Free Will

on fundamental matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind and ethics.

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Re: Free Will

#13021  Postby LucidFlight » Oct 28, 2018 9:53 am

GrahamH wrote:When newolder refers to "beyond the arena of spacetime/matter " [it] looks like an assumption of hard determinism, that everything within that arena is determined by prior events so any indeterminism is "beyond the arena".

Only to those who assume hard determinism is tied into the arena of spacetime/matter, though, right? I'm sure there are those who are happy to entertain the more stochastic side of nature.
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Re: Free Will

#13022  Postby GrahamH » Oct 28, 2018 9:53 am

ughaibu wrote:
GrahamH wrote:That is what they stated in their paper.
Another customarily tacit assumption is that experimenters are free to choose between possible experiments. To be precise, we mean that the choice an experimenter makes is not a function of the past.
https://www.ams.org/notices/200902/rtx090200226p.pdf
In their proof they write this: "Assume that the experiments performed by A and B are space-like separated. Then experimenter B can freely choose any one of the 33 particular directions w, and a’s response is independent of this choice. Similarly and independently, A can freely choose any one of the 40 triples x, y, z, and b’s response is independent of that choice." Where is your quote from?

ETA: I've found it, unless I'm mistaken they've assumed nondeterminism to prove nondeterminism. But that would be a ridiculous error for them to have made.


If you insist on arguing this point you had better post a reference to Conway and Kochen defining free will as something other than the linked example I posted.
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Re: Free Will

#13023  Postby Cito di Pense » Oct 28, 2018 9:56 am

GrahamH wrote:as far as we can tell it doesn't introduce indeterminacy at the scale of brains


Again, this leaves "indeterminacy at the scale of brains" entirely without further scope. You could mean anything by it, and that's just an extension of a quibble about whether or not there is ANY indeterminacy in the universe.

The quibble about whether the universe is deterministic is not a scientific question, but a philosophical one, and the antics of people like Conway and Kochen to address philosophical questions with scientific analogies is still just philosophy. It allows one to think about words and concepts in creative ways, but it doesn't really address anything about the universe, unless you think the concepts are 'out there'. Talk to jamest about that one.
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Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Free Will

#13024  Postby GrahamH » Oct 28, 2018 9:57 am

LucidFlight wrote:
GrahamH wrote:When newolder refers to "beyond the arena of spacetime/matter " [it] looks like an assumption of hard determinism, that everything within that arena is determined by prior events so any indeterminism is "beyond the arena".

Only to those who assume hard determinism is tied into the arena of spacetime/matter, though, right? I'm sure there are those who are happy to entertain the more stochastic side of nature.


Exactly! I'm sure there are those who are happy to entertain the more stochastic side of nature, and it would not surprise to find that newolder is among them. But then indeterminate events are not beyond the arena of space, time and matter, as you say.

I only remarked that was how things looked, given the text. I don't know if newolder is a hard determinist.
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Re: Free Will

#13025  Postby ughaibu » Oct 28, 2018 9:58 am

newolder wrote:
ughaibu wrote:let's take the science seriously, the predictions of quantum mechanics are irreducibly probabilistic, this means that if time is rewound to the point at which Schrodinger puts the cat in the box, on about half the subsequent evolutions the cat will be dead, when he reopens the box, on the rest it will be alive. Recall that researchers must be able to accurately record their observations, almost every time, so, Schrodinger must be able to correctly record "dead" or "alive", according to how the world evolves. This immediately commits us to the view that his behaviour is neither determined nor a matter of chance.
This shows behaviour determined by the rules of science and results that are a matter of chance.
Whether the cat dies or not, in the theory, is not fixed by the initial conditions, so Schrodinger's behaviour similarly cannot be fixed, otherwise he would, at best, record the result correctly about half the time. Neither can his behaviour be random, for the same reason.
To say Schrodinger's behaviour is "determined" by the rules of science is to equivocate over "determined", and what results are a matter of chance?
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Re: Free Will

#13026  Postby GrahamH » Oct 28, 2018 10:00 am

Cito di Pense wrote:
GrahamH wrote:as far as we can tell it doesn't introduce indeterminacy at the scale of brains


Again, this leaves "indeterminacy at the scale of brains" entirely without further scope. You could mean anything by it, and that's just an extension of a quibble about whether or not there is ANY indeterminacy in the universe.

The quibble about whether the universe is deterministic is not a scientific question, but a philosophical one, and the antics of people like Conway and Kochen to address philosophical questions with scientific analogies is still just philosophy. It allows one to think about words and concepts in creative ways, but it doesn't really address anything about the universe, unless you think the concepts are 'out there'. Talk to jamest about that one.


Again I agree with you. It's only philosophical wibble, not an argument for free will. Just a little devil's advocacy.
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Re: Free Will

#13027  Postby newolder » Oct 28, 2018 10:05 am

ughaibu wrote:...

Whether the cat dies or not, in the theory, is not fixed by the initial conditions, so Schrodinger's behaviour similarly cannot be fixed, otherwise he would, at best, record the result correctly about half the time. Neither can his behaviour be random, for the same reason.

Schrödinger can't tell if the cat is alive or dead in half the experiments? I do not believe this.
To say Schrodinger's behaviour is "determined" by the rules of science is to equivocate over "determined", and what results are a matter of chance?

The rules of science determine that Schrödinger observes |dead> or |alive> at the required time. The result |dead> or |alive> is 50-50.
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Re: Free Will

#13028  Postby GrahamH » Oct 28, 2018 10:08 am

ughaibu wrote:
newolder wrote:
ughaibu wrote:let's take the science seriously, the predictions of quantum mechanics are irreducibly probabilistic, this means that if time is rewound to the point at which Schrodinger puts the cat in the box, on about half the subsequent evolutions the cat will be dead, when he reopens the box, on the rest it will be alive. Recall that researchers must be able to accurately record their observations, almost every time, so, Schrodinger must be able to correctly record "dead" or "alive", according to how the world evolves. This immediately commits us to the view that his behaviour is neither determined nor a matter of chance.
This shows behaviour determined by the rules of science and results that are a matter of chance.
Whether the cat dies or not, in the theory, is not fixed by the initial conditions, so Schrodinger's behaviour similarly cannot be fixed, otherwise he would, at best, record the result correctly about half the time. Neither can his behaviour be random, for the same reason.
To say Schrodinger's behaviour is "determined" by the rules of science is to equivocate over "determined", and what results are a matter of chance?


Nonsesense.
Schrodinger's behaviour is determined by the prior condition of what he see's in the box when opened. He isn't making a free will choice to see the cat alive or dead. His accurate recording necessitates that he behaves according to prior conditions (what is actually in the box once opened.)
Besides, the thought experiement is not to be taken too seriously. If you want conscious obsrvation to play a role in "collapsing the wave function" the cat is observing and if you want a quantum interation to do that then the detector that triggers the poison does that.

The human experimenter is very late to that party and might as well read the result in a letter printed in the archives of journal Quantum Physics Letters a decade after the experiment concluded for all the effect that would have.
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Re: Free Will

#13029  Postby ughaibu » Oct 28, 2018 10:11 am

According to this review: http://jamesowenweatherall.com/SCPPRG/M ... illThm.pdf Conway and Kochen do beg the question with their definition of free will.
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Re: Free Will

#13030  Postby Cito di Pense » Oct 28, 2018 10:15 am

GrahamH wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:
GrahamH wrote:as far as we can tell it doesn't introduce indeterminacy at the scale of brains


Again, this leaves "indeterminacy at the scale of brains" entirely without further scope. You could mean anything by it, and that's just an extension of a quibble about whether or not there is ANY indeterminacy in the universe.

The quibble about whether the universe is deterministic is not a scientific question, but a philosophical one, and the antics of people like Conway and Kochen to address philosophical questions with scientific analogies is still just philosophy. It allows one to think about words and concepts in creative ways, but it doesn't really address anything about the universe, unless you think the concepts are 'out there'. Talk to jamest about that one.


Again I agree with you. It's only philosophical wibble, not an argument for free will. Just a little devil's advocacy.


Well, the philosophy is worth a little. If Conway and Kochen allow for spiders (arachnids) to have free will, then thermostats might as well have free will, too. Their free will is restricted, since they can't go on random walks, except in temperature space, and we throw them away if they do that, because we consider them to be malfunctioning. I think the whole point of this noise, if it is not simply to flip a coin and find the universe deterministic or not, is that humans are different to spiders.
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Re: Free Will

#13031  Postby ughaibu » Oct 28, 2018 10:15 am

newolder wrote:
ughaibu wrote:To say Schrodinger's behaviour is "determined" by the rules of science is to equivocate over "determined"
The rules of science determine that Schrödinger observes |dead> or |alive> at the required time.
GrahamH wrote:Schrodinger's behaviour is determined by the prior condition of what he see's in the box when opened.
Are these actually serious replies? At the time that the cat is put into the box, the universe of interest has a certain state, that state does not entail the state of the cat when the box is opened, so that state cannot entail the bahaviour of Schrodinger when the box is opened.
What in the living fuck is there to not understand about this?
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Re: Free Will

#13032  Postby Cito di Pense » Oct 28, 2018 10:18 am

ughaibu wrote:
newolder wrote:
ughaibu wrote:To say Schrodinger's behaviour is "determined" by the rules of science is to equivocate over "determined"
The rules of science determine that Schrödinger observes |dead> or |alive> at the required time.
GrahamH wrote:Schrodinger's behaviour is determined by the prior condition of what he see's in the box when opened.
Are these actually serious replies?


The unwisdom of making serious replies to you is noted.

ughaibu wrote:
What in the living fuck is there to not understand about this?


The wisdom of making serious replies to you, or why you keep on as you do. Yeah, we know: Because you're right, because you're a brilliant intellect, and somebody else is wrong on the internet. Cry me a river.
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Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Free Will

#13033  Postby newolder » Oct 28, 2018 10:24 am

ughaibu wrote:
newolder wrote:
ughaibu wrote:To say Schrodinger's behaviour is "determined" by the rules of science is to equivocate over "determined"
The rules of science determine that Schrödinger observes |dead> or |alive> at the required time.
GrahamH wrote:Schrodinger's behaviour is determined by the prior condition of what he see's in the box when opened.
Are these actually serious replies? At the time that the cat is put into the box, the universe of interest has a certain state,
that evolves therefrom in accordance with the time dependent Schrödinger wave equation,
that state does not entail the state of the cat when the box is opened,
Correct.
so that state cannot entail the bahaviour of Schrodinger when the box is opened.
The behaviour around "when the box is opened" is not a state but is: It is time to open the box and record the state of the cat: |dead> or |alive>. The state of the universe is then either |box opened + dead cat>, |box opened + alive cat>, or |other state not specified in experimental setup>.
What in the living fuck is there to not understand about this?

I agree.
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Re: Free Will

#13034  Postby GrahamH » Oct 28, 2018 10:28 am

ughaibu wrote:
What in the living fuck is there to not understand about this?

You claim that free will is necessary to make accurate observations and I point out that accurate observations require that behaviour is determined by prior states (the cat now in a definite state) so you had better set out your case for what free will brings to the table for Schrödinger standing there staring into his box.
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Re: Free Will

#13035  Postby GrahamH » Oct 28, 2018 10:29 am

newolder wrote:
ughaibu wrote:
newolder wrote:
ughaibu wrote:To say Schrodinger's behaviour is "determined" by the rules of science is to equivocate over "determined"
The rules of science determine that Schrödinger observes |dead> or |alive> at the required time.
GrahamH wrote:Schrodinger's behaviour is determined by the prior condition of what he see's in the box when opened.
Are these actually serious replies? At the time that the cat is put into the box, the universe of interest has a certain state,
that evolves therefrom in accordance with the time dependent Schrödinger wave equation,
that state does not entail the state of the cat when the box is opened,
Correct.
so that state cannot entail the bahaviour of Schrodinger when the box is opened.
The behaviour around "when the box is opened" is not a state but is: It is time to open the box and record the state of the cat: |dead> or |alive>. The state of the universe is then either |box opened + dead cat>, |box opened + alive cat>, or |other state not specified in experimental setup>.
What in the living fuck is there to not understand about this?

I agree.


I also agree
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Re: Free Will

#13036  Postby Cito di Pense » Oct 28, 2018 10:44 am

GrahamH wrote:Schiedinger standing there staring into his box.


How on earth did you get "Schiedinger"? Was it by means of some stochastic process?

I mean, if you consciously chose to type "Schiedinger", tell us what your evil intent was. :lol:
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Re: Free Will

#13037  Postby zoon » Oct 28, 2018 11:33 am

romansh wrote:
zoon wrote: While we are so far from a scientific understanding of the environmental and chemical details of our social thinking,

Well broadly I would not disagree, but I suspect we are making advances. Let's play a thought experiment. If we, one day, do have an excellent understanding of environmental and chemical aspects of thought … then what?

zoon wrote: I don’t think we are yet in a position to drop prescientific concepts like subjectivity and morality altogether, to replace them with science.

But for the moment, in a deterministic or indeterministic universe, what are the reasons for perpetuating the concept like morality? Could be something like you imply, We can't be "good" without a belief in morality? Sound familiar?

zoon wrote:For example, would you say that we should drop the idea of human rights? Are there, in your view, entirely scientific reasons for keeping that idea?

No we should not drop the concept of human rights. What I try to do (not completely successful) is work towards a society or my individuality of what I want. Sure these might be mutually exclusive … but if something or someone is working at odds to my wants I don't see this as bad, but as something ultimately understandable and something I have to work around or even through.

The concepts of blame and forgiveness are philosophically a non sequitur in a deterministic or indeterministic universe, at least in my opinion.

Your comment above about “belief in morality” highlights, I think, where we are differing in what we take morality to be. You are taking it in the traditional sense, as a set of supernaturally backed rules, supposedly transcending science and human emotion. I strongly agree with you that any such morality is to be dismissed; it’s not believable, there’s no evidence for god or for any supernatural moral order to the universe.

I think we are still left with evolved moral emotions, taking these to be predispositions to regulate the social behaviour of other individuals where it does not directly concern oneself. There is plenty of evidence that these predispositions exist, and that they evolved; for example, Paul Bloom’s experiments showing that pre-verbal babies dislike and will punish puppets which have been annoying other puppets, and a 2018 study discussed here, showing that vervet monkeys intervene in fights to prevent them from escalating. Humans regulate each other’s behaviour to a far greater extent than any other large animals: human groups set up rules (which are interminably discussed and modified), and individuals who break the rules are subjected to sanctions from the entire group, ranging from mild disapproval to being thrown out or executed. This enables human groups to cooperate far more effectively than those of any other large animal.

I think you are also arguing that mere evolved emotions are too simple and unstable to be acceptable bases of our behaviour, we should use reason and science instead? I don’t see how we can expect to get rid of emotions, they are what make life worth living in the first place; we use reason and science to fulfil them (as Hume suggested)? If we are going entirely by science, then, like all living things, we have evolved as if to maximise our inclusive fitness, that is, the number of our genes in future generations. I don’t think most people would be impressed if they were expected to take an interest in the survival of microscopic strings of polynucleotides. The emotions that drive us evolved because of the differential survival of polynucleotides, but the emotions themselves are a mixed bag which often conflict with each other – this is where reason, the computers in our skulls, evolved to sort things out. Effective moral behaviour has always needed full use of our reasoning powers, and in the modern world needs at least not to be in conflict with the findings of science. Since science can tell us almost nothing as yet about the physical mechanisms in our brains which control our social behaviour, we are still largely left with the prescientific mix of emotion and reason which we’ve always had, but without the traditional belief in a supernatural basis of morality.

I don’t see any way that we would want to get rid of emotions as the basis of our behaviour, at any rate while we still barely begin to understand brain mechanisms. Trying to get rid of the moral emotions while keeping the rest would seem somewhat perverse? Human rights are widely supported, and I think this is because most people are happier, emotionally, when they feel they are part of a society which defends them; I would regard this as an example of a moral emotion. I certainly agree with you that moral emotions, like any other emotions, can get out of hand. For example, a desire for retribution may threaten to overwhelm other considerations, and this is where reason and compromise may be needed to control the emotions, rather than to replace them?

?
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Re: Free Will

#13038  Postby Cito di Pense » Oct 28, 2018 11:45 am

zoon wrote:
I think you are also arguing that mere evolved emotions are too simple and unstable to be acceptable bases of our behaviour, we should use reason and science instead? I don’t see how we can expect to get rid of emotions, they are what make life worth living in the first place; we use reason and science to fulfil them (as Hume suggested)? If we are going entirely by science, then, like all living things, we have evolved as if to maximise our inclusive fitness, that is, the number of our genes in future generations.


Is that what you think? If so, how come you don't have 30 kids? Is that because you don't have an implemented algorithm to maximize the presence of your genes in a future generation? Similarly, I don't see any program that seeks to banish emotions, nor is it evident how your comment relates to how morality functions, or even if there is anything identifiable as such. Let me know when you're actually willing to make some intellectual effort, instead of serving as a mouthpiece for emitting soundbites from the authorities you favor in the literature you read. The morality you're talking about is the one you comfort yourself with to justify your emotional reactions. If you want your selection of authorities to mean something, how about showing that your critical faculties can get beyond regurgitating soundbites.

This analysis only asks you to make evident some reasoning about the concepts you're citing, and that's going to involve something more than reciting platitudes about the projects of balancing reason and emotion. If you look at the way most people evidently function, they're not minute-to-minute cogitating about whether or not to commit violence on their neighbors and their neighbors' stupid get in order to justify their moral discourse. Instead, they're reacting emotionally to stuff that, for whatever reason, they find distasteful, but hardly worthy of extermination. The few folks who become extreme about this either gain power or they don't. But they do often enough to quash your stupid fairy tale about how morality is evolved. What's evolved is the interplay between wanting your neighbors to fuck off somewhere else and not knowing whether or not you can really get the drop on them, and your moral judgments amount to so much impotent infantile frustration.
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Re: Free Will

#13039  Postby felltoearth » Oct 28, 2018 1:20 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
GrahamH wrote:Schiedinger standing there staring into his box.


How on earth did you get "Schiedinger"? Was it by means of some stochastic process?

I mean, if you consciously chose to type "Schiedinger", tell us what your evil intent was. :lol:

The universe definitely feels different than it would be otherwise.
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Re: Free Will

#13040  Postby zoon » Oct 28, 2018 1:24 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
zoon wrote:
I think you are also arguing that mere evolved emotions are too simple and unstable to be acceptable bases of our behaviour, we should use reason and science instead? I don’t see how we can expect to get rid of emotions, they are what make life worth living in the first place; we use reason and science to fulfil them (as Hume suggested)? If we are going entirely by science, then, like all living things, we have evolved as if to maximise our inclusive fitness, that is, the number of our genes in future generations.


Is that what you think? If so, how come you don't have 30 kids? Is that because you don't have an implemented algorithm to maximize the presence of your genes in a future generation? …

Personal fitness, not inclusive fitness, is the number of offspring an individual begets, which is one of the first statements in the Wikipedia article I linked above.

Inclusive fitness theory applies to all living things, but it was developed in connection with explaining the evolution of worker caste eusocial insects, which do not have offspring. Quoting from Wikipedia here:
Hamilton's rule
..............
Both Fisher and J. B. S. Haldane had seen a problem in how organisms could increase the fitness of their own genes by aiding their close relatives, but not recognised its significance or properly formulated it. Hamilton worked through several examples, and eventually realised that the number that kept falling out of his calculations was Sewall Wright's coefficient of relationship. This became Hamilton's rule: in each behaviour-evoking situation, the individual assesses his neighbour's fitness against his own according to the coefficients of relationship appropriate to the situation. Algebraically, the rule posits that a costly action should be performed if:

C < r x B

Where C is the cost in fitness to the actor, r the genetic relatedness between the actor and the recipient, and B is the fitness benefit to the recipient. Fitness costs and benefits are measured in fecundity. r is a number between 0 and 1. His two 1964 papers entitled The Genetical Evolution of Social Behavior are now widely referenced.[3]

The proof and discussion of its consequences, however, involved detailed mathematics, and two reviewers passed over the paper. .......... The Hamilton paper was printed in the Journal of Theoretical Biology and, when first published, was largely ignored. Recognition of its significance gradually increased to the point that it is now routinely cited in biology books.

Much of the discussion relates to the evolution of eusociality in insects of the order Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps) based on their unusual haplodiploid sex-determination system. This system means that females are more closely related to their sisters than to their own (potential) offspring. Thus, Hamilton reasoned, a "costly action" would be better spent in helping to raise their sisters, rather than reproducing themselves.


Apart from demonstrating your ignorance of inclusive fitness theory, I’m not clear what your rant was about.
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