Free Will

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

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Re: Free Will

#13281  Postby zoon » Apr 06, 2019 9:49 am

Destroyer wrote:
It is neither moral constraints, lifeforms, consciousness, Self-awareness, or any other form of intelligence that governs the movement of mass. It is entirely the forces of gravity and electro-chemical impulses that rule the movements of physical bodies. The efficacy of such movements can be measured. All else is just wishful thinking.

What you say here is almost certainly correct, the practical problem for us so far when dealing with other people is that we cannot yet measure the physical events inside our brains which guide our behaviour. Our brains are still effectively black boxes, we barely have a clue what’s going on inside them in real time.

For predicting people in practice, we use a totally different method, which is largely automatic because we evolved with it. Human brains are similar, so we can guess people’s goals and how they are likely to try to achieve them. This is teleological and unscientific, but so far it works much better than science, so we think of people in terms of teleology, what they want for the future.

Similarly, we don’t yet try to control people by tinkering with their brains, as we would, for example, with car engines. Instead, we use ongoing threats, which are again teleological, they are about what people want or don’t want to happen in the future. Free will makes sense in the context of using threats as a method of control: there is no point in threatening someone if that person is being coerced or is mentally ill, because in those cases they are incapable of responding appropriately. Someone with free will is someone who is neither mentally incapable nor under coercion, and such a person can qualify as part of a community which controls its members through threats of punishment if they break the communally agreed moral rules. It’s all inherently vague and unscientific, but, so far, it works much better than science for managing social life.

It seems to me likely, if we don’t blow ourselves up first, that science will eventually catch up with and overtake our evolved methods of dealing with each other. If, or when, we can be understood and predicted in terms of the physical laws which constrain every atom in our bodies, I would guess that both free will and individuality would become redundant concepts. If we knew how, it would make far more sense to alter brain circuitry, or redesign it altogether, rather than inefficiently threatening each other. We’re not remotely near that stage yet.

It’s not only other people that science doesn’t understand in detail, it’s all living things. Even a microscopic bacterium tumbling its way up a food concentration gradient is using hundreds or thousands of enzymic reactions cycling many times a second in fantastic coordination, and it’s easiest for us to predict it as if it “wants” more food; tracking the individual enzymes is far beyond current science.
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Re: Free Will

#13282  Postby ughaibu » Jul 19, 2019 3:41 am

It's been three months and there has been no new objection posted. To remind you, here is the argument:
ughaibu wrote:1. life requires irreversibility
2. a determined world is fully reversible
3. therefore, there can be no life in a determined world
4. free will requires life
5. therefore, incompatibilism is the case
6. therefore, if there is free will, the libertarian position is correct.
GrahamH's objection is that there are non-living things with free will, gods, fairies, etc. There are several reasons why this fails as an objection; first, as these are imaginary beings they can be endowed with any property the imaginer chooses, so positing gods and fairies amounts to begging the question against premise 4. Second, if there are no gods or fairies, then premise 4 is true anyway, so anyone who thinks that there are no such things can ignore GrahamH's objection. Third, the argument can be adjusted so that we consider only the free will of living things, we still get the conclusion that for this restricted sphere, if there is free will, then the libertarian position is correct.
As an aside, if free will denial commits a person to claiming that there are gods, fairies, etc, then it should be quite clear the free will denial is irrational and should be abandoned by anyone with pretensions to rationality.
Now let's consider a minimal notion of free will sufficient for contract law: the parties have free will if they read and understood the contract and signed it of their own volition and not under threat. There will be edge cases for which arguments can be made, but these are legal questions and irrelevant here. We can make a contract with a friend to exchange two books, then a week later make another contract to exchange the same books back. It's difficult to see how at least one of these contracts wouldn't satisfy the definition.
Now let's consider a maximal definition: an agent has free will when they could have done otherwise. If at any time an agent can do A, then at all later times the agent could have done A. Science requires that researchers can record observations, so if a researcher has several unrecorded results, then they can record all of them. If they can record all of them, they can record any of them, so whichever they record they could have recorded all the others. In short, science requires the ability for researchers to have done otherwise.
So, as we have established that if there is law and science, then the libertarian position is correct for the maximal and minimal definitions of free will. Presumably everyone accepts that there is both law and science, so they are rationally committed to the libertarian position on free will. Even those who believe that there are gods or fairies are committed to the libertarian position with respect to living things.

The puzzling thing is why anyone would want to deny this. I get it with evolution denial, the denier thinks that in order to avoid death or go to heaven, or whatever it is, they need to accept certain statements, including the falsity of evolution. I even get it with the global warming denier, denial gives them an excuse to continue their ecologically destructive lifestyle. But I just don't get it with the free will denier, I can't see anything that could justify them denying that the world is as they themselves consistently demonstrate it to be. Can someone tell me, what motivates the free will denier?
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Re: Free Will

#13283  Postby scott1328 » Jul 19, 2019 12:00 pm

Premise 1) unsupported assumption.
Premise 2) false
Conclusion 3) unsubstantiated
Premise 4) unsubstantiated
Conclusion 5) unsubstantiated
Conclusion 6) unsubstantiated
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Re: Free Will

#13284  Postby minininja » Jul 19, 2019 2:03 pm

God, is this thread still going?

ughaibu wrote:Science requires that researchers can record observations, so if a researcher has several unrecorded results, then they can record all of them. If they can record all of them, they can record any of them, so whichever they record they could have recorded all the others. In short, science requires the ability for researchers to have done otherwise.

Let's take this bit by bit.

Science requires that researchers can record observations,

I'll happily take that as axiomatic.

so if a researcher has several unrecorded results, then they can record all of them

This depends on your definition of "unrecorded results". If (1) you mean that there is a plan to record a set of results from expected events that are yet to happen, then it does not follow that in practice all of those results will necessarily be able to be recorded. The events might not happen or the scientist might have a heart attack.

If instead (2) you mean there is a set of results that will in due course be recorded, then not only can the scientist record them all, but rather by definition, they will record them all.

If (3) you mean that there are a set of results that either can or can not be recorded according to a scientist's free will ability to have done otherwise, then you are merely making an unsupported assertion of free will.

If they can record all of them, they can record any of them

Following from the only logically supported position above (2) "can record all" by definition means "will record all". So if by "can record any" you mean something equivalent to "can record all" then the statement is tautologically meaningless.

If by "can record any" you mean that in the situation in which all results will be recorded, the scientist could have used free will and done otherwise by recording less than all, then again you are making an unsupported assertion of free will.

so whichever they record they could have recorded all the others. In short, science requires the ability for researchers to have done otherwise.


And to finish off, this is just further repetition of the same unsupported assertion.
[Disclaimer - if this is comes across like I think I know what I'm talking about, I want to make it clear that I don't. I'm just trying to get my thoughts down]
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Re: Free Will

#13285  Postby GrahamH » Jul 19, 2019 2:24 pm

minininja wrote:God, is this thread still going?

ughaibu wrote:Science requires that researchers can record observations, so if a researcher has several unrecorded results, then they can record all of them. If they can record all of them, they can record any of them, so whichever they record they could have recorded all the others. In short, science requires the ability for researchers to have done otherwise.

Let's take this bit by bit.

Science requires that researchers can record observations,

I'll happily take that as axiomatic.

so if a researcher has several unrecorded results, then they can record all of them

This depends on your definition of "unrecorded results". If (1) you mean that there is a plan to record a set of results from expected events that are yet to happen, then it does not follow that in practice all of those results will necessarily be able to be recorded. The events might not happen or the scientist might have a heart attack.

If instead (2) you mean there is a set of results that will in due course be recorded, then not only can the scientist record them all, but rather by definition, they will record them all.

If (3) you mean that there are a set of results that either can or can not be recorded according to a scientist's free will ability to have done otherwise, then you are merely making an unsupported assertion of free will.
.



This claim about recording results is an odd one. Science requires that researches record all results that actually occur and not record results that did not occur or omit results. Anything else is erroneous and not science.

Certainly if researchers only recorded results according to whim they would not be applying the scientific method.

We need results to be determined by prior events. It should not be a matter of choice.

There would be a bit more sense to it if the claim was that the devising experiments required creativity and one presumed that this required free will. But that is a different discussion, not the claim made.

so whichever they record they could have recorded all the others. In short, science requires the ability for researchers to have done otherwise.


That amounts to saying that science requires that researchers can fail to do science.

Still, I don't think we should take ughaibu's posts of free will seriously or expect rational discourse about them.
I take it as rationalisation of a belief system.
Why do you think that?
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Re: Free Will

#13286  Postby minininja » Jul 19, 2019 2:43 pm

Well sure, I just fancied a bit of practice dismantling some faulty logic at its lowest level.
[Disclaimer - if this is comes across like I think I know what I'm talking about, I want to make it clear that I don't. I'm just trying to get my thoughts down]
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Re: Free Will

#13287  Postby ughaibu » Jul 19, 2019 2:53 pm

For those who are having trouble getting their heads round this. Consider some set of experimental procedures that generate, for example, eight different results, call this experiment one. The conduct of science requires that all of these can be recorded. The researcher can perform an additional experiment, experiment two, in which they toss three coins and define a procedure for recording the result as follows: if the first coin shows heads, select the first four of the results from experiment one, if it's tails, select the second four, if the second coin shows heads, select the first two from the results selected by the first coin, etc. As they can record the result of experiment two, they can record whichever result from experiment that is indicated, and they could have recorded any of the others. I will leave it to you to decide whether or not they then record the remaining results from experiment one.

Please try to think things through and offer some kind of serious replies.
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Re: Free Will

#13288  Postby minininja » Jul 19, 2019 3:01 pm

:rofl:
[Disclaimer - if this is comes across like I think I know what I'm talking about, I want to make it clear that I don't. I'm just trying to get my thoughts down]
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Re: Free Will

#13289  Postby GrahamH » Jul 19, 2019 3:54 pm

minininja wrote::rofl:


Quite so.

doing what the dice indicate to ignore some results is apparently both an example of libertarian free will and a necessary condition for science.

Are we asked to accept that as a 'well thought through serious reply'? :roll:
Why do you think that?
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Re: Free Will

#13290  Postby felltoearth » Jul 19, 2019 4:30 pm

There's a difference between a thoughtful reply and doing the thinking for you.
"Walla Walla Bonga!" — Witticism
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Re: Free Will

#13291  Postby ughaibu » Jul 19, 2019 4:33 pm

Okay, I'm convinced, you people really can't follow this kind of stuff, can you? I guess that's sufficient explanation for why you're denialists.
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Re: Free Will

#13292  Postby felltoearth » Jul 19, 2019 4:40 pm

lol
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Re: Free Will

#13293  Postby newolder » Jul 19, 2019 4:59 pm

ughaibu wrote:For those who are having trouble getting their heads round this.

Count me in that group. :thumbup:
Consider some set of experimental procedures that generate, for example, eight different results, call this experiment one.

For example, I could roll an 8-sided die a total of eight times.
The conduct of science requires that all of these can be recorded.

The upper face value for each roll was recorded. Am I right?
The researcher can perform an additional experiment, experiment two, in which they toss three coins and define a procedure for recording the result as follows: if the first coin shows heads, select the first four of the results from experiment one, if it's tails, select the second four, if the second coin shows heads, select the first two from the results selected by the first coin, etc.

So I end up with one number from one of the rolls of the die, right?
As they can record the result of experiment two, they can record whichever result from experiment that is indicated,

Quite right. :thumbup:
and they could have recorded any of the others.

What others? The recorded result is the result of the experiment. Do you mean we should repeat experiment 2?
I will leave it to you to decide whether or not they then record the remaining results from experiment one.

Those were recorded before experiment 2 began. :scratch:
Please try to think things through and offer some kind of serious replies.

I've tried to follow your procedures but I am still not clear where free will plays any part in this experiment on statistical distributions. :dunno:
Geometric forgetting gives me loops. - Nima A-H
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Re: Free Will

#13294  Postby minininja » Jul 19, 2019 5:27 pm

ughaibu wrote:Okay, I'm convinced, you people really can't follow this kind of stuff, can you? I guess that's sufficient explanation for why you're denialists.

I can follow it but when I do I find it to be logically incoherent, and when I point this out to you, you ignore it. Your adding of an extra level of complexity to the thought experiment with coin tosses does nothing to avoid or explain an alternative to the three positions I laid out. (1) An event (in your example a recording of a particular result) may or may not happen according to as yet unknown external causes, which leaves no room for free will; (2) An event is going to happen, which leaves no room for free will; (3) An event may or may not happen based on an ability to have done otherwise, which is an as yet unsupported assertion and seems to require the breaking of causality, something which is fundamental to everything we know from physics.

If you can find a logical flaw in this or explain why the logic does not apply, or you can explain how an individual can have the ability to have done otherwise without breaking causality, or you can explain basically all of physics with the concept of causality broken, I would be very interested to hear it.
[Disclaimer - if this is comes across like I think I know what I'm talking about, I want to make it clear that I don't. I'm just trying to get my thoughts down]
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Re: Free Will

#13295  Postby felltoearth » Jul 19, 2019 8:53 pm

I'm a bit puzzled by the "denialist" accusation. There is no evidence or hard logical proof that Free Will exists. What's to deny?
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Re: Free Will

#13296  Postby ughaibu » Jul 20, 2019 12:26 am

felltoearth wrote:There is no evidence or hard logical proof that Free Will exists.
You can't possibly be serious!?!
ughaibu wrote:let's consider a minimal notion of free will sufficient for contract law: the parties have free will if they read and understood the contract and signed it of their own volition and not under threat [ ] let's consider a maximal definition: an agent has free will when they could have done otherwise. If at any time an agent can do A, then at all later times the agent could have done A.
Let's be quite clear about this, do you expect any objective reader to accept that you think that there is no evidence that any pair of people ever willingly sign a contract, that they've understood, without being under threat? Or that anyone can ever do something but doesn't?
felltoearth wrote:I'm a bit puzzled by the "denialist" accusation.
What is the explanation, terminal stupidity?
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Re: Free Will

#13297  Postby GrahamH » Jul 20, 2019 1:12 am

ughaibu wrote:What is the explanation, terminal stupidity?


I don't know what the explanation Is but you are full of it.
You pretend to argue for libertarian free will then claim the is *evidence* for it then, when called on your nonsense you refer to signing contacts which does nothing at all to demonstrate libertarian free will.
Why do you think that?
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Re: Free Will

#13298  Postby ughaibu » Jul 20, 2019 2:42 am

GrahamH wrote:libertarian free will
Jesus fucking Christ. There is nothing called "libertarian free will". How many fucking times has this been explained to you? What's going on, don't you understand the explanations? Are you in denial about having had the explanations? What in the living fuck is wrong with you?
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Re: Free Will

#13299  Postby felltoearth » Jul 20, 2019 4:38 am

ughaibu wrote:
felltoearth wrote:There is no evidence or hard logical proof that Free Will exists.
You can't possibly be serious!?!
ughaibu wrote:let's consider a minimal notion of free will sufficient for contract law: the parties have free will if they read and understood the contract and signed it of their own volition and not under threat [ ] let's consider a maximal definition: an agent has free will when they could have done otherwise. If at any time an agent can do A, then at all later times the agent could have done A.
Let's be quite clear about this, do you expect any objective reader to accept that you think that there is no evidence that any pair of people ever willingly sign a contract, that they've understood, without being under threat? Or that anyone can ever do something but doesn't?
felltoearth wrote:I'm a bit puzzled by the "denialist" accusation.
What is the explanation, terminal stupidity?

Your inability to convince isn’t a failing on my part. This thread has 665 pages. Please find the evidence. Sweet FA has been produced. Scott eviscerated your sophomoric attempt.

ETA - in signing a contract Free Will is axiomatic to the act and presumed by both parties and the law that governs it. It isn’t evidence that free will exists.
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Re: Free Will

#13300  Postby GrahamH » Jul 20, 2019 12:06 pm

ughaibu wrote:
GrahamH wrote:libertarian free will
Jesus fucking Christ. There is nothing called "libertarian free will". How many fucking times has this been explained to you? What's going on, don't you understand the explanations? Are you in denial about having had the explanations? What in the living fuck is wrong with you?



A person would look pretty foolish if they at one moment argued [ineffectually] for

ughaibu wrote:5. therefore, incompatibilism is the case
6. therefore, if there is free will, the libertarian position is correct..


and then
There is nothing called "libertarian free will"


"libertarian free will" == "libertarian model of free will" == "Libertarianism (metaphysics)" == "the libertarian position"

People signing contracts works just fine in a compatibilist model of free will and says no more than that people are aware of choices without full awareness of causes of the choice and no overt coercion.

But you should take a break to calm down. You seem highly stressed.
Why do you think that?
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