On 02 Apr 2012, at 18:03, meekerdb wrote:

On 4/2/2012 7:14 AM, Craig Weinberg wrote:

If all movement was involuntary in the
> > first place then there would be no significant difference between > > passively watching yourself move and passively watching yourself not
> > move
> > If we had no free will, our belief about it should have no effect on > > the actual ability to execute our wishes though our motor cortex.
> Non sequitur.
Why? If you program a machine to believe that it has free will, how
would such a belief have any effect on its behavior? How could it
improve its performance in any way?

If you program a machine to form explanatory and predictive models of the world, then it will try to form a model of itself. But it would be difficult and extremely wasteful, from a survival standpoint, to provide it the introspective data necessary to model its own physical internal decision processes. Failing to have this introspection it may come to foolishly believe in something it calls 'free will'.

Why is it necessarily foolish? It might be foolish if the person defend an inaccurate conception of free will, and it might be sane if he defends a reasonable notion of free will.

We cannot predict ourselves, but we do have a notion of partial responsibility. It would make no sense for a lawyer to claim that his client , after committing some murder, was just obeying to the physical laws. For in that case the member of the jury can judge him guilty and responsible, and when ask why, just answer that they too are just obeying the physical laws. In fact the physical laws, or the low level computations are just not relevant, and free will is the ability to make a choice with respect to ignorance on a spectrum of possible actions. It is just a more general notion of partial responsibility, so that we can decide if someone deserve a medical treatment or to go to jail (to protect society). Of course I am in favor of the compatibilist account of free will, and I follow you on your reply to Craig. You can call it simply "will", if you prefer. I think all animals have some amount of will.



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