On 01 Jun 2012, at 00:14, RMahoney wrote:

Following the last couple of weeks of exchange between Craig and John


I would say John has the edge.

And I have some comments...

Does a Free Willer believe they willed themselves into existence in
this Universe?

Some can believe that. Open question in comp. Actually "this universe" is a quite vague concept with comp.

They seem to think this free will has some ability to manipulate the
Universe in ways that avoid it's laws.

Not the compatibilist one. I think free will is not prevented at all by determinism.

I don't believe I willed myself into existence. I cannot will myself
to avoid the end of my existence.

If that exists. Again "my existence" is quite a vague notion.

While I'm here I cannot break any of
the laws of the Universe. We are all molecular machines.

Locally, that is very plausible, but near death, this is no more assured unless you introduce actual infinities in bith matter and mind, and some link between. We are not bodies, we own bodies. Molecules are clothes, and actually they are map of our most probable computations in arithmetic. This is a consequence of the idea that "we are machines". It makes materialism wrong eventually. Matter is a mind construction.

molecules operate within the laws of the Universe.

If that exists. Locally, it is true, but not globally.

The result of their
action allows me to think and reason and decide on a course of action,
execute a will so to speak, but that will is determined by the
sequence of events of the molecules that make up my self. To say "free
will" implies that I somehow avoided the laws of the Universe and
resulting cause and effect. "Free" from the laws of the Universe. In
that sense, there is no such thing as "free will", only "will", that
is determined by your physical being and sequence of molecular action.

OK. Locally.

Now I myself believe that probably the laws of the Universe allow it
to be non-deterministic. My logic might be simple on this, but if
there were no randomness at all, there could be no evolution of the
Universe (and probably the laws of the Universe) to become the
Universe we observe today. I think if we started (over and over again)
with the same initial condition of this moment, that the next moment
could be any number of potential outcomes, all within the same laws of
the same Universe. The Universe is built upon the laws of probability,
and at the short term macro level things can be fairly predictable,
but at the micro level and over long periods of time, things are not
so predictable, due to random events at the quantum level. I also
subscribe to the idea that all possible outcomes exist simultaneously
and forever, as do all possible histories.

OK. But with different probabilities, and we can manage them from inside.
A good thing to avoid sending to a gibberish message.

If it is possible for it to
exist, it exists, and always can exist. Else it would be impossible,
and not exist. I doubt anything like this could ever be proven, but it
makes logical sense to me.

This is more or less guarantied by the comp hypothesis indeed.

But I do not see that this non-deterministic quality of the Universe
in any way creates a free will.

I agree. That is the key point. Indeterminacy would not add free will, which needs some amount of determinacy to assure the possibility of planning. Free will is more a form of awareness of self-indeterminacy. We just don't live at the level of the determinate laws. No murderer will justify his crimes by saying that he was just obeying to the physical laws. It is basically a confusion of level of description.

It just makes the Universe really
infinite in possibilities. Will cannot be executed without cause.


if the result of that process of executing a will was at some point
affected by a random quantum event.




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