On Fri, Nov 19, 2010 at 7:28 AM, 1Z <peterdjo...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> On Nov 18, 6:31 am, Rex Allen <rexallen31...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> 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.
> Unless you determined the reason.

How would you do that?  By what means?  According to what rule?  Using
what process?

If you determined the reason, what determined you?  Why are you in the
particular state you're in?

If there exists some rule that translates your specific state into
some particular choice, then there's still no free will.  The rule
determined the choice.

>> =*=*=*=
>> 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.
> Free Will is defined as "the power or ability to rationally choose and
> consciously perform actions, at least some of which are not brought
> about necessarily and inevitably by external circumstances".

How does this differ in meaning from my definition?  I don't think it does.

> Not that according to this definition:
>   1. Free will is not deterministic behaviour. It is not driven by
> external circumstances.

OK.  Not in conflict with my definition.

>   2. Nor is free will is randomness or mere caprice. ("Rationally
> choose and consciously perform").

OK.  Not in conflict with my definition.

>   3. Free will requires independence from external circumstances. It
> does not require independence or separation from one's own self. Ones
> actions must be related to ones thoughts and motives

Related by what?  Deterministic rules?  Probabilistic?

If one's actions are determined by ones thoughts and motives, what
determines one's thoughts and motives?

And why do some particular set of thoughts and motives result in one
choice instead of  some other?  If there is no reason for one choice
instead of the other, the choice was random.

>   4. But not complete independence. Free will does not require that
> all our actions are free in this sense, only that some actions are not
> entirely un-free. ("...at least some of which...").

OK.  Not in conflict with my definition.

>   5. Free will also does not require that any one action is entirely
> free. In particular, free will s not omnipotence: it does not require
> an ability to transcend natural laws, only the ability to select
> actions from what is physically possible.

Select using what rule?  What process?  What mechanism?  Magic?

Either there is a reason that you selected the action you did, in
which case the reason determined the selection - or there isn't, in
which case the selection was random.

Also the phrase "from what is physically possible" is suspicious.  If
the natural laws determine what is physically possible, don't they
determine everything?  Where does this leave room for free will?

"the ability to select actions from what is physically possible"

Select by means that is neither random nor caused.  Okay.  That's what I said.

>   6. Free will as defined above does not make any assumptions about
> the ontological nature of the self/mind/soul. There is a theory,
> according to which a supernatural soul pulls the strings of the body.
> That theory is all too often confused with free will. It might be
> taken as an explanaiton of free will, but it specifies a kind of
> mechanism or explanation — not a phenomenon to be explained.

OK.  Not in conflict with my definition.

> I.1.v Libertarianism — A Prima Facie case for free will

As for the rest of it, I read it, but didn't find it convincing on any level.

RIG + SIS <> Free Will

A random process coupled to a deterministic process isn't free will.
It's just a random process coupled to a deterministic process.  If you
ask most people "is this free will?"  - they will say no.

Free will (in most peoples estimation) requires a process that is
neither random *nor* determinstic.  Not one that is both.

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