Is free will all or nothing?

General philosophy discussions. If you are not sure where to place your thread, please post it here. Share favorite quotes, discuss philosophers, and other topics.

Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby thinker4life on August 24th, 2017, 10:01 am 

RJG » August 23rd, 2017, 10:35 am wrote:
thinker4life wrote:Here's my definition of free will:

6. Free will is defined as:
A) Nondeterminism - That multiple potential outcomes are possible when a person makes a decision
B) A being’s conscious effort to make one of them more likely has a statistical impact on the likely outcome of which possibility the being experiences. In layman’s terms, if you choose to try to do something, it's more likely to happen.

Thinker, here are some of the initial problems that I see:

1. Definition -- Your definition does not match that which is commonly understood as free-will. Free-will is commonly understood as the conscious power/ability to ‘determine’ (choose/cause/control) something. Your inclusion of “nondeterminism” seems a bit suspect. To me, it appears that you have created a “strawman” (named “free-will") so that you can then prove that "free-will" (this strawman) exists.

I think you're saying that you believe because I've proven non-determinism, I've proven that things can't be determined. I think you're caught up on language - Non-determinism does not mean things aren't determined... It means that they're not 100% predictable by the laws of physics. Things still happen in a non-deterministic world, its just that they happen based on forces other than the laws of physics (free will and/or randomness). Hope that helps clarify for you. My argument is not a strawman, its a very meaningful definition of free will, and yes it departs from the literature, but I'd argue my definition is both probable and useful. If you disagree feel free to state why.
2. Part B of your definition is logically flawed (…Neuro also spotted this logical error) -- you pre-assume the conclusion (“beg the question”) with your “if you choose to try to do something, it’s more likely to happen” statement. You are pre-assuming that ‘free-will’ exists in the first place so as to then be able to do this “choosing”.

I think your point is that my way of communicating my definition in laymen's terms is not precise
If you're going to point out flaws, please don't point them out in the "laymen's view" perspective... This is for descriptive capability because some of the people who read my papers don't have the background that all of you have. Rely on the actual content of the proof to provide criticism. If you have a criticism with the precise wording I put just before the laymen's terms, please point it out.


3. "Conscious effort" -- A) conscious effort requires free-will, which begs the question again! and B) conscious effort is logically impossible. It is not logically possible to consciously 'do' anything, including consciously doing/exerting "effort". Everything that we are conscious of, is of a past event, there is no opportunity to do/cause anything, as the doing/causing has already been done.

You seem to state that conscious effort requires free will... I disagree... The dictionary definition of conscious is "aware of one's own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc." Notice free will or the ability to make choice is not part of it. If the world were deterministic, conscious effort could be the result of nature and nurture, and be deterministic. consciousness can exist in a deterministic world.
4. The 'fatal' problem (imo) is that your entire underlying argument is based on flawed logic --

[list]P1. Free-will is non-deterministic.
P2. Non-determinism exists.
C1. Therefore free-will exists!

*******


So referring back to the proof, that's not my logic. My logic, to simplify is:
1. The world is non-deterministic
2. The future is determined by some combination of the laws of physics along with randomness and/or free will
3. According to Occam's razor, free will's existence is a better explanation for our illusion of free will than randomness, so I suggest free will exists.

Let me know if you see a flaw in my actual logic, feel free to point it out, but what you thought was my argument is not my actual argument. If you can quote the text that lead you to misunderstand, feel free to add comments in the google doc and I will revise for clarity.
thinker4life
Member
 
Posts: 105
Joined: 04 Jul 2017


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby thinker4life on August 24th, 2017, 10:02 am 

RJG » August 23rd, 2017, 10:35 am wrote:
thinker4life wrote:Here's my definition of free will:

6. Free will is defined as:
A) Nondeterminism - That multiple potential outcomes are possible when a person makes a decision
B) A being’s conscious effort to make one of them more likely has a statistical impact on the likely outcome of which possibility the being experiences. In layman’s terms, if you choose to try to do something, it's more likely to happen.

Thinker, here are some of the initial problems that I see:

1. Definition -- Your definition does not match that which is commonly understood as free-will. Free-will is commonly understood as the conscious power/ability to ‘determine’ (choose/cause/control) something. Your inclusion of “nondeterminism” seems a bit suspect. To me, it appears that you have created a “strawman” (named “free-will") so that you can then prove that "free-will" (this strawman) exists.

I think you're saying that you believe because I've proven non-determinism, I've proven that things can't be determined. I think you're caught up on language - Non-determinism does not mean things aren't determined... It means that they're not 100% predictable by the laws of physics. Things still happen in a non-deterministic world, its just that they happen based on forces other than the laws of physics (free will and/or randomness). Hope that helps clarify for you. My argument is not a strawman, its a very meaningful definition of free will, and yes it departs from the literature, but I'd argue my definition is both probable and useful. If you disagree feel free to state why.
2. Part B of your definition is logically flawed (…Neuro also spotted this logical error) -- you pre-assume the conclusion (“beg the question”) with your “if you choose to try to do something, it’s more likely to happen” statement. You are pre-assuming that ‘free-will’ exists in the first place so as to then be able to do this “choosing”.

I think your point is that my way of communicating my definition in laymen's terms is not precise
If you're going to point out flaws, please don't point them out in the "laymen's view" perspective... This is for descriptive capability because some of the people who read my papers don't have the background that all of you have. Rely on the actual content of the proof to provide criticism. If you have a criticism with the precise wording I put just before the laymen's terms, please point it out.


3. "Conscious effort" -- A) conscious effort requires free-will, which begs the question again! and B) conscious effort is logically impossible. It is not logically possible to consciously 'do' anything, including consciously doing/exerting "effort". Everything that we are conscious of, is of a past event, there is no opportunity to do/cause anything, as the doing/causing has already been done.

You seem to state that conscious effort requires free will... I disagree... The dictionary definition of conscious is "aware of one's own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc." Notice free will or the ability to make choice is not part of it. If the world were deterministic, conscious effort could be the result of nature and nurture, and be deterministic. consciousness can exist in a deterministic world.
4. The 'fatal' problem (imo) is that your entire underlying argument is based on flawed logic --

[list]P1. Free-will is non-deterministic.
P2. Non-determinism exists.
C1. Therefore free-will exists!

*******


So referring back to the proof, that's not my logic. My logic, to simplify is:
1. The world is non-deterministic
2. The future is determined by some combination of the laws of physics along with randomness and/or free will
3. According to Occam's razor, free will's existence is a better explanation for our illusion of free will than randomness, so I suggest free will exists.

Let me know if you see a flaw in my actual logic, feel free to point it out, but what you thought was my argument is not my actual argument. If you can quote the text that lead you to misunderstand, feel free to add comments in the google doc and I will revise for clarity.
thinker4life
Member
 
Posts: 105
Joined: 04 Jul 2017


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby Braininvat on August 24th, 2017, 12:46 pm 

Going over the lines of your proof:

1: not supported by the regular pattern of causality observed by most branches of science. Even quantum events resolve deterministically at the macro scale. (see Dfly on decoherence)

2. The "combination of" is an assertion, unproven, and does not follow from 1. And your choice of the word "determined" appears to contradict your whole argument. And "some combination" is a vague equivocation that has no place in either science or philosophy.

3. Does not follow from 2, and uses Ockham's Razor to choose from a false dichotomy. The most probable explanation for an illusion ("our illusion of free will") is that it is an illusion, generated by sophisticated processing in the brain. Saying that it's either due to free will (actual) or randomness is the Fallacy of the Excluded Middle. Many explanatory choices are not simply binary.
User avatar
Braininvat
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 6500
Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Black Hills


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby RJG on August 24th, 2017, 2:09 pm 

thinker4life wrote:My argument is not a strawman, its a very meaningful definition of free will, and yes it departs from the literature, but I'd argue my definition is both probable and useful.

Is your definition of free-will the ‘same’ or ‘different’ as the commonly understood definition of free-will?


thinker4life wrote:My logic, to simplify is:

1. The world is non-deterministic
2. The future is determined by some combination of the laws of physics along with randomness and/or free will
3. According to Occam's razor, free will's existence is a better explanation for our illusion of free will than randomness, so I suggest free will exists.

No offense Thinker, but this is not logically coherent. This does not show any logical connectivity to the conclusion (that ‘free-will exists’).

Item 3 is especially non-sensical --

To claim that “free-will exists” because our illusion-of-free-will is best explained (via Occam’s razor) by the existence-of-free-will is non-sensical.

One could likewise claim that “magic exists” because the illusion-of-magic is best explained by the existence-of-magic.
User avatar
RJG
Banned User
 
Posts: 964
Joined: 22 Mar 2012


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby thinker4life on August 24th, 2017, 3:37 pm 

Braininvat » August 23rd, 2017, 11:20 am wrote:
DragonFly » August 22nd, 2017, 8:44 pm wrote:
thinker4life » August 22nd, 2017, 8:57 pm wrote:I'm the most knowledgeable person of the last few millennia on this subject


Thanks for the humor (my will couldn't resist).


That was worth a chuckle or two. He has already shown he does not understand compatibilism or quantum decoherence, so I feel no need to pursue this further.

And both Neuro and RJG seem to have noticed the logic problem in T4L's proof. Well done.


I do understand compatibilism and have disproved it, by disproving determinism.

quantum decoherence is not a required part of my proof, and nobody has used it to create a convincing argument of why free will can't exist, so I'm not sure how this is relevant.

Neuro and RJG's points have been counter-argued successfully, there is no logic problem in the proof that anyone has been able to call attention to you.

That said you have the free will to choose to disengage if you want, whether you know it or not.
thinker4life
Member
 
Posts: 105
Joined: 04 Jul 2017


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby thinker4life on August 24th, 2017, 3:59 pm 

DragonFly » August 23rd, 2017, 12:22 pm wrote:
thinker4life » August 23rd, 2017, 5:14 am wrote:We've already refuted your timing argument. A free will decision can easily be made earlier and manifest moments later.


You didn't show what would control the will to not do its normal will or what the mechanism is for this 'what'?.


I think you're asking me to explain for you the mechanism by which free will works -- If I'm correct, that's beyond my understanding. I've only shown that it exists and sentient beings make non-deterministic decisions. If there is a god, I think he's the only one that really knows how free will works... Good luck finding anyone who can answer that question. Just because you can't explain how something works doesn't mean it doesn't work. Think quantum entanglement... Nobody can explain it, but it happens.
thinker4life » August 23rd, 2017, 5:14 am wrote:I also agree my will made the decision. However I claim it does so non-deterministically because of "decisions" made by a "sentient being".


That's not a good "because"; it gives a sentient being some unspecified special power. The claim remains a claim.

I regret to inform you, but I have proven that human beings have a specified special power, I call it free will and I proved we have it. I can't explain to you exactly how it works and I don't know if we'll ever be able to, but I have proven that it exists and that we make non-deterministic decisions. If unexplainable things bother you and you want science to have all the answers, I would say you're worshipping science in the same way that a devoutly religious person worships religion: blindly. I've proven that science can't answer all questions (indirectly in this paper, explicitly in another paper) accurately, which means we do indeed have the "special power" of free will. Sorry to stamp on your science parade where you believe science is the answer to all questions -- its not. It has the answer to most questions, but questions like "What's the meaning of life" will never be answered by science. That's the realm of theoretical philosophy, spirituality, and religion. If you want me to share that paper let me know and I'm happy to.
thinker4life » August 23rd, 2017, 5:14 am wrote:To claim that a being always uses its will to provide for the organism's continuance ignores the behavior of war heros who sacrifice their lives to save others, and people who, unfortunately, choose to commit suicide.


You slipped in "always". "In general" doesn't mean "always". Apparently, the specifics of the individual can rule.

Not an intentional misquote, sorry about that. If you say will is in general for survival but sometimes not, what determines if its for survival or not, if not will? Free will is a perfect explanation for why both are options.

thinker4life » August 23rd, 2017, 5:14 am wrote:If you feel your life's decisions -- like when you choose to drink a glass of water - are randomly determined and out of your control - I would be quite surprised and you'd be the first person I know to feel this way.


More slipperiness. I said that 'random' would be rare, and that's even if it is so that it can even get through or matter. It seems possible, so I allow for it.

Nothing slippery about my response, there is about yours. You're claiming that our illusion of free will is determined by randomness over admitting that free will is the more likely answer (given we have proven non-determinism). I'm not going to bother arguing with you if you take that stance, because I consider it so fringe that nobody else will agree with you.

If the world were deterministic, you could easily argue free will doesn't exist. Once you admit I've proven the world non-deterministic, the fact is the future is determined by some combination of randomness and/or free will. The illusion of free will we have is much more easily and better explained by Occam's razor by us actually having free will than to say that randomness someone presents itself as if its free will. Human beings observe randomness, we can detect it. Our feelings about our decisions are quite different from observations of randomness. If you agree that I've proven the world is non-deterministic, and you think randomness is more likely to account for our illusion of free will than the fact that we have free will, I will stop replying to your emails and we can agree to disagree. That's not a point I'm going to argue with you.
thinker4life » August 23rd, 2017, 5:14 am wrote:its possible that your conscious brain (this is what I suspect) is directing the prior free will decision, which creates not only the illusion of free will but the reality of it. None of what you said contradicts the definition of free will as I stated. The hundreds of trillion neural connections all contribute as the consciousness steers the free will decision, its simply that there's "something more" playing into the conversation as well -- a non-deterministic "entity" that we think of as ourselves, or a "sentient being".


What higher/better method does consciousness use to make its standalone will that can direct/steer the neural will by being smarter?


I genuinely don't understand what you're asking here. Please rephrase more clearly or if we're at the point of agree to disagree it won't be relevant.
thinker4life » August 23rd, 2017, 5:14 am wrote:I think I already addressed that people are good observers of random behavior, and none of us feel that all our actions are randomly decided, so if I have sufficiently proved that the world is non-deterministic (feel free to criticize that part of the proof), I think the easy part of the proof is to say that our perception of free will is a more logical explanation than randomness for our perceptions.


Totally "not determined" is, well, not ever determined by anything, which equals completely random always.

"Not determined" and "Non-deterministic" are not the same thing. Non-deterministic just means its not predictable by the laws of physics. This introduces the possibility that the future is determined by some non-deterministic forces -- the two we have conceived of so far are randomness (as you mention) and free will. As I said, if you feel its more likely that randomness drives your life after knowing some combination of these two options are the natural result of non-determinism, we will agree to disagree.
How does the will become free of itself? How does its probability set get altered/steered by some higher authority? Sentience? A soul? A seer? Dwelling on the topic?

All I've done is prove free will exists, I didn't write a treatise on the origin of free will... That's a much harder question to answer and while i've started exploring it I don't have a definitive answer. My best guess right now is that free will evolved over time, but the religious people would argue that god bestowed it upon sentient beings. Knowing how free will came about is not necessary for recognizing that it exists now, so I'll simply answer you directly and say "I don't know" the origins of free will.
And of course dwelling on something in the extreme can bring on thoughts of the same, even to the point of a persistent thought problem that dogs you all the time.

[/quote]
I think I've handily refuted all your points, no problems dogging me here.
thinker4life
Member
 
Posts: 105
Joined: 04 Jul 2017


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby thinker4life on August 24th, 2017, 4:08 pm 

Braininvat » August 24th, 2017, 11:46 am wrote:Going over the lines of your proof:

1: not supported by the regular pattern of causality observed by most branches of science. Even quantum events resolve deterministically at the macro scale. (see Dfly on decoherence)

2. The "combination of" is an assertion, unproven, and does not follow from 1. And your choice of the word "determined" appears to contradict your whole argument. And "some combination" is a vague equivocation that has no place in either science or philosophy.


I don't understand what you're referring to here, can you quote the paper, or better yet add comments in the paper itself where you have concerns. Science doesn't always know definitive answers, especially in the medical field the concept of "some combination" is regularly used. Saying it has no place in science or philosophy is, quite frankly, wrong, its used regularly for things that are beyond current comprehension. Incidentally, I think you're talking about the fact that I said the future is determined by some combination of randomness and free will, in which case I do specify which of the two I've proven determine the future, so the only open question in my proof is whether randomness determines the future or not. I haven't proven anything about that yet.

3. Does not follow from 2, and uses Ockham's Razor to choose from a false dichotomy. The most probable explanation for an illusion ("our illusion of free will") is that it is an illusion, generated by sophisticated processing in the brain. Saying that it's either due to free will (actual) or randomness is the Fallacy of the Excluded Middle. Many explanatory choices are not simply binary.

[/quote]
I say "illusion of free will" to make you feel better, because its a term we can all agree on that we feel. Ockham's Razor says that the simplest explanation that explains the phenomenon observed is the most likely to be true. Given we're in a science-dominated world right now, thinking the laws of physics are all that determine the future would be the first conclusion people will come to as to what determines the future... Its what I used to believe before I proved myself wrong (again, I was a hard determinist atheist before I wrote this proof). Once I disproved determinism, there had to be some non-deterministic forces at work. The fact that we have the illusion of free will puts the possibility that free will is real back on the table at that point. Randomness is also a non-deterministic force we feel we observe in addition to the illusion of free will. The question is, if one the other or both of those forces are acting, what's the most logical explanation for the fact that we feel like we have free will -- I'd argue its that we actually have free will.

As I said in my last post, if you at least can recognize that I've disproved determinism, and that the future is determined by randomness, free will, or both... and after coming to this conclusion you still choose not to believe in free will, but that somehow randomness is masquerading to give the illusion of free will, I will agree to disagree with you and politely say I think you're being stubborn. Ockam's razor is on my side.
thinker4life
Member
 
Posts: 105
Joined: 04 Jul 2017


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby RJG on August 24th, 2017, 4:13 pm 

thinker4life wrote:Neuro and RJG's points have been counter-argued successfully, there is no logic problem in the proof that anyone has been able to call attention to you.

Now you are being dishonest.
User avatar
RJG
Banned User
 
Posts: 964
Joined: 22 Mar 2012
Braininvat liked this post


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby thinker4life on August 24th, 2017, 4:19 pm 

RJG » August 24th, 2017, 3:13 pm wrote:
thinker4life wrote:Neuro and RJG's points have been counter-argued successfully, there is no logic problem in the proof that anyone has been able to call attention to you.

Now you are being dishonest.


That's an ad hominem, which I believe is against the forum rules. If you have some example of an argument which I have not successfully counter-argued or a flaw in the proof I haven't been able to successfully explain the answer to, feel free to state it, but calling me a liar doesn't make it so. If its true, prove it with quotes and words, not by stating personal attacks.
thinker4life
Member
 
Posts: 105
Joined: 04 Jul 2017


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby mitchellmckain on August 24th, 2017, 4:53 pm 

thinker4life » August 24th, 2017, 9:02 am wrote:
So referring back to the proof, that's not my logic. My logic, to simplify is:
1. The world is non-deterministic
2. The future is determined by some combination of the laws of physics along with randomness and/or free will
3. According to Occam's razor, free will's existence is a better explanation for our illusion of free will than randomness, so I suggest free will exists.

Let me know if you see a flaw in my actual logic, feel free to point it out, but what you thought was my argument is not my actual argument. If you can quote the text that lead you to misunderstand, feel free to add comments in the google doc and I will revise for clarity.


Like I said before, I am inclined to criticize this so called proof even when I do believe free-will exists.

1. It cannot be objectively established that the world is non-deterministic, only that it is not deterministic within the premises of the scientific worldview namely local causality and realism (see Bell's inequality). But people can and have postulated a deterministic worldview outside these premises. I don't embrace these myself but I don't see any way they can be proven wrong.

2. This needs some clarification/elaboration as well as criticism. The universe is deterministic on the large scale in the sense that as long as you overlook the fact that no hidden variables exist (within the premises of local causality and realism) to determine certain quantum events, cause moves to effect in a deterministic manner. However, once you reach beyond the scientific worldview to other causes then your conclusions no longer have an objective basis and you are just stating your subjective beliefs and this cannot be considered a proof of any kind.

3. First of all, Occam's razor is a highly flawed argument. What determines the truth in science is not simplicity but accuracy. There is nothing simple about General Relativity and Quantum Field Theory. Simplicity is therefore quite irrelevant. Far more relevant is whether elements have been introduced in a theory which are unfalsifiable, unverifiable, or untestable and that is quite often the real flaw involved when people invoke Occam's razor.

Secondly, it is a highly questionable claim that any use of the idea of free will can be called simpler than alternatives. Free will is in fact difficult to even define in a logically consistent manner. And then there is the rather big problem of whether this is even falsifiable or testable. The incompatibilist view of free will might have been falsified if the Bell inequality held, but since it has not we are left in much the same position as many other subjective beliefs where they cannot be proven wrong but there is no way to test the versions of the belief which are compatible with scientific findings.

At best your claim that free will is a "better explanation" is only a subjective judgement on your part. That it works better for you in your own personal philosophy and the living of your life is not something we have any good reason to doubt. But this falls completely short of a reason for a reasonable expectation that others should agree with your point of view, and that is what the word "proof" means.

Let me remind you that I also believe in free will. But what I do not believe in is the validity of your claim to have proved it. I strongly recommend that you back away from such a claim and re-examine what it means to prove something. Just because something is correct doesn't mean an argument for it is valid and pushing an unsound argument for it means that you are pushing other things which may not only be incorrect but also ultimately harmful. It is the sort of thing I see theists doing all the time in their enthusiasm for proofs for the existence of God which are not objectively valid.
User avatar
mitchellmckain
Active Member
 
Posts: 1224
Joined: 27 Oct 2016


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby thinker4life on August 24th, 2017, 8:14 pm 

mitchellmckain » August 24th, 2017, 3:53 pm wrote:
thinker4life » August 24th, 2017, 9:02 am wrote:
So referring back to the proof, that's not my logic. My logic, to simplify is:
1. The world is non-deterministic
2. The future is determined by some combination of the laws of physics along with randomness and/or free will
3. According to Occam's razor, free will's existence is a better explanation for our illusion of free will than randomness, so I suggest free will exists.

Let me know if you see a flaw in my actual logic, feel free to point it out, but what you thought was my argument is not my actual argument. If you can quote the text that lead you to misunderstand, feel free to add comments in the google doc and I will revise for clarity.


Like I said before, I am inclined to criticize this so called proof even when I do believe free-will exists.

1. It cannot be objectively established that the world is non-deterministic, only that it is not deterministic within the premises of the scientific worldview namely local causality and realism (see Bell's inequality). But people can and have postulated a deterministic worldview outside these premises. I don't embrace these myself but I don't see any way they can be proven wrong.

Its ok Mitch, I know we agree on free will, but I want your honest opinion, so let's discuss it. To be honest I'd like us to come to consensus that my proof is either right, in which case we should both continue to share it, or it's wrong, in which case I may become a determinist again.

Did you read how I disproved determinism in the proof? To summarize, I basically explained why the laws of physics themselves can't determine the next moment in time alone, by transforming the universe and the laws of physics into a black box from Godel's incompleteness theorem. It seems pretty convincing to me, but if you can find some reason that the laws of physics can indeed accurately prove the future precisely and accurately you'll become famous, because you will proven Heisenberg's uncertainty principle wrong as well.

As for Bell's theorem, its perfectly compatible with everything I've written. Bell's theorem states:
"No physical theory of local hidden variables can ever reproduce all of the predictions of quantum mechanics."

Free will and randomness in the universe are not local hidden variables, which I presume means predictable variables, so everything I've written is compatible with Bell's theorem.

2. This needs some clarification/elaboration as well as criticism. The universe is deterministic on the large scale in the sense that as long as you overlook the fact that no hidden variables exist (within the premises of local causality and realism) to determine certain quantum events, cause moves to effect in a deterministic manner. However, once you reach beyond the scientific worldview to other causes then your conclusions no longer have an objective basis and you are just stating your subjective beliefs and this cannot be considered a proof of any kind.

Mitch, I made two statements which I defined as free will. I think I have adequately proven them in my paper, if you have some reason that there's a fault with the proof, I encourage you to add comments to the text in the proof that you have concerns with, and I will address it there. With all due respect, my proof is not subjective beliefs... its a logical proof using computer science theorems and logical postulates and rules of inference. If you see some part of it you feel is unsubstantiated, please feel free to point it out directly in the document. A blanket statement saying I'm being subjective without any evidence isn't something I can defend against other than to point you to read the whole proof again. I hope you understand and agree... and look forward to your pointing out if there are any subjective statements made in my proof.

3. First of all, Occam's razor is a highly flawed argument. What determines the truth in science is not simplicity but accuracy. There is nothing simple about General Relativity and Quantum Field Theory. Simplicity is therefore quite irrelevant. Far more relevant is whether elements have been introduced in a theory which are unfalsifiable, unverifiable, or untestable and that is quite often the real flaw involved when people invoke Occam's razor.

It seems like it may be helpful for me to explain Occam's razor, as your description of it seems inaccurate. Occam's razor says: "plurality should not be posited without necessity". In the case of general relativity and quantum field theory, the plurality described is necessary, because we got to a level of measurement that was so precise that newtonian physics no longer described what was being observed. Before we were so accurate, something more specific than newtonian physics wasn't a necessity.

The point is that Occam's razor explains the best current explanation of something at the current time. I recognize that its not an infallible method to use... and I accept if you choose not to accept it as I said in prior posts. If you recognize that I have proven non-determinism, and you recognize that the universe's future is determined by some combination of the laws of physics and free will and/or randomness, and you choose to believe that its the laws of physics and randomness not free will, I'm not going to argue with you about that. I claim by Occam's razor that free will is a more logical explanation, but anyone who wants to claim randomness is the more likely cause is, quite frankly, not worth my time to debate with. So I will agree to disagree with anyone who makes that claim.

Secondly, it is a highly questionable claim that any use of the idea of free will can be called simpler than alternatives. Free will is in fact difficult to even define in a logically consistent manner. And then there is the rather big problem of whether this is even falsifiable or testable. The incompatibilist view of free will might have been falsified if the Bell inequality held, but since it has not we are left in much the same position as many other subjective beliefs where they cannot be proven wrong but there is no way to test the versions of the belief which are compatible with scientific findings.

I agree free will is difficult to define in a logically consistent manner, but I believe I have done so. I had to re-state the current theory of the definition of free will in more precise terms to do it in a logically consistent way, but I took care to do so. If you see a fault with my definition, add a comment to the google doc and point out the fault with my definition. I think I have clearly stated what I intended to prove, and clearly proved it. If you find any fault with my premises or arguments, point them out in the paper. Saying that what I did was difficult and therefore isn't possible isn't an argument I can respond to, because its not a criticism of my argument. I know what I did was difficult, and it may have flaws, that's why I'm vetting it here and with other thinkers in other forums... to strengthen the argument or prove myself wrong... the way to do that is to discuss the content of what I've written not to say that it's a difficult thing to do and therefore impossible.
At best your claim that free will is a "better explanation" is only a subjective judgement on your part. That it works better for you in your own personal philosophy and the living of your life is not something we have any good reason to doubt. But this falls completely short of a reason for a reasonable expectation that others should agree with your point of view, and that is what the word "proof" means.

Let me remind you that I also believe in free will. But what I do not believe in is the validity of your claim to have proved it. I strongly recommend that you back away from such a claim and re-examine what it means to prove something. Just because something is correct doesn't mean an argument for it is valid and pushing an unsound argument for it means that you are pushing other things which may not only be incorrect but also ultimately harmful. It is the sort of thing I see theists doing all the time in their enthusiasm for proofs for the existence of God which are not objectively valid.

[/quote]
I have said in my last several posts, which you may not have seen from a timing perspective, that if the people on this forum can accept that at least I have disproven determinism and shown that in addition to the laws of physics, either free will and/or randomness determine the future, I consider that enough. I will back off from any further convincing from there. I agree that from that point, saying that free will is true is a bit of a leap of faith, but I don't think its an unreasonable one. It should be less so for you if you believe in free will.

If you feel anything in my proof is incorrect, I invite you to criticize that content. If any part of my proof is unsound, highlight it and comment on it and state why you believe its unsound. I've vetted this paper with quite a few people, including PHD's in philosophy who specialize in free will, and nobody has found any solid flaw in my logic. That said, it may still be there, and I welcome you to try your best to point it out. If you do point out a flaw that I can't patch up in the proof, I will do as you say and stop saying I've proven free will. If you can't point out any flaw, my claim that I've proven free will stands.

Saying other people try to push inaccurate proofs of inaccurate things and therefore my proof is invalid is a fallacy. The one has no bearing on the other.

Kind regards,
Thinker4Life
thinker4life
Member
 
Posts: 105
Joined: 04 Jul 2017


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby Positor on August 24th, 2017, 10:29 pm 

thinker4life » August 23rd, 2017, 11:30 am wrote:
Positor wrote:
For situations in which it is hypothesized a person's conscious decision has a high probability of affecting what they do, we can record a person's decision and the expected outcome.

We can record their decision and the expected outcome, yes – but this does not prove that the decision was really conscious. Their 'consciousness' of it might be epiphenomenal.

I don't remember saying this or so it in my post, were you quoting someone else?

The quote in blue above is from page 10 of your paper.


On the question of determinism versus non-determinism, my view is that determinism accounts for our impression that (a) we have free will, and (b) that it is effective. Specifically:

(a) Neurological processes occur in a largely (perhaps almost completely) deterministic manner, as a result of prior states; there are no random macroscopic discontinuities. These neurological processes underlie consciousness, including the illusion of free will.

(b) The apparent effectiveness of our supposed free will relies on determinism. If there were a significant degree of randomness at the macroscopic level, we would sometimes notice unaccountable conflicts between our will and our subsequent actions ("hey, why did I just do that?"), and between our actions and their effects ("hey, why did that happen?").

Determinism provides the necessary orderliness to enable the will>action>effect progression to operate reliably. Some true randomness may or may not exist at the quantum level; but if it does, it is irrelevant to the illusion of free will.

Your 'proof' invokes Occam's Razor. You believe that actual free will is the best explanation for our impression of free will. So you have a total of three possible influences in the universe:

(a) determinism;
(b) randomness;
(c) free will.

But since I believe that determinism itself can account for our impression of free will, I have a total of only two possible influences in the universe:

(a) determinism;
(b) randomness.

So I think Occam's Razor is on my side!
Positor
Active Member
 
Posts: 1058
Joined: 05 Feb 2010


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby mitchellmckain on August 25th, 2017, 3:55 am 

While I am discussing, questioning, and critiquing thinker4life's paper in PM, I wanted to raise here a consideration of the definition he gives for free will.

Free will is defined as:
a. Nondeterminism - That multiple potential outcomes are possible when a person makes a decision
b. A being’s conscious effort to make one of them more likely has a statistical impact on the likely outcome of which possibility the being experiences. In layman’s terms, if you choose to try to do something, it's more likely to happen.


a. Nondeterminsm definitely makes this an incompatibilist definition of free will. This is good for me since I am an incompatibilist and wouldn't consider the compatibilist version to be free will at all.
b. I do not agree with this part. Even if a being's conscious effort towards a particular outcome did not make this outcome more likely then I would not equate this with a lack of free will. It is sufficient that his efforts have any effect whatsoever on the future even if it is only his upon his own mental state such as his conception of self.
User avatar
mitchellmckain
Active Member
 
Posts: 1224
Joined: 27 Oct 2016


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby thinker4life on August 25th, 2017, 7:57 am 

RJG » August 24th, 2017, 3:13 pm wrote:
thinker4life wrote:Neuro and RJG's points have been counter-argued successfully, there is no logic problem in the proof that anyone has been able to call attention to you.

Now you are being dishonest.


Brainvat, this was an ad hominem attack, and you liked the post. It shows you're not an objective moderator when you call one side of an argument (the one you don't agree with) out for ad hominem attacks and then support the other side.

I have refuted every argument and nobody has claimed any of me statements as wrong. So far as I can tell my statement was very honest, and I will called dishonest, which is a personal attack. Then the moderator likes that? What kind of forum are you running here? Is it one with an "in" crowd that gets the support of moderators and one with an "out" crowd that doesn't? Brainvat you have a lot to learn about how to be a good moderator.

I apologized for my personal attack, I await RJG's apology now.
thinker4life
Member
 
Posts: 105
Joined: 04 Jul 2017


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby thinker4life on August 25th, 2017, 8:04 am 


On the question of determinism versus non-determinism, my view is that determinism accounts for our impression that (a) we have free will, and (b) that it is effective. Specifically:

(a) Neurological processes occur in a largely (perhaps almost completely) deterministic manner, as a result of prior states; there are no random macroscopic discontinuities. These neurological processes underlie consciousness, including the illusion of free will.

(b) The apparent effectiveness of our supposed free will relies on determinism. If there were a significant degree of randomness at the macroscopic level, we would sometimes notice unaccountable conflicts between our will and our subsequent actions ("hey, why did I just do that?"), and between our actions and their effects ("hey, why did that happen?").

Determinism provides the necessary orderliness to enable the will>action>effect progression to operate reliably. Some true randomness may or may not exist at the quantum level; but if it does, it is irrelevant to the illusion of free will.

Your 'proof' invokes Occam's Razor. You believe that actual free will is the best explanation for our impression of free will. So you have a total of three possible influences in the universe:

(a) determinism;
(b) randomness;
(c) free will.

But since I believe that determinism itself can account for our impression of free will, I have a total of only two possible influences in the universe:

(a) determinism;
(b) randomness.

So I think Occam's Razor is on my side!


I had to cut some things because of the 3 embedded quote rule... Some bad coding by whoever developed this forum. It was nice that we get to use it, but only 3 quotes is a really silly limitation...

Thanks for providing the context, I re-read that portion of the paper and refreshed myself with its context.

Fair point Positor, I understand how you came to your conclusion and it is logical... but I believe I have disproved the theory of determinism. What say ye to that?

Thinker4Life
thinker4life
Member
 
Posts: 105
Joined: 04 Jul 2017


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby thinker4life on August 25th, 2017, 9:21 am 

mitchellmckain » August 25th, 2017, 2:55 am wrote:While I am discussing, questioning, and critiquing thinker4life's paper in PM, I wanted to raise here a consideration of the definition he gives for free will.

Free will is defined as:
a. Nondeterminism - That multiple potential outcomes are possible when a person makes a decision
b. A being’s conscious effort to make one of them more likely has a statistical impact on the likely outcome of which possibility the being experiences. In layman’s terms, if you choose to try to do something, it's more likely to happen.


a. Nondeterminsm definitely makes this an incompatibilist definition of free will. This is good for me since I am an incompatibilist and wouldn't consider the compatibilist version to be free will at all.
b. I do not agree with this part. Even if a being's conscious effort towards a particular outcome did not make this outcome more likely then I would not equate this with a lack of free will. It is sufficient that his efforts have any effect whatsoever on the future even if it is only his upon his own mental state such as his conception of self.


Hi Mitchell,

I think we actually agree about b, and if there's a way to re-state it that makes that more clear let me know. My only intent is to say that conscious effort and use of free will makes the desired outcome more likely to happen. That could include your example of a conception of self.

To everyone else,

Mitchell had to good criticisms of my proof in private posts -- the first two valid criticisms voiced in this forum, quite frankly, which required some edits to the paper. I'll summarize them as I've updated the paper to account for them:
1. He mentioned that I stated 3-space and 4-space are infinite in size, and that it was unnecessary for the proof and that I didn't adequately prove it. I agreed on all fronts and removed the statement.
2. He mentioned that I defined the physical state of the universe as points of mass-energy. That's how I was taught the universe worked in college, but I understand our understanding of the physical universe is slightly different now. Either way is fine, the important part is that the physical universe does have some physical and objective state at time t. I have re-phrased the paper (hopefully in all the relevant places) to account for this more generic description of the universe that allows my definition to stand up to quantum theory, and the theory that the smallest observable units are fields not points of mass-energy in space. Either way the rest of the proof works, I've just rephrased to account for these not-safe-assumptions, and phrased the paper in such a way that the reader can believe in any physical representation of the universe they want, and the proof will still hold.

Thanks Mitchell for your feedback, I credited you as a reader at the end of the paper to thank you for your contribution, if you want me to remove the credit let me know and I will.
thinker4life
Member
 
Posts: 105
Joined: 04 Jul 2017


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby Positor on August 25th, 2017, 9:29 am 

thinker4life » August 25th, 2017, 1:04 pm wrote:Fair point Positor, I understand how you came to your conclusion and it is logical... but I believe I have disproved the theory of determinism. What say ye to that?

Just to be clear: by "determinism" I was not referring to the theory that everything is completely determined, but simply to an orderly, predictable, non-random progression from cause to effect. This is how the universe works at a macroscopic level, and apparently the processes in the brain are sufficiently macroscopic for quantum randomness to have little or no effect there. So the universe is partly deterministic and (perhaps) partly random, but I believe it is the deterministic aspect that underlies our impression of free will.

As to whether you have disproved the theory of (complete) determinism — I have to say I am not sure. I still have an open mind as to whether quantum uncertainty arises from true randomness, or whether it can be accounted for by some hidden-variable theory. Your 'proof' involves Gödel's incompleteness theorem, but as far as I am aware this only applies to abstract mathematics and logic, not physics. See the section headed "Appeals to the incompleteness theorems in other fields" in the Wikipedia article. A logical argument depends on the truth of its premises, and I am not sure that your premises are watertight.

Be careful not to confuse epistemology with ontology. It may be the case that the universe is completely deterministic but that we can never know that it is.

But, if my view about free will is correct, a disproof of (complete) determinism would be of no use, since I believe that our impression of free will is compatible with both complete and partial (but macroscopically near-complete) determinism.
Positor
Active Member
 
Posts: 1058
Joined: 05 Feb 2010


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby neuro on August 25th, 2017, 9:48 am 

I believe that this thread has gone far enough.
thinker4life is quite content of his "proof", he even refined some wording based on suggestions he received via PM, and he refuses to consider any objection posted here.

The following is a mere example:
thinker4life » August 24th, 2017, 3:02 pm wrote:
3. "Conscious effort" -- A) conscious effort requires free-will, which begs the question again! and B) conscious effort is logically impossible. It is not logically possible to consciously 'do' anything, including consciously doing/exerting "effort". Everything that we are conscious of, is of a past event, there is no opportunity to do/cause anything, as the doing/causing has already been done.

You seem to state that conscious effort requires free will... I disagree... The dictionary definition of conscious is "aware of one's own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc." Notice free will or the ability to make choice is not part of it. If the world were deterministic, conscious effort could be the result of nature and nurture, and be deterministic. consciousness can exist in a deterministic world.

So, thinker4life looked up "conscious" in the dictionary.
Possibly, he forgot to look up "effort", which actually implies will - I am not going to look it up in the dictionary.

So I believe this thread should be locked.
If any forum moderator disagrees with this decision, please unlock back the thread.
User avatar
neuro
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 2635
Joined: 25 Jun 2010
Location: italy


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby Braininvat on August 25th, 2017, 10:31 am 

thinker4life » August 25th, 2017, 4:57 am wrote:
RJG » August 24th, 2017, 3:13 pm wrote:
thinker4life wrote:Neuro and RJG's points have been counter-argued successfully, there is no logic problem in the proof that anyone has been able to call attention to you.

Now you are being dishonest.


Brainvat, this was an ad hominem attack, and you liked the post. It shows you're not an objective moderator when you call one side of an argument (the one you don't agree with) out for ad hominem attacks and then support the other side.

I have refuted every argument and nobody has claimed any of me statements as wrong. So far as I can tell my statement was very honest, and I will called dishonest, which is a personal attack. Then the moderator likes that? What kind of forum are you running here? Is it one with an "in" crowd that gets the support of moderators and one with an "out" crowd that doesn't? Brainvat you have a lot to learn about how to be a good moderator.

I apologized for my personal attack, I await RJG's apology now.


Your words were dishonest. Your claim to have "successfully" countered Neuro's and RJG's points was untrue. The logic problems (and unproven assumptions) pointed out by at least 3 members are real, and you refuse to acknowledge them. Your notion that you "have refuted every argument" is arrogant and grandiose, and suggests someone who has come here for validation rather than critique.

The "Like" button indicates agreement with RJG. You may not be consciously trying to be dishonest, but that is how your posting came across, and therefore the response is legitimate.

You can either leave SPCF viewing yourselt as a misunderstood martyr, or you can go and devote yourself to studying the literature on determinism/compatibilism/free will, with a more open mind. Up to you.
User avatar
Braininvat
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 6500
Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Black Hills


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby Braininvat on August 25th, 2017, 1:46 pm 

If this forum is unlocked, I would ask you, T4L, and others, to refresh themselves on the prominent philosopher Galen Strawson....

The contemporary philosopher Galen Strawson agrees with Locke that the truth or falsity of determinism is irrelevant to the problem. He argues that the notion of free will leads to an infinite regress and is therefore senseless. According to Strawson, if one is responsible for what one does in a given situation, then one must be responsible for the way one is in certain mental respects. But it is impossible for one to be responsible for the way one is in any respect. This is because to be responsible in some situation S, one must have been responsible for the way one was at S−1. To be responsible for the way one was at S−1, one must have been responsible for the way one was at S−2, and so on. At some point in the chain, there must have been an act of origination of a new causal chain. But this is impossible. Man cannot create himself or his mental states ex nihilo. This argument entails that free will itself is absurd, but not that it is incompatible with determinism. Strawson calls his own view "pessimism" but it can be classified as hard incompatibilism


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galen_Strawson#Free_will

How would you counter Strawson's logic on the problem of an infinite regress? It seems to strike at the heart of our causal intuitions about how brains work, without getting all knotted up over determinism. Those of you who are very concerned about logic should find much to consider in an approach that depends on logic and not on the current trends in physics.

In philosophy, we do not sit down at our desk and reinvent the entire history of thought on our own. As the genius once remarked, "I stand on the shoulders of giants." It is very important to be able to answer thinkers like Strawson. Schopenhauer, Baron D'Holbach, Robert Kane, and Dennett, before embarking on one's own theoretical journey.
User avatar
Braininvat
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 6500
Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Black Hills


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby DragonFly on August 25th, 2017, 4:01 pm 

THE UNIVERSAL ACID

As a student in Dan Dennet’s chemistry class,
I imagined, as did many,
About the following scenario often thought of:

I mixed two compounds, which, unfortunately,
Produced the ultimate acid.

Nothing could contain it.
It quickly ate though the container,
The floor of the laboratory,
And then even all the way through the Earth,
Eventually sloshing some poor sap in China.


This, too is what happens to us, through education,
As our chemical-bio-electric nature is revealed to us,
Taken as some kind of giant shock,
After which we will never be the same again,
As perhaps some are now reeling from.

The biochemical mush that is us,
When fully realized,
Leaves us stunned and astounded.
We grasp for what we once thought we were before,
But, it eludes us in the new light of learning.

The universal acid of such knowledge
Eats through all superstitions, folk tales, and myths.
Nothing can contain it.

We may come to even regret
Our learnings of this condition,
For it dissolves our container,
Leaving us floundering in the lurch.

But, wait, it’s not so bad, is it,
For what we are is how it works well,
Although we must do as we must.

We still have experiences
And adventures, and learnings that await.

The light of education ever shines brightly.
Many dark alleys remain to be explored/abandoned,
Given new insight into the human condition.
User avatar
DragonFly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2307
Joined: 04 Aug 2012


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby neuro on August 25th, 2017, 8:09 pm 

Braininvat » August 25th, 2017, 6:46 pm wrote:
...
This is because to be responsible in some situation S, one must have been responsible for the way one was at S−1. To be responsible for the way one was at S−1, one must have been responsible for the way one was at S−2, and so on. At some point in the chain, there must have been an act of origination of a new causal chain. But this is impossible. Man cannot create himself or his mental states ex nihilo. This argument entails that free will itself is absurd, but not that it is incompatible with determinism.


I am pretty fine with this. But this is also the reason why I think there is some value in the title of this thread: if free will must be all-or-none, i.e. according to "crisp logics", then obviously there is no way it can occur.

But if you look at things as Strawson does - and I humbly also do, though coming from a different path - then the person one IS at state S-1 IS the one responsible for the choice in situation S (not some self-made - ex nihilo - man).

In some cases choices are predictable, and determined by clear causes.
Still, at situation S-n this person might have faced a choice - possibly even a trivial one - in front of which she was profoundly uncertain, a choice which was not at all predictable because it might have been different if she had to wait a single second more before performing it. We all have lived such situations, in which we were almost certain of the validity of a choice and after a moment, reconsidering it under a different perspective, we were equally inclined to pick the alternative choice.

If you were to agree on this, then the person at state S might well be considered as the mere product of nature and nurture, but she might alternatively be considered as the product of all that plus the choices she made under situations of profound uncertainty (as just described). Each of these choices (in situation S-n) would have influenced all the successive states of the person (from S-n to S).

Each of these choices would have been made by the person and in the mean time they would define the person as she is now. So, I believe that even in this infinite-regress view a margin of responsibility can be attributed to the person.

What I am suggesting is that if we abandon for an instant the classical crisp logic (yes/no, true/false) and indulge a bit to the wonderful innovation of fuzzy logics, then we might agree that responsibility does exist and that free will is neither pure nor non-existent, it rather is a concept that makes sense and exists "to a certain extent".

To what extent?
To the extent that every moral choice (I am no more talking about trivial ones) are made by weighting a number of aspects: physiological needs, affects, care for the loved ones, social regulations, fear of punishment / long for reward, care of one's self-image, aggressiveness, rage and revenge, saving the Planet...
And sometimes the weights are almost equivalent on the two plates of the scale, and our choice fluctuates - yes, no, dunno, might be, better not... - and we may call "free will" the way we get out from these impasses, which is not predictable, not even by ourselves.
We may call "free will" the way we learn to privilege one or the other aspect in search for our realization and happiness. I.e. the way WE build ourselves, the way the WE(S-1) builds the US(S), not the way some kind of formed essence, that was there since the beginning, built us.

I am sorry.
I might be simply begging the question. I am stronger in fuzzy than crisp reasoning.
User avatar
neuro
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 2635
Joined: 25 Jun 2010
Location: italy


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby parsoff on January 23rd, 2018, 9:29 am 

AbstractNeuron » December 12th, 2016, 2:20 am wrote:Do you think free will is something you have or you don't have or that there are varying degrees of free will? And why if ideas are available!


I think you have free will. Can make it clear with this this example:
-The modern human is study'n behavior of different animals including the own specie.
In the study comes to the foreground that there is an alpha male, the one that is the strongest, that has the right to mate with the females.
From this study a modern human thinks that this is very primitive behavior and don't like it too much to live as a male in that way.
Then this modern human makes with his free will a decision not to behave like animals in the wild and stop this alpha male behavior.

From a study and with free will there is choice made to live modern and let go of the primitive way of life.

This is one example of free will.

There are also varying degrees because of residue's of behavior, some are deeper then others what makes your free will vary.
parsoff
Member
 
Posts: 102
Joined: 26 Apr 2013


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby RJG on January 23rd, 2018, 10:00 am 

Parsoff, this is just "begging the question" (aka "pre-assuming the conclusion"). In essence, you are saying -- free-will exists/happens, because free-will existed/happened.
User avatar
RJG
Banned User
 
Posts: 964
Joined: 22 Mar 2012


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby parsoff on January 23rd, 2018, 1:14 pm 

RJG » January 23rd, 2018, 4:00 pm wrote:Parsoff, this is just "begging the question" (aka "pre-assuming the conclusion"). In essence, you are saying -- free-will exists/happens, because free-will existed/happened.


Then i have to say it more simple like 'Yes, i have free will'.
If you ask me 'Can you give an example?', then i can give answer of how i use free will.
It is something i use, so that makes it my will. I see that my will is free.
parsoff
Member
 
Posts: 102
Joined: 26 Apr 2013


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby mitchellmckain on January 23rd, 2018, 9:49 pm 

Dave_Oblad » December 23rd, 2016, 3:14 pm wrote:Hi All,

Sorry.. I said I wouldn't come back again, but there is an extremely valuable point that gets overlooked in these: Compatibilism.

This is Free Will mixed with Hard Determinism.

Best expressed as:
You are Free to design your future for your best interests and happiness.
Caveat:
If you could rewind Time "perfectly" for the whole Universe, say 1000's of years back.
It would play out exactly the same, every single time, after a rewind.

That's all Hard Determinism does.

Incorrect. Hard determinism turns the world into an inanimate 4 dimensional object like a video tape. Such an object has no life or consciousness. You can play the tape forward or backward because it is just a collection of pictures strung together. We connect the pictures of a film together with meaning because we are different. We live between a past which fixed and a future which is a superposition of possibilities and our choices play a role in determining which of those possibilities are realized. That is what gives them meaning. But the video tape has only the illusion of life. There are no people there -- just images. It really is nothing but a collection of colors printed in chemicals on a plastic film or other such medium. And if we improve the media to make them 3 dimensional, add smell as well as sound, and even give it tangibility like a Star Trek holodeck, it doesn't change the nature of the thing in the slightest. It remains an inanimate object.

Dave_Oblad » December 23rd, 2016, 3:14 pm wrote:It doesn't interfere with your ability to do what you want, when you want, or remove any responsibility from your actions.

The deterministic linearity of the video doesn't interfere with anything because none of the cause for what is on the film can be found in the video at all. The film is a product of agencies outside the film altogether. So whether you think the causality lies in a divine author or in something else the point is that there is no ultimate causality in the film itself -- no life, no consciousness, no free will, just an inanimate object.

But we know from quantum physics that this is not what the real world is like -- not a chain of dominoes where everything is determined by something long ago or outside of itself. Instead the universe is full of first causes -- events for which no hidden variables exist. And some of those causes like within, so the choices we make decide between possible futures -- filling every moment with crucial significance. Not so with a book or video-tape which doesn't really have to make sense because isn't real anyway -- just an illusion.

Dave_Oblad » December 23rd, 2016, 3:14 pm wrote:Think of it like a Movie. You can watch a Movie and witness all the characters using their Free Will to form the plot of the Movie. But no matter how many times you replay the Movie, it always plays the same. That's Compatibilism for you.

That is exactly right. Compatiblists choose the illusion of life and free will over the real thing, because a movie film really has none of these things at all.

Dave_Oblad » December 23rd, 2016, 3:14 pm wrote:So, I don't get what all the fuss is about. I'm free to design my future.. that's all that is important. It doesn't matter if my future is fated.. it is the one I wanted and designed for myself.. anyway I cut it.

Yes, you are free to design your future. But the characters in books and films do not, and you know this -- no freedom, no creativity, and no intelligence. They follow a script written by somebody else. Both their stupidity and cleverness is pure illusion -- a device often without any real substance when you look more carefully at it, because it is ultimately created like a painting to entertain others and it is only what the audience thinks and feels that really has any meaning whatsoever.
User avatar
mitchellmckain
Active Member
 
Posts: 1224
Joined: 27 Oct 2016


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby parsoff on January 25th, 2018, 3:48 am 

-"If you could rewind Time "perfectly" for the whole Universe, say 1000's of years back.
It would play out exactly the same, every single time, after a rewind."

Would it mean anything if you play it out from the big bang?

Is there from the start of the big bang 'a plan', like Dave Oblad say only '1 plan' because it gives every time the same result, a plan that every time creates Einstein that finds E=mc2?

Or do we need to think more black and white that there is the pure natural way of creates and life on Earth and this thinking of humans separated?
Then white is for example the pure natural life and black is all what comes from humans.
parsoff
Member
 
Posts: 102
Joined: 26 Apr 2013


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby mitchellmckain on January 25th, 2018, 6:41 pm 

parsoff » January 25th, 2018, 2:48 am wrote:-"If you could rewind Time "perfectly" for the whole Universe, say 1000's of years back.
It would play out exactly the same, every single time, after a rewind."

No, the universe is not a videotape. You could perhaps make such a videotape of time past, but the videotape would be something different than the universe. It would have no living conscious people any more than a history book or a historical movie does -- just another inanimate object no matter how fancy its simulation of past events might be.

What the mathematics of the Everett interpretation tells us that starting at any particular time the universe can play itself out in many different ways and there are no hidden variables to determine which one. Whether it is because all of them play out in a superposition, or because the superposition of possibilities collapse into a singular actuality, the result for those living in the universe is the same. The future is unwritten and you cannot play it like a videotape at all.

parsoff » January 25th, 2018, 2:48 am wrote:Would it mean anything if you play it out from the big bang?

Sure... It means that some of the spontaneous symmetry breaking events can go in quite different directions and you could end up with a universe in which no life life develops.

parsoff » January 25th, 2018, 2:48 am wrote:Is there from the start of the big bang 'a plan', like Dave Oblad say only '1 plan' because it gives every time the same result, a plan that every time creates Einstein that finds E=mc2?

The findings of science says this is not the case if you stick to what science can actually measure. It is only if you imagine things outside the presumptions of the scientific worldview that you can rescue determinism.

parsoff » January 25th, 2018, 2:48 am wrote:Or do we need to think more black and white that there is the pure natural way of creates and life on Earth and this thinking of humans separated?
Then white is for example the pure natural life and black is all what comes from humans.

Most black and white thinking is pretty silly, but that is the silliest I have ever heard. It is human arrogance in reverse. Why should the creations of humans be any different from the hives created by wasps, the tunnel systems of moles, the nests of birds, or any of the things created by multi-cellular organisms in their cooperative technology? Life is a creative process and what humans do is just more of the same.
User avatar
mitchellmckain
Active Member
 
Posts: 1224
Joined: 27 Oct 2016


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby parsoff on January 26th, 2018, 5:59 am 

mitchellmckain » January 26th, 2018, 12:41 am wrote:
parsoff » January 25th, 2018, 2:48 am wrote:-"If you could rewind Time "perfectly" for the whole Universe, say 1000's of years back.
It would play out exactly the same, every single time, after a rewind."

No, the universe is not a videotape. You could perhaps make such a videotape of time past, but the videotape would be something different than the universe. It would have no living conscious people any more than a history book or a historical movie does -- just another inanimate object no matter how fancy its simulation of past events might be.

What the mathematics of the Everett interpretation tells us that starting at any particular time the universe can play itself out in many different ways and there are no hidden variables to determine which one. Whether it is because all of them play out in a superposition, or because the superposition of possibilities collapse into a singular actuality, the result for those living in the universe is the same. The future is unwritten and you cannot play it like a videotape at all.

parsoff » January 25th, 2018, 2:48 am wrote:Would it mean anything if you play it out from the big bang?

Sure... It means that some of the spontaneous symmetry breaking events can go in quite different directions and you could end up with a universe in which no life life develops.

parsoff » January 25th, 2018, 2:48 am wrote:Is there from the start of the big bang 'a plan', like Dave Oblad say only '1 plan' because it gives every time the same result, a plan that every time creates Einstein that finds E=mc2?

The findings of science says this is not the case if you stick to what science can actually measure. It is only if you imagine things outside the presumptions of the scientific worldview that you can rescue determinism.

parsoff » January 25th, 2018, 2:48 am wrote:Or do we need to think more black and white that there is the pure natural way of creates and life on Earth and this thinking of humans separated?
Then white is for example the pure natural life and black is all what comes from humans.

Most black and white thinking is pretty silly, but that is the silliest I have ever heard. It is human arrogance in reverse. Why should the creations of humans be any different from the hives created by wasps, the tunnel systems of moles, the nests of birds, or any of the things created by multi-cellular organisms in their cooperative technology? Life is a creative process and what humans do is just more of the same.


What i meant with black and white is not to place the human outside nature. Just what human produced from knowledge, tools ect.


I did not say this and i thought you knew as you quoted in the previous post about it

'If you could rewind Time "perfectly" for the whole Universe, say 1000's of years back.' << This comes from someone else.


Different then i could have a thought that there is an infinite possibilities of freedom every second in the universe without that it would mean a thing like something from a higher source God.

It is a thought and i am not say'n i'm going to follow that thought, you can think many things during a lifetime.
parsoff
Member
 
Posts: 102
Joined: 26 Apr 2013


Re: Is free will all or nothing?

Postby mitchellmckain on January 26th, 2018, 10:02 pm 

parsoff » January 26th, 2018, 4:59 am wrote:What i meant with black and white is not to place the human outside nature. Just what human produced from knowledge, tools ect.

But I don't think it should be, certainly not a difference to be characterized as black and white.

parsoff » January 26th, 2018, 4:59 am wrote:I did not say this and i thought you knew as you quoted in the previous post about it

'If you could rewind Time "perfectly" for the whole Universe, say 1000's of years back.' << This comes from someone else.

Apologies.

parsoff » January 26th, 2018, 4:59 am wrote:Different then i could have a thought that there is an infinite possibilities of freedom every second in the universe without that it would mean a thing like something from a higher source God.

Of course, freedom should not be confused with control. Just because we are free to make choices regarding how we respond to things doesn't mean we get to decide what ultimately happens.
User avatar
mitchellmckain
Active Member
 
Posts: 1224
Joined: 27 Oct 2016
parsoff liked this post


PreviousNext

Return to Anything Philosophy

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests