On Sunday, March 3, 2013 2:56:18 AM UTC-5, stathisp wrote:
> On Sun, Mar 3, 2013 at 11:01 AM, Craig Weinberg 
> <whats...@gmail.com<javascript:>> 
> wrote: 
> >> It's still random. 
> > 
> > 
> > No, it isn't. If it were, then his book would be about the Neuronal 
> Basis 
> > for The Illusion of Free Will. 
> Free will is an illusion if you define it as incompatible with either 
> determinism or randomness. People fall into the following categories: 
> The world is deterministic, free will is true 
> The world is random, free will is true 
> The world is deterministic, free will is false 
> The world is random, free will is false 
> Whether the world is deterministic or random is an empirical question. 
Whether you define free will as compatible with determinism or 
> randomness is not an empirical question but a question of the use of 
> language which is of philosophical interest. 

If free will looks deterministic or random to a sufficiently distant 
observer, then all empirical questions depend on perceptual relativism. If 
this view is true, then it explains why other views, even when opposing 
each other, would seem to be the only possible truth. Each perspective is 
generated by exclusion of the truth of the others.

> > It doesn't matter though, no amount of scientific evidence will budged 
> your 
> > entrenched bias. 
> I could easily think of evidence that would convince me, for example, 
> that the moon landing was a hoax, but no conceivable evidence would 
> have any bearing on the fact that everything is either determined or 
> random, since this is true a priori. 

There is no a priori truth there at all. Your view is your choice. If it 
were a priori true, then I could not conceive of a third option other than 
randomness or determinism, but obviously both of those options are neither 
necessary nor sufficient to explain intention.

> >> I could claim that random events in my brain are a 
> >> manifestation of the mental acting on the physical but that's 
> >> meaningless, since there is no substantive difference between that 
> >> claim and its contradiction. 
> > 
> > 
> > Except for the constant waking experience of every human being in 
> history. 
> > But don't let that count for anything. 
> You haven't explained what difference it would make if random events 
> in my brain ARE or ARE NOT a manifestation of the mental acting on the 
> physical. 

It's not a simple matter of mental acting on physical. It is multiple 
levels of private and public physical acting on each other. The difference 
is that we have a realistic physics driven by experience, or we have a 
meaningless jumble of computations that accidentally thinks that its an 
experience. You have to ask yourself 'Am I having an experience, or is the 
world which I think I experience the side effect of a compression algorithm 
which exists for no reason?' The answer to that is actually an IQ test. If 
you are dumb enough to disavow the profound reality of your experience - if 
it is a higher priority for you to remain impartial on the question of your 
own existence, then you deserve to live in a world in which you have no 
free will and are a computer program.

It seems to me that I would feel exactly the same in both 
> cases and someone examining my brain would observe exactly the same 
> things in both cases. Do you disagree? 

Yes. This has nothing to do with what someone would see looking at your 
brain. Consciousness isn't visible in the brain, so by that criteria, its 
not just free will that doesn't exist, it's color, sound, feeling, flavor, 
beauty, thinking, science, etc. What matters is how to justify the feeling 
that we clearly and obviously have free will. We distinguish between 
voluntary and involuntary muscles quite easily. Some processes of our body, 
like breathing or blinking, we share with reflex. What could this mean in a 
world of determinism? Why would I feel that I can blink intentionally but 
also unintentionally?

Once you stop trying to reconcile the private qualia of free will with 
public bodies (which you should know already can never work and does not 
stop qualia from being the most important factors in our individual and 
collective life), then you can get on to examining what this particular 
private qualia really means, how it cannot be simulated, and why it is more 
primitive than causality itself.

> >> >> It has to 
> >> >> be either random or determined. 
> >> > 
> >> > 
> >> > Says who? The entity whose every uttering is a random or determined 
> >> > jittering of meaningless neural activity? 
> >> 
> >> Yes, and everyone else who understands what "random" and "determined" 
> >> mean, including apparently Tse. 
> > 
> > 
> > So you admit that what you say contradicts the fact that you are 
> > intentionally saying it? 
> "Intentional", as far as I can understand its use in philosophy, is 
> more or less equivalent to "mental" or "conscious". 

No. You can be conscious of an unintentional act. A spasm for example. 
Intention is explicit, primitive, and obvious to the subject.

You seem to take 
> it as an a priori fact that something that is either deterministic or 
> random cannot have intentionality. 

To the contrary, I think that all appearances of determinism or randomness 
reflect an disconnection from an intention on some scale.

> This seems to me obviously wrong. I 
> can easily conceive of my brain being either deterministic or random 
> and, at the same time, being conscious.

If it was random, how would it be conscious? By accident? If it was 
deterministic, why would it be conscious? Why would there be a such thing 
as "conscious" either way? Randomness can be random and determinism can be 
deterministic without consciousness.

> Even incompatibilists can see 
> this. They claim that if the world is deterministic then free will is 
> a delusion, not that consciousness is a delusion. 

It's complicated because we have a lot of different levels of 
participation. It's qualia, not quanta, so there is a huge variety of 
contexts in which we participate to different degrees of freedom. Within 
these different contexts, our expectation of freedom of actual is very 
often overstated, as our personal range of awareness pulls together the 
other ranges - the sub-personal, and super-personal influences. Therefore 
we might see a commercial for pizza on tv and think that we can use our 
free will to order a pizza. Of course, since the pizza company has spent a 
lot of resources developing addictive food and marketing it with maximum 
convenience, the whole process really puts our free will on the defensive. 
Ordering the pizza is not a neutral proposition, but rather the end result 
of a team of people who are intentionally trying to overcome people's free 
will while giving them the impression that they are exercising it. 

In your view, all of this is nullified. The tv commercial is determined 
economically, whether you order it or not is statistically determined or 
random (its not very random actually, if you have ever looked at direct 
response advertising results, it is fantastically consistent. If a spot 
generates 473 orders one week., chances are it will generate exactly the 
same number within maybe 5% each week). Your view misses the physical 
reality of decision making and willpower, of hunger, boredom, and isolation 
which go into selling pizza.


> -- 
> Stathis Papaioannou 

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