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Everything posted by Eise

  1. Made it bold for you... So free will exists?? Is your decision determined or not? I would say we call that 'making choices/decisions'... See, the question is not if we make choices and/or decisions. We do. There are two questions when discussing free will: are choices and decisions determined? can we act according our choices and decisions? I answer both questions with 'yes'. And it is in the second question that the possibility of free will exists. We simply cannot always act according our choices and decisions, I can be forced to do something I not really want, then we are not free. So you do not think that there is a naturalistic explanation? I think we all (iNow, Studiot, me) see that you don't have a clear viewpoint. It is no use to try to find 'correct' words to hide that fact.
  2. Yes. So you agree that because of the uncaused soul, we can act freely? That is what Descartes says. Because Kant mentions them. Please explain with a real life example (at least we can imagine such a situation as occurring in real life). Is 'will' determined? Always? Or sometimes not? Sometimes? Sometimes the will is determined, and sometimes it is not? Please, give an example here as well.
  3. I am glad to agree with Hume and Daniel Dennett. Descartes was a dualist, who maintained that there are 2 substances, res extensa (~ matter), and res cogitans (~ soul). Because the soul exists independently of the physical world, we can be free. Do you still agree with Descartes? In his Critique of Pure Reason, Kant describes how our knowledge of the world is 'filtered' by the so-called categories. One of them is causality. That means we see the world as determined. But then in his ethical work, The Critique of Practical Reason, he states that to understand our moral reasoning, we need 3 concepts: immortailty, freedom and God. Do you still agree with Kant? Absolutely no, of course. But you said 'will' is a question of decisions and choices. And now you must refer to the possibility to act on those decisions and choices.
  4. No. Freedom to act is one thing. Freedom to make a choice is something different. Please answer my question.
  5. And that is my point: we do not have to look there. You are who you are, because of your genes, your culture, your biography, etc. E.g., when somebody does not like chicory, she cannot do much to change that. But she can act according to her preferences: just not eating them, even if if it is a real option (see my restaurant example here).
  6. So sometimes we are not determined? That makes you a believer in libertarian free will. But on the other side you write: Italics by me. Yes, it is. The will is free to act. Simply said: you can do what you want, but you cannot want what you want: that is a logical absurdity. Would you call somebody free who makes free decisions, but is never able to act according these decisions?
  7. This is a joke. iNow has a pretty clear viewpoint, I just do not agree with him. You, on the other side, are hiding your inconsistencies behind words ('restricted', 'conditioned'). Unless you can illustrate them with more or less real life examples it is not clear what you mean. They are just words, not concepts, as you use them. (But I don't know if you know the difference between words and concepts...) So this falls completely back on you.
  8. Nice poetic expression! So far I agree. But then... Obviously, yes, it is needed. Being a system, say with input and output, not looking at the output is quite an omission. More concrete, omitting the causal influence of human agents, you only have half of the story. The question is not how our motivations came into existence, but how I am able to act based on them: can I act according to them, or not? ... and there is the trouble with modal logic. Say, I am in a restaurant with a few friends. The restaurant has 3 different dishes, A, B and C. I choose dish C. I can choose C, because it is on the menu. And the proof is, that I get dish C. Could I have done otherwise? Well, yes, and the proof is that one of my friends took dish A. So if I had wanted dish A, I could have taken it. Now I go with the same friends to another restaurant, which only has dishes A and B. In a very true sense, I cannot choose dish C, because it is not on the menu. Now, this is not a question of free will or not. Dish C is just a none existing option. Another week, I go with a group of vegetarians to the first restaurant, and C is a dish with meat. One of my friends is an 'aggressive vegetarian', and he forbids me to take dish C. So the option for dish C exists, I want to take it, but I am overruled by this aggressive vegetarian. So, acting against my own will, I take dish A. So the meaning of 'could have done otherwise' is: if I had wanted to do X, I would have been able to do X. And that is just a normal counterfactual statement, such as 'the water would have boiled, if it would have been heated long and strong enough'. These are perfect true/false statements. Yep. And I claim that this definition is just closer to our experience of free will. One should get rid of ideological remnants in what many people associate with the concept of free will. My definition is direct and simple: if you can act according your beliefs and wishes, you have free will. no 'could have done otherwise' in some metaphysical meaning no contradiction with naturalism no contradiction with determinism no 'uncaused agents' fits to how we experience free will Yes, because the classic meaning is wrong. It does not apply to anything in our experience. The classic meaning was born from Christian theology, and has obviously still to shake off its metaphysical contents. No necessity for metaphysics if you take a definition that is grounded in our daily experience.
  9. Yes, thanks for the explanation, I really needed that . Your OP was about the Space Shuttle. It was not able to reach escape velocity. And for reaching the moon one does not need the 'full escape velocity': reaching the point where the gravitation of earth an moon exactly cancel is enough. But then, for the return trip, you still need fuel to reach that point again, against the gravity of the moon.
  10. It is not. It is getting rid of remnants of medieval, Christian ideology. It should explain how an omni-benevolent creator makes a universe in which evil exists: it is the free will that allows people to do evil. God is not responsible. Its modern descendant is the concept of 'libertarian free will': that we can intervene in the otherwise determined universe. (Recognise, @martillo?). Why should we not look more precisely what we exactly mean, when we say that an action is free? Calling such an investigation a 'semantic trick' doesn't do justice to this endeavor. Of course we are. Everything that can partake in causal relationships is a causal agent. What you mean is that we, as causal agents, are not caused ourselves: that is the illusion of libertarian free will. The point compatibilists are making is that our personal motivations are part of the causal network. And if we, so to speak, can play out our motivations in our actions, then these actions are free. That is exactly one side of the coin. The other is that we have causal impact, just as any other thing in the universe. And our motivations are part of the causal network. One other point that bewitches many people: the so called laws of nature are not laws that enforce us to act in certain ways. They are descriptions of how nature behaves, which includes us. But descriptions cannot enforce anything. We are just part of the flow of the history of the universe. Yes, we are caused, but we also 'cause'. Deterministic incompatibilists have a tendency to overlook the second point. This second point makes us causal agents.
  11. But those Large Language Models are based on deterministic and digital programs! Not quantum computing, no analog systems (that can have some imprecision compared to a digital computer). How can a guaranteed deterministic system shed light on 'the mystery of decisions and choices', that, according to you, are not determined?
  12. And how would you like to solve this mystery? Scientific investigation (neurology)? But given that determinism is an assumption of being able to do science, how can you expect a none-deterministic explanation? In other words, you shift your 'explanation' of '(a tiny bit of) free will' to a mystery. That is not acceptable, not for science, and not for philosophy. Fully embracing determinism however 'evaporates' the problem. We then only have to carefully investigate what we mean, when we are assuming free will. 'Acting according your preferences' is the meaning that works in relevant contexts, and is not inconsistent with determinism, and so not with naturalism and science.
  13. Are 'choices' and 'decisions' determined? Don't you think there is a neural correlate to decisions and choices? If not, where do they come from? And do not forget that actions often are based on choices and decisions. You do not get away so easy...
  14. And I do not understand why you do not see that this is a contradiction. 'Everything' includes playing dogs and humans sending space probes to Mars. So the playing dogs and we also obey the laws of physics, so how can these 'intervene'? Let's make a formal argument: Your premises: Everything in the universe obeys the laws of physics. Dogs and humans can intervene in the deterministic flow of the universe Conclusion: Dogs and humans do not exist in this universe. So hidden in your position is dualism: there is an aspect of reality, as illustrated with your playing dogs and humans sending a space probe to Mars, that is not subject to the laws of physics. And this is simply a gap in your explanation. Where does this "degree of freedom" come from? It cannot lie in the 'deterministic part' of the universe, because that is excluded by you ("For me they both cannot coexist simultaneously."). It obviously depends on the definition of 'free will' you are using. In your definition, sure, they are incompatible. But as said above, using your definition, and still allowing for some degree of free will, is inconsistent. In my definition determinism is a necessary condition of free will to exist. My claim is that my definition fits to our experience (we can act according our personal preferences) is not derived from the ideological ballast of Christianity about free will (to explain the existence of evil in the world) is useful in the contexts where the question if an action was free or not is relevant doesn't suffer from all kinds of (modal) logical problems ('could have done otherwise') is consistent with a naturalistic world view
  15. Wasn't it you who said we can use different definitions in different contexts? I gave examples of contexts in which the question if we did something from free will or not, is relevant, and with more or less problems, can be answered (there are of course border cases in which question is not easily answered; also unrealistic science fiction scenarios). For the workings of neurons and their connections the question is irrelevant.
  16. Me neither, not under Martillo's definition. But randomness is even contradictory with my definition of free will. It breaks (however lightly) the connection between me and my actions. Well, it doesn't make much sense to define something in a way that is useless in a context where it is used most: in the practice of blaming and praising, of responsibility, ethics, justice, psychotherapy, etc. A neurologist doesn't need the concept at all to study the nervous system. The only fiction is the illusion of libertarian free will, that determinism is not valid for human actions. If previous conditions are not completely determining our actions, then what does? Randomness is no option.
  17. No, I state you don't know what you yourself are posting. Therefore you should answer my question: how can there exist a 'degree of freedom' in a deterministic world? I think it is the same that Studiot wants to know.
  18. And where does this 'degree of freedom' stems from? Randomness? I think you have not thought through what you are writing here.
  19. It shows the distinction between a free and coerced action. I did not look at the video, and I do not understand what you want to say here: that some form of free will still exists? But how are they, or humans, able to 'escape determinism'? And if they don't then they have no free will at all, according your definition of free will.
  20. Nope. Say, you give a robber your money under threat of a pistol. You made a choice, but it was not free. The robber created a situation in which you did something you would never do based on your own motivations. So one can say you act according your will, but not your free will. Your action was coerced. Actions done under free will are not random. Randomness, one could say, is the opposite of free will, it goes in the same direction as 'unconditioned decisions'. And why should this whole thought process not being determined, working like a (very complex) clockwork? My definition of free will has no problem with that. Leidenfrost effect... One of my sons did a science project about it.
  21. So that is like 'unicorn'. the word is in every dictionary (I assume), even the concept exists (there are stories with unicorns in it). But unicorns do not exist! Same with your definition of free will: it might be that such a definition exists, that there are (philosophical) stories woven around it, but that doesn't mean that it reflects some aspect of reality. And so here I am fully with @iNow: If your actions would be 'independent of any previous condition', they would be absurd, having nothing to do with the situation you are in. Here you seem to contradict yourself: I more ore less read: 'sometimes decisions "uncaused by any previous condition" occur, which means they are caused (conditioned) by previous conditions". That makes no sense. So free will is always a "conditioned" free will: conditioned by external circumstances, but also by your own (true) beliefs, values, motivations, reasons, etc. And if you can act according to them, your action is free, so you have free will. Change of personality is not an obstruction of free will. Both Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde can be free in their actions. The free will lies in the relation between your personality an your actions. You cannot choose who you are, but you can choose what to do. The decisive criterion is if you recognise your actions really as your actions: they are according your own (true) beliefs, values, motivations, reasons. How these are implemented in your body and causally lead to your actions is not a decisive criterion. Maybe Dr Jeckyll does not recognise Mr Hyde's actions as his, because it really was another person. The point with my definition of free will is that it fits to our experience of free will, has (nearly?) no 'metaphysical ballast', and is not in conflict with determinism (quite the opposite!). It doesn't suffer from the conceptual inconsistency of "uncaused by any previous condition", or 'being able to do otherwise".
  22. Also using Brave at work, no problem. And it suppresses really all ads...
  23. Hi @iNow: you did not give examples of definitions, only contexts. Could you give the definitions of free will fitting to the contexts you mentioned?
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