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Do non-human animals have free will?
Posted: 09 November 2012 08:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 91 ]
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Question: If we have no free will and no real control over anything we die, why shouldn’t we all just lie down and die?

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Posted: 09 November 2012 08:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 92 ]
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Dead Monky - 09 November 2012 08:37 AM

Question: If we have no free will and no real control over anything we die, why shouldn’t we all just lie down and die?

Here goes the word “should(n’t)” again. Some people lie down and die, others don’t—at least for awhile.

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Posted: 09 November 2012 11:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 93 ]
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I also don’t care for the word “should” as it is often used as a directive, however, there are other uses that don’t bother me.  We have to be careful not to be prejudices against the entire word rather than just some of the definitions. smile

And, how would it have been if D-M has used don’t rather than shouldn’t in his rhetorical question?

Occam

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Posted: 09 November 2012 11:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 94 ]
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Occam. - 09 November 2012 11:11 AM

And, how would it have been if D-M has used don’t rather than shouldn’t in his rhetorical question?

I don’t know. He may as well ask why we don’t lie down and die since we can’t fly, or become invisible, or be able to walk through walls. I don’t really understand this kind of questions. I guess some people may become depressed (and lie down and die) at the thought of our nihilistic existence, but I rather like it. I like it because it makes sense.

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Posted: 09 November 2012 12:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 95 ]
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Occam. - 09 November 2012 11:11 AM

And, how would it have been if D-M has used don’t rather than shouldn’t in his rhetorical question?

Occam

I wouldn’t know how to interpret the question either way.

Stephen

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Posted: 09 November 2012 01:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 96 ]
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Dead Monky - 09 November 2012 08:37 AM

Question: If we have no free will and no real control over anything we die, why shouldn’t we all just lie down and die?

Because we aren’t determined to do it.  Don’t you get it yet?

Why don’t you think rationally?

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Posted: 11 November 2012 04:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 97 ]
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The question is if non human animals have free will.
Perhaps we should first establish how non-human animals think.  Surprisingly, the collective mind of a beehive is much like a single human brain. There is some very interesting stuff in this NOVA program, what and how do animals (including humans) think?  I am still digesting it, but some of this stuff throws a whole new light on the questions of thought and exercise of free will.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/nature/what-animals-thinking.html

What Are Animals Thinking?
Probe animal morality, the “swarm intelligence” of a beehive, the amazing navigation talents of pigeons, and more.

Note the segment where swarming bees send out scouts to go house hunting and when they return, the scouts and the swarm debate which will be the better choice of home. The swarm does not split up. When the choice is made the entire swarm moves into the “selected” home.

[ Edited: 11 November 2012 04:32 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 14 November 2012 10:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 98 ]
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TimB - 08 November 2012 03:33 PM

Vyasma, Your thoughts that you presented in textual form in your response to GdB were determined.  One of the primary causal factors (among a myriad of other determining factors) was GdB’s post itself. 

Yes. I know that.

If you said what you wanted to say, then you acted according to (compatibilist version of) free will.  A value of this understanding of free will is that the rest of us can assign some responsibility to you, for what you said. (Or if someone was holding a gun to your head and telling you to type what you did, we can relieve you of responsibility for what you said.) We don’t assign personal responsibility to a volcano because, as far as we know, volcanos don’t have the capacity to want or come to know its wants and act according to those wants. 

Gee, what if I said something I didn’t want to say?  Is there a term for that? Of course not, because everybody always says what they “want” to say.
Nobody says something they didn’t want to say-ever.  If I’m about to tell you in words that I would like to borrow your tire pump, I dont say: “Apples have corny feathers and I’m gonna steal a train whistle!!”
You know something, frankly you stay down there with the contrived compatabilist angle.  If it helps you understand why we decide things and the meaning of life for you…go with it.

If we assign no responsibility to anyone for any action, it seems to me that there would be social chaos.

Yeah again we see the common desire to drift into quasi-related matters.  This has only come up a million times already. The reason is that you can’t get your head around biology and determinism. How the two are no different that determinism and iron ore.
I’m impatient and I apologize. I sincerely apologize,  but get past your own consciousness and your own “fears”(unknowns) and get your mind around this.
The whole idea of compatabilism is just frippery.  Look at the word itself—Compatible.  It means to adjust and become acceptable to a given meme.(in this case a meme). An a/c power cord could be compatible too.  Compatabilism-yes you can have a hobby outlook on free-will and still maintain your sanity and grasp on a false reality that gives you your ego and id.

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Posted: 14 November 2012 10:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 99 ]
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PS…do you really need a 300 page philosophy thread to help you understand that a person with a gun to their heads may type something they don’t want to type?

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Posted: 14 November 2012 11:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 100 ]
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VYAZMA - 14 November 2012 10:44 AM

PS…do you really need a 300 page philosophy thread to help you understand that a person with a gun to their heads may type something they don’t want to type?

No, it needs 300 pages philosophy thread to show people that free will is what you do when there is no gun pointed on your head (and you are correctly informed, not psychologically ill, not have an IQ below 50, can justify your actions, etc.), that brain measurements have nothing to do with it, that determinism has nothing to do with it, and that we have so a perfect basis for assigning responsibility to people.

And it also seems necessary to point out that there are some essential differences between a volcano and a human.

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Posted: 15 November 2012 12:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 101 ]
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GdB - 14 November 2012 11:04 PM
VYAZMA - 14 November 2012 10:44 AM

PS…do you really need a 300 page philosophy thread to help you understand that a person with a gun to their heads may type something they don’t want to type?

No, it needs 300 pages philosophy thread to show people that free will is what you do when there is no gun pointed on your head (and you are correctly informed, not psychologically ill, not have an IQ below 50, can justify your actions, etc.), that brain measurements have nothing to do with it, that determinism has nothing to do with it, and that we have so a perfect basis for assigning responsibility to people.

And it also seems necessary to point out that there are some essential differences between a volcano and a human.

It takes 300 ages because people also believe in libertarian free will and ultimate responsibility.

And because starting with free will to explain assigning moral responsibility is a bad idea, it confuses people terribly.

Starting with guiding good behaviour, deterrent and correction using praise, blame, rewards and punishment makes much more sense and just about everybody understands that we need these things.

Stephen

[ Edited: 15 November 2012 12:36 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 15 November 2012 03:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 102 ]
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StephenLawrence - 15 November 2012 12:32 AM

It takes 300 ages because people also believe in libertarian free will and ultimate responsibility.

I like your typo…

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GdB

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Posted: 15 November 2012 09:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 103 ]
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GdB - 14 November 2012 11:04 PM
VYAZMA - 14 November 2012 10:44 AM

PS…do you really need a 300 page philosophy thread to help you understand that a person with a gun to their heads may type something they don’t want to type?

No, it needs 300 pages philosophy thread to show people that free will is what you do when there is no gun pointed on your head (and you are correctly informed, not psychologically ill, not have an IQ below 50, can justify your actions, etc.), that brain measurements have nothing to do with it, that determinism has nothing to do with it, and that we have so a perfect basis for assigning responsibility to people.

And it also seems necessary to point out that there are some essential differences between a volcano and a human.

TimB stated that a person doesn’t say what they want to say when a gun is pointed at their heads. This is false.  Whether it is gun pointed at my head(and the gun wielder is telling me to say:“I would like to have some raspberries please.”), or hunger pangs in my stomach and a craving for raspberries- either method can determine if I am about to state: “I would like to have some raspberries please.” There is no difference.
The gun pointed at ones head is just one of the trillions of computations that are causaly pre-determined to cause us to react.
The fact that people have to bring up the “gun” scenario shows that some folks don’t have a full grasp on this discussion.  It also shows that people continuosly drift into other topics-such as the simple concepts of liberty and freedom.
Liberty and freedom can be deconstructed by the discussion of free-will(illusion thereof) and determinsm.
Free-will(illusion thereof) and determinism cannot be deconstructed by the discussion of liberty and freedom.
This is one of the main detractors of this discussion.  People have repeatedly brought this up here. The problem is..it’s hard to explain this to folks, especially folks who don’t understand the concept of the illusion of free-will as it relates to biology, DNA, chemistry, consciousness, causality etc.
Another easily identifiable flag GdB is your having to point out that there is a difference between Volcanos and Humans.  This readily explains to me that you DO INDEED imply a magic in people. It’s that simple.  If we boil it all down, that’s the summary. You are implying a magic. A soul or whatever.
You might protest this I’m sure, but again you either don’t fully grasp the illusion of free-will and the above italicized item, or you feel strongly about basing a dialectic about morality based on skewed knowledge of consciousness and causality.

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Posted: 15 November 2012 10:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 104 ]
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VYAZMA - 15 November 2012 09:40 AM

You make the same error again and again: you extensively show that we are determined. YES, we are determined!

VYAZMA - 15 November 2012 09:40 AM

Another easily identifiable flag GdB is your having to point out that there is a difference between Volcanos and Humans.  This readily explains to me that you DO INDEED imply a magic in people. It’s that simple.  If we boil it all down, that’s the summary. You are implying a magic. A soul or whatever.

This is such bullshit, VYAZMA. I nowhere imply that the difference between a volcano and a human is that volcanoes have no soul. But I do say, and you will agree with me, that there is no way that you can ask a volcano for his reasons to spit lava. But do you deny that you can ask people for their reasons for what they are doing? Humans have reasons, and these reasons are implemented in the software of the brain. That of course means they are determined. But we have no access to our own hardware layer of firing neurons. So it seems we have libertarian free will, and yes, that is an illusion. But the actions of people can be in accordance with their wishes and beliefs, and hopefully also with their reasons. A free will is a will that can express itself in its actions, not a will that is not caused. Such a will does not exist, that is an illusion. But we can very well distinguish between free and non-free actions, even if there is a vague border between them. You see no difference between a person falling according to the law of gravity, and a person going to the fridge for a beer because he knows there is still some in it, but with this action also just follows laws of nature.

VYAZMA - 15 November 2012 09:40 AM

The problem is..it’s hard to explain this to folks, especially folks who don’t understand the concept of the illusion of free-will as it relates to biology, DNA, chemistry, consciousness, causality etc.

I very well understand the relationship between biology, DNA, chemistry, causality and consciousness. Where did I show I have no general understanding of those topics? You should start reading what I write, and not interpret me between the lines.

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Posted: 15 November 2012 02:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 105 ]
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hey, G.  good to see you.

did someone actually post a coherent definition of libertarian free will—something sensible enough to rise to the level of being called an illusion?

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