Bruno,
           Thanks to your lucid explanation I begin to glimpse the beauty of 
comp. Please check my reasoning here. If materialism is correct, the brain can 
be compared to a computer which contains the programming for higher order 
languages (e.g. word processors, spreadsheets, paintbrush etc.) but requires an 
external input to implement the creative potential of those languages. For a 
computer the input is man; for the brain the input might be God, chance, 
spirits or what have you. Comp, however is already itself a higher language per 
se with the potential capacity to manipulate and implement higher order 
languages within itself and without external input. Since the brain could have 
developed higher order languages through five million years of evolution, it 
can be credited with the faculties of consciousness and decision-making. But 
free will is precluded by its basic material composition; its decisions are 
predetermined. Whereas comp, not being material, could also process 
consciousness, and understand decision-making AND have the ability to decide 
freely among alternatives and act accordingly.           marty a.




  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Bruno Marchal 
  To: everything-list@googlegroups.com 
  Sent: Saturday, March 13, 2010 6:37 AM
  Subject: Re: Free will: Wrong entry.




  On 12 Mar 2010, at 21:53, m.a. wrote:


                   I agree with you that quantum indeterminacy doesn't affect 
(free) will:  "Quantum mechanics is local and deterministic, and explains why 
it seems indeterministic to the 99,9999...% of the observers." (3/12/2010 7:58 
AM), which is why I feel that your use of the words "ability"  and "develop" 
when you say: "the ability of a person to develop personal goals and to satisfy 
them in absence of coercion" (above) can as easily refer to completely 
determined processes which introspection identfies as voluntary a split second 
afterwards ... as it can anything else.   m.a.




  Are you thinking to Libet's experiences?


  Anyway, if Libet's experiences has been repeated and confirmed (which is 
quite plausible). It would demolish only a pseudo-mystic conception of 
free-will where a 'substantial soul' would somehow influence the brain, or why 
not, directly the arms,  ... or the spoon.


  Some materialist used Mechanism, not to for formulating or solving, the mind 
body problem, but for eliminating the mind and its attributes. Mental things 
does not really exists, only matter. And so no free will, nor even 
consciousness for the most extremists.


  The general mistake here (imo) consists in believing that reducing higher 
order epistemological notion to lower order notions eliminates the importance 
or the existence of the higher order notions. Or more generally, that 
representing an unknown field in a known field, eliminates the unknown field. 
It may eliminate it from the primitive ontology, but this does not mean it is 
eliminate from the appearances or from the experiences.
  If that was true a materialist eliminativist would never take a pain killer.


  And if we are (apparently material) machine, then, if we are digital machine, 
we are immaterial or abstract, or higher order, machine or number. The whole 
coupling consciousness/realties emerge, and thus is reduced, to the additive 
and multiplicative structure of numbers. This does not make disappear neither 
consciousness, nor the first person (singular and plural) material perception 
of matter. 


  Free will is just very hard to define. It needs consciousness, it implies a 
partial control of the self with respect to its most probable "macro-histories" 
(macro = above its comp substitution level).


  George Orwell said that freedom is the right to say that 2+2 = 4.
  I would say that free will is the will to say that 2+2 = 4.


  Bruno
  http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/







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