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Free Will (Merged)
Posted: 16 July 2010 02:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2131 ]
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Does anyone know if this board has a maximum page number for threads?

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“In the end nature is horrific and teaches us nothing.” -Mutual of Omicron

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Posted: 16 July 2010 04:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2132 ]
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We could only hope.  smile

Occam

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Posted: 17 July 2010 04:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2133 ]
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StephenLawrence - 15 July 2010 01:52 PM

It’s crystal clear.
The form of moral responsibility compatible with determinism is as gnostikosis put it:

Nobody deserves what happens to them. Moral accountability IMO serves to provide a feedback mechanism to modify future behavior. Punishment serves to modify future behavior. Shame, guilt, embarrassment whatever negative feedback becomes part of the causality of future behavior.

We occasionally impose moral accountability on ourselves or on others as a means to modify behavior or what they are willing to do.

People are free to act as determine by their will. Moral accountability modifies their behavior generally after the fact.

However an act done by someone else and the resulting consequences (punishment) is also used as an example to modify the future behavior of a third party.

This is so completely obvious, that if you believe in something deeper you too are experiencing the illusion of free will.

If what most people believe in was this simple functional version there would be no debate.

Why do you think I believe in something deeper? I was the one who criticised you a long time ago for you demanding to find a justification of ‘ultimate responsibility’! (Which is a self refuting demand: to ask for justification of justification. On what should that justification been built? On a scientific experiment that objectively shows that killing is wrong? Or an absolute law giver? Allah, YHWH, Brahman?)

The only thing I want to say Gnostikosis’ quote is that it is a mix of third party view and the first and second party views. From the third party view one can see that there is influence from the behaviour from one human animal to the other. But to have knowledge what this sound exchange means, one has to know what is meant by it. And that can only be done from the first and second party views. That is, btw, the reaon why Dennett introduces his ‘heterophenomenology’. If one wants to explain consciousness, and what all happens in the ‘consciousness space’, one must take both views in account! From a pure third party view, where determinism is grosso modo true, one never finds consciousness, mind or free will.

I agree with you that ‘free will’ meaning ‘a person could have done otherwise’ is an illusion. He surely could not have done otherwise in any absolute way, But his actions were conditioned by his will, i.e. his desires and beliefs. And that is why we praise or punish him. Not because we are absolutely right in doing this, but because we, at this moment, in this culture, have these moral view. And of course one can take Gnostikosis’ view on that, but this view does not help us when we are facing a (difficult) choice ourselves.

I want to see you that for our determinist in the restaurant it makes no difference for him if he thinks he is free or determined in any way. He must/will choose something from the menu card. Waiting what will happen, as a determinist could do, is not an option for him. But when it makes no difference, why all the fuzz? Why don’t we take just the determinist presupposition in the third party view, which is proven by its successes in science (except QM of course), and just go on in the way we do: in the first party view we are free, make our deliberations what to do next again and again, and get angry when somebody makes the wrong moral choices according to our moral values. Which if of course not ‘ultimate responsible’!

GdB

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Posted: 17 July 2010 06:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2134 ]
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Bryan - 13 July 2010 11:05 AM

...saying that you can’t tell the difference between a p-zombie and a human…...

It is amazing what you can learn from this forum…I had never heard of a p-zombie…..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_zombie

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Posted: 17 July 2010 01:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2135 ]
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GdB - 17 July 2010 03:59 AM
StephenLawrence - 16 July 2010 12:31 PM

Mine is: Free will is the belief that we could do otherwise in such a way that makes us morally responsible, in a sense that denies that it’s ultimately a matter of luck whether we do one thing or another.

That is putting the horse on the wrong side of the carriage: the ‘hard core neurologists’ say there is no room for free will, because our thoughts, feelings, and behaviour are determined by the brain, on (they think) their research outcomes. ‘We’ must show that they are wrong, because they have a false idea about what free will really is.

Free will refers to what somebody means by free will.

Usually, the correct answer to the question, do we have free will, is no.

Stephen

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Posted: 18 July 2010 12:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2136 ]
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StephenLawrence - 17 July 2010 01:48 PM

Free will refers to what somebody means by free will.

Usually, the correct answer to the question, do we have free will, is no.

Seems I am shooting at a moving target…

Can’t you say once what you think, for yourself, without referencing what other people in generally usually think, if some form of free will exists (your form!), and if this is enough ground to praise and punish people (and not ultimate!).

Everytime when I think I give a good argument, the others, ‘but in general’, ‘depends on what somebody understands under free will’, etc. pop up, and Stephen is gone.

I want your understanding of what you think free will is, and your idea if this is justification for assigning responsibility to others.

GdB

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Posted: 18 July 2010 12:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2137 ]
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GdB - 14 July 2010 12:03 AM
Bryan - 13 July 2010 11:05 AM

”Arguably the burden of proof is on those who claim a given description involves an impossibility.”

Oh, this is a fun game! Now I take a citation that says the opposite:

Because zombies, ex hypothesis, behave just like regular humans, they will claim to be conscious. Thomas argues that any construal of this claim (that is, whether it is taken to be true, false, or neither true nor false) inevitably entails either a contradiction or a manifest absurdity.

Hmmm.  Just two problems.  First, you were the one who was dismissive of burden of proof issues in the field of philosophy.  Your course now is inconsistent with your former course.  Second, your citation doesn’t appear to mean what you think it means.  Nigel Thomas doesn’t argue that p-zombie advocates ought to bear the burden of proof.  He takes up the burden of proof for trying to show that philosophical zombies are absurd.  You can’t both argue that p-zombies are absurd and avoid the burden of proof.  That’s contradictory.  Take your pick.

More to my idea is that it is not an empirical question if p-zombies exist, not even in principle. If I throw a die behind a door that I close immediately after it forever without seeing the die, I cannot know ever which of
1 to 6 is thrown.  But I know that the question could be answered in principle. But following from the definition of a p-zombie, that it behaves exactly like a conscious human being (it complains about pain, it has discussions with me about consciousness and the possibility that p-zombies exist), there is even conceptual no way I can really imagine this.

Then don’t go around saying it’s “obvious” that others are conscious if you don’t really know.

when philosophers claim that zombies are conceivable, they invariably underestimate the task of conception (or imagination), and end up imagining something that violates their own definition

The quotation does you little good if you’re unwilling to take up the burden of proof for the demonstration (showing the alleged violation of the definition).

Bryan - 13 July 2010 11:05 AM

The reason that I cannot say that consciousness, etc. do not exist is because I have possess knowledge that apparently contradicts that proposition.

Consistently I must say: no idea if you are conscious. I know I am, but you might be a p-zombie… You just p-think you are conscious (if you understand what I mean).

Of course.  But I’m not expecting you to take my word for it.  I’m simply offering up the logical reasoning that I use.  If I perceive myself as conscious then it would be perverse for me not to accept the existence of consciousness, at least for myself.

From a third party view I never can decide if something else has consciousness. Only when I ‘talk’ with it, I notice it. Which is more or less the Türing test. Even intelligent behaviour must not be a proof: chess programs behave quite intelligent. But that is the second party view already. You are taking my idea at the wrong side: for a ‘view’ there is always necessary a ‘subject’, which per definition must be conscious, otherwise there is not even a view.

That’s not a very clear explanation (I can’t tell if you’re describing my interpretation of your third-party view or your own understanding of it).

Bryan - 13 July 2010 11:05 AM

The conversation exists just as objectively in terms of the exchange of symbols.

Objective symbols? Come on Bryan, they are just pixels.

Substitute “characters” if it helps you avoid equivocation.

If symbols exist, they do so because they can be interpreted. And that is only in the domain of the first and second party view.

And now you’ll explain how the forum does not exist from the third party view (”Even this forum is an illusion”).

Bryan - 13 July 2010 11:05 AM

It’s very important to note that there may be brain states subsequent to brain state Q but prior to the action.  We could either have a brain state that leads indeterministically to a subsequent brain state that in turn causes the desire for action, or we may have one brain state for which the epiphenomenal consciousness varies indeterministically.  Either option is consistent with the model.

OK, I think I understand. For the first option my arguments remain valid: brain states ‘correlate’ with ‘actions’, be it via a detour. Epiphenomalism is not a serious option: my actions are my actions because they are caused by my desires and beliefs. Brain states (third party view!) that cause actions do so because they are desires and beliefs on first party view. (And I can report this based on the second party level.)

1)  Your talk of a “detour” is not clear.  Thinking is not a detour.
2)  You need something very close or identical to epiphenomenalism if you’re positing your intentions as non-material causes.  The reason is because the intentions require a fully explanatory cause in turn within a deterministic milieu.  If you skip that then maybe you’re a libertarian free will advocate and haven’t realized it yet.  wink
If you deny epiphenomenalism then you need some sort of substitute in order to have a workable CFW model featuring the conscious will as a cause.

Bryan - 13 July 2010 11:05 AM

If the third party has no beliefs then why posit a third party view?

Sigh… I did not say a third party has no beliefs. I said we cannot know that something/body has beliefs if I take the third party view. But I know that perfectly on the second party view.

Again, the explanation is not clear.  How do you take a third party view without effectively transforming it into a first-party view?  If you mean the third party view as objectivity then consider using that handy term.

Bryan - 13 July 2010 11:05 AM

It simply recognizes them as unverifiable and recognizes limits on the tools of epistemology.

Of course, I see that too. But epistemology is only relevant in the third party view.

That’s extraordinarily unclear.

Quantum random generators are not theory. (Measure the numbers of ticks in a Geiger-Müller device in a second). They are truly indeterministic. Of course you do not have a quantum random generator in your PC (MAC?). So this is not a real random generator anymore.

I can’t tell if you paid attention to my previous post or not.  If you’re going to make these sorts of claims then provide a supporting (non-Wikipedia) citation.  Like I did.

I want to add an argument in the same line as the p-zombie argument (...)

We know what the difference is in principle:  Self awareness/consciousness.  Your argument doesn’t work because of a faulty premise (that there is no difference between a p-zombie and its conscious double).  One is conscious and the other isn’t.  That’s a difference in principle.  The difference doesn’t matter in terms of behavior, but that’s not at all the point of p-zombies in this argument (therefore irrelevant).  The point is that you can’t show that conscious desire is a cause.  You can assume it for a model of the will, but you can’t know it any more than you can know of other minds.

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Posted: 18 July 2010 12:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2138 ]
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StephenLawrence - 17 July 2010 01:54 PM
GdB - 17 July 2010 03:51 AM

Your presupposition is that the universe should be inherently just. That would be, I assume, the basis of ‘ultimate responsibility’.

My presuppositon is that people think the universe would be inherently just if everybody reaped what they sowed.

That is the basis of belief in ultimate responsibility.

Here you go again…

Do I understand you correctly?

(1) You think that ultimate responsibility does not exist, Gnostikosis’ description is enough for ‘normal responsibility’.
(2) There are many people who believe in ‘ultimate responsibility’, but they are wrong (you must think this when you think as in (1)).
(3) Because many people think the universe must be inherently just, ‘ultimate responsibility’ exists (??? But that would follow from your ‘That is the basis...’ Or should it be ‘many people believe this for having a ground to punish others.)

Do you see the inconsistencies and confusions? Please, please, first declare what you think, and then we will discuss what others think. OK?

GdB

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Posted: 18 July 2010 12:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2139 ]
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Bryan - 18 July 2010 12:10 AM

Too much dissecting mode. Reacting costs too much time and won’t stop your dissecting mode.

Bye, Bryan.

I think I know how you will react on this. wink

GdB

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Posted: 18 July 2010 02:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2140 ]
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GdB - 18 July 2010 12:29 AM


Do you see the inconsistencies and confusions?

No.

Please, please, first declare what you think, and then we will discuss what others think. OK?

GdB

I want to argue against one version of free will only. I see nothing wrong with saying that compatibilist free will is nothing like the free will people intuitevely believe in. I’ll go further than saying some people believe in it. Everybody believes in it sometimes. I’ll also say that most compatibilists only believe they are compatibilists. Unless the philosophy changes the so called compatibilists intuitions about responsibility and justice, they really are objectively incompatibilists. I strongly suspect you are one of these.

Stephen

[ Edited: 18 July 2010 02:36 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 18 July 2010 02:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2141 ]
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GdB - 18 July 2010 12:09 AM
StephenLawrence - 17 July 2010 01:48 PM

Free will refers to what somebody means by free will.

Usually, the correct answer to the question, do we have free will, is no.

Seems I am shooting at a moving target…

Can’t you say once what you think, for yourself, without referencing what other people in generally usually think, if some form of free will exists (your form!), and if this is enough ground to praise and punish people (and not ultimate!).

I think there is behaviour that should be encouraged.

I think there are times when praising or the prospect of praise encourages behaviour.

I think assuming there isn’t a better way of achieving the same result, praise should be given.

Do the reverse for punishment.

The cases in which this applies can be called cases of freely willed actions.

Now GdB what do you think? You’ve never come up with anything intelligable on this. You just insist compatibilist free will is enough ground to praise and punish people.

Stephen

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Posted: 18 July 2010 02:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2142 ]
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GdB - 18 July 2010 12:09 AM
StephenLawrence - 17 July 2010 01:48 PM

Free will refers to what somebody means by free will.

Usually, the correct answer to the question, do we have free will, is no.

Seems I am shooting at a moving target…

Not at all You know exactly what I’m arguing against.

If someone asks do they have free will, the correct answer does depend upon what they are talking about. And so the correct answer for 90% of the population is no you don’t.

Stephen

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Posted: 18 July 2010 02:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2143 ]
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GdB - 17 July 2010 04:39 AM
StephenLawrence - 15 July 2010 01:52 PM

It’s crystal clear.
The form of moral responsibility compatible with determinism is as gnostikosis put it:

Nobody deserves what happens to them. Moral accountability IMO serves to provide a feedback mechanism to modify future behavior. Punishment serves to modify future behavior. Shame, guilt, embarrassment whatever negative feedback becomes part of the causality of future behavior.

We occasionally impose moral accountability on ourselves or on others as a means to modify behavior or what they are willing to do.

People are free to act as determine by their will. Moral accountability modifies their behavior generally after the fact.

However an act done by someone else and the resulting consequences (punishment) is also used as an example to modify the future behavior of a third party.

This is so completely obvious, that if you believe in something deeper you too are experiencing the illusion of free will.

If what most people believe in was this simple functional version there would be no debate.

Why do you think I believe in something deeper?

I have my suspicions because if you didn’t you’d have been able to explain why it follows that we have free wiill therefore we are responsible for our actions, and yet you haven’t.

I have my suspicions because you don’t aknowledge much how awful belief in incompatibilist free will is.

My suspicion is that this is because your intuitions about moral responsibility have not changed much on becoming a compatibilist. And yes you had to become a conmpatibilist, nobody starts out that way having grown up in our society.

Stephen

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Posted: 18 July 2010 03:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2144 ]
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GdB - 17 July 2010 04:39 AM

 

I agree with you that ‘free will’ meaning ‘a person could have done otherwise’ is an illusion.

I didn’t understand much of the post this came from. Maybe I will in time.

But this point is very important because it’s what sparked our most recent exchange.

I disagreed with you on this and went on to define the illusion.

Could have done otherwise is not an illusion.

It’s the basis of compatibilist free will just as it is of libertarian free will.

Could have done otherwise in such a way that makes us morally responsible in a way that could make a person deserving of suffereing for what they have done, is the illusion.

There is no other illusion.

edit: Could have done otherwise in such a way that makes us morally responsible in a compatibilist sense, is not an illusion. It is a correct definition of compatibilist free will.

Stephen

[ Edited: 18 July 2010 03:15 AM by StephenLawrence ]
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Posted: 18 July 2010 08:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2145 ]
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GdB - 18 July 2010 12:35 AM
Bryan - 18 July 2010 12:10 AM

Too much dissecting mode. Reacting costs too much time and won’t stop your dissecting mode.

Perhaps that means that your position continues to possess problems that ought to be addressed. 

Other than that the big problem was an unfortunate lack of clarity on your part.

Bye, Bryan.

That was clear enough.  Cya.

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