On Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 1:52 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:
> On Thursday, December 13, 2012 9:32:12 PM UTC-5, stathisp wrote:
>> On Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 3:14 PM, Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com>wrote:
>>> If free will were, after all, an illusion, then there would really be
>>> not much of an advantage in discerning intention to cause harm from a
>>> simple propensity to cause harm.
>> Free will is an illusion only if you define it in a logically impossible
>> way, neither determined nor random.
> Let's look at your suggestion. IF YOU (choose to) define it
> What does that mean? How does it work? It sounds like it isn't random
> right? So it must be determined? So are you saying "Free will is an
> illusion only if it is defined by forces utterly outside your control in a
> logically impossible way..."
> Well that doesn't make sense either, does it? Who is this YOU that you are
> talking to? Why do you think that the author of these words would have any
> more insight into how this 'YOU' might define something than the author of
> your words?
> The dichotomy of random vs determined is not the only possible logic, and
> it is not a useful logic for understanding participation and will.
You're perhaps conflating the feeling with the physical processes
underpinning that feeling. I feel all sorts of things, but I don't feel
neurotransmitters and action potentials. No conclusion can be drawn from
what I feel about the physical processes. Consider that the ancient Greeks
did not even realise that the brain is the organ of thinking. So when I say
"I feel my actions are free" that means something, but it does NOT mean
that my brain processes are neither random nor determined.
>> Since everything is either determined or random,
> It isn't. My choices are not determined, nor are they random. They are
> varying degrees of intentional and unintentional with deterministic and
> possibly random influences which are necessary but not sufficient to
> explain my causally efficacious solitude and agency.
I don't see how you can come to that conclusion. There is nothing in what I
feel that would provide me with any certainty that my brain is not being
manipulated by someone by remote control, for example. That possibility is
entirely consistent with my subjective feeling of freedom.
>> if something appears to be neither then that must be an illusion.
> Illusions are a figment of expectation. What you call an optical illusion,
> I call a living encyclopedia of visual perception and optics. Something can
> only be an illusion if you mistakenly interpret it as something else.
>> In any case, it is important to know if someone has intention to cause
>> harm because that may be indication he is more dangerous to you than
>> someone who causes harm accidentally. Whether the intention is driven by
>> deterministic or probabilistic processes in the brain is not really
> If intentional threats were deterministic or random then it would be
> indistinguishable from any number of naturally occurring threats. The
> prioritizing of intention specifically points to the importance of
> discerning the difference between threats caused by agents with voluntary
> control over their actions and random or deterministic unconscious physical
That it is voluntary control has no bearing on the question of whether the
underlying processes are determined or random.
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