Your post reminded me of the quote (of which I cannot recall the source)
where someone asked "Who pushes who around inside the brain?", meaning is it
the matter that causes thought to move around a certain way, or is it the
opposite? The looped hierarchies described by Hofstadter, if present, make
this a difficult question to answer. If the highest levels of thought and
reason are required in your decision making, does it still make sense to say
we are slaves of deterministic motions of particles or is that missing a few
steps? I could not perfectly predict your behavior without creating a full
simulation of your brain. Doing so would instantiate your consciousness.
Therefore I cannot determine what you will do without invoking your
consciousness, thought, reason, etc.
I do not disagree with your assertion that something must be either caused
or random, but does _what_ caused you to do something have any bearing? If
your mind is the cause, does that count as free will?
On Thu, Nov 18, 2010 at 12:31 AM, Rex Allen <rexallen31...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 16, 2010 at 11:45 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> > On 16 Nov 2010, at 04:51, Rex Allen wrote:
> >> On Sun, Nov 14, 2010 at 6:04 PM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be>
> >>> ? Are you saying that it is obvious that compatibilism is false?
> >> Compatibilism is false. Unless you do something sneaky like change
> >> the meaning of the term "free will" to make it true.
> >> Which is like changing the definition of "unicorn" to mean "a horse
> >> with a horn glued to it's forehead".
> >> I agree with the critics of compatilism in this passage:
> >> "Critics of compatibilism often focus on the definition of free will:
> >> Incompatibilists may agree that the compatibilists are showing
> >> something to be compatible with determinism, but they think that
> >> something ought not to be called 'free will'.
> >> Compatibilists are sometimes accused (by Incompatibilists) of actually
> >> being Hard Determinists who are motivated by a lack of a coherent,
> >> consonant moral belief system.
> >> Compatibilists are sometimes called 'soft determinists' pejoratively
> >> (William James's term). James accused them of creating a 'quagmire of
> >> evasion' by stealing the name of freedom to mask their underlying
> >> determinism. Immanuel Kant called it a 'wretched subterfuge' and
> >> 'word jugglery.'"
> > What is your position? And what is your definition of free-will?
> My position is:
> So either there is a reason for what I choose to do, or there isn't.
> If there is a reason, then the reason determined the choice. No free will.
> If there is no reason, then the choice was random. No free will.
> I don't see a third option.
> As for my definition of free will:
> "The ability to make choices that are neither random nor caused."
> Obviously there is no such ability, since "random" and "caused"
> exhaust the possibilities.
> But some people believe in the existence of such an ability anyway.
> Why? Well...either there's a reason that they do, or there isn't...
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