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FREE WILL FROM THE GROUND UP
Posted: 04 October 2014 07:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 04 October 2014 01:04 PM

But, one’s choices for the same situation presented at different times are not always identical.

When you say ‘the same situation’ you mean ‘the same with differences’.Clearly there are external and internal differences each time you make a choice.

So there is no ‘but’. Determinism says there is one possible future we can get to from the past just as it was, so just the same, not the same with differences.

Also be clear that determinism is not being argued for. It’s that we should assume determinism for the purposes of understanding free will.

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Posted: 05 October 2014 06:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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StephenLawrence - 04 October 2014 07:57 PM
citizenschallenge.pm - 04 October 2014 01:04 PM

But, one’s choices for the same situation presented at different times are not always identical.

When you say ‘the same situation’ you mean ‘the same with differences’.Clearly there are external and internal differences each time you make a choice.

So there is no ‘but’. Determinism says there is one possible future we can get to from the past just as it was, so just the same, not the same with differences.

Also be clear that determinism is not being argued for. It’s that we should assume determinism for the purposes of understanding free will.

Yea, the head/word games we love engaging in.
Sorry it still seems like a chimera, all about talking for the sake of talking.

I’m into the more down to Earth aspects of life and knowledge. 
{For instance talk about the “reality of time” send me right up a wall.  red face }

Earlier you said: “But anyhow chance factors into determinism just like in a game of chance, like cards games, for instance.”
And what came to mind was a card game where many of the cards morph as the game is being played…
But what that tells me about life I don’t have a clue wink

wish I had more time to play with this but not tonight.

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Posted: 05 October 2014 06:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 04 October 2014 06:24 AM
LoisL - 03 October 2014 12:56 PM

Determinism is the idea that our decisions are determined by factors we are unaware of—genes, environment and experience—which we have no conscious control over,  that we can’t consciously override those factors—even if we are sure we can, and that “free will” as an overriding force doesn’t exist. We all like to think it does exist and we act as f fit does but it has been proven over and over again that it does not, that it cannot.

Lois

Guess I have a tough time with the “determined” part.
“Strongly Influenced” I can buy - “determined” simply does not compute.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
How does chance factor into this “determinism” ?
How does choice factor into this “determinism” ?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mind you I find “free will” as in you can do anything you want, rather naive also -
but I certainly believe that we have a degree of free that can be exercised -

heck your mood on a certain day can make a huge difference in how you react to life changing opportunities.

______________________________________________

It reminds me of all the spilt ink on Nature VS. Nurture - becoming ideological battles more than observational reports

Oh course, with advances in recent decades, it’s become fairly clear that it’s a question of Nature VIA Nurture, where the two are inextricably intertwined.

ps.  Here’s a wonderful book discussing the issue.
The 2003 - Nature via Nurture by Matt Ridley
(of course it’s got it’s flaws, as a better educated reviewer pointed out - still it add some realistic detail that’s been missing from that argument.
Would be fun to see a revised version of the book reflecting on the past decades discoveries… ah, but I digress yet again.
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2003/apr/19/highereducation.scienceandnature)

As for mood, yes it does affect us. But where does that mood originate from? Did we will it into existence?  Or did it come reom factors beyond our control and knowledge.  I don’t think we can have a “little bit” of free will. We either have it or we don’t. IMO,  we don’t.

Lois

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Posted: 05 October 2014 06:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 05 October 2014 06:24 PM
StephenLawrence - 04 October 2014 07:57 PM
citizenschallenge.pm - 04 October 2014 01:04 PM

But, one’s choices for the same situation presented at different times are not always identical.

When you say ‘the same situation’ you mean ‘the same with differences’.Clearly there are external and internal differences each time you make a choice.

So there is no ‘but’. Determinism says there is one possible future we can get to from the past just as it was, so just the same, not the same with differences.

Also be clear that determinism is not being argued for. It’s that we should assume determinism for the purposes of understanding free will.

Yea, the head/word games we love engaging in.
Sorry it still seems like a chimera, all about talking for the sake of talking.

Well it isn’t word games. Understanding that the same situation doesn’t mean exactly the same situation makes a tremendous difference. Because we realise that to have done otherwise we would have had to have been in slightly different circumstances, or more accurately put the same with differences. But we werent And we are merely fortunate or unfortunate that we weren’t.

This is very down to earth.

Earlier you said: “But anyhow chance factors into determinism just like in a game of chance, like cards games, for instance.”
And what came to mind was a card game where many of the cards morph as the game is being played…
But what that tells me about life I don’t have a clue wink

Ahh well that’s interesting. Imagining the cards morphing is just what it is to imagine that determinism isn’t true. It’s to imagine that things could have turned out differentlly with everything precisely the same except the result.

It’s weird.

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Posted: 05 October 2014 07:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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LoisL - 05 October 2014 06:38 PM

We either have it or we don’t. IMO,  we don’t.

Lois

That’s because you insist on only one meaning of free will.

But if you accept more than one meaning then we can have free will and not have free will depending upon which meaning we are talking about.

If you really want to further the debate you need to say why you are insisting on only one meaning of free will?

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Posted: 05 October 2014 07:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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StephenLawrence - 05 October 2014 07:00 PM
LoisL - 05 October 2014 06:38 PM

We either have it or we don’t. IMO,  we don’t.

Lois

That’s because you insist on only one meaning of free will.

But if you accept more than one meaning then we can have free will and not have free will depending upon which meaning we are talking about.

If you really want to further the debate you need to say why you are insisting on only one meaning of free will?

Because as I see it free will is the ability to overrule our determining factors.  Either we can do it or we can’t. I see no other meaning.  You are right, since I can’t accept any other meaning, we can hardly debate further. 

But I do have a few questions about how you can say there is more than one kind of free wiil. Can any of your definitions of free will overrule all of our determining factors, or just some of them?

Does the overriding free will happen under all circumstances or or just under certain ones? Are there certain determining factors that can be overruled and certain ones that cannot?

How does one know which ones can be and which ones cannot be overruled? How can you be sure that when one of your definitions of free will is in force and that it isn’t actually being driven by your determining factors but you are unconscious of it?

Do you think you are consciously aware of your determining factors to the point that you can consciously overrule them?

Which part of the mind can separate itself from unconscious determining factors and override them? Do we have two or more minds, completely separate from each other?

Do we have more than one mind? If so, are they completely independent from one another, one or some of them controlled by determining factors we are not conscious of and one or some of them not?

Lois

[ Edited: 05 October 2014 07:49 PM by LoisL ]
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Posted: 05 October 2014 10:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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LoisL - 05 October 2014 07:39 PM


But I do have a few questions about how you can say there is more than one kind of free wiil. Can any of your definitions of free will overrule all of our determining factors, or just some of them?

Definition(s) of free will which are possible assuming determinism don’t have free will overuling any determining factors.

Does the overriding free will happen under all circumstances or or just under certain ones? Are there certain determining factors that can be overruled and certain ones that cannot?

None can be overiuled.

How does one know which ones can be and which ones cannot be overruled?

None can be overruled.

How can you be sure that when one of your definitions of free will is in force and that it isn’t actually being driven by your determining factors but you are unconscious of it?

I assume determinism so assume I’m always being driven by determining factors I’m unconscious of including my distant past.

Do you think you are consciously aware of your determining factors to the point that you can consciously overrule them?

I think overuling determinig factors is logically impossible.

Which part of the mind can separate itself from unconscious determining factors and override them? Do we have two or more minds, completely separate from each other?

No part of the mind can overrule determining factors.

Do we have more than one mind?

No.

[ Edited: 05 October 2014 10:24 PM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 05 October 2014 10:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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LoisL - 05 October 2014 07:39 PM

Because as I see it free will is the ability to overrule our determining factors.  Either we can do it or we can’t. I see no other meaning.  You are right, since I can’t accept any other meaning, we can hardly debate further.

Right. I had no idea why you were so naive to start such a discussion again. ‘Free will is how I see it. Basta.’

LoisL - 05 October 2014 07:39 PM

Can any of your definitions of free will overrule all of our determining factors, or just some of them?

None, of course. After so many discussions, you should have known.

Let me try to explain with another example. You know what vehicles are. There are white vehicles , blue vehicles , red ones, etc. So here we have a concept, with an adjective. Now assume you only know of cars, and you come up with a definition: vehicles have 4 wheels. It fits, and whatever the adjective (white, blue, red) it is correct. But then somebody comes (GdLawrence), and says that there are motor bikes. You say ‘that is not acceptable!’ ‘Vehicles have 4 wheels!’ (Maybe you would add that a 2 wheel bike would fall over because 2 wheels are not stable: so a 2 wheel vehicle cannot exist, you don’t accept it.)

So here we have 2 kinds of adjectives: colour, which as long as you apply it to cars is just referring to a subset of cars. They still all have 4 wheels.
Or the number of wheels: a 2 wheel vehicle is a complete different category of vehicles. So adjectives can refer to a subset (white cars, blue cars), or to a totally different set (motor bikes instead of cars).

When we are talking about Compatibilist Free Will, we talk about something different: something that does not have your ‘overruling of determining factors’. But which still can be a basis for assigning responsibility, for our practice of praising and blaming.

If you cannot accept that, then a rational investigation on the question if Compatibilist Free Will can really provide this basis is useless.

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Posted: 06 October 2014 07:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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LoisL - 05 October 2014 07:39 PM

But if you accept more than one meaning then we can have free will and not have free will depending upon which meaning we are talking about.
Lois

What about the difference between your typical sheople types who buy a simple story and proceed through life as though they are cogs in God’s machine, never curious about what’s beyond their blinders -
As opposed to the inquisitive questioning mind that seeks new experiences and learning opportunities - rather than shunning them.

Are we both the creatures of the same constraints?

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Posted: 06 October 2014 11:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 06 October 2014 07:02 AM

Are we both the creatures of the same constraints?

No.

There is freedom from all sorts of constraints. That’s possible assuming determinism so is no problem.

But we are entirely controlled by circumstances beyond our control and so don’t have LFW. That’s a controversially way of putting it but I am trying to jolt you into seeing the point.

Arthur Schopenhauer: “You are free to do what you want, but you are not free to want what you want.”

What he is saying is the want isn’t in your control, the action is in the control of the want but where does the want come from?

Either it appears due to circumstances beyond our control or we set of a regress back to circumstances beyond our control.

In an important sense what we get to do is 100% luck and nothing can change that. We can’t get a little bit of control (in this sense) the luck just stays at 100%. This is what Lois is saying and she’s dead right.

At first people don’t like the look of this but when you get used to it you see we have all the power we could hope for given the situation we find ourselves in (situation in the broad sense) We’re amazing choice making machines built by natural selection, how much better could it get?

And rejecting LFW is very important for our ethics, I believe. When we accept people have no LFW compassion and empathy rise and our sense of what is fair changes.

http://www.einsteinandreligion.com/spinoza2.html

I do not have the professional knowledge to write a scholarly article about Spinoza. But what I think about this man I can express in a few words. Spinoza was the first to apply with strict consistency the idea of an all-pervasive determinism to human thought, feeling, and action. In my opinion, his point of view has not gained general acceptance by all those striving for clarity and logical rigor only because it requires not only consistency of thought, but also unusual integrity, magnamity, and — modesty.

Not saying I’ve managed to live up to this b.t.w but being a determinist does help me.

[ Edited: 06 October 2014 11:36 PM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 07 October 2014 07:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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StephenLawrence - 06 October 2014 11:16 PM

But we are entirely controlled by circumstances beyond our control and so don’t have LFW. That’s a controversially way of putting it but I am trying to jolt you into seeing the point.

Arthur Schopenhauer: “You are free to do what you want, but you are not free to want what you want.”

What he is saying is the want isn’t in your control, the action is in the control of the want but where does the want come from?

Either it appears due to circumstances beyond our control or we set of a regress back to circumstances beyond our control.

In an important sense what we get to do is 100% luck and nothing can change that. We can’t get a little bit of control (in this sense) the luck just stays at 100%. This is what Lois is saying and she’s dead right.

At first people don’t like the look of this but when you get used to it you see we have all the power we could hope for given the situation we find ourselves in (situation in the broad sense) We’re amazing choice making machines built by natural selection, how much better could it get?

And rejecting LFW is very important for our ethics, I believe. When we accept people have no LFW compassion and empathy rise and our sense of what is fair changes.

Well I’m at least following your words and perhaps hearing the concept…
One reason it remain out of my ‘grasp’
is because it seems like this has been reduced to an either or argument with of LFW vs. Determinism and one wins…
that why it reminds me of the nurture/nature debate where neither side can ever win, because real nature is more complex than our minds can tease out.

by the way enjoyed that link.

StephenLawrence - 06 October 2014 11:16 PM

http://www.einsteinandreligion.com/spinoza2.html

Though I gotta admit to getting this weird little tingle of satisfaction, or … perhaps relief, when I read something so interesting and learned and typo sprinkled.  smile

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Posted: 07 October 2014 07:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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LoisL - 21 September 2014 12:32 PM

For all those interested in free will,  I suggest you post your own definitions of libertarian free will and compatibilist free will or any other kind of free will you bring into a discussion,  You all use certain terms but it isn’t clear how you each define them. Without clear definitions we can all agree on, we will never get through to each other and we wind up talking at cross purposes.

Please, if you agree to give your definitions, make them concise and write them your own words, as you understand them and use them. Don’t just copy an Internet or dictionary definition.

Also define causal reasoning as you use it.

Then maybe we can get a discussion of free will on the right path.

Thanks.

Lois

How we say anything is all about semantics so our definations basically end at the point we say them.

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Posted: 07 October 2014 10:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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StephenLawrence - 05 October 2014 10:20 PM
LoisL - 05 October 2014 07:39 PM


But I do have a few questions about how you can say there is more than one kind of free wiil. Can any of your definitions of free will overrule all of our determining factors, or just some of them?

Definition(s) of free will which are possible assuming determinism don’t have free will overuling any determining factors.

Does the overriding free will happen under all circumstances or or just under certain ones? Are there certain determining factors that can be overruled and certain ones that cannot?

None can be overiuled.

How does one know which ones can be and which ones cannot be overruled?

None can be overruled.

How can you be sure that when one of your definitions of free will is in force and that it isn’t actually being driven by your determining factors but you are unconscious of it?

I assume determinism so assume I’m always being driven by determining factors I’m unconscious of including my distant past.

Do you think you are consciously aware of your determining factors to the point that you can consciously overrule them?

I think overuling determinig factors is logically impossible.

Which part of the mind can separate itself from unconscious determining factors and override them? Do we have two or more minds, completely separate from each other?

No part of the mind can overrule determining factors.

Do we have more than one mind?

No.

Exactly!

Some people who can’t accept the idea that we have no free will will redefine it until they think they can make it fit. Pounding square pegs into round holes comes to mind.

Lois

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Posted: 07 October 2014 10:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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GdB - 05 October 2014 10:44 PM
LoisL - 05 October 2014 07:39 PM

Because as I see it free will is the ability to overrule our determining factors.  Either we can do it or we can’t. I see no other meaning.  You are right, since I can’t accept any other meaning, we can hardly debate further.

Right. I had no idea why you were so naive to start such a discussion again. ‘Free will is how I see it. Basta.’

LoisL - 05 October 2014 07:39 PM

Can any of your definitions of free will overrule all of our determining factors, or just some of them?

None, of course. After so many discussions, you should have known.

Let me try to explain with another example. You know what vehicles are. There are white vehicles , blue vehicles , red ones, etc. So here we have a concept, with an adjective. Now assume you only know of cars, and you come up with a definition: vehicles have 4 wheels. It fits, and whatever the adjective (white, blue, red) it is correct. But then somebody comes (GdLawrence), and says that there are motor bikes. You say ‘that is not acceptable!’ ‘Vehicles have 4 wheels!’ (Maybe you would add that a 2 wheel bike would fall over because 2 wheels are not stable: so a 2 wheel vehicle cannot exist, you don’t accept it.)

So here we have 2 kinds of adjectives: colour, which as long as you apply it to cars is just referring to a subset of cars. They still all have 4 wheels.
Or the number of wheels: a 2 wheel vehicle is a complete different category of vehicles. So adjectives can refer to a subset (white cars, blue cars), or to a totally different set (motor bikes instead of cars).

When we are talking about Compatibilist Free Will, we talk about something different: something that does not have your ‘overruling of determining factors’. But which still can be a basis for assigning responsibility, for our practice of praising and blaming.

If you cannot accept that, then a rational investigation on the question if Compatibilist Free Will can really provide this basis is useless.

Just keep hammering those square pegs into round holes, GdB. Keep on redefining free will until it finally fits your prejudice. That’s the way to do it.

Lois

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Posted: 07 October 2014 10:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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LoisL - 05 October 2014 07:39 PM

Because as I see it free will is the ability to overrule our determining factors.  Either we can do it or we can’t. I see no other meaning.  You are right, since I can’t accept any other meaning, we can hardly debate further. 

But I do have a few questions about how you can say there is more than one kind of free wiil. Can any of your definitions of free will overrule all of our determining factors, or just some of them?

Does the overriding free will happen under all circumstances or or just under certain ones? Are there certain determining factors that can be overruled and certain ones that cannot?

How does one know which ones can be and which ones cannot be overruled? How can you be sure that when one of your definitions of free will is in force and that it isn’t actually being driven by your determining factors but you are unconscious of it?

Do you think you are consciously aware of your determining factors to the point that you can consciously overrule them?

Which part of the mind can separate itself from unconscious determining factors and override them? Do we have two or more minds, completely separate from each other?

Do we have more than one mind? If so, are they completely independent from one another, one or some of them controlled by determining factors we are not conscious of and one or some of them not?

Lois

Funny, I agree with nearly every answer that Stephen gave. Except this one:

How can you be sure that when one of your definitions of free will is in force and that it isn’t actually being driven by your determining factors but you are unconscious of it?

The problem word is ‘driven’. You can be driven by other people, by work, by appointments (‘busy, busy…’), by fear etc. The metaphor of being driven is too suggestive. You might also reformulate, and ask if you ‘unfold the factors that determined you’. If you can you are free, if you can’t you are not.

LoisL - 07 October 2014 10:15 AM

Just keep hammering those square pegs into round holes, GdB. Keep on redefining free will until it finally fits your prejudice. That’s the way to do it.

Also funny: you start a thread where everybody can give his or her definition, but you also say that it least must have the main element of your definition: having control of your on your determining factors. That means you are not even interested in a discussion. And did you know that square pegs can perfectly fit through round holes. They just must be small enough. You say that free will is not just being able to do what you want, but that it also means that you can want what you want. And even if that is obviously absurd, you stick to it.

A question: how would you characterise the difference between somebody who can do what he wants, and somebody who cannot do what he wants?
(Somehow I expect you don’t answer this question: you nearly never answer questions of mine. Where I do answer yours.)

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