I was typing, then I deleted it all. I kicked myself for getting sucked back in here.
I know, this can happen… Never trust a computer, never trust the internet, and never trust our forum software… If I notice my texts becomes longer and longer I switch to a local editor, e.g. notepad on Windows.
George-“You” can train the chemical part of the brain? Who or what is “you”?
If I’m not mistaken, here is George refuting another member’s ideas of dualism.
Yep. That was clear, and I gave my portion to it here. Write4U gives compatibilism a bad name when he is writing such things.
GdB-Now you have fallen deeper in the dualist hole than George and VYAZMA ever did.
I don’t remember falling in any hole?
You both do, all the time. The idea that we are determined by causal processes and therefore we are not free can only be formulated when one supposes that ‘we’ are different from what causes us. Also George’s ‘only observing’ is dualistic, as if there is a position separate from our brain from which we are conscious.
The discourse about free will has everything to do with being coerced or not. Saying we have no free will is saying that the physical events in my brain coerce me to do what I do, and I only feel as if I am not coerced. But that is a category mistake: it is the application of concepts of free or coerced actions on the level of the brain, as if ‘physical causes’ exist on the same level as ‘coercion’. I can only be coerced by something that is not me, but I am my working brain. My brain does not force me to do anything.
Being a free agent just means that I am capable to participate in a moral discourse, in which free or coerced actions, responsibility, awareness of what I am doing an why can be reflected. When I have some brain damage, and it can be shown that I am not capable of doing that, I might not be held responsible. Also, when I was not able to act according to my own wishes and beliefs (e.g. when I am blackmailed), I might not be held responsible. But simply say, ‘it was my brain’ will not do. We even need determinism, to be sure that we can identify the causal agent of an action.
GdB completely understands the idea of determinism.
GdB wants to also view the concept from the outside…actually observing sentient beings with determined wishes and beliefs further determining the world.
That’s all this is. That’s what this debate is.
Well, it seems I am slowly getting through. At least I am not accused of indeterminism anymore.
The debate however, is the debate if ‘determined wishes and beliefs further determining the world’ can account for our daily use of free will. Combatibilists say it can.
I do not understand your expression ‘viewing the concept from the outside’. I would say you all do. You seem to deny that you are perfectly aware of your own wishes and beliefs, as well those of others, close your eyes for it and only see firing neurons. That is what I would call an ‘outside view’. I repeat my ‘subjective’ idea of free will once again, maybe it starts to make sense by now:
The experience of free will occurs when I know that, everything else staying the same, what will happen next depends on me. (Think again about the determinist sitting in the restaurant with the menu card!) This definition works perfectly also in a determined world: I did not lose one word about on which I depend. The illusion of libertarian free will is that my choice is not caused by previous factors. Compatibilism says that of course my choice is determined by previous factors.
All the stuff about liberty, desserts, dualism is superfluous. That is in the realm of human consciousness and/or behavior.
I do not understand what you mean here. Wishes, beliefs, arguments, reasons, actions, free will etc belong to ‘the realm of human consciousness and/or behavior’. Liberty belongs to political theory, deserts to law, dualism to philosophy, determinism to the hard sciences.
My excursuses into dualism were meant to show that only when you are a dualist it can make sense to say we have no free will because we are determined. Without dualism, the opposition between determinism and free will does not make sense. The concept of having free will or not simply does not apply in a physical discourse, and a physical discourse has nothing to say about the question of free will.