On 07 Jun 2012, at 14:15, R AM wrote:



On Thu, Jun 7, 2012 at 1:37 PM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

Because he remembers that he was hesitating. Yesterday I have eaten spaghetti, but I could have decide otherwise, I hesitated a lot.

OK, for the sake of the argument, let's suppose that you ate spaghetti because that's what you liked at that moment. Do you think you could have done otherwise?

Now, let's suppose a gangster decides to rob a bank after considering all his options. Later he might be judged and told that "he could have done otherwise"? Could he really have done otherwise?

At the level of the arithmetical laws, or physical laws, the answer is no. But we don't live at that level, so at the level of its first person impression the answer is yes.

A guy rapes and tortures 10 children, could he have done otherwise? Well, there is a sense for some medical expert to say that he could have done otherwise, for the guy is judged responsible and not under some mental disease (for example). Now, if the guy defends himself in saying that he was just obeying to the physical laws, he will convince nobody, and rightly so.

We are determinate, but we cannot known completely our determination, so from our point of view there is a genuine spectrum of different possibilities and we can choose "freely" among them. It does not matter that a God, or a Laplacean daemon can predict our actions, for *we* can't, and have no other choice than choosing without complete information, and in some case it makes sense that we could have made a different choice (even if that is senseless at the basic ontological level, for the choice is made at another level, from an internal first person perspectives. To justify our acts by God Will or by Physical Laws (or Arithmetical laws) is the same type of level confusion, or perspective confusion, mistake. I would say.

Bruno

http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/



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