On 6/12/2012 1:31 AM, R AM wrote:

On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 6:42 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net <mailto:meeke...@verizon.net>> wrote:

    On 6/11/2012 8:45 AM, R AM wrote:

        But what I'm saying here is not ontological determinism but in fact, 
about the
        subjective experience. I'm defending that we cannot imagine ourselves 
in exactly
        the same subjective situation and still think that we could have done 

    I can certainly imagine that.  But I wonder if your use of "subjective 
situation" is
    ambiguous.  Do you mean exactly the same state, including memory, conscious 
    unconscious thoughts..., or do you just mean satisfying the same subjective 

I would say exactly the same conscious state.

If we are put again in the same conscious state, I don't think that we can consistently imagine ourselves doing otherwise.

Well then it seems to come down to a question of timing. If this 'same conscious state' is before the action, then I can certainly imagine changing my mind. And this holds all the way up to the action, which is why you are even unpredictable by yourself. You don't know (for sure) what you'll do until you do it. If the 'same conscious state' is at the moment of action, then it's not so clear. It's not the usual case, but sometimes we are surprised by our own action.

If at subjective situation t we decided x, why would we decide otherwise if *exactly* the same subjective situation was again the case?

Of course, unconscious processes might make the difference (in fact, they do), but this is no help for a defender of free will, because he cannot maintain that decisions have, at bottom, an unconscious origin.

Why not. That's the compatibilist view of 'free will' and that's apparently why Sam Harris disagrees with compatibilism: he defines 'free will' to be *conscious* authorship of decisions. In the course of a day almost all my decisions are made without conscious thought, like which keys to strike in typing the previous line. Earlier today I had to enter a computer generated random security code; I had to think about each character. So was the latter an exercise of free will and the former wasn't??


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