On 6/15/2012 8:43 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:


On 14 Jun 2012, at 18:21, John Clark wrote:

On Mon, Jun 4, 2012 Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com <mailto:whatsons...@gmail.com>> wrote:

    > I don't understand how we can change the judicial system if we don't have 
free
    will. All we can do is exist and watch to see whether we end up being 
compelled to
    change it or not by forces outside of our control.


And so it goes, one group screams cries and jumps up and down insisting that we do have free will and another group is just as insistent that we do not. But neither group can stop yelling for one second to ask what "free will" is supposed to mean. I humbly suggest that we first decide what "free will" is, and only then would it be fruitful to debate the question of whether people have this interesting property or not; until then it's just a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

OK. Perhaps we should always make at least precise if we talk about compatibilist free will (c-free-will) or non comptatibilist free will (nc-free-will). People defending nc-free-will should say so.

In comp, c-free-will is rather easy to define, and even a variety of ways, and computer science theorem justifies a role, and plausibly a "darwinian selectable role" for some of the possible definitions.

About nc-free-will, I have not any idea (yet?) about what it could mean. I tend to agree with John on this.

It seems pretty clear. It's an ability to make decisions in a spirit realm and have them implemented in the physical realm. That entails that physics is not closed, i.e. some physical events happen for a purpose but without an antecedent physical cause. This not meaningless because with sufficient experimental resolution it could be tested. If we could follow in detail the workings of a subject's brain and we found that there were physically uncaused events that led to actions and decisions and these events almost always contributed to the realization of express plans, values, and desires of the subject then we would have say that was evidence for nc-free-will.

Brent

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