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Do non-human animals have free will?
Posted: 09 February 2014 06:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 841 ]
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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…)

Since when does what many people believe have any effect on the truth?  At one time just about everyone believed that the sun revolves around the earth. Did that make it true? Did that belief influence the actual movement of bodies in space? Did it add our understanding of cosmology? Could it be seen to be “compatible” with science? For the majority of people the truth probably had no effect, but it had an effect on scientific thinking, scientific research and future understanding of the universe. So my question to you is, does it matter if cosmologists believe the sun revolves around the earth? Is it “compatible” with science? Is it “compatible” with the truth because a lot of people don’t want to give up the fantasy and such belief is “natural”?

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Posted: 09 February 2014 06:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 842 ]
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Lois - 09 February 2014 06:27 AM

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.

Libertarian free will and determinism are incompatible, yes.

The alternative I am proposing here all the time is to redefine what free will is. I give arguments that this definition:
- is compatible with determinism
- supports our daily practice of assigning responsibility and free will
- explains why people feel as if they have libertarian free will, i.e. feel as if they are uncaused
- explains why many people think they need libertarian free will as a basis of assigning responsibility

I describe it, I give arguments for it, and you have never given one single argument against it. Instead you keep repeating that your definition of free will is incompatible with determinism. I know that. Read these postings (here and here) and show me the error. Repeating that your definition of free will is incompatible with determinism is not an argument against what I wrote there, because I do not defend your concept of free will.

Lois - 09 February 2014 06:04 AM
GdB - 08 February 2014 05:53 AM

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.

You did it again. You did not answer the question that was asked, which was:

What would you do: buy a cake or give to Oxfam? Why?

And then I have an additional question: if I am not in control, who or what is?

[ Edited: 09 February 2014 08:39 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 09 February 2014 06:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 843 ]
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Lois - 09 February 2014 06:39 AM

Since when does what many people believe have any effect on the truth? 

Next to none, exactly as I wrote:

GdB - 08 February 2014 08:10 AM

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…)

Do you ever really read what I am posting?

It was an argument originally brought in by VYAZMA. Except here, as a kind of jest, I never have used such an argument.

[ Edited: 09 February 2014 08:36 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 09 February 2014 07:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 844 ]
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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.

Sigh… I show that there is the possibility of a definition of free will that supports our daily use of the concepts ‘responsibility’ and ‘free will’ and that it is not in contradiction with the fact that we are determined.

Let me ask another question: do you think that the discoveries of neurologists how the brains of normal healthy persons work give reason to rethink our legal system?

VYAZMA - 08 February 2014 05:51 PM

Plus like I said, why the need to make this illusion of free-will compatible with determinism?

This is so .... no, I better do not say this.

The illusion of free will is that it is uncaused. But in fact all our actions are determined. And yet we can give a definition of free will that builds on the fact that we are determined. I gave long descriptions of this definition, and again, you have never given one single argument against it.

VYAZMA - 08 February 2014 05:51 PM

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

Of course not.  I never thought that.

No? Wasn’t that meant for me?

VYAZMA - 30 January 2014 09:53 PM

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

[ Edited: 09 February 2014 08:37 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 09 February 2014 10:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 845 ]
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VYAZMA - 09 February 2014 03:51 AM

Does anybody go around defining tomatoes so they will be compatible with dump trucks?

No and if compatibilists were just doing something like that they would be wrong.

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

Nope, most recently we’ve been talking about intentional actions, a different subject.

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

Since the term free will is used to mean more than one thing I say we don’t have libertarian free will to avoid confusion.

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?

I haven’t done that. I think there is a compatibilist version of free will in use. I don’t think we only have libertarian intuitions. We recognise the difference between a shotgun wedding and two people getting married of their own free will, which has nothing to do with determinism it seems. I think we need to recognise the difference between choices which are more or less up to us and perhaps we should use the term free choice or free will for when choices are up to us.

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Posted: 09 February 2014 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 846 ]
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StephenLawrence - 09 February 2014 10:01 AM
VYAZMA - 09 February 2014 03:51 AM

Does anybody go around defining tomatoes so they will be compatible with dump trucks?

No and if compatibilists were just doing something like that they would be wrong.

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

Nope, most recently we’ve been talking about intentional actions, a different subject.

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

Since the term free will is used to mean more than one thing I say we don’t have libertarian free will to avoid confusion.

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?

I haven’t done that. I think there is a compatibilist version of free will in use. I don’t think we only have libertarian intuitions. We recognise the difference between a shotgun wedding and two people getting married of their own free will, which has nothing to do with determinism it seems. I think we need to recognise the difference between choices which are more or less up to us and perhaps we should use the term free choice or free will for when choices are up to us.

But they are never “up to us” if you mean we are capable of overriding out deterministic influences just because we want to.  If you think we can, please describe the part of the human brain that can step aside from the rest of the brain’s natural functions and determining influences and “decide” to override them. How would that work? Where would that ability come from?  We only have one brain and our thoughts can be controlled only by factors we have no control over. In order for us to have free will we’d need another, separately functioning brain that could override those determining influences and which is immune to those influences. Where would that ability come from? Where does it reside! How can we step outside our brains with separate and independent thoughts and change the course of nature just because we somehow independently “want” to? “Compatibilist free will” would be like compatibilist science, meaning that scientific principles work only if we consciously allow them to work and if we want them to work differently we just have to put our minds to it.

You simply can’t claim that mutually exclusive concepts can be compatible with one another and remain a rationalist. Rational people will demand proof that it is possible and a rational explanation and objective evidence of the process.  Compatibilist free will is pie in the sky and wishful thinking taken to the nth degree. It is an impossibility according to science as we understand it.

Lois

[ Edited: 09 February 2014 11:27 AM by Lois ]
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Posted: 09 February 2014 02:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 847 ]
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Lois - 09 February 2014 11:22 AM

But they are never “up to us” if you mean we are capable of overriding out deterministic influences just because we want to

No, Stephen does not mean that, so the rest of your posting beats thin air, as usual. You never argue against the position Stephen or I are taking. I don’t know who you are discussing with, but not with one of us.

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Posted: 09 February 2014 07:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 848 ]
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StephenLawrence - 09 February 2014 10:01 AM
VYAZMA - 09 February 2014 03:51 AM

Does anybody go around defining tomatoes so they will be compatible with dump trucks?

No and if compatibilists were just doing something like that they would be wrong.

It’s not a matter of right and wrong.  It’s a matter of redundancy and contradiction.
“Let’s re-define a square peg until it fits in a round hole.”

Nope, most recently we’ve been talking about intentional actions, a different subject.

A different subject is it?  So you’ve jumped on the confused/escape parachute wagon now?  Disingenuous!

Since the term free will is used to mean more than one thing I say we don’t have libertarian free will to avoid confusion.

To avoid confusion?  How do you explain literally hundreds of pages spread out over 3-4 different “free-will” threads?
Many of which you are participating in.

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Posted: 09 February 2014 07:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 849 ]
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GdB - 09 February 2014 07:19 AM

Sigh… I show that there is the possibility of a definition of free will that supports our daily use of the concepts ‘responsibility’ and ‘free will’ and that it is not in contradiction with the fact that we are determined.

Of course there’s a possibility anyone can define their own terms. I think there’s a possibility that a potato and a dump truck are related
in a metallurgical sense.  Of course I have changed my “definition” of potato to be compatible with it.
Just like you have changed the concept of “wishes and beliefs” around.  That’s fine. Whatever you want to call it-it’s your definition. It’s your theory.

Let me ask another question: do you think that the discoveries of neurologists how the brains of normal healthy persons work give reason to rethink our legal system?

Not really, in general..no.  I think “discoveries” in our economic systems would give rise to changes in our legal system far quicker.

The illusion of free will is that it is uncaused. But in fact all our actions are determined. And yet we can give a definition of free will that builds on the fact that we are determined. I gave long descriptions of this definition, and again, you have never given one single argument against it.

Yes I did. The main part of your argument is that we act on “wishes and beliefs”. That’s free-will.  You say it isn’t.
That’s part of your very liberal license to redefine terms.  It’s hard to argue against someone who defines their own terms.

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Posted: 09 February 2014 07:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 850 ]
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GdB - 09 February 2014 06:48 AM

The alternative I am proposing here all the time is to redefine what free will is. I give arguments that this definition:
- is compatible with determinism

Your definition is “we act on wishes and beliefs”...right?

- supports our daily practice of assigning responsibility and free will
- explains why people feel as if they have libertarian free will, i.e. feel as if they are uncaused
- explains why many people think they need libertarian free will as a basis of assigning responsibility

There’s no need to redefine any of this. This can already be explained by evolutionary behavioral science, psychology, genetics,, anthropology etc..etc….
What these sciences can and will tell us is all that is necessary.

In your definition of compatibilism you never explain why “people feel as if they have LFW”.
You only redefine terms.  You are in fact just as surely redefining what causal determinism is too.
Again, to what end?  So two philosophical terms will mesh up so that you feel contented about it?

You have never explained why people feel as if they LFW.
You have only described causally determined behavior-such as walking to the fridge to get a sandwich, and redefined it to be compatible with determinism when it already is determinism.
This is obviously because despite what you say, you(and Steve) can’t reckon with consciousness and what you both perceive to be
“intentional actions”.  So you both redefine terms to package everything up in a neat philosophical bundle.
And in the realm of Philosophy, you have every right to do so. In the realm of philosophy, you can’t be wrong.
Which is why you tell us we have never “come up with a good counter argument”. You’re right.
They’re your terms.

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Posted: 09 February 2014 10:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 851 ]
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VYAZMA - 09 February 2014 07:05 PM
StephenLawrence - 09 February 2014 10:01 AM

Nope, most recently we’ve been talking about intentional actions, a different subject.

A different subject is it?

Yes.

  So you’ve jumped on the confused/escape parachute wagon now?  Disingenuous!

No.

To avoid confusion?  How do you explain literally hundreds of pages spread out over 3-4 different “free-will” threads?
Many of which you are participating in.

The point is when the same term is used to mean different things one needs to be clear about which version of free will is being denied.

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Posted: 09 February 2014 10:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 852 ]
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GdB - 09 February 2014 02:10 PM
Lois - 09 February 2014 11:22 AM

But they are never “up to us” if you mean we are capable of overriding out deterministic influences just because we want to

No, Stephen does not mean that, so the rest of your posting beats thin air, as usual. You never argue against the position Stephen or I are taking. I don’t know who you are discussing with, but not with one of us.

I realize that you may be unable to see that you may not have made yourself clear. The fault may not be mine, but yours.

I will leave the discussion to you and Steven and Vyazma.  I have not made myself clear to you and I doubt I will ever be able to.

Lois

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Posted: 09 February 2014 10:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 853 ]
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Lois - 09 February 2014 11:22 AM

But they are never “up to us” if you mean we are capable of overriding out deterministic influences just because we want to.

 

So you know I don’t mean that.

I gave a wedding example. Think about the differences between a shotgun wedding, an arranged marriage, a forced marriage and a couple who have fallen in love and want to spend the rest of their lives together.

The couple in love are free to do what they want. The couple in the forced marriage are not.

It’s important to not treat all choices as the same. It’s important to differentiate between different choices to give people a better quality of choices and when dividing up responsibility for choices.

[ Edited: 09 February 2014 10:47 PM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 09 February 2014 10:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 854 ]
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VYAZMA - 09 February 2014 07:47 PM

In your definition of compatibilism you never explain why “people feel as if they have LFW”.

Well I did in post 836, if that helps.

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Posted: 10 February 2014 08:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 855 ]
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StephenLawrence - 09 February 2014 10:58 PM
VYAZMA - 09 February 2014 07:47 PM

In your definition of compatibilism you never explain why “people feel as if they have LFW”.

Well I did in post 836, if that helps.

And I did here.

Never mind…

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