On Thu, May 10, 2012 at 5:01 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

> So by your definition is a there ever a time when you're not exercising
> free will?

No, and that of course means that the "free will" noise is a totally
useless concept, a idea so bad it's not even wrong.

> sometimes we decide what we're going to do before we do it

Yes, and sometimes we change our minds when it comes time to actually act,
and as Turing proved in 1936 in general there is no way for you (or anybody
else) to know if you will change your mind until you act and observe what
you did. There is no shortcut, you can only watch yourself and see what you

> and so, by your definition, we're exercising free will.

And that's why the "free will" idea is so useless; if everything that
exists and everything that does not exist has the "klogknee" property then
klogknee is as useless as the "free will" noise.

> Now you may say we're not *sure* we're going to do it until we've done
> it.  But that's rather like just giving a definition and then just assuming
> it's never satisfied.

Yes or always satisfied, either way it's pointless.

> > Sometimes we do what we planned to do

And sometimes we don't and there is no way to discriminate between the two
beforehand, you can only observe and see what you eventually do.

> so what does it mean to say we weren't sure even though we thought we
> were?

Being certain is easy, being certain and correct is not; people can be
absolutely positively 100% certain about something and still be dead wrong,
in fact it's very very common. You'd have to be pretty damn sure you were
going to get 77 virgins in the afterlife to put on a TNT jockstrap and blow
yourself up at 40,000 feet; but regardless of his certainty I don't think
the underwear bomber was correct.

> Being obstructed by physics isn't coercion, being threatened by a guy
> with a gun is

Coercion is just a subset of obstruction, a mountain range or a big man
with a big gun can both prevent you from going where you want to go and
doing what you want to do.

> > It's orthogonal to deterministic/random.

Orthogonal? There is only one way "it" could not be deterministic and not
random, there is only one way "it" was not caused for a reason and not not
caused for a reason, and that is if "it" is gibberish. Gibberish is not
correct or incorrect, it's just gibberish, like free will.

  John K Clark

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