On 13 Jun 2012, at 10:44, R AM wrote:

On Wed, Jun 13, 2012 at 2:08 AM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
On 6/12/2012 1:06 PM, R AM wrote:

Isn't that randomness?

No, it's unpredictablity - something we may fruitfully model by a mathematical theory of randomness even though the dynamics are perfectly deterministic, when we don't know enough to use the dynamics to predict results. Except in quantum mechanics, where events may be inherently random, 'randomness' is just modeling uncertainty due to ignorance and so it is relative to what is known.

OK, then it is random from the point of view of consciousness.

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

That's a problem with 'free will'. Some people, like Sam Harris, insist that it means the same thing it did in the middle ages, a supernatural ability to do the nomologically impossible by conscious thought. Some people, like Daniel Dennett, look at how the concept functions in society and redefine it so it doesn't require the supernatural but has the same extension in social and legal discourse.

It's not only the Middle Ages. Most people believe that free will is supernatural or metaphisical (without using those words).

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

But would he be wrong?

Yes, he would be wrong. But many people believe that he could have not attacked that person. That's what free will feels like.

But you know that's not the case. You have a certain character, a certain consistency of behavior so that your friends can trust you NOT to do anything at random. And having this consistency is essentially part of defining you and defining who it is who has compatibilist free will. The fact that almost all this character is subconscious is irrelevant to the social meaning of 'free will'.

Yes, but then he could say, "it's not my fault, my violent character made me attack that person". And the judge would say "but you could have done otherwise", which is false. The judge should say instead: "you will be punished anyway, so that next time your piriorities will change" or "you will be punished so that others know that this behavior is punishable". However, most people believe that it is unfair to punish someone if he couldn't have done otherwise (in some metaphysical sense). That is why this folk-psychology metaphysical meaning of free will is believed by all members of society, and transmited from parents to offspring. But it is a false belief.

I know that you and Bruno are compatibilists. I'm not attacking your notion of free will. I agree that free will is a social construct. I'm going even further: free will doesn't even deserve a name. Deep down, free will is not something people have, but just a social definition of under what conditions or situations we will be considered responsible (and punishable).

You can do that. But would *that* not be a reductionist view of reality?

You are saying that free-will does not exist because it is a higher level description of complex aggregations of simple processes.

OK, but then with comp, even the physical laws are no more real, as they become first person limiting views of infinity of computations/ arithmetical relations. Only natural numbers with they additive and multiplicative structure would be real, with comp. Better not to lessen the reality of the higher levels. In comp the higher level from inside are as much real than the outside, and obeys laws, just of a different type (mathematical).

Life and consciousness operates in that higher level sphere. The simple process below is usually not directly relevant, except for the arithmetical bugs of course, and other arithmetical loops. And with comp it is just an extrapolation, and below our substitution level, it is an infinite sum (as QM seems to confirm).

I believe more in person and will than in *primitive* bosons and fermions, the day I wake up in the comp mood.



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