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Do non-human animals have free will?
Posted: 07 April 2013 11:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 556 ]
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ok, my body chemistry tells me I want a vanilla ice cream. My past has taught me that I like vanilla ice cream the best of all. I pass an Ice cream parlor and I decide that I will have a vanilla ice cream. I order an ice cream, but I am told that they are out of vanilla, but they do have chocolate and strawberry.  I now must make a second choice, from free will, what I shall use as a substitute.  I am disappointed in not having vanilla, but instead I order 1/2 and 1/2 strawberry and chocolate, none of which was incompatible with a future without vanilla. The tools I use to think are purely deterministic. IMO, I am unique and have a measure of control over my environment.

Of course it is deterministic and coerced, but that has nothing to do with my ability to make choices when presented with options.
On a communal level, one might make an argument that building a levee is a free will choice as it is in response to an event which might happen in the future. In this case the causality for taking this precautionary measure was knowledge of the certainty of hurricanes even as we do not know where or when (uncertainty).

And then there are “tulpas”....http://tulpa.info/guides/what-is-a-tulpa.html

[ Edited: 07 April 2013 11:54 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 07 April 2013 11:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 557 ]
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Write4U - 07 April 2013 05:38 PM
StephenLawrence - 07 April 2013 12:44 PM
Write4U - 07 April 2013 12:13 PM


IOW, ultimately what I do will be chemically and mathematically determined by the exact circumstances under which I must act, but within that limitation there are non-pertubative choices that can be made.

This looks very much like indeterminism to me Writer4U.

We can easily check and see. Do you believe there is only one choice you can possibly make given the exact preceding and surrounding circumstances?

Or do you believe there is more than one?

Stephen

My choice might be based on the exact preceding circumstances, but my acts might be totally irrelevant to other more powerful forces also present in that circumstance. Obviously, if a star decides to go nova, any wishes, desires, and life itself is totally irrelevant for a hefty chunk of the universe.

So, sometimes my wishes and desires may be causal to the determining outcome, sometimes my wishes and desires are of no consequence whatever.

I believe the future is not fixed (pre-determined). The very complexity of present causal interaction offer an uncertainty of future probabilities in many areas. Many possible futures are implied in the present circumstance, take your pick.
Is “uncertainty” not an accepted cosmic principle? The future cannot be calculated because it is impossible to fix a future position in spacetime and rate of change (speed, trajectory) through spacetime at the same time It is logically forbidden. That is what the Uncertainty principle observes, no?

What if there are conflicting actions by several parties?  Only one future can become physical reality, but when there are competing influences on determining factors, the action with the greatest impact on its surroundings will be dominant. Of course we then say the action was coerced, but does that make a difference in a discussion about being able to exercise a certain discretion in a given situation, regardless which physical function is used?  Each individual mind is an emerging (excellence) product that transcends the sum of its physical values.
Psychologically, within one’s own universe, one is exercising free will in order to satisfy one’s wishes and desires.

You make it unnecessarily complicated.

Determinism is that there is only one option you can select given the exact circumstances.

You say you believe your view on free will is compatible with determinism but the evidence from what you write is that it isn’t.

[ Edited: 07 April 2013 11:55 PM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 07 April 2013 11:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 558 ]
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Write4U - 07 April 2013 11:19 PM

Of course it is deterministic and coerced, but that has nothing to do with my ability to make choices when presented with options.
.

Are you accepting that only one of these options can be selected given the exact circumstances. You’ve avoided this for years whilst often claiming to be a determinist.

My guess is you’re an indeterminist.

It shouldn’t be that difficult to work out which.

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Posted: 08 April 2013 12:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 559 ]
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I am a compatibilist, even if for the wrong reasons.. cheese .... excaim/ question

[ Edited: 08 April 2013 12:05 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 08 April 2013 12:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 560 ]
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Write4U - 08 April 2013 12:00 AM

I am a compatibilist, even if for the wrong reasons.. cheese .... excaim/ question

So why did you write this, amongst other things?

I believe the future is not fixed (pre-determined).

The future is fixed meaning it can’t turn out any other way than it’s going to given the past.

For you to make a different choice your past would have to have been different.

If you accept that then you are a determinist.

Stephen

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Posted: 08 April 2013 02:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 561 ]
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Also from wiki,

Determinism should not be confused with self-determination of human actions by reasons, motives, and desires. Determinism rarely requires that perfect prediction be practically possible – merely predictable in theory.

I claim nothing more or less.

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Posted: 08 April 2013 03:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 562 ]
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StephenLawrence - 07 April 2013 11:48 PM

Determinism is that there is only one option you can select given the exact circumstances.

This sentence makes no sense. The words ‘option’ and ‘select’ have no meaning in this context.
If you find the context in which they do make sense, even in a deterministic universe, you might have found the right meaning of ‘could have done otherwise’.

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Posted: 08 April 2013 03:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 563 ]
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GdB - 08 April 2013 03:02 AM
StephenLawrence - 07 April 2013 11:48 PM

Determinism is that there is only one option you can select given the exact circumstances.

This sentence makes no sense. The words ‘option’ and ‘select’ have no meaning in this context.

Option means something you can do it if you choose to. (I’m keeping it simple for these purposes)

Select means act upon an option because you value it over other options.

It makes sense.

Stephen

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Posted: 08 April 2013 03:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 564 ]
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GdB - 08 April 2013 03:02 AM

If you find the context in which they do make sense, even in a deterministic universe, you might have found the right meaning of ‘could have done otherwise’.

I think I know what could have done otherwise means.

It means “there was nothing to prevent if…”

In other words “would have if..”

Which is consistent with being prevented from doing so in the actual circumstances.

Stephen

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Posted: 08 April 2013 04:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 565 ]
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Stephen,

I think that, if you use the concept ‘given the exact circumstances’, and you include your self under these circumstances, i.e. your body and brain as they are, then ‘option’ and ‘select’ have no meaning. There is only something happening, purely deterministic, caused by you, as you are, and all the other external circumstances.

But to talk realistically about options I think you should reformulate it in a way that you ‘subtract yourself’ from the picture. So keeping the external circumstances exactly the same, what will happen depends on you, on your choice. Then there are options, from your perspective and ‘could have done otherwise’ means ‘if you would have chosen another option, something else would have happened’. Your choice will depend on your evaluation of these options, which will be based, amongst other things, on your wishes and beliefs. This is of course a deterministic process in itself, but that is no contradiction. A chess program also evaluates its options by playing through all kind of ‘possible futures’, but it still is a deterministic program running on deterministic hardware.

[ Edited: 08 April 2013 04:44 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 08 April 2013 04:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 566 ]
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GdB - 08 April 2013 04:22 AM

But to talk realistically about options I think you should reformulate it in a way that you ‘subtract yourself’ from the picture. So keeping the external circumstances exactly the same, what will happen depends on you, on your choice.

Well GdB this is our old disagreement.

In a world in which determinism is true if you were to make a different choice all else exactly the same indeterminism would be true.

Then there are options, from your perspective and ‘could have done otherwise’ means ‘if you would have chosen another option, something else would have happened’.

There are no options on this view unless you allow for the idea of being able to select a different option indeterministically. i.e you were able to do otherwise and if you had indeterminism would be true.

That’s the only way to make sense of that (assuming determinism in the first place, as we are)

Stephen

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Posted: 08 April 2013 05:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 567 ]
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StephenLawrence - 08 April 2013 04:48 AM

Well GdB this is our old disagreement.

Yes, I nearly forgot. You think sentences of the form ‘If A would have been different, then B would have occurred’ have no meaning in a deterministic world…

Forget it, I hoped I would get my point through…

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Posted: 08 April 2013 05:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 568 ]
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GdB - 08 April 2013 05:03 AM
StephenLawrence - 08 April 2013 04:48 AM

Well GdB this is our old disagreement.

Yes, I nearly forgot. You think sentences of the form ‘If A would have been different, then B would have occurred’ have no meaning in a deterministic world…

I think it has meaning.

I just don’t agree with your interpretation which is if A had been different indeterminism would be true.

My interpretation is if A had been different there would have also been other differences which caused A to be different.

Stephen

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Posted: 08 April 2013 05:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 569 ]
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StephenLawrence - 08 April 2013 05:27 AM

I just don’t agree with your interpretation which is if A had been different indeterminism would be true.

I do not recognise my own interpretation. blank stare

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Posted: 08 April 2013 05:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 570 ]
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GdB - 08 April 2013 05:32 AM
StephenLawrence - 08 April 2013 05:27 AM

I just don’t agree with your interpretation which is if A had been different indeterminism would be true.

I do not recognise my own interpretation. blank stare

Well, the fact is if A had been different without any other differences that would be indeterminism.

On the other hand if you are allowing other differences to cause A to be different that is not all else exactly the same.

And these two options seemingly exhaust the possibilities.

Stephen

[ Edited: 08 April 2013 05:42 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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