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  #401  
Old 01-14-2017, 08:05 PM
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Default Re: Free will in philosphy and science

What do you mean by "physical reality"?
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  #402  
Old 01-15-2017, 08:32 AM
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Default Re: Free will in philosphy and science

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What do you mean by "physical reality"?
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Well, what state of affairs or set of facts would make you conclude that humans don't have free will?
What do you mean with facts, and what makes a set of them? What are affairs, and what would be a state of them? What is a human? What means conclude?

No miracle you see everything as word games. You are playing them. You avoid consistently to present us your view point about the topic itself.
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  #403  
Old 01-15-2017, 01:50 PM
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Default Re: Free will in philosphy and science

Wow, how deep. Well, I presented you (singular) my view on the topic, namely that I don't think it's a question that makes sense, because you choose your terms to be essentially meaningless. You call other people's ideas silly without making much sense yourself. You say that neither physics nor neurology has any bearing on the topic, which tells me that you're not talking about reality.

I'll try again: What would make you conclude that humans don't have free will?
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  #404  
Old 01-15-2017, 03:01 PM
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Wow, how deep.
No, no, not all. Just mirroring what you are doing. I ask you what you think reality is, with an additional suggestion, and the only thing you do is asking a question again about the additional suggestion, and not answering my question at all.

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Well, I presented you (singular) my view on the topic, namely that I don't think it's a question that makes sense, because you choose your terms to be essentially meaningless.
Which question? Which terms?

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You call other people's ideas silly without making much sense yourself. You say that neither physics nor neurology has any bearing on the topic, which tells me that you're not talking about reality.
Which presupposes an opinion about what reality is, and especially, what isn't. I want to make you this opinion explicit.

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I'll try again: What would make you conclude that humans don't have free will?
And I ask you again: what belongs to reality, what does not? Why?

If you answered these questions, I will answer yours. But no one liners please.
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  #405  
Old 01-15-2017, 04:51 PM
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Default Re: Free will in philosphy and science

No, you answer the question I asked. You won't because you don't want to admit that you've built yourself a meaningless tautology.
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  #406  
Old 01-15-2017, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: Free will in philosphy and science

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No, you answer the question I asked. You won't because you don't want to admit that you've built yourself a meaningless tautology.
No, just irritation. I just do not want to write extensive postings, and you react with one liners, without explaining your position. For me, saying "it's all word games" does not explain your position. And you do not even specify what the tautology is: a tautology is a certain kind of proposition. So what is my proposition that is a meaningless tautology (and btw what is the difference between a tautology and a meaningless tautology?).

If you are interested in compatibilism, you can read e.g. SEP. Tell me where you see your 'meaningless tautology'. Or read the pdf I attached earlier.
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  #407  
Old 03-29-2017, 06:45 PM
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Default Re: Free will in philosphy and science

:Cartler: :think:

Hitler Reacts to Free Will Skepticism -
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  #408  
Old 03-30-2017, 06:46 AM
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Default Re: Free will in philosphy and science

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That video is hilarious; thanks for sharing. :D There are a bunch of these Hitler vids on the web covering different topics grafted onto the movie and many of then are works of genius.

I don’t know why you keep waving Trick Slattery around like a talisman. We all know what he is saying. The question is whether you know what he is saying.

You see, he understands what compatibilist free will is. It seems, though, that you still do not understand it — though Spacemonkey and later GdB have spent some six years explaining it to you.

The problem is that Lessans — and later you — set up a false dichotomy: either free will is true or determinism is true.

But this just isn’t so and Slattery knows this full well. The middle ground between the two is compatibilism.

Slattery undetstands compatibilism perfectly well on its own terms. He just believes that while compatibilism is necessary to ground free will, it’s not sufficient to do so — if free will is understood as conferring upon us ultimate moral responsibility for our actions, also known as desert. This is because, while compatiblism defines “free will” as the freedom to execute our determined choices free of compulsion or constraint, it doesn’t give us the freedom to pick our antecedent conditions.

Slattery’s real target has always been contra-causal free will, or libertarianism — the idea that, given identical antecedent conditions, we had the freedom to choose other than what we chose. This is his real target, because he believes (correctly I think) that most lay people, non-philosophers, think that contra-causal free will is the only free will on offer. And it is the belief in contra-causal free will, and the belief that we actually have it, that sets up the whole blame and shame game; the prisons, the punishment, the retributive justice.

And I think that Lessans believed the very same thing: that only contra-causal free will was on offer, and it was that “dragon” he set out to slay.

Lessans used a lot of idiosyncratic terminology because he was only semi-educated. He consistently misused words like “undeniable,” “scientific,” and “mathematical,” to take obvious examples.

And so he idiosyncratically talked a lot of blather about moving in the direction of greatest satisfaction and being “compelled of our own free will,” and so on and so forth. But what’s ironic — and I recall Spacemonkey remarked on this at some point and I believe I did as well — is that when you tease apart all his misuse of terms, Lessans, who apparently never heard of compatibilism, was in fact a compatibilist without even knowing it.

For surely it must be obvious that if antecedent conditions “compel” (to misuse the word) us to choose x,then different antecedent conditions would “compel” us to choose y instead. Of course — using corrected terminology that eliminates fallacies of modality and circularity — this is in substance exactly what compatibilists say.

Lessans was a compatibilist. He just didn’t know it.

For the sake of his ultimate argument, nothing much turns on this. You can still conjure with his idiosyncratic compatibilism the so-called two-sided equation. That’s where the rubber really hits the road, and for reasons that have been given to you many times, this so-called equation is utterly unpersuasive. In fact it is self-refuting.

But if you have not done so already, do send Trick the first two chapters of your father’s book. Just don’t send him the stuff on light and sight. He is obviously intelligent and if he reads that he will reject the whole thing out of hand.

In the same vein, I counseled you years ago to send Lessans’ Chapter Ten to Tom Clark and Wayne Stewart, and if you had done so you immediately would have had two allies in promoting what you call Lessans’ third discovery. But of course you didn’t do it and threw a shit fit, even though I was sincerely trying to help you. Selah. :shrug:
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  #409  
Old 03-30-2017, 01:11 PM
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Default Re: Free will in philosphy and science

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That video is hilarious; thanks for sharing. :D There are a bunch of these Hitler vids on the web covering different topics grafted onto the movie and many of then are works of genius.

I don’t know why you keep waving Trick Slattery around like a talisman. We all know what he is saying. The question is whether you know what he is saying.

You see, he understands what compatibilist free will is. It seems, though, that you still do not understand it — though Spacemonkey and later GdB have spent some six years explaining it to you.

The problem is that Lessans — and later you — set up a false dichotomy: either free will is true or determinism is true.

But this just isn’t so and Slattery knows this full well. The middle ground between the two is compatibilism.

Slattery undetstands compatibilism perfectly well on its own terms. He just believes that while compatibilism is necessary to ground free will, it’s not sufficient to do so — if free will is understood as conferring upon us ultimate moral responsibility for our actions, also known as desert. This is because, while compatiblism defines “free will” as the freedom to execute our determined choices free of compulsion or constraint, it doesn’t give us the freedom to pick our antecedent conditions.

Slattery’s real target has always been contra-causal free will, or libertarianism — the idea that, given identical antecedent conditions, we had the freedom to choose other than what we chose. This is his real target, because he believes (correctly I think) that most lay people, non-philosophers, think that contra-causal free will is the only free will on offer. And it is the belief in contra-causal free will, and the belief that we actually have it, that sets up the whole blame and shame game; the prisons, the punishment, the retributive justice.

And I think that Lessans believed the very same thing: that only contra-causal free will was on offer, and it was that “dragon” he set out to slay.

Lessans used a lot of idiosyncratic terminology because he was only semi-educated. He consistently misused words like “undeniable,” “scientific,” and “mathematical,” to take obvious examples.

And so he idiosyncratically talked a lot of blather about moving in the direction of greatest satisfaction and being “compelled of our own free will,” and so on and so forth. But what’s ironic — and I recall Spacemonkey remarked on this at some point and I believe I did as well — is that when you tease apart all his misuse of terms, Lessans, who apparently never heard of compatibilism, was in fact a compatibilist without even knowing it.

For surely it must be obvious that if antecedent conditions “compel” (to misuse the word) us to choose x,then different antecedent conditions would “compel” us to choose y instead. Of course — using corrected terminology that eliminates fallacies of modality and circularity — this is in substance exactly what compatibilists say.

Lessans was a compatibilist. He just didn’t know it.

For the sake of his ultimate argument, nothing much turns on this. You can still conjure with his idiosyncratic compatibilism the so-called two-sided equation. That’s where the rubber really hits the road, and for reasons that have been given to you many times, this so-called equation is utterly unpersuasive. In fact it is self-refuting.

But if you have not done so already, do send Trick the first two chapters of your father’s book. Just don’t send him the stuff on light and sight. He is obviously intelligent and if he reads that he will reject the whole thing out of hand.

In the same vein, I counseled you years ago to send Lessans’ Chapter Ten to Tom Clark and Wayne Stewart, and if you had done so you immediately would have had two allies in promoting what you call Lessans’ third discovery. But of course you didn’t do it and threw a shit fit, even though I was sincerely trying to help you. Selah. :shrug:
You're so confused David, I don't think you will ever understand this discovery. You must have a block. I will say this one last time. Being able to choose without constraint of any kind, even the kind that compatibilists define as free will, does not actually grant freedom of the will. Lessans uses the phrase "I did of my own free will" all the time which only means I did it because I wanted to: nothing forced me to do it against my will or desire, but my desire to do it was in the direction of greater satisfaction giving me no free choice whatsoever. You keep talking about responsibility which you believe can only be assigned in a free will environment. Ironically, only when this principle becomes a permanent condition of the environment does responsibility reach the temperature necessary to prevent war and crime.
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  #410  
Old 03-31-2017, 10:37 AM
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Default Re: Free will in philosphy and science

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And it is the belief in contra-causal free will, and the belief that we actually have it, that sets up the whole blame and shame game; the prisons, the punishment, the retributive justice.

And I think that Lessans believed the very same thing: that only contra-causal free will was on offer, and it was that “dragon” he set out to slay.
I noticed this phenomenon also with other authors: in the fist place Slattery himself. I read his book (a while ago), and also noticed he is a 'compatibilist in disguise'. I even have written this in a reaction in his blog, and he did not disagree totally. He is definitely a more nuanced thinker than Peacegirl (if Peacegirl thinks at all...).

The other case is Sam Harris. I read his pamphlet (one can't call it a book...) against free will, and in the chapter where he discusses what responsibility could mean in a world without free will, he exactly defends compatibilism. He just refuses to admit it. Dennett noticed this too, of course, in one of his critiques on Harris' pamphlet.

From the bits and pieces that Peacegirl presented here of Lesssans' book, it seems at least that Lessans is close to compatibilism, when he at least recognises that the phrase 'I did it of my own free will' has some meaning. So the question is really not if we have free will, but what kind. And the next question is if this kind can be a sufficient basis for assigning responsibility, as you also say.

Peacegirl's reaction on your moderate and honest posting is below every level, as usual.
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  #411  
Old 04-01-2017, 05:24 AM
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Default Re: Free will in philosphy and science

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And it is the belief in contra-causal free will, and the belief that we actually have it, that sets up the whole blame and shame game; the prisons, the punishment, the retributive justice.

And I think that Lessans believed the very same thing: that only contra-causal free will was on offer, and it was that “dragon” he set out to slay.
I noticed this phenomenon also with other authors: in the fist place Slattery himself. I read his book (a while ago), and also noticed he is a 'compatibilist in disguise'. I even have written this in a reaction in his blog, and he did not disagree totally. He is definitely a more nuanced thinker than Peacegirl (if Peacegirl thinks at all...).

The other case is Sam Harris. I read his pamphlet (one can't call it a book...) against free will, and in the chapter where he discusses what responsibility could mean in a world without free will, he exactly defends compatibilism. He just refuses to admit it. Dennett noticed this too, of course, in one of his critiques on Harris' pamphlet.

From the bits and pieces that Peacegirl presented here of Lesssans' book, it seems at least that Lessans is close to compatibilism, when he at least recognises that the phrase 'I did it of my own free will' has some meaning. So the question is really not if we have free will, but what kind. And the next question is if this kind can be a sufficient basis for assigning responsibility, as you also say.

Peacegirl's reaction on your moderate and honest posting is below every level, as usual.
I stopped reading peacegirl’s latest response after the very first clause of the very first sentence (“You are so confused, David…”). She has used this exact turn of phrase about a million times to everyone here. Just imagine someone who thinks that light can be at the eye even before it gets there lecturing others on their alleged “confusion.” :lol:

Your post about Slattery made me think of Jerry Coyne. I don’t know if you are familiar with him, but he is a rather prominent biologist and author of the book “Why Evolution is True.” He maintains a blog by the same name.

Coyne says he is a hard determinist. A few years ago on his blog, he posted a photo of his dented car and lamented the fact that whoever dented it had not left him a note with contact information. His post brimmed with indignation and blame.

Being not just a hard determinist but an atheist who relentlessly disparages all religion, he naturally has a number of opponents in the religious community. One of them mocked his concern about the guy who dented his car not leaving a note, pointing out that under hard determinism, the guy could not have done otherwise and therefore is blameless.

Coyne responded by saying, in substance, that it is perfectly OK to blame and shame the denter of the car because by doing so, blame and shame enter the deterministic stream and therefore can deterministically influence the choices of others by modifying their behavior in a positive way.

And yet as I read that it occurred to me, is that not also what the compatibilist would say? Yet Coyne repudiates compatibilism.

I would have pointed this out to him on the comments section of his blog post, but he has banned me. :grin:

And so now I’m thinking, just what exactly is at issue between the hard determinist and the soft determinist (compatibilist)? Noodling about the Web a bit, I found a paper by a Georgetown University philosophy professor, Jeremy R. Koons: Is Hard Determinism a Form of Compatibilism? I‘ve only had time to begin to read it but the crux of it is his early statement:

Quote:
The goal of this paper is to show that hard determinism actually turns out to be a form of compatibilism.
And a bit later:

Quote:
… hard determinism is quite literally a form of compatibilism. Therefore, assuming that libertarianism is false, compatibilism is the only remaining account of free will, and must be the one we endorse.
I don’t know where it goes from there or how good his arguments are, but I will give it a read and if you give it a read too, maybe we can have an interesting discussion. :)

Myself, of course, I would be tempted to point to the Conway-Kochen free will theorem conclusion that compatibilism and determinism are both superfluous and that libertarian free will is baked into nature. But we can discuss that separately. :grin:
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  #412  
Old 04-01-2017, 05:33 AM
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Default Re: Free will in philosphy and science

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And yet as I read that it occurred to me, is that not also what the compatibilist would say? Yet Coyne repudiates compatibilism.

I would have pointed this out to him on the comments section of his blog post, but he has banned me. :grin:
Let me guess, he has banned you by choice, of his own free will. Very contradictory.
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  #413  
Old 04-01-2017, 08:54 AM
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Default Re: Free will in philosphy and science

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Coyne responded by saying, in substance, that it is perfectly OK to blame and shame the denter of the car because by doing so, blame and shame enter the deterministic stream and therefore can deterministically influence the choices of others by modifying their behavior in a positive way.

And yet as I read that it occurred to me, is that not also what the compatibilist would say? Yet Coyne repudiates compatibilism.
Ha! This remembers me about a 'science fiction story' I once wrote on CFI:

Quote:
A spaceship with omniscient aliens aboard appears above a planet I will call Earth-II. As omniscient species they see how everything is determined on the planet. Messages are exchanged between humanoids on the planet, and these are processed in a deterministic way.

Now they fly on and go to a planet I call Earth-I. They see exactly the same kind of humanoids, same hardware, but the messages somehow differ, and so does of course the behaviour of the humanoids, but all is of course also deterministic. The aliens put their best language interpreters on the case, and discover that the humanoids use words like “free”, “responsible”, “praise”, “blame” etc, which the humanoids on Earth-II did not use. Learning the language of these humanoids, and how they effect the humanoids’ behaviour, and then interacting with the humanoids, changed the species’ life forever… And happily they flew back to Earth-II, taught the new discourse elements to a few humanoids there. They did not tell some new scientific facts, just new language elements. From there the “joyful news” spread over Earth-II…
As a joke I added following last remark:

Quote:
Some of those who directly learned the discourse from the aliens were crucified because some other humanoids did not want to understand what they were saying.
(My romantic vision on Christianity. I know reality is much different...)

Thanks for the article! I printed it out, and will read it as soon as I have time.

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  #414  
Old 04-02-2017, 05:04 AM
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Default Re: Free will in philosphy and science

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[Slattery] is definitely a more nuanced thinker than Peacegirl
True, but then again, a desiccated horse turd is a more nuanced thinker than peacegirl. :yup:
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