Hi 1Z,

-----Original Message----- 
From: 1Z 
Sent: Monday, November 29, 2010 8:38 AM 
To: Everything List 
Subject: Re: Compatibilism 

On Nov 28, 11:36 pm, "Stephen Paul King" <stephe...@charter.net>
> Hi Rex and Bruno,
>     I think that you are both missing an important point by taking an from
> infinity view. The fact that the world is not given to us in terms where
> these is one and only one option given some condition forces us to deal with
> alternatives. We can go on and on about causation and determinism but let us
> get Real, there is only rarely a situation where there can only be one
> singular effect to a singular cause. In fact there is never a actual
> singular cause to some event so the argument falls flat because of a false
> premise.
I am not sure if you are saying determinism is false as an ontological
fact, or just that alternatives will subjectively appear to be open
due to ignorance.

    What is the notion  of determinism? Is it that "...is the concept that 
events within a given paradigm are bound by causality in such a way that any 
state (of an object or event) is, to some large degree, determined by prior 
states" and involving the belief that "the universe is fully governed by causal 
laws resulting in only one possible state at any point in time"? (quotes from 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Determinism  ) We have direct empirical evidence 
that this is not the case, for example in the case of the Two Slit Experiment, 
we have the situation that the relative positions of the impact of photons (or 
whatever particle is shot from the gun) on the screen is “determined” (if we 
can even use that word in a consistent manner!)  not by a single localized 
event but by the shape of the wave function of the combined system of gun ⊗ 
particle ⊗ slits ⊗ Screen.  I did not invent this idea, I am just thinking of 
the implications of the content of this conversation so far and what I have 
learned from my studies. 
    The notion of free will (real or imaginary) involves the notion of a set of 
alternative outcomes to any one situation, a condition is that is not 
consistent with the basic premises of determinism as per the definition that I 
referenced. What am I missing?

>We can build and knock over straw men for ever or we can look at
> Nature honesty and see that our pet theories of Monolithic Static Structure
> will always be Incomplete.
>     Free Will, illusory or otherwise, is an attempt to deal with the reality
> that there are always alternatives that can occur. We promote a notion of
> Agency to act as a mechanism that chooses between alternatives without bias
> or cohesion and imagine that we have such an agency.
I don't see why bias should be inimical to FW.

    The term “free” in FW means that it is unconstrained by other factors 
external to the agent that we are positing might have Free Will. A bias would 
be a factor that could act as a constraint IFF that bias where imposed from an 
external source. If I am biased in my choices and I am free to select the 
conditions of my bias, so be it; I am still free. 

> Surely this is a
> falsehood from the point of view of infinity where we can imagine we can see
> all of the variables, but we are only thinking of ourselves as an observer
> that is external to the system that we observe and so can see its properties
> and *that our means of perception of such has no effect upon what those
> properties are*. This role used to be played by the notion of a Deity. Now
> we find a secular version of the same thing and wonder why we make no
> progress beyond this conundrum!
>     We are not Omniscient, we are not Omnipresent and we most certainly are
> not Omnipotent. Deal with it.
I don;'t see your point. Are you saying FW is the same as omnipotence?


    No, to the contrary; I am pointing out that the basic premise of 
determinism requires the equivalent of an Omniscient Being to obtain for only 
such a “Being” could have the frame of reference of seeing all of the variables 
that enter into a choice and thus be able to make a conclusion that there was 
really no “free will” what happened in any occasion just is the result of some 
prior state. My point is that we have evidence that 1) events are not 
constrained to follow uniquely fro some specific prior state because there does 
not even exist a prior state that has some sharp properties independent of the 
specification of the means to measure such properties. This is the 
Einstein-Bohr debate redux. Do we really need to retrace that road?



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