On Apr 25, 5:21 am, Stathis Papaioannou <stath...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 3:19 AM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >> EITHER something is determined/caused OR it's random/uncaused. This is
> >> standard use of language. You can define your own terms but then at
> >> least you should explain them in relation to the standard language:
> >> "what everyone else calls green, I call red, and what everyone else
> >> calls a dog, I call a cat".
>
> > It is a standard use of language to say that people are responsible in
> > varying degrees for their actions. I don't understand why you claim
> > that your binary determinism is 'standard language' in some way. When
> > we talk about someone being guilty of a crime, that quality of guilt
> > makes no sense in terms of being passively caused or randomly
> > uncaused. It is you who should explain your ideas in relation to the
> > standard language: "what everyone else calls intention, I call
> > irrelevant."
>
> It's standard use of language that if something is not determined it
> is random.

I have never heard of that in my life. Did you say that because you
had no choice or was it random?

> Determined means it's not random and random means it's not
> determined.

Why? Random is determined randomly. Free will is determined
intentionally. So what? Word games.

> When someone is found guilty of a crime that has nothing
> to do with whether their behaviour is determined or random.

That would be news to attorneys and judges who spend their lives
splitting hairs over liability.

>The
> consideration the legal system uses is, essentially, whether punishing
> the crime would make a difference.

What are you talking about? Designations such as Murder, manslaughter,
criminal negligence, etc have nothing whatsoever to do with the
effects intended by punishment and everything to do with ascertaining
liability. The criminal justice system is designed to do one thing
only: assess guilt, ie degree of intentionality in a criminal act, and
punish accordingly.


> It will deter a criminal if he
> knows he will be punished since the fear of punishment will enter the
> deterministic or probabilistic equation, swaying the decision in
> favour of not offending.

You are mistaking your philosophy for the criminal justice system. Can
you find any example in any legal code which implies these kinds of
considerations?

 On the other hand, it is pointless to punish
> a sleepwalker: sleepwalkers do make decisions, but they are probably
> not the kinds of decisions that are influenced by fear of
> consequences.

Without free will, we are all sleepwalkers. Consequences can only
impact our behavior if we are able to choose what our behavior will
be.

>
> >> But it's an empirical observation that if certain biochemical
> >> reactions occur (the ones involved in processing information) ,
> >> consciousness results. That you find it mysterious is your problem,
> >> not nature's.
>
> > If I turn on a TV set, TV programs occur. That doesn't mean that TV
> > programs are generated by electronics. Fortunately I just spent a week
> > at the consciousness conference in AZ so I now know how deeply in the
> > minority views such as yours are. The vast majority of doctors and
> > professors researching in this field agree that the Explanatory Gap
> > cannot simply be wished away in the manner you suggest. I don't find
> > it mysterious at all that consciousness could come from configurations
> > of objects, I find it impossible, as do most people.
>
> I'm not saying that consciousness is not mysterious and certainly not
> non-existent (I think people who say that do it just do it to be
> provocative). But it is a problem when a mysterious thing is explained
> in terms of another mysterious thing; for how do we explain the second
> thing, or the connection between them?

It's only mysterious if you try to define it in terms which
consciousness itself uses to define all-that-is-outside-of-itself.

Craig

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