On 13 Jun 2012, at 10:44, R AM wrote:
On Wed, Jun 13, 2012 at 2:08 AM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net>
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
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
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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