Problem about free will

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Tyndmyr
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Re: Problem about free will

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Aug 02, 2016 6:28 pm UTC

Using proxies for your own mental faculties isn't at all weird. If I write a note to myself to do something, I haven't robbed myself of free will. I've merely changed the manner in which I exercise it.

Same, same for working with others. Finding a reliable doctor to assist me is entirely normal, and not really very different from any other field. Doctor's inherently have to make some decisions while their patients are impaired. It can be a straightforward surgery that has complications, and you're knocked out. He's got to actually do the right thing. You exercised your free will earlier, selecting a doctor, deciding to do the surgery or not.

If the standard for "has free will" is able to decide to do anything, RIGHT NOW, well...I guess you don't have free will while asleep?

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Re: Problem about free will

Postby Eternal Density » Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:24 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:
Eternal Density wrote:There's a possibility he may not have considered:
If Adam precommits to take the medicine for a certain finite period, then stop taking it so he can clearly evaluate his actions and determine whether to continue taking it for another finite period, will the medicine prevent him from following the plan?

You are right, I have never thought about that plan. I am not sure if the medicine would allow the plan to work. Let's say Adam agrees to take the medicine for 2 months and then will stop for 1 month. When the end of the 2 months comes around, Adam would not be able to think of any reason to stop taking the medicine, so he would keep taking them. On the other hand, if the doctor gives Adam enough medicine for only 2 months, then he is forced to spend 1 month without the medicine.

If the medicine has such a strong effect that it makes the user forget making a very definite decision to not take it, well it sounds very unsafe and problematic on that ground alone.
morriswalters wrote:
Eternal Density wrote:I conclude that these experiments aren't knock-down arguments against the self / free will.

They are suggestive of the idea that what you consider consciousness, including your internal dialog, are byproducts of related systems of which you are unaware. Dennett discusses the concepts in "Consciousness Explained" and Michael Gazzaniga in "Who's in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain". Both are worth reading and Gazzaniga's is superb.

Everything is a byproduct of related systems of which I am unaware, so I don't find that particularly surprising.
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Re: Problem about free will

Postby jewish_scientist » Wed Aug 03, 2016 1:58 am UTC

elasto wrote:
Spoiler:
jewish_scientist wrote:
elasto wrote:
jewish_scientist wrote:The problem with that is a past decisions, even those that were correct at the time, may not be the best decisions now.

Ok... In which case why wouldn't the doctors simply take him off the medication? The doctors are still capable of weighing the pros and cons even if the patient cannot.

If the doctor is weighing the pros and the cons then the doctor has free will.

elasto wrote:If you no longer trust the doctors' judgement (which is odd, since you trusted them as part of your initial decision), then do what is normally done when a patient has diminished mental capacity and appoint a trusted proxy like a spouse or parent to weigh up the pros and cons and make the final call.

Having doubts about what a doctor tells you is not the same as having diminished mental capacity.

You seem to be shifting the goalposts here.

You said that because Adam does not trust his doctor, his mental faculties must be diminished to the point that a proxy is required to exercise free will on his behalf; it follows that no medicine can rob him of his free will because he no longer has it. I countered by saying that Adam doubts his doctor because of logical arguments he formed, therefor his mental faculties must not be diminished to that degree. If I misunderstood what you meant or did not make myself clear, I apologize.

elasto wrote:Initially, both the doctor and the patient agree that taking the medicine is the best course of action.

The doctor believe that this medicine is the best course of action; however Adam is not convinced that it is.

elasto wrote:Bit weird, because usually medications affect emotions rather than reason, and so far we've been framing this as a 'pros and cons' - ie reason-based decision, but whatever.
elasto wrote:Everyone's emotions influence their interests, which influence what they think about. The medicine affects his emotions so that Adam has no interests in exploring the cons of the medicine.

elasto wrote:Fortunately, the doctor will stop prescribing the medicine if it stops being in the best interests of the patient. Also, we could appoint a proxy who could double-check if there's a weird reason the doctor should be stopping prescribing it but isn't, and give them the authority to refuse the medication on the patient's behalf.

I had not thought of Adam using a proxy to exercise his free will when he personally cannot. I think that this may solve the problem; I have to think about it some more before I accept it though. However, this solution does not apply to all cases since Adam may not wish to appoint a proxy.

Tyndmyr wrote:If the standard for "has free will" is able to decide to do anything, RIGHT NOW, well...I guess you don't have free will while asleep?

I would argue that "person" refers to the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. Because the subconscious is active when someone is asleep, decisions it makes would be an exercise of that person's free will.

On an unrelated note, I just wanted to thank everyone for having this discussion with me. It has been a real long time since I last got a chance to dig into a philosophical problem with some friends.

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Re: Problem about free will

Postby morriswalters » Wed Aug 03, 2016 3:36 am UTC

Eternal Density wrote:Everything is a byproduct of related systems of which I am unaware, so I don't find that particularly surprising.
Everything? :shock:

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Re: Problem about free will

Postby Eternal Density » Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:01 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:
Eternal Density wrote:Everything is a byproduct of related systems of which I am unaware, so I don't find that particularly surprising.
Everything? :shock:
That'll teach me to avoid using generalities :P
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Re: Problem about free will

Postby elasto » Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:29 am UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:The doctor believe that this medicine is the best course of action; however Adam is not convinced that it is.

Ah. I misunderstood the premise. I also fail to see why this is even a question.

If someone doesn't believe a medicine is the best course of action then they shouldn't take it. And, unless they've been sectioned or something, which doesn't seem to be the premise here, they don't have to.

For example, Steve Jobs for a long period of time refused the cancer treatment recommended to him by his doctors, thinking he knew better. It ended up costing him his life, but that was his right. Likewise, some bipolar people don't take their medication because they like the highs more than they dislike the lows.

What's the ethical dilemma here? In particular, how does this process reflect badly on psychology/psychiatry?

If the only reason a person doesn't want to take their medication is because afterwards they won't want to stop taking it, and otherwise all agree the medication has more positives than negatives, I'd argue that's a bad reason not to take it, but we all have the right to make bad decisions.

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Re: Problem about free will

Postby jewish_scientist » Thu Aug 04, 2016 5:20 am UTC

elasto wrote:If someone doesn't believe a medicine is the best course of action then they shouldn't take it. And, unless they've been sectioned or something, which doesn't seem to be the premise here, they don't have to.

A patient could say, "Even though I believe an alternative form of treatment would be more effective, I will consent to the treatment you recommend because I trust you." or, "I wish for you to explain the treatment you recommended to me in more detail, as well as the alternative treatments that you believe are equally or less effective."

What's the ethical dilemma here? In particular, how does this process reflect badly on psychology/psychiatry?

It is not an attack on psychiatry as a whole, only a theoretical practice in it. It is important to examine hypothetical dilemmas like this because they prepare us for similar situations that may happen. The vast majority of science fiction writers agree with me because that is a staple of the genre e.g. Brave New World addresses treatments given to embryos decades before the term 'genetic engineering' was coined.

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Re: Problem about free will

Postby MWak » Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:03 am UTC

From original post:
Because he cannot analyze his actions, he does not have free will.


So if I lose my legs and become unable to walk, does that mean I no longer have free will? That would be preposterous. My example uses a physical loss of ability rather than a mental one, but I don't see how that amounts to a substantive difference.

The statement I quoted does not seem to follow to me. Free will as I understand it is the ability to act, in accordance with your ability and knowledge, according to your own power, rather than as part of a predetermined script. Even using my own definition there are many ways to argue that free will doesn't exist, but nevertheless, I don't believe that not being able to analyze your actions means you have lost your free will. An idiot may be incapable of analyzing his actions, but could he/she still not have free will?

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Re: Problem about free will

Postby Dr34m(4+(h3r » Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:31 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Using proxies for your own mental faculties isn't at all weird. If I write a note to myself to do something, I haven't robbed myself of free will. I've merely changed the manner in which I exercise it.

Same, same for working with others. Finding a reliable doctor to assist me is entirely normal, and not really very different from any other field. Doctor's inherently have to make some decisions while their patients are impaired. It can be a straightforward surgery that has complications, and you're knocked out. He's got to actually do the right thing. You exercised your free will earlier, selecting a doctor, deciding to do the surgery or not.

If the standard for "has free will" is able to decide to do anything, RIGHT NOW, well...I guess you don't have free will while asleep?


Sleep consciousness is largely stochastic, or in some cases guided by the subconscious, sometimes even meaning the higher will. In this sense, sleep is only sometimes a threat to free will, but via indeterminism, not determinism. It's probably worth noting that not everyone has the same level of free will in practice. Will is like a muscle, you have to work it. Everyone is abstractly capable of everything through their character. This is what the phenomenologists proved. But not everyone is concretely capable of everything through their character.

Anyway, going back to the original question, the drug mentioned seems to work a lot like alcohol but with actual medical benefits. People who drink often "lose" the ability to stop drinking, insofar as it becomes invisible to them as an option, as do many other, generally saner possible responses to events. But this doesn't mean these possibilities are irrecoverable, just that they can't be recovered internally. One could easily inculcate the sense to ask other people about it periodically for instance. Or one could do something like this: http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2009/08/ ... our_c.html

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Re: Problem about free will

Postby Cauchy » Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:44 am UTC

There's no flaw in Adam's logic, so far as I can tell, though he's using the term "free will" a little weirdly (which you've explained in subsequent posts, JS). I question what kind of doctor would "tell" a patient what medicine to take as opposed to recommending a medicine, but regardless, if Adam values his ability to accurately weigh pros and cons higher than every other concern combined (which is what it sounds like), then yes, he should not take the medicine.

In general, medicines have many pros and cons, and a person chooses whether to take a medicine after consulting experts and also weighing the pros and cons for themselves. If your complaint against psychiatry is that sometimes medicines have adverse effects, then that's true of almost everything. Adam would not be forced to take the medicine unless he decided to (ignoring the situation where he's deemed incapable of rational decisions), so there's no ethical quandary in the doctor's recommendations. In the case where he's deemed incapable of rational decisions, then the doctors would likely try to restore that functionality, and that would include the ability to accurately weigh pros and cons, the very thing Adam values. At the very least, the doctors would believe that they're helping and not harming Adam with their actions. If your complaint is that doctors are fallible, then that's just a thing that's true.

So I don't see an ethical problem with Adam and this medication.
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Re: Problem about free will

Postby jewish_scientist » Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:54 pm UTC

MWak wrote:From original post:
Because he cannot analyze his actions, he does not have free will.


So if I lose my legs and become unable to walk, does that mean I no longer have free will? That would be preposterous. My example uses a physical loss of ability rather than a mental one, but I don't see how that amounts to a substantive difference.

The statement I quoted does not seem to follow to me. Free will as I understand it is the ability to act, in accordance with your ability and knowledge, according to your own power, rather than as part of a predetermined script. Even using my own definition there are many ways to argue that free will doesn't exist, but nevertheless, I don't believe that not being able to analyze your actions means you have lost your free will. An idiot may be incapable of analyzing his actions, but could he/she still not have free will?

Analysis requires the brain, not the legs; either you did not know that or I do not understand your question. The latter is much more likely to be true than the former. Therefor, I do not understand what you are saying. Can you please explain your point again so that I do understand?

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Re: Problem about free will

Postby Trebla » Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:51 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:Analysis requires the brain, not the legs; either you did not know that or I do not understand your question. The latter is much more likely to be true than the former. Therefor, I do not understand what you are saying. Can you please explain your point again so that I do understand?


Analysis requires the brain in the same way legs require the brain. Losing your ability to use your brain to "analyze" is (in this analogy) functionally identical to losing your ability to user your brain to "walk." In either case, you've only lost a single aspect of your entire ability to carry decision making through into action, neither of these constitutes a loss of free will.

If I lack the ability to analyze <thing>, I don't lack free will... I lack knowledge. Whether <thing> is "my own actions" or "quantum tunneling" doesn't seem to make a difference.

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Re: Problem about free will

Postby Greatest I am » Mon Nov 07, 2016 12:59 am UTC

Zohar wrote:Free will is an illusion. Problem solved.


If it was not your free will that caused you to post, what was it?

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Re: Problem about free will

Postby Greatest I am » Mon Nov 07, 2016 1:05 am UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:Adam has been told to take medicine by his doctor for a psychological illness. There are reasons he wants to take his medicine and reasons he does not; exactly what these reasons are is irrelevant. When he is not on his medicine he can weigh the advantages vs. the disadvantages of taking his medicine; when he is on his medicine however he forgets every reason to not take his medicine, which prevent him from weighing the advantages and disadvantages. Because he cannot analyze his actions, he does not have free will. Therefore, the lose of free will is a reason to not take his medicine. Adam would prefer to be an unhappy freeman than a happy slave. The conclusion he reaches is the regardless of how much benefit the medicine gives him, he should not take it. Is there a flaw in his logic?


Just curious.

Are you trying to justify the Christian take of Eden being man's fall or are you trying to justify the more intelligent view of Eden being where mankind was elevated?

http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2013/10/ ... -theodicy/

"Instead of the Fall of man (in the sense of humanity as a whole), Judaism preaches the Rise of man: and instead of Original Sin, it stresses Original Virtue, the beneficent hereditary influence of righteous ancestors upon their descendants’."

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Re: Problem about free will

Postby jewish_scientist » Tue Nov 08, 2016 1:41 pm UTC

My goal was to answer to question, "Should we forcible change one's beliefs if such a change is to their benefit?" I think that your interpretation is interesting though. Unfortunately, your source is so short that it does not explain anywhere near enough and I was not able to read all of your source's source because I kept raising objects to what was written.

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Re: Problem about free will

Postby PeteP » Tue Nov 08, 2016 1:52 pm UTC

Greatest I am wrote:
Zohar wrote:Free will is an illusion. Problem solved.


If it was not your free will that caused you to post, what was it?

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DL

What was it that caused my computer to just now display your post? A complex interaction between outside stimulus (querying the server) and its current state (mostly the operating system, the browser and some drivers to actually display it.) A brain is far more complex than a computer, but unless you define free will in a way that is compatible with the brain being a very complex machine the answer is essentially the same. (And if you do the answer is still the same just that it is the way your free will makes decisions.)

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Re: Problem about free will

Postby Zohar » Tue Nov 08, 2016 2:00 pm UTC

Greatest I am wrote:
Zohar wrote:Free will is an illusion. Problem solved.


If it was not your free will that caused you to post, what was it?

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DL

Oh I didn't see that before. I explained my reasoning after this post. Basically, my condition at the time made me believe that was the best course of action to maximize my benefit. I had no choice but to follow that course.
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Re: Problem about free will

Postby Greatest I am » Tue Nov 08, 2016 8:06 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:
My goal was to answer to question, "Should we forcible change one's beliefs if such a change is to their benefit?"


I do not think force can change a belief system. Now if you would say the force of a good argument that the other cannot refute, then that kind of force, I would say, can indeed change ideas and beliefs.

I think that your interpretation is interesting though.


It goes better in terms of logic and reason than the Christian take.

Unfortunately, your source is so short that it does not explain anywhere near enough and I was not able to read all of your source's source because I kept raising objects to what was written.


Then set those objects and I can deal with them.

The clincher for me is this. Gen3;22 And the LORD God said: 'Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil;

God seems to be saying that A & E had reached a God like level in terms of knowing good and evil. That in short is saying that A & E developed a moral sense.

Do you see gaining a moral sense as good or evil?

If good, as the Jews saw it, then you will like the Jewish take.

If you see us developing a moral sense as evil, then you are closer to the Christian take.

Christians keep spouting on about A & E disobeying God while ignoring that God's command would have kept A & E without the knowledge that gave them their moral sense and that all who can think would also reject such a stupid and immoral command.

Who do you side with?

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Re: Problem about free will

Postby Greatest I am » Tue Nov 08, 2016 8:11 pm UTC

PeteP wrote:
Greatest I am wrote:
Zohar wrote:Free will is an illusion. Problem solved.


If it was not your free will that caused you to post, what was it?

Regards
DL


What was it that caused my computer to just now display your post? A complex interaction between outside stimulus (querying the server) and its current state (mostly the operating system, the browser and some drivers to actually display it.) A brain is far more complex than a computer, but unless you define free will in a way that is compatible with the brain being a very complex machine the answer is essentially the same. (And if you do the answer is still the same just that it is the way your free will makes decisions.)


So you make your point by answering a question with a question instead of dealing with the question and gaining insight from your answer. Ok.

Let me try again.

If it was not your free will that caused you to post, what was it?

What is causing your biological computer to decide to answer or not, or deflect again to a non-answer?

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Re: Problem about free will

Postby Greatest I am » Tue Nov 08, 2016 8:15 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:
Greatest I am wrote:
Zohar wrote:Free will is an illusion. Problem solved.


If it was not your free will that caused you to post, what was it?

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DL

Oh I didn't see that before. I explained my reasoning after this post. Basically, my condition at the time made me believe that was the best course of action to maximize my benefit. I had no choice but to follow that course.


Sure you had a choice. You could have ignored the benefits. Right?

Regardless, choosing a best course of action is exercising your freedom to choose. Do not get too semantic on me now. This is not rocket science. :lol:

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Re: Problem about free will

Postby Zohar » Tue Nov 08, 2016 9:04 pm UTC

I... could not? What possible reason would I have to ignore what I consider to be the best course of action for myself? I don't have a choice here. I make a judgement call on what I consider "best". What I judge to be best is determined by my experience and mental capacity, no "choice" on my part. Then I'm forced to follow that route. There's no other way.
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Re: Problem about free will

Postby jewish_scientist » Tue Nov 08, 2016 10:39 pm UTC

Greatest I am wrote:If good, as the Jews saw it, then you will like the Jewish take.

If you see us developing a moral sense as evil, then you are closer to the Christian take.

You see, that is exactly the problem. There is enough written on free will based on the Bible to fill libraries. Condensing all of that into a single Yes-No question is simply not possible.

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Re: Problem about free will

Postby elasto » Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:58 am UTC

There are different ways to define free will.

If the question is 'can I do what I want?' then the answer is yes.
If it's 'could I have done anything else?' then the answer is no.

In practice, the former is more useful than the latter.

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Re: Problem about free will

Postby Greatest I am » Wed Nov 09, 2016 4:57 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:I... could not? What possible reason would I have to ignore what I consider to be the best course of action for myself? I don't have a choice here. I make a judgement call on what I consider "best". What I judge to be best is determined by my experience and mental capacity, no "choice" on my part. Then I'm forced to follow that route. There's no other way.


You speak of judgement calls as if they are mot you choosing from variables. You always have a choice to follow an inclination or not. What follows id proof of this.

No one is forcing you to reply to what I just put but you can and will decide and choose whether to reply or not.

That is freedom of choice and an exercise of your free will.

jewish_scientist wrote:
Greatest I am wrote:If good, as the Jews saw it, then you will like the Jewish take.

If you see us developing a moral sense as evil, then you are closer to the Christian take.

You see, that is exactly the problem. There is enough written on free will based on the Bible to fill libraries. Condensing all of that into a single Yes-No question is simply not possible.


Yes it is if you focus just on the question at hand and build a logic trail to your conclusion. Let's try that.

Do you value your moral sense?

If so, you would reject a command to not develop it and eat of the tree of knowledge that gives it.

If not, you will follow the Christian take instead of the Jewish one and curse A & E for eating of that tree.

elasto wrote:There are different ways to define free will.

If the question is 'can I do what I want?' then the answer is yes.
If it's 'could I have done anything else?' then the answer is no.

In practice, the former is more useful than the latter.


I agree that the only limits to our free will to do as we wish is nature and physics.

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Re: Problem about free will

Postby Zohar » Wed Nov 09, 2016 5:18 pm UTC

Greatest I am wrote:You speak of judgement calls as if they are mot you choosing from variables. You always have a choice to follow an inclination or not. What follows id proof of this.

No one is forcing you to reply to what I just put but you can and will decide and choose whether to reply or not.

That is freedom of choice and an exercise of your free will.


You keep saying that, and it's fine if that's how you prefer to define yourself and to think about things, but you're not really explaining your position other than saying "no, you actually do have free will". At least, I don't understand where your reasoning is coming from.

Also, as an aside, please stop double- and triple-posting. You can use the edit button if you need to, or just think a minute and check if there's anything else you want to write before clicking "submit".
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Re: Problem about free will

Postby Greatest I am » Wed Nov 09, 2016 5:20 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:
Greatest I am wrote:You speak of judgement calls as if they are mot you choosing from variables. You always have a choice to follow an inclination or not. What follows id proof of this.

No one is forcing you to reply to what I just put but you can and will decide and choose whether to reply or not.

That is freedom of choice and an exercise of your free will.


You keep saying that, and it's fine if that's how you prefer to define yourself and to think about things, but you're not really explaining your position other than saying "no, you actually do have free will". At least, I don't understand where your reasoning is coming from.

Also, as an aside, please stop double- and triple-posting. You can use the edit button if you need to, or just think a minute and check if there's anything else you want to write before clicking "submit".


What made you choose to reply if not your own free will to do so?

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Re: Problem about free will

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Nov 09, 2016 5:26 pm UTC

Hate, mostly. That's why I'm replying.

Hate of double and triple posting, so knock it off

But I do have a love of David S. Pumpkins, so I got that going for me.
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Re: Problem about free will

Postby Zohar » Wed Nov 09, 2016 5:26 pm UTC

I already explained that earlier in the thread. It's not a very long one, you can easily search my name and read my previous responses.
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Re: Problem about free will

Postby Greatest I am » Wed Nov 09, 2016 5:35 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:I already explained that earlier in the thread. It's not a very long one, you can easily search my name and read my previous responses.


Cop out. If your reply were worthy and clear, I would not have put my question.

The fact that you could not answer in a clear and simple way to what was making your choice if not you, is showing that you do not know.

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Re: Problem about free will

Postby Zohar » Wed Nov 09, 2016 6:29 pm UTC

Again, you're welcome to find my previous answers (which you have clearly not bothered to read), quote them, and tell me what you think doesn't make sense or doesn't work. Just because you came in late doesn't mean I have to repeat myself.
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Re: Problem about free will

Postby Greatest I am » Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:41 am UTC

Zohar wrote:Again, you're welcome to find my previous answers (which you have clearly not bothered to read), quote them, and tell me what you think doesn't make sense or doesn't work. Just because you came in late doesn't mean I have to repeat myself.


If you cannot fathom and recognize that you exercise a free choice when deciding to answer or not, it is pointless for us to chat.

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DL

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Re: Problem about free will

Postby ucim » Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:09 am UTC

Greatest I am wrote:If you cannot fathom and recognize that you exercise a free choice when deciding to answer or not, it is pointless for us to chat.
What is this "you" you keep talking about? What is the mechanism in this "you" that makes the choice? Which part of the mechanism is the "you"?

Recurse until enlightenment.

Jose
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Re: Problem about free will

Postby Greatest I am » Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:02 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Greatest I am wrote:If you cannot fathom and recognize that you exercise a free choice when deciding to answer or not, it is pointless for us to chat.
What is this "you" you keep talking about? What is the mechanism in this "you" that makes the choice? Which part of the mechanism is the "you"?

Recurse until enlightenment.

Jose


You would be whoever you think you are. If you do not know who you are then seek Gnosis.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9QI3nlinYQ

In your case, the you would be whoever decided to ask who "you" is.

Are you there buddy?

If you are, you will follow that link and perhaps learn more about you.

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Re: Problem about free will

Postby Trebla » Thu Nov 10, 2016 3:26 pm UTC

Greatest I am wrote:You would be whoever you think you are. If you do not know who you are then seek Gnosis.


Trivially false... if I think I'm the first (best, strongest, biggest, etc etc etc) man alive, this does not make me that person.

Does your computer have "free will"? Can it make choices based on what it wants? Can my computer "decide" whether or not to post my response? This is the argument when the human brain is reduced to a biological computer. Every calculation and outcome of a person's "decision" is exactly the result of computational processes that can not have been different given the structure of the computer (brain) and the entire set of inputs. What we call "you" is the cumulative result of all these calculations that give an emergent result that is so complex we are unable to trace the exact causes and make reliable predictions.

To say that the outcome could be different, you are implicitly claiming that there is an extra-natural source (a soul or a "mind") that is capable if interacting with the physical world in such a way that cannot be directly detected.

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Re: Problem about free will

Postby Greatest I am » Thu Nov 10, 2016 3:36 pm UTC

Trebla wrote:
Greatest I am wrote:You would be whoever you think you are. If you do not know who you are then seek Gnosis.


Trivially false... if I think I'm the first (best, strongest, biggest, etc etc etc) man alive, this does not make me that person.

Does your computer have "free will"? Can it make choices based on what it wants? Can my computer "decide" whether or not to post my response? This is the argument when the human brain is reduced to a biological computer. Every calculation and outcome of a person's "decision" is exactly the result of computational processes that can not have been different given the structure of the computer (brain) and the entire set of inputs. What we call "you" is the cumulative result of all these calculations that give an emergent result that is so complex we are unable to trace the exact causes and make reliable predictions.

To say that the outcome could be different, you are implicitly claiming that there is an extra-natural source (a soul or a "mind") that is capable if interacting with the physical world in such a way that cannot be directly detected.


This last on a computer was not my position although to some extent, we can see our brains as a biological computer plus sentience. A regular computer has no sentience.

To knowing yourself.

Many live in delusion and my comment was to those who live in reality.

There is only on fittest human and I shall not be deposed. :mrgreen:

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Re: Problem about free will

Postby ucim » Thu Nov 10, 2016 5:56 pm UTC

Greatest I am wrote:You would be whoever you think you are. If you do not know who you are then seek Gnosis.
This sense of "you" is irrelevant to the question. To rephrase, "Does George have free will?" Irrespective of who George "thinks he is", there is some entity which we are calling "George" about which this question is being asked. So long as that entity remains fuzzily unidentified, the question seems well formed, and appears to make sense. But this is illusory.

To the asker of the question (or to the listener; I'll presume perfect memetic transmission), what is this "George" that is being talked about? What is the mechanism in this "George" that makes the choice? Which part of the mechanism is actually "George"

Recurse while not gnostic.

Jose
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Re: Problem about free will

Postby Greatest I am » Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:59 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Greatest I am wrote:You would be whoever you think you are. If you do not know who you are then seek Gnosis.
This sense of "you" is irrelevant to the question. To rephrase, "Does George have free will?" Irrespective of who George "thinks he is", there is some entity which we are calling "George" about which this question is being asked. So long as that entity remains fuzzily unidentified, the question seems well formed, and appears to make sense. But this is illusory.

To the asker of the question (or to the listener; I'll presume perfect memetic transmission), what is this "George" that is being talked about? What is the mechanism in this "George" that makes the choice? Which part of the mechanism is actually "George"

Recurse while not gnostic.

Jose


Regardless of who or what the entity is, if it shows will and motion or decision, and it will or it will likely die, we are forced to say that it is his free will causing the motion, unless we can point to some other entity that is manipulating it.

For instance. If I say that it was not your free will that caused you to post, then I would have to name the will that manipulated you.

Proof of your free will is relatively easy to prove. Proof is in the fact that you can choose to allow your will to be manipulated by another person. Like me for instance.

I invite you to show that you can truly make a choice by asking you to choose to begin your reply to this post with an "I".

Please begin your reply with an "I" to show your ability to give up your free will to start your post with any other letter.

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DL

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Re: Problem about free will

Postby Zohar » Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:06 pm UTC

What you're saying doesn't make sense. You say you can judge if someone has free will solely based on an external view of their actions, which is already ridiculous - what if the person you're talking about is being solely controlled by another figure that has taken over their body? You'd have no way of knowing they're free. What about people who are paralyzed and mute? This is a nonsense criteria.

And Occam's Razor is a poor explanation, especially when you're not giving us any explanation of how that really works.

Not to mention, your claim that "if it was something else I would be able to explain it" also makes no scientific sense. When you find a result inconsistent with a behavior in an experiment, you don't immediately know what's wrong and how to fix your theory, why would you assume the same here?
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Re: Problem about free will

Postby Trebla » Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:52 pm UTC

Greatest I am wrote:Regardless of who or what the entity is, if it shows will and motion or decision, and it will or it will likely die, we are forced to say that it is his free will causing the motion, unless we can point to some other entity that is manipulating it.


This explanation applies to SO MANY THINGS that we don't attribute "free will" to. Chatbots exhibit behavior that could be explained exactly by this... and they're not even alive. They show will, [e]motion, and decision [making ability] (I'm assuming this is what you meant). They will "die" someday. So, apparently, you're forced to say that chatbots have free will?

For instance. If I say that it was not your free will that caused you to post, then I would have to name the will that manipulated you.


This is nonsense. There is no manipulation by another will, because there is no "other will." (I'm over-simplifying the position for brevity).

But, you're claiming there is a supernatural soul beyond your physical body ("biological computer plus sentience"). This is what you're being challenged to demonstrate (that sentience isn't a part of the biological computer). And of course your response is that this isn't measurable or falsifiable, so it can't be demonstrated.

So now we're talking past each other.

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Re: Problem about free will

Postby Greatest I am » Fri Nov 11, 2016 3:11 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:What you're saying doesn't make sense. You say you can judge if someone has free will solely based on an external view of their actions, which is already ridiculous - what if the person you're talking about is being solely controlled by another figure that has taken over their body? You'd have no way of knowing they're free. What about people who are paralyzed and mute? This is a nonsense criteria.

And Occam's Razor is a poor explanation, especially when you're not giving us any explanation of how that really works.

Not to mention, your claim that "if it was something else I would be able to explain it" also makes no scientific sense. When you find a result inconsistent with a behavior in an experiment, you don't immediately know what's wrong and how to fix your theory, why would you assume the same here?


I do not assume anything without facts.

If you wish to question the little test above, then take it and we can go from there.

I ask you to begin your next reply with an "I" which would show you giving your will up to me.

If you cannot or will not, then your will is obviously yours to do with as you freely choose.

Just so you know, all who take the test recognize afterwards that they truly have a free will because they recognize that they can give it to a chosen person.

Refusal to take the test while saying it does not prove as I say it des is a cop out. That would be your second if my count is right.

Regards
DL


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