On 15 Mar 2013, at 04:19, John Clark wrote:

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.

That's a curious way of reasoning.

-If you tell me that a system is deterministic you have added exactly zero information by telling me that the system also has "consciousness", thus "consciousness" means nothing and is just a noise.

-If you tell me that a system is deterministic you have added exactly zero information by telling me that the system also has the american citizenship, thus "american citizenship" means nothing and is just a noise.

-If you tell me that a black hole is deterministic you have added exactly zero information by telling me that the black hole also has also a mass, thus "mass" means nothing and is just a noise.

etc.






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.

Having self-determination does not entail that we can self-determine ourself completely. I did not say "total self-determination".




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.

Yes. That's what I mean by free will. Roughly speaking. Except that I decided consciously before acting. If not, it is like randomness, or unconscious decision, and that is not free will. Free-will is when I want to go the left, and decide accordingly to go to the left, and nobody coerce me to not go to the left. It is not much different than will + freedom.

Bruno



http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/



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