual situation in a way that makes us ultimately responsible for our choices.

And he finds any attempts to define it differently don’t ring true (for want of a better way of putting it).

This is true. But George’s problem is that he selectively applies the idea of higher order phenomena. The concept of free will gets its meaning in the context of actions, responsibility, motives, beliefs, persons, choice, coercion, etc etc. Trying to build a concept of free will, or to deny its existence, based on physics is metaphysical mumbo jumbo. In stating that we are causally determined by our neurological structures, he assumes there is no meaningful concept of free will. But he sticks to this one, naive and wrong definition of libertarian free will: that is the straw man he is attacking all the time.

Lois - 02 March 2013 10:34 AM

How would quantum physics prove that free will exists?

It was supposed to ‘break the causal chain’, which the concept of libertarian free will needs. As an example: according to Simon van der Meer free will is based on ‘the noise in the brain’. But of course quantum physics only has randomness on offer. And it is impossible to build a concept of free will based on the idea that you actions are (partially) random.

—Ok, make that case.  Randomness is not an argument for free will.  Randomness is just another factor that drives our decisions that we have no control over.  How does one, through free will, overcome and supersede the effects of randomness? Would we know what we were trying to overcome and supersede? Or is it that if we try really, really hard magic will happen?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 March 2013 01:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 377 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6121
Joined  2006-12-20
Lois - 03 March 2013 12:36 PM


—Ok, make that case.  Randomness is not an argument for free will.  Randomness is just another factor that drives our decisions that we have no control over.  How does one, through free will, overcome and supersede the effects of randomness? Would we know what we were trying to overcome and supersede? Or is it that if we try really, really hard magic will happen?

Everybody in this current conversation believes the case cannot be made Lois.

There is more than one concept of free will.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 March 2013 01:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 378 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9301
Joined  2006-08-29

Just like there is more than one concept of evidence for God’s existence. There is science and then there is making stuff up. Science seems to show that free will is an illusion so we make up compatibilism.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 March 2013 10:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 379 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2602
Joined  2012-10-27
StephenLawrence - 03 March 2013 01:10 PM
Lois - 03 March 2013 12:36 PM


—Ok, make that case.  Randomness is not an argument for free will.  Randomness is just another factor that drives our decisions that we have no control over.  How does one, through free will, overcome and supersede the effects of randomness? Would we know what we were trying to overcome and supersede? Or is it that if we try really, really hard magic will happen?

Everybody in this current conversation believes the case cannot be made Lois.

There is more than one concept of free will.

I think there are those who don’t think the case can’t be made.

What is another concept of free will?  How does it differ from my concept?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 March 2013 12:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 380 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6121
Joined  2006-12-20
George - 03 March 2013 01:21 PM

Just like there is more than one concept of evidence for God’s existence. There is science and then there is making stuff up. Science seems to show that free will is an illusion so we make up compatibilism.

Or Libertarian free will is made up and compatibilism is the real thing?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 March 2013 12:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 381 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4520
Joined  2007-08-31
George - 03 March 2013 01:21 PM

Just like there is more than one concept of evidence for God’s existence. There is science and then there is making stuff up.

And there are higher level descriptions. One molecule doesn’t make a tornado, many billions can.
Random black spots do not have meaning. Words written on paper have.

I have no flexible God-like definition of free will, I made it very clear, but you are arguing against another kind of free will all the time, even here.

Somebody is said to have free will, when he is able to act according to his wishes and beliefs.

No one single argument you have ever given is pointed against that definition. Because what you add to this definition, without mentioning it: what you wish and believe is determined, and you think that an act may only be called free will when it is uncaused. But with that you have changed my definition: you point your arguments against libertarian free will. I fully agree that wishes and beliefs are determined. So what?

Somebody acting according to his wishes or beliefs on one side, or being coerced, forced, compelled by somebody else on the other side, is the difference between a free action and an action that was not free. And this has nothing to do with the fact that both the free act and the coerced act were physically determined. And in both cases, neurons are just firing as they usually do, so how could you expect to find evidence pro or contra free will on the neurological level?

George - 03 March 2013 01:21 PM

Science seems to show that free will is an illusion so we make up compatibilism.

Science shows there is no uncaused homunculus sitting in the brain, where all conscious actions start. It might be just a matter of time until science can map the difference between free and coerced actions on differences in brain processes. In one aspect these process will surely not differ: both kinds of processes will be fully determined.

[ Edited: 04 March 2013 07:41 AM by GdB ]
 Signature 

GdB

“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 March 2013 12:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 382 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4520
Joined  2007-08-31
StephenLawrence - 04 March 2013 12:10 AM
George - 03 March 2013 01:21 PM

Just like there is more than one concept of evidence for God’s existence. There is science and then there is making stuff up. Science seems to show that free will is an illusion so we make up compatibilism.

Or Libertarian free will is made up and compatibilism is the real thing?

This is exactly the point.

 Signature 

GdB

“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 March 2013 12:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 383 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6121
Joined  2006-12-20
Lois - 03 March 2013 10:31 PM
StephenLawrence - 03 March 2013 01:10 PM
Lois - 03 March 2013 12:36 PM


—Ok, make that case.  Randomness is not an argument for free will.  Randomness is just another factor that drives our decisions that we have no control over.  How does one, through free will, overcome and supersede the effects of randomness? Would we know what we were trying to overcome and supersede? Or is it that if we try really, really hard magic will happen?

Everybody in this current conversation believes the case cannot be made Lois.

There is more than one concept of free will.

I think there are those who don’t think the case can’t be made.

You are correct. And almost everybody believes in free will just as you define. But presently you are not talking to any of those people.

What is another concept of free will?  How does it differ from my concept?

The other concept is called compatibilism, which means we can have it even if determinism is true.

A simple definition is we have it when we act in accordance with our beliefs and desires. The simple definition is not adequate because we also need to be free to select an other or other options. This is handled by the counterfactual conditional, we would (or could) have selected the other options had we wanted to, or had we chosen to.

This still isn’t enough because it also depends upon what prevents us from selecting the other option(s). So if I take the stairs I’m (usually) free to take the lift, whilst someone with agoraphobia is not. 

The responsibility that is supposed to follow from Libertarian free will is ultimate responsibility. The idea that the choice is *totally* up to us.

Compatibilist responsibility is ordinary causal responsibility. In the case of moral responsibility additionally it means we are apt targets of praise and blame.

Lastly, generally “conscious control” (what ever that is supposed to mean) is left out of the picture.

Stephen

[ Edited: 04 March 2013 12:36 AM by StephenLawrence ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 March 2013 12:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 384 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4520
Joined  2007-08-31
Lois - 03 March 2013 10:31 PM

What is another concept of free will?  How does it differ from my concept?

You have never mentioned explicitly what your concept of free will is. Please tell us.

I did, once again, in my posting to George above.

I think I also reacted there on what your conceptual problem is: that if my wishes and beliefs are determined, it does not count as free will. But, as I showed elsewhere, then you can also not identify the cause of an event, as the causes are caused in themselves and so ad infinitum. So defining free will as acting in accordance with your wishes and beliefs is just enough. When you say ‘this is not enough, because your wishes and beliefs are determined’ your are defining free will as being uncaused, i.e. as libertarian free will.

So yours, and George’s argumentation against free will is more or less: ‘my definition of free will includes magic, and magic does not exist, so free will does not exist’. I do not propose magic, I propose to develop a meaningful concept of free will that fits to our daily use of free actions, in which we have a practice of making people responsible for their actions, and that has nothing to do with (I start to like the expression) metaphysical mumbo jumbo.

PS And it’s true, nobody here does defend some concept of free will based on quantum physics.

[ Edited: 04 March 2013 08:19 AM by GdB ]
 Signature 

GdB

“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 March 2013 12:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 385 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6121
Joined  2006-12-20
GdB - 04 March 2013 12:32 AM
Lois - 03 March 2013 10:31 PM

What is another concept of free will?  How does it differ from my concept?

You have never mentioned explicitly what your concept of free will is. Please tell us.

Oh she has GdB. She has articulated it very well.

I’ll try and dig a couple of examples out.

Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 March 2013 12:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 386 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6121
Joined  2006-12-20

The point iswe can’t consciously overcome other factors that would lead us to choose one or the other

This one is quite good GdB. I think there are even better examples.

Clearly free will is contra causal free will.

Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 March 2013 12:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 387 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4520
Joined  2007-08-31
StephenLawrence - 04 March 2013 12:42 AM

The point iswe can’t consciously overcome other factors that would lead us to choose one or the other

This one is quite good GdB. I think there are even better examples.

Clearly free will is contra causal free will.

I hope there are better ones. This is just showing some premises Lois uses. I want her to make them explicit. Why don’t let her speak for herself?

 Signature 

GdB

“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 March 2013 01:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 388 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6121
Joined  2006-12-20
GdB - 04 March 2013 12:49 AM

Why don’t let her speak for herself?

I do, of course.

I was just pointing out that she has expressed what she believes free will is really quite well.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 March 2013 01:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 389 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2602
Joined  2012-10-27
StephenLawrence - 04 March 2013 12:32 AM
Lois - 03 March 2013 10:31 PM
StephenLawrence - 03 March 2013 01:10 PM
Lois - 03 March 2013 12:36 PM


—Ok, make that case.  Randomness is not an argument for free will.  Randomness is just another factor that drives our decisions that we have no control over.  How does one, through free will, overcome and supersede the effects of randomness? Would we know what we were trying to overcome and supersede? Or is it that if we try really, really hard magic will happen?

Everybody in this current conversation believes the case cannot be made Lois.

There is more than one concept of free will.

I think there are those who don’t think the case can’t be made.

You are correct. And almost everybody believes in free will just as you define. But presently you are not talking to any of those people.

What is another concept of free will?  How does it differ from my concept?

The other concept is called compatibilism, which means we can have it even if determinism is true.

—IMO, you can’t have it both ways. Either we have free will or we don’t. You are suggesting that maybe we can have a little bit of free will and a little but of determinism.  That sounds as if you’re saying we can have a little bit of god and a little bit of no god.  Meanwhile there is not a grain of evidence upholding the free will concept.  All you have is what theists have—you want to believe free will exists just as theists want to believe god exists and you and they will do verbal contortions to have your cake and eat it, too. Wishing for something with no evidence has never contributed a grain of common sense to the argument.  My challenge to you is the same as it is to theists. Come up with some objective evidence that free will (like god) is possible. 

 

A simple definition is we have it when we act in accordance with our beliefs and desires. The simple definition is not adequate because we also need to be free to select an other or other options. This is handled by the counterfactual conditional, we would (or could) have selected the other options had we wanted to, or had we chosen to.

This still isn’t enough because it also depends upon what prevents us from selecting the other option(s). So if I take the stairs I’m (usually) free to take the lift, whilst someone with agoraphobia is not. 

The responsibility that is supposed to follow from Libertarian free will is ultimate responsibility. The idea that the choice is *totally* up to us.

Compatibilist responsibility is ordinary causal responsibility. In the case of moral responsibility additionally it means we are apt targets of praise and blame.

Lastly, generally “conscious control” (what ever that is supposed to mean) is left out of the picture.

Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 March 2013 02:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 390 ]
Jr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  97
Joined  2012-12-01

This seems apropos, here, too—

The movie Zardoz refers to a disconnected head—

as a concept for free willers and nonfree willers alike.

The mind says there is free will, the body has to find it—-

[ Edited: 04 March 2013 05:24 PM by arnoldg ]
Profile
 
 
   
26 of 70
26
 
‹‹ Destiny..?      Babies are bigots ››