On Tue, Jun 12, 2012 at 9:39 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

> I means that, in retrospect, I can't trace back to external (to me)
> causes, a deterministic sequence that inevitably led me to do that.

Isn't that randomness?

>   Conceivably we could make an intelligent machine that could keep a
> record of all its internal states so that when did something it could then
> cite the sequence of internal states and say, "See I had to do it.  It was
> just physics."
And the machine would be right ...

>  Or in other words, if the same situation is repeated "I would do
> otherwise". But it's difficult to explain (I might be wrong too).
> OK, let's suppose that exactly the same conscious state is repeated N
> times. If each time we do a different action, even opposite ones (such as
> killing or not killing someone), then our decision making is basically
> random. I don't think that is what is meant by free will.
> I think that's wrong. You are equating unpredictable with random.  Suppose
> the same conscious state is repeated and one second later you either shoot
> someone or you punch him.  In that second different unconscious processes
> may determine what you do; so that which you do is unpredictable.

Agreed, but then the reason is unconscious. To me, that's not free will.

> But it is only 'random' within a range which is determined by who you are
> - and in this case you are very angry with the someone -

OK, but I think a defender of free will would say that you could have also
kissed that person instead of attacking him.

> so it is still an exercise of your will.  And it's not constrained or
> coerced, so it's 'free will'.
But you are removing all possible decisions except different ways of
attaking the victim, so it is not free will, at least not that feeling that
I could have done anything no matter what.


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