On 18 Nov 2010, at 07:31, Rex Allen 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> wrote:

? 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.

Hmm... (see below).

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...

I agree with you. With your definition of free will, it does not exist.
But your reasoning does not apply to free will in the sense I gave: the ability to choose among alternatives that *I* cannot predict in advance (so that *from my personal perspective* it is not entirely due to reason nor do to randomness). When you say "random or not random", you are applying the third excluded middle which, although arguably true ontically, is provably wrong for most personal points of view. We have p v ~p, but this does not entail Bp v B~p, for B used for almost any hypostasis (points of view).



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