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Do non-human animals have free will?
Posted: 08 February 2014 12:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 826 ]
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Lois - 07 February 2014 10:03 PM

  There are no shoulds or should nots. There is the determinatim of the moment.

Lois

Is it alright to eat under cooked chicken Lois? Or shouldn’t you do it?

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Posted: 08 February 2014 04:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 827 ]
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Lois - 07 February 2014 10:03 PM

I have no opinion on what courts “should” do. They will do what the various people in charge are determined to do. I don’t think courts “should” let people off, nor do I think they “should not.”  Courts will act through the determining influences of the people in charge.. Courts will punish or not, depending on their various determining influences.  Individuals don’t “decide” to punish or not, they follow their determining influences, and those influences change imperceptibly every moment. There are no shoulds or should nots. There is the determinatim of the moment.

Lois

Yes, you’ll find these exact expressions from me buried deep in the annals of the Free-will threads.
The courts, speeding tickets and the Electric Chair are all as determined as the lightning and thunder.

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Posted: 08 February 2014 05:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 828 ]
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VYAZMA - 07 February 2014 04:51 PM

Wha…?  I thought you were for the legal system taking this into account? Isn’t that what you are a proponent of?
Having courts be more and more sympathetic to causal determinism??
Am I missing something?

Yes, you are missing something. That is Stephen’s case. I do not disagree with him, but my case here has always been that there exists a valid interpretation of the concept of free will that is fully compatible with determinism, and that we therefore do not have to change our practice of blaming, praising and punishing. None of you have ever given a single valid argument against this position, because you only yell ‘we are determined!’, and ‘you do not understand determinism’. Yes, Lois and VYAZMA, we are determined, I know, and I nowhere have ever said we aren’t: it is even the starting point of my concept of free will that we are determined.

As I see it now, Lois has still not understood that point, and you, VYAZMA, think that it is pointless to show that it is logically possible that some concepts we use in describing what free will is are perfectly compatible with a deterministic and materialist worldview.

Lois, in the next example, what would you do: buy a cake or give to Oxfam? Why?

You arrive at a bakery. It’s the evening of a national holiday. You want to buy a cake with your last 10 dollars to round off the preparations you’ve already made. There’s only one thing left in the store — a 10-dollar cake.

On the steps of the store, someone is shaking an Oxfam tin. Fact: you can put the money in the tin, or you can go in and buy the cake.

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Posted: 08 February 2014 07:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 829 ]
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GdB - 08 February 2014 05:53 AM

Yes, you are missing something…. but my case here has always been that there exists a valid interpretation of the concept of free will that is fully compatible with determinism, and that we therefore do not have to change our practice of blaming, praising and punishing. None of you have ever given a single valid argument against this position, because you only yell ‘we are determined!’, and ‘you do not understand determinism’.

No way. That’s not true. My latest of many examples would be my post above where I stated we live in a world that believes in Free-will.
In the past I have also described my view of how “free-will” is part of our evolutionary behavior model. Punishment/reward z.b.
Do you remember our discussions on this matter?

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Posted: 08 February 2014 08:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 830 ]
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VYAZMA - 08 February 2014 07:44 AM

No way. That’s not true. My latest of many examples would be my post above where I stated we live in a world that believes in Free-will.
In the past I have also described my view of how “free-will” is part of our evolutionary behavior model. Punishment/reward z.b.
Do you remember our discussions on this matter?

How is the fact that many people believe in free will an argument against my position that determinism and free will are logically compatible?
How is your argument that “free-will” is part of our evolutionary behavior model an argument against my position?

They are arguments in favour of my position! (OK, what others believe is not a strong one, but hey, it is not against my position…)

[ Edited: 08 February 2014 08:18 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 08 February 2014 08:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 831 ]
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GdB - 08 February 2014 08:10 AM
VYAZMA - 08 February 2014 07:44 AM

No way. That’s not true. My latest of many examples would be my post above where I stated we live in a world that believes in Free-will.
In the past I have also described my view of how “free-will” is part of our evolutionary behavior model. Punishment/reward z.b.
Do you remember our discussions on this matter?

How is the fact that many people believe in free will an argument against my position that determinism and free will are logically compatible?
How is your argument that “free-will” is part of our evolutionary behavior model an argument against my position?

They are arguments in favour of my position! (OK, what others believe is not a strong one, but he, it is not against my position…)

I didn’t say they were against your position per say, I misspoke(typed).
Yes those are statements that support your position I guess.  I just don’t see why the two ideas must be labeled “compatible”.
They certainly aren’t vying against one another.  Free-will wins hands down. It always has and always will.
Hence my statement that we live in a world that believes in free-will.

Unfortunately I think you and I haven’t been able to find each other’s positions out here in the word jungle.
We’re close. I suspect that we will differ somehow down the road. Most likely due to the creeping, twisting vines in this word jungle.

Also we’ve been close before, somehow I always find some “twist” in your wordings or positions. It’s happened too many times to be
irrelevant.

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Posted: 08 February 2014 08:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 832 ]
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VYAZMA - 08 February 2014 08:22 AM

Yes those are statements that support your position I guess.  I just don’t see why the two ideas must be labeled “compatible”.

That is easy: many people think that determinism and free will are incompatible. Isn’t it then not logical to name the other position compatibilism?

VYAZMA - 08 February 2014 08:22 AM

Unfortunately I think you and I haven’t been able to find each other’s positions out here in the word jungle.
We’re close. I suspect that we will differ somehow down the road. Most likely due to the creeping, twisting vines in this word jungle.

Yeah, might be. Really, I think that you think I am defending libertarian free will. (At least Lois is still thinking that.)

Do you really think I do not understand what determinism is?

If you are interested, this is a pretty good article that reflects my position. (Or I reflect that position… wink)

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Posted: 08 February 2014 05:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 833 ]
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GdB - 08 February 2014 08:44 AM

That is easy: many people think that determinism and free will are incompatible. Isn’t it then not logical to name the other position compatibilism?

For me?  No it’s not logical.  There is no free-will for determinism to be compatible with.
There is no free-will.  The fact that you and Steve observe something that appears to be free-will doesn’t make it so.
Plus like I said, why the need to make this illusion of free-will compatible with determinism?

Do you really think I do not understand what determinism is?

Of course not.  I never thought that.

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Posted: 08 February 2014 11:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 834 ]
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VYAZMA - 08 February 2014 05:51 PM

There is no free-will.  The fact that you and Steve observe something that appears to be free-will doesn’t make it so.

I observe intentional actions which is quite different. I observe calculating what will/might happen based on our understanding of causality and acting because we want to bring about a particular future or avoid a particular future.

Free will can be defined so that it is compatible with determinism so the question is should it be. I’m not sure though I tend to think it should, which means I’ve changed my mind having listened to what compatibilsts have to say.

What I do think is clear is we should make sense of could have done otherwise. This is counter intuitive to people, I’ve seen this so often I think it must be the way we are wired up.

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Posted: 08 February 2014 11:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 835 ]
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VYAZMA - 07 February 2014 04:51 PM

Wha…?  I thought you were for the legal system taking this into account? Isn’t that what you are a proponent of?
Having courts be more and more sympathetic to causal determinism??
Am I missing something?

My view is the judicial system is a very small part of this. Almost everybody intuitively believes in libertarian free will, it influences almost everybody a lot of the time and that the belief is malignant as Dennett recently put it.

If someone is unfortunate enough to be worst off than you it’s unkind not to acknowledge that they are just unlucky in the final analysis and rather think they brought it all upon themselves. I think belief in libertarian free will makes us less empathetic and more selfish and hateful.

I think you are all the better for disbelieving in libertarian free will. I don’t know why you imagine belief in it is benign.

[ Edited: 08 February 2014 11:50 PM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 09 February 2014 12:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 836 ]
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VYAZMA - 08 February 2014 07:44 AM

In the past I have also described my view of how “free-will” is part of our evolutionary behavior model. Punishment/reward z.b.
Do you remember our discussions on this matter?

Libertarian free will is an illusion created by the combination of a mistake over could have done otherwise and the concept of a choice being up to us.

By imagining we are thinking about could have done otherwise in the actual situation we get the impression we could had done otherwise without any difference in circumstances beyond our control so we get the impression the choice was entirely up to us.

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Posted: 09 February 2014 03:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 837 ]
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StephenLawrence - 08 February 2014 11:39 PM

Free will can be defined so that it is compatible with determinism so the question is should it be.

The answer to that question should be obvious.
Does anybody go around defining tomatoes so they will be compatible with dump trucks?

Is the whole purpose of your exercise just to define free-will so that it can be compatible?

And aren’t you one who professes that there is no free-will?

So you are attempting to define a non-existent thing just so it can be compatible with a real construct(causal determinism)
that the entire planet(or our own minds) doesn’t subscribe to?

Why? for Conversation purposes?

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Posted: 09 February 2014 05:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 838 ]
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StephenLawrence - 08 February 2014 12:02 AM
Lois - 07 February 2014 10:03 PM

  There are no shoulds or should nots. There is the determinatim of the moment.

Lois

Is it alright to eat under cooked chicken Lois? Or shouldn’t you do it?

You miss the point. It isn’t a matter of whether things are right or wrong but that we have no ability to change anything by independent will. Whether it’s wise by any standard to eat undercooked chicken, most people will avoid it though some people will continue to eat it. Neither hose who stop nor those who continue will do so out of independent will, as you assume.  It will be as a result of experience and knowledge of food contamination and knowledge of the results along with many factors beyond our conscious control. Some people may have feelings of nausea, for example, at the thought of eating food they have learned is poisonous because they have had experience of it before, plus other unconscious factors. We like to think we are deciding such things out of free will, but I contend we are not.

Some non human animals avoid contaminated food, too. Do you think they are doing it out of free will? Rats, for example, have an uncanny ability to avoid rat poison—one reason it is so hard to get rid of them. Is that free will as you understand it? That is one reason I titled this thread “Do non-human animals have free will.”

Lois

Lois

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Posted: 09 February 2014 06:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 839 ]
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GdB - 08 February 2014 05:53 AM
VYAZMA - 07 February 2014 04:51 PM

Wha…?  I thought you were for the legal system taking this into account? Isn’t that what you are a proponent of?
Having courts be more and more sympathetic to causal determinism??
Am I missing something?

Yes, you are missing something. That is Stephen’s case. I do not disagree with him, but my case here has always been that there exists a valid interpretation of the concept of free will that is fully compatible with determinism, and that we therefore do not have to change our practice of blaming, praising and punishing. None of you have ever given a single valid argument against this position, because you only yell ‘we are determined!’, and ‘you do not understand determinism’. Yes, Lois and VYAZMA, we are determined, I know, and I nowhere have ever said we aren’t: it is even the starting point of my concept of free will that we are determined.

As I see it now, Lois has still not understood that point, and you, VYAZMA, think that it is pointless to show that it is logically possible that some concepts we use in describing what free will is are perfectly compatible with a deterministic and materialist worldview.

Lois, in the next example, what would you do: buy a cake or give to Oxfam? Why?

You arrive at a bakery. It’s the evening of a national holiday. You want to buy a cake with your last 10 dollars to round off the preparations you’ve already made. There’s only one thing left in the store — a 10-dollar cake.

On the steps of the store, someone is shaking an Oxfam tin. Fact: you can put the money in the tin, or you can go in and buy the cake.

It won’t be a matter of independent free will whether I buy the cake or give the money. That “decision” will come as a result of many factors unknown to me that are driving what you would call a “decision.” Some people would, apparently without stopping to think, w buy the cake, others will donate the money just as quickly. Others will appear to mull it over before acting.  My contention is that all the muling over has no effect. I will either buy the cake or donate the money depending on my experience, the environment, possibly even my genes, how much I’ve been indoctrinated to think my act of charity will help people, how much compassion I feel at the moment, what I think may be the consequences of either action, and millions of other imperceptible factors working at once.  I have no control over which factors take precedence. On some occasions some factors will take precedence and in others other factors will take precedence. The point is, I can’t control these things, no matter how much I want to and no matter how much I think I have control. I will do as I am determined to do by factors beyond my control. And afterwards I will either pat myself on the back for having made the “right” decison or feel guilt for having made the “wrong” one—all controlled by more factors I cannot consciously control.

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Posted: 09 February 2014 06:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 840 ]
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GdB - 08 February 2014 08:10 AM
VYAZMA - 08 February 2014 07:44 AM

No way. That’s not true. My latest of many examples would be my post above where I stated we live in a world that believes in Free-will.
In the past I have also described my view of how “free-will” is part of our evolutionary behavior model. Punishment/reward z.b.
Do you remember our discussions on this matter?

How is the fact that many people believe in free will an argument against my position that determinism and free will are logically compatible?
How is your argument that “free-will” is part of our evolutionary behavior model an argument against my position?

They are arguments in favour of my position! (OK, what others believe is not a strong one, but hey, it is not against my position…)

Either we have free will and can overcome our determimimg influences or we cannot. That is not a matter of “compatibility.” No decision can be made through determining influences and as a matter of conscious control at the same time.  It has to be one or the other. You are conflating two mutually exclusive ideas and trying to make them one because you are not willing to give up the idea of free will, no matter the argument. So you come up with an impossible solution—that we have free will and it’s “compatible” with a dertermined universe. Voila! Case closed.

The only thing humans can do is follow their determining influences and at the same time (falsely) identify it as free will.  It is not free will, of course, but we want to think it is, so we continue think that way and make assumptions that that is how our decisions are made.  It is “compatible” only in the sense that we can continue to assume we have control when we do not—we can continue to fool ourselves. But the ability to do that is also determined. Your stance on “compatibility” is closely related to a believer’s stance on the effectiveness of prayer. If the correct result occurs after prayer, the believer thinks it is a result of his prayer. No amount of rational argument will convince him that the good result is not a result of his prayer. So he comes up with a solution, he “decides” that effective prayer and a determined universe are “compatible.” It’s determined and controlled by prayer at the same time because he wants to think that. It’s no use trying to convince him that it can’t be both ways. He knows what he wants to beleve and that is all that’s necessary. End of argument.

[ Edited: 09 February 2014 06:41 AM by Lois ]
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