What do you believe?

Topic's posts
Posts in total: 495
--> @Reece
As I stated earlier, choosing between multiple possibilities is the definition of free will.
--> @TwoMan
As I stated earlier, choosing between multiple possibilities is the definition of free will.
But suppose I built a robot that, when presented with multiple options, rolled a dice to select what to do.  According to that definition that robot has free will. 
 

--> @keithprosser
Rolling dice would be considered random. Reasoned thought is not random. I suppose technically, free will could be thought to include randomness based on it's definition but that isn't how it is generally regarded.
--> @TwoMan
How about neural network computers. Do they have free will?
--> @Reece
How about neural network computers. Do they have free will?
Again, based on the strict definition, I suppose they could be thought of that way however that is not how free will is generally regarded. Terminology can always be twisted to mean something that was not intended. Free will is generally considered a human phenomenon.
--> @TwoMan
alright, but you'll be explaining that to your future A.I. overlords.
--> @Reece
alright, but you'll be explaining that to your future A.I. overlords.
I suppose I should "choose" my words carefully then.

--> @TwoMan
How could we ever confirm that we could have chosen differently than we actually did? Once you have made a choice it cannot be undone due to the linear nature of time (or at least our perception of it) that thought A might lead to thought C rather than thought B is all well and good but 9nce it has led to C how exactly do we determine if B was ever even possible? In any case your 'choices' are ALL either subject to cause and effect OR random and no clever mixture of the two leads us to freewill.
--> @secularmerlin
How could we ever confirm that we could have chosen differently than we actually did?
How can we ever confirm that we couldn't have chosen differently? We certainly appear to be making choices. Every human on earth experiences the phenomenon of making choices. Are you certain that making a choice is an illusion? I can't prove my proposition and you can't prove yours. All I can do is say that there are other plausible explanations for free will. One example is from Daniel Dennette. He says the following:

"The model of decision making I am proposing, has the following feature: when we are faced with an important decision, a consideration-generator whose output is to some degree undetermined produces a series of considerations, some of which may of course be immediately rejected as irrelevant by the agent (consciously or unconsciously). Those considerations that are selected by the agent as having a more than negligible bearing on the decision then figure in a reasoning process, and if the agent is in the main reasonable, those considerations ultimately serve as predictors and explicators of the agent's final decision."

I'm not saying that I completely agree with that but it is as reasonable an explanation as the theory that choice is an illusion. Since I find no evidence that the phenomenon that I and everyone else experiences is an illusion, I place a higher probability on the likelihood that we do actually make choices and thus free will is real.


--> @TwoMan
If you have a "consideration-generator whose output is to some degree undetermined" then it is either subject to cause and effect or it operates randomly.
--> @TwoMan
I suppose I should "choose" my words carefully then.
You're choosing your words partially influenced by what I've chosen to say. There are countless things people are influenced by and ignorant of. They all build up into one moment.

Choice / reason isn't in conflict with determinism.
--> @secularmerlin
it is either subject to cause and effect or it operates randomly.
You haven't - as I recall - addressed the idea that 'free will' or 'self' is itself a cause.  If free will exists then it would be the cause of - or contribute towards - our choices.   I'd say it is unreasonable to insist that our choices must be completely causeless to count as having free will.  I think that if choice depend on 'self' that would be 'having free will'.




--> @keithprosser
A causeless choice would be a random event (in fact not a choice at all) and that is incompatible with freewill. If whatever you are calling freewill is a cause it must still itself either have a cause or be a random event both are incompatible with freewill. Keith I would like to believe in freewill I really would! The idea sounds so nice. I get to decide my own fate? Sign me up! Sadly it seems nonsensical.
--> @secularmerlin
Random does not mean uncaused. Random just means that the timing of the effect cannot be predicted.
It is fruitless to argue against free will because doing so would implicate you as a non-rational agent  If you're a non-rational agent then you can't make rational arguments any more than debris falling on a keyboard can.
--> @Fallaneze
Random does not mean uncaused. Random just means that the timing of the effect cannot be predicted.
If it is caused then it is subject to cause and effect. Cause and effect is not compatible with freewill.

--> @Fallaneze
It is fruitless to argue against free will because doing so would implicate you as a non-rational agent  If you're a non-rational agent then you can't make rational arguments any more than debris falling on a keyboard can.
If you are looking to rational arguments to make determinations then these rational arguments can be considered a cause and since you have no personal control over what is rational you can hardly point at this as an argument for freewill.

--> @TwoMan
We certainly appear to be making choices. Every human on earth experiences the phenomenon of making choices. Are you certain that making a choice is an illusion?
Yes I. certain just as Einstein was certain God does not play dice.  Heisenberg ncertainty principle is just our lack of;

1} quantising of utlra-micro gravity (  ) and dark energy )(,

2} ever having having an accounting of the ultra-high number of complex set of relationships that all related ---irrespective of how indirectly---   any single event, or seeming choice, phenomena { illusion of choice }.

A ultra { extrremely } good illusion, is still an illusion.

Uncertainty of mind does not necessitate chaos.  Knowing that and order exists is similar to those religious people who say to just have faith.

We have faith that there does exist an eternal order { integrity }, that is eternally inviolate.

Structural and systemic integrity rules our finite, occupied space Uni-V-erse of eternal transformations.

Overall within a finite occupied space Uni-V-erse, naught is lost or created and that is a cosmic integrity.





--> @secularmerlin
Cause and effect is not compatible with freewill.
Yes it is.

The state of the universe at a given point in time "A" causes me to consider options by reasoning with my subjective human mind "B" which causes me me to take an action "C".

Cause and effect intact, a choice was made as per the definition of free will.

--> @secularmerlin
If whatever you are calling freewill is a cause it must still itself either have a cause or be a random event both are incompatible with freewill.
I still think you're hung up on free will having to be causeless, which of course makes free will incoherent.   But the sort of free will that is desirable puts 'self'' 'in the loop', so to speak.  Until we start thinking about things too hard and become amateur philosophers we start out believing there a self (or 'I') that has at least some say in the things we do.

If you don't believe in free will,do you believe in 'self'?  I don't mean your body.  Bodies are containers or vehicles of the self; the brain may create and support perceptions but it is the self that does the actual perceiving.   If we exchanged selves we would feel we had differnt bodies - our bodies would not feel they had different selves.

I don't mean to insist the self is real - I am describing the concept.

If self exists, then free will is the name given to how the self makes choices.  I think it all a bit dualistic which means I am very biased against it!  But AFAICT pure physicalism has failed to explain subjective consciousness and it's not easy to rule out dualism except on dogmatic grounds!

Dualism would allow self and free will to exist. I agree monist physicalism doesn't seem to have room for it.




--> @TwoMan
which causes me me to take an action "C".
If something caused you to do something you have been compelled you did not choose.
--> @secularmerlin
If something caused you to do something you have been compelled you did not choose.
That is both a logical and semantic distinction that I disagree with.
--> @TwoMan
If something caused you to do something you have been compelled you did not choose.
Unless the thing doing the causing is 'self', or 'you'.


--> @keithprosser
Unless self is definable I'm not sure how we can have a serious conversation about it. 

Also
I still think you're hung up on free will having to be causeless,
If there is a cause then cause and effect if no cause then random happenstance. NEITHER is compatible with the idea of freewill.
--> @TwoMan
That is both a logical and semantic distinction that I disagree with.

Then please provide a (logically coherent) alternative.