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Do non-human animals have free will?
Posted: 06 May 2013 12:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 631 ]
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Stephen,

I tried to lay out it for you. See the attached bitmap.

See the drawing as determined spacetime. We have a timeless, ‘God-like’ view on the complete time and space of the universe. Now I depicted a causal law. It says:

“Every time A, B, and C occur, X happens”. (1)

Now there also is some configuration of events A, B, and D, and X does not happen (at d in the diagram). Now, I claim about situation d that the following sentence is true:

“Everything else being the same (i.e. A and B do occur), if C had occurred at d then X would have happened”. (2)

Now you are saying that this sentence can only be true when C actually can occur, i.e.
- C and D themselves are not determined, so independent of their history both could happen
or
- the complete history (symbolised with the ‘?’) must have been different so that C occurred instead of D

Your problem is that the sentence (1) does not say that A, B and C actually occur. And exactly the same is true of sentence (2). You are correct that for C to occur, there must be a certain constellation that in the end causes C. But the truth values of the sentences (1) and (2) are independent of the fact that C occurs.

And it is exactly the same with:

“Every else being the same, if I would have known we were run out of coffee, I could have bought a pack.”

[ Edited: 06 May 2013 04:32 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 06 May 2013 11:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 632 ]
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GdB - 06 May 2013 12:04 AM

Stephen,

I tried to lay out it for you. See the attached bitmap.

See the drawing as determined spacetime. We have a timeless, ‘God-like’ view on the complete time and space of the universe. Now I depicted a causal law. It says:

“Every time A, B, and C occur, X happens”. (1)

Now there also is some configuration of events A, B, and D, and X does not happen (at d in the diagram). Now, I claim about situation d that the following sentence is true:

“Everything else being the same (i.e. A and B do occur), if C had occurred at d then X would have happened”. (2)

Now you are saying that this sentence can only be true when C actually can occur, i.e.
- C and D themselves are not determined, so independent of their history both could happen
or
- the complete history (symbolised with the ‘?’) must have been different so that C occurred instead of D

Your problem is that the sentence (1) does not say that A, B and C actually occur. And exactly the same is true of sentence (2). You are correct that for C to occur, there must be a certain constellation that in the end causes C. But the truth values of the sentences (1) and (2) are independent of the fact that C occurs.

And it is exactly the same with:

“Every else being the same, if I would have known we were run out of coffee, I could have bought a pack.”

Uh huh. Gotcha!

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Posted: 08 May 2013 11:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 633 ]
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Gdb,

The subject is alternative (physical) possibilities and their compatibility/incompatibility with determinism.

The way you are formulating your counterfactuals is that if I had done otherwise indeterminism would be true.

The other way to do it is there would have been differences stretching back to the initial conditions of the universe.

Put another way:

1) Same past, different laws of nature. (A law or some laws would have to be different for indeterminism to be true)

2) Different past, same laws of nature

Formulated the second way it is physically possible for us to have done otherwise if we live in a deterministic world.

The problem is formulated the first way it is not.

Stephen

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Posted: 09 May 2013 12:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 634 ]
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GdB - 06 May 2013 12:04 AM

Your problem is that the sentence (1) does not say that A, B and C actually occur. And exactly the same is true of sentence (2). You are correct that for C to occur, there must be a certain constellation that in the end causes C. But the truth values of the sentences (1) and (2) are independent of the fact that C occurs.

From my posting above, see there for the sentences (1) and (2).

Stephen, do you deny the sentence in bold?

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Posted: 09 May 2013 09:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 635 ]
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VYAZMA - 31 October 2012 09:14 AM
StephenLawrence - 31 October 2012 08:59 AM
VYAZMA - 31 October 2012 08:57 AM
StephenLawrence - 31 October 2012 01:21 AM
GdB - 30 October 2012 11:50 PM

Animals (human and non-human) are future-anticipating machines, which make them conscious.

Do you mean it’s necessary to be conscious to anticipate the future?

Stephen

This is one of many, many examples of why the free-will discussion is bogged down, confusing, and most of all unproductive.

This doesn’t even have anything to do with free will, I’m just curious.

Stephen

I agree with you, however posts like these appear in the free-will thread at a 35-50% rate. Confusing the discussion and bogging it down none the less.

It does and it’s because most people can’t bring themselves to understand what free will is and what it isn’t and how it works. Even the people who can get the idea often refuse to accept that people (meaning themselves, of course) can’t act outside of their determining factors. We all like to think we can and that we do this. I maintain that we can’t. Everything we do is determined by factors we are not even conscious of. But discussions will continue to get bogged down because people can’t get their heads around the idea that humans lack free will.

Lois

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Posted: 09 May 2013 10:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 636 ]
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GdB - 09 May 2013 12:18 AM
GdB - 06 May 2013 12:04 AM

Your problem is that the sentence (1) does not say that A, B and C actually occur. And exactly the same is true of sentence (2). You are correct that for C to occur, there must be a certain constellation that in the end causes C. But the truth values of the sentences (1) and (2) are independent of the fact that C occurs.

From my posting above, see there for the sentences (1) and (2).

Stephen, do you deny the sentence in bold?

I’m not going to get drawn into a different subject.

The point I’m making is that because indeterminism would be true if I did otherwise (the way you are doing your counterfactuals) it’s physically impossible to do otherwise.

So your version of compatibilism is that we are able to do the physically impossible.

Nothing you’ve written (recently at least) addresses this seeming problem. Basically you are defending “local miracle compatibilism” or rather advocating it but not bothering to defend it.

I am able to travel faster than the speed of light because it is true that If I had bought coffee yesterday I could travel faster than the speed of light. smile

Stephen

[ Edited: 09 May 2013 10:57 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 09 May 2013 11:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 637 ]
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StephenLawrence - 09 May 2013 10:55 AM

I’m not going to get drawn into a different subject.

Sorry, you are changing the subject. Let’s go back to where our recent discussion started. This was here:

GdB - 08 April 2013 04:22 AM

if you would have chosen another option, something else would have happened

I claim that the above sentence is true, nothing more. You are ignoring my truth claim by asking how ‘you choose another option’ could have occurred (by a different big bang, or by ‘you choose another option’ not being caused). But both have nothing to do with the truth claim.

You just do not understand material implications.

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Posted: 09 May 2013 11:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 638 ]
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GdB - 09 May 2013 11:43 AM
StephenLawrence - 09 May 2013 10:55 AM

I’m not going to get drawn into a different subject.

Sorry, you are changing the subject. Let’s go back to where our recent discussion started. This was here:

GdB - 08 April 2013 04:22 AM

if you would have chosen another option, something else would have happened

I claim that the above sentence is true, nothing more.

I claim that the sentence: “If I had bought coffee yesterday I could travel faster than the speed of light is true"nothing more. smile 

And you do claim more.

The extra claim, obviously, is that alternative possibilities are compatible with determinism.

Stephen

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Posted: 09 May 2013 03:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 639 ]
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That means that every time you say something like “if I would have known we were run out of coffee, I could have bought a pack” in daily life, you know you lie?

Say I had a water cooker, I had water, but there was no electricity. Now is the sentence “IF I would have had electricity THEN I could have boiled this water” true or false?

According to this (it is just basic logic) I can rewrite the sentence as:

“I had no electricity OR I can boil this water”

As it is obvious true that “I had no electricity”, the sentence as a whole is true.

See here:

The truth value of a material conditional, A → B, is determined by the truth values of A and B. This is not so for the counterfactual conditional A > B, for there are different situations agreeing on the truth values of A and B but which yield different evaluations of A > B. For example, if Keith is in Germany, the following two conditionals have both a false antecedent and a false consequent:

1. if Keith were in Mexico then he would be in Africa.
2. if Keith were in Mexico then he would be in North America.

Indeed, if Keith is in Germany, then all three conditions “Keith is in Mexico”, “Keith is in Africa”, and “Keith is in North America” are false. However, (1) is obviously false, while (2) is true as Mexico is part of North America.

So it is also clear that your sentence “If I had bought coffee yesterday I could travel faster than the speed of light is true” is wrong, because the consequent is always false. As there are situations in which you bought coffee (i.e. the antecedent is true), and the consequent is always false, your statement is false.

So answer me: In the above situation, is the sentence “IF I would have had electricity THEN I could have boiled this water” true or false?

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Posted: 12 May 2013 08:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 640 ]
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GdB - 09 May 2013 03:41 PM

That means that every time you say something like “if I would have known we were run out of coffee, I could have bought a pack” in daily life, you know you lie?

We are assuming it’s true. But the question is how to formulate the counterfactual so that the ability to have bought coffee is compatible with determinism.

Our options are:

1) Same past, different laws.

2)different past, same laws.

By opting for 1) What you are saying is we are able to break physical laws.

So it is also clear that your sentence “If I had bought coffee yesterday I could travel faster than the speed of light is true” is wrong, because the consequent is always false. As there are situations in which you bought coffee (i.e. the antecedent is true), and the consequent is always false, your statement is false.

It is true because the antecedent is false. Now, if you’re saying this doesn’t apply to counterfactuals, I agree and that is the point.

So answer me: In the above situation, is the sentence “IF I would have had electricity THEN I could have boiled this water” true or false?

I’m assuming it’s true.

But the question is would determinism be true if you had electricity? If not it was physically impossible for you to have boiled this water. And the question which follows is are we free to break physical laws? You need to answer yes to this because otherwise free will is incompatible with determinism because you opt for 1) same past, different laws.

http://www.informationphilosopher.com/solutions/philosophers/lewis/Are_we_free_to_break_laws.pdf

Stephen

[ Edited: 12 May 2013 08:26 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 12 May 2013 08:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 641 ]
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Ah, I see that “the two envelopes problem” has died down, but here…  the beat goes on.

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“Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb… We are bound to others, past and present… And by each crime and every kindness… We birth our future.”  Sonmi, 2144.

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Posted: 12 May 2013 08:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 642 ]
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TimB - 12 May 2013 08:25 AM

Ah, I see that “the two envelopes problem” has died down, but here…  the beat goes on.

I don’t think that’s justified Tim.

At the centre of the free will debate is the principle of alternative possibilities and their compatibility or incompatibility with determinism.

Stephen

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Posted: 12 May 2013 08:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 643 ]
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StephenLawrence - 12 May 2013 08:28 AM
TimB - 12 May 2013 08:25 AM

Ah, I see that “the two envelopes problem” has died down, but here…  the beat goes on.

I don’t think that’s justified Tim.

At the centre of the free will debate is the principle of alternative possibilities and their compatibility or incompatibility with determinism.

Stephen

I wasn’t being judgemental, simply making an observation.  In fact, I find it oddly comforting to see that… the beat goes on.

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“Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb… We are bound to others, past and present… And by each crime and every kindness… We birth our future.”  Sonmi, 2144.

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Posted: 12 May 2013 08:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 644 ]
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TimB - 12 May 2013 08:45 AM
StephenLawrence - 12 May 2013 08:28 AM
TimB - 12 May 2013 08:25 AM

Ah, I see that “the two envelopes problem” has died down, but here…  the beat goes on.

I don’t think that’s justified Tim.

At the centre of the free will debate is the principle of alternative possibilities and their compatibility or incompatibility with determinism.

Stephen

I wasn’t being judgemental, simply making an observation.  In fact, I find it oddly comforting to see that… the beat goes on.

OK. Mis-read your intentions first time.

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Posted: 12 May 2013 08:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 645 ]
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GdB,

The problem can be put like this:

If I had bought coffee yesterday a physical law or laws would have been different.

Assuming I was free to buy coffee yesterday does it follow that, that freedom is incompatible with determinism, and if not why not?

I just don’t think your responses engage with the subject.

Stephen

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