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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Phred]
    #2433918 - 03/15/04 07:23 AM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

pinksharkmark said:
It says everything about free will. If you make a conscious choice, then by definition you are exercising free will. If there is no such thing as free will, there is no such thing as a choice, either.





So, essentially, you are saying that the ability to make a conscious choice IS free will? If that is your definition of free will than no problems here, but I didn't think that was the definition that we were discussing here. :wink:

This is more or less what I thought was being debated here in regards to free will, which is the second definition (the first was the ability to make free choice. :grin:):

The power of making free choices that are unconstrained by external circumstances.

What I am saying is that our ability to make free choices has came about from external circumstances and can only be used dependant on them. The way we think has been programmed by our interacting with this world. There is no way that I've seen to use free will outside of cause and effect, at least from what we have seen from existance... :lol:

Mr. Mushrooms, you should get ahold of me sometime and hook me up with the long answer. :wink:
Peace.  :mushroom2:


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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OfflinePhred
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: fireworks_god]
    #2433987 - 03/15/04 09:12 AM (17 years, 7 months ago)

fireworks_god writes:

So, essentially, you are saying that the ability to make a conscious choice IS free will?

Yes.

This is more or less what I thought was being debated here in regards to free will, which is the second definition (the first was the ability to make free choice).

Why did you choose the second definition? What was wrong with the first?
Quote:

The power of making free choices that are unconstrained by external circumstances.


The fact that external circumstances may occasionally thwart your ability to exercise your free will does not mean free will doesn't exist. If you get thrown in jail for shooting heroin, then of course you will be unable to hop in your car and drive down to MacDonald's for a quarter pounder with cheese.

What I am saying is that our ability to make free choices has came about from external circumstances and can only be used dependant on them.

To the extent that you can choose to eat (for example) an orange lying on the grass closer to your left foot rather than an orange closer to your right foot, then yes of course you can choose only among alternatives available in reality -- i.e. "external circumstances". If "external circumstances" provided you with only oranges rather than oranges and apples both, then yes, your choices are limited. That in no way means it is something other than you making the choice.

The way we think has been programmed by our interacting with this world.

If true, what does this have to do with whether or no we make purposeful choices between available alternatives?

There is no way that I've seen to use free will outside of cause and effect, at least from what we have seen from existance...

I don't understand what you are saying. For example, you are freely of your own will choosing to invest your time answering my post. Are you saying that my post caused you to type your reply? That you had no choice but to reply? You couldn't have just ignored my post? Or used a different arrangement of words in your reply, even to the point of replying in a language other than English?

This is what I find so ironic about free will debates on internet message boards. Every single post made by someone questioning or even denying outright the existence of free will is in itself the most eloquent possible proof that free will exists.

The poster carefully sifted through (and freely chose) every single word of his reply, in many cases probably even going back and editing the post from what was originally typed in order to give the post more impact in support of his case. How anyone can fail to recognize this process as a demonstration of free will in action baffles me.

pinky


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InvisibleSkorpivoMusterion
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Phred]
    #2434009 - 03/15/04 09:21 AM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

pinksharkmark said:

This is what I find so ironic about free will debates on internet message boards. Every single post made by someone questioning or even denying outright the existence of free will is in itself the most eloquent possible proof that free will exists.

The poster carefully sifted through (and freely chose) every single word of his reply, in many cases probably even going back and editing the post from what was originally typed in order to give the post more impact in support of his case. How anyone can fail to recognize this process as a demonstration of free will in action baffles me.

pinky




:grin: :thumbup:



--------------------
Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.


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OfflineFrog
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #2434059 - 03/15/04 09:48 AM (17 years, 7 months ago)

I agree with pinksharkmark and evolving, and whoever else said what they said.

MM, what should I read to understand the different arguments better? Who should I read?

Personally, without having the requisite background in philosophy, at this time I have this to say about free will:

I believe in free will, but that the choices we might make are narrowed down because of the circumstances of our childhoods. And free will is also narrowed down because of previous choices made that will naturally limit future choices.


--------------------
The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.  -Teilard


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Invisiblekaiowas
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Frog]
    #2434085 - 03/15/04 10:05 AM (17 years, 7 months ago)

" believe in free will, but that the choices we might make are narrowed down because of the circumstances of our childhoods. And free will is also narrowed down because of previous choices made that will naturally limit future choices. "

When something happens in the world, there is a reaction. the way we respond is based on what we have experienced beforehand, no matter how small, it has an effect. the words that we choose is based on our experience in debate, what words we have been accostumed to using, the grammer of people used us, the type of posts we read, how often we read vs how often we reply.

our experince in the way we debate depends on how often we have debated, who we have debated with..and so on. how often we have debated could depend on many more factors, and those factors before them, and so on.





here's my only question. what about abstract thoughts?? ideas that don't directly relate to experience??? where's the cause and effect there?


--------------------
Annnnnnd I had a light saber and my friend was there and I said "you look like an indian" and he said "you look like satan" and he found a stick and a rock and he named the rock ooga booga and he named the stick Stick and we both thought that was pretty funny. We got eaten alive by mosquitos but didn't notice til the next day. I stepped on some glass while wading in the swamp and cut my foot open, didn't bother me til the next day either....yeah it was a good time, ended the night by buying some liquor for minors and drinking nips and going to he diner and eating chicken fingers, and then I went home and went to bed.


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OfflineSeussA
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: kaiowas]
    #2434100 - 03/15/04 10:17 AM (17 years, 7 months ago)

We both have freewill and do not have freewill depending upon where you look at the system from. I had no say in my birth, and will have no say in my death; therefore, I have no freewill. If I had freewill, then I would never die. You have freewill? Prove it, don't die... ever.

Of course this morning I chose to get up out of bed and come into work. I chose to eat breakfast, etc... nobody forced me to do these things... therefore, I have free will.


--------------------
Just another spore in the wind.


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Invisiblekaiowas
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Seuss]
    #2434120 - 03/15/04 10:31 AM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Seuss, we would be "GOD" if we could do the first definition of free will.

"Of course this morning I chose to get up out of bed and come into work. I chose to eat breakfast, etc... nobody forced me to do these things... therefore, I have free will. "

was there a reason for you to get out of bed?

was there a reason for you to get up?

was there a reason for you to eat breakfast.  how about what you ate?  that depends on what you like, or what you bought...and so on.

how about how you respond to when you wake up.  depends on how many days you thought were shitty at work vs. how many great days you thought you had at work.

you think that a day is shitty because things happened that your mind didn't agree with.  well do you choose what you agree and disagree on?  that depends on if you even believe in right or wrong first. if you believe in a right or wrong..why? Is it because we say so, or is it because someone else did?  is it because we've seen many others point out what they think is right and wrong and so on.  it's liek a huge web. 

hell good things could happen to you and you could jsut ignore them and have a shitty day...right!  :grin:


--------------------
Annnnnnd I had a light saber and my friend was there and I said "you look like an indian" and he said "you look like satan" and he found a stick and a rock and he named the rock ooga booga and he named the stick Stick and we both thought that was pretty funny. We got eaten alive by mosquitos but didn't notice til the next day. I stepped on some glass while wading in the swamp and cut my foot open, didn't bother me til the next day either....yeah it was a good time, ended the night by buying some liquor for minors and drinking nips and going to he diner and eating chicken fingers, and then I went home and went to bed.


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Phred]
    #2434137 - 03/15/04 10:42 AM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

pinksharkmark said:
I don't understand what you are saying. For example, you are freely of your own will choosing to invest your time answering my post. Are you saying that my post caused you to type your reply? That you had no choice but to reply? You couldn't have just ignored my post? Or used a different arrangement of words in your reply, even to the point of replying in a language other than English?

This is what I find so ironic about free will debates on internet message boards. Every single post made by someone questioning or even denying outright the existence of free will is in itself the most eloquent possible proof that free will exists.

The poster carefully sifted through (and freely chose) every single word of his reply, in many cases probably even going back and editing the post from what was originally typed in order to give the post more impact in support of his case. How anyone can fail to recognize this process as a demonstration of free will in action baffles me.





I fail to recognize it as a process of free will because it is a process of cause and effect. You have to understand that the way any mind works is a DIRECT result of past events that have occured and DIRECTLY depends on the thoughts that come before it.

Our decision making process? Its a program that evolves with the decisions we make and the experiences we are faced with.

Think of a computer. It is programmed to carry out processes. The computer has no choice of what processes it is going to carry out. It is already programmed, by an operator, and the computer has no choice.

The only difference here is that we have limited choice and THIS is what is being mistaken for free will here. The fact remains is that the thing making the choices IS another mental program filling out the duty.

Oh, I'll agree that it is very advanced and that to "us" (keeping fully in mind that we are just a set of programs and stored memories from those programs) we are even making conscious, free choices.... but the choices we do make directly are linked to past performance and new thoughts that we construct based on the thoughts we already have and influenced by the outside environment.

Remember that computer up there? With no control over the processes it carries out? Haha. Well, see, it *can* have control. All we have to do is give it a program that can control. Artificial intelligence, basically...

What is the difference? Well, what boundaries we give the computer, how powerful it is, what the computers tasks are.... Very primitive, at any rate, compared to us and our ability to manage our own mind and our processes.

Then again, we've had a few thousand years to evolve all of that... haven't we?

We have the ability to program our own mind.

You have to understand that everything about the way our mind works comes down to cause and effect. I would like to see a choice being made completely independant, not just of the external conditions, but also the cause and effect in our mind which is a result of those external conditions.

Free will? It is out there... but not within these physical reality boundaries or in this body. The essence knows of free will... but no amount of words or discussion will be able to do any justice to THAT. :grin:
Peace. :mushroom2:


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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OfflineSeussA
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: kaiowas]
    #2434206 - 03/15/04 11:06 AM (17 years, 7 months ago)

> Seuss, we would be "GOD" if we could do the first definition of free will

Which is my point. Freewill depends upon how we look at it. In one sense, we have full free will to do as we please. In another we have no free will what-so-ever.

I have always looked at it as if life were a string tied between two poles. One pole is birth, the other death. We have free will, within the limits of where the string will reach, between the two poles.

It doesn't matter how much free will I have, if I want to be king of England, it simply isn't going to happen. At the same time, I have the freedom to choose if I want to be happy or sad.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: fireworks_god]
    #2434290 - 03/15/04 11:32 AM (17 years, 7 months ago)

fireworks_god writes:

I fail to recognize it as a process of free will because it is a process of cause and effect.

To the extent that it is my consciousness causing fingers to transcribe my thoughts, then yes it is a process of cause and effect. But it is my will freely causing my fingers to move. It is not my third grade teacher who first taught me the basic rules of grammar who is typing this post, it is me. If I deliberately mangle the rules of grammar, it is my decision to do so, not hers.

You have to understand that the way any mind works is a DIRECT result of past events that have occured and DIRECTLY depends on the thoughts that come before it.

Of course I realize that. I normally think in English because it is the first language I was taught. If past events were such that the first language I was taught was Norwegian, I would normally think in Norwegian. That doesn't alter the fact that I have free will.

Our decision making process? Its a program that evolves with the decisions we make and the experiences we are faced with.

Of course. A child reaches for a pretty colored bee because it attracts him. He gets stung. Next time he is faced with the choice of grabbing a bee, he has more information, and may perhaps not make the same decision he did originally. But he remains free to grab the bee or not.

Think of a computer. It is programmed to carry out processes. The computer has no choice of what processes it is going to carry out. It is already programmed, by an operator, and the computer has no choice.

Correct. Need I point out a computer is not a human?

The only difference here...

The only difference? Support that assertion, please.

... is that we have limited choice...

Choice is choice. The computer has none. Humans have many.

...and THIS is what is being mistaken for free will here.

Nothing is being "mistaken" here. If you have the ability to initiate more than one action, you have free will. It doesn't matter that in some very clear cut situations the options are limited to two or three actions and in others there may be dozens.

The fact remains is that the thing making the choices IS another mental program filling out the duty.

That is not a fact. Human minds are more than programs.

but the choices we do make directly are linked to past performance and new thoughts that we construct based on the thoughts we already have and influenced by the outside environment.

You are saying nothing more here than that humans learn from experience, and that normally the greater their experience the less chance there is that they will exercise their free will capriciously. This in no way invalidates the demonstrable existence of free will.

You have to understand that everything about the way our mind works comes down to cause and effect.

Why do I "have" to "understand" a flawed concept on your say so?

I would like to see a choice being made completely independant, not just of the external conditions, but also the cause and effect in our mind which is a result of those external conditions.

You would? Okay --

Pantiflex marmot excruciating dumbrowski nt'aaki sympathy.

Free will? It is out there... but not within these physical reality boundaries or in this body.

Or perhaps not entirely within. See my first post to buttonion in this thread re something acting in this universe but not entirely of it.

The fact that we are as yet not able to agree upon a theory by which our consciousness functions does not mean that we have no free will. Simple observation confirms we do.

pinky


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Invisiblekaiowas
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Seuss]
    #2434318 - 03/15/04 11:45 AM (17 years, 7 months ago)

"At the same time, I have the freedom to choose if I want to be happy or sad. "

what does happy and sad depend on?


--------------------
Annnnnnd I had a light saber and my friend was there and I said "you look like an indian" and he said "you look like satan" and he found a stick and a rock and he named the rock ooga booga and he named the stick Stick and we both thought that was pretty funny. We got eaten alive by mosquitos but didn't notice til the next day. I stepped on some glass while wading in the swamp and cut my foot open, didn't bother me til the next day either....yeah it was a good time, ended the night by buying some liquor for minors and drinking nips and going to he diner and eating chicken fingers, and then I went home and went to bed.


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InvisibleMal_Fenderson
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Phred]
    #2434423 - 03/15/04 12:30 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

OK.
What is it, then, that allows for freedom?
I can't at all reconcile this with the idea that only matter exists. I am not a rock, no, but I differ from a rock only in terms of complexicty, not the "types" of actions that are available to me. Is freedom something that the mind can exercise? Then it seems we need to know what the mind is. If mental states supervene on physical states, I don't see how we could ever have any sort of freedom at all, even with regard to the thoughts we hold. We hardly say that a dam has any freedom in breaking...

If both my mind and a dam are material objects, what is the material difference which allows my mind to have such an extended range of possible action-types, when compared with a dam.

Also, I guess, how is it that I can know that other minds are free in the same way that I am? It can't, it would seem, be tied at its most general point to my biology as a human, so what is it? Can't we just accept that there's no real possible account for this? The reason it persists is that we have a culture which dogmatically asserts it at every possible turn. Maybe this is a good move socially, but it's certainly not a good move if one holds that believing true or possible true things is a thing one ought to do.

As an example:
I have some arbitrarily complex computer program that can for all practical purposes fool any person who might ask it questions---that is, they never doubt that they are talking to a person. Being a computer program, i.e., deterministic, I think we can agree that it could not possibly have any freedom.

It has, however, been programmed to respond to the question "do you have free-will?" With something like (after all, if there was a canned response, it would become rather obvious that this was not a person!)

Well, of course I do! Watch this!
This is me freely outputting a sentence!
Look at me go, more evidence of my freedom.

It seems as though you'd need to assign this "computer mind" free-will in the same way that you assign it to other people---by analogy. Or are computers incapable of having minds? Or do you not assign having a mind/free-will to other people by analogy but instead by some other method?


--------------------
----
"Better Dead than Red."


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Phred]
    #2434497 - 03/15/04 12:47 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

pinksharkmark said:
To the extent that it is my consciousness causing fingers to transcribe my thoughts, then yes it is a process of cause and effect. But it is my will freely causing my fingers to move.




Ja, and your thoughts that are directing your consciousness are also a process of cause and effect, and the way your mind works and thinks in the first place is a process of cause and effect and was formed by the process of cause and effect.

Quote:


It is not my third grade teacher who first taught me the basic rules of grammar who is typing this post, it is me. If I deliberately mangle the rules of grammar, it is my decision to do so, not hers.




However, who you are is at least some part defined by your interactions with that third grade teacher and those basic rules of grammar. While there is an entity that is you and is making conscious choices, who you are was all determined beforehand and is being determined now, dependant on what has already happened.

Quote:


But he remains free to grab the bee or not.





Indeed he does. But any reflection on his choices is determined by what has already happened previously. In his mind as it is all happening, there is a systematic order of thoughts continuing the chain of cause and effect, and he isn't "free" in an absolute sense to make just any choice.. only one choice is going to be made because of all that has happened before.

Quote:


The only difference? Support that assertion, please.




Well, I think I meant the distinguishing difference relevant to the discussion... but anyways it isn't the main issue which I will now get to. :wink:

Quote:


If you have the ability to initiate more than one action, you have free will. It doesn't matter that in some very clear cut situations the options are limited to two or three actions and in others there may be dozens.




And I, at least I think, what I am saying is that we have no ability to initate action. Look at the weather, for example. The weather is a process where catalysts are initating action. What happened before in the weather inevitably creates what happens now, which sets the stage for what happens next.

All there is in this existance, I think, is processes. Our ability to create new actions was given to us by the processes before, and we are just an individual perspective experiencing this body and mind carrying out these processes.

If you are saying that free will is the ability to make a choice, then I still do not argue with that. I fully realize that I can make a choice... but what I am questioning is who "I" is. What I question is... is there actually a choice being made?

Perhaps in the beginning one conscious choice was made. Everything else is flowing from that, cause and effect. It is all a process. We just get to glimpse it first hand and "make" our choices that were already mapped out to be made. :grin: Perhaps.. still thinking about that one. hehe

Good question for you: If free will is the ability to make a choice, and we as humans are able to make choices, then animals and computers ALSO have free will. Right or wrong?

Quote:


Pantiflex marmot excruciating dumbrowski nt'aaki sympathy.





Definitely not free of cause and effect. :wink: A computer program designed to pick "random" numbers never actually picks a random number. 
Peace.  :mushroom2:


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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OfflineSeussA
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: fireworks_god]
    #2434564 - 03/15/04 01:00 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

> A computer program designed to pick "random" numbers never actually picks a random number.

Thats not 100% true. You are correct, most random number generators are pseudo-random number generators... however, there are some very clever, very complex designs out there that generate truely random numbers through software. Most of them use a variety of metrics from the computer itself to seed and generate the numbers... things like system load, cpu temperature, uptime, number of running processes, number of inodes in use, etc.

There are also cards which one can add to a computer that generate true random numbers using hardware. Some use radioactive decay for their source, others use temperature variations, and others use quasi-stable transistor states.


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Seuss]
    #2434580 - 03/15/04 01:05 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

But my point is being that the numbers are being chosen based on something. Right? Whatever they are using to make these "random" numbers, there is still some sort of program that produces a number, correct? That is my point.
Peace. :mushroom2:


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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InvisibleMal_Fenderson
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Seuss]
    #2434658 - 03/15/04 01:20 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Well, that's sort-of-correct. A computer as an abstract mathematical object is incapable of generating a random number. Now, if you treat a computer as an abstract object with some particular realization, i.e., the computer that I am typing this with, there may be very good access to lots of entropy for generating numbers. But it seems to me that when people say "computer" in the sense that it was used, they really mean "what all computers have in common", that is, the computer treated as an abstract object, not as a particular implementation. And these abstract objects are deterministic!

And yes, there is also the idea that if we live in a fundamentally deterministic universe, then there can be no such thing as a random number at all. Although I don't know how you'd know from the inside whether it was deterministic or completely random itself, but I guess that is another discussion!


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"Better Dead than Red."


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OfflinePhred
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Mal_Fenderson]
    #2434709 - 03/15/04 01:34 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

Mal_Fenderson writes:

What is it, then, that allows for freedom?

I don't know.

I can't at all reconcile this with the idea that only matter exists.

Then perhaps more exists than just matter.

I am not a rock, no, but I differ from a rock only in terms of complexicty, not the "types" of actions that are available to me.

How can you say that? Can a rock type on a keyboard?

Is freedom something that the mind can exercise?

Not only can it, it does. If you are uncomfortable with the terms "freedom" or "free will", substitute "volition".

Then it seems we need to know what the mind is.

If we wish to arrive at a hypothesis which adequately explains the existence of volition, then yes we do.

If mental states supervene on physical states, I don't see how we could ever have any sort of freedom at all, even with regard to the thoughts we hold.

Did you mean to say, "Unless mental states supervene physical states..." ?

If both my mind and a dam are material objects, what is the material difference which allows my mind to have such an extended range of possible action-types, when compared with a dam.

The fact that your mind is conscious, while a dam is not. Consciousness is a prerequisite for volition.

Also, I guess, how is it that I can know that other minds are free in the same way that I am?

Through observation.

It can't, it would seem, be tied at its most general point to my biology as a human...

It can't? Why do you say that?

Can't we just accept that there's no real possible account for this?

I am unsure of the question. Are you asking should we accept the existence of volition without trying to understand its precise mechanism? We could do that.

The reason it persists is that we have a culture which dogmatically asserts it at every possible turn.

The reason what exists? The belief in volition? If that is what you meant, the reason people believe it exists is not that they are brainwashed into accepting it at every turn but that their daily experience gives them countless demonstrations of volition in action.

Maybe this is a good move socially, but it's certainly not a good move if one holds that believing true or possible true things is a thing one ought to do.

It is not just a good move socially, it is an essential move in order merely to survive.

It seems as though you'd need to assign this "computer mind" free-will in the same way that you assign it to other people---by analogy.

Perhaps a sufficiently complex computer may be capable of exhibiting free will. Since I do not pretend to understand the "why" of the mechanism by which volitional behavior occurs, it would be foolish of me to assert that inorganic entities are forever forbidden to possess volition regardless of their complexity.

Or are computers incapable of having minds?

I don't know. Perhaps sufficiently complex computers are capable of having minds.

Or do you not assign having a mind/free-will to other people by analogy but instead by some other method?

I don't assign it only to other people, but to other living entities. My cat exhibits volition. So do the lizards he chases. At some point on the continuum of complexity which encompasses living entities, volition arises. Do bacteria exhibit volition? Probably not. Does a gorilla? Certainly.

pinky


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OfflineSeussA
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Mal_Fenderson]
    #2434726 - 03/15/04 01:39 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

> Although I don't know how you'd know from the inside whether it was deterministic or completely random itself, but I guess that is another discussion!

Very good!  :smile:


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OfflinePhred
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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: fireworks_god]
    #2434796 - 03/15/04 02:02 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

fireworks_god writes:

Ja, and your thoughts that are directing your consciousness are also a process of cause and effect, and the way your mind works and thinks in the first place is a process of cause and effect and was formed by the process of cause and effect.

So you are saying that it is not my mind that is ultimately causing my fingers to type this message -- that it is rather something instead causing my mind to send the necessary signals? Something using my mind as a mere intermediary or agent?

Assuming this is true, that doesn't eliminate the fact that volition exists, it merely moves the "source" one step further up the line.

However, who you are is at least some part defined by your interactions with that third grade teacher and those basic rules of grammar.

Of course. That is irrelevant to the question of whether or not I am corresponding with you volitionally.

While there is an entity that is you and is making conscious choices, who you are was all determined beforehand and is being determined now, dependant on what has already happened.

Who I am? Perhaps. What I do? Not at all. The fact that I at some point took typing lessons just means I can type my replies more quickly than I would otherwise, for example.

But any reflection on his choices is determined by what has already happened previously.

"Determined"? Not at all. Note that if the child values possessing the pretty bee more than he values having a "sting free" finger, he may choose to grasp it again anyway.

In his mind as it is all happening, there is a systematic order of thoughts continuing the chain of cause and effect, and he isn't "free" in an absolute sense to make just any choice.. only one choice is going to be made because of all that has happened before.

Of course only one choice will ultimately be made in any particular case. We cannot grasp and not grasp the same bee at the same moment in time. But that is not predetermined by all that has happened before. The child may choose to immediately grasp the bee, or leave it alone and grasp the next one, or follow it for a while and then grasp it, or search for a bottle with a cap in which to capture it. But in every case, it is the child who decides which course of action he will take. The child is not acting as a programmed automaton.

And I, at least I think, what I am saying is that we have no ability to initate action.

We don't? Who is it then who is typing these messages?

Look at the weather, for example.

What relevance does weather have to a discussion of volition? Storm clouds are not living entities.

Our ability to create new actions was given to us by the processes before, and we are just an individual perspective experiencing this body and mind carrying out these processes.

You mean our consciousnesses are nothing more than passive observers along for the ride in a body over which they have no control? That is demonstrably untrue. You are in essence telling me that you had no choice but to respond to my last post -- that something other than "you" compelled your fingers to type that message. If you really believe this, there is no point continuing this discussion. I hope you enjoy your ride through life as a passenger.

If you are saying that free will is the ability to make a choice, then I still do not argue with that.

Good.

I fully realize that I can make a choice... but what I am questioning is who "I" is.

That is a question for a different thread, no?

What I question is... is there actually a choice being made?

Wait a minute! You just said there was a choice being made but that you were unsure who it was making the choice. Make up your mind.

If free will is the ability to make a choice, and we as humans are able to make choices, then animals and computers ALSO have free will. Right or wrong?

Some living entities possess volition, true. Computers? At this point, I doubt it.

Definitely not free of cause and effect. A computer program designed to pick "random" numbers never actually picks a random number.

What I typed wasn't random. I deliberately chose each and every "word" in that string. As a matter of fact, I went back a few times and changed some of the "words" before finally sending the post. No one forced me to invent the word "nt'aaki". I invented it of my own volition. I didn't just randomly hit keys to come up with it.

pinky


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Re: "Freewill problem" check [Re: Phred]
    #2434906 - 03/15/04 02:29 PM (17 years, 7 months ago)

> No one forced me to invent the word "nt'aaki". I invented it of my own volition.

Just because you don't perceive anybody forcing you, doesn't mean that they didn't.


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