On 14 Sep 2010, at 17:23, Rex Allen wrote:
On Tue, Sep 14, 2010 at 9:40 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be>
On 12 Sep 2010, at 21:43, Stephen P. King wrote:
explanation that I can think of for this is that the hope of an
determinism that obtains from the block-static reality doctrine
adherents to avoid all notions of personal responsibility for their
On the contrary, it is explained that free-will and responsibility is
unavoidable from inside. To use the determinacy of the big whole
like to give a name to God, and that is explicitly making any
inconsistent, and worth: incorrect.
We are typically partially responsible for our normal futures.
"Whatever may be thought about it as a matter of ultimate metaphysics,
it is quite clear that nobody believes it in practice. Everyone has
always believed that it is possible to train character; everyone has
always known that alcohol or opium will have a certain effect on
behaviour. The apostle of free will maintains that a man can by will
power avoid getting drunk, but he does not maintain that when drunk a
man can say "British Constitution" as clearly as if he were sober. And
everybody who has ever had to do with children knows that a suitable
diet does more to make them virtuous than the most eloquent preaching
in the world. The one effect that the free- will doctrine has in
practice is to prevent people from following out such common-sense
knowledge to its rational conclusion. When a man acts in ways that
annoy us we wish to think him wicked, and we refuse to face the fact
that his annoying behaviour is a result of antecedent causes which, if
you follow them long enough, will take you beyond the moment of his
birth and therefore to events for which he cannot be held responsible
by any stretch of imagination."
Bertrand Russell has been my favorite philosopher during a long time
in my youth. But he is deadly wrong on many things. He thought that
mathematics can be based on logic alone, but this has been refuted by
Gödel's theorem, and then that very theorem imposes to distinguish the
knower machine and the believer (even when correct) machine, and
actually forces us to introduce many different ways to see the
arithmetical reality, from inside. The quoted text confuses the
deterministic third person description of a (putative) reality, and
the first person knowledge available to a subject "living inside" that
Note that, having said this, I should insist that free will is NOT
related to the first person indeterminacy, but free-will is related to
the fact that we can have a rather good idea of what hurt and what
please to oneself, and we can see that sometimes we can get personally
a bigger amount of what please by methods leading to the hurting of
other people, and that we can face our conscience and decide on its
To believe the contrary would lead to the confusion of the sadic (in
Sade sense) with the psychopath, and it would lead to the substitution
of the judge by the psychiatre, the jail by the asylum. This would
converge toward authoritative regime and eventually every person would
be judge irresponsible and would find itself in a controled asylum. A
bit like modern prohibition of drugs, it is an self-prophetic path
which makes people irresponsible, indeed.
Incompleteness provides for the ideally correct machine a coherent
picture making it, from inside, partially responsible for its futures,
including possible amounts of what please and what hurts to oneself
and other machines.
The whole picture is determined, but as I said to Stephen, to invoke
it from inside is a mechanist "blasphem"; it is akin to say that God
told you what is good and bad for *me* (or anyone who is not you). It
would be like saying that a sadist is not responsible for his action
given that it obeyed strictly to the laws of physics when committing
its murder. In Löbian term, it is a confusion between the Human
(Löbian) first person experiences and exact (that is falsifiable!)
third person science.
Mechanism explains why consciousness leads to conscience.
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