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Do non-human animals have free will?
Posted: 30 January 2014 09:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 751 ]
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George - 30 January 2014 09:30 AM

Yes, a person stumbling or planning a marriage are the same thing, just like is the the eruption of a volcano.

Right. No further questions.

A train is heap of iron, and evolution is an illusion you get when you abstract from the building blocks of organisms, namely atoms. In reality it is all just physical causes, and therefore evolution does not exist. Why, all atoms survive! shut eye

George - 30 January 2014 09:30 AM

You keep using the word “determinism,” but I do not think it means what you think it means.

Is that you, Lois?

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Posted: 30 January 2014 09:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 752 ]
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George - 30 January 2014 09:30 AM

But “intention” is something we made up because of the belief in free will.

Of course not. One can even better describe what the difference between CFW and LFW is: in LFW one supposes that intentions cannot be fully explained by the physical structure of the brain; in CFW intentions are fully implemented in the physical brain, and therefore just as determined as everything else in the universe. But that does not mean one cannot distinguish between a mere movement or an action.

George - 30 January 2014 09:30 AM

“Intentions” are illusions.

No they are not. But in CFW one sees that intentions are implemented in the brain. That is your main error George (and of VYAZMA): that you say that higher order phenomena do not exist. They exist: but they can be fully explained by the processes of their building blocks.

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Posted: 30 January 2014 01:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 753 ]
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“Atoms” are a subject to different types of laws depending on what they form. When they form life they are a subject to the law of natural selection and evolution. CFW is not a law. It’s more like art. CFW has as much to say about intentions as does a novel or poetry. It’s just fluff.

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Posted: 30 January 2014 05:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 754 ]
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GdB’s Wiki quote-On the other hand, catching a cold is not considered an action because it is something which happens to a person, not something done by one.

Right! So if person does an action it is free-will, if a sub-part of that person, say a stomach, or a sinus cavity does an action(oops can’t use that word! not allowed to use that word. lets see? how about process or movement?)it’s determined.

Everything about catching a cold is what a body does to itself after the introduction of some foreign element.
One action after another action. Everything one feels in a cold is the body’s doing!
I wonder where the person ends and all of the sub-parts begin? Hmnnn?
(probably right at the point where people’s minds cannot fathom, cannot actually visualize determinism)

I guess as long as you guys have your sandbox with rules about what “action” means and “intentions” etc..
These 3 threads are just sandboxes of word games. It’s pathetic. Any one of these free-will threads could be concluded in 3-7 pages.

[ Edited: 30 January 2014 05:40 PM by VYAZMA ]
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Posted: 30 January 2014 05:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 755 ]
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ACTION:- 4. The causation of change by the exertion of power or a natural process: the action of waves on a beach;
the action of a drug on blood pressure.

There’s another definition of action.
So like I said, can someone show me a want, desire, or intention that doesn’t fall under this definition?
I’m still waiting Bryan!!  GdB?  You wanna give it a go?

Let me clarify it so there’s no confusion for ya’ll…..
A desire or want..say to buy a new car, that desire is an action. It is an action upon oneself that causes more actions. Even if the car is not purchased, more actions follow from it. And previous actions preceded that action.

We already tried “hungry”, we can go deeper into that if you want. But I told you that was a stupidly easy one.

Some of you just aren’t going to be capable of “seeing” this though.  You can’t escape the Cartesian Theater or some such similar dynamic in
your minds.

[ Edited: 30 January 2014 05:53 PM by VYAZMA ]
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Posted: 30 January 2014 09:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 756 ]
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VYAZMA - 30 January 2014 05:35 PM

Right! So if person does an action it is free-will, if a sub-part of that person, say a stomach, or a sinus cavity does an action(oops can’t use that word! not allowed to use that word. lets see? how about process or movement?)it’s determined.

It’s all determined (or indetermined) but that has nothing to do with intentional actions which is what GdB was talking about. I agree all actions aren’t intentional b.t.w, there are reflex actions for starters.

I thought Bryan’s thought about the state of being hungry was good, you can take a snap shot of it.

This idea that if everything is determined then everything is illusory is strange. Why?

Here is a definition of determinism: Determinism is"the metaphysical thesis that the facts of the past, in conjunction with the laws of nature, entail every truth about the future’ (McKenna, 2009:1.3)

I just decided against moving my knight because it left a square unguarded that black’s queen could give check on. Why can’t I make calculations like that? Am I deluded? I think it makes more sense that I did make the calculation and that we’ve evolved to do that with obvious evolutionary benefits.

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Posted: 30 January 2014 09:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 757 ]
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StephenLawrence - 30 January 2014 09:21 PM
VYAZMA - 30 January 2014 05:35 PM

Right! So if person does an action it is free-will, if a sub-part of that person, say a stomach, or a sinus cavity does an action(oops can’t use that word! not allowed to use that word. lets see? how about process or movement?)it’s determined.

It’s all determined (or indetermined) but that has nothing to do with intentional actions which is what GdB was talking about. I agree all actions aren’t intentional b.t.w, there are reflex actions for starters.

I thought Bryan’s thought about the state of being hungry was good, you can take a snap shot of it.

This idea that if everything is determined then everything is illusory is strange. Why?

Here is a definition of determinism: Determinism is"the metaphysical thesis that the facts of the past, in conjunction with the laws of nature, entail every truth about the future’ (McKenna, 2009:1.3)

I just decided against moving my knight because it left a square unguarded that black’s queen could give check on. Why can’t I make calculations like that? Am I deluded? I think it makes more sense that I did make the calculation and that we’ve evolved to do that with obvious evolutionary benefits.

You see a difference between you thinking about the predetermined situations that led you to that chess move; and the autonomous actions of a stomach which makes you “hungry”.
One set of circumstances led you to move your knight, the other led you to make a sandwich.
You perceived yourself having intentions in the chess move.

Your stomach had intentional actions(designs) in growling or rumbling. It let you know you were hungry.
Unfortuantely your stomach doesn’t have a consciousness. So you(the ghost in the machine) will take credit for the sandwich.

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Posted: 30 January 2014 09:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 758 ]
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VYAZMA - 30 January 2014 09:38 PM

Your stomach had intentional actions(designs) in growling or rumbling. It let you know you were hungry.

Did it? Did it make calculations based on what might happen in the future if?

Unfortuantely your stomach doesn’t have a consciousness. So you(the ghost in the machine) will take credit for the sandwich.

Consciousness and credit are not in the picture. I believe I made the calculation based on future possibilities and that’s what makes it intentional.

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Posted: 30 January 2014 09:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 759 ]
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Some of you folks obviously can’t comprehend Hard Determinism.  If you could understand what some of us are trying to explain,
you would immediately say…“Oh….oh yeah now I see.”

But you can’t. 

Or you just like to ramble on for hundreds of pages in discussing how we can intentionally make a chess move.

You can envision a world of matter with no sentient beings.  All the physical laws are in effect.
You can easily describe causality and determinism.
However when sentient beings are put in the equation you must make special circumstances concerning matter.

You don’t understand this. I’m sorry.

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Posted: 30 January 2014 09:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 760 ]
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VYAZMA - 30 January 2014 09:53 PM

However when sentient beings are put in the equation you must make special circumstances concerning matter.

I said consciousness has nothing to do with it.

The question is are there calculations going on with regard to the future? Will if and might if type calculations.

Do calculations like that go on in chess computers?

[ Edited: 30 January 2014 10:00 PM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 30 January 2014 10:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 761 ]
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VYAZMA - 30 January 2014 09:53 PM

Some of you folks obviously can’t comprehend Hard Determinism.

Hard determinism is that determinism is true and therefore we don’t have libertarian free will.

Libertarian free will is that we could have done otherwise with the actual past just as it was in a way that makes us ultimately responsible for our actions.

Yes I comprehend hard determinism, I’m a hard determinist and actually so are compatibiists. It’s semantics because compatibilists simply define free will differently.

Anyhow we are talking about acting on future based calculations, not Free will.

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Posted: 30 January 2014 10:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 762 ]
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VYAZMA - 30 January 2014 09:38 PM

You see a difference between you thinking about the predetermined situations that led you to that chess move; and the autonomous actions of a stomach which makes you “hungry”.

Yes, and I say what I see. It’s the understanding of the effect those actions will have. Moving my knight will leave a square unprotected, this might cause me problems in the future so I don’t do it.

You don’t respond to what I say about this.

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Posted: 30 January 2014 10:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 763 ]
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George - 28 January 2014 04:59 PM

Consciousness might be a byproduct of reasoning. The ability to reason is clearly an adaptation and it has played a direct role in our evolution.

I pick up this thought. Our capabilities to reason are definitely an evolutionary advantage. Animals, and especially humans, can see themselves in their environment, and can anticipate the future. If my cat knocks at the door, he knows I will eventually come and open it. If I am hungry, I know I can go to the fridge and get me some food. But I could also do other things. E.g. I know there is only some remnant of yesterday’s rice dish, which was not that good. So I could go to the shop, buy me some potatoes and salad, and make me a new meal. Or I can call Pizza Service and order a pizza.

At the moment I am hungry I have several options, i.e. there are more than one possible action that will aliviate my unpleasant feeling of hunger. It would be ridiculous to say that these options are not there, and that I, or if you wish, my brain, does not evaluate these options. If these options were not really there, how can reasoning then be an evolutionary advantage?

Now my brain is, for all practical purposes, a determined system: so what I will do is also determined. But that does not mean that these options were not there, and that my brain is not evaluating options! To say that my choice is fixed and therefore I have in fact no choice, is a category error. The evaluating of options is a determined process, but it is a fact that this is what my brain does. The options are the options as they appear to me, not in some ‘real indeterminacy’, in which the brain would not be determined.

Now it is true, as Lois says again and again, I have no idea of my determining factors. But that does not change the fact that I evaluate possible future actions! But because I have no access to these determining factors (I am not aware about what my neurons are doing), the impression arises that I am the uncaused cause of my actions. That is the illusion of Libertarian Free Will.

‘Could have done otherwise’ just refers to the options that I remember I had. If I had chosen to do something else, I had done something else. There is no difference with ‘if it had rained yesterday, then the streets would have been wet’. They are just expressions of causal relationships, and therefore perfectly compatible with determinism.

Now, in my hungry situation, I plan to go to the shop, but then comes my evil neighbour, and stands for the door, saying he will not allow me to go to the shop. Now I cannot realise my plan to go to the shop. Somebody intentionally cuts my options down. Now he is forcing me to take another option. And here it becomes clear what Compatibilist Free Will is: if I can act upon all available options, then I am free. If they are artificially reduced or changed by the will of somebody else then I am not free.

That’s it. That is all that free will is, but also no less. I claim this concept of free will can bear the burden of moral responsibility. It also has nothing to do with determinism or indeterminism, till a certain limit. It is not conceivable how anticipating the future and choosing my actions can work in a world where there is not at least a certain level of constancy: everytime when I do A, then B happens. Without such ‘reliability’ my reasoning would make no sense, as everything could come out differently as last time when I did A. So I can end this by saying that determinism is a necessary condition for free will, where indeterminism is at most just disturbing, or in most cases, even irrelevant.

Edit: typos

[ Edited: 31 January 2014 02:53 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 30 January 2014 10:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 764 ]
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GdB - 30 January 2014 10:31 PM
George - 28 January 2014 04:59 PM

Consciousness might be a byproduct of reasoning. The ability to reason is clearly an adaptation and it has played a direct role in our evolution.

I pick up this thought. Our capabilities to reason are defintely an evolutionary advantage. Animals, and especially humans, can see themselves in their environment, and can anticipate the future. If my cat knocks at the door, he knows I will eventually come and open it. If I am hungry, I know I can got to the fridge and get me some food. But could also do other things. E.g. I know there is only some remnants of yesterday’s rice dish, which was not that good. So I could go to the shop, buy me some potatoes and salad, and make me a new meal. Or I can call Pizza Service and order a Pizza.

At the moment I am hungry I have several options, i.e. there are more than one possible action that will aliviate my unpleasant feeling of hunger. It would be ridiculous to say that these options are not there, and that I, or if you wish my brain, does not evaluate these options. If these options were not really there, how can reasoning then be an evolutionary advantage?

Now my brain is, for all practical purposes, a determined system: so what I will do is also determined. But that does not mean that these options were not there, and that my brain is not evaluating options! To say that my choice is fixed and therefore I have in fact no choice, is a category error. The evaluating of options is a determined process, but it is a fact that this is what my brain does. The options are the options as they appear to me, not in some ‘real indeterminacy’, in which the brain would not be determined.

Now it is true, as Lois says again and again, I have no idea of my determining factors. But that does not change the fact that I evaluate possible future actions! But because I have no access to these determining factors (I am not aware about what my neurons are doing), the impression arises that I am the uncaused cause of my actions. That is the illusion of Libertarian Free Will.

‘Could have done otherwise’ just refers to the options that I remember I had. If I had chosen to do something else, I had done something else. There is no difference with ‘if it had rained yesterday, then the streets would have been wet’. They are just expressions of causal relationships, and therefore perfectly compatible with determinism.

Now, in my hungry situation, I plan to go to the shop, but then comes my evil neighbour, and stands for the door, saying he will not allow me to go to the shop. Now I cannot realise my plan to go to the shop. Somebody intentionally cuts my options down. Now he is forcing me to take another option. And here it becomes clear what Compatibilist Free Will is: if I can act upon all available options, then I am free. If they are artificially reduced or changed by the will of somebody else then I am not free.

That’s it. That is all that free will is, but also no less. I claim this concept of free will can bear the burden of moral responsibility. It also has nothing to do with determinism or indeterminism, till a certain limit. It is not conceivable how anticipating the future and choosing my actions can work in a world where there is not at least a certain level of constancy: everytime when I do A, then B happens. Without such ‘reliability’ my reasoning would make no sense, as everything could come out differently as last time when I did A. So I can end this by saying that determinism is a necessary condition for free will, where indeterminism is it most just disturbing, or in most cases even irrelevant.

Yep.

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Posted: 30 January 2014 10:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 765 ]
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George - 28 January 2014 04:59 PM

Consciousness might be a byproduct of reasoning. The ability to reason is clearly an adaptation and it has played a direct role in our evolution.

Oh so it looks like you do think we make reason based calculations about the future and act as a result.

That’s what I would say is acting intentionally. Why not? What definition do you have?

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