On Fri, Jun 1, 2012 Brian Tenneson <tenn...@gmail.com> wrote: > Freedom is defined by the observer. >
Exactly! A man is walking down a road and spots a fork in the road far ahead. He knows of advantages and disadvantages to both paths so he isn't sure if he will go right or left, he hadn't decided. Now imagine a powerful demon able to look into the man's head and quickly deduce that he would eventually choose to go to the left. Meanwhile the man, whose mind works much more slowly than the demon's, hasn't completed the thought process yet. He might be saying to himself I haven't decided, I'll have to think about it, I'm free to go either way. >From his point of view he is in a sense correct, even a robot does not feel like a robot, but from the demon's viewpoint it's a different matter, he simply deduced a purely mechanical operation that can have only one outcome. Or it may not be deterministic at all, perhaps I took the left path for no reason at all, either way the "free will" noise that some human beings like to make is of no more help clarifying the situation than the "quack" noise ducks like to make. > >The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines free will as follows > “ Free Will” is a particular sort of capacity of rational agents If they're rational there is a reason they do what they do, hence they are deterministic. > to choose a course of action from among various alternatives. " > And there is a reason for making that particular choice or there is not a reason for making that particular choice, there is no third alternative. > So what is the fuss about? > No fuss at all as long as you don't examine too closely what it is actually trying to say; but to be fair that definition of free will is not significantly more idiotic and self contradictory than the verbiage most professional philosophers churn out. John K Clark -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Everything List" group. To post to this group, send email to email@example.com. To unsubscribe from this group, send email to everything-list+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com. For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/everything-list?hl=en.