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Poll: Do you have free will?
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YES, I DO have free will, in the sense that it is ultimately up to me, or ultimately my choice, which actions I take and when.
52.38%
11 52.38%
NO, I do NOT have free will, in the sense that it is NOT ultimately up to me, and NOT ultimately my choice, which actions I take and when.
47.62%
10 47.62%
Total 21 vote(s) 100%
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Does free will exist?
#76

Does free will exist?
(11-13-2018, 04:07 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote:
(11-13-2018, 02:49 PM)Dom Wrote: I must insist on imprinting being what I am talking about.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imprinting_(psychology)

It occurs only very early in life and involves no conscious thoughts. It is time limited, it can only occur in the very young.

You also wrote this:

(11-12-2018, 09:15 PM)Dom Wrote: You don't have to be aware of your foot to hit the break pedal. It's imprinted. If you had to be aware of everything you do, you'd go bonkers.

In this instance, you are referring to habituation rather than imprinting.  I understand imprinting as a separate concept which is instinctual, but as you say it can only occur in the very young.

No, we can't be aware of everything we do.  Thus the long, slow process of building up useful habits, during which it is a struggle for us to pay the necessary attention.


Yes, I misused the word.   girl blushing   I meant reflexive.
[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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#77

Does free will exist?
Does free will exist?

Metaphysically, of course not. My belief is that everything is set in stone, including how we think and make decisions.

But, and this is the part that seems to annoy a lot of atheists, we can still speak of something worthy of being called "free will", and as far as our experiences go, we do act like we have free will.
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#78

Does free will exist?
(11-05-2018, 04:10 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:
(11-05-2018, 03:12 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote: I have concluded that the people arguing in favor of determinism are not arguing in good faith.  You can't assume what you have to prove as a part of your proving it.  Nor can you simply deny valid objections.  Nor can you just stipulate definitions and so define yourselves as correct.  Nor can you indulge in unwarranted, overarching extrapolations.  Nor can you call observations irrelevant.  Nor can you ignore that you have the burden of proof for saying appearances are illusory.

So I will leave it at that.

The deterministic argument against free will seems moot to me in light of the empirical neurological evidence coupled with the Copenhagen Interpretation. .

The Copenhagen Interpretation is horseshit . Deadpan Coffee Drinker

Erwin Schrödinger thought it so absurd that he created the cat thought experiment to demonstrate that.

Oh, no Hallucinations 4:11 says the 'gilded sheep should be stewed in rat blood' but Morons 5:16 contradicts it.
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#79

Does free will exist?
(11-14-2018, 01:13 AM)Grandizer Wrote: But, and this is the part that seems to annoy a lot of atheists, we can still speak of something worthy of being called "free will", and as far as our experiences go, we do act like we have free will.

It doesn't annoy me... I just think it's along the same lines as calling the universe "God" but meaning nothing but the universe. You know, that kind of naturalistic pantheism that is basically atheism. In the same way I consider compatabilism to be basically non-belief in free will that labels the will itself as free

It's that kind of stuff that's not just trivally true (I'm all for trivially true as trival truths are at least true) but it's actually vacuously true (I'm not so much in favor as vacuous truths... as they're basically a label that is thrown so broadly as to be completely meaningless.

The best way to illustrate my point is when a compatabilist (someone who believes that free will is compatible with determinism) says to a hard incompatabilist (someone who believes free will is not compatible with determinism OR indeterminism) such as myself "You're a compatabilist in ALL but NAME!" that is just like a naturalistic pantheist saying to the atheist "You're a pantheist in ALL but NAME!"... because, in other words, the label is so meaningless that there is no difference between an atheist or naturalistic pantheist, but the label. The very reason why the atheist is a naturalistic pantheist in all but name is because they believe the exact same things they just refuse to call the atheist "God", as there is already a term for it, namely, "the universe" will do.

In the same way, the very reason why the hard incompatabilist is a compatabilist in all but name is because they believe the exact same things they just refuse to call standard human willpower "free will", as there's already a term for it, namely, "willpower", will do. The question is not whether we should label the universe as "God", the question is whether it's actually worthy of such a label. The question is not whether we should label willpower as "Free will", the question is whether it's actually worthy of such a label.

The deep philosophical and metaphysical question of free will was always originally about whether we have free will in the deep sense... if we're going to start calling the fact that there's a difference between doing something on purpose and doing something by total accident, and there's a difference between being psychotic or blind drunk or psychologically immature and being a mature responsible adult... then those are very obvious questions with very obvious answers and it's a total change of the subject. It seems pretty pointless to refer to such completely obvious questions with completely obvious answers as addressing the deeper philosophical question of "free will".

Free will in the legal sense of the word, for example, is hardly a profound question. It's basically a question of whether someone was under the influence or whether they were forced to something by someone else, etc, etc.

Whether absolutely everyone is ULTIMATELY forced by the universe, whether that's by unpredictable quantum laws or mechanical causality even further beyond quantum laws that scientists are unable to determine because of the messy quantum laws that they have found out about, is an entirely separate question.
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#80

Does free will exist?
[Image: FreeWillTaxonomy2.png]
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#81

Does free will exist?
(11-17-2018, 06:17 AM)vulcanlogician Wrote: [Image: FreeWillTaxonomy2.png]

Ultimately it's just four simple options, isn't it?

(1)Determinism is false and free will is true [Libertarianism]
(2)Determinism is true and free will is false [Hard Determinism]
(3)Determinism is true and yet free will is nevertheless true [Soft Determinism/Compatibilism]
(4)Determinism is false and yet free will is nevertheless false [Hard Incompatibilism/Pessimism]

Speaking metaphysically, that is.

Metaphysically I'm a hard determinist because I believe determinism is true and free will is false... but epistemically I'm still a hard incompatabilist because I believe that free will is equally impossible either way.

There's four simple options metaphysically, but more epistemically, as with questions of knowledge there's always the "I don't know" option... the whole "with or without it's true" or "with or without it's false" thing... the non-binary options are available when we're dealing with knowledge rather than reality.
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#82

Does free will exist?
Well, the chart doesn't account for hard incompatibilism which would be Determinism-->false --> Free Will --> false. But, otherwise, it gets the job done.
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#83

Does free will exist?
Yeah. So I'm biased... because I'm mostly peeved by the chart because it doesn't have the one option that I most agree with, lol.
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#84

Does free will exist?
Although to be clear I'm still metaphysically speaking, a hard determinist. I just don't think determinism is NECESSARY for free will to be false.

I really like Galen Strawson's term... non-self-determinationist.

As that's what I really am. The point is that even if the universe wasn't determined... the point is that if it isn't determined we can't determine ourselves because there's no determination to be found anywhere including within ourselves.... and if it is determined we can't determine ourselves because we're ultimately determined by something beyound ourselves. The point is we can't determine ourselves.

So I really like the term non-self-determinationism, or non-self-determinability.

Although I understand it's not catchy... sometimes the most accurate ways to sum something up isn't catchy and doesn't have to be.... just as some of the most profound truths don't have to feel profound... as they can still be greatly important.

I'll take self-explanatory or self-referential over catchy any day of the week.
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#85

Does free will exist?
If our conscious activity and reactivity indicate that we appear to have free will, then we do have free
will—for all practical purposes.

Any deep and meaningful philosophical debate about such a simple concept is a prime example of
why I long ago ceased ascribing any real relevance to philosophy.  I'm an old fart, so maybe that's
just me LOL.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#86

Does free will exist?
(11-16-2018, 06:42 PM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote:
(11-14-2018, 01:13 AM)Grandizer Wrote: But, and this is the part that seems to annoy a lot of atheists, we can still speak of something worthy of being called "free will", and as far as our experiences go, we do act like we have free will.

It doesn't annoy me... I just think it's along the same lines as calling the universe "God" but meaning nothing but the universe. You know, that kind of naturalistic pantheism that is basically atheism. In the same way I consider compatabilism to be basically non-belief in free will that labels the will itself as free

Well, people see things differently and have varying intuitions about concepts like "God" and "free will". We don't all see things the same way, and that's fine, as long as we're clear on our definitions and we're not equivocating. If a person comes up to me, and tells me they see God as the universe itself, I'm not going to argue with them and tell them they're being unreasonable ... because that's how they see the God and the universe.

Quote:It's that kind of stuff that's not just trivally true (I'm all for trivially true as trival truths are at least true) but it's actually vacuously true (I'm not so much in favor as vacuous truths... as they're basically a label that is thrown so broadly as to be completely meaningless.

Vacuous really is just your opinion.

Quote:The best way to illustrate my point is when a compatabilist (someone who believes that free will is compatible with determinism) says to a hard incompatabilist (someone who believes free will is not compatible with determinism OR indeterminism) such as myself "You're a compatabilist in ALL but NAME!" that is just like a naturalistic pantheist saying to the atheist "You're a pantheist in ALL but NAME!"... because, in other words, the label is so meaningless that there is no difference between an atheist or naturalistic pantheist, but the label. The very reason why the atheist is a naturalistic pantheist in all but name is because they believe the exact same things they just refuse to call the atheist "God", as there is already a term for it, namely, "the universe" will do.

I don't agree that the label is the only real difference. Like I said above, people have varying intuitions about various concepts. We don't all agree, for example, on what love really is. We have differing ideas of what constitutes love based on how we've been raised and conditioned in life to view love.


Quote:In the same way, the very reason why the hard incompatabilist is a compatabilist in all but name is because they believe the exact same things they just refuse to call standard human willpower "free will", as there's already a term for it, namely, "willpower", will do.  The question is not whether we should label the universe as "God", the question is whether it's actually worthy of such a label. The question is not whether we should label willpower as "Free will", the question is whether it's actually worthy of such a label.

Concepts can have more than one term corresponding to them. No problem.

Quote:The deep philosophical and metaphysical question of free will was always originally about whether we have free will in the deep sense... if we're going to start calling the fact that there's a difference between doing something on purpose and doing something by total accident, and there's a difference between being psychotic or blind drunk or psychologically immature and being a mature responsible adult... then those are very obvious questions with very obvious answers and it's a total change of the subject. It seems pretty pointless to refer to such completely obvious questions with completely obvious answers as addressing the deeper philosophical question of "free will".

Well, as far as I'm concerned, the libertarian free will debate is over. It's logically incoherent, and I did say that ultimately that doesn't exist. But I then added that nevertheless there is something more relevant and more reasonable that we can apply the label to, and individuals and societies all over the world have done just that. Again, no problem.

Quote:Free will in the legal sense of the word, for example, is hardly a profound question. It's basically a question of whether someone was under the influence or whether they were forced to something by someone else, etc, etc.

Profound or not profound ... that's just your opinion.

Quote:Whether absolutely everyone is ULTIMATELY forced by the universe, whether that's by unpredictable quantum laws or mechanical causality even further beyond quantum laws that scientists are unable to determine because of the messy quantum laws that they have found out about, is an entirely separate question.

I agree. That is a separate, but related, question. As someone who believes the MWI is the best explanation thus far for quantum mechanics, I happen to be a determinist. But one can reject [libertarian] free will without being a determinist (by, for example, adhering to the Copenhagen interpretation instead).
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#87

Does free will exist?
(11-17-2018, 10:32 AM)SYZ Wrote: If our conscious activity and reactivity indicate that we appear to have free will, then we do have free
will—for all practical purposes.

It just sounds like an incredibly loose definition that doesn't even address the metaphysical question of whether we can be the cause of ourselves.

Quote:Any deep and meaningful philosophical debate about such a simple concept is a prime example of
why I long ago ceased ascribing any real relevance to philosophy. 

Ah. You're one of those.

Quote: I'm an old fart, so maybe that's
just me LOL.

Nothing wrong with being an old fart though!
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#88

Does free will exist?
(11-17-2018, 02:48 PM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote: Nothing wrong with being an old fart though!

OH YEAH?!   Cranky
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#89

Does free will exist?
(11-17-2018, 11:03 AM)Grandizer Wrote: Well, people see things differently and have varying intuitions about concepts like "God" and "free will". We don't all see things the same way, and that's fine, as long as we're clear on our definitions and we're not equivocating.

But one striking thing I tend to notice is that compatabilists often feel like they have free will in the deeper sense... so even when their head isn't equivocating, their heart often is.

Quote: If a person comes up to me, and tells me they see God as the universe itself, I'm not going to argue with them and tell them they're being unreasonable ... because that's how they see the God and the universe.

But if they got some sort of deep spiritual feeling that "all is one" and that the universe wants them to have a good life... then even if their head is not equivocating then their heart is.

Which is fine. I just think it's rather misleading to say you believe in God when you believe the exact same thing as an atheist and you just have a different terminology.

Quote:Vacuous really is just your opinion.

Well, it does appear to be as misleading and as vacuous as someone who simply calls the universe God...

Without elaboration literally everyone they meet would assume that they believed in some sort of higher power with some sort of intelligence... and it is a way to pay lip service to the deluded... a way to stay on the side of the theists without actually being a theist. And it just seems the same way with compatabilism... you go around saying you believe in free will and most people hear you saying you believe free will in the normal sense... so it's a way to stay on the side of the free will believers without actually believing in free will.

I think Sam Harris's analogy on this matter is absolutely spot on:

Sam Harris Wrote:Imagine that we live in a world where more or less everyone believes in the lost kingdom of Atlantis. You and your fellow compatibilists come along and offer comfort: Atlantis is real, you say. It is, in fact, the island of Sicily. You then go on to argue that Sicily answers to most of the claims people through the ages have made about Atlantis. Of course, not every popular notion survives this translation, because some beliefs about Atlantis are quite crazy, but those that really matter—or should matter, on your account—are easily mapped onto what is, in fact, the largest island in the Mediterranean. Your work is done, and now you insist that we spend the rest of our time and energy investigating the wonders of Sicily.

The truth, however, is that much of what causes people to be so enamored of Atlantis—in particular, the idea that an advanced civilization disappeared underwater—can’t be squared with our understanding of Sicily or any other spot on earth. So people are confused, and I believe that their confusion has very real consequences. But you rarely acknowledge the ways in which Sicily isn’t like Atlantis, and you don’t appear interested when those differences become morally salient. This is what strikes me as wrongheaded about your approach to free will.

^^^This is exactly what compatabilism is like^^^

And 99% of people who believe in free will are exactly like believers in Atlantis, analogously speaking.

And I can understand why the philosopher Immanuel Kant called compatabilism "a wretched subterfuge".


Quote:I don't agree that the label is the only real difference.

Well, it is exactly like calling Atlantis Sicily or calling God the universe... so I would say that it is just a vacuous label.

Quote: Like I said above, people have varying intuitions about various concepts.

But that is different to us seeing things differently. You speak of equivocation and say "as long as we're not equivocating", but you're equivocating here... because, one sense of the word "see" is to literally speak of seeing or experiencing things differently... and another sense of "see" is in the figurative sense "I see it his way..." as in, I have this point of view, and you have another... even if our viewpoint is literally the same, we just conceptualize things differently.

And this is my point. Just because you conceptualize it differently doesn't mean you actually see it differently... and you might not actually see what you think you see. Claiming to experience free will is not the same thing as experiencing free will.

When I turned 18 I didn't sleep for over 60 hours and I had a psychotic breakdown. But despite psychosis I didn't have any hallucinations. I thought that I was moving things with my mind but it didn't look like I was... I merely believed that the movement of other people and animals and things was caused by myself... it was a conceptual mistake, not a perceptual mistake. I didn't see myself with telekenesis, I just falsely believed that the normal behavior of others was something I myself was causing.

I'm saying people are making the same mistake with free will. They think they are seeing something that they don't even see any differently to someone who doesn't see free will. So they don't see anything... they're just conceptually confused. They're looking at their normal experience of life and saying to themselves "I caused that" but they have absolutely no evidence that they're even experiencing themselves as causing that, let alone causing that.

Quote: We don't all agree, for example, on what love really is. We have differing ideas of what constitutes love based on how we've been raised and conditioned in life to view love.

But different senses of the word love are not the same and it is indeed important not to equivocate...

For example... the people who say "love is just a word" are making a use-mention error. "love" is just a word... but love itself, whatever it is, is not. You can find "love" in the dictionary... but you can't find love in the dictionary (unless you have rather odd romantic feelings about dictionaries, or you have some sort of strong friendship with a dictionary, or you just really like dictionaries... but there's no sense in which you can experience MUTUAL love with a dictionary.... unless it's a particularly bizarre dictionary).

In the same way... "free will" is not the same as free will. The concept of free will is not the same thing as what free will actually is. Not only that, but the experience of free will is not the same as the concept. To experience something that something has to exist at least as a perception.... but you can conceptualize things that you aren't even able to experience. And that, I reckon, is exactly what free will is like. Even many of the people who don't believe that they are the ultimate cause of themselves... believe and therefore feel like they are the utimate cause of themselves, but it's a feeling triggered by a false belief that is down to a conceptual confusion..... because they seem to be mistaking conception with perception. Just because they can conceive of ultimate free will as a concept, doesn't mean they can actually perceive themselves as a self-causing agent.... but after falsely believing for so many years beforehand that free will wasn't just experienced as an illusion but it was in fact experienced as an actual non-deluded reality that also corresponds with something beyond their experience.... it's a hard habit to shake off. The real epithany is not when you think you realize that free will is an illusion... it's when you realize that it never even seemed to you that free will existed even when you believed it. You believed in something that cannot even be perceived. You were making a conceptual mistake, not a perceptual mistake. Someone who doesn't experience the illusion of free will experiences the exact same thing as someone who thinks that free will is real. Not because free will isn't an illusion.... but because there's no free will to be an illusion (just as you can't have a visual illusion if there's no light to shine that visual illusion onto your retinas).





Quote:In the same way, the very reason why the hard incompatabilist is a compatabilist in all but name is because they believe the exact same things they just refuse to call standard human willpower "free will", as there's already a term for it, namely, "willpower", will do.  The question is not whether we should label the universe as "God", the question is whether it's actually worthy of such a label. The question is not whether we should label willpower as "Free will", the question is whether it's actually worthy of such a label.

Concepts can have more than one term corresponding to them. No problem.

Quote:The deep philosophical and metaphysical question of free will was always originally about whether we have free will in the deep sense... if we're going to start calling the fact that there's a difference between doing something on purpose and doing something by total accident, and there's a difference between being psychotic or blind drunk or psychologically immature and being a mature responsible adult... then those are very obvious questions with very obvious answers and it's a total change of the subject. It seems pretty pointless to refer to such completely obvious questions with completely obvious answers as addressing the deeper philosophical question of "free will".

Quote:Well, as far as I'm concerned, the libertarian free will debate is over. It's logically incoherent, and I did say that ultimately that doesn't exist. But I then added that nevertheless there is something more relevant and more reasonable that we can apply the label to, and individuals and societies all over the world have done just that. Again, no problem.

Well, Sicily can be real and relevant as well, to an extent. I really do think the Sicily/Atlantis analogy is perfect.

And I have no problem with pantheism when the pantheist, who claims to be a type of theist, actually believes something different from the atheist. I could call a carrot "God" but it wouldn't make me a theist.

Quote: As someone who believes the MWI is the best explanation thus far for quantum mechanics, I happen to be a determinist. But one can reject [libertarian] free will without being a determinist (by, for example, adhering to the Copenhagen interpretation instead).

We agree 100% on 100% of the matter bolded.

But I will point out that you can believe in the Copenhagen interpretation and thereby be an indeterminist in the scientific sense regarding phenomena, while still remaining a determinist in the philosophical sense regarding noumena.... and you can be a determinist in the scientific sense regarding the Many Worlds Interpretation regarding phenomena, while also being an indeterminist in the philosophical sense regarding noumena (although I don't know why anyone would want to be because it's simply less parsimonious).

Basically, the only part I'd disagree with is the part that I omitted where you said it was a "related" question. I don't think it's a related question.... because I think that philosophical determinism and scientific determinism are about completely different things. The first is regarding whatever is beyond empirical reality, is true a priori and cannot be tested (and because it cannot be tested it makes sense to go with it simply because the alternative is less parsimonious), and the latter is about whatever is part of empirical reality, is true a posteriori and can be tested.

I think the only way it is really related is the fact that they both involve the word "determine"... it's an equivocation... it's meaned in completely different senses. The scientific sense about what can be determined is about what can be predicted or tested.... but the philosophical sense is about causation beyond what can be determined or tested... despite it being called determinism... determinism is the philosophical sense, what is often called predeterminism (but I don't like saying that because many people get it confused with predestinationism which is totally different)....

The most accurate term is really mechanism. The idea that everything is ULTIMATELY mechanical, regardless of how it appears to be or can be discovered or known to seem otherwise. But unfortunately 'mechanism' meaning philosophical determinism is an obsolete term... no one really uses it anymore.

Although it does still have its own Wikipedia article:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechanism_(philosophy)
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#90

Does free will exist?
(11-17-2018, 03:22 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote:
(11-17-2018, 02:48 PM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote: Nothing wrong with being an old fart though!

OH YEAH?!   Cranky

For some reason I was under the impression that you were younger than me! It must be the way you comb your eyebrows smirk
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
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#91

Does free will exist?
(11-17-2018, 03:28 PM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote: The real epithany is not when you think you realize that free will is an illusion... it's when you realize that it never even seemed to you that free will existed even when you believed it. You believed in something that cannot even be perceived. You were making a conceptual mistake, not a perceptual mistake. Someone who doesn't experience the illusion of free will experiences the exact same thing as someone who thinks that free will is real. Not because free will isn't an illusion.... but because there's no free will to be an illusion (just as you can't have a visual illusion if there's no light to shine that visual illusion onto your retinas).

BLAH, BLAH, BLAH ... free will is an illusion ... BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.

It doesn't matter how many times you restate the same assertion in different words.  What matters is whether you can prove it.

I don't believe in free will, I observe it.  BIG difference.  I observe my thought processes when I am making decisions and their results in my actions.  I work things through in my head so I will be ready when the time comes to take action.  A good example is in reading your long post, selecting out what I wished to challenge, and formulating my thoughts so I know what to write.  And now I am acting on my decision to respond. 
 
There is no conceptual mistake except by those who think material determinism excludes the possibility of free will.  That is an unwarranted over-extrapolation, and your repeated insistence on it is trivial denialism.

KIDS THESE DAYS!  Cranky
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#92

Does free will exist?
I have previously stated that those who deny free will have the burden of proof for appearances. In other words, if you say "free will is an illusion," you are agreeing that it appears as if we do, indeed, have free will. You therefore have to offer alternative explanations for why the appearances are not realities, and not just repeatedly deny they represent realities based on some mere dogma about materialism. As an example, gravity and interia explain why the appearance that the Earth is not moving through space is an illusion. Determinists need something similar to replace the idea of free will.

So it is the responsibility of determinists to not just deny consciousness has any causal effectiveness, but to explain why consciousness even appears to be in the causal loop. Why would evolution waste its time creating such an elaborate and high-maintenance but ultimately worthless system? And what exactly chooses if consciousness doesn't? Remember, you have to explain why purely mechanical, non-conscious, cause-and-effect systems should even care about one outcome over another, as well as how they make such fine discriminations.

My suspicion here is that determinists have no respect for human psychology as a scientific field of study, most likely because of a lack of information about the field.

I have explained how appearances are likely to be realities by offering functional explanations for focus, selective ability, distribution, the self-concept, and other aspects of consciousness. They are scattered throughout this discussion. What are the alternatives proposed by determinists? Give me some details, not more denials.

Science is based on observations, not dogmas. It follows that appearances are observations which must be explained in some way, and not simply ignored.
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#93

Does free will exist?
(11-17-2018, 09:41 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  

My suspicion here is that determinists have no respect for human psychology as a scientific field of study, most likely because of a lack of information about the field.

 

I'm sure that you remember our friend, Elite European Liberal.  He was a mental health professional and a hard determinist. With hard determinism, psychology continues to be relevant. If I am just a machine, then I am a machine that is inclined to seek out mechanics who are inclined to work on machines.
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#94

Does free will exist?
(11-17-2018, 04:56 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote: It doesn't matter how many times you restate the same assertion in different words.  What matters is whether you can prove it.

Lol... I really think the BOP is on you!

Quote: A good example is in reading your long post, selecting out what I wished to challenge, and formulating my thoughts so I know what to write.  And now I am acting on my decision to respond. 

Well I am responding to this and saying that I wish you'd addressed the analogy about Atlantis if you'd addressed anything at all!

And I don't see how the mere fact that you happened to be wanting to address some points more than others at the time, is any sort of observation of free will. You do seem to be defining observing Atlantis as observing Sicily!
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
Reply
#95

Does free will exist?
(11-17-2018, 04:56 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
I don't believe in free will, I observe it.  BIG difference.  I observe my thought processes when I am making decisions and their results in my actions.  I work things through in my head so I will be ready when the time comes to take action.  A good example is in reading your long post, selecting out what I wished to challenge, and formulating my thoughts so I know what to write.  And now I am acting on my decision to respond. 

Like I said earlier:
We choose from multiple choices depending on our own self programming.
 
Each word learned is a memory and the mind can link different memories together as part of the learning process. Your thoughts are the result of that.
You have to be taught English to be able to think in English. Someone born deaf can't think with an inner voice but they can learn visual thought instead of audio thought. They can think with hands doing sign language inside their head.
 
So think about this:
I say you will never ever be happy unless you become gay. That is a fact that can't be denied.
Would you disagree?
Reply
#96

Does free will exist?
(11-17-2018, 09:41 PM)Thoreauvian Wrote: I have previously stated that those who deny free will have the burden of proof for appearances.  In other words, if you say "free will is an illusion," you are agreeing that it appears as if we do, indeed, have free will.

I agree. And I don't think free will is an illusion... because I think that people are mistaken to think that free will even appears to them as an illusion. That's what my other thread is about!

Quote: You therefore have to offer alternative explanations for why the appearances are not realities, and not just repeatedly deny they represent realities based on some mere dogma about materialism.

I agree that if ultimate self-causation really did somehow appear to someone then there would need to be evidence as to how those appearances aren't reality... but my point is... how the bloody hell can it appear to us that we are the ultimate cause of ourselves? What would the appearance of us causing ourselves in the ultimate self-causing way, look like? We'd have to somehow be able to see ourselves causing ourselves in a way that stretches back to the big bang... and even that wouldn't suffice because then we'd still need a cause for that. And that. And that. Infinite regress. And this is exactly why it can't even appear to God that he has free will, even if he exists, let alone him giving free will to anybody else.

But of course, you don't believe that the magical Atlantis kind of free will appears to us, you believe that only the Sicily kind appears to us! But when most people believe in Atlantis and the whole topic is about Atlantis (in BOTH of my threads I defined free will in the strong ultimate sense that is NOT compatabilism... and yet somehow we still bloody ended up at compatabilism. This is why compatabilism is so annoying... )

I think it's rather pointless to go on and on about Sicily when not only most people believe in Atlantis and most people are talking about Atlantis rather than Sicily when we're talking about free will... not to mention the fact that I made it very clear in both my threads that we're discussing Atlantis here and not Sicily!

Quote:So it is the responsibility of determinists to not just deny consciousness has any causal effectiveness, but to explain why consciousness even appears to be in the causal loop.


... I don't deny that consciousness has any causal effectiveness. Rather, I'd say that consciousness goes far deeper than most atheists would think, but that's another point.

Quote:Why would evolution waste its time creating such an elaborate and high-maintenance but ultimately worthless system?

Well, the high level human consciousness that we have... could easily be a by-product of a high functioning brain system. It's high-maintance and definitely worth it to have a complex and intelligent brain, and it just so happens that the brain produces the side effect of consciousness.

There's no evolutionary reason for why moths kill themselves on lampshades either... that's just a side effect and by product of their navigation system that *is* useful.

Quote: And what exactly chooses if consciousness doesn't?

What do you mean by choice? If all you're talking about is the fact that we have intentions, and urges, and desires, and we can have both irrational and rational thought processes... and we do stuff... then I don't see how that's choice exactly. If all you mean by a decision is the fact we do something after thinking about what to do... then that's very different to choosing to do something in the sense of being the cause of ourselves. The point is that even without choice... in the wrong ultimate sense... we are still able to do exactly the same things. The BOP I think is on you if you are defending free will in the sense defined in the OP, not because free will appears to us, but because you have to show how it appears to us in the strong sense, and how it even can, if it couldn't even do so for God. But I don't think you really want to defend that, because I think you're still talking about Sicily, when I specifically am talking about Atlantis, as mentioned in the OP. I don't think either of us believe in Atlantis and that is the topic here! Not Sicily! I can easily believe in Sicily! I'm not saying that free will doesn't exist in ANY sense at all. I'm saying it doesn't exist in the sense defined in the OP... and I'm saying that talking about Sicily when the topic is Atlantis is rather pointless! I don't think questions about whether Sicily exists are very interesting, as it's so vacuously true that it obviously does and it's as mundane as any other island on Earth! (or any other process in the brain).

I'm starting to think that the fact that many compatabilists feel like they have free will in the incompabilist sense, might be why compatabilism ALWAYS comes up on topics about free will, even when you say you're not discussing that sense of free will and that's a topic change.... I'm starting to think that the reason why this happens is not just a subturfuge on the compatabilist part... I'm starting to think it's because many compatabilists get mixed up and despite defending only the boring and non-ultimate kind of free will, they find it so easy to get confused because they both feel and act as if free will exists in the strong magical sense in their daily lives, even when they don't believe in it in that sense (hell, even some (maybe even most) hard INcompatabilists like myself find it so easy to feel and live their life as if the strong magical sense of free will exists most of the time. Strawson addresses this in his book. The fact we live in a world where we are surrounded by 99.9% of people believing in the strong magical sense of free will, and the fact we grow up naturally believing in it ourselves, makes that sense very hard to shake off. But I find it interesting because I do tend to notice that those who believe in the non-magical kind tend to slip back into acting as if they believe in the magical kind even when they have explained that they don't, more easily that those who don't think the non-magical kind is worthy of the label. In other words: The people who keep wanting to call Sicily "Atlantis" seem to keep accidentally slipping into feeling and acting as if they believe in the real magical Atlantis, a lot more easily than someone who says that Sicily is Sicily and Atlantis doesn't exist. Although, as I said, perhaps even most Atlantis deniers such as myself, find (and in the past I myself found) it quite easy to accidentally start feeling and acting as if the magical Atlantis exists.... but that's very easily done when you grew up believing in Atlantis, and everyone around you believes in Atlantis, (the non-Sicilian magical kind) and the way people around the world conceptualize most of their actions in the world involves magical Atlantian powers. That all tends to make it very easy to slip into feeling like and acting as if you're talking about Atlantis.... even when you claim to only believe in Sicily and you just think that Atlantis is really Sicily... even when I've made it clear that thsi thread is about Atlantis!

Quote:  Remember, you have to explain why purely mechanical, non-conscious, cause-and-effect systems should even care about one outcome over another, as well as how they make such fine discriminations.

I think we both know that purely mechanical and non-conscious cause-and-effect doesn't have to care about anything! So why should we have to explain that?

Quote:My suspicion here is that determinists have no respect for human psychology as a scientific field of study, most likely because of a lack of information about the field.

That's a very bizarre suspicion! The study of the mind, the personality and human behaviour is as valid a field of study in a deterministic universe for exactly the same reasons that it's a valid field of study in an indeterministic universe, with or without free will! In fact, the very fact that most people believe in free will, of the strong magical kind—the kind even you admit doesn't exist and yet are still somehow defending in this thread even when I said that's what I'm attacking—raises interesting psychological questions about our human nature.

Quote:I have explained how appearances are likely to be realities by offering functional explanations for focus, selective ability, distribution, the self-concept, and other aspects of consciousness.  They are scattered throughout this discussion.  What are the alternatives proposed by determinists?  Give me some details, not more denials.

I'm still waiting for evidence of the appearances. And at this point it seems like the threads have crossed in a way that is relevant. Or, at least, because you seem to be using the appearances of free will as a defense of free will... but in the other thread after asking what the experience of these appearances would be like, I ended up revealing my own view, that they would be exactly like if they weren't actually there: i.e. there's no evidence of these appearances. There's an absence of appearances and people keep thinking that these appearances in a similar way to how I thought that my telekinetic powers appeared to me when people moved about.... things didn't look any different to if I hadn't been controlling them with my mind. I was not hallucinating. I was conceptually confused and deluded. There was no illusion of myself moving other people with my mind. I was merely taking credit for some powers appearing to me that never actually appeared to me. I think most people who believe in free will do the same.

Although you are using the appearance of free will as a defense of the existence of free will here, which is fine, I really think that I ought to reiterate, just to be clear, that on the other thread I am addressing specifically what the appearance of free will is supposedly like, and what it would supposedly be like, even if you yourself no longer believed in it. Although perhaps it would have been better if I hadn't let my own view that it would be exactly like it NOT appearing to us.... maybe I shouldn't have let that view slip in. As then over on that thread we seem to end up discussing the existence of free will again, because you are using appearance as a defense of reality, when really over there I really am trying to ask what that appearance is supposedly like.... and what that experience is supposedly like. I guess the problem is... you can't do it! The experience of choice in the strong ultimate sense doesn't even appear to you... and the fact that you don't believe in the strong ultimate sense should make that of no surprise to you. You see, there's the rub, many people say that the magical kind of free will, that you yourself claim to not believe in, is still illusory, and can still be experienced at least as an illusion. So here again is where we are getting mixed up. If you are not defending the magical kind of free will, because you only believe in the mundane kind that is so trivally true that I myself could never deny, then all you could be talking about here is the appearance of free will in the mundane kind. But you don't need that as evidence of the mundane kind because we both know the mundane kind already exists. So you must be talking of the appearance of the magical kind, but if you yourself don't believe in the magical kind, then why are you talking about appearances being by default non-illusory? Because if you don't believe in the magical kind, but you think it can still be experiened, then surely you think it is experienced as an illusion, if you don't believe in it? Surely hte difference here is that we both believe in the mundane kind of free will, but you think that the magical kind of free will is experiened as an illusion whereas I think the magical kind of free will isn't experienced at all. We don't need to talk about the default assumption of an appearance being that it isn't illusion if you only believe in the mundane kind... because the mundane kind isn't something I deny, and it isn't the kind defined in the OP. If Atlantis is really Sicily then certainly Atlantis exists because certainly Sicily exists. I just don't like referring to Sicily as Atlantis. But the topic here is the magical kind of Atlantis, not the redefined Sicily. Just as if I make a topic asking if God exist, and I'm talking about a supernatural correct, I'll consider it a topic change if someone comes in saying God exists because the universe does and that's what they want to call God... when in the OP I had already said that I was specifically addressing the question of whether a supernatural creator of the universe exists, and not whether we should refer to the universe as God (or refer to Sicily as Atlantis, or refer to the mundane and ordinary human willpower as "free will", even when most people use that term to refer to the magical kind that they believe in (the "could have done otherwise of my own self-causing in the strong ultimate sense in exactly the same circumstances").

So what I'm saying is... you're not a determinist... but the only kind of free will you believe in is of the kind so mundane, that I also believe in, (just as I believe in God if all God is is the universe. And I believe in Angels if Angels are just carrots) that is perfectly compatible with determinism. I think determinism is truly irrelevant here... because we both appear to believe in a free will of a kind so mundane (so mundane that it isn't the topic of this thread!) that it is compatible with the determinism you disbelieve in... and yet even if I was an indeterminist such as yourself, my views on free will wouldn't change, because I'd still deny free will of the strong magical kind defined in the OP.... because the fact that the universe isn't deterministic doesn't mean that we can determine ourselves anymore than the universe being deterministic means that we can determine ourselves (in fact many compatabilists say that not only is free will compatible with determinism but free will would be less plausible in an indeterminisitc universe.... because we can't determine ourselves unless the universe is deterministic, and we can't predict ourselves unless we are predictable, because we are, after all, part of the universe).
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
Reply
#97

Does free will exist?
(11-17-2018, 10:25 PM)Snoopy Wrote: I say you will never ever be happy unless you become gay. That is a fact that can't be denied.
Would you disagree?

I know this wasn't aimed at me but I want to address it anyway because I find it very punny.

As it happens I'm hererosexual... and I'm already happy... and you didn't ask me but, still, here me out, I find this punny... as equivocations are punny.

If by gay you are speaking of gaiety, then yes. No one can be happy unless they are gay because no one can be happy unless they're happy or gay unless they're gay and those mean the same things if we equivocate in a punny way. Because gay used to mean happy. How punny.

Hmm. I've underwhelmed myself a lot more than I expected to with this post. What a very long build up for a very simple and unfunny pun that was totally over-bloody-explained.

Oh, but of course, if gaiety is just a subset and type of happiness rather than a synonym for happiness, then it's possible to be happy without being gay, in the emotional sense. Ah, I feel better now.
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
Reply
#98

Does free will exist?
(11-17-2018, 02:48 PM)EvieTheAvocado Wrote:
(11-17-2018, 10:32 AM)SYZ Wrote: If our conscious activity and reactivity indicate that we appear to have free will, then we do have free
will—for all practical purposes.

It just sounds like an incredibly loose definition that doesn't even address the metaphysical question of whether we can be the cause of ourselves.

"The metaphysical question of whether we can be the cause of ourselves"  is typical of what I mean about philosophy. 
It actually creates a question that doesn't need answering.  Why bother wasting time and mental energy pondering it?

Imagine if you will that Neil deGrasse Tyson, James Watson, or Brain Cox were bogged down with philosophical gobbledygook!

Stephen Hawking said in 2010 that scientists rather than philosophers "have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in
our quest for knowledge."  I can only agree.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
The following 1 user Likes SYZ's post:
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#99

Does free will exist?
Anyway, back on topic: Let's just say that I'm someone who went from believing I experienced the magical kind of free will that most people believe in, to no longer (from a very young age) believing that I do and instead believing that my experiences of having it is an illusion, to believing in the end that I never experienced the appearance of free will to begin with, so there's no non-illusory or illusory free will, no real or unreal free will.

So my question, now, is this... if you think you experienced something that you have defined very precisely, and then you later decide that that precise thing that you thought you experienced was just an illusion, but then you realize that what you precisely defined wasn't the sort of thing that could even be experienced in a illusory way... then would you start to think that the burden of proof definitely wasn't on you? (a good analogy here would be to imagine you believed in square-circles or you believed that 2+2=5.... then you eventually realized you were wrong, but you didn't really fully understand why you were wrong, and you believed that the square circles and the reality of 2+2=5 was an illusion..... so when you eventually came to realize that you had never even experienced an illusion of square circles or 2+2=5 because such things are incoherent concepts that don't refer to anything.... then wouldn't you think that in a world where most people believed in square circles and that 2+2=5... the burden or proof would still be on them to explain why such things are even possible as illusions or appearances? (and by the way, just to be clear, a square circle is defined as an object that has four sides but also simultaneously is fully circular, and 2 and 5 have the same numerical values as normal, and + still means what it usually means (so basically, in this world where most people believe in such things, they really are believing in the logically impossible, and they're not simply equivocating and labelling correct maths or real geometric shapes with labels that normally refer to something logically impossible))).

I guess it might even be accurate to say that it's not even possible to believe in square circles or that 2+2=5... if we are still talking about squares in the normal sense, circles in the normal sense, 2 in the normal sense, + in the normal sense, = in the normal sense and 5 in the normal sense...... as anyone who thinks they believe in such logical impossibilites are just wrong about what they believe in. Because what they claim to believe in is something that has no reference, and something that has no reference isn't something. Really they only believe that they believe in such things. And such it is with free will of the ultimate magical kind as defined in the OP, most people don't even believe in that kind of free will, they just think they do, they believe that they believe in it, because what they claim to believe in is actually an incoherent concept with no reference... and yet sadly their belief that they believe in such a thing can strongly influence their actions for the worse and make them less happy throughout life (although that's another topic, perhaps I should make a third topic "the consequences of belief in free will of the strong ultimate kind, the benefits of no longer believing in it, and the even greater benefits of no longer feeling like you have it even in an illusory sense".... but that's way too long a thread title, two threads on free will from the same poster is more than enough, and Galen Strawson has already wrote a whole book on all these matters).
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
Reply

Does free will exist?
(11-17-2018, 11:24 PM)SYZ Wrote: "The metaphysical question of whether we can be the cause of ourselves"  is typical of what I mean about philosophy. 
It actually creates a question that doesn't need answering.  Why bother wasting time and mental energy pondering it?

Considering 99% of people believe in such a thing.... isn't the mundane version of free will the one that is a waste of mental energy pondering?

In a world where most people believe in Atlantis, aren't the people who want to tell them that Atlantis does exist, but is really Sicily, the ones confusing matters? Isn't it better to explain why Atlantis doesn't exist, in a world where most people believe in Atlantis?
My Argument Against Free Will Wrote:(1) Ultimately, to control your actions you have to originate your original nature.

(2) But you can't originate your original nature—it's already there.

(3) So, ultimately, you can't control your actions.
Reply




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