On Jan 27, 10:47 am, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 4:51 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:
>  > If cancer had free will then you could make a deal with it.
> I do make a deal with cancer, if you die I will stop trying to kill you.

It's not a deal if you are the only one doing the dealing. It occurs
to me that the occidental mindset has a hard time noticing that there
are other parties involved in matters of negotiation and reason.

> > They [computers] aren't smarter than us, they just [...]
> Again with the "they just"!  So computers aren't smarter than us, they just
> can outsmart us;

No. They can out compute us. They can measure more units of Shannon
information per second.

> thus I submit that in your vocabulary not only is the
> ASCII string "free will" meaningless but so is "smarter". Personally I
> don't think that's very smart.

Denying the common usage of the word free will as autonomy or
conscious choice is an egotistical defense mechanism that I don't take
seriously. Smarter is legitimately ambiguous. If you ask people
whether computers are smart, what will they say? I have defined
trivial intelligence vs understanding, and I think that is a
reasonable and insightful way to look at it. I don't see any value in
equating quantitative measures of statistical data processing with the
qualitative measures of cognition.

> > If people had no free will we would would not bother with imprisonment,
> > we would just exterminate them.
> So you believe people like me advocate freeing murderers and think we
> should stop hindering them in their homicidal pursuits. I don't think
> that's very smart either.

No, I'm saying that hindering their homicidal pursuits with any kind
of deterrent or punishment based system like prison would be an
obvious waste of time. No reason not to kill them though. Without free
will, what would be the difference between killing someone and not
killing them? Both are actions resulting in outcomes, some useful,
some not as useful, just like any other actions.

> > The universe is not completely logical [...] The reality of the universe
> > does not have to fit in with logic  [...] Logic 101 is reductionist theory.
> > It's not reality.
> And now even logic itself joins information and electrons and bits and time
> and space and I've lost track of how many other things that do not exist,
> at least according to you.

What exists is sense. Logic is a way of making sense, but it is not
the only way. Certainly it is not a way of modeling the total reality
of the universe.

> If logic does not exist, if you would not
> change your position even if you admitted it was riddled with logical
> inconsistencies and circularity then I think this group deserves a
> explanation of what exactly the ground rules are and why this debate with
> you should continue.

Logic does exist (and it insists also), which makes it real, but not
the same thing as reality in general. Logic is real but it is not an
all encompassing reality.


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