46 of 69
46
Do non-human animals have free will?
Posted: 21 August 2013 04:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 676 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4449
Joined  2007-08-31
StephenLawrence - 21 August 2013 02:31 AM

The laws of nature describe what would happen:

1) In actual situations

2) in theoretically possible situations.

No. 2) is wrong. It describes what would happen in any situation you can think of.

You still think that there must be a possible way to the initial conditions in our universe. That is not so. It is true that my car would melt when it would fall into the sun, even if this event is factually absolutely impossible in our universe. I do not claim that it is possible that my car can fall in the sun. I only claim that when it would fall into the sun, it would melt.

StephenLawrence - 21 August 2013 03:03 AM

It’s all moral luck. 100%.

I’m still not completely convinced that you accept this.

I think it is telling that you do not react on the rest of my posting.

 Signature 

GdB

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

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 August 2013 04:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 677 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5943
Joined  2006-12-20
GdB - 21 August 2013 04:31 AM

No. 2) is wrong. It describes what would happen in any situation you can think of.

2) is right because that includes actual situations.

You still think that there must be a possible way to the initial conditions in our universe. That is not so. It is true that my car would melt when it would fall into the sun, even if this event is factually absolutely impossible in our universe.

This is merely an assertion. There is no reason to think laws of nature describe what would happen in situations “forbidden” by the laws of nature.

And even if correct the word “could” in any counterfactual of this nature would be inappropriate. What’s it doing there? What’s it supposed to mean? If your car cannot fall into the sun it cannot melt by falling into the sun.

Stephen

[ Edited: 21 August 2013 05:28 AM by StephenLawrence ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 August 2013 06:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 678 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4449
Joined  2007-08-31
StephenLawrence - 21 August 2013 04:53 AM

If your car cannot fall into the sun it cannot melt by falling into the sun.

True.

But if my car would fall into the sun it would melt…. And that sentence is true.

Really, I do not see your problem. Or better, I see it, and I don’t know how I can show you that the sentence ‘if my car would fall into the sun it would melt’ is true, even when it is impossible that it ever falls into the sun. I am 100% sure you use counterfactuals on a daily basis, and that you have no problem using them. But as soon as you start reflecting on them you get lost due to your ideology about determinism. You are fighting the idea of ‘metaphysical desert’ too hard, i.e. you use incorrect logical tools for it.

In your view no material conditional would make any sense, because for you only those are true where the antecedent actually takes place given the laws of nature and the initial conditions. If you only look at material conditional where the antecedent is true, you reduce them to simple ‘and’ sentences, which do not express any connection between the antecedent and the consequence. Then my sentence would reduce to ‘my car falls into the sun and it melts’, and that sentence is of course not true.

 Signature 

GdB

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

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 August 2013 01:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 679 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  1
Joined  2013-08-21

I disagree that non-human animals have free will. If free will is define as the ability of agents to make choices unconstrained by certain factors, then other animals other than humans do not have free will. They are considered determinist since their course in life is totaly determined by natural laws.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 August 2013 11:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 680 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4449
Joined  2007-08-31
Alpga1 - 21 August 2013 01:39 PM

I disagree that non-human animals have free will. If free will is define as the ability of agents to make choices unconstrained by certain factors, then other animals other than humans do not have free will. They are considered determinist since their course in life is totaly determined by natural laws.

When you do not tell us what these ‘certain factors’ are, you have not told us very much.

And how can humans not be determined by laws of nature? A soul? Magic?

Maybe you should start reading the thread from the beginning to see what all was discussed already.

 Signature 

GdB

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

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 August 2013 10:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 681 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2602
Joined  2012-10-27
Alpga1 - 21 August 2013 01:39 PM

I disagree that non-human animals have free will. If free will is define as the ability of agents to make choices unconstrained by certain factors, then other animals other than humans do not have free will. They are considered determinist since their course in life is totaly determined by natural laws.

Why aren’t humans’ actions completely determined by natural laws?  Are you saying human actions are determined by unnatural laws? How fascinating!  Tell us how that works.

Lois

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 September 2013 10:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 682 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5943
Joined  2006-12-20
GdB - 09 July 2013 08:55 AM
StephenLawrence - 08 July 2013 02:31 PM

I think the following is useful.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-luck/

When someone asks “do we he free will” usually they mean do we have a power that overcomes this luck. The correct answer to that question is “No!”.

I don’t think it is useful at all. It is just libertarian free will (of a slightly different colour): that is what people normally think what free will is. But we know it is wrong.

It’s useful because it’s clear about what free will *is* in the free will problem.

Once you redefine free will there is no problem but that isn’t free will as in “the free will problem”.

Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 September 2013 10:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 683 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5943
Joined  2006-12-20
GdB - 21 August 2013 06:41 AM
StephenLawrence - 21 August 2013 04:53 AM

If your car cannot fall into the sun it cannot melt by falling into the sun.

True.

OK.

But if my car would fall into the sun it would melt…. And that sentence is true.

Yes but now (apparently) you are formulating your conterfactual conditional in the same way as me. So you’re talking about possible circumstances in which your car would fall into the sun which are as near as possible to the way the actual world is.

What this takes is to loosen up a little on “all else the same” to include the relevant differences which would get your car off your drive way and to the sun.

Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 September 2013 01:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 684 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4449
Joined  2007-08-31
StephenLawrence - 01 September 2013 10:49 AM

Yes but now (apparently) you are formulating your conterfactual conditional in the same way as me. So you’re talking about possible circumstances in which your car would fall into the sun which are as near as possible to the way the actual world is.

What this takes is to loosen up a little on “all else the same” to include the relevant differences which would get your car off your drive way and to the sun.

Assume I show you a picture of my car, close to the surface of the sun. I also give you the present velocity of my car (100 km/s in the direction of the sun). Now I ask you: will it melt a few moments from now, when I ‘start the movie’, according to the laws of nature?

The answer is clearly ‘yes’, not ‘depends’. I don’t have to bother about how this situation could have occurred, not even if it, from the universe I know, could have happened. I do not have to think about ‘possible circumstances in which my car would fall into the sun’. Everything else could be completely different than it is in our actual universe. Everything could be exactly the same as in our actual universe, it does not matter. If I see the picture, and I know the laws of nature, I know what will happen next. That is an aspect of what causal statements are about.

What you are doing by your insisting on that not everything can be the same for this to happen, is to look outside the picture. But I do not need that for seeing the truth of ‘When my car would fall into the sun, it would melt’. If you would start by saying ‘yes, but imagine the sun has a temperature of only 500C’, then I would say ‘no, no, I assume everything else stays the same, so the sun’s surface has a temperature of 6000C’. The phrase ‘everything else being the same’ relates to everything in the picture, not to the history that brought the situation in the picture about.

 Signature 

GdB

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

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 October 2013 02:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 685 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5943
Joined  2006-12-20
GdB - 02 September 2013 01:00 AM
StephenLawrence - 01 September 2013 10:49 AM

Yes but now (apparently) you are formulating your conterfactual conditional in the same way as me. So you’re talking about possible circumstances in which your car would fall into the sun which are as near as possible to the way the actual world is.

What this takes is to loosen up a little on “all else the same” to include the relevant differences which would get your car off your drive way and to the sun.

Assume I show you a picture of my car, close to the surface of the sun. I also give you the present velocity of my car (100 km/s in the direction of the sun). Now I ask you: will it melt a few moments from now, when I ‘start the movie’, according to the laws of nature?

The answer is clearly ‘yes’, not ‘depends’. I don’t have to bother about how this situation could have occurred, not even if it, from the universe I know, could have happened. I do not have to think about ‘possible circumstances in which my car would fall into the sun’. Everything else could be completely different than it is in our actual universe. Everything could be exactly the same as in our actual universe, it does not matter. If I see the picture, and I know the laws of nature, I know what will happen next. That is an aspect of what causal statements are about.

That’s fine but we are not interested in merely whether your car would fall into the sun (as you’re using the word would), we’re interested in whether it could. And you’ve said by could you mean physically possible. For it to be physically possible the hypothetical situation needs to be physically possible.

What you are doing by your insisting on that not everything can be the same for this to happen, is to look outside the picture.

Yes.

But I do not need that for seeing the truth of ‘When my car would fall into the sun, it would melt’.

You do need that to claim it’s physically possible.

It seems to me that if I asked how your car could get there, you’d come up with more counterfactuals that relate to the first. I think they are behind your first counterfactual whether you actually think about them or not.

The phrase ‘everything else being the same’ relates to everything in the picture, not to the history that brought the situation in the picture about.

If it only refers to everything in the picture the question is “the same as what?” So no that’s not true.

[ Edited: 13 October 2013 02:50 AM by StephenLawrence ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 October 2013 02:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 686 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5943
Joined  2006-12-20
GdB - 21 August 2013 04:31 AM

You still think that there must be a possible way to the initial conditions in our universe.

Yes of course because if not we have the following: If your car were to fall into the sun indeterminism would be true.

In other words the laws of nature would be different and so it would be physically impossible for your car to melt by falling into the sun.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 October 2013 11:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 687 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4449
Joined  2007-08-31

Stephen,

Iron melts at 1538 °C.
The surface of the sun has a temperature of 5505 °C.
My car is mainly made of iron.

Is the sentence ‘if my car would fall into the sun, it would melt’ true or false?

The problem with you is that in part of my defense of compatibilist free will, I claim that sentences of the above form are true. Instead taking this as obvious, you hammer around on the fact that given the universe as it is, my car cannot ever fall into the sun. Yes, you are right, that cannot happen! But that does not mean that the sentence ‘if my car would fall into the sun, it would melt’ is not true!

Everytime I use a sentence like that you react by saying that the antecedent can only happen if the universe would have banged differently or that indeterminism is true. But that is no argument against the the truth of the material conditional. And I only claim truth when I use such sentences, not that the events described really do happen in the universe as it is.

The interesting fact is that you also use such logical forms (especially in counterfactuals) all the time in your arguments, but only when they stand in a context as I use them, you start to criticise them on basis of the fact that the antecedent cannot possibly happen in the universe as it is.

 Signature 

GdB

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

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 October 2013 02:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 688 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4449
Joined  2007-08-31
StephenLawrence - 27 October 2013 11:48 PM

You have two ways of going about these true counterfactuals either indeterminism would be true or the initial conditions of the universe would have been different.

If neither of these options were available you would have no meaningfully true counterfactuals only vacuously true counterfactuals.

Also the problem is greater when the word would is changed for could because you are making the claim that the world could be as in the counterfactual rather than the way it is.

Well it couldn’t if you mean physically possible since indeterminism would be true the way you are doing it.

You did not react on my concrete question in my posting, and also otherwise you are just repeating your standpoint, and do not react on the points I have written.

I’ll repeat the points:
1. Given the physical parameters as we know them about iron, the sun and my car, is the sentence ‘if my car would fall into the sun, it would melt’ true or false?
2. There is a difference in the truth value of a material conditional (if A, then B) and the truth of its antecedent (A) on its own. A conditional can be true without its antecedent ever being the case.

 Signature 

GdB

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

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 October 2013 08:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 689 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5943
Joined  2006-12-20
GdB - 28 October 2013 02:48 AM
StephenLawrence - 27 October 2013 11:48 PM

You have two ways of going about these true counterfactuals either indeterminism would be true or the initial conditions of the universe would have been different.

If neither of these options were available you would have no meaningfully true counterfactuals only vacuously true counterfactuals.

Also the problem is greater when the word would is changed for could because you are making the claim that the world could be as in the counterfactual rather than the way it is.

Well it couldn’t if you mean physically possible since indeterminism would be true the way you are doing it.

You did not react on my concrete question in my posting, and also otherwise you are just repeating your standpoint, and do not react on the points I have written.

I’ll repeat the points:
1. Given the physical parameters as we know them about iron, the sun and my car, is the sentence ‘if my car would fall into the sun, it would melt’ true or false?
2. There is a difference in the truth value of a material conditional (if A, then B) and the truth of its antecedent (A) on its own. A conditional can be true without its antecedent ever being the case.

I agree with your points.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 October 2013 05:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 690 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4449
Joined  2007-08-31
StephenLawrence - 29 October 2013 08:50 PM
GdB - 28 October 2013 02:48 AM

I’ll repeat the points:
1. Given the physical parameters as we know them about iron, the sun and my car, is the sentence ‘if my car would fall into the sun, it would melt’ true or false?
2. There is a difference in the truth value of a material conditional (if A, then B) and the truth of its antecedent (A) on its own. A conditional can be true without its antecedent ever being the case.

I agree with your points.

To 1:
You cannot agree with a question, only with its answer… Given you agree with 2 I would expect you now agree that the sentence ‘if my car would fall into the sun, it would melt’ is true.

To 2:
Let’s take in the harvest. You agree with:

A conditional can be true without its antecedent ever being the case.

Now let’s go back to the point in this thread where our disagreement started. That was here.

GdB - 08 April 2013 04:22 AM

‘could have done otherwise’ means ‘if you would have chosen another option, something else would have happened’.

Now I claim this sentence is true. I do not claim that ‘you have chosen another option’ could have happened in our universe, it might be totally impossible in our universe: but still, the conditional as a whole is true, and it is not a vacuous claim. It is an ‘instantiation’ of the general rule ‘my choice belongs to the causal factors of my actions’.

Now whatever you hold of my statement that “‘could have done otherwise’ means ‘if you would have chosen another option, something else would have happened’”:

You cannot say that ‘if you would have chosen another option, something else would have happened’ is false, reasoning that the antecedent can only be true when the universe would have banged differently or indeterminism would be true. The truth of ‘if you would have chosen another option, something else would have happened’ is not dependent on the truth of its antecedent.

If this is clarified we can go on.

[ Edited: 30 October 2013 06:54 AM by GdB ]
 Signature 

GdB

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

Profile
 
 
   
46 of 69
46
 
‹‹ Destiny..?      Babies are bigots ››