On Thu, Mar 14, 2013 at 9:59 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:

> >> Because both dragons and God are well defined concepts, just concepts
> that don’t happen to have the attribute of existence. In contrast “free
> will” is not only incoherently defined it is every bit as self
> contradictory as the largest prime number is.
>
> > You have yourself provided a counter-example to this claim. We have
> concluded that the free-will based on non determinacy is non sensical, but
> not so for the notion of "free-will" based on determinacy. Free-will does
> makes sense in that case: it is the ability to follow our own
> self-determination,
>

No that is the exact opposite of the truth, we cannot follow our own self
determination. If you tell me that a system is deterministic you have added
exactly zero information by telling me that the system also has "free
will", thus "free will" means nothing and is just a noise. Turing proved 80
years ago that even in a 100% deterministic system sometimes you can tell
if that system will ever be in sate X (such as the stop state for example)
BUT sometimes you can not and in general there is no way to tell when you
can and when you can't, so the only way to know is to just watch it and
see, and you might end up watching it literally forever. There is no
shortcut, sometimes nobody, not even we ourselves know what we will do
until we do it.

You're walking down a road and spot a fork in the road far ahead. You know
of advantages and disadvantages to both paths so you arn't sure if you will
go right or left, you haven't finished the calculation yet, you haven't
decided yet. Once you get to the fork you find yourself on the left path
and retroactively conclude that you must have "decided" to go left.

  John k Clark

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